Alumni Potpourri November-December 2012

This page is a miscellany of many kinds of information about people who are alumni of the UA College of Pharmacy. To contribute your own tidbits, use our Stay in Touch form or email your photo and information to the alumni affairs staff.

News from November & December 2012

Alumni sent the following updates to us in response to emails delivered before Homecoming 2012.

From the Class of 1950
Marty Ronstadt of Tucson is retired. He and his wife of 65 years, Babs, have five children, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He still participates in volunteer work. He calls his COP class "the guinea pig class."

Ronstadt also shared this picture of him and classmate Joe Mendez, both of whom took part in Tucson's Honor Flight program during 2012. Honor Flight is a nonprofit organization that arranges trips to Washington, D.C, for U.S. veterans, especially those from World War II, where they visit the war memorials. This photo is of Ronstadt's return to Tucson from his Honor Flight visit in October. He and his travel "guardians" were greeted by Mendez (left front) and Babs Ronstadt.

group of people in airport hall

From the Class of 1952
Yvonne Anderson Windham is retired and living in Tucson. She participates in volunteer work at the Alzheimer's Project at Tucson Medical Center Senior Services. She has "three beautiful daughters and six wonderful grandkids."

woman clapping at paradeFrom the Class of 1961
Metta Lou Henderson currently lives in Tucson where she continues to work on family genealogy. She fondly recalls when the total enrollment in the college was about 100 students with a small faculty and few women students. "Everyone knew everybody and there was a very supportive faculty," she says.

From the Class of 1962
Tom Katafiasz lives in Salina, Kansas. Though he has been retired from retail pharmacy since 2004, he currently works about five days a month. He and his wife of 48 years, Mary, have four daughters and six grandchildren. He has been involved in model railroading for eight years. He writes that "Dean Brewer was my next door neighbor while I was growing up and was probably responsible for my entering the field of pharmacy."

From the Class of 1963
Judy Collins is married to her high school sweetheart, Don Collins. They raised two sons In Pasadena, Calif, where Don got his PhD in aeronautics at Caltech. Over the years they have done a lot of hiking and backpacking in the Sierras and paddled the lakes and rivers of California. They spend most of their leisure time golfing and cross-country skiing.

man at tableFrom the Class of 1969
Thomas Reed lives in Tucson and works at Reed’s Compounding Pharmacy. He and his wife of 42 years, Ellen, have two children. His interests are golf, his grandchildren, UA sports and pharmacy. One of his special memories about the college was having Dr. Albert Picchioni as a professor.

From the Class of 1972
Bill Hansen lives in Sierra Vista, Ariz.  He and his wife, Nancy, have two daughters. He enjoys a "good game of golf" and spending time with his grandchildren. When he graduated, the College of Pharmacy was located "just off Sixth Street."

Mike Rukasin owned and ran University Drug on the corner of Park and University at the UA Main Gate from 1980 to 2002. He is now semi-retired and spends much of his time working on their ranch here in Tucson. He has three children, all of whom graduated from UA. While he was a pharmacy student, he ran the college's intramural program, and COP came in second that year. He also organized the COP float for Homecoming, which was judged by actor Michael Landon. He says that the theme of the float was “We have only just begun to fight drug abuse.” A giant syringe on the float spouted carbon dioxide when the plunger came down. The float won a trophy.

From the Class of 1975
James Morrison has lived in Redlands, Calif., for more than 30 years. He works for Kaiser Permanente as the manager of a pharmacy in a medical building with 50 physicians covering 10 specialties. He has two children and a grandson who just turned 1. He enjoys traveling and this year completed his first trip to China. He also enjoys visiting the UA campus and reuniting with former classmates and friends.

From the Class of 1976
Bob Lipsy lives in Tucson and works at the college's Medication Management Center as senior clinical staff. Married for 37 years, he has a son and daughter who both have children.

Tony Soto and his wife, Kristi, live in Las Vegas. Their children are Amelia, 22; Anthony II, 21; Maitland, 9; and Michael Christopher, 6. Soto is currently employed by University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, where he is the outpatient pharmacy supervisor in charge of 20 pharmacists, 30 techs and two pharmacies. "On a daily basis," he says, "my pharmacies fill 1000-1800 rxs. My current project is assisting in the HER project. I have a lot of good memories of my time at COP but the best was graduation day!"

From the Class of 1987
Diane Trausch Nelson began working at the Tucson VA Medical Center following graduation. She has worked there for more than 25 years but now only works part time. She is married and has two children.

From the Class of 1996
man with big smileKevin Boesen lives in Tucson and works at the College of Pharmacy as the director of the Medication Management Center. He and his wife, Cindy Stormo Boesen, also Class of 1996, have two boys. His favorite memories are about "spending time with my classmates--they all became great friends."

From the Class of 2008
Kristen Hehr moved to San Antonio after graduation to complete a PGY1 and PGY2 residency specializing in oncology at the South Texas VA. She then spent a year at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston as a clinical pharmacist. In July 2011 she returned to Arizona as an oncology specialist to help open the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert  She also serves as adjunct faculty for A.T. Stills University School of Osteopathic Medicine.

From the Class of 2009
Danielle Russell lives in Tucson and works for Walgreens. Last year the pharmacy she managed was visited by one of the company's presidents. She recently moved to a new store as a staff pharmacist so she has more time with her son, who turns 3 this month. She and her husband, Phil, are fixing up an old Jeep for off-road adventures.

From the Class of 2010
Whitney Shields lives in Tucson and works at Northwest Medical Center, predominantly in the emergency department but helps on all floors. She and her husband, Sean, have "two beautiful daughters, Kendyl, 3, and Mikayla, 6 months.



Originally posted: August 29, 2013
Last updated: August 16, 2014
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