Dear Class of 1996,
Merry Christmas! I hope that this year has been a rewarding and renewing one for you and your loved ones.
For the December edition of our Class Newsletter, I'd like to share with you the words I received from a couple of our classmates from Westmont. Michelle Brouwer Cornelius and Thanh Tran have graciously agreed to give us an update about thier lives since their time at Westmont. A huge thanks goes out to them and their families for their contribution!
Michelle (Brouwer) and Brent CorneliusLife since Westmont has been exciting and challenging. Both Brent ('95) and I look back upon our Westmont years with extreme gratitude for having the experiences we did. The people we met, friends and faculty alike, remain close friends. We've been able to draw from our education and strengthened faith in both academic and personal ways since graduating.
Brent has owned and operated Coyote Kitchen Inc. since 1997. It is a food bottling/manufacturing plant located in downtown Phoenix. He has grown the business significantly and continues to expand his products. He would most definitely say that he's earned a graduate degree in business the hard way. :) The food business isn't always stable and predictable, so he's developed even more perseverance and dependance upon God for wisdom and comfort during difficult or uncertain times. I'm really proud of him!
As for myself, I taught high school English for 10 years, served 3 years as department chair where I helped open a brand new school which was both fun and challenging. Now, I teach English 101 for a community college online from the comfort of my own living room. It's definitely different than teaching freshmen in the classroom, but its flexibility allows me to be at home with Grace (6) and Hope (3), our two daughters.
We're so grateful for the foundation Westmont gave us, and we work on passing the blessing it gave us on to others. We'd love it if we could attend graduation ceremonies in 2026 and 2028 for the girls! No pressure, ladies. :)
Thanh and Andrea Tran
Since graduating with my biology degree from Westmont College in 1996, I began my career as an Environmental Health Specialist in 1998. After Andrea (Reyes) Tran received her biology degree from Westmont, she began her nursing program at Loma Linda University in the fall of 1996. Andrea graduated from Loma Linda with her B.S. in nursing in 1999, and that same year began working at Glendale Adventist Medical Center in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as a Registered Nurse.
In 2001, Andrea and I got married after 5 years of dating and purchased our first home in Temple City. I completed my M.A. in Health Science from Cal State LA. We began attending First Baptist Church of Temple City. In 2002, I became a Consumer Safety Officer for the Food and Drug Administration. We have since been involved in First Baptist children's ministry on Wednesday nights and summer VBS. Andrea sings on the praise team during Sunday worship, and during special events on Christmas and on Easter.
In 2006, God blessed us with our first child name Lauren. In June 2009, we welcomed into our family a baby boy named Matthew. We have been fortunate to have Andrea work part time, and take care of both children. We live a simple life but with many blessings from God, family, and friends. Learning the challenges that now come with being parents has humbled us and shown us how Great God is.
Again, thank you Michelle and Thanh for your contributions! What beautiful families you both have!
Merry Christmas and may God bless all you fellow Westmont Graduates. I hope to see you again soon.
P.S. Have you moved lately? Had a child? Changed jobs? Gotten married? Update your profile on Westmont's Alumni Directory and stay in touch with your classmates! Or if you'd like to be included in a future edition of our class newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with me.