Phyllis Atkins

Judge Atkins graduated from Walla Walla University in 1957 with a degree in business administration, as well as the distinction of being the only woman in her major.

After graduation, Judge Atkins moved to San Diego and worked for Humphrey Casting. She decided to become a lawyer. She attended California Western University and graduated in 1965. Judge Atkins began her legal career in 1966 in and eventually became a partner in 1971. From 1978 to 1982, she engaged in private practice as a sole practitioner.

In 1980 she took the oath as U.S. Magistrate, and became the first woman to serve as a judge on the federal court bench in Nevada. After an initial two-year term as a part-time magistrate judge, Phyllis become a full-time magistrate judge in 1982.

Twenty-one years later, she retired as the longest serving U.S. Magistrate Judge in the history of Nevada. She officially retired from her judicial position in 1999, but returned to serve as a Recalled Retired United States Magistrate Judge until 2001.

Judge Atkins and her husband, Thomas, enjoy life at home in Reno, Nevada.

Bill Chobotar

Although some might consider him a professional chef, Bill Chobotar is a distinguished professor of biology at Andrews University. Bill has also been the editor of Parasitology Research Journal since 1990. He has written more than 70 articles for peer-reviewed journals, chaired international congress sessions for scientific symposiums, been a guest professor at Solusi University, and won several awards for excellence in teaching and researching.

Bill graduated from Walla Walla University in 1965 with a master’s degree in biology and an emphasis in parasitology. He also holds a doctoral degree from Utah State University.


Bill and his wife, Ruth, were married in 1956, in Kelowna, British Columbia. Ruth and Bill have four children, Sandra, Debra, Todd, and Lyle, who is deceased. The couple also has five grandchildren.

“Teaching is such a blessing. I’ve been given many chances to do what I like to do and I thank God for the opportunities that were placed before me,” says Bill.

Joyce Lang

At age six, Joyce Lang knew she wanted to be a teacher. Joyce sought the life of an educator, and in doing so, became a loving mentor to the hundreds of children who sat in her classroom.

Joyce's classroom topics also went beyond reading, writing and arithmetic. Some years Joyce would share with her students the story of her son, Myles, who died at age 9 from a brain tumor. This experience instilled the value of community in Joyce.

Today, Joyce is known for her volunteerism in her church, community and Walla Walla University. 

Joyce is a 1973 elementary education graduate. She taught in North Dakota and Colorado, before beginning her 25-year career at Rogers Elementary School in College Place. In 1988, Joyce was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award from the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. She retired in 2000.

Joyce and her husband, Mel, have two daughters, DeLona Bell and Tamara Stream, and five grandchildren.