Alumni Class Notes

Have you recently been promoted, honored or published? Have you switched employers or career paths? Announce marriages and births! Share the news with fellow UDM alumni, parents, friends, faculty and staff.

The University of Detroit Mercy community is also interested in celebrating the lives of our alumni. If you know of a member of the community who has recently entered eternal life please post a note.

The following are classnotes submitted by our alumni. Post a new classnote today!




Gilmary Bauer, RSM '69 was elected to the Carlow University Board of Trustees. She also serves as an adjunct professor in the University of Detroit Mercy College of Liberal Arts & Education.

Lawrence G. Campbell ‘69, an attorney at Dickinson Wright PLLC, was appointed vice chair of the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board by the Michigan Supreme Court. 

Michael E. Cavanaugh '66, an attorney at Fraser Trebilcock, was selected for includsion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015. He was also selected as a 2014 Super Lawyer.

Hon. Michael F. Cavanagh '62, '66, has retired after 32 years as a Michigan Supreme Court Justice. He was also honored for his exemplary service on the bench at the Michigan Irish American Chamber of Commerce second annual gala on Nov. 13, 2014. 

Rev. Nedeljko Lunich '67 has retired after serving 50 years as a Serbian Orthodox priest. He spent the past 40 years serving at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Joliet, Ill.

William C. Young ’64
, president & chief executive officer, Absopure Water Company, and a member of the UDM Board of Trustees, was elected to serve as a member of Scholarship America's Board of Trustees.


David Braun '76, '80 was named executive vice president at the Detroit office of Jobplex.

Mario V. '70 and Patricia (Doane) '76 Contini were named by California Senator Fran Pavley as Volunteers of the Month in October 2014. The award recognized them as a couple for their dedication, leadership, organizational and fundraising skills, service work and devotion to public service, inspiring dedication to the well-being of others and exemplary models of "Service Above Self."

Maura Corrigan '73 has retired as director of the Michigan Department of Human Services.

Tim Currier '78, a shareholder at Beier Howlett, was named 2015 "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers.

Timothy Gargaro ‘76 joined Gill Holding as chief financial officer.

Alan M. Gershel '78 was named grievance administrator for the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission, which is the investigative and prosecutorial arm of the Supreme Court for allegations of attorney misconduct.

Gary R. Habermas '73 recently published the book, The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ. Habermas is a distinguished research professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy at Liberty University and also teaches in the Ph.D. program in theology and apologetics at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. 

Robert Hamilton '72, co-founder and former CEO of Gewalt Hamilton Associates Inc., has retired after a successful 40-year career as a civil engineer.

Elizabeth Kocab '74, '80 has won the world championship in Women's Epee (60-69 category) at the World Veterans Fencing Championships, held in Debrecen, Hungary. This was her third world title in the event. 

Donna Markham, O.P. '74 was named president of Catholic Charities USA.

Chuck Moss '79 was appointed by Oakland County (Mich.) Executive L. Brooks Patterson to the Regional Transit Authority Governing Board.

Thomas E. Page '71, '76 organized and led a bike ride throughout the city of Detroit (including the UDM McNichols Campus) as a fundraiser for the nonprofit Neighborhood Service Organization, which helps people in need.

Robert C. Plewa '79 was named SmartZone director for Midland Tomorrow.

Jonathan Poer '77 was elected Lenawee County district judge.

Karen (Johnson) Preston '77, an assistant professor at Samuel Merritt College in Oakland and Sacramento, Calif., was awarded The Foundation for Life Care Planning Research Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her dedication and countless contributions to the field of life care planning. 

Leola Rodgers '78 was named president and chief executive officer at the Syracuse Community Health Center.

Hon. Michael J. Talbot ‘71 was appointed chief judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals. He was also appointed chair of the Madonna University Board of Trustees.

James H. Timberlake '74, partner at KieranTimberlake Associates, created the new design for the U.S. Embassy in London, set to open in 2017.


Genelle Allen '85 was named assistant county executive by Wayne County (Mich.) Executive Warren Evans '87.

Gail (Stern) Alpert '81, president of FIRST in Michigan, was elected to the executive advisory board for FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

Scott Anderson '87 was appointed to the Transportation Commission for the City of Alexandria, Va.

Paul Ballew '88, '91 was named global chief data and analytics officer at Ford Motor Co.

David G. Barnes '84 recently published the book Blood, Sweat & Gears. The Story of the Gray Ghost  and the Junkyard Firebird, based on the true story of a group of independent engineers at GM's Pontiac Division who designed and built a racecar from an old 1964 sedan and competed with it in the 1971 professional Trans-Am circuit. In 1972, they did it again with a wrecked Firebird and shocked the racing world. 

George Contis '85 joined the law firm of Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton in Troy. He concentrates his practice in real estate acquisition and development, construction, mortgage and end-loan lending, participation loans, commercial and industrial leasing for landlords and tenants and business planning.

Warren Evans '87 was elected to serve as Wayne County executive. Evans is a former Detroit police chief and Wayne County sheriff.

Mark Kopson '81, '85, Plunkett Cooney's health care industry group leader, was elected the 2014-2015 chair-elect of the State Bar of Michigan's health care law section.

Kirk Diegel '82 was promoted to vice president of Field Asset Protection at Follett Higher Education Group.

Tunishai A. Ford '81 has published two inspirational books: I Miss the Hugs but Not the the Hurts and This is a Comma in Your LIfe, Not a Period.

John A. Forrest ‘81 was elected a shareholder at Butzel Long.

René M.L. Hansemann ‘88, an attorney at Pepper Hamilton LLP, was named to the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Mark S. Kopson '81, '85, who serves as Plunkett Cooney's health care industry group leader and a shareholder in the firm's Bloomfield Hills office, was elected as the 2014-2015 chair-elect of the State Bar of Michigan's Health Care Law Section.

Timothy F. Kosinski, D.D.S. ‘84 was featured on the cover of national dental journal Inclusive in its summer 2014 edition. Dr. Kosinski, a leading dental implant dentist in the United States, is also an adjunct clinical professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry.

Timothy Kroninger ‘85 joined Varnum in the firm’s metro Detroit office.

Robert Lollini '85, chief financial officer at BioFire Diagnostics, was appointed to Recursion Pharmaceuticals' business advisory panel.

Paul D. Nowicki '85, senior vice president of Gannett Fleming, was named director of the firm's southeast region. In addition to the new role, he will remain a member of Gannett Fleming's board of directors and will continue to oversee the company's operations in the northeastern U.S.

John B. O'Reilly, Jr. '80, mayor of Dearborn (Mich.), was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to the Local Community Stabilization Authority Council.

Gary Peters '84 was elected to the United States Senate seat.

Lawrence Pierce ‘81 was named executive vice president of merchandising and marketing at SpartanNash.

Jude Rariden '89 was named assistant professor in criminal justice at Lake Superior State University.

Claudia Rast '86, an attorney and shareholder at Butzel Long, was named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly's 'Leaders in the Law' Class of 2015.

Steven M. Raymond ‘80 was elected a shareholder at Butzel Long.

Hon. James R. Redford '85 was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder as the governor's chief legal counsel.

Nancy Susick '86, president of Beaumont Hospital, Troy, was named one of 130 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know by Becker's Hospital Review. Susick is also a member of the University of Detroit Mercy Board of Trustees.

Stephen Waldron ‘88 was named chief operating officer at Grantham University.

Robert F. Wardrop '80, owner and senior shareholder of Wardrop & Wardrop P.C. was reappointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to the Central Michigan University Board of Trustees.


Michelle L. Alamo '99, an attorney at Dickinson Wright PLLC, was appointed vice chair of the Defense Research Institute's Intellectual Property Committee.

Lawrence G. Almeda '97, a shareholder at Brinks Gilson & Lione, was named as a Leading Lawyer in intellectual property in Michigan for 2014-2015.

Samy Bin Ahmed Al Ghassany ‘98 was appointed as chairman of the Oman Fibre Optic board.

Cornell Batie '92, '00 was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Detroit Jazz Festival.

Hon. Paul Bridenstine '91 was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to the Kalamazoo County circuit court bench.

Beth I. deBaptiste ‘96 was elected a shareholder at Butzel Long.

Michael J. Distel '90 was appointed judge in the 61st District Court in Grand Rapids, Mich. by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Mark Ellis ‘90 was named senior vice president of corporate sales at Time Inc.

Michael J. Forest '90, chair and associate professor of philosophy at Canisius College, received a grant from the J. William Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, through which he will teach at Beijing Foreign Studies University in Beijing, China.

Michelle (Caty) Harrell '90, a shareholder at Maddin, Hauser, Roth & Heller PC, was appointed to the board of directors of Living Arts.

Edward Hartfield '94 was reappointed by President Barack Obama as a member of the Federal Service Impasses Panel, Federal Labor Relations Authority.

Joseph Helfrich ‘99 was named executive vice president and general manager of Brock Grain Systems.

Amy (Chauvin) Johnston '94, a principal and deputy leader of Miller Canfield's litigation and dispute resolution group, was named one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly's "Women in the Law" for 2014.

Demi Kazanis, D.D.S. ‘99 was cast in the role of Lex Luthor’s girlfriend in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” a new film that is being shot in Detroit and the surrounding area.

Robin King '94 joined HealthCare Partners Oncology/Hematology Group and works in the San Martin Oncology clinic in Las Vegas, Nev.

Lawrence Leib '93 was appointed vice president, senior advisor at Schechter Wealth.

William L. Long '90 was recently featured in the Knoxville News Sentinel in an article about his life as a young, black professional golfer in the south in the 1960s, when he tried to make history as the University of Tennessee golf team's first black player. Long is currently the president of Long Insurance Services, L.L.C.

Kimberly A. Lowe '93, a shareholder at Fredrikson & Byron, was appointed as the Business Law Section Liaison to the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.

Matthew J. Lund ‘93, an attorney at Pepper Hamilton LLP, was named to the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

David Menczer '98, a ninth-grade teacher specializing in algebra at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Detroit, was honored with the Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

David Nelson ‘92, ‘96 was named vice president for finance and administration at Alma College.

Hoa Nguyen '91 was named executive vice president for finance and administration at Mercyhurst University.

Leo Salvaggio '99, '06 was named executive vice president at Dynamic Solutions International, LLC.

Stanley Szczotka '95 was named executive director of student and legal affairs at Wayne-Westland Community Schools (Mich.).


Nicole (Brown) Baker '06 joined Miller Canfield as senior attorney in the Troy office in the corporate group.

Jennifer (Laurain) Dillow '02, '06, an attorney at Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA, was selected to the 2014 Michigan Rising Stars list. 

Andrew Dunlap '02, '04, an architect at SmithGroupJJR, was awarded the 2015 Young Architects Award by the American Institute of Architects.

Danielle Graceffa '03 recently joined Dykema in the real estate practice group.

Ziyad I. Hermiz '08 was elected a shareholder at Butzel Long, where he concentrates his practice in business litigation.

Steven Jacobs '05, a litigation attorney at Trott & Trott, was recognized as a "2014 Michigan Rising Star" by Super Lawyers magazine.

Tim Korson '01 joined Springfield, Inc., a roofing company in Traverse City, Mich., as an engineer in the company's fall protection division.

Matthew A. Kuttolamadom ‘05 was appointed as the Corrie and Jim Furber Faculty Fellow in Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University. 

Ronald C. Liscombe '03 joined Miller Canfield as a senior attorney in the firm's Detroit headquarters.

Bradley Shepler '00 was promoted to an associate at Hubbell, Roth & Clark Inc., where he will provide a wide array of civil engineering services to municipal clients and governmental agencies.

Joseph D. Slaven '00 was elected to the position of 23rd District Court of the State of Michigan (in Taylor, Mich.). He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Renee Snow '08  recently joined the Midwife staff at Women's Excellence, located in Lake Orion, Birmingham and Clarkston, Mich. 

Laura (Stoppa) Soave ‘00 was appointed senior vice president, chief marketing and communications officer at Federal-Mogul Motorparts.

Christina (Haineault) Worgess '05, '14 joined Bronson Critical Care & Pulmonary Medicine Specialists, Battle Creek, Mich.


Briana E. (Smith) Emerson '11 joined the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Gilson & Lione as an associate attorney. 

Elizabeth Grabowski '14, UDM's 2014 Valedictorian, was selected as one of the 33 Fellows to particpate in Challenge Detroit, an urban revitalization program focused on attracting and retaining talent in Detroit in an effort to spur revitalization.

U. Renee Hall '14 was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to the Elevator Safety Board.

Nick Hawatmeh '11 was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to the Michigan Board of Chiropractic.

Alexis Konja ‘14 is serving at the International Services Center of Cleveland (Ohio) as a volunteer with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

Steven J. Kustra '11, '14 joined Clark Hill PLC as a litigation associate in the firm's Detroit office.

Eric Kushion, D.D.S. ‘14 joined the staff at Today’s Smile Dentistry in Crystal Falls, Mich.

Rebecca (Manning) Mancini '12 joined Miller Canfield as an associate in the Ann Arbor, Mich. office in the immigration practice.

Frank Paolini '12, an attorney with Plunkett Cooney in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., was named an "Up & Coming Lawyer" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Ann Raftery '12, director of the SweetDreamzzz Sleep Education Program, was awarded (along with her colleagues at SweetDreamzzz) Thorton & Grooms' November Hearts and Heroes Award, along with a $1,000 donation to the program.

Alexander Tolksdorf '13, '14 published the article "Toward a Pragmatic Truth of Accounting" in the October 2014 issue of Dialogue, the journal of Phi Sigma Tau, the International Honor Society for Philosophy.

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