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!




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, Michigan Supreme Court Justice, was 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.


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.

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. 

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.

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. 

Hon. Michael Talbot ‘71 was appointed chair of the Madonna University Board of Trustees.


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.

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

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.

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 wil 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.

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

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


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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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


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

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

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.

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


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.

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.

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