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!
Maurita Sengelaub, RSM ’49, a former member of the Mercy College of Detroit Board of Trustees, was inducted into the Modern Healthcare Hall of Fame on March 10, 2013 during the American College of Healthcare Executives 2013 Congress on Healthcare Leadership. Sr. Maurita is the first woman head of the Catholic Hospital Association (now Catholic Health Association), and was recognized for her 60 years of leadership in health care.
Maureen A. Fay, O.P. ’66, president emerita of University of Detroit Mercy, was awarded the John Henry Newman Medal by Loyola University Maryland during its 2013 commencement exercises. The medal recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to Catholic education.
Eugene Gargaro, Jr. ’67, a member of the UDM Board of Trustees, was honored by Crain’s Detroit Business with the lifetime achievement award for the third annual General & In-House Counsel Awards. The recognition is based on his career of legal, corporate and community impact.
Frederick W. Lauck ’65, ’69 recently published his second book, Wealth, Power, Politics, Jesus. Lauck compares and contrasts the enduring 2000 year-old message of Jesus (inclusion, acceptance, non-moral judgment, compassion, forgiveness, peace and love) with today’s modern realities of war, capitalism, socialism, collapse of the economy and with the Great Recession of 2008, redistribution of wealth, right-to-life, right-to-work, etc.
Patrick O’Leary ’63 delivered the keynote address at the 50th anniversary celebration of Sigma Pi Fraternity (Gamma-Alpha Chapter). He directed the transition of Alpha Epsilon Delta (pre-medical honor society) to a national social fraternity and served as the first president after the organization received its charter. Sigma Pi is the only fraternity from the early 60s that is still active on the UDM Campus today.
Paul G. Schervish ’68, professor of Sociology at Boston College and director of its Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, was honored with the 2013 Distinguished Career Award, presented by the Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity Section of the American Sociological Association.
Kathy Avery, OSM '74, was honored by St. Clare of Montefalco parish for her 50 years of serving as a nun in the field of education. She has taught mathematics at the St. Clare of Montefalco school for the past five decades.
George Brumbaugh ’71, ’74 recently retired as Macomb County’s (Mich.) chief legal counsel, after a 30-year career in county government.
Michael Emmons ’74 joined Fort Bend Christian Academy as director of Business and Finance.
Valmy (Pangrazio) Kulbersh, D.D.S. ‘77, adjunct professor of Orthodontics at UDM’s School of Dentistry, was elected as a director of the American Board of Orthodontics. She is the first woman to be elected to this position. She will serve an eight-year term that will culminate in her becoming president of the board.
Keith Lerminiaux ’79 was appointed by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson ’61, ‘67 as corporation counsel for Oakland County.
Thomas Phillips ’74, an attorney at Miller Canfield, was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to the State Board of Ethics for the State of Michigan.
Leola Rodgers ’78, associate administrator at Upstate Golisano’s Children’s Hospital of SUNY Upstate Medical University, was named chair of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York Board of Trustees’ Central New York Regional Committee.
Joseph A. Schenk ’79 was named a senior advisor with The Carlyle Group for Hudson Valley Holding Corp.
H. Robert Steiman, D.D.S. ’73, ’79, dean emeritus of the UDM School of Dentistry, was awarded the I.B. Bender Award during the American Association of Endodontists Annual Session in April. The award honors those whose contributions to endodontics in the field of education have demonstrated excellence through selfless commitment to full-time educational pursuits, and whose valuable contributions have instilled in his/her students the desire to pursue excellence in their careers.
William L. Verbryke, S.J. ’77 was honored by St. Xavier High School as the 2013 Magis Award winner during its annual President’s Dinner on May 7. Fr. Verbryke, who served as the 38th president of St. Xavier High School from 1991 to 2001 and is currently the rector of the Jesuit Community of Cincinnati, was recognized for service and his ability to give of himself in love to the greater service of God.
Jeannine (Belde) Bakriges ’81 published her first book, entitled Spinning Around – Spinning, Knitting & Dyeing Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Classics in 2010, and is working on her second book, co-authored with Rev. Tim Brainard, entitled Under His Wing – The Stories of Two Mediums.
Arthur J. Cotter ’85 was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to serve as judge for the 5th District Court (Berrien County, Mich.).
Kenneth Fiema ’85 was named chief operating officer of George Johnson & Company.
Philip Fortier ’88, adjunct professor of Philosphy at UDM, was at the Michigan State Capital in Lansing April 16 to celebrate the declaration of March 2013 as Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) Awareness Month. Fortier and his mother attended in honor of his brother Joe, who passed away due to complications related to the disease, as well as on behalf of the Joseph G. Fortier Foundation for MSA.
Mark Jannott ’82 was named managing director and wealth advisor at Talmer Bank and Trust, a subsidiary of Talmer Bancorp Inc.
Kathleen (Klein) Lang ’82, an attorney at Dickinson Wright PLLC, was honored with the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel’s Excellence in Defense Award. She is the first female recipient of the organization’s highest honor.
John Shiha ’85 was ordained a Permanent Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of London, Ontario, Canada.
Kevin M. Thomson ’85 was hired as an attorney for Spring Arbor Township (Mich.).
John Dakmak '92 joined Clark Hill PLC Detroit as a senior attorney in the litigation practice group. Dakmak focuses his litigation practice in the areas of white collar criminal defense, administrative law, and business litigation.
Stephen Carras ’94 was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder as the new 42nd Circuit Court Judge in Midland County, Mich.
Michael Cernech ’91 was selected by the International City/County Management Association as the 2013 recipient of The Ferguson Group scholarship to attend the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in State & Local Government Program. Cernech is a city manager for Tamarac, Fla.
Kimberly Cotton-Tolbert ’91, a university supervisor at Walden University and a special education teacher, recently published her first book, An A.P.P.L.E. A Day: How to Keep Your ‘Religion’ in a Stressful School Environment. The book was written for teachers on all levels to inspire, encourage and re-energize teachers so they can continue to be an inspiration to their students.
Dennis Ortman ’93, ’95 recently published his fourth book, Waiting for the Archbishop: Memoirs of a Former Priest in Transition, a memoir that describes how Ortman became a Roman Catholic priest and how he decided to leave the active ministry.
Ahmed Rubaie ’92 was appointed chief financial officer and chief operating officer at Fortinet.
Patrocinia Torrico ’94 was named chief nursing officer at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Russellville, Ar.
Andrew Amborski, D.D.S. ’08 joined Aspen Dental’s new office in Defiance, Ohio as lead dentist.
Susan Armstrong, D.D.S. ’06 was accepted into the Lutheran Medical Center Pediatric Dental Residency Program in Yakima, Wash.
Christopher M. Nowak ’05 was recently named CEO of Nova Chicago, Inc.
Liz (Balleau) Studley ’03 was featured in Rochelle Riley’s April 21, 2013 Detroit Free Press column entitled, “Michigan nurses, volunteers helping to build hospital in Kenya.”
Thomas Kennedy '10, former UDM Men's Basketball player, helped lead the Yokohama B-Corsairs to their first-ever Basketball Japan League title with a 101-90 win over the Rizing Fukuoka.
Christopher Petrick ’12 was appointed the assistant prosecutor for Dickinson County in Iron Mountain, Mich.
Nate Robinson ’12, former UDM Men’s Soccer player, has signed a player contract to play professional soccer for the Richmond Kickers, a USL pro soccer team in Richmond, Va.