Alumni Class Notes

Have you recently been promoted, honored or published? Have you switched employers or career paths? Share the news with fellow Detroit Mercy 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.

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Michael Tierney '60 is the new president and CEO at Community Bankers of Michigan in East Lansing. He was previously CEO and executive vice president of Flagstar Bank.


Gary Herbertson '78 has been promoted to senior project manager in the Program Management Office at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Evelyn H. Hirt '76 has been appointed technical advisor to the United States National Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission's committee Nanotechnology for Electrotechnical Products and Systems. She works with PNNL's Office of Lab Planning and Performance Management. 

William Ladd '79 was named Children's Attorney of the Year for 2016 by the State Court Administrator's Office Foster Care Review Board. He is with the Michigan Children's Law Center and is an adjunct professor at Detroit Mercy Law.

Edward R. Post '76 has joined Varnum Grand Haven (Mich.), focusing on mediation, arbitration and litigation consulting. He recently retired after 24 years at the 20th Circuit Court in Ottawa County (Mich.).


William B. Balke '82 has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America as the Lawyer of the Year in Labor Law and Management in Detroit. He is a partner with the Detroit office of Littler, an international employment and labor law practice.

Sylvia Elliott '89 has been appointed to the Environmental Justice Work Group by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. The group is tasked with creating environmental guidelines to better serve Michiganders. Elliott is managing attorney and director at the Office of Legal Affairs for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

Susan E. (Olkowski) Fairchild '88 was named the 2016-17 president of the Federal Bar Association for the Eastern District of Michigan. She is an assistant U.S. Attorney with the Violent Crimes Unit for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Robin Ferriby '87 was named scholar in residence at the University of Arkansas. He is vice president of philanthropic services at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

Fr. Robert Fisher '83 has been named an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit. He previously was pastor and rector at Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, Mich.

Rochelle Lento '87 was elected partner of the Detroit-based law firm Dykema. She is a member of the real estate practice group.

Michael Robbins '80 has joined Code42, a Denver-based company that specialzes in data protection and recovery.

Mark Schmid '81 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Chief Investment Officer Magazine. He is CIO of the University of Chicago. He was honored for his innovative thinking in investment strategy.


Michelle Alamo '99 was appointed chair of the Defense Research Institute's intellectual property litigation committee. She focuses on intellectual property and patent litigation. She is an attorney at Dickinson Wright.

Christopher Aller '95 joined Stephen Auger + Associates Architect as director of design. 

Diana Brown '94 has joined the Birmingham, Mich.,-based Transitions Legal and will focus on divorce and family law.

John Grzybek '91 was named to head Kalamazoo-based Greenleaf Trust's office in Grand Rapids. He is a founding member and senior relationship manager of Mirador family wealth advisers at Fifth Third Bank.

Jacqueline L. Hourigan Rice '97 has joined the ADTRAN, Inc. board of directors. ADTRAN is a leading provider of next-generation open networking solutions. Rice is an executive vice president and chief risk and compliance officer for Target.

Andrea Leslie '97 is the president of Spectrum Health United and Kelsey hospitals. She was previously chief nursing officer for the western Michigan healthcare company.

Scott MacGriff '96 has joined Dickinson Wright PLLC's Washington, D.C., office as a member, to assist in leading the firm's U.S. Government Contracts practice. He was previously with the Department of Justice.

Mark Wisniewski '90 received the 2016 Time and Talent Award from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. The award is Detroit Mercy Law's most prestigious honor, given to alumni who exhibit distinguished leadership and longstanding service to the University. He has served on the board of directors for the School of Law's Alumni Association and several committees and has served as an adjunct professor. He maintains a practice at Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook, P.C., in Detroit.


Julie M. Bell '03 has been appointed chief human resources officer for The Advanced Group, a diversified professional staffing, consulting and outsourcing organization in Chicago.

Michael Castillo '05 has been promoted to Electrical Powertrain OBD Technical Specialist at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Kathryn A. (Sulkey) Gross '04 was named an Everyday Hero by RARE. The teacher at Loyola High School in Detroit was nominated by one of her students, who called her compassion and work for many volunteer organizations inspirational.

Brett Miller '05 has been named a shareholder at Butzel Long in Detroit. He focuses his practice on labor and employment law and fair housing litigation. 

Jeffrey R. Mitchell '09 was awarded the Tim & Melody Skoog Extra Mile award by for his fundraising efforts. In 2015, he rode his bicycle 3,582 miles from Seattle, Wash., to New York City to raise funds for Burmese refugees. In 2016, he rode 450 miles around the Olympic Peninsula to raise funds for International Justice Mission.

Christopher Quattrin '86, '06 was elected Berrien County (Mich.) Drain Commissioner in November.

Sara Rubino '08 was named partner at Jaffe Raitt Heier & Weiss in Southfield, Mich. She is also a speaker on probate-related topics such as guardianships, conservatorships, estates and trusts.

Matthew Richardson '01 was named manager of MCTV and library communications by the city of Midland, Mich. 


Nina Abboud '15 has joined the staff of the Bloomfield Hills, Mich., law firm Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy & Sadler PLC. She is a court qualified mediator and a member of the Insurance and Idemnity, Young Lawyers and Litigation Sections of  the State Bar of Michigan.

Stephanie A. Boyle, D.D.S., '16 has joined the Shelby Township, Mich., office of Pointe Dental Group.

David M. Brush '14 has published his first novel, "Induction." It is about a dystopian future created by a mandatory eugenics program.

Javon R. David '13 published "Michigan No-Fault & Third Party Practice: Is the Tide Turning in the McCormick Era" in The Journal of Insurance & Indemnity Law. She is an attorney with Secrest Wardle's Troy, Mich., office.

Matthew Denner '11 has joined the design staff at Miller Hayashi Architects LLC in Seattle, Wash.

Paymon Dorri, D.D.S., '15 has joined the Livingston County Dental Center in Howell, Mich. He is a member of the national dental honor society Omicron Kappa Upsilon.

Jennifer A. Dukarski '10 has been elected a shareholder at Butzel Long in Detroit. Her practice focuses on technology and communications with an emphasis on emerging issues in digital media, cybersecurity, infotainment, vehicle safety and connected and autonomous cars.

Lawrence Kajy '15 was recently hired by Ayar Law Group in Southfield, Mich. The firm specializes in state, federal and international tax law.  

Deise Oliveira, D.D.S., '16 is one of 18 licensed dentists chosen for a new residency program at the Georgia School of Orthodontics.

Alex M. Petrik '14 has joined Plunkett Cooney's Insurance Law Practice Group in the firm's Bloomfield Hills, Mich., office.

Kevin Sanker '16 joined Howard & Howard Attorneys in Royal Oak, Mich. His practice is in real estate, corporate law and business transactions. 

Mary E. Sclabassi '11 has been named to the new Michigan Prescription Drug and Opiod Abuse Commission. She is chief of police for the city of Taylor, Mich.

Brian Sparks '10 was promoted to manager at UHY LLP Certified Public Accountants with offices in southeast Michigan.

Steven Spriggs '14 has joined the McTague Law Firm in Windsor, Ont., Can., as an associate lawyer. He focuses in corporate/commercial and real estate law.