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State Stars

  • Author:
    Robert Bao
  • Published:
    Spring 2014
Frank Tramble, ’09, assistant director of MSU’s Annual Fund, Direct Mail & Student Philanthropy, has been named associate director of Engagement and Annual Giving, Georgetown University Medical Center.  In his new role, Tramble will focus on engagement events and annual giving strategies.  Tramble boasts experience in higher education fundraising, telefund and direct mail solicitation.  At MSU he managed a staff of more than 250 people and implemented a number of communications and marketing strategies.  
Christine S. Zambricki, ’76, senior director of Federal Affairs Strategy for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Washington, DC, has been named CEO of America’s Blood Centers.  In her new leadership role, Zambricki will focus on the advocacy efforts of America’s Blood Centers on behalf of its member blood centers that collectively are responsible for 50 percent of the U.S. and 25 percent of the Canadian blood supplies. America’s Blood Centers is North America’s largest network of community-based, independent blood programs.
Carrie Booth Walling, ’97, assistant professor of political science at Albion College, has published her first book, All Necessary Measures: The United Nations and Humanitarian Intervention.  Her research focuses on international responses to mass atrocity crimes and how human rights norms are reshaping the meaning of state sovereignty at the United Nations.  In previous years she has published articles on ethnic cleansing, humanitarian intervention and international human rights trials. 
Kimberly Conrad Brycz, ’83, of West Bloomfield, has been appointed to Executive Director, Global Product Purchasing for General Motors.  In this position, Brycz oversees all of GM’s global product and customer care and after-sales purchasing. In 2010, she was named one of the “100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry” by Automotive News.  Brycz serves on two of GM’s eleven affinity groups. She also holds a leadership liaison for the Asian-Indian Affinity Group and is the Global Purchasing executive champion on the GM Affinity Group for Women. 
Christine J. Sobek, MA ’78, president of Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, IL, was elected the 2013-2014 president of the Illinois Council of Community College Presidents. This professional association consists of all chancellors and presidents of the 48 public community colleges in Illinois and serves as an advisory council to the Illinois Community College Board.  Sobek is in her 13th year as president of Waubonsee Community College.  She is an MSUAA Life Member. 
Patrick Droze, ’05, a design and project engineer for community infrastructure projects based in Livonia, has been named the winner of the 2012 American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) Young Civil Engineer Award.  Droze, a design and project engineer with architecture, engineering and planning firm OHM, won the award for the Michigan and Southeastern Michigan sections of the ASCE. This award, given annually, recognizes engineers under the age of 35 for significant achievement based on professional contributions and service to the community. 
Brian Erickson, ’80, president of sales for Mattel, El Segundo, CA, has been appointed as the newest member of the Special Olympics Southern California Board Of Directors.  Erickson has supported Special Olympics for more than 20 years, contributing both financially and of his time and talent.  The peak of his experience was volunteering at the 2011 Special Olympics World Games in Athens, Greece, which he attended with 50 other “Team Mattel” employee volunteers from around the world.  
Jared Leadbetter, PhD ’97, scientist at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, has been named as a 2012 Academy Fellow in the American Academy for Microbiology. This honor recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the field of microbiology.  Leadbetter is a professor of environmental microbiology and heads up a program at Cal Tech focusing on interspecies microbial interactions.
Lane Glenn, PhD ’94, vice president of academic affairs of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, MA, has been named the college’s president.  Before he joined the Northern Essex staff five years ago, he served as dean of academic and student services at Oakland Community College in Auburn Hills and on the faculty at Lansing Community College in Lansing.  His background in education and the performing arts includes nearly 20 years of teaching and administration, alongside work as an actor and director for the stage, television and films.
Brittney Moody, ’09, account director at Eisbrenner Public Relations, Royal Oak, has been promoted to assistant account executive. Moody first joined the firm in 2012.  Moody also serves on the firm’s social media team, providing counsel and services to clients as well as managing the firm’s online presence. Prior to joining the firm, Moody was an editor and freelance writer at and worked as a freelance writer for Metro You Magazine, Tri-County Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Petoskey News-Review. 
Thom Bloom, MBA ’69, Birmingham, has been named 2013 Business Person of the Year by the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce.  Bloom is the owner of Toast Restaurant Group and has, along with his wife Regan, successfully established two full service restaurants since 2001. Active in community affairs, he served as president of his neighborhood association and was involved with numerous nonprofit, charitable organizations.  Prior to opening Toast, Bloom worked in the concert advertising industry and co-founded Real Detroit Weekly. 
Dean Fealk, ’94, a partner at the DLA Piper law firm, San Francisco, has been elected to the board of directors of the California Business Roundtable, a non-partisan organization that promotes economic growth.  In 2013, he was selected by California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr., to the state’s official delegation to the People’s Republic of China.  Fealk also heads DLA Piper’s Global Equity practice, which advises leading multinational companies on a wide range of legal and strategic issues.  He also serves as general counsel to the Halifax International Security Forum, and is a Truman National Security Fellow and a Marshall Memorial Fellow. 
Sonya Dufner, ’91, regional client relationship leader for Gensler’s New York office, has been promoted as the company’s director of workplace strategy.  Sonya works with national and global clients to rethink their use of technology and process. Sonya’s notable projects include her work with L’Oreal USA, United Nations, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Thomson Reuters, Bank of America, Fidelity Investments, Crain Communications, and Warner Music Group.  
Dufner shares her design insights in the GenslerOn blog.  
Dan Ponder, ’82 and MA ’90, CEO of Detroit-based Franco Public Relations Group, has been recognized as a distinguished volunteer by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Detroit Chapter. Ponder is involved with many civic and charitable organizations, including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and was inaugural chair of its Energy, Telecommunications & Technology Committee; the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation and the Detroit Regional Chamber Audit Committee.  Prior to joining Franco, he was a member of Deloitte’s Private Company Advisory Service.
William Deary, ’76 and MA ’80, co-founder of Great Lakes Caring, Jackson, has been appointed to the Mackinac Island State Park Commission by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013.  Deary and his wife have built a post-acute in-home health care corporation that has become the 5th largest home care and hospice company in the Midwest and the largest “proprietary” home health and hospice care company in Michigan. In 2007, 2008 and 2009 Great Lakes Caring was honored with the Detroit Free Press Top WorkPlace Award. 
Sarah Carson, PhD ’10, New Orleans, LA, has been elected as Publications/Information Division Head for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, an international professional organization that promotes the field of sport and exercise psychology.  Carson is an assistant professor of kinesiology at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, and serves as the associate director of the Morrison-Bruce Center for the Promotion of Physical Activity for Girls and Women at JMU. 
Ramin Vismeh, PhD ’12, a Lansing chemist, has been added to Michigan Biotechnology Institute’s senior technical team in Lansing.  Vismeh is an analytical chemist with expertise in biological systems.  Prior to joining MBI, Vismeh served as an expert analyst for the MSU Mass Spectrometry and Metabolomics User Facility. Vismeh has also served as a chemist at Amgen, where he honed his skills in drug metabolism, tissue analysis and advanced imaging techniques. 
Lavinia Biasell, ’00, Rochester Hills, a shareholder at Madidn, Hauser, Wartell, Roth & Heller, P.C., has been named to the State Bar of Michigan District-Character and Fitness Committee. The Committee investigates the character and fitness of candidates for admission to the State Bar.  Biasell concentrates her practice in the areas of title insurance coverage and commercial and real estate litigation. She was named a Super Lawyer’s Rising Star in 2012 and 2013.
Lorie Dietz, ’78, Clinton Township, has been named vice president of Marketing and Business Development at Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union (MSGCU) in Clinton Township. Dietz brings 30 years of experience to MSGCU, having most recently served as vice president and marketing manager of Corporate Banking for Comerica Bank. Founded by a few teachers, MSGCU now has more than 75,000 members, over $1.3 billion in assets and more than 240 employees. 
Mark Schneider, JD ’98, a shareholder at Gifford, Krass, Sprinkle, Anderson & Citkowski, P.C., has been elected as the 2014 Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce president.  Schneider has been a Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce member for nine years and has served on the Chamber’s Board of Directors since 2011. Schneider chaired the Chamber’s Community Relations Committee and was responsible for spearheading the rewrite of the Chamber By-Laws in 2010.  In addition, he has been elected as an Honorary Lifetime Member.
David Maluchnik, ’99, director of communication and executive team member at the Michigan Catholic Conference, has been named a national consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Communications Committee.  Maluchnik previously served in the Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Senate as a legislative assistant, campaign manager and communications specialist.  Maluchnik has twice participated in professional communication seminars at the Pontifical University Santa Croce in Rome and is a member of the local and national chapters of the Public Relations Society of America.
State’s Stars Submissions: 
MSU Alumni Magazine
Michigan State University
Spartan Way
535 Chestnut Rd., Room 300
East Lansing, MI 48824
All entries are subject to editorial review.
  Sally (not Paul) Bando, Glen Ellyn, IL, 
    passed on July 30.
  William S. Johnson, ’55, was from Santa Fe, NM 
    (not Rochester, NY).  He passed on Aug. 21.
  On page 5, in Johanna Balzer’s letter, the former 
    captain of the MSU swimming team is William Baird
    Hall.  William’s sister is Janice Hall (Kietzmann).