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Class Notes

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    Fall 2016


WILLIAM G. SCHARFFE, ’65 (Communication Arts and Sciences), MA ’69, PhD ’77 (both in Education), has been elected chairman of the board of the Saginaw Economic Development Corporation as well as vice-chair of the Board of the Historical Society of Saginaw County.


ROBERT T. APISA, ’69 (Education), premiered his documentary Men of Sparta at the 2016 Traverse City Film Festival.



JOHN P. GIESY, MS ’72, PhD ’74 (Both In Agriculture and Natural Resources), received this year’s Distinguished Researcher Award at Spring Convocation at the University of Saskatchewan.


CHARLENE J. LANGE, ’73 (Agriculture and Natural Resources), is a fifth-generation operator of her family’s Lange Twins Winery in Lodi, California.


THEODORE J. HALM, ’78 (Communication Arts and Sciences), was recently awarded a Distinguished Staff Award at Ferris State University.


LINDA D. SCOTT, ’79 (Nursing), has been appointed as dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing.

CHARLES G. STOCKWELL, MA ’79 (Education), is celebrating 20 years of the self-founded Charyl Stockwell Academy District, which belongs to the Michigan Public School Academy.



ROBERT M. AKERS, PhD ’80 (Agriculture and Natural Resources), was recently reappointed the Horace E. and Elizabeth F. Alphin Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech University.


JUDITH E. APP-WINTER, ’80 (Communication Arts and Sciences), attended the first-ever United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C. The mother of a child with special needs, she represented other women and girls with special needs.


THOMAS J. CONSTAND, ’80 (Business), has been appointed incoming president of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan.


DAVID LESZKOWITZ, ’82 (Natural Science), was certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine in the specialization of addiction medicine.


RANDALL R. RUPP, ’82 (Business), was recently promoted to CEO of Rehmann, a regional accounting and financial services firm.


DAVID D. LEWIS, ’85 (Engineering, HONORS COLLEGE), has been hired as chief data scientist at Brainspace Corp.


JAMES R. CAPONIGRO, ’86 (Communication Arts and Sciences), was promoted to president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay.


THOMAS R. HUMPHREYS, III, ’87 (Communication Arts and Sciences), was recently named director of the risk management and insurance program at Olivet College.


TODD A. PENEGOR, ’87, MBA ’89 (Both in Business), was recently named the president and CEO of Wendy’s Co.


KATHRYN A. GROSS, ’89 (Social Science) has been nominated by a student at Loyola High School as a teacher in the RARE Everyday Hero program.



ANESSA O. KRAMER, ’92 (Business), was elected president of the Michigan Intellectual Property Inn of Court by its members for 2016-2017.


SCOTT B. CHERRIN, JD ’95 (Law), is working as a co-producer on the movies The Legend of Tarzan and The Six Billion Dollar Man.


MICHAEL A. JASPERSON, ’95 (Natural Science), has joined Michigan-based non-profit health plan Priority Health as the east region vice president.


TYLER E. WEGMEYER, ’99 (Agriculture And Natural Resources), has been named the 2016 Virginia Farmer of the Year by the Virginia Cooperative Extension.



MOHAMMAD F. GIERDIEN, PhD ’01 (Education), has been appointed as associate editor for Pythagoras, a South African Math Education journal.  


BRENDAN J. THORNTON, ’02 (Social Science), has published Negotiation Respect, a book on the politics of spiritual authority in the Dominican Republic based on fieldwork experience.


MICHAEL A. WILDER, ’03 (James Madison), recently published the book The Playbook for a Dollar & a Dream.


JEREMY B. WOLF, ’03 (Communication Arts and Sciences), was named to the “Double Chai in the Chi: 36 Under 36” list of young Jewish leaders in Chicago.


BENJAMIN E. CHUTZ, ’06 (Social Science), and his wife, Dani Gillman, created an app called Birdhouse for Autism to help parents and caregivers identify better care for people with autism.

DANIEL S. DeRUE, PhD ’07 (Business), has been named dean of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.


BLAIR P. DUNCKEL, ’07 (Agriculture and Natural Resources), has been named assistant athletic director-Facilities and Event Management at the University of Pittsburgh.


DIANE G. GARDIN, ’07 (Communication Arts and Sciences), received the Cultural Transformation Award for her part in the All-Cultures-Week planning team from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station.


SARAH A. KUNST, ’08 (Communication Arts and Sciences), founded Proday, a personal training fitness app that allows people to work out alongside professional athletes.



MICHELLE L. CRECHIOLO, ’10 (Communication Arts and Sciences), has been the website editor for the Pittsburgh Penguins since 2011 and will received a Stanley Cup ring after the hockey team’s recent championship.


LATRICE L. DAVIS, ’10 (Communication Arts and Sciences), is a senior associate at Develop Detroit, a nonprofit that works to revitalize real estate development.


JONATHAN D. KIRKLAND, ’10 (Music), will join the cast of the award-winning, touring  Broadway musical Hamilton as George Washington.

MARISSA E. NELSON, ’10 (Communication Arts and Sciences), has been hired as an assistant account executive at Eisbrenner Public Relations in Royal Oak.


KIRK D. COUSINS, ’11 (Education), has joined the international non-profit organization Every Child Fed as a member of the U.S. Board of Directors.


MITCHELL R. RIVARD, ’11 (James Madison), has been named Hillary Clinton’s Michigan campaign communications director.


ERICA M. SWOISH, ’13 (Communication Arts and Sciences), has been promoted to senior account executive at Franco Public Relations Group.


JOSHUA S. BACH, MBA ’14 (Business), joined Van Conway & Partners business consulting firm as managing director.


JELANI C. ZARIF, PhD ’14 (Natural Science), was awarded the 2016 Prostate Cancer Foundation’s Young Investigator award.


WALTER W. BUHRO, MS ’15 (Natural Science), has been selected as a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Teaching Fellow in New Jersey.


KELLIE M. STILSON, ’15 (Natural Science, honors college), was chosen by the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation as one of 34 members of its 2016 cohort of teaching fellows.


STEVEN P. PRICE, ’16 (Engineering, honors college), broke the Guinness World Record for largest domino circle, with 76,017 dominoes, the most dominoes ever toppled in the U.S.