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Class Notes

  • Published:
    Spring 2019
LARRY BIELAT, ’60 (Education), has published a novel titled Lake Paradise, which depicts a cancer patient trying to live the remainder of his life to the fullest. 
TILDA NORBERG, ’63 (Social Science), founder of Gestalt Pastoral Care, has been awarded a coveted research grant focused on “Grace Examined: Evaluating Gestalt Pastoral Care Spiritually Integrated Strategies for Clinical Effectiveness.” The grant, administered by Brigham Young University, is funded through the Templeton Foundation.
JOANN (FOURNIER) TRYLOFF, ’63 (Education), has published her book, My Heart Belongs to Teaching.
JUDY ZEHNDER KELLER, ’67 (Business), MA ’73 (Education), was honored on October 3 by the Underground Railroad and received the 2018 Underground Railroad Empowerment Award.
MILTON A. COHEN, ’68 (Arts and Letters), recently published The Pull of Politics: Steinbeck, Wright, Hemingway, and the Left in the Late 1930s with the University of Missouri Press.
RITCH EICH, MA ’68 (Education), a retired health care executive and leadership expert, has released his fourth book, Leadership CPR.
KEN DECKER, ’71 (Engineering), was honored at the 2018 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Artificial Lift Conference in Texas.
MICHAEL PITT, ’71 (Social Science), has been inducted into the Wayne State University Law School Alumni Wall of Fame. He is the co-founding partner of Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers, one of Michigan’s largest civil and employment rights law firms. 
GEORGE W. GREGORY, ’72 (Social Science), has been named as the winner of the 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award by the Solo and Small Firm section of the State Bar of Michigan.
SUSAN WHITALL, ’74 (Arts and Letters), has published Joni on Joni: Interviews and Encounters with Joni Mitchell. This book includes interviews from 1966 to 2014 and features Cameron Crowe’s never-before-anthologized Rolling Stone piece.
KENDALL B. WILLIAMS, ’74 (Business), has been named a Fellow by the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.
MELINDA JONES, ’76 (Agriculture and Natural Resources), received the Sharon J. Lilly Award of Achievement from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) in recognition of her dedication to the tree care industry.
KAREN SCHAEFER, ’76 (Social Science), has joined Rochester, NY-based law firm, Barclay Damon, as part of their Trust & Estate Practice Area, along with six other attorneys.
JOHN WEBB, ’79 (Engineering), was honored as 2018 Father of the Year by the American Diabetes Association in Atlanta.
COLEEN KING, ’83 (Communication Arts and Sciences), is the president and founder of Lansing and St. Joseph-based King Media, which received the 2018 PR News Boutique Firm of the Year, Agency Elite Award, and two honorable mentions by the PR News Platinum PR Awards.
NORA WINELAND, ’83, DVM ’84 (Both in Veterinary Medicine), has been named state veterinarian of Michigan in succession of James Averill, ’99, DVM ’01, PhD ’09 (All in Veterinary Medicine).
SALLY JOHNSON, ’84, MS ’87 (Both in Agriculture and Natural Resources), professor of animal poultry science at Virginia Tech, has been reappointed as the Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor of Agriculture by President Tim Sands and Interim Executive Vice President Cyril Clarke.
KIM SHOOK, ’84 (Engineering), has been promoted to chief operations officer of BASIC, a Portage, MI-based human resources solutions firm.
BETH BURNS, ’86 (Engineering), has published her second book, Inner Strength, Outer Success: A Savvy Girl’s Guide to Financial Empowerment.
SAM SMITH, ’89 (Engineering), published a book, Detour: Agent Orange, depicting a Marine Vietnam veteran’s battle with total paralysis from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which is caused by Agent Orange.
ERIC W. JOHNSON, ’90 (Natural Science), was appointed to serve as chair of the Family Law Committee by the Ohio State Bar Association.
LINDA MEEUWENBERG, MA ’90 (Communication Arts and Sciences), received the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from Ferris State University, where she earned her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. She also received the Golden Eagle medallion for the 50th anniversary celebration of the class of 1968.
Frederick Sturman, ’90 (Business), released a young adult novel (published under the name Griffin Stark) for young girls who experience bullying. Immortal Girl5—which highlights the lives of five immortal, crime-fighting sisters—was inspired after Stark’s experience working with an anti-bullying organization. He also founded the Sheepdog Movement to help the worldwide fight against teen bullying, and served as a combat medic with the US Air Force.
BRIAN P. O’CONNOR, ’91 (Communication Arts and Sciences), has been promoted to vice president, brand and corporate communications at Princess Cruises, the world’s largest international premium cruise line. He currently serves on the executive committee of the ComArtSci Alumni Board of Directors.
JON VEIHL, ’91 (Engineering, Honors College), was honored with an innovation award at the CommScope 2018 Innovators in Action summit.
ANGELA ERTLSCHWEIGER, ’92 (Business), received the Spirit of Life Award at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Women and Wine event last April.
JASON NERAT, MBA ’93 (Business), has formed an investment management firm, Nerat Capital LLC, after gaining more than 25 years of experience in finance and capital markets.
RYAN OKERSTROM, ’93 (Social Science), was named vice president of operations for Huffmaster Protective Services Group.
KENYATTA BERRY, ’94 (Business), host of PBS’s “Genealogy Roadshow,” has released her first book, The Family Tree Toolkit: A Comprehensive Guide to Uncovering Your Ancestry and Researching Genealogy.
KRISTIN (MERRITT) EILENBERG, ’94 (Lyman Briggs, Natural Science), served as an advisor for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was created in the summer of 2018 by the European Union. This initiative standardizes data protection laws across all 28 EU countries and imposes strict new rules on controlling and processing personally identifiable information. Eilenberg’s primary focus was to educate stakeholders about the logistics and potential impact of restricting the health care and research industry’s access to data.
ANGELA KELLY, ’94 (Social Science, Education), has been appointed managing partner for the Detroit office of Ernst & Young LLP.
KURT KWIATkOWSKI, ’96 (Agriculture and Natural Resources), MS ’05 (Business), MSU’s corporate executive chef, earned the title of Chef of the Year for 2018 from the Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association (MCCA).
SUZANNE ODOM, ’96 (Arts and Letters, Social Science), has joined national law firm Jackson Lewis P.C. as a principal in the firm’s Greenville office, where she focuses on ERISA plans, employee benefits and executive compensation matters.
VITO P. GIOIA, ’97 (Business), was elected to the Board of Directors at the Detroit Athletic Club.
MARIANNE CARDWELL, ’98 (Social Science, Honors College), has been named project coordinator by the Polis Center in Indianapolis. She’ll support projects that use geospatial data and technologies on behalf of Polis’ partner communities while cultivating new project opportunities.
LINDA (McWright) LOGAN, PhD ’98 (Human Ecology), has been named vice president and chief inclusion officer at Olivet College.
MATT MALONEY, ’98 (Natural Science), is the founder and CEO of GrubHub, the nation’s leading online and mobile food ordering company. GrubHub serves over 14.5 million users through 80,000 takeout restaurants in more than 1,600 cities.
JEREMY CNUDDE, ’99 (Business), JD ’03 (Law), has been named partner at the Detroit office of FisherBroyles, LLP, the first and world’s largest cloud-based law firm partnership.
MATT JACKSON, ’99 (Communication Arts and Sciences), was promoted to partner and managing director of Lambert, Edwards & Associates, Michigan’s largest public relations and investor relations firm.
SCOTT ANGOVE, ’00 (Arts and Letters), recently received the Chicago Sports Legacy Award for “exemplary leadership in advancing youth sports in greater Chicago. The award was presented by the Butkus Foundation in recognition of Scott’s role as co-founder of the Chicago Hockey Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to the game of hockey throughout Chicagoland.
MICHAEL FRANTZ, ’03 (Social Science), a Frantz Ward partner, has been appointed to the Board of Governors for the Ohio State Bar Association.
ASHLEY FARKAS, ’06 (Communication Arts and Sciences), was featured in Las Vegas Weekly’s Women of Intrigue issue, which identifies 12 women in the community who are “movers and shakers.” The story covered her love of yoga, passion for PR, and her experience after being shot in the shoulder at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in October 2017.
DOMINIC VICARI is the operating partner of Joe Muer Seafood, and owner of Andiamo Italia in Fenton. He attended in ‘‘03.
ANGELA HAAS, PhD ’08 (Arts and Letters), has published a new book, Key Theoretical Frameworks: Teaching Technical Communication in the Twenty-First Century, which offers new curricular and pedagogical approaches to teaching technical communication. She draws on social justice methodologies and cultural studies to give a voice to a new generation of scholars.
CHRIS TYLER, ’10 (Business), was recently named senior vice president of Operations at Astera Credit Union.
AUDREY DAHLGREN, ’11 (Communication Arts and Sciences), will return to her Lansing roots as a sports reporter on WLNS, Channel 6, to succeed Jay Sarkar.
PETER NELSON, ’12 (Music), released his newest jazz album, Ash, Dust, and the Chalkboard Cinema in August 2018, which tells the story of his five-year battle with a mysterious illness.
MARIA NOVOTNY, ’13, PhD ’17 (Both in Arts and Letters), received the 2018 Hope Award for Innovation from the National Infertility Association. This national award recognizes “an individual and/or organization/corporation that has demonstrated the creation and application of an innovative product, service or medical procedure that has enhanced the lives of those diagnosed with infertility.”
AMY POCHODYLO, ’13 (Lyman Briggs, Natural Science, Honors College), and DANA SCHRAUBEN, ’16 (Natural Science), have been chosen by the Knowles Teacher Initiative to be members of its 2018 Cohort of Teaching Fellows.
(Arts and Letters), was cast 
as Badger in the Chicago premiere production of Fantastic Mr. Fox, adapted from the book by Roald Dahl. The play ran from December 14, 2018 to January 12, 2019 at Victory Gardens Theater.
CHRISTIE POITRA, PhD ’15 (Education), now serves as the assistant director of the MSU Native American Institute.
ALYSE WAY, ’16 (Engineering), was presented with the 2018 Rising Star award at the Women of Color STEM Conference in Detroit.
CALEB ERBERT, JD and MJ ’18 (Law), was recently named associate at Kerr Russell in Detroit.
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