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Saturday, November 03, 2012 - SBA’s new development director focused on strengthening community support
Oakland University’s School of Business Administration is pleased to welcome Michael Silverstein as director of development. He is responsible for leading the SBA’s development and alumni engagement efforts.

Prior to joining the SBA this spring, Silverstein was a development officer at the Wayne State University Law School. Before WSU, he worked in sales and marketing roles at Saturn and General Motors,as well as extensively as a volunteer to help several nonprofit organizations raise money. A Grand Rapids native, Silverstein moved to Troy in 1996 where he now lives with his wife and son, who is a junior at Kalamazoo College.

After spending the summer getting to know Oakland University and its School of Business Administration, Silverstein took some time to share his thoughts.

Q: How does having a child in college influence your perspective?

A: Having a child in college definitely gives me a personal understanding of the importance of student support and the necessity of ensuring students are well-prepared to enter the job market upon graduation. It brings home the significance of what Oakland University’s SBA is all about.
Q: What have you learned about the SBA at OU so far?
A: The programming at OU’s SBA is creative, diverse and very student-centered. I’m interested in hearing more from the faculty and businesses in our community who are engaged in our student-centered initiatives such as ACHIEVE, ATiB, ELI and Scholars. I look forward to helping secure financial stability for these programs.

Dean Mohan Tanniru and Interim Associate Dean Nivedita Mukherji have a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the SBA. I am enjoying getting to know them, and I know we will make a good team as we work together to forge closer relationships with our alumni and the corporate community that surrounds us.

The alumni I have met already have been very supportive of OU and the SBA and are interested in giving back in a variety of ways. They might be mentoring students, speaking to classes or student groups, or financially supporting the school; but they are all thankful for their education and well aware of the importance of their support.
Q. What is your biggest challenge at the SBA?
A: I know there are many SBA alumni who share the passion of those who are already actively involved in the SBA. However, since this position had been vacant for about nine months, many simply haven’t been contacted and may not be aware of the great things happening here.

I am looking forward to reconnecting with our alumni, sharing the SBA’s exciting developments, and discovering the meaningful experiences from their time here -- such as a favorite professor or a particular class that changed their direction in life. Perhaps they received a scholarship and want to give back. Or maybe they are enjoying the benefits of a successful career and realize their degree from the SBA at OU played a significant role in their life. Whatever it is, I’m eager to hear their stories.
Q: What’s next?
A: I am excited to be part of the SBA at OU. We have an excellent faculty, quality programming and strong relationships with businesses in the community, and we provide good value for the tuition families invest in education. It strikes me that in some ways, we are a mystery to the community around us. We need to tell our success stories to the students who are evaluating us, the alumni who are thinking of becoming involved and supporting us, and the business community with whom we need deeper interactions. I am here to strengthen our existing relationships and nurture many new ones.