Alumni



Alumni

Fall 2016

Young Alumni 10 Within 10

The 10 Within 10 Awards recognize the exceptional impact young alumni make within their professions and throughout their communities. Nominees must have graduated within the last 10 years and be 35 years old or younger. Nominations for the 2017 Young Alumni 10 Within 10 Award recipients will be available in November 2016.

Samir Hanna, CAS ’09

Clinical Teaching Fellow, University of Michigan Law School

The Honorable Samir Hanna has been an administrative law judge for the State of Michigan since March 2015.

Just two weeks after graduating cum laude from Oakland University with honors in both Political Science and English
in 2010, Hanna began law school at
the University of Michigan. During law school, Hanna worked at the University of Michigan Office of the General Counsel, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Project. As a law student, he developed the University of Michigan policy for First Amendment political speech in residence halls. Following graduation, Hanna worked as a legal fellow with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to ensure that all individuals were free from workplace discrimination.

In 2013, Hanna changed his trajectory and began working in legal aid while opening his own practice, the Fellowship Law Center, PLLC. Within 18 months of opening Fellowship Law, he saved his largely indigent client population over $500,000. On weekends, Judge Hanna serves as the program manager of MACC Legal, the legal services division of MACC Development, a faith-based nonprofit seeking holistic revitalization of Detroit’s 48214 community through sliding fee legal services.

Favorite professors: English Professor Kathleen Pfeiffer, Ph.D.; Political Science Associate Professor Peter Trumbore, Ph.D., and Political Science Professor and Chair David Dulio, Ph.D.

Favorite memory: The orientation group leader experience was a large part of my foundation at OU.

Hobbies: Camping, cycling, boot camp classes and any outdoor activity.

If you could return for one class: Economics, as an economics background is always helpful, or re-take Harlem Renaissance, because the literature was fascinating and intellectually stimulating.

Elise Joseph, SECS ’15, ’08

Chemical Engineer, U.S. army TARDEC

Joseph graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Chemistry and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Energy, Fluid and Thermal Systems. As an undergrad, she worked as an analytical chemistry research assistant for John Seeley, Ph.D., optimizing two-dimensional gas chromatography methods to analyze alternative energy/biofuels.

She spent a summer as a chemical engineering intern for the United States Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) developing and testing advanced fuels and lubes, including fire-resistant fuels and biodiesel. After earning with bachelor’s degree, Joseph became a chemical engineer for TARDEC’s energy storage team. She led advanced energy storage technology research, development and engineering for military ground vehicles.

Since then, Joseph has supported and led multiple projects to develop advanced battery technologies to meet aggressive military requirements and growing energy demands. These include developing and improved lead acid batteries and a lithium ion ground vehicle battery in the standard military 6T form factor; researching high-power and zero-volt lithium ion cells and bipolar lead acid battery design; and advancing Nickel-Zinc (NiZn) battery technology.

Joseph also provided engineering support for Army ground vehicle batteries by answering field-level user inquiries, working with the vehicle platform program managers to resolve wide-scale battery use issues, providing technical feedback for Army-wide battery policies, ensuring fielded products meet military specifications, and evaluating new/ improved battery technologies to improve performance, fulfill a current need or reduce cost for better government spending.

Today, Joseph continues her career at TARDEC as the primary engineering support point of contact and recognized U.S. Department of Defense subject matter expert for all fielded Army ground vehicle batteries.

Favorite professor: John Seeley, Ph.D., professor, Analytical Chemistry

Favorite memory: Being selected for the 10 within 10. Before this honor, working as a gas chromatography research assistant or just being on/walking around the beautiful OU campus during the first warm days of spring.

If you could return for one class:

ME 567 – Optical Measurement and Quality Inspection, since I considered taking it many times, but the schedule never worked out.

Hobbies: Spending time with my husband, Mike, and 2-year-old daughter, and preparing for the arrival of our second child, due in September.

Nicholas Kristock, SBA ’14, ’13

Founder/Executive Director, Fleece & Thank You

Kristock has founded multiple nonprofit organizations, most recently Fleece & Thank You, an innovative 501(c)3 operating charity that connects the donor directly to their cause through video message technology and delivers comfort and hope in the form of a fleece blanket and personalized video message to children suffering in the hospital. Kristock has nonprofit experience dating back to 2012 when he founded his first nonprofit, Gigs For Good, which strove to provide funding for mission trips for high school students.

Kristock is a double alumnus, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration one year later. Kristock was captain of the NCAA Division I Men’s Varsity Soccer team for three years, leading the program to three conference championships. He also played for the Men’s DIII Club Hockey team and was active in student activities as a leadership consultant. He was a four-year employee in the Disability Support Services Center, helping in the Peer Transition Assistance Program as a mentor for students on the Autism Spectrum.

Kristock achieved notoriety from several major university and national awards while at Oakland. He was awarded the 2013 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for being the #1 graduating senior in all of Men’s NCAA Collegiate Soccer. In 2013, he became the first athlete to win the Human Relations Award from Oakland University, given to the top graduating senior exemplifying leadership, service, and humanitarian efforts on campus and in the local community. He also received the Center for Student Activities “Student Leader of the Year” award for his hard work and dedication to student involvement and engagement.

Kristock received the 2016 OUAA Alumni Community Service Award.

After graduation, Nicholas signed a professional soccer contract in Brisbane, Australia, where he spent two years playing. He also continued to pursue his passion of nonprofits, having a hand in five major nonprofits while he lived there. He now lives in Novi, Michigan, and is the executive director for Fleece & Thank You.

Favorite professor: Mark Doman, special instructor and Pawley Professor in Lean Studies.

Favorite memory: Living in the apartments senior year with best friends.

If you could return for one class:

“Laughter” with Terry Dibble, clinical instructor and special lecturer, School of Health Sciences.

Hobbies: Carpentry/woodworking and making fleece blankets.

Katie Lukovich, SHS ’14

Certified Surgical First Assistant, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital

As a certified surgical first assistant at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, Lukovich positions, preps and transfers patients, assists with wound retraction and hemostasis, sutures and dressing or cast application. She also trains new hires and students.

Shortly before graduating, Lukovich
was elected secretary for the Michigan Association of Surgical Technologists. She also serves on the Certified Surgical Technologist Exam Review Committee
for the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. Most recently, Lukovich was elected a voting member on the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors board of directors.

Lukovich and her husband, Ryan, purchased their first home in Howell, Michigan, with their two “Westies”, Lucy and Ricky. She will continue her passion for dance by teaching dance classes at The Studio in South Lyon, Michigan, this summer.

Favorite professor: Patricia Wren, Ph.D., professor and program director, Health Sciences.

Favorite memory: Performing our pom routine at the Universal Dance Association college dance team nationals in 2011.

If you could return for one class:

“Lean Principles and Practices” with Mark Doman, special instructor and Pawley Professor in Lean Studies.

Hobbies: Teaching dance, working on our new house with my husband, playing with my two pups.

Marco Marando, SEHS ’09

Principal, Blair Moody Elementary School, Taylor School District

Marando and his wife, Molly, are proud parents of two children, Caterina and Antonio. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from OU and received his master’s in school leadership at Saginaw Valley State University in 2013. Both college experiences reinforced in Marco the importance of the school and community partnership and the importance of maximizing the potential of each and every child.

As principal of Blair Moody Elementary School, he is responsible for the safety and education of over 400 students. Marando coordinates and conducts evaluations for 50 employees and is the building coordinator for 504 accommodations and reviews. During
 his time at Blair Moody, he decided to implement the Leader in Me process to help increase academic achievement
and decrease student discipline, which tripled the amount of parent involved on the school PTO group and rejuvenated the school greenhouse through grant funds. In addition, Marco maintains and enforces the student handbook, school and board policies for all students and faculty members.

Before accepting his current position, Marco was a fifth grade teacher at Simonds Elementary School. In this position, he strived for leadership roles 
in order to expand his knowledge of school leadership as well as to gain additional knowledge of the Lamphere School District. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was the teacher-in-charge and co-coordinator for fifth grade camp for all four elementary schools. During the summer of 2013, Marco served as the summer school principal.

In addition, he coached basketball at Lamphere High School. During these experiences, Marco worked with students in all age groups, fostered relationships with students and parents and built learning communities. Recently, he became a part of the Alumni Resource Development Board School of Education and Human Services at Oakland University. All of these experiences have contributed to his desire to be a school leader and have provided me with valuable training.

In November 2009, Marco became the seventh and eighth grade Language Arts teacher for Allen Academy in Detroit, Michigan. During this experience, he learned valuable curriculum development and classroom management skills. It was his responsibility to develop the curriculum for seventh and eighth grade Language Arts, incorporating more informational texts and writing. Marco also presented Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports to a committee from the Behavior Support team on how the middle school team implemented the system effectively. This helped Allen Academy receive a grant to expand their use of the behavior support program throughout the middle school.

Favorite professor: S. Rebecca Leigh, Ph.D., associate professor, Reading and Language Arts, because of the connections she made with each of her students and how she allowed students to be creative throughout the learning process.

Favorite memory: The bond and friendship that I built with most of my professors and fellow classmates. He still keeps in touch with a handful of professors and classmates. “The sense of community at OU is like no other university.”

If you could return for one class:

Dr. Leigh’s Writing Methods from the education program. That was where I learned the most about myself as a writer and how to teach writing to children.

Hobbies: Spending time with my wife and two children; playing sports, reading and traveling.

Krystina Panek, SON ’11

Clinical Nurse, Beaumont Health System

Panek graduated from Oakland University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science inNursing. For the past five years, she has worked as an obstetrics nurse and has been recognized for her excellent care and compassion at the bedside.

After graduating from Oakland University, she obtained her Master of Science in Nursing, as well as advanced certifications in acute inpatient obstetrics nursing and electronic fetal monitoring. Panek is passionate about education and sharing her knowledge to improve her profession and positively impact the care of patients in her community.

In addition to working as a nurse, Panek is a nursing instructor for Oakland University and Macomb Community College. Panek has taught over 30 courses in areas such as inpatient obstetrics, basic nursing skills and nursing preceptor courses.

Panek has also spent time identifying and analyzing learning needs for obstetrics nurses and developing new educational material to improve patient care. She has presented her educational module, “Nonpharmacologic Pain Management: Alternatives for Intrapartum Patients,” to over 120 nurses in the community at local conferences and for continued educational credits. Panek has also spent her summers working to inspire middle school students to pursue careers in nursing at Oakland University’s “Camp RN.”

Favorite professors: Ellen Gajewski, MSN, RN, full-time adjunct instructor (Med/Surg Clinical) and Laura Pittiglio, Ph.D., RN, associate professor (Pathophysiology & Med/Surg Nursing).

Favorite memory: Rooming with fellow OU students in our apartment across from campus. They had so much fun — all while getting things accomplished!

If you could return for one class:

Dr. Pittiglio’s Pathophysiology, because she made lectures so entertaining with great stories that made it real.

Hobbies: Travel, scuba diving, swimming, and pretty much anything that involves the water.

Stephen Parker, SECS ’13, ’10

SRT Powertrain – Design and Release Engineer, FCA Group

Parker works at FCA as a release engineer for cooling and oil systems in the SRT Powertrain group. He has “had the privilege” of working on the highest- powered muscle car ever, the Hellcat Challenger, and the fastest production track car, the ACR Viper. He began his career at FCA in the Chrysler Institute of Engineering program, where he rotated through the company for two years prior to joining SRT.

Parker earned bachelor and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from OU. He leads the Oakland University recruiting team for FCA, responsible for progressing and maintaining one of the strongest corporate recruiting teams at Oakland University. During the prime recruiting seasons, he is on OU’s campus to visit, guide, recruit and hire students multiple times per week with the team. Parker and the FCA team have been key players in such events as Car Link with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the Student to Professional Conference and a multitude of events focused on FCA specifically, resulting in hiring 40-50 OU students for internships and entry-level positions each year since 2012.

Parker is also an SAE professional member and member of the Detroit Region Sports Car Club of America.

Hobbies: Golf, Slow Roll (group bicycle ride) in Detroit and trying to be an entrepreneur.

Justin Remington, CAS ’09

Director of Operations and Chief of Staff, The Remington Group

Remington oversees The Remington Group’s daily operations, which include communications, client relations and grant writing. He is the point of contact between staff, clients and volunteers in the TRG portfolio. He directly manages the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation, Focus: HOPE and the Community Foundation of Greater Flint assisting the Flint water crisis.

Previously, Remington managed former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s Active and
Safe Campaign, the Chaldean Community Foundation and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. He has provided assistance coordinating projects for the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, NCAA’s Frozen Four, Walter P. Chrysler Museum and the Make It Right Foundation. Remington organizes all fundraising events for The Remington Group, ranging from meetings and breakfasts, to tours. He provides expertise in prospect research, which includes analysis for foundations, corporations and individuals to various TRG clients. In addition, Remington has a wide range of other duties, which includes serving as the firm’s IT specialist to ensure the company’s continuing success.

Remington graduated with a Bachelor
of Arts in Communications. He recently completed his first year as a mentor in the Leadership OU program. Justin, and his wife, Emily, reside in Royal Oak, Michigan, with their dog Ambassador.

Favorite professors: Associate professors Jacob Cayanus, Ed.D., and David Lau, Ph.D., in the Department of Communication and Journalism.

Favorite memory: Graduation day. “It took a lot of hard work and was a wonderful culmination of coming into my own.”

Hobbies: Taking care of my dog, volunteering, enjoying Detroit sports and home improvement/yard work.

If you could return for one class: “History of Jazz,” because it was so enlightening. “The music really spoke to me. It was soothing to hear that much jazz.”

Lucy Sternburgh, SHS ’08, ’05

Manager of Employee and Community Health Promotion, Beaumont Health

A two-time graduate of OU, Sternburgh earned bachelor and master’s degrees
in Exercise Science from the School
of Health Sciences in 2005 and 2008, respectively. She also holds a doctoral degree in Health Promotion and Wellness.

A registered clinical exercise physiologist, certified worksite wellness program manager, intrinsic coach and certified wellness speaker, Sternburgh enjoys sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm about health and well-being. At Oakland University, she is a special lecturer in the Wellness, Health Promotion and
Injury Prevention program, and she completed more than 500 hours of training as a mindfulness-based stress reduction teacher through the Center
for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society at UMASS Medical School. Especially enthusiastic about encouraging others to take care of themselves, Dr. Sternburgh believes that health, happiness and well-being are contagious.

Relando Thompkins-Jones, CAS ’10

Social Justice Educator/Coordinator, Division of Inclusion and Equity, Grand Valley State University

Thompkins-Jones is a social worker, educator, and aspiring humanitarian who works to build equitable and more inclusive communities and improve intergroup relations.

He has worked with students, faculty and staff on college campuses, and with community groups and secondary schools to create, plan and implement experiential activities and projects that advance diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice.

An independent diversity and inclusion consultant, Thompkins-Jones provides training and workshops to student
groups and organizations that wish to create inclusive communities. National social work curricula and social justice workshops have incorporated writings and curated resources from his website, Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian.

A graduate of social work programs
 at OU and the University of Michigan, Thompkins-Jones has returned to teach
at these institutions to enable future practitioners to undergo and commit to the continued the critical self-reflection, personal growth, and professional development required to be agents of social change at micro- meso- and macro- levels. Believing there is room enough in this work for everyone, he prides himself on being a part of his students’ journeys of discovering the ways in which they
can best contribute to the betterment of society.

Thompkins-Jones is enrolled in the post-master’s certificate program in higher education. His goal is to matriculate in the doctoral program in Organizational Leadership or other higher education or social work programs to increase his development and capacity to advance equity and inclusion at colleges and universities and their surrounding communities.

A first-generation student from the Brightmoor community of Detroit, Thompkins-Jones credits the support of the Center for Multicultural Initiatives, the Social Work Program, and many other OU people and programs for helping him find his voice and passion for equity and justice. Being honored with the Keeper of The Dream Award as an undergraduate continues to heavily influence his work.

Favorite professor: Lynetta Mosby, Ph.D., — She introduced me to Social Work.

Favorite memory: The view from the top of Science and Engineering Building as an undergrad with my now-wife, Denise; or looking at the stars together in the field on the corner of Adams and Walton roads.

If you could return for one class: Something in Cinema Studies.

Hobbies: Working on my diet and exercise regimen, creative writing, learning about website creation and development, listening to music, photography, spending time with loved ones.