Fall 2016

OUAA Honors Seven Outstanding Alumni at Annual Banquet

On September 23, the Oakland University Alumni Association (OUAA) honored alumni who have earned success in business, community service, volunteer leadership and other areas.

Distinguished Alumni Service Award

John Hruska, SBA ’89, BGS ’86

Executive Director, Treasury Services, JPMorgan Chase

Hruska transferred to Oakland University from Michigan
State University to pursue a Bachelor of General Studies and a master’s of Business Administration.

As executive director, treasury services manager for the Corporate & Investment Bank of JP Morgan, Hruska covers the automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers of the automotive and transportation industry. He built his career over 30 years, starting in the branch training program with the legacy National Bank of Detroit.

Hruska’s OU involvement is equally long-standing. A member of the OUAA Board of Directors from 2001 until 2016, Hruska served on the executive committee for 10 years, most recently as chair (2012-14) and immediate past chair (2014-16). He also sat on the OU Accounting and Finance Advisory Board within the School of Business Administration.

In 2013, Hruska’s institutional knowledge, leadership and passion for OU were instrumental in the OUAA board approving a comprehensive review of a strategic plan that will impact its work through 2018.

An active member of his community, Hruska served on the Automation Alley International Business Services Advisory Council, Greater Lansing Housing Coalition Board of Directors; Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Lansing Board of Directors; Adult Community Member of Rochester College Concert Band; and the Michigan State University Alumni Band. He was a member of the Leadership Oakland Class XVIII.

Part of a Legacy family, Hruska and his wife, Kelle, live in Rochester Hills, Michigan, with their three daughters: Britne, BIS ’13; Brandi; and Marissa. He is an avid golfer who also enjoys woodworking, songwriting and playing piano and guitar.

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

Addie Williams, LMSW, J.D.; SEHS ’73

President and CEO, Spaulding for Children

Williams has more than 40 years of experience working child welfare, the law and education. She is a licensed attorney, certified mediator, licensed social worker and adjunct professor at Wayne State University.

For the past 16 years, Williams has served as president and CEO of Spaulding for Children, a private, non-profit child welfare agency specializing in services to children placed in the public child welfare system. Under her visionary leadership, Spaulding was named “Best Managed Non- Profit” with a budget over $3 million by Crain’s Detroit Business.

She established the Spaulding Institute for Family and Community Development and the Academy for Family Support and Preservation and the current site of National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption & Guardianship Support and Preservation, a project of the federal Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau.

Williams and OU Organizational Leadership Professor and Chair David Strubler, Ph.D., are working on a community service project promoting adoptions in Michigan. On November 20, 2016,
 during National Adoption Month, “The Tapestry: A Story Concert for a Cause” featuring Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Youth Orchestra musicians, premieres at the Max M. Fisher Music Center and will be webcast by Detroit Public Television.

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts from OU in 1973, Williams earned a master’s of Social Work from Western Michigan University and a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University School of Law. Her numerous accolades include being named “An Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and a “Woman of Excellence” by The Michigan Chronicle. She was included in “Who’s Who in Black Detroit” and received the African-American Achievement Award from the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit.

The Williamses are a Pioneer-Grizzly Legacy family. Williams met her husband, former OU basketball player Wesley Williams Jr., while attending OU. Their children, Aisha D. Williams and Wesley T. Williams, are Oakland alumni.

Odyssey Award

James Sherry, M.D., Ph.D.; CAS ’75

Professor of Immigrant, Refugee and Global Health Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, City University of New York

Director, USAID Translating Research to Action (TRAction) Project

Dr. Sherry leads the Center for Immigrant, Refugee and Global Health at the Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy of the City University of New York (CUNY), where he is a professor of Health Policy and Management. He also directs the TRAction project, which builds implementation research capacity in low-and middle-income countries focused on maternal, neonatal and child health.

In addition to his OU Biological Sciences degree, Dr. Sherry is a licensed physician with doctoral degrees in medicine (University of Michigan), biochemistry (Carnegie Mellon University) and clinical training in pediatrics (Children’s Hospital of Michigan).

His program, policy, governance and institutional development experience in global health includes 17 years as a senior officer and director in the United Nations System. Broad-ranging responsibilities at UNICEF, UNAIDS and WFP include support to the establishment of the Children’s Vaccine Initiative, UNAIDS and the Global Fund; re-establishment of basic health care services in postwar Rwanda; the negotiation of global health policy by the UN General Assembly and Security Council; and the design of the Ending Child Hunger (REACH) Initiative.

He has served as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer in India; director of Biomedical Research and Technology Development with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); a chief of staff in the U.S. Congress for the Honorable Sander Levin; professor of Global Health and International Affairs at the George Washington University; and as chief science officer at the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy of the U.S. Department of State.

Dr. Sherry currently serves on the board of directors/trustees of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS); the Eurasian Medical Education Program of the Institute for Health Policy Analysis; UNAIDS-USA; and the Alliance for Healthcare Competitiveness. He is also a visiting professor and co-chair of the International Advisory Board of the James P. Grant School of Public Health at the BRAC University School of Public Health in Bangladesh.

Spirit Award

John Stoll, CAS ’00

Wall Street Journal Global Auto Editor and Detroit Bureau Chief

After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 2000, Stoll found his true calling in journalism – his minor at OU. From Crain Communications to Reuters to Ford Motor Company, Stoll is now Wall Street Journal Detroit bureau chief, responsible for editing global automotive coverage.

Throughout his many professional achievements, Stoll has remained a strong advocate for OU.

Having taught multiple courses for the Journalism program, students describe him as engaging, knowledgeable and supportive. In recent years, Stoll’s connection has grown through the OUAA as a speaker for the award-winning Leadership OU program and for the College of Arts and Sciences commencement ceremony. In 2016, he was named to OU’s inaugural list of 42 most successful alumni.

He joined The Wall Street Journal in 2005, covering General Motors and the American automobile industry, including breaking major stories on the bankruptcies that reshaped Detroit’s Big Three and the auto-parts supply chain. Prior to his current role
 in Detroit, Stoll was based in Stockholm, with responsibility for Nordic, Baltic and European tech coverage. In 2013, Stoll led
a team of journalists covering the conclave that elected Pope Francis, forming the basis for a book, “From the End of the Earth to Rome.”

Stoll has received the Overall Excellence Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2008 and was honored by the American Society of Business Publication Editors and New York News Publishers Association.

Stoll and his wife, Kimberly, live in Rochester Hills, Michigan, with their four children. A Golden Grizzlies basketball fan, Stoll also enjoys running, rock climbing, golfing and spending time with his family.

Alumni Community Service Award

Nicholas Kristock, SBA ’14, ’13 and ’14

Founder, Fleece & Thank You

Kristock has founded multiple non-profit organizations. His most recent, Fleece & Thank You, is an innovative 501(c)3 operating charity connecting donor and cause directly through video message technology. The group delivers comfort and hope in the form of a fleece blanket and personalized video message to children suffering in the hospital. In its first six months, Fleece & Thank You generated more than 6,000 blankets.

A double alumnus, Kristock was a three-year captain of the men’s varsity soccer team and led the program to three conference championships. His accolades in athletics, student activities and community service include the 2013 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for the top graduating senior in all of Men’s NCAA Collegiate Soccer and the “Student Leader of the Year” award from the Center for Student Activities and Leadership Development. Kristock was the first athlete to receive the Human Relations Award given to the top graduating senior who exemplifies leadership, service and humanitarian efforts on campus and in the community.

Kristock’s non-profit experience dates to 2012 when he founded Gigs For Good, which provided funding for high school students’ mission trips. Upon graduation in 2014, Kristock played professional soccer for two years in Brisbane, Australia. He pursued his passion for non-profits while there, having a hand in five.

Back in the U.S., Kristock continues his involvement with OU. He belongs to the OUAA board of directors and the Young Alumni Council and will be an alumni mentor in the Leadership OU program this fall. In May, the OUAA honored Kristock at the inaugural 10 Within 10 Awards ceremony recognizing 10 young alumni for their contributions to the community and their professions.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Tara Michener, MA, LPC, NCC; SEHS ’12

Author, Counselor and Speaker

Michener is an award- winning author of “Who I Am Not What I Am;” “100% Real;” “Summer Camp Survival;” “No Longer Besties;” and “Teen Life Crisis.” A 2012 graduate of the Master of Counseling program, Michener founded TMI, LLC, a company that promotes diversity through books, speaking engagements and training curriculum.
 She also founded Professionals Against Bullying and Students Against Bullying and owns Michener Associates Counseling Center.

As a graduate student, Michener worked diligently to bring anti-bullying awareness to campus through various efforts, including “Unbully”, OU’s first anti-bullying conference. The Keeper of the Dream and Leadership in Diversity awards recognized her efforts to advance diversity on campus.

Michener has given back to OU’s Center for Multicultural Initiatives by evaluating those interested in becoming peer mentors; sharing resources and presenting on anti-bullying for the annual women’s retreat; and attending the annual Keeper of the Dream as a past winner. In the past year alone, Michener was a Leadership OU mentor, a career mentor at Speed Networking and appointed to OUAA’s Young Alumni Council.

Leadership OU mentee Dema Iskander, CAS, ’16, has benefitted firsthand from Michener’s leadership and advice. “She somehow still managed to make time for me and for all of the organizations she is so dedicated to. Her passion for her practice is quite obvious and Tara excels in everything she does because of this.”

A mental health contributor for Metro Parent and WDET Detroit Today, Michener has been featured on CW50, MY TV20 and
PBS and awarded Michbusiness One Person Wonder (2014); L. Brooks Patterson’s Elite 40 Under 40 (2013), Madonna University’s Outstanding Young Alumni (2011), and the Salute to Diversity from Corp! Magazine (2010).

Honorary Alumni Award

Thomas E. Kimble

Co-Chair, OU Pontiac Initiative

A member of the steering committee and co-chair of
the coordinating committee, Kimble is a driving force behind the Oakland University Pontiac Initiative.

Kimble’s national and local experience in community relations and philanthropy is vast. As state president of AARP Michigan, he leads 1.5 million members and serves as the group’s key spokesperson. He has chaired several organizations’ boards, including Oakland County Workforce Development, Oakland Family Services, Hospice of Michigan, The Arts League of Michigan and the Holiday Extravaganza Parade. Prior board involvement includes Baker College of Auburn Hills, Michigan, Hosteling International USA and the Girl Scouts of the USA national board.

Kimble worked at General Motors for 30 years. During that time, he was vice chair of the General Motors Foundation and director of GM’s Global Philanthropic Administration. He was responsible for leading GM’s Contributions Planning Board, the governing body for GM’s contributions and memberships. The board was accountable for setting corporate policies and processes and guiding direction for GM’s philanthropic activities globally. Under Kimble’s leadership, GM’s contributions totaled $125 million per year.

After his retirement in 2002, Kimble became a board director at Clarkston Financial Corporation, a bank holding company. He also serves on the board of its Clarkston State Bank operations, where he chairs the audit committee.

Kimble’s involvement with the University pre-dates the Pontiac initiative, which began in 2014. In 1998, he joined the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Advisory Board. He became a CAS Ambassador when he completed his board service in 2009 and was invited to participate on the Dean’s Campaign Council.