Alumni

Alumni News

Michele and Karl Plattenberger
Wednesday, February 10, 2021


If you want to change your life and the way you see the world – study abroad. 


Shreyas Gavit
Friday, January 08, 2021


Recent Oakland University graduate Shreyas Gavit was part of an innovative team that won the Salesforce Career Journey with Deloitte, a case study competition in which college students were tasked with helping a fictional online retailer meet recruiting and hiring challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. 


John Stoll
Tuesday, December 01, 2020


In a video on Oakland University’s YouTube channel, former Wall Street Journal business columnist John Stoll shared how a degree in history from Oakland University helped him stand out among his peers.


Mark Stone
Wednesday, November 18, 2020


Oakland University percussion students, faculty, and alumni participated in the annual Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), which took place Nov. 13-14.


Bodies in Protest
Wednesday, November 18, 2020


FALL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS:Our fall performance season kicked off with Mark Stone’s annual Peace Day concert on Sept. 20. The event happened live in the Varner Hall Courtyard and was livestreamed on the SMTD Facebook page. Professor Stone was interviewed by Civic Center TV, during which he discussed the return to campus and the Peace Day concert.


Brain and Double Helix Graphic
Tuesday, November 10, 2020


Adam Avery, an assistant professor of biochemistry, has been awarded a three-year, $400,000 grant to research gene mutations associated with Spinocerebellar Ataxia, a degenerative brain disorder that affects motor skills, including balance, coordination and speech. 


Annie Fuelle
Friday, September 18, 2020


Annie Fuelle, an alumna of Oakland University’s Honors College, has been selected as the recipient of the inaugural Honors College Humanitarian Award, which was established to recognize students who have demonstrated “sustained humanitarian involvement” during their time at OU.


Urinetown
Wednesday, September 02, 2020


Oakland University alum Matthew Carlsen recently won the 2020 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) National Award for Costume Design for his presentation/costume design work on OU’s fall 2019 production of Urinetown.


Candlelight vigil
Wednesday, August 26, 2020


Oakland University's Department of Theatre hosted “A Candlelight Vigil to Honor the Lives of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Countless Others” on June 7 at The Elliott Tower at Oakland University. About 100 people attended the vigil, which was featured in an article in The Detroit News. “The diversity of our department is our greatest strength,” said professor Anthony Guest, chair of the Department of Theatre. “Something like this (event) is important. We are storytellers, and if we are not telling stories that represent all of humanity, then we are not doing our job.”


OU Summer Masterclass Series - Broadway
Wednesday, August 26, 2020


When the lights went dark in theatres across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oakland University Assistant Professor and Tony Award nominee Josh Young reached out to some of Broadway’s top talent and helped them connect virtually with OU’s musical theatre students as part of an innovative Summer Masterclass Series.


Jodie Madeja
Friday, August 21, 2020


Jodie Madeja, a recent OU graduate and current student in the university’s Master of Accounting program, has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. 


Salazar family
Wednesday, August 05, 2020


Oakland University’s Environmental Health and Safety program helped Chase and Jessica Salazar transform their shared passion for helping others into successful careers as EHS professionals.


Alumni Awards
Monday, August 03, 2020


Oakland University has announced the recipients of the 2020 Alumni Awards, which recognize alumni and supporters who have achieved success in business, community services, volunteerism and other areas. 


10 Within 10 Young Alumni Awards
Thursday, July 23, 2020


The Oakland University Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Chapter has announced the Young Alumni “10 Within 10” class of 2020 awardees. 


Evan Tsang
Thursday, July 23, 2020


In response to the shortage of COVID-19 testing in the United States, Oakland University alumni Evan Tsang and his business partner, Erik Bogaard, have formed Task Force Lab (TFL), a California-based company that provides on-site testing to group living facilities and businesses.



Tuesday, May 26, 2020


OU alumnus Shawn Ryan’s parents were both educators, influencing his decision to choose education for his profession.


David Daniels
Thursday, May 21, 2020


The Oakland University community is mourning the death of Professor Emeritus David Daniels, who passed away on Friday, April 24 at age 86. Daniels taught music for 28 years at OU — including three years as chair of the former Department of Music and three years as chair of the then newly-formed Department of Music, Theatre and Dance.


OU seniors in NYC
Thursday, May 21, 2020


In early March, SMTD musical theatre seniors traveled to New York City to perform for casting directors, agents and managers, and to participate in masterclasses and seminars with the industry’s leading artists. The acting seniors traveled to Chicago and performed for local agents and casting directors at Stage 773. They also participated in a number of workshops at The Acting Studio, including classes that focus on improvisation, voice over and on-camera work, auditions, and a concentrated introduction to the theatre, film, and television industry in Chicago. The OU students  were one of the last groups of college students to do a showcase prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Angela Helmholdt
Thursday, April 16, 2020


When OU professor Shailesh Lal received an early morning text from Dr. Angela Helmholdt asking for donations of personal protective equipment, he and his colleagues in the Department of Biological Sciences answered the call. 


Public health photo
Wednesday, April 15, 2020


A new report by college ranking website GradReports.com shows that recent graduates of Oakland University public health master’s program and its related bachelor’s program earn among the highest median salaries in the nation compared to other recent graduates in those fields. 


Jennifer Ward
Friday, April 10, 2020


From sewing masks to collecting donations for those most in need the faculty, staff, students and alumni of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance (SMTD) at Oakland University have been busy finding ways to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.


MaTilDa Awards 2020
Monday, April 06, 2020


Every spring, Oakland University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance recognizes distinguished students, alumni and community members with MaTilDa Awards, which are named to honor Matilda Dodge Wilson, who donated the land on which Oakland University is built.


Distribution Center
Tuesday, March 24, 2020


While now is the time to take precautionary steps and practice the preventive measures recommended by the CDC and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” announcement, it is also a time for some in the Oakland University community to come together to meet the needs of the community. 


Facing Our Truth
Tuesday, March 03, 2020


Oakland University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance presented Facing Our Truth: 10-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race, and Privilege from Dec 5-7 in the Varner Lab Theatre in Varner Hall. The collection of plays included works by Dan O’Brien, Winter Miller, Dominique Morisseau, Mona Mansour and Tala Manassah, Marcus Gardley, and A. Rey Pamatmat.


Mechanical Engineering Students
Wednesday, February 05, 2020


The median annual salary for recent OU mechanical engineering graduates is among the highest in the nation, according to new rankings by GradReports.com. 


Serena Scott posing for a picture with her parents, Samino Scott and Trina Govan-Scott
Thursday, December 19, 2019


At seven years old, Serena Scott took it upon herself to organize a water bottle campaign during Flint’s water crisis. She made posters, collected bottles from her Farmington Hills classmates and personally delivered 30 cases of donated water to her peers at a Flint elementary school.


Benjamin Olsen
Thursday, November 14, 2019


Upon graduating from Oakland University’s Master of Public Administration program last April, Benjamin Olsen’s career in public service was already taking shape. He recently started a job as program coordinator at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in Washington, D.C. 


Maria Zehnder standing, smiling with arms crossed in business attire in an office
Friday, November 08, 2019


With an accounting degree from Oakland University, experience in competitive gymnastics, and an internal drive to set and achieve challenging goals, Maria (Fernanda) Zehnder, ACC ’03, steered her career to lead finance positions at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).


Amy Martin seated at a computer desk, smiling at the camera
Monday, September 30, 2019


As a mentor to women entering the workforce, Amy Martin, ACC/FIN ’93, advises to focus on networking. “As you build your network, the world gets smaller and your opportunities will grow.”


Stephanie Pizzo
Friday, September 20, 2019


Long before she became the new artistic director of Eisenhower Dance Detroit — a professional contemporary dance company based in Metro Detroit — Stephanie Pizzo discovered her passion for dance on the campus of Oakland University.


Lynnae Lehfeldt
Friday, September 20, 2019


Lynnae Lehfeldt, associate professor of theatre, recently completed her certification in the Linklater Voice Method. Linklater Designation is the most prestigious certification in the field of Stage Voice. Designated Linklater Voice Teachers (DLTs) teach at the most sought after programs in the country — Yale, Carnegie Mellon University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — and Lehfeldt has the distinction of being the only DLT in the state of Michigan.


Oakland University Campus
Tuesday, August 20, 2019


As the fall semester approaches, Oakland University has received a record number of applications and is on pace to welcome its most academically talented freshman class. This year’s class of 2,717 freshmen holds an average GPA of 3.54 and an average SAT score of 1120. The university received applications from 14,858 freshmen and 3,427 transfers for a total of 18,285, the most applicants in OU’s history. 


OU alumna is vocal coach for AGT golden buzzer recipients, Detroit Youth Choir
Thursday, August 15, 2019


When the Detroit Youth Choir returns to the America’s Got Talent stage later this month, Oakland University alumna British NiCole Burnett (BM ’06) will be watching.


OU students, alumni in Michigan Legislature
Wednesday, August 07, 2019


Three Oakland University Political Science students — Timothy Kandow, Andrew Sebra, and Gustaf Vanderndonck — have been spending their summer getting hands-on experience working in the Michigan Senate.


James and the Giant Peach
Tuesday, July 30, 2019


Oakland University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance presented James and the Giant Peach — directed by Lynnae Lehfeldt and based on Richard George’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale — on May 17, May 19, June 7 in Varner Recital Hall on the OU campus.



Friday, July 19, 2019


Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan K. Barnett has added another hat to his growing list of civic and community responsibilities. In addition to being mayor and serving as chairperson of the Oakland University Alumni Association Board, he has now been sworn in as the 77th President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.


Shanna Dawson
Wednesday, June 05, 2019


From interacting with alumni to working on budgets, to updating web pages, Shanna Dawson does a little bit of everything in her role as an office assistant for the Office of Alumni Engagement at Oakland. 


Spring Awakening
Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Whether they’re taking the stage at Oakland University to perform with the OU Brass Band, touring with the children’s production of James and the Giant Peach, or studying abroad in Greece, students and alumni of OU’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance will be busy rehearsing and performing this summer throughout the state and beyond.


Jacob Corll
Friday, May 10, 2019


Jacob Corll, an Oakland University alum whose research led to the discovery of a master gene that regulates the expression of other genes involved in the development of corn kernels, was recently recognized as the co-first author of a manuscript published in The Plant Cell, a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Society of Plant Biologists.


Ruth E. Carter
Thursday, March 07, 2019


On Wednesday, April 3, Oakland University will welcome Academy Award-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter to campus. Her talk will spotlight her remarkable career in Hollywood, and will take place at 7 p.m. in the Oakland Center Founders Ballrooms.


Dawn Aubry
Friday, March 01, 2019


Following a search, Dawn Aubry, of Oakland Township, has been selected to become Oakland University’s associate vice president for Enrollment Management. Her new role is effective March 1. 


10 within 10 Awards
Friday, February 22, 2019


Each year, Oakland University’s Young Alumni Chapter sponsors the 10 Within 10 Awards, which recognize young alumni who have made an exceptional impact within their professions and throughout their communities. 


Making Masculine
Thursday, February 21, 2019


Marking its 35th year, Oakland University’s Women and Gender Studies Film Festival will present Challenging Femmephobia: Breaking the Gender Binary in Queer Communities. This year’s festival features screenings of the films “Making Masculine” and “The Same Difference.” The screenings, and a panel discussion, will take place from noon-3 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, in room 1050 of the Human Health Building on OU’s Rochester campus. 


Dan & Emily Head
Thursday, February 14, 2019


In celebration of Valentine’s Day, alumni of Oakland University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance are sharing their stories of finding love in OU’s Varner Hall.


Native Howl
Thursday, February 14, 2019


Native Howl, a “thrash grass” band consisting of OU alumni Alex Holycross and Mark Chandler, as well as Josh LeMieux and Jake Sawicki, recently headlined a show at Saint Andrews Hall in Detroit and will be joining rock legends Roger Daltrey, Kansas, Buddy Guy, 38 Special, Dave Davies, Foghat, The Outlaws, Nazareth, and more for the “Rock Legends Cruise VII” from Feb. 14-18.