Class Notes

Laura Casai

MBA '15

Laura Casai, IIDA, LEED AP, Director of Interior Design and Senior Educational Planner at TMP Architecture has been named one of Crain’s Detroit’s 2020 Notable Women in Design. This is the inaugural year of the list.

In the past three years, Casai has been instrumental in facilitating successful bond initiatives with a total value of over one billion dollars, directly impacting the physical and programmatic landscape of learning in Michigan.

Gail Allevato, President of TMP Architecture says, “Laura has been an invaluable part of TMP for many years, not only leading our exceptional interiors group, but also participating as one of our firm’s Senior Educational Planners.We are proud of her accomplishment as one of Michigan’s Notable Women in Design and we applaud all the women who have earned this honor.”

James Shaw Jr.

MTD '00

James was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Legal Panel of the ACLU of Florida. The Legal Panel is the committee responsible for approving litigation on behalf of the ACLU Foundation of Florida.

Kenneth Atkinson

SEHS '82

Kenneth Atkinson (B.S., Human Resources Development), a Professor of History at the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls), has published Empress Galla Placidia and the Fall of the Roman Empire (McFarland, 2020). A biography of a former prisoner of the Visigoths who became the only woman to rule the Roman Empire alone and help select a Pope.

Tad T. Roumayah

CAS '07

The law firm of Sommers Schwartz, P.C., announces that Tad T. Roumayah has been elevated to senior shareholder. Roumayah devoted his legal career to representing employees subjected to discrimination, harassment, whistleblower retaliation, wrongful termination, and violations of state and federal statutes.

Peter D. Coyl

CAS '06

Peter D. Coyl was elected vice president of the Freedom to Read Foundation, a national non-profit affiliated with the American Library Association, dedicated to defending the First Amendment.

Kari L. Melkonian

Kari L. Melkonian has received the Oakland County Bar Association (OCBA) Distinguished Service Award. Kari has been an active member of the OCBA for 12 years. Her passion for volunteering has had an impact on her community, encouraging others to get involved in law.

Bob Chalker

Bob Chalker, the CEO of NACE International, has been elected to the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) Board of Directors. APQC helps organizations work faster, smarter and with greater confidence through improving their practices and overall knowledge. Chalker is honored and looks forward to helping other businesses during this time of ambiguity.

Raymond Dalton

CAS ’74

Raymond Dalton Ph.D., clinical psychologist, who earned his M.A. in 1974 at OU, retired recently from the VA MedicalCenter in St Louis.

Darrell Cole

CAS ’91

Darrel W. Cole earned a journalism degree in 1996 after finally taking the one class needed. He was promoted to Vice President/Managing Director, Communications & Public Involvement Practice, at the international engineering firm WSP. Darrel, who was a member of the Men's Basketball Team, manages a staff of 48 who are based out of 23 offices across the United States.

Madalyn Miller

CAS, '08

While at OU, Madalyn learned life skills that were vital to her success as a professional. She was the Student Program board chair and Student Body president. She learned to become an advocate for those around her. After graduating from Oakland she earned her Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School and was elected partner at Clifford Chance. 

Judy Hegelund

SBA, '95

Judy earned an accounting degree from OU, allowing her to get involved with Deloitte, where she is now a managing director. While at Deloitte, she met many life-long friends and her husband.

Carleen de Luna

SON '15

Carleen de Luna's a proud OU alumni who received a bachelor's degree in nursing. She currently works are Beaumont Hospital and is plans to return to her alma mater for graduate school. As a student she was the class representative of the Student Nurse Association, associated with the Ballroom Dance Club and is now involved with the Oakland University Alumni Association.

Morgan Sumpter

SBA ’19

Morgan works for GTB, an advertising agency. Coming from a small town, Oakland University impacted and changed her more than expected. Her time as an orientation group leader and being around other student leaders prepared her for her career. 

Rachel Herman

CAS, '19

Carrying the legacy from her father, '81, who attended Oakland, Rachel followed his footsteps, receiving an education from OU. Through her college experience at Oakland University, she was amazed by the opportunities she was given to grow. It started after the summer of her freshman year, getting the opportunity to work as an orientation group leader. She became an orientation assistant the following year, meeting hundreds of students.She also sang the National Anthem at convocation and at OU basketball, hockey, football and baseball games. Holding these positions helped her become part of Leadership OU.

Julie Battista

SON '14

Julie plans on returning to Oakland University to pursue her education in Forensic Nursing. The Nursing Program at Oakland University taught me not only nursing, but to push herself to be the best, to reach for her dreams fearlessly and education can be exciting. Her instructors were supportive, knowledgeable and excellent examples of the character of a well-rounded nurse. Living away from her family in the upper peninsula for a year changed her live. Reflecting on the knowledge passed on to me by OU and it gave me strength to keep pursing my goal. Her experience with these extraordinary educators helped Julie become a practicing registered nurse.

Rula Al-Anbakey

CAS, '19

Rula came to the states six years ago before attending Oakland University. She's a biology major who graduated in December with a 4.0 GPA, the highest GPA in the biology department.

Alyssa Albright

CAS, '16

Alyssa Albright, 25, of Shelby Township joined the O’Reilly Rancilio legal team as an associate on Nov. 4, 2019. She joins the firm’s litigation and municipal practice groups. Her practice focuses on general civil litigation, municipal litigation, ordinance and misdemeanor prosecutions, and planning and zoning.

John M. Cowan

CAS ‘82

John M. Cowan, CAS ‘82, has self-published a novel, The Black Guard #1: Bring the Void. It’s an urban fantasy/action adventure thriller available as an Amazon Kindle e-book. John lives and works as an editor of online content in Chicago.

Joanne C. Gerstner

CAS '93

Joanne C. Gerstner, CAS '93, was appointed by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as a commissioner to the nation’s first state-level Task Force on Women in Sports. Gerstner is the only sports journalist on the 14-person executive committee of sports leaders, executives and coaches. The Task Force is charged to examine the status of Michigan’s women and girls in sports, and then issue a report with recommendations for improvements for Title IX’s 50th anniversary in 2022. Gerstner, the leader of the Sports Journalism program at Michigan State University, was also named as Fulbright Specialist by the U.S. Department of State in May.

A bike parked in front of a beach

John Springfield

CAS '70

John Springfield, CAS '70,  bicycled 2,900 miles in 2019 from Georgia to California at the age of 70. He logged his journey in a daily journal at  crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Coffee2019 .

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Engagements & Marriages

Births & Adoptions

Photo of baby wrapped in blue blanket

Charles Archer

CAS, SEHS ’01

Juliana (Pete) Archer

SEHS '06, '13

are overjoyed to announce the Sept. 30, 2018 birth of their son, Vincent Charles Archer. He joins big sisters Adelina and Sofia. 

Deaths

Harrison E. (Harry) Miller Jr., passes away on May 5, 2019 at the age of 67. Harry graduated from OU in 1973 with a B.A. in Education and in 1988 with an M.A. in Education. He was a past President of the OUAA (1991) and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1994.

Patricia D. Sadowski, SEHS '63, passed away on 10/23/2018. She was a member of OU's charter class.

Clare McVety passed away on April 20, 2017. He joined the department of Facilities Management as a Custodian in 1959 and held various positions throughout his career at Oakland University. He served as a general foreman until his retirement in July 1989.

Donald (Don) Iodice, professor emeritus, passed away on August 20, 2017. Professor Iodice joined the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages in 1964 and retired in 1988.

In memory of Ron Cramer