Class Notes

Greg Kreiner | SBA ’04


Greg recently became an equity partner at Lifetime Financial Growth (LFG), a privately owned wealth management and planning firm. As president of LFG, he helps entrepreneurial-minded individuals build a successful business in financial services. Prior to stepping into this role, Greg was a partner in one of Guardian’s largest brokerage disability and life practices, and started his career in the insurance and financial services industry right out of college in 2004.

Fernanda Turco | SBA ’20

Business Administration

Fernanda is currently a manager of Global EV Ecosystem and Charging Experience at General Motors. She was a graduate of the university’s Executive Master of Business program. This program highlights the importance of in person/ cohort concierge program design, and the quality of the faculty experience and research was instrumental in her success. Fernanda talks regularly with her cohort peers. She says that the network of professionals she has met from a diverse range of industries through the EMBA program has enhanced her personal and professional experience.

Robert Thornton | CAS ’77


In 2023, Robert was awarded Oakland University’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award, OU’s highest alumni honor, for his significant impact on the lives of countless members of the OU community. A long-serving member of the Black Alumni Chapter Board of Directors at OU, Robert is actively engaged in the chapter’s annual summer BBQ and homecoming reunion activities. Robert’s legacy was most recently celebrated last year with a named room in the Oakland Center, an honor which pays tribute to the impact both he and his deceased brother, Anthony, have had on the growth and success of the university.

Rebecca Mix | CAS ’17


Rebecca is a New York Times and Indie bestselling author of “The Ones We Burn,” a young adult fantasy novel published by Simon & Schuster. Her middle grade fantasy debut “The Mossheart’s Promise” will be published September 5, 2023 from HarperCollins. When she isn’t writing, Rebecca is an account supervisor in pharmaceutical marketing with GCI Health where she blends her expertise in campaign strategy, corporate communications, client service and digital media strategy. Rebecca received the 2023 Oakland University Young Alumni 10 within 10 Award.

Brianne Zborowski | SBA ’03

Business Management

Brianne is the co-founder and CEO of Apolla Performance Wear, a dance wear company that focuses on how dancers take care of themselves. A dancer since she was seven years old, Brianne works closely with her two other co-founders to create and sell footwear, compression socks and other accessories to help dancers to maximize their craft. Brianne’s dance shoe designs were featured on Shark Tank in 2022.

Kevin Pratt | SBA ’14

Business Administration

Kevin co-founded Motown Aquaponics in 2016, merging his OU Master of Business Administration with his MSU Zoology undergraduate degree. Motown Aquaponics produces sustainable and fresh produce and seafood. The company also seeks to engage the community of Detroit through educational outreach and public installations. Kevin is also the senior technical product owner of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Derek Dickow | CAS '02

Political Science and Philosophy

A masterful speaker, consultant and businessman, Derek excels at artfully forming and maintaining connections with people who positively impact others – personally and professionally. Derek is a public speaker that focuses on networking and has taken his life’s work as a businessman, public speaker and philanthropist to create the “5 Pillars of Networking.” He shares the tricks of the trade he’s learned in his 20-plus years in the business, with audiences to help them grow their networks and hone their skills.

Kristine Donahue | SON ’11


In 2022, Kristine became president for the downriver Beaumont Hospitals: Taylor, Trenton and Wayne. A lifelong Downriver native, Kristine is taking on the task of managing the three hospitals after a long career as a nurse, supervisor and pivotal component of the Beaumont medical team. Kristine is also the system administrative lead for the Trauma Clinical Care program. She plays a vital role in assessing coding and billing, developing a system trauma dashboard, creating standards of care for the geriatric population, and assessing the impact of no-fault auto law legislation changes and patient access to appropriate care.

Robert Coulton | CAS '75

Environmental Science

Photo of beach and ocean wave
Graduating in 1975 with a concentration in environmental studies, Bob spent over 30 years with the U.S. Department of Labor OSHA and the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery serving in various leadership roles. Upon his first retirement in 2007, he went on to work for 10 years in clinical positions at a local hospital in Lewes, Delaware. In 2018, Bob and his husband moved to Australia, where he now follows his passion for swimming as the medical and first aid officer for the Cabarita Surf Lifesaving Club.    

Woodie Thomas III | CAS '69

Political Science

Woodie is an attorney at his private practice, Woodie H. Thomas, III, P.A., in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He has a Ph.D. in Education and is currently publishing a book entitled, "The Public School Education Curriculum Revolution." 

Kakela (Baker) Hall | CAS '05


Logo of KD Hall Foundation

Kakela is the CEO of KD Hall Communications as well as KD Hall Foundation, as organization providing support and a safe space for young women to pursue their career paths and explore their identities. She is also now the director of communications and marketing at King County Library System in Washington. 

Christina (Landry) Grabowski | SEHS '93 and '16


Christina is the associate dean for admissions and enrollment and associate professor for medical education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She worked at Oakland University for more than 23 years, her most recent role at OU was as the founding admissions dean for the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.  

Michael Baker | CAS '20


Stock photo of Trumpet

A master's student at the University of George's (UGA) High Hodgson School of Music, Michael was one of five winners of the 2023 Concerto Competition performing with the UGA Symphony Orchestra. As of January 2023, he is finishing up his Master of music in trumpet performance at UGA. 

Stephanie (Carman) Burtwell, CAS '95


Stephanie is currently the senior vice president of Lighthouse Property Management for the Sarasota, Florida, Market. She began her real estate career in the HOA management industry in 2011 and has worked her way to a number of managerial and leadership roles. 

Soléil McCants | CAS '01


Las Vegas skyline

In January 2022, Soléil was awarded the Community Hero Award from Compete Sports Diversity for her work in the community. She serves as a Director on three Nonprofit Boards advocating for and improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people. She just celebrated five years at Caesars Entertainment working in consumer marketing as senior paid search specialist. On 02/22/2022, Soléil’s partner proposed to her and they will be having a Las Vegas wedding on the High Roller Ferris Wheel on Halloween 2022.

Lisa Marie (Kaleita) Gabriele | CAS '84

Theatres Arts

As a student, in the early 80’s, Lisa worked at the Barn Theatre as the Box Office and Concessions manager. She was also the President of The Village Project, a student organization that raised money and facilitated the upkeep and renovation of the Barn Theatre and surrounding buildings. Lisa now works as a Group Sales Manager with Meadow Brook Theatre.

Karen (Stahl) Danoff | CAS '99


Sketch of white house

Karen lived in Michigan for one year after graduating from OU before moving to College Park, Maryland to attend the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. She graduated with her master’s in library science in 2002 and landed her fi rst professional job as a reference librarian contractor at the Environmental Protection Agency in downtown Washington, D.C. Karen later obtained a full-time government position as a reference librarian with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). For 17 years, she’s worked in a number of roles with the NRC, serving the American people

Jo Scibilia | CAS '74

French/English-Secondary Education

Jo’s daughter Marisa, SON ’01, and son Mario, SEHS ’05, are all OU graduates. Jo had a teaching career with Utica Community Schools and Clintondale Community Schools until retiring in 2010. Jo and Marisa have each set up endowment scholarships for nursing and foreign language education students, and Mario is employed as an assistant registrar at OU. This family has come full circle at OU and are very proud to be Grizzlies!

James Windell | CAS '72

Clinical Psychology

Shadow of prison bars

James is currently a writer and instructor at Oakland University and Wayne State University. His latest book was published in April 2022. The book is titled “Sentencing Youth to Life in Prison: Justice Denied” and was co-authored with Kathi Milliken-Boyd, also an OU alumnus.

Chris Powers | CAS '11

Engineering Chemistry

Chris an OU alumnus who co-founded a grassroots disaster response project which has scaled to more than 80,000 food deliveries, serving 15,000 people in Oakland County. Out of the pandemic, Chris and his co-founders (all OU graduates) started a company called ReciproCity Apps, a Pontiac-based company created by Oakland University alumni Cam Underdown, Chris Powers and Josh Linneburg. The company uses technology to build public goods and help better connect communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tej Yale | SBA ’13, ’16


Technology graphic illustration

Tej is the Founder/CEO of ThinkImpact Inc., which works with organizations to help expand their digital footprint. The company serves a wide array of clients in various industries — tech, diversity/inclusion, 3D printing, medical technology, property management, AGV/robotics, staffing/recruiting and renewable energy. Tej recently won the Young Alumni 10 within 10 Award from Oakland University, recognizing business leaders who are making an impact in the local community.

Mike Lerchenfeldt | SEHS '08

Elementary Education

Since 2008, Mike has taught language arts, math, science, drama, poetry, speech, realistic fiction, information literacy and careers classes at Iroquois Middle School in the Chippewa Valley Schools for his entire 14-year teaching career. Upon graduating, Mike felt knowledgeable and prepared to have a positive impact on future students.

Rose Boone | CAS '75, '92

History/Language Arts and Teaching Reading

After graduation, Rose taught at several local school districts. She is an area reading consultant and has served on numerous committees/affiliations. Rose is currently a new published author. Her work is titled "Poison Pen" – a fictional, phycological thriller on stalking. It is based on real life events. Mental health has been gaining attention nowadays, this novella is an example of that. And how some may present.

Leonard Magro | SECS ’01

Electrical and Computer Engineering

 Cityscape graphic illustration

Leonard is the vice president commercial controller for Veoneer. He is a results-driven senior finance executive with a track record of measurable results in business development, commercial finance, costing, quoting and valuation. He is an adept leader with a history of building a successful business from the ground up and a great desire to positively impact the world.

Scott Dendler | SBA ’90


Scott is the vice president of accounting and finance of Assembled Products Corporation in Arkansas. He is the winner of Arkansas Business 2021 CFO of the Year. Assembled Products Corporation features a unique assembly of products forged into world class brand lines serving a multitude of industries and people of all walks of life, nationally and internationally

Andrea Moon | CAS '92

Piano Pedagogy/Piano Performance

Piano keys

Studying at OU gave Andrea the opportunity to study private recorder lessons with Dr. Lyle Nordstrom. She became a piano pedagogy major and worked on her master’s project with Dr. Robert Facko. One of the greatest opportunities she had was to accompany dance classes for Jo Frederiksen. After years of teaching music for the Troy School District, Andrea now composes for the FJH Music Company. All of her years of study at OU helped Andrea to become the composer she is today.

Marsha (Harris) Manley | SEHS ’02

Human Resource Development

Marsha started OU as a freshmen in 1983. She stopped after two years to get married and raise a family. Prior to attending OU, she attended the Upward Bound program at Oakland University and was the first in her family to attend college. Marsha returned to OU in 1999 before graduating in 2002. She saw her future self as a teacher or social worker and knew she wanted to change lives. Marsha is currently an author, with her book “Illusional Loves” selling at all major bookstores and across the country.

Chris Van Dan Elzen | SECS ’94, ’95, ’96, ’97

Robotic Systems, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Artificial Intelligence/Control

Chris Van Dan Elzen is highly involved on campus, serving as the chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Board of Advisors and a member of the Alumni Board of Directors. Van Dan Elzen’s time at OU focused primarily on vehicle autonomy and artificial intelligence learning. He remains in that field as the executive vice president of Radar Product Area at Veoneer, a company that outfits vehicles with autonomous functions that saves lives. Van Dan Elzen met his wife at OU and says his time there prepared him for his future and was formative to his life.

Nancy (Knisley) Zentis | SEHS ’79

Human Resource Development

Hand on keyboard

Nancy had a successful career in the field of human resources, learning and development and organization development. In 1990, she created the Institute of Organizational Development (IOD), to provide online certification programs for those interested in a career in the field of Organizational Development (OD). The institute provides certifications in over 30 countries, including Sunyani, Ghana, where they’ve built a college to teach OD bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and Kingston, Jamaica, where they teach OD to business professionals.

Travis Neville

SEHS '07

Travis Neville recently published a book with Atlantic Publishing, The Jossman Method: Conquering Life's Transitions. The book is a personalized method to ensure happiness. Travis is passionate about helping anyone in need and believes strongly that improving your situation starts with your attitude. He truly hopes that this book and the unique outlook on life’s challenges that it offers can help the reader.

Tony Sakich | SBA '09


Headshot of Tony Sakich

In 2017, Tony was awarded the Oakland University Young Alumni Association’s 10 Within 10 Award for his early experiences working in Bitcoin. Since then, he was a co-founding member of a project called Augur — a decentralized prediction market platform with a current market cap of $278 million. Augur was the very first app built on the Ethereum ecosystem (Ethereum being the second most valuable cryptocurrency). With this success, Tony was able to retire at the age of 32 and is enjoying his retirement in Atlanta, Georgia.

Lisa Stamps | CAS '90

English Literature/Film Studies

Desert landscape with brush

Lisa resides in Sandy, UT and is an executive assistant to the director for Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Lands and co-director of the Utah League of Women Voters’ Legislative Action Committee. She resides in suburban Salt Lake City and has two graduate degrees — J.D. and M.Ed. from Brigham Young University. Lisa entered OU on academic probation, and ended up graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in English and the Matilda R. Wilson Award.

Anna Wysocki

CAS ’17

Anna Wysocki has joined the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) as a summer associate. Wysocki earned her master’s degree in experimental psychology from OU in 2017.

Mark DeWayne McCleese | CAS ’06

Musical Theatre

Headshot of Mark McCleese

Mark McCleese graduated from Oakland University in 2006 with a degree and a passion and drive for the performing arts. After years of pursuing a career in that field, McCleese is now back at Oakland University working on his Master of Arts in clinical mental health counseling. This change came about due to the pandemic causing McCleese to become more aware of mental health. Now, he views it as his calling and his new path in life. McCleese is excited to be back at Oakland and says he “can’t imagine going to any other school to continue [his] education.

Clint Johnson

CAS, '12

Clint is the director of technical product management at Bridge Connector, an interoperability company changing the way healthcare communicates, with offices in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and in Nashville, Tenn. Johnson and other leadership recently announced the company’s Series B funding at $25.5 million, furthering the company’s growth as it provides vendor-agnostic integration solutions and a full-service delivery model.

Deborah Rubin

CAS '95


Deborah Rubin, attorney at Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C., recently was recognized in Michigan Lawyers Weekly Women in the Law Class of 2020. The award honors top lawyers who have made outstanding contributions to the practice of law in Michigan, set an example for other lawyers and have demonstrated tremendous leadership. 

Sara Rajan | CAS '98

Headshot of Sara Rajan

Sara has joined the legal team as Associate Attorney and Mediator at Transitions Legal, a family law firm with specialties in Collaborative Divorce, Gray Divorce, and Mediation. With 17 years of experience as a family law attorney with an expertise in litigation, she's worked at firms throughout metro Detroit, served as a Judicial Law Clerk at the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Christie Santure

SON, '80

Christine is the winner of the 2020 Extraordinary Healer® Award for Oncology Nursing, which honors exceptional nurses for their efforts in the oncology community

Dan Lewkowicz | CAS ’06



Dan's had an illustrious career as a real estate investor and commercial real estate broker and created the CRE PRO Course and has a show on Roku, Amazon, and Apple called Dan On Top.

Engagements & Marriages

Births & Adoptions

Photo of baby wrapped in blue blanket

Charles Archer


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. 


Mark S. Thomas, was script supervisor in the television and film industry. He was based in Santa
Monica, California. If you are interested in seeing the TV shows and films he worked on you can
reference the IMDb database.

Harrison E. (Harry) Miller Jr., passed 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.

Dick Robinson, the first OU Basketball coach, passed away in 2011. A patient, driven, well-organized coach that emphasized team play always made sure his players never lost their passion and always had fun despite the teams record.

Dr. Joanne C. Smith, longtime president and CEO of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab rehabilitation research hospital in Streeterville after her time with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. An OU biology alumnus, she was a donor for the Barry Winkler scholarship.

In memory of Ron Cramer