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Alumni Class Notes


colesThomas Coles, M.D. ‘53, was the second oldest finisher—at age 77—in the 2008 Detroit International Marathon. Coles raised money for NARSAD, the Mental Health Research Association.

Cool historical alumnus note

“Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet” Remember that catchy jingle from the mid 1970s Chevrolet commercial? It turns out that UDM alumnus Jim Hartzell ‘53, a copywriter for Campbell-Ewald/Detroit, was the creative talent behind the lyrics. Hartzel wrote the lyrics for a spot created for Chevrolet by Campbell-Ewald. Not only was the commercial popular, it tied for first place in Car and Driver’s January 2005 Ten Best Car Commercials and is widely considered to have changed car commercials and automotive branding forever.

Richard Jungwirth ‘56, ‘60, was honored recently by De La Salle Collegiate as the high school’s 2009 Christian Brother’s Dinner honoree. Jungwirth, a De La Salle alumnus, was recognized as a long-time supporter of the school and former member of its board of trustees.

povinelliLouis A. Povinelli ‘54, a senior scientist at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, was selected to receive the prestigious Presidential Rank Award for 2008. Povinelli was named to the rank of Meritorious Senior Professional by former President George W. Bush for his extraordinary technical leadership in advancing and influencing rocket and turbine engine technology as well as NASA research programs with a quality of work that has earned him national and international recognition and awards.

Rosita Schiller, RSM ‘59, an international expert on nutrition and dietetics, was recently awarded UDM’s 2009 College of Health Professions Alumnae of the Year Allied Health Award.

Kay Schloff ‘59, ‘62, was appointed to the City of Detroit Cable Communications Commission by then-Mayor Kenneth Cockrel. She retired from the City of Detroit Law Department in 2008 and serves as a board member and secretary of the Friends of Belle Isle and as a board member of the City of Detroit Retiree’s Association.


Maureen A. Fay, O.P. ‘66, president emeritus of University of Detroit Mercy, received a 2009 honorary degree from the College of the Holy Cross during the college’s commencement ceremony in May.

Anne Cairns Federlein ‘64, recently retired as president of Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, Ky.

John P. Hussey ‘63, ‘65, professor emeritus of English at Fairmont State University (WV), has published The Ghosts of Walden, a collection of three short novels about 19th century Concord, Mass.


Anthony Camilleri ‘75, CEO of the Fremont Federal Credit Union, was appointed to the Terra College Foundation Board at Terra Community College in Fremont, Ohio.

Harry Cendrowski ‘77, has published the book, Private Equity: History, Governance, and Operations.

Warren Evans ‘79, ‘87, was recently named chief of Police for the Detroit Police Department. Evans had previously served as the sheriff of Wayne County.

Carl F. Gerds III ‘74, was elected chief judge of the 38th District Court for the State of Michigan in Eastpointe. Gerds had been an attorney for the past 30 years with a private practice in Eastpointe.

Thomas Gorman ‘76, was named chief operating officer at Spartan Motors, Inc., where he will oversee the company’s four business units in addition to implementing strategic growth initiatives.

Evelyn  H. Hirt ‘76, a principal professional and engineer with Batelle at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state, has been awarded IEEE-USA’s highest honor, the 2008 Robert S. Walleigh Distinguished Contributions to Engineering Professionalism Award and the IEEE Nanotechnology Council’s 2008 Distinguished Service Award. She has served on numerous IEEE boards, organizational units and conference committees and will serve as IEEE-USA president next year.

Josephine Johnson ‘78, ‘80, was named Distinguished Psychologist of the Year for 2009 by the Michigan Psychological Association.

Maureen Lahiff ‘71, received the 2009 Distinguished Teaching and Mentorship Award from the Graduate Students Association at the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, where she has been a lecturer in biostatistics since 1991.

Dean Ludwig ’76, has been named chair of the Department of Business and Leadership Studies at Lourdes College in Sylvania, Ohio.

Jeffra A. Nicholson ‘75, recently published her first book, The Tao of Mia and Leo, a collection of funny, heartwarming and insightful vignettes based on her observations of her two cats. Struggling with her own spiritual reawakening, she discovers that the secret to living authentically can be found nipping at her toes.

Jim O’Sullivan ‘76, ‘86, was named the 2009 Automobile Executive of the Year and received the honor at the Detroit Athletic Club on May 6, 2009. O’Sullivan is the president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations and managing executive officer, Mazda Motor Corporation.

Diane DeSpirt Policelli ’76, ’79, was elected to the board of directors of the Livonia Public Schools Foundation as the director of corporate giving. She recently retired from Ford Motor Company, where she served as a marketing manager.

Fr. Martin Ralko ‘77, recently joined St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Zanesville, Ohio as pastor.

John M. Ricco ‘79, recently published his book, The Ride of Your Life: Fighting Cancer with Attitude. The book is a “toolkit” for attaining and reinforcing a positive attitude in coping with cancer or any other adversity or life challenge.

John (Sminty) Smyntek ‘72, retired in October 2008 from the Detroit Free Press as special features and syndicate editor after 37 years of service. In April 2009, he joined yournews.com, a new online news site, as its Detroit people news correspondent. To see his work, go to yournews.com, enter a Wayne/Macomb/Oakland zip code and click on the Entertainment menu bar and look for “Sminty.”

Paul Tellers ‘73, was named associate of WTW Architects.

thomsDavid M. Thoms ‘79, a principal in the Troy office of Miller Canfield, was re-elected secretary of the board of directors of the Visiting Nurse Association of Michigan. In addition, he was elected secretary and re-elected as a member of the executive committee of the Michigan Colleges Foundation.

Fr. Richard Tremi ‘75, celebrates his 10th anniversary as a Catholic priest. He is pastor of and oversees a cluster of Michigan parishes: St. Peter and Paul in North Branch, St. Mary’s of Burnside and St. Patrick’s in Silverwood.

David Yuschak ‘70, an equity research analyst at SMH Capital Markets, has been named “Best on the Street” by the Wall Street Journal. Yuschak was ranked the third best stock picker in the Heavy Machinery & Materials category for 2009.


Lynne Zessin Bever ‘80, was awarded the Circle of Excellence from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. The award is the most prestigious sales award representing the top two percent of sales representatives within the AstraZeneca sales force.

William Hackel III, ‘86, was appointed judge of the 42-II District Court In New Baltimore, Mich. by Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Sr. Nancy Marie Jamroz ‘87, dean of students and vice president for student services and mission integration at Madonna University, was recently elected to serve on the Felician Sisters new governing council.

Mary Rose MacMillan ‘81, was selected as Wayne County’s new inspector general. MacMillan previously served as deputy corporation counsel for the county.

Jeffrey L. Moyer 84, was named vice president, Business Development & Engineering at Meridian Lightweight Technologies, Inc. in Plymouth, Mich. and Strathroy, Ontario, Canada.

Benny Napoleon ‘82, a former Detroit police chief, was named Wayne County sheriff.

Richard Rondeau ‘80, was named executive director of MADD SE/Michigan, where he is responsible for Sanilac, St. Clair, Lapeer, Oakland, Macomb, Wayne and Monroe counties.

Kevin M. Ruppelt ’84, was appointed president & CEO of Eemax, Inc.

Mark A. Schmid ‘81, was appointed vice president and chief investment officer at University of Chicago, where he will manage the university’s endowment.

Robert E. Socia ‘82, was named global purchasing chief at General Motors Corp. He previously served as executive vice president of Shanghai General Motors Co. Ltd. in China.

Susan L. Stagner ’87, was named president of Distance & Electronic Learning Aca­demies for White Hat Management in Akron, Ohio. She specializes in providing online learning school management and services for public schools.

Eliot Stark ’80, has joined the executive team at Capital Insight Partners in Chicago as managing director. Stark brings 30 years of commercial banking experience to the team.

Michael J. Sullivan ‘83, an attorney at Collins, Einhorn, Farrell & Ulanoff, P.C., served as moderator and presenter at the International Association of Defense Counsel’s Professional Liability Roundtable on May 14 in Manhattan, NY.


Lawrence G. Almeda ‘97, a shareholder in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, has been appointed by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to the Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission for the State of Michigan.

Mark J. Ellis ‘90, was promoted to executive vice president of sales at AOL.

Diane L. Florance ’94, graduated in August 2009 from the Palmetto Health Chaplain Program in Columbia, S.C. Florance also holds a master’s degree in M.Div. and Pastoral Clinical Counseling.

Cheryl (Reagan) Haack ‘94, joined Community Cooperative Ministries Inc. as director of volunteer services.

C. Kirk Haggerty ‘93, was appointed CFO of Atlas Oil.

Stephen Lee ’93, was promoted to executive director from senior manager at Ernst & Young. He has more than 14 years of experience providing tax services to a variety of industries and is also a certified public accountant licensed to practice in California and Michigan.

Joanne (Thorne) Leggat ‘95, was named an Outstanding Middle School Teacher of the Year by Wayne RESA. Leggat teaches English language arts at Clippert Academy Middle School, part of the Detroit Public Schools.

John McGinty ‘94, associate professor in Physician Assistant Studies at Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Wayne State University, was recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. McGinty, a practicing PA at the Downriver Cardiology Consultants, is currently president of the Michigan Academy of Physician Assistants and chair of the Conference Education Planning Committee or AAPA.

William Nash ‘92, chaplain in the Sons of Union Vet­erans of the Civil War and member of the Abraham Lincoln Association, was a presenter at the annual Lincoln Death Day Observance held at Lincoln’s tomb in Springfield, Ill.

Rhett Rowe ‘91, was named president and CEO of Premier Members Federal Credit Union.

Ronald W. Ryan ‘91, joined Lewis Reed & Allen P.C., where he specializes in insurance defense, workers compensation and civil litigation.

Barbara Shipp-Clark ’94, opened Instant Reply, a sports & fitness goods store in Pinckney, Mich.

Elizabeth C. Thomson ‘95, has joined the law firm of Herz Schram as an associate. She focuses on real estate property rights, environmental and business litigation.


Christopher S. Andrzejak ‘01, was named a shareholder  at Howard & Howard Attorneys, PLLC. Andrzejak practices out of the firm’s Royal Oak office, where he concentrates his practice in intellectual property, with a focus on patent preparation/prosecution and opinion work in the chemical and mechanical arts.

Kenneth Gonzalez ’02, ’06, was named vice president of Information Technology for Tyco Electrical and Metal Products in Illinois.

Alcott Alda Hekima Germany II ‘02, founder and chief executive officer of Instructional Design Solutions, LLC, was recognized by Cambridge Who’s Who, for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in all aspects of information technology and education.

Charley Jackson, Jr. ‘06, joined the U.S. Army TACOM Contracting Center as a contracting specialist.

Andrea Karpala ‘05, recently joined Faye Clack Communi­cations in Toronto, Ontario as an account manager.

Brian Kulpa ‘00, was promoted to assistant vice president student services/business operation for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Eastern Michigan University.

Rebecca Burnett Mathis ‘08, is now project coordinator for Educational Outreach and International Programs at Wayne State University.

Marc D. Melamed ‘04, joined the firm of Kaufman, Payton & Chapa, P.C., where he focuses on estate planning, business planning and charitable giving.

Steven Nofar ‘01, joined the law firm of Herz Schram as an associate. He focuses on estate planning, estate administration, tax controversies and business transactions.

Dominic A. Paluzzi ’04, an associate attorney at Butzel Long law firm, was elected to serve on the board of directors for the St. John Hospital and Medical Center Guild. He concentrates on business litigation, trade secret and non-compete law, and construction litigation.

Jonathan D. Sweik ‘00, joined the law firm of Herz Schram as an associate. He focuses on commercial, employment, securities, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, civil rights and whistle blower litigation.

Matthew B. Walker ‘05, joined the law firm of Herz Schram as an associate. He focuses on real estate litigation, mortgage, construction, condominium, business and appellate law.