Alumni Class Notes


Maurita Sengelaub, RSM ’49, a former member of the Mercy College of Detroit Board of Trustees, was inducted into the Modern Healthcare Hall of Fame on March 10, 2013 during the American College of Healthcare Executives 2013 Congress on Healthcare Leadership. Sr. Maurita is the first woman head of the Catholic Hospital Association (now Catholic Health Association), and was recognized for her 60 years of leadership in health care.


Maureen A. Fay, O.P. ’66, president emerita of University of Detroit Mercy, was awarded the John Henry Newman Medal by Loyola University Maryland during its 2013 commencement exercises. The medal recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to Catholic education.

Eugene Gargaro, Jr. ’67, a member of the UDM Board of Trustees, was honored by Crain’s Detroit Business with the lifetime achievement award for the third annual General & In-House Counsel Awards. The recognition is based on his career of legal, corporate and community impact.

K. Noreen Keating ’63, executive director of the Oakland Parks Foundation, was honored with the Eleanor Josaitis Unsung Hero Award during the Shining Light Regional Cooperation Awards, Oct. 10. She was recognized for her work turning Lighthouse of Oakland County into a major community resource and sharing her talents with organizations in the region.

Richard Klein, D.D.S. ’67, a dental practitioner in Warren, Mich., and co-chair of the Sleep Committee of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, and other experts met with members of the Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C. to discuss the causes of and treatments for truck drivers and other people who have transportational occupations that suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

Thomas C. O'Brien ’69, senior counsel in the commercial litigation group at Miller Canfield law firm, was selected to the 2013 Irish Law by the Irish Voice.

Patrick O’Leary ’63 delivered the keynote address at the 50th anniversary celebration of Sigma Pi Fraternity (Gamma-Alpha Chapter). He directed the transition of Alpha Epsilon Delta (pre-medical honor society) to a national social fraternity and served as the first president after the organization received its charter. Sigma Pi is the only fraternity from the early ’60s that is still active on the UDM campus today.

Paul G. Schervish ’68, professor of Sociology at Boston College and director of its Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, was honored with the 2013 Distinguished Career Award, presented by the Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity Section of the American Sociological Association.

Tymon C. Totte, D.D.S. ’64 recently visited the University of Iceland Dental School in Reykjavik, Iceland.


Kathy Avery, O.S.M. ’74, was honored by St. Clare of Montefalco parish for her 50 years of serving as a nun in the field of education. She has taught mathematics at the St. Clare of Montefalco school for the past five decades.

Maria Bartos, O.S.F. ’77 recently celebrated her 50th year of serving as a member of the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters.

George Brumbaugh ’71, ’74 recently retired as Macomb County’s (Mich.) chief legal counsel, after a 30-year career in county government.

Michael Emmons ’74 joined Fort Bend Christian Academy as director of Business and Finance.

Clayton F. Farrell ’73, an attorney with Collins Einhorn Farrell, was included in the 20th edition of The Best Lawyers in America 2014.

Robert B. Hamilton ’72 was selected as the recipient of the Illinois Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers 2013 Civil Engineer of the Year Award.

Valmy (Pangrazio) Kulbersh, D.D.S. ’77, adjunct professor of Orthodontics at UDM’s School of Dentistry, was elected as a director of the American Board of Orthodontics. She is the first woman to be elected to this position. She will serve an eight-year term that will culminate in her becoming president of the board.

Keith Lerminiaux ’79 was appointed by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson ’61, ’67 as corporation counsel for Oakland County.

Thomas C. Phillips ’74, an attorney at Miller Canfield, was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to the State Board of Ethics for the State of Michigan.

Leola Rodgers ’78, associate administrator at Upstate Golisano’s Children’s Hospital of SUNY Upstate Medical University, was named chair of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York Board of Trustees’ Central New York Regional Committee.

Joseph A. Schenk ’79 was named a senior advisor with The Carlyle Group for Hudson Valley Holding Corp.

Ola (Marshall) Smith ’79, ’90, associate professor of accountancy at Western Michigan University, was named to the State Board of Accountancy by Mich. Gov. Rick Snyder.

Mark B. Sperling ’72, ’91 was appointed superintendent of the Merrillville, Indiana Schools. He had served there as assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and personnel for the past eight years.

H. Robert Steiman, D.D.S. ’73, ’79, dean emeritus of the UDM School of Dentistry, was awarded the I.B. Bender Award during the American Association of Endodontists Annual Session in April. The award honors those whose contributions to endodontics in the field of education have demonstrated excellence through selfless commitment to full-time educational pursuits, and whose valuable contributions have instilled in his/her students the desire to pursue excellence in their careers.

David M. Thoms ’79, a principal at Miller Canfield, was elected to a three-year term on the board of trustees of Madonna University.

William L. Verbryke, S.J. ’77 was honored by St. Xavier High School as the 2013 Magis Award winner during its annual President’s Dinner on May 7. Fr. Verbryke, who served as the 38th president of St. Xavier High School from 1991 to 2001 and is currently the rector of the Jesuit Community of Cincinnati, was recognized for service and his ability to give of himself in love to the greater service of God.


Robert L. Axtell ’83, chair of the Department of Computational Social Science, Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, George Mason University, is spending the 2013-2014 academic year as visiting professor in the Mathematical Institute at Oxford University in England. He works with a team attempting to model the financial crisis of 2007-2009 using a new class of computational techniques.

Elaine Bell ’87 recently retired from University of Detroit Mercy as director of Institutional Research. Bell has worked at the University in various roles since 1978.

George Biltz ’80 was appointed chief strategy officer at Axiall Corporation.

Paul Britten ’85 designed a mural-type banner that was hung in front of one side of The Plaza Hotel in New York City. The banner, which presents an architecturally correct rendering of the 5th Avenue side of the hotel, is being used to cover the building while its bricks are being cleaned and tuck-pointed.

Arthur J. Cotter ’85 was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to serve as judge for the 5th District Court (Berrien County, Mich.).

Julia (Church) Dierker ’85 was featured on behalf of Dierker & Associates, P.C. in Forbes magazine in the Michigan Women Business Leaders promotional section. Dierker is a founding shareholder of the law firm.

Kenneth Fiema ’85 was named chief operating officer of George Johnson & Company.

Angelina Fiordellisi ’81 received a Tony award as one of the producers of the "Best Revival Play," Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?. Fiordellisi is the founder and artistic director of the Cherry Lane Theatre.

Philip Fortier ’88, adjunct professor of Philosophy at UDM, was at the Michigan State Capital in Lansing April 16 to celebrate the declaration of March 2013 as Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) Awareness Month. Fortier and his mother attended in honor of his brother Joe, who passed away due to complications related to the disease, as well as on behalf of the Joseph G. Fortier Foundation for MSA.

Gregory J. Gamalski ’83, a partner in the business practice group at Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C., was awarded an AV Preeminent Rating in the Marindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings, which is an indicator of a lawyer's high ethical standards and professional ability as determined by their peers.

James Giordano ’85, president and CEO of CareTech Solutions Inc., was named chairman of the St. John Providence Health System Board of Trustees.

Beth Gotthelf ’85 was appointed director of innovation and external relations at Butzel Long. She has been with the firm for 10 years, where she is also chair of the aerospace and defense industry team and co-chair of the energy and sustainability practice team.

Mark Jannott ’82 was named managing director and wealth advisor at Talmer Bank and Trust, a subsidiary of Talmer Bancorp Inc.

Kathleen (Klein) Lang ’82, an attorney at Dickinson Wright PLLC, was honored with the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel’s Excellence in Defense Award. She is the first female recipient of the organization’s highest honor.

John Shiha ’85 was ordained a Permanent Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of London, Ontario, Canada.

Peter Skorich ’85 was named senior associate athletic director for communications, broadcast, multimedia and creative services at University of Michigan.

Kevin M. Thomson ’85 was hired as an attorney for Spring Arbor Township (Mich.).


John Dakmak ’92 joined Clark Hill PLC Detroit as a senior attorney in the litigation practice group. Dakmak focuses his litigation practice in the areas of white collar criminal defense, administrative law, and business litigation.

Stephen Carras ’94 was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder as the new 42nd Circuit Court Judge in Midland County, Mich.

Michael Cernech ’91 was selected by the International City/County Management Association as the 2013 recipient of The Ferguson Group scholarship to attend the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in State & Local Government Program. Cernech is a city manager for Tamarac, Fla.

Theodore G. Coutilish ’95 was named a member of the 2013 Class of Grosse Pointe North High School Distinguished Alumni.

Christopher Cruickshank ’91 was promoted to secretary as part of the leadership team at Prein&Newhof.

Jennifer Faunce ’90, a Warren (Mich.) district court judge, was appointed to the Macomb County Circuit Court bench.

Jeffrey Karafa ’92 was named chief financial officer at Bank of Michigan.

Jeff Kehoe ’90, managing partner and general counsel for Difference Capital, was named director of LiveReel Media Corporation in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Nicholas T. Mares ’92, vice president of marketing at Asbury Graphite Mills Inc., was awarded the Distinguished Service to Powder Metallurgy award from the Metal Powder Industries Federation during the International Conference on Powder Metallurgy & Particulate Materials held in Chicago.

Julius McDougal ’99 recently joined the Henry Ford Learning Institute to build and manage the institution's finance and administrative systems. He will also be involved in strategic planning, evaluation, school oversight and operational initiatives to create a plan to expand to additional school sites and create new educational programs.

Gabriel Orzame, Jr. ’94 was nominated by Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel as the county's top legal counsel. The position must be approved by a majority of the county Board of Commissioners.

Ahmed Rubaie ’92 was appointed chief financial officer and chief operating officer at Fortinet.

Charles Schloff ’92 was named a partner at Ultra Consultants.

Alisa Smith ’98, ’08 was named clinical nurse manager at Cabrini Clinic.

Lt. Col. John Stone, Sr. ’93 retired from the Regular Army after 20 years of active service. He served in Panama, Spain, Haiti, South Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan. He will start a second career as a high school teacher in Florida.

Dolores (Harper) Sturdivant '92 was elected to the Hantz Bank Board of Directors. She is the founder, president and CEO of TDS Group, LLC.

Patrocinia Torrico ’94 was named chief nursing officer at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Russellville, Ar.


Andrew Amborski, D.D.S. ’08 joined Aspen Dental’s new office in Defiance, Ohio as lead dentist.

Susan Armstrong, D.D.S. ’06 was accepted into the Lutheran Medical Center Pediatric Dental Residency Program in Yakima, Wash.

Kathryn Holmstrom-Baker ’08 joined Digestive Health Associates of Northern Michigan as a physician assistant.

Juliet (Otten) Kavanaugh ’00 was featured on behalf of Dierker & Associates, P.C. in Forbes magazine in the Michigan Women Business Leaders promotional section. Kavanaugh is an associate shareholder of the law firm.

Michael McCulloch ’02 was awarded a Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, based on his dissertation, "Building the Working City: Designs on Home and Life in Boomtown Detroit, 1914-1929."

Christopher M. Nowak ’05 was recently named CEO of Nova Chicago, Inc.

Liz (Balleau) Studley ’03 was featured in Rochelle Riley’s April 21, 2013 Detroit Free Press column entitled, “Michigan nurses, volunteers helping to build hospital in Kenya.”

Matthew M. Taylor ’00, an architect at Rossetti, won the Young Architect of the Year award from the American Institute of Architects Michigan. The award is given to architects who are under 40 years of age, in recognition of exceptional accomplishment and who have made significant contributions to the profession in an early stage of their careers.

William Timmerman ’04 was named principal at New Haven High School (Michigan).


Doug Anderson ’13, former UDM Men's Titan basketball player and winner of the NCAA dunk contest during the Final Four, will be part of the NBA 2K14 video game to be released in October 2013. Anderson's moves and dunks were used in creating the game.

Nina Carter ’13 accepted a position as a news anchor on KFYR-TV, Channel 5 (NBC) in Bismarck, N.D.

Eli Holman ’11, former UDM Men's Titan basketball player, has signed with Usak Sportif of the Turkish Basketball League for the 2013-14 season.

Thomas Kennedy ’10, former UDM Men's Basketball player, helped lead the Yokohama B-Corsairs to their first-ever Basketball Japan League title with a 101-90 win over the Rizing Fukuoka.

Nick Minnerath ’12, former UDM Men's Basketball player, was invited to the Los Angeles Lakers Training Camp.

Christopher Petrick ’12 was appointed the assistant prosecutor for Dickinson County in Iron Mountain, Mich.

Nate Robinson ’12, former UDM Men’s Soccer player, has signed a player contract to play professional soccer for the Richmond Kickers, a USL pro soccer team in Richmond, Va.

Alumni Bookshelf

Frederick W. Lauck ’65, ’69 recently published his second book, Wealth, Power, Politics, Jesus. Lauck compares and contrasts the enduring 2,000 year-old message of Jesus (inclusion, acceptance, non-moral judgment, compassion, forgiveness, peace and love) with today’s modern realities of war, capitalism, socialism, collapse of the economy and with the Great Recession of 2008, redistribution of wealth, right-to-life, right-to-work, etc.

Jeannine (Belde) Bakriges ’81 published her first book, entitled Spinning Around—Spinning, Knitting & Dyeing Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Classics in 2010, and is working on her second book, co-authored with Rev. Tim Brainard, entitled Under His Wing—The Stories of Two Mediums.

Kimberly Cotton-Tolbert ’91, a university supervisor at Walden University and a special education teacher, recently published her first book, An A.P.P.L.E. A Day: How to Keep Your ‘Religion’ in a Stressful School Environment. The book was written for teachers on all levels to inspire, encourage and re-energize teachers so they can continue to be an inspiration to their students.

Dennis Ortman ’93, ’95 recently published his fourth book, Waiting for the Archbishop: Memoirs of a Former Priest in Transition, a memoir that describes how Ortman became a Roman Catholic priest and how he decided to leave the active ministry.

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