Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

Alumni Notes

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Jeffrey Von Glahn,
My new book: Jessica: The autobiography of an infant. Preface and ch. 1 at Click On-Line Bookstore, call up book by title,click on title for cover info., or scroll down to Browse and click for Preface and ch. 1. May be ordered from iUniverse or any bookstore.

Diane Haithman,

Wanted to let you know about a new book I co-authored, "The Elder Wisdom Circle Guide for a Meaningful Life," Penguin/Plume Oct. 30, 2007, available for pre-order on More info available at And for New York based alums, please join us Nov. 7 6-8 p.m. for a signing/reading at:

Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit
5 West 19th St.
New York, NY 10011!

Pasquale Rocco,
Dominic Rocco, son of Pat Rocco (Rackham '92)and his wife Sue, shows his "true blue" colors, even while he sleeps. Go Blue!

Martha Retallick,
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina came ashore along the Gulf Coast. It proved to be one of the most destructive storms in U.S. history. Although cleanup and rebuilding efforts are underway, much work remains. Martha Retallick saw this firsthand during reconstruction trips to Mississippi in November 2006 and July 2007. During both trips, she was part of International Relief Teams’ (IRT) effort to help repair and rebuild homes for displaced poor and elderly families. Retallick, a designer and photographer, has documented the progress of this effort in a web-based presentation called “Gulf Coast Rising.” In order to be available to as wide an audience as possible, “Gulf Coast Rising” is in the Flash multimedia format. It can be viewed at:

Kyra Hicks,
Kyra Hicks (MBA, 1991) recently had her first children's book published, "Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria" (Brown Books, 2007). This is the TRUE story of a young girl to pursues her dream of meeting the Queen of England for fifty years! Kyra also hosts an African American quilting news blog, .

Eric Ball,
In September, Eric successfully defended his PhD dissertation at the Drucker-Ito School of Management in Claremont, California. He remains employed at Oracle Corporation in San Francisco as VP & Treasurer, and lives in Redwood Shores with his wife Sheryl and three-year-old son Spencer (with another boy expected in November).

Laura Keyes,
Laura Keyes was recently elected Vice President of Chapter Services of the Georgia Chapter of the American Planning Association. Laura now resides in Decatur, Georgia with her husband Kevin and three children.

Blanche M. G. Linden,
My book, Silent City on a Hill: Picturesque Landscapes of Memory and Boston's Mount Auburn Cemetery, was just released by University of Massachusetts Press in collaboration with the Library of American Landscape History. Information is available on both of their websites. As Blanche Gemrose, I received my B.A. in French at Michigan in 1968. Then I completed an M.A. in history from the University of Cincinnati in 1976 and my doctorate in History of American Civilization from Harvard in 1981. The building blocks for all of my research and publications came from my U-M coursework. I took early retirement in 1997 from a career in teaching History and American Studies for two decades at several colleges and universities, most in the Boston area. I am now writing and consulting full time.

Trevor Thrall,
Along with fellow LSA graduate Matt Roy (1988) I recently launched a new company in the Ann Arbor area: Wolverine Beer, LLC. We are the proud makers of - wait for it - Wolverine Beer. We like to call it Michigan's Premium Lager. We make the beer according to our own recipe and we are having a blast marketing it in and around Ann Arbor. Go blue!

William Hollenkamp, AIA,
has been promoted to Commercial Design Group Director of Cole + Russell Architects, Inc., a national firm headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As Group Director, Hollenkamp will focus on the design of custom commercial/retail buildings, lifestyle centers, corporate office buildings and mixed-use developments.

John McCamey Sweet & Mirabel Digel Sweet,
My book Discovery at Prudhoe Bay (Alaska) is due to be published in the Fall of 2007. Here is the web site for the book. John McCamey Sweet May 24, 2007

Bartley, Richard,
Would love to hear from former classmates. I am still living in Europe, Germany. I have my own architectural office with two German partners. r.bartley at gmx-dot-net

Mildred Angeles,
My husband who died two years ago after 57 years of marriage graduated with a Masters in Civil Engineering, 1950. My daughter, Christine, was born at U. Hospital, Ann Arbor, and was all set to attend U-M when she won a Distinguished Alumni Scholarship at MSU. However, she did return to Michigan for Medical School. She has had an outstanding career with Kaiser here in CA. My younger daughter, Susan, also graduated from U-M in 1973 with a Bachelor in Education. I now have four grandchildren scattered in four different colleges. Christine's daughter, Linden, received a scholarship from Oberlin and is there. Her son, David, will go to Macalester in St. Paul in the fall. Susan's children are at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and RIT in Rochester, New York. My husband was the structural designer of the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Eleanor Janice (Ross) Law,
Yield: A Judge's Fir$t-Year Diary, Judge Janice Law's newest non-fiction book, was selected by the National Press Club for its 29th annual Book Fair & Author Night Nov. 15, 2006 in Washington, D.C. About 600 authors apply, and 70 are chosen by a committee of journalists. See

This is the second consecutive year Judge Law's literary work was chosen for the prestigious event. Her first non-fiction book, Sex Appealed: Was the U.S. Supreme Court Fooled? was selected in 2005. More details at

She now serves as a visiting judge for judges who are ill, on vacation, etc. She is a 1963 U-M grad living in Houston, Texas.

She will be featured author at the Ann Arbor Book Festival May 18 and 19, 2007.

Dr. Boris Kozolchyk,
president of the Tucson-based National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade (NLCIFT), Evo DeConcini Professor of Law at the University of Arizona and a recognized expert on international commercial law will host high officials of the government of Honduras in Tucson for an all-day working meeting on May 3 at the NLCIFT. This private meeting is to address a range of issues affecting Honduras’ economic development, focusing on implementation of modern secured transactions law and practice – which make credit both more available and more affordable – and on the operational procedures for handling and marketing agricultural products, including use of software and electronic communications for payments, transport, customs, etc. The expectation is that procedures and practices identified will also prove useful to other countries in Central America, especially as they move to implement the recent U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR).

The visitors will include Honduras’ Under Secretary of the Presidency Ricardo Arias, Secretary of Industry and Commerce Elizabeth Azcona; representatives of the Chamber of Commerce in Tegucigalpa, the capital, Carlos Bueso and Yolanda Betancourt; and Marco Bogran and Andy Medlicott from the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Honduras. In addition, the International Financial Services Association (IFSA) will be sending its CEO Dan Taylor and Vice President for member representation Katja Lehr. NLCIFT Founder and President, Dr. Boris Kozolchyk, and NLCIFT Research Attorney Marek Dubovec will make a presentation on secured lending in the Inter-American context, including work at the Organization of American States, where NLCIFT attorneys participated as advisers. Bi‑national working groups will be designated to propose procedures and documentation essential for Honduras and Central America’s economic development.

Mary A. Targosz, MSN, CPNP,
I am employed at DMC-CHM Sickle Cell Center as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. I am also the current president of the MI Chapter of NAPNAP (National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners). Our Chapter was awarded the Wyeth Large Chapter Award for our chapter activities including community work, legislative involvement and conferences.

Serene F. Wise,
My next one-person exhibition is scheduled for July 2007... very soon!

SERENE WISE: a topology in white and color

This exhibition presents a topology on canvas, a study of geometric properties and spatial relationships in white and color.

Finestra art space
Fine Arts Building
410 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 516
Chicago, IL 60605

Lois Welber,
Lois Welber, B.S. 1968 ( recently released her first CD "Prayers of the High Holy Days: Shomeah Tefillah". It received a major 4.5 star review, which appeared in the New York Jewish Week, the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles and the Detroit Jewish News. Lois has been the cantor of Temple B'nai Israel in Revere, MA since 2000 and before that the cantor at Harvard University's High Holiday services for 18 years. She is also a full-time software engineer at BBN Technologies in Cambridge, and resides in downtown Boston.

Ann-Nora Hirami,
Ann-Nora Hirami, a Plymouth (Michigan) High School social studies teacher, delivered the commencement address at North Hollywood (California) High School on Jun 29, 2006. She saluted her father, Soichiro "Pat" Hirami (then age 80, class of 1944) of Livonia, Michigan, and uncle, Akira Hirami (then age 78, class of 1945) of Denver, Colorado, who were awarded diplomas they were denied more than 60 years earlier. Their family was taken from their home and incarcerated at the Manzanar Concentration Camp for 3-1/2 years. Ann-Nora's theme was, "There is nothing beyond forgiveness." Her father, Soichiro, was named co-valedictorian, and together with her uncle marched in cap and gown and led the Class of 2006 in the processional.

Karen Gray Ruelle,
I'm pleased to announce that my new book is out:

Hidden on the Mountain: Stories of Children Sheltered from the Nazis in Le Chambon.

Co-written with Deborah Durland DeSaix & published by Holiday House, the book is 304 pages, with over 100 black & white photos, time line, maps, bibliography, glossary and index, for ages 10 and up.

For more information, please visit my website:

Christopher Blunt,
New York Life Insurance Company today announced that Christopher O. Blunt is appointed senior vice president and chief operating officer for its Life and Annuity operations, the company’s largest revenue generator. Mr. Blunt was previously executive vice president of New York Life Investment Management, a company subsidiary, where he was in charge of Retail Investments, Marketing and Information Technology.

Chris Blunt joined New York Life Investment Management in 2004 to head its MainStay Investments group. His responsibilities were later expanded to executive vice president for Retail Investments, Marketing and Information Technology. He holds an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. His professional experience includes serving as a managing director with Goldman Sachs, as chief marketing officer with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, and as CEO of GivingCapital Inc., a wealth management solutions provider that helped individuals to balance philanthropic interests with their estate planning needs.

Michael Skalsky,
SmithGroup, Inc. (, the nation’s 7th largest architecture and engineering firm (according to Building Design & Construction, July 2006), has hired graduate structural engineer, Michael John Skalsky at its Office / Workplace Studio in Detroit. Skalsky is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree. Skalsky recently served as a staff engineer intern at Ruby + Associates Structural Engineers, Farmington Hills, MI and as a Materials Testing Laboratory Intern at the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in Jackson, MI. Skalsky, a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, of Sterling Heights, MI lives with his wife Jennifer, in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI.

Pam Sjo,
Pam Sjo is a Realtor with The Charles Reinahrt Company in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In February 2007 she was awarded a gold and diamond pin for Ten Million Dollars in Sales. Though the market has slowed, Pam has remained busy with clients and enjoys helping people buy and sell homes. Pam's background in home repair, electronics and customer service made the move to real estate a natural one. During her free time Pam Sjo enjoys long distance road biking, cross country skiing, working on environmental issues, swimming at Pickerel Lake and traveling abroad. Last summer the Sjo family spent two weeks in Finland and Norway visiting many relatives. Pam would love to hear from old friends. You can email her at

Jon C. Phillips,
was named Lyle Center Faculty Fellow for 2006-07.

Dr. Phillips is analyzing resources for sustainable agricultural development in the high desert region of San Bernardino County, California. The unincorporated areas north of the Cajon Pass near Silverwood Lake are experiencing significant urban development pressure. However, alternative uses, such as the promotion of agricultural production may be possible, particularly high-value crop production. High-value crops include certified organic products, which are produced without synthetic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, genetically modified organisms, sewage sludge, or irradiation. Biodynamic production is another growing trend in high-value crops. Biodynamic agriculture seeks to bring about balance and healing of the environment through integrating crops and livestock, recycling nutrients, and maintaining the soil and the health and wellbeing of crops and animals.

The Fellowship will allow Dr. Phillips to conduct an inventory of resources within the high desert region to assess the feasibility of these types of high-value agricultural production. This work builds on Dr. Phillips’ previous research developing such inventory methods. The study will evaluate agro-ecological resources, labor supply, institutional and physical infrastructure, access to markets and supporting industries, and various forms of capital resources. Special attention will also be paid to the infrastructure for marketing produce locally through roadside stands, farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture, a concept where community members pledge to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation. In return, they receive shares in the farm's bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and supporting local food production.

Dr. Phillips has been a member of the Cal Poly Pomona faculty since 2002. He received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Michigan State University. He also received an MBA from Wayne State University, an M.A. in economics from Western Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is a member of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, the American Agricultural Economics Association, the Western Agricultural Economics Association, the Food Distribution Research Society, and the Raisin Administrative Committee.

In addition to his professional activities, Dr. Phillips enjoys hiking in the mountains with his wife and son.

Ellen Sapper,
Ellen Sapper has been teaching in Ann Arbor Public Schools for 30 glorious years. Her students have become famous in film and literature and she is now teaching the children of her former students. In addition, Ellen has a small therapy practice which educates clients about the ways they repeat self-defeating proclivities which is called Berglarian Analysis. After many years renting Ellen finally bought a condo. Now Ellen is looking forward to seeing old friends in her new house, as soon as she gets some help organizing everything.

Jeff Lawrence,
I recently accepted a position in Huntsville, AL as Senior Fabrication Process Engineer at MEMS Optical, Inc. after a 12+ year career at NEC Electronics. I live here in Huntsville with my wife Karen and my two young children, Lucy and Jack.

Herman Miller,
Published in 2003, "Lewiston In The Lumbering Era" is a 101 page book about the beginnings of Lewiston, Michigan and operations of the Michelson and Hanson Lumber Company.

Thomas P. Nanzig,
Tom Nanzig recently had his third Civil War title published by the University of Alabama Press. "The Civil War Memoirs of a Virginia Cavalryman: Robert T. Hubard, Jr."

Nanzig's first book, "Third Virginia Cavalry" (H.E. Howard Inc., 1989) led him to these unique and insightful memoirs written shortly after the war by a college-educated, junior officer in the same regiment. Considered too long to include in his regimental history, Nanzig returned to the Hubard memoirs after completing his second book "The Badax Tigers: from Shiloh to the Surrender with the 18th Wisconsin Volunteers" (Rowman & Littlefield Pub. Co., 2002).

Writing of the Hubard memoirs, a Charleston, S.C., book reviewer states, "Of the tens of thousands of men who joined the Union and Confederate armies, very few recorded diaries during the war or penned reminiscences afterward. Of the few who recorded their memoirs after the war, even fewer wrote them while their recollections were still crisp. Robert T. Hubard Jr., who completed his "journal" on Dec. 3, 1866, was one of these rare soldiers. Hubard rose from the rank of private to lieutenant and adjutant of the 3rd Virginia Cavalry Regiment. He was well-educated and articulate, and within his reminiscences and letters the reader will find insight into life in mounted service in the Army of Northern Virginia."

Tom Nanzig lives in Ann Arbor and is the editor for Genealogy and Local History materials and the manager for the Books on Demand program at ProQuest-CSA.

Stephen Albert Desmond,
Since September 2001 Stephen Desmond has been Senior Lecturer in Media at the London College of Music and Media (Thames Valley University), and is Course Leader for the MA Programme in Video Production & Film Studies. Stephen Desmond is also the Deputy Director/Director of Communications at the Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCRJ) in Derry City, Northern Ireland ( Stephen is also a staff writer and editor of the CCRJ Journal "The Ethical Media Review". Stephen is a member of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). StephenÂ’'s responsibilities at the CCRJ complement his ongoing, full-time teaching commitment at the London College of Music and Media, informing and underpinning his research work and scholarly activity. Stephen is currently involved in a three-year research project charting the role of national media in triggering and sustaining State-sponsored investigation into recent political corruption in Ireland.

In terms of recent accomplishments: In January 2007 Stephen was awarded a major film commission by Al Jazeera London to produce a broadcast documentary on political corruption and the finances of the PLO under Yasser Arafat. The film, which is in progress, will tell the story of how Jaweed Al Ghussien was falsely accused by Arafat of embezzling $6 million from The Palestinian National Fund, abducted and held under house arrest in Gaza. The film will focus on providing a narrative history of Al-Ghussein’s abduction, positioning the incident within a wider discussion of Human Rights abuse in the Palestinian territories.

In 2006 Stephen curated a screening of experimental film at the world famous Sonimagenes festival in Buenos Aires. Also in 2006, Stephen executive produced and edited a documentary about the experiences of refugee teachers in a special teacher-training programme at Birkbeck College. Also in Summer 2006 Stephen Desmond’s MA student Imran Akram won a major award at a prestigious New York Film Festival. In January 2006 Stephen’s MA student Fran Apprich won a major prize in New York.

In 2005 Stephen co-founded and incorporated a registered charity/research centre: The Centre for Conlfict Resolution Journalism ( The aim of the CCRJ is to advance the influence of ethical media worldwide and to promote international conflict resolution through the media. In 2004 Stephen completed a short documentary film entitled: Peace or Patriotism: —Journalism, War and the Search for Truth. It includes interviews with award winning journalist Martin Bell OBE, and Peace Prize winner Prof. Monica McWilliams.

Also in 2004 Stephen was invited by the British Council to teach a two-week-long workshop at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia, during ISTROART 2004. Stephen and his students created a public video art installation in Bratislava's largest gallery: Gallerii Medium. Stephen's documentary "Peace or Patriotism" was selected and screened at the Istroart Festival. Stephen subsequently published an article "Video Art 2", describing the creative process in experimental video, in the Istroart 2004 Catalogue.

In terms of other recent accomplishments: Stephen served as Mentor at Dublin City University for six months in 2005 and again in 2006. His contributions to the Mentor programme were detailed in several magazine articles.

At Thames Valley University Stephen was selected as the Treasurer at the London College of Music and Media for his national teaching union NATFHE (National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education). Stephen was appointed to the National Equality Advisory Council which reports directly to National NATFHE Head Office and The TUC. Stephen was also appointed to the London College of Music & Media Equality Committee. As Course Leader for the MA in Video Production & Film Studies Stephen has tripled student enrollments. The success and profile of the MA Programme has sky-rocketed.

Stephen has 15 years of teaching experience, including five years in the MA in Media Studies at the New School for Social Research/ Parsons School of Design in New York (ranked one of the top ten design universities in the US). Stephen also lectured full-time at the City University of New York (Borough of Manhattan Community College) for four years between August 1997 and August 2001, immediately prior joining the London College of Music and Media. Stephen was invited back to CUNY to screen “Peace or Patriotism” in September 2004.

Joshua I. Rothman,
Joshua I. Rothman was elected to Partner at leading intellectual property law firm Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto. Joshua I. Rothman’s practice focuses on complex patent litigation in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology arenas. He has also worked on licensing and trade secret matters. Mr. Rothman received his B.S. in 1993 from the University of Michigan, his M.S. in 1994 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his J.D. in 1998 from the Brooklyn Law School. He has served on the Brooklyn Law School Alumni Admission Board since 1999 and lectured on intellectual property at Baruch College. Mr. Rothman, age 35, lives in Chappaqua, NY.

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