Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

Alumni Notes

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Stephen E. Hart,
University of Michigan alumnus and attorney Stephen E. Hart (J.D., 1994) was elected to the position of shareholder for the law firm of Ogletree Deakins.

Elizabeth (Lamb) de la Vega,
Elizabeth (Lamb)de la Vega is the author of U.S. v. George W. Bush et. al., in which she uses her twenty-plus years of experience as a federal prosecutor to lay out the evidence of the president's pre-Iraq invasion fraud in the form of a hypothetical grand jury indictment presentation, which the reader is invited to hear and evaluate for him or herself. The book, which has been featured on The Colbert Report, the Thom Hartmann Show and Amy Goodman's Democracy Now, is available at local bookstores, at and at

Alan Seiffert,
Singapore, Nov. 19--- CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, today announced the appointment of Alan Seiffert to its Asia Pacific team, as the Senior Vice President, Business Development and Partnerships. Seiffert will report to Jeremy Pink, President and Managing Director of CNBC Asia Pacific. Seiffert, who will be based in Singapore, will spearhead the network’s business development and partnership unit in the region.

In this capacity, Seiffert will oversee CNBC’s efforts to build up business opportunities for the network in the Asia Pacific region. He is also responsible for managing relations and developing new opportunities with CNBC’s current partners in Asia Pacific, as well as building strategic partnerships with other potential associates in the region.

Seiffert joined CNBC in Asia Pacific, from NBC Universal Television Distribution, based at Universal City, Calif., where he was Vice President of Business Affairs responsible for deal transactions for its television production and syndication division. He was also instrumental in negotiating global television format and straight licensing deals, throughout Asia Pacific, including China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, South East Asia, and Australia, as well as in Europe and the Middle East. He also handled numerous new media transactions including content deals on interactive, mobile, broadband, and IPTV platforms. Seiffert was also an active player in the integration of the distribution units following NBC’s 2004 acquisition of Universal.

Prior to NBCU, Seiffert served as Assistant General Counsel for the National Basketball Association’s entertainment group where he was responsible for negotiating international television licensing deals. During his tenure with the NBA, Seiffert worked extensively with a variety of platforms and channels throughout Asia, including in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Seiffert has also held various positions within the FOX Entertainment Group, last one being the Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs for its television syndication unit.

“We’re excited to get Alan on board as part of our Executive team,” Pink said. “He was such an integral part of the team at NBCU, having had numerous successes, during his tenure there.

“Given his vast experience and his impressive credentials, we look forward to the growth of the CNBC network, and the expansion of the CNBC brand within the region, under his leadership,” Pink said.

Seiffert is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. He holds a bachelors degree from California State University, Northridge, and an M.A. from New York University. He has served on the Board of various cultural organizations, and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Lawrence Savell,
Continuing a pursuit which originated with his performances as a student and then as an alumnus at the Law School's annual "Law Revue" (alleged) talent show, Larry has just released "Merry Lexmas From The Lawtunes," his third CD of original law-related rock-and-roll holiday songs which he composed, performed, and produced.

Following the precedent of his earlier releases, "The Lawyer's Holiday Humor Album" (1998) and "Legal Holidaze" (2004), the 15 songs on the new holiday CD continue to take on a broad range of subjects regarding lawyers, the law, legal education, and the legal system. They cover the spectrum of life (and strife) as an attorney, "including but not limited to" ridiculous hours and the other sacrifices lawyers (and their families) make, headhunters and lateral movement, client relations, the adversarial system, the art of negotiating, time records and bills, meeting deadlines, document reviews, legal reasoning and argument, cross-examination, business travel, and year-end bonuses.

The tracks include: "Another Billable Christmas," "Santa's Headhunter's Calling," "Livin' Life In Six Minutes," "Merry Lexmas, Baby," "I Got A Footnote In My Stocking," "Ridin' On A Red-Eye With Santa On Christmas Eve," "Hey, Santa, I Appeal," "We're All Just Elves," "So If Your Client's Name Is Santa," "Billable Christmas Blues," "Merry Lexmas Time," "You Don't Wanna Cross Santa," "Down the Halls of Nussbaum, Hanley" (parody of "Deck The Halls"), "The Twelve Days of Lexmas" (parody of "The Twelve Days of Christmas"), and "Billin' On Christmas Eve."

Larry's albums are dedicated to the proposition that lawyers' zealous representation of clients and furtherance of the public good can be only enhanced by a healthy willingness of lawyers to poke fun at themselves appropriately on occasion. They hopefully contribute to the effort to make people think a little differently about lawyers, and show that attorneys are not necessarily humorless, boring, or incapable of self-deprecation (success on at least the last item is guaranteed).

"Merry Lexmas From The Lawtunes," "Legal Holidaze," and "The Lawyer's Holiday Humor Album" are available at and at selected on-line music vendor sites. Sound clips, images, and further information can be accessed at

Since graduation, Larry has been a litigator at Chadbourne & Parke LLP's New York office, where he is a Counsel.

Brian H. Helfer,
Bryan H. Helfer has joined Pircher, Nichols & Meeks, a national real estate law firm, as an associate in the real estate department. He is based in the firm’s Chicago office.

Mr. Helfer has served as a summer associate for Cades Schutte LLP in Honolulu, one of the state’s oldest and largest private business law firms. In addition, he was a summer intern for Alaska Legal Services Corporation in Anchorage, Alaska, a private non-profit corporation that provides free legal assistance to low-income Alaskans. It was here that he was able to successfully rescind a car loan on behalf of an Alaskan senior citizen who survived solely on disability and was unable to make car payments to a local dealership.

A Russell Lee Rua Scholarship award recipient, Mr. Helfer received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 2006, where he was a contributing editor for the Michigan Journal of Race & Law. Mr. Helfer was awarded a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2000, where he received the Duke Kahanamoku Scholarship, an award given to student athletes from Hawaii. He also received a Japanese Language degree in 2002 from Keio University in Tokyo, Japan’s oldest private university. Mr. Helfer was admitted to the Illinois State Bar in 2006.

Roxanne Wilson,
Please welcome Roxanne Wilson Nov 16th as she will share with law students of U of M the wonderful experience with Donald Trump Apprentice. Contact April Davis at 313-595-7143. At just 27 years old, Roxanne Wilson is extremely accomplished in both her professional and personal life. She credits her parents, who emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago and are both professors at Arizona State University, for instilling in her the importance of a good education and solid values. As a young girl, Roxanne was extremely moved upon seeing Sandra Day O'Connor appointed as the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice. From that point on, Roxanne knew that someday, she too would practice law. Today, Roxanne is the President & CEO of RXW, Incorporated, a Texas based consulting firm. Prior, she worked as an appellate attorney with Winstead Sechrest & Minick P.C. law firm in Austin, Texas. Roxanne also clerked for two justices of the Texas Supreme Court. Roxanne earned her law degree at the University of Michigan where she was awarded the Irving Stenn Jr. award for her contributions to the University of Michigan Law School. There, she made a significant impact for students through her leadership in various organizations. As Co-Chairman of the Student Funded Fellowships scholarship auction, she helped raise over $200,000 in grants for law students wishing to spend their summers working in non-paid, service-based legal positions. Outside of her law career, Roxanne dedicates her time and talents to support causes and organizations close to her heart. Roxanne serves on the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Austin Affiliate Board of Directors. She also is a provisional member of the Junior League of Austin.

Jeongmin Ahn,
I received a new tenure track faculty position as an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Washington State University on August 16th, 2006. It's been a couple of month since I got this position. I am sorry for little late notice, but it has been that busy anyway. Thanks.

Alice (Palmer) Michel,
and LT. Kevin Michel, 01 BSN are currently stationed in Portsmouth, VA. Kevin is enjoying his Navy career working in the ICU at Naval Hospital Portsmouth, and Alice is an OR Nurse at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, VA. We gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Kaitlyn, on 06/01/06 and we are now rediscovering the world through the eyes of our little's wonderful. We are loving Navy life and wouldn't trade it for anything.

Laura (Leffak) and Jonathan Berger,
Laura (Leffak)and Jonathan Berger (LSA '00 and '97) are living in West Bloomfield, MI. We are both working at the Hillel Day School in Farmington Hills. Our daughter Talya Michal was born March 24, 2005.

Penelope DeLaire Pillsbury,

Penny Pillsbury, Library Director of Essex Junction’s Brownell Library, was presented with the Vermont Library Association’s Sarah C. Hagar Award on Tuesday, May 17, 2006. The award was given at the Vermont Library Association’s Annual Conference held at the Sheraton in South Burlington. This statewide honor is conferred annually to a librarian who has delivered outstanding library service or made a significant contribution to the profession.

Pillsbury was selected to receive this prominent and competitive award as a result of her leadership, commitment, and outstanding accomplishments over 30 years of work as a librarian. Specific achievements cited were Pillsbury’s continuous advocacy for libraries in Vermont; personalized service to Essex Junction seniors and shut-ins; creating a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere at Brownell Library; guiding the Brownell Library through renovation and expansion; taking on an assortment of tasks with good humor including mopping bathroom floors, sitting in the dunking booth at the Village Block Party, and marching in Memorial Day parades.

After receiving the award from the Vermont Library Association, Village President Larry Yandow read a Village of Essex Junction Resolution. It stated:

Whereas, Penny Pillsbury has been Library Director of the Brownell Library since 1986 and has been honored as the Vermont Librarian of the Year and;

Whereas, the Brownell Library is affectionately referred to as “Essex Junction’s living room,” and;

Whereas, the Brownell Library has grown and prospered under her stewardship with thousands of patrons through the doors each year;

Now, therefore, it be resolved, that the Trustees of Brownell Library and the Village of Essex Junction, Vermont adopt this Resolution in honor of Penny Pillsbury to recognize her significant accomplishments and contributions to the Brownell Library and the Village of Essex Junction.

The Resolution was signed by the 5 Village Trustees and the 10 Brownell Library Trustees.

Michael Goldburg,
Award-winning U of M filmmaker Michael Goldburg will screen his latest film, "HAPPY TRAILS," at the Coney Island Film Festival on October 8, 2006, at 6pm, and the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival on October 17 at 7pm.


When Gareth and Sarah's car, as well as their relationship, breaks down on a romantic weekend getaway, the last thing they need is to be picked up by the couple from hell. Welcome to "Happy Trails," a laugh-out-loud comedy about surviving well as your significant others. Photographed by Peter Olsen ("Robot Stories"). Music by Michael Whalen ("What the Bleep Do We Know!?"). Winner - Special Honor at the American Gem Screenplay Competition.

FILM INFO - For more information on the film, please visit as well as

FESTIVAL INFO - For screening information, please visit and

Mark Terry,
At a luncheon ceremony in New York City, Mark Terry was honored for successfully completing FOX News Channel’s Apprentice Program. In recognition of his achievement, Terry has joined the staff of FOX News in the position of Production Assistant for “FOX & Friends.” The FOX News Apprentice Program, now in its third year, was created by Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes to attract and develop minority employees. At the graduation ceremony, Ailes personally recognized Terry and the other graduating apprentices. As part of the merit-based program, the apprentices trained for one year in various departments at FOX News, ranging from technical production to on-air booking. Each was assigned a mentor to guide them on a daily basis. Upon graduation, all apprentices are offered full-time staff positions in their respective fields. Terry graduated in 2005 with a degree in Political Science and Mass Communication. He joined FOX as a production assistant for “Hannity & Colmes” before moving to “FOX & Friends.” He credits the Apprentice Program with providing a solid foundation of relationship-building and advanced training needed to succeed.

Robert Beasecker,
has been awarded the 2006 Award of Merit from the Historical Society of Michigan for his book, "I Hope to Do My Country Service: The Civil War Letters of John Bennitt, M.D., Surgeon, 19th Michigan Infantry" (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2005).

Matthew Zivich,

Thomas J. Treutler,
Thomas J. Treutler (B.S.E., Computer Engineering, 1990) recently opened a law office in Vietnam. The Law Offices of Thomas J. Treutler, A Professional Corporation of Santa Ana, California were issued a Foreign Law Firm Establishment License by Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice and an Operating Permit by the Danang Service of Justice to open the branch in Danang, Vietnam. The firm, which specializes in intellectual property, investment and commercial law, is the first foreign law firm to be licensed in Vietnam’s fast-growing central region. Managing Attorney Tom Treutler has 9 years of experience working in Vietnam and is also registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Through USAID’s STAR Program, Treutler has assisted Vietnam to develop its intellectual property laws to meet international standards. He previously practiced IP law in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley, and headed Baker & McKenzie's Intellectual Property Law Group in Vietnam before starting his own practice. Vietnam is expected to join the World Trade Organization later this year. Treutler graduated magna cum laude from Indiana University - Bloomington School of Law, and studied Vietnamese at Stanford University and the Hanoi Foreign Language College. He first came to Vietnam in 1993 as a member of Volunteers In Asia. In 2005, he was named a Leading Individual in intellectual property law in Vietnam by Legal 500. Treutler has appeared in several episodes of the Vietnamese variety show Thuy Nga Paris By Night and a commercial for traffic safety in Vietnam. He and his wife Ngoc Thuy have two children, Ben and Henry.

Steve Rybicki,
CHICAGO – Lucien Lagrange Architects has added senior architect Steve Rybicki. Rybicki, 43, who will serve as LLA’s lead project architect on several new assignments, comes to the firm after nine years as a senior project architect at Hirsch Associates. There, his Chicago-area projects included the Bradley Place, Prairie Park, Park Point and River Village Pointe residential developments. Rybicki, a resident of Chicago’s Northwest Side, has been featured on HGTV’s “Before and After” home renovation series. He holds a baccalaureate from the University of Michigan’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Karla Freiheit,
is currently earning her M.F.A. in Textiles at the University of Kansas where she has been reappointed to teach Design I and Design II as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Recently, she has been awarded several grants: the first was a travel grant to help defray the costs of research in Chile and the second is a Collaborative Initiative grant from the School of Fine Art. The latter funding is to help defray travel and supply expenses to collaboratively teach an interdisciplinary arts class to prisoners in the Lansing Correctional Facility. In addition, Karla will be attending several college art conferences to participate in sessions on teaching concerns in the foundations classroom. Her anticipated graduation date is 2008 from this three year program.

Lois C Schwartz,
is the New York Music Chair of the University of Michigan Entertainment Coalition (UMEC). She regularly posts news of upcoming events involving U of M alums active in the world of music on the UMEC website. Music lovers should make a habit of visiting, then click New York Music. A concert featuring U of M Alumni Music Makers is scheduled in NY on Oct. 30th. The t-shirt in the photo reads Michigan Music and led to the discovery that the farm Lois was visiting was owned by a U of M alum!

Adrian Karmazyn,
Veteran Voice of America journalist Adrian Karmazyn has been appointed Chief of VOA's Ukrainian Service. Karmazyn, 45, joined VOA in 1988, as an international radio broadcaster in the Ukrainian Service. He served in this capacity as a reporter, writer, producer, translator, announcer, and also served as a correspondent in Kyiv, Ukraine. Since 1999, Karmazyn has served as Program Manager of VOA's Ukrainian Service. During that period the Ukrainian Service significantly expanded its network of reporters in Ukraine and its cooperation with FM affiliates. In addition, Karmazyn oversaw the reorganization of Vikno v Ameryku (Window on America), a weekly TV magazine program, the launch of the daily Chas-Time television program and regular interactive satellite feeds with TV networks in Ukraine. Karmazyn is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. He completed a B.A. in History at Ohio State University and a M.A. in Russian and East European Studies at the University of Michigan.

William R. S. Steuk,
At 11:00am on July 19, 2006 in the Huron Municipal Court, William R. S. Steuk was sworn in as the Huron Municipal Court Judge by the Honorable Judge Ralph Pisano, Sr. The newly sworn in Judge Steuk graduated 1989 from Sandusky High School, in 1993 from the University of Michigan and in 1996 from the Ohio Northern University Law School. He will continue as an attorney with Flynn, Py and Kruse LPA in Sandusky while serving as judge. He resides in Huron with his wife, Jessica, and their three children.

Jenny French,
Hi! Biz school was great as I've had my own promo-biz for 18 years and get to live in sunny South Fl. Been a great run. The 3 daughters have done well - one graduated this year from Stern at NYU, one's in nursing school at Florida State and the youngest is at Columbia in NYC - she's a runnner on their cross country and track teams. Still married after all these years - 29 of them! Hope everyone else has had as much fun! --Jenny French, Alpha Phi, graduated Dec. '76 (still remember shaking President's Ford's hand at graduation!)

Safdar Bandukwala,
I am based in Mumbai, India, and would like to inform Alumni of the Universtiy of Michigan that we have a fairly active alumni association here in India. Any alumni who are visiting Mumbai, or if there are any Indian Alumni who do not know of the association please do get in touch with us. You can email me at -

Scott Mackin,
Former CEO of Covanta Energy Corporation and Managing Partner of The Chatham Group, Scott Mackin is now CEO of Waypoint Energy, a newly established and funded energy company formed to acquire, develop, restructure and manage power generation assets and companies.

Timothy Fisher,
Tim is authoring a forthcoming book on Java programming titled "Java Phrasebook". This book will be published by Pearson Ed. later this summer. Look for it at your favorite bookstore or online. Tim is a 1991 graduate of the Univeristy of Michigan Dearborn's School of Engineering. He is currently working for Compuware in Detroit, Michigan. Visit his website at

Phyllis Perry,
Photographer, counselor and writer, Phyllis Perry wears many hats. She enjoys taking photos of flowers, trees, pastures, and peonies as well as domestic and farm animals of every variety. Currently, she works at the University of Michigan's Center for the Education of Women as a career counselor. Her beautiful photo note cards can be seen around town at Whole Foods Market and The Produce Station and, hopefully soon, on the Univ. of Mich. Alumni website. She is also collaborating on writing a sitcom as well as working on a creative non-fiction memoir. For me, a quality life is about doing work I love, having good friends, close relationships, and appreciating nature, animals, art, and beauty.

Gloria J Jeff,
Mayor Antonio Villargiso appointed Gloria Jeff General Manger of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation effective March 20, 2006. Ms. Jeff was confirmed by the City Council on April 5, 2006.

Robert Despelder,
I am sure I was the oldest grad in 2003 at 75.

ellen deitelbaum lunz,
has been practicing speech/language pathology for the past 33 years. She married another U of M graduate student Robert Lunz, class of 1974, and they have been married now for 32 years! "We live in a northern suburb of Chicago and have two grown daughters, one a teacher and one a graphic designer. I work for the Chicago Public Schools with special education students ranging in age from 3 to 12. I look back on my Michigan days with great fondness!"

Alan M. Mindlin,
a Bloomfield Hills MI ophthalmologist, is completing his year as president of the Michigan State Medical Society.

Boris Kozolchyk,
The Institute of International Banking Law & Practice has dedicated this year’s Annual Survey of Letter of Credit Law & Practice to Dr. Boris Kozolchyk in recognition of his many contributions in developing and harmonizing law and practice in this field. The volume will be formally presented to him in Miami during the Institute’s annual meeting, which takes place March 1-2 and includes representatives of banks, law firms, regulatory agencies, importers, exporters, and third party intermediaries. Kozolchyk is President of the National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade, Evo DeConcini Professor of Law at the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law and regarded as one of the world's authorities on letters of credit, bank guarantees and related documents.

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