Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

Alumni Notes

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Marlisa Johnson,
has joined the staff of the private tutoring and standardized test preparation firm Mathtopian Preparation, in Mathtopian's recently opened office in West Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.mathtopianprep.com.

Frank Groves,
has published a golf instruction book, Drive It!. The book contains stories and instruction by the U-M golfer, and may be purchased by contacting Burford Books, Inc. at www.burfordbooks.com or the author directly at vangroves@aol.com.

Gen. Paul J. Kern,
has completed his three-year tenure as commander of the US Army Materiel Command in a ceremony at Fort Belvoi, Virginia. General Kern steps down as AMC commander, having been in the position since Oct. 2001, and will officially retire from the US Army in January 2005. He is one of only 10 four-star generals in the Army. As commander of AMC, Kern was responsible for a diverse group of commands whose focus is materiel readiness for the soldier and the warfighter. Kern oversaw research and development efforts, the acquisition of materiel and the logistics to ensure dominant land force for soldiers. AMC has had a number of roles in Iraq and Afghanistan to include prepositioned stock, the executive agent for Army Reset to repair and refurbish equipment, and to equip the force with the necessary materiel such as vehicles, aircraft, communication systems, food and shelter, and ammunition and bombs. Kern has served in a number of positions throughout his Army career to include the Commander, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized); the Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense and Deputy Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.; and the Director of Requirements (Support Systems), Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. Kern served three combat tours with the US Army. As the Brigade Commander of the 2nd Brigade, 24th Infantry Division during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, he led the attack on Jalibah Airfield allowing the 24th ID to close escape routes across the Euphrates. He also served as the Assistant Division Commander of the 24th after its redeployment to Fort Stewart. As a junior officer he began his career with two combat tours in Vietnam with the 11th Armored Cavalry as a platoon leader and troop commander. Kern was raised in West Orange, New Jersey, and graduated from West Orange High School. He was commissioned in July 1967 as an Armor lieutenant following graduation from the US Military Academy at West Point. In addition to his master's degrees in both mechanical and civil engineering from Michigan, he held a Senior Service College Fellowship at Harvard University.

Bruce Segal,
has joined the Detroit-based law firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP as a partner in the Litigation department in the firm’s Oakland County office. Prior to joining the firm, Segal was a partner with Miro Weiner & Kramer, PC in Bloomfield Hills. He is admitted to practice in Michigan, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the US Court of Appeals for the Second and Sixth Circuits, the US Tax Court, and the US Supreme Court. He resides in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

John Gregg,
has joined the Barnes & Thornburg LLP firm as an associate in its Grand Rapids office. Gregg’s practice primarily focuses on bankruptcy and creditor’s rights law. He frequently represents secured creditors, committees, debtors and purchasers of assets. In addition, Gregg was an extern for the Honorable Susan Pierson Sonderby in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg LLP, he served as an associate in the bankruptcy departments of two international law firms located in Chicago. After receiving his BA from Michigan, he earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from DePaul University College of Law. He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Chicago Bar Association.

Jeffrey Miro,
has joined the Detroit-based law firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP as a partner in the Corporate and Securities department in the firm’s Oakland County office. Prior to joining the firm, Miro was a partner with Miro Weiner & Kramer, PC. in Bloomfield Hills. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law with the University of Michigan Law School, where he teaches courses in taxation and corporate governance. He also served as the Chairman of the State Bar of Michigan’s Federal Tax Aspects of Real Estate Committee, Real Property Section, from 1981-1984. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the Detroit Bar Association and is admitted to practice in Michigan and New York. Miro resides in Bloomfield Township, Michigan.

James K. Cleland,
has joined the firm of Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, one of the nation’s largest intellectual property law firms, as an Associate in the Ann Arbor office. He will concentrate on patent, trademark, copyright, unfair competition and trade secret litigation, as well as on patent prosecution in the chemical and mechanical fields. Prior to joining Brinks, Cleland was a senior associate at Greenberg Traurig in Chicago. He received his JD cum laude from Indiana University School of Law in 1997, where he won the Best Brief Award in the Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition. Cleland is a member of the American Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association and the American Intellectual Property Law Association.

James L. Katz,
a senior Associate at Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, Chicago, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the country, has been named to the first Intellectual Property Advisory Board at Indiana University School of Law Bloomington. Katz, a 1998 alumnus of IU's law school, focuses his practice in prosecution and litigation related to computer, e-commerce and Internet technologies. Prior to joining Brinks, Katz was a test engineer and design engineer focusing on architectural design for enterprise-scale mainframe systems and simulator software development for multiprocessor storage architecture.

Alan Bloom,
is now Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of UHP Healthcare in Inglewood, California. UHP is a nonprofit HMO that serves mainly minority and underserved populations. "After 23 years in working in an investor owned HMO is Los Angeles, this new job gives the opportunity to help arrange are for the people who need it most," Bloom says. "The University of Michigan School of Public Health gave all of us who received our educations there the ethic of service. Finally, after 34 years learning the business in the field, I can be true to my alma mater and give back to society some of what I have had the opportunity to take out."

Deborah L. (Williams) Dubois,
was awarded the 2004 John Philip Outreach Award at the Ohio Library Council Conference in Cincinnati on October 1, 2004.

Joseph F. Page, III,
writing under the pen name "Jeffrey Baldwin," has recently published his third novel concerning the exploits of Jake McCarthy, a trial attorney living in Rochester Hills and working in Detroit. Jake McCarthy, Pasadena takes place largely in Ann Arbor as the #1 ranked Wolverines prepare for the Rose Bowl and a National Chanpionship.

Michael Mazzatenta,
has won three consecutive composition competitions in 2004 sponsored by Areas III, XI, and II (respectively) of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers. He receives cash awards, performances and publication of his original, award-winning works for handbells. Further details at www.handbellworld.com and www.michaelmazzatenta.com.

Jon Faulks,
Please revise my e-mail address and let me know about any San Francisco Bay Area career networking events for U of M graduates.

Murray A. Gorchow,
was recently appointed by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as a magistrate with the Workers Compensation Board of Magistrates. He is currently hearing and deciding cases at the Detroit office of the Workers Compensation Agency. Prior to his appointment, he was a member of the firm of Martens, Ice, Klass, Legghio, Israel & Gorchow, PC, where he had practiced workers compensation law since graduating from U-M Law in 1972.

Doug Griffin, CPA, CFE,
was named Denver District Director, Rocky Mountain States, for the US Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards. He left a similar position with Department of Labor in Chicago in 1985 to become Vice-President and Director of Security and Investigations for Continental Bank. After Continental was purchased by Bank of America he became Manager of Business Investigative Services, supervising due-diligence investigations for commercial lending. Doug has been an instructor for the Becker CPA Review Course for many years. His accounting specialities include forensic auditing and nonprofit tax exempt organizations.

Dr. Darrell H. Beach,
retired from the Culver Academies in 2000 after holding the Eugene C. Eppley Chair of Chemistry from 1977 until 2000. He is now an associate professor of chemistry at Indiana University, South Bend. There he teaches a laboratory course once a week. He still consults for the College Board. This year he has presented workshops in California, Florida, and Colorado.

norma keil,
has accepted the position of director of social work for the Circle of Life Center a new psychiatric inpatient facility in Detroit. She reports that she is "looking forward to provide needed services to the city of Detroit and Wayne county."

Richik Sarkar,
has joined the Cleveland office of Ulmer & Berne LLP, one of Ohio's largest law firms. He is an associate in the Business Litigation and Financial Institutions, Securities & Broker-Dealer Groups. His practice is focused on representing parties in complex and class action litigation, appellate litigation, administrative proceedings and alternative dispute resolution in commercial, product liability, real property and public law matters.

Linda Bowman (Toepfer)( Landrum),
is setting up a data base in Washtenaw County, MI, for a new 211 information and referral line. With the help of United Way and HVA, she is gathering all nonemergency humanservice providers into a referral system which will link up with a statewide, then nationwide 211 system to parallel the currently over burdened 911 system. Interested parties may go to: www.washtenaw211.org and/or e-mail her at lbowman@hva.org. "This project is a wonderful opportunity for me to use my educationand experience as school social worker,college professor, medical and psychiatric social worker," Bowman says. "I am particulaarly interested in the application of the 211 call in system to issues of homeland security and public health. Is any other alumnus involved in 211?"

Robert L. Hampton,
is president of York College of the City University of New York. Hampton, 55, was appointed as the fifth president of York College in June 2003. He holds a BA degree in Sociology from Princeton University and an MA and PhD in Sociology from Michigan. Prior to his appointment, he was the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean for Undergraduate Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Hampton's extensive administrative experience includes 16 years as a senior administrator, nine at the University of Maryland, College Park, and seven as Dean of the College at Connecticut College. Throughout his distinguished career in higher education he has been committed to the core mission and values that distinguish higher education, serving as a champion of innovative academic programs, increased support for faculty research and teaching and programs that encourage civic responsibility in contemporary American society. Hampton has published extensively in the field of family violence, as lead editor for six books, including Preventing Violence in America, Healthy Children 2010: Establishing Preventive Services, Substance Abuse, Family Violence, and Child Welfare: Bridging Perspectives, and Family Violence: Prevention and Treatment. His most recent work is titled Promoting Racial, Ethnic, and Religious Understanding and Reconciliation in the 21st Century.

Michael Tauber,
has opened his own firm, Michael Tauber Architecture, in San Francisco. The firm's focus will be on single family and multifamily affordable housing, commercial projects particularly water quality laboratories. He will build on the number of award winning, published projects in those building types that he has designed and managed while at other firms over the past 14 years. He welcomes hearing from UM alumni, particularly classmates, at michael@michaeltauberarchitecture.com.

Susan Spierling Smith,
is a Special Education Teacher in the Flint District. She reports: "I have taught there since graduating from the University of Michigan - Flint in 1987. My college education has opened doors of opportunity in so many ways. In the summer of 1997, I taught in Wuhan, Hubei,China. I returned to China for three more years to teach in the Universities. In 1998, I began an after school program I called China Club for a culture awareness for the students who were interested. I have always loved to write and through the years have written several stories. In August of this year, 2004, I published a children's book called Katie's Wish. I am very excited because it is a way to encourage students to write and to fall in love with writing. If anyone would like to contact me my e-mail is suesmith26_@hotmail.com. I welcome your comments and would love to talk to students about writing."

Peter M. Barach,
has been in the private practice of clinical psychology in Cleveland since 1983. In addition, he has served as an expert witness in civil cases, and recently accepted a part-time position with the Court Psychiatric Clinic in Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas. He has specialized in dissociative disorders, and has authored several papers in that field. He has won numerous awards for his professional contributions. Barach recently delivered the Third Annual Pierre Janet Memorial Lecture at the annual conference of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation (ISSD). He formerly was President of ISSD, and has participated in the development of treatment guidelines for the dissociative disorders. In addition, he is the coauthor of "The Therapist's Internet Handbook." He received his PhD from Case Western Reserve University.

Mark Cory,
is owner/operator of Franchise Network (FranNet) Detroit, www.frannet.com. Cory works with aspiring entrepreneurs in southeast Michigan to help them find the right franchise fit from the 100+ pre-screened franchise companies that he represents in a multitude of industries. Through a questionnaire and face-to-face interview, he compliles a business model for his clients which takes into account their goals, skills, preferences, personality, budget, etc., and then he strategically guides the client through the due diligence process as they explore one or more potential fits. His fee is paid entirely by the franchisor once he is successful in making a match. Cory also conducts free seminars on a regular basis to help people determine if franchisng could be for them, and if so, what steps need to be taken to find the right fit in a safe and professional environment. Prior to starting FranNet Detroit, he was Senior Vice President for Olympia Entertainment, Inc., management company for Joe Louis Arena, Cobo Arena, Fox Theatre, The Second City, Hockeytown Cafe and other entertainment, restaurant and retail establishments.

Terri A. Sams,
, a global manager at AT&T in Chicago, IL, was named to AT&T’s Leader’s Council for exemplary job performance during 2003. Sams, who works out of AT&T’s Chicago office, is responsible for sales, strategic execution and management of a multi-million dollar portfolio for voice and data services of Chicago corporate-based accounts. Presented annually to top business sales performers (top 2% worldwide), the AT&T Leader’s Council award is the company’s highest honor for account team professionals. This year’s AT&T Leader’s Council winners were recognized at a 4-day AT&T awards event held at La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, CA. She resides in Munster, Indiana.

A.J. Smith,
, a prominent figure in the history of competition soaring, died in Tecumseh, Mich. on Sept. 5, at the age of 80. Smith left 25 acres for a new city park to his hometown as part of his bequest. Smith began soaringin the 1950s with his friend Dick Schreder, with whom he often competed in soaring contests. The two friends began in soaring organizations in Lenawee County and Toledo but eventually competed internationally. Smith quickly focused on competition soaring and proceeded to modify each of his sailplanes for enhanced performance. He won the Open Class Nationals from the early 1960s to 1980. Smith represented the United States on four international teams: England '65, Poland '68, Marfa, Texas '70, and Yugoslavia '72. In 1968, he was inducted into the Soaring Hall of Fame. Smith was equally successful in his vocation of architecture. He was the founder of the architectural firm Smith and Gardner that designed many award-winning structures from airport terminals to major office complexes across the United States. Smith grew up in Tecumseh and graduated from Tecumseh High School in 1942. After high school, he began working for the predecessor to the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) as a model builder at Langley Field, Va. He then served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, flying Corsairs off aircraft carriers for two years in the Atlantic Ocean. From 1946 to 1951, he attended the University of Michigan, acquiring an architectural engineering degree. Smith's engineering knowledge of sailplane aerodynamics, enabled him to design an extremely efficient racing airplane in the early 1980s, which rocked the racing world of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). The plane, the AJ-2, was designed to compete in a new efficiency race-the Oshkosh 500-sponsored by the EAA. The plane is now headed to the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Jamal A. Cooks,
is a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Education at San Francisco State University. His research interests include literacy development in sports and using popular culture as a teaching tool to improve literacy skills. Recently, he was awarded the San Francisco State University Mini Grant and the Cultivating New Voices Fellowship Among Scholars of Color sponsored by the National Council for Teachers of English for his work examining how the literacy practices of athletes may be applied to school for academic success. As a state winning high school coach track coach for the past five years, Cooks is interested in finding ways to help student athletes identify the literacy parallels inside and outside of school as a means to increase the academic achievement of student athletes. His most recent piece is an article on using hip-hop in the classroom is titled “Writing for Something: The nexus among essays, raps, and expository writing.” which builds on his dissertation. He is in the process of updating an innovative website called The Hip Hop Circuit (www.hiphopcircuit.com) that assists teachers how to use hip hop as a teaching tool.

John Wingard,
has received four awards from the editors and judges of Graphic Design USA in Honolulu. The American Graphic Design Awards for Excellence in Communication and Graphic Design were presented to John Wingard Design after an annual competition among 11,000 invitees from US-based advertising agencies, graphic design firms and publishers. With over 20 local, national and international awards, John Wingard Design provides marketing, advertising, web design and graphics-based communication to a diverse clientele throughout Hawaii and the mainland. Visit www.johnwingarddesign.com to learn more.

Jo Lee Dibert-Fitko,
who is vice president, and her husband, Gary Fitko (president), are now franchise owners of Budget Blinds of Grand Blanc. Their territory includes Fenton, Grand Blancand Holly as well as service to the Greater Genesee County area(MI). Budget Blinds is the fourth largest retailer of window coverings in the nation. The parent company, Budget Blinds, Inc., is located in Orange, California.(www.budgetblinds.com) Jo Lee is also the owner of Dibert-Fitko Diversions(www.dibertdiversions.com) showcasing her work as an award winning author, poet, cartoonist and public speaker.

Mark J. Schervish,
has become the new head of the Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Statistics. Schervish, who has been at the Pittsburgh school since 1979, earned a doctoral degree in statistics from the University of Illinois after receiving his master’s in applied mathematics from Michigan and his bachelor’s in mathematics from Michigan State University. He is the author of Theory of Statistics and the co-author of Rethinking the Foundations of Statistics and Probability and Statistics. His research focuses on foundations of inference, spatial statistics and applications of statistics to the environment, engineering and finance. Schervish’s research has included collaborations with roboticists on developing methods for robots to detect landmines and with civil engineers in determining the distribution and effects of contaminants in drinking water. "I have always been proud to be part of this department, and I look forward to contributing at a new level to one of the premier statistics departments in the world," Schervish said.

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