Alumni Notes

  1. Bob Stevens

    MSE ’70/PhD ’72, is President-elect of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Bob retired from full-time employment with ARCADIS U.S., Inc. in 2007, but he continues to work with them on a part-time basis doing special assignments. He now is the chair of ASCE’s committee on technical advancement. Bob also serves on the board of directors of EWB-USA and ARTBA. He is excited about being ASCE’s President-elect and is committed to being a full-time Presidential officer. He lives in Keller, Texas, with his wife of 47 years, Bonnie.

  2. Dr. Natalie Cotton-Nessler

    PhD ’13, successfully defendered her dissertation titled “Skill in Interpersonal Networks” as a participant in The PhD Project, an award-winning program to create a more diverse corporate America. Cotton-Nessler received her Ph.D. in Management & Sociology from U-M and has joined the faculty of Bentley University.

    She is one of only 178 female, African-American Management business school professors in the U.S., most of whom have become professors since The PhD Project was created in 1994. The Project’s vision is to diversify corporate America by increasing the number of minority business professors (African-American, Hispanic-American and Native American), who attract more minority students to study business in college.

    The KPMG Foundation founded the Project in 1994 to recruit minority professionals from business into doctoral programs in all business disciplines. Since its inception, The PhD Project has been responsible for the increase in the number of minority business professors from 294 to 1,217. Further, 361 minorities are currently enrolled in doctoral programs, and will take a place at the front of the classroom over the next few years. The Project attacks the root cause of minority under-representation in corporate jobs: historically, very few minority college students study business as an entrée to a corporate career. Diversifying the faculty attracts more minorities to study business and better prepares all students to function in a diverse workforce.

  3. Thomas Brian Wedell

    BFA ’73, and his wife/design partner, Nancy Skolos, have been honored to be the featured artists in this year’s Persona exhibition at Galeria Sztuki Wozownia in Torun, Poland. Rene Wanner’s poster page discusses their work in some detail.

  4. Brian Deming

    BA ’76, announces the publication of his book, Boston and the Dawn of American Independence (Westholme). The book tells the story of how a contented port town of just 16,000 in 1760 came to ignite the American Revolution 15 years later. It is Deming’s fourth book.

  5. Nancy Reizen Serlin

    BA ’69/MA ’76, writes: “Just wanted to let you know about my dad, Dr. Maurice Reizen, who just received a wonderful award at Michigan’s Premier Public Health Conference. It was the Roy R. Manty Distinguished Service Award. Dad graduated from U of M in 1940 and received his M.S.P.H. in 1946 from U of M. His M.D. was from the University of Rochester in 1950 and his Teacher’s Certificate was from Wayne State University in 1946. He was also the Public Health Director for the State of Michigan for 10 years. You can look him up if you need any more information. I have six pages of his accomplishments!!!!!” Congratulations, Nancy, and kudos to Dr. Reizen.

  6. Robert Paine

    PhD, ’61, recently received the 2013 International Cosmos Prize, which carries a cash award of more than $400,000. Paine is an emeritus professor and biologist at the University of Washington. The award, announced July 30 in Japan by its sponsor, the Expo ’90 Foundation, recognizes Paine’s pioneering work, including the development of the keystone species concept: the idea that apex predators drive the diversity in an ecosystem. Before Paine’s experiments, scientists believed that each species had equal bearing on the functioning of a habitat. He showed that when the common starfish Pisaster ochraceus was removed from a natural intertidal shore, its preferred prey—mussels—freely proliferated and pushed out other organisms such as algae and snails. This cascade effect, first observed by Paine, helped explain the importance of other keystone species such as killer whales, wolves, sea otters, and lions in maintaining species richness in various ecosystems. His approaches were featured in a Nature piece in January 2013 and in The New York Times in October 2012.

  7. Vivan G. Bass

    BS/MS, special education, recently was named vice chair of Jewish Women International, the leading Jewish organization empowering women and girls through economic literacy, community training, healthy relationships education, and the proliferation of women’s leadership. Its innovative programs, advocacy, and philanthropic initiatives protect the fundamental rights of all girls and women to live in safe homes, thrive in healthy relationships, and realize the full potential of their personal strength. Bass also is CEO of the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes (JFGH) in Washington, D.C. She has spoken at major national and international conferences and has played a pivotal role in legislative and consumer advocacy efforts. She has received many distinctions, including Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine. Bass also is a Lion of Judah, a distinction recognizing committed donors to the Jewish Federations of North America and Federations globally. In addition, she serves on the board and chairs the governance and ethics committee of Leadership Montgomery, a Montgomery County, Md., organization that brings together current and emerging leaders to improve the county.

  8. Richard Lopez

    BA, ’88, received a 2013 Emmy nomination in cinematography for “The Men Who Built America,” a docu-drama mini-series on the History network.

  9. Colleen Ann Vance

    AB, ’74, recently published her first children’s picture book, “The Flip Flop Family,” through Mascot Books.