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What Alumni Are Saying

What was your best moment during your undergraduate years? What was your absolute worst? Perhaps you were introduced to your current spouse, or met your best friend. Did you learn something during a class you now use every day in your work? We want to know!

Take a look at how alumni address some of these questions, and more: 

Jenay Karlson (’03 Psychology) 

“An LSA education provides students with the opportunity to take classes in a wide variety of disciplines. I learned about human behavior, effective communication methods, and statistical models. My liberal arts degree prepared me for a career in an economy that requires strong emotional intelligence and an understanding of how to properly utilize large amounts of data. 

My College Connections meeting reminded me of the University's incredible influence—both around the world and in my own life. I enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane and learning about the wonderful opportunities available to today's students.”

Job Title: Business acquisition manager at Google, Sydney, Australia 

Campus Involvement: Women's Varsity Swim Team, Ozone House, Peace Neighborhood Center, Psychology research assistant 

George Dong (’09 English) 

“LSA at the University of Michigan led me to the mountains of New England to explore its culture, literature, and history; LSA ushered me into the congressional hearings and Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. where I saw the fusion of politics and culture; LSA assisted me to compose and deliver the student graduation speech in front of thousands of parents and students at my commencement; LSA encouraged me to teach in the inner-city of Chicago to provide hope and optimism in a place long suffered from drugs and violence; LSA propelled me to start a nonprofit to address educational inequality in the villages of rural China. LSA has shaped the way I think, speak, act, and live, and it will continue to do so for the rest of my life.” 

Job Title: Founder, Education in Sight; and manager, alumni career resources, Teach for America 

Campus Involvement: Michigan in Washington (MIW), New England Literature Program (NELP), Migrant and Immigrant Rights Advocacy (MIRA), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Resident Adviser.

Check out George's commencement speech in the Big House, here.

Barbara Sefcovic (’49 Russian) 

“The University of Michigan has had a positive influence on my life since the day I enrolled in 1945.  I came from a small town in Michigan and the University opened up the world to me.  I had many diverse experiences at Michigan and I enjoyed every one of them.

Doing this project has stirred up nice memories for me, such as going to football games at no extra cost; not being allowed to go through the front door at the Michigan Union; going to dances with music played by the most popular orchestras such as Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Nat King Cole and Louie Armstrong; going to Hill Auditorium to hear the best soloists, and orchestras, plus many other great memories.  Michigan was and still is a very special place. Thank you for reawakening all these fond memories for me.”

Job Title: Retired; former elementary school teacher 

Campus Involvement: Russian Club 

Bill Williams (’09 Earth Sciences)

“LSA’s College Connections program was, for me, a great reminder of why my time at Michigan was so special. My wide-ranging discussion with Ellie, the coordinator I met with, brought to mind things that I'd nearly forgotten, events both pleasant and less so. It was particularly enjoyable to surprise her with one of my unique experiences at Michigan. In ’94–95, I registered for an upper-level Geology course called ‘Permafrost, Snow and Ice’ with Professor Sam Outcalt. The first day of classes, there were about five students that showed up. Over subsequent meetings, that number rapidly dwindled until, by the middle of the second week, I was the only student remaining; all of the others had dropped. Professor Outcalt asked if I wanted to continue with the class, and when I did, we switched our schedule to meet twice a week for 90 minutes rather than three times for an hour. I've long held that I may be the only Michigan student in the last 20 years to have taken an official class from the course catalogue in which there was only one student. You often hear of the anonymity of huge lecture halls, but when you're the ONLY student in class with a professor, there truly is nowhere to hide!”

Job Title: Technical project manager

Beth Duff

College Connections staff member and LSA alumna Tina Sula was set to interview Beth Duff, an LSA alumna living in Washington, D.C. Sadly, Mrs. Duff passed away from cancer before they had the opportunity to meet. Instead, Tina Sula met with Mrs. Duff’s husband, Jim, to discuss his wife’s life, accomplishments, and the impact of U-M and LSA had on his wife. "At Michigan, Beth gained a lot of critical thinking and problem solving skills. The university environment provoked thought about looking beyond what came easy when first considering a solution to a problem, a situation, or a condition". 

Jeremy Peters (’04 Political Science and Music)
“Thanks to...the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts for committing to a program like this...I think it is supremely important to the health of the College and the University in general.”

Job Title: Ghostly International and Ghostly Songs, director of licensing and publishing

Campus Involvement: Men's Glee Club, The Friars, Dance Marathon, LSA Student Government, College Democrats, Mortar Board Collegiate Honor Society

Andrew Samaniego (’04 Communication Studies)
“I was thrilled to know that the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts has decided to create this program. It will provide undergraduates with an additional outlet to learn about life after graduation and alumni with an opportunity to give back in ways that compliment the school’s curriculum.”

Job Title: Yahoo! account manager, global sales

Campus Involvement: Michigan Daily business staff, Theta Chi Fraternity (social chair)

Carla Rapoport (’74 History)
“Great to have a connection to LSA after all these years. When you move abroad, you often lose your links to your past. It was great fun to think back on my LSA years. It made me realize how important those experiences were to making me the person I am today.”

Job Title: Managing editor, telecommunications and IT at Economist Intelligence Unit, The Economist; director, Industry Briefing

Campus Involvement: Michigan Daily, anti-war movement activist

Julie Neenan Souza (’95 English)
“The College Connections program demonstrates the University of Michigan’s commitment to its former and future students. By identifying what is meaningful about alumni experiences during and post college, LSA can continue to build on and create practices that reinforce the loyalty and passion that alumni feel towards the school, delivering on the commitment to be ‘leaders and best.’”

Job Title: CBS College Sports, New York City; NY vice president, strategic planning and business development

Campus Involvement: Michigan Student Assembly, Student Affairs Student Leadership Roundtable, Homecoming Committee, Greek Week Steering Committee, Sigma Kappa Sorority, Project Smile

Peter Ellis (’94 English)
“The College of LSA helped develop my foundation for not only my professional career but my personal life. I am grateful for the truly rich experience and instruction received at U-M.”

Job Title: DLA Piper LLP, Chicago, IL; partner

Campus Involvement: Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), Alpha Phi Alpha (Epsilon Chapter)