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RC Alumni in the World

All of us at the RC are very proud of our current students and of our Alumni. Let us know what you're doing after the RC - your accomplishments and your everyday life - and we'll tell the world about it. 

Please email the Outreach and Communications Office with your updates, and include your name when you attended the RC (if it has changed),  the year of your graduation and the concentration(s) and minor(s) you pursued.  Let us know what you're doing and feel free to share a memory or two, or include a shout-out to someone you haven't seen in awhile.You may send a digital photo, if you'd like, and please also let us know if you'd like your email address included in your post, so that other alumni may contact you.  

Halima Alli, RC 1996, BS Biology

I'm interested in connecting with some other alumni who grew within and valued the RC as I did as a student at U of M.
I currently live in Cleveland Heights, OH and needless to say, OSU looms large around here.
Email Halli.

Gabe Anderson, RC 2005, Creative Writing

After attending a vegetarian culinary school in New York City earlier this year, Gabe is now a cook at Inn Season Cafe in Royal Oak, and is renting a house with Sara Groenenbroom (RC '12) in Northwest Detroit. In his freetime, he and Sara enjoy gardening, taking on various culinary projects, learning new skills and meeting new people.

Gabe and Sara send a shout out to RC Poetry Instructor Ken Mikolowski. "Tell him," they say "WE MET YOUR SON!"

Lisette (Lisa) Arsuaga, RC 1988, Creative Writing & Literature/Communications

I'm Lisette Arsuaga – started in the RC in 1984 when I used to go by my nickname Lisa. I graduated with a double major in Literature/Creative Writing and Communications in 1988. My love of writing was solidified at my very first creative writing class with Warren Hecht – it didn't take long to figure out that creative writing wasn't only something I enjoyed, it was something I was determined to do with my life.
Although I don't use my creative writing to write short stories very often, I certainly implement these skills in the creation of campaigns in both Spanish and English on social issues affecting multicultural America and in the execution of programs that effectively target both acculturated and non-acculturated Latinos in the United States. For over twenty years, I have worked as a senior executive with corporations, agencies and non-profit-organizations that target Latinos and other multicultural groups. Throughout my career, I have created strategic alliances with general and multicultural media companies, celebrities, corporations, faith based groups, and the arts. I have written, produced and directed ad campaigns for corporate America targeting the various multicultural markets. As a strong advocate for venture philanthropy, I have helped generate new revenue for non-profit groups and multicultural communities. For the last three and a half years as Co-President of Dávila Multicultural Insights (DMI) which I founded with my husband and partner Gilbert Dávila, I have helped devise strategic plans and multicultural marketing campaigns for corporate clients including Dunkin' Donuts, Marriott, Warner Bros., Universal Music Latin Entertainment, Aetna Insurance, New York Life, Guthy Renker, and others.

Email Lisette.

Patience (Atkin) Jones, RC 1997, Arts & Ideas in the Humanities, Comparative Literature

I co-own Graphicmachine, a marketing and advertising agency based in Kansas City, Missouri. We focus on professional services (health care, architecture, engineering, law) and not-for-profits. My business partner is my husband, Brian Jones. We married in 2005 and moved from New York City to Kansas City in 2010. I sit on the Board of Directors for the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, the Marketing Advisory Board for the Kansas City Streetcar Authority, and the Marketing Committee of the Kansas City Regional Arts Council, and I am a member of the RAINN Speakers' Bureau. Our studio has a weekly podcast called Is There There There, available on iTunes and Google Play.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't draw on my RC education, whether it's how to approach a problem, putting visual references into context, conducting business with native French speakers, or working with artists. All of those late nights, darkroom hours, and tater tots eaten in the Half-Ass have made me what I am today.

Contact Patience

Joe Barder, RC 2002, Political Science, Minor Russian Language & Culture

Greetings from Finland!
My name is Joe Barder, BA Political Science, Minor Russian Language and Culture, ’02, and I have been traveling and teaching in international schools since finishing my gap year in 2003. I’ve been working to get as many of my bright, vibrant students to consider UMich as an undergraduate (and graduate) opportunity; from Poland, to Kuwait, to Tanzania, and now Finland. I hope that I can visit again soon now that East Quad has been completely renovated - though I hope the Underground Cafe is still there!

Michael (Mike) Baron, RC 1990, Honors Psychology

Mike is currently working as a Consultant and Director of Internet Marketing projects for several healthcare companies.  Further, he has devoted substantial time to working on educational development programs for children with autism in South Florida.

Brett Beckerson, RC 2007. Political Science & RC Social Science

My name is Brett Beckerson and I was in the RC from 2004-2007. It was in my RC classes that I learned the importance of fostering communities, embracing identities, and championing social justice. Those classes inspired my work in lobbying for reforming healthcare, education and employment policies in Michigan and several other states. I later received my MSW from the UofM School of Social work with a focus in social welfare policy. I currently work in Washington, DC for an advocacy non-profit call the Council for a Strong America which seeks to advance policies that invest in children, youth and families to ensure brighter futures for kids.

Shout out to Helen Fox who helped me find a truer version of myself, inspiring me to be a better advocate overall.

Beth (Bovair) Schill, RC 2005, Anthropology, Social Sciences MPhil 2006, University of Cambridge, Development Studies Program

I am currently working at the Partnership for Public Service in Washington, D.C., after working in the Consulting business for over five years. I would be happy to speak with any current or future alums to discuss working in government, non-profit and the consulting world.

I also wanted to include a note about a new publication that I co-authored that was released about a month ago: Diversity's New Frontier. It is a paper I wrote while at Deloitte Consulting, and it really grew out of a passion that for me was enshrined in my years in the RC: that different thinking is good, and enriches the educational/work experience.

Email Beth.

Jeanette Bradley, RC 1994, Social Science

The RC was my introduction to interdisciplinary thinking, and Susan Crowell introduced me to the wabi-sabi aesthetic. Perhaps this is why, after having kids, I felt drawn to picture books as an art form. They are a complex interaction of multiple disciplines, yet they only work if they achieve a sense of simplicity and inevitability.
Picture books are meant to be read aloud - to be, in a way, a performance on a very intimate stage.

I hope you can share LOVE, MAMA with someone you care about.

Author/illustrator: Jeanette Bradley
ISBN: 9781626729490
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: January 2nd, 2018

Bob Clifford, RC 1979, Creative Writing, Hopwood Winner

Elizabeth Dougherty, RC 2010, English and Communications Studies

During my time in the RC, I completed the intensive Spanish program, participated in chamber music groups, and interned for local publisher Dzanc Books. After graduating from Michigan, I moved to the Greater NYC area to work in the publishing industry. I received my M.S. in Publishing from NYU in 2013 and now work as a media producer for Macmillan Education. I currently live in New Jersey and am working toward a Certificate in Project Management at NYU. You can connect with me on LinkedIn.

Tooba Durrani, RC 1991, BS Geological Sciences

Tooba Durrani says: "I attended RC/UM  1985 to 1991.   Major Geological Sciences and while in the RC focused on Arts and Ideas curriculum.  My time at the RC and East Quad was transformative,  being there helped make me the person I am today.   I am practicing now as a Naturopathic Physician and Licensed Acupuncturist.  My critical thinking, creativity and compassion all honed at the RC help me day to day in my practice.  My closest friends are fellow RC'ers and ex-East Quad residents.  I wish the best for the class of 2014, the world needs more people like you."

Email Tooba

Judith Ezekiel, RC 1977, Social Science and French Politics

After 36 years in Paris and Toulouse, France, I moved to Yellow Springs, Ohio to become a professor in Residence at Wright State University teaching Women’s Studies and African American Studies. My publications cover the Women’s Movements in both countries, race and gender including an autoethnography, and transnational (mis)representations. I’ve remained politically active in feminist and antiracist organizing in both countries. My children have embarked upon other adventures: my son is studying international studies at Denison University and my daughter is working in Amsterdam before moving to Dundee, Scotland for an MFA in visual arts. Contact Judith.

Martha Fedorowicz, RC 2011, Political Science & French, Intl Studies

After leaving the University of Michigan  Martha served two years in the Peace Corps in Morocco as a Youth Development volunteer. I currently reside in Chicago and am continuing my work in youth development as a Site-Based Program Coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago.

Spenser Feller, RC 2013, REES, Creative Writing and Literature

Spenser graduated in 2013 with two majors: Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, and the RC-based major Creative Writing and Literature.

Spenser writes: "A week after graduation I moved to Brooklyn to find my niche in the art and literary worlds. I'm currently working at a gallery in the LES and volunteering for any small press that'll have me. I'm applying to MFA programs in the fall. Fingers crossed I won't have to live on bread and cheap coffee forever. I have been working for a month now as a Gallery Assistant at Matthew Marks Gallery in NYC. Hopefully the days of unpaid internships are safely behind me."

Email Spenser.

Sean FitzGerald, RC 2012, Philosophy and RC Drama

"I am currently working out of Indianapolis for JDRF as a Development Coordinator. I recently graduated from Indiana University with my Masters in Philanthropic Studies in May of 2017.

"I'll always cherish those memories of hanging out in 3rd floor Hinsdale in a room packed full of my closest friends. Even if they did become overly obsessed with Werewolf..."

Matt Forbeck, RC 1989, Creative Writing

Matt Forbeck has been a full-time creator of award-winning games and fiction since 1989. He has designed games and toys and written stories of all sorts. He has twenty novels published to date, including the award-nominated Guild Wars: Ghosts of Ascalon and the critically acclaimed Amortals andVegas Knights. His latest work includes the Magic: The Gathering comic book and his novel The Con Job, based on the TV show Leverage. For more about him and his work, visit

Send Matt an email

Barry Garelick, RC 1971, Mathematics

I am teaching math in middle school as a second career and am deeply involved in math education advocacy. I have written many articles on math education and three books. In June of this year I will be presenting at an education conference (ResearchED) at Oxford University, devoted to math/science teaching. (List of speakers is here: ). I am married; we have a daughter who attends Calif State U at Channel Islands (it is in Camarillo, CA) and we live in Morro Bay, California. People may contact me at 

Lenore Goldman, RC 1975, Urban and Community Studies and Social Science

After graduation I took a UM clerical job to be active with the new UAW Local 2001 and worked at the Labadie Collection (UM’s social protest movement archive) and got a Secondary Teaching Certificate from the UM School of Education. Moving to Detroit in 1979, I taught at Western High; identified subjects for the film Rosie the Riveter (using the oral history skills learned from Marilyn Young); designed curriculum for Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (using an approach inspired by my time at UM with Paolo Freire); led the first black and labor history tours of Detroit; and ran a national project for the National Lawyers Guild.

In Santa Fe, NM, I ran an eco-company in retail, manufacturing and design; started the Dance Program at the Center for Contemporary Arts; launched a socially responsible consulting business; co-founded the NM Community Development Loan Fund; and got my MBA in Organizational Design and Development. I was forever changed by living in nature’s rhythm, amidst land-based cultures, consuming daily green chile.

Moving to San Francisco in 1990, I co-authored Eco-Management with Fritjof Capra and Ernest Callenbach. Soon after, I began consulting in Eastern Europe: for its first reproductive rights campaign; trained nearly 50 environmental groups; and trained trainers (many formerly with Underground Solidarity) who were leading Poland’s local government reform movement. Got to meditate weekly with Jack Kornfield. Moved to Berkeley’s “Gourmet Ghetto” when my son Josh was born in 1996. Lucky that we share a love of jazz, Cuba, cooking, literature, travel, film and nature! I still consult. And still work across sectors on strategy, capacity-building, social impact. I enjoy hiking and dancing, and some paddling and bicycling as well.

[I’d love to connect with Carol Renfro, my freshman roommate from Winter Park, Florida. She was impeccably kind and thoughtful at a time when I was way more self-centered. I will never forget her warmth and supportiveness toward me.]

Email Lenore Goldman or contact her through her website

Marinette Gonzalez, RC 1998, BS

Marinette graduated with a BS from the RC in 1998. 

Email Marinette.

Sara Groenenbroom, RC 2012, Arts and Ideas in the Humanities, Music Minor

Sara is working at the Fly Trap, a little restaurant in Ferndale, Michigan and hopes to get an Americorps position with the Greening of Detroit. She is renting a house in Northwest Detroit with Gabe Anderson (RC '05). In their free time, Sara and Gabe enjoy gardening, taking on various culinary projects, learning new skills and meeting new people.

Sara and Gabe send a mutual shout out to RC Poetry Instructor Ken Mikolowski. "Tell him," they say, "WE MET YOUR SON!"

Jim Guthrie, RC 1973, Creative Writing, French

Currently Professor of English at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.

Matthew J. Hayek, RC 1992, Social Sciences, Michigan Law School 1997, JD

Matt Hayek was recently re-elected to a third term as Mayor of Iowa City, Iowa.  He has served on the City Council since 2008 and as Mayor since 2010.  He is a partner with the law firm of Hayek, Brown, Moreland & Smith, LLP, is married and has three young children.  As a local government leader, Matt draws on community organizing skills he developed as an undergraduate and then as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia following his graduation from the RC.  In October he represented Iowa City at the UNESCO Creates Cities Network summit in Beijing, where leaders from 35 cities around the world discussed issues of sustainability.

Matt welcomes email from other RC alumni.

Malcolm Hein, RC 1973, Journalism, French Minor

Malcolm says: "I live in Newburyport, Massachusetts and work two minutes from home as an information technologist. I'm still 6 feet tall, but my girth has increased somewhat with the addition of twenty pounds.  Despite my best efforts to the contrary, life has been good to me, blessing me with two daughters, a great girlfriend, and a good living. I try to share my good fortune by being charitable in both the smaller and larger senses of the word. Since RC (the best years of my life - other than bringing up my girls), I have done a little writing, a lot of photography (mainly aerial), and continued my education at the University of Massachusetts. The latter can't hold a candle to Michigan. And that's saying a lot something coming from a native New Englander. There's a whole lot more, but I'm not that self-absorbed and some things are best said when left to the imagination.

If your name is David Beal or Eric Duwecki (sorry if I mangled the last name) or Jill Jamo, I'd like to hear from you. 

For that matter, if you even vaguely remember me, feel free to drop me a line."

Stephanie Hepburn, RC 1999 Biopsychology and Cognitive Science

Stephanie writes: 

I am a graduate of the RC (class of 1999). My book Human Trafficking Around the World: Hidden in Plain Sight was released in June by Columbia University Press and so far is doing quite well. The Washington Post, NPR and the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs have all found it to be worthwhile.

I was born in Ann Arbor and moved away when I was three. I returned to Ann Arbor as a freshman at the RC in 1995. Human trafficking is an issue nationwide and I did a podcast recently on the rise of identified human trafficking in Michigan for A2Ethics (located in Ann Arbor).

Erik Herron, RC 1990, Russian and East European Studies

Erik is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Kansas. He is currently on leave from KU to serve as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation. He maintains a professional blog ( and personal blog (

Philip R. Hertz, RC 1971, History and Urban Studies

In addition to the information below, I’m also a writer for and my columns on fantasy baseball occasionally appear in   I’m an original – class of ’71.

Philip R. Hertz
Deputy General Counsel
U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
1200 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005-4026

Telephone: 202-326-4400, x3055
Facsimile: 202-326-4122

Steve Hynson, RC 1971, Anthropology

After working as an archaeologist and environmental planner for a decade after graduation Stephen recovered his passion for building things.  For for over 35 years now he has been designing and building furniture and dwellings.  Stephen currently lives Upcountry Maui contemplating the next project, conversing with his creative muse, tending to his aquaponic garden, and sometimes thinking he should be more prepared for the apocalypse.

See Steve's work here.

Deborah Kanter, RC 1984, History and American Culture

Deborah Kanter (RC 1984, History & American Culture).
My professional career has been at Albion College where teach Latin American and Latino/a history. I lived for four years in Mexico, which led to my book, Hijos del Pueblo: Gender, Family and Community in Rural Mexico, 1730—1850. My current re­search focuses on Chicago Católico: Making Parishes Mexican 1920-77.

None of this would have happened without the RC’s language program. Mil gracias a Eliana Moya-Raggio & my fellow students.

Thomas H. Keating, RC 1979, PhD. , "Rock"

I was the RC’s Committee Coordinator, I think they called it, and I was also twice an Angell Scholar. I am also a Michigan Law graduate and I practiced in Ann Arbor in the early 80s. I practiced in the US Supreme Court and have some published case one on the constitution I think it was in the US 6th Circuit, and some other stuff like that. My college degree was in Philosophy, but I really don’t know much about philosophy.

The truth is, I never really cared about any of that at all. My most important credential was being known as “Dr. Rock” by my many RC friends, as can be barely be made out in the base of a photo which graced the RC News a few years back. I parlayed my friendships at the Quad into a self-taught career in music, of sorts, which continues to this day. I learned more from a 3 minute record than I ever learned in school.

Email Dr. Rock.

Candace Kugel, RC 1973, Psychology

Greetings! I am a 1973 graduate of RC (psychology) and am writing to you not so much with a personal update, but to tell you about a connection made between two generations of RC-ers...

I went on from RC and U of M to eventually become a Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse-Midwife and have worked for most of my career in the field of migrant health, providing healthcare services directly to farmworkers in rural Pennsylvania and then working for a national organization, the Migrant Clinicians Network, dedicated to improving healthcare services for mobile workers. A few years ago I connected with another Nurse-Midwife, Megan Danielson, working in Michigan. We teamed up in 2014 to present a webinar about healthcare of migrant women and this year she was named one of our "30 Clinicians Making a Difference" as part of our organization's 30th anniversary celebration ( It was only when I saw Megan's bio associated with that project that I realized that she had attended the RC (2006).  

recent issue of the Migrant Clinicians Network newsletter also coincidentally includes separate articles about both Megan and myself.

I thought you should know that the RC has produced not one but two bilingual Nurse-Midwives who are caring for migrant women.  This is a terribly small club to begin with, so the fact that the two of us share the same undergraduate educational roots was particularly striking for me. I know that my own interests in social justice, languages and world cultures were all nurtured at RC and helped to direct me toward a rewarding and satisfying career during the subsequent decades.

Chris Lindensmith, RC 1988, Physics

I've been in Pasadena, CA (and now spending a lot of time in Portland) doing space things since I finished grad school in 1996. My current major interest is sort of an offshoot of something I did for art credit in the RC - I've been developing a digital holographic microscope to look for potential life off the earth, and also for looking at microbial behavior in aquatic & icy environments. My partner and I also have a small publishing company oriented towards "lab lit" - fiction about scientists (not necessarily science fiction), but we publish a lot of other stuff, too. I also spend a lot of time on bicycles.

Email Chris

Catherine MacDonald, RC 2011, Drama, Creative Writing and Literature


I'm Catherine MacDonald, RC Class of 2011, and I double-majored in RC Drama and RC Creative Writing & Literature. Post-RC, I jumped right into grad school at Emerson College in Boston for my Master's in Theatre Education. I finished my degree in December of 2012 and recently accepted a full-time theatre teaching position at Envision Academy of Arts & Technology, a public charter high school in downtown Oakland, California. I'm moving to the Bay Area in July and looking forward to starting my teaching career in the fall! My classroom will be fully decked out in U of M swag and my students will be regaled with plenty of stories from the East Quad days.

Missing Ann Arbor and the RC all the time!

Proudly yours,


Wendy Beth Marks, RC 1972, Dramatic Literature

Wendy is Artistic Director of Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts where she teaches and directs plays.

Mark McClelland, RC 1994, Creative Writing, Computer Science

I've been working as a software developer ever since I graduated, pursuing writing on the side.  With the recent publication of my novel, "Upload", I'm bringing writing more to the fore and expect to have another book out by the end of 2014.  I married fellow RC student, Nancy Skinner-Oclander (now Nancy McClelland), in 2001.  We live in Chicago, in Logan Square.  We've been subscribers to the Angelic Organics CSA for many years and are big proponents of the Slow Money movement.  We own a Checker Cab, which we've taken to a couple of shows.  We love food, wine, sake, travel, and music.  We do cat foster care, so if you live in Chicago and are looking for a cat, we can probably hook you up.  I'm also something of a cocktail enthusiast, and am "Chief Mixologist" for Jo Snow Syrups.

Ken Mikolowski, you would be proud: poetry is alive and at least moderately well in my life, and I write poetry for my wife, sole member of the Poem-of-the-Month Club.

Connect with me on Goodreads or Twitter (@markproxy), or email me.

Iris J. Meltzer, RC 1971, Psychology

M.A. in Psych from Western Carolina University (1975)

M.P.H. from Kent State University (2002)

Retired June 2011 from Akron Children's Hospital (Administrative Director, Adolescent Health Services) after almost 28 years.

Continue to serve on the boards of community organizations and do some minimal consulting (small group facilitation, program planning and development and grant writing.)

I am divorced with one daughter (Moira) who is also an RC grad.

Send Iris an email

Cole Merkel, RC 2010, History and Creative Writing & Literature

After graduating from the RC in spring 2010 I took my concentrations in LSA History and RC Creative Writing to a magical, western land of bridges and bicycles known to some as Portlandia. I started an Americorps position with Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest as program coordinator for Operation Nightwatch, a weekend, after-hours hospitality center for people experiencing homelessness and social isolation. I spent my second Americorps term as the vendor and editorial program assistant at Street Roots, Portland's newspaper, social voice and income empowerment resource for individuals living in poverty. In August, I was hired full-time as the Street Roots Vendor Coordinator, which places me in direct service on a daily basis with individuals living on the streets. Amongst my many tasks, I run a weekly creative writing workshop for my vendors, and help manage the organization's social media presence.
In personal life, I live in SE Portland with Elena Levin (a friend I made in the first week of RC intensive French), David Nestor (a former housemate in the ICC co-ops) and their cat, Fiona Apple.

Send Cole an email

Bonnie Miller, attended RC 1968-'69

Bonnie is a ‘friend of RC’. She attended 1968-69, painted a wall mural in the old basement library later torn down for classrooms. She took a leave of absence 1969 for independent informal metal sculpture studies under Notre Dame artist in residence, and moved to San Francisco 1970. Bonnie sums up her life and academic experiences this way: "Community nutrition education SF General Hospital Prenatal Clinic. 16 years nursing career AD to MS (UCSF 1992) - faculty, clinician, administrator. Volunteer health advisor and marine biology research assistant for scuba travels around the world. Now in 22nd year clinical research/biotech pharma field (SF Bay Area is Biotech Bay) - trials management, training and development; Certificates in Business Management and Training. Launched SF State University Clinical Trials Management Certificate Program in 2005, currently teach for this and UC Berkeley’s similar Program. Leadership roles in Association of Clinical Research Professionals including N CA Chapter President (running a small non-profit) and appointed to Global Committees. Infrequent artist and current Board member of both Art Guild of Pacifica and Sanchez Art Center".

Mark Molesky, RC 1990, Honors History

Mark is Associate Professor of History at Seton Hall University. He’s just published a new book, This Gulf of Fire: The Destruction of Lisbon, or Apocalypse in the Age of Science and Reason (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015), which is an expansion of his honors history thesis at Michigan. 

Angenette Munoz, RC 2008, RC Social Sciences and LACS

After graduating from the RC in 2008 in RC Social Sciences and Latin American and Caribbean studies, I studied law at the University of Detroit-Mercy. After law school I worked in a women’s entrepreneurship program as a VISTA worker and for an international NGO in Mexico City. I returned to school for my Master of Laws in international human rights at Northeastern University in Boston, where I focused on the fundamental rights of women and international law research. After graduation, I began working in immigration law and am a current staff attorney at Catholic Charities, the Archdiocese of New Orleans Immigration Services working on behalf of unaccompanied minor children and their families.

Please contact Angenette if you are interested in human rights law and/or immigration law.

Lucy Eldersveld Murphy RC 1975, Creative Writing & Literature, Social Studies Ed

Hello from Lucy Eldersveld Murphy!

After teaching high school, and working as a speechwriter and freelance editor, I earned an MA and PhD in history from Northern Illinois University and was eventually hired at Ohio State University, Newark.  I was recently promoted from Associate to Full Professor.  My most recent book has just been published by Cambridge University Press.  It is called Great Lakes Creoles: A French-Indian Community on the Northern Borderlands, Prairie du Chien, 1750 – 1860.  The Press has set up a very nice website for the book (below).  My husband and I have two wonderful kids and four delightful grandchildren.  

Susan Naimark, RC 1976, Urban & Community Studies

After a few decades working in nonprofit community development and being involved in public school organizing on the side, I recently published The Education of a White Parent: Wrestling with Race and Opportunity in the Boston Public Schools.  This book is a memoir, starting in the suburbs of Detroit, and connecting my 20+ years of personal experience as a parent, parent organizer, and big city school board member to national trends in public education. The focus is on my learning curve about racism and the roles and responsibilities of white people in supporting educational success for all children. Last year, I left a job as Director of National Community Building & Organizing Programs at NeighborWorks America to finish the book and launch my own consulting business. Check out the radio interview I did earlier this fall on Radio Boston - WBUR, the Boston NPR station, or visit my website for more information about me, my work and the new book. I am available for book talks and training, and would love to connect to other RC alumni.

Aeryn Nini, RC 2010, Secondary Education, History, Spanish

After two wonderful years in the RC, I decided to transfer to U of M's School of Education in order to focus more on my teacher education studies. I graduated from the School of Ed in December 2010 and then moved back to my hometown of Dearborn, MI and started substitute teaching full time in schools throughout Wayne County, Michigan. During the summer I worked as a direct care support staff to a 24 year old man with Autism, and also waitressed at Olga's Kitchen in Detroit. I moved to downtown Detroit in summer 2011 and continued to substitute teach full time through 2012. While applying to grad schools in early 2012, I was given an AmeriCorps job offer in Austin, Texas (where I had been dreaming of living for many years). I accepted, and in August 2012 I packed up my little Honda Civic, and my pug and I made the three day road trip down to Austin. Living in Austin has been everything I hoped it would be and more. I love living in the city, I love my AmeriCorps position, and my coworkers have become like family. I work as a college coach at College Forward, a nonprofit organization that provides college access and completion services to motivated, economically disadvantaged high schoolers who will be the first in their family to go to college. The RC definitely gave me a strong, well-rounded foundation that has been an invaluable source of inspiration and strength in my work as a teacher and counselor. As for what the future holds, I am currently applying to graduate school again with my sights set on entering the Master of Social Work program at Texas State University in fall 2013. After earning my MSW, I plan on becoming an LCSW, and working in direct practice as a mental health counselor here in Austin. I would like to thank everyone in the RC who impacted my life and education so deeply, especially Hank Greenspan, Olga Lopez-Cotin, and Cristhian Espinoza-Pino.

Send Aeryn an email

Liz Parker, RC 2009, Creative Writing Major, Music Minor

After I graduated in 2009, I took a job as a medical editor for a pathology website. Starting this past August, I took a job as an Online Content Coordinator for various trade magazines, and I live and work in Troy. I started a film blog in 2010 called Yes/No Films (, and I review movies as well as host giveaways on the site. I also have a book blog ( where I feature book reviews, guest posts, and author interviews.

I lived in 4th Anderson my freshman year and 3rd Strauss my sophomore year, and still keep in touch with many of my hallmates! I loved living in East Quad and being in the RC.

You can contact me at

Heidi Elizabeth Philipsen Meissner, RC 1995 Independent Major in Film, Theater & German Literature

"My first feature film, DARCY, which I produced, co-directed and acted in is headed to its first film festival – one near and dear to my heart – the Just Be Love Project film fest, which focuses on fighting trafficking and promoting human rights.

The film was made through my company, Personae Entertainment Pictures, and shot in upstate NY (though produced in Michigan!)

I went to the RC from 1991 – 1995 after spending time abroad with the Junior Year Abroad in Freiburg program and my focus was an independent concentration in Film, Theater and German Literature – all of which I’ve applied to my life and career."

Find out more about Darcy here.

Heidi's website is here.

Contact Heidi.

Jenna Rose Robbins, RC '95, Communications, minor Creative Writing

Jenna's book, Faithful and Devoted, just made it to the quarter finals for the Booklife Awards.

Read more about Jenna on her website.

Shauna Russell, RC 2010, Linguistics (with Distinction)


I graduated in the Winter of 2010, BA Linguistics (Applied Linguistics/Second Language Studies), with Distinction. I just finished my second year teaching Kindergarten in a Title I Nashville school in a blended classroom of general/exceptional ed and English language learners/English speakers. This fall I will be founding a school as a lead teacher for a new school opening in North Nashville. One of my favorite memories so far is the last day of school this year. Working on our "Big Goal"--college!--was a theme in my classroom this year, so my father (also a U of M grad) bought my students college t-shirts as an end of the year gift. The last day of school we had a graduation ceremony: students decorated their own mortarboards, (e.g. Spongebob, Dora, etc), and sang "Hail to the Victors" in several languages.

Between translation and parent outreach, analyzing students' language development, and collaborating across cultures, generations, and more, I use my degree every day. I am truly proud to be an RC Wolverine!

Whitney Russell, RC 2008, Social Science

After graduating I went and lived in India where I volunteered with an anti-human trafficking organization. Came back to the US and worked in a clinic for a bit before I did my MA at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. I stayed in Europe as an English teacher before returning to the midwest (Chicago) to be around friends and family, I start my PhD in anthropology at the University of California San Diego this fall where I will be studying contemporary anti-prostitution movements in India.

I'm happy to be in touch with RC students interested in women's rights and grad school in the US and abroad.

Email Whitney.

Sara Ryan, RC 1993, Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Sara says: "I've been in Portland, Oregon since 1997. I write books & comics for teens and others, and I'm the Teen Services Specialist for the Multnomah County Library. My most recent book is a graphic novel, Bad Houses, with art by Carla Speed McNeil, published by Dark Horse Comics. You can reach me through or @ryansara on Twitter."

Adina Schoem, RC 2006, Honors English

Adina Schoem received her MFA in poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. She then jumped right back home to Michigan to learn cheesemaking on a small goat farm. After cheesemongering for several years, she now makes bread and pastries in a little bakery in the beautiful rust belt city of Cleveland, where she lives with her husband Joe.

Shana Schoem, RC 2008, Women's Studies

Shana currently works as an attorney at the ACLU of Michigan in Midtown Detroit. Her work focuses on access to education, including first-of-its-kind litigation on behalf of students in the Highland Park public schools to protect their right to basic literacy.

Elizabeth (Schwartz) Coleman, RC 2008, Spanish, Philosophy Minor

I worked various jobs for two years, and am now attending the University of Texas School of Law with my husband who I met at the University of Michigan. We are in our last semester. 

I also want to say that Frederick Peters and Herbert Eagle were my two favorite professors at the University of Michigan, and I am so grateful for their classes and everything that I learned from them. I use it to this day. My understanding of Nietzsche as taught by Frederick Peters allowed me to have my first conversation with my now husband about Nietzsche and philosophy, so apart from bettering my life by expanding my horizons I also got a husband out of it.

Send Elizabeth an email

David Sheathelm, RC 1974, Political Science, Language and Literature

Blissfully retired after forty years in public education (Teacher, Administrator). Also, county government for twelve years. Loving being Grandpa/Papa. Continue to relish the RC experience after all these years. Contact David.

Jim "Strike" Strichartz, 1973, Urban Studies

I am the sole shareholder of a law firm in Seattle, Washington that provides legal representation tocondominium associations and homeowners associations

Send Jim an email

Ty Symroski, RC 1974

I'm back on the kayak!

After living in the Florida Keys where I was a community planner for 28 years, and over a year  in Portland, Oregon, Jan and I are beginning a new chapter of our lives on Sanibel Island, Florida.  I am a naturalist giving kayak and boat tours in the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge and Jan is at the community recreation center.

We are also enjoying the birds and critters that come to our back yard and I love the physical work of caring for our land including removing invasive exotic plants and nurturing natives.  I feel as though I am a gardener of wilderness.

Email Ty

Julia Taylor, RC 2008, Social Science, minors: Spanish, Text to Performance

Julia sends us this link about The Laundromat Project

Michael Taylor, RC 1979, Political Economy

Tom Weisskopf was one of my advisors and teachers along the way. I can’t wait to hear his talk Saturday at the RC.

After my time at the RC I worked for a couple of years as a newspaper reporter, before moving to New York where I started my present career in film and television.

I worked at Channel 13, the NYC PBS affiliate for several years in the 80s, helping to produce programs such as New World Visions, a two part documentary centered around the Metropolitan Museum’s American Wing.

My first wife, Victoria Larimore, and I produced a film called The Amish: Not to be Modern, which played extensively on PBS stations in the late 80s and early 90s.

I became a script supervisor on feature films in 1989, and ended up working with directors such as Ang Lee, Todd Solondz, Marc Forster, Kenny Lonergan and Julie Taymor.

Near the turn of the century i decided I would like to be a film editor, and within a few editors I had transitioned to this new career, where I remain today!

Some of my recent films as a film editor: Ira Sachs’ Love is Strange, Margaret Brown’s The Order of Myths, Liza Johnson’s Elvis & Nixon, Rick Alverson’s Entertainment, and Elizabeth Wood’s White Girl. I have two films coming out this fall: Jake Mahaffy’s Free in Deed, and Alex Smith and Andrew Smith’s Walking Out.

I am currently editing Silas Howard’s A Kid Like Jake, about a Brooklyn couple with a four year old son who is questioning his gender identity.

I love seeing old and new friends, and encourage folks to look me up if you visit New York. You can reach me via email, I can be found on Facebook as MichaelTaylor96.

Katherine (Katie) Towler, RC 1978, English Literature, minor: Photography (with Mike Hannum)

Katherine writes: I published my fifth book, a memoir titled The Penny Poet of Portsmouth, in 2016 with Counterpoint Press. My other books are three novels that make up a New England trilogy (Snow Island, Evening Ferry, and Island Light)  and a collection of interviews with poets titled A God in the House: Poets talk about faith . I teach in the Mountainview MFA Program in Writing at Southern New Hampshire University and when I’m not writing spend as much time as possible wandering the woods and along the New Hampshire seacoast bird watching.

Carol Ullmann, RC 2000, Honors Anthropology, Creative Writing

Carol lives the mercenary life as a freelance writer and editor in Ann Arbor.  Be in touch on Facebook or at

Anna Vitale, RC 2003, Creative Writing and Women's Studies

Since graduating, I earned an MFA in Writing from Bard College and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My first book, Detroit Detroit, was published by Roof Books. It is an experimental work of poetry and prose about growing up in the city. It is not an exaggeration to say that some of the earliest versions of this work were supported by the generosity, kindness, and humor of Ken Mikolowski, who made me feel like being from Detroit was OK. I now live in New York.

Nathaniel Warshay, RC 1984, Communication

I am now executive director of Community & Home Supports, which helps the homeless find new housing through a coordinated system of supportive services and medium-term care. We also provide non-medical, in-home assistance to senior adults, people with disabilities and special needs, and anyone else in need of some help to remain independent in their own home.
I chair the Oak Park (MI) Ethnic Advisory Commission.
I'm working on a PhD in Health Communication at Wayne State University.
My oldest child is studying in Jerusalem this year.
I remarried in June.
My ePortfolio is at

Amit Weitzer, RC 2008, Social Science

Amit's minors are: Minors: Crime & Justice, Urban and Community Studies.

Amit works as the Detroit Programs Manager for the Student Conservation Association, coordinating employment programs for Detroit youth focused on environmental stewardship, environmental justice and leadership development. Before coming to the SCA, Amit worked with the Michigan Campaign for Justice, working on a state-wide effort to bring legislative reform to Michigan's public defense delivery system. She lives and works in Detroit.

Send Amit an email

Eric Weltman, RC 1989, Creative Writing

Eric is currently an organizer, writer, and educator, living in Brooklyn with his wife, Sarah, and their son, Zach.

Erik's professional work has primarily been with nonprofit environmental and social justice organizations. For more information, you can view his LinkedIn profile, or visit his web site.

Eric's message: "My years at Michigan, living in East Quad, being part of the Residential College were amazing, and I have too many happy memories to note, too many wonderful friends to acknowledge. I welcome hearing from past, current, and future students, whether I know you or not. Email Eric.

Tom Whittum, RC 1973, Comparative Literature, '79 Michigan Secondary Education

"Worked for parents' business for seven years,while getting my certification.  Taught adult education and worked as a substitute teacher before moving to suburban Maryland for a full time position (pink slipped after one year).  Then employed by The Washington Ballet (Washington, D.C.) for 18 years, before working for Musical Theater Center (Rockville, MD) for ten years.  Currently unemployed but looking for a position."

Send Tom an email

Robin Wolfson, RC 1983, Psychology

Daniel Zaretsky, RC 1993, Anthropology

Daniel also made a deep study of Russian while a student.