Contact Alumni Relations and Development

Alumni Relations

Elisabeth JohnstonElisabeth Johnston, Alumni Relations Manager
(734) 615-5760

Elisabeth Johnston serves as the Alumni Relations manager where she develops and coordinates an alumni relations strategy in collaboration with several other Ford School units such as Communications and Outreach, Student and Academic Services, Graduate Career Services and Development. In her role, she coordinates the alumni relations team, serves as the liaison to the Alumni Board, assists with alumni communications, maintains alumni data and organizes programs with Graduate Career Services that connect alumni and students. Prior to U-M, Elisabeth worked at Wayne State University in the Office of Alumni Relations where she served as the staff liaison to several school and college alumni associations and boards. Elisabeth holds an M.A. in education from Wayne State University and B.A. degrees in Communication Studies and Women's Studies from the University of Michigan.

Therese EmpieTherese Empie, Administrative Assistant
(734) 615-9557

As administrative assistant, Therese is responsible for supporting the Graduate Career Services and Alumni Relations office. She helps organize and execute internship reports, Career Services programs, and Alumni Board meetings.

Therese holds a Bachelor of general Studies from the University of Michigan. Prior to working at the Ford School, she worked as a Gift and Records Specialist with the Office of University Development. While a student at U-M, Therese was actively involved with the Michigan in Washington program - first as a participant interning with the Center for Advanced Defense Studies and then as a student ambassador and director of the MIW alumni mentorship program.


Autumn Chapoff

Autumn Chapoff, Development Assistant
(734) 615-3892

In her role as Development Assistant, Autumn provides administrative and development support for the Development Office at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Working to structure business processes and stewardship efforts, as well as progressively maintaining an accurate and cohesive development database, Autumn focuses her work to help further improve the development framework at the Ford School.

Autumn holds a Bachelors of Science with dual concentrations in English and Brain, Behavior, & Cognitive Sciences from the University of Michigan and was an active member in the National Community Service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. Dedicated to higher education and instilling in students the resources and opportunities by which to succeed, Autumn was a published presenter at the National Conference on Peer Tutoring and Writing Centers, a course assistant for both Sweetland and the Summer BRIDGE program at U-M, a Sweetland Writing Center Peer Tutor, as well as a previous writing workshop facilitator at Southeastern High School in Detroit. With a strong interest in higher education advancement, communications, and public policy, Autumn is thrilled to be a part of the development team and the Ford School family.

Sonia GillSonia Gill, Major Gifts Officer
(734) 615-7047

As Major Gifts Officer, Sonia is responsible for establishing long-term relationships with alumni, existing donors, and new prospects and connecting them to the Ford School to achieve the school's transformative goals. Sonia joined U-M in 2008 as a member of the development team for the Division of Student Affairs. Her career includes sales experience in the corporate world and high-end hospitality establishments. These experiences have given her a deep understanding of business analytics, customer service, and management. Sonia earned a BA in French with a minor in Political Science from Hofstra University in New York and is currently working on attaining a masters degree in Philanthropy in Higher Education at U-M.

Dan Ginis

Dan Ginis, Director of Development
(734) 615-3892

As Director of Development at the Ford School, Dan is charged with creating and implementing a strategic framework for building a diverse and generous donor base to help the school fulfill its mission.

Dan joined U-M’s Office of University Development in 2010, providing leadership as the Senior Director of Development for the Greater Detroit Region. Contact Dan for questions about how to make a gift toward a Ford School endowment project, planned gifts, the Ford School Committee or the Ford School in general.

Molly K PaberzsMolly K. Paberzs, Development Generalist
(734) 615-9645

Molly Paberzs joined the staff of the Ford School in June 2012, and has been in her role as Development Generalist since March 2013. Molly supports the strategic goals of the school primarily through annual gifts from students, alumni, and friends. She manages donor relations, including gift acknowledgement and stewardship of donor-advised funds. Molly also works with fellow staff and alumni to develop campaign strategy to engage alumni in giving at all levels to support the growth and continued development of the school.

Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Molly took a unique journey from professional modern dancer and choreographer to nonprofit professional. She received her BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 2006, and went on to perform and present work in Philly and New York City. She left performing to work behind-the-scenes at the Dance Gallery Foundation in Ann Arbor, Chelsea Center for the Arts, and became passionate about policy through her work as an arts advocate. Most recently, Molly had the pleasure of working in development at High Jump, a tuition-free academic program in Chicago.