Catch up on classmates with "Class Notes" from the Spring 2018 edition of State & Hill

May 21, 2018
Ari and Rachel Parritz
Photo of Michelle Majors

Robert F. Goeckel (MPP ’74) is the author of Soviet Religious Policy in Estonia and Latvia: Playing Harmony in the Singing Revolution, Indiana University Press, 2018. He is professor of political science and international relations at SUNY College at Geneseo.

Cathy Peterson (MPP ’77) is really enjoying her new job as the global head of innovations at the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine. Her role is to find and start a digital business that will reduce harm from diagnostic errors—no small challenge!

Jack Smalligan (MPP ’86) joined the Urban Institute as a senior fellow focusing on retirement and disability policy in February, 2018. He was previously the deputy associate director for education, income maintenance, and labor at the Office of Management and Budget.

Bart Édes (MPP ’87) was recently appointed the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) new North American representative. Edes previously served at ADB Head-quarters in Manila, Phillippines. In his new role, he will be responsible for mobilizing financing for ADB’s member countries; sharing development knowledge and experience; establishing and deepening partnerships; and raising public awareness of ADB in Canada and the U.S.

Jonathan Perman (MPP ’87) recently founded the American Congressional Exchange (ACE) at the Bipartisan Policy Center. The initiative is a systematic approach to building better relationships and bipartisanship in Congress—away from the crucible of Washington. ACE offers members of Congress the opportunity to commit to spending one weekend a year in the district of a colleague from across the aisle.

Debra Erenberg (MPP ’89) recently started work as strategic director for the Cancer-Free Economy Network (CFEN). CFEN is a diverse network of organizations working to achieve an ambitious overall goal: “Within a generation, we will lift the burden of cancers and other diseases by driving a dramatic and equitable transition from toxics to effective clean and safe alternatives.”

Bart Édes (MPP '87)
Bart Édes

Matt Naud (MPP ’90) is the environmental coordinator at the City of Ann Arbor. He was recently re-appointed to the USEPA Board of Scientific Counselors—Sustainable and Healthy Communities Subcommittee.

Cortney Robinson (MPP ’01) and his family are excited to introduce new son Roland West Robinson, born February 10, 2018 at 1:29 am. He weighed 8 lbs., 3 oz., and is 22 in. long.

Nicole Shepardson (MPP ’01) and her husband, David, welcomed the birth of Daniel Timothy on November 22, 2017. His big sister Sarah (age 5) and brother Davey (age 2) are happily introducing him to their favorite playgrounds near their home in Washington, DC.

Walter Braunohler (MPP ’02) and family are finishing up their three years in Poland where Walter has been the Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Krakow. They will move to Newport, Rhode Island later this year, for an onward assignment with the State Department at the U.S. Naval War College.

Ferzana Havewala (MPP ’03) and her husband, Amit Sawant (U-M PhD ’06) are excited to announce the birth of their daughter, Reva Havewala Sawant. Named after the Hindu goddess Durga, she is sure to be a strong and fierce future Wolverine.

Jose Stevenson (MPP ’03) works at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he continues to meet other Ford School alums, including Amy Wallace (MPP ’16), a more recent grad who sits across from him (he noticed her Ford School coffee mug after months of working together.) Jose and wife, Dalia Trinidad, had their first child, Emmanuel Angel, on May 28. Jose and Dalia are adjusting to new parent life and loving every moment they have with him.

Stephen Ball (MPP ’07) joined Wells Fargo as senior vice president of government relations. In this role, based in New York City, Ball leads Wells Fargo’s legislative and political agenda in nine states across the Northeastern U.S.

Laila Bernstein
Photo of Bernstein

Bernstein was recently selected by the career magazine Shortcut as one of Sweden’s top “up and comers” of 2017. The list includes 100 people under the age of 40 who “stand out, inspire and engage, travel the road less traveled, follow their passions, and make Sweden better.”

Laila Bernstein (MPP/MSW ’09) received Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program’s (BHCHP) Change Maker Award for her advocacy and action to end homelessness. Bernstein, who works as an advisor to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for the Initiative to End Chronic Homelessness, has streamlined and made fairer the process by which homeless people are prioritized for housing. She received her award on October 19 at the Fall Soiree hosted by BHCHP’s Emerging Leaders.

Michelle Sternthal (PhD ’08) and her husband, Zeke Reich, welcomed their third child, Ziva, this past November. She joins big sister Myla and big brother Matan.

Jon Tap (BA ’09, MPP ’15) will marry Dr. Jackie Madison (U-M MD ’13) in August at the Huron City Museums in Port Austin, MI.

Heidi Kaplan (MPP ’10) and her husband, Alex, welcomed their daughter, Ira Grace, to the world in June 2017. The Kaplans live in Portland, OR, where Heidi continues work in human resources for the Environmental Protection Agency. They get back to Lake Michigan as frequently as possible.

Ari Parritz (BA ’10) and his wife, Rachel, will be moving to Minneapolis this summer. Ari will be leading the expansion of his company (Vermilion Development, a Chicago based real estate developer) and Rachel will be joining an OB/GYN group as an attending physician in St. Paul.

Andrew Rogers (MPP ’10) and Kristen Rogers celebrated the birth of Ruby Lillian Rogers on April 20, 2017. Andrew is the director of university budget and finance for the State of Oregon and its higher education coordinating commission. His work focuses on the strategic allocation of state operating and capital financial support to Oregon’s seven public universities to maximize student success and outcomes.

Rachel White (BA ’10) accepted a tenure-track faculty position in the Darden School of Education at Old Dominion University. At ODU, Rachel will serve as an assistant professor of educational foundations and leadership.

Adam Schmidt (MPP ’11) and his wife Ashlee Davis welcomed their first child, Hadlee Mae, in January 2018.

Cree Jones (MPP/JD ’13) will graduate with a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in June and will start the Bigelow Fellowship at the University of Chicago Law School in July.

Nick Pfost
Photo of Bernstein

Nina Maturu (MPP/MBA ’13) was one of 10 Americans selected by the Atlantic Expedition, a German-American fellowship program, to travel to Germany and discuss the future of transatlantic relations. Nina presented her business and technology policy recommendations to German Parliament and her memo was recently distributed by the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Luis Alfonso Alvarez Portugal (MPP ’14) has been the senior advisor to the National Commissioner for Security of Mexico since May 2015.

Noah Halpern (BA ’14) was recently hired at Asylum Seeker Assistance Project where he works to help asylum seekers re-enter their profession of choice after arriving in America.

Rachel Jacobson (MPP ’14) recently started a new job as senior program manager for the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP), a professional association for practitioners and scholars in the field of climate change adaptation.

Steven Rzeppa (BA ’14) accepted a position as political and communications director for AFSCME Council 25—a statewide public sector labor union with 50,000 members. He was also re-elected to serve on City Council in Trenton and as the top vote-getter, will serve as Mayor Pro-Tem.

Katie Koziara (BA ’15) accepted a post as public affairs manager at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

Michele Majors (MPP ’15), husband Rob, and big brother Bennen Wycliffe (b. July 2015) welcomed Ellis Cajetan to the family in December 2017.

Nick Pfost (MPP ’15) has been named as the director of marketing and communications for the Midwest Institute for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, a startup nonprofit connecting, educating, and empowering queer and trans college students throughout the Midwest. Nick also works full-time as the (editor’s note: most excellent) marketing and communications specialist at the Ford School.

Kenny Fennell (MPP ’17) began a new job in the City of Detroit Mayor’s Office of Mobility Innovation as a senior mobility strategist. The office was established by Mayor Duggan last year.

Omair Khan and Carmille Lim will tie the knot at the Michigan Union on April 29—the day after graduation. They met in September of their first year at the Ford School.

Below is a formatted version of this article from State & Hill, the magazine of the Ford School. View the entire Spring 2018 State & Hill.