Class Notes, fall 2021

December 13, 2021

Frank Spence (MPA '60) was elected president of the Port of Astoria Commission, the only deep water port in Oregon to accommodate Alaskan cruise ships.

Photo of Kaoru Mamiya

Kaoru Mamiya (MPA '73) celebrated his 77th birthday on September 3, 2020, a very special age because the abbreviated style of the Chinese character for joy is 77. He was decorated by Prime Minister Suga with the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver in a special ceremony at the Imperial Palace, and received a special audience with the Emperor. He also completed his autobiography, I Want to Realize My Dream for Someone.

After years of blissful part-time consulting, Michael Costa (MPP '82) is excited to go back to full-time work as executive director of the California Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

Joel Smith (MPP '82) is a "special government employee" working on adaptation in the U.S. EPA's Policy Office.

In 2020, Tom Thornburg (MPP/JD'90) transitioned back to a full-time faculty role at UNC Chapel Hill's School of Government from an associate dean's role he had held since 1996. He enjoys teaching, advising, and writing for North Carolina court officials again.

Charlie Toulmin (MPP '90) left the world of nonprofits and government after 30 years, and, for the moment, has hung up his consulting shingle at Left of Center Strategies LLC. He hopes that all of his IPPS friends are doing great and invites them to reach out on LinkedIn!

Steve Tobocman (MPP/JD '97) coauthored Building Inclusive Cities, one of the first studies to look at the impact of immigrants on urban neighborhoods and long-term residents.

Kelly Ramirez (MPP '98) and the Providence, RI organization she founded, Social Enterprise Greenhouse, hosted Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Vice President Kamala Harris in May 2021.

Headshots of Timi Lewis and Bulbul Gupta
Lewis and Gupta

Timi Lewis (MPP '00) joined the Urban Resource Institute as vice president of marketing and communications.

Bulbul Gupta (MPP '04) is the President & CEO of Pacific Community Ventures, an impact investing community development financial institution in Oakland, CA. She would love to hire Ford School grads to research and address racial wealth gaps, small business entre-preneurship, and poverty alleviation; reach out if interested!

After 15 years covering social programs as an analyst with the Congressional Research Service in DC, Adrienne Fernandes-Alcantara (MPP '06) is excited to move her family back to the Los Angeles area, where she'll work as an analyst for the Government Accountability Office.

Photo of Ford School alumni and their families at an outdoor football tailgate

Valerie Brugeman (MPP '07) and her husband Josh attended an impromptu reunion organized by Matt Steiner (MPP '07) for the U-M-Washington football game! Also in attendance were Nate Engle (MPP '07), Sarah (Haradon) Engle (MPP '07), Geoff Young (MPP '07), and Kat Walsh (MPP/MA '07).

Kenita Williams (MPP '07) was promoted to chief operating officer at the Southern Education Foundation and completed her doctoral degree (EdD) at Johns Hopkins University.

Ben Falik (MPP '09) joined Lakeshore Legal Aid as a staff attorney focused on eviction prevention.

After 2 years as a bootstrapped tech startup, Elle (Beard) Hempen's (BA '09) company, The Atlas, was acquired by GovExec. She started the online community to improve how local government officials could learn, share, and connect with each other.

Andrew Renacci (BA '09) became senior corporate counsel at GrafTech International Ltd, a leading manufacturer of high-quality graphite electrode products essential to the production of electric arc furnace steel.

Alana Ward (MPP '09) welcomed daughter Audrey Joyce Ward on September 3, 2021.

Photo of Lydia Seale and Nathan Cole (BA '10)

Nathan Cole (BA '10) married Lydia Seale in June 2021. Nathan works as a youth pastor and author, and Lydia works as a child therapist and singer. They live in Grand Blanc, MI.

Stephanie Procyk (MPP '10) started a new position as director of policy and research for Medow Consulting, a multi-disciplinary policy and research group based in Toronto.

Jennifer Hong Whetsell (MPP '11) left the federal government after 10+ years of service and joined the Project 2049 Institute as the senior director and fellow, and Pacific Solutions LLC as the director of strategy and communications.

Maria Liu (BA '12) and her husband, Patrick Ryan, welcomed Holly Liu Ryan into the world on July 12, 2021. Holly loves snuggling with mom and dad on football Saturdays, and is already a very loyal (and cute) Michigan fan! Go Blue!

Salvador Maturana Rogers (MPP' 12) was appointed senior policy manager for Chile, Argentina, and Peru for DiDi Global Inc., the world's leading mobility technology platform.

Photo of Andrew Bracken, his spouse Rachel, and their child Adelina Johansen Bracken

Andrew Bracken (MPP '13) and his wife Rachel welcomed Adelina Johansen Bracken, born in Washington, DC, on April 12, 2021, weighing 7 lbs., 3 oz.

Matthew Filter (MPP '13) and Catherine Clement welcomed a new son into the world, Theodore ("Teddy"), on September 10, 2021.

Tina Wei Smith (MPP/MA '13) was named director of operations of Prosper Appalachia, a nonprofit start-up focused on building a strong education-to-workforce pipeline in eastern Kentucky.

Donovan McKinney (BA '14) is now the national political director at Climate Power.

Emad Ansari (MPP/JD '15, BA '10) and Diana Won (MPP '15) welcomed baby Kamal InJune Ansari to the world on August 18, 2021. His parents hope that he will always be surrounded—as they were at the Ford School—by friendship, love, and a profound concern for the world we share.

Bobby Dishell (BA '15) was named one of four Up and Coming Lawyers by Law Week Colorado.

Pete Haviland-Eduah (MPP '16) started his new job as the director of purpose communications for the Jordan Brand. In this role he communicates the brand's efforts in creating social and economic justice for the Black community and environmental sustainability.

Andrew Rising (BA '16) and Kelsey Pridemore were married on August 6, 2021 in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI. The couple returned to Washington, DC after finishing graduate school.

Ammara Ansari (MPP '19) started a new job as program manager for the Government Alliance on Race and Equity at Race Forward.

Tyler Coady (BA '19) works in sales at a healthcare software company that just went public, while spending the weekends as a server at a restaurant/nightclub in south Boston.

Christina Cross (PhD '19) received the National Council on Family Relations' Reuben Hill Award for the best paper written in the field of family studies.

Wedding photo of Emily Futcher and spouse Marshall Howington

Emily Futcher (MPP/MBA '19) married Marshall Howington at a northern Michigan vineyard in June. After a pandemic cancellation, the couple re-planned a small gathering with close family and friends (in only four months!). They are now enjoying life as a newly married couple with their three cats in Ann Arbor.

Jason Morgan (MPA '19) announced his candidacy for State Representative in Michigan's 53rd District in Ann Arbor.

Megan Nestor (MPP '19) and husband, Ian Candy, welcomed baby Aidan into their lives this past May in Pittsburgh, PA. Megan feels she is her own real-life case study as some of her work at Fourth Economy is centered around the economic impacts of child care!

Stephen Oliphant (MPP '19) married Kennedy Boulton in August 2021. The couple was grateful to celebrate the occasion with Reggie Ferrell (MPP '19), Jai Singletary (MPP '19), and Luz Meza (MPP/MA '19).

Anna Zinkel Walters (MPP '19) and Fletcher Walters welcomed daughter, Ava Frances Walters, on August 15, 2021. They are loving every minute getting to know their sweet, curious little one.

Baltazar Hernández (MPP '21) was selected for the 2021 Program for Cultural Immersion and Volunteering hosted by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Photo of Rebecca Copeland

In memoriam

In July, the Ford School and School of Public Health communities lost Rebecca Copeland (MPP/MPH '21), a beloved graduate and an exceptional person who was on the verge of beginning a career of tremendous impact in health policy. Rebecca made a profound difference in the lives of many. Working with a group of Rebecca's close friends, the Ford School hosted a virtual memorial service and a courtyard gathering to celebrate her life in October.


More in State & Hill

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