Class Notes, fall 2022

December 19, 2022
Photo of Geason
Geason (left)

Ron Geason (MPP ’72) began his career as budget director at Carnegie Mellon with JP Crecine, the first director of IPPS. He received a PhD in 1988 in public administration and finance from The Ohio State University. From 2015–2017 he served with the Peace Corps in Uganda in agriculture and business. He is now volunteering in Madison and chasing trout with his fly rod in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area. 

Susan Kaplan (MPP ’74) slipped on wet grass last December and simultaneously broke and sprained her ankle (in true Susan fashion, who does nothing without great fanfare). She is recovering well. 

Mike Addonizio’s (MPP ’75) book, Exalted and Assaulted, was published in July 2022 by the W.E. Upjohn Institute. The book examines the history and current state of the profession of K–12 public school teaching in America. 

Alan Cohen (MPP ’75) married Valerie Nelkin on September 18, 2022 in Washington, DC. Paul Weech (MPP ’81) and Gerry Rosenberg (MPP ’77) were in attendance. Alan and Valerie live in College Park, MD. Alan is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington D.C. 

Joel Smith (MPP ’82) has been provisionally appointed to chair the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee to Review the 5th National Climate Assessment. 

Jonathan Perman (MPP ’87) is the director and founder of the American Congressional Exchange (ACE) at the Bipartisan Policy Center in DC. ACE, founded in 2018, enables lawmakers of different parties to visit each other’s districts, discuss shared interests, and build interparty relationships. 

Tom Thornburg (MPP/JD ’90) is the inaugural recipient of the Thomas H. Thornburg Mentorship Award from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government. The award, named in his honor, will be awarded to two faculty and/or staff members each year. 

Charlie Toulmin (MPP ’90) sends greetings to his fellow IPPS/Ford School alums! He hung out his own shingle as a consultant to nonprofits and governments on policy and strategy and to support a stronger and more equitable public education system. 

Craig Diamond (MPP ’93) will be teaching an overview course on public policy at Sacred Heart University. The course is a core offering in the university’s MPA program. He is excited to put his Ford School (IPPS) skills to work in an academic setting. 

Photo of Dong Yeon Kim taking his oath of office

Dong Yeon Kim (MPP ’91, PhD ’93) was elected to a four-year term as the Governor of Gyeonggi Province, the largest province in Korea, in July 2022. Previously, he was deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy & Finance of the Republic of Korea. 

Keino Robinson (MPP ’93) was recently promoted to director of labor and employee relations at the University of Illinois–Chicago. 

Don Amerson (MPP ’95) is excited to be the new director of theater education at The Arts and Learning Conservatory in Costa Mesa, CA. 

Kristin Dziczek (MPP/MS ’96) took a position in February 2022 as policy advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Her work focuses on understanding the economic impact of the transition to low-carbon and automated transportation.

Holly Anderson (MPP/JD ’98) was appointed director of the Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts effective July 3. She has “finally landed in a position where my entire work life to date makes sense!” 

Headshots of Danielle Turnipseed and Dr. Gladys Mitchell-Walthour
Turnipseed (left) and Mitchell-Walthour (right)

Danielle Turnipseed (MPP/MHSA ’00) is the new chief public policy officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Danielle joins the AAMC from the American Medical Association’s Division of Federal Affairs. 

Cali Ellis (MPP ’01, PhD ’15) recently left a tenured faculty position to become Policy Director for the Seattle Community Police Commission.

Dr. Gladys Mitchell-Walthour (MPP ’02) is the Dan T. Blue Endowed Chair of Political Science at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC.

Amber Arellano (MPP ’03) recently was named a 2023 Pahara Aspen Fellow for education leaders and innovators across the nation.

Photo of Gupta
Gupta (left)

Bulbul Gupta (MPP ’04) president & CEO of Pacific Community Ventures, a community development financial institution invested in racial wealth-building outcomes, was recently appointed to serve on the Department of Treasury’s inaugural Racial Equity Advisory Council.

Maggie Koziol (MPP ’07) started a new job as senior director in the public sector, education practice at Alvarez & Marsal where she is leading the firm’s work in workforce development.

Franklin Esson (MPP ’08) and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their first child, Caleb, on May 15, 2022. Caleb already enjoys watching Michigan football games! 

Andreas Hatzigeorgiou (MPP ’08) received the Fulbright Alum of the Year Award in Sweden. He is the CEO of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.

Photos of Sunstrum and Clark
Sunstrum (left) and Clark (right)

Greg Sunstrum (BA ’09) and Maggie Rouseau were married August 20 at the Gem Theater in Detroit. 

Olushola Samuel (BA ’10) and his wife, Kelly, welcomed a baby boy, Louis (Louie) Olorunfemi (Femi) Samuel into the world in April 2022. Louie is named after his two grandfathers, and his middle name Olorunfemi means “God loves me.”

Joseph Sutkowi (BA ’11) was named the chief waterfront design officer at the Waterfront Alliance in NYC.

Charles Clark (MPP/MBA ’12), his wife, Jessica, and daughter, Charlotte are thrilled to welcome baby Jonathan to the family! The Clark family recently moved to South Lake Tahoe and Charles is now working in legislative affairs for the U.S. Forest Service.

Forrest Cox (BA ’13) married Kelcie Jimenez, a 2013 graduate of the Ford School’s PPIA program, in August 2022. Forrest started the MBA program at the Ross School of Business this fall as a member of the class of 2024.

Sarah Himes Greer (MPP ’13) recently started a new position as a senior consultant on the health and human services team at Public Sector Consultants, a non-partisan public policy consulting firm in Lansing, MI. 

Tina Wei Smith (MPP/MA ’13) and her husband Kevin welcomed their fourth child, Elizabeth (aka Liberty Belle), on the Fourth of July! Baby E has been on zoom calls since day one, working hard with her mom to strengthen the education to career pipeline through the work of Prosper Appalachia. 

Ahmed Alawami (MPP ’15) and his wife Ghadeer welcomed their second child, Ali, on September 17, 2022. Jude, 7, is happy to be a big sister.

Photo of Luke

Jonathan Luke (MPP/MA ’15) and Alicia Draus finally had their dream wedding in the Canadian Rockies, after two postponements because of COVID.

Noelle Polaski (MPP ’15) and her husband Devin welcomed their second son, Robin Polaski, on Mother’s Day 2022. 

Marc Jacome (BA ’16) completed a federal clerkship for the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and served for two years at Immigrant Defenders Law Center in LA. In September, he became a trial attorney for the Federal Defenders of San Diego. He thanks Professors Ciorciari, Henry, and Rohde especially for their support. 

Carrie Welton (MPA ’16) was recently hired as the senior director, policy & advocacy, anti-poverty, and basic needs at The Institute for College Access and Success.

Nishant Malhotra (MPA ’17) was an invited judge for an event at the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Development, Vellore Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu, India, one of the best engineering colleges in India.

Ivy Tran’s (MPP/MA/STPP ’18) son Oliver was born April 5, 2022. Oliver was tiny at birth, with blue eyes that have gotten darker over time!

Tyler Coady (BA ’19) recently moved into a new career, starting at CBRE as a commercial real estate broker in Boston. He is now a licensed real estate salesperson across all six New England states.

Jack Cumming (MPP ’19) started a new role as the deputy director of presidential correspondence in the White House.

Perry Holmes (MPP/MBA ’19) started a new position as senior manager of public partnerships at Circuit, an electric microtransit startup in Los Angeles.

Photos of Naseef and Pfeifer
Naseef and Davis (left) and Pfeifer (right)

Kara Naseef (MPP/JD ’19) married Hunter Davis (JD ’19) on a Lake Michigan beach on July 9, 2022, with twin sister Chelsea Davis (BA ’15, MPP ’20) as the maid of honor. The wedding colors were gold and blue, and Kara and Hunter are settling into their Michigan-themed house in Washington, D.C.

Michael Lerner (PhD ’21) was chosen to receive the Virginia Walsh Dissertation Award for his dissertation, “Green Catalysts? The Impact of Transnational Advocacy on Environmental Policy Leadership.” This award is given out annually by the APSA for the best dissertation in the fields of science, technology, and environmental politics.

Jeff Pfeifer (MPA ’22) married his wife, Marie, on September 4, 2022 in Lexington, KY. Jeff and Marie currently reside in Ann Arbor.

More in State & Hill

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