Alumni Awards banquet to honor double alum who launched nonprofit to help sick children; six others
Oakland University will honor alumni and friends who have achieved success in business, community services, volunteerism and other areas on Friday, Sept. 23 at the 22nd annual Alumni Awards Banquet.
The Honorable Bryan K. Barnett, SBA `98, Mayor of Rochester Hills and Vice Chair of the Oakland University Alumni Association Board of Directors, will serve as master of ceremonies.
“This is our signature event,” said Erin Sudrovech, director of alumni engagement for the university. “It’s set up to recognize our outstanding alumni, and the great things they are doing.”
This year’s honorees include:
- John Hruska, BGS ’86 and SBA ’89
- Addie Williams, SEHS ’73
- James Sherry, M.D. Ph.D., CAS ’75,
- John Stoll, CAS ’00
- Nicholas Kristock, SBA ’13 and ’14
- Tara Michener, SEHS ’12
- Thomas Kimble, Co-Chairman, OU/Pontiac Partnership
For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact Sue MacDonnell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For one example of the kind of contributions the honorees at this year’s event make on a daily basis, read this feature on School of Business Administration graduate Nicholas Kristock.
SBA alum making a career out of helping others
Nicholas Kristock, MBA ’14, HRM ’13, is making a career out of helping others. After spending two years playing professional soccer and working for several nonprofits in Australia, Kristock returned to Michigan to serve his hometown community.
His most recent endeavor is Fleece and Thank You, a nonprofit organization based in Metropolitan Detroit with the mission of leaving a cozy and colorful fleece blanket on the hospital bed of every sick child beginning an extended-stay treatment. He incorporated the organization in October 2015, within five days of coming home.
Then, during the week of Christmas, more than 1,000 sick children in 17 hospitals across Michigan received the gift of a fleece blanket from Fleece and Thank You to keep them warm over the holidays.
“I’m particularly interested in Detroit,” says Kristock. “It’s growing; it’s exciting. With that will come a lot of great things, but also there’s going to be a lot of causes that will need people who are excited to be there and be ready to pioneer.”
A history of helping
This isn’t Kristock’s first foray into nonprofits.
As an OU Presidential Scholar, Kristock took advantage of this elite scholarship that covers four years of tuition to do what he loves most: helping others.
As an undergraduate, he founded Gigs-for-Good, which powered mission trips for high school students from 2012-15. After that he launched Reach, a nonprofit service with the goal of using technology to connect volunteers with the community service options that fit their schedule, location and interests.
While in Australia, he worked as a wish granter for Make-A-Wish; a family room specialist for Ronald McDonald House; and service manager for Orange Sky Laundry, Australia’s first mobile laundry service for the homeless.
“I believe a non-profit works for the good of the public, so I don't see it as my nonprofit, I see it as the world's nonprofit that I am putting in effort for,” says Kristock. “I believe in giving to give.”
Dream come true
While completing his undergraduate degree, Kristock worked for Oakland’s Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) as a peer transition consultant.
“My work mentoring OU students with some form of autism really got me interested in working with nonprofits,” he says. “I loved my four years in the DSS.”
That interest, combined with his Oakland business education, gave him the skills and knowledge he needed. Kristock says his Oakland professors made a strong impact on him, especially his most influential mentor, Professor Liz Barclay.
“Her classes revolved around how others-oriented leadership really is. You can’t do it on your own,” he says.
The entrepreneurship courses helped Kristock’s evolution into a nonprofit entrepreneur. “I learned the power of action in Oakland’s entrepreneurship classes,” says Kristock. “My Oakland business degree gave me the nuts and bolts to make my dream come true.”
-Rachel Oakley, contributing writer