Class Notes

Chris Van Dan Elzen | SECS ’94, ’95, ’96, ’97

Robotic Systems, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Artificial Intelligence/Control

Chris Van Dan Elzen is highly involved on campus, serving as the chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Board of Advisors and a member of the Alumni Board of Directors. Van Dan Elzen’s time at OU focused primarily on vehicle autonomy and artificial intelligence learning. He remains in that field as the executive vice president of Radar Product Area at Veoneer, a company that outfits vehicles with autonomous functions that saves lives. Van Dan Elzen met his wife at OU and says his time there prepared him for his future and was formative to his life.

Nancy (Knisley) Zentis | SEHS ’79

Human Resource Development

Hand on keyboard

Nancy had a successful career in the field of human resources, learning and development and organization development. In 1990, she created the Institute of Organizational Development (IOD), to provide online certification programs for those interested in a career in the field of Organizational Development (OD). The institute provides certifications in over 30 countries, including Sunyani, Ghana, where they’ve built a college to teach OD bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and Kingston, Jamaica, where they teach OD to business professionals.

Travis Neville

SEHS '07

Travis Neville recently published a book with Atlantic Publishing, The Jossman Method: Conquering Life's Transitions. The book is a personalized method to ensure happiness. Travis is passionate about helping anyone in need and believes strongly that improving your situation starts with your attitude. He truly hopes that this book and the unique outlook on life’s challenges that it offers can help the reader.

Tony Sakich | SBA '09

Marketing

Headshot of Tony Sakich

In 2017, Tony was awarded the Oakland University Young Alumni Association’s 10 Within 10 Award for his early experiences working in Bitcoin. Since then, he was a co-founding member of a project called Augur — a decentralized prediction market platform with a current market cap of $278 million. Augur was the very first app built on the Ethereum ecosystem (Ethereum being the second most valuable cryptocurrency). With this success, Tony was able to retire at the age of 32 and is enjoying his retirement in Atlanta, Georgia.

Lisa Stamps | CAS '90

English Literature/Film Studies

Desert landscape with brush

Lisa resides in Sandy, UT and is an executive assistant to the director for Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Lands and co-director of the Utah League of Women Voters’ Legislative Action Committee. She resides in suburban Salt Lake City and has two graduate degrees — J.D. and M.Ed. from Brigham Young University. Lisa entered OU on academic probation, and ended up graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in English and the Matilda R. Wilson Award.

Anna Wysocki

CAS ’17

Anna Wysocki has joined the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) as a summer associate. Wysocki earned her master’s degree in experimental psychology from OU in 2017.

Mark DeWayne McCleese | CAS ’06

Musical Theatre

Headshot of Mark McCleese

Mark McCleese graduated from Oakland University in 2006 with a degree and a passion and drive for the performing arts. After years of pursuing a career in that field, McCleese is now back at Oakland University working on his Master of Arts in clinical mental health counseling. This change came about due to the pandemic causing McCleese to become more aware of mental health. Now, he views it as his calling and his new path in life. McCleese is excited to be back at Oakland and says he “can’t imagine going to any other school to continue [his] education.

Clint Johnson

CAS, '12

Clint is the director of technical product management at Bridge Connector, an interoperability company changing the way healthcare communicates, with offices in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and in Nashville, Tenn. Johnson and other leadership recently announced the company’s Series B funding at $25.5 million, furthering the company’s growth as it provides vendor-agnostic integration solutions and a full-service delivery model.

Deborah Rubin

CAS '95

Gavel

Deborah Rubin, attorney at Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C., recently was recognized in Michigan Lawyers Weekly Women in the Law Class of 2020. The award honors top lawyers who have made outstanding contributions to the practice of law in Michigan, set an example for other lawyers and have demonstrated tremendous leadership. 

Sara Rajan | CAS '98

Headshot of Sara Rajan

Sara has joined the legal team as Associate Attorney and Mediator at Transitions Legal, a family law firm with specialties in Collaborative Divorce, Gray Divorce, and Mediation. With 17 years of experience as a family law attorney with an expertise in litigation, she's worked at firms throughout metro Detroit, served as a Judicial Law Clerk at the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Christie Santure

SON, '80

Christine is the winner of the 2020 Extraordinary Healer® Award for Oncology Nursing, which honors exceptional nurses for their efforts in the oncology community

Dan Lewkowicz | CAS ’06

Psychology

Headshot of DAN LEWKOWICZ

Dan's had an illustrious career as a real estate investor and commercial real estate broker and created the CRE PRO Course and has a show on Roku, Amazon, and Apple called Dan On Top.

Grayson McKinney | SEHS '11, '16

Book cover: Grayson McKinney and Zach Rondot, authors of "The Expert Effect"

Grayson earned a master's in education and a education specialist degree from Oakland University and is currently a fifth grade teacher at Costello Elementary in Troy. He teamed up with Zach Rondot, the 2019 Oakland County Elementary Teacher of the Year, to write a book, "Expert Effect: A Three-Part System to Break Down the Walls of your Classroom and Connect Your Class to the World."

Marsela Campbell

CAS '08

Marsela Campbell, DO, has joined the Rhode Island Medical Imaging medical team as a radiologist. Dr. Campbell earned a BS degree in biology and BA degree in psychology from Oakland University. She is a member of the American Board of Radiology, American Osteopathic College of Radiology, and the American College of Radiology. Dr. Campbell resides in East Greenwich, RI.

David Evans | SEHS '76

Headshot of David Evans

In 2021, David Evans was appointed as a commissioner by the Texas Supreme Court to the Judicial Commission on Mental Health and was awarded the University of Houston Star Award, Friend of Education.

Joel Marwil | SEHS '78

Joel Marwil loved to teach. He retired from teaching second grade for Detroit Public Schools. In 2019, Joel was awarded the B’nai B’rith International (BBI) President’s Award for his efforts in distributing the winning books from the Diverse Minds Writing Challenge to Detroit-area preschools and elementary schools.

Donald Levin

CAS '71

In September, Donald Levin, CAS '71, published his newest novel, In the House of Night (Poison Toe Press, 2020), the seventh book in his Martin Preuss mystery series set in and around Ferndale, MI. Following his retirement as dean of the faculty and professor of English at Marygrove College in Detroit, he now writes full-time. Learn more about his works at donaldlevin.com.

Phillip Serra | MBA '86

Headshot of Phillip Serra

Phillip has been named to Forbes magazine’s 2021 “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” list for the fourth consecutive year. He's been with Merrill for 32 years and is currently a financial advisor with offices in Farmington Hills. 

Phillip is a mentor for high school students associated with Big Brother Big Sisters and a volunteer with Forgotten Harvest, The Salvation Army, Capuchin Soup Kitchen, and many other metro Detroit organizations. 

Vanessa Puñal | CAS '12

Close up of microscope

Vanessa Puñal was awarded a life-changing fellowship by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute: the Hanna H. Gray Fellows Program. She did her undergraduate at Oakland University and is now a post-doc at the University of Michigan, examining the brain circuits involved in sensing sights, sounds, and smells. She will be the first Hanna Gray Fellow at U of M.

Robert McClory

CAS, '85

Robert McClory was recently installed as the Bishop of the Gary, Indiana diocese.

Engagements & Marriages

Births & Adoptions

Photo of baby wrapped in blue blanket

Charles Archer

CAS, SEHS ’01

Juliana (Pete) Archer

SEHS '06, '13

are overjoyed to announce the Sept. 30, 2018 birth of their son, Vincent Charles Archer. He joins big sisters Adelina and Sofia. 

Deaths

Mark S. Thomas, was script supervisor in the television and film industry. He was based in Santa
Monica, California. If you are interested in seeing the TV shows and films he worked on you can
reference the IMDb database.

Harrison E. (Harry) Miller Jr., passed away on May 5, 2019 at the age of 67. Harry graduated from OU in 1973 with a B.A. in Education and in 1988 with an M.A. in Education. He was a past President of the OUAA (1991) and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1994.

Patricia D. Sadowski, SEHS '63, passed away on 10/23/2018. She was a member of OU's charter class.

Clare McVety passed away on April 20, 2017. He joined the department of Facilities Management as a Custodian in 1959 and held various positions throughout his career at Oakland University. He served as a general foreman until his retirement in July 1989.

Donald (Don) Iodice, professor emeritus, passed away on August 20, 2017. Professor Iodice joined the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages in 1964 and retired in 1988.

Dick Robinson, the first OU Basketball coach, passed away in 2011. A patient, driven, well-organized coach that emphasized team play always made sure his players never lost their passion and always had fun despite the teams record.

Dr. Joanne C. Smith, longtime president and CEO of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab rehabilitation research hospital in Streeterville after her time with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. An OU biology alumnus, she was a donor for the Barry Winkler scholarship.

In memory of Ron Cramer