Did you recently receive an advanced degree, certificate or award? What about a promotion or new job?
Keep your Alumni Association informed about developments in your career and we'll add them to the next Class Notes section! We like to brag about our alumni!
Anthony Bosbous ’73, Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, made the first donation to the Knights of Columbus’ annual Tootsie Roll Drive, which supports the area’s Special Olympics Program.
Jeffrey Briggs ’78, Shoreline, Wash., has published his first novel, “Out of the Cold Dark Sea,” available in both ebook and print through Amazon. “Out of the Cold Dark Sea” features Martha Whitaker and is set primarily in the Ballard and Lake Union neighborhoods of Seattle and on the shores of Puget Sound. Briggs, a writer and journalist, has been writing about the Seattle waterfront since he moved onto his sailboat thirty years ago. He now lives on land with his wife and dog and can often be found on the shores of Puget Sound, wondering what secrets lie hidden beneath those cold waters. “Out of the Cold Dark Sea,” his debut novel, is the first book of his Seattle Waterfront Mystery series. Find out more at his website, www.jeffreydbriggs.com.
Pete Griffin ’74, Les Cheneaux, is sharing his adventures at the Les Cheneaux Community Library. Griffin grew up in Les Cheneaux and pursued a career in natural resources, starting in Michigan and then Alaska. After retirement, he decided to try his hand at storytelling and now travels the country sharing his tales. Learn more about Griffin’s life adventures at https://www.northernexpress.com/news/feature/pete-griffin-turns-a-page-with-new-storytelling-career/
Jeff Holt ’76, Sault Ste. Marie, is the fifth member of LSSU’s new campus housing corporation,which was established earlier this year as a non-profit group charged with further developing a public-private partnership to construct new student housing facilities and renovate existing ones. Holt is also director of the Sault Ste. Marie economic development corporation.
Keith Krahnke ’79, David Firack ’71, Patsy (Nayback) Galer ’75, and William McDowell ’77, are all directors of the Pickford Community Wellspring, which received a $150,000 endowment from the Pickford Area Health Association. The Pickford Community Wellspring and Pickford Area Health Association have benefited the greater Pickford community for 35 years.
Deborah (Korobka) Monck ’74, Blue Ridge, Georgia, recently retired from the Charlotte County Public Schools in Port Charlotte, Florida. She was a media specialist and taught at Meadow Park Elementary for 11 years. She then transferred to Port Charlotte High School where she taught for 17-1/2 years. She was a Charlotte County Teacher of the Year Finalist in 2006 and again in 2013. Shortly after retiring, Debbie and her husband Ron (att. 1969-71) moved to their mountain cabin in Blue Ridge, Georgia. They are looking forward to traveling, motorcycling, kayaking, and enjoying time with family and friends.
Ian Ward ’76, Sault Ste. Marie, received the Lukenda School of Business’ 19th annual Distinguished Alumni Award. Ward is vice president and treasurer of Auto-Owners Insurance, a Michigan-based Fortune 500 company. The award recognizes a preeminent career with Auto-Owners that spans more than four decades focused on the corporate investment area. Ward retires officially as senior vice president and treasurer in July. Ian has accumulated LSSU’s highest honors – the Kenneth Shouldice Distinguished Alumni Award in 2000, and its Outstanding Alumni Award in 2015. He also played hockey for Ron Mason, who led Ward and his teammates to a national championship in 1974.
Dave Duncan ’88, Cedarville, was inducted into the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame for his 25 years of service as Cedarville’s boys’ basketball coach. Duncan finished with a career record at Cedarville of 429-166, ranking fifth in wins among all-time U.P. boys’ basketball coaches.
Mary Jo (Benoit) Duvall ’87, Sault Ste. Marie, organized the annual craft and vendor show at the Sault Area Middle School in May, with booth-rental proceeds benefiting the all-night Senior Graduation Party. Mary Jo, a volunteer with the party’s organizing committee, said it is designed to let outgoing graduates of Sault Area High School celebrate their accomplishments in a safe, alcohol-free environment.
Dr. Tim Hall ’88, Sault Ste. Marie, superintendent of Sault Area Schools, was a keynote speaker at the Sault Area Chamber of Commerce’s Spring Economic Luncheon. Hall spoke of his dedication to education, issues including falling enrollment and snow days, and the Career and Technical Education wing of Sault High, which has proven to be a major asset to the district and its students.
Joel Krupa ’88, Sault Ste. Marie, is the executive director of Northern Transitions, a non-profit Michigan corporation that provides a wide range of vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with a variety of barriers to employment who reside in the Eastern Upper Peninsula.
Gerald LaJoie att. ’86 to ‘93 was named D2 regional coach of the year by the Michigan Wrestling Association in February. In his 17th year of coaching, he has amassed a 697-135-2 record.
Matthew Nowak, att’ 83 to ‘84, was named D2 assistant of the year by the Michigan Wrestling Association. Matt is an assistant coach for the Gaylord high school wrestling team, which competed in the Division 2 state semifinals in February. Matt wrestled at LSSC while attending in the early 1980s.
Dr. Brian Lidbeck ’88, Hudsonville, earned a PhD in Biblical interpretation and theology from The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri.
Susan (Abramson) Sliger ’86, Sault Ste. Marie, human resources director at War Memorial Hospital, received an award on behalf of War Memorial Hospital, which was named “Community Agency of the Year for 2018-2019” by the EUPISD Parent Advisory Community at their annual awards banquet at LSSU.
Scott Strait ’84, sheriff of Mackinac County and former criminal justice instructor at LSSU, has drafted a deal with J. Ranck to install various security upgrades in the county courthouse and nearby annex buildings.
Kristin (Ball) Taylor ’81, Pickford, is a director of the Pickford Community Wellspring, which received a $150,000 endowment from the Pickford Area Health Association. The Pickford Community Wellspring and Pickford Area Health Association have benefited the greater Pickford community for 35 years.
Susan Autore ’91, Sault Ste. Marie, is singing with her quartet Notorious for the “Boyfriends, Beach Boys, & Beatles” show at the Soo Theatre. Notorious consists of four ladies all from Sault Ste. Marie, including biology professor emeritus Nancy Kirkpatrick.
Marcia Bishop ’97, St. Ignace, was named employee of the year by the EUP School Boards’ Association for her work as an elementary school teacher.
Malorie (Smith) Crawford ’90, Lenoir, N.C., worked for LSSU after graduation at the Wellness Care Center for 2 years as an RN until she became a nurse practitioner. She then worked as a nurse practitioner at Riverside Medical Associates in Sault Ste. Marie until she moved to North Carolina. She is currently employed by Caldwell Memorial Hospital, UNC and works at Robbins Medical Park. She specializes in women’s health.
Julie (Lockhart) Coneset ’95, Dafter, employee relations manager at War Memorial Hospital and David Jahn ’90, Sault Ste. Marie, President & CEO of War Memorial Hospital, received an award on behalf of War Memorial Hospital, which was named “Community Agency of the Year for 2018-2019” by the EUPISD Parent Advisory Community at their annual awards banquet at LSSU.
Kelli Fenlon ’91, Sault Ste. Marie, Project SEARCH Coordinator/Instructor was named “Educator of the Year.”
David DiVita ’91, Novi, is a senior sales manager at Stoneridge, as well as the sales director for General Motors and director of sales and program management for the Ford Business Unit at SRG Global.
Dr. Richard J. Gray ’91 is the chief executive officer of Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Dr. Gray first came to Mayo Clinic in 1995 as a surgical intern and completed his residency and a fellowship in surgical oncology there. After a second fellowship in surgical oncology at the Moffitt Cancer Center, he joined the staff at Mayo Clinic in 2001. While attending LSSU from 1987-1991 Rick was a four-year starter on the men’s basketball team. In 2006 the LSSU Alumni Association recognized him with the Kenneth J. Shouldice Professional Achievement award.
Tom Knuth ’94, Clinton Township is the park manager for West Bloomfield Adventure Park in Oakland County. The park consists of four acres of trees engineered specifically for climbing, navigating, zip-lining and more. It offers ten aerial obstacle courses suspended anywhere from 12 to 20 feet in the trees, and in varying levels of difficulty.
Jennifer (Leask) Metro att. ‘97, Sault Ste. Marie, a prison counselor at the Kinross Correctional Facility, was selected as the winner of the Michigan Department of Corrections Director’s award for her efforts at recruiting new staff and her volunteer work with the Law Enforcement Torch Run and the Special Olympics.
Jack Olson att. ’70-’95, Newberry, was recognized by the United Way for his contributions to the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Jack is pictured volunteering as a reading buddy, working with local pre-school children to improve literacy.
Brian Rolston ’94, Bloomfield Hills, has been named the director of Little Caesars Amateur Hockey. In this role he will oversee strategic operations for 12 Little Caesars AAA clubs, the Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League, and the Little Caesars Farmington Hills Hockey Association Tier 2 program. Rolston played hockey at LSSU from 1991-93 and then played 17 years in the NHL. He was part of the 1995 New Jersey Devils team that captured the Stanley Cup.
Amber (Gregg) Alexander ’03, Rogers City, has been Named “Mover & Shaker” in the Library Profession by the National Publication, Library Journal. As library director, Amber was one of fifty selected in the nation. She previously worked for ten years at Bayliss Public Library, an affiliate of Superior District Library. Anne Belanger, Program & Regional Outreach Director, highlighted some of Alexander’s accomplishments. “Within the first two weeks of Amber’s new role as library director, she was in charge of overseeing the historic Rogers City Theater. Officially, the theater became the sixth branch of the Presque Isle District Library System. She faced many challenges with the age of the theater and on-going maintenance repairs. Through all the changes and upgrades, she championed the theater to be the community’s theater. This venue hosts many live events and musical performances, first run films, classic films, TEDx Talks, film festivals, and is home to the Rogers City Community Theatre. It is an integral part of the community and the region.”
Abby (Cherry) Baker ’05, Sault Ste. Marie City Commissioner, was this year’s keynote speaker at the United Way of the EUP’s annual volunteer appreciation luncheon. Baker is among Sault Ste. Marie’s most active volunteers. She encouraged her audience to listen to others, dare to be brave, and engage youth to be active in their community.
Dr. Nancy Barr ‘00, Houghton, has been elected to the IEEE Professional Communication Society Board of Governors for a three-year term beginning in January 2019. The PCS’s mission is to foster a community dedicated to understanding and promoting effective communication in engineering, scientific and other technical environments. Barr is a professor of practice – engineering communications in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University and is the author of the “Page One” mystery trilogy set in the Upper Peninsula. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from LSSU via Bay College and earned master’s and PhD degrees in rhetoric and technical communication from Michigan Tech.
Mike Budd ‘04, Divernon, Illinois and Rachel Bush ‘03, Dickinson, North Dakota, both Fish and Wildlife alumni from Lake Superior State University, crossed paths at the 2019 Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic. Pheasant Fest is an annual celebration of wildlife conservation that was recently held in Schaumburg, Illinois. Rachel is the state coordinator for Pheasants Forever in North Dakota and Mike Budd is the state coordinator for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Illinois. “Next year’s event is in Minneapolis, MN and we hope some other Laker alumni and/or current F&W students will join us.”
Cheri Bush ’00, Pickford, was named employee of the year by the EUP School Board’s Association for her work as a high school secretary.
E. Patrick Carr ’01, Hessel, soil conservation technician with the Chippewa-Luce-Mackinac- Conservation, wrote an article on how to improve real estate for wildlife, which was featured in the Sault News.
Eric Dean ’01, Grand Ledge,is the legislative director for State Representative Brad Slagh. In this position Eric manages legislation for the representative and provides counsel on the legislative and political process. Eric is also a realtor for Gateway to Homes at Keller Williams.
Nicole Dowd-McKechnie ‘03, Sault Ste. Marie, is president of the Chippewa County Community Foundation. The Pickford Community Wellspring, organized under the Chippewa County Community Foundation, received a $150,000 endowment from the Pickford Area Health Association. The Pickford Community Wellspring and Pickford Area Health Association have benefited the greater Pickford community for 35 years.
Jen Marson ’05, PhD, married Dale Reed ’05, on July 13, 2018, and in August she accepted a position as a professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Grand Valley State University. Their son Boone Joshua-Neil Reed was born November 11, 2018. When Jen was a student at LSSU she was a valuable student employee in the Alumni Office. You go, Jen!
Kathy (McKee) Packman ’01, Sault Ste. Marie, was named as a distinguished volunteer for reaching a specified number of volunteer hours in the United Way’s RSVP Program, which is designed for people over 55 and includes the reading buddies in youth mentoring programs.
Jason Perkins ’01, Rudyard, CTE Cabinetry Instructor at Rudyard High School, is excited for his school to host the Region 16 Michigan Industrial Education and Technology Society (MITES) competition. “It’s a great way to end the first year of our CTE Cabinetry and Furniture Manufacturing Program and let the public see what this new program has done for our kids,” he explained. The event moves around from area school to school to showcase student work.
Dr. James Sawyer ’02, Sault Ste. Marie, is now a provider at the War Memorial Hospital Family Care clinic in Cedarville after graduating from his residency at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, UP Region.
Marcia Sgriccia att. ’06, Sault Ste. Marie, a computers and video production teacher at Sault Area Middle School, was named Helpful Teacher of the Month by her school. She is enjoying her twenty-fifth year in education and also leads the Sault Area High School FIRST Robotics team. She also taught as an adjunct professor at LSSU.
Jan Southwell ’04, Sault Ste. Marie, store manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Tractor Supply store, is organizing the annual Market Day event, featuring local vendors and their homemade and homegrown goods.
Kelsey Ance ’17, Bethesda, Maryland, is a senior account associate for The Knot Worldwide, whose mission is to help couples around the world plan every aspect of their unique weddings. Kelsey had been working for Wedding Wire, until WeddingWire and XO Group merged to form The Knot Worldwide. In January Kelsey was promoted to senior account associate; in this position she handles a higher quota in larger markets for the company. Kelsey specialize in West coast areas such as California and Washington state. She has also become a mentor for new hires in the company. This involves one on one training and support to ensure future success.
Kevin Bey ’12, Detroit, works as a lending specialist at FreeStar Financial Credit Union.
Matthew Brandon ’16, Goodrich, is an Industrial Engineering Consultant at IET, Inc.
Angela Bruni ’12, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, is a business development representative for Growth Business Canada, part of Salesforce. Angela says Salesforce is an amazing company and has been voted one of the top 5 best companies to work for in the world. They are a company that focuses on building a strong culture and provides their employees with the best tools to reach success. As a part of the Business Development team, Angela is looking for opportunities to help businesses become more innovative and forward-thinking. Angela said she has found this to be a very rewarding career, as she has helped many businesses grow and develop.
Jordan Burton ’13, Detroit is a graduate research assistant and graduate teaching assistant at Wayne State University. Recently he received the Clifford G. Drouillard Chemistry Award. This award was established to recognize those who go above and beyond through extracurricular service activities to the Department of Chemistry or exhibit outstanding research activity.
Sara Cottle ’15, Pickford, is now an officer of Old Mission Bank. Sarah has been working in banking since 1999 and has been with OMB since 2018. She is responsible for marketing and regulatory compliance. Sarah lives with her husband Ryan, daughter Aubrie and son Cole. She enjoys volunteering as a Rotarian and as financial secretary for the Stalwart Agricultural Fair.
Olivia Garlick ’11, Manton, was promoted to the rank of sergeant with the Michigan State Police in Cadillac. Since her enlistment in 2012 Olivia has served at the Cadillac Post, Michigan State Police Training Academy, and with the Traverse Narcotics team. She also serves as a human trafficking subject matter expert.
Aimee Grant ’14, Saint Clair Shores, accepted a position with the State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as a Child Protective Services worker. Prior to this, Aimee worked at Macomb Juvenile Court for the last year and a half. Cheers to a new adventure!
Tammy LaCoursiere ’18, Sault Ste. Marie, is a staff accountant at Anderson Tackman & Co. in the audit department. She was hired immediately after graduation and is working with several Laker alumni and studying to take the CPA exams.
David Lockhart ’11 and Matty (Murphy) Lockhart ’11, Sault Ste. Marie, launched a floral shop called Bloom Company. Matty was a floral designer at a local shop for 10 years, then she and David decided to start a home-based, environmentally conscious design studio. They will occasionally partner with local businesses to host pop-up shops and workshop events. They offer wedding services and everyday florals with local delivery through their online store. Find them on Facebook and Instagram @bloomcosault, and the online store bloomcosault.com will be available soon. David is also the internal auditor for the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
Kaytlin “Katie” Mason ’14, Gaylord,was recently mentioned in an article featuring her family’s business, Earthworks Enterprises, Inc., founded by her parents. The company does excavating, septic installation and commercial snow plowing. Katie sometimes works in the office, but she prefers to drive the trucks.
Amber (Pence) Pietrangelo ’13, Sault Ste. Marie, started her own business, Abundance Financial Coaching. Amber graduated from LSSU with an Accounting degree and says “it’s given me a lot of the know-how I’ve needed to make this business a reality.”
Matthew Rose ’12, Portland, Mich. graduated from the Michigan State Police Canine School with his partner Jerry in December 2018. Matt was one of only five troopers to be selected from a field of more than thirty applicants to be a part of this elite program.
Watch as the Michigan State Police canines arrive.
Emmy Smart ’14, Brimley, works as a buyer’s agent at Griffin Properties.
Robert Steinhoff ’12, Munising, is the prosecuting attorney for Alger County. Rob is also the vice president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, a volunteer advisory board.