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People President

Celebrating 10 Years at Siena Heights, Sister Peg Albert Has Built Her Presidency Around Community, Relationships

Maybe it was a calling.

She likes to refer to it as a “nudge.” Regardless, accepting the job as President of Siena Heights University was something Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD, felt compelled to do in the spring of 2006.

As she approaches her 10th anniversary as SHU President in July 2016, Sister Peg can’t imagine being any place else. An Adrian Dominican Sister who had spent most of her adult life around family and friends and working at ADS-sponsored Barry University in the warm and sunny comfort of Miami, Fla., she now has firmly established her legacy in southern Michigan.

And what a legacy it is. Over the past decade, Siena Heights has “grown up” in many ways. In a period that included the worst recession in decades, where many higher education institutions had to scale back plans, projects and personnel, Siena Heights has bucked the trend. Enrollment increased, facilities improved, programs and positions added and prominence amplified.

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Magic Man

Zach Bailey Turns a College Internship into Disney Career

There’s internships, and then there’s internships.

Zach Bailey ’14 had the latter back in 2012, when he spent a semester as an intern in the Disney College Program. That experience—one that included working with such enter-
tainment icons as George Lucas and J.K. Rowling (yes, that George Lucas and J.K. Rowling)—has launched a “magical” Disney career for Bailey since graduating with a business degree from Siena Heights. He is currently a park operations guest service manager with Hollywood Studios.

Bailey said he’s always wanted to work for Disney, and when he came to Siena Heights, he began to explore internship possibilities.

“I literally had no idea how to start that journey,” he said. “It’s an empire, so how do you even start to work for those guys?”

He discovered the Disney College Program, but learned that Siena Heights was not part of the program. Regardless, he drove to a nearby university to see a presentation about the program, and worked for the next year to try to make that happen.

Enter Matt Ripper. SHU’s assistant professor of Business Management worked to rewrite the business program’s internship program to help make that internship possible for Bailey.

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Front Row Seat

As Senior Editor of The Wolverine Magazine, John Borton Covers All Things Michigan

If you are a serious fan of the University of Michigan athletics, you probably have heard of John Borton ’81.

As senior editor of The Wolverine Magazine, a multimedia publication that covers the University of Michigan athletic program, the Siena Heights graduate has had a front row seat reporting all things Michigan for the past 25 years. From the Bo Schembechler era of Wolverine football to the present-day College World Series appearance by the softball team, Borton has seen—and reported—on it all.

Anyone familiar with Michigan athletics knows some of their most well-known figures. Names like Schembechler, Tom Brady, Charles Woodson, Chris Webber, Michael Phelps and Jim Harbaugh are all people Borton has gotten to know professionally, some even personally. But he said some of his most memorable interviews are also from some lesser-known sources.

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Rice Award Winner Erin Zerbe Mixes Style with Substance

On campus, she is simply known as “Z.”

And that is just fine with Siena Heights University Assistant Professor of Art Erin Zerbe.

“It’s one of those nicknames that evolved organically and became what it is,” she said. “It’s kind of built a little bit of a persona around it. I like that. It’s fun. It allows me to come in and get right into work mode. When I am at work, I am ‘Z.’”

She may show up to class in a super-
hero costume to co-teach an animation and creative writing course on comic books. Or she may use a wild array of hair color and fashion to make a state-
ment. However, despite establishing her unique persona, her efforts in the class-
room are what endeared her to her students as the recipient of the 2016 Eileen Rice Award for Outstanding Teaching.

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