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Class Notes—Fall 2014

From The Sites:

Jon Campbell
Jon Campbell

SHU—Battle Creek

Jon Campbell was one of 15 members appointed in June 2014 by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to the newly created Indigent Defense Commission. The commission was created as a result of efforts to improve legal representation for low-income criminal defendants in the state. Campbell has been an Allegan (Mich.) County commissioner since 1991 and previously served 27 years as a police officer with the City of Otsego (Mich.). He is a member of the Allegan County Central Dispatch Policy Board, the Michigan Sheriff Coordinating and Training Council Advisory Committee and the State of Michigan 911 Committee. He will represent local units of government on the IDC.

Mark Vroman
Mark Vroman

Lisa Payne is employed as a resolution specialist for the Marshall (Mich.) Community Credit Union. Her position specializes in repossession, foreclosures and small claims.


Mark Vroman was recently promoted to battalion chief with the Meridian (Mich.) Township Fire Department (right). He also is an adjunct instructor for SHU’s College for Professional Studies.



Trevor Block
Trevor Block

Trevor Block was named the Dealer Development manager of the northeast region for Digital Monitoring Products of Springfield, Mo. He will be responsible for developing new sales and providing ongoing service for DMP-authorized dealers in Pennsylvania, western New York, southern New Jersey and Delaware. Block previously was employed as vice president of Field Operations with Guardian Protection Services as well as general manager for ADT Security Services. He currently is the chair of the Installation and Service Professionals Group of the Electronic Security Association. DMP is a manufacturer of intrusion, fire, access control, network and cellular communication products.

David Bragg is a lieutenant for the Virginia Union University Police Department in Richmond, Va. He resides in Glen Allen, Va.

Andrea Phillips
Andrea Phillips

Andrea Phillips MA was recently named vice president/chief nursing officer of McLaren Macomb in Mount Clemens, Mich. She previously was employed as an ambulatory network administration director for the St. John Providence Health System and was also with McLaren Macomb’s nursing management team. She also served active duty in the U.S. Air Force and also as a reservist.

Main Campus:

“Yada Yada Yada”
“Yada Yada Yada”

Ric Leichliter recently exhibited his sculpture entitled “Yada Yada Yada” (left) as part of the Port Huron (Mich.) Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition. His piece is part of a six-part series, and is made of welded steel and painted. He has been sculpting for 40 years, and lives in Sugar Grove, Ohio.

Susan McKenzie Helser is retired and living in Monroe, Mich., with her husband, Don. She remains active substitute teaching and also was named the chapter president for Beta Rho, Delta Kappa Gamma Iota International, a professional society for women educators.

Thomas Miller
Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller was named a general counsel for the State Bar of California in February 2014. Miller has been a lawyer for 35 years in the private sector and for the U.S. Marine Corps. The Office of General Counsel provides comprehensive litigation services, repre-
senting the bar in all matters pending in state and federal courts and administrative tribunals. The office also drafts and reviews contracts and other business transactions, interprets existing rules and regulations, analyzes proposed legislation and provides legal advice to the Board of Trustees, its committees and staff. He was previously a partner at the national litigation firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi. He also served on active and reserve duty as a judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring in 2000 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He lives in San Clemente, Calif with his wife Kim Pletkovic Miller ‘74.

Gail Kowalski
Gail Kowalski

Gail Kowalski recently received the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award from North Hills High School in Ross Township, Pittsburgh, Pa. This award honors an alumnus who demonstrates outstanding contributions to their chosen profession, high academic achievement, outstanding professional and business achievements and exceptional community consciousness. She gave the keynote address at the awards ceremony May 27. Her studio and retail store is Jewelry by Gail, Inc., in Gallery Row, Nags Head, N.C. She has won numerous national and international awards and honors, including both industry and Hollywood accolades.

Pat Collins Pattison and her husband, Peter, moved to Australia in November 2013. They live in Bairnsdale, Victoria, about three hours from Melbourne on the southeast coast near a koala bear sanctuary. The couple has been married for 25 years, and she joked that “we would spend 25 years in Ohio and the next 25 in Australia. The circumstances of our lives allowed us to make the move.”

LTC John Detro
LTC John Detro

LTC John Detro and his wife, Moraima, recently celebrated their 22nd wedding anniversary. Their youngest son, Tony, started his freshman year at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke. John has served as the senior medical officer for the XVIII Airborne Corps for the past year and will move to Falls Church, Va. He will be assigned to the Office of the Surgeon General (Defense Health Agency) as the deputy director, Surgical Services Service Line (3SL). The 3SL is an effort to improve Army surgical capability and capacity. He continues to run, and before departing Fort Bragg, will be a member of the post’s Masters Army Ten Miler Team. He said he enjoys watching the SHU Sports Network, especially the women’s basketball, track and field, and football teams.

Marta Marsh Gilson was one of 43 recipients to be named a 2014 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellow. Gilson is a research faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, and majored in biology and computer information systems at Siena Heights. The competitive program recruits accomplished career changers and outstanding recent college graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (the STEM fields) to teach these subjects in high-need Michigan schools. Each Fellow will receive a $30,000 stipend while completing an intensive master’s-level teacher education program at a participating Michigan university. After their clinically based preparation, Fellows commit to teach for at least three years in a high-need Michigan school, with ongoing support and mentoring.

Daniel English MA is employed as a guidance counselor at Hillsdale (Mich.) Community Schools. He lives in Hillsdale.

Dr. Allia Carter
Dr. Allia Carter

Dr. Allia Carter was named the interim vice president for Student Affairs at Darton State (Ga.) Col-lege. Carter previously served as the director of Academic Outreach for the College of Education and adjunct assistant professor in the Education Administration/Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Wayne State (Mich.) University Detroit since 2012. While at WSU, Carter founded the City-Wide Middle School Summit, a partnership between the WSU Federal Talent Search Program, Detroit Public Schools, and Visteon Corp., which was designed to reduce the dropout rates of inner-city students.She also created several early college programs for urban K-12 public school districts. Carter also previously served as Curriculum and Faculty Development associate and assistant director of Curriculum and Faculty Development at Bowling Green State University and was the director of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and senior director of Enrollment Services at Georgia College.

Peggy Huber Brenner is employed as a high school art teacher at Rome City Schools in Rome, Ga. She said her time at Siena Heights “was the best possible investment in my future.” She credited former SHU Education faculty member Dee Crane for helping her complete her degree. “Now some 14+ years later I have a career and I can stand on my 2 feet! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

Jennifer Compton is currently employed as the director of Public Relations at Adrian College. Previously, she had been the assistant director and director of Career Planning at the college, and was also previously employed as the Downtown Development Authority coordinator with the City of Adrian. She also competes in regional and national horse shoes with her two quarter horses, and has won a number of titles. In 2013, she had the NQPA Pony of the Year. She resides in Blissfield, Mich.

Emily Parr Fortenbacher as Marilyn Monroe.
Emily Parr Fortenbacher as Marilyn Monroe.

Emily Parr Fortenbacher played the part of Marilyn Monroe (right) in the world premiere production of “Marilyn’s Kennedy” in May 2014 at the Dog Story Theater in Grand Rapids, Mich. A member of the University Wits Theater Company, she played the lead actress in the drama based on the historical affair between former President John F. Kennedy and Monroe.

Nelson “Spike” Holliday is teaching mathematics at Port Clinton (Ohio) High School where he also is the assistant varsity baseball coach. He resides in Port Clinton.

Timothy Beehler is currently the college pastor at the 1Mosaic Church in Adrian, Mich, running the College Life events at Siena Heights. He is an adjunct instructor at Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio, and will have a paper published in the fall 2014 edition of the Theta Alpha Kappa Journal of Theology. He also recently presented a paper at the College Theological Society’s annual convention. He and his wife, Jenna, reside in Tecumseh, Mich.



Jean Sheteron O’Reilly ’47
Sister Marjorie Delaplane, OP ’49
Sister Jean Denomme, OP ’55
Sister Leona King, OP ’55
Sister Alice Lacina, OP ’55
Sister Bernadette Dwyer, OP ’57
Judith Lavelle ’58
Sister Celeste Bourke, OP ’59
Sister Leona Bruck, OP ’64
Martha Burdick ’65
Sister Mary Dewey, OP ’66
Janet Walter Klein ’70
Kathleen Biddinger Vrooman ’70
Cindy Lynn Doyle ’72
Thomas Gabriels ’78
Janis Allan ’83
Scott McNamara ’91
Catherine Williams Ziebell ’01
Corrie Grasley Thornburgh ’07


Mary Brigham—College for Professional Studies faculty member.
Glenn Crane—Former theater faculty member.


Judy Lavelle
Judy Lavelle

Judith Lavelle ’58 of Lakewood, OH, the longest-serving member in the history of the Siena Heights Alumni Board, died peacefully and unexpectedly in her sleep July 8, 2014. Judy’s ties with Siena Heights began with her years as a boarding student at St. Joseph Academy, graduating in 1954. Immediately enrolling at Siena, she earned a degree in history and went on to a career as an elementary school teacher. She joined Siena’s Alumni Board in 1962 and remained on the board for four decades, including 20 years as secretary and a term as President, during which she led the Alumni Association into the 21st century. A devoted Catholic, Judy became an Adrian Dominican Associate and received the St. Dominic Award from the SHU Alumni Association in 1989. She is survived by her sister, Elizabeth Lavelle, a Sister of St. Joseph (Rocky River, OH).

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