Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.


Rising Stars

“Rising Stars” is a regular feature in Reflections. It profiles Siena Heights alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years and who excel in their careers, occupations or community service accomplishments. To be considered for “Rising Stars” in an upcoming issue of Reflections, fill out the online form at Those who are selected to be included in an upcoming issue of the magazine will be contacted by the Reflections staff.

Rob Anderson

Graduation year (from SHU): 2010.

Current title/position: Head of Global Talent Acquisition, Barracuda Networks, Campbell, Calif.

What Rob is doing: Since 2013, Rob works for Barracuda Networks, which delivers cloud-connected solutions that protect organizations like schools, hospitals and small businesses against cyber threats and data loss. After helping recruiting for and support BN’s Data Protection division in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2015 he was asked to move to BN’s headquarters in Campbell, Calif., where he currently globally manages all of talent acquisition strategy and execution. His team specifically operates in California, Michigan, Georgia, Massachusetts, UK, Austria, India and China. Most of his time is spent working with Barracuda’s executives on understanding what the business plans are and then preparing a hiring plan of action to support those goals.

My favorite moment/story while a student at Siena Heights was: Besides waking up at 5 a.m. for soccer practice? In all seriousness, playing on the soccer team for four years was one of the best experiences of my life. I grew very close to all my teammates and we remain close to this day. Except now instead of waking up at 5 a.m. to go to the fieldhouse, we’re waking up to go to each other’s weddings and baby showers.

My favorite person at Siena Heights was: I honestly can’t select just one. Everyone from the Business Program was fantastic: (Sabrina) Terrany, (Bill) Blackerby and (Claudia) Blanchard, just to name a few. Oh, and Halo. I’m all about comradery.

Ultimate goal in life: Continue to learn, grow and leave a positive impact on those around me. You should never underestimate the impact you have.

My best piece of advice for SHU students is: Get involved outside the classroom. Whether it’s in sports, theater or any other campus programs and activities. SHU is unique. Its smaller size allows you to establish a great and lasting connection with professors, coaches and staff. Plug yourself into any existing campus activities or start your own. You’ll not only make new friends but you’ll get a lot of insight from others that can help you decide what you want to do with your future.

Anh Duong

Graduation year (from SHU): 2016.

Current title/position: Research Technologist, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.

What Ayn is doing: She graduated from Siena Heights in May 2016 and recently received the Research Technologist position at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her job involves working with immunofluorescence staining on cancerous tissue, which aid in immunotherapy research, or in other words, how people can use their own immune systems to fight cancer.

My favorite moment/story while a student at Siena Heights was: I like basically everything about Siena. My most favorite moments would be the trips with international students, spring trips with Beta Beta Beta and the Holi Festival.

My favorite person at Siena Heights was: Fatmy Abed.

Ultimate goal in life: I want to be a competent scientist and able to contribute my knowledge for finding the cure for cancer.

My best piece of advice for SHU students is: You don’t have to start big to get to big places. The water flows from a small stream to get to the ocean. Big or small school is not important. The important thing is the knowledge that you will get and that you work hard for what you want. Be determined and be patient. Be competitive, but also be mindful of others.

Travis Mielcarek

Graduation year (from SHU): 2014.

Current title/position: Assurance In-Charge, Rehmann, Toledo, Ohio

What Travis is doing: He earned his Master of Accountancy from Bowling Green State University after graduating from SHU. In August 2015, he began working for Rehmann as an external auditor in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. Rehmann is a regional public accounting firm with offices in Michigan, Ohio and Florida. He said he chose Rehmann because he would be exposed to a wide range of services and industries, which will ultimately help him grow in his career. He has worked with a wide range of clients in industries such as manufacturing, construction, non-profit and governmental entities. He also earned his CPA license in the fall 2016.

My favorite moment/story while a student at Siena Heights was: Winning the WHAC Championship for baseball my sophomore year (2012) is without a doubt my favorite memory from my time at Siena Heights. We advanced to compete in the NAIA Regional Tournament in the Daytona Beach bracket, which was an unbelievable experience. That was my favorite team that I have ever been on and that entire season is a memory that I will never forget.

My favorite person at Siena Heights was: Too many to name.

Ultimate goal in life: To have a happy family and become a scratch golfer.

My best piece of advice for SHU students is: Take on internships, because the experience and professional relationships will be invaluable for your future career. Go get to know Melissa Growden in Career Services for help with this. However, also enjoy your time at SHU because it goes by fast. Take the time to make memories with your friends while you are living with them or down the hall from them.

Nina Graham

Graduation year (from SHU): 2010.

Current title/position: Refrigeration Lead Design Engineer, GE Appliances, Louisville, Ky.

What Nina is doing: Currently, she is the refrigeration lead design engineer for GE Appliances at Appliance Park in Louisville, Ky. She has received three bronze and two silver awards for her work.

My favorite moment/story while a student at Siena Heights was: Walking up to accept my diploma for my BBAM.

My favorite person at Siena Heights was: Bill Blackerby.

Ultimate goal in life: To succeed.

My best piece of advice for SHU students is: Work hard and never give up on your dreams.

Rachel Distelrath

Graduation year (from SHU): 2013.

Current title/position: Information Technology Resident, Google, Ann Arbor, Mich.

What Rachel is doing: She provides technical support for Google employees around the world. She supports Linux, OS X, Windows, Chrome OS and Android platforms in addition to network-based applications, and also troubleshoots Google’s corporate resources. She also acts as a liaison between technical and non-technical groups to enhance Google’s infrastructure and internal services. She is involved with Google’s training team as well, crafting orientation plans and assisting with facilitation to ensure immersion in support infrastructure and technical workflows for new Google support technicians.

My favorite moment/story while a student at Siena Heights was: Borrowing a dorm mattress to go sledding on a snow day, and making the front page of the Daily Telegram for it.

My favorite person at Siena Heights was: Sam Abraham.

Ultimate goal in life: To be happy and make a positive difference.

My best piece of advice for SHU students is: Enjoy living in close proximity to your friends! Make the most of your time at Siena—get involved, study hard, have some Spotted Cow and enjoy making memories along the way.

Leave a comment


email (not published)