Thanks to our Writing Minor alumni who responded this summer to yet another Sweetland email. We appreciate you keeping in touch and hearing all of the wonderful things you are up to.
To submit an alumni update and view updates from previous years visit the Alumni section of our website.
Jordan Boeve • Psychology 2013
I went to Wayne State and got my PhD in developmental psychology in 2018. Completed a postdoctoral fellowship at U of M Flint, working with young children who were affected by the water crisis. Just got married and moved to Sacramento, where I am a lecturer at UC Davis (Contemporary American Families) and my husband is a neurology resident.
Katie Brown • Movement Science 2013
I’m halfway through the Physician Assistant program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
Zachary Bucholtz • Screenwriting 2013
Recently, I made the decision to quit my “day job” to focus full-time on running my own business, FourFour Pictures. We do wedding videos, commercials, and drone photography. Before that, I was the Screenwriter and Editor of the documentary film Just Getting By, about the post-recession economy, and have produced a handful of short films. I live in the city of Detroit and LOVE being part of its revival.
Jen Durow • History 2013
I completed an MS degree in Survey Methodology at University of Michigan in 2016 and currently work as a survey methodologist at the American Institutes for Research. I use the skills learned in the Minor for grant writing, and to communicate technical findings to nontechnical audiences.
Alexandra Olkowski • Political Science 2013
In 2016 I graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law, and now I am an attorney, living in Chicago.
Hanny Tasker • History 2013
I am in my second year of a tailored Master’s degree program in Information Studies at the University of Michigan. I apply design-thinking to online learning environments. In my spare time I write for the web and knit ambitious sweaters.
Christopher Thomas • Political Science 2013
I live in Washington, DC and work in Arlington, VA as a Booz Allen Hamilton contractor at DARPA.
Sydney Berger • Public Policy 2014
I’m currently the site & social video content manager at CNN’s Great Big Story based in New York.
Matt Komorowski • Political Science 2014
I live in New York City and work for a non-profit in sustainable finance (read: supporting companies that are improving our planet).
Kierra D. Gray • Women’s Studies, Afro-American & African Studies 2014
After I graduated, I worked with the Michigan College Advising Corps as a College Adviser, then I went on to pursue my Masters in Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism with a concentration in broadcast and print. I’m currently pursuing my MSW in Interpersonal Practice/Mental Health and minoring in Social Policy and Evaluation as a Health Resources and Services Administration Program (HRSA) Integrated Behavioral Health and Primary Care Trainee Program Scholar at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work. With my credentials and passion, I advocate for mothers, other women, and mental health services through my website The Roadmap Back, a platform dedicated to connecting women across the globe who are on a journey of self-discovery (www.theroadmapback.com).
Kira Luciano • Philosophy 2014
After working as a writer at a law firm in Ann Arbor for two years, I moved to Chicago to attend Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. I graduated from law school in May 2019 and found out just last week that I passed the Illinois Bar Exam! I’m now an associate at a firm here in Chicago. The Sweetland Minor in Writing program was one of the best academic experiences I had in college and has already proved to be immensely useful for my budding legal career. Go Blue!
Elle Nickels • Biopsychology, Cognition & Neuroscience 2014
While it was technically a new job that brought me to Tampa, Florida last year, I’d be lying if I said the prospect of sunshine and beaches had nothing to do with it! I work at a software company in client services and software testing. I ended up in software through a happy accident, but I absolutely love it and never plan on leaving the industry.
Neeyati Shah • Communication Studies 2014
I’m a Community Engagement Librarian in Madison, WI. I work with community groups, nonprofits, and city government to develop programs and services with a focus on equity and social justice. My experiences with the Minor in Writing and peer tutoring at Sweetland inform my research/reference practice, grant writing, and ability to communicate and collaborate with different audiences on a daily basis.
Benjamin Shanus • Sport Management 2014
After graduating from UM, I moved to NYC and enrolled in the JD/MBA program at Fordham University. I graduated from Law School in May 2017 and Business School in February 2018. I am currently working as a Real Estate Associate at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, a full service law firm in downtown Manhattan.
Anna Berger • Psychology 2015
Based in New York City, I am working at Marriott International on the Global Paid Media strategy and planning team. I moved into this role after two and a half years in creative advertising agency positions. I work with in-house marketing teams to ensure paid media strategies are on-brand and pushing the business forward. I spend most of my time traveling, both for work and leisure, and I’m loving every minute!
Greg Garno • Communication Studies 2015
I create copy, coordinate posts and help develop social strategy across social media platforms for the Detroit Tigers and MLB Advanced Media. I spend my time interacting with fans, crafting the voice of the Tigers brand, providing in-game updates, telling dad jokes and searching for good food at the ballpark.
Jessica Golden • Political Science 2015
Since graduation and saying goodbye to Ann Arbor, I moved to Chicago to continue my Midwest adventures. I have spent the last 4 years working at Deloitte within the Advisory practice, focusing on regulatory and compliance. I constantly have the opportunity to use my Minor in Writing within my role and have had the opportunity to travel around the country for my clients. In my spare time, I love to travel to new cities, go to baseball games and go for a run along Lake Michigan.
Andrea Caldwell (Johnson) • Business Administration 2015
I currently live and work in Seattle, WA as a regional director of marketing at Boeing. It has been exciting to continue to apply my BBA education, as well as my Minor in Writing, in a dynamic, global role that takes me around the world. Outside of work I enjoy hiking and getting outside in the Pacific Northwest, as well as traveling!
Katie Koziara • Public Policy 2015
I moved to DC shortly after graduating from the Ford School. During my first two years in DC, I managed the social media portfolio at the Partnership for Public Service, a non-profit working to make the government more effective. I now work for PhRMA as a public affairs senior manager, putting the skills I learned during the Minor in Writing program to good use each day while drafting speeches and op-eds for our executive leadership team. I remain grateful for the Sweetland community; I had many “ah-ha” moments during my Minor in Writing classes and the program helped shape my career trajectory.
Margot Kriete • Computer Science 2015
Currently living and working in New York City as a software engineer at a progressive political tech startup.
Hannah Maine • English 2015
Manager of Alumni Communications at Saginaw Valley State University in Bay City, Michigan.
Elizabeth McLaughlin • Communications Studies 2015
After graduation, I moved to Washington DC to work for ABC News where I now report on the U.S. military and national security from the Pentagon. I’ve written hundreds of stories, including exclusive reporting, for abcnews.com and traveled with the Defense Secretary and other high-ranking military officials domestically and around the world. I frequently appear as an on-air guest for ABC digital platforms and contribute to local ABC radio stations. Before moving over to the Pentagon, I worked on the editorial teams that developed moderator questions for ABC News’ two primary debates, as well as the presidential town hall debate co-moderated by ABC correspondent Martha Raddatz.
Michael Mitchell • English; Biochemistry minor 2015
I’ve now been working at Blizzard Watch — a website that focuses on news and editorials relating to Blizzard Entertainment video games — for a little over four years, having been promoted from freelance writer to Senior Editor. I’m also working as a Producer for Armed Mind, a creative agency that was actually founded by a former U of M alumnus. We help outline and create promotional campaigns for a number of clients, ranging from Twentieth Century Fox to Warner Brothers and many more! All in all, my Minor in Writing experience has been integral to making my way into the writing and media industry, and I couldn’t be more grateful!
Sophia Peng • Neuroscience 2015
After 4 unforgettable years in Ann Arbor, I moved to upstate New York for medical school. But I found my way back to the Midwest and am now a Neurosurgery resident physician at University of Illinois at Chicago!
Kaitlin Schuler • English 2015
I am the special projects editor for Professional Remodeler magazine, a B2B print and digital publication geared toward remodeling business owners. Previously, I worked as an associate editor for the American Nuclear Society’s monthly magazine, Nuclear News. I moved to Chicago following my 2015 graduation from Michigan and earned my MS in journalism from Northwestern University in 2016. Since moving to Chicago, I’ve lived all around the city, and currently call the Irving Park neighborhood home.
Sarah Spitery • Business Administration 2015
After graduation, I moved to Chicago to pursue a career in Higher Education consulting at Huron Consulting Group. I specialize in helping institutions become more operationally efficient and compliant in administering sponsored research.
Clarence Stone • Spanish 2015
I’m a news producer. I write scripts, plan out a newscast and essentially help tell stories. It’s stressful but it’s fun.
Kaitlynn Bayne • Biomolecular Science 2016
I live in Ann Arbor, where I have been working at a biotech company since I graduated from undergrad three years ago. I completed my Masters program in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology in August 2018. I recently attended my first conference, where I used my Minor in Writing skills to present a poster and give a talk about cell therapy manufacturing.
Phill DiCenso • Bachelor of Science in Information 2016
Living in Ferndale, Michigan and working at Ford Motor Company as an IT strategist, I have been trying to keep a place for writing in my life. Through articles at work and songwriting on the side, I’ve been able to keep my passion for writing alive.
Maya Kalman • Political Science 2016
Since graduation, I have moved to Washington, D.C. I received my J.D. with Honors from the George Washington University Law School in May 2019. After taking the Bar Exam, I will be joining the Superior Court of the District of Columbia as a Law Clerk to the Senior Judges.
Kelly Owens • Communication Studies 2016
Living in Chicago working in pharmaceutical digital marketing.
Hallie Parker • Communication Studies 2016
Immediately after graduation, I moved into New York City. I worked at an agency called Carat, where I did media buying (television) for both Procter & Gamble and General Motors. After three amazing years on the agency side, I moved to the publisher side, and currently work for Nickelodeon at Viacom. Within the Adverting Sales department, I use my writing skills and creativity on a daily basis to sell multi-platform campaigns to major toy clients nationwide.
Allison Raeck • Communication Studies 2016
I’m a copywriter at Redhead Design Studio, a marketing, branding and design agency in Lansing, Michigan. I write copy for anything from publications to social media posts to billboards. If I’m not writing, I’m editing other peoples’s writing (prompting fond flashbacks of my time at the Peer Writing Center). Previously, I worked at a public relations agency in Chicago that serves with business-to-business tech startups for two years before finding my way back to Michigan.
Hannah Schiff • Communication Studies 2016
After graduation, I moved back to Los Angeles, where I worked in marketing at Clique (parent company to Who What Wear). After three years, I left Clique and started working for The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard as a marketing strategy manager.
Sarah Schuman • Communication Studies 2016
After graduating in 2016, I moved back to Chicago and worked at Spark Foundry for 2.5 years, where I managed programmatic advertising campaigns for clients like Sherwin Williams and Nature’s Way. In December 2018, I started working at GumGum, an advertising technology company, where I’m a solutions manager covering all Central Region accounts.
Alexis Stempien • Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience 2016
During my Sweetland courses, I dreamed of working on science videos. Now, I’m a full-time script editor for the YouTube channel SciShow! Every day, I research, write, and edit content that reaches more than seven million people. I’ve also had the chance to write a line of children’s science kits and even co-hosted a documentary about the Apollo program!
Rachel Wilson • Chemical Engineering 2016
After three years as a process development scientist for a leukemia lab at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, I am now a law student at UC Berkeley. I am pursuing a career in intellectual property law.
Michael Gawlik • History 2017
Since graduating, I’ve worked at UM as an event and communication coordinator for the Departments of History and Women’s Studies. In August, I’ll begin a MA in visual communication at the University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism, where I hope to work on digital humanities projects that make literature, history, and gender studies accessible to broader audiences. I’m excited to continue improving the design and writing skills that I developed in the Minor in Writing!
Lauren Guldan • Information Science 2017
I spent the first two years of my post-grad career at IBM, where I joined the company as a Digital Strategy consultant. With IBM, I had the opportunity to work with a variety of clients in the US and Mexico where I gained experience as a user researcher and strategist. I now live in New York and work as a UX Researcher at Verizon. Outside of work, I stay busy working on personal writing projects focusing on the exploration of Generation Y based on existing societal conditions and technology. 10/19
Sonalee Joshi • Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience 2017
You couldn’t get rid of me that easy, Ann Arbor! Since graduating from undergrad, I have continued to Go Blue as a doctoral student in the program of Clinical Science in the Department of Psychology here at the University of Michigan studying the neurobiology of PTSD and Anxiety Disorders.
Katie Lehman • Communication Studies 2017
I’m still in Michigan and actually still with the University, working down in Detroit at the U-M Detroit Center.
Sophia Marciniak • Communication Studies 2017
I am pursuing a Master in Library and Information Science at the University of Washington, and I am spending the summer working in the library at the American Academy in Rome. Forza Blue!
Carly Paull-Baird • Communication Studies 2017
Working in Public Relations at Edelman in Chicago, IL.
Lexi Wung • Psychology 2017
I just finished my second year of Teach For America – I was teaching middle school English Language Arts in Baltimore City. Now I’m heading back to Umich for law school!
Lindsay Hiser • Communication Studies, Organizational Studies 2018
After graduating in December 2018, I moved to Washington, D.C. to begin a four-month internship at the NPR headquarters. As the Institutional Giving intern with NPR’s Development division, I learned how to find prospective partners, cultivate relationships with large foundations, and navigate the grant cycle to expand the range of donors that support NPR’s journalism. Following my internship, I began a full-time position with the Development division as Stewardship Coordinator. A Michigan native, I currently reside in Washington, D.C.