Meet the 2011 WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellows
Michael Adamisin | Northville, MI | Will attend: Eastern Michigan University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: University of Michigan ’04, mechanical engineering
• Graduate college and degree: Michigan State University ’07, law (J.D.)
Private math and science tutor; co-designer of ACT prep course; as undergraduate, co-teacher of class section; tutor and mentor to student from high-need background.
Electronics test engineer; former instrument design and sales specialist; volunteer technical director, high school theater, and high school forensics/speech coach; church youth group leader; graduate of rural high-need high school.
Research associate with experience in education research focused on technical assistance and disseminating teaching materials; math tutor and instructor at community college; developer of methods for effectively tracking student progress and meeting benchmarks.
Undergraduate researcher with strong background in chemistry and experience on two different research projects, including one involving orchid embryos; certified phlebotomist; coach, high school color guard.
Former manager, University of Michigan Neuromotor Behavior Laboratory (medical physics, brain research); five semesters, dean’s list; substitute teacher, Detroit; camp counselor, lifeguard, outdoorsman; graduate of high-need schools.
Anatomy lab assistant; chemistry tutor; hospital staffer in medical transcription, ER research, and patient transport; honors graduate and multiple scholarship recipient; admissions ambassador/trainer; Habitat for Humanity volunteer.
Coordinator and engineer for major automotive manufacturer in Europe and North America with more than a decade’s experience; speaker of French and Japanese; graduate of high-need schools.
Eighth-grade summer school math teacher; math tutor for Wayne State’s Math Corps program; instructional assistant and graduate instructor at Wayne State University; active supporter of the TOMS and Invisible Children organizations.
Quality control laboratory technician with extensive analytical and medical laboratory skills; Beta Beta Beta biology honor society; Rock Island County Humane Society volunteer; volunteer exhibit construction contributor at Putnam Children’s Museum.
Former temporary teacher of high school biology and earth/space science; volunteer teacher’s aide; college math and physics tutor; former manager/supervisor in industry and sales, fluent in Spanish.
Substitute science teacher at Intercity School; youth advocate for Grand Rapids Public Schools; coach of numerous sports over eight years with Grand Rapids Public Schools; former Girl Scout troop leader.
Undergraduate researcher in particle physics at Fermilab; honors graduate with senior thesis in superconducting materials; dean’s list student; mentor in Wayne State’s Math Corps; workshop leader, WSU Emerging Scholars math honors program.
Levens (Evan) DeBack | East Lansing, MI/Muskego, WI | Will attend: Michigan State University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: University of Wisconsin-Madison ’07, physics
• Graduate college and degree: Michigan State University ’10, physics (M.S.)
Teaching assistant in astronomy and physics; research assistant in astronomy; community college math/physics tutor; National Merit Scholarship finalist; organizer for live-action role-playing games.
Physics teaching assistant; tutor in high school geometry, algebra, trigonometry, physics; Honors College student, University Distinguished Scholarship recipient, five semesters on dean’s list; member, leadership team, Spartan Christian Fellowship.
Metallurgical engineer in laboratory and manufacturing plant with 15 years’ experience; volunteer math tutor and teachers’ assistant in three schools; substitute middle school/high school teacher.
Maureen Donegan | West Bloomfield, MI | Will attend: Michigan State University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: University of Michigan ’08, biology and psychology
• Graduate college and degree: Northern Michigan University ’11, psychology (M.S.)
Graduate researcher, psychopharmacology lab; neuroscience intern in R&D arm of global pharmaceutical company; college psychology instructor; tutor/mentor with Michigan Reach Out; workshop leader for middle schoolers on resisting peer pressure.
Karen Epstein | Ann Arbor, MI | Will attend: University of Michigan
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: University of Michigan ’76, mathematics
• Graduate college and degree: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, organization studies ’87 (Ph.D.)
Visiting and adjunct lecturer at college level (operations, statistics, psychology); substitute middle and high school teacher; committee and board member for the American Red Cross and Jewish Family Services.
Honors graduate with extensive laboratory and field experience; quiz bowl member; student leader in restructuring of honors program; volunteer at domestic violence shelter; Girl Scout Brownies leader and lifetime Girl Scout; AmeriCorps member.
Engineering intern, major high-tech aerospace manufacturer; researcher on airfoil modification and testing in aerodynamics lab; member and leader of multiple music groups playing trumpet and singing.
Marissa Fountain-Nelson | Kalamazoo, MI | Will attend: Eastern Michigan University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Boston University ’09, athletic training
• Graduate college and degree: University of Nevada, Las Vegas ’11, kinesiology (M.S.)
Athletic trainer/mentor, two public high schools; trainer at physical therapy facility; teaching/laboratory assistant and guest lecturer, kinesiology, UNLV; assistant in Boston University sports medicine department.
Former business analyst with global automotive corporation, 14 years; Web design/IT consultant; member, Toastmasters International; mentor/volunteer instructor, public schools; church youth leader; graduate of urban high-need schools.
Undergraduate research assistant, neurology and biochemistry; creator of honors college service learning in Ghana, developing a library to supplement program and support future students.
Math tutor, local high school and in college; teaching assistant, college calculus; ESL tutor for new, international T.A.s; volunteer coach, high school quiz bowl; coached high school science Olympiad team.
Engineer for 14 years; volunteer in mentoring program matching K-8 students and engineers; chemistry tutor, U-M Minority Engineering; composer and pianist (classical and gospel); self-taught student of Greek and Hebrew.
Math tutor; substitute teacher in secondary education; business owner and corporate manager with 14 years in finance, marketing and sales, as well as team building, and employee training.
Technical professional in manufacturing with over 20 years’ experience in sales, industrial engineering and software applications; ESL instructor; mentor in the Big Sisters organization.
Novel Grant, Jr. | Southfield, MI | Will attend: Grand Valley State University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: The Ohio State University ’84, mathematical sciences, minor in engineering sciences
• Graduate college and degree: Cambridge College ’11, education leadership (M.Ed.)
Sales manager/business developer with two-plus decades in engineering consulting, sales development, and loss control; licensed insurance agent; former charter school board member; graduate of an urban high-need school.
Participant, Emerging Scholars math honors program; math department tutor; Math Corps summer instructor for five years; tutor and community youth activity leader; former student assistant, cancer institute’s pathology department.
Bookkeeper with Detroit Public Schools, ten years; tutor for three years; former finance/HR officer in small business and former administrative assistant for community advisory council; Sunday school teacher for five years.
Director of child care center/youth program working with young people ages 2 ½ to 18 for more than 15 years; laboratory technician experience.
Paul Hartzer | Ferndale, MI | Will attend: Wayne State University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Lawrence Technological University ’89, mathematics/computer science and humanities (double degree)
• Graduate college and degree: Michigan State University ’92, linguistics (M.A.)
Senior market research manager with more than a dozen years’ experience; student assistant and math tutor during college; college instructor of linguistics and English courses.
Anne Heyt | Sparta, MI | Will attend: Grand Valley State University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Michigan State University ’85, civil engineering
• Graduate college and degree: Grand Valley State University ’08, M.B.A.
Civil engineer in water and wastewater systems for more than 20 years; volunteer engineering mentor in public schools; GVSU Outstanding M.B.A. Student, 2008; craftsperson, do-it-yourselfer.
Chris Hiltz | Ann Arbor, MI | Will attend: Eastern Michigan University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: University of Michigan-Dearborn ’95, mechanical engineering
• Graduate college and degree: University of Michigan-Dearborn ’03, engineering (M.S.)
Mechanical engineer with 15 years’ experience in industry; former dolphin trainer and sailing instructor; Science Olympiad coach; volunteer tutor for students and adults, including high-need and special education.
Volunteer math tutor, middle/high school and community college; former student aide and teacher’s assistant; dean’s list student with multiple scholarships; writer and painter with interest in film and video.
Volunteer at GVSU Regional Math and Science Center, assisting with science presentations and activities for children; 7th-grade science classroom assistant and tutor; high school algebra tutor; competitive endurance athlete.
Peer consultant in the Math and Physics Center at Kalamazoo College; math mentor with K-College AMIGOS; elementary school math tutor; math camp volunteer; swim teacher/coach for children ages 3 to 12.
Former supervisor and technical specialist in two water quality laboratories, with experience in wet chemistry and bacteriology; previously an electroneurodiagnostic clinician in healthcare; test administrator/proctor for Pearson VUE testing center.
Introductory biology lab teaching assistant; summer camp counselor; swim instructor/coach; volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and a pet rescue shelter; member of Beta Beta Beta honorary biology organization.
AmeriCorps member serving at Warren E. Bow Elementary and Middle School; probability and statistics professor’s assistant at University of Michigan; math tutor in Albion College’s quantitative skills center.
Melissa Karjala | Ann Arbor, MI | Will attend: Eastern Michigan University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: University of Michigan ’01, biological psychology
• Graduate college and degree: University of Michigan ’04, public health (MPH)
Medical research finance administrator; former captain and All-American, Michigan Women’s Water Polo Team; high school water polo/swimming coach; volunteer, therapeutic horseback riding; will swim English Channel in 2012.
Elyssa Krivicich | Geneva, NY | Will attend: Grand Valley State University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: The College of Wooster ’09, geology
• Graduate college and degree: The Ohio State University ’11, geology (M.S)
Research assistant in tree ring lab at The College of Wooster; undergraduate researcher in Jurassic fossils from Israel, with two published journal articles; graduate teacher’s associate at OSU.
Undergraduate researcher who helped rewrite college’s laboratory curriculum for honors general chemistry; tutor for general, organic and biochemistry; coach and athlete in Skidmore’s Nordic ski club.
Alicia Lane | Farmington Hills, MI (originally Huntsville, AL) | Will attend: University of Michigan
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: double baccalaureate—Spelman College ’07, chemistry/University of Michigan ’08 civil/environmental engineering
Civil engineering intern, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; former NASA intern; tutor/mentor for National Society of Black Engineers, Detroit tutoring firm, and an Atlanta charter school; craftsperson.
Jo-Ann Lucas | Grosse Pointe, MI | Will attend: University of Michigan
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Wayne State University ’74, biology, minor in psychology
• Graduate college and degree: American University of the Caribbean ’90, medicine (M.D.); Tulane University ’91, public health (M.P.H.)
College-level teacher for more than seven years in various biology concentrations, anatomy, physiology, nutrition and other sciences; founder and executive director of Youth and Family Services of Michigan.
James Lyden | Dearborn, MI | Will attend: Eastern Michigan University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: University of Michigan ’74, physical oceanography
• Graduate college and degree: University of Michigan ’83, physical oceanography (M.S.)
Research engineer with 28 years of experience working with defense and intelligence agencies; Habitat for Humanity volunteer; author of seven published journal articles and numerous conference papers and technical reports.
Tamara Matthews | Redford Township, MI | Will attend: Wayne State University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Wayne State University ’98, engineering, minor in business administration
• Graduate college and degree: Davenport University ’02, business administration (M.B.A.)
Program manager and former design/test engineer, global automotive supply firms, 12-plus years; former IRS clerk; founder, STEM Council of Metro Detroit; high school tutor; parent liaison, teen programs.
Transportation engineer with the Michigan DOT since 2005; six years of project engineering experience; secretary of the Detroit Chapter National Society of Black Engineers—Detroit Alumni Extension.
Substitute teacher; insurance administrator and clerk; active volunteer and officer for community organizations; graduate of high-need urban schools.
Christina Muckenfuss | Logansport, IN | Will attend: Grand Valley State University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Indiana University Kokomo ’10, biological and physical sciences, minor in communication arts
Laboratory assistant in biology preparation lab at IU Kokomo; assistant to blind emeritus professor; substitute teacher in Kokomo and Logansport.
Quinton Myers | Southfield, MI | Will attend: Eastern Michigan University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Lawrence Technological University ’04, computer engineering and electrical engineering
Electrical and application engineer for four years; analyst intern with top automotive company; volunteer with the Saving Our Sons mentoring center; mentor/speaker with Detroit Public Schools; founding partner of a children’s enrichment & leadership program.
Civil engineer for 15 years, with experience including land development and city planning; former Peace Corps volunteer developing water and sanitary systems, bridges, and roadways in Ecuador.
Certified health tech since 2007, with British Government training in classified drugs/substance abuse and the law; assistant director, General Assembly for the Chicago Global Classroom, United Nations Association of the United States.
Co-teacher for an internship at Oakland Technical Campus; volunteer reading group leader at local middle school; summer program teacher for at-risk youth; judge for local schools’ public speech contest on natural resources.
Mitchell Overway | Holland, MI | Will attend: Western Michigan University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Grand Valley State University ’88, health sciences
• Graduate college and degree: Grand Valley State University ’90, health sciences (M.S.)
Full-time minister working with at-risk teens and adults; teaching assistant, tutor/lab instructor, human anatomy and physiology; tutor/mentor in public schools; coach for youth ropes courses and other experiential settings.
Clinical researcher and lab mycologist; mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters; tutor at local elementary school; chemistry teacher’s assistant at the University of Florida; substitute teacher.
Naturalist at Seven Ponds Nature Center since 2004; volunteer in Lapeer Community Schools; volunteer environmental and outdoor education for youth; certified bowling coach.
Carrie Russell | Livonia, MI | Will attend: Eastern Michigan University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Michigan Technological University ’96, chemical engineering
• Graduate college and degree: Wayne State University ’04, M.B.A.
Engineer, quality specialist, buyer for global automotive company for 10-plus years; magna cum laude graduate from Michigan Tech, summa cum laude graduate from Wayne State; Sunday school teacher (1st & 2nd grade).
John Russell | Baltimore, MD | Will attend: Eastern Michigan University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Wheaton (IL) College ’11, political science and environmental studies (double degree)
Board member and vice president for an international conservation organization; former lab technician in commercial R&D; behavioral therapist/personal support worker for special needs children; intern with Cosley Zoo.
Former training manager/consultant with more than 20 years of experience in human resources and learning services; substitute middle school math teacher; National Merit Scholar; fluent in Spanish.
Ann Schultz | Whitmore Lake, MI | Will attend: Michigan State University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: University of Arizona ’79, management information systems
• Graduate college and degree: University of Maryland ’09, chemical and life science (M.C.L.F.S.)
Former business analyst and business owner; Montessori and Waldorf teacher; teaching assistant in anatomy/physiology for massage therapy; volunteer with the Huron River Watershed Council, leading school groups for streamside ecology walks.
Undergraduate researcher with intensive experience in plant biology; dean’s list student; peer tutor, college chemistry; FACTS tutor/mentor for Grand Rapids elementary students; active environmental advocate.
High school math and reading tutor; substitute teacher, middle and high school math, social studies, literature and computer teacher; past high school hockey coach; economics lab volunteer at MSU.
Former laboratory technician, major chemical corporation; substitute teacher, high-need schools; supervisor, crew of at-risk teens in state parks; outdoor education coordinator, YMCA camp; traveler (36 states and seven countries).
Robert Slider | Grand Rapids, MI | Will attend: Grand Valley State University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Grand Valley State University ’09, biology
• Graduate college and degree: Grand Valley State University ’11, biology (M.S.)
Arctic ecologist with three field seasons in Alaska researching the impacts of climate change on plants as part of an international study; teaching assistant in biology and aquatic plants at GVSU.
Julia Sluchak-Carlsen | Livonia, MI | Will attend: Eastern Michigan University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Wayne State University ’85, biology, minor in health
• Graduate college and degree: Wayne State University ’05, urban studies (M.A.)
Project manager at national cancer center, overseeing clinical trials and supervising college and medical students; former research assistant, oncology, infectious diseases; mentor, high school students; volunteer/teacher’s assistant, elementary level.
College instructor for Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation; math tutor for School of Social Work; Math Corps summer camp instructor and mentor; community service chair and vice president of his fraternity.
Professional forester; lab assistant, MSU’s forest biogeochemistry lab, two years; assistant project director, MSU Extension’s wildfire program; tutor, alternative and urban middle schools; camp counselor at a nature center.
Algebra camp counselor/precalculus tutor for high-need students; assistant high school math teacher in Ecuador (fluent in Spanish); substitute teacher; study host for Caribbean Society of Kalamazoo; graduate of high-need schools.
Published undergraduate researcher; teaching assistant in ecology lab; dean’s list, nine semesters; member of several scientific study groups; first-generation college student from high-need background; parent of special-needs child.
Calculus and chemistry tutor; member of the American Chemical Society; Eagle Scout; worship team participant, Newman Center; youth service organizer; avid traveler in Europe and Egypt.
Trevor Stefanick | Kalamazoo, MI | Will attend: Western Michigan University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Western Michigan University ’04, physics (B.S.), minor in mathematics; theatre (B.A.)
• Graduate college and degree: Western Michigan University ’11, physics (M.S.)
Part-time physics instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College for four years and at WMU for two years; theater volunteer with at-risk high school students for two years.
Kerry Steinke | Kalamazoo, MI | Will attend: Western Michigan University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Western Michigan University ’09, biomedical sciences and Spanish, minor in chemistry
Student researcher with the URGE program at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute; lab technician working with the U.S.D.A. on plum pox virus; quality control lab technician at Perrigo testing finished products.
Math tutor for high-need middle- and high-schoolers; college study group leader; dean’s list student, pioneering undergraduate researcher; Regents Scholar, recipient of Semiconductor Research Fellowship; computer programmer and video producer.
Nicole Thomas | Detroit, MI | Will attend: Wayne State University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: University of Detroit Mercy ’98, civil engineering
• Graduate college and degree: Lawrence Technological University ’04, engineering management (M.E.M.)
Project engineer/manager in construction industry, with Leadership in Environment and Energy Design accreditation; intern trainer; den leader, Cub Scouts; mentor, YMCA’s Minority Achiever Program; church youth teacher.
Loretta Vaara | Holland, MI | Will attend: Western Michigan University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Western Michigan University ’88, mathematics, minor in communication
• Graduate college and degree: Wayne State University ’94, M.B.A.
Former program manager, quality engineer, and systems engineer, automotive industry; volunteer team manager, youth soccer; PTA program coordinator/founder and fundraiser for annual Fun Run.
Co-chair, Farmington Hills Beautification Commission; co-owner/manager, family landscaping business; tutor for Hispanic high school students; volunteer biology teacher in Ecuador for one month, teaching in Spanish.
Mentor and tutor to all age groups; assistant teacher at Clintondale Continuing Education Center; tutored in after-school program for elementary students in Detroit Public Schools; Habitat for Humanity volunteer.
Virginia Wimmer | Whitehall, MI | Will attend: Grand Valley State University
• Undergraduate college, class, and major: Grand Valley State University ’94, chemistry and psychology
• Graduate college and degree: University of Florida ’97, physical chemistry (M.S.)
Research chemist in private industry for a decade; lab technician in municipal water facility; chemistry teaching/research assistant, college level; substitute teacher/tutor, secondary-school math and chemistry; volunteer, Science Olympiad program.
Engineer/business owner in electronics, telecommunications and information technology, 19 years; innovator who introduced the first digital recording equipment for Ghanaian courts; church music director.
Survey engineer, five years; six-time dean’s list student, five-time GLIAC All-Academic Team Member; former captain, Muskegon Thunder football team; coach, high school football, basketball, power lifting; volunteer math tutor; camp counselor.
Undergraduate teaching assistant, lab and classroom; lab assistant at Kettering University under a Department of Defense grant; residence hall president; volunteer, campus community service and recruitment groups.