Who better to collect the stories of LSA alumni and their families than recent graduates, those most closely connected to campus? That is why the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts has designed College Connections, to pair alumni from all backgrounds with new LSA graduates. Each coordinator will get a taste of the University across eras while sharing a common bond.
Our coordinators are eager to make real connections with fellow members of the LSA family! They welcome the opportunity to strengthen the College's alumni outreach and make your experience as an alum more personal.
Selena Joarder graduated from LSA in May of 2018 with an A.B. in Organizational Studies. She was raised in a close family of Wolverine fans in Allen Park, MI. Selena began her time as a resident of the social-justice based learning community Michigan Community Scholars Program (MCSP), which gave her experience in encouraging meaningful engagement as a student leader. As a student, she also promoted student philanthropy on campus, working with the Gifts of Kindness Fund as Chair and LSA Advancement. Her time with FeelGood, a national nonprofit that works to sustainably end extreme world poverty by 2030 (and a chapter that was co-founded on UM's campus by our Joe Murray!), similarly gave her the opportunity to work with a group of leaders to consider all parts of developing an organization with a strong culture of empowerment. Learning from the Center for Positive Organizations as a +LAB Fellow, she studied research-based strategies to build authentic relationships. Selena was also a Barger Leadership Institute Fellow, traveling to Seattle with the program to shadow alumni in the region. With spare moments, Selena loves having family dinners, exploring the bounty of AA, and making new acquaintances. Her love of meeting new people, combined with a genuine belief that a liberal arts education can allow people to be their very best, compelled her to join the team.
Joe Murray graduated from LSA in May of 2016 with an A.B. in Program in the Environment. Raised in Traverse City, MI, he was very involved in his community, volunteering with the Traverse City Film Festival for five years. In 2014, he received an LSA internship scholarship and spent the summer working full-time for the festival. He returned in 2015 and 2016 as a manager. As a student, Joe was a member of the Graham Sustainability Scholars, serving as the education assistant for the Graham Institute his senior year. He participated in a life-changing trip to Australia and New Zealand through the program, studying the region’s progressive sustainable business and policy initiatives. In addition, Joe served on the leadership team of Circle K, the university’s largest community service organization, facilitating a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for students. In 2013, he cofounded U-M's chapter of FeelGood, a nationwide nonprofit that aims to sustainably end world poverty by 2030 through educational initiatives and grilled cheese delis that fundraise for the cause. He loves U-M football, attending concerts, and seeing new places.
Anna Thompson graduated from LSA in May 2016 with a A.B. in Communication Studies. Born and raised in Jackson, MI, Anna's dream was to attend the University of Michigan as her older sister and grandfather had before her. As an undergrad, Anna was an executive board member for Appreciate+Reciprocate, a philanthropic student organization that volunteers in the community and also fundraises for the LSA Appreciate + Reciprocate Scholarship. She held internships with the Ella Sharp Museum of Jackson and later the Development Summer Internship Program (D-SIP) where she worked in alumni relations at the School of Information. Anna was also an active member of the Michigan Association of Communication Studies, a student organization that provides professional development opportunities for students interested in media-related career paths. Anna was inspired to work in alumni relations after meeting the alums who funded her undergraduate scholarship, realizing the powerful impact relationship building can have on the future of the college. In her spare time, Anna enjoys listening to live music, trying out new recipes, taking her dog to the dog park, and planning her next travel adventure.
Previous College Connections Coordinators
What have the former College Connections coordinators been up to since they "graduated" from the program?
Amanda Harvey (2016-2018) is living in Cardiff, Wales purusing a one-year M.B.A at Cardiff University.
Samantha Lemmen (2016-2017) recently transitioned to a new role in LSA Advancement as a major gift officer for the Eastern States team.
Avery Gleason (2015-2016) continues to work at the University as a business intelligence analyst for the Office of University Development.
Patrick Pjesky (2015-2016) works for Google as an Account Strategist.
Christina Pechette (2014-2016) will be saying goodbye to Michigan this fall and will be heading to Boston to pursue a Master's in Public Health at Harvard University.
Monica Phillip (2014-2016) is completing her first year as Regional Director of Development for LSA and has been enjoying her constant travel to visit with our West Coast alumni.
Ellie Chessen (2012–2015) received her master's degree from the U-M Ford School of Public Policy. She has accepted a position with Deloitte's federal consulting practice in Washington, D.C.
Mark Chou (2013–2015) recently moved to the Bay Area and accepted a job as a product specialist with Facebook.
Kathleen Hinkley (2011–2014) was recently appointed the Director of Development at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
Jenny Howard (2009–2012) serves as LSA's Director of Planned Giving and as a major gift officer on our Central States team.
Elizabeth Williams (2009–2012) moved back to Ann Arbor from Washington, D.C. She is now part of the University's central development team in Washtenaw County and Southeast Michigan.
Tina Sula (2009–2012) is now with the Henry Ford Health System as a Chief Development Officer and continues to stay involved with the College as a lecturer in the LSA Program in International and Comparative Studies.