Our coordinators are eager to make real connections with fellow members of the LSA community. Their goal is to collect meaningful insights from alumni and parents, while providing updates on the dean’s priorities and the current state of the college. Each coordinator is a recent graduate, and their different backgrounds allow for a nice sampling of what LSA offers students today.
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) has continued to spread her love for the liberal arts in her new position as LSA's Regional Director of Development of Southeastern States.
Avery Gleason (2015-2016) works for the Office of University Development in Ann Arbor as a business intelligence analyst. This fall, he will be entering the Masters in Science in Information program at the University of Michigan School of Information focusing on data analysis.
Patrick Pjesky (2015-2016) works for Google as an account manager in San Francisco.
Christina Pechette (2014-2016) returns to the Harvard School of Public Health this fall for the final semester of her Master's in Public Health program after her internship in Minneapolis with UnitedHealthcare this summer. She also recently got engaged!
Monica Phillip (2014-2016) continues to work as a development officer for LSA on the Western Region team. This year, she is excited to extend her philanthropic passions by working with Ozine House's Milennial Board as well as North Star Reach's Young Professional Board.
Ellie Chessen (2012–2015) works for Deloitte as a consultant in Washington, D.C.
Mark Chou (2013–2015) now lives in San Francisco and works at Facebook as a product data operations specialist, focusing on Messenger and artifcial intelligence products. He's fully enjoying his new life out west and taking advantage of all that the Bay Area has to offer!
Kathleen Hinkley (2011–2014) is the Director of Development at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
Jenny Howard (2009–2012) continues to lead LSA's Planned Giving program and work with major gift donors in west and mid-Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, and Tennessee. She is celebrating three years of marriage with her husband Mike this fall.
Elizabeth Williams (2009–2012) and her husband Alex Blouin (A.B. '09) recently became official Ann Arborites and bought a house on the West Side. Elizabeth has enjoyed continuing to work as a U-M fundraiser covering Washtenaw County.
Tina Sula (2009–2012) is the Chief Development Officer at Henry Ford Health System. She also is a lecturer in U-M's Program in International and Comparative Studies. Tina and her husband Elvis recently celebrated their daughter Zara's first birthday.