Michigan State University

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Madison alumni are an extraordinarily innovative group. They achieve success in government, politics, business, education, science, arts, and human services, as well as continue their education at top graduate and law schools.

Alumni News

2018-03-20 - James Carlson (IR '87) Named Utah CEO of the Year

Congratulations to Jim Carlson, co-founder and chief executive officer at Zurixx, LLC, named Utah Business Magazine’s CEO of the Year.

Read the full announcement and article here. 


2016-11-15 - Sad News About Two JMC Alumni

Two JMC Alumni, Bruce Feaster and Bob Haun, passed away on November 10, 2016

Bruce Sullivan Feaster (JMC-Urban, ’83) devoted his life to public service and advancing civil rights.  Bruce was active in the MSU Black Alumni Association and a proud graduate of MSU and JMC.  Funeral arrangements, photographs and information gathered by family and friends to share with the Madison and MSU communities are available here.

Robert Willard Haun (JMC-Urban, ’76) entered Madison with the first class in the fall of 1967.  Bob is remembered fondly by his friends and classmates.  He lived in Michigan since he graduated from MSU, most recently in the Lansing area.  Funeral arrangements and other resources are available here.

2016-10-17 - Bradley Dizik Awarded 2016 MSU Young Alumni Award

The Distinguished Young Alumni Award is given annually to candidates who have distinguished themselves by attaining the highest level of professional accomplishment and who possess high standards of integrity and character to positively reflect and enhance the prestige of Michigan State University. These individuals demonstrate a commitment to Michigan State University by continuing outstanding volunteer service on behalf of the University and/or participation and leadership in meritorious public service on a local, state, national or international level. 

Bradley is an attorney known for his strategic advice, practical guidance and prudent judgment in solving clients' most difficult reputational, legal and regulatory challenges, whether in the context of criminal, civil, congressional or parallel probes and complex crises. He advises companies, boards of directors and board committees, senior executives and government officials and agencies in sensitive matters, investigations, corporate crises, litigation, restructurings, transactions and other disputes involving the federal and state governments of the United States and foreign governments. Bradley has extensive experience in internal investigations and corporate compliance.  He has worked on global compliance reviews involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Insider Trading, Advisers Act, Money Laundering, Best Execution, as well numerous internal investigations of potential fraud. He advises clients on corporate compliance and ethics programs and has led integrity monitor teams overseeing publicly held and private companies.

Recent significant achievements include:

  • Independent Monitor leadership team to oversee a major automotive manufacturer’s compliance with its Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the DOJ deriving from its recall of defective vehicles
  • Independent Compliance Consultant team lead for SAC Capital Advisors and its successor entity Point72 Asset Management to evaluate and report on its insider trading compliance program
  • Compliance consultant for twelve-figure Quantative Trading Firm regarding best execution policies and procedures, Market Access Rule 15c3-5 and other compliance adherence to best practices
  • Special Adviser to the Masonic Temple Association of Detroit’s Board of Trustees arising out of its high profile complex crises of near financial insolvency and parallel civil litigations
  • Defense of the U.S. military's largest suppliers of jet fuel to troops in Afghanistan in a Congressional investigation of alleged corruption in Central Asia and follow-on investigations by foreign authorities
  • Counsel to a major financial institution in a False Claims Act investigation in which the same is alleged to have misled the US federal government about aspects of the business operations of a former life insurance subsidiary in connection with obtaining financing from the US Treasury and Federal Reserve during the financial crisis of 2008

Bradley also established the Frank H. Knight Scholarship Award for students in James Madison College in an effort to encourage students' consideration of systems thinking in the liberal arts at the intersection of economics, political theory, and ethics. 

Please join James Madison College in congratulating Bradley on his selection of this very prestigious award and all of his accomplishments.

2016-06-30 - Alumnus Ben Cox releasing first feature film "Better Off Single" in Oct 2016

Alumnus Benjamin Cox' film "Better Off Single" hits theaters October 7th, 2016. “Better Off Single” is the first feature film from Cox, who is producing it through his Red Square Pictures banner. 



2016-06-28 - Alumnus Patrick Jackson publishes "The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relat

Alumnus Patrick Jackson has published the book, "The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations: Philosophy of Science and Its Implications for the Study of World Politics" (New International Relations) 2nd Edition

2016-06-09 - Alum Grant Rumley in Foreign Affairs: "The Palestinian Pathway to Paris"

The Palestinian Pathway to Paris

What the Negotiations Say about the Peace Process

By Grant Rumley

This week, the French government, which has long tried to help broker a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, will launch its latest attempt with an international conference in Paris. The summit has made headlines not because of its substance but because of its unusual format: neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians were invited. Instead, officials from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East will gather to lay the groundwork for future direct talks between the two parties on a two-state solution. 


2016-06-09 - Alum Dennis Rasmussen in The Atlantic: "The Problem With Inequality..."


The Atlantic

Dennis Rasmussen

One of the more memorable statements of Barack Obama’s presidency thus far has been his claim, in a high-profile December 2013 speech, that great and growing economic inequality is “the defining challenge of our time.” In making his case Obama appealed to the authority of a seemingly unlikely ally: Adam Smith, the purported founding father of laissez-faire capitalism, who is widely thought to have advocated unbridled greed and selfishness in the name of allowing the invisible hand of the market to work its magic.


2016-06-08 - Alumna Liesl Clark in LSJ opinion piece: Strengthen future with renewable energy

Clark: Strengthen future with renewable energy standards

                  Lansing State Journal Opinion by JMC Alumna Liesl Clark


When we think of American manufacturing, the first place that should come to mind is Michigan. This is a state that knows how to get things done; Detroit helped create America as we know it by ushering the era of the automobile, and Michiganders know how to build the goods the rest of the country needs.

That still holds true for the products of the 21st century. Today, Michigan is a leader in building the parts needed for America’s fastest growing electricity source: wind energy. In 2015, wind was the largest source of new electric generating capacity in the U.S. and the cheapest, cheaper than natural gas and coal.

With 32 factories in the state that build wind-related parts, among the most in the country, Michigan is once again playing a big role in America’s move toward a better future.

In turn, this is helping people across the state. Wind energy supports up to 2,000 well-paying jobs in Michigan, and it has driven $3 billion of capital investments into the economy.




2016-06-08 - Alumnus Jonars Spielberg, MIT researcher, authors article on solar lanterms

Alumnus Jonars Spielberg, MIT researcher, authors article on solar lanterms

Past Pardee Fellow is Co-Author of MIT Report on Solar Lanterns

February 9th, 2015


Jonars Spielberg

Jonars Spielberg, a 2011 Pardee Center Graduate Summer Fellow, is among the co-authors of a first-of-its-kind evaluation report on the use of solar lanterns as part of a development program.  The report, recently published by MIT’s Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE), is titled “Experimentation in Product Evaluation: The Case of Solar Lanterns in Uganda, Africa.”  It  details the first experimental product evaluations designed and implemented by CITE, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-supported program led by a multidisciplinary team of faculty, staff, and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Spielberg, a 2012 graduate of Boston University’s International Relations and Environmental Policy master’s degree program and now a MIT staff researcher, was part of a nine-member team that traveled to western Uganda in 2013 to conduct surveys of consumers, suppliers, manufacturers, and nonprofits to evaluate 11 locally available solar lantern models. More details about the research are available here.

Spielberg was a member of the third cohort of Pardee Graduate Summer Fellows to be selected through a competitive application process. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2015 Pardee Graduate Summer Fellowships and the deadline is March 16.


2016-03-28 - Alumna Katherine Robiadek writes op-ed, Take Machiavelli's advice: Reinstate...

Katherine M. Robiadek: Take Machiavelli’s advice: Reinstate the right of WASP pilots to their resting places at Arlington

As the granddaughter of a deceased U.S. Army Air Corps pilot, I was surprised to learn that the Army recently denied a request to bury the ashes of a pilot from World War II's Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) unit in Arlington National Cemetery. 

The WASP unit was created in 1942 and enlisted 1,074 women as pilots. These pilots took a military oath. They flew noncombat missions logging more than 60 million miles in two years.  They served stateside during World War II and played a role in, among other things, training and instruction for their male pilot counterparts who did fly combat.

In 1977, Congress passed retroactive legislation to grant active duty status to WASP pilots, which had been the status intended for members of the unit when it was first created. In 2002, Arlington National Cemetery approved military honors and inurnments — the burial of cremated ashes — for active duty designees like the WASPs, who were eventually awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.


2016-03-03 - Alumnus Tony Leiserowitz on climate confusion in the classroom

Sea levels fluctuate through the years. But a new study looking at the past 2800 years has found that never before has global sea-level risen so high, so fast. And the rate appears to be accelerating. ROBERT KOPP, a climate scientist at Rutgers University climate scientist is the lead author of the study. He talks to Marty about it and its implications for coastlines around the world. Then, there’s a lot of climate confusion in the classroom. A new report found that an alarming rate of middle and high school teachers misunderstand climate change or fail to teach it all together. Marty talks with one of the authors of the study, JOSHUA ROSENAU, programs and policy director at the National Center for Science Education and with ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication at Yale University.

Listen here.

2016-02-18 - Alumnus Ben Cox is interviewed about his new film "Stereotypically You"

Alumnus Ben Cox is interviewed about his new film "Stereotypically You."

2016-02-18 - Alumnus Nick Micinski writes on the Migrant Crisis in Europe

Future United Nations Development System

No.37-January 2016

by Nicholas Micinski and Thomas G. Weiss

The European Migrant Crisis: can development agencies do better?  

Summary: The unprecedented influx of refugees and migrants to Europe has increased the visibility of the long-standing nexus of migration, development, and security. The emphasis on terrorism and national security is understandable but myopic if the essential benefits of migration and development are to be realized. The UN will host three key meetings on migration in 2016, an opportunity to rethink how development agencies can contribute.


Nicholas Micinski is Research and Editorial Associate at the FUNDS Project at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies and a PhD student in Political Science at the CUNY Graduate Center. Previously, he worked in the NGO sector in London for five years on refugee and social enterprise issues.

2016-02-17 - Alumnus Wallace Jefferson appointed to the MSU College of Law Board of Trustees

JMC Distinguished Alumnus Wallace Jefferson, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, was appointed to the MSU College of Law Board of Trustees at its December meeting.

“The MSU Law community welcomes Wallace Jefferson to our board,” said Dean Joan Howarth. “He brings with him a record of outstanding service in the law and a lifetime commitment to advancing civil rights causes. It should come as no surprise that he is also a fellow Spartan, a graduate of James Madison College. We look forward to his involvement at MSU Law.”

Jefferson has twice made history as the first African-American justice and chief justice on the Supreme Court of Texas. Gov. Rick Perry appointed Jefferson to the Court in 2001, and he was elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2008. During his time on the bench, Jefferson served as president of the Conference of Chief Justices, an association of chief justices from the 50 states and U.S. territories.

Prior to joining the Texas Supreme Court, Jefferson was a partner in the San Antonio-based appellate-specialty firm Crofts, Callaway & Jefferson, where he successfully argued two cases before the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Law Institute and is certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business and Texas Super Lawyers.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in political philosophy from MSU’s James Madison College in 1985, Jefferson earned his juris doctorate in 1988 from the University of Texas School of Law. In 2007, MSU named Jefferson an Outstanding Alumnus. In 2005, the University of Texas School of Law honored Jefferson with its Outstanding Alumnus Award. He received the James Madison College Distinguished Alumnus award in 2002. And Jefferson also earned an honorary doctorate of laws from MSU at its spring 2009 commencement.

2016-02-15 - Read Alumnus Justin Gengler's Wash Post article: "Bahrain's crushed uprising..."

How Bahrain’s crushed uprising spawned the Middle East’s sectarianism

By Justin Gengler

Bahrain’s mostly forgotten uprising of February 2011 marked the turning point in the so-called Arab Spring. This is true both in the sense that mass demonstrations there were the first to be stamped out successfully by a besieged government, but also because Bahrain witnessed the beginning of, and in many ways supplied the impetus for, the fateful slide away from broad-based opposition movements into the poisonous sectarian and other factional conflicts that have since escaped beyond the Arab Gulf to consume a greater part of the Middle East and North Africa.


2016-02-01 - Alumnus Ben Cox wrote and directed the film "Stereotypically You"

JMC alumnus Benjamin Cox wrote and directed the film "Stereotypically You," which premieres at the 2016 Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 6.

2016-01-27 - Alumna Kathleen Romig Krepps provides brief on raising the retirement age for So

As part of its effort to keep the public apprised of the facts underlying policy prescriptions, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has issued a new primer deconstructing one of the oft-heard ideas to improve Social Security's finances: raise the retirement age.

The brief by CBPP senior policy analyst Kathleen Romig makes clear that this change would be a stealth benefit cut for lower-income workers, wrecking Social Security's progressive benefit structure. 

Superficially, this "fix" seems painless, at least in the form it's generally offered by proponents. The age can be raised gradually and the near-retired (say those now 55 or older) can be exempted. The argument is that older Americans are healthier than ever and working longer, so raising the retirement age may not merely be justifiable, but essential to protect this all-important retirement program.

Plus, there's a precedent. The 1983 bipartisan Social Security reforms raised the normal retirement age, at which full benefits can be collected, from its traditional 65 to 66 for those born in 1943 to 1954, and 67 for those born in 1960 or later. 

On the campaign trail, a higher retirement age has been endorsed in one form or another by Jeb BushChris ChristieMarco RubioBen Carson and Ted Cruz, all Republicans. One notable holdout is Donald Trump. Neither of the leading Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, favors the idea. 

But the proposal has all the flaws of a blunderbuss approach to an issue that cries out for painstaking care. The basic problem with raising the retirement age for Americans is that all Americans are not alike. The differences in life expectancy are closely tied to economic status, education and race.

Indeed, the divergence in longevity between America's richest and poorest workers is widening. "Richer people live longer — and the gap is growing," Romig observes. "Higher-earning men can expect to outlive lower-earning men by more than five years." This gap was almost nonexistent as recently as the late 1970s. More...

2016-01-12 - JMC alumnus Nathan Triplett is the new Political Director of Equality Michigan

Nathan Triplett has joined Equality Michigan as their new Political Director. Triplett is joining Equality Michigan from his most recent position as the Director of Priorities Michigan. He has also worked as a civil litigator and spent seven years as a staffer in the Michigan House of Representatives.

2016-01-12 - Alumnus Grant Rumley: "An Unholy Alliance, Abbas' Rivals Unite Against Him"

Alumnus Grant Rumley writes in Foreign Affairs on the increasing coordination between various Abbas rivals:

An Unholy Alliance

Abbas' Rivals Unite Against Him

Grant Rumley, Research Analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ refusal to name a successor [1], hold elections, or reform the PA’s corrupt institutions is pushing his rivals to unite against him. The staunchest of enemies—from members of Hamas [2] to former members of the PA, including the Western-educated reformer Salam Fayyad [3] and the exiled Fatah strongman Mohammad Dahlan—have found common ground in their quest to dethrone the aging Palestinian leader. More…


2015-10-26 - Alumnus Jon Hoadley delivered a moving speech at the Mich. Nurses Assn. conventi

Published on Oct 4, 2015

Michigan state Rep. Jon Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo, delivered a deeply moving speech at the Michigan Nurses Association convention in Southfield, Mich., on Oct. 2. Hoadley talked about the legacy of his friend Jake Brewer and how we can all work together to make the world better. Brewer, a beloved White House staffer, died in a bike accident in September.



2015-10-14 - Alumnus Grant Rumley article "Abbas vs. Hamas" in Foundation for Defense of Demo

Abbas vs. Hamas

Grant Rumley
13th October 2015 - Foreign Affairs

Masked gunmen affiliated with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction marched through the streets of Ramallah in early October, firing automatic weapons into the air as crowds gathered to film the procession. The imagery harked back to the days of the second intifadawhen the Palestinian leadership openly coordinated violence against IsraelSince then, lone-wolf stabbingsrocket attacks, and clashes with Israelis have left scores dead in Israel and in the Palestinian territories. Yet for all the talk of a third intifadathe likelihood of another uprising is roughly the same as it is on any other day in this blood-soaked conflict.  - See more at: http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/grant-rumley-abbas-vs-hamas/#sthash.e3GiuVaU.dpuf

2015-10-13 - Alumna Julie Egan to run Detroit's new Office of International Affairs

Julie Egan is on loan from the State Department to serve as senior adviser to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to run the Motor City’s new Office of International Affairs.

2015-09-21 - Alumnus Nick Micinski article in World Policy Blog: "The EU Needs a Migration Wa

The EU Needs a Migration Human Rights Watchdog

By Nick Micinski

On Monday, European leaders failed in emergency negotiations to agree to a mandatory, EU-wide quota system for refugees. Instead, they imposed temporary border controls in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and the Netherlands and agreed to build new detention camps. These measures are a threat to human rights and to the EU.  Read more...

2015-08-19 - Alumnus John Heffern appointed as Deputy Asst. Secretary in the U.S. State Dept.

John A. Heffern (IR ’76) assumed the position as Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs in the U.S. Department of State in February, 2015. Heffern, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, served as the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia from 2011-2014. His prior experience included Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at USNATO, Brussels; DCM in Jakarta, Indonesia; and, Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. Other previous posts include: USNATO; Tokyo; Malaysia desk officer in Washington; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Abidjan, Ivory Coast; and Guangzhou, China. From 1994-1996, Heffern served as a Pearson Fellow on the Asia Subcommittee for the House International Relations Committee. Prior to entering the Foreign Service, Heffern served in the office of Senator John C. Danforth (R-MO) as the Senator’s Office Director and Research Assistant.

2015-08-06 - Alumnus Grant Rumley is a contributor to Foreign Affairs:"Hamas and the Palestin

Palestine on Deck:

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority After the Iran Deal

By Grant Rumley

No major actor in the Middle East will go unaffected by the recent nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 negotiators, and the Palestinians are no exception. First, the agreement will exacerbate tensions within Hamas’ military and political wings over who should benefit from Iran’s newfound sanctions relief. Second, it will embolden the Palestinian Authority’s campaign to bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to international forums in hopes of relaunching talks, as its leaders believe their issue is the most pressing on the world’s diplomatic agenda now that the Iranian question is off of the diplomatic to-do list. Read more

2015-07-01 - Alumnus Justin Gengler publishes book "Group Conflict and Political Mobilization

Justin Gengler (PTCD/IR ’05) has published “Group Conflict and Political Mobilization in Bahrain and the Arab Gulf: Rethinking the Rentier State” (Indiana Series in Middle East Studies). The oil-producing states of the Arab Gulf are said to sink or swim on their capacity for political appeasement through economic redistribution. Yet, during the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring, in Bahrain and all across the Arab Gulf, ordinary citizens showed an unexpected enthusiasm for political protest directed against governments widely assumed to have co-opted their support with oil revenues. Justin Gengler draws on the first-ever mass political survey in Bahrain to demonstrate that neither is the state willing to offer all citizens the same bargain, nor are all citizens willing to accept it. Instead, shared social and religious identities offer a viable basis for mass political coordination. Challenging the prevailing rentier interpretation of political life in the Gulf states, Gengler offers new empirical evidence and a new conceptual framework for understanding the attitudes of ordinary citizens.

2015-07-01 - Alumna Tressa Shavers appointed as Associate Dean at Strayer University

Dr. Tressa R.  (Bankhead) Shavers Appointed as Associate Dean of Strayer University

Dr. Tressa R. Shavers is a native of Michigan. Dr. Shavers earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy from James Madison College at Michigan State University. She also holds a Master of Arts in Higher Educational Administration from Michigan State University. As a working adult, Dr. Shavers returned to college and earned a Master of Business Administration and a Doctorate of Management from the University of Phoenix. Dr. Shavers has extensive middle and senior level management experience in corporate, non-profit, and higher education institutions. During her five years at Strayer, she’s served as Full-Time Faculty, Campus Dean, Associate Provost, and School Dean in the College of Business where she led the academic leadership team for Strayer University’s Graduate Business Programs. She has been teaching and training adult learners for more than 15 years. Dr. Shavers believes education is the gateway to opportunity. She enjoys helping others reach their potential, playing basketball, singing karaoke, and spending quality time with family and friends. She is married and has one son. She counts it honor and a privilege to currently serve as an Associate Dean for two of Strayer’s regions. She takes pride in helping to lead and train faculty & staff to equip working adults with the skills and knowledge needed to reach their educational and professional goals. 

2015-07-01 - Alumnus John Hetherington appointed Pres and CEO of Ipas

John Hetherington (IR ’85) was appointed in June by the Board of Directors of Ipas as the new President and CEO. Hetherington is currently the Managing Director of Population Services International/Europe (PSI) as head of PSI/Europe, and has a wealth of leadership experience in developing and managing large-scale, integrated reproductive health programs in Asia and Africa, working in challenging settings. He brings specialized expertise in social marketing, social franchising, and behavior change from his work with PSI over the past 18 years. He is also a passionate advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights.   

2015-05-12 - Alumnus Grant Rumley quoted in NYTimes article about Hamas' campus elections

In Sign of Palestinians’ Mood, Hamas Wins Vote at a West Bank University

BIRZEIT, West Bank — Lina Halsa certainly made a splash at the student rally for the Islamist Hamas movement here at Birzeit University last month. Wearing a sleeveless top, tight jeans, and with her hair in a ponytail, Ms. Halsa’s attire was revealing even by the standards of this liberal, secular campus. But it was downright scandalous according to Hamas norms.

Yet, Ms. Halsa was the very image of Hamas success on the campus, where the Islamist party beat out the more moderate Fatah faction in student elections. A photograph of her waving the faction’s signature green banner rocketed around social media, followed by a video in which she explained that she voted Hamas in part because her clothing “shows how much they are able to embrace other people.”

A headline in the Pan-Arab daily Al Hayat trumpeted: “A Blonde Turns Birzeit Green.”The April 22 election was about far more than clothing, of course. Student elections are seen as an important benchmark of the Palestinian political mood, particularly since there has been no national balloting since Hamas won the legislative contests in 2006, and president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, is starting the 11th year of what was to be a five-year term. The nod to Hamas was broadly interpreted as another indication of just how unpopular President Abbas and his government have become.

“We lost big,” Saeb Erekat, a top aide to Mr. Abbas, said of Birzeit at a briefing with international journalists. “I cannot give you a simple reason for it, but the Palestinian mood,” he added, “my house feels suffocated.”

At two other West Bank campuses where Hamas participates — Hebron University and An-Najah University in Nablus — student elections were effectively canceled this spring after repeated delays, causing an uproar...


...Grant Rumley of the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which is frequently critical of Mr. Abbas, said the detentions had “the characteristics of state-sponsored involvement in student elections." Yet, he noted, at least Mr. Abbas allowed some form of student elections to occur.


2015-04-22 - Alumnus Nathan Harris publishes study on Illinois admissions scandal

Alumnus Nathan Harris’ (IR '99) study on an admissions scandal at the Univ. of Illinois is featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

An Admissions Scandal Shows How Administrators’ Ethics ‘Fade’

By Peter Schmidt

College administrators’ own road to hell might be paved with routine institutional considerations, suggest the findings of a study that examined a high-profile admissions scandal at the University of Illinois.

The potential for misconduct "pervades colleges and universities more than we assume — and even more than we feel comfortable acknowledging," says a paper on the study’s findings, scheduled to be presented on Friday at the American Educational Research Association’s annual conference, in Chicago.

"When we think about misconduct and corruption, we often think of it in terms of imperfect, immoral individuals, whereas in fact when you look deeply into cases of misconduct you often see much more complicated processes at play," says the study’s author, Nathan F. Harris, a doctoral student in higher education at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Based on his examination of the 2009 Illinois admissions scandal, which centered on the university’s use of a separate, hidden admissions process to ease the entry of applicants with ties to politicians, donors, and university officials, his paper concludes that administrative misconduct frequently is "an organizational problem that demands organizational solutions."  More....

2015-04-22 - Alumna Allison Leotta publishes her 4th crime novel

JMC alumna Allison Leotta's (IR '95) new book "A Good Killing" is now out. She has started her book tour around the country. She is in Michigan May 14-18.

2015-04-22 - Alumnus Alex Plum receives Emory Univ. Humanitarian Award

Congratulations to JMC alumnus Alex Plum who received one of Emory University's six Humanitarian Awards last week. Plum is a graduate student at Rollins School of Public Health at Emory.

2015-03-02 - Alumna Julie Egan, State Dept Official, to serve on White House team in Detroit

Alumna Julie Egan (IR ‘98), State Department Official, will serve on White House team in Detroit

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is sending a State Department official to Detroit to work with businesses in attracting and retaining international trade.

An administration official today said Senior Advisor Julie Egan will serve on the White House's team in Detroit, which is being led by Cliff Kellogg, who formerly led the Treasury Department's State Small Business Credit Initiative.

The White House put the liaison team in place in 2013 to try to help Detroit leverage federal resources as it went through bankruptcy and has remained in place since.

The administration official said Egan will work with city leaders and businesses on strategies to attract and retain international trade and on partnerships that will help create jobs. Egan is a fourth-generation native of Detroit as well.

The announcement comes as the administration is making a push on new actions to help U.S. exporters and in the wake of U.S. and Canadian officials reaching an agreement on funding for a new customs plaza needed for a new international crossing in Detroit.

The White House also noted that Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin is in Detroit this week to discuss economic opportunity through international engagement.

Rivkin announced he, as well as Egan, will accompany a Detroit delegation to a March 5 investment and entrepreneurship conference in Tunisia.




2015-02-25 - Alumnus Grant Rumley is a contributor to Business Insider: "How a major American

"How a major American court ruling could plunge the Palestinian Authority into crisis"

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-a-major-american-court-ruling-could-plunge-the-palestinian-authority-into-crisis-2015-2#ixzz3Sn6eNArC

2015-02-18 - Alumnus Jonars Spielberg co-authors solar lanterns report

Jonars Spielberg, a 2011 Pardee Center Graduate Summer Fellow, is among the co-authors of a first-of-its-kind evaluation report on the use of solar lanterns as part of a development program.  The report, recently published by MIT’s Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE), is titled “Experimentation in Product Evaluation: The Case of Solar Lanterns in Uganda, Africa.” 

2015-02-12 - Alumnus J. Cory Connolly named Adams Entrepreneurs Fellow

J. Cory Connolly IR ’10) was named an Adams Entrepreneurs Fellow by Automation Alley, as host organization for the Adams Entrepreneur Fellowship Program, has placed two fellows with local technology startups.

2015-02-12 - Alumni Scott Dueweke and Tom Van Hare featured in book about search and rescue m

Alumni Scott Dueweke (IR ’87) and Tom Van Hare (IR ’83) formed Freedom Flight International about 20 years ago, with the goal of enlisting private pilots to fly to South Florida for humanitarian search and rescue missions coordinated with the USCG to save Cuban rafters. Matt Blaylock was a part of their team and wrote a book about their adventures.


2015-02-04 - Alumnus Jason Miller writes op-ed in Time online

It’s Time to Stop Ignoring the New Wave of Anti-Semitism

Rabbi Miller is a popular speaker and writer on technology and its effect on the Jewish world.

"I won't be like the rabbis of the 1930s I was shaken Tuesday after hearing about another attack in France. This time it occurred in the resort city of Nice rather than in Paris. A man with a knife attacked three French military personnel who were on an anti-terror patrol near a Jewish community center. While the attacker’s motive is not yet known, can I be blamed if I look at the recent rise in European anti-Semitism and wonder how far we are from another Holocaust?"

2015-01-13 - Alumnus Justin Gengler discusses Bahrain on Al Jazeera English

Inside Story - Bahrain crisis: Testing allies and opponents?

Published on Jan 3, 2015

The US and Iran are criticising the gulf kingdom of Bahrain over its detention of opposition leader. Presenter: David Foster Adel Al Mo'Awda - A Member of Bahrain's Shura Council. Ali al Aswad - A Member of the Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, and a former opposition MP. Justin Gengler - A Researcher at Qatar University who completed the first mass survey of political attitudes in Bahrain. Watch



2015-01-13 - Alumni Tony Leiserowitz featured in article: "What do Americans think about glob

JMC alumnus Tony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, is featured in the Yale alumni magazine in an article titled:  "What do Americans think about global warming?

Tony Leiserowitz can tell you. It’s not what you might expect."

2015-01-06 - Alumna Claudena Skran has opinion piece in Wash Post on Ebola crisis

Sierra Leone’s crisis deepens as doctors die of Ebola

By Claudena Skran December 16, 2014

Claudena Skran is a professor of government and the Edwin and Ruth West Professor of Economics and Society at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis.

No evacuation plane to the United States or Europe awaited Dr. Thomas Rogers in early December when he fell ill with the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone.

Instead, the highly trained physicianstruggled to be admitted to one of the few Ebola treatment centers in the West African country. After finally securing a bed, Rogers died on Dec. 5 , sharing the tragic course of the Ebola epidemic with his countrymen.

With the death of Rogers, nearly 10 percent of Sierra Leone’s doctors have perished from Ebola since the epidemic started in March. Among them are Olivet Buck, one of the country’s few female physicians, and Sheik Humarr Khan, who led the initial response to Ebola. Their deaths are not just personal tragedies for family and loved ones but also a tragedy for the country in its fight against Ebola and other health problems. More…




2014-12-18 - Alumnus Grant Rumley is a contributor to Business Insider: Palestinians are Moun

The Palestinians Are Mounting An Audacious Bid To Transform The Terms Of The Peace Process

December 18, 2014


The diplomatic struggle between Israel and the Palestinians reached a fever pitch on Wednesday as Palestinian ambassadors and their Jordanian allies pressed forward with a copy of a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council. The resolution, in addition to calling for renewed negotiations, reportedly includes a 2017 deadline for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.

The Palestinians have been riding a wave of recognition from parliaments in the UKFranceSpainIreland, and Portugal, and now even the European Parliament itself. At each step, the Palestinians have cheered on their newfound international allies while Israel has criticized the Europeans for threatening the parameters of the Oslo Accords.  Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/an-audacious-bid-to-transform-the-peace-process-2014-12#ixzz3RYw2OdQB

2014-12-10 - Alumnus Michael Gadola appointed to Michigan Court of Appeals by Gov. Snyder

JMC alumnus Michael Gadola was appointed by Gov. Snyder to the Michigan Court of Appeals Dec. 5th, filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Whitbeck. Gadola has served as the governor's legal counsel since 2011. Mike is an outstanding addition to the Court of Appeals,” Snyder said. “He is widely respected for his legal acumen, as well as his personal and professional integrity. This appointment will expand Mike’s impressive record of public service. I have every confidence that he will uphold the court’s highest standards through his commitment to fairness and thoughtful reasoning.”

2014-12-04 - Alum Justin Gengler's article on Bahrain's sectarian parliament appears in th

Alumni Justin Gengler’s article “Electoral rules (and threats) cure Bahrain’s sectarian parliament” appears in the Washington Post

Justin Gengler is a senior researcher at the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) of Qatar University. He is the author of the upcoming book “Group Conflict and Political Mobilization in Bahrain and the Arab Gulf: Rethinking the Rentier State” (Indiana University Press, May 2015).

2014-11-19 - Alumnus Curtis Hertel appointed Mich Senate Dem Caucus Whip

JMC Alumnus Curtis Hertel has been appointed Senate Democratic Caucus Whip for the new session in the Michigan Legislature.

2014-11-19 - Alumnus Jim Ananich elected Mich Senate Minority Leader

JMC Alumnus Jim Ananich of Flint was elected as Senate Minority Leader in the Michigan Legislature following the November 2014 election. 

2014-11-19 - Alumnus Jonathan Stivers nominated by Pres Obama for USAID Asst Admin for Asia

Alumnus Jonathan Stivers (IR ’96) was nominated by President Obama in April 2014 for USAID Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Asia.

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released this statement following the announcement that President Obama has nominated Jonathan Nicholas Stivers as Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Asia, United States Agency for International Development:

“For more than a decade, Jonathan Stivers has been an invaluable member of my team, leading our efforts on foreign assistance and global health, democracy and human rights, East and Southeast Asia.  Jon has played a central role in advancing my foreign policy priorities, especially in the fields of appropriations, HIV/AIDS, international trade, and in countries across the Asia-Pacific region.  He is an extremely qualified and deserving nominee for this vital post.

“Over the years, Jon has worked closely with USAID and congressional committees to promote our national interests, fight poverty and disease around the world, and address ongoing challenges in global development across Asia.  He will bring that background and that knowledge to his new role. “It is a great source of pride to me and my office that President Obama has nominated Jon Stivers to be our next Assistant Administrator for USAID for Asia.  I know he will continue to serve the American people well.”

2014-11-19 - Alumnus Grant Rumley's article "Is Abbas the answer?" appears in CNN Opinion

Is Abbas the answer?

By Jonathan Schanzer and Grant Rumley
(CNN) -- Early on Tuesday morning, two Palestinian men from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber entered a synagogue in the sleepy West Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof and went on a killing spree. Armed with guns and knives, the two men killed four rabbis -- three Israeli-American and one Israeli-British -- before they were struck down by Israeli police. The attack, which also claimed the life of a police officer, was the deadliest in a series of recent "lone wolf" attacks against Israelis across Jerusalem. more...


2014-11-18 - Alumnus Mark Stewart appeared on ABC News discussing the fall elections

Marc Stewart (IR '95) appeared on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on ABC News discussing the role of Colorado in the recent elections.  http://abcn.ws/1qlD9di

Stewart is a reporter and news anchor at KMGH-TV, the ABC –TV affiliate in Denver Colorado. He also returned to Colorado after an international reporting fellowship in China and Hong Kong through the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii.

2014-11-12 - Alumnus Matthew Schneider is lead trial counsel in Detroit bankruptcy

JMC Alumnus Matthew Schneider is the lead trial counsel representing the governor, the state, and Michigan's executive branch departments in the City of Detroit's federal bankruptcy—a case that reached its conclusion Nov. 7.  Read more...

2014-10-22 - Alumnus Michael Strausz publishes "Explaining Nonratification of the Genocide Co

Alumnus Michael Strausz publishes article:  "Explaining Nonratification of the Genocide Convention: A Nested Analysis"

International human rights treaties present states with a relatively low-cost opportunity to demonstrate their support for a human rights principle. With the exception of the powerful European human rights regime, most international human rights treaties lack effective enforcement procedures. Moreover, whatever sanctions the international community may impose on a state for violating the terms of a human rights treaty are unlikely to be greater than what they would have been had the state not previously ratified the treaty. Consider the following counterfactual: Would the international community's condemnation of Syria's crackdown on antigovernment protestors have been any less intense had Syria not already ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)? Presumably the answer is no; states are generally held to account for their human rights behavior regardless of their ratification status with respect to the major international treaties. It would therefore appear that the marginal costs of ratification are very low. In other words, if states are going to be subject to these standards in any case, they might as well reap the benefits of being seen to ratify the treaty. Yet the fact that so many states have waited for years, and even decades, before eventually ratifying some of the major human rights treaties has generated a difficult puzzle for political scientists to solve.

2014-09-30 - Alumnus Grant Rumley's article "Deja vu in the West Bank and Gaza" appears in Fo

Alumnus Grant Rumley's article "Deja vu in the West Bank and Gaza" appears in Foreign Policy

2014-09-23 - Alumnus Hayes Brown to work for BuzzFeed as foreign news editor and reporter

  • BuzzFeed has hired Hayes Brown as foreign news editor and reporter. Brown comes to the site from ThinkProgress, where he most recently served as editor of its World vertical. Before joining ThinkProgress he served as a contractor for the Department of Homeland Security. Brown starts October 6.

2014-09-23 - Alumnus Jamal Ware appointed as communications director for Bengazi hearings

The House Select Committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks on Tuesday hired a communications director as members are scheduled to return from their August recess next week. Republicans, led by Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), brought on Jamal Ware as communications director for the majority. Gowdy's communication director, Amanda Duvall, will continue to handle media through the congressman's personal office. 

2014-09-23 - Alumnus Michael Strausz publishes essay on Japan's whaling regime

Executives, legislatures, and whales: the birth of Japan's scientific whaling regime.

Academic Journal

By: Strausz, Michael. International Relations of the Asia-PacificSep2014, Vol. 14 Issue 3, p455-478. 24p. 1 Black and White Photograph, 1 Chart, 2 Graphs. Abstract: Why did Japan begin scientific whaling, a policy that benefits few domestically and alienates many around the world? In this essay, I argue that Japan's scientific whaling regime was formed as a result of a ‘two-level game’ between President Reagan and Prime Minister Nakasone. Although Reagan was faced with a unified, anti-whaling Congress, he himself was not much concerned about the issue. Nakasone was also not particularly concerned about whaling, and he initially was faced with a Diet that was divided on how to deal with whaling (although it became less divided over time). Ultimately, these circumstances led Japan to develop the scientific whaling regime that persists to this day. 

2014-09-09 - Alumnus Justin Gengler published "Bahrain Drain: Why the King's Sunni Supporters

Alumnus Justin Gengler published "Bahrain Drain: Why the King's Sunni Supporters are Moving Abroad"

More than three years after Bahrain forcibly ended the largest popular uprising in its history in February 2011, its political outlook remains bleak. The question of reforms continues to divide its ruling family, anti-government protesters and security forces clash on a regular basis, and a prolonged deadlock between the ruling al-Khalifa regime and the opposition is further amplifying persistent sectarian tensions. And now the government’s main support base -- its small but pivotal population of Sunni tribal groups -- appears to be slowly leaving the country, locking Bahrain in a bitter dispute with its historical rival Qatar. 

2014-08-06 - Alumnus Nick Micinski is recipient of a Humanity in Action award

Alumnus Nick Micinski was recognized as an outstanding leader by Humanity in Action.  In 2006, Humanity in Action Board Chair Emeritus Neil Karbank and his family established the Barney A. Karbank Memorial Award and the Dr. Louis Rabineau Memorial Award to recognize outstanding leadership by Humanity in Action Fellows and Senior Fellows. Each of the $1,000 awards is given to one American Senior Fellow and one European Senior Fellow. 

2014-08-05 - Alumnus Aitan Goelman named head of enforcement of Commodity Futures Trading Com

Alumnus Aitan Goelman, a Washington, D.C.-based trial lawyer with the law firm Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, was named head of the enforcement division of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He replaces acting enforcement chief Gretchen Lowe and will inherit a full plate of cases, ranging from ongoing probes into manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, currency manipulation and derivatives-rigging investigations.

Mr. Goelman previously served as an attorney with the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted cases ranging from murder to robbery to wire fraud, according to his Zuckerman Spaeder profile. Before that, he was a member of the team that prosecuted Oklahoma City bombing suspects Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. At Zuckerman Spaeder, he represented a variety of white-collar clients, including former SAC Capital Advisors LP analyst Jonathan Hollander, who in 2011 settled insider-trading charges with the SEC.

2014-08-05 - Alumnus Steve Arwood is new COO of MEDC

JMC alumnus Steve Arwood will be the new COO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Arwood has served as the director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs since being appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder in January.

2014-07-28 - Alumnus Grant Rumley interviewed about possible Ceasefire in Gaza

Madison alumnus and Foundation for Defense of Democracies Research Analyst, Grant Rumley, discusses the possibility of another ceasefire in Gaza in this video.

2014-07-09 - Read Alumnus Ben Rosner's article: "Israel: Why Crisis Messaging Matters"

Read Alumnus Ben Rosner's article: "Israel: Why Crisis Messaging Matters." Ben Rosner is a strategic communications and crisis management consultant. An Israeli native, he received his M.A. in International Security Policy and Conflict Resolution at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He was a policy adviser and speechwriter at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. 

2014-07-09 - Alumnus Benjamin Cox is the writer and director for a new movie

Alumnus Benjamin Cox is the writer and director for a new movie "Sterotypically You,"  a NYC dating comedy that follows one man's hallucination-fueled post-breakup quest to find new love...and himself.

2014-07-09 - Alumnus Rich Vander Veen receives Milliken Distinguished Svc Award

Congratulations to JMC alumnus Rich Vander Veen, recipient of the Michigan Environmental Council's Helen and William Milliken Distinguished Service Award. Vander Veen, chairman of the Michigan Sustainable Energy Coalition, has worked in utility law and has been involved in shaping the state's renewable-energy policies.

2014-06-26 - Alumnus Grant Rumley joins the Found. for Defense of Democracies

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies proudly welcomed Grant Rumley this week as its newest research analyst. Rumley will focus on Palestinian politics and other developments in the Levant.

2014-06-11 - JMC Alum creates "Comeback Michigan" podcast; interview w/alum

JMC/MSU Alumni create podcast: Comeback Michigan

If you’ve been paying attention to the news at all in Michigan lately, you’ve probably heard that word a lot. Michigan is becoming known as “the Comeback State.” After years of population decline, it was reported in 2013 that the decline plateaued…people are starting to come back to Michigan to live, work, and play.

Comeback Michigan is a podcast and website dedicated to highlighting the innovative voices and international perspectives that have the power to revitalize and re-invent the great state of Michigan.

If you want to share your story with us, we invite you to become part of the Comeback Club. And if you think you or a friend have a story that belongs on the podcast, please reach out to us on any of our social media platforms or email us directly at comebackmi@gmail.com.

Listen to a podcast with JMC alumnus Paul Burke, the Regional Director of North Asia for the US Soybean Export Council, as he discusses Michigan agriculture. 

2014-04-21 - Two Madison alumni recognized in Baltimore as 20 under 20

Two Madison alumni, Jennifer White and Tom Caron, were named as accomplished young professionals in Baltimore. Congratulations to Jennifer and Tom! http://thedailyrecord.com/2014/04/13/the-daily-record-announces-20-in-their-twenties/

2014-04-08 - Alumnus Aaron Letzeiser is founder of Medical Amnesty Initiative

Aaron Letzeiser

Forbes 30 under 30


Founder, Medical Amnesty Initiative

Founder of the only nonprofit in the U.S. specifically dedicated to the introduction, passage and education of Medical Amnesty legislation nationwide. After successfully drafting and pushing medical amnesty through in Michigan, similar legislation has now been passed in 17 states, and Washington, D.C, with a goal of 40 states by the end of 2014.

2014-04-02 - Alumna Courtney Hurtt creates online publication focused on Detroit

Alumna Courtney Hurtt (CCP), with co-founder Nneka Odum, have created Detroit Grams, an online publication that introduces readers to a different type of storytelling -- one focused on the unique culture and experiences of everyday Detroiters. The digital magazine was born out of a website created to showcase Instagram photos during the Detroit Design Festival in 2012. The project mixes social media, photography, design, and music to tell stories about Detroit. Courtney was born in Detroit and grew up in Southfield. She works full-time at WDET and contributes the storytelling to Detroit Grams. 

2014-04-02 - Alumnus Joseph DeVito named "Deal Maker of the Year" by Crain's

Joseph DeVito (IR ’92), attorney with Howard & Howard, was named ‘Deal Maker of the Year – Advisor Category’ as part of Crain’s Detroit Business 2014 M&A Awards, which recognize top merger and acquisition deals. The awards were presented April 16 in cooperation with the Detroit chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth. DeVito concentrates his practice on business and financial transactions and real estate matters, including: mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations of business entities; complex commercial and real estate lending and restructuring transactions; international business transactions; real estate sale and leasing transactions; securities law and private placements and healthcare related corporate matters. DeVito is the former assistant editor of the Michigan International Lawyer, and has authored various articles for the Michigan Business Law Journal.  He is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School (LL.M. Corporate Finance, 2005), Wayne State University Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1995). He is an alumnus of The Hague Academy of Private International Law.

2014-04-02 - Alumnus Timothy Sheridan named managing partner of law firm

Sheridan named managing partner of firm’s Grand Rapids office

Bloomfield Hills, MI — February 18, 2014 — Timothy F. Sheridan, a senior trial attorney of Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, was recently named the managing partner of the firm’s Grand Rapids office.

With nearly 20 years of experience, Sheridan’s areas of practice include construction litigation; professional liability, including legal and accounting malpractice matters; trucking and transportation litigation; premises liability and product liability. Sheridan is a member of the Pro Bono Committee of the Grand Rapids Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, the DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, the Incorporated Society of Irish American Attorneys and the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel. He also serves as a member of the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Patient Advisory Council.

Admitted to practice in state and federal courts in Michigan, Sheridan received his law degree from University of Toledo College of Law in 1993 and his undergraduate degree from the James Madison College at Michigan State University in 1988.

2014-03-06 - Alumnus Bob Zachritz appointed VP for World Vision

Robert Zachritz (IR '88) was appointed Vice President for Advocacy & Government Relations, effective Monday, February 24, for World Vision.

Bob brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this position with his nearly 11 years on the WVUS advocacy team.  He has been serving in the Acting Vice President role since early January and previously served as the Senior Director for Government Relations.  Bob has developed an expertise on the U.S. government budgeting/appropriations process which funds World Vision's programs in the areas of health, food security, child protection, conflict reduction, and disaster response.  He has served on the board and is an active member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition representing World Vision since 2006.  Bob has a demonstrated track-record of working with others and coalitions to achieve legislative successes.  Some examples have been in the areas of preserving religious freedom, preserving the charitable tax deduction, creating a safebox for developmental food aid, preserving in-kind food aid at the World Trade Organization, and ensuring that 10% of global AIDS resources were going to the care of orphans/vulnerable children.  Bob has also worked closely with the WVI Advocacy & Justice for Children team on the global Child Health Now advocacy campaign and related activities at the United Nations' General Assembly and the annual meetings of the G8 and G20.

Prior to joining World Vision in 2003, Bob worked for almost fifteen years within the U.S. Congress for both Republican and Democratic Members of Congress.  Most recently, he served as Rules Committee Associate and foreign policy advisor for former Representative Tony P. Hall (D-Ohio) who went on to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Organizations in Rome.  Bob also worked for Representatives Fred Upton (R-Michigan) and Dick Cheney (R-Wyoming). He interned with U.S. Senate Chaplain Dick Halverson who served on the World Vision board for a significant number of years.

Bob received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts in International Trade/Business from George Mason University.  He has studied overseas at Cambridge University in England and in Moscow, Russia.  Bob  has traveled to nearly 40 countries – most on humanitarian business in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.  

He is married to Rebecca Daugherty Zachritz and they have two children. 

2014-03-06 - Alumnus John Rood contributes business advice in Forbes

Six Ways To Get More Word-Of-Mouth Referrals

By John Rood, founder/president, Next Step Test Preparation

Especially when starting out, word-of-mouth referrals are the most effective way to grow your business. Even in high-tech companies, having a couple hundred evangelists who can’t live without your product and will spread the word is incredibly important.

A great product or service is clearly the number one thing you can have to spur word-of-mouth growth. Number two (and possibly just as important as the first) is incredible customer service. But beyond the obvious, what can you do? Here are a couple strategies I’ve found work well. Read more…

2014-03-06 - Alumnus Matthew Manning offers opinion on Socchi in The Michigan Daily

Viewpoint: Sochi: the disaster we wanted


Published February 27, 2014

As the cleanup in Sochi continues this week, the impending disaster that had been so frequently discussed before the event has been averted. There wasn’t a terrorist attack, the facilities were finished, and, by and large, everything ran smoothly — so much smoother than we wanted.

In the lead-up to the Winter Games in Sochi, the negative press surrounding the games was staggering. Everything ranging from Russian legislation against homosexuality, to the mismanagement of funds and allegations of corruption. Even the poor stray dogs of Sochi made headlines, with the discovery of a Russian plan to eliminate the feral population before the arrival of hundreds of thousands of tourists, many with a penchant for petting animals on the streets without a second thought to the possible health risks the animals carry. Following the coverage closely, I started to believe that we wanted something bad to happen. More…..

2014-02-17 - Alumnus Dayne Walling receives national honor

JMC alumnus and Flint Mayor Dayne Walling was recognized last week, along with other distinguished honorees, by the Voices for National Service as a leader from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors who has contributed to building a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility within America. For the full list of honorees: http://bit.ly/1maf8sa
Photo Credit: Andrés Harris

2014-02-06 - Alumna Carrie Booth Walling interviewed in Albion Magazine

JMC alumna and Albion College political scientist Carrie Booth Walling explores the challenge of protecting human rights as the ‘new wars’ reshape armed conflict in this Albion College magazine article.

Human rights concerns are never far from our consciousness today. However, this increased awareness is a relatively new global phenomenon, shaped by the 20th century’s individual rights movements and the witnessing of genocide on an unprecedented scale. In response to calls for increased protections, human rights language was included in the United Nations charter, and these rights were defined in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948. Today, with the emergence of “new wars” that often defy convention and brutally target civilians, ensuring human rights has taken on a new urgency. In this interview with Carrie Booth Walling, assistant professor of political science at Albion, we explore the intimate connection between armed conflict and human rights and how the world community is responding to the continuing threats to freedom and human dignity.

2014-01-27 - Alumnus Geoffrey Levin published papers in The Atlantic and the Israel Affairs

Alumnus Geoffrey Levin published papers in The Atlantic and the Israel Affairs: 

"Ariel Sharon's Legacy of Separation" in The Atlantic is an  obituary of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and a look a his political legacy. 

"One step forward or two steps back? Unilateralism and Israel's Gaza disengagement in the eyes of the world" in Israel Affairs was Geoffrey's Madison senior seminar paper.

2014-01-27 - Alumnus Justin Gengler published "Bahrain's Crown Prince Makes his Move" in Fore

Alumnus Justin Gengler published "Bahrain's Crown Prince Makes His Move" in Foreign Policy.

2014-01-21 - JMC Alumnus Peter Spadafore named president of the Lansing School Board

LANSING  The Lansing School Board announced their new officers today and it included a change at the top as they selected Peter Spadafore as its new president.

"I'm honored to be chosen by my colleagues as the next president of the Lansing School District Board of Education," Spadafore said in a statement. "We have a strong board dedicated to serving the children of the district and I look forward to the year ahead."

Spadafore, a Michigan State University alumnus, is currently the vice-president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Michigan, and previously worked for the Michigan Association of School Boards. Joining Spadafore are former president Myra Ford as vice president, Rachel Lewis as secretary and former president Shirley Rodgers as treasurer. 

"The Lansing School District is fortunate to have an experienced, energized leadership team and Board of Education," Lansing school superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul said. "Spadafore is uniquely qualified to lead this team which includes Myra Ford and Shirley Rodgers who have both served terms as school board president, and Rachel Lewis who is simply an outstanding young leader and very active in many community and school issues."

2014-01-16 - Alumna Sarah Mullkoff hired as energy program director for the MEC

Sarah Mullkoff has been hired as energy program director for the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC), the organization’s president, Chris Kolb, announced today. Mullkoff has worked in natural resource policy in a variety of capacities, most recently as energy & climate policy coordinator with the National Wildlife Federation. There, she advanced clean energy policies and carbon reduction campaigns for NWF’s six-state Midwest region. 

2014-01-16 - JMC alumnus among finalists in the search for MSU Provost

JMC Alumnus Paul D’Anieri (IR ’86), along with Jose Bermudez, Deborah Kochevar, Sarah Mangelsdorf, and June Youatt are finalists in the search for MSU Provost.

2014-01-09 - Alumna Lesley Weber passed away December 31, 2013

Lesley Weber (SR '97) passed away on 12/31/13 in NYC. After graduating from JMC she went to Loyola Law School in Chicago. She worked for Allstate for many years and recently received a promotion and moved to NY. Lesley was a member of the MSU Alumni Association and a true Spartan through and through.  http://www.wasikfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Lesley-Weber/#!/Obituary


2013-12-18 - Alumnus Lawrence Sheets is featured in Spartan Saga

Alumnus Lawrence Sheets is featured in a Spartan Saga: http://spartansagas.msu.edu/spotlight/1039/

2013-11-25 - Alumnus Ari Kohen publishes the book "Untangling Heroism"

Untangling Heroism: Classical Philosophy and the Concept of the Hero (Routledge Innovations in Political Theory) 

The idea of heroism has become thoroughly muddled today. In contemporary society, any behavior that seems distinctly difficult or unusually impressive is classified as heroic: everyone from firefighters to foster fathers to freedom fighters are our heroes. But what motivates these people to act heroically and what prevents other people from being heroes? In our culture today, what makes one sort of hero appear more heroic than another sort?

2013-11-21 - JMC alumnus Nathan Triplett elected as mayor of East Lansing

JMC alumnus Nathan Triplett was elected as mayor of East Lansing. Triplett has served on the East Lansing City Council since 2007 and as pro tem since 2011.

2013-11-13 - Alumnus Grant Rumley's article "Palestine's Self-Inflicted Wounds" appears in Th

Palestine's Self-Inflicted Wounds

Such is the clouded area of tasseography in the Palestinian Territories that State of Failuredeftly interprets. Schanzer discards the rhetoric and nationalist storylines in lieu of the pragmatic, describing the recent leadership’s myopic nature in zero-sum terms. His prognosis is clear: the Palestinian leadership is struggling on two fronts: in negotiating a state’s existence and governing a state entity. In order to do the former, it must improve on the latter. It is not likely to win him many friends in the West Bank. But it is, however, a workman’s analysis of how Palestinian officials form policy and govern in one of the longest and most intractable conflicts of the modern era.

Grant Rumley is a visiting fellow at Mitvim—The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies. He lives in Jerusalem and can be reached on Twitter at @Grant_Rumley.


2013-11-13 - Alumnus Matthew Schneider involved in Detroit bankruptcy case

Detroit Bankruptcy Case Turns on Issue of Good Faith

The Detroit bankruptcy trial ended on Friday, after nine days of emotional and often heated testimony that raised questions about whether the city is insolvent and whether city and state officials gave creditors a fair chance to negotiate their debts before Detroit filed for Chapter 9 protection in July.

Judge Steven W. Rhodes of United States Bankruptcy Court asked lawyers to submit briefs on several legal issues by Wednesday. He could rule any time after that.

The trial focused primarily on the events leading up to the filing, and on the woeful condition of Detroit’s finances and city services.

Opponents of the bankruptcy — primarily city employee unions and retirees — have argued that Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan and his associates rammed the bankruptcy through without meeting legal requirements to bargain in good faith with creditors for an alternate solution to Detroit’s deepening crisis.

But in closing statements on Friday, lawyers for the state and the city said Detroit had been sliding toward insolvency for two years before Mr. Snyder appointed an emergency manager, Kevyn D. Orr, and then recommended the bankruptcy filing.

“Years ago, the people of Michigan started to learn that a tremendous and terrible storm was headed for the city of Detroit,” said Matthew Schneider, the state’s chief legal counsel.

For more, click here.

2013-11-12 - Alumna Helen Rosenthal elected to NYC Council

Alumna Helen Rosenthal was elected to the New York City Council last week.  Congratulations to Helen!  http://www.helenrosenthal.com/about_helen

2013-10-15 - Congratulations to alumna Amanda Sloat on her new position

Amanda Sloat (PTCD/Honors College ’97) recently began working as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Southern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean Affairs at the State Department. In this capacity, she is responsible for issues related to Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus, as well as for coordinating with Europeans on U.S. engagement with the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Most recently, she served as Senior Advisor to the White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf Region. Sloat holds a Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Edinburgh. She has published a book (Scotland in Europe: A Study of Multi-Level Governance) and numerous academic articles on comparative European politics. She served as president of the James Madison College Student Senate and is currently a member of the college's Board of Visitors.


2013-10-07 - Alumnus Douglas Skrzyniarz named one of 40 under 40 by Crain's Detroit Business

Alumnus Douglas Skrzyniarz named one of 40 under 40 by Crain's Detroit Business

Douglas Skrzyniarz, 36 is associate vice president of government affairs, Wayne State University School of Medicine and Wayne State University Physician Group, Detroit.

2013-09-26 - Alumnus Peter Spadafore named one of Lansing's "10 over the next 10"

The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce and Grand River Connection named the Greater Lansing region’s top young professionals who are expected to contribute significantly over the next ten years.

The seventh annual "10 Over the Next Ten" were recognized tonight at the University Club of Michigan State University. 

Peter Spadafore.jpgPeter Spadafore

Peter Spadafore works as legislative director for Acuitas, LLC, an advocacy firm based in downtown Lansing, where he focuses on appropriations and policy analysis on a wide range of issues. Spadafore was elected to the Lansing School District Board of Education in 2011. He is a graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University where he studied social relations and policy with an emphasis on education policy and homeland security.

2013-09-10 - Alumna Carrie Booth Walling publishes Op-ed on Syria and book

Detroit Free Press Op-ed by JMC Alumna Carrie Booth Walling: "Finding the right reasons to take action  in Syria"


Booth Walling has also published the book "All Necessary Measures:  The United Nations and Humanitarian Intervention"

328 pages | 6 x 9 | 16 illus. Cloth Aug 2013 | ISBN 978-0-8122-4534-


2013-09-03 - Alumnus Igor Shleypak discusses: "Pensions and Chapter 9 Bankruptcy..."

JMC alumnus Igor Shleypak, University of Illinois College of Law Class of 2014, and guest columnist for the web-based legal news publication, the JURIST, discusses Detroit's bankruptcy, pension restructuring and how Chapter 9 bankruptcy may become a more viable option for local governments in financial trouble...

2013-08-14 - Alumnus Adam Pavlik article in Michigan Bar Journal: "One Court of Justice"

Concurrent Jurisdiction and 50 Years of Michigan’s “One Court of Justice”
Recently, Governor Rick Snyder signed into law legislation requiring all trial courts in Michigan to either adopt concurrent jurisdiction plans or affirmatively vote against implementing them.1 Before, trial courts were permitted to enter into concurrent jurisdiction plans; now, they are required to adopt one “unless a majority of all of the judges of the trial courts in that judicial circuit vote not to have a plan of concurrent jurisdiction.”  Although trial courts retain the authority to vote against forming a concurrent jurisdiction plan, the law seems intended to nudge the courts toward concurrent jurisdiction.3 Judges and court staffs across the state are working toward this goal.
he goals of concurrent jurisdiction are laudable. Who is opposed to more efficient and responsible use of taxpayer dollars? However, the statewide efforts toward concurrent jurisdiction may run up against problems, or at least reasons for concern, in the Michigan Constitution. Now is the time for Michigan’s legal community to reevaluate our Constitution on this issue and consider whether reform is needed as we celebrate its 50th anniversary.

2013-08-05 - Alumnus "John Guzik: Seeing DC in Depth"

Thirty-five minutes after meeting John Guzik, he springs a surprise. “Something you don’t know about me: I’m blind,” he said. “I’m the blind lobbyist.”

Having not noticed, a reporter questions his own powers of observation. Guzik has macular degeneration, and his condition has come on gradually. He revealed some of the special techniques he uses to maintain his status as one of Washington’s top tax lobbyists despite being legally blind. 

Read more: http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/lobbyist-profiles/287485-seeing-dc-in-depth#ixzz2e3NydJvY 

2013-07-30 - Alum Grant Rumley's: "Palestine's Plan B," in The National Interest

Palestine's Plan B, commentary by James Madison College alumnus Grant Rumley

In the time it took John Kerry to announce that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians would be starting again, a microcosm of the past couple years in the conflict played out. Initial leaks, clear-cut denials, clarifications about preconditions, expectations and the like burst out from all sides. Yet within the enigmatic, if not routine, vacillations that accompanied this announcement, the Palestinians began revealing different facets of their contingency plan. In an interview with a Jordanian newspaper, Mahmoud Abbas was quick to point out that “all options are open,” mentioning the possibility of returning to the UN and referring to the bid as the “greatest achievement” in recent Palestinian memory.  

So what happens if negotiations actually renew and then break down again? What’s next for the Palestinian agenda?

2013-07-24 - Alumnus Steve Marino running for Macomb County commissioner

Alumnus Steve Marino is running for Macomb County commissioner.  Currently, he is working as the Government Relations Coordinator for Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, Inc. and enjoys golfing and keeping up with politics.

2013-07-24 - Alumnus Dan Blue chosen as Adams Entrepreneur Fellow

Dan Blue (IR/Arabic ’10) has been chosen as one of four fellows by the Adams Entrepreneur Fellowship Program, Automation Alley, in Troy, Michigan’s largest technology business association. The Adams Entrepreneur Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for recent college and university graduates to engage with startups at the management level in a highly entrepreneurial experience. The fellows have daily job responsibilities and will be encouraged to participate in local entrepreneurial, business development and leadership events. Blue participated in a 10-week study abroad at the American University in Cairo at the Arabic Language Institute’s intensive language program. He has joined Detroit-based Stik.com and will wear many hats to help the social media startup strengthen its following. Stik.com brings word-of-mouth recommendations for local businesses online through Facebook. Blue’s previous entrepreneurial experience includes guiding Detroit-based startup Powervoice LLC through transition as CEO to develop a new business model, launch a beta product and bring on early clients.

2013-07-18 - Alum Richard Cordray confirmed as head of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

  WASHINGTON — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was conceived by a Harvard professor, embraced by the Obama administration and pushed into law by Congressional Democrats determined to expand the federal government’s authority to protect borrowers from abusive lending practices — all in the space of just three years.

Daniel Rosenbaum for The New York Times

Richard Cordray was confirmed as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief almost two years after his nomination.

But even after the agency opened its doors in July 2011, almost exactly two years ago, its legal authority remained uncertain so long as Republicans prevented the confirmation of a director to lead the agency, as required by law.

That barricade collapsed on Tuesday. Republicans agreed to allow the confirmation of Richard Cordray, by a vote of 66 to 34, cementing a new era of expansive federal oversight of companies that lend money to consumers.

2013-07-01 - Joseph Baumann named General Counsel of the Michigan Supreme Court

 Joseph J. Baumann (IR ’00), former counsel to the state House of Representatives majority caucus and deputy legal counsel to the Department of Community Health, has been named by the Michigan Supreme Court as its new General Counsel, succeeding Matthew Schneider (IR ‘96), who has been appointed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette in April 2013 to be his Chief Legal Counsel. Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. said that Baumann was the unanimous choice of the Court.  Baumann was previously an associate in the public policy and governmental relations division of Dykema Gossett, where he specialized in health care, real property, and energy litigation. He was the 2006 recipient of the Michigan State Police’s “Award for Professional Excellence” for the DCH’s Hurricane Katrina response. 

2013-06-07 - Alumnus Nick Micinski publishes article in the Huffington Post UK

Alumnus Nick Micinski publishes article "Bosnia: Small Victories in a Place Teetering on the Edge"in the Huffington Post UK:.

This week the cities and villages of Prijedor, Kozarac, Trnopolje, and Omarska won a few small victories in a time when optimism and hope are scarce.

These small, economically deprived towns are located in the Republic of Srpska in the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is in this place that 3,173 people were killed early in the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia with more than 1,000 people still missing.

Twenty-one years later, the area remains a tense, crumbling relic of what used to be a prosperous industrial region of Yugoslavia. Now, unemployment is a stifling 43% with few opportunities for youth. Politics are divisive and often nationalistic. Since the violence ended, the villages in this region are mostly segregated with Serb, Croat, and Bosniak (Muslim) children attending different schools and being taught different histories of the recent conflict.  Cointinued...

2013-05-08 - Alumnus Matthew Schneider appointed as Chief Legal Counsel for Mich AG

 Matthew Schneider (IR '96) was appointed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette in April 2013 to be his Chief Legal Counsel.  Schneider was serving as the Michigan Supreme Court's Chief of Staff and General Counsel since 2011, where he was recognized for his efforts to reform Michigan's judicial branch to improve efficiency and the courts' service to the public.  Schneider helped launch the Next Generation case information project to create a unified case management system for the courts.  The program was piloted successfully in Berrien County and plans are underway to for implementation statewide.  For his achievements, Schneider was named a "Leader in the Law" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly in March 2013. Prior to joining the Michigan Supreme Court in 2011, Schneider served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, located in Detroit.  Schneider handled cases for the Public Corruption and controlled substances units, which investigates and prosecutes corrupt public officials, organized crime, and drug traffickers. While at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Schneider also conducted specialized training for attorneys and law enforcement officials. Schneider also served as an advisor and assistant general counsel in the White House Budget Office from 2002 to 2003, where he provided legal and policy advice to cabinet members and senior presidential staff.  Schneider is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, and currently serves as an adjunct professor at the Michigan State University College of Law, where he teaches advanced criminal procedure.

2013-05-02 - Alumna Anne Mervenne honored among "Wonder Women of 2013"

Alumna Anne Mervenne (Urban '82), honored among "Wonder Women of 2013”

Michigan Political Leadership Program Co-Director Anne Mervenne has been named among the Women Officials Network Foundation “Wonder Women of 2013.”  The Wonder Woman Award honors women who have improved the quality of life in southeast Michigan through civic, philanthropic and professional accomplishments. “These women contribute in meaningful ways and forge paths of leadership for girls and women to follow,” the organization said in announcing the recognition this year.  “We are honored and pleased to see Anne Mervenne honored,” said Douglas B. Roberts, Ph.D., director of Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. “She is an outstanding MPLP Co-Director.”

IPPSR is the Michigan State University home of MPLP, known as the premier training grounds for rising political leaders. MPLP names 24 Fellows each year to take part in 10 months of specialized training in personal leadership, campaign operations, governing and communications.

Mervenne is CEO of Mervenne & Company, a governmental relations consulting firm. She is a graduate of MSU’s James Madison College.  Previously, she served for 12 years in the administration of former Gov. John Engler. She held positions as Director of Appointments, Executive Director of the Michigan Women’s Commission, Director of the Governor’s Southeast Michigan Office and Special Adviser to the Governor and First Lady.

2013-05-01 - Alumnus Tom Boyd Featured in National Documentary

Alumnus Tom Boyd Featured in National Documentary

Ingham County Chief District Court Judge Tom Boyd (Minority Majority Group Relations, '85) is featured in a national documentary film. The film, Defending Gideon, was released last month on the 50th anniversary of the United State Supreme Court deciding Gideon v. Wainwright (decided March 18, 1963). The Gideon decision clarified that the 6th amendment “right to counsel” required the states to provide indigent persons accused of serious crime with an attorney. Defending Gideon was screened at the U.S. Department of Justice's 50th Anniversary Gideon Event, introduced by Attorney General Eric Holder.


Defending Gideon is narrated by Martin Sheen and also features former Vice President Walter Mondale and former New York Times journalist, Anthony Lewis (author of Gideon’s Trumpet). Judge Boyd and State Representative Tom McMillin are featured because of their efforts to reform Michigan's indigent defense system. Representative McMillin plans to reintroduce legislation this year to establish minimum standards for all local communities when providing counsel to indigent criminal defendants.

The Constitution Project is a national organization dedicated to a bipartisan approach to grappling with key constitutional issues confronting Americans in the 21st century. Defending Gideon can be seen at http://www.constitutionproject.org/publications-resources/defending-gideon/.


2013-04-29 - Alumna Allison Youatt Schnable named a Newcombe Doctoral Fellow

Alumna Allison Youatt Schnable (SRP '03) has been named a 2013 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellow by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Schnable is currently a doctoral candidate in sociology at Princeton University. She is studying 10,000 new international relief and development organizations started by Americans in the last 20 years in her dissertation Voluntary Entrepreneurs: The Growth of Grassroots American Development Organizations.

The Newcombe Fellowship is the nation’s largest and most prestigious such award for Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences whose dissertations address questions of ethical and/or religious values. Each 2013 Newcombe Fellow will receive a 12-month award of $25,000.

2013-04-26 - Alumna Katie Wilson recognized by the Susan B. Anthony List

Katie Wilcox (IR ’06) recently was honored by The Susan B. Anthony List with a Susan B. Anthony Young Leader Award at the group’s annual Campaign for Life Gala in April in Washington, D.C.


2013-04-17 - JMC alumnus Kyle Love to climb Mt. Everest with father

Area father, son to climb Mount Everest together

Published: Sunday, March 24, 2013

By MONICA DRAKE of The Oakland Press

Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world at 29,029 feet and is considered one of the most challenging mountains to climb.

This doesn’t scare Bloomfield Hills resident Kirk Love or his son 1st Lt. Kyle Love, who serves in the National Guard. At the end of this month, they are traveling to Nepal, and, for 22 days, they will hike up 21,000 feet of the mountain.

2013-04-17 - Read Alumnus Justin Gengler's article: "Who needs the Bahrain Grand Prix?"

Read Alumnus Justin Gengler's article in Foreign Policy: "Who needs the Bahrain Grand Prix?"


“Since its first running in 2004, the Bahrain Grand Prix has been a mainstay of the country's complex political calendar. Indeed, controversy brewed well before a single race could take place, with critics decrying the expense of constructing the vast Bahrain International Circuit even as many citizens struggled to find jobs, housing, and affordable land. At the same time, the track's isolation in the far south of the island -- well, as far south as one can go before hitting military fences -- fed the notion that the race, hosted not far from Sakhir Palace, was conceived mostly as a diversion for society's elite, and aptly demonstrated the misplaced social and economic priorities of the ruling family.”

You might need to sign up for a free memberhsip in Foreign Policy to read the article.


2013-04-17 - Alumnus Grant Rumley publishes article in The Atlantic

"Alumnus Grant Rumley publishes article in The Atlantic:  "Who Will Be the Next Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority?"


"Mahmoud Abbas formally accepted the resignation of his prime minister, Salam Fayyad, this weekend despite the best efforts of the U.S. and John Kerry to reconcile the two. The rift between Fayyad and Abbas, which had been rumored to be growing larger, was exposed in full after the resignation of the finance minister, a move Fayyad had accepted but Abbas did not. There had been, of course, rumors that Abbas had wanted to fire Fayyad, or that Fayyad had in fact been prepared to resign last month and only delayed due to President Obama's trip, but these rumors were treated with a healthy amount of skepticism, as feigning one's resignation has become a recent Palestinian pastime."



2013-03-28 - Alumnus Robb Johnston publishes his first children's book

"The Woodcutter and The Most Beautiful Tree” is an impressive first effort in both art and story for debut artist and author Robb Johnston, of Rockford — and he’s enjoying every moment of the new experience of writing, illustrating and publishing his first picture book.

Johnston, a 2006 graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in international relations, was inspired to create the book while living in Japan, where he was teaching English. 

2013-03-28 - Michael Strausz published "International Pressure and Domestic Precedent.."


Asian Journal of Political Science

Volume 20Issue 3, 2012



2013-03-14 - Alumnus Brett Makens serves in the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn, Estonia

 Brett Makens (IR 1997) is currently serving as the Economic and Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn, Estonia where he works on technology issues. He has also served in Berlin as the Environmental Officer and in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Prior to joining the foreign service in 2006, Brett was the Deputy Director for Market Access at USTR and was a Presidential Management Fellow at the State Department where he worked on the US-Central America FTA. He is married to an MSU grad and they have three children under the age of 5.

2013-03-13 - Alumna Kristin Fair named Executive Dir, MI House Republican Campaign Comm.

Kristin Fair (PTCD ’04) has been named Executive Director, Michigan House Republican Campaign Committee. She has been Research Director for the Michigan House Republican Caucus since January 2010. She previously served as a legislative director in the House and as a policy analyst for the American Veterinary Medical Association.

2013-02-28 - Alumna Tara Clark publishes "Detroit's Empowerment Zone: Eval. and Success"

 JMC Alumna Tara Clark, grad student at the University of Virginia, published the article "Detroit's Empowerment Zone: Evaluation and Success" in Virginia Policy Review. Starts on page 44

2013-02-14 - Alumnus Nate Lyman publishes article in Agriculture and Applied Economics

Nate Lyman (IR ’09) and L. Lanier Nalley, "Incentivizing Net Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions in Rice Production: The Case of Arkansas Rice" in Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 45, 1 (February 2013): 171-185.  Nate is working on an Ag Econ Masters (fellowship) at the University of Arkansas.

2013-02-05 - Alumnus Glenn Oliver's company H2bid a finalist in Forbes' "America's Most Promi

Alumnus Glenn Oliver is President and CEO of H2bid, which was selected as a finalist in Forbes' search for “America’s Most Promising Companies” in December 2012. H2bid, Inc. (www.h2bid.com), the leading source for water and wastewater utility contract opportunities, has made the final selection round of Forbes list of “America’s Most Promising Companies.” Each year Forbes searches America’s corporate community to locate the most promising companies.  The list features thriving, privately held businesses across America – companies with dazzling prospects to grow and change the world.  H2bid is the world’s only B2B/B2G exchange connecting water utilities and vendors.  By providing water utilities with more efficient ways of conducting commerce and access to new commercial information, H2bid is bringing intelligent commerce to the water utility industry. 

2013-02-04 - Alumnus Dan Alpert receives Outstanding Fundraising Exec. Award

 Dan Alpert (SOCEC/Communications ’73), Senior Vice President of Development and Communications at Detroit Public Television, was presented with the Dr. John S. Lore Outstanding Fundraising Executive Award at the National Philanthropy Day (NPD) Dinner in November  2012 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Detroit Chapter.  Alpert, a leader in the nonprofit community, has had responsibilities for almost every aspect of DPTV operations through the years.  Alpert, the “face” of Channel 56 for 36 years, has greatly influenced the community through his leadership and innovation, helping the station to continue to develop and deliver quality, relevant programming to the community.  He is married to Doreen Podolski Alpert, a 1974 graduate of Michigan State University.

2013-01-30 - Alumnus Grant Rumley's article appears in The Daily Beast

 Alumnus Grant Rumley's article "Can Fatah And Hamas Reconcile?" appears in The Daily Beast. 

2013-01-09 - Alumnus Cory Connolly named in Forbes 30 under 30 for law and policy

Cory (John) Connolly (IR ’10) was named in Forbes 30 under 30 for law and policy.  He is a research associate at Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C. He helped organize the Mexico - US Climate Law Network.  

2013-01-09 - Read Alumnus Nick Micinski's piece on asylum and poverty in Britain


Nick Micinski

Posted: 20/12/2012 13:56

2013-01-08 - Alumnus Anthony Leiserowitz discusses climate change with Bill Moyers

 JMC alumnus Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and a Research Scientist at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University, discusses climate change on Moyers and Company.

2012-11-28 - John Rood receives Under30CEO award in Chicago

JMC Alumnus John Rood, owner of Next Step Preparation in Chicago, received an Under30CEO award, the goal of which is to highlight the next big innovators, leaders, and world changers from Top 10 Cities in the United States for Young Entrepreneurs.  In order to qualify, the entrepreneurs had to meet revenue requirements of between $50,000 and $10,000,000 (OR) over 10,000 users, (OR) have between $50,000 and $10,000,000 in funding, under the age of 30.

Next Step Test Preparation provides a complete package of one-on-one tutoring for graduate school entrance exams for about the price of a group lecture course at one of our competitor.


2012-11-28 - Ari Kohen receives Award for Distinguished Teaching at Nebraska

 Alumnus Ari Kohen received the College Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, where he is the Schlesinger Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. He teaches courses in the history of political thought, as well as on topics related to human rights and restorative justice. Kohen also co-hosts a weekly podcast on heroism, the topic of his current research.

2012-11-20 - Patrick Jackson named Professor of the Year in DC by CASE and the Carnegie Found

Alumnus Patrick Thaddeus Jackson (IR '94), Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education in SIS at the American University, was named the U.S. Professor of the Year for the District of Columbia by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. It’s a prestigious honor and Jackson is in good company — among this year’s winners were professors from Boston College, Emory University and University of Virginia.

2012-10-25 - Alumnus Kevin Rushton passed away October 17


Alumnus Kevin Rushton passed away October 17


We are sad to announce that JMC alumnus, and devoted and active Board of Visitors member, KEVIN EDMUND RUSHTON died October 17, 2012, at age 54, of Bloomfield Hills. 

Beloved husband of Janice Gilbert Rushton, he leaves behind Edmund Rushton, Stephen Acosta, and Andrew Acosta. Brother of Janice Harvey (Randy), Liz Rushton, Christopher Rushton (Betsy), Laura Durkin (Tom), and Amy Rushton (Alistair Hattingh). Also survived by many nieces, nephews, and extended family members.

2012-10-25 - Alumnus Dan Redford receives MSUAA Distinguished Young Alumnus Award

 JMC alumnus and Dan Redford was honored by his alma mater Michigan State University as a Distinguished Young Alumnus on October 11, 2012. Watch his MSU YouTube video.

2012-10-25 - Alumnus Grant Rumley writes about the Palestinian elections

 Alumnus Grant Rumley writes about the Palestinian elections in the Atlantic:  "3 Key Takeaways From This Week's Palestinian Elections."

2012-10-09 - Alumnus Fred Headen featured in an article in The Bridge

Alumnus Fred Headen is featured in an article in The Bridge:  News and Analysis from The Center of Michigan

As director of the Department of Treasury’s Bureau of Local Government Services, Headen has played a regular role in reviewing the finances of Michigan’s most troubled cities. He’s served on local finance review teams and helped oversee how struggling cities recover, under either an emergency manager or an agreement on restructuring its finances.

2012-10-02 - Richard Cordray (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) criticized Amex

Alumnus Richard Cordray and Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is featured in a New York Times Article: "American Express Says It Will Refund $85million."  

The multi-agency investigation of American Express included the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Utah Department of Financial Institutions. They discovered violations of consumer protection laws between 2003 and this year that started “from the moment a consumer shopped for a card to the moment the consumer got a phone call about long overdue debt,” Richard Cordray, the director of the consumer protection bureau, said in a statement.

2012-09-25 - Alumnus Justin Gengler authors article in Foreign Policy

 Alumnus Justin Gengler authors article in Foreign Policy:  "The Dangerous U.S. Double Standard on Islamic Extremism"

2012-09-25 - Alum Nick Micinski produced and appears in video "Where London Happens"

 Alumnus Nick Micinski produced and appears in video welcoming migrants to London England:  "Where London Happens"

2012-09-19 - Alumnus Grant Rumley is founder of new publication on the Near East

 Grant Rumley (IR ’11) is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Review of New East Affairs, an online publication.   

The Jerusalem Review of Near East Affairs is an independent, non-partisan publication that seeks to serve as a source of input for students, stakeholders, and policymakers of the Near East. Founded in 2012, the Review maintains a moderate, pragmatic approach to the affairs of the greater Levant. The Review does not advocate on behalf of any position, but rather offers a platform for elevated, intelligent, and polite discourse on the region. 

2012-09-19 - Alumnus Patrick Jackson publishes award winning IR book

Alumnus Patrick Thaddeus Jackson published, The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations:  Philosophy of Science and its Implications for the Study of World Politics (Routledge, 2011).  

He was the recipient of the Yale H. Ferguson Award, presented by International Studies Association-Northeast, for the book.  The award recognizes the book that most advances the vibrancy of international studies as a pluralist discipline. 

2012-08-07 - Alumna Alyssa Meyer awarded Fulbright to do research in Kyrgyzstan

Alyssa Meyer (IR/PTCD ’11), native of Prudenville, Michigan, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Kyrgyzstan in Energy, the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced recently. Meyer will use her grant to conduct independent research in Russian on the feasibility of using alternative sources to provide for Kyrgyzstan's energy security.  Meyer is one of over 1,700 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2012-2013 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. 

2012-08-07 - Alumnus Nick Micinski published chapter in "Women, Leadership, & Mosques"

Nick Micinski published "Celebrating Miss Muslim Pageants and Opposing Rock Concerts:  Contrasting the Religious Authority and Leadership of Two Muslim Women in Kazan" in Women, Leadership, and Mosques:  Changes in Contemporary Islamic Authority Ed by Masooda Bano and Hilary Kalmach (Boston:  Brill, 2012).  

2012-08-07 - Alumnus Beau Kilmer is co-author of book about marijuana legalization

 Marijuana Legalization:  What Everyone Needs to Know by Jonathan P. Caulkins, Angela Hawken, Beau Kilmer, and Mark A.R. Kleiman (Oxford University Press, 2012)


2012-07-10 - Alumnus Chris Purdy co-authors article

Alumnus Chris Purdy is co-author of the article “Big Food,” the Consumer Food Environment, Health, and the Policy Response in South Africa" in Public Library of Science.  Purdy is working on his Masters of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. 

2012-07-10 - Alumnus Richard Cordray featured in recent articles

Alumnus Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is featured in several recent articles about the bureau overhauling the mortgage market. " As part of a continuing overhaul of the home mortgage market, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday issued proposed rules to bolster fairness and clarity in residential lending, including requiring a good-faith estimate of costs for homebuyers.

"New Agency Plans to Make Over Mortgage Market" 

"Consumer Bureau Proposes New Mortgage Disclosure Rules"

2012-07-05 - Alumnus Sanford Perliss publishes "A Thousand Invisible Cords"

Alumnus Sanford Perliss publishes "A Thousand Invisible Cords: An American Lawyer's Unorthodox Journey."  In this memoir, Attorney Perliss narrates a fascinating and surprising insider’s journey into the world of criminal and immigration law in the multicultural melting pot of Southern California. A former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, Perliss became the first American lawyer licensed by the People’s Republic of China to open a foreign law office in Central China, Sichuan Province, City of Chengdu.

2012-06-21 - Alumnus Scott Hards offers opinion on nuclear power in "The Japan Times"

Alumnus Scott Hards offers opinion on nuclear power in The Japan Times: " Accurate radiation info needed." 

2012-06-13 - Allison (Harnisch) Leotta (IR '95) publishes second novel

Alumna Allison (Harnisch) Leotta (IR '95) will have her second novel, DISCRETION (Simon and Schuster), published this July.  She will visit the Okemos Schuler Books on July 19. 

#1 bestselling author Douglas Preston said, "“Discretion is the best legal thriller I’ve read this year, beautifully crafted and frighteningly real. Leotta knows her stuff cold and will bring you into a world of big money, corruption, high-end prostitution and murder. If you’re a fan of Grisham or Richard North Patterson, you simply have to buy this book." 


2012-06-05 - LSJ article about alumnus Dan Redford

Read the article "Boomerang effect can benefit state" in the Lansing State Journal. 

2012-04-30 - We sadly announce the passing of '07 alumna Rachel Kahan

Alumna Rachel Kahan (IR 2007) died on Friday, April 27 after a battle with an aggressive oral cancer. There will be a memorial service on May 2nd, at 1:30 PM at the Dorfman Chapel, 30440 W Twelve Mile Rd, Farmington Hills MI 48334.  Her Madison friends have established a scholarhip in her name to benefit JMC students participating in the semester in DC program. To contribute to this fund, contact Rocky Beckett at 517-432-2117 or make a gift on-line at: www.givingto.msu.edu


2012-04-05 - Review of Alumnus Lawrence Sheets' book "Eight Pieces of Empire"

By Lawrence Scott Sheets

Lawrence Sheets is a foreign correspondent whose bravery exceeds one’s comprehension. For two decades, he risked death covering the violent chaos that followed the collapse of the

2012-04-05 - Allison (Harnisch) Leotta's (IR '95) first novel now in paperback

Allison Leotta's book "Law of Attraction" is now in paperback.


The victim she tried to protect is dead. Her lover—no, her ex-lover—is defending the accused killer. For domestic-violence prosecutor Anna Curtis, all of her cases are important—but this one is personal. This time, nothing will stop her from bringing the defendant to justice. Unless he kills her first.

From the gilded lobbies of Washington’s most powerful law firms to the darkened alleys of its poorest neighborhoods, Law of Attraction is a fascinating glimpse inside the most emotional cases of D.C.’s criminal justice system.

2012-04-03 - Lawrence Sheets on NPR: "Putin Tries To Influence Former Soviet States"

NPR's David Greene talks to journalist and author Lawrence Sheets about his experiences in the former Soviet Union. They also discuss how the anti-Putin sentiment in Moscow is affecting relations with neighboring states. Vladimir Putin just won election in Russia and is returning to the presidency.

2012-03-14 - Read Alumnus Lawrence Sheets' NYTimes article "A 'Frozen Conflict' ....

Lawrence Scott Sheets article "A Frozen Conflict That Could Boil Over" appeared in the NYTimes.  Sheets is director of the South Caucasus Project for the International Crisis Group, which released the report, “Tackling Azerbaijan’s IDP Burden” last week. He is also the author of “Eight Pieces of Empire: A 20-year Journey through the Soviet Collapse.”

2012-02-22 - Alum Jason Miller in NYTimes article, "A Jewish Hockey Player at History's..."

Alumnus Jason Miller is quoted in NYTimes article,"A Jewish Hockey Player at History's Indelible Crossroad."  Evan Kaufmann is one of the few Jews to play for Germany in international sports since World War II.

2012-02-14 - Alumnus Richard Cordray article in Politico: "CFPB helping fix mortgage industry

Read alumnus Richard Cordray's opinion piece "CFPB helping fix mortgage industry,"  in Politico.

2012-02-09 - Alumnus Dan Redford: "Hoekstra's embarrassing ad is heard loud and clear in Chin

Alumnus Dan Redford is a guest commentator in the Detroit Free Press: "Hoekstra's embarrassing ad is heard loud and clear in China."

2012-01-25 - Alumnus Michael Fabian receives "Leader in the Law" Award

After a statewide call for nominees brought numerous worthy candidates, Michigan Lawyers Weekly has selected its 25 “Leaders in the Law” for 2011.  JMC alumnus Michael Fabian (JMCD '75), of the firm Fabian, Sklar & King PC, Farmington Hills, is one of the recipients. 

The honorees will be recognized in a special section to be published Feb. 28, and at the third annual Leaders in the Law luncheon, taking place March 15 at the Detroit Marriott in Troy. At the awards ceremony, Lawyers Weekly will reveal the 2011 Lawyer of the Year.

In selecting the 25 Leaders, a Lawyers Weekly editorial panel considered such details as:  Possessing the ability to achieve success in his or her respective practice, while also displaying the strength of character that transcends results; Exemplifying the noble tradition of the legal profession, coupled with commitment to practicing law in Michigan; Being passionate and aggressive on behalf of both clients and the legal community;  A record of winning cases, solving problems or coming to judicial conclusions that reflect the utmost integrity.

Fabian is also an editor and contributing author of the book "Michigan Insurance Law and Practice."


2012-01-24 - Alumnus Andrew Jelinek published "A Paper Cup and an Empty World"

Andrew Jelinek (IR/German '10) published "A Paper Cup and an Empty World."   He is currently a second year Masters student at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service. 

2012-01-18 - Read Alumnus Justin Gengler's article "Bahrain's Sunni Awakening"

"Bahrain's Sunni Awakening,"by Justin Gengler, published January 17, 2012 in the Middle East Research and Information Project.

2012-01-11 - JMC alumnus Tommy Simon, "Lost in Detroit: A Gentifier's Story"

JMC alumnus  in the Huffington Post:  "Lost in Detroit: A Gentrifier's Story"

2012-01-05 - Alumnus Richard Cordray appointed chief of consumer agency by President

President Obama using recess power to appoint JMC alumnus Richard Cordray as Consumer Agency Chief.


2011-11-09 - Madison alumni successful in election

Congratulations to JMC alumni Laura Casey, Derek DobiesPatrice Johnson, Peter Spadafore, Larry Spataro, Zack Stanton, Nathan Triplett, and Dayne Walling on their successful elections Tuesday.



2011-11-03 - Read an article in Foreign Policy by alumnus Justin Gengler

Read the article, "Qatar's ambivalent democratization," in Foreign Policy, by alumnus Justin Gengler

Justin Gengler recently received his Ph.D. in political Science from the University of Michigan. He now works for the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute in Doha.

2011-11-01 - Derek Sarafa named one of top 40 attorneys under 40 in Illinois

Alumnus Derek Sarafa (PE '94), partner with Winston & Strawn LLP in Chicago, has been selected from over 1,200 nominees as one of the top 40 attorneys under 40 in Illinois. 


2011-10-18 - Detroit Free Press online commentary by alumnus Dan Redford

Alumnus Dan Redford writes in The Detroit Free Press online commentary:  "Debate over Chinese currency manipulation may backfire on Michigan."   Redford is director of Chinese Operations for First Pathway Partners in Milwaukee, Wisc.

2011-10-12 - Professor Chandra and alumna Kelly Steffen co-author article

Professor Siddharth Chandra and alumna Kelly Steffen are co-authors of an article in the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis:  Siddharth Chandra, Matthew Barkell, and Kelly Steffen (2011), Inferring Cocaine Flows across Europe: Evidence from Price Data,  

2011-09-27 - Alumnus John Heffern confirmed as Ambassador to Armenia

WASHINGTON, DC — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved John Heffern to serve as US Ambassador to Armenia. Heffern, a career diplomat who has spent much of his career working in East Asia, was nominated in May 2011 to serve as ambassador to Armenia.

2011-09-20 - Alumnus Dan Redford: "Speak a Few Chinese Phrases"

Alumnus Dan Redford writes in the online Michigan magazine, Dome: "Speak a Few Chinese Phrases."

2011-08-16 - Read the Summer 2011 JMScene online

Read the Summer 2011 issue of the JM Scene newsletter online, featuring a story about Professor Michael Schechter.

2011-05-18 - Alumnus Glenn Oliver is featured in the MSUAA Magazine

Alumnus Glenn Oliver is featured in the MSUAA Magazine in a piece by Bob Bao, "GLENN OLIVER: WATER ENTREPRENEUR." 

Water is becoming increasing valuable as a resource, and the Great Lakes contain 20 percent of the world’s fresh water supply. Entrepreneurs are emerging in this region, such as Glenn Oliver, ’84, founder and president of H2bid.com in Detroit.


2011-05-17 - Read an article in Foreign Affairs by alumnus Justin Gengler

"How Radical are Bahrain's Shia?:  The Real Source of Unrest in the Kingdom 

Summary:  King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has blamed Bahrain's recent protests on Shia extremists. But close examination reveals that Shia there are more secular than their Sunni counterparts. 

JUSTIN GENGLER is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the University of Michigan. This essay is adapted from data from his 2009 nationally-representative survey of political attitudes in Bahrain.


2011-04-27 - Alumnus Timothy Vogus (PE '95) is Top 40 Business School Professor

Timothy J. Vogus (PE ‘95), Assistant Professor of Management and Organization Studies at Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management , was recently named one of the world’s top 40 business school professors under 40 by PoetsandQuants.com and Fortune.com.

2011-04-25 - Richard Cordray (JMCD '81) in the Washington Post

Consumer bureau’s Richard Cordray, from state regulator to federal enforcer. 

2011-04-25 - Alumnus Tom Homan (SOCEC '81) receives Public Service Award

Delaware City Manager Tom Homan (SOCEC '81) was recognized with the William H. Anderson Excellence in Public Service Award by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) this month. The William H. Anderson Award recognizes a current or past board member who exemplifies outstanding leadership, a vision for the community and the region, and commitment to MORPC.

2011-04-25 - Judge Mark Somers (IR '80) bars Florida pastors from Dearborn mosque

Judge Mark Somers (IR '80), 19th Circuit District Court, bars Florida pastors from Dearborn MI mosque for 3 years.  http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/201104230400/NEWS01/104230317

2011-04-07 - Alumnus Scott Nowak wins graduate student award

Scott Nowak (IR '08) received a first place award for his oral presentation of his article, Justice in Burma, at the 2011 Michigan State University Graduate Academic Conference. The competition took place on March 25, 2011 and was sponsored by Michigan State University's Council of Graduate Students (COGS). Mr. Nowak's work will be published in May in Volume 19, Issue 3 of the Michigan State Journal of International Law.

2011-04-06 - Alumnus John McMillian writes about Manning Marable in The Atlantic

Alumnus John McMillan, assistant professor of history at Georgia State University, offers a tribute to Manning Marable in The Atlantic. 


2011-03-23 - Alumnus Richard Cordray in top post at federal consumer protection bureau

Alumnus Richard Cordray will lead the enforcement division of the newly created Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection in Washington, D.C.  Outgoing Ohio Attorney General Cordray has been tapped to serve a leading role in the federal consumer financial protection agency he advocated for as Ohio’s top lawyer.

2011-03-23 - Alumnus Nathan Triplett (PTCD/SR '06) honored with Hero of Humanity Award

Alumnus Nathan Triplett (PTCD/SR ’06) was presented in September 2010 with the Hero of Humanity award by Greater Lansing’s United Nations Association chapter in partnership with the Art of Living Foundation

2011-03-23 - Allison (Harnisch) Leotta (IR '95) publishes first novel

Allison (Harnisch) Leotta (IR ‘95), a federal sex-crimes prosecutor in D.C., published her first novel. "Law of Attraction" is a romantic mystery about a fictional sex-crimes prosecutor in D.C.