What are you studying? Special Events Management with a Gerstacker minor
Activities as a student: Alpha Xi Delta, softball, work in Residential Life
Why did you choose Albion? Volleyball, softball, Gerstacker, and my brother Zac and his friend Jordan. I grew up with them and Jordan was like my second brother. When they left for college, I felt like I had lost my two best friends. They both had me come up to visit them a few times, then asked me to come to school with them. I couldn't say "no!" They also joined a fraternity, so it made me want to come to Albion and join a sorority.
What is one of your favorite Albion memories? A spring trip to Florida, and away games with the softball team my freshmen year.
Where do you hope to work after you leave Albion? I have always wanted to open my own wedding planning business in a major city somewhere in Michigan or near home.
2012 Young Alumni Award Recipients
Albion's unique recognition of outstanding graduates, the Young Alumni "Top 10 in 10" awards, brought a celebratory crowd to the Science Complex atrium April 20. From the governor's office to a racetrack, from Arlington to São Paolo, the "Top 10 in 10" again affirmed the diversity of fields – and successes – in which Albion alumni distinguish themselves.
The award recognizes noteworthy and distinctive achievements made by alumni who have graduated within the past ten years.
"These outstanding young people highlight the impressive achievements our alumni make, even just a few years out of college," explained Tim Newsted, '78, assistant director of alumni engagement. "We have thousands of fantastic alumni, and it's a pleasure to celebrate their successes.”
The 2012 "Top 10 in 10" Young Alumni are:
Derek Burkholder, '04
Doctoral candidate and graduate assistant Florida International University North Miami, Florida
Having worked for National Geographic immediately after graduation from Albion, Burkholder is currently working with PBS in the Florida Everglades studying bull sharks. He has recently researched the ecological role of green turtles and tiger sharks in the pristine shallow sea grass ecosystem of Shark Bay, Western Australia. Burkholder is presently finalizing his dissertation at Florida International University, but manages to find time for his passion of underwater/natural-setting photography.
Iain Charnley, '05
Chief resident, Grand Rapids Family Medicine Grand Rapids
Charnley is chief resident for Grand Rapids Family Medicine Residency and looks forward to joining Advantage Health Physician Group in August 2012. Charnley recently received a commendation for outstanding pediatric rotation performance. He is the coordinator of “Fit Kids 360,” a Grand Rapids effort to curb childhood obesity. He is also active in the Grand Rapids First Methodist Church, serving on the leadership team and as a member of the chancel choir.
Grace Keeney, '08
Intern, Custom Comercio Internacional São Paulo, Brazil
In 2009, Keeney moved to Rio de Janeiro as a Fulbright scholar, studying Brazilian AIDS-related non-governmental organizations and their efforts to secure access to medicines. In 2010, she was awarded a scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in international business at the Grenoble École de Management in France, and followed that with a teaching assistantship at Harvard University. Keeney is currently back in Brazil, completing her internship in international supply chain management at Custom Commercio Intenacional in São Paulo. Keeney speaks and reads four languages: Portuguese, German, Spanish, and French.
Mark Ostach, '04
Founder, Mentalspace Manager and mymentalspace.com Detroit
Ostach is the creator of Mentalspace Manager, a plug-in for web browsers that enables users to manage their Internet behaviors. Mymentalspace.com helps people understand and evaluate the negative effects the Internet can have on emotions, moods and health. Ostach is also the COO of Digerati, responsible for the project management office and staff augmentation.
Sarah Padilla, '03
Associate veterinarian, Daryl Easley equine practice Lexington, Kentucky
Padilla has been treating thoroughbred race horses at Keeneland Racetrack since 2008. The year prior she received her DVM with honors from Michigan State University, which included the presentation of the J.P. Hutton-W.F. Riley Equine Award for outstanding abilities in equine surgery and medicine. Padilla has also been affiliated with Phi Zeta, the national honor society of veterinary medicine, since 2006 and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at Albion.
Jonathan Smith, '08
Financial consultant, The Wall Group of Wells Fargo Advisors Providence, Rhode Island
With assets under management worth nearly $200 million (as of March 30, 2012), Smith works as a financial consultant with The Wall Group of Wells Fargo Advisors. He has received recognition within the Rhode Island branch for his achievements in 2011. Smith is also a member of the USGA and the Providence Chamber of Commerce and is a volunteer teacher for the youth caddy program at the Rhode Island Country Club. In addition, he is the chair of Albion College's New England alumni chapter.
Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC Member FINRA/SIPC
Mike Thomas, '06
Head basketball coach, Kalamazoo Central High School Kalamazoo
In four short years, Thomas has established a legacy of coaching success, guiding Kalamazoo Central to back-to-back state championships in 2010 and 2011. Along the way he has received Coach of the Year honors from The Detroit Free Press and the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan while amassing a 92-11 overall record at K-Central. The Saginaw native and four-year Albion starter was an assistant coach for two seasons at Northwood University soon after graduation.
Jordan Troisi, '06
Visiting assistant professor of psychology, Widener University Chester, Pennsylvania
Troisi's research on the psychology of food has received media coverage from 21 countries and appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, Scientific American, Glamour.com, Yahoo! News Canada, the German newspaper Die Welt, and many others. Currently visiting assistant professor of psychology at Widener University, Troisi also coordinates Widener's Social Science Colloquium and is a member of its Gender and Women’s Studies Committee. He enjoys ultimate Frisbee and everything that has to do with tea.
John Paul Walters, '02
Computer scientist, University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute Arlington, Virginia
A noted expert in his field, Walters has been published in domestic and international computer science and engineering journals and has co-authored Computation Checkpointing and Migration. Additionally, Walters was a National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship fellow during his Ph.D. studies. He currently works with agencies such as NASA through his position at USC.
Sara Wycoff, '08
Strategic adviser, executive office of Gov. Rick Snyder Lansing
Wycoff works alongside Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, serving as strategy adviser to the governor, policy analyst for the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and fiscal analyst intern for the Michigan Senate’s Fiscal Agency. She also serves on the 14th Congressional District Republican Committee.
Albion Area Alumni Chapter
Co-chairs: Barb Lange, ’70, and Jenny Risner-Wade, ’98
Join us on Facebook or email us with any general inquiries or suggestions at
Fall 2014 Events
There are many volunteer opportunities for College and community connections. Alumni networking is an Albion College strength! Be active. Get connected. Mark your calendar and make a difference.
Join us for "Mauri" Monday to kick off the 2014-2015 Alumni Lunches!
Greetings Albion Area alumni, friends, family, and community members! We're very happy to announce that Albion College President Dr. Mauri A. Ditzler will be joining us for our first Alumni lunch of the academic year on Monday, August 18, 2014 beginning at 12:00 pm.
“Mauri” Monday will be held in the Gerstacker Commons on the second floor of the Kellogg Center. As an added bonus, the Albion Area Alumni Chapter will provide lunch for everyone in attendance!
To adequately feed everyone, please RSVP for our first Mauri Monday lunch no later than Friday, August 15, 2014. To RSVP, click the following registration link or contact the Office of Alumni Engagement at 517/629-0448 or
Direct questions to Co-Chair Barb Lange at
, Co-Chair Jenny Risner-Wade at
or the Office of Alumni Engagement at 517/629-0768 or
Night at the Races Weekend Details
Friday, June 14
Depart Detroit (details forthcoming)
Arrive Keeneland – Guided Tour and Dinner
Saturday, June 15
Optional tour to Heaven Hill Distillery, limited number available
Depart for Churchill Downs – Dinner and "Downs After Dark"
Shuttle from Churchill Downs to Brown Hotel
Shuttle from Churchill Downs to Brown Hotel
Sunday, June 16
Breakfast at Brown Hotel
Please note that times are Eastern Daylight Time and subject to change.
Attractions to pursue on your own, most within walking distance of the hotel: Louisville Slugger Museum, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Muhammad Ali Center, Kentucky Derby Museum, and much more.
Race attire is "snappy casual." All planned events are handicap-accessible.
$495 per person for Full Weekend Package
Includes roundtrip motor coach transportation from Detroit to Louisville via Lexington, two nights' lodging at the historic Brown Hotel, Friday lunch and Keeneland tour/dinner, Saturday Churchill Downs dinner/races, Sunday breakfast, and a $25 gift to Albion College.
$425 per person for Travel on Your Own Package
Includes two nights' lodging at the historic Brown Hotel, Friday Keeneland tour/dinner, Saturday Churchill Downs dinner/races, Sunday breakfast, and a $25 gift to Albion College.
$375 per person for Louisville Only Package
Includes two nights' lodging at the historic Brown Hotel, Saturday Churchill Downs dinner/races, Sunday breakfast, and a $25 gift to Albion College.
$40 per person for optional Saturday bourbon distillery tour
Includes roundtrip motor coach transportation, tour, tasting, and lunch. Limited reservations, first-come/first-served.
For more information or to register, please call 517/629-0448 or e-mail