2018 Year in Review: Kettering University Alumni News

Kettering University alumni are producing more patents than graduates of most other universities and colleges in the nation, according to a recent study. In 2018, Kettering alumni earned major awards, made national rankings, gave back, and made innovations in their companies.

Read about what alumni have accomplished in 2018 and what they shared about their experience at Kettering:

A study by academic economists found Kettering University was fourth in producing alumni who hold patents – trailing only MIT, CalTech and Harvey Mudd.  An article in The Economist noted “Kettering University in Flint, Michigan—edging out brand-name institutions like Stanford and Carnegie Mellon.” Read more.

The Kettering University Alumni Association honored nine alumni for successes in their careers, entrepreneurship, community service, philanthropy, and other endeavors at the 2018 Alumni Awards Ceremony. Read more.

Mary Gustanski ‘85 took the role of Chief Technology Officer for the new company when Delphi Automotive became two separate entities: Aptiv PLC and Delphi Technologies PLC. Gustanski was ranked 42nd MotorTrend Magazine’s 2018 Power List. Read more.

Maryann Combs ‘87 earned a 2017 Global Leadership Award from the Society of Women Engineers for her work as a global executive and mentor in the automotive world. Her work in two decades at General Motors has spanned several different roles, but along the way she has mentored men and women in STEM careers. Read more.

Three Kettering University alumni took their passions for teaching, coaching, football, and technology to create an app designed to draw and share playbooks in real time. The CoachMe allows coaches and players to easily draw, animate, develop, and share playbooks in real time. Read more.

Left to right: Jarrad Pouncil '09, Willy Joseph '09, and James Glover '11
Left to right: Jarrad Pouncil '09, Willy Joseph '09, and James Glover '11

Tony Prophet ’82 followed his passion for equality and became the Chief Equality Officer for Salesforce in 2016. He leads the company’s equality initiatives, focusing on gender, LGBTQ and racial equality to ensure that Salesforce reflects the diversity of the communities it serves. Read more.

Charlie Baker ’82 is establishing his sixth endowed scholarship for Kettering students. All are named after mentors he’s had during his career in honor of those who helped him grow from a mechanic into an executive at several major companies such as Honda and Harley-Davidson. Read more.

Jane Boon ’90 wanted to provide a place for students to practice music at Kettering, which is why she donated a gift to create the Jane Boon '90 and Norman Pearlstine Music Studio and Practice Rooms in the Campus Center. Read more.

Mackenzie Stratton ’16 is an engineer on a team constructing what will be the largest solar telescope in the world, a ground-based telescope, the National Science Foundation’s Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope. She works directly with the team designing and outfitting an instrument prep laboratory at the site of the telescope. Read more.

Victoria Moore ’12 was awarded the Technology Rising Star Award at the Women of Color STEM Conference in Detroit for her work volunteering at the Lily Missions Center After School Program in Jackson, Michigan. She gives back to pay it forward after support she received as a child and teenager. Read more.

Devin Sutherland ’13, a product engineer for Magna Seating, earned a patent only a few years after graduating from Kettering while solving a problem at his job. Sutherland’s patent, U.S. Patent Number 9694729, became official in July 2017. Read more.

Ryan Ayler ’15 partnered Los Angeles artist Jonathon Keats with Ayler to study human interfaces with computers. The created an experience that immersed the driver in the vehicle’s speed and movement using audio feedback. Read more.

Alyssa Gilliland ’17 landed her dream job at The Dow Chemical Company in Freeport, Texas immediately after graduating. Without her education and professors who really care, she wouldn’t have been able to get the job and work for a huge name in the chemical industry. Read more.

Caitlin Bunt ’14 achieved a lifelong dream and accepted a full time position as a performance engineer with Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan, an auto racing team in Columbus, Ohio. Bunt’s job as a performance engineer is to extract the maximum performance of the car as it competes in endurance races, including the 24-hour race at Daytona International Speedway. Read more.

Chuck Nagi ’82 returned to Michigan after spending four years in at Ford Motor Company’s Research and Innovation Center in Silicon Valley. Now Ford’s User Experience Team Leader, Nagi is using what he’s learned about growing and collaborating to achieve further success. Read more.

Désirée Schenk ‘11 acquired experience at Kettering that put her ahead of the curve in graduate school. After choosing to attend Kettering for its Biochemistry program, she earned her doctorate degree at Purdue University and now works for a Boston-based biotechnology startup. Read more.

Danielle Detering ’13 is a hardware reliability engineer at Google in Mountain View, California. Kettering’s reputation and her co-op experience were key in her getting the job. Read more.

William Tiger ’81 won the 2017 American Indian Science and Engineering Society Professional of the Year award for his work changing the management style at GMCH Lockport Components in New York and developing a robotics program for underserved Native American students. Read more.

Dan Mantz ’91 had a vision for a robotics program that encouraged students to take to STEM fields and become engineers and skilled technicians. He’s now achieving it as the CEO of the Texas-based Robotics Education & Competition Foundation. Read more.

Randy Brodzik ’85 believes seeing the value in everyone is the key to becoming a successful company or person. His company, RedViking, was recognized as a “Cool Place to Work in Michigan” by Crain’s Business for the second year in a row. Read more.

Alyssa Warburton ‘18 was accepted into three medical schools, including The University of Michigan, after her thorough education at Kettering’s Pre-Med program, her co-op at Hurley Medical Center in Flint and many leadership opportunities on campus. Read more.

Siblings Kristen Russell ‘13 and Mike Russell ‘12 took an uncommon path to becoming surgeons by first studying engineering at Kettering University. They credit the unusual academic route to matching into residencies at top five programs in their respective specialties, which are highly competitive. Read more.

Siblings Kristen Russell ‘13 and Mike Russell ‘12
Siblings Kristen Russell ‘13 and Mike Russell ‘12 

Sam Wells ’78 was named the 2017 Mentor of the Year by the Michigan Community Service Commission. He is a founder of Alpha Esquires, a local youth group and mentoring program aimed at promoting academics, brotherhood, and community service. Read more.

Brady Ericson ‘94 believes taking risks and taking advantage of every opportunity that came his way helped him succeed in life and in his career. He’s the first person to serve as the Chief Strategy Officer at BorgWarner. Read more.

John Glick ‘87 and Cheryl Glick ’88 started their careers as engineers, but took unique career paths. John is now Chief Executive Officer of Worthy Brewing, a microbrewery in Bend, Oregon, and Cheryl went on to work as Procurement Director, Asia for Nike in Beaverton, Oregon. Read more.

Coty Hallay ’17 was awarded the Associateship designation by the Casualty Actuarial Society in January. The Applied Mathematics major earned the prestigious recognition by completing the required seven exams. Read more.

From having a co-op job as a freshman to having a full time job offer before he graduated, Nolan VanWormer ‘18 knows his Kettering University experience prepared him for the future. Read more.

Students from Jamaica are getting the opportunity to come to Kettering University’s Academically Interested Minds camp thanks to the efforts of alumni. A group of alumni established the Jamaica AIM Alumni Scholarship to provide funds for Jamaican students from low-income families to attend the pre-college summer program, and they have raised more than $20,000 in two years. Read more.