Thomas received Virginia Tech’s 2015 Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine Outstanding Senior Award, which recognizes exceptional academic achievement and leadership by a graduating senior. Thomas received his D.V.M. degree in May. At K he earned his bachelor’s degree in biology. He also earned a minor in Chinese and did his study abroad in Beijing, China. At VMCVM he was a member of the Gamma Sigma Delta Agriculture Honor Society, received the Robert C. Brown Career Life Sciences Award in Leadership (2013 and 2014), and served as a research assistant, student member on the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine dean’s search committee, and as a student interviewer for the college’s class of 2018 applicants.
Cody graduated from Harvard Divinity School in May with a Master of Theological studies degree. At K she majored in religion and studied abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand. At Harvard her academic focus was on American religious history with special interests in 20th- and 21st-century religious phenomena. She plans to pursue her doctorate in American religious history at Yale University.
Megan is a rural education associate in Denver, Colorado, with Community Resource Center, a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities, tools, and strategies to develop other nonprofits and community groups throughout Colorado. Megan grew up in the suburbs of Denver; she earned her bachelor’s degree from K in art and art history and studied abroad in Caceres, Spain. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in public administration at the University of Colorado at Denver. She also serves as a board member for Perspective: Cherry Arts Young Professional Board. Megan hopes to someday combine her passion for the arts and social justice. When not in the office, she enjoys being outside in any capacity, whether that be hiking, camping, rock climbing, ice climbing, snowshoeing, or skiing, and of course she loves going to all the art museums and shows in Denver.
Jacob recently completed his Ph.D. at Colorado State University. He has been conducting research on new approaches to control disease-carrying mosquitoes. His research was described in a paper–“Mosquitocidal properties of IgG targeting the glutamate-gated chloride channel in three mosquito disease vectors (Diptera: Culicidae)”–that was published in the May issue of Journal for Experimental Biology. And his paper was highlighted as the “Editor’s Choice” for that issue of the journal. Despite the fact that malaria mortality rates have fallen steadily since 2000, the disease threatens half the human population and kills one child every minute. Moreover, resistance in mosquitoes to the primary pesticide used to control them is increasing. A new mosquitocidal candidate has arisen in an old drug, ivermectin, which has been successfully used against parasitic worms that cause diseases such as onchocerciasis (River Blindness). However, little was known about the process by which ivermectin worked against mosquitoes. Jacob’s research elucidated the site (called the glutamate-gated chloride channel, part of the insect’s nervous system) and the mechanism of action at that site which were responsible for ivermectin’s effectiveness. Based on what was learned from that discovery, Jacob tested a new strategy, essentially substituting for ivermectin an antibody to the glutamate gated chloride channel. His preliminary tests confirmed the antibody insecticide’s effectiveness against the mosquito that transmits malaria. In two other disease-carrying mosquitoes (yellow fever and West Nile virus) the antibody did not pass across the gut, which prevented any insecticidal effect. The next step is to immunize cattle with the antibody. Cattle are a major source of blood meals for mosquitoes. It is hoped that malaria-bearing mosquitoes that consume cattle blood carrying the toxic antibodies during the malaria parasite’s incubation period would die, disrupting transmission of the disease. A new antibody insecticide may offer hope for a malaria-free future.
Jacob is married to classmate Alyssa Brayshaw ’08. This year Alyssa was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to support her doctoral work. She will begin work in the fall on her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University. She plans to focus her research in the field of wildlife disease ecology, concentrating on Chagus Disease, which threatens to cross the Texas-Mexico border. Jacob was offered and accepted a post-doctoral position at Texas A&M in the lab of a population geneticist studying mosquito populations on Bioko Island and other field sites in West Africa. Jacob majored in chemistry at K. Alyssa majored in biology and studied abroad in Nairobi, Kenya.
Theresa received her bachelor’s degree in psychology at K and her M.S.W. from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a Social Work Clinical Leader at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago. Theresa became certified as a Treatment Specialist in Diverse Populations and works with the most complex cases within the hospital. She has 10 years of experience in direct practice with mental health and health care, and she has expertise in crisis management, solution-focused therapy, severe mental illnesses, diverse populations and trauma. Theresa has presented at national conferences and webinars discussing innovative social work models for healthcare, and recently she published an article in the journal Collaborative Case Management that introduces a new team-based model for managing difficult cases within a hospital setting. In addition to her social work practice, she has taught undergraduate psychology courses for five years as an adjunct professor. Theresa and Justin Horowitz have been together for 14 years. They have been married for more than five years. They are expecting their first child this fall.
Michelle received the American Institute of Architects Medal for Excellence in All Efforts during the spring 2015 Architecture Awards at the Sam Fox School, Washington University in St. Louis. The award honors her outstanding achievements in the WUSTL College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design. Michelle earned her B.A. degree in art from K.
Moriam works as an intellectual property project manager at Cengage Learning (Farmington Hills, Mich.). She manages between 70 and 100 projects for multiple editors and vendors. She is a recipient of a Distinguished Fellows scholarship at Detroit Mercy Law School, from which she will graduate in 2018. She plans to focus her law career on intellectual property or juvenile justice. At K Moriam earned her B.A. in political science and completed a minor in economics. She studied abroad in Costa Rica and spent three months as an intern associate for America’s Promise Alliance, a network that facilitates volunteer action for children and youth. She served as an Civic Engagement Scholar for HYPE, a mentoring program that serves youth in the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home, and she received the College’s prestigious Senior Leadership Award.
Katy is spending 10 weeks this summer as a paid intern in The Asia Foundation’s Security and Justice Program in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The internship is a partnership of The Asia Foundation and the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, where Katy is working on her graduate degree. The Security and Justice Program works with the Sri Lanka Police Department and the Ministry of Law & Order on the institutionalization of community policing in Sri Lanka and the support for community based mediation. The internship is based in Colombo with regular travel to the field.
Cody is pursuing a Master’s degree in theological studies at Harvard Divinity School, focusing on the religions of the Americas, with a special interest in American civil religion and material culture. She is also an intern for the Harvard University Pluralism Project, which helps Americans engage with the realities of religious diversity through research, outreach, and the active dissemination of resources. Cody majored in religion at K and studied abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand. For the past several years she has worked as an outdoor education instructor. Eventually she intends to obtain a doctorate degree in religion.
Jamie has been accepted into Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He will attend the school’s Cross Continent M.B.A. program for mid-career professionals, a program that includes residency components in Shanghai, New Dehli, Santiago and Istanbul. That squares well with Jamie’s K experience. He majored in international and area studies and studied abroad in both China and Ecuador.