Two Muses Theatre (West Bloomfield, Mich.) presents the award-winning play Love, Loss, and What I Wore (by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron), May 30 through June 15, and Lila (in the role of Gingy) will headline the cast of the production’s second weekend. Each weekend’s performance features a unique cast with a local celebrity. A former news anchor, Lila runs a production company, Lila Productions, and currently hosts the award-winning Discover Remarkable series on WXYZ. The Two Muses stagings are a collaboration with Closet NV to raise clothing donations for Dress for Success, a worldwide organization whose mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire to help them thrive in work and in life. Lila is no stranger to hard work on behalf of important causes. She swam the Straits of Mackinac (a 5-mile swim) to raise money and awareness for Mentor Michigan, and each fall she climbs from one end of the Grand Canyon to the other (21 miles) and back again. In 2007, she was appointed to the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness. An avid motorcyclist, Lila was recently named Michigan’s Ambassador of Motorcycle Safety. She is active in many community and charitable organizations, serves on multiple boards, and is currently President of Kids Kicking Cancer. She’s also very involved with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. She’s been a Big Sister for 20 years.
Katy spent several weeks in Ecuador coaching a refugee youth rock climbing team and teaching English classes for Colombian refugees soon to be resettled in the United States and Canada. She has returned to the United States and is in the process of applying to graduate schools to earn a master’s degree in public policy or public affairs. The picture shows her in Ecuador on the Imbabura Volcano. She earned her bachelor’s degree in international and area studies, and she studied abroad in Dakar, Senegal.
In July of 2015 Melanie, an ordained United Methodist pastor since 1991, will begin serving as the clergy assistant to the Bishop of The Michigan Area of the United Methodist Church. In this new role Melanie will be based in Lansing and will be working with the Bishop to help serve the 900 United Methodist congregations of Michigan as well as the communities in which these congregations are located. The Spanish major she earned at K has served her well during her work through many church and community efforts with the growing U.S. Latino population. Melanie also is completing four years as the district superintendent of the Detroit Renaissance District, where in 2012 she started a now annual event called Hands 4 Detroit, a day of community service, which has involved more than 1,200 volunteers each year who roll up their sleeves and work. Volunteers have boarded up old houses, planted community gardens, painted, cleaned up trash, and even built a soccer field!
Jacquelyn is principal lecturer and honors faculty fellow at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. She received the 2015 Arizona State University Centennial Professorship, an award created by the Associated Students of A.S.U. that recognizes exceptional teaching, leadership and community engagement. Last year, the A.S.U. Commission on the Status of Women awarded Jacquelyn its Outstanding Contribution and Achievement Award for her longstanding commitment to mentoring, diversity and inclusion at Arizona State.
Lor is one of some 550 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who received a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) from the U.S. Department of State. CLS participants spend seven to 10 weeks in intensive language institutes in one of 13 countries. Lor spent the summer in China focusing on the study of Chinese language. CLS Program participants are among the more than 40,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
Dawne joined the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona as CEO on January 5. WFSA helps women and girls overcome economic, political, gender, and social barriers; encourages reform in the social climate; promotes change in conventional attitudes; and invests in organizations that strive for long-term changes. Before taking the post with WFSA, Dawne was director of development for Care for the Homeless in New York City the past two years. She has an additional 11 years of experience working as executive director of a statewide nonprofit hospital foundation in New Mexico and has led the fundraising departments at social-justice nonprofit organizations in New Mexico and Michigan. Dawne earned her bachelor’s degree in English and studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. She has a master’s degree in public administration from Grand Valley State University, and she earned her Certified Fund Raising Executive credential in 2009. Dawne has served on boards and leadership committees for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, Young Non Profit Professionals, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Women’s Prison Association, and Crossroads for Women.
Ronald, a retired Colonel in the United States Air Force, died on February 2, 2015. He matriculated to Kalamazoo College from Sharon, Pennsylvania, and earned his bachelor’s degree in political science. He studied abroad in Segovia, Spain. Ron enjoyed a long and successful career in the USAF, beginning as a Second Lieutenant and eventually graduating from the Air Force Squadron Officer’s School, Armed Forces Staff College, and Air War College. Throughout his career, he served at air bases in Taiwan, Germany, Turkey, and the United States. In 1997 renal failure forced an early retirement from the military. He subsequently received a kidney transplant which enabled him to enjoy travel throughout the world as well as many hobbies, including rebuilding and driving classic cars. In 2002 he met and married Mariela Velazquez in Buenos Aires. Their daughter, Catherine, was born in 2003. In 2007 Ronald was diagnosed with inoperable cancer that eventually metastasized throughout his body. Despite the cancer he lived an active life and above all else was devoted to his wife and daughter.
Samantha recently served as an AmeriCorps New Jersey watershed ambassador working in the Assicunk, Crosswicks and Doctors Creek watersheds. “I hosted a volunteer monitoring training at the Tulpehaking Nature Center, with eight volunteers,” she is quoted as saying. “We spend many hours together. It had gone so well that I was on cloud nine at the end of the training. I’m so grateful for the time I have spent in New Jersey.” Samantha’s comments were part of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection’s effort to recruit Americorps watershed ambassadors for 2016. Samantha majored in biology at Kalamazoo College and studied abroad in Beijing, China.
Megan was named to the Michigan Association of Justice executive board for the 2014-2015 term. The Michigan Association of Justice, formerly the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association, is a trade association of more than 1,600 personal injury, workers’ compensation, and employment attorneys. Megan is a partner with the law firm, Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers, which is located in Royal Oak, Michigan. Megan specializes in employment, civil rights, and wage and hour law. She earned her bachelor’s degree at K in political science and studied abroad in Caen, France.
Scott is one of only 158 nominees nationwide for the 2015 Allstate/National Association of Basketball Coaches Good Works Team. The award recognizes men’s college basketball players for their charitable achievements and community involvement. Scott is a senior captain of the Hornet men’s basketball team. He carries a 3.9 grade point average and is majoring in economics and mathematics. He does significant volunteer work for Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes, an organization dedicated to food security and food justice. He also helps coach Special Olympics teams and serves as a recess assistant at Woodward Elementary School. The 10 award winners will be announced this month. If Scott is in that group he will be flown to the Final Four tournament in April, recognized for his service, and he will participate in a community service project in the host city of Indianapolis.