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spotlight Alumni
  • Nelson Page

    Posted by Eric Pace at 9/7/2016

    Nelson Page

    WBHS Alum Spotlight–Nelson Page ‘10, MBA, PMP


    Nelson Page is currently a Project Engineer, designing automated conveyor systems for the logistics industry, while also working part time as an Army Engineer Officer.


    After graduating from WBHS, Nelson received a full-ride scholarship from the Army ROTC program at the school of his choice.  He chose the Virginia Military Institute, majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Nuclear Engineering.  The Army kept his summers busy, sending him to Airborne School, Air Assault School and Mountain Warfare School.


    Upon graduating from the Virginia Military Institute, Nelson was commissioned as an Officer and was selected to specialize as an Engineer.  He soon met his first unit in Afghanistan where he worked as a Civil Engineer constructing bases for the growing Afghan Military.  Throughout the nearly five years of progressing up the Army ranks, working as a Civil Engineer and Project Manager, Nelson continued to stretch his mind by pursuing a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at night.  


    During Nelson’s second deployment to Afghanistan he served as an Executive Officer (XO).  His unit was tasked with closing numerous military bases across the country in preparation for the NATO withdrawal from the country.  According to Nelson, “as a result of this unique mission, my unit regularly found themselves tearing down the perimeter wall – resulting in significant security concerns during the latter half of each project.”  Together, he and a co-worker wrote a thesis for the U.S. Command highlighting the mathematical impossibility of a timely withdrawal out of Afghanistan based on the quantity of NATO troops and the President’s stated objectives.  Nelson would later receive a Bronze Star for his actions and efforts during this deployment.


    In 2015, Nelson chose to leave the military, seeking additional challenges, and found a position in a growing conveyor company, Intelligrated, specializing in a blend of robotics’ hardware and software.  As a Mechanical Project Engineer, he is in charge of all aspects of machine placement and ensuring design and quality while maintaining costs and schedules. 


    Nelson also continues with part-time service as a member of the Army Reserves.  He is the Company Commander of 116 Combat Engineers, specializing in the construction of minefields, the use of explosives and the de-arming of roadside bombs (IEDs).


    How did WBHS help Nelson on his current path?


    As stated by Nelson, “WBHS opened my eyes to the importance of the people around me.  Transitioning from a small private high school to WBHS allowed me to really see the strength of working in and around a large and ethnically diverse peer group, allowing me to see the world through other people’s eyes.  When I traveled to Afghanistan many of the decisions I made impacted not only my 40 soldiers, but also the local Afghanis I was working with.”


    Nelson’s advice to current WBHS students:


    “Take advantage of all of the extracurricular activities around you, try something new and if you do not like it, move on to the next thing that sounds fun.  Life is full of opportunities and none of us really know what we will love until we try it – just make sure to take those learned lessons with you.”


    In addition he reminds students that “school is important, it serves as the core foundation for our society’s education, but also teaches you about how to thrive in the rest of the world.  WBHS is a petri dish nurturing relationships and great ideas for you to take with you into the real world.  Groom those relationships and share those ideas with the world.”


    He final words of wisdom, “As you gain more life experiences you will focus your strengths and your passions, overlapping them with where you can make a decent wage.  This intersection is your career, and once you get it fine-tuned you will be a happy, fulfilled individual.  Always seek these traits out – live your life, do not get stuck living in someone else’s career or someone else’s dream.”


    Nelson Page is another example of the great Alums we have from our district!

    Do you know of any West Bloomfield High School Alums you’d like to see in the spotlight?  Email alycia.chase@wbsd.org with their contact info and a brief background

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  • Jordan Field

    Posted by Eric Pace at 8/2/2016 2:00:00 PM

    Jordan Field


    WBHS Alum Spotlight – Jordan Field Class of 1995


    Jordan Field, a 1995 graduate of West Bloomfield High School, enters his 15th season with the Detroit Tigers, having joined the Club in September 2002.  


    In his role with the Tigers, Jordan directs all activities of the Detroit Tigers Foundation, an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, which has donated nearly $19 million in grants, college scholarships, Tigers game tickets and Comerica Park luxury suites since its establishment in 2005.  Jordan is the first and only Director of the Detroit Tigers Foundation, having played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Foundation, including the preparation of the Foundation’s business and strategic plan, budget and mission statement.  Jordan also directs the Club’s Player Relations activities, working closely with Tigers players and their representatives on community and corporate appearances, charitable giving and special events.


    Jordan served as a member of the 2005 Major League Baseball All Star Game Planning and Host Committee and the 2004 Major League Baseball Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (R.B.I.) World Series Planning and Host Committee.


    In addition to his work with the Tigers, Jordan is an Adjunct Faculty member at Wayne State University in the School of Education teaching courses on Working in Professional Sports in the Department of Kinesiology, Health & Sport Studies.


    Jordan currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and Detroit PAL, the Advisory Committee for the Ordoñez Family Scholarship and the University of Michigan Bernard “Pat” Malory Scholarship.  Jordan is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Graduate of Leadership Detroit 31 and was named a member of DBusiness Magazine’s “30 in their Thirties” class in 2012 and Crain’s Detroit Business “40 Under 40” class of 2014.


    Jordan earned his Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State Law School in 2002 where he founded the Sports and Entertainment Law Society, a student organization, and earned his undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Michigan in 1999, where he was a staff sports writer for The Michigan Daily.


    Jordan and his wife Marjie (Friedman) met at WBHS and graduated together in 1995.  During their time at WBHS they both wrote for the Spectrum, Jordan serving as the Sports Editor and Marjie as the Co-Editor in Chief their Senior Year.  Jordan played varsity Tennis during his Junior Year and joined the Vaudeville cast his Senior Year.

    How did WBHS help Jordan on his current path?  


    Jordan believes that his strong writing and editing skills are rooted in his time working at the WBHS Spectrum.  Further, the experience he had writing for the Spectrum led him to write for The Michigan Daily while in college at the University of Michigan.  It was during that time at the Daily that Jordan realized the many career options in Sports beyond Journalism.  The ability to write continued to be a valuable skill as Jordan completed law school and began to work for the Tigers. “While writing for the Spectrum, Mrs. Maza taught us to write in a way that ‘showed the story, rather than told the story.’  Throughout my academic and professional career I have always remembered that lesson and tried to apply that approach in every letter, proposal and presentation.”


    Jordan’s advice to current WB students:  


    “I am so lucky that I was able to turn a hobby into a career.  My best advice is to find something that you are passionate about and learn as much as possible about that industry and the people who work in it.  Also, three general pieces of advice that I always give my sons:  1) make good decisions, 2) be kind to others, 3) why fit in, when you can stand out?”




    Jordan Field is another example of the amazing Alums from our district!

    We are proud of him and the wonderful organizations that he is involved in!

    Do you know of any West Bloomfield High School Alums you’d like to see in the spotlight?  Email alycia.chase@wbsd.org with their contact info and a brief background

    Comments (-1)
  • Nick Basel

    Posted by Eric Pace at 8/2/2016

    Nick Basel



    WBHS Alumni Spotlight – Nick Basel Class of 2014


    College:  Purdue University

    Major: Industrial Engineering Technology

    Pursuing Career: Active Duty Officer in the United States Army (Commission through ROTC)


    Nick Basel, a recent graduate of West Bloomfield High School, currently attends Purdue University where he will be entering his third year next fall.  He is pursuing a degree in Industrial Engineering Technology along with a minor in Military Science and he aspires to commission as an Active Duty Officer in the Engineering branch of the Army where he is hopeful to be stationed at Fort Bragg, NC or overseas in Germany.


    While at Purdue, Nick is serving as an ROTC cadet and has joined a Fraternity and served in Executive Board positions as the Secretary, House Manager, and Assistant Recruitment Chairman.  He is also a member of the Campus House Church on campus.  As an ROTC cadet, he has had some great opportunities that have challenged him mentally and physically.  He has traveled to various states to compete in ranger challenge events, a best ranger competition, and many long ruck marches, including the Bataan Death March, a 26.2 mile ruck through White Sands, NM.  Nick has received two foreign badges, both the Norwegian Foot March Badge and the German Armed Forces Badge for military proficiency.  He has also served as the leader of the Purdue Army ROTC Color Guard Unit where he has marched and presented the colors in front of thousands of people, has shadowed retired and current officers from various branches of the military and has also assisted in U.S. Army Recruiting.


    After two years in the ROTC program thus far, Nick is proud to say that he currently stands as the number one cadet in his class and he has recently received the USAA Spirit Award for best exemplifying service to the nation, community, and ROTC.  This summer he is excited to have been chosen to attend Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA and later will head to Fort Knox for a month to lead and train cadets from all different ROTC units around the country.

    Nick Basel


    How did WBHS help Nick on his current path?


    According to Nick, “I would not be where I am now without the opportunities I experienced at West Bloomfield High School along with some of the mentors I gained there throughout the years.  I believe West Bloomfield High School helped me with understanding culture and diversity.  Today, both as a student and cadet at a public university with roughly 40,000 students, I am constantly challenged with situational awareness of recognizing different cultures and diversity.  Gaining this experience early on as a student at West Bloomfield High School has helped shape decisions and beliefs I make when in uniform and when not in uniform at Purdue University, in the military and throughout my life.”


    Another thing West Bloomfield High School taught Nick is competitive drive.  He states, “I will always remember those people who helped guide me in the right directions and who gave their time and passion to push me to be the best I could be.  Students at West Bloomfield High School are extremely lucky to have teachers, coaches, and mentors who devote their time and efforts to help students see their potential and who challenge them to the fullest.”


    During Nick’s years at WBHS, he was involved in Student Government, Student Leadership, the National Honor Society, and was a member of the Varsity Swim team and the Varsity Baseball team.


    Nick’s advice for current WBHS students:


    “My advice for WBHS students is to find your objective!  You all are entering some of the best years of your life where you will discover who you really are and where your true passions lay.  Find something that you love to do and keep the internal drive to never give up on the mission you set out to do.  As you continue on your path, set goals that will make you feel uncomfortable, set goals that cause you to take risks.  You will be challenged, but remember every end state requires time and energy put in to get to that point.  Whether it is training every day to be able to complete a 26.2 mile ruck march through the sandy trails of New Mexico or studying weeks in advance to do well on an exam, stay the course and you will be rewarded!  You control your own destiny, make the best of it and remember there is always room for improvement!”


    Nick is another example of the many aspiring Alums we have from our district!

    We are proud of you Nick!

    Do you know of any West Bloomfield High School Alums you’d like to see in the spotlight?  If so, please email alycia.chase@wbsd.org with their contact information.

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  • Lauren Clayborne

    Posted by Eric Pace at 8/2/2016

    Lauren Clayborne


    WBHS Alum Spotlight – Lauren Clayborne Class of 2003

    Lauren Clayborne is the Partnership Development Manager for Palace Sports & Entertainment, the operating organization for the Detroit Pistons, The Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre, and Meadow Brook Music Festival.  In this role, she maintains relationships between corporate partners and internal departments, manages partner activation across all three venues, and grows the partnerships though selling renewals and upselling as the partnership grows.  She was formerly the Development Manager for Lansing Entertainment & Public Facilities Authority (LEPFA), an advertising and promotions analyst for General Motors Corporation, and in external relations at Michigan State University within the Athletics Department.  Lauren received her B.A in Advertising from MSU and her M.A. in Ministry Leadership from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.  She is an ordained minister and is active at her home church in Plymouth, MI.  Her hometown is West Bloomfield, MI and she is the oldest of three children.  

    While at West Bloomfield High School, Lauren played two varsity sports and was also one of the student assistants for the Athletic Director.  It was through her time in sports, on and off the court, that Lauren realized that she wanted to work behind the scenes in the sports industry.  Upon completion at WBHS, she ventured to East Lansing, MI to Michigan State University where she served in a variety of roles including Student Commencement Speaker, President of the MSU Gospel Choir, Student Assistant to President Lou Anna K. Simon and Floor Mentor.  Lauren graduated in 2007 with a B.S. in Advertising and in 2012 from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary with a M.A. in Ministry Leadership.

    A driven leader in and out of ministry, a proud daughter and the oldest of three, Lauren currently resides in Rochester, MI.  She enjoys hanging out with her friends, mentoring young women, event planning, making crafts, dining, traveling, reading and shopping.  She also, of course, loves cheering on her beloved Spartans in every sport!  Go Green!

    How did WBHS help Lauren on her current path?

    According to Lauren:  “You know the saying, ‘You may not understand it now, but you’ll thank me later?’  That is exactly my sentiments for my time at West Bloomfield High School.  WBHS not only helped me professionally, but culturally.  Having the pleasure to attend a school with students of many backgrounds, ethnicities, and experiences, helped me grow overall as a person.  My time at WBHS allowed me to learn about everything from Quinceañeras to tadeeg.  This opened up my quest to not only learn, but open to new experiences even those that may make me uncomfortable.  Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of traveling all over the world and I’m fearlessly looking forward to the next stamp in my passport.  People have complimented my ability to go into any room and start a conversation with anyone about anything.  It was truly my experiences at WBHS that opened my craving to learn and grow beyond my own experiences and environment.  Secondly, my Sports and Marketing Class (shout out to Mr. Pierce!) was instrumental to me choosing a career in sports.  Until then, I didn’t realize that careers behind the court or field existed.  I was fascinated that even though I wouldn’t play a sport professionally, I could still enjoy the thrill that comes along with being in an arena or stadium. I couldn’t imagine working in any other field and that one class provided the insight to the vast world and business of sports.”

    Lauren's advice for current WBHS students?

    “WBHS taught me so many different things and I would need a book to share it all, but the two things that stand out the most are the value of relationships and recognizing that you’re a brand.  The best thing you can do is stay in touch with your classmates, teachers, and administrators.  The digital space that we live in allows the world to be very small and you never know when the kid that that sat in front of you during your Algebra class will be the person that is making the hiring decision during your next interview.  If I asked you to tell me about yourself, you would tell me that you’re the greatest person that has walked the Earth, right?  What about your principal, your coach or even your classmates?  What would they say?  Would it be the same thing?  The best advice someone told me, and excuse my jargon, but, ‘Don’t be a whack chick!’ Walk with confidence that you have something to offer the world and don’t let anyone tell you differently.  While you’re at WBHS, and even post high school, make sure you leave your mark and make it a good one that will last forever!”

    Lauren is another example of the amazing Alums we have from our district!

    We are proud of your accomplishments Lauren!


    Do you know of any West Bloomfield High School Alums you’d like to see in the spotlight?  If so, please email alycia.chase@wbsd.org with their contact information.


    Comments (-1)
  • Robin Nadler

    Posted by Eric Pace at 8/2/2016

    Robin Nadler


    WBHS Alum Spotlight

    Robin Nadler Class of 1991


    After graduating from West Bloomfield High School, Robin Nadler went to Eastern Michigan University where she pursued her Bachelor’s in English and American Language and Literature.  She graduated with honors and then continued on to receive another Bachelor’s degree in Musical Theater Performance along with her teaching certificate.  She then received her Master’s in Teaching.  Robin is currently going into her 15th year teaching English at WBHS, a job she calls her dream.


    While a student at WBHS, Robin was active in Drama and a member of I.T.S.  She was the Business Editor of the yearbook and active in the school choir.  She participated in Student Government and absorbed every English class possible.  She developed a deep love for British Literature and was inspired to pursue a focus in Shakespeare while in college.


    While attending college, Robin worked as a Veterinary Technician and nourished a lifelong love for animals.  She continues that love with her 25 year old parrot, her 3 bearded dragons and her new puppy Misha.  Robin loves bringing pictures and stories of her pets into her classroom and helping to connect through similar stories with her students.


    In 2011, Robin had her first book published, a romance novel which quickly moved up the Amazon Bestseller chart.  She has since published 23 novels and developed a nice following on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Her books are a series, which she says are a mix between Grey’s Anatomy and Homeland.


    In August, Robin will be a featured author at the Rust City Book Convention in Troy.  Her next book comes out June 27th, 2016 and she is looking forward to more book signings and author features.  Writing has always been a passion for her and Robin finds stories everywhere.


    It’s hard balancing teaching and writing, but when her students see the love she has for her subject and that it is a career outside of teaching, it inspires them to reach for their own dreams.


    How did WBHS help Robin on her current path?


    Robin attributes much of her love for writing and reading to her English classes at WBHS.  “I developed a strong sense of voice in my writing and learned that I could live 100 lives through writing and reading books.  My teachers encouraged my interest and gave me the most important gift; confidence.”


    Robin’s advice for current WBHS students?


    “Try not to take yourself so seriously.  Life is all about taking chances and moving out of your comfort zone.  Don’t take failure as a setback, but as a motivator.  Have fun.  Try new things.  Listen to your heart.”


    Robin Nadler is yet another amazing Alum from our district!  We are proud of Robin and her success and thankful to have her right here sharing her knowledge and love of writing with the students in our district!


    If you want more information on Nadler’s novels check out her blog at www.nadlersnovels.com

    You can also find her books on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=robin+nadler

    For more information on her upcoming appearance in Troy, check out http://rustcitybookcon.com/

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  • Anthony Fritz

    Posted by Eric Pace at 8/2/2016

    Anthony Fritz


    WBHS Alum Spotlight – Anthony Fritz Class of ‘12

    Anthony Fritz is a 2016 graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point.  He was recently commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and later this summer he will report to Fort Rucker, Alabama where he will begin flight school to become a helicopter pilot for the Army.  Anthony is one of three West Bloomfield High School Alums to graduate from West Point this year, along with his brother, Alec Fritz, and their classmate, Mike Okorn.  

    Anthony has had amazing opportunities while attending West Point.  This past summer he was sent to the Republic of Korea to shadow a Lieutenant at one of the bases there.  He ended up only 13 miles from the border with North Korea.  While there, he was taken to the Joint Security Area and allowed into the UN negotiation buildings.  He also spent a weekend in Seoul, as well as an entire week working with the ROK Army.  During other summer experiences, he has had the chance to fly in multiple helicopters and to shoot 105mm cannons, machine guns and grenade launchers.  One summer he worked for Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona.  While there he worked on the Phalanx, which is a 20mm cannon designed to shoot down rockets, artillery, and mortars.

    While at West Point, Anthony was exposed to some amazing guest speakers, including Bill Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Barack Obama, Gary Sinese, Madeline Albright, and countless other high ranking officers from the U.S. and Allied nations.  At West Point, Anthony majored in Mechanical Engineering with an Aeronautical focus and, as a result, he had the opportunity to fly West Point’s Cessna down the Hudson River, turning around at the Statue of Liberty.

    How did WBHS help Anthony on his current path?

    According to Anthony:  “When I graduated [from WBHS] in 2012 I was very well prepared to begin my career at West Point.  I took a few AP classes, which helped a great deal, either preparing me for West Point’s courses or allowing me to validate and skip classes.  For current students I would definitely recommend finding out which courses your intended school will allow you to validate based on AP test scores.”  He goes on to state that, “During my time at WBHS I was a member of the Marching Band which took up quite a bit of my day.  This taught me time management which is the most important quality necessary for success at West Point.  The diversity at West Bloomfield helped to prepare me for success at West Point.  I was presented with multiple opinions and viewpoints which served me well later on.  At West Point we have cadets from all over the country and even from our allied nations across the world.”

    Anthony’s advice to current WB students:  “For current students, my biggest recommendation would be to challenge yourselves.  Fill your time with activities that you enjoy and always strive to get better.  Take AP classes, but as I mentioned before, make sure that your school will accept the exam scores before you pay the money to take the exams.  However, even if your school will not take the exam scores, the AP courses were still extremely valuable.  In the classes that I took on my AP subjects it made the classes extremely easy and turned out to be a nice GPA boost.  It is also important to be well rounded, balance your time between academics and extracurricular activities. Student government and other leadership roles are also valued as part of the admission process.  My final piece of advice is to find something that you really like doing.  Choosing a major that you are excited about will make school infinitely easier and more enjoyable.

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  • Jenny Cao

    Posted by Eric Pace at 8/2/2016

    Jenny Cao


    WBHS Alum Spotlight – Jenny Cao Class of ‘08


    Jenny Cao, West Bloomfield High School Class of ’08, is a graduate of Vanderbilt University.  She is currently working as the Regional Campaign Manager for the American Heart Association based in Dallas, TX.

    During her time at West Bloomfield High School Jenny was actively involved with the Law Club, DECA, Model United Nations, and the captain of the Golf Team.  While participating as a peer attorney as part of the Teen Court program through the Law Club, she had the opportunity to appear before Judge Michael A. Martone of the 52nd District Court in Michigan and later accepted a volunteer position in his court room to come up with creative and constructive sentencing options for drunk drivers.  At WBHS, she enrolled in the Michigan Student Caucus class that allowed students across the state to propose statewide policies.  She experienced her first career public policy defeat when she proposed a resolution banning the sale of candy cigarettes to minors in the state.  That same year, she achieved her first minor public policy victory when she presented before members of the Michigan House of Representatives in support of a tax credit for restoration of abandoned properties in Detroit.

    West Bloomfield High School prepared her for the academic rigor of Vanderbilt University where she studied public health and corporate strategy.  Most importantly, West Bloomfield High School exposed her desire to solve complex public policy challenges.  During college she worked in the Office for Diversity at Vanderbilt School of Medicine on programs to recruit and retain a diverse medical class.  That exposure to the medical center gave her the motivation to work on preventing illnesses by addressing the underlying factors that impact health.  She designed a case competition for students to figure out creative, cost-effective ways to reduce teen prescription drug abuse, and was actively involved in researching ways to increase access to healthy foods by improving the design of neighborhood corner stores.  When she enrolled in Professor Tom Lee’s “Legislation, Lobbying, and Politics” course, she discovered that what she loved to do since high school was a viable career path.  Jenny began working for the American Heart Association in Tennessee on issues such as CPR training for high school graduates and pulse-oximetry screening for newborns.

    After college, Jenny worked on an American Heart Association grant to implement school liability policies in rural Tennessee to keep playgrounds open after school hours and encourage physical activity.  She later moved to Washington, D.C. to work on federal level policies in support of heart disease and stroke prevention.  Jenny worked for three years on the Voices for Healthy Kids initiative, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and American Heart Association, identifying legislative and regulatory opportunities to pass state and local policies related to childhood obesity.  Since the start of the initiative, the Voices for Healthy Kids Team has successfully passed over 30 policies that improve the nutritional quality of food in schools, increase the number of sidewalks and bike paths, and increase opportunities for kids to be physically active.  

    Jenny currently works on the ANCHOR (Accelerating National Community Health Outcomes through Reinforcing) Partnerships initiative, funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to build partnerships and coalitions in North Texas to support policy, systems, and environmental change around smoke-free communities and healthy vending on government owned facilities.

    Jenny Cao’s advice for current WBHS students?  

    As for her advice for current WBHS students, Jenny Cao suggests getting actively involved in clubs and activities.  “In terms of advice, I’m glad I took advantage of all of the opportunities WBHS has to offer beyond classes.  It really gave me an advantage in college already being comfortable with public speaking and problem solving.”

    Jenny Cao is another example of the amazing Alums we have from our district!

    Do you know of any West Bloomfield High School Alums you’d like to see in the spotlight?  

    If so, please email alycia.chase@wbsd.org with their contact info and a brief background.

    Comments (-1)
  • Maggie Chang

    Posted by Eric Pace at 1/3/2016

    Maggie Chang

    WBHS Alum Spotlight – Maggie Chang ‘10 


    Maggie Chang, West Bloomfield High School Class of 2010, currently works in Marketing and Brand Management at Procter & Gamble, the world's largest consumer product goods company and the maker of the brands you love like Tide, Gillette, Old Spice and Crest.  While at West Bloomfield High School, Maggie was an Honors and AP student and was involved with Student Leadership and the Varsity Tennis Team.  She also and served as the President of the National Honor Society.  She participated in DECA for three years, making Internationals each year, and took a wide breadth of business classes including Marketing, Advanced Marketing and Economics.  It was through DECA and the WBHS business classes that Maggie realize how much she loved marketing.  DECA is an international association of high school and college students that prepares leaders and entrepreneurs for careers and education and marketing, finance, hospitality, management and other business areas.  With her passion for marketing, Maggie attended the University of Michigan and was preferred admitted into the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.  At Michigan, Maggie continued participating in DECA through its Collegiate Division and worked as a Marketing Intern for Michigan Athletics, executing promotional activities and enhancing fan experiences on game days.  


    While at Ross Business School, Maggie took a wide range of business classes from finance to accounting, but ultimately she continued to enjoy her marketing classes the most.  From there, it was trying to uncover what type of marketing she wanted to do.  The summer before her junior year, she interned at Under Armour, creating social media plans for new product launches and managing the brand on a daily basis on both Twitter and Facebook.  While digital marketing was interesting, Maggie wanted a more holistic outlook on marketing and she chose to look into brand management.  She turned to Procter & Gamble for the experience, and was a Brand Management Intern on the Iams dog food brand, where as an intern she created a profitable and strategic marketing plan for a growing consumer market, and recommended actions to mitigate competitor growth.  It was a challenging, yet exciting, experience, and Maggie decided to return to Procter & Gamble full-time after graduation.


    Currently, Maggie is an Assistant Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble on the Crest toothpaste brand, where she is able to apply the fundamental marketing skills she learned in both high school and college, as well as on the job.  Leading Crest's partnership with the NFL as well as digital marketing for the brand, she finds it extremely rewarding to combine marketing with two of her passions: sports and social media.  She looks forward to continuously being challenged and excited by the fast-paced work she is given every day. 

    How did WBHS help Maggie on her current path?  Maggie can confidently say that without WBHS, she would not be where she is today.  Because she was able to find her passion so early on, with the help of DECA and business classes, she could focus easily on her next steps from her major in in college to her future career goals.  She felt lucky that she was able to attend a high school that gave her the opportunities to explore and find her passions.

    A large part of finding her passions was the mentorship she had from multiple teachers at WBHS. From Marketing teachers to U.S. History teachers to AP English teachers, she made connections with many staff members and continues to look up to them today.  Establishing relationships is a huge part of life and it was a soft skill that Maggie felt she learned early on in high school.

    Maggie's advice for current WBHS students?  "Take advantage of the incredible resources you have around you to start exploring your passions.  What energizes you?  What are you a part of that makes you excited?  What are you learning that makes you interested?  It's a rarity to come out of high school and know exactly what you want to do in life (and stick with it through college) like I did.  But with the breadth of classes from English to Government to Computer Programming, in combination with extracurricular activities, it's important to find what you're interested in and what you're zealous about."


    Maggie Chang is yet another distinguished Alum that we are proud of at WBHS!

    Do you know of any West Bloomfield High School Alums you’d like to see in the spotlight?  If so, please email alycia.chase@wbsd.org with their contact information.

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  • Mark Liu

    Posted by Eric Pace at 1/3/2016

    Mark Liu

    WBHS Alum Spotlight – Mark Liu ‘09


    Distinguished Alum Mark Liu is a member of the West Bloomfield High School Class of 2009.  He is currently a Software Engineer at Google’s Global Headquarters in Mountain View, California.  During his time at WBHS, he took rigorous courses that he really enjoyed, including AP Computer Science with Mrs. Abel (Pilarski), AP Calculus with Dr. Brandell and AP Physics with Mr. Barclay, among other classes, all of which nurtured his interests in mathematical sciences.  Mark strongly recommends these classes for any current students interested in engineering majors, or really anybody interested in learning about how the world works.  He also spent two years in high school working with the Robotics Club after school.  Mark really enjoyed this experience.  He said, “It really cemented in my mind the idea that I could actually build things that did useful work (sometimes).”


    After graduating from WBHS, Mark started school at the University of Michigan through the Honors Program.  While at U of M, Mark thought he would be interested in research, so he looked for as many research opportunities as he could within the school.  During his sophomore year, he had the opportunity to assist researchers at the Center for Human Growth Development with their data processing through UROP, the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.  According to Mark, “they had already finished running their experiments, but had way too much data to analyze by hand and were bottlenecked waiting for their only programmer to be able to write the scripts to process the data.  With my assistance (I had taken a few introductory Computer Science classes at this point), we were able to get some preliminary results by the end of the semester and present our findings to the team.  This was my first experience seeing how useful programming skills were in the real world.”  That semester, Mark also spoke to one of his math professors, Professor Shehadeh, about doing research with her over the summer and she agreed.  Her area of research was focused on developing models of crystal growth and the structures that emerged as a result.  Mark was able to build the model that Professor Shehadeh described in one of her papers using MATLAB, and confirmed the expected behavior.  He wrote a report on their findings, which can be found on the U of M Math Department’s website.  “Again,” said Mark, “I was seeing how useful programming was to people doing real work.”


    By his junior year, Mark decided to commit to majoring in Computer Science.  “I was interested in both the practical aspects, such as software engineering and its potential to improve lives, as well as the theoretical underpinnings, which were much more related to the math I had been learning up to this point,” said Mark.  The summer of his junior year he applied for Software Engineering Internships at a few companies and ended up working at The MathWorks, Inc. in Massachusetts, the company that created MATLAB.  Mark indicated that “this was my first in internship, and gave me a look into what it means to work as a Software Engineer for a software focused company.  Also, since The MathWorks, Inc. primarily hired Engineering Ph.D.’s, it also gave me some great insight into what lay at the end of the education pipeline.  I had always assumed I would continue with my education all the way through to a Ph.D. and continue on in academia afterward, but after talking to many of the people there who had switched to working in the industry, began to question whether that was really the right choice for me.”  At the end of the summer, Mark was offered a job at The MathWorks, Inc., which he turned down to pursue a position at one of the West Coast tech companies, which had a reputation for building cutting-edge software tools.


    By Mark’s senior year, he had the chance to take classes that really piqued his interests and that really gave him a chance to apply concepts he had learned in both his Computer Science classes and Math classes, such as Artificial Intelligence, Cryptography and Complexity Theory.   Says Mark, “I had been to my Cryptography professor’s office quite a few times throughout the semester, asking clarifying questions about the course material which he was more than happy to answer.  At the end of the semester, I asked if he would be willing to advise me through an Honors Thesis, which the school had only just begun offering as an alternative to complete my CS [Computer Science] major.  To my luck, he not only had a problem in mind to work on, but he had also been the one leading the push to offer the new program.  Together, we worked on defining a notion of reductions for one-way functions, which I presented as my Senior Thesis that can be found on the [Computer Science] Department’s website.


    During Mark’s final semester of his senior year, he also had the opportunity to work as a Teaching Assistant for the Foundations of Computer Science course at the University of Michigan, one of the core classes that all Computer Science students are required to take.  “This ended up being one of the most satisfying experiences of my undergraduate career,” said Mark.  “I found that teaching core content forced me to understand it much more clearly myself, and that the feeling of successfully explaining difficult concepts to students was incredibly satisfying to me as well.”  


    After interviewing with a few different companies in his senior year, Mark received an offer from Amazon as a Software Developer, which was one of the companies that Mark had heard of as a great place to learn about software engineering.  Says Mark, “At this point, I was unsure of whether I would prefer to stay and attend graduate school or start working in the industry.  When Michigan accepted me as a graduate student to their MS program in Computer Science, I decided I would stay for a master’s degree and try to learn as much as I could, and at the end of that I would make a decision on whether to apply for the Ph.D. program.  I converted my offer from Amazon to an internship offer, and spent that summer, as well as the next, in Seattle working as a Software Engineer intern again.”


    Mark spent another three semesters at the University of Michigan, working as a Teaching Assistant to pay for school, while taking as many interesting classes as he could.  It was during this time that he took a Machine Learning class, which is the subfield of computer science that tries to produce algorithms that learn using math and data.  One example of this in practice is how Amazon recommendations try to learn to predict what customers would like to purchase next, based on items they have purchased in the past.  During Mark’s second internship at Amazon, he was able to work on their Recommendations Team and was happy to get a sense of how Machine Learning was actually applied in practice.  Upon graduating, Mark received a job offer from Google to work as a Software Engineer on their Search Infrastructure Team, which he accepted, and he has been working there since.  Says Mark,Working at Google has been an amazing experience as well, as I am really learning something new every day.  However, I am looking for an opportunity to get back to using Machine Learning, since that is the most interesting field that combines Computer Science and Math that I’ve learned about so far.”


    Mark Liu’s advice for current WBHS students?  

    “The piece of advice I’d like to share is that it’s okay to not have it all figured out, especially in high school.  Although WBHS is a great school, it can feel a little small sometimes.  Bullying, college application stress, and overbearing parents can be overwhelming, and when something goes wrong it sometimes feels like the end of the world.  But the important thing to remember is that there is still so much of your life left to live, and you have no idea what’s in store.  There are best friends, mentors and significant others out there waiting for you to meet them.  Most importantly, you still have so much time left to meet yourself, or the you that you’ll become.  If you focus on improving yourself for your own self, at your own pace, and for your own sake, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish.”


    Mark Liu is yet another very talented Alum that we are proud of at WBHS!

    Do you know of any West Bloomfield High School Alums you’d like to see in the spotlight?  If so, please email alycia.chase@wbsd.org with their contact information.

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  • Julia Kempf

    Posted by Eric Pace at 1/3/2016

    Julia Kempf

    Alum Spotlight on Julia Kempf – Class of 2011

    After graduating from West Bloomfield High School in 2011, Julia attended the University of Michigan for a semester before transferring to the ESB Business School at Reutlingen University in Reutlingen, Germany.  The ESB Business School ranks among the top business schools at one of the top universities in Germany.  Julia graduated in July of 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in International Business with a Major in Marketing and Strategy.  Says Julia, “I absolutely loved my time at the university due to the international orientation of the study program (50% of students came from outside Germany) and the countless extracurricular activities and opportunities available to students.  On top of that, my education, like all public education in Germany, was free.”  

    During her studies Julia did two six-month internships: one at Porsche in their Vehicle Product Management Department and one at Henkel in their Marketing Department for their cosmetics branch (Schwarzkopf).  In addition, Julia studied abroad in Valparaiso, Chile during her junior year and became fluent in Spanish.  She participated in many activities including NMUN (National Model United Nations), ENACTUS, and helped to organize her university's Career Fair and Music Festival.  Julia wrote her Bachelor Thesis about the economics of the ivory trade and possible solutions to the current poaching crisis.  Through her university studies she met people from all over the world and had the chance to travel to over 15 countries.  Julia is currently back in Germany interning with Tesla and hopes to start her Master's Program next fall.

    How did WBHS help Julia on her current path?

    According to Julia, “WBHS definitely helped prepare me for the real world beyond high school.  I learned how to manage my time efficiently and, most importantly, learned how to learn, which is crucial for college.  WBHS is lucky to have such amazing teachers who are extremely passionate about the material they are teaching and who also care so much about their students.  The material, strategies and life lessons I learned during high school definitely helped me out during my college years. Dr. Brandell, Mrs. Ismail, Mr. Sturgill, Mr. Corcoran, Señor Vennettilli and Mrs. Chase deserve a special shout out.”


    Julia's advice for current WBHS students?

    “My advice to current students would be to take advantage of all the resources WBHS has to offer.  From Medical Mentorship to the various sports to the music department just try out whatever interests you.  I would also advise them to work hard and take advanced classes because they are more interesting and prepare you well for college.”


    Julia with her University’s collegiate level NMUN (National Model UN) delegation in the UN building at the conference in New York.  WBHS is sending a high school team to the National Model UN Conference this spring.

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