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Q&A: Faculty and Staff Share Their Favorite Summer Memories and Excitement for the New Academic Year

For many faculty and staff at Michigan Ross, the summer season is a time for traveling, adventure, and spending time with family and friends. However, the end of summer marks an exciting time when we welcome students back to campus.

As the fall term begins, we’ve asked some of our faculty and staff members to share their favorite summer memories and what they are looking forward to in the new academic year.

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Heather Byrne
Managing Director, Career Development Office

What is your favorite memory from this past summer?
One of my favorite memories from the summer was meeting our incoming consortium MBA students at the orientation program in New Orleans and getting to spend time with wonderful colleagues Lisa Bradley, Imari Love, and Michelle Pava. The students bring great energy and excitement to this three-day intensive recruiting prep program and are so appreciative of all the support we give them. It is also amazing to hear positive feedback from employers about how well they do in the recruiting process.

Another favorite memory from the summer was going to Norway on an eight-day hiking trip. I stayed at the oldest hotel in Norway, ate dinner in a barn from the early 1600s, and hiked on glaciers and around the fjords. The scenery is breathtaking. This was my fourth trip with a company called Backroads, and they are great to travel with. I highly recommend them!

What are you looking forward to the most in the new academic year?
This fall, I am looking forward to working with a lot of new staff around Ross — both people new to Ross and new in leadership roles. New people bring new energy and ideas, so I look forward to those moments of learning with them.

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Tom Buchmueller
Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy

What is your favorite memory from this past summer?
My favorite part of the summer was getting to the beach — which I don’t manage to do every year. Here is a photo of my two boys at Lake Michigan.

What are you looking forward to the most in the new academic year?
After three years in the Dean’s Office, I am looking forward to a new and different opportunity: I will be taking a leave to spend a year or so in government. I will be going to Washington, D.C., where I will be serving as a deputy assistant secretary for health policy in the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

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Laverne Wise
Building/Facilities Manager, Operations

What is your favorite memory from this past summer?
My favorite summer memory is taking my grandkids to Disney World. I have a 3-year-old granddaughter named Siena, and her brother Silas is 20-months-old. We visited Florida around the fourth of July this year for a whole week. I have a timeshare in Florida that I visit every year, and this year, I had the pleasure of taking my daughter and her family to Florida. I was so happy that I got to spend time with them and see the look on their faces when we got to Disney World. This was an experience I’ll never forget — they might because they are so small, but I will cherish this moment with them forever.

What are you looking forward to most in the new academic year?
With the new school year fast approaching, I am looking forward to meeting all the new students that will attend Ross and seeing the returning students that I met last year. I love talking with them and just listening to all their future plans of what they’re going to do when they leave Ross. I love talking to the faculty members that I have gotten to know. I love the upbeat atmosphere that Ross has. I’m looking forward to a great, productive year with my team and coworkers.

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Jeremy Kress
Assistant Professor of Business Law

What is your favorite memory from this past summer?
This summer, my family and I spent a week at Camp Michigania, the Alumni Association’s campgrounds on Walloon Lake. We had a wonderful time playing tennis and practicing archery, doing arts and crafts, and boating and kayaking. The nights we spent relaxing on the front porch of our cabin as the sun set are my favorite summer memories.

What are you looking forward to the most in the new academic year?
Heading into the new school year, I am looking forward to returning to my “regular” job after recently completing a stint as an advisor at the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division. I loved my time at the DOJ, but it also made me realize how lucky I am to be a faculty member at Ross. After several months away, I am eager to get back to my research and the classroom.

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