Our Staff

Ken Kettenbeil
Vice Chancellor, External Relations

Ken Kettenbeil is the Vice Chancellor for External Relations and is responsible for government relations and communications and marketing. His communications and marketing responsibilities include internal and external communications, website, advertising and branding at the university. His government relations responsibilities include representing the university in dialogues with federal, state and local governments, and presenting the university's position in current and proposed legislation.

Prior to joining UM-Dearborn, Ken served as the director of communications for smart USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group. He also served as the vice president of communications for the Detroit Super Bowl XL Host Committee and marketing manager for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. Ken earned a bachelor's degree in communications at Wayne State University and has completed graduate courses through Michigan State University. Ken was a world traveler in the past having once had breakfast in Germany, lunch in France and dinner in Italy during a whirlwind one-day trip to Europe! 

 

Susan Rowe
Executive Secretary

Bio to come.


Communications and Marketing

Beth Marmarelli
Director, Communications and Marketing

Beth is responsible for managing external communications, including media relations and social media activities for the metropolitan university. She provides strategic branding and advertising support to UM-Dearborn's undergraduate and graduate recruitment efforts. Beth also collaborates on Legacy (the university magazine) and alumni/donor communications strategy. With more than 13 years of higher education, corporate communications and account management experience, Beth has a master's degree from Michigan State University and a bachelor's degree from Central Michigan University. She spends most of her free time volunteering for animal rescue organizations, cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and working on her "This Old House" 1922 craftsman style bungalow–which she affectionately refers to as the money pit!

 

Kristi Domke
Development Communications Specialist

Kristi manages an integrated communications plan for UM-Dearborn's Victors for Michigan capital campaign, including writing, collateral development and related communications efforts. She also works with the Office of Institutional Advancement to create development-focused content that demonstrates the impact of giving to the university. Kristi has an extensive professional background in development, marketing and communications. Prior to joining UM-Dearborn, she was a development officer for a local healthcare foundation where she worked in major gifts, campaign strategies and helped to launch a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign. She also worked for the U-M Health System. Kristi earned her bachelor's in communications from UM-Dearborn and is proud to contribute her efforts to her alma mater. She enjoys spending her free time with her family and her playful miniature schnauzer. 

 

Kate Malicke
Communications Specialist

Kate manages internal communications functions, keeping faculty and staff informed about news and events on campus. Her main responsibility is to direct production of the Reporter–the university's faculty and staff e-newsletter–including content development, production and distribution. She also manages the university news site and develops strategies to utilize social networks to communicate campus news. Her previous experience in higher education includes project management, marketing and external communications. Kate earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Ohio Northern University. When not reading up on the newest communication trends, she enjoys hiking, cooking and taking Michigan vacations with her husband, Dave.

 

Alex Piazza
Communications Specialist

Alex develops email and social media programs to keep University of Michigan-Dearborn alumni informed and engaged with their alma mater. He also serves as the editor of Legacy, the university's bi-annual alumni magazine, and supports donor communications. Alex has experience working in the newspaper industry, where he covered higher education, politics and crime for daily publications. He obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees from Central Michigan University, where he also worked with the university's communications team. And when he's not busy with alumni communications efforts, Alex spends most of his time outside exploring the world with his running shoes and iPod.

 

Lindsay Waller
Marketing Specialist

Lindsay manages branding and advertising projects for the university and its colleges. She provides direction to the annual Difference Makers campaign, works on undergraduate and graduate recruitment efforts, manages production and development of collateral materials. Prior to joining the UM-Dearborn team, Lindsay was a specialist for a West Michigan accounting firm where she managed their social media, communications and online marketing strategies. She earned a bachelor's degree in public relations and advertising from Grand Valley State University. Lindsay enjoys spending her free time with her husband and two dogs, Red Wings games, volunteering and event planning, working out, Lake Huron, traveling and the great outdoors!

 


Government Relations

Mike Latvis
Government Relations Manager

Mike manages day-to-day lobbying efforts for the university, while developing and maintaining relationships within the Michigan Legislature, State Executive Office and U.S. Congress. He provides leadership, strategic direction and implementation of the university's higher education policy and advocacy efforts. Prior to joining UM-Dearborn, he served as the director of public policy for ArtServe Michigan, where he led the organization's arts, culture and arts education policy and advocacy efforts. He also served as an analyst at Benenson Strategy Group in New York and senior legislative assistant for Michigan State Senator, Buzz Thomas. Mike earned a bachelor's degree in political science/pre-law from Michigan State University in 2004.

 


Digital

Marcus Sarkesian
Director, Digital Strategy

Marcus is responsible for leading digital interactive initiatives for the university, including the university's website and other forms of digital marketing. His main responsibility is to develop and implement a campus-wide digital strategy that unifies and propels the university forward. Prior to joining UM-Dearborn, Marcus led design and development teams for a variety of brand websites and e-commerce applications, including dominos.com, lincoln.com and mercuryvehicles.com. He is a University of Michigan alumnus, who earned his bachelor's degree in computer engineering, and has completed graduate courses in human computer interaction. When Marcus is not busy with his online efforts, he enjoys kicking back and spending time with his family.

 

Laura Garling
Digital Project Manager

Laura assists in the maintenance and updating of the university's online presence. She also assists the director of digital strategy in developing and implementing digital processes and provides training to staff on new interactive initiatives. Prior to joining UM-Dearborn, she worked in almost all aspects of web production, with clients primarily in the manufacturing and medical technology industries. Laura's bachelor's degree is in English from Baldwin Wallace University, and she received her master's degree in communication planning and information design from Carnegie Mellon University. When she's unplugged from the digital world, Laura enjoys yoga, gardening and outdoor adventures with her husband and their very large dog.

 

Ronald Labao
Senior Web Applications Developer

Ron advises the director of digital strategy on technology, support, and implementation concerns. As a lead developer for the campus Digital Team, Ron handles technical aspects of digital projects, including application architecture design, software development planning, and work with vendor partner teams. Ron also serves as a liaison to university IT services on administration and maintenance of related web and database systems, including the campus content management system. He is a recent University of Michigan-Dearborn graduate, earning a bachelor's degree in physics after a long journey of working while going to school.

Christina Hu
Web Software Developer

Christina is responsible for maintaining the university's website and web content management system. She also helps develop creative ideas and solutions for new and existing web applications. Prior to joining the digital team, she worked as a web developer for the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters. Along with maintaining the college's website, she supervised a tech team responsible for managing computers and audio/visual equipment in classrooms, laboratories and faculty/staff offices. Christina earned a master's degree in Computer and Information Science from UM-Dearborn. To unwind and relax, she loves to travel and visit interesting places with her husband and cook up some favorite recipes from her mom.