LCC Alumni

Our LCC grads are amazing writers, creators, speakers, and more. Check some of them out below.

Alexandra Wee

Since graduating from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2013, Alexandra Wee has pursued an MA in Journalism and Magazine Writing from New York University. She interned at Woman’s Day and Time Out New York, was an assistant editor for Spoon University, and worked as a TA for an undergrad journalism ethics course. Post-grad, she got a job at Sesame Street helping with editorial coordination and production for an international education project. With two work cohorts, she also took a stab at developing an HBO pitch for a spin-off children’s television series. Recently, she has joined the team at Us Weekly where she’s currently working on special issues for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Rogue One.

Ashley Sword

Former CASL Writing Consultant, Ashley Sword, graduated from the University of Michigan in Dec. 2012 with a BA in Communications. Following graduation, Ashley was offered an opportunity to work with Digital Fist Media as a Multimedia Journalist where she executed her writing, video and photography skills for the print and online media publication. In this position, she covered a variety of topics ranging from politics, news, and education. In 2016, Ashley founded The Asher Group, a Detroit-based fully integrated public relations and marketing firm serving clients across the country. In addition, Ashley is an Alumni Board of Governors member for the University of Michigan and a Board member/Event Organizer for The Belinda Sue Fund, an ovarian cancer awareness organization. 

Katie Blacker

Katherine graduated from UM-Dearborn in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts. Her major was Communications, with a focus in Journalism and Screen Studies. Katherine’s other areas of academic interests are English, Marketing, History, and Women’s Studies. During her time as an undergrad, Katherine worked on campus in Facilities Management (in the Grounds department and in General Services) and did an internship at PMA Consultants where she worked in the marketing department doing technical writing and copy editing. After graduating, Katherine did freelance writing, copy editing, and social media management until she landed at Michigan SEO Group, where she’s worked as Internet Marketing Director for the last 3 years. Katherine also coaches high school girl’s volleyball in Livonia. 

Leah Johnson Olajide

When CASL ’11 Alumna Leah Johnson Olajide graduated high school in 2006, she was
not quite sure where she wanted to go to college, or even if she wanted to go.
Many of her friends at the time had chosen not to do so, and had made different life
choices, so Olajide was torn about what to do.
“I struggled with the idea of college,” she says. “It was foreign to me. But I am glad I
went.”
She was accepted at both Wayne State University and University of Michigan-Dearborn,
but she ended up making what she says was the right choice after all, and attended
UM-Dearborn.
Graduating with a Bachelor’s of Arts, Olajide chose Communications because she loved
to write and has been doing so since she was eleven years old.
“My dad gave me a reporter’s notebook,” she said. “And he is a retired photojournalist. I
wrote everything down. That notebook was my personal newspaper—through high
school, writing for the newspaper, college—I knew I had to do something with writing.”
While she was a student, the Communications discipline and the newer Journalism and
Screen Studies (JASS) field were breaking off into two separate programs, so although
Olajide was a Communication major, her classes centered around Journalism and the
writing classes.
“There is always a sense of urgency-news is all around us, always changing, you wake
up to thousands of news stories, and professors exuded that and it excited me,” Olajide
said.
But there was an underlying worry about the state of journalism in her classes that was
ultimately quashed with the realization that journalism will always be a valuable area of
study.
“A lot of professors told us that print journalism was dying, but we were still hopeful,”
she said. “People always need news—but how people get it is changing.”
Olajide ended up completing two internships during her time on campus as a student,
first at WWJ News Radio 950, and then at BLAC Detroit Magazine.

She says that internships are important for many reasons, including giving students the
opportunity to make connections and network, and that it is a chance to figure out if that
kind of job is what you do or if you don’t want to do after graduation.
“I enjoyed the magazine, because there was more of an opportunity to write, to be
creative, and to do a lot of feature writing,” she said. “Also, it was nice to get out of hard
news, and I was doing that for so long.”
She was the first black Editor-in- Chief of the campus newspaper, the Michigan Journal,
and it was during February of her senior year, where one of her favorite
projects—Colorblind Magazine-- was born.
During Black History Month, the students at the Journal would have a section that
spotlighted black culture, history, the arts, and other stories.
But Olajide was hoping for a place to publish those stories year round, and Colorblind
ended up being that place.
“When we graduated, we had meetings on what it would be like, or would call it, and
Colorblind launched on Oct. 22, 2012,” she said. “It’s five years old. The format is still
the same-- cover stories about minority women, teenagers, business, education, and
more.”
The online mag soon morphed into a place for interns to learn about publications and
journalism—bringing Olajide full circle from student to mentor.
"Leah is definitely a great asset to the UM-Dearborn community because she truly cares
about the school and the students who are there,” says Colorblind partner and fellow
UM-Dearborn Alumni Veronica Grandison. “She is a prime example of what an alumnus
should be. As CEO of ColorBlind Magazine she has mentored numerous UM-Dearborn
journalism students who have all gone on to lead successful careers after graduating.”
After graduating and launching Colorblind, Olajide ended up completing an internship at
the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, where she worked in the
Communications and Marketing Department, where she got to give presentations on
exhibitions.
“It was fun—I enjoyed the diversity,” she said.
She also ended up staying on campus, working in some capacity or another as a writer,
helping students in the Career Services office; assisting CASL Dean Martin Hershock
with communications efforts, writing different newsletters, connecting for blogs; and now
working as a social media & communications editor and writer for CASL.
“I never left,” she said.

With regard to her future plans, Olajide stated that "currently I'm building my own writing/editing services business to help people with business plans, manuscripts, essays, etc. In the future, I plan to try my hand at becoming an author, and possibly create a curriculum to teach writing/English online or possibly women’s empowerment workshops in conjunction with colorblind magazine."

She and her husband met at a religious convention in January 2014, and in January 2017, after two and a half years of dating, he proposed while on an airplane ride with the assistance of the pilot and flight attendants.  They were married on September 9, 2017.

Department of Language, Culture, and Communication

3016
CASL Building
Phone: 
313-593-4778
Fax: 
313-593-5552
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