The College of Engineering and Computer Science has graduated over 10,000 students since 1962. CECS alumni are professionals at all corporate levels in many diverse technical fields.
The Affiliate provides valuable resources to the university, alumni, CECS students, both present and future. They also support the CECS Showcase each year, inviting alumni and friends to visit the current exhibitions CECS students are developing at UM-Dearborn.
Communications to the alumni affiliate chair should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet our Board Members
John M. Cole, Chair
John Cole is president and chief operating officer of Parkwood Engineering Development Corporation in Westland, Michigan. Previously, he was vice president of engineering and development for Kolene Corporation in Detroit and a member of Kolene's Board of Directors.
Cole received a bachelor of science in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 1976. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the states of Michigan and North Carolina. He received the State of Michigan's Professional Engineers in Industry Outstanding Engineering Award in 1994 and the Detroit Metro Chapter's Engineer of the Year Award, also in 1994.
Cole is involved in many industrial, trade, and professional organizations, including NSPE, SME, SAE, PCI, and the Industrial Heating Equipment Association, where he served as national president in 2003.
"When looking back on the education provided to me by the University of Michigan-Dearborn, what I remember most was the small class sizes and the fact that, not only did the professors teach the classes themselves (vs. teaching assistants), they were always available for consultations before and after classes. This is what makes the Dearborn campus so special"
Ronald Modreski, Vice Chair
'65 BSE-ME, '65 BS-EMath, '68 MBA
Ronald Modreski received dual degrees in mechanical engineering and engineering mathematics from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 1965. He also earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 1968.
Modreski took early retirement from Vickers Incorporated (currently Eaton Corporation) Aerospace-Marine-Defense Group in 2000 after holding a number of management positions. He served as vice president/general manager of the Electromechanical Division in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from 1989 to 2000. He was responsible for marketing/sales, product/design engineering, program management, finance, contracts, manufacturing operations (multiple plants), quality, and human resources. Modreski had full P&L responsibility for over 450 employees. He is currently the owner of RAM Management Group and a principal in the firm PM&I, management consulting.
"My education and training at UM-Dearborn was very important in the early, middle, and later part of my career. As an engineer I was trained to use systems thinking and problem solving techniques and work as part of a team in the classroom and labs. These were skills that I used over and over during the years as I moved up the ranks of management, worked in different parts of the country, and traveled around the world. Probably the most important element of this experience at UM-Dearborn was my co-op experience. I learned about the real world of work and was able to better prepare myself for what I really wanted to do.
The most fun was the perception that engineers were not very skilled socially (geeks is the term used today). Well, the engineering classmates I hung around with got a reputation as "party animals" (remember Animal House?) and either got invited or threw some of the best parties in the Western Wayne county area. Sorry, I have been sworn not to give details."
Richard L. Anderson
'76 BSE-ISE, '82 MSE
Cardi DeMonaco, Jr.
Cardi DeMonaco Jr. works full time as a software technical support analyst for the Vantage product at Compuware in Detroit. He previously worked for four years at Net Portfolio, a Web development company, while attending UM-Dearborn. He also owns his own business, The Maintenance Guy, which offers lawn care and snow removal services.
DeMonaco graduated in May 2011 with a bachelor of science in software engineering. While at UM-Dearborn, he was involved in many extracurricular activities, was student commencement speaker, and was named a UM-Dearborn Difference Maker. Of the many organizations he was involved in, he counts Delta Sigma Phi, the Student Association of Michigan (SAM), student government, and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) as among the most memorable. DeMonaco was president of SAM, a coalition of the fifteen public university student government groups in Michigan, and president of ACM, a computer science organization. As president, he increased the presence of computer science at UM-Dearborn by holding events such as Gaming Night and organizing programming competitions.
His hobbies are playing soccer and drums. He also likes to travel around Michigan as much as possible.
"UM-Dearborn helped me figure out what I enjoy in life. At first, I only majored in computer science because I was 'good at computers.' Then, after joining my fraternity and landing a job in the field [with help] from an alumnus, I started enjoying computer science even more. Completing a fun senior design project-an Android and iPhone application for the university- solidified my love for the profession. Being involved in many extracurricular activities kept me busy and helped me get the most out of my experience. I now also have a love for politics."
Jim Harkins graduated from UM-Dearborn in 1995. His currently serves as the Director of the Electrified Systems Engineering Division at DENSO International America, Inc.
Henry Hojnacki earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 1981. He is currently product development manager, Formed Plastics Business Unit, at The Woodbridge Group in Troy, Michigan. Previously, he worked as a principal engineer at Enerflex Solutions LLC, where he was responsible for advanced development of automotive occupant protection.
During his career, Hojnacki has been employed by Concept Analysis (an engineering consulting company), BASF, Trico (a windshield wiper manufacturer), and Hoff & Associates (another engineering consulting company). His expertise is in energy management, engineering plastics, and structural analysis.
Hojnacki is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers. He is an advocate of Linux and Open Source and passionately supports engineering and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
"The education that I received at UM-Dearborn has given me exciting career opportunities and allowed me to travel the world, visiting Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Korea, France, and Mexico. I maintain relationships with many of the people I met during my travels. My most valuable experience with the university was definitely my co-op positions. This is where I found out how the things I was learning in class were applied in the real world. The most important secondary skills that my college education taught me were foosball and pinball, which I picked up in many hours spent in the ROC."
Joseph M. LaRussa
'99, BSE-EE, '03 MS-EM, MSE-ASE
Joseph LaRussa has served on the Alumni Society Board for over a decade, and also served as its chair. During his tenure, Joseph was instrumental in growing the Alumni Legacy Scholarship endowment, which provides tuition support for the children of alumni to attend UM-Dearborn. He has also addressed the employment needs of metro Detroit residents through his service at NorthRidge Church in Plymouth. By connecting and leading over 50 volunteers, Joseph was able to create a leadership team to address the human resources and recruitment of the church. It was under his direction that the church was able to provide career transition workshops to hundreds of community members.
A long-standing member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Joseph was hired by the organization in April 2010 to serve as its youngest Membership director in the organization’s history. In this position, he is responsible for membership strategy, resources and management. He even sat on the SME Member Council, which advises the SME Board of Directors on membership issues.
Prior to this position, Joseph worked at Visteon for 12 years and held the titles of Product Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Product Design Engineer, and Project Manager during that time. Joseph is also a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International, where he has organized technical sessions at the SAE Congress in Detroit, handling all aspects including soliciting papers, recruiting and managing reviewers and session management.
Robert J. Matsura
'72 BSE-EI, '77 MBA
Robert Matsura graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 1972 with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and earned a master of business administration from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 1977.
Matsura is retired after working 37 years at General Motors, EDS, and Hewlett-Packard. He was most recently a senior applied specialist at HP for four years, serving as an availability and capacity manager for the GM client. Before that, he was at EDS for 22 years, performing a variety of client consulting, analysis, and on-site contract work in the areas of computer modeling and process simulation, lean manufacturing, business process engineering, business asset development, project management, data collection and analysis, and engineering supervision. He transferred from GM to EDS after 11 years at GM, holding positions as a senior systems analyst, industrial engineer, and material handling engineer.
Matsura is also a certified Project Management Professional, certified in ITIL Foundations, a certified Manufacturing Engineer, and is certified in production and inventory management (CPIM).
"My two years in UM-Dearborn's co-op program gave me the work experience and the academic excellence that allowed me to prosper throughout my 37-year career with the biggest automakers in the world and still stay technologically up-to-date. I am amazed at how large UM-Dearborn has become and that it is a nationally ranked four-year university, compared to when I was there for just my junior and senior years. I am extremely proud that my son Greg graduated from UM-Dearborn in 2010 with combined EE & CE degrees. My stepson Brett is now there for an ME degree and will have even better facilities and state-of-the-art equipment to work with than I did 40 years ago."
Angela Nolte has a bachelor's and master's degree in industrial engineering. She currently works at Ford Motor Company.
Megan Stabile graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering.
Ken Yesh graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. While attending UM-Dearborn, Kesh served as president of the Intelligent Systems Club (ISC) and co-founder and vice president of the Creative Computing Club. He now works for Ford Motor Company.