Meet the Team

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! 

Maria Cheatham
Administrative Assistant Senior, External Relations

Maria is responsible for the daily administrative and operational duties of the office. Prior to joining the department, she worked in financial services for 11 years where she gained experience in budgeting, financial reporting, accounts payable and domestic and international student agreements. When not at work, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family and eating at the best “mom and pop” restaurants.  

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!

Bailey Ayers
Digital Marketing Analytics Specialist

Bailey is responsible for digital marketing initiatives for the university, including developing, implementing, and managing campaigns through various digital mediums. Prior to joining UM-Dearborn, Bailey has worked at various organizations creating and managing digital marketing campaigns for a wide array of clients, ranging from local businesses to national brands. Bailey earned her bachelor's degree in Journalism, specializing in Advertising from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Outside of work she enjoys traveling, crafting, discovering new hiking spots with her dog, and taking in as many baseball games as possible.

Jessica Bixby
Social Media Specialist

Jessica is responsible for the social media communication strategy for UM-Dearborn, which includes promoting the mission, reputation, brand and program offerings of the university and engaging a variety of audiences. Prior to joining the university, Jessica was the Social Media Specialist at The University of Akron and spent 10 years working in professional theatre. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history from UM-Ann Arbor and an MFA in theatre management from Wayne State University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, television, theatre and watching too many cat videos.

Jason Bolton
Graphic/Multimedia Designer

Jason is responsible for developing and maintaining UM-Dearborn’s brand presence and visual communications. With nearly 10 years of design and higher education experience, he provides creative direction on a number of print and digital communications and marketing initiatives. Jason earned his bachelor of fine arts in visual communication and design from Detroit’s College for Creative Studies in 2006. In his spare time, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife and playing with his two kids, as well as traveling and going to Tiger baseball games.

Domeda Duncan
Marketing Coordinator

Domeda works closely with the creative team, on-campus clients and external vendors to develop marketing materials. In addition to her project management responsibilities, she collaborates with the digital marketing team in creating and monitoring online advertising campaigns. Prior to joining UM-Dearborn, she worked on the QLINE streetcar-project in Detroit as a member of the external relations team. Domeda earned her bachelor’s degree in communication from Michigan State University in 2014.  In her free time, she enjoys thrift shopping, serving as a tutor at the Mercy Education Project, wandering the aisles of Whole Foods and attending plays. 
 

Sarah Tuxbury
Writer 

Sarah wants to tell your story. Writing for the university's Legacy magazine, the faculty/staff e-newsletter Reporter and other news avenues, she enjoys meeting the people who love our campus and sharing their experiences with readers. With 15 years professional writing experience – with more than seven of those in higher education – she's described what life was like in a stunt plane (like a roller coaster, but without tracks…and better scenery), listened to tunes with Bob Seger in his home’s music room while he was gearing up for a Tour, and read re-discovered 1940s love letters with a woman who lost her husband in World War II. In addition to writing, Sarah spends her time admiring historic architecture, losing Scrabble games to her Grandma and reading Choose Your Own Adventure books.

Lou Blouin
Writer

Lou worked in public radio for more than a decade before figuring out he wanted to be a writer. But the experience taught him that what makes most stories worth telling is the people who tell them. He has written about scientists doing cutting-edge research; profiled reluctant reality TV stars; and wrestled with how to relay stories about race in America with honesty, integrity, and humor. Prior to becoming a contributor for Legacy and Reporter, he worked as a features writer and associate editor at Hour Detroit magazine.

Government Relations

Mike Latvis
Director, Government and Community Affairs

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.

Web Services

Laura Garling
​Assistant Director, Web Strategy and Service

Laura leads the digital team in its efforts to continuously improve the university’s web presence and champion web best practices across campus. She has a decade of experience in making websites, working in nearly all aspects of production and project management. 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, cooking and traveling through the Rust Belt and beyond.

Christina Hu
Technical Project Manager

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 University of Michigan-Dearborn. To unwind and relax, she loves to travel and visit interesting places with her husband and daughter and cook up some of her favorite recipes of her mom.

Alyssa Kata
User Experience/Information Architect

Alyssa assists with designing the structure of the university’s website, including the navigation system, user workflows and overall usability. She also works on planning and conducting user research to inform the site’s design. Prior to joining UM-Dearborn, Alyssa worked in healthcare IT and has experience in higher education as part of a student life and leadership department. She earned a bachelor's degree in communication from Michigan State University and a master's degree focused in human-computer interaction and social computing from U-M's School of Information. When she’s not at work, Alyssa enjoys being outdoors rollerblading and biking, spending time with her family and exploring Michigan’s best vegetarian restaurants. 

Ray Walters
Drupal Developer

Ray is responsible for maintaining the university’s Drupal Content Management System, developing new features and fixing bugs. He also builds custom modules for the website to meet our campus community’s needs and create an excellent user experience. Previously, Ray worked as a web developer for Crain Communications in Detroit. Ray is an alumnus of UM-Dearborn, having earned his bachelor's degree in economics before switching career trajectories and becoming an Acquia-certified Drupal developer. When not working, Ray leads an active lifestyle, playing sports, working out, and rooting for the Wolverines and Lions. He enjoys bowling, golfing and going on tropical vacations with his wife, Dima.

Office of External Relations

1161
Administration Building (AB)
Phone: 
313-593-5140
Fax: 
313-593-5403
Back to top of page