The Arts and Humanities Alumni Association Chapter Board seeks to design, develop, and implement alumni programs and services that foster lifelong connections among graduates and students of the university. Members include:
Douglas Schulkin, ’06, Communication (Public Relations Track)
Mary R. Wise, ’74, Theatre
Board of Governors Representative
Michael Olmert, Ph.D., ’80, ’62, English
Blair Barrett, ’02, English
Patricia Cousins, ’87, English
Teresa Eyet, ’92, English
Steve Drake, ’83 Journalism (B.A. Public Relations),’94 Journalism (M.A. Public Relations)
Ashley Faust, ’11, Communication
Anna Gavin, ’04, Art History
Patrick Nelson, ’91, English
Kristen Perry, ’96, English
Kate Slaugh, ’93, History
Stephanie Stevenson, ’10, American Studies, Ph.D. ’15
Graduate Student Representative
Abigail Shantzis, ’14, English
Undergraduate Student Representative
The board supports the College’s signature career networking event for students, Access2Alumni, as well as other initiatives.
For more information, please contact Debbie Ellinghaus, Associate Director of Development, at 301-405-4517.
Douglas Schulkin, ’06, Communication (Public Relations Track)
Doug founded GuyRilla Marketing Group in 2009. His passion to connect, educate and inspire entrepreneurs is the driving force behind GuyRilla’s success. He also founded and sold Status Flow, a lacrosse-lifestyle clothing company now based in New York, NY. Via Status Flow, he worked directly with a number of lacrosse teams and programs throughout the country, including the national governing body of the sport, U.S. Lacrosse. Status Flow has been featured by nationally recognized publications such as Thrillist, Inside Lacrosse, Lacrosse Playground, Baltimore Magazine, and Harvard Crimson. Doug graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in Communication, where he studied in the public relations track. While there, he was elected president of the club lacrosse team. Under his leadership, the team played two national title games and earned an undefeated national championship season. Doug lives just over the Maryland line in Shrewrsbury, PA, with his wife, Rory, a 2009 alumna (Public Health), and enjoys lacrosse, flag football, swimming, golfing, mountain biking, running, and everything else under the sun.
Mary Wise, ’74, Theatre (Board President)
Mary R. Wise is a Senior Communications Manager at Fannie Mae, where she designs and develops e-learning courses for mortgage professionals. Before moving to her current position, Mary was Senior Manager of Technical Communication at Manugistics, Inc., where she directed the development of documentation for the company’s supply chain management software products. She has over 20 years experience in technical communication and is an accomplished facilitator and speaker. Mary is a Fellow and Past President of the Society for Technical Communication, a worldwide organization of technical writers, editors, web designers, and illustrators. Although she has a bachelor’s degree in Theatre from the University of Maryland, Mary feels her background as a circus clown prepared her well for both her corporate jobs.
Michael Olmert, Ph.D., ’80, ’62, English (Faculty Representative)
Professor of the Practice, English Department, University of Maryland.
Michael Olmert holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in medieval English literature and for 25 years has taught at the university. He is also a very active television, print, and film writer, with five books, five plays, two feature films, an IMAX film, more than 90 TV documentaries, three Emmys, and some 200 magazine articles, reviews, and essays to his credit. In 2005, he was inducted into the University of Maryland Alumni Hall of Fame.
Blair Barrett ʼ02, English
Blair Barrett graduated from Maryland with a BA in English in 2002. With the economy in recession, Blair struggled at first to find work but eventually secured a position as a copy editor for a small non-profit scientific journal. He was later hired as a technical editor by an engineering firm, SENTEL Corporation, working with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety initiatives. Over the past 10 years, Blair has gradually moved away from technical writing and toward system testing, policy development, and project management. Still with SENTEL, Blair now manages a multi-disciplinary group of analysts, editors, engineers, and air traffic controllers responsible for evaluating the safety of air traffic control systems and procedures and crafting FAA safety policy. Blair also authors proposals for SENTEL. Blair still utilizes the writing skills and analytical abilities that he acquired at Maryland on a daily basis at work. In his spare time, he earned his MA in English from Georgetown University and remains a rabid Terps basketball fan.
Patricia Cousins ʼ87, English
Patty Cousins is Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Labor & Employment with Marriott International Inc., which is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. Marriott employs over 150,000 associates globally as a leading lodging company with more than 3,700 hotel properties in 74 countries and territories. Ms. Cousins provides legal advice for both domestic and international hotels on a wide spectrum of human resources issues, including discrimination, wage and hour compliance, class action avoidance and defense, affirmative action, and business ethics. She also provides in-house training to Marriott management on key human resources developments and initiatives. Prior to joining the Marriott, Ms. Cousins served as Associate General Counsel at Amtrak and practiced labor and employment law with the Venable law firm. Before beginning her career as a practicing attorney, she clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Karwacki of the Maryland Court of Appeals. Ms. Cousins received her JD from University of Maryland School of Law, where she served as an editor on the Maryland Law Review. Ms. Cousins is past President of the Board of Trustees of her alma mater, the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, Maryland, as well as past President of the Catholic Business Network of Montgomery County. She also served as Chair of the Marriott Law Department’s Diversity Pipeline Program, which encourages local high school students from diverse backgrounds to consider a career in the law. She is the mother of three active teenagers.
Steve Drake ’83 Journalism (B.A. Public Relations),’94 Journalism (M.A. Public Relations)
Steve is Principal with Steven Drake Associates, LLC, a corporate communications consultancy, and RFP Associates, a public relations and communications agency search firm. Previously, Steve held senior executive positions in the corporate and public relations agency sectors. As vice president, communications with Laureate Education, Inc., formerly Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc., Steve built and managed the first comprehensive corporate communications function for the $1 billion, then-publicly traded global provider of education services. Before that, Steve held positions of increasing responsibility with Fleishman-Hillard, Inc. In the mid- to late-1990s, he launched and managed the firm’s presence in China, opening offices and serving clients in Beijing, Shanghai, and throughout Asia. Upon his return to Washington, DC, Drake directed Fleishman-Hillard’s international practice. Steve holds both a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Communication and in the executive MBA program at University of Maryland University College. He teaches, speaks and writes on a range of communications topics, including public relations in China, international public relations, and strategic thinking.
Teresa Eyet ʼ92, English
Teresa Lynn Eyet is a seasoned professional with a broad skill set. She has worked in the retail, computer software, human resources, and television production fields. Prior to joining AHCA in June of 2005, Teresa enjoyed a long career as a television producer and researcher specializing in programs that both educate and entertain. Her programs have aired on Discovery Channel, TLC, Travel & Living, and Discovery Wings as well as numerous non-broadcast credits. Since joining AHCA in 2005, Teresa has strived to continually research and develop professional development programming that is forward thinking and engaging. Teresa facilitated the development of the curriculum for the Quality Symposium; the newest national professional development offering from AHCA. Teresa has a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Master’s Degree in producing for Film and Television from the American University in Washington, DC. Teresa achieved her IOM (Institute for Organizational Management) credentials from the US Chamber of Commerce and is a candidate for the CAE (Certified Association Executive) offered through the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). In addition to her career in association management, Teresa satisfies her entrepreneurial and health and wellness interests by building a personal franchise with Arbonne International. She is a District Manager with Arbonne and enjoys the opportunity to help her clients lighten their toxic load by choosing health and wellness products that are pure, safe, beneficial, vegan-certified and cruelty-free.
Anna Gavin is president of Fireline Corporation, a fire protection firm specializing in the installation and service of commercial fire alarms, sprinklers, and extinguishers. Anna took over as a third generation owner after the sudden passing of her father in 2009. By overseeing day-to-day operations in addition to paving a clear roadmap to Fireline’s next generation of success, Anna has led the company through a great deal of transition during a turbulent economic climate. Using technology and implementing new initiatives while sticking to the company’s core values, Anna has worked with her team to help Fireline grow and develop to prepare for a strong future.
Ashley Faust ’11, Communication
Ashley is a Regional Sales Manager at Monumental Sports and Entertainment, where she handles accounts for the Washington Wizards, Capitals, Mystics, and Georgetown Men’s Basketball. Prior to this position, Ashley worked as an Inside Sales Consultant for Monumental Sports and Entertainment, a position she achieved after working as an intern for Maryland Sports Marketing and the Washington Wizards. A highlight of her undergraduate experience was the semester she spent abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Originally from Cherry Hill, NJ, Ashley now resides in Laurel, MD.
Patrick Nelson ʼ91, English
Patrick Nelson is an experienced communications and project management specialist. He has over 15 years of experience in financial and technical writing and editing; communications planning and support; policy and procedure development and review; and managing large projects and programs. His work has included creating communications plans for national software rollouts to VA Medical Centers; serving as Assistant Chief of Staff for the Chief Risk Officer at Fannie Mae which included managing policy development, speech writing, communication planning, and creating reports for the Board of Directors; and managing, writing, and editing projects that include simple newsletters and technical documentation to bilingual manuals designed to put satellites into space. Patrick is an avid traveler in South America which has led him to shed his corporate past and move into the not-for-profit world. His current endeavor is serving as Founder and Executive Director of Todos Sonrisas (All Smiles; http://www.TodosSonrisas.org), a newly formed nonprofit whose mission is to provide dental care and oral hygiene education to underprivileged children in South America. Work for the foundation includes travel to South America where current international partners are located, specifically Cusco, Peru, and the surrounding Andean villages. He also spends time on his Arbonne (http://patrick.myarbonne.com) business helping clients enrich their lives through safe, pure, and botanical skin care and health & wellness products.
Kristen Perry ’96, English
Kristen is a partner at Whiteford, Taylor, Preston (WTP) and a member of the firm’s bankruptcy section. She is the co-chair of the firm’s Inclusion Committee, chair of WTP’s Women’s Initiative Network and chair of WTP’s Associate Mentoring Program. Her practice areas focus on chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganizations, creditor and trustee representation, and bankruptcy and commercial litigation matters. A lifelong Howard County resident, Kristen serves on the five-member Howard County Ethics Commission, a position appointed by the County Executive. After graduating from UMCP, Kristen attended University of Baltimore Law School, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2000. She resides in Elkridge, MD, with her husband, Brian Perry ’97 (Government and Politics), son Kyle, and daughter, Kate.
Kate Slaugh ’93, History
Kate is a Congressional Relations Specialist in the Congressional Affairs office of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). In this capacity, Kate ensures a mutual effective relationship between the United States Congress and the Archives. This includes keeping key Members and staffs of the Congress fully and currently informed of NARA’s programs and ensuring that congressional inquiries are responded to promptly and effectively. She tracks legislation of interest and importance to the National Archives and offers the views of the agency on key issues effecting management, preservation, and access to Federal records and information. She has been with the National Archives since 1999, where she started in the Office of Information Resources. Prior to that, Kate worked in radio broadcasting in a variety of on-air and production roles. She inherited a love of baseball from her father and is a season ticketholder to the Washington Nationals.
Stephanie Stevenson, ’10, American Studies, Ph.D. ’15 (Graduate Student Representative)
Stephanie Stevenson is currently a third-year Ph.D. student and enrolled in the Women's Studies Certificate Program at the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP). Additionally, Stephanie is in her second-year as a graduate instructor in the American Studies department at UMCP, the same program where she received her B.A. (with Honors) in 2010. As a doctoral student she has directed and facilitated a three-year longitudinal ethnographic study (2010-2013) and in-school mentoring program with black middle school girls in Southwest Baltimore City, MD. Here she collaborates with the students to help them develop practical and sustainable strategies to foster their healthy social, academic, and sexual development. Stephanie has presented her work at UCLA, Brunel University (UK), and in Baltimore at the 2011 American Studies Association Conference. She is a proud alumna of UMCP’s Women’s Studies Study Abroad Program in Trinidad & Tobago (Winter 2010), the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, and Federal Semester Program. In the spring 2009 semester, she interned on Capitol Hill and was selected to introduce President Obama at a televised White House press conference advocating for increased Pell Grants for college students from low to middle socio-economic statuses.
Abigail Shantzis ’14, English (Undergraduate Student Representative)
Abby is a senior English major with a minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She is the president of the English Undergraduate Association, a section leader for HONR100, and a tutor at the UMD Writing Center. She has presented at the Mid-Atlantic Writing Centers Association Conference and is currently writing an undergraduate thesis on online writing tutoring for the English Honors Program. After graduation, Abby is considering pursuing a graduate degree in Higher Education Administration.