Chat and network with alumni from a variety of occupations and backgrounds. There is no cost to attend. Attire is Business Casual. Please prepare 2-3 questions you’d like to ask any of our alumni participants, regardless of who you find yourself seated near. Typically 13-15 scholars attend on a first-come, first-served basis. If interest outweighs space, then students who have a stated interest in the areas of the participating alums may receive priority.


Nov. 17 (details coming soon)


Amber Spears, ’12 BSECE ENG

Amber Spears received a BSE in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2012. She received an MSE in Civil Engineering with a focus in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014, where she completed a lab research-based thesis. As a staff engineer and engineer-in-training, Amber has worked for NTH Consultants, LTD., headquartered in Northville, MI. She currently works for CTI and Associations, Inc., headquartered in Novi, MI, where she is involved with geotechnical design and investigations within the landfill department. CTI and Associates is a Minority-Owned Engineering Consulting Firm that has certifications as a Small Business, Minority Business Enterprise, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise.

Britany Affolter-Caine, ’08 PHD EDUC RACK

Britany Affolter-Caine earned a BA in political science from Wittenberg University (1996), a M.Ed. in secondary education from Wright State University (1999), and a Ph.D. in higher education policy from the University of Michigan (2008). Her dissertation research focused on the study of inter-university collaboration, a useful framework for her work as program manager for Michigan’s University Research Corridor (URC). The URC is an alliance of Michigan’s largest research universities and one of the nation’s top academic clusters focused on increasing economic prosperity and connecting Michigan to the world. Britany manages the development and dissemination of research reports that inform key stakeholders, including the Annual Economic Impact and Benchmarking Series and reports on alumni entrepreneurship, the blue economy, talent, and Detroit. She also manages programs and events that foster greater research collaboration across URC universities and with industry. Prior to the URC, Britany was the talent director for Ann Arbor SPARK, and a senior research associate for the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution on the Great Lakes Economic Initiative, which focused on the creation of a federal-state agenda to promote the Great Lakes Region.

Buffy Beattie, ’98 AB LSA, ’06 MPH SPH

Buffy Beattie received a Bachelor of Arts degree (Anthropology) from the University of Michigan and worked for the U-M Medical Center following graduation until returning to the School of Public Health to complete a Masters in Public Health degree (Health Management and Policy). Upon graduation from SPH she went to work for her current employer, Huron Consulting Group. Buffy is currently a consultant in Huron’s Higher Education practice and advises colleges, universities, and academic medical centers on management of their research enterprise.

Edmund Lewis, ’09 MSW SWK

Edmund Lewis, MSW’09, School of Social Work, and now Executive Director of Minority Males for Higher Education, works daily to highlight the importance of exposing black youth to the idea of college and creating interest in and preparedness for higher education. He recently participated as a panelist in the Alumni Association’s New Face of Entrepreneurship series.

Michael Cheatham, ’94 AB LSA

Michael Cheatham grew up in Detroit, and was educated in the Detroit public schools. He attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he received a B.A. in Sociology, with an emphasis in Business. While at U-M, he served in the Army Reserve. After college, Michael joined Comerica Bank and spent 19 years working in the banking center system. During that time, he earned an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix. He currently serves as the bank’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) manager for the state of Michigan. His job duties include building and maintaining community relationships, reviewing banking activity for CRA qualification, and helping to manage the budget for charitable contributions. He is very active in the community and serves on the board of directors for several area non-profits and community-focused professional associations. Michael lives in Detroit with his wife and daughter.

Dr. Raymond Gist, ’66 DDS DENT

Dr. Raymond Gist, who practices general dentistry in Flint, Michigan, was the first African-American president of the American Dental Association (ADA), serving in 2010 and 2011. His previous responsibilities with the ADA include a four-year term as a trustee, serving as a delegate to the House of Delegates, and on the Reference Committee on Dental Benefits, Practice and Health. He is also a former president of several professional organizations, including the Michigan Dental Association, Genesee District Dental Society and the Mid State Dental Study Group. In addition, he is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. Here are just a few highlights of his numerous awards and honors: a United Negro College Fund Outstanding Participant Award andĀ a Michigan Dental Association Public Relations Award; and Distinguished Alumnus and Service awards respectively from Mott Community College and the U-M School of Dentistry. Dr. Gist currently serves on the board of directors for the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.

Zeid El-Kilani, ’12 BSEBE ENG, ’14 AM LSA RACK, ’14 MPP IPPS RACK

LEAD alum Zeid El-Kilani received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Michigan in biomedical engineering in 2012. After graduating, he continued his studies at the U-M, earning a Master of Public Policy degree and a Master of Arts degree in applied economics. While in graduate school, he worked as a strategy assistant for the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and completed a fellowship at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After completing his graduate studies, Zeid began working at Anderson Economic Group, a Michigan-based policy consulting firm, as a Senior Analyst. In May 2016, he moved to Washington D.C. to work as an economist in the Office of Science and Data Policy of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. At HHS, Zeid is responsible for policy coordination, policy analysis, and policy evaluation for various topics in the FDA portfolio, including medical products, tobacco products, and biotechnology.