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Auburn Hills resident named Outstanding Young Alumni at Oakland University's 2017 Alumni Awards

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October 16, 2017

As part of its annual Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, Oakland University recognized alumni and friends who have achieved success in business, community services, volunteerism and other areas on Friday, Oct. 13 at the 23rd annual Alumni Awards Banquet.  The Honorable Bryan K. Barnett, Mayor of Rochester Hills and Vice Chair of the Oakland University Alumni Association Board of Directors, served as master of ceremonies.

This year, Auburn Hills resident Jared Bogdanov-Hanna, CAS '08 received an Outstanding Young Alumni Award, which honors alumni who have demonstrated the worth of their education through their post-college achievements and, generally, have graduated within the last 10 years.

Jared Bogdanov-Hanna is a passionate educator, organizer, consultant and gardener in Oakland County, Michigan. As an undergraduate in psychology, Jared became fascinated with the role of environmental health and food choices and their impact on mental and physiological health. Shortly after graduating, he received training in permaculture design, an international environmental design system, and engaged with his local and regional food system.

Since then, Jared has worked with various non-profits, businesses, organizations and homeowners in designing, building and educating on permaculture based organic gardens and community gardens, most recently with Oakland University as Special Lecturer, Farm Manager and Organic Farm Coordinator.

During his time as Farm Manager and Organic Farm Coordinator, he designed and managed the development of the Campus Student Organic Farm and the Campus Farm Stand. He also coordinated community engagement, food distribution, employment, internship and volunteer opportunities at the farm.

Fay Hansen, associate professor of biological sciences at OU, wrote this of Jared in her letter of nomination, “Simply put, he has inspired and influenced so many lives and has been so influential in building the foundation for so many enduring programs that I can’t think of a more appropriate way to recognize him.”

In his free time, Jared enjoys being with community and friends and hiking, biking, camping and learning from Michigan’s diverse ecosystems.

The full list of this year's alumni honorees included:
  • The Honorable Peter J. Lucido, CAS ’83, State Representative, 36th District, State of Michigan, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Service Award, which is Oakland’s highest alumni honor. It recognizes peerless volunteer leadership in service to OU or its alumni association.
  • Jacquelyn Wagner, CAS ’03, Opera Singer, Soprano, will receive the Distinguish Alumni Achievement Award, which honors outstanding professional achievement or contribution to the community.


  • Ida M. Malian, Ph.D., CAS ‘70, Associate Dean of Academic Systems and Professor of Special Education, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University, will receive the Odyssey Award. It recognizes alumni whose lives exemplify Oakland University’s motto to “seek virtue and knowledge.”


  • Michael Lerchenfeldt, SEHS ‘08, Teacher, Chippewa Valley Schools, and Mark Guthrie, SBA ‘91, SECS ‘86, Corporate Director of Information Technologies, Spartan Motors, Inc., will each receive the Spirit Award, which honors exemplary volunteer service to the university.


  • Amanda L. Rymiszewski, SBA ’09, Marketing Manager, O’Keefe and Mary (Puzerski) Sloan, SEHS ‘69, ‘63, Retired Teacher, will each receive the Alumni Community Service Award, which recognizes distinctive service of a humanitarian nature or citizenship through community, public, or OU service activities.


  • Jeffrey Cook, SHS ‘14, ‘11, Owner, Premier Rehabilitation and Jared Bogdanov-Hanna, CAS '08 will each receive the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, which honors alumni who have demonstrated the worth of their education through their post-college achievements and, generally, have graduated within the last 10 years.


  • April M. Clobes, President and CEO, Oakland University Credit Union, will receive the Honorary Alumni Award, which is given to individuals who have not graduated from OU, but who have given outstanding service to the university.
Brian Bierley, Director of Media Relations
(248) 370-4346