Public Affairs Staff
Office: (734) 936-5190
Rick Fitzgerald, Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs
Main areas of responsibility are endowment, major initiatives, legal and reputational issues.
Rick serves as the primary public spokesperson for the university, leads the university issues management team and handles various projects on behalf of the vice president for communications. He joined Public Affairs in 2009 after a long career in the news business. He graduated a very long time ago (1975) from Central Michigan University with a degree in journalism and English. In 2014, he completed a master of science in administration degree, also from CMU. He lives in the Dexter area with his wife, Cathy, a registered dietitian with MHealthy. They enjoy trail running, bicycling and all things outdoors.
Marla Gootee, Administrative Assistant
Main areas of responsibility are calendar assistance for the assistant vice president and associate director for Public Affairs, memorabilia requests, as well as the overall management and distribution of information within the Public Affairs office.
Marla is the current Administrative Assistant for the Public Affairs team at U-M. She is a recent graduate from the University of Toledo where she studied both media communication and marketing. While not at work, Marla enjoys exploring U-M’s campus as well as the city Ann Arbor and loves to spend time with her family and friends.
Kim Broekhuizen, Associate Director
Main areas of responsibility are emergency preparedness, rankings, major initiatives and reputational issues.
Kim has been a member of the Public Affairs team for more than 20 years. She was recently named associate director of public affairs and serves as a public spokesperson for the university. In her role, she works on a number of projects ranging from emergency communications to university rankings. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in journalism. Outside of work, she spends much of her time on the soccer fields with her children. She also enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors with her family.
Dana Elger, Public Affairs Representative
Main areas of responsibility are sexual misconduct, sustainability and emergency preparedness.
Dana joined the Public Affairs team in 2009. As a senior public affairs specialist, she assists leadership and campus units with a range of support from media preparation and the development of talking points to communication planning and the launching of initiatives. She also is responsible for managing communications promoting the university’s sustainability brand, Planet Blue. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in marketing from Oakland University. Prior to U-M, she worked as an account associate at Doner Advertising in Southfield. She enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling and relaxing with her family of four.
Don Jordan, Public Affairs Representative
Main areas of responsibility are university budget, affordability and enrollment management.
Don joined the Public Affairs staff this year after working in marketing and communications for the U-M Office of Enrollment Management. Prior to joining U-M in 2016, Don covered education and government as a newspaper reporter for The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, Fla., taught high school journalism and English in Denver, and served as the communications manager for Teach For America’s regional team in Detroit. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University and lives in Livonia with his wife, Jessica, and two daughters, Natalie and Esme.
Lauren Love, Public Affairs Representative
Main areas of responsibility are the diversity, equity and inclusion initiative, student mental health and Academic Human Resources.
Lauren comes to Public Affairs with more than a decade of strategic communication and public relations experience. She began her career at the University in Michigan Medicine’s Department of Communication and covered several departments, including gastroenterology, family medicine and the medical school. Before U-M, Lauren was a communications specialist at the University of Notre Dame Law School and before that she served as the press secretary for Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr.’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition in Chicago. Lauren graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She later earned a master of science in public policy from DePaul University.
Hanna Quinlan, Public Affairs Associate
Main areas of responsibility are facilities, construction and rankings.
Hanna joined the Public Affairs team in 2016 after earning a B.A.A. in communication with a minor in broadcast and cinematic arts from Central Michigan University. She jumped to her current role in 2019 and assists with managing the Public Affairs social media account and confirming student enrollment. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan, where she was born and raised.
University Record Staff
James Iseler, University Record Editor
Jamie has been with The University Record since 2009. As editor, he oversees the production and distribution of the Record’s website and daily email edition. Prior to joining U-M, Jamie spent more than 30 years working for weekly and daily newspapers, most of that time as a reporter, editor and copy editor at the Jackson Citizen Patriot. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Central Michigan University.
Danielle Jones, University Record Sales Manager
Danielle comes to the University Record with more than 15 years of communications and marketing experience. She now manages the Record’s advertising and circulation efforts. She started her career at the Ann Arbor Observer, managing the advertising sales department. Prior to U-M, Danielle worked for a national nonprofit managing a grant connecting technology and small businesses. She has a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Michigan State University.
Steve Culver, University Record Graphic Designer
Steve brings more than 30 years of experience in newspaper design and production to his position as graphic designer for The University Record. He also has assisted students at The Michigan Daily and Monroe Street Journal in production of their publications. Concurrent to his career in newspaper design, Steve also publishes a magazine for Southeast Michigan’s LGBT community, which he has operated since 1990. He joined the Record team in 2014.
Safiya Merchant, University Record Staff Writer
Safiya is the staff writer for The University Record, where she focuses her work on university news, the lives and scholarship of faculty and staff, and the university as a workplace. Prior to U-M, she worked as a reporter for the Battle Creek Enquirer in West Michigan, where she wrote about K-12 education, community colleges and private and public universities. Before moving to Michigan, she worked as a government and education reporter in the Chicago suburbs. A native Chicagoan, Safiya received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She joined the Record staff in 2016. Outside of work, she likes to volunteer throughout the community and frequent farmers’ markets and thrift stores.