UR July Birthdays

Happy birthday to all our UR employees celebrating their special days in July! We hope you have fun in the sun this summer!

7/3 – Katherine Lane
7/4 – Giovana Heeter
7/5 – Ashley Van Avermaete
7/8 – Brian Diss
7/8 – Brittany Jaso
7/10 – Christina Ryan
7/10 – Megan Hale
7/10 – Patrick Brennan
7/10 – Roz Palusci
7/11 – Lin Wang
7/14 – Anita Sareen
7/14 – Lori Tinkey
7/15 – Carleen Quinlan
7/16 – Gail Slevin
7/17 – Darrell Paulsen
7/17 – Patty Kokesh
7/18 – Kevin Vaughn
7/19 – Meghan Buysse
7/19 – Susan Lynch
7/20 – Jordan Wahlstrom
7/21 – Caleb Worm
7/23 – Chris Walsh
7/23 – Mike Brown
7/27 – Greg Williamson
7/29 – Ellen Aranowski
7/30 – Jill Calderone
7/31 – Mary Scott

Congratulations Colleen Bailey-Knapke!

Dear Colleagues,

Please join me in congratulating Colleen Bailey-Knapke in her promotion to Audit & Compliance Program Director on the Gift and Data Management Team. In this role, Colleen will report directly to me and will oversee the audit process – continuing to develop new audits and reconciliations for the team. Colleen has taken on the compliance responsibility which requires her to liaise directly with the Tax Director, the Controller’s office, and to be the expert for CASE guidelines, tax rules, and the Gift Management Guidelines.

Colleen has been a key member of the team for more than four years. During this time she has developed and executed our audit program, executing critical reconciliations between Development and the Controller’s office. Colleen’s expertise in understanding our data and her helpfulness have made her a go-to resource for the entire team.

Congratulations Colleen!!

Amy Schell
Sr. Director, Gift and Data Management

Congratulations Jessica Witous!

Dear Colleagues,

Please join me in congratulating Jessica Witous as Program Director, Advancement Records! Jess will be returning from leave on Tuesday, July 5, and will assume this leadership role on the Gift and Data Management Team. Jess will report directly to me and will oversee the daily operations of the Advancement Records team consisting of Julie Seniff and Melissa Medina. The Advancement Records team is responsible for gift processing and biographical data updates, including being the subject matter experts in matching gifts, grants processing, freshman parent data, employment data and other critical priorities.

Jessica has served on the Gift and Data Management Team for more than 5 years and prior to that was a regional development coordinator. Jess is also the Gift and Data Management co-lead for asceND.

Congratulations Jess!

-Amy Schell

Welcome Allie Griffith – Alumni Marketing Writer and Editorial Program Manager

Dear UR Team,

I am excited to announce that Allie Griffith ’17, ’19 M.Ed. will be joining the Alumni Association on July 5 as Writer and Editorial Program Manager. Allie is coming to us from Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, where she taught literature and composition and was the head girls cross country coach. Previously, she taught literature at Providence Cristo Rey High School in Indianapolis while completing the ACE program here at ND.

As a student at Notre Dame, Allie majored in English and American Studies with a minor in creative writing. She was recognized as the Most Outstanding graduating senior in each of her majors, and was also recipient of the 2017 Pasquerilla West Spirit Award for exemplifying “the spirit of Notre Dame in social, recreational, residential, service, and religious activities that promote the welfare of the University and extended communities.” In January, Allie earned an honorable mention in this year’s Notre Dame Magazine Young Alumni Essay Contest for her piece “The Storage Closet.”

In her new position, Allie will manage We Are ND and play a key role in the expansion of our storytelling efforts. She will also oversee Echoes, serve as lead copywriter for the association, and work with ND Magazine and class secretaries on the quarterly Class Notes process.

Please join me in welcoming Allie to the NDAA and UR!


Welcome, Kelly Judd!

Friends and Colleagues,

I am thrilled to announce that Kelly Judd will join our University Relations team as Regional Director in the New York Metro region, beginning this Wednesday, June 29.

Kelly is both a Notre Dame Law School alumna, graduating cum laude and serving for two years as an assistant rector in Farley Hall, and proud mother of two, including a rising Notre Dame junior. She is moving to South Bend from New York where she has most recently served for the past several years as a prosecutor in the Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Agency.

Please join me in welcoming Kelly to our team!

All the best,

Farewell and Thank You to Matt Rombalski

Dear Colleagues,

I want to share that Matt Rombalski’s last day with the gift management team will be July 15. Matt has accepted a new position in Boston and we are so excited for him but we will greatly miss him. We are very grateful for Matt’s many contributions to our team, including his expert DocuSign skills that carried us through the pandemic as we pivoted to only electronic signatures for our gift agreements and many other University documents. Matt has accepted a new position – Assistant Director of Major Gifts at Northeastern University. He is excited and nervous to take on frontline fundraising but told me that his time at Notre Dame, and his relationships with all of you, built a strong foundation for his new role. Please join me in congratulating Matt on his new adventure and wishing him success in this next chapter in his life and career!

After July 15, please send any questions regarding DocuSign to Katherine Cinninger. I can help with these requests until Matt’s replacement is in place.

Thank you,


Cavanaugh Council and President’s Circle Team Updates

Please join me in congratulating Mary Jane Añón on her promotion to Senior Director of the Cavanaugh Council and President’s Circle Program. As Senior Director, Mary Jane will play a critical leadership role as we set our sights on the goal of raising $100M in unrestricted giving per year over the next three to five years. Mary Jane’s commitment to teamwork and collaboration, and her ability to deliver an unparalleled donor experience are tremendous gifts to our development team and Notre Dame.

I am also excited to announce that Jennifer Odell will assume the new position of Program Director for The Friends of Ted and Ned leadership annual giving program. In collaboration with the annual giving team and regional development, Jen will develop the vision, strategy and member experience to drive our growth at the $100,000 unrestricted giving level. Jen will continue to report to Mary Jane and serve as a member of the Cavanaugh Council and President’s Circle team.

Both of these promotions are effective July 1, 2022. Congratulations again to Mary Jane and Jen!

-Drew Buscareno

Data and Strategic Analytics Team Updates

Patty Kokesh has decided to step down from her role as the Director of Data and Strategic Analytics effective July 1. She will remain on the team in an individual contributor role as a Strategic Analytics Specialist, supporting various analytics projects.

I am pleased to announce that Wayne Harpenau will be taking over the Director of Data and Strategic Analytics, reporting to me effective July 1. In this role, he will lead our talented and growing team who serve as critical partners to transform data to information and deliver reports and dashboards to allow for faster and improved decisions. Patty, Mayuri Changede, Matt LaFlash, Ling Sun, and Sheila McMahon will all report to Wayne.

Wayne joined Notre Dame in September 2021 and has been serving as a Systems Integrations Specialist working on the asceND project. Before joining Notre Dame, he was a Business Intelligence Professional at Western Michigan University in Institutional Research. Prior to his time at Western Michigan, he served as a Business Intelligence Manager and IT Applications Manager at Sony. Wayne received his Bachelor of Science from Iowa State University and earned a Masters Certificate in Business Intelligence from Villanova University. He brings a wealth of technical skills and knowledge in the data analytics space and we are excited to have him in this new role.

Please join me in congratulating Wayne on his promotion to Director of Data and Strategic Analytics!

-Carleen Quinlan

NDAA IT Team Announcement – Ria Kapluck

UR Team –

It is with a heavy heart that I write to let you know that Ria Kapluck will be leaving NDAA in mid-August to begin the next chapter in her career. Those who know Ria, understand what a loss this is for us, and those who do not know Ria – who am I kidding; everyone knows Ria!

Ria joined us in the Alumni Association back in 2014 as a myNotreDame Support Coordinator. Through the years she grew through multiple roles, before becoming our current Interactive Specialist in early 2022, having been instrumental in the successful migration of myNotreDame to Hivebrite. She led reporting efforts, supported the NDAA Board, assisted with every NDAA event, and even emceed the annual Christmas Party. Her servant leader approach, extreme attention to detail, and unwillingness to accept less than perfect solutions fostered wonderful relationships with our Clubs and Affinity Groups, the NDAA Board, and of course all of us.

While Ria will still be with us for two more months, please take a moment to wish her the best as she wraps up her work with us and plans her next steps.