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Alumni Spotlight: Christal Sheppard

Christal admits, “I’ve been a little bit of everywhere.”

Her career path has evolved in a non-traditional way, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Following her U-M Master’s and Ph.D., Christal obtained a law degree from Cornell and began her career as a patent lawyer in a Washington, DC firm, then transitioned into the government sector. She held positions ranging from Congress’ Committee on Science to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to the International Trade Commission to the role of Chief Counsel of Patent and Trademarks for the House Judiciary Committee.

A Portrait of Planned Givers: Yvonne and Richard Teske

Yvonne and Richard Teske have had strong connections to the University of Michigan for more than 50 years. They met in Ann Arbor, where Yvonne received her master’s and doctoral degrees and Richard was a faculty member of the Astronomy department.

They came to Michigan through very different paths. Yvonne had been working with emotionally disturbed children in the U-M hospital system, but she was drawn back to school, saying, “It was just all around me. I worked with many grad students, and part of it was that this opportunity was right here and I had to take advantage of it.”

Alumni Spotlight: William Craig Rice

William Craig Rice, Director of the Division of Education Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) since 2007, is both a poet and a scholar, or in his carefully chosen words, a “versifier” and “more an intellectual than an academician.” He hastens to add that nothing he says represents the views of the NEH.

He clearly thinks deeply about the words he uses to describe himself, his career, and the things he cares about, so it was surprising to find that his initial answer to the question, “What is the link between your poetry and your career in higher education?” was: “They are independent variables! I’ve been writing poetry all along--it has been constant. My career in higher education, such as it is, varied a great deal. They didn’t track each other.”