Inform.Engage.Inspire.

Staff

Awura Ampene

Administrative Assistant

Awura Ampene works to strengthen U-M outreach by supporting CEO staff in ensuring that everyone has what they need in order to do their work well. She is passionate about supporting outreach from the human resources and customer service lens. Over the past 8 years, Awura has developed expertise in quality customer service, human resources, knowledge of U-M, and working with diverse populations. Her accomplishments include developing an administrative task job aid and streamlining the hiring processes for temporary employees. Awura looks forward to working with and assisting staff, students, and guests in CEO and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as a whole.

Awura holds an Associate of Arts in Human Services from Washtenaw Community College.

ampenea@umich.edu
(734) 647-1402

 

 

Amanda Hudeck

Public Engagement Coordinator

Amanda Hudeck creates, maintains, and distributes the brand of CEO within the university and across the state of Michigan. Trained in graphic design, marketing, and communications, Amanda uses her creativity and skills to develop promotional materials for CEO across a variety of platforms – including printed items, social media posts, communications and digital marketing for services and programs offered by CEO.  She also serves as the manager of the CEO resource library and manages the day-to-day upkeep of Youth Hub, the University of Michigan’s online hub for K-12 pre-college programs. Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Saginaw Valley State University.

alhudeck@umich.edu
(734) 647-1402

 

 

Kim Lijana, PhD

Director

Kim Lijana is responsible for empowering and developing staff to reach their goals and advancing CEO’s mission while building an outreach community of practice among faculty at U-M. She is passionate about providing life-changing opportunities for students and has developed a strong track record for increasing post-secondary education access and success for low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students. As a college counselor in Washington DC, 100% of her seniors applied to college and submitted their FAFSA, 90% enrolled immediately following high school graduation, and 65% graduated in four years in a community where only 8% of residents hold college degrees and in a school where all students were eligible for free and reduced school lunch. Dr. Lijana also built strong relationships with educators in Detroit to improve academic achievement as the managing director for school support with the Achievement Network (ANet); ANet partner schools outpaced the state by 5 percentile points and Wayne County by 10.

Dr. Lijana holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Miami University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from The Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in Higher Education from the University of Michigan.

klijana@umich.edu
(734) 647-1402

 

 

Catalina Ormsby

Associate Director

Catalina Ormsby is joining CEO’s team as Associate Director. Her areas of responsibility include building faculty, staff and student capacity in educational outreach efforts, leading faculty initiatives to support and strengthen educational outreach, and advancing CEO’s ongoing partnerships and new collaborations across campus. Most recently, she served as the Managing Director of the National Forum focusing on research activities related to access to higher education for undocumented students and co-directing the New Leadership Academy. She also serves as a lecturer at the School of Social Work where she teaches a mini-course on dialogue, diversity and social justice. During her 17 years of experience at the University of Michigan, she has held leadership roles in various units such as UROP, the NCID, and ISR. As a first-generation student, she is passionate about serving underrepresented students and providing them with tools and resources to maximize their potential while learning skills necessary for navigating their academic and social environments. She is the co-founder and chair of the Professional Latinx at UM Alliance (PLUMA) and serves as the advisor for the Latinx student organization La Casa. She works closely with first generation and undocumented students on campus and from community colleges. She received a master’s degree from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy and completed her bachelor’s degree with honors at Eastern Michigan University’s Business School.


734-647-1402

 

 

 

Laura Saavedra

Program Manager

Laura Saavedra serves as a program manager and leads our custom campus visit experiences, works to strengthen CEO’s support to student organizations that engage in educational outreach, and manages the Watson A. Young Scholarship program which promotes academic excellence and college aspiration among K-12 students with financial need. Laura comes to us from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business where she served as the Assistant Director for Outreach Initiatives in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. In this role, she provided strategic vision and leadership for all outreach initiatives including goals/objectives development, curriculum development, budget management, and program evaluation. Laura is a proud first-generation college student who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Master of Arts in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University. Throughout her career, she has been involved in several programs and initiatives that advocate for and empowers underrepresented, first-generation, and marginalized student groups.


(734) 647-1402

 

 

 

 

Sheri Samaha

Senior Program Manager

Sheri Samaha is a Senior Program Manager who develops, implements and manages CEO outreach initiatives that include guiding and partnering with U-M students and faculty. She is passionate about being an advocate for students in under-resourced high schools and inspiring them to further their education and explore the new possibilities higher education offers. With over 20 years of experience, Sheri has developed expertise in coordinating opportunities that combine knowledge and resources to reduce barriers to higher education and ensure college access and readiness for students. Through CEO’s Wolverine Express program, Sheri has coordinated and led over 40 diverse U-M faculty and staff from 26 different units and departments to high schools across the state of Michigan, reaching over 1600 students with presentations about the importance of college, college access, and college readiness. Previously, Sheri served as the assistant director in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at U-M and actively worked to demystify the college experience for students. She is looking forward to working with all U-M communities that engage in educational outreach and providing a best-practice, service-oriented approach to promoting college access and readiness. 

Sheri holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Western Michigan University and a Master of Guidance and Counseling with a focus on Higher Education from Eastern Michigan University.

sridout@umich.edu
(734) 615-5421

 

 

Marissa Taylor

Program Manager of Communication and Technology

Marissa Taylor cultivates and manages the brand of CEO within the university and across the state of Michigan to advocate for college access and college readiness. Trained in rhetoric communication, creative writing, and design thinking, Marissa combines her knowledge with her experience as an editing publisher and business analyst to bring engaging ideas and designs to the CEO Communication marketing strategy. She also manages the development and engagement of the CEO website and Youth Hub, the University of Michigan’s online hub for K-12 pre-college programs.

As a proud Latina-Italian first-generation college and masters graduate, Marissa came to CEO to share her experience and passion with the team and to influence future projects. As a female minority within the STEM world, she understands the need for strong representation within marketing materials and the power of shared stories. Also, knowing how transformative a college education has on one’s life and the life of their family, she advocates for future first-generation students both within her work at CEO and out in the Michigan community.

Marissa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric Communication and English-Creative Writing from Wheaton College, IL, and a Master of Science in Information (Library Science and Design Thinking) from the University of Michigan School of Information.  

mnrivas@umich.edu
(734) 764-1424

 

 

 

 

Michael Turner

MCAC Program Director

Michael Turner serves as the Program Director for the Michigan College Advising Corps for the Center for Educational Outreach. The MCAC program provides college counselors to high schools throughout Southeast Michigan as a part of the national College Advising Corps which served over 848,000 students in high schools across America. Throughout the past nine years, he has worked for CEO serving in multiple capacities leading external partnerships and field programs, managing k-12 outreach initiative and currently consults U-M faculty, staff and department leads regarding best practices when exposing, engaging, and inspiring K-12 populations to post-secondary education. He is excited about streamlining and leveraging resources to create equitable space for all students to thrive. Over the last 12 years, Michael has developed expertise in community development, knowledge of U-M, K-12 and parent/guardian outreach and engagement, and working with at-risk youth.

Michael holds a Bachelors of Fine and Performing Arts with an emphasis on Theater from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Social Work from Eastern Michigan University.

mlturner@umich.edu
(734) 763-7192