Renee Bishop is the Data Entry Operator in the Office of Graduate Programs. She can be found processing applications and associated documents for graduate program applicants. As part of the front office team, Renee provides customer service and assists with general office support throughout the day. After taking time to raise her children, Renee is currently working towards finishing her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from UM-Flint.
As Supervisor of the Graduate Programs front office, Kathy Bloink is responsible for overseeing the processing of all applications (over 1200 this past year!) for graduate admission. Kathy joined the Office of Graduate Programs in 2005, and prior to that worked in the human resources field in several large, urban hospitals. A native of Detroit, she graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, before relocating to Flint with her family in 1991. Although currently working on her MPA degree, Kathy makes time for walking outdoors, camping, watching football and listening to live music.
Erin Carrasco has worked in the Office of Graduate Programs since 2004. As the Recruiter and Academic Advisor, Erin is the initial contact person for those interested in learning more about the graduate programs offered at UM-Flint. She corresponds with prospective students and advises them through the application and admissions process. She also supervises a telecounseling program. Erin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Western Michigan University and is currently working on a Master of Arts in Communications at Oakland University.
Jonnathan De La Fuente
As the International Admissions Counselor, Jonnathan evaluates and assesses foreign credentials, as well as answers inquiries from international applicants. A native of Los Angeles, Jonnathan relocated to Flint, Michigan in January of 2013 after his graduate studies at the University of Hawai’i (Asian Studies) and his undergraduate studies at UCLA (History and Political Science). Prior to joining UM-Flint, Jonnathan served in the US Army and has worked in the non-profit sector relating to human rights. In his spare time, Jonnathan is fulfilling his passion of exploring as many countries as life permits and immersing himself in diverse cultures.
Office of the Associate Provost / Graduate Programs
Mary Deibis joined the Office of the Associate Provost and Graduate Programs as Administrative Specialist in 2005. Mary began her career at UM-Flint in ITS in 1997. She is responsible for providing high-level administrative support to Dr. Lotfi and the department, assists with the management and administration of the departmental budget including purchasing and budget reconciliation, and administers scholarship awards for graduate students. A lifelong resident of Genesee County, Mary enjoys spending time at home with her husband and four children.
Gail Edwards is the Student Administration Assistant for Graduate Programs. Gail corresponds with students in regards to program requirements, the application process, entry term changes, recommendations, and cancellations. She is also responsible for general office purchases, mailings, and assisting others in the office when needed. In addition to her full-time position, Gail is currently working toward her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting.
Allison Knopp is the Marketing Communications Specialist for the Office of Graduate Programs. She coordinates all marketing, advertising and communications initiatives for the department including print materials, website content, social media and print and digital advertising. Allison earned her BA in journalism from Michigan State University and worked for an Easter Seals affiliate in the Chicago area before joining the Graduate Programs team in February of 2013.
Vahid Lotfi, PhD
Dr. Lotfi serves as Senior vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Programs at the University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint). He has served in this capacity since 2001. As Senior vice Provost he oversees the Office of Graduate Programs, Information Technology Services, Office of Research, Office of Extended Learning, the International Center, and the International Global Studies program. Dr. Lotfi holds the rank of Professor of Management Science in the School of Management. Before joining the University of Michigan-Flint in 1990, he served as assistant professor of Management Science in the School of Management at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Lotfi has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Operations Research, from SUNY at Buffalo. He has published numerous research articles and has co-authored five books in the areas of management science and operations management. He has presented in many national and international conferences. Dr. Lotfi is also a certified Consultant-Evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Brad Maki, M.A.
Brad Maki is the Director of Graduate Admissions. He oversees all aspects of admissions, recruitment, marketing, and communications as it pertains to graduate students at UM-Flint. He also manages the GSRA program and supervises many of the staff in the Office of Graduate Programs. Hailing from the great Upper Peninsula of Michigan (ya, eh?), Brad received his BA from Central Michigan University (Broadcasting & Cinematic Arts) and his MA from Michigan State University (Higher Education Administration). He is currently pursuing a BA in music from UM-Flint. Prior to joining the university in 2002, Brad worked for nearly three years in local television as a promotion writer-producer at WNEM-TV in Saginaw.
Thomas Stockwell serves as an Applications Programmer / Analyst for the Office of Graduate Programs and the International Center. Thomas is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan-Flint where he earned his BS in Computer Science. Currently, he is working on implementing new technologies for the Office of Graduate Programs and the International Center to improve student support.