Alumni and faculty add value to Oakland County

Laurel Kraus, Life Editor

The Oakland County Executive’s Elite 40 Under 40 Class of 2018 included four Oakland University alumni, two current students and one faculty member, all who were honored at the State of the County Address on Feb. 7.

The 40 individuals who make this list each year are under 40 years old and exemplify great accomplishments in their respective fields within Oakland County.


Alexander Ayar

Ayar graduated from Oakland, where he met his wife of 10 years, in 2003, and is now an attorney specializing in commercial litigation at McDonald Hopkins. He has been awarded the Super Lawyers Rising Stars for Business Litigation from 2013 to 2016 and received a special tribute from the legislature in the state of Michigan in Nov. 2016. He also serves as a multi-term member of the Judicial Advisory Committee for the United States District Court for The Eastern District of Michigan.


Cheryl (Bartlebaugh) Boodram

Boodram graduated from Oakland in 2017 and is now a marketing and development manager at Chief Financial Credit Union and an ambassador for the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce. She is a corporate social responsibility advocate and has certifications in Leadership Greater Rochester from the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce and Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence.


Jennifer Lucarelli

Lucarelli joined Oakland’s faculty in 2009 as an associate professor of interdisciplinary health sciences. She is also chairperson of the Healthy Pontiac We Can! Coalition, which has brought together around 50 organizations and individuals to strive toward better nutrition and physical activity health in Pontiac at the policy level. She also works with the Oakland County Sheriff Police Athletic League to provide sports programing and mentorship to Pontiac children.


Jennifer (MacDonald) Meier

Meier graduated from Oakland in 2009 and is now the owner of Green Hippo Gifts in Lake Orion. She was a teacher for 10 years before creating the shop around four years ago with no previous experience. It has been voted both the best gift shop and best boutique in Orion and Oxford. Beyond the typical experience, the shop offers special events that benefit charity such as the recent Galentine’s Day with proceeds going to Haven.


Kyle Nieporte

Nieporte graduated from Oakland in 2011 and is now an administration manager of surgical services at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland. Before deciding to return to the nonprofit hospital realm at St. Joseph Mercy, he helped to open eight surgery centers throughout the state of Michigan. He will potentially be moving into a directorial level roll at the hospital in the coming weeks.


Sarah Pazur

Pazur is currently pursuing a Ph.D in educational leadership from Oakland and is the principal of FlexTech High School. The school rethinks traditional education to provide students with a more hands-on experience through project-based classes where they are able to utilize what they have learned. Pazur recently wrote and received a grant for community partnership with a local makerspace where 16 students now go to learn trade skills such as welding, woodworking and textiles in order to create projects that will positively impact their communities.


Maria Willett

Willett is currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration from Oakland and is a founding member of the Young Professionals of Rochester, chief assistant to the mayor for the City of Rochester Hills and is involved with the Woman in Municipal Government Organization. As chief assistant, she organized a partnership between city hall and Life Remodel to clean up blight in Detroit which earned the Spirit of Detroit Award, as well as excursions to emphasize the importance of parts of the city such as Leader Dogs for the Blind.