Our Staff

Ken Kettenbeil
Vice Chancellor, External Relations


Ken KettenbeilKen Kettenbeil is the Vice Chancellor for External Relations and is responsible for government relations and communications and marketing. His communications and marketing responsibilities include internal and external communications, website, advertising and branding at the university. His government relations responsibilities include representing the university in dialogues with federal, state and local governments, and presenting the university's position in current and proposed legislation.

Prior to joining UM-Dearborn Ken served as the director of communications for smart USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group. He also served as the vice president of communications for the Detroit Super Bowl XL Host Committee and marketing manager for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. Kettenbeil earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at Wayne State University and has completed graduate courses through Michigan State University. Ken was a world business traveler in the past having once had breakfast in Germany, lunch in France and dinner in Italy during a whirl wind one-day trip to Europe!


Beth Marmarelli
Director, Communications and Marketing


Beth MarmarelliBeth is responsible for managing external communications, including media relations and social media activities for the metropolitan university. She provides strategic branding and advertising support to UM-Dearborn’s undergraduate and graduate recruitment efforts. Beth also collaborates on Legacy (the University magazine) and alumni/donor communications strategy. With more than 13 years of higher education, corporate communications and account management experience, Beth has a master’s degree from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University. She spends most of her free time volunteering for animal rescue organizations, cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and working on her “This Old House” 1922 craftsman style bungalow – which she affectionately refers to as the money pit!


Kate Malicke
Communications Specialist


Kate MalickeKate manages internal communications functions, keeping faculty and staff informed about news and events on campus. Her main responsibility is to direct production of the Reporter – the University’s faculty and staff e-newsletter – including content development, production and distribution. She also manages the University news site and develops strategies to utilize social networks to communicate campus news. Her previous experience in higher education includes project management, marketing and external communications. Kate earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Ohio Northern University. When not reading up on the newest communication trends, she enjoys hiking, cooking and taking Michigan vacations with her husband, Dave.


Alex Piazza
Alumni/Stewardship Communications Coordinator

Alex PiazzaAlex develops email and social media programs to keep University of Michigan-Dearborn alumni informed and engaged with their alma mater. He also serves as the editor of Legacy, the University’s biannual alumni magazine, and supports donor communications. Alex has experience working in the newspaper industry, where he covered higher education, politics and crime for daily publications. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Central Michigan University, where he also worked with the university’s communications team. And when he’s not busy with alumni communications efforts, Alex spends most of his time outside, exploring the world with his running shoes and iPod.


Lindsay Waller
Marketing Specialist

Lindsay WallerLindsay manages branding and advertising projects for the University and its colleges and school. She provides direction to the annual Difference Makers campaign, works on graduate and undergraduate recruitment efforts, manages production projects and development of collateral materials. Prior to joining the UM-Dearborn team, Lindsay was a specialist for a West Michigan accounting firm where she managed their social media, communications and online marketing strategies. She earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising from Grand Valley State University. When not on campus, Lindsay enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs, Red Wings games, volunteering and event planning, working out (she’s a big Zumba fan!), Lake Huron, traveling and the great outdoors!


Marcus Sarkesian

Director of Digital Strategy

Marcus Sarkesian is the Director of Digital Strategy at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He is responsible for leading digital interactive initiatives, including the university's website and other forms of digital marketing. His main responsibility is to develop and implement a campus-wide digital strategy that unifies and propels the university forward. Prior to joining UM-Dearborn, Marcus led design and development teams for a variety of brand web sites and ecommerce applications, some of which include dominos.com, lincoln.com, and mercuryvehicles.com. He is a University of Michigan alumnus, who earned his bachelor's degree in computer engineering, and has completed graduate courses in human computer interaction. When Marcus is not busy with his online efforts, he enjoys kicking back and spending time with his family.


Laura Garling
Digital Project Manager

Laura GarlingAs digital project manager, Laura assists in the maintenance and updating of the university’s online presence. She also assists the director of digital strategy in developing and implementing digital processes and provides training to staff on new interactive initiatives. Prior to joining UM-Dearborn, she worked in almost all aspects of web production, with clients primarily in the manufacturing and medical technology industries. Laura’s bachelor’s degree is in English from Baldwin Wallace University, and she received her master’s degree in communication planning and information design from Carnegie Mellon University. When she’s unplugged from the digital world, Laura enjoys yoga, gardening and outdoor adventures with her husband and their very large dog.