Skip to content

Staff Directory


Heath Peterson

Heath, d’04, g’09, a Hugoton native, works on behalf of 350,000 KU Alumni to strengthen the University of Kansas and connect Jayhawks worldwide. He oversees engagement initiatives with the Alumni Association’s 42,000 members; leads a 46-member staff; and manages the Alumni Association’s broad range of programs, benefits, services, and resources. He works closely with University and affiliate leadership on all campuses to strengthen and advance KU. He married a Jayhawk, Carrie Peterson DDS, and they have three children, Beau, Presley, and Claire.

Heather Hawkins
Director of Stewardship and Executive Support

Heather, j’06, received her bachelor’s degree in strategic communication from KU in 2006 and received a master’s in educational leadership and management in 2012. Heather helps with projects for the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors and acts as a stewardship coordinator for donors. When she’s not working, her husband Jeff, son Mavrick, daughter Sienna, son Atticus and their two boxers keep her on her toes!

Alumni, Student and Career Programs & Hospitality

Kristi Laclé
Senior Vice President of Operations and Programs

Kristi, c’99, holds a degree in Communication Studies and joined the Association to oversee the new Jayhawk Career Network. She has worked for industry leaders including Cerner and Sprint, but also has worked in the non-profit, sports and hospitality industries since leaving KU in 1999. When she’s not cheering on the ‘Hawks, she spends her time cooking, traveling and hanging out with her husband, Paco, and daughters, Emery and Rhyse.

Baby Jay image placeholder

Paige Freeman
Director of Student Programs

Paige, a Kentucky native, graduated from Western Kentucky University where she received her B.A. in Communication Studies and a minor in Meeting, Convention and Exposition planning. In addition, she earned her M.A. in Higher Education and Student Personnel at the University of Mississippi. Currently, Paige is enrolled in the Higher Education Administration doctoral program at KU and will earn her Ed.D in 2023. Paige joined the Association in 2021 to provide strategic leadership to the Student Alumni Network and works directly with the Student Alumni Leadership Board (SALB) overseeing the programmatic efforts and campus strategy for SAN initiatives. When she’s not working, you can find her participating in one of her hobbies that include cooking, arts & crafts, dancing and traveling.

Kelsey Galle
Assistant Director of Kansas City Programs

Kelsey, c’12, a native of Hoxie, joined the Association in 2012. As assistant director of Kansas City programs, she helps oversee programs and other efforts to engage alumni in these cities. Kelsey is an avid Jayhawk fan and in her spare time attends as many events as possible. When she is not cheering on her Jayhawks, she enjoys reading, running and cooking.

Howard Graham
Director of the Jayhawk Career Network

Howard, g’08, PhD’19, joined the Association in 2020 to lead the Jayhawk Career Network. He has worked with KU students in numerous roles on campus, more recently as the associate director of academic programs in the Office of First-Year Experience. Howard previously worked for Kansas Athletics as associate director for academic and career counseling.

Nick Kallail
Assistant Vice President of Alumni & Network Programs

Nick, d’04 l’07, joined the Association in 2016 to develop alumni and network programs. He returns to KU after spending nine years in Texas in various sports and entertainment marketing positions. Nick has held volunteer leadership roles with the Dallas and Houston Jayhawk networks. In his spare time, Nick enjoys cooking, working out, spending time with family and friends, and rooting for the Jayhawks.

Michelle Lang
Senior Director of Programs & Hospitality

Michelle, b’01, was born and raised a KU fan. She enjoys traveling throughout the state and nationally to share her love of the University and connect with students and alumni. When she’s not spending time with her Jayhawk family, she is hanging out with her own family and friends.

Baby Jay image placeholder

Annie Miller
Assistant Director of Legacy Relations & Event Services

Annie is a Wisconsinite turned Jayhawk and she loves everything about that! Annie graduated from KU in 2018 with a B.A. in Communication Studies and went on to receive an M.A. in Communication from Wake Forest University. Annie is happy to be back in Lawrence working with the Association, as she finds so much joy in serving the KU community. In her spare time, Annie enjoys baking, running and spending time with her husband, Chris, and their golden retriever, Sunny.

Baby Jay image placeholder

Trish Powell
Office Coordinator

Trish Powell is a longtime KU fan. She lives in Lawrence and has two sons, Korbin, a basketball player, and Kenzi, a first-generation Jayhawk in his junior year at KU. When she’s not watching her son play basketball, she enjoys baking, hanging out with friends and doting on her three amazing dogs.

Baby Jay image placeholder

Mykala Sandifer
Director of Inclusive Programs and Talent Development

Mykala, b’15, a Chicago native, joined the Association in 2021 to drive Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging through inclusive programming, community and campus partners. She also supports talent development and culture for internal staff. Mykala previously worked for KU Athletics as assistant director of the Williams Education Fund and returns to expand upon work centered around diversity and development for the university. When she’s not working, you can find her at a local coffee shop drinking matcha or in a group yoga class. Mykala will earn her Ed.M in Diversity & Equity and Human Resource Development (HRD) from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) this fall.

Ben Shepley
Director of Adams Alumni Center

Ben directs the organization’s facilities department overseeing the functioning of building systems including mechanical, electrical, fire/life safety, elevators and the facilities renovation projects. He also manages the maintenance of the building and grounds. In his spare time he likes to play golf and spend quality time with his lovely wife, Lindsey, son Zach, and two daughters Brookelynn and Charlee.

Business Development

Teri Harris
Vice President of Business Development

A western Kansas native, Teri joined the Association in 2011 after spending 20 years in association management in the golf industry, where she focused on marketing, member/donor relations, corporate sales and fundraising. She received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Emporia State University and has lived in Lawrence since 1987. Teri has one son, Kendall, who graduated from KU with a degree in sport management. She enjoys entertaining family and friends, watching KU sports and working out at the local gym.

Baby Jay image placeholder

Brett Leonard
Assistant Director of Business Development

Brett, d’09, a Caney native and lifelong Jayhawk, joined the Association in 2021 after spending eight years at the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, where he focused on corporate sales, digital marketing, and publications. In his spare time, he likes to play golf and spend quality time with his friends, family, fiancé Caitlin, and mini golden-labradoodle Kevin.


Jennifer Jackson Sanner
Senior Vice President of Public Affairs & Editor of Kansas Alumni magazine

Jennifer, j’81, joined the Association staff in 1984 as staff writer and stumbled into a career. She and her husband, Bob, b’80, have three children: Rachel and Jackson, both proud KU business graduates, and Claire, a KU nursing student.

Heather Biele
Assistant Editor, Kansas Alumni magazine

Heather graduated from Kansas State University in 1999 with a doctorate in veterinary medicine, but shifted her career path after discovering her love for journalism. She enjoys running, rooting for the Jayhawks and the St. Louis Cardinals, and spending time with her partner, Dave, and their two rescue dogs, Spencer and Cappy.

Steven Hill
Associate Editor, Kansas Alumni magazine

Steve graduated from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and holds a master’s degree from Columbia University. He has written for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Chicago Tribune, Field & Stream and other publications. He enjoys cycling and hunting (not at the same time) and spending time with his wife, Mary, and their three young children.

Chris Lazzarino
Associate Editor, Kansas Alumni magazine

Lazz, j’86, began his journalism career as a newspaper sportswriter in South Florida, and joined Kansas Alumni magazine after returning to his hometown to be close to family. He enjoys reading, photography, travel and long hikes with the world’s greatest dog, Parker.

Susan Younger
Creative Director

Susan, f’91, is the Creative Director for the Association. She oversees publications including Kansas Alumni magazine. She also assists with branding and decor for special events. Susan has also served as president of UCDA, a national design organization. Both of her sons attended KU, and when she can pull herself away from work, she spends time in her glass studio or with her husband, Jerry, e’86, g’92.

Digital Media & Strategic Communications

David Johnston
Senior Vice President of Strategic Communications

David, j’94, g’06, joined the Association in 2007 after establishing KU’s visual identity system as the university’s first director of marketing. He has taught classes in the KU School of Journalism and in KU’s minor in Leadership Studies, and he is a past president of K Club. When the former KU cross country All-American isn’t out running, he usually can be found cheering on the Jayhawks with his wife, Sara, d’96, their daughters, Sydney and Sophia, and their son, Austin. Connect with David on Linkedin and KU Mentoring.

Ryan Camenzind
Assistant Director of Digital Strategy

Ryan, j’17, walked down the hill with a journalism degree in Strategic Communications and walked back up to join the Association that summer. Ryan tells the stories of students, alumni, and the University on A proud Wichita native, Ryan enjoys spending time with his family (two Husker parents and four Jayhawk boys), cheering on the Jayhawks, and exploring the outdoors.

Debbi Johanning
Director of Digital Strategy

Debbi, c’98, g’19, joined the Association in 2010 and helps manage all things digital. She and her husband, former KU basketball player David Johanning, f’94, have a son, Cooper, and two yellow labs, Lucy and Buddy Blue. Debbi earned a master’s degree in digital content strategy from KU’s journalism school and enjoys reading, live music and spending time with friends. She also serves on the board of directors for the Social Media Club of Lawrence.

Kara Rodriguez
Director of Digital Strategy

Kara, j’10, graduated from KU with a journalism degree in Strategic Communications and joined the Association in 2014 to assist with email marketing and other digital media efforts. Aside from cheering all things Jayhawk with her family, Kara enjoys painting, gardening, and spending time with her husband, Cesar, c’12, and their two future Jayhawks, Adrian and Cesar.

Dan Storey
Photographer & Videographer

Dan graduated from Colorado State University and joined the Association in 2013 after spending seven years with Kansas Athletics. He provides quality images, both moving and still, that showcase the Association’s many events. Outside the office, Dan enjoys travel, Jayhawk athletics events and outdoor activities. Dan and his wife Angie, b’04, g’07, have three daughters, Olivia, Eleanor and Ruby Cate.

Donor & Member Relations

Angie Storey
Senior Vice President of Donor & Member Relations

Angie, b’04, g’07, oversees the development efforts of the KU Alumni Association. A native of the south-central Kansas town of Sawyer, Angie has spent her career working on KU’s campus. She has previously held roles with Kansas Athletics and KU Endowment in addition to her current role with the Association. She and her husband, Dan, are busy raising three little future Jayhawks: Olivia, Eleanor and Ruby Cate.

Heather Hawkins
Senior Director of Stewardship & Events

Heather, j’06, received her bachelor’s degree in strategic communication from KU in 2006 and received a master’s in educational leadership and management in 2012. Heather helps with projects for the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors and acts as a stewardship coordinator for donors. She is also in charge of the Fred Ellsworth Medallion celebration and helps the president whenever needed! When she’s not working, her husband Jeff, son Mavrick, daughter Sienna, son Atticus and their two boxers keep her on her toes!

Danielle Hoover
Senior Director of Donor Relations

Danielle Hoover, c’07, was born into a family of KU fans and raised in the Wichita area. Her passion for the Jayhawks started at an early age, and after earning a degree in communication studies, she returned to Wichita where she lives with her husband, Darrick; their son, Hudson, daughters, Harlow and Hazel; and their three dogs. One of her favorite memories is being present when KU won the 2008 National Championship.

Baby Jay image placeholder

Austin Johanning

Assistant Director of Membership

Austin, g’20, holds a master’s degree in business administration from KU and joined the Association in 2021 as the Assistant Director of Membership. In this role, he helps develop and execute member recruitment and retention plans. Prior to his time with the Association, Austin worked for the Williams Education Fund. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business and sports administration from Baker University while playing on the men’s soccer team. In his spare time, Austin enjoys working on his golf game, taking rec sports teams too seriously with his friends and cheering on the Jayhawks.

Keon Stowers
Development Officer

Keon, c’15, serves as the KU Alumni Association’s development officer with KU Endowment. Previously, he helped lead programming and engagement for the KU Student Alumni Network, and he also represented the KU Office of Admissions helping to recruit first generation and underrepresented students to campus. Keon served as a two-time team captain for KU Football and was featured on Big 12’s Champions for Life series. When Keon isn’t spending time with his beautiful family, he can be found manning the BBQ pit.

Finance & Human Resources

Dwight Parman
Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President

When not counting beans or squeezing blood from turnips, Dwight enjoys spending time with his wife, the incomparable Lisa, and daughter, Camille.

Cindi Long

Cindi, a lifelong Jayhawk fan, joined the Association accounting department in 2020. In her free time she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, and KU football. Cindi and her husband Dennis have two sons, Nick and Carter.

Jodi Nachtigal

Jodi, a Nebraska native, joined the Association in July 2008. She assists with the monthly financial statement preparation, annual budget, yearly audit, as well as helping with many of the Association’s events. Jodi’s spare time centers around her family, daughters, Madeline and Macy, and husband, Brad. Jodi also loves to run, shop, read, travel and spend time with friends.


Stefanie Shackelford
Vice President for Records

Stefanie joined the Association’s records department in 1989. Her time away from work is spent with her husband and three sons attending numerous sporting events. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with friends, working out at the local gym and reading a good book. The records department is now housed within KU Endowment.