Five new members join UMSI External Advisory Board

The School of Information announces the addition of five new members to Dean Jeff MacKie-Mason’s External Advisory Board. This distinguished group of nationally recognized information-related experts drawn from industry and academia offers counsel about matters related to a wide range of topics, including research initiatives and curriculum development. All five have been appointed to three year terms that expire in 2016.

Ayça Aksu is a product manager at Scripps Networks, working on Food Network and Cooking Channel TV websites. In her role, she focuses on applying her passion for creating simple and superlative user experiences to the development of next generation websites, mobile apps and related services.

She has worked as a product manager, software engineer and interaction designer at several businesses including, Ignighter, the Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg LP.

She holds a bachelor of science in computer engineering from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and an MSI from the University of Michigan School of Information.

Stewart Katz is Vice President of User Experience at Warner Music Group. He leads an IT initiative responsible for creating a new cloud-based platform to replace and modernize the company’s infrastructure and operations. Prior to Warner Music Group, Katz led UX for Digitas’ New York region where he worked with companies like American Express, Samsung, Nielsen, and Diageo.

Prior to joining Digitas in 2000, he worked as a user interface designer and systems engineer at AT&T and before that as a human factors researcher at the University of Michigan.

He holds a BS in cognitive psychology and an MSI in human computer interaction, both earned at the University of Michigan.

David Kochalko is an information, software, and Internet executive. During his 21-year tenure with the Thomson Corporation, now Thomson Reuters, he created and implemented a growth strategy for the academic and government business, delivering discovery, analytics, and publishing solutions for 7,000 enterprise customers in 120 countries. As CEO of Thomson ResearchSoft, he acquired numerous software businesses and integrated the best technologies to deliver the market-leading authoring solution used by 5 million scholars and scientists worldwide.

As co-founder of ORCID Inc., he secured start-up funding and helped launch a registry service in 2012 for scholars and scientists designed to improve the accuracy of matching scholars with their professional works and accomplishments. Kochalko has served on the Board of Directors, as treasurer, and currently is a member of the Business Steering Group.
His professional affiliations include past members of San Diego Software Industry Council, National Institute of Standards NISOz39.50 data exchange format task force, and president of the Detroit chapter of the American Marketing Association.

In addition to his BA, Kochalko holds master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in Business Administration, Applied Economics, and Public Policy Studies.

Sara Naab Schaff is co-founder of Sandstone Diagnostics, Inc., based in Livermore, California. Previously, she was a partner/consultant with Circle 101 in Livermore, a knowledge manager with the Freedom from Hunger organization, and an international development fellow with Catholic Relief Services. She graduated from Adrian College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2000 and received a master’s of science in information from the University of Michigan in 2004.




Jamie Voris is chief technology officer for The Walt Disney Studios, where he oversees the development and implementation of technology strategies and innovations to support Disney’s film, music and theatrical operations. Before joining Disney in 2010, Voris served as chief technology officer for the National Football League, where he managed all technical aspects of the League's digital initiatives.

Prior to his tenure at the NFL, Voris was vice president, technology, at Playboy and has held leadership positions in other global brands including Intel, Wells Fargo, and Office Depot, as well as venture-backed startups. He holds a bachelor's degree in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan.


Additional information about the UMSI external advisory board is available here.

Posted on May 13, 2014