Polo Tate | Keynote Speaker
Author | Deep Dark Blue
Polo Tate was born in Lansing, Michigan, where her family has deep ties to the community. Her great great grandfather was Ransom Eli Olds (R.E. Olds), a pioneer and prolific inventor most notably responsible for inventing the first American internal combustion automobile—the Oldsmobile.
Growing up, Polo used her athletic prowess and academic aptitude to earn appointments to both The United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA), and the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs (USAFA). She decided to accept the challenge to attend USAFA out of high school, where she played varsity volleyball in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Polo left during her second year, and her harrowing journey at one of our nation’s most challenging institutions, can now be found in her gritty, honest and dynamic debut memoir, Deep Dark Blue.
After leaving USAFA, Polo restarted her college career at the University of Notre Dame. She played Volleyball for the Irish in the Big East Conference and eventually graduated with a B.A. degree in Film, Television and Theatre.
She is now an actor, writer, artist and comedian, performing at companies such as the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Broadway Comedy Club, Reckless, and the PIT. She lives in New York City.
Polo is a modern-day renaissance woman. Her talent is enormous; her energy, boundless. She loves people, lives every moment to the fullest, lets no one take her joy, and avidly practices the belief that you can do anything upon which you set your mind, heart and spirit.
Rose Mckinney-James ’73 | Alumni Panel
Committee Chair, CSR | MGM Resorts International
Rose McKinney-James is a seasoned small business leader and experienced independent corporate Director with a demonstrated history of working in public policy, regulatory, and sustainability projects. Skilled in both Private and Nonprofit Organizations, Analytical Skills, Strategic Coaching, Legislative advocacy, Government, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability and Hospitality Industry. The former President and CEO for the Corporation for Solar Technology and Renewable Resources, (CSTRR) MCKinney-James also served as Director of the Department of Business and Industry and Commissioner with the Nevada Public Service Commission. A Strong business development professional with a Certificate of Completion focused in Corporate Governance and Compensation from Stanford Directors College.
Melanie Engels ’08 | Alumni Panel
Pharmacist | Munson Healthcare
Melanie Engels ’08, Pharm.D., serves as pharmacy manager for Munson Healthcare in Traverse City, Michigan. She oversees four department lines for Munson Services, Inc., and especially enjoys opportunities to mentor students in various stages of their educational journeys.
Previously, Engels served as ambulatory process and service quality manager for the Department of Pharmacy, University of Michigan Health System; outpatient clinical pharmacist and inpatient clinical pharmacist for VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System; and pharmacy intern and certified pharmacy technician for Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital.
Engels received the ASHP Foundation’s Innovation in Pharmacy Practice Literature Award in 2017, and was honored with the Olivet College Young Alumni Award in 2016, in addition to many other recognitions. She has conducted and assisted in research, frequently pursues professional development opportunities, and maintains membership to a number of professional associations.
Engels holds a bachelor’s degree from Olivet College in biology and biochemistry, a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, and a master’s degree in healthcare management from New England College. She completed two years of post-graduate residency with a PGY-1 in pharmacy practice at the VA Ann Arbor Health Care System and a PGY-2 in health system pharmacy administration at Michigan Medicine.