Development Staff

Find information on the Smeal College of Business Development Staff.

The staff of the Smeal College of Business Development Office.

Description Portrait

Michelle K. Houser

Michelle began her role as the senior director of development and alumni relations for the Smeal College of Business in March 2015. She leads a team of development, alumni relations, and alumni career services professionals to provide philanthropic and engagement opportunities for 95,000 Smeal alumni around the world.

Michelle previously held the appointment of director of development and alumni relations for the College of Education at Penn State. Prior to returning to Penn State, Michelle served as a major gifts officer for the Medical and Health Sciences Foundation at the University of Pittsburgh in the departments of surgery and cardiothoracic surgery. She also served as an associate director of major gifts for the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Michelle began her career in development and alumni relations at Allegheny College.

She received the Patrick Scholl Mentoring Award from the Penn State Division of Development and Alumni Relations in 2017. Michelle earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Penn State.

Email: mkb117@psu.edu
Phone: 814-865-7830

Portrait of Michelle Houser.

Holly Brown

Holly is the development assistant for the Smeal College of Business. Prior to joining our team in 2017, she spent four years in the Board of Trustees office. Prior to that, Holly was employed in the Provost’s office for a short time after her move from Oregon, where she is from originally. Holly received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Southern Oregon University and a master’s in Public Administration through Penn State’s World Campus.

Email:  hnk3@psu.edu
Phone:  814-863-5944

Portrait of Holly Brown.

Anne Louise Cropp

Anne Louise is the associate director of development communications for the Smeal College of Business, focusing her efforts on fundraising support  and stewardship efforts for the development team.

She joined the Smeal Development team in December 2014. Prior to that, she spent thirteen years in the investment industry, focusing primarily on client service and reporting.  She also has experience as a customer relations representative for the University’s Athletics Department.

Anne Louise holds a bachelor's degree in Nursing, an M.B.A., and an M.H.A. all from Penn State.

Email: all109@psu.edu
Phone: 814-865-0916

Portrait of Anne Louise Cropp. 

Susan Cunningham

Susan began her role as associate director of development with the Smeal College of Business in November 2018. Previously, she worked at Penn State Outreach and Online Education for more than a decade where she held several positions, including development assistant, director of alumni relations, and stewardship coordinator. She has also worked for the Division of Development and Alumni Relations as a senior research analyst and as a writer for the Penn State Alumni Association. 

Susan holds a bachelor of Arts degree from Penn State in English Writing. She lives in State College with her husband John. They have three sons: James, Brian, and Sean. 

Email:  sxc67@psu.edu
Phone: 814-865-3364 

Portrait of Susan Cunningham.
 

Kate Emmick

Kate joined the Smeal College of Business as director of donor relations in February, 2017. Kate is responsible for a comprehensive stewardship plan for the college and manages all aspects of donor relations, including development events that honor the college’s volunteers and donors. She is also tasked with managing a communications strategy for stewardship and stewardship plans for the college's top donors.

Kate joined Penn State and the College of Education in 2011. During her tenure, she managed donor recognition events, was responsible for all donor relations reporting and communications to the college’s supporters and also created a comprehensive stewardship plan for the college. Before joining Penn State, Kate worked at Conservation International for nine years in various roles coordinating solicitations, donor communications, fundraising events, and board meetings.

Email:  kac36@psu.edu
Phone:  814-863-1284

Portrait of Kate Emmick.

Alan Friday

Alan joined the Smeal College of Business in October 2018 as a director of major gifts. In this role, Alan works with alumni and friends of the college to raise philanthropic support.

Prior to joining Smeal, Alan served as a major gifts officer for the resident and fellow graduates of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine at UPMC. He holds a bachelor's degree in Communications Media and a master's degree in Sport Science, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Alan resides in the greater State College community with his wife, Courtney, and their daughter, Scarlett.

Email:  ajf6091@psu.edu
Phone:  814-865-6882

Portrait of Alan Friday.
 

Heide Gibson

Heide joined the Smeal College of Business as director of major gifts in June 2017. Previously, she worked with Penn State’s Office of Gift Planning, advising and supporting multiple units with cultivation strategies and gift vehicle recommendations. Prior to joining Penn State, she worked for Northern Arizona University serving first as assistant director of development for Parent Relations, and then, as assistant director of major and planned gifts for University Advancement. She also has experience as the director of development and philanthropic services manager for the Community Foundation of Broward in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

In this role, Heide works with alumni and friends of the college to raise philanthropic support.

She holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and an M.B.A. from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Heide has also earned the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation from the American College.

Email:  hug23@psu.edu
Phone:  814-865-8049

Portrait of Heide Gibson.

Ashley Himes Kranich, Esq.

Ashley joined the University’s Office of Gift Planning in July 2019 and serves as the gift planning officer for the Smeal College of Business.

Ashley brings extensive knowledge and experience to this role having practiced law for over 20 years in the areas of estate planning and administration, charitable gift planning, and business succession planning.

Ashley transitioned from the private practice of law to higher education development at Penn State in 2017 and spent two years as director of major gifts for Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. 

Ashley is a graduate of Mercersburg Academy and holds a bachelor's degree from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and a J.D. from the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. 

Email:  ahk19@psu.edu
Phone:  814-865-9167

Ashley Kranich 

Cristina Houtz

Cristina joined the Smeal College of Business in April 2020 as an administrative coordinator and assistant to the senior director of development and alumni relations. 

Previously, Cristina worked with Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences as an office manager and assistant director of stewardship. Prior to that, Cristina was a foundation associate for The Foundation for Mount Nittany Health. 

Cristina graduated cum laude from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Political Science.  

Email: cmh98@psu.edu
Phone: 814-863-4955

 Portrait of Cristina Houtz.

Nathan Leopard

Nathan joined the Smeal College of Business in May 2015 as a director of major gifts. In his role, Nathan works with alumni and friends of the college to raise philanthropic support.

Nathan held development roles at Affinity Connection, Inc. and the American Cancer Society before serving as an associate director for the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State beginning in 2013. Nathan holds a bachelor's degree in Public Relations from Northwest Missouri State University and a master's degree in College Student Personnel from Miami University.

Nathan resides in the greater State College community with his wife, Jen, and their two children, Caroline and Jack.

Email: Leopard@psu.edu
Phone: 814-863-0345

Portrait of Nathan Leopard.

Ian Ousley

Ian joined the Smeal College of Business as an assistant director of development in June, 2018.  In this role, Ian works with alumni and friends of the college to accomplish their philanthropic goals and impact the future success of the college's students and faculty. Previously, he served in roles with the Athletics Development offices at Ohio University and the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Ian earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska, where he was also a member of the varsity wrestling team. Later, Ian graduated from Ohio University with an M.B.A. and M.S.A.

Ian resides in the greater State College community with his wife Ciara as she pursues a Ph.D. in Special Education from the College of Education at Penn State.

Email:  iro7@psu.edu
Phone:  814-865-3497

Portrait of Ian Ousley.
 

Pamela Royer

Pam is a development assistant for the Smeal College of Business. In this role she supports the fundraising activities of the college, with a special focus on staff travel, budget, and football.
 
Pam joined the Smeal Development team in January 2016 following thirteen years with Penn State’s Purchasing Services.

Email:
Phone: 814-867-1679

Portrait of Pamela Royer.

Jacob Shearer

Jake joined the Smeal College of Business as an assistant director of development in May 2020. In his role, Jake works with alumni and friends of Smeal College to raise philanthropic support. Previously, Jake served as an assistant director of development for Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and worked as part of Deloitte Consulting’s Human Capital Practice in Chicago.

Jake is a 2016 Finance graduate of the Smeal College of Business, where he is pursuing his master’s degree in Supply Chain Management.

Jake resides with his fiancé, Misha, in the State College community.

Email: jacobshearer@psu.edu
Phone: 814-865-9166

Portrait of Jacob Shearer. 

Aaron Tressler

As director of major gifts for the Smeal College of Business, Aaron works to identify alumni and friends with a strong affinity for the college and solicit their philanthropic support. 

Aaron joined the Smeal Development team in January 2013. He was a member of Penn State’s varsity baseball team and graduated in 2004 with a degree in Turfgrass Science. Aaron was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays Organization and spent five years as a professional baseball player.

Email: amt910@psu.edu
Phone: 814-863-2556

Portrait of Aaron Tressler.