Six State Lawmakers Poised to Make an Impact in 2017

These six state legislators — Rep. Julie Calley, Rep. Laura Cox, Rep. Diana Farrington, Rep. Donna Lasinski, Rep. Sylvia Santana, Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker — are working this year to improve economic development, strengthen education policy, and increase opportunities for students, seniors and Michigan’s workforce.

Rep. Laura Cox (R-Livonia)

Laura Cox will serve as the state’s Appropriations Committee chair. Entering her second term, Cox currently serves on the Appropriations Committee and chairs the subcommittee on General Government. Cox began her public service career as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection special agent and received a degree in criminal justice at Michigan State University. Cox will continue to work to lower taxes and remove excessive regulation in favor of a smaller, more effective government.

Rep. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit)

After obtaining her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University, Sylvia Santana, wife of state Rep. Harvey Santana, worked in the financial industry for more than 15 years helping to manage loan and funding portfolios. In the financial industry, Santana learned the importance of helping small business owners thrive and making sure that they have the right tools to succeed. It is because of her work that Santana plans to keep dollars in communities through local businesses and job opportunities. Santana will also seek extra funding for police and fire departments to ensure they have the proper resources to keep neighborhoods safe.

Rep. Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton)

Tonya Schuitmaker earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Michigan State University and a law degree, graduating cum laude, from the Detroit College of Law. Before her election to the Michigan Senate, Schuitmaker worked as an attorney for Schuitmaker, Cooper and Schuitmaker. First elected in 2011, Schuitmaker is entering her second term. Her focus is on helping disadvantaged citizens, including children, senior citizens and the mentally ill. She has worked aggressively on legislation to protect seniors from abuse. Schuitmaker supports limited government regulation and a pro-business environment. She was a key voice in the Legislature’s decision to repeal the Michigan Business Tax.

Rep. Diana Farrington (R-Utica)

Diana Farrington, a mother of two sons, understands the importance of education and how it can lead to a stronger community. That is why Farrington has made it a priority to lower college tuition rates and to allow parents to choose the K-12 education that their children receive. Farrington is also a strong proponent of healthy communities through combating opioid addiction and human trafficking. As a mortgage auditor with decades of experience, Farrington recognizes the importance of reducing Michigan’s debt. She also supports accountability for transportation infrastructure funding and repealing the harmful senior pension tax.

Rep. Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.)

Donna Lasinski leverages years of education experience as a PTO leader and an early education appointee by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Lasinski has made education a priority, helping to grow early childhood education programs and supporting strong investment in Michigan schools. Lasinski is also founder of the small business ThinkStretch, which works to address summer learning loss among youths. She recognizes problems that people face outside of school and works to provide access to training and living wage jobs, and to grow opportunities for local farmers.

Rep. Julie Calley (R-Portland)

Julie Calley brings a strong political background to the Michigan House of Representatives. Calley, the wife of Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to the Michigan Community Service Commission in 2011, and was elected Ionia County Commissioner after serving 10 years in real estate management. Calley advocates for limited government regulation and expanding fiscal conservativism, protecting life at all stages and protecting constitutional rights. Economic growth and education are among her top priorities.

Walsh College Becomes First Private Michigan College to Support “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success” for Student Veterans

Walsh College is the first private Michigan college to become an official signatory to the “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success,” a set of specific strategies that colleges and universities can implement to support educational success for student veterans of the armed forces.

The strategies include practices involving trust, leadership support, advice, coordination of campus efforts, collaboration with service providers, data tracking, professional development,
and sustainability.

Walsh joins hundreds of educational institutions nationally as signatories to the program, backed by the Department of Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The eight keys work in tandem with the “Principles of Excellence,” an executive order from the White House. The principles require participating schools to have certain policies and programs in place to support veterans.

“Our signing of the ‘8 Keys to Veterans’ Success’ reinforces Walsh College’s commitment to veterans,” said Stephanie W. Bergeron, president and CEO, Walsh College.

“Veterans enrich Walsh College’s already strong business programs with their unique experiences and viewpoints, which build the educational experience for all of our students. The credentials they bring are also valued by employers and serve as key indicators of future career success,” she added.

The “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success” can aid veterans in their efforts to afford and complete college degrees, certificates, industry-recognized credentials, or licenses in preparation for jobs in high-growth sectors of the economy.

G.I. Jobs magazine named Walsh College a “Military Friendly School” for 2014, making it the fifth consecutive year that Walsh has been recognized for this achievement.

Walsh received recognition earlier this year from Military Times magazine as one of 64 select national institutions ranked as a “Best for Vets Business College,” which provide high levels of service for active-duty and veteran military men and women.

The selection process considered the school’s culture, student support, academic outcomes and quality, academic policies, and cost.

Registration for fall classes at Walsh is underway through Tuesday, Sept. 30. For more information, visit


Founded in 1922, Walsh College is a private, not for profit institution offering upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs.

One of Southeast Michigan’s largest business schools, Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron, as well as online. Walsh’s business services division offers the Walsh Institute, which provides solutions for businesses through training, continuing education, and consulting.

Walsh is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (; phone: 312-263-0456). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP, accredits specific degree programs.