Leadership Requires More than a Degree

Joyce Patouhas, '02

Impact, Summer 2002 issue

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Joyce Patouhas' experience at UDM demonstrates the value of service as a way of life--and the importance of service to leadership. As the Biology major and Engineering & Science Student Council (ESSC) President graduated this May, her attention to a well-rounded, integrated education was publicly apparent. Patouhas was a notable presence at the recent Slide Rule dinner, earning three individual awards. She was named Science Student of the Year (presented to the most outstanding graduate in chemistry, biology, mathematics or Computer Science, based on the candidate's academic achievements, leadership capabilities, personality and extra-curricular activities). She also garnered the Biology Department Student Service Award (presented to the student who has excelled in support of the Biology Department through service activities).

Patouhas also was the inaugural recipient of an award named for her, the Joyce E. Patouhas Service Award, in honor of her exemplary dedication to the ESSC. The award will carry her name as long as the ESSC remains active at UDM.

As a student, Patouhas' many volunteer and leadership activities included Safety Street; the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP) which provides math and science Saturday classes to area grade schoolers; the campus blood drive; the Leadership Development Institute; the Chem Club, of which she was vice president and participated in magic shows at local schools; and planning various events for the College.

Patouhas credits her ability to juggle academics and extracurricular activities to her time management skills, and claims that she has always worked best under pressure. She adds, "I've met all my best friends through service at the University."

Patouhas' favorite memory of UDM is composing a photo presentation for this year's Slide Rule dinner, an event she has helped plan for three years in a row. Patouhas and ESSC Vice President Bashar Sadik compiled about 400 photographs from 70 years of previous University yearbooks. The trip down memory lane proved to be one of the highlights for guests at the Slide Rule event. "We had a lot of fun going through the old yearbooks to set up that photo presentation," says Patouhas. "We felt like we had stepped back in time. We definitely saw how things had changed--and how some things had stayed the same."

In July, Patouhas will begin her studies at Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland. She says she has always wanted to be doctor. A cousin who is a podiatrist influenced her choice of specialty. Patouhas says that a career as a podiatrist will allow her to maintain the variety of life she has grown accustomed to at UDM. "As a podiatrist, I'll be able to do many things, rather than focusing exclusively on medicine."

Patouhas plans to remain involved with the University as an alumna, despite leaving the area for medical school. She will stay in touch with the new president of the ESSC, Matt Perkowski, to provide counsel on the details that "no one knows about until they need to do them." Patouhas' continued commitment to service, and her legacy at UDM, is what you might expect from a true leader.


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