UDM Campus Connection

August 20, 2013

Convocation starts school year for employees

UDM faculty, administrators and staff gathered on Aug. 19 for the annual President's Convocation activities, welcoming employees back to the University for another busy academic year. In addition to recognizing new employees and retirees, some special honors were presented at Convocation.

Shulamith Schlick, professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, was named Distinguished Professor and Byron D. Cooper, professor of Law, was conferred the status of Professor Emeritus.  The University also presented Agere ex Missione Awards to Professor of Business Administration Gregory Ulferts and to Dental Hygienist Margo Kempinski. Check out photos from the day on the UDM gallery.

Young women at Convocation
UDM Admissions employees at the President's Convocation picnic, Aug. 19.

Video: Engineering and Nursing students help disabled veterans

A new video is now online about the collaboration of UDM Mechanical Engineering students with Nursing students to create assistive devices for disabled veterans. The video, shot last May, also shows the partnership between UDM and Baylor University in Texas as well as the entrepreneurial content of the program. Watch the video on UDM's YouTube channel.

GM Student Corps at work

UDM partners with GM and students to improve Detroit

This summer, UDM partnered with General Motors and the United Way to make a real difference in Detroit and in the lives of some high school and UDM students. The GM Student Corps program hired 110 Detroit-area high school students as paid summer interns to work with 60 GM retirees and 11 UDM student leaders on improvement projects around the city.

Together they refurbished eight Detroit-area parks, planted 425 trees, shrubs and flowers, laid 392 yards of mulch, applied 223 gallons of paint, disposed of 205 bags and 29 Dumpsters of plant overgrowth and refuse, distributed 30,000 pounds of food via local hunger organizations.

UDM Economics Instructor and former GM employee Mike DiGiovanni acted as a coordinator of the project, and Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Jason Roche directed four additional UDM students in producing a documentary video about it, Powering a Positive Change. Watch an 11-minute clip from the documentary online. For more about the GM Student Corps, see the UDM news release.

Food truck event kicks off Architecture anniversary, Sept. 6

The UDM School of Architecture (SOA) will begin the celebration of its 50th anniversary year with "TRUCK [stop] 50," a food truck and music event, Friday, Sept. 6 from noon to 2 p.m. around the Fisher Fountain. Come hear some live music and buy your lunch from The Mac Shack, Peoples Pierogi Collective, Jacques' Tacos, Ned's Travelburger, Green Zebra or Treat Dreams. For a list of other upcoming Architecture events, see the "UDM SOA 50" site.

Celebrate Spirit!

Celebrate Spirit!, Sept. 12

The entire UDM community is encouraged to help kick off the new school year at the annual Celebrate Spirit! event, Thursday, Sept. 12. The McNichols Campus class schedule will be adjusted for the day to allow everyone to attend. Students, faculty and staff of all faith traditions are invited to the Mass of the Holy Spirit at Calihan Hall starting at 11:30 a.m. During the service, the guest speaker will be Rev. Howard Gray, S.J., assistant to the president for special projects at Georgetown University, who will speak on this year's theme, "Serve Community, Respect Diversity, Enhance Knowledge."

At 1 p.m., a picnic and the Student Organization Fair will take place around the Fisher Fountain. Come enjoy lunch and see some of the the many ways UDM students can become involved. McNichols Campus classes will resume at 2:30 p.m. For more details on this year's event, see the Celebrate Spirit! website.

Thumbs Up!

In 2011, four members of the UDM community formed the "You And I Alliance" to raise money to send desperately needed medical supplies to Kenya. Those four are Implant, Periodontology & Dental Hygiene Coordinator Sheroyn Jones, Dental Hygienist Margo Kempinski, Director of Dental Clinic Operations Lynne Sikawa and student Ole Sikawa. On Aug. 8, the group watched the staff of World Medical Relief in Detroit fill a 40-foot shipping container with nearly a half-million dollars worth of donated medical and dental equipment, including dialysis machines, incubators, hospital beds, dental chairs, wheel chairs and heart monitors along with large boxes of supplies and instruments. See the You And I Alliance website.

Associate Professor of Religious Students Justin Kelly, S.J., gave the presentation, "Pride and Prejudice at 200: Why Jane Austen's classic is still so good," at a meeting of the New American Lyceum, July 19. Fr. Kelly also plans to give the lecture sometime this fall at the Grosse Pointe Library.

Assistant Professor of Patient Management Jill Loewen was recognized last month by the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) for her longtime commitment to oral health and tobacco cessation. At its annual meeting, the MDCH presented Loewen with the Mosquito Award for her role as Project Coordinator for Tobacco and Quality Improvement Programs at the School of Dentistry. The Mosquito Award reflects the MDCH's idea that "If you think you're too small to make a difference, you've never been in bed with a mosquito."

Recently retired Professor of Psychology Christine Panyard wrote the book, The Sistine Chapel: A Biblical Tour, which was released by Paulist Press in July. The book brings together the works of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel with the scripture on which they were based.

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More University news and event information is available online at www.udmercy.edu/news_events/.