School & College News

Below are just some of the distinguishing features and faculty that reflect educational excellence at UDM.


UDM among top tier

For the 12th year, UDM ranks among the top tier of Midwest regional master's universities in the 2013 edition of U.S.News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges." More

News from the School of Architecture

UDM’s Detroit Collaborative Design Center Presents “Light-Up Livernois” Event

Business leaders and community stakeholders in Detroit’s Livernois Avenue community are joining together to celebrate local businesses and culture on Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion with a new Pop-Up community space.

The Livernois Community Storefront is a temporary community space that occupies a vacant storefront at 19410 Livernois Avenue. The location will serve as a welcome center for the Avenue of Fashion, Livernois Avenue’s business district and will hold community events.

Light Up Livernois“Light-Up Livernois” will kickoff the community storefront with a festive weekend full of fun on Friday, May 31 and Saturday June 1, 2013. Friday evening will feature a fashion show of Livernois clothiers, music and art from the neighborhood. Saturday’s activities will include yoga, paint-your-own pottery, a fashion workshop, theatre and a parade down Livernois. Local artists and food vendors will participate on both days.

“There are gems all over the City of Detroit,” said Dan Pitera, Executive Director, DCDC. “Livernois Avenue with its surrounding communities is one of them,” he added. “The Livernois Community Storefront represents a community driven action and is not the end goal. It will connect and bring awareness to many of the assets within this Detroit gem."

Through its Impact Detroit initiative, and in partnership with Detroit Economic Growth Corporation's Revolve Detroit and Challenge Detroit, the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture is spearheading the Livernois Community Storefront project on the Avenue of Fashion.

For more information on “Light-Up Livernois,” contact Ceara O’Leary, Project Manager, DCDC, at 313-993-1037 ( or visit the Livernois Community Storefront page at

More news from the School of Architecture

News from the College of Business Administration

CBA Alumni Represent UDM at College Fairs

This spring, Jamero Hatter ’05 and Dave Ellis ‘00, both CBA alumni, graciously agreed to represent UDM at college fairs in their hometowns, Chicago and Cincinnati, respectively. Hatter is fixed operations manager at Nissan North America, and Ellis is sourcing manager for Airfoil Castings at GE Aviation.

More news from the College of Business Administration

News from the School of Dentistry

UDM Dental and DHS Team Up to Provide Orthodontic Care for Foster Children

In April, 31 children and teens who are permanent wards of Michigan's foster care system received the gift of a lifetime: screening for orthodontic treatments that may well change their lives.

The new program is a partnership between faculty and students in the Postgraduate Orthodontics department at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry and the Detroit Department of Human Services facilitated by For The Seventh Generation, an organization that matches donations of goods and services with foster children, foster families, and young adults aging out of the foster care system. Seventh Generation is a project of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation in cooperation with the 3rd Judicial Circuit of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Human Services.

The children, ranging in age from seven – 18, are the first in what is projected to be a group of fifty initially served by what will be an ongoing program serving permanent wards of the court living in Wayne County. Orthodontic care takes approximately two years.

“In the past, orthodontic services were not available to this group of deserving individuals,” said Dr. Richard Kulbersh, chairman and program director of orthodontics at UDM. The program doesn't stop at treatment. In an effort to provide useful data to concerned agencies and care providers, research will also be conducted to determine the outcome and benefits of receiving this care,” Kulbersh explained. “It is hoped that over the course of treatment a positive outcome will be developed both from a personal, inter-personal and scientific perspective.”

“Finding orthodontic care for 'our' kids is one of the larger challenges we face as an organization,” said Lorraine Weber, executive director of For The Seventh Generation. “It's a huge relief to have this program in place for permanent wards of the court, and we're grateful to the University and the Department of Human Services for stepping forward and making this happen.

“Making it possible for a child to smile without embarrassment – perhaps for the first time in that child's life – makes a huge difference, particularly in the case of young people who have already faced the kinds of hardship that lead to being placed in our foster care system, she added.”

More news from the School of Dentistry

News from the College of Engineering and Science

Transit Research

Professor of Mechanical Engineering Leo Hanifin is leading a group of faculty from engineering, math, architecture and law on six transit projects. These include three research projects, a K-12 outreach project, a workshop and a graduate course. All of these projects will contribute substantively to the understanding and development of effective regional transit by the public transit leaders and future transit professionals. The total funding for these projects exceeds $900,000. Projects include:

A study of the factors that enable and inhibit the development and operation of effective regional transportation systems in southeast Michigan A team of 13 faculty and student investigators is conducting this study between June 2012 and Sept. 2013.  To learn from other regions that have faced and overcome similar challenges, the team has selected four peer regions to study in depth, Atlanta, Cleveland, Denver and St. Louis.  Lead investigators are UDM faculty from across several of the seven schools and colleges.

A study of public opinion regarding transit and a public education program in collaboration with Transportation Riders United (TRU), a Detroit transit advocacy group.

Transit as a critical element for community development: a graduate course for transportation and community development professionals. This course will develop an in-depth understanding of the interdependencies and mutual support of good community development and good transit development, and competencies to contribute to the development of transit systems.

TRANSIT Smart Moves is a one-week summer commuter camp for high school students, currently in the 9th-11th grades, who want to learn about the world of transportation through LEGO NXT Robotics, a field of study within Civil Engineering. The TRANSIT camp is made up of labs and discussions lead by University professors and high school science teachers; presentations by MDOT, Ford Motor Company and SEMCOG; activities from MDOT's TRAC program.  A modified version of Transit Smart Moves is also offered as Saturday classes in the Fall and Spring DAPCEP program at UDM.

The Metro Detroit Transit Workshop:  Fashioned after the biennial Transit Initiatives and Communities Conference sponsored by the American Public Transit Association and the Center for Transportation Excellence (CFTE), attendees learned how to get transit planning and campaigns right. The goal of the workshop was to illustrate transit development as a process that begins with a good plan that enjoys deep support, has good governance and oversight, a funding mechanism that pays for construction and operation, and a broad and diverse coalition of people who are enabled and energized to advocate for transit, in advance of a ballot initiative, from a position of knowledge and strength. 

More news from the College of Engineering and Science

News from the College of Health Professions

American College of Healthcare Executives Scholarship Awardee

Master of Health Services Administration student Simran Gill was awarded a $5000 scholarship. She is one of only 14 students to receive this prestigious award.

More news from the College of Health Professions

News from the College of Liberal Arts and Education

Theatre Company to premiere the multi-media presentation “Jordan Anderson Writes a Letter” for 2013-14 season

Funded by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA), the live docudrama and accompanying video will tell the story of Jordan Anderson’s journey from slavery to freedom and the famous letter he wrote in defiance of his former master.

In 1863, Anderson and his family fled their Tennessee master’s plantation to find a new life in Dayton, Ohio under the mentorship of the great abolitionist, Valentine Winters. After the end of the Civil War, Anderson’s former master wrote to him asking him to come back and work on the plantation, which had been left in disarray after the war. Anderson dictated a response to Winters, who had it published in the Cincinnati Commercial. The letter became an immediate media sensation. In it, Anderson describes his better life in Ohio, and asks his former master to prove his goodwill by paying the back wages he and his wife were owed for many years of slave labor—a total of 52 years combined.

The production will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

“Since the play is about the successful passage from slavery to freedom, from illiteracy and helplessness to responsible citizenship,” said Theatre Manager Greg Grobis, “its pertinence and timelessness are apparent.”

Directed by award-winning play-wright Arthur J. Beer, the play is told within the framework of an historian interviewing Anderson’s great grandson. The descendant’s reminiscences are based on the research of Civil War scholar Roy Finkenbine, interim dean of the College Liberal Arts & Education. The vignettes also form the springboard for the video sequences, spear-headed by Jason Roche of the Communications Department. Roche has three produced documentaries to his credit.

The production will premiere in September 2013, followed by a tour of area schools.

More news from the College of Liberal Arts and Education

News from the School of Law

Gov. Snyder gives keynote address at Law Review Symposium

Gov. Rick SnyderRelevant, timely, unique, insightful, visionary. These are some of the words used by attendees to describe UDM's recent Law Review symposium entitled, Global Michigan: Immigration and Economic Growth, which featured Michigan Governor Rick Snyder as the keynote speaker. U.S. Rep. Gary Peters '84 also provided his singular perspective as the son of an immigrant. Leading policy makers and distinguished academics—drawn from across the U.S. and Canada—also discussed how Detroit and Michigan could best use immigration as a tool of economic development.

The symposium stepped away from the heated debates over border security and undocumented immigration and examined, in depth, how immigration can significantly enhance the economic well-being of all residents of Detroit and Michigan. Governor Snyder delivered a clear message to immigrants: "Please come here." Governor Snyder's remarks echoed the theme of the UDM symposium that bringing more immigrants into the state is one of the keys to driving economic growth.

"People think they're taking jobs," Governor Snyder said, "but the reality is that they create jobs." He also noted, "Immigration and economic development, they go hand in hand. Open the welcome mat."
Professor David Koelsch of UDM Law, who helped organize the forum, said the event was done to "focus on immigrants as a positive force" for Detroit and Michigan. Michigan is the only state to have lost population over the last decade, and immigrants play an important role in developing the area. "Michigan is poised to take full advantage of the economic benefits of immigration," said Koelsch, and he noted that "UDM and our other universities attract the best and brightest international students, Michigan is home to dozens of large multinational corporations with global work forces, and Michigan offers a quality of life and affordability that is very attractive to foreign nationals." As with UDM's leading role in the Detroit Works/Detroit Future City project, the symposium demonstrates UDM's commitment to the economic, social, and cultural well-being of Detroit and Michigan.

More news from the School of Law

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