Undergraduate Catalog 2011-2012
UDM Academic PoliciesCourse DescriptionsList of All ProgramsFaculty


Nancy K Piernan [Email]
Associate Librarian, Public Services, McNichols Campus Library, is responsible for the collections in the business fields. Her subject disciplines are accounting, marketing, management, decision science, and finance. She provides reference service and research skills instruction. Chesik is actively involved in faculty governance, the faculty union and union negotiations. Chesik has B.F.A. and M.S.L.S. degrees from Wayne State University. She joined the University in 1991.

Barbara A Purifoy-Seldon [Email]
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Periodontology and Dental Hygiene, teaches clinical dental hygiene III and IV, dental materials, special patient care and lectures in community dentistry. She is a recipient of numerous block grants and grant funds for development of a community-based outreach dental clinic. Ms. Purifoy-Seldon is a past member of the Michigan Board of Dentistry. She holds a Certificate and B.S. in Dental Hygiene and a M.A in Curriculum Administration from the University of Detroit. Ms. Purifoy-Seldon joined the University in 1972.

Gail M Presbey [Email]
Professor of Philosophy and Chair of Philosophy Department, Presbey teaches peace and social justice, ethics, African philosophy and culture, and other courses related to social and political philosophy. Her interests are in cross-cultural and feminist explorations in philosophy and the philosophy of non-violence. She is first editor of an introductory philosophy text, The Philosophical Quest: A Cross Cultural Reader, now in its second edition. She is first editor of Thought and Practice in African Philosophy (2002), and editor of Philosophical Perspectives on the 'War on Terrorism' (2007). She has authored many journal articles and book chapters. She holds a B.A. degree from the University of Detroit and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Fordham University. In 1998-2000 she held a two-year J. William Fulbright Senior Scholar position at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, during which she did research on sage philosophy. In 2005 she had a six month research Fulbright grant, hosted by World Peace Center at MIT, Pune, India, where she studied Gandhian nonviolence. Presbey came to UDM in 2000, and received the Faculty Achievement Award in 2003. Presbey received UDM's Mission Leadership Award in 2006.

Christine M Panyard [Email]
Professor and Chair of Psychology, teaches honors introductory psychology, abnormal psychology and adult development, aging, psychological assessment, psychopathology and supervises the practicum in the graduate program. Panyard’s publications and professional presentations have dealt with police stress, substance abuse, and divorce and family issues including invited contributions to six special editions of the Family Law Journal. She consults with police departments on selection and crisis intervention and with substance abuse agencies on dual diagnosis and outcome research. Panyard holds B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Wayne State University and a M.A. from Bowling Green State University. She joined the University in 1986.

Allegra F Pitera [Email]
Assistant Professor and Director of the Digital Media Studies Program, is the Director of the Digital Media Studies program + Assistant Professor within the School of Architecture. She teaches Architecture Design Studios, Visual Communications, Introduction to Digital Media and Introduction to Design. The scope of her research interests includes experimental video and engaging students on the impact of digital media & social justice. She won 2 Best Experimental Short Film Genres awards at the New York International Independent Film and Video (NYIIFVF) Festival in 2004. She has a video entitled “Sprawl” in the New York International Independent Film and Video (NYIIFVF) Festival 2010 as well as in the Media City film festival in Windsor. For 3 years she has won Best Poster Display for the School of Architecture at the Celebration of Scholarship Poster Fair. She videotaped, produced and edited a feature length documentary for the Loeb Fellowship of Harvard University. Her videos have been included in both international as well as national exhibits, shows and conferences. Ms. Pitera has a Master of Fine Art from the Cranbrook Academy of Art as well as professional Architecture degree from the California College of Arts in San Francisco, CA. She joined the University in 2001.

Mark J Paulik [Email]
Professor and Chair of Electrical Engineering, teaches design, digital logic, controls, and digital signal processing. His area of expertise is in digital image processing, where his extensive publications have focused on industrial and military object identification, and handwritten signature analysis. He is currently doing research on the combined use of genetic algorithms and wavelet modeling. He holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Detroit, a Science Master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. degree from Oakland University. He joined the University in 1984.

Kirstie A Plantenberg [Email]
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering.Her areas of expertise include tribology, dynamics, vibrations, controls and engineering graphics. Her research interests lie in tribology, specifically the effects of vibrations on friction. She holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University. Before joining UDM, she taught for several years at Wayne State University and two years at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She also has worked at General Motors Corporation Inland Division, and was involved in testing the safety and strength of new seat designs and designed new testing fixtures. She joined the University in 2000.

Melinda Pacha [Email]
Associate Professor and Chair of Theatre, teaches introduction to theatre and scenic design. She is also scenic and costume designer for UDM’s Theatre Company where she works actively with students in various aspects of production. Pacha also works with many professional theatres in the area. Her work in both academic and professional theatre has received recognition from both The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. Pacha holds a B.A. degree from the University of Northern Iowa where she received a Presidential Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre Arts. She holds a M.F.A. degree from Wayne State University. She joined the University in 1981.

Sheri Pickover [Email]
Assistant Professor in Counseling and Addiction Studies, teaches counseling & human development, testing and evaluation, research methods, counseling children, couples & families, and the practicum in counseling. Dr. Pickover's publications and research interests include applied behavioral methods, counseling children and families, and attachment theory. She received a Master's of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania and earned a Ph.D. in Counseling at Oakland University in 2006. Dr. Pickover has 18 years of experience working in child welfare as a counselor, case manager, clinical supervisor, and trainer. She joined the University in 2004.

Frank E Pink [Email]
Professor & Associate Dean, Office of Graduate Education and Research, is past chairperson for the Department of Restorative Dentistry and is currently Chairman of the Institutional Review Board for the University. Pink has published twenty-seven manuscripts, over sixty research abstracts, and has presented numerous local and national programs in restorative dentistry and facial pain. He received his dental degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and a M.S. degree in Clinical Research Design & Statistical Analysis from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics. Pink joined the University in 1994.

Hriday R Prasad [Email]
Director of the Master of Science in Product Development Program, served at Ford Motor Company for 29 years followed by assignments at three tier–1 suppliers. At Ford, his assignments ranged from manufacturing floor responsibilities to product development and to advanced engineering and manufacturing planning. At the tier suppliers, his responsibilities included strategic planning, operations, and global business development. He taught for 10 years as an adjunct at the University of Michigan and was also active in conducting high-tech seminars and industrial study missions to Japan and South Korea. Prasad holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, a Master’s in Industrial Engineering and MBA degrees. He joined the University in 1998.

Daniel W Pitera [Email]
Associate Professor of Architecture and Executive Director, Detroit Collaborative Design Center, is a political and social activist masquerading as an architect. He is presently the Executive Director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture. With the view that “design” is an essential force in establishing human relations, the Design Center is dedicated to fostering university and community partnerships that create inspired and sustainable neighborhoods and spaces for all people. The sustainability and regeneration of any neighborhood lies in the hands of its residents. Thus, the Design Center provides not only design services but also empowers residents to facilitate their own process of urban regeneration. Mr. Pitera was a 2004-2005 Loeb Fellow at Harvard University. He was a finalist for both the 2008-2009 Rafael Vinoly Architects Grants in Architecture and the 2006-2007 James Stirling Memorial Lectures on the City. Under his direction since 2000, the Design Center was included in the US Pavilion of the 2008 Venice Biennale in Architecture and recently was awarded the 2009 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Design Excellence for the St. Joseph Rebuild Center in New Orleans. The Design Center was the recipient of the NCARB Prize in 2002 and 2009 and was included in the international exhibit/conference ArchiLab in 2001 and 2004 in Orleans, France. The Design Center has also been the awarded the 2002 Dedalo Minosse International Prize. In 1998, Mr. Pitera was the Hyde Chair of Excellence at the University of Nebraska. He has lectured and taught extensively throughout the North America, South America, and Europe. He likes “fallout shelter” yellow…


College of Business Administration

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College of Engineering & Science

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College of Health Professions & McAuley School of Nursing

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College of Liberal Arts & Education

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School of Architecture

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School of Dentistry

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School of Law

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For more information about UDM, or to apply online, go to www.udmercy.edu/apply.

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