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  • July 06: New Detroit Mercy president Donald Taylor begins tenure

    Wednesday July 06, 2022
    President Taylor, center, looks at a tablet on his desk in the Student Union, with a Detroit Mercy IT member assisting.

    The Donald Taylor era at Detroit Mercy began on Friday, July 1, as the University’s new president received his ID card, moved into his new office in the Student Union and continued to meet new colleagues.

    Learn more about Taylor’s vision for the University in an article that was featured in the Spring 2022 edition of Spiritus magazine.

    President Taylor, center, looks at a tablet on his desk in the Student Union, with a Detroit Mercy IT member assisting.

    The Bold Vision of Donald Taylor

    University of Detroit Mercy’s 26th president is eager to get to work.

    Donald Taylor has been on what he calls “a listening tour” since late February when he was appointed Detroit Mercy’s 26th president.

    Several campus visits, often accompanied by his wife, Lechia, have included tours of the McNichols, Novi, Riverfront and Corktown campuses, one-on-one and group meetings with members of the leadership team, staff, students and faculty.

    “I’m learning,” Taylor said in March. “You’ve got to really learn about the culture of the institution before you can lead it. I’m doing this now so that I can hit the ground running on July 1.”

    He likes what he’s hearing and learning.

    Detroit Mercy’s strong commitment to social justice, led by its founders the Religious Sisters of Mercy and the Jesuits, the strength of many of its programs, the deep emotions the University evokes and, most important, the University’s current trajectory, show that Detroit Mercy has broad support from students, alumni, employees and the community.

    “This institution has an outstanding reputation and a long, storied tradition of excellence,” Taylor said.

    That’s part of what led him to seek the position after serving his first presidency at a private, 2,100-student Catholic university near Philadelphia.

    Taylor comes to Detroit Mercy with nearly 30 years of higher education leadership experience. Since 2014, he has served as president at Cabrini University in Pennsylvania.

    He helped lead Cabrini through its transition from a college to a university two years later, creating schools of Education; Business, Arts and Media; Humanities and Social Sciences; and Natural Sciences and Allied Health, each headed by a dean. The new University’s first two doctorates, in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, were also instituted under his leadership.

    In his tenure, four academic centers of excellence were created at Cabrini that focus on immigration; urban education; domestic violence and early childhood education; and global business. Donor funding supports two of them.

    During Taylor’s tenure as president, Cabrini ranked among the top 40 Most Transformative Colleges in the nation by Money Magazine, an indicator that showcases schools whose alumni report high levels of success. In 2019, the university was also ranked as one of the Best Northern Universities by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges Edition.”

    Donald Taylor, right, and wife Lechia outdoors on the McNichols Campus of Detroit Mercy.President Donald Taylor, right, and wife, Lechia.

    Identifying the needs of the community, Taylor partnered with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to provide scholarship support for DACA students in a first-of-its-kind agreement. He also created educational pathways for students to attend Cabrini by establishing nearly two dozen additional partnerships with K–12 schools (dual credit), institutions of higher education (4+1 degrees), and educational nonprofits across the region, the nation and the world.

    A native of Memphis, Tenn., he understands the transformative potential of education. It was instilled in him by his hard-working, blue-collar parents.

    He and Lechia are the first in their families to attend college and both have siblings who did not graduate from high school, but later earned their GEDs. Lechia is a nurse and certified case manager. They have a son, Seth.

    “We know the value of education and how it transforms lives and what doors it opens,” he said in his 2014 inauguration address at Cabrini.

    He earned a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Memphis and was a research scientist in the biomedical sciences early in his career. He joined the faculty at Benedictine University near Chicago, where he served as director of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program, William Scholl Endowed Professor in the Health Sciences, inaugural dean of the College of Science, and provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

    “I’m a scientist by training,” Taylor said. “I like solving problems.”

    On his listening tour, he hears some opportunities for this institution.

    “When you think of Jesuit and Mercy institutions nationally, you think of Marquette, Boston College, Xavier, College of Saint Mary, and Georgian Court University, to name a few,” he said. “We should be on that level.”

    He sees room for growth in several areas, many of which involve Detroit Mercy becoming more thoroughly embedded in metro Detroit. There are opportunities to help the University shape programming to create graduates who have the skills identified by local businesses and civic institutions.

    He says the University should continue to look for unique ways to create programming, possibly online, for micro-credential certificates for those already working in careers. He would like to see more community-based research projects in which students and faculty work with local organizations and foundations to identify needs and solutions. Allied health programming could significantly increase building on the strong relationship that already exists between the University and the healthcare community.

    Individual members of the Detroit Mercy community will also have an important role to play, he says. Taylor will call on students, staff, faculty and alumni to live the Detroit Mercy mission through service. Building a strong volunteer workforce of people with skills from arts and healthcare to business and the sciences would help spread the Detroit Mercy mission through service.

    Increased enrollment is another goal.

    “But it can’t be growth for the sake of growth,” he said. “It has to have a targeted focus.” That target might be first-generation students, which makes up about a third of Detroit Mercy’s student population.

    And then there is the question of making sure campus life is vibrant and active, with modern facilities for learning and for residential students and event programming that creates a buzz among students, staff and faculty. Athletics is one area where he sees the possibility of creating community: Strong athletics lead to strong school spirit.

    So how do these things happen? As might be expected, Taylor has a process. Securing resources, promoting the vision, communicating University priorities and urging people to think more entrepreneurially are the first steps.

    Then, he says, the University community has to take a hard look at what it can give up.

    “I will be asking people to do more things,” he said, “and they can’t do them on top of what they are doing now. We have to determine what we should stop doing.”

    Taylor knows this is a bold agenda, but he believes the University is on the right trajectory.

    “This institution has made tremendous strides,” he said. “Everything is in place to take the next step to be the university of choice for metro Detroit and beyond.”

    By Ron Bernas. Follow Detroit Mercy on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Have a story idea? Let us know by submitting your idea.

  • July 06: Detroit Mercy service-learning project provides care packs for people in need

    Wednesday July 06, 2022
    Three photos of Detroit Mercy PA students, wearing masks, packing care packs from inside of a classroom in the College of Health Professions.

    For more than six years, Nour Lyon and her husband have been distributing care packs with useful items to members of the unhoused community. 

    “I always felt helpless walking by homeless people in Detroit or driving around and I thought, ‘what can I have ready to go to give them?’” Lyon ’12, an assistant professor in the Physician Assistant Program, said. “I didn’t always have cash on me, and I thought that this would be something good and beneficial to give them.” 

    “I really enjoyed some of the conversations that I would have with some homeless people and to just be able to have something to give them, it felt really good so we tried to tailor what to put in these packs based on things most people might need.” 

    Last year, Lyon received a microgrant through the University that helped fund her care pack initiative and this spring, she received a Ford Community Corps Partnership (FCCP) grant which assists in funding her project and turns her PA class into a service-learning course.  

    A service-learning course requires you to include a service activity within the course along with finding a community partner, so Lyon chose The NOAH Project (Networking, Organizing, and Advocating for the Homeless) as her community partner. 

    Lyon got her PA students involved in her project, who have said that it has changed their lives for the better. The students help assemble the care packs at Detroit Mercy and distribute them to the surrounding community while participating in clinicals in metro Detroit. 

    “The gratitude is palpable and heartwarming, and as much as you know that you might’ve helped them, they definitely helped you more,” said Madelyn Bastin, a fifth-year senior enrolled in Detroit Mercy’s accelerated Physician Assistant program. 

    “Although these care packages are limited in what they provide, connecting with this population brings the community together, allowing us to rebuild Detroit step-by-step,” added Katelyn Sheena, a second-year graduate student in the PA program. 

    The contents in these care packs are essential items that people need every day. They include water bottles, granola bars, fruit snacks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, Band-Aids, T-shirts and socks. 

    “Not only do my classmates and I live all over the metro Detroit area, but we do a majority of our clinical rotations in some pretty underserved communities,” Bastin said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed someone in need while leaving the clinic or the hospital before and thought, ‘Oh I wish I had something to give them.’” 

    It’s also helped give many students perspective outside of the classroom. 

    “It pushes many students to step out of their comfort zone, connect and give individuals hope during their time of need,” Sheena said. 

    Nour LyonNour Lyon ’12

    Now that Lyon has teamed up with The NOAH Project, they plan to find out what the unhoused people would prefer in their care packs. 

    The University’s commitment to serving and helping people in and around the communities of metro Detroit has been beneficial in helping the project grow. 

    “It’s great that the University gives opportunities for us to do these things, it’s really nice,” Lyon said. “The people are still there that taught me like Father Tim (Hipskind). I graduated 10 years ago and it’s the same network of the same people, so it’s really nice that they foster that sort of activity on campus.” 

    “Throughout my time at Detroit Mercy, the University has consistently emphasized the importance of serving the underserved,” Bastin said. “While most can understand the value of this, it’s quite another to witness the need firsthand.” 

    Lyon feels strongly about giving back with how she’s been blessed in her life. 

    “I like serving, I like doing things for others,” Lyon said. “I think it helps me step back and realize how fortunate I am, so I either try to volunteer my time or do stuff like this that brings a good balance into my life.”

    Three photos of Detroit Mercy PA students, wearing masks, packing care packs from inside of a classroom in the College of Health Professions.

  • June 27: Rocket Mortgage Classic announces field for 2022 PGA event

    Monday June 27, 2022
    Nine PGA Tour golfers are featured on a red graphic for the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

    Detroit Mercy will once again host alumni and friends at the 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic on July 28-31 at Detroit Golf Club.

    Prices for general admission range from $60-$80 per ticket. For an exclusive experience, you can join Detroit Mercy in a private cabana/suite near the 17th green, including food and open bar for only $500. A portion of the ticket price for the cabana/suite is a tax-deductible gift to Detroit Mercy Student Scholarships. In addition, Detroit Mercy’s new president, Donald Taylor, will be in attendance.

    Nine PGA Tour golfers are featured on a red graphic for the Rocket Mortgage Classic.Some of the top-tier players committed to the tournament this year are as follows:

    • Will Zalatoris — Runner-up at both the U.S. Open and PGA Championship this year, Zalatoris has top-eight results in six of his last eight major championships. Last year’s PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year and the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, he has quickly developed a reputation for playing well on the TOUR’s grandest stages and most difficult courses. The World No. 12 is currently eighth in the PGA TOUR’s 2021-22 FedExCup standings, and has eight top-10 finishes in 18 tournaments this season.
    • Tony Finau — The long-hitting two-time PGA TOUR winner and World No. 17 has represented the United States on its last two Ryder Cup teams. Last season, he finished No. 11 in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup standings after winning THE NORTHERN TRUST, a playoff event. He has 10 runner-up finishes on the PGA TOUR in the last four-plus seasons and five top-eight results in majors within the past three years (third at the 2019 Open Championship, T5 at the 2019 Masters, T8 at the 2020 U.S. Open and 2021 PGA Championship, and T10 at the 2021 Masters).
    • Justin Rose — The PGA TOUR’s most decorated Englishman is preparing to make his Rocket Mortgage Classic debut. Rose counts the 2013 U.S. Open among his 10 PGA TOUR victories and was the TOUR’s FedExCup champion in 2018. Internationally, the former World No. 1 won the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, has represented the European team in five Ryder Cups and owns 11 other global titles.
    • Jason Day — The Australian and former World No. 1 owns 12 PGA TOUR victories, including the 2015 PGA Championship and THE PLAYERS Championship in 2016, and has played in four Presidents Cups representing the international team. He is set to make his third consecutive start in the Rocket Mortgage Classic, having placed T14 last year.
    • Cameron Young — Playing in his first full PGA TOUR season and set to make his Rocket Mortgage Classic debut, the 25-year-old is currently No. 17 in the PGA TOUR’s 2021-22 FedExCup standings and No. 32 in the world. This season, he has five top-three finishes, including a T2 at The Genesis Invitational – the only non-major tournament this season to field the world’s top 10 players – and a T3 at last month’s PGA Championship. He and Zalatoris were teammates at Wake Forest from 2015-2017.
    • Matt Kuchar — The American veteran who has played in four Ryder Cups and five Presidents Cups has also won nine PGA TOUR titles, including the 2012 PLAYERS Championship. The 1997 U.S. Amateur champion is set to play in his first Rocket Mortgage Classic.
    • Rickie Fowler — A Rocket Mortgage ambassador and a five-time PGA TOUR winner, Fowler has played on four Ryder Cup teams and appeared in three Presidents Cups and represented the United States in the 2016 Olympic Games. Fowler has played in the Rocket Mortgage Classic each year it has been held, with his best finish a T12 in 2020.
    • Kevin Kisner — The four-time PGA TOUR winner is No. 31 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Two weeks apart in March, he was runner-up (to World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler) at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and recorded a fourth-place finish at THE PLAYERS Championship. He has played in every Rocket Mortgage Classic, finishing third in 2020 and T8 last year.
    • Cam Davis – The Australian defeated 54-hole co-leaders Troy Merritt and Joaquin Niemann in a five-hole playoff to win the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic, earning his first career PGA TOUR victory in his 71st start. He has played in every edition of the Rocket Mortgage Classic and has three top-10 finishes this season.
    For tickets and more information.
  • June 24: Research participants wanted for vision study

    Friday June 24, 2022

    Students, earn compensation or extra credit this summer through an eye movement and visual information processing study. Research participants are needed for the study, which will take just one hour.

    To be eligible for the study, you must be 18-years old or older, have normal or corrected-to normal visual acuity (you must wear your glasses or contact lenses), and have no history of flicker-induced epilepsy. A mask must also be worn in the lab.

    Participants will direct their eyes towards a target on a computer screen when cued and will use a head-mounted video-based eye-tracker.

    Compensation for the study is $10. Those in participating Psychology courses may also earn extra credit towards their class. The study will take place in room 204 (Vision Research Lab) of Reno Hall, which is located on the McNichols Campus of Detroit Mercy.

    For further questions on the study or to make an appointment, please contact Professor of Psychology Harold Greene by email at greenehh@udmercy.edu.

  • June 19: University recognizes Juneteenth holiday

    Sunday June 19, 2022

    To honor the Juneteenth holiday (June 19), commemorating emancipation of enslaved African Americans, join the University as we remember those from our past who strived to create change, and support those who continue to push forward in the name of equality today.

    From Professor of History Roy E. Finkenbine, in his book Sources of the African-American Past, on Juneteenth:

    In the 1930s, the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration interviewed the last generation of American slaves before they passed. One of these was Felix Haywood, a 92-year-old resident of San Antonio, Texas. In this excerpt from his interview, he recounted the first Juneteenth, June 19, 1865, when Union troops arrived in Texas and declared an end to slavery there.

    “It’s a funny thing how folks always want to know about the War. The war weren’t so great as folks suppose. Sometimes you didn’t knowed it was goin’ on. It was the endin’ of it that made the difference. That’s when we all wakes up that somethin’ had happened…

    “How did you know the end of the war had come?” asked the interviewer. “How did we know it! Hallelujah broke out — And I ain’t goin’ get whipped any more. I got my ticket, Leavin’ the thicket, And I’m a-headin’ for the Golden Shore!’

    “Soldiers, all of a sudden, was everywhere — comin’ in bunches, crossin’ and walkin’ and ridin’. Everyone was a-singin’. We was all walkin’ on golden clouds. Halleluja!

    “Union forever, Hurrah, boys, hurrah! Although I may be poor, I’ll never be a slave — Shoutin’ the battle cry of freedom.’

    “Everybody went wild. We all felt like heroes and nobody had made us that way but ourselves. We was free. Just like that, we was free. It didn’t seem to make the whites mad, either. They went right on giving us food just the same. Nobody took our homes away, but right off colored folks started on the move. They seemed to want to get closer to freedom, so they’d know what it was — like it was a place or a city.”

    A red, black and green colored graphic featuring the text, Juneteenth Freedom Day.
  • June 17: Juneteenth celebration set for Friday, June 17

    Friday June 17, 2022

    On Friday, June 17, Detroit Mercy’s Student National Dental Association (SNDA) and the Diversity & Inclusion office of Detroit Mercy Dental are set to host a virtual conversation along with a freedom walk at the Dental school.

    The celebrating freedom walk is set for 5-8 p.m. in the Student Parking Lot and features food, fun, games and a DJ. The walk to freedom begins at 4:30 p.m. and participants will walk a path together around the Corktown Campus to commemorate Juneteenth. The event is free for all.

    A virtual conversation with Assistant Professor Candace Ziglor is slated for 12 p.m. over Zoom with Ziglor commemorating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. Viewers will learn more about the milestone and its significance in African American history.

    Juneteenth marks its 157th anniversary in 2022.

    Join the virtual conversation.

    A graphic promoting Juneteenth, with colors filling the Juneteenth text. Also says Celebrating Freedom, 5-8 p.m., Student Parking Lot, Friday, June 17, 2022, Free Event. Sponsored by SNDA and the Diversity and Inclusion Office.

  • June 13: Cuba immersion trip highlights similarities between cultures

    Monday June 13, 2022
    Nearly a dozen members of the immersion trip sit and stand around unique architecture and designs outdoors in Cuba.

    It took more than a year of waiting, thanks to COVID-19, but this spring, a group of University of Detroit Mercy students were finally able to travel to Cuba as part of a short-term study abroad program.

    To students like Tammie Perry, the wait was worth it when she and several other Detroit Mercy students arrived in Havana.

    For Perry, who recently graduated from the School of Architecture & Community Development’s Master of Community Development (MCD) program, it was the social connections that really stood out.

    The friendships formed in Cuba, both with her MCD cohort group and with a family in Havana who shared time with the group while there, were most meaningful.

    Nearly a dozen members of the immersion trip sit and stand around unique architecture and designs outdoors in Cuba.Members of the 2022 trip in Cuba.

    “The family in Cuba welcomed us like we were returning for a family reunion,” Perry wrote in a reflection following the trip. “They hosted us for dinner shortly after we arrived, and I looked forward to every visit with them. The welcome and engagement throughout the week was unparalleled. When I left Cuba, I felt like I was leaving family.”

    Fellow MCD student John Kraus saw the trip as an opportunity to learn about architecture, historic preservation and asset-based community development.

    “While there, my eyes were opened to a wide range of socioeconomic initiatives and programs that were each unique and intergenerational in scope, and the ways in which people can collaboratively contribute to a more sustainable future,” he wrote. “Residents can feel as if their voices are being heard, represented, and respected.”

    While Cuba might evoke images of vintage cars and thoughts of the Cold War for many in the United States, Detroit Mercy students who travel to Cuba were focused on making friends, improving their Spanish, mapping cultural assets and tracking how many UN sustainability goals Cuba has accomplished despite a six-decades-long embargo.

    Despite the lack of material goods and building supplies, Cuba is a leader in historic preservation and sustainability. The island nation boasts nine UNESCO Cultural Heritage sites and maintains some of the most well-preserved wetlands and rainforests in the western hemisphere.

    Nearly a dozen members of the trip listen to a guide inside of a school.Students learn about these in a Cuban history and culture class prior to the trip, and they witness projects in action from the time they land. They journal and discuss activities, which include visits to schools and community centers, cultural heritage sites and city planners and social workers. They learn about social considerations when buildings are rehabbed and about environmental considerations in the city and rural locations.

    At a visit to an organic farm on the outskirts of Havana, participants learned about cooperative farming, pesticide-free farming, and identified plants grown to feed local communities.

    Most visits to Cuba include stops at community centers and schools, where participants interact with seniors and children. This year, students learned in smaller forums about Cuba’s education and healthcare systems, its high literacy rate, low infant mortality rate, and the ways Cubans accomplish this with few external resources.

    In fact, the deciding factor for many students deciding whether to take the trip was Cuba’s successful fight to control COVID-19. When the Cuban government announced its borders would reopen to travelers from the United States, more than 80% percent of Cuban adults had received three or more doses of the vaccine, with numbers approaching 90% by the time the students arrived.

    The program has included students and faculty from multiple disciplines, as well as alumni. To synthesize their experiences while there, all participants focus on HOPE aspects — human, organization, physical (environmental) and economic — of their experience, as well as social justice and sustainability. While these principles undergird the MCD program, they are interdisciplinary and inclusive, creating a cohesive and holistic experience for all while there.

    This year, MCD graduate students Iva Williams and Alan Devlin integrated a storytelling project while in Cuba as an extension of their capstone project developed earlier in the year as part of a five-member capstone team, whose research in the MCD program this past year focused on the impact of storytelling on community engagement.

    Ten members of the Cuba immersion trip eat dinner, while smiling and sitting around a table.For Williams, the story of Cuba was one that resonated spiritually and included self-examination.

    “During my trip, I experienced a hard reality check about personal over-indulgence and disregard for excessiveness,” she wrote in a reflection. “In Cuba, nothing goes to waste: bottles are painted and decorated to enhance a table; tree bark is burned to create natural charcoal and used as garden pesticide; table scraps are plated on the street to feed wandering pets. My short journey to Cuba brought extreme clarity to careless habits we are conditioned to through excess that is often exacerbated by technology and modern conveniences. The kindred spirit of the Cuban people is a vibrant resilience, one that rests on ‘just enough.’ My biggest take away was that when we wake up in the U.S., many of us look at our cell phones. When Cubans wake up in the morning, they look for each other.”

    For John Kraus, it is the visible celebrations of cultural heritage, creative transformation of the built environment, and the people of Cuba that create lasting imprints.

    This year marks a decade of University-related travel to Cuba. Since 2012, Detroit Mercy students have traveled to Cuba due to the loosening of federal restrictions reinstating educational travel to Cuba. Dozens of students have been able to take advantage of generous grants awarded by Jamie Dylenski, a College of Liberal Arts & Education alumna who established grants for CLAE majors and minors to study in CLAE-based programming abroad, and her husband Robert. Students from other disciplines can access other grants to assist with travel costs.

    Program coordinator Lara Wasner said the decade has been marked by U.S. administrative changes governing legal travel to Cuba.

    “We have been fortunate that educational travel has remained one of the legal categories for travel to Cuba,” Wasner said. “The history and relationship between our two countries is more complex and interesting than many are aware of. We want to be more than travelers, we try to be good stewards. Every group traveling to Cuba creates a dynamic educational experience and an opportunity to build bridges through mutual understanding and diplomacy.”

    She says focusing on a common heritage is more meaningful and constructive than focusing on what separates people.

    “Traveling to Cuba changes perceptions and offers pathways to understanding one another that are greater than a 60-year embargo and the 90 miles of water that separate our two nations,” she said.

  • June 08: Students bring fruit fly science to kindergarteners 

    Wednesday June 08, 2022
    Detroit Mercy students work with local kindergarteners during an outreach science program.

    A kindergartener looks into a microscope as a Detroit Mercy student assists.Detroit Mercy senior Luciana Riachi spent her spring break not on some beach in a warm locale enjoying some much-needed relaxation. Instead, she spent time introducing high-level scientific concepts to young children.

    In early March, Riachi and several Detroit Mercy College of Engineering & Science students brought microscopes to show dozens of kindergarteners in Canton and Dearborn the science behind fruit flies. The educational outreach program is led by Associate Professor of Biology Jacob Kagey and is based on his own lab’s research, which involves mapping genetic mutations that cause tissue overgrowth, or tumors, in fruit flies.

    Working with kindergarteners was quite an experience for Riachi and her fellow Titans, who relished sharing their science expertise.

    “I love working with kids, especially when they’re so fascinated by science, something that I’m very passionate about,” said Riachi, a Biology major and Psychology and Leadership minor. “Even though I’m not a teacher, just feeling that role of being an educator is great.”

    The students helped the kindergarteners look at fruit flies underneath dissecting microscopes. They examined the differences in eye color and wing structure and attempted to count the number of living flies in a vial. A lab packet designed by Kagey allowed the kindergarteners to record their observations by coloring a cartoon fly.

    “It’s really exciting for them,” Kagey said. “They get to feel like they’re scientists, and they are, they’re collecting data. The beauty of working with fruit flies is you can ask these incredibly complex genetic questions in a very simple organism.”

    Although the kindergarteners seemed to enjoy looking at the fruit flies, there was some initial queasiness toward the insects.

    “A lot of them were a little squeamish,” Riachi said. “They thought it was disgusting and told us a few stories about how they found some fruit flies in their homes.”

    Kagey created the outreach program in 2017 when he learned that some science activities were being removed from his son’s kindergarten curriculum. He has since led groups of Detroit Mercy students to kindergarten classrooms throughout metro Detroit. This spring marked the first return to the classroom since March 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic.

    A scan of the worksheets kindergarteners received, asking them to draw the difference in wings between the flies and color the differences between fly eyes. Four flies are on the sheet.“I’m always blown away that I’ve never had any trouble getting student volunteers,” Kagey said. “Not that I think I would, but it is their spring break and they are more than excited to give up a day or a morning of their spring break to go work with these kindergarteners.”

    Representation is also important when visiting the kindergarteners to teach them about science, Kagey said, and the diversity among the Detroit Mercy students participating in the program helps with that.

    “One of the things I’m very cognizant of, and they’ve done studies since the 1970s, is that when you ask kids to draw a scientist, they basically draw me,” he said. “They draw an older white guy, scraggly hair, beard, glasses, kind of crazy-looking tall. One of the things I think is very powerful is that our student body here at Detroit Mercy is incredibly diverse, so it’s a wide range of students that widely represent the kindergarteners they’re seeing.

    “We go to a kindergarten class in Dearborn and they’re seeing students of Middle Eastern descent like they are, and I think that provides such a powerful, even if it’s not an obvious message, a subconscious message that ‘I can be a scientist too.’”

    Working with kindergarteners has inspired Detroit Mercy students to expand the outreach program to more schools. Kagey said he is planning additional visits to local elementary schools in May. Riachi, who works as a student ambassador for the College of Engineering & Science, took microscopes and fruit flies to a Catholic school in Lincoln Park in mid-March.

    “It was a great opportunity because I was able to learn how Dr. Kagey did it and take the project on my own and present it to other students,” Riachi said.

    While the main objective of the outreach program was to teach kindergarteners, Riachi and her fellow Titans also learned several things from the experience.

    “What I learned is their brains are a lot more elastic than we think they are. They absorb a lot more information than we tend to believe they do,” Riachi said. “I think a lot of times, we try to oversimplify things, but we don’t understand how much they actually do understand.”

    Kagey believes sharing fruit fly science with local kindergarteners is rooted in Detroit Mercy’s Jesuit and Mercy Mission.

    “There’s the old adage of academia being an ivory tower and the idea of, not just the Jesuit and Mercy mission, but the scientific mission, is dissemination, sharing what you find,” Kagey said. “And so for me, it’s just so great that we can take stuff we find and get it not just in the community, but get it in the young community, take into schools and be a part of that.”

  • June 07: Instructions for accessing email and other University services from abroad

    Tuesday June 07, 2022

    The Information Technology Services (ITS) Department has provided advanced instructions for managing multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your Detroit Mercy email account prior to traveling abroad.

    If you’re planning on leaving the country or if you are traveling to the United States from abroad, you may need to take steps to ensure that your MFA will work properly after your journey. To make sure your work won’t be disrupted while you are traveling, you should check whether your MFA method is dependent on phone or internet signal and make other arrangements, if necessary.

    Before you travel

    To check which MFA methods are associated with your account, go to “My Sign Ins,” log in with your Detroit Mercy email credentials and complete your MFA. From there, you will be able to add backup methods, remove methods you no longer use and select your default way to sign in with MFA. Please see the “Managing your MFA” setup page for detailed instructions.

    To ensure you don’t lose access to your account after your journey, you will need to make sure you have at least one way of getting into your account that doesn’t rely on a phone signal. Once you have arrived, you can log into “My Sign Ins” and add any further methods you’d like to use, such as a local mobile or landline phone. The main method of authenticating without a phone signal or internet connection is the Microsoft Authenticator app. Once you have set up your app, you can use a six digit code to log in without incurring any charges for using your phone abroad.

    Microsoft Authenticator

    The Microsoft Authenticator app can be used for two different types of MFA: notifications sent to your phone or time-based passwords. If you use the time-based password option, the Microsoft Authenticator won’t use the phone network or internet on your phone. Notification MFA does require a phone or internet signal to work, so you may not wish to use this option unless you have a local SIM card and data plan.

    When adding the Microsoft Authenticator as an MFA method in “My Sign Ins,” it will be automatically set up to use notifications, so make sure that you have a Wi-Fi connection if you do not want to use your phone’s data. Once you have finished setting up the app, you should check that your preferred MFA method is set as the default sign-in option within the “Security Info” section of “My Sign Ins.”

    For more information on the Microsoft Authenticator setup instructions, please see ITS’ Setup Instructions for the Authenticator App.

  • June 07: Summer at the Student Success Center

    Tuesday June 07, 2022

    Don’t forget that the Student Success Center is open this summer, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Apart from our Learning Communities, all other services are available.

    Need tutoring? Call 313-993-1143 or email ssc@udmercy.edu to make a tutoring appointment for your summer classes!

    All testing will be by appointment only for the duration of the summer term. Students can make an appointment by calling the Student Success Center during hours of operation. Please note that 48 hours of advanced notice is preferred for appointments.

    More on Student Success Center.

Student Spotlight

Tuesday June 07, 2022
Student Spotlight: Ahlam Al Mohammad
Ahlam Al Mohammad sits next to water with buildings, trees and a bridge in the background set against a sunset.

Our student spotlight shines on international student Ahlam Al Mohammad. Hometown: Homs, Syria Year and major: First year master’s student in Electrical Engineering Languages spoken: …

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    Student Success and Academic Support

    Student Success Center

    The Student Success Center offers a testing center, tutoring and study groups, professional mentoring, athlete study table, placement testing, and more. Some of the programs listed below are also part of the Student Success Center.

    • Academic Interest and Major Exploration (AIME)- Developmental advising and peer mentoring to conditionally admitted students.

    • Disability Support Services- available to all currently enrolled students who have documented disabilities that substantially limit them in one or more major life activities. Individuals eligible for services may have, but are not limited to, the following types of disabilities: mobility, orthopedic, hearing, visual, learning, psychological and attentional.

    • KCP Program - Michigan students who can benefit from improving their academic skills. Professional, confidential academic support.

    • Personal Counseling - Professional outpatient counseling and psychotherapeutic treatment is available to students at no charge.

    • Tutoring Appointments - SSC offers free tutoring in most freshman and some upper-division courses, including math, chemistry, biology, languages, philosophy, history and English. Make an appointment.

    • Learning Studios - Weekly study sessions by tutors who help with specific sections of courses throughout the term. Includes courses in Math Functions (Algebra), Math Analysis (Calculus), Physical and Natural Sciences, Health Sciences and English.

    TRiO Student Support Services

    TRiO is a federally funded program designed to provide underrepresented student populations. It provides assistance with scholarship applications, academic success planning, mentoring and more.

    The Writing Center

    Work on any stage of the writing process. with peer consultants. Review your assignments, drafts, instructor feedback and questions. Get support if English is not your first language.

    Student Advising

    Work with your faculty advisor to reflect on your academic and career goals and to track your academic progress.

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    Important Dates

    Important Dates for Winter 2022

    • Nov. 8: Registration Begins 
    • Jan. 9: Registration Ends
    • Jan. 10: Classes Begin
    • Jan: 16: Last Day to Add a Class / Last Day to Delete a Class without a W grade
    • Jan. 17: MLK Holiday (UNIV CLOSED)
    • Feb. 11: Deadline for Fall "I" grades
    • Mar. 7-12: Mid-Winter/Spring Break
    • Mar. 30: Last Day to Withdraw (full semester course) Mar 30
    • Apr. 15-17: Easter Recess (UNIV CLOSED) 
    • Apr. 26-30: Final Exam Week 
    • Apr. 30: Official End of Term II/Winter
    • May 14: Baccalaureate/Commencement
    • Academic Calendar | Registration ScheduleOffice of the Registrar

    Important Dates for Summer Term III 2022

    • Nov. 8: Registration Begins 
    • May 8: Registration Ends
    • May 9: Classes Begin
    • May 15: Last Day to Add a Class / Last Day to Delete a Class without a W grade
    • May 31: Memorial Day (UNIV CLOSED)
    • June 24: Deadline for Fall "I" grades
    • July 4: Independence Day (UNIV CLOSED) 
    • July 25:  Last Day to Withdraw (full semester course) Mar 30
    • Aug. 8-11: Final Exam Week 
    • Aug. 11: Official End of Summer III/Summer

    See Academic Calendar for Summer 7-week sessions

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    Emergency Assistance

    In case of emergencies outside of Wellness Center and Clinic hours, please contact the following:

    Emergency Assistance

    911 Police – Fire – Medical

    University of Detroit Mercy Public Safety/Emergency Line — 313-993-1123

    Call for help

    University of Detroit Mercy Public Safety Escort Services
    McNichols Campus — 313-993-1234
    School of Law — 313-993-1234
    School of Dentistry — 313-494-6706

    TALK National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24/7) — 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255

    HELP Treatment Referral Hotline (Substance Abuse) — 800-662-HELP (800-662-4357)

    Crisis Text Line Get Help Now (24/7) — Text START to 741-741

    Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network Sexual Assault National Line — 800-656-HOPE (800-656-4673)

    Rape Victim’s Assistance Program at Detroit Police Department Crisis Line — 313-833-1660

    Collegiate Assistance Program (Nurse Line 24/7) — 877-643-5130

    Center for Disease Control, National STD and AIDS Hotline — 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)

Student Life

Build an experience that extends beyond academics.

Commencement

Preparation to Graduate, FAQs, and Grad Day