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Student Announcements from Campus Connection

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  • May 23: Jocelyn Boryczka named new dean of College of Liberal Arts & Education

    Monday May 23, 2022

    University of Detroit Mercy announces the appointment of Jocelyn M. Boryczka as the new dean of Detroit Mercy’s College of Liberal Arts & Education. Her appointment begins Aug. 1.

    Jocelyn BoryczkaJocelyn Boryczka

    Boryczka most recently served as vice provost for Scholarly and Inclusive Excellence at Fairfield University, a Jesuit Catholic institution in Fairfield, Conn.

    Prior to becoming vice provost, Boryczka served as associate vice provost for Scholarly, Creative and Community Engagement at Fairfield University. She began her career at Fairfield as a visiting assistant professor and advanced to professor of Politics and chair of the Politics Department.

    She also served as director of the Peace and Justice Studies Program, interim chair of the Communications Department, faculty chair for Service Learning and president of the Faculty Welfare Committee.

    Boryczka earned her Ph.D. in Political Science and Women’s Studies Certification from The Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY); her M.A. in Political Science from Wayne State University; and her B.A. in Government from The College of William and Mary.

    Boryczka served as editor and co-editor of New Political Science: A Journal of Politics & Culture and has written two books about women’s education. She is the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Visions Award, the Connecticut ACE Women’s Network Award for Distinguished Academic Woman in Higher Education Leaderships and the Alpha Sigma Nu Best Teacher of the Year Award.

    She regularly travels to and works with educators at Loyola High School in Dar es Salaam, in the East African nation of Tanzania.

    Boryczka replaces Mark Denham, who is retiring.

  • May 23: The Loft dining services open for the summer

    Monday May 23, 2022

    The Loft in the Student Union will be open for lunch services, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Stop by for made-to-order hamburgers, garden burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, garden salads, french fries, snacks and drinks.

    When summer campus are utilizing the Titan Dining Room, it will also be open for employees as well. Please call 313-993-1616 for the most current availability of TDR.

  • May 23: Travel to India with Detroit Mercy, learn more May 26

    Monday May 23, 2022

    Travel to India for 14 days with Detroit Mercy in May 2023, while also earning three course credits in History.

    A virtual informational session on the trip to India is set for Thursday, May 26 at 1 p.m.

    Led by Diane Robinson-Dunn, associate professor of History, this opportunity will take students to India’s Golden Triangle — Jaipur, New Delhi and Agra. Students will learn about the culture of India and be guided on tours with local experts and guides.

    More information about the program, travel grants and financial aid will also be shared at the virtual informational session. Following registration, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

    Register for Zoom session.

    Travel to India, May of 2023 graphic with a picture of India in the background. Text also reads, Virtual Information Sessions, all sessions begin at 12:45 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24, Tuesday, March 22, Thursday, April 21 and Thursday, May 26.

  • May 23: Summer at the Student Success Center

    Monday May 23, 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 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.
  • May 20: Submit proposals for Ford grants, earn support for creative service-learning project

    Friday May 20, 2022

    A second round of proposals has opened for the Ford Community Corps Partnerships (FCCP) grants. It’s a great way for Detroit Mercy students to earn grants to provide support for creative service-learning projects.

    The deadline for the next round of proposals is Friday, June 10, 2022.

    With these mini-grants from the Ford Fund, students can get leadership training and a generous salary to coordinate these projects. Faculty partners also get a stipend and money for materials.

    In the past, Detroit Mercy has provided funds for projects, such as:

    • Students from a Political Science class give support for an agency that helps people facing eviction.
    • Student from a Business Writing class creates Canva templates to help a non-profit organization enhance their social media presence, as well as many others.
    • Students from a Nursing course provided people facing homelessness with a health resources list.
    • Law students provided info to youth in a foster care facility about their legal rights.

    Take a look at all previous projects.

    If you are interested or if you’d like to stay up-to-date with the most recent developments, please email Fr. Tim Hipskind, S.J., at

    More information.
  • May 16: Class of ’22: Valedictorian’s love for literature fuels dental dreams 

    Monday May 16, 2022
    Mehar Soni sits on the piano bench while resting her arm on the piano at St. Ignatius Chapel.

    Mehar Soni sits on the piano bench while resting her arm on the piano at St. Ignatius Chapel.To mark the graduation of the Class of 2022, Marketing & Communications is profiling several students who were nominated by staff and faculty for their contributions to the University and their potential to make a difference after graduation. For more information about 2022 commencement exercises, please click here.  

    When Mehar Soni gives her valedictorian speech at University of Detroit Mercy’s 2022 commencement ceremony May 14, she’ll look into the crowd, reflect on her three years at the University and acknowledge all the people who have impacted her.

    One of those people is her grandmother. 

    Soni, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a minor in Literature, grew up listening to her grandmother’s stories and being read to. Quality time with her grandmother as a child had a big impact on the Detroit Mercy valedictorian’s life, helping her develop a love for literature.

    “It was a way for me to connect with her and her stories,” Soni said. “She would tell me about India, she would tell me about how she immigrated here and how it was so difficult to mesh into society. Being a child and just spending time with your grandparents through stories and books was very valuable to me. I was always drawn to listening and reading because of that reason.” 

    Soni came to Detroit Mercy to follow her dream of becoming a dentist as part of the 7-Year Dental program. But literature first sparked the Hamilton, Ontario, native’s interest in science and medicine at an early age.

    Soni says she was about 6 years old when she grabbed an interactive biology book off the lowest shelf at her library. Fascinated, she renewed the book, which detailed the human body, “so many times.” Volunteering at the cancer hospital where her grandmother was a patient, as well as conversations with her dentist, helped solidify dentistry as Soni’s medical path. 

    Mehar Soni sits on a piano bench in the St. Ignatius Chapel.“I shadowed and realized dentistry had the personal element of connecting with patients,” she said. “I don’t have to deal with severe illness and I can really be involved with patients’ lives. I can also work with my hands to create art and do good.” 

    Soni chose to attend Detroit Mercy for a variety of reasons. Her dentist, a graduate of the University, first recommended its 7-Year Dental program, but what set Detroit Mercy apart was the institution’s values and community. Soni enjoyed developing relationships with College of Engineering & Science Assistant Dean for Academics and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Elizabeth Roberts-Kirchhoff, as well as the Chair and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Matthew Mio while touring the McNichols Campus.

    “I already felt like I had belonged, even though I was in high school,” Soni said. “I felt like this is such a natural place for me to go, I already feel like a member of the community.” 

    Although it took some time for Soni to find her place on the McNichols Campus, she feels she was able to grow at the University and became quite involved as her undergraduate career progressed. Her roles included serving as the Chemistry Club’s vice president of speakers and tours, a content editor for the student arts journal [sic] and working as an ambassador for the 7-Year Dental program. She also did research with Detroit Mercy faculty. 

    “I think the most important thing I’ve learned at Detroit Mercy is the power of community and family,” Soni reflected. “College isn’t all about getting good grades – that’s the mistake I was making in my first year. I thought I could just come, get As and go back home. But that’s not what it’s about, that’s not what this University is about. They want you to be involved on campus, to meet people, faculty, find mentors and friends.” 

    It was also important for Soni to give back to others through volunteering, a trait instilled in her at an early age by her grandmother.

    “We come from a community where not a lot of people had a lot of opportunities,” Soni said. “Being a person of color and being in a new country, my parents really had to struggle to get everything that they had. My grandmother always said ‘you have the privilege of going to a wonderful institution, you should always incorporate giving back in every stage of your life.’”

    Mehar Soni, left, holds her grandmother's hand on her first day of kindergarten.Creative outlets led to memorable experiences for Soni at Detroit Mercy. This spring, she won the  annual Dudley Randall poetry contest with her submission “The Crown Jewel,” a personal poem she says is about her family and background. The piano in the University’s St. Ignatius Chapel also brought great joy to Soni, who started playing when she was 3.

    “I’ve spent so many hours playing it between the services that are there,” she said. “The room is just beautiful. The stained-glass windows and the light coming into the room, it’s kind of my happy place.” 

    The hard work and discipline it took for Soni to play the piano at a high level is something she uses in all areas of her life.

    “I couldn’t immediately play something perfectly; it took hours and hours of dedication, questioning and listening to other people play the song,” Soni said. “Some people have a natural talent for music, but personally, I don’t. It took a lot of effort to get to where I am today. And that has carried into every aspect of my life. When I go to school, I don’t just go and take notes. I take detailed notes, I ask questions, I go to office hours. I question everything I learn because of music.”

    The next step in Soni’s educational career is dental school, which she will start this fall at the University of Pennsylvania. There, she is eager to explore a passion she discovered at Detroit Mercy through literature: narrative medicine. Soni worked with Associate Professor of English Rosemary Weatherston, who teaches a narrative medicine course at the University, to research chemistry in narrative medicine.

    “It involves understanding the stories of illness instead of just the medical symptoms and scientific aspect,” Soni said. “Really understanding that illness is a narrative; it’s a very big part of who you are.” 

    Soni fulfilled a longtime dream by becoming Detroit Mercy’s valedictorian. Despite being sick with COVID during the application process, she earned the coveted distinction, following in the footsteps of her friend Nurzahan Rahman, who was the University’s valedictorian last year.

    When Soni steps on the Calihan Hall stage to give her speech on Saturday, she’ll reflect on her three years at Detroit Mercy and deliver messages of hope for her fellow Titans. She’ll talk about the friends, mentors, faculty and alumni who have influenced her, as well as how becoming involved on the McNichols Campus impacted her life.  

    More importantly, Soni will thank her family, who accompanied her along her journey from its start. 

    “My family was just really proud, because they just didn’t expect something like this to happen,” Soni said. “I’m the oldest child in my family, my dad never had these kinds of opportunities that I’ve had. He’s just really proud that I could make the best of them. It’s just unreal. My grandma’s the most proud, though. 

    “That pride of being able to see my family in the crowd and talk about them in a speech and give my thanks to them, it’s powerful.” 

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

  • May 13: Titans Together: COVID-19 data update, May 13

    Friday May 13, 2022

    University of Detroit Mercy is posting active and cumulative cases of COVID-19 for 2021-22 academic year on the Titans Together page. These figures will be updated weekly and each week’s numbers will be included in the weekly Campus Connection email.

    As of Friday, May 13, 2022, there were 20 active cases of students or employees who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 since May 6, 2022; they are in isolation. There were 650 total cases for the 2021-22 academic year since Aug. 31, 2021.

    New and cumulative case counts include individuals who were not on campus throughout their infection. New cases are included in the cumulative total. The total number of known cases among students or employees since March 2020 is 997.

    Visit the Titans Together website at

    Titans Together Logo

  • May 13: New mask policy flyers available

    Friday May 13, 2022

    Detroit Mercy’s new mask policy went into effect May 1.

    You can read it here.

    Marketing & Communications has created new flyers to print from your office printer and post around your buildings, offices and classrooms. You can find them here.

    To eliminate confusion, please remove any flyers you see with old mask policy information on them.

    New flyers.
  • May 13: Rave Alert is now available to parents, contractors and community

    Friday May 13, 2022

    Parents, contractors and other members of the University of Detroit Mercy community may now opt-in for University emergency alerts provided by Rave using their cell phones.

    Text UDMERCY to 67283 to opt-in. Message and data rates may apply.

    Text messages are sent on an as-needed basis. This service is provided per Rave’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Text STOP to 67283 to cancel or HELP for support.

    All current students and employees are automatically enrolled in the University’s Rave alert system and don’t need to perform these steps. Students are welcome to share this information with their parents and others.

  • May 11: 2022 Commencement by the numbers

    Wednesday May 11, 2022
    Dozens of Detroit Mercy graduates participate in a commencement ceremony inside of Calihan Hall in 2019.

    Ceremonies for Detroit Mercy’s 2022 Commencement begin Thursday and continue through Saturday.

    There are 723 graduates that are expected to participate in ceremonies from the McNichols Campus on Saturday, which marks the fourth-straight increase in commencement participation numbers since 2016 (up from 583 in 2016).

    University of Detroit Mercy crest logoIncluding Sept. 2021 through Aug. 2022, there’s expected to be 1,145 graduates from the McNichols Campus, according to information provided by Detroit Mercy’s Office of the Registrar.

    Among the McNichols Campus participants, 464 are undergraduates and 264 are graduates (including 37 receiving doctoral degrees). Also among McNichols Campus attendees, 19 counties and 19 states are represented. Among the 54 total doctoral degrees being awarded, 38 are from the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, which is graduating its first class.

    The bachelor degree most awarded is Bachelor of Science in Nursing with 221, followed by Bachelor of Science with 162 and Bachelor of Arts with 68. These three degrees represent 69% of bachelor degrees awarded in 2021-22. Of the 441 master and specialists degrees being awarded, the most is the Master of Science with 69, followed by the Master of Arts with 57.

    Detroit Mercy Dental has 188 candidates in 2022, while Detroit Mercy Law has 183 candidates, with approximately 140 attending commencement.

    Other fun facts include the oldest student earning their degree in 2022 is 70 and the youngest is 20.

    Commencement ceremonies begin Thursday with two pinning ceremonies and one hooding ceremony. The School of Dentistry ceremony is set for 9:30 a.m. Friday with the School of Law’s ceremony following at 4 p.m. at Calihan Hall. The ceremony for master, specialist and doctoral degrees begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and is followed by the undergraduate ceremony at 2 p.m. to wrap-up the weekend.

    Full 2022 Commencement information.

    Dozens of Detroit Mercy graduates participate in a commencement ceremony inside of Calihan Hall in 2019.

Student Spotlight

Thursday April 07, 2022
Student Spotlight: Joyce Olatunde
Joyce Olatunde black and white photo

Our student spotlight shines on international student Joyce Olatunde. Hometown: Ikun Ekiti, Nigeria Year and major: First year, Nursing Languages spoken: Yoruba, Ibibio, English What …

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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.


    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

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Preparation to Graduate, FAQs, and Grad Day