Faculty, Staff and Administrators

Faculty/Staff Announcements from Campus Connection

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  • June 06: Detroit Mercy’s new STAR Center will create healthcare stars

    Tuesday June 06, 2023
    Five people wearing lab coats stand and work on a mannequin patient in classrooms of the STAR simulation center in the College of Health Professions.

    Five people wearing lab coats stand and work on a mannequin patient in classrooms of the STAR simulation center in the College of Health Professions.

    Tucked away in University of Detroit Mercy’s College of Health Professions on the McNichols Campus is a facility that looks like a working hospital.  

    Wide hallways and doors accommodate the movement of beds from room to room. Large windows showcase machines that beep vital signs. Patients are treated for trauma while others give birth. And all of it is done under the watchful eyes of simulation and clinical faculty in a nearby control room. 

    This is the College of Health Profession’s (CHP) new Simulation, Technology and Research (STAR) Center, and it is the future of healthcare education. 

    “We have done simulation for years, but this is simulation through a different lens,” said Nina Favor, assistant dean Prelicensure Clinical Partnerships. “This center broadens it and uses the discipline according to the International nursing Association for Clinical and Simulation Learning standards.” 

    The Center is designed to promote student-faculty collaboration in one space, enhance flexibility of the curriculum and the scenarios help students understand the benefits of different ways of treating patients.  

    More than three years in the making, the STAR Center will redefine the CHP’s interprofessional environment. Every program that falls under the CHP, from Physician Assistant to bachelor of Nursing will benefit, Favor said. The Center will be able to connect with Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, where Detroit Mercy runs the Nursing program and the new Novi Campus, where the Master’s Entry Advanced Generalist Nursing (MEAGN) program is offered. 

    “I’m really excited about this,” Favor said. “We could have one patient and be teaching students on three campuses.” 

    That is beneficial to students on the three campuses who need training on serving rural, hearing impaired, aging, youth and other populations that have unique needs.  

    It can also be used to expand some of the dual enrollment programs the CHP currently does with middle and high school students. It will also be an asset for recruitment and retention of CHP students. 

    “And it serves our mission too, because it can be used to improve and increase our healthcare outreach to the community,” said Interim Dean Janet Baiardi. 

    It will also be vital in creating a better prepared workforce, which is badly needed.  

    According to a new University of Michigan study, 39 percent of Michigan nurses said they plan on leaving their job in the next year. Among nurses younger than 25, 59 percent said they expect to leave the profession. While there are many reasons for this exodus, the fact remains that there are far fewer nurses working and in the pipeline.  

    “Nursing as a profession is an aging profession,” Baiardi said. Research shows huge percentages of the current workforce is looking to leave the profession. A big reason for that is burnout.  

    “Simulation training will better prepare students for the jobs that are out there,” she added. “By being better prepared, they will know how to handle situations in the workforce before they have to confront them in real time. That can help prevent burnout.” 

    Erika Moreno ’23 earned her bachelor of science degree in Nursing just as the STAR Center was being brought online, but she sees the potential of it. 

    “I think it’s a good opportunity for UDM students to explore the real world without fear of doing anything wrong and harming the patient,” Moreno said. 

    A non-traditional student, Moreno left a previous career in human resources for her Nursing degree and is now working in the cardiovascular operating room at University of Michigan Hospital.  

    She said simulation work begins with a case study where students are given details about the mannequin patients.  

    “That starts our critical thinking and we work in teams, and I remember to ask the patient one thing and my team member remembers to ask something else, so we’re tag-teaming and learning from each other and the situation,” Moreno said. “Healthcare is new to me, so the simulation experience is helpful. It gave me that nursing experience before I had to do it in real life.” 

    The former simulation center was too cramped and outdated and didn’t allow for easy simulcasting to other campuses. This new center will use artificial intelligence tools to increase the learning experience. Virtual-reality mannequins will have artificial intelligence and be able to answer questions from students. They will have vital signs and one will be able to simulate having a baby.  

    Cameras and one-way mirrors will allow instructors to watch as students learn everything from bedside manner to labor and delivery. Collaborative spaces for active learning are also included in the renovations that created the Center. 

    Much of the $4-million cost of the Center has been paid for by donors, but opportunities still remain to fund parts of it. 

    “This is the future of healthcare education,” Favor said. “It’s great for Detroit Mercy, our students and the community.” 

    For more about the STAR Center, please visit https://healthprofessions.udmercy.edu/about/star-center.php.  

  • June 05: Leadership minor is a major attraction

    Monday June 05, 2023
    Students sit inside of a classroom and listen to a teacher who sits on a higher chair, with three television screens around them.

    Students sit inside of a classroom and listen to a teacher who sits on a higher chair, with three television screens around them.

    Detroit Mercy’s largest minor is leading the way.

    For more than a decade, the Leadership minor has been an important part of the college education for hundreds of University of Detroit Mercy graduates.

    Currently, more than 500 students are enrolled in the minor each semester, from every background, discipline and college. It has become part of the fabric of the University, helping send future leaders in different majors and career tracks into the world.

    “Our hope was to find a way to partner with every major in a way that really augments their learning,” said Don DiPaolo, director of the Leadership minor since its inception in late 2011. “Can leadership be paired with every major at the University and every career in the real world? That’s exactly what we did.”

    DiPaolo, who earned a doctorate in Leadership and Education Studies from the University of Michigan, has worked with student leadership nationally and internationally and saw a need for leadership training, specifically in the Midwest and Michigan. He received help from the provost, administration, deans, faculty and others at UDM to start the program from the ground up.

    “Every other weekend I was in another place in the country helping students develop leadership skills,” he said. “Why not at my own University? It was clear that the need was there. The business world and research were making it clear that it was needed and wanted.”

    It’s also a perfect fit at a place like UDM, where “to lead and serve” is front and center in the vision statement of the University.

    “We’ve tried to make the courses very student-centered and engaging,” DiPaolo said. “You can’t believe the feedback we get from people hiring our students in organizations or admitting them for postgraduate work.

    “These students in the program help lead the campus and are on their way to leading our country — and doing so with integrity and purpose.”

    The minor is 18 credits and all undergraduate students are eligible to add it to their major. It consists of four content areas: Individual Leadership Skills, Group Skills, Organizational Management and Human Relations Skills and Community Engagement Skills. The minor opens with an introductory course and concludes with a capstone course that provides opportunities for students to teach leadership skills in the community, such as in local schools.

    Each student also compiles an electronic leadership portfolio featuring the work they’ve done to earn the minor.

    “Leadership minor students often successfully present these at internship, post-graduate and job interviews — setting them apart from their peers,” said DiPaolo.

    The success stories from the minor are endless.

    As an undergraduate student at UDM, Suzie Dahma ’20 kept hearing rave reviews about the Leadership minor. Her interest, however, extended beyond the program.

    “I was interested in learning about myself and how to better my relationships with others personally and professionally,” Dahma said. “Students spoke highly about how well Dr. Don taught the class and the amount of helpful information they learned.”

    One of Dahma’s favorite aspects of DiPaolo’s classes were discussing different scenarios. She said it allowed students to understand other’s points of view. Now a travel nurse, Dahma uses these skills daily.

    “This class taught students, including myself, that taking the time to hear other’s reasonings may change the way you handle or react to something,” she said.

    “In the nursing field, we deal with many individuals — patients, visitors, co-workers. I’ve encountered many difficult conversations and personalities in my career. Taking Leadership has better equipped me to deal with those conversations and people.”

    Delaney Alward ’22 stumbled upon the minor almost by accident, taking a class out of curiosity. She is grateful she did. Alward eventually became a teaching assistant for the Introduction to Leadership classes and saw the positive transformation of students.

    “My favorite aspect of the program was the genuine, personal growth that students go through in their time in the minor,” Alward said. “I learned the most about myself, those around me and what I wanted to do career-wise because of this minor.

    “It was so rewarding to watch students progress over the semester — interacting with other students, participating in class discussions, laughing, crying and actually being authentic in the classroom.

    “The leadership minor creates an environment that is centered on student well-being and growth, which facilitates room for students to learn, change and excel over the course of their undergraduate experience at Detroit Mercy.”

    Current student Kirsten Richey is one of those who excelled in the program.

    Richey wasn’t necessarily looking forward to taking DiPaolo’s Introduction to Leadership class when she enrolled two years into her UDM career. But those sentiments quickly subsided when she immersed herself into it.

    “(DiPaolo) made the class so enjoyable and fun and he opened so many windows and different perspectives,” said Richey, who is majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. “It’s helped me meet so many different types of people and I’m participating so much more in on-campus activities. It’s really made me enjoy my experience so much more.

    “I came in here with kind of lower confidence and I didn’t see myself as a leader at all. But after this class and now that I’m in the Leadership capstone class, as well, I’ve just learned so much about myself and I feel way more confident in my abilities and myself to lead others.”

    Not only has the program showcased student personal and professional growth, but it has helped to link classmates and create community at Detroit Mercy.

    “It was a great way to connect with myself and meet many other students from different majors and grade levels,” said Matt Turner ’20, ’21, who earned two degrees from the University, in addition to his Leadership minor. “Our campus is small, so it helped drive the ‘family’ aspect as well as enhance my leadership capabilities.”

    “Because leadership is such a relationship-based practice, the in-class environment is so collaborative and supportive and it’s a great way to foster learning and greater understanding and honestly, it’s just a lot of fun,” added Cole Luken ’23, a recent Political Science graduate who is preparing for law school.

    “You build better connections with your classmates than you do in any other class.”

    The Leadership minor draws students from all colleges on the McNichols Campus, with the College of Engineering & Science leading the way with 210 total students enrolled in the minor during the winter 2023 semester.

    “One of my favorite things about the minor is that it gives student leaders the chance to cross pollinate,” said DiPaolo. “They are all in the same class with kids from different majors who may have very different views of their own life trajectory.

    “It makes people feel much more connected to the University, much more loyal to this place because they belong to each other, and they have a purpose.”

    Turner, who works on an HR team for a global manufacturing company and also coaches high school lacrosse in Detroit, knows just how major of an impact the Leadership minor had on his Detroit Mercy education.

    “It is applied every single day,” he said. “You leave the program with an enlightened ability to understand your own thoughts and actions. The truth is that leaders are out there every day, whether it’s helping someone cross the street or leading an entire organization.” 

    Alward, who earned a Psychology degree from UDM and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, may have been unaware of what the Leadership minor had to offer when she enrolled, but knows that it’s anything but minor.

    “In everything from job interviews, working and interacting with peers, co-workers and faculty, to my interpersonal relationships with family and friends — the benefits of obtaining a Leadership minor at Detroit Mercy permeate to all areas of my life,” she said.

    “It was the best choice I have ever made in terms of my academic and professional career.”

    — By Adam Bouton. Follow Detroit Mercy on FacebookLinkedInTwitter and Instagram. Have a story idea? Let us know by submitting your idea.

  • June 05: Celebration of 175th anniversary of Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church, June 25

    Monday June 05, 2023
    A logo for the 175th Anniversary of Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church 1848 to 2023.

    A logo for the 175th Anniversary of Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church 1848 to 2023.A celebration of the 175th anniversary of Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church in Detroit will be held on Sunday, June 25.

    The celebration of the oldest church building in the city of Detroit begins with Mass and a musical prelude at 10:30 a.m. on June 25 and will be followed by a Jesuit Family Block Party with BBQ from Slows To Go and music, games and fun for all ages! Parking is available at the Riverfront Campus student lot behind the church on Larned Street.

    Don’t miss this historical gathering with the entire “Jesuit family” in the Detroit area!

    Visit the Ss. Peter and Paul website for a complete list of upcoming anniversary events, including an evening on Sunday, July 18 with Detroit historian Jamon Jordan.

    For more information, please call the church office at 313-961-8077 or visit the registration link below.

    Register for the event.
  • June 05: Tickets available for PGA Tour’s Rocket Mortgage Classic

    Monday June 05, 2023
    Spectators take in the 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic from a suite outdoors at the Detroit Golf Club.

    Professional golf returns to Detroit this summer for the PGA Tour’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, held June 27 through July 2 at the Detroit Golf Club.

    University of Detroit Mercy is offering Titans and the community several ticketing options for the tournament, including a pair of exclusive experiences.

    General admission tickets range from $60-80. Enjoy the tournament with endless food and beverages from the comfort of a private suite next to the green of hole No. 15, or walk alongside a group of PGA Tour players for their full round of 18 holes with the Honorary Observer experience.

    Suite and Honorary Observer tickets are only $500, and a portion of the price is a tax-deductible gift to Detroit Mercy Student Scholarships. The Honorary Observer experience does not include private suite access.

    Since 2019, UDM’s partnership with the Rocket Mortgage Classic has helped raise more than $45,000 for the University’s endowed scholarship fund.

    This year’s field includes two-time major winner Collin Morikawa, previous tournament champions Tony Finau, Cam Davis and Nate Lashley, fan-favorites Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Max Homa and Tom Kim, with other golfers yet to commit.

    Learn more and purchase tickets.

    Live in the D — Here’s a unique way to enjoy a summer classic

    Spectators take in the 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic from a suite outdoors at the Detroit Golf Club.

  • June 05: Celebrate Pride Month with the University

    Monday June 05, 2023
    A colorful clock tower for Pride Month in June.

    A colorful clock tower for Pride Month in June.Detroit Mercy is inclusive and welcoming to all people because we are Catholic, Jesuit and Mercy, and our desire to meet people where they are flows from our Catholic tradition of recognizing and honoring the inherent human dignity of all people.

    This June, UDM is pleased to join the global community in celebrating PRIDE Month.

    While some of our campuses may be lightly populated during the summer months, there are various events taking place throughout the city and metropolitan area to celebrate Pride Month. To further support your exploration and understanding, we have curated a comprehensive library guide with valuable resources via the following link: Library Guide

    Here’s a look at some out Pride Month events in Metro Detroit during June:

  • June 05: Photos: Detroit Mercy visits India during immersion experience

    Monday June 05, 2023
    The India immersion trip stands in front of the Taj Mahal on the left and two people stand outdoors with colorful umbrellas on the right.

    Seven students and four professors had the trip of a lifetime during an unforgettable immersion experience to India from May 16-26.

    The journey took the group to incredible places like the Jaipur, Agra, the Taj Mahal, the National Gandhi Museum and Memorial and Mother Teresa Anbu Illiam. The group learned, explored and soaked in the wonders of India.

    The trip was led by Associate Professor of History Diane Robinson-Dunn, with assistance from Director of Language and Cultural Training Lara Wasner.

    The India immersion trip stands in front of the Taj Mahal on the left and two people stand outdoors with colorful umbrellas on the right.

    People pose during an India immersion trip in 2023 on the right and two students look at unique architecture in India on the left.

    A chickpea stand in India with people behind it on the left and a Detroit Mercy group poses for a photo outdoors on the right.

  • June 05: Grant to help build diverse pipeline of researchers

    Monday June 05, 2023

    A six-figure grant from the National Institutes of Health U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will fund programming designed to recruit and train a diverse group of undergraduates to pursue postgraduate education and careers in biomedical sciences.

    The $137,662 grant will help the Detroit Mercy I-RISE with U-RISE Program provide undergraduate students with authentic research experiences, intensive student success initiatives and mentored research. It will also fund exposure to diverse scientific communities through career panels and conferences.

    “We are very excited to begin,” said Elizabeth S. Roberts-Kirchhoff, assistant dean for Academics and professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Engineering & Science, which is running the program.

    Students who are part of I-RISE with U-RISE will receive annual tuition support of $16,000, a stipend of $14,340 annually, monetary support when performing external research and funding to present research at scientific meetings. I-RISE students will also be assigned a faculty mentor, receive personal academic advising and career advising, peer mentoring and guidance in applying to graduate school.

    Find more information about the program, apply or nominate a student here.

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Wednesday May 31, 2023

Professor of Mechanical Engineering Nihad Dukhan recently had his calligraphy work on view during the month of May at The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago. The exhibit was titled, “Sculpting in Two Dimensions: Arabic Calligraphy.” More on Dukhan’s exhibit from thevisualist.org.

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