Honors Transfer Innovators share their ‘Roots’

HTI member Erika Lynch presented on Summer Stephens Pool in Dearborn

Sandi Nguyen has a deep appreciation for a grocery store in Madison Heights.

But it is not simply that the UM-Dearborn student appreciates the wide range of Asian food products available at Kim Nhung Superfood.  Rather it is the impact that her family-owned small business has on the lives of her parents, her siblings, and the Asian community in Madison Heights.

“Kim Nhung Superfood is a small family business, but it was what brought my family and me to Michigan,” Nguyen said.

The biology major introduced her fellow Honors Transfer Innovators’ (HTI) colleagues to the store, as part of the “Roots to Routes” program.

Recently, a group of UM-Dearborn students involved in HTI embarked on a road trip to meaningful spots across southeast Michigan.

“Roots to Routes” was conceived by the HTI administrative team as a way to celebrate the “roots” that UM-Dearborn students have in the metropolitan Detroit area, while using that as a foundation for students to consider the “routes” of their future. Traveling by bus provided an opportunity to see various parts of the metropolitan area and facilitated group camaraderie.

In addition to the Madison Heights grocery store, students visited or learned about several other significant spots, including: downtown Plymouth, Westborn (Dearborn), Meadow Brook Hall, Skateland FunZone (Allen Park), Lincoln Memorial Cemetery, Summer Stephens Pool (Dearborn), Henry Ford Community College, UM-Detroit Center and the National Museum of Saudi Arabia.

“This unique trip acknowledges students’ history in this area, provides insight to our students and demonstrates the diversity of growing up in Detroit,” said Maureen Linker, associate professor of philosophy and coordinator of HTI, who participated in the bus journey.

The University welcomed its second class of honors transfer students this semester, a diverse group of undergrads who chose to continue their honors experience at UM-Dearborn. Recruitment for the Fall 2012 HTI class has begun, with interviews scheduled to take place in May and July.

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