With honors: Chancellor’s Medallion Award recognizes academic achievement and character

University of Michigan-Dearborn recognized five students as Chancellor’s Medallion recipients and two student speakers during the university’s commencement ceremonies December 17.

Courtney FordMorning speaker

Courtney Ford earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in marketing and a minor in psychology. Ford is a recipient of the AutoAlliance International Scholarship and the Woodhaven Rotary Club Scholarship.

Ford has taken advantage of the opportunities to gain valuable experience while completing an internship. During the Winter 2014 and Summer 2014 terms she worked at Robert Bosch, LLC in Farmington Hills as a marketing communications intern for the company’s Diesel Systems North America division.

An active member of the campus community since her freshman year, Ford served as vice president of membership, finance and community service for the campus chapter of the American Marketing Association. With AMA’s help, she spearheaded “Maddie’s Hope,” a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for a local girl with cancer. When Maddie passed away, the team shifted focus and raised $10,000 to fund a scholarship in Maddie’s memory at her high school. Ford also has served as public relations chair for her sorority, Phi Mu – Rho Beta chapter. This year, she served as president of the UM-Dearborn College Panhellenic Council.

Ford was named a 2016 UM-Dearborn Difference Maker. Nominated by faculty and staff, Difference Maker recipients are recognized for academic achievement, integrity, leadership, and creative contribution in and out of the classroom. She was also named a Distinguished Student Leader and Greek Woman of the Year at the 2016 Student Leadership Awards.

Off campus, Ford is involved with DECA, an organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools around the globe. She serves as a mentor to high school students and judges competitions at the annual district and state competitions.

Ford is seeking full-time employment with her sorority headquarters with a long-term goal of working on the business side of professional sports.

Katrina StackPM Student Speaker

Katrina Stack earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in history. She graduates with High Distinction. Stack has earned placement on the Dean’s List every term since Fall 2012. She also earned University Honors every semester since Winter 2013 and was twice named a James B. Angell Scholar. She is a recipient of numerous scholarships, including the Chancellor’s Scholarship, the Slosberg & Sorscher Memorial Scholarship, the Grace & Evelyn Kachaturoff Scholarship and the Michigan Competitive Scholarship.

Stack was a member of the University of Michigan figure skating team, one of only two skaters from the Dearborn campus. With the team, she earned more than 30 medals, qualified to compete at four Intercollegiate Team National Championships and served as social media chairperson. She also is a member of the UM-Dearborn chapter of Phi Alpha Theta history honors fraternity.

During summer 2015, Stack participated in a study abroad trip to Poland. In Winter 2016, she served as the student mentor for the class Aspects of the Holocaust. Since Fall 2015, Stack has been a research assistant and social media manager for the Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive, which is housed at UM-Dearborn.

Martin Hershock, dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters, describes Stack as “a remarkable young woman and one of the most mature and gifted students that I have encountered in my over 20 years of teaching on this campus.”

Stack is seeking a full-time position in secondary education as a social studies teacher.

Maria RodriguezCollege of Business Chancellor’s Medallion Recipient

Maria Rodriguez received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with concentrations in both supply chain management and finance. She graduates with High Distinction. Rodriguez received multiple scholarships, including the Dean’s Scholarship, Women’s Varsity Softball Athletic Scholarship, William and Alice Jenkins Scholarship, Don Rossin Supply Chain Management Scholarship, Terry and Debbie McElroy Scholarship, and several scholarships from the National Black MBA Detroit Chapter.

She was on the Dean’s List every fall and winter term, earned UM-Dearborn Honors in 2016, received University Honors in Winter and Fall 2015, as well as Winter 2016, and was named a James B. Angell Scholar in 2016. Earlier this year, she was selected as the 2016 Honors Scholar for the College of Business Supply Chain Management program.

Rodriguez held multiple part-time and full-time positions throughout her college career, including two summer internships with Ford Motor Company. She served on the executive board for Phi Mu Fraternity – Rho Beta chapter, was a member of the Supply Chain Association and served as a supplementary instruction leader for Finance 401: Corporate Finance. She also is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma and Order of Omega Greek honors societies.

Rodriguez played four years of varsity softball. She was named an NAIA Academic All-American in 2016 and received the NAIA Scholar Athlete Award in both 2015 and 2016.

She also was named a 2016 UM-Dearborn Difference Maker. Nominated by faculty and staff, Difference Maker recipients are recognized for academic achievement, integrity, leadership, and creative contribution in and out of the classroom.

After graduation, Rodriguez will work in the supply chain management field at Ford Motor Company and plans to pursue her MBA degree.

Fariha RafiqCollege of Engineering and Computer Science Chancellor’s Medallion Recipient

Fariha Rafiq graduated with Bachelor of Science in Engineering degrees in both industrial and systems engineering and manufacturing engineering. She graduates with High Distinction. Rafiq is a recipient of the Maize and Blue Scholarship as well as the A. Adnan Aswad Scholarship. She was awarded the Engineering Honors Scholar award in 2014 and received University Honors in 2011 and 2013-2016. She has earned a place on the Dean’s List eight times throughout her collegiate career.

In 2016, Rafiq was selected as a UM-Dearborn Difference Maker. Nominated by faculty and staff, Difference Maker recipients are recognized for academic achievement, integrity, leadership, and creative contribution in and out of the classroom.

She is a member of several on-campus student organizations, including Society for Women Engineers, Pakistani Student Association, and Alpha Pi Mu, the industrial engineering honor society. As a sophomore, Rafiq started a student organization called the Asian Entertainment Club, dedicated to students who enjoy music, films and dramas from countries in Asia.

Rafiq has volunteered at many campus events including the Wayne County Science Olympiad. She has served as a research assistant and teaching assistant, and she participated in the student cooperative education program at DTE Energy.

In 2014, Rafiq took a year off from school to work as an after-school native English teacher at an elementary school in Incheon, South Korea. She worked with first to sixth grade students who understood very little English, preparing independent lessons and managing the classroom without any assistance.

Rafiq plans to stay in southeast Michigan upon graduation and is currently interviewing for positions in the automotive industry.

Jennifer SchweizerCollege of Education, Health, and Human Services Chancellor’s Medallion Recipient

Jennifer Schweizer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in health policy studies with a concentration in human resources and a minor in communication. She graduates with High Distinction. Schweizer was on the Dean’s List six times.

Schweizer’s educational career did not come easy for her, and she prides herself on facing adversity during a personal crisis. After graduating high school in 2010 she was in a car accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury and was unable to start school that fall as planned. Instead, she has worked diligently to recover. After two long years, Schweizer began her academic career at UM-Dearborn in the Fall 2012 term.

During Schweizer’s time on campus, she completed two internships. As an intern with the American Cancer Society, she was the coordinator for Road to Recovery, a program that matches cancer patients in need of transportation to treatment with volunteers who are willing to take them. Schweizer’s Fall 2016 internship was with MHealthy, the university’s employee wellness program. There, she worked on various programs, including ActiveU, new employee orientation, Champion Retreats and the university’s bicentennial. These internships taught her how to be a leader and take charge of a project, helped her gain valuable work experience and, most importantly, enhanced her passion for working in the field of healthcare and preventative services.

Schweizer also was inducted as an executive member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Schweizer is seeking a full-time position in the health policy field and plans to pursue graduate studies in public health in the near future.

Angelina CamilleriCollege of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Chancellor’s Medallion Recipient

Angelina Camilleri received a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology and women’s and gender studies, with a minor in art history. She graduates with High Distinction. Camilleri is the recipient of several scholarships, including the Anthropology Field School Scholarship, the General Merit Scholarship and the Mardigian Library Assistant Scholarship. She received the William J. Branstrom Freshman Prize in 2014 and was recognized as a James B. Angell Scholar in 2015 and 2016. She earned placement on the Dean’s List every semester since Fall 2013 and has earned University Honors every year.

While a student at UM-Dearborn, Camilleri completed an internship at the American Maltese Society and produced a thesis analyzing Maltese history and culture from the standpoint of women lace workers. Faculty supervising the thesis commented on its high caliber and contributions to multiple fields of study, noting its intellectual promise for future doctoral work.

On campus, she played a vital role in the Association for Student Anthropologists and in Women in Learning and Leadership. She has organized numerous activities for students and faculty, including the widely attended campus event Take Back the Night, partnering with community organizations to promote safety and equity for our student body. She is past editor-in-chief and current publishing editor of Lyceum, UM-Dearborn’s literary and fine arts journal. She is also the editor-in-chief of Odyssey Online, an online content platform that democratizes how news and other content is created and consumed.

After graduation, Camilleri intends to pursue a graduate degree in social anthropology or human rights in order to continue her work toward intentional, meaningful engagement and civic transformation.

Joshua PostelCollege of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Chancellor’s Medallion Recipient

Joshua Postel will receive a Bachelor of Science degree with concentrations in mathematics and applied statistics. He graduates with High Distinction. He was the recipient of the William J. Branstrom Freshman Prize in 2013 and was selected as Honors Scholar of Applied Statistics in 2015. He was named a James B. Angell Scholar three times and received University Honors in six semesters. He also earned placement on the Dean’s List every semester since Fall 2012. He is a recipient of the Undergraduate Mathematics Scholarship, the Barnes & Nobel Book Scholarship and the Michigan Competitive Scholarship. 

Postel engaged in undergraduate research in numerous contexts. He participated in math modeling competitions and the 2015 Research Experience for Undergraduates. He has twice presented research with a team at both MathFest in Washington, D.C., and at the UM-Dearborn Undergraduate Research Showcase, and he collaborated on an applied math course project that was in the top six projects amongst all similar courses at participating institutions.

He also completed a statistical project to develop several generalized linear models for leukemia mortality rates. He presented the results at an undergraduate conference in North Carolina in November, where he won the best undergraduate presentation award. As a byproduct of the algorithm in his project, he discovered some flaws in the database and notified the administrators.

Beyond these projects, Postel was involved in outreach and education. He helped mentor high school students at the UM-Dearborn Math Circle, guiding students through mathematical problems in a collaborative and exploratory environment. Postel is also a legendary tutor at the Math Learning Center, assisted in the Summer Bridge program in 2015 and contributed to the development of the online Linear Algebra course.

Postel intends to work in data science and energy before pursuing a graduate degree.

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