College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters

CASL's Alumni Difference Maker Recipients

For nearly 40 years, UM-Dearborn has honored outstanding alumni for their contributions to the University and community.  These men and women are "difference makers" who have continued the University's legacy of leadership in their lives and careers.  On October 9, the University once again recognized several distinguished alumni at its annual awards celebration.  The following CASL alums were honored as 2015 UM-Dearborn "Difference Makers" at the event:


College of Arts, Sciences, & Letters Alumnus of the Year: Honor Potvin, '05, B.A.

Ms. Potvin serves as chief operating officer of the Genessee Community Health Center. She has been involved in programming at local and national levels across diverse sectors including education, research, health care and the legal system. She co-led a successful effort to achieve the first-ever Federally Qualified Heath Center designation for a public community mental health authority, Genesee Health System in Flint, MI. Her efforts have resulted in expanded access to primary care for thousands of low-income and homeless residents.


Distinguished Alumnus of the Year: Mary Beth Kelly, '84, B.A.

Ms. Kelly joined the Michigan Supreme Court in January 2011, serving as the liaison for treatment courts, drug courts and veterans’ courts. Governor Rick Snyder appointed Kelly as Chair of the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice. As co-chair of the Michigan Race Equity Coalition, she examined the need for the juvenile justice and foster care systems to improve policies and racial disparities in these systems. Kelly recently resigned from the Supreme Court to return to private practice, at the Detroit law firm of Bodman PLC.


Young Alumnus of the Year: David Knezek, '12, B.A.

Mr. Knezek became the youngest member of the 2013-2014 House Democratic Caucus at 26 years of age. He has the distinct honor of being the first Iraq War Veteran elected to the Michigan Legislature. Knezek serves as chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus on the Senate Democratic leadership team and is a strong advocate for Michigan students, seniors, working families and veterans.

Click here for entire list of the 2015 award winners.