Six alumni recognized for impact on industry and community

October 18, 2012

The message was loud and clear.

When Beth Ardisana (’84 M.S.E.) received a job offer from Ford Motor Co., she quickly packed up her things and moved from Texas to Michigan.

Like any new employee, Ardisana wanted to advance her career. Lucky for Ardisana, her manager shared a recipe for success.

“You got no career whatsoever if you don’t get a master’s in engineering, and it has to be from University of Michigan, or it’s over.”

That’s about as clear cut as you can get.

Ardisana took her manager’s advice and enrolled at UM-Dearborn, where she graduated with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Fast forward three decades, as Ardisana took the stage Friday at her alma mater and accepted the 2012 UM-Dearborn Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award. And although Ardisana started her own technical and communications services firm, ASG Renaissance, which boasts 225 employees in offices across the country, she couldn’t help but turn the attention back toward UM-Dearborn.

“These are the Difference Maker Awards, but you know, the truth is, it’s University of Michigan-Dearborn that’s made the difference for us,” she said. “The common thread in all of this is that the university took us, as probably little lumps of clay when we showed up, and formed us into who we are today. The university gave us the support system, the education, the friends, the contacts and the confidence to go do the things that we wanted to do.”

Ardisana and five other UM-Dearborn graduates were honored Friday at Fairlane Center South. All six alumni were awarded because they make a positive impact in their workplaces and communities, and serve as strong role models for a new generation of UM-Dearborn student leaders. In addition to Ardisana, award recipients included:

Shanelle Jackson (’03 B.A.): Young Alumnus of the Year
, Lisa Ilitch Murray (’83 B.G.S.): College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Alumnus of the Year, 
Kevin McKervey (’77 B.B.A.): College of Business Alumnus of the Year, 
Mark Sunday (’76 B.S.E.I.S.): College of Engineering and Computer Science Alumnus of the Year, 
Youssef Mosallam (’05 M.P.A.): School of Education Alumnus of the Year

“One of the things I have found most inspiring about being chancellor of this campus over the past 12 years is the incredible quality and impact of the alumni of this campus, the impact that they are having here in the region and in our country,” said UM-Dearborn Chancellor Daniel Little. “It is really inspiring to understand that this campus makes a difference through these Difference Makers.”