Name: Corey Lewerenz
Expected Graduation: 2021
Hometown: Melvindale, Michigan
Major: Journalism and Screen Studies
Transfer Hub: Schoolcraft College
What led you to University of Michigan-Dearborn?
I went to Schoolcraft College for Software Engineering and realized engineering really just wasn't for me. So, I looked at different avenues for different majors and decided to go into journalism. When I talked with my advisors, I learned that there was nothing more I could take at Schoolcraft. I've always loved the University of Michigan. I've grown up watching Michigan sports, I know a lot of people who have gone to the Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses, so Michigan felt like a natural fit for me. There are other competing journalism schools in the state, but I felt most comfortable with Dearborn. The campus size and the class size are similar to what I was familiar with at Schoolcraft, so I knew I’d be able to get closer to the professors. The campus is closer to me and it also came down to affordability, so looking at all of the pros that U-M Dearborn offered, it was almost a no-brainer.
What was the transfer process like?
Transitioning from Schoolcraft to UM-Dearborn, I was nervous. I was going to a different school, I was transitioning into a really new major — I just didn't know what to expect. But the people in the START Office [Student Advising and Resource Team] were really nice and transparent with me about what I needed. They really set me up for success. Any question I had about classes over the next two semesters, they helped me out. I knew what I was going to take and how I was going to navigate that road to graduation. My emotions went from nervousness to confidence and from confidence to joy. They really got me excited for what I was about to do.
How has UM-Dearborn supported your interest in journalism?
A lot of the journalism professors have been in the field and they bring their experience to the classroom. I felt most comfortable learning from somebody who I know has been out on the streets doing the work that I want to do in the future. They also really encourage us to join student organizations, so I’ve been able to participate in other journalism opportunities outside of the classroom. Once I got settled into life at UM-Dearborn, I joined the Michigan Journal. The editor-in-chief at the time asked if we were interested in starting a podcast. I love podcasts so I thought, “Wow, this is the creativity that I was looking for.” We launched the podcast, which ran through last fall semester. Come this fall, I'll officially be the editor-in-chief of the Journal.
As a commuter student, how much are you able to be involved in student-run organizations on campus?
There are so many organizations on campus. On top of my involvement in the Journal, I also joined the French Club. The organizers of various organizations really want you to get involved because they know that's part of the college experience and they understand that commuting sometimes can limit your involvement. They'll even hold weekend events so that you can meet with different organizations that you're interested in. Building a community is important and I think that flexibility really helps.
What are some of your favorite Dearborn hotspots?
I love being able to sit down and eat with friends. We’ll go to BD's Mongolian Grill barbecue, which is fun because you can get your plate and just sit there for a while. Buddy's Pizza is another one. But I also love Dearborn Music. I’ve recently gotten into vinyl records and the shop feels like a very important piece of Dearborn. It’s a place I've met people and other students with different music interests and we’ve bonded there. I think there are places like that all throughout Dearborn.
The campus is also close to Detroit and Ann Arbor. I really like Ann Arbor’s scene during sports events. I like parking and walking to the games with hundreds of different people and just having fun. And exploring the city of Detroit is always a lot of fun. One of my favorite memories is going ice skating at Campus Martius during the winter. If you take a walk around, there are so many different aspects of Detroit that you can see maybe in an hour walk. It's really cool.
How have professors adapted to remote learning amid the COVID-19 crisis?
Professors had to really change their whole presenting style because they still know that each student is unique in the way that they learn. But they didn’t want to just give us a grade and send us on our way. They wanted us to finish the semester strong so they were really accommodating to students. They really helped us switch over to virtual platforms and maintained constant communication with us. Even when our classes were over, they continued to share updates about what's going on. UM-Dearborn has been on top of communication all the way through this pandemic, and that shows that the University really does care for the students — for our safety and just to keep us out of the dark.
Any advice for future Dearborn Wolverines?
I would say, get involved. You might think you may not have time in your schedule, but it’s a lot of fun and people will love getting to know you. Get to know your professors. They're there to help and encourage you and I think, taking advantage of that is the best thing you can do. And then, there is no end to the amount of helpful resources that the campus has to offer. I would encourage you to use everything the campus has to offer because that’s what will really help bring your college experience to life.