Name: Solomon Dudley
Expected Graduation: 2021
Hometown: Livonia, Michigan
Major: Health and Human Services with a concentration in Public Health
Transfer Hub: Schoolcraft College
What led you to University of Michigan-Dearborn?
I always knew that I was going to start at a two-year community college and transfer out. Originally, I was thinking of transferring to a historically black college or somewhere out of state, but when I started looking in state and at the options here, I was considering the Ann Arbor campus, Michigan State, Eastern Michigan. When an academic advisor at Schoolcraft brought up UM-Dearborn, I honestly did not know how much of a gem this was. It just kind of slid under the radar, but the more I learned about UM-Dearborn, the more I started to focus on working on the classes that I would need to take to transfer here.
What was your transition like?
The transition from Schoolcraft to Dearborn was pretty smooth. There weren’t many bumps in the road. The growth period happened when I got to campus. I’ve learned that what you do and where you get involved can have a huge impact on your success so even before I stepped onto campus, I was already on Victor’s Link checking out what student organizations I could get involved in.
What organizations did you land on?
Right away, I became an Orientation Leader, which I was very excited about, then I participated in the Marketing Association with the College of Business. From there, I got involved in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, I am a team manager for Men’s Ice Hockey and Lacrosse and my biggest roles right now are, Community Assistant at The Union and Program Assistant for Orientation — and all of that's happened in pretty much a year and like a couple months! I knew I wanted to make up for what I didn’t do in high school, so I got involved and figured out what works for me. I really like working with orientation. I’ve really learned the ins and outs of, not just orientation, but the way our university runs. I’ve learned just how robust this campus is. Even though it's a smaller university, it's still a machine and every person in every part of that machine is crucial.
How do you like living at UM-Dearborn’s off-campus housing option, The Union at Dearborn?
I’ve been at The Union since I started at Dearborn. I knew I would have to get involved, so I started to show up at different events as much as I could and introduced myself to student leaders who also live at The Union. I just tried to be present and make myself available. Eventually, I started making friends and really blossomed into this guy I always knew was alive, but I didn't know where he was. This past October, I became a community assistant at The Union, which is essentially like a modified leasing agent, but it’s also a cool opportunity to be part of the community in more of a leadership role. We do events in The Union community, and I get to know residents on a personal level.
How have you acclimated to the location of the campus?
Of course I've grown up, pretty much my whole life, in Southeast Michigan, but I didn’t know much about Dearborn other than The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. Now that I’m here, I feel like I’ve become a part of the Dearborn community. I’ve gotten to know the individuals that live here and the great work that’s happening here and the surrounding communities as well.
The interesting concept of being a Dearborn student is that we’re all Michigan students. I have my student tickets, I go to the football games, I support the arts community and theater program in Ann Arbor — I even auditioned for the marching band on Ann Arbor’s campus. There is a population of cross-campus students that commute to Ann Arbor often, since it is close. But Dearborn is my campus and I’ve really grown to love it for what it offers me, not just as a campus, but as a community.
What do you love about UM-Dearborn?
I recognize the type of learner that I am and for what I need right now, UM-Dearborn is perfect. It's a beautiful campus with beautiful people and when graduation comes, I know that I would have done everything that I could do here on this campus. Some of our professors hold a professorship at the Ann Arbor campus, so we’re working with the same professors but, with class sizes of 22-23 students, we have the ability to get to know our professors on a much more personal level. I still have room for growth but I'm coming to the realization that when I graduate, I'm going to be a Dearborn alum and I think that’s special.