Join us each month as we feature a UM-Dearborn alum or faculty presentation in our Alumni Engagement Speaker Series. The series will highlight Wolverine thought leaders sharing career advice, innovative ideas, leadership lessons, and more.  

Check back each month for an exciting new video! 

Please note, the University of Michigan-Dearborn does not necessarily endorse speakers’ views.

History of American Higher Education: A Sneak Peek and Milestone Highlights

Presentation Summary: American higher education has a rich history that stems back to 1636. UM-Dearborn alum and former Assistant Vice Chancellor at UM-Dearborn, Dr. Christopher Tremblay, '14 Ed.D. has been collaborating with former UM-Flint Director of Admissions and recipient of UM-Ann Arbor's Center for the Education of Women's Advanced Leadership Certificate, Kimberley Buster-Williams along with retired UM-Dearborn Vice Chancellor Stanley Henderson on a forthcoming book that offers highlights about significant milestones in college/ university life. This publication in particular focuses on moments in history that are connected to the field of enrollment management. This session will offer a special sneak peek into the book and will share nuggets that remind us of our history. Come prepared to learn a few new pieces of information.  Anyone working in education will benefit from this session.

View the presentation here or click on the video below.  Video Length: 1:01:04 

Speakers' Bios:

Kimberley Buster-Williams has been a member of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) since 1996. She currently serves as Vice President for Enrollment Management at the University of Mary Washington. In addition, she serves as Assistant Director of AACRAO’s Strategic Enrollment Management Endorsement Program (SEM-EP). Buster-Williams has more than two decades of experience in higher education, including senior administrative assignments at Northern Illinois University and the University of Michigan-Flint.

Buster-Williams earned an Ed.S. degree in Higher Education Administration, a master's degree in Education Administration, and a bachelor's degree in English, all from Old Dominion University. She also has a postmaster's certificate in leadership from the University of Michigan's Center for the Education of Women.

Buster-Williams has published over 20 articles in several academic journals and has presented both nationally and internationally. Recent presentations include: “AACRAO’s Coffee Break: Enrollment Planning for COVID-19 and Beyond, May 2020”, “SEM and Retention; The Perfect Pair” AACRAO Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Conference, November 2018 and "We check More Than One Racial Category... Are You Ready for Us?" (College Board Southern Regional Forum, February 2016). She recently authored a leadership book titled Lollie's Leadership Quips: Mary Hewlett Brown's Style of Reasoning.

Stanley E. Henderson retired from the University of Michigan-Dearborn where he served as Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Life from 2005-2015.  During that time, freshman enrollment grew by 30%, and student services were integrated and expanded.  But he was most known as “the Students’ Vice Chancellor” for his support of all student success.  His refrain of “We are a community of higher education” helped to inspire student engagement to new levels and brought passion to the campus’s commitment to inclusion.

In his 50 year career, Henderson has been deeply involved at the national level of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO}, where he served six years on the board of directors and as president in 1995-96.  He was a founder of the Association’s national enrollment conference, now in its 30th year.  He is a frequent contributor to AACRAO programs and publications, including the first history of enrollment management.  His book, SEM as a Connector: Principles of Practice, will be published in November.  He is also a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award and the Founders Award for Leadership.  AACRAO has presented Henderson a Lifetime Achievement Award for “Outstanding Leadership in the SEM Profession” and awarded him Honorary Membership in 2015.  Henderson continues to serve the association as a senior consultant for AACRAO Consulting.

Henderson earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Michigan State University as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and a master’s degree in government from Cornell University.  He also completed doctoral course work (ABD) at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Christopher W. Tremblay has been a leader in the higher education community for 25 years, working on the college campuses of Western Michigan University, Gannon University, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and Michigan State University – as well as the Michigan College Access Network. He is currently the Director of Admissions and Recruiting for the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan.

Tremblay earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication from Western Michigan University and a doctor of education degree in educational leadership from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.  He also earned a post-master's certificate in enrollment management from Capella University.

He currently serves as Director of the Strategic Enrollment Management Endorsement Program (SEM-EP) for the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers (AACRAO). As an enrollment management and admissions professional, he has published 20 articles in four different academic journals and has presented at more than 75 conferences nationally and internationally.  He is also the creator of the Getting In college admissions card game, co-founder of the Journal of College Access and editor-in-chief of AACRAO’s College & University Journal.

Past Alumni Engagement Speaker Series Videos

July 2021: Technology Futuring, Where Are We Heading? And is Solo Technologist a Role of the Past?

Presentation Summary: "Technology Futuring, Where Are We Heading? And is Solo Technologist a Role of the Past?" is a presentation from UM-Dearborn alumna and Chief Information Officer of Ford Commercial Solution, May Russell '98 B.S. It is followed by a conversation with Ms. Russell and John Cristiano, UM-Dearborn Assistant Dean for Research Development and Strategic Initiatives.

Technology is, inarguably, front and center in every aspect of how we live, what we do and how we do it.  What are future technology applications and how will it impact our lives for better or for worse? Not only is technology pervasive in our lives, but to bring it to life, its no longer the singular technologist in action, but the renaissance-person as technologist.

Speaker Bio: May Russell is a Technology Executive with a track record of delivering digital and technology transformations to the enterprise, business units and the consumer. Combining “art of the possible” with rigorous methodology, innovation and thoughtful strategy, she is able to create successful digital businesses and execute to them at scale.

May is the Chief Information Officer of Ford Commercial Solution LLC (Telematics, Data Services, Integrated Fleet Mgt Products) as well as Global Head of Connected Tech Vehicle Services (Maintenance, Security), API Platforms, AI\ML.  She is charged with building a technology offering that scales with global volume as well as creating best in class software engineering organization.

Prior to that role, May served as Global Delivery Head of Transportation as a Service, Digital City Solutions, Technology Monetization, and Tech Mergers & Acquisitions. Additionally, May was the Global Delivery Head of Consumer facing emerging technologies. She led a global organization of 500 working across four global software engineering labs (US, UK, China, India) as well as the Business Office: Strategy\Demand Mgt, PMO, Financials, Accounting, and Governance. The organization produces cutting edge consumer facing digital products and services that provide Ford with a leading edge as a mobility company. May has grown the organization to over 500 in less than two years, establishing best in class software engineering process, tools, and technologies while creating a vibrant workplace for a highly talented workforce. Under her leadership, the Ford and Lincoln app ratings grew to be among the highest rated among all OEM apps in each country across 3 continents.

May believes in driving consumer and shareholder value by bringing leading and emerging technology ‘art of the possible’ to real world applications. She believes in delivering value through digital products in an agile and nimble fashion – fast is the new big! Furthermore, fostering craftsmanship and talent in software engineering is key in developing a highly motivated, passionate and creative workforce.

May started her career with Ernst and Young after graduating from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a Computer Science degree. As a senior consultant with Ernst and Young, she led IT transformation programs in many industries including utilities and automotive.

May joined Ford Motor Company in 2002; she has been a leader in IT Software Delivery and Strategy in a variety of business functions such as Consumer facing technologies, Supply Chain, Marketing and Sales, Manufacturing, HR and Global Corporate Systems. She has global experience with leading teams in Asia Pacific, Americas, and Europe as well as leadership experience in building and motivating global diverse teams that successfully deliver complex enterprise solutions that provide a competitive advantage.  She also has extensive delivery and strategic and operational IT leadership experience. She also holds an Executive MBA from Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

May serves on the University of Michigan-Dearborn Alumni Board of Directors (July 2021), as the K-8 Chief Mission Officer for Michigan Council Women in Technology (MCWT) as well as serving on the advisory board of the IT Women in Leadership (ITWIL) and Midwestern Technology Leaders. In those roles she has established technology summer camps for girls, a partnership with Girls Scouts and with universities to conduct events for Girls in Tech.

May has been a speaker and panelist in numerous conferences, including, TrustBelt City Solutions Revitalization, Midwestern Technology Leaders conference, and the Enterprise Wearable Conference. She has also published Ford wide blogs on technology.

View the presentation here
Video length: 38:16

June 2021: The Future of Renewables and Leadership, a Conversation with Alumna Bobbi Westerby

Presentation Summary: A conversation with UM-Dearborn alumna and President & CEO of Environmental Consulting & Technology (ECT) Bobbi Westerby '14 M.S., moderated by UM-Dearborn Professor of Earth and Environment Ulrich Kamp

Speaker Bio: As the leader of a 250-person environmental consulting firm, Bobbi Westerby is excited about current realities and future opportunities for the professionals, projects, and industries ECT supports. Bobbi is passionate about leading and supporting environmental specialists to address topics such as climate change adaptation, operational sustainability, ecosystem restoration, and renewable development through a combination of traditional, sound science and emerging technologies, solutions, and partnerships.

With a 15-year track record in renewables, Bobbi has successfully driven project planning, permitting, and design solutions for thousands of megawatts of renewable projects and hundreds of miles of related transmission and infrastructure. With some of her earliest projects in Michigan setting the stages for the industry’s future growth and success, she is one of the most impactful women in the Midwest and Great Lakes renewables arena, continuing to stay engaged with renewable clients and projects.

As a professional, Bobbi holds a M.S. in Environmental Science from The University of Michigan Dearborn and a B.S. in Biology from Central Michigan University. She spent two years in the U.S. Peace Corps stationed in Malawi and worked as a consultant for 20 years prior to joining ECT as their Vice President of Natural Resources in 2018. On the personal side, Bobbi lives with her husband Mike, four children, and first grandchild. She enjoys hitting the trails outdoors and coaching her kids’ baseball and softball teams.

View the presentation here.
Video Length: 49:25

May 2021: Unlocking Business Value through Sustainability Trends, A Conversation with Alumnus David Stangis

Presentation Summary: A conversation with UM-Dearborn alumnus and Founder and CEO of 21C Impact David Stangis, '93 M.B.A., moderated by UM-Dearborn Assistant Professor of Business Policy and Strategy Justin Ames, with an introduction from College of Business Dean, Raju Balakrishnan.

Speaker Bio: David (Dave) Stangis is Founder and CEO of 21C Impact. He most recently served as Chief Sustainability Officer and VP Corporate Responsibility/ Public Affairs at Campbell Soup Company, where he reported to Campbell’s President and CEO. Dave currently advises leading companies on ESG, technology, and reputation and resiliency strategies.

Over the course of 20 years, Dave led two very different Fortune 500 corporations, Intel and Campbell, from a standing start to clear and consistent world-class leadership in ESG, Sustainability & Social Responsibility. He guided both companies to multi-year runs on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, the 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, the Most Reputable Companies in the U.S, World’s Most Sustainable Corporations, and recognition among the World's Most Ethical Companies.

At Campbell, he created and led the Company’s strategies and external engagement related to CSR Strategy, Responsible Sourcing, Sustainable Agriculture, and Operational Sustainability. He served as an infotech and biotech expert.

Dave has served on the boards of many non-profit organizations and two Public Benefit Corporations (Plum Organics and The Soulfull Project). As Chair of the Board at Net Impact, a global community of 100,000 emerging leaders, he led a successful CEO search and transition.

As the creator and leader of Intel’s Global Corporate Responsibility function, Dave established corporate governance processes, operationalized citizenship and sustainability, and managed activist campaigns.

Dave has been named to the 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics by Ethisphere Magazine in 2008 & 2013, and a Top 100 Thought Leader in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America every year from 2011 to 2014. He is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Babson College, an Executive Advisor for the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College and a Mentor to the AgFunder Network. Dave serves as an Advisor to Magnomer and Stojo; and is the co-author of two books on strategic corporate citizenship. 

Dave earned a B.S. (Chemistry/Biology) from the University of Detroit, an M.S. in Occupational and Environmental Health from Wayne State University, and an M.B.A (Finance/Gen. Management) from UM-Dearborn.

View the presentation here.
Video Length: 56:12

April 2021: Get Rich By Saying NO! What Every Professional Must Know to Achieve Great Wealth

Presentation Summary: Anyone can be rich. Do you have the temperament to become wealthy? Dr. Victor, '99 M.B.A., will give three principles that will assure wealth in addition to discussing sure ways to become poor.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Lyle Victor is a Pulmonologist in Dearborn, MI, and has over 50 years of experience in the medical field, specializing in Sleep Apnea. Dr. Victor received his M.D. degree from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 1971 and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business in 1999.

Dr. Victor has written six books. His most recent book, Get Rich by Saying NO!, centers around his two great passions: medicine and economics. This book was written for young professionals; including healthcare workers, graduate students, and teachers just entering their work-life and about to make many classical investment errors. Dr. Victor currently resides in Metro Detroit where he is the Medical Director at Oakwood Hospital in the Respiratory Therapy and Pulmonary Functioning Laboratory. He is also the Medical Director for the Sleep Apnea Specialty Centers of Michigan.

View the presentation here.
Video Length: 28:11

Special Edition Video: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Action; A Conversation with Marc Howze, '86 B.A.

Filmed during the university’s Martin Luther King Jr. week of events, alumnus Marc Howze, '86 B.A., Group President, Lifecycle Solutions and Chief Administrative Officer at Deere & Company, has a conversation with Keisha Blevins, UM-Dearborn Chief of Staff and co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) working group. 

Traditionally, the annual Commitment to Inclusion event has been an opportunity for alumni, students, and campus partners to gather and reflect on how they’re promoting an inclusive community. This one-on-one conversation gave us the opportunity to dive deeper into what DEI looks like beyond policies, but in action at the individual and institutional level. 

Howze shares his personal experiences growing up on the eastside of Detroit, coming to college as a first-generation student, and navigating a successful career - while asking the challenging questions; How can we be inclusive, not performative? How can organizations create ecosystems of inclusivity? 

View the presentation here
Video Length: 58:33

February 2021: From Dearborn to Hollywood: Ten Truths I Learned While Navigating the Ever-Changing Entertainment Biz

Presentation Summary: Marketing Executive and UM-Dearborn alumna, Laura Abele,'94 B.A., discusses her journey from college student to marketer in the film industry.  Using her personal experiences as the narrative, she provides practical advice for those charting their own career path.

Speaker Bio: Laura Abele is an entertainment marketing executive with two decades of film studio experience and currently works at The Walt Disney Company.

During her time as a marketing strategy lead at both New Line Cinema and Twentieth Century Fox, she oversaw the Home Entertainment campaigns for a diverse slate of films and franchises including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Austin Powers, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Notebook, Hairspray, The Sound of Music, Avatar, Titanic, 007: James Bond, and Star Wars. 

Abele moved into Theatrical marketing and oversaw the International campaigns for the films The Fault in Our StarsThe Maze Runner trilogy, The RevenantNight at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, and many more. 

In addition, she produced industry events at Comic-Cons in San Diego and Sao Paulo, Brazil, as well as CineEurope in Barcelona, Spain, showcasing such films as Final DestinationKingsman: The Secret ServiceThe Peanuts MovieAlita: Battle AngelDark PhoenixBohemian Rhapsody, and The Greatest Showman.

Abele earned her B.A. in Sociology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.  She currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, Joe and adorable terrier mix, Sidney.

View the presentation here.
Video Length: 42:40

January 2021: A Conversation with Facebook VP Judith Toland

Presentation Summary:  A conversation with UM-Dearborn alumna and Facebook VP Judith Toland, '01 M.B.A., moderated by UM-Dearborn Associate Professor of Marketing Crystal Scott, with an introduction from College of Business Dean, Raju Balakrishnan.

Speaker Bio: Judy Toland is a transformational marketing c-suite executive with an engineering foundation. She joined Facebook in July 2019 as Vice President, Head of Scaled Solutions, Global Business Marketing based in the Chicago office. This global role is responsible for all digital marketing, marketing analytics and attribution, marketing governance and operations, marketing technology, and business education and certifications for the Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger B2B brands.

Judy has 26 years of experience across five industries (Technology, Chemicals, Automotive, Financial Services, and Fitness) and five Fortune 500 companies (Facebook, Monsanto, Ford Motor Company, Visteon Corporation, General Electric, and Wells Fargo). The last five years, she has held VP/SVP and Chief Marketing Officer roles with GE Capital, Wells Fargo, and most recently with Life Fitness. In these prior roles, she held responsibility for all aspects of marketing from product strategy, product and customer marketing, digital marketing and lead generation, branding, CRM, events/partnerships, customer facing training and education, and an in-house creative agency.

Judy has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She was recognized in 2017 by The Secured Lender as one of the Top 50 women in Commercial Finance. She is also a past Board Member of the Brunswick Acceptance Corporation. In addition, she is a Daniel Burnham Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago, a member of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago Board of Managers and the CMO Club, and a founding member of the Peer 150 Chicago Chapter. Judy is passionate about Diversity and Inclusion, having been a member of Diversity Councils at both GE Capital and Wells Fargo and is a past Co-Chairperson of the GE Capital, African American Network (AAF), an employee resource group.

View the presentation here
Video Length: 57:10

Special Edition Videos: Featured during Homecoming 2020

Engineering our Future: An Update on the New Engineering Lab Building
Presentation Summary:
The new Engineering Lab Building will be student-focused, industry-driven and designed to inspire collaboration, innovation and cross-disciplinary teamwork.  Hear an update from College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) Dean Ghassan Kridli,  Facilities Operations Senior Construction Project Manager Emily Hamilton and CECS Director of Facilities and Laboratory Safety Eric Kirk on the current status of building construction.  See photos of the building and learn how it will be utilized to actively facilitate an immersive, interactive and innovative learning experience.
Video Length: 19:53

Muslim Gravestones in Southeast Michigan: A Study in Diversity
Presentation Summary:
University of Michigan-Dearborn Professor of Political Science and a Research Associate at the University of Michigan Center for Middle East and North African Studies, Ron Stockton has spent ten years visiting every place in Southeast Michigan where Muslims are buried.  He has well over a thousand photos.  His photo exhibit has been displayed in four different places.  His lecture outlining his major findings has been presented many times.  If you think Muslim is a single category of people, you will be surprised and entertained by this presentation.
Video Length: 50:32

COVID-19; Racial Strife; SCOTUS and other factors Shaping Election 2020
Presentation Summary: 
Political analyst and UM-Dearborn alum, Eric Ham, '95 B.A., discusses a cavalcade of challenges that are shaping the election. They will impact not only the race for the White House but also key races in Michigan. This presentation examines the issues; explores the key players; and seeks to explain what it all means in the lead up to November 3rd.
Video Length: 14:53

Fighting AI with AI: Debunking Deepfakes and Shallowfakes
Presentation Summary:
Hafiz Malik, Associate Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, discusses advances in artificial intelligence and multimedia (audio, video, and image) synthesis and generation technologies are the main driver behind exponential growth of deepfakes and shallowfakes. The deepfake technology manipulates audio and video of a real people saying or doing things they never said or did. Deepfake technology is weaponizing information and social media platforms are adding fuel to the fire by spreading it instantaneously. Bad actors are taking advantage of deepfake technology to spread disinformation and distort and disrupt elections, exploit vulnerabilities in biometric based access control systems and smart cities. Stung by bad actors interference in elections in the United States and throughout Europe, governments have made progress in investigating past intrusions, counteracting ongoing influence, and preparing for future malign operations. However, even as Western democracies work to construct responses and build resilience, the bad actors continue to develop new tools and re-tooling emerging technologies to spread false narratives and manipulate the political discourse. This talk will discuss trajectory of deepfake technology and associated threats to national security, financial institutions, and smart devices. This talk will present a framework to debunk deepfake attacks in real-time. We present findings of our-on-going research on detecting fake audios and videos.
Video Length: 30:03

Henry Ford II And The University of Michigan: How University of Michigan-Dearborn Came To Be
Presentation Summary:
University of Michigan-Dearborn associate professor in the Language, Culture, and Communication Department and executive producer of The Detroit History Podcast, Tim Kiska traces how a piece of Henry Ford's old property became a college campus. 
Video length: 5:39

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