The 2021 Black Celebratory recognizes the great accomplishments of UM-Dearborn Fall 2019 through Summer 2021 African American graduates. This celebration is hosted by the African American Alumni Affiliate in coordination with the Office of the Chancellor, Office of Alumni Engagement, Center for Social Justice and Inclusion, and the UM-Dearborn African and African American Studies Program.  Congratulations, Graduates! Welcome to the UM-Dearborn alumni family! 

For more information about getting involved with the African American Alumni Affiliate, please contact AJ Haduch at ajhaduch@umich.edu. Please contact the Office of Alumni Engagement at umdalumni@umich.edu with any questions or updates to your information listed below.

Raida Abdullah

Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice
NSLS (National Society of Leadership and Success)

Plans after Graduation: Possible Master degree

My most memorable moment while at UM-Dearborn was listening to my professors and my most proudest accomplishment is finishing college.

MiKayla Adams

Bachelor of Arts, Communications
Student Veteran Association Secretary, UM Ann Arbor Cheerleader, 2019 Difference Maker, 2020 M Talent recipient, Engaged Scholar, Black Student Union member, Fall 2020 Deans list

Plans after Graduation: Army

My most memorable moment was being recognized as a Difference Maker in 2019 and proudest accomplishment was my (M)Talent presentation.

Josephine Barimah

Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance
Women in Business

Plans after graduation: I plan to further my education, work in a reputable company and make a beautiful family.

I am most proud of my personal growth through my interactions with different kinds of people.

Myles Barnes

Bachelor of Arts, Instructional Technology
Phi Beta Sigma, Black Student Union

Professional Update since Graduation: Training Consultant for Quicken Loans

I am most proud of not giving up.

Jeremy Barnes-Smith

Fall 2020 Master of Science in Engineering, Electrical Engineering
Tau Beta Pi

Plans after Graduation: Possibly pursue a doctorate degree in Electrical Engineering. I also would like to either move up to a higher position at my current employer and also start my own software business.

Bobby Bayles

Bachelor of Business Administration, Small Business Management

Antoinne Bell

Bachelor’s Degree, Communication, Organizational Leadership, Applied Art
Kappa Alpha Psi, Student Veterans Association, Black Student Union, UM-Dearborn NPHC member

Plans after graduation: I plan to work for a major corporation and eventually open my own business.

I am proud that I organized a conference for my fraternity in 2018.

Jagara Bell

Bachelor of General Studies, Communication, Organizational Leadership
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Student Veteran Association

Plans after graduation: I plan to earn my master’s degree in finance.

I am most proud of being a non-traditional student but still being able to have the same opportunities and experiences of a traditional student. I loved the fact that I was able to contribute and give back in a different way by sharing my worldly experiences as a soldier with younger students. Lastly, I liked the fact that I could relate to my professors and they could relate to me; that made a huge difference in my education and self-esteem.

Brianna Blackmon

Bachelor of Arts, Journalism and Screen Studies

Plans after graduation: I will be pursuing a career in film as a director and screenwriter.

Kwadwo Boakye-Yiadom

Master of Science, Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

Plans after graduation: I plan to work for the next couple of years and return for a Ph.D.

Rachel Brown

Bachelor of Arts, Behavioral Science
Women in Learning and Leadership (WILL)

Plans after Graduation: I plan to work for one or two years then attain my master’s in social work. I plan to also gain additional education so that I can perform focus group research. I plan to go into the research field.

My most memorable moment from UM-Dearborn was going to the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders and listening to a speaker performing spoken word. That was the moment my mind opened to a new understanding of myself and the world. 

Michelle Browning

Bachelor of Science, Chemistry

Plans after graduation: I plan on finding a job and working as a chemist while taking a few more courses and applying to nursing school. From there I wish to become a neonatal nurse practitioner.

I’m most proud of being a first-generation student and setting an example for my younger sister as well as my nieces and nephews.

Jessica Bryant-Hardwell

Bachelor of Arts, Health Policy Studies
Graduated with high distinction

Plans after Graduation: My plan after graduation is to take a break for a while and enjoy my family. Maybe in a year or so, I'll return to U of M and enroll in the graduate program to continue my studies.

Dominion Burch

Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy

Plans after graduation: I plan to attend law school.

I am most proud of being selected as the Honor Scholar in Philosophy, forming lasting relationships with faculty in the philosophy department and sharing in their wisdom and knowledge.

Montea Butts

Bachelor’s Degree, Psychology

My most memorable moment from UM-Dearborn was making so many new friends.

Eric Cheek

Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Electrical Engineering
Graduated with high distinction, MDAS.ai Tau Beta Pi - Michigan Iota, Undergraduate Research Assistant and U-Rise Research Assistant

Plans after Graduation: Accepted PhD Admissions offer to University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Austin Clifton

Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering
Swing Dearborn, Student Activities Board

My most memorable moment was the W.O.W. program and my proudest accomplishment was being an orientation leader.

Faith Coleman

Bachelor of Arts, Journalism

Plans after graduation: I’ve applied to graduate school at the university, where I plan to major in public administration and policy.

I am most proud of working full time, completing three internships and being named the 2019 Summer Intern of the Year.

Chelsea Cook

Bachelor of Arts, Children & Families
2021 Honors Scholar Recipient

Plans after graduation: Employment in an Early Childhood Education Center and pursue a Masters degree in my field.

My most memorable moments were during my practicums and internship in early childhood classrooms. These experiences provided me with the opportunity to engage in my field, apply practical knowledge, and develop my skills as an educator. I am most proud of my perseverance and resilience despite all the challenges I’ve faced in my personal, professional, and academic life, especially during the pandemic.

Shateja Curry

Bachelor of Arts, Urban and Regional Studies

Jayla Davis

Bachelor of Business Administration, Information Systems Management
Women in Business

Plans after graduation: I plan on finding a job in my field.

My most memorable moment at UM-Dearborn was starting an organization for women in business.

Carmen Diaz

Master of Arts, Early Childhood Education

Plans after graduation: Hired to run a large daycare.

Amber Ellis

Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences
Minority Association of Pre-Med Students (MAPS)

Plans after graduation: I plan to attend medical school.

The most memorable part of my time at UM-Dearborn was the support from professors and staff, meeting and making new friends and learning more skills for my future.

Rashid Faisal

Doctor of Education, Education
Highest Distinction (2020), Honor Scholar Award (2020), Member of University of College of Education, Health, and Human Services Alumni Affiliate (2018), Contributing Researcher to the exhibit "200 Years Young: Detroit and the University of Michigan (2018), Led the effort leading to the Induction of Cornelius L. Henderson to the University of Michigan Detroit Wall of Fame (2018), College of Education, Health, and Human Services Alumnus of the Year (2017), Creator of the name "HAILstorm" for the 3-D projection mapping celebrating the University of Michigan's bicentennial (2017), Member of University of Michigan Bicentennial Planning Committee (2017), Director of University of Michigan Bicentennial Historical Display on The Life and Legacy of Cornelius L. Henderson featured at the Charles Wright Museum of African American History (2017), Engagement Day Presenter (2017), Difference Maker Student Leadership Award (2017), University of Michigan Ann Arbor Bicentennial Grant Recipient (2017), Golden Key International Honor Society (2016).

Professional and Academic Updates: Currently serving as a Principal-interim coach with Teachers College of Columbia University, Historical writer on the African American presence at the University of Michigan with the Historical Society of Michigan, Committee Member, State of Michigan Department of Education's Commission on Eradicating Racism in Michigan's Schools, Online exhibition, "Touchdown for Equality: The Story of George Jewett", featured at African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County, and Studying Public and Community Health at Meharry Medical School.

My most memorable moment during my time as a graduate student in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services occurred while serving as principal of PreK-6 school and having a group of my young scholars deliver a multimedia presentation on life and achievements of Cornelius L. Henderson, chief design engineer for the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor faculty, students and staff from the Dearborn and Ann Arbor campuses, as well as members of the community, including the students' families.  The University of Michigan-Dearborn and Ann Arbor students were taking a multicultural course with Dr. Julie Taylor, professor of education. The multimedia presentation took place on October 14, 2016, and I was proud to see my students from grades 4-6 share their original research as members of my University of Michigan Bicentennial research team to a class of undergraduate and graduate students. During my time as a graduate student in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services, I am most proud of the relationships I developed with the department's outstanding faculty. I am reluctant to name individuals because I am certain to forget so many others who made an indelible impact on my development as a leader. But I must mention Dr. Ann Lampkin-Williams, Dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Services who served as my mentor, friend, and one of my greatest advocates. I am deeply grateful for my dissertation team, Dr. Marth Adler, Dr. Paul Fossum, Dr. Christopher Burke. All three provided me with both support and challenge to complete my studies. I am most proud of the relationship I built with Dr. Adler, having taken a number of courses with her. I am proud to count her as a professor, mentor, and friend.  

David Fuller, Jr.

Bachelor of Science, Public Health
Public Health Society, National Society of Leadership and Success, Black Student Union, University Honors, CEHHS Dean's List.

Plans after Graduation: Pursue my Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

My most memorable moment was being featured in the Reporter/News website in the article, "Senior David Fuller Jr. on the hope and humanity of public health". The proudest accomplishment was Transitioning to CEHHS and thriving in the Health and Human Service department by establishing relationships with professors and classmates, and excelling academically.

Kamara Gardner

Bachelor of Science, Health and Human Services
2020 Difference Maker, Vice President and Treasurer of the Xi Phi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Academic Chairman of the Black Student Union, Consecutive Dean's List Student, Graduating with Honors.

Plans after Graduation: I will be attending graduate school in Fall 2021 to earn my master's degree in public health.

My most memorable moment was being honored as a Difference Maker. I am so thankful for my support system. I am most proud of my involvement with the campus as a member of student organizations and a student employee. My goal when enrolling at UM-Dearborn was to get involved and know the students I am graduating with. I have met some of the most amazing people at this university.

Arthur Goldston

Bachelor of Arts, Health Policy Studies

Plans after Graduation: Obtain Masters Degree

My most memorable moment or proudest accomplishment while at UM-Dearborn was being able to work full time and achieve my degree and being a graduate of such a great school.

Grant Groshek

Master of Science, Business Analytics
Graduating with honors.

Plans after Graduation: Continue working for General Motors in the Global Vehicle Safety organization but as a Safety Data Scientist.

My most memorable moment was driving down Southfield Freeway every week praying that traffic wasn't bad, so I could make it to class on time. Proudest accomplishment is Graduating with all A's while working full time as a crash test engineer.

Nynier Hall-Brown

Bachelor of Arts, Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies
SOAR program, African American and Intervarsity clubs.

Plans after Graduation: To obtain an upper-level position in management within the criminal justice environment.

My most memorable moment was when I met Becky of the SOAR program at the campus bookstore. I didn't know who she was. I was ranting about how challenging it was for me to attend this University. Becky was emphatic and she understood my challenges. She in turn had invited me to join the SOAR program. That was the best thing that happened for me at UM-D. It changed my life. I truly believe that without Ellen and Becky, I would not have made it to this point of actually graduating from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and obtaining this degree. I am most proud of the 2019 African American Retreat that I had attended for the weekend in downtown Detroit. I had a wonderful time. It was very enlightening to see so many people of color participating in such an awesome event. It really strengthened my determination to succeed and graduate with a University of Michigan-Dearborn degree.

Chelsea Hampton

Bachelor of Arts, Urban and Regional Studies

My proudest moment was Receiving the 2021 urban and regional studies honor scholar award.

Malcolm Harris

Bachelor of Arts, Communication Most
Varsity Baseball and two times on the Deans List

My most memorable moment was the relationships I built with different people while attending the university. The thing I’m most proud of is that I’m an African American from the inner city of Detroit and I completed my degree.

Melissa Harris

Bachelor of Science, Computer Science
Honors

Olea Hokes

Bachelor of Arts, Journalism and Screen Studies
Campus radio Dj, Michigan Journal campus news writer

Plans after Graduation: Starting my own business via social media.

My most memorable moment at UM-Dearborn was when we learned about the history of the riots in Detroit. I’m proud of the experience here and the ability to make it to the finish line.

Jason Kendrick

Bachelor of Arts, English
Writing Center Consultant, Dean's List, graduating with High Distinction/Summa Cum Laude

Plans after Graduation: I am currently enrolled in the MAT-Secondary Education Program at UM-Dearborn.

My most memorable moment was being informed I was an Honor Scholar for my department in 2020. I am most proud of the entire journey and remaining consistent, as there were times I did not want to read the last few chapters of a text or was completely devoid of thought when writing my "umpteenth" paper or post for the week.

 

Adriana Laura

Bachelor of Arts, International Studies and Communications
I have been on the Dean's List every semester, I am a James B. Angell Scholar, and have University Honors. I have earned a certificate in Global Engagement, and Professional Language and Cross-Cultural Competency. I wasn't formally a part of a student organization, but I always participated in events hosted by the La Mexcla and Student Activities Board.

Plans after Graduation: I am so thankful that my internship turned into a full-time job. I will be serving as an AmeriCorps member with Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County for another year and a half. I plan on looking into Master's programs in Language and Law while I finish my term.

My most memorable moment while earning my degree would be the times that I spent in the language lab (in CASL). I would always study in the lab, talk with my language professors and friends, and participate in the 'Linguaoke' singing event each semester. I am most proud of accumulating a deep knowledge of my majors and concentrations. (International Studies, Communications, and Spanish) I have strengthened my skills in explaining myself, socializing with people who are different from me, and gaining experiences that will benefit me in the work field.

Wendy Little

Bachelor of General Studies, Human Resources Management
My degree is my most prized possession.

Plans after Graduation: Awaiting my promotion for the Director of HR position

My most memorable moment was learning from the younger students how to become more tech-savvy and their kindness to always assist me whenever I needed help. My proudest accomplishment was when I was given very positive feedback from my advisors Lisa Andrews and the Director of SOAR Ellen Gonzales to keep pushing through the obstacles. 

Soviett Loyd

Bachelor’s Degree, Children and Families

Plans after graduation: I plan to continue teaching and prepare for my master’s.

The most memorable part of earning my degree from UM-Dearborn is how helpful all my professors have been throughout my whole journey.

Adrian Maloy

Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting and Finance
Graduating with Distinction, BlackRock Founder Scholar, 1st Place Winner of Lear Innovation Challenge, Emerging Leader Award, Ross School of Business Consulting Competition, Divergent Capital Venture Fellow

Plans after Graduation: I'm working in private equity at an investment management firm called Wellington Management. Outside of that, I want to start a scholarship and join a non-profit board. 

My most memorable moment was having the opportunity to live and study in Italy and using that experience as a way to work on Wall Street. Proudest accomplishment is I'm really proud that the experiences that I've had, allowed me to be a resource to a lot of students looking to explore avenues of finance and business that are traditionally closed off to a lot of people.

 

Nikole McDaniel

Bachelor of Science, Public Health
Engaged Scholar, Pre-Physical and Occupational Therapy Club, Public Health Society

Plans after graduation: I will be working full time as a physical therapy technician while taking a gap year to apply to graduate school for physical therapy.

Gail Monds

Bachelor of Arts, Journalism and Screen Studies
High Distinction, National Society of Leadership and Success

Plans after Graduation: Seeking employment.

My most memorable moment was working on skits for my German classes. My proudest accomplishment was taking 16 credits and getting a 4.0 GPA for the term.
 

Emmanuel Obi

Bachelor of Science, Software Engineering
Intelligent Systems Club

Plans after graduation: I plan on becoming a full time software engineer.

I am most proud of winning second place in the ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition 2017 with Intelligent Systems Club.

Ingrid Pittman

Master of Science, Environmental Science

Staci Ridgeway

Bachelor of Arts, Special Education
SOAR student, working in child center

Plans after Graduation: I plan to become a special education teacher

My most memorable moment was taking the classes with practicums. I'm very proud of being in the SOAR program. 

Olivier Salang

Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Plans after Graduation: I plan to complete my master’s

I am proud to be a UM-Dearborn graduate.

Titania Searcy

Bachelor of Arts, Behavioral Sciences
Behavioral Science Student Association, SOAR Student Program

Professional Update since Graduation: I plan on attending Wayne State's Master's program in psychology.

I am most proud that my hard work and dedication paid off. I was able to obtain my degree after putting in long hours.

Jasmine Sizemore

Bachelor of Arts, English
Michigan Journal, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Plans after graduation: I plan on pursuing a career in copy editing.

I am most proud of being a part of the Michigan Journal as Student Life Editor.

Chelsea Smith

Bachelor of Science, Software Engineering
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

Plans after graduation: I will be working at a software company, as a software product specialist.

Nicai Sorrell

Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Electrical Engineering
NSBE, IEEE, FANUC Machine Programmers Certification, ECE degree

Plans after Graduation: Travel

My most memorable moment was being the only one still on campus when COVID hit and my proudest accomplishment is never failing a class knock on wood.

Natalie Steele

Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology
President of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students, Opscholar, Mentor, Dean's List Student

Plans after Graduation: My plans are to take a gap year and then apply for medical school.

The most memorable moment while earning my degree from the institution is meeting my lifelong friends in class. We were all confused on a topic that was being discussed and we all had the same expression. We decided to have a study group and we became inseparable ever since. I am most proud of not giving up. When times were hard, when I cried, when I failed, when the pandemic began, I never gave up and I learned from all those experiences. 

Veronica Steele

Master of Arts, Early Childhood Education

Plans after graduation: I plan to continue doing what I love for as long as I can, which is to be an early childhood teacher. 

I am most proud that I did not give up and that I completed my master’s degree at age 47, as I began this journey in 2003.

Chanel Stitt

Bachelor of Arts, Journalism and Screen Studies
2019 UM-Dearborn Difference Maker, 2019 Distinguished Student Leader, 2018 Emerging Leader, 2018 Intern of the Year, 2017 Michigan Community College Press Association - Second Place Feature Story, The Michigan Journal (2019 Editor in Chief, Managing Editor, and Copy Editor), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Xi Phi Chapter President (2018-2019), Greek Unity Council Chair (2018-2019), Black Greek Council, Public Relations Student Society of America President (2018-2019), Women in Learning and Leadership, Orientation Leader

Professional update since Graduation: Now a Business Reporter at the Detroit Free Press and is also the Vice President of Print for the Detroit Chapter - National Association of Black Journalists. 

Sharmyn Sutton

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., graduated with honors 3.55 GPA

Plans after Graduation: pursue a career in the human services field

My most memorable moment while at UM-Dearborn was my Reproductive Health Policy class with Dr. Lisa Martin (which was informative & enjoyable) and my proudest accomplishment is the wealth of knowledge that I obtained.

Gabrielle Tate

Master of Science in Engineering, Electrical Engineering

Cynthia Williams

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology

Plans after graduation: I plan to apply for a master’s program.

Monique Williams

Master of Science, Health Information Technology

Plans after graduation: I plan to continue a career path at a Michigan-based hospital where I would like to become a consultant.

I’m proud that my husband and I both were able to pursue our master’s degrees at the same time while working full time, managing our children’s schedules and volunteering in the community.

Vivian Williams

Master of Science, Criminology and Criminal Justice
Criminology and Criminal Justice Collective, Black Student Union, AKPsi, Women in Leadership and Learning, Active Minds

Plans after Graduation: Work with Non-profits and introduce a Restorative Justice based approach, Working for the Department of Health and Human Services.

My most memorable moments include making great friends with my brotherhood AKPsi, working with faculty, and Creating Community with Faculty and students even during Covid-19 and on Zoom. Proudest accomplishments are gaining the opportunity to work closely with amazing professors, surviving a pandemic and becoming a leader, and exploring professionalism with my Brothers at AKPsi.

Cieara Wilson

Bachelor of Arts, English

Plans after graduation: I plan to be an entrepreneur.

Denon Wilson

Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Studies
Graduated with a 3.0

Plans after Graduation: Find employment in the environmental field.

My most memorable moment was being accepted into the university and my proudest accomplishment was graduating. 

Office of Alumni Engagement

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