Join us for the Alumni Engagement Speaker Series, featuring UM-Dearborn alumni and faculty presenters!  Hear about topics ranging from the latest construction update on the Engineering Lab Building, factors shaping Election 2020 and a Muslim gravestones tour in Southeast Michigan.

Check back each day from Monday, October 19 through Friday, October 23 for the launch of a new video speaker. 

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

Monday, October 19 - Engineering our Future: An Update on the New Engineering Lab Building

Ghassan Kridli, Interim Dean College of Engineering and Computer Science
Emily Hamilton, Facilities Operations Senior Construction Project Manager
Eric Kirk, College of Engineering and Computer Science Director of Facilities and Laboratory Safety

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) Interim 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. 

View the presentation here or click on the video below 
Video Length: 19:53

Speakers' Bios: 
Ghassan T. Kridli is the interim Dean at the College of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan-Dearborn. His research focuses on the application of fundamental engineering knowledge in the design and manufacture of sheet metal products of lightweight alloys. Ghassan’s research has significant industrial applicability and includes mechanical and metallurgical characterization of light alloys coupled with numerical models for predicting the material formability.

Ghassan’s experience includes significant work in program assessment for continuous improvement and in curriculum development. His work involves developing strategies for student success as well as exploring effective pedagogical practices in engineering education. Ghassan is collaborating with other STEM faculty at UM-Dearborn to develop educational programs to prepare K-12 teachers to present engineering in an integrated STEM curriculum.

Ghassan received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Miami in 1986 and 1988, respectively, and his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in 1997. Since then he has been a faculty member in the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering department at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. 

Emily Hamilton is a Senior Construction Project Manager with UM-Dearborn Facilities Operations.  She graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer with over 20 years of experience in design and construction project management.  Emily spent many years working for general contractors and construction management firms, and has been with UM-Dearborn Facilities Operations since 2009

Eric Kirk is Director of Facilities and Laboratory Safety for the UM-Dearborn College of Engineering & Computer Science. He has 27 years experience at the University of Michigan in Engineering & Facilities Operations. Eric spent 19 years working for UM Ann Arbor from Aerospace Engineering to Facilities operations before working in his role on the Dearborn campus for the last 8 years.

Tuesday, October 20 - Muslim Gravestones in Southeast Michigan: A Study in Diversity

Ron Stockton
, Professor of Political Science - College of Arts, Sciences, & Letters

Presentation Summary:
University of Michigan-Dearborn Professor 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. 

View the presentation here or click on the video below 
Video Length: 50:32

Speaker's Bio:
Ron Stockton is a Professor of Political Science and a Research Associate at the University of Michigan Center for Middle East and North African Studies. He is the author or co-author of  five books. He was one of two Principal Investigators on the Detroit Arab American Study, a landmark  public opinion study of a representative sample of 1,016 Arab Americans and Chaldeans in southeast Michigan. He has been published in Public Opinion Quarterly, Middle East Journal, Middle East Policy, Journal of Palestine Studies,  Armenian Review,  Michigan Academician, PS: Teaching and Political Science, Journal of the Illinois Historical Society, and  Michigan Historical Review. In addition to local media outlets, he has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, CBS,  Al Jazeera and BBC’s Four More channel. He was in the feature-length documentary film on Fordson High School, Faith, Fasting, and Football. The university has awarded him its Distinguished Service Award, its Distinguished Teaching Award, and its Distinguished Research Award.

Wednesday, October 21 - COVID-19; Racial Strife; SCOTUS and other factors Shaping Election 2020.

Eric Ham
, '95 B.A.

Presentation Summary: 
Political analyst and UM-Dearborn alum, Eric Ham, 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.

View the presentation here or click on the video below 
Video Length: 14:53

Speaker's Bio:  
Eric Ham is co-creator, executive producer and an unabashed PJ on The Political JUNKIES and for the Political JUNKIES! EMPOWERMENT SUMMITS.

A political analyst for the BBC, Comcast’s Sky UK and Sky News Arabia, Ham has been a host of ‘The Midday Briefing’ on SiriusXM’s POTUS Channel and is a Washington correspondent for the Associated Press. He has written for The Hill, contributed to CNN analyzing politics and foreign affairs and is the Washington correspondent for Arise News.

A Capitol Hill insider, Ham is a former senior staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and was director of congressional relations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

A leading scholar on geopolitical affairs, Ham was staff director for the Joint Experts’ Statement on Iran at the 3D Security Initiative. He also worked with former CIA and NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden at the Fragile States Strategy Group in Washington.

With The Political JUNKIES! co-creator Rick Blalock, he wrote the Amazon bestseller The GOP Civil War: Inside the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party.

Ham earned his undergraduate degree in political science at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and holds a Master of Public Policy Degree from the University of Chicago. He and his wife reside in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, October 22 - Fighting AI with AI: Debunking Deepfakes and Shallowfakes

Hafiz Malik, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science

Presentation Summary:
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.

View the presentation here or click on the video below 
Video Length: 30:03

Speaker's Bio:
Hafiz Malik is Associate Processor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at University of Michigan – Dearborn. His research in cybersecurity,  multimedia forensics, information security, wireless sensor networks, steganography/steganalysis, pattern recognition, information fusion, and biometric security is funded by the National Academies, National Science Foundation and other agencies. He has published more than 70 papers in leading journals, conferences, and workshops. He is serving as Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security since August 2014 and for the Springer Journal of Signal, Image, and Video Processing (SIVP) May 2013 – present. He is also on the Review Board Committee of IEEE Technical Committee on Multimedia Communications (MMTC). He organized Special Track on Doctoral Dissertation in Multimedia, in the 6th IEEE International Symposium on Multimedia (ISM) 2006. He is also organizing a special session on “Data Mining in Industrial Applications” within the IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence (IEEE SSCI) 2013.  He is serving as vice chair of IEEE SEM, Chapter 16 since 2011. He is also serving on several technical program committees, including the IEEE AVSS, ICME ICIP, MINES, ISPA, CCNC, ICASSP, and ICC. He is a senior IEEE member.

Friday, October 23 - Henry Ford II And The University of Michigan: How University of Michigan-Dearborn Came To Be

Tim Kiska, Associate Professor of Communication - College of Arts, Sciences, & Letters

Presentation Summary:
University of Michigan-Dearborn Professor Tim Kiska traces how a piece of Henry Ford's old property became a college campus.

View the presentation here or click the video below. 
Video length: 5:39

Speaker's Bio:
Tim Kiska is an associate professor in the University of Michigan-Dearborn Language, Culture, and Communication Department. He was a longtime newsman with the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News before joining the University of Michigan-Dearborn faculty as a journalism professor. He is also the executive producer of The Detroit History Podcast.

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