CASL to recognize Chancellor's Medallion recipients, December 2018

November 29, 2018

The College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters will recognize two Chancellor's Medallion recipients during the university's commencement ceremony on December 15.

Con Lustig and Majd Faraj will be recognized as CASL's two Chancellor's Medallion recipients during the university's commencement ceremony on December 15. Each commencement, faculty choose Chancellor's Medallion recipients based on academic records, quality of character, vitality, intellect and integrity.

CASL student Courtney Grove-Dyer and alumna Gay Johnson ('17 BA) will speak at the ceremony. Economics alumna Emily Kolinski Morris ('90 BA) will give the commencement address.


Con Lustig graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in art history (with a museum studies concentration) and journalism and screen studies (with a screen studies concentration). He maintained a 3.94 GPA during his college tenure. Since 2014, Mr. Lustig has been on the Dean’s List every semester. He earned UM-Dearborn Honors in 2018.

Mr. Lustig’s high academic achievements include earning a dual Honors Scholar Award in 2018 from both Art History and Journalism and Screen Studies. On campus, he has been active in the Art History Association, working to expand interest in the field of art history across the university and beyond. 

In 2016, he expanded knowledge in museum studies with an internship at the Wyandotte Historical Museum. There, Mr. Lustig offered tours, digitized donation records and assisted with events demonstrating. He also produced and directed a 30-minute episode of the UM-Dearborn-based news magazine Michigan Crossroads, which focuses on metro Detroit artists and galleries. The program will run next semester on Dearborn Community Cable.

Off campus, Mr. Lustig works at a seasonal greenhouse. Year-round, he is active as a freelance artist and graphic designer in support of small business owners. In his sparse free time, Mr. Lustig volunteers at the Polish Legion of American Vets Post 7 in Wyandotte.

After graduation, Mr. Lustig hopes to gain work experience before returning to college for a master’s degree or Ph.D. in one of his chosen fields.


Majd Faraj will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences, graduating with High Distinction. Since transferring to UM-Dearborn from Oakland Community College, he has been named to the Dean’s List every semester, earned University Honors in the Winter 2017 term and was awarded a SURE Undergraduate Research Fellowship. He was awarded the Distinguished Research Award in Biology by the Natural Sciences Department during the Winter 2018 term. Mr. Faraj has maintained a 4.0 GPA through his entire academic career at UM-Dearborn.

Mr. Faraj has been very active in conducting research while at UM-Dearborn. Since 2017, he has been involved in studies of the reproductive ecology of spiders in the laboratory of Associate Professor Anne Danielson-Francois, researching the role of pheromone cues on mating behavior. He presented the results of this work at two national meetings in 2018: the Animal Behavior Society (ABS) meeting in Milwaukee, Wis., and the American Arachnological Society (AAS) meeting in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He also served as a volunteer organizer at the AAS meeting. This research currently is being prepared for publication.

Mr. Faraj also worked with Research Assistant Professor Chris Alteri through the U-M Medical School in Summer 2018, researching secretion systems in infection-causing Proteus mirabilis bacteria. The results of this research have been presented at the Microbiology and Immunology Undergraduate Research Symposium in Ann Arbor.

Outside of the laboratory, Mr. Faraj has served as a tutor through the Office of Student Success and as a supplemental instruction (SI) leader for organic chemistry courses. SI leaders provide other students with peer options for receiving instruction outside of normal class times through the Science Learning Center. He founded and currently serves as president of a student organization that promotes undergraduate research, and volunteers on the Disaster Action Team with the American Red Cross.

Upon graduation, Mr. Faraj intends to begin his medical studies in Fall 2019.


Courtney Grove-Dyer will graduate with a Bachelor of General Studies degree, with concentrations in leadership and communication in organizations, African and African American studies, and management. Ms. Grove-Dyer is a recipient of the Fast FOURward Scholarship and the Kochoff Pathway to Success Scholarship.

Ms. Grove-Dyer returned to college after a break in her studies. The SOAR (Support, Opportunities, Advocacy and Resources) Program for returning adult students helped her with this transition and with balancing life with her educational goals. She also is a member of the Women in Learning and Leadership (WILL) Program, a program for undergraduate students that integrates Women’s and Gender Studies curriculum with leadership opportunities outside of the classroom.

Ms. Grove-Dyer co-authored a presentation at the May 2018 Meeting of Minds research event titled “Unsung Heroes: African American Women’s Leadership in the Era before Civil Rights.” She also participated in the university’s 2018 Celebrating Donors event by presenting a poster on this same research project. Earlier this semester, her Black Suffrage Research Project (a bibliography of Laura A. Westbrook) was published in The Black Suffragists Collection.

During Summer 2018, Ms. Grove-Dyer interned in the UM-Dearborn Office of Metropolitan Impact as a grant writer and was named Intern of the Year for 2018. She recently founded Detroit Power Detroit, Inc., a nonprofit organization aiming to enhance the overall quality of life for minority women in the Detroit community.

After graduation, Ms. Grove-Dyer plans to continue building her nonprofit organization and will apply to law school to study public law.


CASL Economics Alumna Emily Kolinski Morris ('90 BA) will give the commencement address.

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