Honored for excellence: UM-Dearborn recognizes five graduates for academic record and character

5/2/2016

University of Michigan-Dearborn recognized five students as Chancellor’s Medallion recipients and one student speaker during the university’s commencement ceremonies May 1.

Chancellor’s Medallion recipients are recognized for their academic record, quality of character, vitality, intellect, and integrity.

College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Medallion Recipient

Hina Haider earned with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a secondary teaching certification in social studies and history, graduating with High Distinction. Haider maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Her many academic honors include making the Dean’s List every semester, earning University Honors six consecutive semesters, being named a James B. Angell Scholar three times, and being selected as the History Honors Scholar for 2016.

Haider was awarded a University of Michigan-Dearborn Chancellor’s Scholarship and a scholarship from the Ford Motor Company.

Haider completed a thesis titled “The Detroit Race Riots of 1967” for History 4999, the senior research seminar course. In addition to course work, she completed several student teaching assignments and was active in the Muslim Students Association and She’s The First student organization. She volunteers at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and for the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs.

Haider plans to teach at the middle school or high school level upon graduation, attend graduate school and eventually pursue a career as a college professor.

College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Medallion Recipient

Jessica Snow received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, graduating with High Distinction. She has earned University Honors three times, has been named to the Dean’s List four times and was recognized as a James B. Angell Scholar in 2014 and 2016. Snow was the recipient of a Freshman Chemistry award in 2015 and is the 2016 Biology Honors Scholar.

Since transferring to UM-Dearborn at the start of the Winter 2013 semester, Snow has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA. Several faculty members who have taught her have singled her out as a “once-in-a-decade” student and have utilized her graded work as examples to be followed by other students.

Outside the classroom, Snow has been active on campus in several capacities, including as an undergraduate researcher and as a greenhouse assistant. Her research experience came as a volunteer in the laboratory of Associate Professor Anne Danielson-Francois, contributing to a study of sexual selection in Tetragnatha spiders that is currently being readied for publication. As a greenhouse assistant, Snow has been responsible for maintaining a plant collection that is used for teaching numerous courses in ecology and plant biology. The greenhouse supervisor, Donald Miller, has cited Snow as the best greenhouse assistant he has had. She also has done extensive work with special-needs students as an art instructor.

After graduation, Snow intends to continue her involvement as a member of the UM-Dearborn community. She will begin work at UM-Dearborn’s Environmental Interpretive Center, leading youth educational programs. She plans to pursue graduate studies in ecology or environmental biology.

College of Business Medallion Recipient

Matthew Piotrowski received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with majors in accounting and finance, and graduated with High Distinction. He has been named a James B. Angell Scholar twice and received the William J. Branstrom Prize. He has earned University Honors seven times and has made the Dean’s List every fall and winter term since he began in fall 2012.

He is a recipient of the Chancellor’s Scholarship and the Financial Executives International Award. He also was named a 2016 University of Michigan-Dearborn Difference Maker. Nominated by faculty and staff, Difference Maker recipients are recognized for academic achievement, integrity, leadership, and creative contribution in and out of the classroom.

Piotrowski has gained valuable experience while completing two internships. He participated in the College of Business Internship Program, working at UHY LLP as a tax intern. He also completed an internship at Ernst & Young as an assurance intern.

An active member of the campus community, Piotrowski serves as the president of the Beta Alpha Psi fraternity and has worked as a grader for Accounting Professor Bruce Bublitz since the fall 2015 term. He also has volunteered with Junior Achievement and VITA, which provides tax assistance to low-income individuals and families. According to one of Piotrowski’s recommenders, his volunteer hours with VITA are the highest among UM-Dearborn students.

Piotrowski will work as an assurance staff member at Ernst & Young and plans to sit for the CPA exam in the near future.

College of Education, Health, and Human Services Medallion Recipient

Abeer Yassine has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in health policy, with an individualized track in pre-public health. She graduates with High Distinction. She has been on the Dean’s List each year from 2012-2015 and earned University Honors in Fall 2012. Yassine is a recipient of the Lebanese American Heritage Club Scholarship, the Barnes and Noble Scholarship and the Student Government Scholarship.

An active member of UM-Dearborn’s Student Government, Yassine has served as a senator, director of clubs and organizations, and speaker of the senate. She also served as president of the Student Organization Advisory Council and was a member of the Public Health Student Society and the Lebanese Student Association. Off campus, she tutors students and volunteers at a health clinic in the local community.

Yassine’s ultimate goal is to build healthier communities. She interned at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, where she worked on a project involving community health organizations and the implementation of health information technology to improve, coordinate and integrate care for patients. She also conducted research and analysis to determine key differences in policies between France and the U.S. that hinder or contribute to obesity and wrote a proposal to help find a solution to Michigan’s growing childhood obesity epidemic.

She was named a UM-Dearborn Difference Maker in 2015. Nominated by faculty and staff, Difference Maker recipients are recognized for academic achievement, integrity, leadership, and creative contribution in and out of the classroom.

Yassine has been accepted into University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, where she will seek a Master of Management degree. She plans to work in health care administration and find new approaches to improving patient care.

College of Engineering and Computer Science Medallion Recipient

Brandon Schwartz will receive a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) degree in mechanical engineering and a minor in economics. He graduates with High Distinction. Schwartz is a recipient of the Maize and Blue Scholarship and the Engineering Co-Op Travel Scholarship. He was awarded University Honors six times and has been named to the College of Engineering and Computer Science Dean’s List eight times.

Mechanical engineering faculty describe Schwartz as an excellent student and speak highly of his scholarly performance in the classroom. For his senior design project, he worked with two other students to design a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV). As described by Professor Alan Argento, the project utilized an ideal blend of concept, analysis, design and test to produce a perfectly functioning device. The project now is being continued by a new team with the intent of entering it in the 2016 International ROV Competition at the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab.

Schwartz has completed two cooperative education assignments as an engineering student—one at General Electric in Louisville, Ky., and one at Fives Cinetic Automation in Farmington Hills, Mich. He earned excellent ratings on his student performance evaluations in both positions, with employers commenting favorably on his enthusiasm, technical skills and capabilities, and his ability to perform tasks independently.

Tony DeLaRosa, assistant director of CECS experiential learning, worked closely with Schwartz during his undergraduate career and speaks highly of his work ethic and professionalism. “For me, it’s been good to see the growth of his professional skills during the course of both of his co-op rotations. He has a bright career ahead of him,” said DeLaRosa.

Student Speaker

Bradley Pischea earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in criminal justice and political science. He graduated with Distinction. Pischea is a recipient of the William J. Branstrom Prize and earned placement on the Dean’s List three times. He also earned University Honors three times. He is a recipient of the Public Affairs Internship Scholarship and the UM-Dearborn Student Government Scholarship.

An active member of the campus community since his freshman year, Pichea worked with a student team on the leasing process for the new campus housing complex, The Union at Dearborn. Soon afterward, he joined Student Government and the Student Activities Board. His student government roles developed during his college career; he has served as a senator, director of clubs and organizations, vice president and president.

Pischea has represented the student perspective of UM-Dearborn on many occasions, ranging from addressing incoming students at the New Student Convocation, presenting to the U-M Board of Regents, and meeting with state legislators in Lansing.

Pischea works on campus for the Department of Public Safety as an office assistant and dispatcher. He also has completed an internship with the Detroit Police Department and worked for the Westland Police Department.

Pischea was recently named a 2016 UM-Dearborn Difference Maker. Nominated by faculty and staff, Difference Maker recipients are recognized for academic achievement, integrity, leadership, and creative contribution in and out of the classroom.

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