Students honored as commencement speaker, Chancellor's Medallion winners

1/18/2011

A business student was honored as a speaker, and five other students as Chancellor's Medallion winners, at University of Michigan-Dearborn's commencement ceremony on Dec. 18.

James T. Shannon, who received his Master of Business Administration at the ceremony, spoke to fellow graduates about the timeless benefit of lifelong learning, the importance of being stewards of UM-Dearborn's Metropolitan Vision and being leaders and citizens who challenge the present and enrich the future through service to others. Shannon has served Sprint PCS in various marketing and sales positions for the past 12 years and was recently named consumer sales operations manager for its twelve-state Midwest Region. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and public relations from UM-Dearborn in December of 1998.

Jessica Turner received the Chancellor's Medallion award in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, where she graduated with high distinction with two degrees, a B.S.E. in electrical engineering and B.S.E. in computer engineering. Turner, who had a cumulative GPA of 4.0 and earned an A+ in 15 courses, was on the Dean's List eight times, received the William J. Branstrom Prize in 2007, was a James B. Angell Scholar three years in a row, is an eight-time University Honors recipient and a recipient of numerous scholarships. In 2009, Turner was chosen Student Engineer of the Year by the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers, the same year she was named one of 50 Difference Makers selected by UM-Dearborn during its 50th anniversary celebration. Turner did two summer rotations as a dynamics simulation intern in the Simulation and Robotics Branch at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Turner plans to move to the east coast to accept a position with the Department of Defense.

Ashley VanSteelandt received the Chancellor's Medallion award in the School of Education where she graduated with high distinction as a social studies major, earning a bachelor's degree with a specialization in elementary certification and an elementary teaching certificate. She is a recipient of the Distinguished Student Leader Scholarship and the Michigan Merit Scholarship and earned a place on the Dean's List seven times. VanSteelandt is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, the Pi Lambda Theta International Honor Society and Professional Association in Education, and the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society. VanSteelandt worked with School of Education lecturer Laura Woodruff on an independent research project regarding how the number of student teachers in Michigan school districts affects elementary students' performance. Also, she was instrumental in encouraging the English discipline in CASL to create a new Asian/Asian American literature class. VanSteelandt plans to continue her studies to earn a Masters of Arts in education with a focus on becoming a reading specialist as well as earn an English as a Second Language (ESL) Endorsement.

Margo Souchock received the Chancellor's Medallion award in the College of Business where she graduated with high distinction, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in financial accounting and reporting. Souchock has been included consistently on the Dean's List since enrolling at UM-Dearborn during the Fall 2006 term. She has received University Honors in 2006 and 2007, the William J. Branstrom Prize in 2007 and the James B. Angell Scholar in 2008. In addition, she has been the proud beneficiary of numerous scholarships, including the Distinguished Student Leader Scholarship, the Dr. Nancy Foran Endowed Scholarship and the Michigan Association of CPAs Scholarship. Souchock is a member of both Beta Gamma Sigma (the accounting and finance honor society) and Golden Key International Honor Society. During the summer of 2008 and 2009, Souchock completed two internships at General Motors in Audit Services-Business Services and Global Financial Services-Internal Controls. She is enrolled in her first two courses in the Master of Science in Accounting program at UM-Dearborn and plans to complete two additional internships at Masco and Deloitte in the winter 2011 and 2012 terms while she is studying to take the CPA exam.

Emily Shafer received the Chancellor's Medallion award in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters where she graduated with high distinction, earning a bachelor's degree in both history and American studies. Ms. Shafer received twelve A+ grades in her course of study and graduated with a perfect 4.00 cumulative GPA. A graduate of UM-D's Honors Program, Shafer also was the recipient of numerous academic awards and scholarships including the William J. Branstrom Prize, the Chancellor's Scholarship, and the John J. Brownfain Endowed Honors Program Memorial Scholarship. A consistent presence on the CASL Dean's List, Shafer was designated a James B. Angell scholar three times and received University Honors six semesters in a row. She also was a member of Phi Alpha Theta and the Golden Key International Honor Society. Shafer also participated in two internships: one at the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk, Maine and a second at the Henry Ford Estate. Additionally, she worked throughout her undergraduate years as a historical interpreter at The Henry Ford. Shafer is enrolled in the graduate program in history and museum studies at Tufts University where she is pursuing a master's degree. Her post-graduation plans include a career in the field of public history and museum work.

Joelle Ann Primeau received the Chancellor's Medallion award in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters where she graduated with high distinction, earning a bachelor's degree in both psychology and women's and gender studies. She earned University Honors three times, and in 2010 was named a John B. Angell Scholar. She is a recipient of the William and Alice Jenkins Memorial Scholarship, the General Merit Scholarship, and the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber Scholarship Award and Renewal. In 2009 Primeau was named one of 50 Difference Makers, selected by UM-Dearborn during its 50th anniversary celebration. During her time at UM-Dearborn, Primeau was a member of Women in Learning and Leadership (WILL), a program encompassing both a co-curricular component and community involvement where she helped to organize self-defense workshops and the campus's Take Back the Night event, and served as a liaison between WILL and Vista Maria-a local nonprofit organization serving girls, women, and their families. After participating in UM-Dearborn's Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program with Professor Lora Lempert, Primeau sought additional opportunities to work with inmates. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology, law or public policy to assist survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as advocate for prisoners' rights.

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