Medallion Awards recognize student achievements

April 19, 2023

These university awards are given to a select group of UM-Dearborn's top graduates — with one of those students receiving the Chancellor's Medallion. Here are the CECS and COB recipients.

 Chancellor Grasso speaks with students at Commencement.
Chancellor Grasso speaks with students at Commencement.

College is much more than earning a grade — it’s learning how to do research, getting out into the community to make a difference and using your education to aid others in learning.

Chosen by faculty from their respective colleges, graduates who are outstanding leaders are recognized with a Dean’s Medallion or a Chancellor’s Medallion. Three medallions recipients are awarded per college — with one of those students receiving the Chancellor’s Medallion. Students will be honored at the April 30 Commencement ceremonies.

Here are UM-Dearborn’s College of Business and College of Engineering & Computer Science recipients, including the Chancellor’s Medallion winner who is a CECS Class of 2023 graduate. 

The awardees from the College of Arts, Sciences, & Letters and the College of Education, Health, & Human Services were shared on the UM-Dearborn news site on Tuesday.

Chancellor Medallion recipient Shouryan Nitin Nikam, College of Engineering and Computer Science

Nitin Nikam

Shouryan Nitin Nikam is graduating with a dual Bachelor of Science in computer and information science and in cybersecurity and information assurance. He has received  numerous honors, including the William J. Branstrom Prize, the (M)Talent distinction and the James B. Angell Scholar award for seven semesters. He also received the Tuition Differential Scholarship and the Metropolitan Scholarship. He earned university honors seven times and appeared on the Dean’s List every semester of his college career. 

Shouryan has received several competitive awards, including the Ford SAE Mobility Forward AI  Challenge (3rd place), UM-Dearborn Policy Pitch Competition (2nd place), the Annual Student  Leadership Awards’ Unsung Hero award, the Honor Scholars award in computer and information science and data science, Stellantis Hackathon award (1st place), SpartaHack Hackathon award (Most Creative Hack and Best Use of Auth0), and the UM-Dearborn Business Idea Pitch Competition 2023 award (1st place).

Shouryan is engaged in several extracurricular activities and student organizations. He is the founder of Hack Dearborn, the first large hackathon at UM-Dearborn, with six sponsoring companies, tens of thousands of dollars in budget and 470-plus registrations from students across Michigan, Ohio, Ontario and beyond.

He is founder and president of the Google Developer Student Club, which has grown to become the university’s second-largest engineering club with more than 180 members. He is also a member of the SAE Formula Electric Racing Team and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Shouryan participated in the SURE undergraduate research program in the summer of 2021, served as an undergraduate teaching assistant and worked as a supplemental instructor lead. He also worked as a student life paraprofessional at the Office of Student Life, including with the CRUISE program, the Wolverine Mentor Collective and the Student Food Pantry. 

Shouryan had two internships at Tektronix (summer 2022) and Epitec (winter 2023) and will return to Tektronix as a full-time software engineer after graduation.

Alicia Bondar, College of Engineering and Computer Science

Alicia Bondar

Alicia Bondar is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in mechanical and  bioengineering. Her academic honors include the Dean’s Scholarship, the 2023 James B. Angell Scholar award, the 2022 Honors Scholar award in BEME and the 2019 Norma Agnew Michigan 4-H Memorial Horse Judging Scholarship. She also earned university honors four times and was on the Dean’s List seven times.

While at UM-Dearborn, Alicia participated in multiple on-campus organizations, including Pi Tau Sigma, the international honor society for mechanical engineers, for which she has held the  positions of president, vice president and corresponding secretary. She is also a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, and has held the positions of treasurer, media coordinator and corresponding secretary, in addition to being a volunteer tutor for advanced-level undergraduate bioengineering/mechanical engineering courses for the past two semesters.

She has been involved for more than four years with her sorority, Delta  Phi Epsilon, and has aided with annual fundraisers for ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) and participated in the Walk for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She also assisted women in finding resources for academic help and developing healthy and efficient study habits. Outside of school, Alicia is a 4-H co-leader and member of P.E.O., an organization that supports women through the furthering of  education.

Alicia completed two internships at DTE Energy on the Peaking Operations and Administration team, which works to  support the energy grid capacity during “peak” times of the day. Some roles in her position included working with contractors  to repair and optimize unit function, and calculating the expected megawatt output according to ambient temperature and  environmental regulations. In addition, Alicia kept track of and studied each of the team’s units max megawatt output during  every run, allowing the company to predict max load performance in the case of a MISO Hot Weather Emergency.

After graduation, Alicia plans to return to UM-Dearborn to pursue an MBA in finance and will begin working full time at  DTE Energy as an optimization engineer on their Generation Optimization team.

James Eichelberger, College of Engineering and Computer Science

Photo of CECS Medallion winner James Eichelberger

James Eichelberger is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering with a  concurrent degree in engineering mathematics. He is the recipient of  the Metropolitan Scholarship, a Henry Patton  Scholarship and the Michigan Competitive Scholarship. He has earned university honors and appeared on the Dean’s List all eight semesters. 

Outside the classroom, James is the president of UM-Dearborn’s Swing Dearborn club, where he helps all people learn to swing dance and provides an outlet for relieving school-related stress. Throughout his college career, he has competed in local Ninja Warrior competitions, an obstacle course that requires physical and mental endurance. He also plays soccer in an intramural soccer club.

James teaches and plays all forms of guitar and serves weekly in the worship band at a Spanish-speaking Latin American church. James’ additional  involvements include the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society and the National Society of Leadership and Success.  

James’ first internship was at an international mechatronics control systems company, where he overhauled the company’s inventory management system. He also tested printed circuit boards and completed a large software project. To diversify his experience, James took a second internship at a global semiconductor company, where he developed a Labview program and a demonstration unit that uses lasers for LiDAR applications. 

James has accepted a job in the aerospace industry and plans on pursuing his master’s degree.

Rachel Gunder, College of Business

Photo of COB Medallion recipient Rachel Gunder

Rachel Gunder is receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration, dual majoring in accounting and information systems management. Rachel is a recipient of the Nancy J. Foran Endowed Memorial Scholarship, was on the Dean’s List multiple semesters and is a member of the  international business honors society Beta Gamma Sigma.

Rachel was engaged in activities both on and off campus during her time at UM-Dearborn. She  served as vice president of UM-Dearborn’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an international honors society for financial information students and professionals. In this role, she coordinated with partnering firms and led the chapter’s philanthropic efforts. She has led numerous service events, including volunteering at Gleaners Food Bank, sending cards to children in hospitals through Cardz for Kidz, and making and donating fleece tie blankets.

Rachel was also invited to participate in Ernst & Young’s Women in Audit virtual series and has volunteered as a tutor for students of all grade levels. Rachel worked at Ernst & Young as an international tax and transaction service intern, where she was awarded a verified achievement in data integration and worked toward her goal of utilizing new technology to innovate in the business world. As a supplemental instructor at UM-Dearborn, Rachel facilitated the understanding of difficult courses and was praised by  students for her dedication.

Rachel will be attending the Ross School of Business at UM-Ann Arbor to pursue a Master of Science in accounting and become a certified practicing accountant. In fall 2024, she will begin working full time at Ernst & Young as part of  the International Tax and Transactions Services team.


Jonathan Westemeier, College of Business

Photo of COB graduate Jon Westemeier

Jonathan Westemeier is receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration in supply chain management. A recipient of the Destination Blue Scholarship and the Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Scholarship, Jonathan has been on the Dean’s List multiple times and has been inducted into  the international business honors society Beta Gamma Sigma. 

Jonathan has engaged in multiple campus opportunities during his time at UM-Dearborn. He is a member of the Supply Chain Association and was a member of UM-Dearborn’s inaugural ERPsim team, which focuses on enterprise resource planning. The team competed virtually in the 2022 ERPsim North American Competition and placed seventh. Jonathan is also part of the 2023 UM-Dearborn National Undergraduate Supply Chain team and has gone through extensive training to prepare for this year’s National Undergraduate Supply Chain competition.

Jonathan was invited to join the UM-Dearborn DTE E-Challenge team, a cross-disciplinary team of students and faculty from all four colleges of the university. The team worked towards reducing the campus’ energy footprint by utilizing artificial intelligence and behavioral economics. Representing the College of Business, Jonathan took charge of cleaning up data and performing data analyses.

Jonathan has also worked extensively with Ford Motor Company. He began as a warehouse associate before accepting an internship in the Parts Supply & Logistics division. After graduation, Jonathan will be working at Ford Motor Company through their Ford College Graduate Program, where he will spend 18 months in a supply chain role and 18 months at one  of the parts depots.


Colin Young, College of Business

Photo of COB Medallion recipient Colin Young

Colin Young is receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration in information systems management. He was the recipient of the Maize Scholarship, the Victor J. Streeter Endowed  Management Information Systems Scholarship and was recognized as a James B. Angell Scholar twice. He was on the Dean’s List multiple semesters and earned an invitation to join the international business honors society Beta Gamma Sigma.

Colin has a strong passion for IT management and started his own business in 2019 after years of providing technical support to friends and family. In 2021, Colin incorporated his business as CCY Technologies, LLC, and has significantly expanded his customer base through client referrals and his wide range of services.

Colin has further demonstrated his skills in his information systems development course, which involved a semester-long team project to design a new database system to streamline inventory and payment tracking for a fictional company. As volunteer service, Colin provides free IT support to a group of senior citizens who are on a fixed income. He also participates annually in the Salvation Army’s gift drive for financially disadvantaged children by sponsoring a family to  help them enjoy the holiday. 

Following graduation, Colin plans to dedicate more time to the development and growth of CCY Technologies and earn certifications for CompTIA Network+, Cisco CCNA and Cisco Meraki Solutions Specialist.