Meet the CECS and CEHHS Medallion winners

November 27, 2023

Top UM-Dearborn graduates will be recognized at the Fall 2023 Commencement ceremonies.

Photo of CECS decorated mortar board at graduation

This commencement season, 12 Dearborn Wolverines are being recognized with the university’s top graduation honors. 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 Dec. 16 Commencement ceremonies.

Here are UM-Dearborn’s College of Engineering & Computer Science and College of Education, Health and Human Services recipients — including the Chancellor’s Medallion winner, who is a CEHHS Class of 2023 graduate. 

The awardees from the College of Arts, Sciences and Letters and the College of Business will be shared in Thursday’s Reporter.

Chancellor’s Medallion recipient 

Anisha Sharma

Anisha Sharma 
College of Education, Health and Human Services

An August 2023 graduate, Anisha Sharma completed her Bachelor of Science in health and human services with a pre-health professions concentration. Sharma, who’s applying to physician assistant programs, works as a medical assistant at Michigan Medicine and as a clinical research coordinator for the hematology/oncology department at Michigan Medicine.

Passionate about improving the health and well-being of the community, Sharma volunteers at Food Gatherers, a food bank and food rescue program in Washtenaw County. She also volunteers as a student dance teacher for Hindu Temple Rhythms and teaches classical dance to girls ages five to 12.

Sharma demonstrated leadership through her service and extracurricular activities, including serving as vice president of the South Asian Student Association, treasurer of the Pre-Health Professional Health Society and vice president of the Pre-PA Association, as well as a student leader for the Global Brigades organization on campus. 

She’s the recipient of several scholarships, including the Metropolitan Scholarship and the Mark DeCamp Scholarship, and she earned (M)Talent Distinction. Sharma participated in the Dearborn Discovery Core Study Abroad program to Gdansk, Poland in summer 2022.





Dean’s Medallion recipients

James Murphy O'Brien II

James Murphy O’Brien II
College of Education, Health and Human Services

James Murphy O’Brien is earning a Bachelor of Arts in science studies, with a minor in language arts and an elementary teaching certificate. O’Brien entered UM-Dearborn as a nontraditional student in his late 30s. Perseverance and resilience became a recurring theme in his education journey. Eight weeks after he started, the pandemic hit. Twelve weeks into his first semester he suffered a brain aneurysm and needed emergency surgery. Over the next year, he faced other medical concerns. Yet, in spite of everything, he maintained a steadfast commitment to educational achievements.

He’s certified to lead citizen-science campaigns through the NASA-sponsored GLOBE Program. O’Brien’s research projects include an action research project designed to increase students’ ability to collect and analyze real-world data of current weather conditions. O’Brien also created “The Four Spheres of Earth,” a Google classroom that includes hands-on science lessons for fifth grade students. 

For a fall 2023 internship, he worked in a fourth grade classroom at Amerman Elementary in Northville. For their culture night, O’Brien assisted with the planning and played the bagpipes, a childhood vocation that he resumed during his time at UM-Dearborn. Following his student teaching placement, O’Brien was offered a position as a full-time building substitute teacher. He plans to continue his UM-Dearborn education by pursuing a Master of Arts in educational technology.

In addition to Amerman Elementary, O’Brien worked with several southeastern Michigan schools. He volunteered as a robotics judge at Carlson High School, worked as a teacher’s assistant and tutor at St. Michael’s Catholic School in Livonia and served as a volunteer classroom assistant and reading tutor at Douglas Elementary in Garden City. O’Brien is the recipient of several scholarships, including the Kochoff Pathway to Success Scholarship, the Nancy Lemkie SOAR Scholarship, the CEHHS Get To Degree Scholarship and the Pi Lambda Theta Helen Gordon Memorial Scholarship. 

Jessica Woolley

Jessica Ann Woolley
College of Education, Health and Human Services

Jessica Ann Woolley is completing her Bachelor of Science in health and human services, with a human services concentration. As part of her coursework and research, Woolley worked with the Dearborn Department of Public Health to create a program plan to address inequitable tree coverage in the city of Dearborn. She’s also conducting a secondary analysis of Wayne County public school data, looking for correlation between economic disadvantage and academic performance.  

Outside of class, she served as a SOAR peer mentor, volunteered with Nowlin Elementary School PTA, Pack 1112 Cub Scouts and Troop 1104 Scouts BSA. Additionally, she was active in the Association of Nontraditional Students and a member of three honor societies: Phi Theta Kappa, Tau Sigma and Alpha Sigma Lambda.

Classmates and faculty appreciate how Wooley brought forward the perspective of a nontraditional student. As a returning adult learner who is the primary caregiver of her household, Woolley shared insight into some of the real-world applications of the theories and concepts introduced in her classes. Her experience working with and leading small nonprofit groups in her community also informed her academic projects.

She received several scholarships, including the Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Scholarship, the Slosberg and Sorscher Memorial Scholarship, the SOAR Tuition Scholarship, the William and Alice Jenkins Scholarship and the CEW+ Molly H. Dobson Scholarship. Woolley plans to work in local schools after graduation and begin working on a master of social work by fall 2024.

Photo of Daniel Conklin

Daniel Conklin 
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Daniel Conklin is receiving his Bachelor of Science in cybersecurity and information assurance with a concentration in cybersecurity and privacy. He was a recipient of the William J. Branstrom Freshman Prize, awarded to first-year University of Michigan students across all three campuses who rank in the top five percent of their class.

Conklin completed several internships, including at 1-800-Hansons and the Paslin Company. He also obtained several industry certificates including CompTIA Network+, Cloud+ and Server+. 

Following graduation, he plans to work as a network engineer.

Photo of Chau Pham

Chau Pham
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Chau Pham is earning a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in electrical and computer engineering. Pham completed an internship at Automatic Handling International in summer 2021. A second internship, at Pilz Automation Safety in summer 2022, led to a full-time position as a technical support engineer.

During her time at UM-Dearborn, Pham worked to support her peers. She served as a supplemental Instruction leader and as a private tutor on campus. Her commitment to giving back is further demonstrated by her volunteer work at the Open Door Ministries Food Bank.

Pham plans to continue her work at Pilz as a control engineer and is considering continuing her education through graduate school.

Photo of Jonathan Schall

Jonathan Schall 
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Jonathan Schall is completing his Bachelor of Science in computer and information science with a computer science concentration. Schall is a motivated student with strong problem-solving and engineering skills. He, along with other members of his team, won the Best Project Award Senior Design I for their senior design project titled “Sky Socket.” 

He also worked as a research assistant under the supervision of Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Science Zheng Song for a project on drone-car collaboration. He explored the accuracy and resource consumption of various machine learning models for object detection and trained a customized machine learning model with over 700 images collected from the usage scenario. Drawing on the results of the research, Schall co-authored two papers with his adviser and other students. These were published and presented at two international conferences, IEEE MOST 2023 and IEEE ITSC 2023.

He plans to pursue a software developer job in Michigan after graduation.