As we enter April, we begin approaching this spring’s commencement season, which will again allow us the opportunity to celebrate our UM-Dearborn graduates. This spring, Dearborn Mayor and UM-Dearborn alumnus Abdullah Hammoud will serve as the commencement speaker. The student speaker will be Halle Mancuso, CECS senior, who is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering. Chancellor Domenico Grasso and Interim Provost Gabriella Scarlatta will also speak to graduates.
The three ceremonies will occur April 30, at 11:00 a.m. for all graduate and doctoral degrees (all colleges), at 2:00 p.m. for College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters and College of Education, Health, and Human Services (undergraduates), and at 5:00 p.m. for College of Business and College of Engineering and Computer Science (undergraduates). The ceremonies will also be shown on Facebook Live through the university Facebook account.
Abdullah Hammoud (‘10 BS, ‘12 MPH (U-M), ‘19 MBA (U-M)), Mayor of Dearborn
The proud son of immigrant parents, Mayor Abdullah Hammoud has been an unwavering advocate for his hometown of Dearborn for more than a decade. As mayor, he is committed to reinventing government to deliver results for working families and residents in every corner of the city.
Throughout his career, Mayor Hammoud has provided bold leadership for Michigan and Dearborn with a thoughtful, pragmatic approach to government that puts people first. As the city’s seventh mayor, that will include investing in infrastructure, improving public health and safety, and delivering quality services while lowering the tax burden on residents.
In three terms representing Dearborn in the Michigan House of Representatives, Mayor Hammoud has pushed for resources and shaped policy to improve quality of life and create a more resilient city. That work secured nearly $100 million in direct investment in transformational infrastructure projects such as the Miller-Rotunda Bridge. He remains committed to addressing Dearborn’s aging infrastructure while pursuing innovative solutions to mitigate chronic flooding and upgrade technology to improve the city’s operations.
His deep roots in environmental advocacy date back to his election as the youngest member for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters in 2014 where he fought to protect Michigan’s land, air, and water, and develop environmentally conscious policy. As State Representative, he rallied the community to hold polluters accountable and provided the blueprint for the current policy passed by City Council to improve Dearborn’s air quality.
Blending his background in epidemiology and finance, Mayor Hammoud has also served as a state and national health expert advising major health care systems, where he developed strategies to maximize revenue streams, create cost-saving strategies, and identify gaps in health care coverage. This included helping manage the $45 billion UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust Fund while at the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, as well as serving as the Vice Chair of Michigan’s $30 billion Health and Human Services Budget in the Michigan House of Representatives. As mayor, he will use this experience to help properly fund Dearborn’s pension system and maximize city revenue while creating cost-savings that provide tax relief.
A product of Dearborn Public Schools and three-time graduate of the University of Michigan, Mayor Hammoud believes in the transformative power of education. He has master’s degrees in business administration and public health from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and a bachelor’s of science in biological sciences from UM-Dearborn.
Halle Mancuso, College of Engineering and Computer Science
Halle Mancuso is receiving a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and is completing a post-graduate internship with Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Halle is a transfer student from Schoolcraft College, where she participated in numerous clubs and projects, and was employed as a lead tutor and mentor for the Learning Center.
She was also a keynote speaker at numerous professional development conferences, including her favorite, the STEAMzSchoolcraft 2021 Conference, where she presented on “Women as Leaders in STEAM Industries.” Her talk earned both the Best Presentation Award and People’s Choice Award at the conference.
During her time at UM-Dearborn, Halle joined in a successful effort to restart the Biomedical Engineering Society. She also spends time attending the Society of Women Engineers meetings and events. Her favorite academic classes were Associate Professor Joe Lo’s Biophotonics and Optic Metrology and Professor Alan Argento’s Senior Design course. Her senior design project was an engineered pediatric cardiac bio-patch for the advanced treatment of ventricular septal defect.
Halle is passionate about inspiring the next generation of STEM students and spends her free time volunteering at events such as Middle School Science Day. She is a person who loves to learn, inspire greatness and be a resource for others looking to gain professional and academic knowledge. She hopes to work for an advanced company in the pharmaceutical industry and be part of the next wave of the science and technological revolution.