A Message of Gratitude and Optimism

September 10, 2021

There is great news to report as we begin the Fall semester.   

Dear Colleagues,

I am proud of our campus community; we have responded to the call to comply with the university’s COVID vaccination policy in a big way. I am grateful for everyone’s efforts to keep our community safe while delivering our hallmark UM-Dearborn education and activities. Just prior to the start of the semester our total student vaccination rate was under 40%, today it is nearly 70% with the student in-person rate at 77% and climbing. Our faculty and staff rates have averaged around 80%. There continues to be a flurry of activity to upload and validate vaccination records or complete the exemption process. We also have not had any negative reports regarding our university-wide mask mandate.   

As I walked around campus this week, I was amazed and heartened by the effort of our staff and faculty. Their jobs involved checking health screens, directing students to appropriate venues, reviewing exemption requests and managing the testing and vaccination center. Nearly 100 staff and faculty volunteered long hours to execute new policies and procedures. I have listed many of the individuals by name below.  If you see them on campus, please thank them or just drop them a short email message acknowledging their extraordinary efforts. Our success this past week and a half was in large part due to their commitment to our community. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the understanding and compliance of our thoughtful and respectful student body.  

You can read an overview of the semester’s kick-off events and teamwork in Reporter

I would like to particularly recognize and thank Carrie Shumaker, Amy Finley, Laura Drabczyk, Carol Glick, Ken Kettenbeil, Keshia Blevins, Rima Berry-Hung and Marc Brigolin. Their leadership, copious work, attention to detail and “can do” spirit exemplifies our deep and genuine community fabric and the best character of UM-Dearborn.   

Finally, I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of YOU for the dedicated effort and display of caring demonstrated these past two weeks. 

I am honored to lead this institution at this pivotal time in its distinguished history. Let’s continue this great start and show the world what it means to study and work at UM-Dearborn.

Go Blue - Go Dearborn!

With sincere thanks and optimism, 
Domenico Grasso


Athletics:  Brooke Bowers, Bryan Earl, Marti Marshall, Ken McMullen, Michelle Wilson 

Business Affairs:  Marc Brigolin, Bryan Dadey, Noel Hornbacher 

CASL:  Jorge Gonzalez del Pozo, Agarwal Mahesh, Patti Martin, Joan Remski, Belinda Soliz, Yunus Zeytuncu

CECS:  Elizabeth Edenstrom, Susan Guinn, Mary Jones, Deborah Stark-Knight

COB:  Raju Balakrishnan, Tim Davis, Chris Dunning, Karen Strandholm 

Enrollment Management:  Charlotte Brisbois, John Burklow, Lorie Domingue, Chelsea Doyle, Shaina Jansen, Nickolai Kanagawa, Sheryl Kubiak, Kevin Lewtshanyn, Dan Merian, Urana Pridemore, Cameron Smith, Melissa Stone, Alexandrea Talley, Timothy Taylor, Lauryn Tidwell

Experience+/Career Services:  Britta Roan, Laurie Sutch 

External Relations:  Bailey Ayers-Korpal, Matt Chisholm, Lindsey Cuddeback, Christina Hu, Ken Kettenbeil, Beth Marmarelli, Carl Paulus

Facilities Operations:  Joy Adkins, Sandy Beck, Jo-Anne Donfried, David Fogle, Carol Glick, Randy Meyer, Kade Randol

Global Education:  Scott Riggs 

Graduate Studies:  Trista Wdziekonski 

Human Resources:  Rima Berry-Hung, Lisa Copeland, Nina Loveberry, Molly McCutchan, Kelly Schester

Institutional Advancement:  Michelle Fallscheer, Cristina Frendo, Kevin McAlpine, Casandra Ulbrich 

ITS:  Brian LaGoe, Joe Lubomirski, Sherie Modelski, Carrie Shumaker, Thea Strother

Mardigian Library:  Kelly Ledingham, Maureen Linker, Amy Seipke, Holly Sorscher, Timothy Streasick

Office of the Chancellor:  Keisha Blevins, Jackie Kortes 

Office of Metropolitan Impact:  Michael DeVoe, Molly Manley, Sara Neuenschwander 

Office of the Provost:  Gabriella Scarlatta, Mitch Sollenberger

Student Life:  Shareia Carter, Maddie Drury, Amy Finley, Tyler Guenette, Ryan Neloms, Gigi Wickline

University Unions and Events:  Nick Capul, Kris Day, David Disney, Karen Stone

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