See what people found during the CAS scavenger hunt

Since May 24 was National Scavenger Hunt Day, we asked the CAS community to find these items in celebration:

  • You, in Michigan gear
  • Something that represents your CAS major or department
    • Fine arts major? Maybe a paintbrush.
  • Best Non-Michigan “M”
  • Something you normally use on campus
  • Maize in other ways
    • We see a lot of “maize” at UM-Flint. Can you find maize in another context?
  • A relaxing moment in the outdoors
  • A furry/scaly/feathery friend
    • Pets are an important part of the UM-Flint CAS community too.

And we received some amazing responses! Take a look at these submissions:


Michele, a Lecturer II for our Physics program, found all of the items on the list!

There’s Michele in Michigan gear (and a banana hat).

Michele’s laptop shows off some physics facts and a cool cow.

A collection of Michele’s furry friends.

Something Michele normally uses on campus: an HDMI to VGA adaptor.

A Non-Michigan “M,” or upside-down “W” on a container of disinfectant wipes.

One of Michele’s furry friends enjoying a relaxing moment in the outdoors.

“Maize” in other ways: Corn! And a cool dino in the background.


Hannah, a Mathematics Teacher Certificate Program student, also found every item and fit them into one picture!

-Lots of Michigan gear
-An apple, to represent her math education major
-Non-Michigan “M”: M&M candy
-Something you normally use on campus: Backpack
-Maize in other ways: Package of corn
-Outdoors: “I am on my front porch.”
-A furry friend: A cute stuffed dog


Wendy is a Psychology major with a History minor!

She shared a photo of herself in Michigan gear (looks like she was at the Big House!).

And some books she is reading over the summer that represent both her major (Psychology) and minor (History).

Latinos United for Advancement

The UM-Flint chapter of Latinos United for Advancement (LUNA) teamed up as an organization and found some great items!

Sydney (Computer Science major) found:
-Michigan Gear: Campus Activities Board shirt
-Something that represents your major: Computer code on the screen
-Non-Michigan M: M&M’s
-Something normally used on campus: A textbook
-Maize in other ways: M&M wrapper
-Relaxing outdoor moment: Soccer and music
-Furry friend: Leo the Lion

Stephanie Vidaillet Gelderloos, Lecturer IV in the Department of English, shared this photo of Bubby the hamster hanging out with Frida Kahlo.

Alysia (Anthropology major) doing some summer reading related to her major.

Mia, an Art & Design student, showing off some masterpieces from her sons

And for something Mia usually uses on campus, her laptop!

Manny (Anthropology) calls this “Socially Distanced Portaiture.”

Thanks to everyone who participated. Go Blue!

Get creative with this scavenger hunt (at home!)

Looking for a fun way to pass the time at home this week? Since May 24 is National Scavenger Hunt Day, we’ve created this scavenger hunt to have some fun and help you stay connected to the College of Arts & Sciences!


  • You, in Michigan gear
  • Something that represents your CAS major or department
    • Fine arts major? Maybe a paintbrush.
  • Best Non-Michigan “M”
  • Something you normally use on campus
  • Maize in other ways
    • We see a lot of “maize” at UM-Flint. Can you find maize in another context?
  • A relaxing moment in the outdoors
  • A furry/scaly/feathery friend
    • Pets are an important part of the UM-Flint CAS community too.


  • Find as many of the items as you can
  • Post pictures on social media, tag @umflintcas
    • Or email
  • Bonus points for creativity!
  • Deadline to submit: Monday, May 25 at 11:59 PM.
  • Prize: Pride! Just for fun.
  • Winners posted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter on Tuesday, May 26

Have fun! We look forward to seeing what you find!

See more than 200 student artworks online this Friday

The Department of Art & Art History’s annual Student Art Exhibition, which normally takes place at the Greater Flint Arts Council Gallery, is moving online for 2020. The virtual gallery featuring more than 200 student art pieces launches May 8 at

The top five pieces from each art course offered throughout the 2019-20 academic year are selected for display in the exhibition. Ranging from ceramics, painting, photography, animation, printmaking and more, the selections represent the breadth of artistic disciplines students pursue at UM-Flint.

Selections are reviewed by an independent juror and are eligible for a number of awards, including overall recognition such as Best in Show and discipline-specific recognition. Additional awards consider students’ overall activities from the academic year, such as the Outstanding Civic Engagement and Overall Achievement in Visual Arts awards. The juror for 2020 is Tylonn J. Sawyer, an American figurative artist, educator, & curator living and working in Detroit, Michigan.

Associate Professor of Art & Design Ben Gaydos believes that continuing with the exhibition while remaining socially distanced is crucial for UM-Flint’s community of artists. While he will miss showing off his students’ work during a Friday Art Walk, moving the exhibition online provides an opportunity for even more people to see the creative work that occurs in Flint.

“This is one of very few opportunities that we have to really see the diversity and creative output of our students in one place. It’s an opportunity to be inspired by your student colleagues and to come together as a community.”

This Exhibition will also be the first in which the Dr. Sarah Jordan Lippert Memorial Scholarship will be awarded. Close to a year ago, Dr. Lippert, who was an associate professor of art history with UM-Flint, passed away unexpectedly. The scholarship was established by fellow faculty member Dr. Linda Johnson to memorialize Dr. Lippert and recognize the achievements of students studying art history.

5 Things I Didn’t Expect About College

College of Arts & Sciences sophomore April Bartle shares some surprising things she has experienced as a UM-Flint student. 

Starting college brings a cluster of emotions: excitement, anxiety, confusion – the list goes on. For me, I was looking forward to a fresh start. Like every other freshman, I was so excited for new experiences and to meet new people. Thanks to UM-Flint, I have found those things and more. Here are five things I didn’t expect about college.

5. How friendly everyone is

My friends and I at the mall–remember going to the mall?

I only knew one person during my first on campus, my dorm roommate (we came from the same high school). The following weekend, I attended Wolverine Welcome in the Recreation Center for a chance to meet other students and organizations. It was at that event that I met two of my now very good friends Isabelle and Robert. I was greeted with warm smiles and fun conversation. It was so refreshing just how friendly and welcoming everyone was. I came to realize later on that we were all in the same spot, wanting to make new friendships that would last a lifetime.  

4. The amount of reading there is

I had done my fair share of reading when I was younger, fairy tales and fiction. Come freshman year, I was not expecting the amount of reading that came with my classes. My Psychology class required us to have read at least a chapter sometimes consisting of 40 pages or more before each class. That way, we could listen to the lecture and understand the concepts my professor was further explaining. It was difficult adjusting, but it really helped my understanding to read the material first, then follow up with a lecture. 

3. How much I’d love the Library

The Frances Willson Thompson Library is one of my favorite places on campus.

One of the places I grew to love (when we were on campus) was the library. I never spent as much time in a library my whole life as I did in my first year of college. It’s a quiet place where you can shut yourself away from distractions and focus. I always made it a point to put my phone on “do not disturb” when I was studying. It became the place where I was most productive in my school work.

2. How much more I’d be challenged academically

We aren’t not just learning facts, we’re learning how to think for ourselves.

To be honest, high school wasn’t that challenging for me. I passed my classes with high grades and didn’t need much assistance when it came to homework. At UM-Flint, I’ve already faced many challenging classes. I truly felt like I was being pushed to think for myself, and to even question my professors, which was very different. Students have more chances to explore personal ideas, which is a surprisingly difficult adjustment. 

1. How much I’d love a smaller, close-knit campus community

I came to UM-Flint with every intention of transferring to a larger campus after a year or so. I thought a bigger university meant more prestigious opportunities. What I came to realize was that the small class sizes at UM-Flint make all the difference for my college experience. A close-knit campus means it is easy to make connections. In almost everything I do with UM-Flint, I see a familiar face, which makes me feel more connected to my college community. I have had more opportunities to explore who I am than I ever would have at a bigger university.

April Bartle is a sophomore Communications Studies major at the University of Michigan-Flint.

Celebrating the Class of 2020: Evelyn Gagnon

Evelyn initially chose UM-Flint because it was close to home; she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, and it was an easy daily commute.

Fast-forward a few years and she conducted research as a guest at the University Montana, studying a protein called “Cytochrome c” and working toward completing her honors thesis as a Biochemistry and Clinical Lab Science/Medical Technology double major. A lot can change when you’re in a supportive environment like Evelyn found with the University of Michigan-Flint.

Even though her scheduled was packed a double major in the sciences, Evelyn was content with restricting herself to science courses. She expressed herself by joining the Wind Symphony (she played the trumpet). Most important to her experience, however, were the connections she could make with her professors.

“I just can’t imagine not being able to able to talk with your professors. You can go to their office hours and actually sit and have a conversation with them,” Evelyn says. “I don’t think I would have done well at a larger state school.”

Evelyn thrived at UM-Flint. As part of the Honors Program, Dr. Maureen Thum first helped her decide to major in Clinical Lab Science/Medical Technology. Then a conversation with Dr. Matthew Fhaner helped her discover how a double major in Biochemistry could help make her a more qualified (and marketable) medical technologist. She says that working as a chemistry tutor was one of her favorite things about her UM-Flint experience.

“I really loved being able to work with other students and help them,” Evelyn says. “It just brightens your day to bump into someone that you know and someone you’ve helped.”

Thanks to her research, tutoring, GPA, and dedication, Evelyn earned the Maize & Blue Award, UM-Flint’s highest academic honor. She is currently working as a phlebotomist ad was accepted for an internship at Beaumont Health to become a state-certified medical technologist. She begins her internship at Beaumont Health in January.

Celebrating the Class of 2020: Georgina Brown

Georgina Brown knew that she wanted to become a doctor since she was 10 years old, when she visited a Doctors Without Borders clinic in her home country of Jamaica. She continued working toward that goal while studying at UM-Flint and has an interview with the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine on May 7!

Before she knew of the opportunities that would become available to her on campus, Georgina picked UM-Flint for a simple reason: she earned an associate degree before immigrating to the US and wanted to find an institution that gave her credit for the work she already completed. The personal connections she would form with her professors began as she was considering the best major for her pre-medical studies.

“I had a meeting with Dr. Joe Sucic to get to know him and tell him what I’m interested in. He was the one that introduced me to Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. I changed my major then and I haven’t regretted it since,” Georgina says.

Georgina didn’t just study Molecular Biology and Biotechnology with Dr. Sucic—she also worked with her professor on research projects. In a collaborative study with the Department of Physical Therapy, Georgina studied the DNA of older individuals to determine if the presence of a particular sequence has an impact on their ability to recover from exercise.

The personal connections with faculty didn’t stop there. Georgina had a common-sense policy when it came to her being confused in class—since she was making a big investment in her education, she wasn’t going to be shy about asking questions.

“I think a lot of college students can be afraid to talk to their professors…they don’t want to feel dumb for asking a question. But if you are paying thousands of dollars to get an education, you might as well get the answer,” Georgina says. “I really liked that my professors encouraged me whenever I asked questions; I think that really contributed to my success as a student.”

By any measure, Georgina’s time as a UM-Flint student has been a success. She earned the Maize & Blue Award, UM-Flint’s highest academic honor, as well as a scholarship from the Center for the Education of Women (CEW+). Georgina also qualified for an early assurance program between UM-Flint and the MSU College of Human Medicine. Though she plans to take a gap year between graduation and beginning her medical studies, she already has an interview with the MSU Medical School!

“A lot of people don’t really know that there are so many opportunities out there for UM-Flint students. If you just ask, you’ll find out this campus has much to offer!”

Adam found his future career – and family – at UM-Flint.

When Adam Rainey (Applied Psychology, ’15) took a course on preparing for a career in psychology with Dr. Allen Bellamy, he discovered his passion and future profession. The 2015 graduate now works as a school psychologist at Grand Blanc Community Schools.

“My goal was to work with people who want to help others succeed. Every day I walk into work and I’m surrounded by people who want to help kids do their best, so I feel lucky,” Adam says.

School psychologists like Adam help support students, teachers, families, and other professionals in providing the best educational outcomes for learners. Whether it’s developing plans with students to promote positive behaviors or counseling parents on issues like teen substance abuse, his end goal is to help kids have a successful and rewarding time in school and l

 After graduating from UM-Flint, Adam went on to earn his master’s and specialist degrees from the University of Detroit Mercy. Now that he is three years into his career as a licensed professional, Adam appreciates that no day on the job could be described as “typical.”

“There are some days when I sit down at my desk and when I look up at the clock, it’s the end of the day,” Adam says. “I don’t think I’ve had a single day that felt like one I had before.”

Adam’s work continues to change day-by-day due to the Michigan-wide closure of K-12 schools. Since he has less direct interaction with students, Adam is now focusing on longer term initiatives, like evaluating the district’s special education program by researching different models and ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations.

The collaborative and varied nature of his work means Adam needs to be a creative thinker and excellent communicator—skills that he was able to develop both in class and in student organizations. Adam kept busy on campus as a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, the President’s Ball planning committee, and more.

“Once you’re out working in the field, you know what you have to accomplish but not necessarily how to accomplish it. Gaining experience in leadership roles on campus gave me a foundation in navigating organizations and working with people,” Adam says.

Of course, being involved on campus meant Adam didn’t just work with other students, he made social connections as well. He met his wife, Jennifer (a 2013 graduate of the School of Education and Human Services) through Greek life—she is a member of Theta Phi Alpha. Their daughter, Olivia, is a future Wolverine.

Celebrating the Class of 2020: Makenzie Schroeder

Makenzie Schroeder is interested in people; how they communicate and interact with the world around them. She wanted to explore those concepts in college while making responsible choices for her financial future.

The University of Michigan-Flint allowed Mackenzie to do both of those things—and then the opportunities kept coming.

The Communication Studies and Political Science double major is the editor-in-chief of The Michigan Times, UM-Flint’s campus newspaper. She is the co-captain of the UM-Flint Debate Team and has traveled around the country for debate competitions. She is the co-president of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honors society. She earned the Maize and Blue award, UM-Flint’s highest academic honor. And after graduation, she will be completing her master’s in communication at the University of Missouri.

Makenzie was able to take advantage of these experiences while remaining debt-free, an achievement she credits in large part to the scholarship opportunities at UM-Flint.

“Sometimes when you apply for scholarships, you never think you’re actually going to get them because you’re going against myriad other students. However, at UM-Flint they give out a ton,” Makenzie says. “It doesn’t feel like it’s out of reach. It’s actually something that students can get and benefit from.”

Makenzie also participated in research with Political Science professors Kim Saks-McManaway and Kevin Lorentz. Here she is pictured presenting their findings at the Michigan Political Science Association Annual Meeting in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Makenzie often learned about resources from her professors, and those connections with faculty would also help her take the next step after graduation. Michelle Silva, a lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies, would meet Makenzie for lunch in order to discuss the graduate school application process.

“I’m a first-generation college student and my first year I didn’t know how to fill out the FAFSA, let alone a graduate application,” Makenzie says. “Sometimes as a first-gen student, it’s easy to feel the imposter syndrome. All of my professors have been there for me and reminded me that ‘no, you are worthy, you can do this.’”

Encouragement and support allowed Makenzie to take on numerous leadership roles within student organizations. With a career goal of becoming a college professor, Makenzie valued how she could help students become better writers and journalists as editor-in-chief of The Michigan Times. She also served as a political science tutor with Pi Sigma Alpha. As co-captain of the debate team, Makenzie engaged in British Parliamentary-style debate competitions around the country. She sees debate as something that brings together every aspect of her educational experience, explaining that “it makes you think deeply about a lot of serious issues that often get ignored in society.”

Once Makenzie completes her master’s in communication, she plans to continue on to a PhD program, researching underserved groups and how they interact with the media. We know you’ll do great things, Makenzie!

Celebrating the Class of 2020: Carly Wykes

Studying Biology with a pre-Physical Therapy concentration worked out well for Carly Wykes. She’s been accepted to the top PT program in the state: UM-Flint’s own Doctor of Physical Therapy.

UM-Flint offered Carly big opportunities to help her succeed in graduate school applications. The summer before her senior year, Carly conducted 8 weeks of research in a zoology lab at the University of Wuppertal in Germany. Working alongside faculty and graduate students, Carly studied the effect of photosynthetic algae in the gene expression of marine slugs (how else would you spend 8 weeks in Europe?). She didn’t spend all of her time in the lab, though—Carly’s favorite weekend trip was to Budapest.

“That experience definitely helped me get out of my comfort zone. I wouldn’t consider myself an adventurous person,” Carly says. “But there were two other girls from UM-Flint working in the same lab as me. Still, it was a big cultural education in eight weeks. I loved the public transportation in Germany…it was so easy and you don’t have to deal with traffic.”

Carly Wykes during her off-campus research experience in Germany.

Back on campus, Carly’s favorite class was BIO 433: Premedical Gross Anatomy. As someone headed for physical therapy school, human anatomy is a natural interest for Carly. The second half of the course provided another unique experience for the Biology major: hands-on dissection in the cadaver lab.

While dissecting cadavers may not appeal to the less-medically minded among us, Carly explains that working in the cadaver lab is a unique experience for UM-Flint students interested in the health professions.

“A lot of physical therapy schools I toured had cadaver labs for their students, but the students didn’t do the dissections themselves, they just watched. And I had that opportunity as an undergraduate at UM-Flint, a smaller school,” Carly says.

Studying at a smaller institution like UM-Flint (which has a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio) meant that Carly was able to form personal connections while gaining new experiences. She valued her time as a chemistry tutor, a position that allowed Carly to work on her communication skills while meeting new students. Most importantly, Carly appreciates how her professors were accessible and approachable.

“I probably had one class in which the professor didn’t know me by name. They were always encouraging us to come to their office hours. I’ve had professors offer to write me letters of recommendation—I didn’t even have to ask them,” Carly explains. “The fact that they know you well enough to do that is really great.”

In addition to being accepted to UM-Flint’s DPT program, Carly earned the Maize & Blue Award, UM-Flint’s highest academic honor. She begins PT school in August. Congratulations, Carly!

How two of my classes have changed during remote instruction

April Bartle talked with two of her instructors about completing the Winter 2020 semester in an online format.

Everyone at UM-Flint has experienced a lot of changes over the past month. That includes my instructors, who have worked hard to help us continue learning despite us being away from campus. I recently had some (virtual) conversations with two of those instructors to see what the experience has been like for them.

Intro to Cultural Anthropology: Dr. Daniel Birchok

My Intro to Cultural Anthropology course was very discussion-based. A typical class session consisted of a short lecture, and then a lot of open dialogue to dive deeper into the topics. I really appreciated how we could offer our own interpretations of the material or ask questions to better understand a concept.

Dr. Daniel Birchok’s teaching style is very expressive—he walks across the room and tries to engage with every student. “I really like to read the room. I like to see, ‘Oh, they look confused here or this person asked this question, so I should talk about that,’” Dr. Birchok explained to me.

He shared how it has been a challenge to transfer that energy to online instruction. Live sessions would have been best to accommodate his teaching style, but he wanted to make sure learning could still be accessible in all of our difficult schedules right now.

“I felt like it wasn’t really fair to expect students to just continue on as if nothing had happened and to show up at a certain time for every class. I decided that I’m going to pre-record everything possible and then open up the window for discussion and ask students to attend those as they can.”

Fun fact: Dr. Birchok conducts much of his research in Indonesia and has led several trips there for students!

Intro to Public Speaking: Kimberly Laux

If you can’t tell already, I’m a bit of a talker, so I was super excited for my Intro to Public Speaking class this semester. So far in this class, we had given ceremonial speeches, written our own speeches, and even narrated children’s books. You can imagine how the class dynamic changed when our class transitioned online.

Before the switch, we recorded practice speeches using a program called Kaltura to prepare us for the actual presentation. Our remaining speeches are now recorded and turned in online to a discussion forum where our classmates can view and provide feedback. 

One of our final projects was scheduled to be a group presentation. My instructor, Kimberly Laux, felt like it was best to be flexible and change that to an individual assignment.

“I didn’t know how many students would have access to collaborative technology – I didn’t even know how long we would be teaching online at that point,” Kimberly says. “I didn’t think it would be fair to expect you to not only complete your work as individuals, but then also figure out how to make it work amongst each other.”

Fun fact: In addition to being an instructor, Kimberly is also the academic advisor for all Communication Studies students, including me!

While this unexpected change to online courses hasn’t been easy, I’ve appreciated how my professors have continued to expect great things from us while making learning accessible in this unpredictable time.

April Bartle is a sophomore Communications Studies major in the College of Arts & Sciences at UM-Flint.