Monthly Archives: September 2014

Welcome to Dr. Matthew Fhaner, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry!


Name: Matthew Fhaner
Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Chemistry and Biochemistry

Classes I’m teaching: CHM 366: Analytical Chemistry and CHM 367: Analytical Chemistry Laboratory

Professional Interests/Activities: Chemistry outreach

Research Interests: Food Chemistry (edible oil decomposition), Material Science (characteriation of surface chemistry), Neurosignaling (electrochemical monitoring of neurotransmitter release)

Dr. Fhaner recently spent 10 months in a post-doctoral position with the United States Department of Agriculture working on omega-three rich fatty acids.

Awards: American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Council of Graduate Students Leadership Award

Degree(s)/Education: B.A. – Chemistry, Michigan State University; Ph.D. – Analytical Chemistry, Michigan State University

Memberships: American Chemical Society

How I fell in love with my field: Researching cardiovascular disease during my graduate work

What I hope for my time at UM-Flint: Expand my professional expertise through academics and collaborative research

Three things you should know about me:
-I have a wonderful wife and two fantastic children
-I enjoy cooking
-I am a huge hockey fan

To learn more about Dr. Fhaner and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, visit the department website.

UM-Flint Music Student’s Band Signed by Shorebird

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 2.56.18 PM

UM-Flint music student Taylor VonBrockdorff is a prolific performer who, in addition to his school studies, has recorded on several albums in the past year and played in different music groups around the state.

He has also one of four members in the band Building Birds, an alternative rock group started in the spring of 2014 and described as being “reminiscent of early U2, Radiohead, and Coldplay interwoven with My Bloody Valentine and Jeff Buckley, [offering] a sound that extends beyond a single genre.” ( The band was recently signed by Shorebird, a record label based in Rhode Island.

According to VonBrockdorff, “The plan is to have our album ‘Swirling Among the Stars’ released by late this fall or early winter. The album was written by [band members] Ashley Peacock and Johnny Mason. Todd Gilbert was added to the drums just before I joined. They came to me after seeing me play at a venue in Flint and asked me to be in their band. My job was to write guitar parts that fit their music style. They liked me so much they decided to keep me (haha).”

When asked about the part his experiences and education in the Music Department at UM-Flint have played in his musical success, he said, “By studying at the university I learned so much about music then I ever could have asked for. I learned about melody and harmony and how different parts of music come together to create an entire work of art. These things alone have greatly benefited me in the music business.”

VonBrockdorff is also looking to the future, both professionally and musically: “Since I became a music major many doors have opened up for me. I began teaching music (guitar specifically) to students of all ages. After teaching for a while I now know how difficult it can be as a teacher and have much more respect for them. I feel like that experience has also made me a better student. . . I hope to have a career in music whether it involves teaching, performing, or as a studio musician.”

Building Birds’ next confirmed show is at The Pike Room (Crofoot) in Pontiac, Mich., on November 14th. For other shows and band information, visit their page on the Shorebird website, at, or on Facebook and Twitter (@buildingbirds).

To learn more about the Department of Music at UM-Flint, visit

Pictured above, left to right: Johnny Mason, Ashley Peacock, Taylor VonBrockdorff, Todd Gilbert



Welcome to Dr. Emily Feuerherm, Assistant Professor in the English Department!


Name: Emily Feuerherm
Title: Assistant Professor
Department: English

Classes I’m teaching: LIN/ENG200-02

Professional Interests/Activities:
I have presented at several local and national conferences, especially the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL, both the national and local California conferences), among others. I have an edited volume in press called Refugee Resettlement: Language, Policy, Pedagogy that should be coming out at the end of this year or beginning of next year.

Additionally, Emily has published three articles about Iraqi refugee resettlement, citizenship policies and ideologies, and the creation of the ESL program. She started an ESL program for Iraqi refugees in Sacramento to learn English, find jobs, and adjust to life in the United States. She once lived and worked on a cruise ship for two summers, teaching ESL to the crew. She has lived and studied in both Ireland and Switzerland.

Research Interests:
Second language acquisition (especially learning/teaching English to speakers of other languages), applied linguistics, language policy and planning, immigration/migration/asylum seeking, language and politics, English language teaching pedagogy and curriculum building, participatory action research

$75,000 preferred communities grant awarded to a program I started for my dissertation, the Refugee Health and Employment Attainment Program (RHEAP), from the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

• MA and PhD in Linguistics from University of California, Davis
• BA in Anthropology from University of Arkansas, Fayettevillez
• Language Certificate in German from Handels und Dolmetscher Schule, Switzerland

American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

How I fell in love with my field:
While living in Switzerland and learning German (standard German and Swiss-German), I made friends from all around the world. I loved learning other languages, living abroad and making friends with vastly different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. After 2 years there, I decided to go back to school to get an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and liked that so much that I kept going for a PhD.

What I hope for my time at UM-Flint: 
I hope to identify and engage in new areas of research, develop new courses and better pedagogical practices, and get involved in the Flint community. I’d also like to do lots of camping, hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities in Michigan and surrounding areas. Finally, I hope to learn Arabic well enough to hold a basic conversation (I’ve been trying to teach myself and it’s really hard!).

Three things you should know about me:
1. I LOVE teaching. Truly. It’s my dream job.
2. I’ll be creating a bridge program for UM-Flint international students to help them with the linguistic, cultural, social and academic skills they need to succeed here. If you are interested in my vision for this program, feel free to contact me.
3. The only things I love more than teaching are food and travel. Now to figure out how to combine all three…

To learn more about Dr. Feuerherm and her work, visit the English Department website.

A Welcome Reception for Dr. Feuerherm will be held on October 1st. Open to faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members! 4-5:30pm, UCEN Michigan Room D. Brief remarks at 4:15pm; light refreshments. Contact the English Department with questions: 810.762.3285.

German Minor Available. Benefits All Students.


The University of Michigan-Flint has reinstated the German minor!

This is exciting news for any student, from any of UM-Flint’s schools, who foresees international experiences or connections in their career. Or for students who think their careers will touch business, finance, medicine, science, philosophy, technology, art . . . any of the major sectors, both domestically and globally, in which the German culture is entwined.

Through the minor, students will gain knowledge of German language, communication, and culture. Whether a foreign language is a requirement in your program or not, learning a second language is invaluable in its practical applications and is an impressive show of a focus on diversity, globalism, and motivation for future employers.

According to an article by The Economist on the “worth” of foreign languagelearning German has the highest return on investment for students, yielding $128,000 more in lifetime earnings bonuses.

UM-Flint students with a German minor won’t have to look far to find industries that will value their knowledge. According to German Language instructor Elke Kramer, “southeast Michigan’s second largest group of international companies is German, behind Japanese. Over 280 companies in the area are German subsidiaries.” Many of these companies focus on the automotive and science industries. Recent job searches turned up listings in Troy, Auburn Hills, Brighton, Plymouth, and Kalamazoo—all indicating that German language skills would be a bonus!

While enrolled, students can also find a bevy of opportunities that would be complemented by a German minor. In 2013, UM-Flint signed two memoranda-of-understanding with Germany’s University of Wuppertal (BUW). These memoranda serve to establish a program of undergraduate exchange between the two schools, expanding opportunities for students from both to travel abroad. Participating schools at BUW include Humanities, Mathematics & Natural Science, and Business & Economics. To learn more about this partnership, read the story from UM-Flint News.

UM-Flint’s winter 2015 semester will feature several German courses, including German 111: Beginning German I, German 112: Beginning German II, and German 205: Reading German. Other courses in the catalog include Reading German, German Conversation, Business German,  and Understanding the German-Speaking World.

For more information on learning German at UM-Flint, contact the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures or Elke Kramer at 810.762.3370 or

CAS and DEEP Programs


The dust is settling from the first rush of back-to-school. Among those who headed to the classroom after the Labor Day holiday were scores of students who attend classes at the Lapeer County ISD Education and Technology Center building in Attica, Mich. Some of these participate in the Dual Enrollment Education Partnerships, or DEEP program, offered by Lapeer County ISD and UM-Flint. This program allows capable and interested high school students to take college-level courses and earn college credits. These credits are applicable to four-year degree programs at UM-Flint, and potentially to other institutions.

In addition to offering extra challenges to high school students, the DEEP program encourages enrollment in college after high school and retention in college courses after the first year. According to a study by the University of Iowa’s College of Education, “dual enrollment students who completed 20 or more credits in the first year of college were 28% (p<.01) more likely to persist through the second year in college than were students who did not complete dual enrollment courses.” A major finding of the study was that participation in dual enrollment “indicated statistically significant impacts upon studets’ academic momentum.” The study also indicated positive trends for dual enrollment students completing their degrees in less than average time.

For the 2014-2015 academic year, Lapeer’s ISD is offering two programs: Pre-Engineering and Medical Careers Acceleration. Each consists of four courses, two in the fall semester and two in the winter semester. Enrollment is limited to 30 students in each of the programs. At the end of this academic year, students who have completed both semesters will have earned 13 college credits.

The Medical Careers Acceleration Program (MCAP) is jointly managed by UM-Flint’s College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) and the School of Health Professions & Studies (SHPS). Courses for Pre-Engineering are managed by the Computer Science, Engineering, and Physics (CSEP) Department of CAS.


This year’s curriculum for MCAP includes BIO 113: Principles of Biology, HCR 206: Health Sciences Applications, BIO 328: Genetics, and PHL 168: Philosophy of Bioethics. The Pre-Engineering classes are CSC 101: Fluency with Information Technology and Computing, EGR 165: Computer Aided Design, CSC 175: Problem Solving and Programming I, and EGR 102: Introduction to Engineering.

The courses selected for inclusion in the Lapeer ISD DEEP program are considered by faculty to be desirable because they will help students develop a stronger academic foundation in the profession being studied and accustom students to the rigors of college-level work.

The Lapeer ISD DEEP program is just one of several for UM-Flint faculty involvement. Another example is just around the corner from the university at Powers Catholic High School. There, students can participate in two separate 12-credit Humanities Programs. The Senior Humanities Program includes ENG 111: College Rhetoric, COM 210: Introduction to Public Speaking, ENG 112: Critical Writing and Reading, and ARH 112: History of Renaissance to Modern Art. The Junior Humanities Program includes ENG 213: American Ethnic Literature, PHL 202: Intro to Logic, ENG 111: College Rhetoric, and HIS 114: Twentieth Century World History.

Sites also exist within the Lapeer Community Schools, Livingston County Schools, and Utica Community Schools. More DEEP program locations are being considered.

For more information on UM-Flint’s DEEP program, please visit their website.

View a video from one of UM-Flint’s DEEP sites in Davison, Mich:




Welcome to Dr. Mark Allison, Assistant Professor of Computer Science!


Classes I’m teaching: CIS592 – Cloud Computing and CSC383 Software Project Management

 Professional Interests/Activities: Community outreach

 Research Interests: Model Driven Software Development, SmartGrid Energy management, Data Mining, Technology in the Educational Process, Affective Computing.

 Awards: Third Best Paper in conference SEKE2011

Degree(s)/Education: PhD in Computer Science, Florida International University; MS Information Systems and BS Computer Science from the City College of New York CUNY

Memberships: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and MENSA

How I fell in love with my field: My godfather bought me a Texas Instruments TI-57, one of the first programmable calculators. I found I had a knack for making it do much more than the manufacturers intended.

What I hope for my time at UM-Flint: I want to develop the students into notable developers, computer scientists and software engineers. There is so much raw talent. Continue research within cutting edge aspects of software engineering and artificial intelligence to further the mission of the university.

Three things you should know about me:
I am an avid cyclist, angler and dad

Welcome to Dr. Amal Alhosban, Assistant Professor of Computer Science!


  • Amal’s interests include developing multiple techniques for Service-Oriented Systems such as self-healing, semantic similarity, and Web service negotiation.
  • She has written three books in Management Information Systems, published five journal papers, and 16 conference papers.
  • Amal is married with three daughters: Rana 14, Salma 10, and Marina 4.
  • Amal enjoys music, reading and writing short stories.
  • She received her PhD from Wayne State University. She says she couldn’t stay away from Michigan!

For more information on Dr. Alhosban and her department, visit the CSEP website.

CAS Welcomes Over 30 New Faculty for Fall Semester

The College of Arts and Sciences at UM-Flint started the Fall 2014 semester with over 30 new faculty members teaching in its classrooms. New faces will be seen in many departments including CSEP, English, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Earth & Resource Science, Psychology, Political Science, Anthropology, Theatre & Dance, and Foreign Language!

Throughout the semester, CAS will be featuring different new faculty members on our front page and in our blog so other members of the university can get to know them better! Be sure to welcome them to UM-Flint if you see them around!

Following is a list of our new faculty members and their departments:

• Amal Alhosban – Assistant Professor of Computer Science, CSEP
• Mark Allison – Assistant Professor of Computer Science, CSEP
• Emily Feuerherm – Assistant Professor of Linguistics, ENG
• Matthew Fhaner – Assistant Professor of Analytical Chemistry, CMB
• Seung-Jin Lee – Assistant Professor of Sustainability and Mechanical Engineering (ERS 67%, CSEP 33%)
• Ming Li – Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, CSEP
• Yu Cheng (Frank) Liu – Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, CSEP
• Nathaniel Miller – Assistant Professor of Psychology, PSY
• Jeremiah Olson – Assistant Professor of Political Science, POL
• Zahid Syed, CSEP –Assistant Professor of Computer Science, CSEP

• Adam Dill – Adjunct Professor in THE/DAN
• Cindy Liao – Adjunct Professor, PSY
• Dayne Walling – Adjunct Professor, POL

• Russ Cossaboom – Lec III BIO
• Stephanie Gelderloos – Lec III ENG
• Lisa Madden – Lec III PSY
• Jennifer Miller – Lec III BIO
• Roberto Rinaldi – Lec III PSY
• Kristy Watkins – Lec III WGS

• Ishtiague Amin – Lec I CSEP
• Scott Atkinson– Lec I ENG
• Anita Baxter – Lec I BIO
• Jed Digens – Lec I CSEP
• Gisele Farah – Lec I FOR
• Theresa Fedio – Lec I FOR
• Edward Hoort – Lec I MPA
• Nicholas Ginga – Lec I CSEP
• Laurah Klepinger-Mathew – Lec I ANT
• Robin McGuire – Lec I CSEP
• Mary Montie – Adjunct Lec PUB
• Joyce Piert – Lec I MTH
• Laurence Tarini – Lec I CSEP
• Delma Thomas-Jackson – Lec I for CAS