Monthly Archives: November 2014

Giving BlueDay – Tuesday, December 2nd

BLUEDAY_smallOn Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014, the University of Michigan is asking you to turn Giving Tuesday into Giving BlueDay – a day of online giving to the funds of U of M, including UM-Flint. The College of Arts & Sciences is encouraging donors to pick a specific fund and the amount that is right for them – even $5 donations mean a lot to our departments!

Following are links to our department and program funds, some of them discuss the specific needs your gifts will go to fill. For those that do not have a specific purpose listed, donations will go into their general gift fund and can be used as the department chooses. We hope you can help us make this a successful day of giving, and make a difference for our students!

AFRICANA STUDIES: Funds received will help establish a scholarship that supports Africana Studies Majors and Minors and honors former Chancellor Charlie Nelms who “intensified the university’s emphasis on student success, setting ambitious goals for increasing student retention and graduation rates.”


BIOLOGY: We have an ongoing need for undergraduate/graduate research support as well as scholarship support. Donations to the following funds will make a positive impact on the academic and career success of Biology students: William R. Murchie Science Fund, Eugene Studier Memorial Research Scholarship Fund, and the Holly Sucic Memorial Scholarship Fund.

CHEMISTRY & BIOCHEMISTRY: The Chemistry & Biochemistry Department would like to put funds towards the purchase of equipment that will enhance and expand students’ learning opportunities. We hope to both enrich their time at UM-Flint and better prepare them for real-world experiences!





ECONOMICS: Funds given will be used to fund the Economics Club Scholarship that is given every semester to an Economics major to pay towards any aspect of their schooling, including tuition, books, and fees. Help us continue to provide this support to our club and students!


ENGLISH: We want to reinstate the English Department’s Visiting Writer Series, which was a victim of budget cuts. The series will bring nationally and internationally renowned authors to UM-Flint to meet with classes and the community. Help us bring back this meaningful tradition!

FOREIGN LANGUAGES & LITERATURES: We ask that gifts be made to the Monica Karnes Memorial Scholarship Fund. This fund was established in 1985 by students in the UM-Flint Chapter of the Phi Sigma Iota Int’l Foreign Language Honors Society to “benefit students who share Monica’s hopes, her dreams, and her spirit.”



MUSIC: Funds donated to the Music Department during GivingBlue Day will be used towards the purchase of a concert grand piano. This instrument will benefit solo performers, as well as vocal and instrumental performances of many musical genres–and the audiences who listen to them!

PHILOSOPHY DEPT.’s CANDACE BOLTER SCHOLARSHIP FUND: We are just $3,000 away from having our Candace Bolter Scholarship reach endowment status. Once endowed, the scholarship will always be available to help fund future Philosophy students. Help us to help others study Philosophy!





THEATRE & DANCE: Students of the Theatre and Dance Department have a variety of high impact travel opportunities available, but often need help in funding their trips. Donations made to the Theatre & Dance Department will be used to diversify the avenues of support available to their students.

VISUAL ARTS: Funds will go to print-making equipment for our new concentration, funding student travel to museums and architectural tours, a vent for the wood shop, and torches to teach flame-working. Help us expand our students’ learning experience by giving to Visual Arts!

WOMEN’S & GENDER STUDIES: The WGS would like donations intended for them to be made to the Women’s Education Center Critical Difference Fund. This small grant is intended to help students who are facing emergency situations stay in school. The grant assists some of our most at risk students, many of whom are returning women and first-generation college students. DONATIONS MADE TO THIS FUND ON GIVING BLUEDAY WILL BE MATCHED UP TO $200!

If you do not see a fund you’d like to give to on the above list, browse all the options, including Research, Scholarships, and more, within the College of Arts and Sciences.

Whether you give or not, please share this blog’s link on your social media feeds to spread the word about Giving BlueDay!

Biology Department to Host Cell-ebration, December 5th

CELL-ebration logo copyOn December 5, 2014, nearly 200 Biology students from a variety of courses will meet and present their works to one another at the department’s Cell-ebration.

More experienced students from the BIO 326, 467, and 477 courses will be creating conference-type research posters and giving oral presentations, while DEEP program students from the Utica, Lapeer, and Livingston sites will be creating learning activities to highlight a cellular process. The event will be held in the White Building’s Atrium and Tuscola Room.

There will be two sessions:

A morning session from 9-11am and an afternoon session from noon-2pm. An additional 35 high school students from New Lothrup will attend the afternoon session.

The experience at the Cell-ebration will benefit the undergraduate students by giving them experience in preparing and presenting in a conference environment. While the DEEP students will learn a little about academic and campus life at UM-Flint while enriching their knowledge through creating presentations.

For more information, visit the Biology Department website or contact Jill Slater at

Congratulations to the December 2014 CAS Maize & Blue Award Winners!


The Maize and Blue Award is the highest academic award bestowed upon graduates of the University of Michigan-Flint. Recipients not only have to show excellence in their coursework and GPAs (3.75 or better), but must also be nominated by their faculty/department to be eligible. Nominees are considered based on their intellectual maturity and depth, character, talent, and service to their department, community, and UM-Flint. The Scholarships, Awards, and Special Events Committee and the Provost then chooses up to thirteen outstanding students from each graduating class to receive the Maize and Blue Award.

The College of Arts and Sciences would like to recognize and congratulate our student recipients for this great achievement! Read below to learn more about our winners through the faculty who nominated them:

Grace A. Carey, BA double major in Anthropology and Sociology
Graduating with High Honors

Nominated by Hisyar Ozsoy, Assistant Professor of Anthropology:

“Grace has an excellent academic record and graduated with a 3.99 GPA in August 2014 (Anthropology and Sociology Majors, Honors Program, and a minor in International and Global Studies). Her academic record speaks for itself. She is very intelligent, diligent, resourceful and open-minded. Her intelligence, intellectual curiosity and dedication truly distinguish her scholarship from others. The quality of character she displays in interpersonal relationships and the talents she demonstrates in extracurricular activities also distinguish her from others. Grace has displayed an extraordinary rapport with other students, staff and faculty and has been singled out by many as a treasured member of the UM-Flint community. She has been an active member of several student intellectual communities and clubs and someone who enriches the intellectual life of the community. I simply could not think of a more deserving candidate for this award. Seven faculty gave Grace their strongest recommendation possible, for she fully embodies the pillars of the Maize and Blue Award – intellectual depth, talent, character, and service to the community – and has effectively used these to contribute to the efforts to ‘revitalize Flint’ toward making it a better place for all.”

Rebecca A. Horning, BS in Applied Psychology
Graduating with High Honors

Nominated by Dr. Hillary Heinze, Assoc. Professor of Psychology:

Becca was unanimously supported by our faculty [for the Maize and Blue Award], most of us have been fortunate to work with her in various capacities and contexts. Throughout her time at the University of Michigan-Flint, Becca has demonstrated a range of interests, being involved in virtually all aspects of psychology–research, community service, supplementary instruction/tutoring and peer mentoring. I will highlight the many ways in which Becca personifies the core pillars of this award: intellectual depth, talent, character and service to the department, university and community.

Perhaps most importantly, Becca is truly passionate about psychology. She is curious, engaged in her learning, consistently going above and beyond what is required to enhance her knowledge, skills and experience in psychology. Dr. Bellamy describes Becca as “a student who clearly has a zest and curiosity for learning that makes her standout amongst her peers and is at the top of her class”. Dr. Stein notes that Becca is a pleasure to work with because she is so eager to learn: “…Becca seems to see challenges as opportunities for growth. She takes responsibility and seeks out additional material and guidance.  It has never been ‘how can I get an A’. It has been about committing to changes that will allow her to get the most from her education.”

Becca not only has excelled in courses required for her degree; she has pursued numerous supplementary and/or elective departmental and university opportunities, further demonstrating her passion for psychology and love of learning. She has presented her research at student and professional research conferences (Midwest Psychological Association), she has attended leadership workshops, engaged in study abroad (Netherlands), completed a psychology internship (Fenton Schools), and assumed leadership roles in student clubs and organizations (Psychology Club; Golden Key; Psi Chi). In addition to her own research, she has assisted ongoing faculty research projects.

As noted across achievements and involvements, Becca is clearly not motivated by grades or building a resume, but by her passion for learning, doing good work and helping others. Interpersonally, she is one of those students you hope to have in class or collaborate with (hence, her involvement with so many department faculty and richness of faculty comments). She is engaged in courses and discussion, thoughtful, and she always seems to be smiling and bubbling over with excitement, whether discussing her organizational involvements, courses, internship, research activities, study abroad, or academic plans.

Even when facing significant challenges, Becca remains positive and solution focused. Dr. Stein notes, “Things don’t always go as planned. Becca’s positive attitude allows her to easily overcome obstacles. As a researcher, she was flexible and able to make adjustments as necessary. She responds well to criticism…I find this to be quite rare among our students.” Another common thread is her conscientiousness and dedication to helping others, whether it be her classmates, children in the schools, UMF students or vulnerable individuals within the Flint community. She is kind, warm and always willing to help, often putting the needs of others above her own.

In all that she does, Becca personifies intellectual depth, talent, character, and commitment to service, to not only excel in her coursework, campus and community activities, but to inspire excellence in others. We believe she will continue to inspire positive change in future endeavors. She has the [Psychology] department’s highest recommendation.

Andrew M. Slabchuck, BA in Philosophy
Graduating with High Honors

Nominated by Dr. Jami Anderson, Assoc. Professor of Philosophy; Dr. Benedicte Veillet, Asst. Professor of Philosophy; Dr. Simon Cushing, Assoc. Professor of Philosophy

Dr. Anderson: “As both his instructor and his advisor, I believe I have gotten to know Andy during the past few years and am well positioned to assess his merits for this award.

Andy possesses all the traits that make him an ideal student. His papers are excellent: his analyses of the issues are intelligent, his writing is clear, his arguments well-structured and his reasoning persuasive. Andy is engaged: he comes to class prepared for enthusiastic discussion and, while he takes the matters seriously, he is genuinely pleasant to discuss ideas with. He obviously values input from his classmates and they enjoy his company and respect his ideas. What is most impressive, though, is the commitment Andy brings to his university education. . . during the past few years Andy has had to face and overcome amazing obstacles—ones that would prove far too much to handle for many of us. Yet, not only has Andy survived, he has succeeded.

During the past year, I have watched Andy move beyond simply being an excellent philosophy student in the classroom to becoming what I think of as a genuine citizen of philosophy. In February 2014, he presented a paper (“Chess and Regress”) at the undergraduate conference hosted by the Philosophy Department and the Center for Cognition and Neuroethics; he later published his paper in the student managed undergraduate journal compos mentis. This year he is a very active Vice President of our Philosophy Club and helped grow that club from last year’s flabby four-member group to the throng that now meets for hours on end every single Thursday afternoon. (I am witness to this group’s weekly enthusiasm as I teach my Metaethics course in the same room they hold their meetings and every week I have to hustle them out of the room because they cannot tear themselves away from the conversation—and there is Andy, right in the midst of it, not only sharing his ideas but mentoring our younger, new majors and minors.) He will also help organize the upcoming 3rd Annual undergraduate philosophy conference in February 2015 as well as help organize the two compos mentis journal publications that will be published during Winter semester.

Andy told me a week or so ago that he has finally settled on a career plan, which is to go to law school to study disability law. He is fully aware of how difficult it is for individuals who have disabilities to enjoy the full accessibility they have a right to, which would allow them to live to their full potential. I am confident that Andy will not only succeed in law school, but will work hard to make the world a fairer and better place. Andy Slabchuck is one of the best students I have had the honor to teach at UM-Flint and therefore it is with mixed feelings that I contemplate his upcoming graduation. On the one hand, I regret that he will no longer be a student in my philosophy courses, yet on the other I look forward to news of his future accomplishments. I have no doubt that he will do honor to both the Philosophy Department and the University of Michigan-Flint.

Elisa C. Taylor, BFA – Performance
Graduating with High Honors

Nominated by William Irwin, Assoc. Professor & Chair of Theatre: 

I could think of no one more deserving when I was asked to nominate candidates for the Maize and Blue Award. While working with Elisa in the Theatre Department I have been amazed by her vigorous commitment to bettering herself and her peers’ experience in the theatre. Even in the face of some adverse circumstances, Elisa conducts herself with poise and with sensitivity to her fellow classmates. She always exhibits compassion and sincere empathy.  She is also passionately curious about the world and how things work. Further, I can attest without hesitation that her work ethic, sincerity, preparation, communication skills and generosity make her a true delight to work with and know. Similarly, she possesses a natural ease and engaging vibrancy, which make her ideally suited for any classroom, rehearsal hall, and/or social situation. Students of theatre will be hard-pressed to find a better peer-mentor while exploring the craft. She has a great, off-beat sense of humor, never takes herself too seriously and possesses a sincerity that makes all with whom she comes in contact feel comfortable. She is a team player and is exemplary in her conduct, solidarity and maturity. Our entire department has been enriched by her presence.

Finally, her service work has been impressive and impactful. She has been deeply committed to serving our department, our university, and the community (both locally and internationally.) As Treasurer of the UM-Flint Student Theatre Group, she has worked tirelessly at securing funds and organizing travel arrangements in order for theatre students to attend meaningful master-classes and/or professional workshops. She also contributes regularly to F.U.E.L., future minded University-students for environmentally-conscious living, as the organization’s vice-president. She serves as the vice-president of the UM-Flint College Democrats where she promotes progressive public policy and encourages her peers to actively participate [in] local, regional and national politics. Additionally, she contributes regularly to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and the Flint River Clean-up initiatives. Her most impactful service, in my estimation, has been her work in Tanzania where she has volunteered with the Aston Vision Orphanage teaching English and Math where she also worked tirelessly to raise funds and initiate the construction of new restroom facilities for the orphanage. I find this level of service to be incredible when combined with her level of academic success, creative productivity and employment responsibilities. She is truly impressive and selfless.

JoAnn S. Zak, BA in English
Graduating with High Honors

Nominated by Dr. Jacqueline Zeff, Professor of English – Literature


UM-Flint Debate Team Wins Third Tournament

debateteam2_onlinePer Dr. Marcus Paroske, Assoc. Professor & Department Chair of Communications & Visual Arts:
Members of the UM-Flint Debate team travelled this past weekend to Louisiana Tech University for a tournament. The team may have brought the cold with them to the South (temperatures were hovering around freezing), but they brought back to Flint the tournament championship! (Pictured above, left to right: Jordan Bellant, Joshua Latimer, Eric Anderson, Ryan Elder, Lauren Pallas, Cameron Edwards.)

Two partnerships from UM-Flint faced off against two from the University of Mississippi in the final round, with the pairing of Eric Anderson and Ryan Elder being declared the overall champions of the tournament. The pairing of Jordan Bellant and Joshua Latimer dominated the preliminary rounds, but fell just short of their teammates in the final round.

This tournament championship was the third in the past several years for the UM-Flint squad, having previously conquered tournaments at Purdue University and Ohio Wesleyan University. This was the most successful appearance by UM-Flint debaters outside of the midwest, and a fitting reward for the hard work the entire squad has put in this semester.

Debating continues for UM-Flint in the Winter semester, leading up to the National Championship Tournament in April, hosted this year by the University of Alaska-Anchorage. The team holds regular practices, and all UM-Flint students are invited to participate. No previous debate experience is required! You will develop argumentation and public speaking skills, learn more about the world, and can travel with the team to competitive tournaments across the country.

To learn more about the team, contact Professor Marcus Paroske,


Archway Project Blog Launched

PrintFrom Donna Ullrich, faculty member of the Communications Department of UM-Flint:

“Everybody has a story to tell…
…are you ready to tell yours?”

The Archway Blog Launches To Showcase Area Young Filmmakers And Artists

The University of Michigan-Flint’s Communication and Visual Arts Department is seeking young filmmakers and artists to contribute to its new Archway Blog, which showcases the young talent in Genesee County and provides opportunities for participants to network with their creative peers and media professionals.

The blog, which launched November 7 at, is a program of the Flint Youth Media Project, which seeks to engage young people (ages 13-21) in a variety of media immersion programs to build literacy, communications, and social/collaboration skills, Donna Ullrich, project director and UM-Flint Communications lecturer, said.

“The more connected to the media these young talents are, the less connected they are interpersonally to their peers and others. We hope to build a network that supports them and helps them develop the skills they need to be confident young adults ready for college or careers,” she said.

The Archway Blog will host its first networking event for anyone interested in participating Saturday, November 22 at noon in the University Center Michigan Rooms on the campus of the University of Michigan-Flint. Lunch and blog t-shirts will be available.

The event will include opportunities for participants to learn from each other and to talk to area media professionals about filmmaking, editing, photography, lighting, sound, and media topics one-to-one.

The blog welcomes individual’s work or the work of creative teams, organizations, and school projects in a number of categories: short films, documentaries, music videos, public service announcements, spoken work, fine art, and still photography.

Ullrich said the list is expected to grow as contributors submit genres that the team hasn’t even though of yet. The blog does require that the work be original and that it is family friendly. A full outline of the do’s and don’ts for submissions is available at

The blog, which was the idea of Rodney W. Brown, president of iMichigan Productions, Inc., a non-profit education production company and collaborator on the project, is designed to be run by UM-Flint students who will manage the blog and review submissions before clearing them for exhibition on the site, and who will also serve as mentors to the middle and high school-aged participants.

For more information contact or visit

The Flint Youth Media Project and The Archway Blog are sponsored by the UM-Flint Communication and Visual Arts Department in collaboration with iMichigan Productions, Inc.

The Archway Blog is funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.



Welcome to Dr. Nathaniel S. Miller, Assistant Professor of Psychology


Dr. Nathaniel S. Miller

Name: Nathaniel S. Miller, PhD (Nathan)
Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Psychology

Classes I’m teaching:
PSY 316-Biological Psychology
PSY 323-Advanced Research & Writing in Psychology

Professional Interests/Activities:

• Research mentoring of undergraduate students
• Translational research that moves basic science with patient populations to therapeutic interventions
• Community-based interventions for older adults and individuals with Parkinson’s disease

Dr. Miller has published papers in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Behavioral Brain Research, and Perception and Psychophysics.

Research Interests:
• Cognitive neuroscience (emphasis on cognitive and motor changes with aging and Parkinson disease)
• Timing and temporal processing (emphasis on rhythm perception and production), including neural mechanisms
• Auditory perception/music cognition
• Motor rehabilitation

• Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation Researcher-Initiated Grant to investigate the effects of a community-based exercise (cycling) intervention for Parkinson’s disease
• Parkinson’s Action Network—Leadership Summit Presenter and Advocate to Members of Congress (18 postdoctoral awardees)
• NIDRR Young Investigators Panel Speaker at the American Congress for    Rehabilitation

Postdoctoral Training at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
MA and PhD in ‘Neural and Cognitive Sciences’ from Bowling Green State University
BA in Psychology from Capital University

Cognitive Neuroscience Society
The Movement Disorder Society
Society for Neuroscience

 How I fell in love with my field:
I never planned to be a cognitive neuroscientist, it all stemmed from my failed ‘rock star’ dreams as a drummer. I realized during college that I needed to find a more lucrative career than drumming and took an interest in psychology. One of my psychology professors talked to me about research in the area of music psychology, which led me to work in a music psychology laboratory during graduate school. My grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease during this time and I began exploring how music, especially rhythm, could be used therapeutically for certain symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Since then, I have been investigating how rhythm is impaired in individuals with Parkinson’s disease, the neural underpinnings of rhythm and considering how rhythm may be used therapeutically to help these individuals. At the same time, I have become interested in studying how exercise, specifically cycling at local YMCAs, can be used as a therapeutic intervention for Parkinson’s disease and how exercise affects the brain.

 What I hope for my time at UM-Flint:
I hope to continue serving as a research mentor to undergraduate students, while offering them interdisciplinary research experiences relevant to both research- and clinically-oriented fields that they may pursue. I also hope to maintain my strong ties with the Southeast PD community with whom I have been working with successfully over the last several years and develop new collaborations that help strengthen student research and community outreach at University of Michigan-Flint.

Three things you should know about me:
• I played drumset in several rock bands throughout high school, college and graduate school.
• I am an avid cyclist and enjoy watching horror movies—especially to further my understanding of the biopsychology of zombies.
• I have an uncanny ability to combine my professional and personal interests into research projects—which can be a good or a bad thing.

Global Issues Film Festival – Nov. 18th-23rd

GlobalIssuesFilmFestivalThis fall marks the 13th year for the Global Issues Film Festival!

The festival, sponsored by the University of Michigan-Flint, Kettering University, and Mott Community College, showcases the work of independent filmmakers from around the globe, representing a variety of voices and viewpoints that challenge viewers to reach across the boundaries of language, culture and religion.

The first half of the festival will feature six films. The first will be screened at UM-Flint’s KIVA and the remaining films will be shown at the Mott Community College Regional Technology Center Auditorium on MCC’s Flint campus. The second half of the film festival will feature an additional five films that will be shown at Kettering University January 28 through 31, 2015.

All film screenings are free and open to the public.

The schedule of films for the first half of the Festival is as follows:

HALF OF A YELLOW SUN (2013). Directed by Biyi Bandele. 113 min.
Tuesday, Nov. 18, 5 p.m.
This screening will be in the KIVA of the Harding Mott University Center at UM-Flint.
Based on the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a UM-Flint Visiting Author in September of this year, this is a saga of love and betrayal set against the 1967-70 Biafran war, when Igbo people mounted a struggle for independence. The privileged lives of two sisters, Olanna and Kainene, unravel in the midst of civil war as they make very different personal and romantic choices. Features performances by Thandie Newton (Crash, ER), Anika Noni Rose (The Princess & the Frog) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave). It will also be screened in the second part of the festival at Kettering University.

UTOPIA (2013). Directed by John Pilger. 110 min.
Friday, Nov. 21, 7 p.m. 
This documentary examines the experiences of indigenous people of northern Australia. The
name of this region, Utopia, belies the harsh reality facing Aboriginal people here: the abject poverty, deep-seated racism, and police brutality they deal with daily are manifestations of a long history of violence. UTOPIA tells of the determination of Aboriginal activists who fight to make their stories known, and find ways for their communities to begin healing.

DEEP GREEN (2010). Directed by Matt Briggs. 102 min.
Saturday, Nov. 22, 1 p.m.
DEEP GREEN travels the world in search of the most promising solutions to global warming. The film investigates the state-of-the-art technologies fuelling China’s green revolution, visits the “greenest city in Europe,” and explores actions individuals throughout Europe are taking to combat global warming. With its emphasis on solutions, DEEP GREEN offers gripping insights and presents a refreshing look at an urgent situation.

A BRIDGE APART (2013). Directed by Virginia Wolf. 56 min.
Saturday, Nov. 22, 3 p.m.
A compelling look at migration from the perspective of migrants from Central America and Mexico to the U.S., exploring why they move and the dangers they face. Usually poor, young and facing the threat of kidnapping by human traffickers, these are people whose struggles have been overlooked. The film investigates strategies that coffee farmers in Guatemala have implemented to increase economic opportunity and prevent migration. It will also be screened in the second part of the festival at Kettering University.

CROSSING BORDERS (2010). Directed by Arnd Wächter. 72 min.
Sunday, Nov. 23, 1 p.m. 
This film is about the inter-cultural dialogue that ensues as four Moroccan and four American university students travel through Morocco for a week. Preconceived notions about “the clash of civilizations” between the West and Islam (both construed in monolithic terms) fall apart as they get to know one another and engage in frank conversations about culture and religion.

THE WISDOM TO SURVIVE: Capitalism, Climate Change & Community (2013).
Directed by John Ankele and Anne Macksoud. 56 min.
Sunday, Nov. 23, 3 p.m. This documentary examines the challenges of climate change and discusses the meaningful actions that can be taken. Unlike many films on the ecological and humanitarian crisis wrought by unchecked economic growth, THE WISDOM TO SURVIVE brings together the perspectives of spiritual leaders, economists and scientists, including Stephanie Kaza, Rev. Daniel Janto, Joanna Macy, Bill McKibben, and Roger Payne.

For more information about the Global Issues Film Festival contact the office of International and Global Studies at UM-Flint: 810.762.3340 or

Welcome to Dr. Yu-Cheng (Frank) Liu, Asst. Professor in Mechanical Engineering!

Yu-Cheng (Frank) Liu
Title: Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering
Department: Computer Science, Engineering, and Physics (CSEP)

Classes I’m teaching:
EGR-350 Fluid Mechanics
EGR-451 Computational Fluid Dynamics

Professional Interests/Activities:
Selected invited seminars:
Y.C. Liu, “Droplet combustion of surrogate and real fuel systems in a low convection condition,” Research Seminar, MOMENTIVE, Richmond Heights, OH, May 14, 2014.
Y.C. Liu, ”Droplet combustion of surrogate and real fuel systems in a low convection condition: ground-based and space-based experiments,” Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas A&M- Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX, USA, April 29, 2014.
Y.C. Liu, ”Droplet combustion of surrogate and real fuel systems in a low convection condition,” Research Seminar, The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, College Station, PA, USA, Feb. 13, 2014.
Y.C. Liu, ”Droplet combustion of surrogate and real fuel systems in a low convection condition: ground-based and space-based experiments,” Research Seminar, Performance Material R&D, Dow Chemical Company, Freeport, TX, USA, Oct. 25, 2013.
Y.C. Liu,”Spherically symmetrical droplet burning: From ground-based surrogate tests to International Space Experiments,” Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, Taipei, Taiwan, April. 01, 2013.
Y.C. Liu,”Spherically symmetrical droplet burning: From ground-based surrogate tests to International Space Experiments,” Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Mar. 29, 2013.

Selected Conference Presentations:
Y.C. Liu, Y. Xu, M.C. Hicks, C.T. Avedisian, “The effect of support fibers on micro-convection in droplet combustion experiments,” International Symposium on Combustion, San Francisco, CA, Aug. 02-08, 2014.
Y.C. Liu, C.T. Avedisian, K.N. Trenou, J.K. Rah, “Experimental Study of Initial Diameter Effects on Convection-free Droplet Combustion in the Standard Atmosphere for h-Heptane, n-Octant, and n-Decane: International Space Station and Ground-based Experiments,” AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition 2014, National Harbor, Maryland, USA, Jan. 13-17, 2014
Y.C. Liu, Y. Xu, J.K. Rah, K.N. Trenou, C.T. Avedisian, “Droplet combustion dynamics (experiments) of butanol isomers in a reduced gravity environment, 29th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gravitational and Space Research, Orlando, Florida, USA, Nov. 03-08, 2013.
Y.C. Liu, K.N. Trenou, J. Rah, M.C. Hicks, C.T. Avedisian, “Effect of varying the initial diameter of n-octane and n-decane droplets over a wide range on the spherically symmetric combustion process: International space station and ground-based experiments,” 8th U.S. National Combustion Meeting, Park City, Utah, USA, May 19-22, 2013.

Research Interests:
Liquid combustion and diagnostics, phase change phenomena, renewable energy, image processing and analyzing.

Lockheed Martin Student Award for Oral Presentation, 28th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gravitational and Space Research, New Orleans, Louisiana, Nov. 28 – Dec. 02, 2012.

2nd place in the Enabling Technologies Poster Competition
, 28th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gravitational and Space Research, New Orleans, Louisiana, Nov. 28 – Dec. 02, 2012.

McManus Design Award

the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, 2010

Fellowship Award
Graduate Division of Chemical Engineering Department, National Taiwan University, 2006

Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Cornell University (2013)
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Cornell University (2010)
M.S., Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan University (2007)
B.S., Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan University (2005)

Combustion Institute
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
American Society for Gravitational and Space Research

How I fell in love with my field:
Being always interested in energy-related research, I had this opportunity to switch my research field to droplet combustion and do microgravity experiments on earth and aboard the International Space Station. The ideal microgravity droplet flame with a spherical symmetry is a classical problem in textbook, but using this platform to compare surrogate fuels and biofuels with conventional transportation fuels brings new spirits to it. Despite the idealness of the flame, to achieve such a experimental condition is a very challenging task and it requires lots of hands-on engineering design. This is where I found my field interesting and fell in love with it.

What I hope for my time at UM-Flint:
For my time at UM-Flint, I hope that I can bring students new research projects and learning experiences that are more helpful when they go to local and global industries. I believe this would benefit both the community and student’s career development.

Three things you should know about me:
• I play guitar and several percussion instruments.
• Though I enjoy listening to classical music, I also listen to a variety of pop music.
• I enjoy working with students and seeing they learn, grow, and become professional in what they are interested in. That’s why I am here at UM-Flint.

Hope is a Good Thing – UM-Flint Student Art Exhibition


University of Michigan-Flint students, staff, and faculty (and all members of the local community) are invited to an exhibition and reception hosted and curated by students of ARH 111: History of Ancient to Medieval Art. This is the second annual UM-Flint exhibition supporting artists from the Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer, MI. These artists worked with UM-Flint students in workshops to explore historical and creative inspirations in art-making.

According to Dr. Sarah Lippert of the Visual Arts Department, “This semester’s exhibition includes amazing renditions of nature, animal, and children’s fantasy scenes (just on time to make a holiday gift if you see something suitable).”

The Exhibition will be held on Friday, November 14th, from 5-8pm in the UCEN Gallery on the first floor of the Harding Mott University Center and will feature a silent auction. It will coincide with the Flint Artwalk.

Per Dr. Lippert, “Proceeds from the silent auction will go towards the Inmate Benefit Fund and to supporting the artists in continued access to art supplies.”

Light refreshments wil be served. There will also be door prizes and attendees can join in voting for award winners in various categories.

This event is sponsored by the Office of Outreach through Civic Engagement Grants and the Department of Communication and Visual Arts. For more information, visit the CVA website or email

Students, Staff, Faculty Experience World-Renowned Authors Thanks to Campus Partnership

This autumn, students from the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor and Flint campuses, and their surrounding communities, were fortunate to have two world-famous authors on hand to speak about their works and lives.

On Thursday, September 25th, and Friday, September 26th, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Half of a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibiscus, spent time in Flint. Local students and teachers and members of the campus community were able to learn from her as she presented two lectures and a workshop over the two days. On Thursday, Adichie met and addressed teens from Flint-area schools as she discussed her love of reading, writing, and literature, talked about her recent works, and answered their questions. Later that afternoon, she did the same for attendees at the UM-Flint Theatre. The later audience held a large contingent of students and faculty from the Ann Arbor campus of the the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. They attended both at the invitation of and out of partnership with the UM-Flint Department of Africana Studies.


Chimamanda speaking to local teens at the Flint Public Library.

Ann Arbor at Lecture

Elizabeth James of U of M, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Dr. Ernest Emenyonu – Dept. Chair of UM-Flint’s Africana Studies Department

Adichie’s Friday was spent with area teachers and professors as the topic of teaching African literature was discussed.

Autograph w Erica  & B

Workshop participants were given a chance to have their books signed.

The second opportunity came on Wednesday, November 5th, when students from UM-Flint were invited to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to hear Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, speak on her life and the world around us. In her gentle voice, Walker told stark truths about the nature of war and the failures of our political systems around the world. She reminded the audience to not be complacent about the things that matter to them. She reminded them that people, deemed good or bad by the media or popular opinion, are just people, and that having compassion and understanding for others is never a bad idea.


Hill Auditorium at the University of Michigan was filled nearly to capacity.


Alice Walker spoke about the importance of friendships – with other people, with countries, and with the earth itself.


Walker also read a number of poems to the audience including “Why Peace is Always a Good Idea.”

Tamasha Hart, a student at UM-Flint, said, “Alice Walker has an amazing spirit. Listening to her speak, made me feel very humbled and privileged. She made me realize that many times we have to step outside of ourselves and have an unbiased love and form of compassion in our hearts that  allows us to be kind to everyone. It was definitely an awesome and unforgettable experience for me. I was impressed.”

To learn more about UM-Flint’s Africana Studies Department, a driving force in bringing authors of this caliber to students and the community, visit their website.