Category Archives: Foreign Languages

New German Course Focuses on Business, Management

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures has good news for UM-Flint students!

A new course, GER 120: Basic German for Business & Management, will start in Winter 2016.

This course requires no previous experience with the German language, and will focus on vocabulary and cultural practices from the German business world. Faculty member Elke Kramer explains that this is the “only course that allows you (students) to start German from scratch and with business German terminology right from the beginning.”

The course is open to all UM-Flint students.


Kramer continues, “Taking German for more than just the core curriculum requirements has a better look on the resumes. It allows HR to see that a student can actually communicate in German and has more to offer than just survival skills or intro level German proficiency.”

She also hopes that the focused curriculum will help students looking to find employment with one of the more than 350 German companies that operate in Michigan.

The class will be offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-3:45pm. Visit to register.

As an added bonus, any UM-Flint student who registers by December 13 will be entered to win one of ten $100 campus bookstore gift cards!

If you have questions about studying German at UM-Flint, contact Elke Kramer at or call 810.762.3370.

Giving Blueday – December 1, 2015

Impact students. Start a journey. Fund the future.

On Giving Blueday, Tuesday, December 1, 2015, we are asking you to donate any amount you can to the departments or programs that mean something to you. Even $5 makes a difference if everyone gives!

We also ask that you share the stories of our programs’ requests–so others can give, too!

Read below for specific requests and links for each of our programs.

Give proud, give loud, and GO BLUE!


AfricanaStudies.StampAfricana Studies
The Africana Studies Department is dedicated to diversity and global awareness. To do so they utilize literature, theatre, film, and traditional academic studies. Each year they bring Africa Week to the Flint Community and they work with the Flint Public Library to present a visiting writer or author.
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Dr. Aiyer was an associate professor of anthropology and a passionate researcher and teacher. The Regents of the University of Michigan regarded him as “a valued student advisor [and a] respected leader in his department.” Make a gift to his namesake scholarship and help future students who demonstrate a special commitment to education.
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The Biology Department is celebrating two of its dedicated faculty by requesting gifts to their memorial funds. The Eugene “Doc” Studier Scholarship offers research support to Biology graduate students. The Holly Sucic Memorial Scholarship serves students in the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology programs.
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ChemBio.StampChemistry & Biochemistry: BLECKER CHEMISTRY SCHOLARSHIP
Professor Harry H. Blecker was the founder of the Department of Chemistry and a faculty member from 1957 to 1989. This fund honors him and helps Chemistry students complete their studies at UM-Flint. In his obituary, Professor Blecker’s family said “It was important to him to help future generations. This vision was his passion for working with thousands of students at UM-Flint.”
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ComVisArts.StampCommunication: UM-FLINT DEBATE TEAM
The UM-Flint Debate team has had a winning tradition at national-level debate for the last few years. Gifts made to this fund will allow the team to continue traveling and debating at tournaments near and far. Although housed in the Communication Program, the team is open to all UM-Flint students. Give today and keep them the Victors of Debate!
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ComScience.StampComputer Science & Information Systems
Help fund study and research by Computer Science & Information Systems students by donating to their general gift fund. This ensures donations go to the area of highest need, as dictated by the program leaders.
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CriminalJustice.StampCriminal Justice
Help fund study and research by Criminal Justice students by donating to their general gift fund. This ensures donations go to the area of highest need, as dictated by the program leaders.
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EarthScience.StampEarth & Resource Science
Help fund study and research by Earth & Resource Science students by donating to their general gift fund. This ensures donations go to the area of highest need, as dictated by the department leaders.
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Economics.StampEconomics: SCHOLARSHIP FUND
The Department of Economics awards $500 scholarships every semester to our highest achieving majors. These scholarships allow students to cover any cost associated with attending, such as tuition, books, fees, etc.  Our students are very grateful to the generosity of our donors, as these scholarships make a meaningful impact on their lives.
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Help fund study and research by Engineering students by donating to their general gift fund. This ensures donations go to the area of highest need, as dictated by the program leaders.
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Every student has to buy books, but English majors have to buy a LOT of books! In the department we try to keep book costs as low as we can, but the reading remains essential. We were all cash-strapped English majors ourselves, and that’s why we want to establish the English Book Scholarship Fund. For us, anything we can do to defray these expenses is worth doing, but we can’t do it alone.
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FLLshortForeign Language & Literatures: MONICA KARNES SCHOLARSHIP
Monica Karnes was a student in Spanish at UM-Flint. Although she was seriously ill, she “continued to pursue her education . . . demonstrating a commitment to excellence which is in the best tradition of the University.” Our UM-Flint Chapter of the Phi Sigma Iota Int’l Foreign Language Honors Society established this fund in 1985 in her memory “to benefit students who share Monica’s hopes, her dreams, and her spirit.”
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Help one of our students travel to London, England, for our first international internship! This experience will have a profound effect on their love of history and future studies and career. The student will work at the Museum of London.
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InterGlobalStudies.StampInternational & Global Studies: STUDY ABROAD SCHOLARSHIP
Named for Dr. Matthew Hilton-Watson, associate professor of Foreign Language and the Director of the International and Global Studies Program, this scholarship helps undergraduate and graduate students travel the globe. Give the gift of experience, diversity, and expanded horizons to UM-Flint students while you pay tribute to Dr. Matt.
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Math.StampMathematics: FAMILY MATH NIGHT
Twice each year the Math Department hosts Family Math Night, a free event where young children and their families have fun together with math. The kids learn two important lessons: math can be fun, and they can do it! Help us continue this tradition of community engagement and inspiring future mathematics majors!
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Voice. Instrumental. Classical. Jazz. Contemporary. Music can mean so many things, but, at UM-Flint, each definition has passionate students in common. Your gift to this scholarship will help future Music majors follow their dreams toward a life of making music. Encourage them to embrace creativity! This is an endowed scholarship, so your gift will be continuous.
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Our Candace Bolter Scholarship is $2,500 away from reaching endowment status. Once endowed, the scholarship will always be available to fund future Philosophy students. Says past recipient Thomas Mann, “[scholarships] give the student the sense that someone else believes in what they’re striving for, and for the student, that can mean the world.”
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Help fund study and research by Physics students by donating to their general gift fund. This ensures donations go to the area of highest need, as dictated by the program leaders.
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PoliticalScience.StampPolitical Science
Help fund study and research by Political Science students by donating to their general gift fund. This ensures donations go to the area of highest need, as dictated by the program leaders.
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Help fund study and research by Psychology students by donating to their general gift fund. This ensures donations go to the area of highest need, as dictated by the program leaders.
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Professor Albert Price served as Director of the Master of Public Administration Program for 24 of the its 35 years. He was also one of the program’s best known faculty members and a mentor to many of its graduates. Donations to this scholarship will help future MPA students complete the program that means so much to Dr. Price.
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Gifts to this fund will benefit our students AND our city! Established in 2010 to honor the memory of Professor Wilfred Marston,
this endowed fund supports students who undertake a civic engagement project with a sociologically relevant research component that focuses on the improvement of Flint.
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Official.Theatre.Horz.Sig.png.binTheatre & Dance: FRIENDS SCHOLARSHIP
This fund supports Theatre & Dance students as they cultivate the necessary tools, both artistic and personal, to meet the demands of an ever evolving world and profession. With your support our students will stand ready to take a place of responsibility in the community at large and excel as fearless artists, flexible workers, and compassionate citizens. Thank you for giving!
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Visual Arts & Art History: STUDENT TRAVEL
The Visual Arts and Art History Faculty would like support for students and student travel for Giving Blueday. In summer 2015 our students traveled to Paris, France. They loved the experience and can already see the benefits of their time there. Your gift will allow future Visual Arts & Art History students the chance to expand their horizons and find new inspiration!
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WomenGenderStudies.StampWomen’s & Gender Studies: CRITICAL DIFFERENCE FUND
The WGS would like gifts to be made to the Women’s Education Center Critical Difference Fund. This small grant helps students facing emergency situations stay in school. Says one recipient, “I believe this grant is important because everyone needs help sometimes and even the littlest thing can save a life.” Give today and be a victor for those who need it the most.
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WritingCenterlogoWriting Center: C. SCOTT RUSSELL SCHOLARSHIP
The C. Scott Russell Scholarship helps writing students with the expense of higher education. The scholarship is awarded to students enrolled in English 109: College Writing Workshop based on their writing improvement and financial need. ENG 109 is designed as an independent study in writing. Students focus on writing issues that interest them and are important to their academic success.
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CAS Faculty Welcomed and Honored at 2015 Convocation

On Monday, August 31, both new and seasoned faculty gathered together for two events: the Academic Affairs Convocation that welcomes new faculty and celebrates our award-winning, promoted, and long-serving faculty members, and the Thompson Center for Learning & Teaching‘s pre-convocation workshop titled “The Actual and the Possible: Cultivating Learning at UM-Flint.”

The workshop featured sixteen faculty presentations, with representatives from each school or college at UM-Flint, focused on innovative and effective teaching methods used in (or out of) classrooms.

The College of Arts & Science was well represented with six faculty speaking on topics ranging from technology to storytelling.


Brian DiBlassio discusses teaching musical elements online.

Brian DiBlassio, Associate Professor and Chair of Music and recipient of the Provost Teaching Innovation Prize, was the first CAS faculty member to present. He discussed the ways in which he brings music alive for online students–where formerly they had only static words on a screen to inform their lessons. By incorporating video, moving graphics, sound, voiceover, and popular media, DiBlassio is able to answer the “challenge of teaching arts purely through text.”

Nicholas Kingsley, Assistant Professor from the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and recipient of the Lois Matz Rosen Junior Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, spoke to his peers about technology that works for both his teaching style and his students’ needs. From interactive digital presentations to a pen that allows recording and playback of his method for working through complex problems, Kingsley demonstrated how his technology choices serve students in the classroom and create resources for future use.


Pat Emenyonu from the departments of English and Africana Studies listens to a presentation at the TCLT pre-convocation workshop.

Jill Slater, Lecturer of Biology, presented on this past spring’s Cell-ebration: a science symposium she created to inform and inspire students from all of her classes. Slater combined more seasoned students’ experiences and newer students’ questions to present cellular research being done across her courses. Her event engaged students in new ways and allowed there to be a focus on what happens after they learn research methodologies in lower level courses. All students came away with skills they can use later in their academic studies and in their professional and research careers.

Thomas Henthorn, Assistant Professor of History, spoke on an oral history project from his class Gods in the City. Henthorn uses the lesson to emphasize listening and communication skills while students explore new topics and religion through their interviews with community members. He spoke about the value of an assignment that can’t be simply gathered from online sources. Said Henthorn, “as wonderful as technology is . . . most of the world’s important business happens face to face.”


Erica Britt talks about Vehicle City Voices and the stories of Flint residents.

Erica Britt, Assistant Professor of Linguistics in the English Department, continued with the storytelling theme by talking about her Vehicle City Voices project. Britt has utilized both graduate and undergraduate students in her collection, coding, and presentation of stories from residents around the city of Flint. In addition to being a documentation of memories, her project is a study in the vocal patterns of speakers in Flint. Students created transcripts and developed word-level, phrase-level, and sentence-level analysis on their collected stories.

Margaret Ware, Lecturer in Biology, was the final CAS speaker of the day. In her discussion she showed how combining factual health histories with fictional characters allowed her students to have a more involved and engaged experience when completing a case study project. Students worked individually to create a story from lab data and then as a small group selected their favorite story or combined elements to create a new one. Ware noted the students were able to utilize a wide variety of skills, including the unusual combination of creative writing and scientific data collection.


UM-Flint faculty, staff, and administrators listen to presentations at the TCLT’s 2015 pre-convocation workshop.

After all the presentations were made, participants had small table discussions to talk about their favorite methods from the day and also to share their own unique methods of teaching. The event was closed by TCLT’s Tracy Wacker who spoke to the joy of teaching and learning as she wished all a successful Fall 2015 semester.

The focus on UM-Flint’s teaching excellence continued later that afternoon at the Academic Affairs Convocation in the UM-Flint Theatre.


Provost Doug Knerr welcomed faculty back to another year of excellent teaching.

The event began with an introduction by Chancellor Susan E. Borrego and a warm welcome from Provost Doug Knerr.

Faculty Awards were announced, with CAS faculty claiming eight of the nine honors:

Lois Alexander, Professor of Music: Teaching Excellence Award

Lixing Han, Professor of Mathematics: Scholarly or Creative Achievement Award

Kathy Schellenberg, Associate Professor of Sociology: Distinguished Service Award

Ernest Emenyonu, Professor of Africana Studies: Alvin D. Loving Senior Faculty Initiative Award

Karen Salvador, Assistant Professor of Music: Lucinda Hinsdale Stone Junior Women Faculty Award

Peggy Kahn, David M. French Professor and Professor of Political Science: Dorthea E. Wyatt Award

Nicholas Kingsley, Assistant Professor of Chemistry: Dr. Lois Matz Rosen Junior Excellence in Teaching Award

Traci Currie, Lecturer of Communication and Visual Arts: Collegiate Lecturer Award

Ricardo Alfaro, David M. French Professor and Professor of Mathematics, was also honored as the UM-Flint nominee for the Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year Award.


Traci Currie receives a congratulatory hug from Chancellor Susan E. Borrego


Professor Ricardo Alfaro receives his Presidents Council Sponsored Faculty Award from Provost Doug Knerr


Assoc. Professor Kathryn Schellenberg receives her Distinguished Service Award from Provost Knerr as Chancellor Susan E. Borrego looks on

Services awards were given to those who have been at the university for 10, 20, or 40 plus years:

Ten years or more: 
Jacob Blumner, English; Traci Currie, Communication & Visual Arts; Michael Farmer, CSEP; Janet Haley, Theatre & Dance; Terrence Horgan, Psychology; Jason Kosnoski, Political Science; Maria Pons-Hervas, Foreign Languages & Literatures; Jie Song, Chemistry & Biochemistry; and Jeannette Stein, Psychology

Twenty years or more:
Jamile Lawand, Foreign Languages & Literatures; Paula Nas, Economics; Stevens Wandmacher, Philosophy


Assoc. Professor Jason Kosnoski receives his Faculty Service Award for 10 years or more of service


Interim Dean Susan Gano-Phillips announced new and promoted faculty of CAS.

Promoted faculty were celebrated (click here for a full story), with those moving from assistant to associate or associate to full professor being named by Interim Dean Susan Gano-Phillips.

From associate professor with tenure to professor with tenure:
Lois Alexander, Music; Jami Anderson, Philosophy; Roy Barnes, Sociology; John Stephen Ellis, History; Michael Farmer, Computer Science and Information Systems.

From assistant professor to associate professor with tenure:
Dauda Abubakar, Africana Studies and Political Science; Julie Broadbent, Psychology; Daniel Coffield, Jr., Mathematics; Rajib Ganguly, Physics; Christopher Heidenreich, Music; Daniel Lair, Communication; Vickie Jeanne Larsen, English; Shelby Newport, Theatre and Dance; Greg Rybarczyk, Earth & Resource Science.

In addition to honoring our more seasoned faculty, the convocation also serves as a welcome to new faculty. The College of Arts & Science welcomed ten new faculty members:

Karen Bedell, Lecturer of Psychology; Halil Bisgin, Assistant Professor of Computer Science; David Duriancik, Assistant Professor of Biology; Jason Jarvis, Lecturer of Psychology; Jacob Lederman, Instructor cum Assistant Professor of Urban Sociology; Jeffrey Livermore, Lecturer of Computer Science; Brian Schrader, Lecturer of Communication; Amanda Kahl Smith, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice; Matthew Spradling, Assistant Professor of Computer Science; and Amanda Taylor, Lecturer of Psychology.

Each of the new faculty will be more thoroughly introduced to the campus and community through CAS Faculty Spotlights, located on the CAS website, throughout the Fall 2015 semester.

The College of Arts & Sciences would like to offer sincere congratulations to all of our faculty on their awards, recognition, promotion, or introduction to the University of Michigan-Flint. We are looking forward to a wonderful academic year of service and teaching.

UM-Flint Alum Hosts Science Fiction Conference


The CCN’s conference included six panels and 16 speakers from around the world.

In late March, academics from around the world gathered at the Insight Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience in Flint, Michigan, for a conference on “The Work of Cognition and Neuroethics in Science Fiction.” The event, from inception to production, was the work of UM-Flint College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) alumnus Zea Miller; it was supported by the UM-Flint Department of Philosophy and hosted by the Center for Cognition and Neuroethics (CCN).

Now a doctoral student of Theory and Cultural Studies in the English Department at Purdue University, Miller can boast a long connection with UM-Flint, including a 2006 BA in French and International Studies, a 2011 MA in English Language and Literature, his staff and committee positions within CAS, and his current work as a project manager for CCN where he handles administrative and technical affairs, including journal production and website design.

When asked about the idea behind his conference, which explored the topics in ways that are new to the fields of philosophy and science fiction, Miller said, “Given the box-office popularity of science fiction narratives last year, we thought that a conversation on how identity, language, and cognition interplay with neuro-substance (ab)use, neuro-enhancement and perfection, and neuro-invasive treatments and manipulation would be timely. To that end, since CCN is committed to sponsoring interdisciplinary collaborations, and since my research interests include theory and science fiction, I wanted to foster a space where scholars could explore the work of cognition and neuroethics in science fiction, and thereby begin a new critical conversation.”


Attendees listen as members of the second panel discuss their topics.

Miller’s interest in the subject matter was shared by others in academia, and participants came from as far as England for a chance to share their thoughts among peers. Following are the speakers and their topics:

• “Unrecognizably Human: Empathic Perception and Augmented Others in Recent Science Fiction Film”
– Shannon Foskett, University of Chicago
• “Being, Technologically Human”
– Meghan Roehll, University at Buffalo, SUNY
• “Black Mirror‘s ‘The Entire History of You’: Memory as a Recording Device”
– Mark Huston, Schoolcraft College

• “Electric Existentialism: The Sisyphean Subject in Greg Egan’s Permutation City
– Brandon Fenton, York University
• “Science Fiction Embedded in Neuroethics: Mindlessness and Nihilism”
– Howard Ducharme, University of Akron
• “The Quality of Life: The Implications of Augmented Personhood and Machine Intelligence in Science Fiction”
– Damien Williams, Independent Scholar

• “The Informational Substance of Human Reality: Cognitive Growth, Healing, Communication, Radical Transformation
– Susan Castro, Witchita State University
• “Experiencing Universal Interconnection Through Science Fiction Minds”
– Peter Buzby, Penn State University
• “Dual-Process, Two-Minds, and Science Fiction”
– Joshua Mugg, York University

• “Blockchain Thinkers and Smart Contracts to take over the World?”
– Melanie Swan, Kingston University, London
• “Mary Shelley’s Uncanny Consciousness: Frankenstein as a Thought Experiment for the 21st Century”
– James Tierney, Oakland University
• “Biology in/as Rhetoric in Octavia E. Butler’s Science Fiction: A New Paradigm for Epistemology”
– Meghan K. Riley, University of Waterloo

• “Evolution and Neuroethics in the Hyperion Cantos”
– Brendan Shea, Rochester Community & Technical College
• “Identity, Ethics, and Complex Decision Making in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
– Ellen Moll, Michigan State University

• “Moral Enhancements: What does science fiction teach us about moral improvements?”
– Jason Howard, David Bauer, and Jeffery Nyseth, Viterbo University
• “Apes with a Moral Code? Exploring the Boundaries of Moral Responsibility in The Planet of the Apes
– Paul Carron, Baylor University


Panel Two. Chaired by Meghan Roehll.

When asked about the chance to explore these unique viewpoints in such an established genre, Miller said, “While research on the relationship between cognition, science fiction, and genre is extensive, the ways in which cognition and neuroethics are deployed in these narratives remains relatively unexamined, so much so that we have a groundbreaking opportunity.” All presenters will have the option to submit their works for publication consideration in the CCN’s Journal of Cognition and Neuroethicsa peer-reviewied and open access publication that would allow the conference works, and their novel ideas, to reach a much wider audience.


Zea Miller, UM-Flint alumni and organizer of the science fiction conference.

Miller plans to continue the conference next year and feels fortunate that his experiences at UM-Flint both prepared him for such projects and afford him the opportunity to continue working with the university faculty and facilities: “While exciting, this is only one project among many. Between faculty-student research collaborations, scholarship fundraising efforts, the capstone course, and conferences and journals through CCN, the Philosophy Department remarkably and critically engages with the community. As an alumnus, it is therefore an honor to continue working with CAS faculty. We are doing amazing work, and it is a credit to our campus that faculty, students, staff, and alumni have such opportunities.”

For more information on the Philosophy Department, visit their website. To learn about the CCN’s conferences and publications, find them online or email Dr. Jami Anderson, Co-Director, at

Content on this post may be reprinted as long as credit is given to the UM-Flint College of Arts and Sciences or a link is provided to this blog.


Advising on Secondary TCP Changes: March 30-April 2

The Secondary Teacher Certificate Program at UM-Flint is undergoing changes that will be effective in Fall 2015. The new model will better prepare our students to be high school teachers. All who are currently enrolled in a Secondary Teacher Certificate Program or considering teaching high school students should attend one of four upcoming advising sessions:

 • Monday, March 30th, 4pm-5pm 

• Tuesday, March 31st, 11am-12pm 

• Wednesday, April 1st, 11am-12pm

• Thursday, April 2nd, 4pm-5pm

Sessions will be held in the Center for Educator Prep in 410 French Hall. Each session will contain the same content. Multiple program advisors will be on hand to present information and answer questions. The changes will affect students who are already enrolled in a Secondary TCP.

For more information, visit or call 810.762.3257.


Four From CAS to be Honored at Retirement Reception

After years of dedication and service to the University of Michigan-Flint, four members of the College of Arts and Sciences were recognized by Chancellor Borrego at a Retirement Reception on December 8th.

Our CAS retirees are:
• Dr. Thomas Foster of the English Department
• Dr. Richard Hill-Rowley of the Earth & Resource Science Department
• Ann Niemann of the Biology Department
• Dr. Paul O’Donnell of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

Read more about these dedicated members of the College of Arts and Sciences:

Dr. Thomas Foster, Professor of English

Dr. Thomas Foster
Per Dr. Stephen Bernstein, Chair of the English Department

Professor Foster received his B.A. degree with high distinction from Dartmouth College in 1974, his M.A. degree from Michigan State University in 1977, and his Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University in 1981. From 1981-82 and 1983-87 he served as temporary assistant professor in Michigan State University’s American Thought and Language Program, and in 1982-83 he was an assistant professor at Kalamazoo College. He joined the University of Michigan – Flint faculty in 1987 as assistant professor.
For twenty-seven years Professor Foster was a popular instructor in a wide array of courses for undergraduates and graduate students. His courses ranged from introductory courses in classical literature and literary genres all the way to upper-level and graduate classes on modern and contemporary British literature. Hundreds – if not thousands – of students owe at least part of their understanding of some of the twentieth century’s greatest writers to Professor Foster. He served on numerous department and university committees, and was instrumental in the establishment of the English Department’s Master of Arts in English Language and Literature in 2007. He then served as the program’s first director, designing numerous policies and procedures for its continuing success over the five years of his tenure.
Aside from his fine work as a teacher and an administrator, Professor Foster was also a tireless researcher and writer. He was the author of many academic articles and of eight books, some written for academic audiences and some for the general reader. His How to Read Literature Like a Professor became a bestseller, and Professor Foster spent many hours talking with high school classes who had read the book, visits that made him a de facto ambassador for higher education.
The Regents now salute this distinguished literature educator for his dedicated service by naming Thomas C. Foster professor emeritus of English.

R Hill-Rowley

Dr. Richard Hill-Rowley during construction at the Urban Alternatives House

Dr. Richard Hill-Rowley

Research Interests:  Land Use, Sustainable Urbanism, and Urban Redevelopment

Dr. Hill-Rowley is retiring from the Earth & Resource Science Department. In recent years, he was the driving force behind the Urban Alternatives House – an energy efficient structure designed to use water and other resources in a sustainable way. The house is both a living and a learning space with classroom facilities and apartments located within. In October 2014, the ERS celebrated the Urban Alternative House’s LEED Platinum Certification–the highest certification of the U.S. Green-Building Council.

Professor Hill-Rowley received his B.Sc. degree in Economics from the University of London in 1969, his M.A. degree in Geography from University of Georgia in 1973, and his Ph.D. degree in Geography from Michigan State University in 1982. From 1975 to 1981 he was Research Specialist and Project Manager for the CRIES Project, Important Farmlands Mapping Project and the Remote Sensing Project at Michigan State University. In 1982 he came to the University of Michigan-Flint as an instructor and was hired as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Resource Science in 1983. In 1989 he was promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Resource Science. While at UM-Flint he also served as the Director of the Regional Groundwater Center, UM-Flint (1990-1998) and Director of the Center for Applied Environmental Research, UM-Flint (1998-2000).

Richard was among the early core faculty in the years when the Department was known as Resource and Community Science and was largely responsible in the formation and growth of the department and programs into what has become the Department of Earth and Resources Science. Professor Hill-Rowley was a leader in classroom teaching, faculty development, and was an active researcher. He was active in faculty governance in the department, college, and University. As a scholar, Richard produced several significant publications in the areas of forest management and sustainability, and was an early pioneer in implementing a full on-line course at the UM-Flint.

Professor Hill-Rowley’s exceptional achievements are related to his service and applied research, and these include: helping to obtain significant amounts of grant money to fund the newly formed Regional Groundwater Center; establishing the transfer of scientific knowledge to many communities about their groundwater and potential contamination risks to their wells; and, creating an environmental component to the UM-Flint campus outreach efforts. His signature achievement, however, was creating a vision for an energy and water efficient home located near the campus to serve as a model for the surrounding community and region, This vision was implemented in 2013 after 5 years of tireless work that brought together local community organizations, campus faculty and staff, student assistants, and a diverse set of funding organizations including the Mott Foundation, Flint Rotary Club, Kresge Foundation, and Consumers Energy. Today, the UAH stands as the only house of its type affiliated with a U.S. university that blends a classroom seating 25, energy and water efficient monitory systems, a working garden, rain harvesting system, and live-in low-income qualified tenants. This structure is truly a lasting resource for the entire University, community, and region.


Ann Niemann

Ann Niemann
Per Dr. Steve Myers, Chair of the Biology Department:

Ann was originally hired on February 21, 1989 as a part-time secretary for the Theater and Dance Department chaired at the time by Dr. Thomas Bloom. Ann enjoyed many theatre and dance productions during her 14 ½ years there.  She was able to see the production process from beginning to the opening night – many hours of practice, behind the scenes work involving the set, and costumes in each of their productions.  One of her jobs there she will never forget was the season brochure bulk-mailing every summer.
In August of 2003, Ann was one of approximately 20 UM-Flint employees who received word in August of 2003 of job cutbacks.   She was called back to work part-time in the Philosophy Department in December 2003.
In the fall of 2004, she transferred to Biology Department, which became much more than her home department.  Right from the start, the biology department appreciated Ann as the great asset she was.
Her appointment in biology included serving as a “floating secretary” within CAS for three months during summer.  This gave Ann the unique opportunity to experience operations in a wide range of departments (e.g. MUS, COM/ART, ECN/AFA, POL SCI/PUB ADM, FOR, CSEP, CHM/ERS, MTH, PSY, SOC/ANT/CRJ, and THE).  Ann enjoyed meeting new people and brought back to the biology department many new ideas to enhance office operations.
While Ann enjoyed working with people across the college, she was always very happy to return to the biology department where she felt most at home.  The biology department recognized what a gem Ann was. She has a wealth of knowledge about the university that made her a great resource person.  She also was very much a people person who brightened the office and made all who entered feel welcome.  Ann was amazing at multitasking. She often was the first contact for anyone entering the Biology office and, as this [is] a very busy department, she endured regular interruptions as a matter of course.  Ann astounded many, especially her department chair, with her ability shift her full attention quickly to help a student or faculty member and then quickly shift her attention back to her other multitudinous tasks. Over the years, Ann demonstrated that she was dedicated to the success of our students, the department and the college.
The biology department whole heartedly thanks Ann for her many years of exemplary service and wish her all the best in her retirement.

Dr. Paul O’Donnell

Professor Paul O’Donnell begane at the University of Michigan-Flint in 1986. He was awarded tenure in 1991 and promoted to full professor in 1997. He taught in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, teaching Spanish.

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!

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 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