Monthly Archives: June 2021

Alum Invests and Overcomes Everyday Challenges: June’s aMaizeing Alumni

Alumnus, Edward F Walterhouse II, graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance. He was a member of Beta Alpha Psi- National Honors Fraternity and the Treasurer of the National Honor Society of Leadership & Success during his time as a student. Edward is a licensed financial advisor in Grand Blanc, MI, and maintains client relationships while researching market trends and running marketing campaigns. As our featured Alumni of the month, Edward gives insight on his favorite classroom experience, his long-term career goal, and his proudest accomplishment as a Financial Advisor.

Q: Degree(s) and graduation year:
A: Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) – Finance 2018.

Q: Pursuing another degree?
A: Currently studying for Certified Financial Planner Certification

Q: Where are you currently working and your title? How long have you been in this position or at this organization?
A: I am a Financial Advisor with the Walterhouse Faris Group at Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC in Grand Blanc, MI. I have been in this industry for six years; four years as an intern and two as a fully licensed financial advisor.

Q: What is your job like day to day?
A: Each week brings new opportunities and challenges. I research investments while monitoring current market environments including equity, fixed income, and alternatives. I act as a fiduciary and contacting clients to discuss rebalancing their portfolio. This is an important objective in my role as of lately. I also create personal financial plans through our software by inputting client’s quantitative data. I present and share that financial plan with them in a meeting discussing their qualitative data, goals, and aspirations.

Our team meets with clients annually/bi-annually, and sometimes quarterly to review their portfolios and track their progress towards their financial goals/retirement goals. Networking and running marketing campaigns is also a part of my role to create awareness of the capabilities of my financial team and expand our fiduciary imprint to future potential clients.

Q: Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?
A: I chose this career path because of the need for financial literacy as the world becomes more and more technology-driven, especially in the finance world. The finance sector is also becoming more complex for consumers requiring a need for financial guidance and help.

Q: Why did you choose UM-Flint for your degree?
A: I transferred to UM-Flint to experience a University of Michigan education and the close proximity to my home. I also was able to work and get a great education while not accumulating too much student debt.

Q: Who influenced you most during your time at UM-Flint and why?
A: My small group of friends was a large influence through my years at UM-Flint. We worked on projects together and studied for tests together at Riverfront and sometimes the library. They held me accountable and vice versa. In hindsight, this is something I think is crucial for college students to develop within their classes, not only to do well in that class but to retain information and hear different perspectives on class topics.

Q: Were you involved in any clubs or extracurriculars during your college experience? If so, what organizations/clubs?
A: Treasurer of National Honor Society of Leadership & Success 2017-2018, Beta Alpha Psi- National Honors Fraternity of Finance 2017-2018

Q: What is one of your favorite events you attended or classroom experiences at UM-Flint? Why?
A: I truly enjoyed working and meeting with the group of individuals on the board of the National Honor Society of Leadership & Success during my time as Treasurer. I also enjoyed a late project in my academic career for an investment class where we had to pitch a stock to the Dean of the School of Management. This project was truly engaging and to this day it has influenced my approach to researching investments for clients.

Q: What is a long-term career or professional goal you have for yourself?
A: My long-term career goal is to make an impact in people’s financial lives and on our local communities as a whole. Spread financial literacy throughout Genesee County and help fuel this Flint Michigan comeback. This will take time and consistency but right now time is on my side.

Q: What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?
A: My proudest accomplishments are when I am able to input quantitative data into our financial planning software and present the results to the clients showing them that their hard work, savings discipline, and investing early in their life has paid off. The looks on their faces when they recognize they are able to retire comfortably, spend time with family, travel, and enjoy their hobbies is the best part of my job. I’ve learned in my few years in the industry that financial peace of mind is priceless.

Q: Fun Facts!
A: My bucket list includes a trip to Greece or Lebanon to visit the roots of my family tree.

Screenshot of CAS Student: Alyssa Norris Video Submission

The Entrepreneurial Spirit was in full force during the UM-Flint Zillion Solutions Competition

Zillion Solutions recently ended their idea competition at the end of the winter 2021 semester which had a huge turnout. There were 495 ideas submitted to the Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation by UM-Flint students. In the previous year, the Hagerman Center received 346 submissions. 

Zillion Solutions is a campus-wide competition where students make a short video or Powerpoint describing their unique idea for a new product or service that will solve a problem.

One of the major ways the Hagerman Center increases the UM-Flint community members’ general interest and awareness of entrepreneurial activities is through the annual idea competition, but also through workshops, networking, programs, and events. 

The 2020/21 Zillion Solutions was revamped due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the center had to rethink all angles of how to promote the competition to students in the new virtual environment. 

“Marketing and promotions was a huge headache at first,” said Dr. Mark Simon, Hagerman Center Director and Hagerman Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship, “A lot of things were up in the air with COVID regulations and the stress and anxiety students felt from the pandemic and returning back for school in the fall.”

As the Fall 2020 semester was approaching, the Hagerman Center team knew they would be facing many unknowns in planning logistics for a major competition, but they didn’t want it to be a wash of a year. 

Zillion Solutions officially kicked off the campus-wide competition for submissions from graduate and undergraduate students of all majors, including undecided majors and Deep/Early College students, on October 1, 2020. 

The Hagerman Center team was made up of entrepreneurial-focused students and Hagerman Center Director, Mark Simon, Ph.D. and Associate Director of the Hagerman Center and Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management, Brian Blume, Ph.D.

The UM-Flint students on the planning team were Erik Johnson, BBA ‘23 in International Business and OBHRM ‘23 as the Lead Project Coordinator, Alexis Menard, BBA ‘21 in Marketing and OBHRM, Angela Longbucco, BBA ‘21 in International Business and Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, Trevor Bennett, BBA ‘21 in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, Neil Kagerer, BA in Sociology and Minor in Entrepreneurship ‘21, Tim McGlinchey BBA ‘21 in Accounting and Finance, and Sumer Wascher, BBA ‘21 in Marketing. 

The team also had help from Madeline Rasberry, BSN ‘21, a student serving as the first-ever Student Ambassador representing the School of Nursing that advocated for Zillion Solutions in her cohort and to SON students. Rasberry was also the $2,000 grand prize winner of Zillion Solutions in 2019 and used her expertise to help mentor her peers.  

“It was a team effort. We were also able to get support across campus from staff and faculty members. They are the ones that also made this year a success by talking about Zillion Solutions in their virtual classrooms or posting about it on Blackboard,” said Simon. 

One of the ways the Hagerman Center team further developed the competition was to expand submission requirements. In the past, students would have to make a short video under two minutes that describes their unique idea for a new product or service that will solve a problem. The submission requirements were changed to allow Powerpoint presentations to lower the barriers of entry for students. 

“This change to our submission process made it a lot easier for students to participate and avoided the discomfort some students feel when recording themselves. This process also made it easier for students to submit multiple ideas,” Simon continued, “Students started to realize there were problems all around them that they could solve. It sparked more entrepreneurial thinking. We would talk to a student about the competition and their original idea and then next week get an email that they are submitting another idea.”

The biggest increase in participation was seen in Early College and Dual Enrollment Educational Partnerships (DEEP). Erik Johnson facilitated more than a dozen virtual workshops on Zoom with dual enrolled students to help fine tune their ideas and walk them through the submission process.

“The main issue was that students didn’t know how to get started. We created a Powerpoint template that included everything we were looking for such as stating the problem, giving examples of existing solutions, and how their solution clearly solves the problem,” Johnson said. 

“We received a lot of great comments on the process and looking back at this year, these [high school] students have been through a lot. Zillion Solutions was an outlet for them to be creative,” Johnson continued, “I’m delighted that we were able to have such a successful year and impact so many students.”

The 2020/21 Zillion Solutions competition was sponsored by the Mott Foundation and supported 53 awards ranging from $100 to $2,000. It also supported the daily operations of the center and smaller prize incentives to students.  

The Zillion Solutions Virtual Award Ceremony took place on April 7th where nine finalists from each academic unit, undecided student category, and early college/DEEP, went head to head to compete for four prizes additional prizes; $2,000 – Grand Prize, $1,000 – 1st Runner up, $500 – 2nd Runner up, $500 – Fan Favorite Award. The following students were recognized at the ceremony:


  • Jamie Beebe, CAS-Arts & Humanities
  • Meredith Sheatzley, CAS-Arts & Humanities and Jessica Nadrowski, SEHS
  • Ryelle Conley-Dankert, CAS-Social Sciences 
  • Katelyn Stuck, CAS-Social Sciences
  • Lancine Doumbia, CAS-STEM
  • Olusola Atoyebi, CAS-STEM
  • Felicia Baldassare, CHS
  • Scott Maki, CHS
  • Kennedy Lyons, DEEP/EC
  • Rameira Davis, DEEP/EC
  • Jillian Stieb SEHS,
  • Sherrion Peyton, Renee Stachowiak, Brian Donovan, and Cornel Lynch, SEHS
  • Katelynn Walter, SOM
  • Jacob Ross, SOM
  • Tiffany Schlegel, SON
  • Megan Snyder, SON

Finalist & University Wide Awards:

  • Alyssa Norris – Sustainability Store, CAS-Arts & Humanities Finalist and Fan Favorite Award
  • Elizabeth Warden – The Senior Picture Project, CAS-Social Sciences: Finalist
  • Alyshia Fkye-Jolly – O2 Tube, CAS-STEM Finalist
  • Quinn Hanses – Adaptive Equipment Lending Library, CHS Finalist
  • Lillian Longdrigian – Volunteer Program for Spanish Speakers, DEEP/EC Finalist
  • Meghan Bobrowski – Multisensory Children’s Books, SEHS Finalist
  • Mark Miller – Ventilator Disconnection Identification Device, SOM Finalist and 1st Runner Up
  • Stephen Downs – IV Access Stabilization Tray (IVAST), SON Finalist and Grand Prize Winner
  • Evan Johnson – The Love Button, Undecided Finalist and 2nd Runner Up

“This was our biggest year yet and we are already laying down the foundation for the fall 2021/2022 academic year competition. We want to encourage entrepreneurial thinking when they aren’t in the classroom, so students that are currently enrolled in spring/summer courses or will be enrolled in the fall semester can submit their ideas to Zillion Solutions over the summer,” said Simon. 

“If you have an idea at any point during the year, you want to submit to Zillion Solutions, you don’t have to wait! We are here if you need help,” said Simon. 

The center is planning in-person events in the fall focusing on entrepreneurship and innovation and will be helping students with their Zillion Solutions submission online or with in-person office hours.  

For more details go to  and contact the Hagerman Center at [email protected].