The University of Michigan Center for the Education of Women (CEW+) will be honoring a UM-Flint School of Management student at the 2021 Center for the Education of Women Virtual Awards Celebration. The event will be acknowledging 85 scholarship recipients and 10 graduate fellows from the three UM campuses including Reva Spikener, who is receiving the Margaret Dow Towsley Scholarship.
The 2021-22 cohort being recognized are student parents and primary caregivers, students who are returning to the classroom after a prolonged interruption, students who are underrepresented in STEM fields, first-generation, international students, and students who have overcome great obstacles in order to achieve their dream of earning a degree in higher education.
Margaret Dow Towsley, one of the named scholarships being awarded at CEW+, has opened countless doors for women and children by paving the way for equality for women. She was the first woman elected to the Ann Arbor City Council, one of the first persons in Ann Arbor to acknowledge the special needs of children and working mothers, a major force in creating a gender-integrated Ann Arbor YMCA, and helped establish the Women’s City Club.
Spikener is widely known as a committed servant leader on the UM-Flint campus, in her church, and as part of her sorority. She consistently inspires others and demonstrates “strong will, determination, and follow-through.”
Spikener became pregnant with her fourth child while completing her bachelor’s degree. She also took on additional caregiving responsibilities during this time. Despite these life changes, she persisted with her education and would frequently bring her daughters with her to class and exams to make it work. She graduated cum laudewith a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in mathematics from Marygrove College.
Over the next 10 years, Spikener worked several jobs to independently support her children. She attempted to return to school in 2015, but lacked the necessary childcare support to complete the program.
Spikener has such determination and persistence at her current employer that she earned four promotions within six years. She one day aspires to reach a director-level position. While working full-time as a human resources manager, Spikener is earning her master’s degree in Leadership and Organizational Dynamics (MSLOD) at the University of Michigan – Flint and is an active member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
“I believe with God all things are possible no matter the odds, no matter the circumstances, no matter what others believe. Our lives have a great purpose,” said Spikener reflecting on her experiences.
Recently, Spikener was approached to be a board member of the Black Defense Force. This organization aims to provide legal services for black individuals in the community with low socioeconomic status. She is proud to lead by example for her children as a lifelong learner and difference-maker in her community.
CEW+ is proud to name Reva Spikener a Margaret Dow Towsley Scholar. The Margaret Dow Towsley Scholars will be recognized on Thursday, November 11, 2021, from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Zoom. The ceremony will include readings of short excerpts describing scholars’ academic or personal journeys, and break-out rooms to celebrate each scholarship.
During the 2019-2020 school year, the UM-Flint Financial Management Association (FMA) made a strong comeback. In recent years, the student organization has become inactive. A group of committed UM-Flint School of Management students made it their mission to restart the organization and offer resources to students interested in financial management.
The mission of the Financial Management Association is to help students learn and challenge each other about various aspects of finance, such as investment banking, investment trading, investment management, and business administration-finance. They accomplish this through networking, being leaders in their classrooms, biweekly meetings, guest speaker events, and this year, attending a national conference.
In early March, five students attended the 2020 Finance Leaders’ Conference in New York, New York, for the first time in the history of the organization. The team members that attended were Parker Faubert (BBA in Finance), Todd Fridline, Vice President of FMA (BBA in Finance), Hannah Hodgkinson (BBA in Accounting), Austin McIntosh, President of FMA (BBA in Finance), Ciera Meier, Treasurer of FMA (BBA in Accounting and Minor in Criminal Justice), and Mustafa Salim, Secretary of FMA (BA in Economics and Minor in Finance).
These determined students highlighted their skills and accomplishments in a Financial Case Competition with 60 other universities throughout the country. The deliverables of their case focused on the macroeconomic, quantitative, and qualitative analysis of Peloton, the popular at-home workout equipment that also provides customer support through their app and live-streams.
“Due to this being our first time participating in this event, we did not know what to expect leading up to the event. Five of our six members were allowed to compete in this competition, and we divided the work up equally between these five members. We were given five hours to complete our analysis and we utilized this entire time. The deliverable for this portion of the competition was a four-page case report,” said Todd Fridline.
FMA presented their findings to a panel of judges, and from their hard work, they received Top Three Honors in this competition. “This was a tremendous experience for everyone involved,” said Todd Fridline.
“Since it was our first conference, we were not sure what to expect out of this weekend. Our main goal for this conference was to take in as much information we could. From there, we can take this information to guide the club’s meetings and future conferences going forward. We were looking at this conference as a gateway to get the club up to the potential we see it as,” said Ciera Meier.
Austin McIntosh, President of FMA, said, “We would absolutely like to attend the conference again and become a routine part for the club and to build upon the success that we enjoyed this year. We would like to continue learning more in-depth aspects of finance and the business world. Previous competitions held at this conference were quiz bowls and case competitions, so if we continue to learn and practice these skill sets, it will set us up for success not only in future conferences but also in our careers.”
The faculty advisor for FMA, John Stephens, Lecturer of Accounting and Finance for the School of Management said, “I am very happy with the activity of the club and the initiative they have taken to plan, organize, and arrange funding for the trip to New York City. I am also very proud of their accomplishment with the case competition. Each school could decide if they wanted to enter the competition. Not only did the UM-Flint FMA decide to enter, but they also were all very enthusiastic about the competition and their deliverables. The analysis was very strong and the students ended up placing third for their analysis of the Peloton Corporation and earning a prize stipend. The other schools in the competition were much bigger programs, but our students proved that size does not matter because the principles are the same no matter where you attend college. ”
During the Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 semesters, the FMA’s primary focus was to recruit new members and achieve their goals. “We have used flyers, digital signage, and various word of mouth to let students know we are back on the radar. We have tables at the Mgagement Fairs, SOM Business Socials, and also promoted our various events throughout campus,” said Austin McIntosh.
“By putting on various events, and making this organization centered around what the members want to gain out of the club, we are continuously achieving our goal of learning and challenging ourselves on aspects of business administrative finance,” Austin McIntosh continues, “Rebuilding this club and achieving the success as we did at the Finance Leaders’ conference truly shows that the University is excelling in teaching their students in becoming the Leaders and the Best.”
According to the group members, all of this couldn’t have been done without the guidance of FMA’s faculty advisor, John Stephens. “He has given us tremendous support and has contributed numerous ideas to help make the club become the best it can be. Aside from the club itself, he has assisted us in making smart decisions for our career as well as answering our financial questions that we come to him with,” said Austin McIntosh.
The intensity is up for FMA’s upcoming 2020-2021 academic year as they plan to continue to bring in well-known professionals from the community to educate students on specific industries within the business world, volunteer within the community, travel to Michigan firms in the finance/accounting field, host fun engaging student events, and attend the 2021 Finance Leaders’ Conference. The student organization will continue to be a learning environment for students interested in accounting and finance, even if it’s not their degree focus.
“I think that the program in the School of Management can hold their heads high in the sense that our students are learning how to think and problem solve using the tools that are taught in class. I am very proud of this accomplishment and the club has certainly set a high standard for next year’s club,” said John Stephens.
Current members testimonials on why they joined FMA:
“ I joined the club because I really wanted to more involved on campus as a sophomore. I am an accounting major, and wanted to join an org that would compliment that but also broaden my horizons. Meeting new people was a bonus!“ – Hannah Hodgkinson, BBA in Accounting
“I was looking for a way to get more involved on campus. Although I am not majoring in finance, I thought it would be good to extend my knowledge in that field.” – Ciera Meier, Treasurer of FMA, BBA in Accounting and Minor in Criminal Justice
“I’ve always been interested in financial markets and the economy. As an economics major I wanted to add more depth to my degree. The club solidified the idea of adding a Finance minor to my degree.” – Mustafa Salim, Secretary of FMA, BA in Economics and Minor in Finance
“I was seeking a club that was not only related to my major but also as a way to get involved on campus, being that this is a crucial way to stand out to potential employers, and at the same time make myself a more well-rounded individual.” – Austin McIntosh, President of FMA, BBA in Finance
Interested in join FMA in the Fall 2020? Email Austin McIntosh at email@example.com.
UM-Flint School of Management student, Alexandria Thompson, received the distinguished HORIZONS scholarship from the Women in Defense – Michigan Chapter. The scholarship is given to encourage women to pursue careers related to national security and defense fields in the United States. Thompson is a U.S. Air Force veteran and will be receiving her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Supply Chain Management in December 2019. She will be graduating with honors from UM-Flint on Sunday, December 15, 2019.
Thompson received the scholarship at the 11th Annual Women in Defense gala on November 8, 2019, at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, MI. “It was an incredibly special night because I got to bring my mom as my date,” said Thompson, “My mom is a U.S. Air Force veteran with ten years of active duty service. Being able to celebrate women who are often underrepresented in their defense and military careers, alongside my mom, was an absolute dream.”
Previously, Thompson worked combat supply operations for an F-16 fighter squadron in various countries such as Japan, Jordan, Djibouti, and Singapore. Thompson said that the traveling made it difficult to pursue a degree, “I separated and began pursuing my degree at UM-Flint [and] it allowed me to pursue my education from one of Michigan’s top tier schools without having to move again.”
Thompson said, “The Supply Chain Management program at UM-Flint provides a global perspective on business, logistics, and management that promotes the skills and objectives that directly apply to what is required of a civilian to support our military members on the front lines.” Thompson added, “Courses such as Project Management, International Management, and Operations Management have taught me abilities in planning and developing strategies outside of national boundaries.”
One of the obstacles Thompson had to overcome to attend UM-Flint was getting back into the academic mindset after being out of school for so long. “I struggled very much in the beginning, especially in math-related subjects. I spent every spare minute I had in the math tutor lab getting help,” said Thompson. Thompson credits her achievements to Larry Nichols, School of Management Lecturer, for writing her a letter of recommendation for the HORIZONS scholarship. “Mr. Nichols is a rare educator that genuinely cares about his students’ success,” said Thompson.
Thompson is currently working as a Student Contracting Trainee for the U.S. Army at the Detroit Arsenal. After graduation, Thompson will be working towards becoming a Contract Specialist and will continue her career with the U.S. Army. “I knew after my military service that I would like to pursue a career within the Department of Defense. I think it is important to have pride in what you do and the military offers a sense of pride unlike any other.”
2018-2019 academic year was a massive success for the School of Management
student organization, Entrepreneurs Society (ES). Entrepreneurs Society
received four awards at the Wolverine Excellence banquet on Thursday, April 11,
2019. The banquet is hosted by the Department of
Student Involvement and Leadership and recognizes the
contributions of a student organization which exhibits strong leadership skills
such as teamwork, collaboration, communication, while also implementing
initiatives that fulfill the mission of their organization. The organization is also one that is
committed to furthering the university’s mission and positively impacting the
quality of student life on campus.
Entrepreneurs Society received the Outstanding Organization Award and the Student Organization Community Contribution Award. The Outstanding Student Organization Award recognizes a student organization that has demonstrated significant leadership qualities and has contributed to the University of Michigan-Flint during the 2018-2019 academic year. Along with the two distinguished organizational awards, the School of Management Faculty member and Advisor to Entrepreneurs Society, Dr. Michael Witt, received the Outstanding Student Advisor Award. Lastly, the President of Entrepreneurs Society, Todd Fridline (BBA in Finance ’20), received the Outstanding Student Leader Award.
President of Entrepreneurs Society, Todd Fridline (BBA in Finance ’20), Vice
President, Elisabeth Hamilton (BBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship ’20), and
Treasurer, Carryn White (BBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship ’19) discuss
Entrepreneurs Society community contributions and leadership at University of
Michigan-Flint in a Q&A with the School of Management.
Q: How has this organization
demonstrated leadership and positively contributed to the Flint community?
Hamilton: The Entrepreneurs Society takes great pride in being leaders
on our own campus and also in the community in which we live. The biggest way
our organization is making a positive contribution to the community of Flint is
our Flint Green project. Flint Green is a project focused on changing the
negative connotation that the community of Flint receives, and turning it into
a positive outlook. Flint Green is focusing on promoting a greener version of
Flint, using solar and wind energy to support the members of the Flint
community who typically get ignored. By promoting and marketing this project,
Entrepreneurs Society is also promoting a positive contribution to the Flint
This past December, over 20 Entrepreneurs Society members
visited the Whaley
Children’s Center to volunteer our time. The Society
believes it is important to give back to the community whenever possible. This
volunteer opportunity allowed ES students to help the Whaley Children’s Center
in one of their most crucial times of the year.
Fridline: In the fall, the Entrepreneurs Society held its first annual Entrepreneur Tour. This experience provided students with an opportunity to listen to and network with entrepreneurs here in our own city. The tour made two stops in Downtown Flint. The first was at Cafe Rhema, where ES members listened to one of the executives at OLV Investment Group and Cafe Rhema owner, Josh Spencer. The tour also visited the Flint Ferris Wheel to visit the owner of KALM Clothing. They are both thriving businesses within the Flint Community and offered great insight about their experience of crafting their businesses, as well as gaining support from other local companies and promoting them to students at the University of Michigan-Flint.
with this tour, we have also had the honor of having various Flint
entrepreneurs come to speak to our society, such as Wes Stoody, Founder of
Article One, Terry Stanfill, inventor of “Lenz,” and we had a team
assisting him in his marketing and finding his market segment, Drew Lauinger,
Instagram Influencer looking to start a social media marketing company, Sean
Tabor, Project Manager at Michigan Management Specialists and alumni of ES and
many more entrepreneurs.
Society also visited local packaging company and Tier-1 automotive supplier,
NorthGate. Several ES students received a tour of one of their facilities and
had a great opportunity to talk with the President of the company for over an
hour. ES has also collaborated with local Entrepreneurs and alumni of the
University of Michigan-Flint. Two entrepreneurs reached out to the Society in
search of help for their respective businesses. Students from ES provided these
entrepreneurs with business plans, financial models and projections, and
helpful insight to their business sector.
White: Entrepreneurs Society has also held many events open to the
community of Flint, including relationship with the Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurial Speaker Series, Financial Wellness workshops
and a LinkedIn Workshop. In these workshops, we have collaborated with other
student organizations, emphasizing on the idea that the community of Flint
should be an environment where everyone feels involved.
Q: How has the organization
demonstrated a commitment to furthering the mission of the University of
Fridline: The Entrepreneurs Society is dedicated to the success of
its members, the community and the University of Michigan-Flint. Through
collaborations, student engagement, and various events, the Entrepreneurs
Society has worked hard to create opportunities for students across campus at
UM-Flint. Entrepreneurs Society provides students with valuable, hands-on
professional experience through events and projects. Among many things, we
provide students with an opportunity to explore career opportunities and learn
the skills needed to succeed as a student and professional.
Hamilton: Our two main events engage the community locally and
globally. The first being our annual Entrepreneurs Society Dinner. This event
is an opportunity for everyone in the Flint community to network with each
other and grow positive connections along with each other, thus continuing the
mission of bringing positive collaboration of members of the Flint community.
This dinner is also a way to get the University of Michigan-Flint name out there
in a positive way and show anyone from outside of this community the great
things our school and organization are doing. The Entrepreneurs Society invites
esteemed alumni and business professionals in the Flint area and connect them
with current students on our Flint campus. The goal of this dinner is to
provide these current students with a chance to network with local businesses
and entrepreneurs. Over 120 people were in attendance, making it a great night
of networking and opportunities for UM-Flint students, alumni, and community
White: The other main event the Entrepreneur Society participates in is the annual Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Global Conference. In November of 2018, ten Entrepreneurs Society members attended this global event in Kansas City to represent the University of Michigan-Flint and its values. At the conference, each member built leadership, networking, and teamwork skills through various seminars and workshops. In addition to learning these new skills, our Entrepreneurs Society also placed in the top five for awards in Outstanding CEO Chapter Leader, Outstanding CEO Chapter Advisor, and Best Cross Campus Innovation & Networking Award. Our President, Todd Fridline, was also able to represent our chapter and university during a Chapter Development session allowing ES to reach a global base by speaking about our practices. The conference is an opportunity to network with other students and executives from Fortune 500 companies. By supporting individual endeavors, as well as hosting these campus-wide events, the Entrepreneurs Society has been able to draw student involvement from multiple disciplines (including pre-med and engineering) to the organization.
Hamilton: Lastly, the Entrepreneurs Society has worked diligently to
include students of all majors in events, projects, and meetings. Specifically
at UM-Flint, ES has had student volunteers participate in coordinating a Zillion
Solutions, another event hosted by the Hagerman Center, competition and Think
Tank sessions hosted in the fall semester. Through collaborations with the
Hagerman Center, and outreach at events like Admitted Student Welcome, Mgagement,
and Pre-Business Welcome, ES has continually offered assistance to students
beyond the School of Management.
Q: How has this organization
positively contributed to student engagement at UM-Flint?
White: The Entrepreneurs Society is a resource that enables
students to shape their careers and advance themselves in the professional
world. Every semester, Entrepreneurs Society works hard to create opportunities
through various projects and events. Members can take part by leading their own
project or volunteering to support ongoing endeavors.
Hamilton: The organization has engaged students by providing team
members to help students start their own businesses. ES alumni, Hane Cho, has
launched DASH, a social networking app on
Google Play and in the app store. Cho has been interviewed by several local
news outlets about his work and aid from the Entrepreneurs Society. Another
current project we having been supporting is an Italian import startup.
Fridline: Entrepreneurs Society invites students from all areas of
campus to join the group for weekly workshops held during meeting time. These
include etiquette tips, how to network effectively, intellectual property
basics, how to improve your LinkedIn profile, and financial wellness for
students. Additional involvement comes from collaborating with other
organizations, such as SHRM, Marketing Club, and SCOMA, to host these events.
Entrepreneurs Society also works closely with the Hagerman Center by hosting a Zillion
Solutions, which received over 200 idea-solution entries. ES members are
developing a sales pitch to aid the engineering department in participating in
the annual Baja race. Collaboration with these organizations has resulted in
the promotion and involvement of our members, as well as members of other
Dr. Cathleen Miller, an associate professor of accounting at UM-Flint runs the university’s tax assistance program, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), which provides free help to those in the community.
She started it in 1984, as a student through the UM-Flint Accounting Club, and remained heavily involved since becoming a faculty member in 1998. Miller formed a course in 2005 for the VITA program. She continues to teach the course.
Vino Raj wants to bring entertainment to “a new level” in downtown Flint. And thanks to University of Michigan-Flint, his aspirations are closer to reality.
The UM-Flint graduate student is working with two business partners on a venture that would merge “different forms of entertainment, such as live action role-playing, puzzles, treasure hunts, and interactive team work.”
The Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi honors, by granting the title of Honorary professor of the University, the well-known researcher and professor in the field Finance, Seyed Mehdian, from the School of Management on March 31st in Iasi, Romania.
In 2008, Dr. Mehdian initiated the School’s cooperation with the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration on a Student Exchange Agreement. Dr. Mehdian is also member of the editorial board of the Scientific Annals of Economics and Business, research journal published by this Romanian University.
Granting the title of Honorary Professor to Mr. Seyed Mehdian, is a recognition for his outstanding involvement in the field of Finance, for his efforts, initiatives and substantial contributions to the scientific knowledge, as well as for his involvement in the development of relationships with the academic environment from Iasi.
(From left to right: Jennifer Wenzlick, Justin Adsitt-Weiner, and Chloe’ Kas-Mikha)
University of Michigan-Flint students Justin Adsitt-Weiner, Chloe’ Kas-Mikha, and Jennifer Wenzlick were selected as the School of Management’s Hagerman Student Scholars.
Through this opportunity, Adsitt-Weiner, Kas-Mikha, and Wenzlick committed to being ambassadors for the new Hagerman Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and will get firsthand experience in working with the School of Management and its professors in order to build a network of professionals in the community.
The Hagerman Student Scholars program was made possible by a gift by Phil and Jocelyn Hagerman to establish the Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (HCEI).
Justin Adsitt-Weiner, a sophomore majoring in international business, a former Business Plan Competition participant, cites the competition as motivation to apply for the Hagerman Student Scholar program.
“Prior to the competition I had had limited exposure to what entrepreneurship looked like in practice, and it was the skills that I began developing for and through the competition along with the influence of faculty members such as Dr. Laurence and Dr. Witt that kindled my now burning excitement to incorporate an entrepreneurial mindset into whatever path I may take,” said Adsitt-Weiner.
With the experience he gained through the Business Plan Competition and with the opportunities he was offered through the Hagerman Scholarship, Adsitt-Weiner understands the significant impact this can have on future recipients.
“By directly providing students with the support that is needed, they will have both more time and opportunity to take part in additional collegiate activities. With the addition of the Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, these opportunities are boundless in their potential to help students achieve whatever goals they may have,” said Adsitt-Weiner.
Senior double majoring in health sciences and business marketing Chloe’ Kas-Mikha cites campus organizations such as Student Government, The Michigan Times, and Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority as giving her the skills to be an ambassador for the Hagerman Center. Her involvement with the community has strengthened after receiving the Hagerman Scholarship.
“I am thankful to the Hagerman’s for allowing the opportunity to apply for the scholarship and being a recipient of it. The Hagerman’s generosity has inspired me to continue to help others and give back to the community,” said Kas-Mikha.
Kas-Mikha cites the Hagerman’s involvement as inspiration to continue her education and educating others.“ The Hagermans have aided in fostering education and growth at the University of Michigan-Flint and throughout the Flint community. I am happy to be a part of that change and legacy to teach and aid others,” said Kas-Mikha.
Senior human resources major Jennifer Wenzlick hopes the Hagerman Scholarship will benefit the next round of recipients the same way it helped her.
“It is inspiring and motivating to do more in community and to be more involved. I hope it gives them the same passion and drive that it has given me. I hope that it will follow through with the next recipients,” said Wenzlick.
Wenzlick’s involvement with the community and School of Management events has increased since receiving the scholarship. Along with attending the Business Plan Competition last year, she is excited for what is to come in this year’s Business Plan Competition event.
“I watched the final rounds last year and thought the Business Plan Competition was pretty cool. I am really excited to hear about the new ideas from inspiring entrepreneurs in our community. I still follow the companies from last year’s Business Plan Competition to see how they grow,” said Wenzlick.
Throughout the course of the University’s history, the School of Management has forged partnerships with a number of community colleges across the state of Michigan to provide an easier transition for their students when transferring to the University of Michigan-Flint in pursuit of a BBA degree.
The School of Management is proud to provide financial support to the highest achieving students from our partner schools. We are pleased to announce that 14 top transfer students from eight community colleges around the state of Michigan were awarded BBA Transfer Scholarships worth $28,000 for the 2015-2016 academic year.
The School of Management proudly welcomes these outstanding undergraduate students who bring an average GPA of 3.63 and average accumulated credits of 47.
University of Michigan-Flint student Ashley Knific will move her venture, Jobs 4 Moms, into the university’s Innovation Incubator later this month.
At the core of her organization’s concept is finding balance between raising a family and succeeding professionally. Knific aims to connect employers and employees, which will allow people to work from home and help employers find qualified staff.