12 Things

You Didn’t Know…

1. A Big Gift and a New Name

EMU has renamed its engineering and technology college the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology. The new name is in recognition of a new $5 million gift in addition to the $15 million contributed over the past 15 months by GameAbove, a team of passionate EMU alumni who desire to make a difference to EMU and are focused on supporting the University and its students and faculty. GameAbove's transformative gift will help EMU’s efforts to provide world-class experiences in engineering, technology, cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, drone technology, gaming, aviation, and many other related careers.

2. Honoring Judy Sturgis Hill

The former Quirk Building will now be known as the Judy Sturgis Hill Building in honor of the late Judy Sturgis Hill, emeritus professor of communication, media, and theatre arts, who has a lengthy and distinguished history as an Eastern Michigan University student and faculty member. As a student, she was a member of the national championship forensics team. As a professor and leader, she was beloved by her students and earned an Alumni Teaching Excellence Award and the EMU Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award, among other awards.

3. National Champions!

The Eastern Michigan University cheer program claimed the National Cheerleaders Association Intermediate Small Coed Division IA championship in April 2021.

"I am beyond proud of these athletes and the work they put in this season," says Mary Spilski, head cheer coach/spirit coordinator. "We were making changes to the routine as recent as the morning of the finals while walking off the warmup mat and onto the finals stage. This team took every challenge, injury, and pause in our season as a learning experience, which only made them more determined. Nothing was getting in their way.”

Eastern Michigan finished fourth at the event in 2019 after finishing in fifth place at its inaugural appearance in 2018.

4. Peabody Prof

Dana Heller, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of cultural studies, has joined the board of jurors for the Peabody Awards, given annually for excellence in television, radio and digital media. Heller is one of 18 media industry professionals, scholars, critics and journalists appointed by the program’s executive director to renewable, three-year terms. The Peabody program is based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

5. Business by Bloomberg

Eastern’s business students are learning to manage real-time financial data thanks to Bloomberg Terminals, a software system available in the College of Business’s Investment Learning Center. Students can conduct research and create financial models for classes across the business landscape, and complete their Bloomberg Market Concepts certification as part of their EMU experience. Kenneth Lord, dean of the College of Business, says Bloomberg Terminals aligns with the college’s mission of developing outstanding business professionals through a rigorous, applied educational experience.

6. Military Honors

For the third consecutive year, Eastern Michigan University has been named one of the most military- and veteran-friendly universities in the country. EMU ranked second among large public universities in the United States, and first in the state of Michigan. More than 1,000 institutions were vying for a place on the list, and the ratings were determined by combining institutions’ survey scores with their ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement and loan repayment. The Military Friendly® Schools list is compiled by G.I. Jobs magazine.

7. Saying it Well

The EMU forensics team continued its tradition of excellence, winning an individual national championship and finishing fifth overall in the nation in the 2021 National Forensics Association Tournament.

Osade Imalele, a senior marketing major who is also studying apparel, textiles and merchandising, led the exceptional showing as she earned a national championship in Persuasive Speaking. Other top 10 finishes were Samira Taylor and Cedrick Charles (4th in Duo Interpretation); Samira Taylor (5th in Poetry Interpretation and 6th in Dramatic Interpretation); Auryon Azar (6th in Impromptu Speaking); and Basra Keynan (4th in Novice Persuasion).

The national competition showing extends the tradition of EMU Forensics, one of the most successful teams in the nation. EMU Forensics has placed in the top 10 nationally for more than 40 years and has won more than 40 Michigan state team championships.

8. Design Stars

Three EMU interior design students­ -- Olivia Grant, Alondra Chavez and Raina Hammitte -- proved their mastery of CET Designer software by sweeping the top three 2020 CET Designer Awards in the student rendering category. It is the second straight year that EMU swept the awards, as Megan Wilbur, Farah Nassereddine and Pei Huang earned honors in 2019. Shown above is the winner for First Place Rendering by Olivia Grant.

9. Continued Dominance

The men’s cross country team won the 2020 Mid-American Conference Championship. The Eagles have won 14 of the last 16 MAC titles, and as a program have 24 total conference titles. The men’s track & field team, meanwhile, won the Indoor Mid-American Conference Championship in February 2021 to mark its 16th overall indoor MAC championship and the second in four years. Both teams are coached by Sue Parks, who was also named the MAC cross country coach of the year.

10. Write Away

Eastern Michigan University has partnered with the Ypsilanti District Library on YpsiWrites, a new community writing center active at all district library locations. YpsiWrites supports writers of all levels and backgrounds, offering workshops, programs and drop-in hours for writing help. Writing coaches will include EMU professors and tutors, local teachers and trained community members with a passion for writing.

11. MAC Champions

The EMU gymnastics team won the 2021 MAC Championship. It is the fourth league title in program history and the first since 2017. Hadyn Crossen and Molly Parris were both named to the All-Tournament Team, while Caitlin Satler was named Co-Specialist of the Year. The Eagles, led by coach Katie Minasola, also qualified for the NCAA Regional Championships at the University of Alabama.

12. STEM Exploration

Nearly 100 middle school boys converged on EMU last year for the first Digital Dudes event, an opportunity to explore careers and college programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The fifth- through eighth-graders participated in interactive STEM sessions and networked with industry leaders, professors and students. Both the Digital Dudes and Digital Divas programs are run by the Office of K-12 STEM Outreach in the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology.