PEOPLE, PLACES & THINGS

Amplifying Black Creatives

Ann Arbor’s London Beck spent the better half of 2019 gaining momentum within the local music scene, from booking shows at the iconic Blind Pig to entertaining the thought of starting their own music festival. Then, the pandemic hit. “I can definitely say that one of my primary purposes on this Earth is to make music and to share music with other people and to get them to connect… and it really hurt not being able to share that,” says Beck, who applied to the Amplify Fellowship program, thanks to some much-needed encouragement from a friend.

The Amplify Fellowship provides resources, including free studio time and production support, to Washtenaw County’s Black musicians, who are interested in giving back to their local community through volunteerism. Born in the wake of George Floyd’s death, the eight-month fellowship empowers Black creatives to express themselves authentically through their art while fostering collaboration.

Eastern alumna receives Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad

When Keri Dziuban (MA10) earned her master’s degree in Special Education from Eastern Michigan University, she knew she wanted to work abroad. But she never expected to make an impact on students across three continents.

While working toward her master’s degree, Dziuban taught at Ann Arbor Public Schools. In 2018, she and her family moved to Namibia, where she used her training in special needs education to help struggling students at an international school. Now, she’s preparing to teach English to adult learners in Vietnam.

Passion for her work and a 19th century diary put EMU grad student on the path to Princeton

Rachael Schnurr (MA21) has been interested in history since elementary school. Growing up west of Milwaukee in Oconomowoc, Wis., she’d wondered about the indigenous people who had given her town its name, and was drawn to stories about historical women persevering in the face of adversity. That curiosity stayed with her, and in August 2021 she received her master's degree in history, having completed a thesis that examines the life of one such woman: “A Métis Wife’s Tale: Race, Womanhood, and Adaptation to Settler Colonialism in the Diaries of Mary Hobart Williams.”

President and CEO of Huizenga Group, Steve Klotz, gifts $1 million to College of Business

Alumnus Steve Klotz (BBA77), President and CEO of the Huizenga Group in Grand Rapids, has made a $1 million gift to EMU's College of Business to establish the Stephen J. Klotz Financial Learning Center. Klotz began his career with Touche Ross and then joined the Huizenga Group in Grand Rapids, where he was ultimately appointed President and CEO.

Learn more about this year’s awardees, from left, Nicolette Bateson, Dr. Sandra J. Harris, Drs. Karen and Michael Paciorek, Dr. Hrant P. Hratchian, Dr. David N. Turner, Christopher Economeas and Wendale Farrow. (Photo by Cara Jones)

61st Annual Alumni Awards

Eastern Michigan University alumni make amazing things happen. Their accomplishments benefit both society and campus. Their careers showcase innovative talent, dedication, passion, and desire to affect change. Take a look at this year’s winners: