Three HFC employees promoted to permanent positions

Release Date
Photo of Karen Sadanowicz, Anthony Lai, and Jennifer C. Markin

At its monthly meeting on March 18, the HFC Board of Trustees unanimously voted to promote three HFC team members – Karen Sadanowicz, Jennifer C. Markin, and Anthony Lai – making their interim positions permanent.

“Jennifer, Anthony, and Karen have been serving the College and our students extremely well in their interim roles,” said HFC President Russ Kavalhuna. "Interim roles can be challenging, but each of these three team members has done everything that has been asked of them, and more. I am pleased that the College was able to make these strategic roles permanent, and I look forward to our continued work together."

HFC Registrar Karen Sadanowicz

Karen Sadanowicz has spent her entire career in higher education. She worked at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield for 13 years and at the University of Michigan-Dearborn for three years.

Sadanowicz came to HFC in 2014. The Southgate resident was the Assistant Registrar for nearly eight years before becoming the Interim Registrar in 2022. She is now the Registrar and reports to HFC Vice President of Student Affairs Holly Diamond.

“I am incredibly excited that the Board approved the appointment of Karen Sadanowicz to the position of Registrar,” said Diamond. “I am grateful for the progress that she made and technologies she implemented during her time as Interim Registrar. Karen is an outstanding student affairs professional. Her focus on a positive student experience is always first and foremost. She approaches all projects and responsibilities with integrity, accountability, and excellence. She is known for her sense of humor and using that humor to work through difficult situations with ease. I am so proud of the leadership that Karen has provided to move the Registrar's Office forward with a focus on technology and student success.”

A graduate of Southgate Aquinas High School, Sadanowicz is a two-time alumna of Eastern Michigan University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social science with minors in management and psychology, and her master’s degree in education with a concentration in college student personnel.

“I want to thank the Board of Trustees, President Kavalhuna, Vice President Diamond, and the Selection Committee for their support,” said Sadanowicz. “I am committed to student success and ensuring that all students have a positive experience. I am excited to continue collaborating with the staff in the Registrar's Office, the International Student Services Office, and the Veteran Services Office to enhance student services here at HFC.”

HFC Director of Advising Jennifer C. Markin

Like Sadanowicz, Jennifer Markin has also spent her entire career in higher education. She worked at Madonna University in Livonia for two years and Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY for 10 years.

Markin came to HFC in 2020 as the Coordinator of Program Improvement and Effectiveness. In 2022, she was appointed Interim Director of Advising. Markin is now the Director of Advising and reports to HFC Vice President of Strategy and Human Resources Dr. Lori Gonko.

“Jennifer has done a stellar job restructuring and revitalizing our Academic Advising department, as well as strengthening the partnership between Advising and other areas of the College,” said Gonko. “Thanks to her leadership and vision, I am confident that we are going to see fast progress toward our institutional goals of increased student retention, completion, and transfer. Most importantly, our students will consistently receive excellent service and support on their academic journeys.”

An alumna of Cape Central High School in Cape Girardeau, MO, Markin earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communication with an emphasis in journalism from Southeast Missouri State University. She later earned her master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Mississippi and an education specialist degree in educational leadership from the University of Kentucky. Markin lives in Lincoln Park with her two sons.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities and professional support I’ve received at HFC,” said Markin. “The ability to work somewhere with such a strong emphasis on equitable student success is the goal for most student services professionals. To also work in an environment where colleagues from across the institution work collectively toward that goal is a professional’s dream! The part I am most appreciative of, though, is the team I work with in Advising. None of the growth we’ve been able to accomplish would be possible without their dedication. I’m lucky to get to work with them, and I look forward to doing so for years to come!”

HFC Director of Music Anthony Lai

A four-time “Outstanding Classical Composer” nominee by the Detroit Music Awards, Anthony Lai (pronounced “Lie”) can play the piano, guitar, mandolin, and ukulele.

With the Henry Ford Big Band, Lai performed at the 2009 inaugural ball for U.S. President Barack Obama. In 2012, Lai recorded guitar and mandolin with members of rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd in Nashville for HFC alumna Sarah Sherrard's EP, “Where I Come From.”

In 2016, Lai performed at the Fourth of July concert aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial in Honolulu. His work has been commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Red Wings, and musician Luis Resto. His greatest influence on his music has been the Beatles, one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

“Anthony has been a valuable and longstanding contributor at HFC. I am delighted that he'll continue in this new capacity,” said HFC School of Liberal Arts Dean Brad Romans. “Anthony is the rare instructor who can combine depth in his discipline with a broad sense for its history, contemporary trends in music production, and compositional chops. He is a talented teacher, a skilled and experienced musician and practitioner, and will continue to be a tremendous asset to the College and its music program. Students who want an interesting conversation should ask him to defend his pick for the best Beatles album."

Born in Detroit, Lai spent the majority of his childhood in Texas. Returning to Michigan, he earned his associate degree in music from HFC (then called Henry Ford Community College). Transferring to Wayne State University, he earned his bachelor’s degree in music and his master’s degree in music and orchestral conducting.

Lai began teaching at HFC in 2008. He has been director of bands for two years. He reports to Romans in his new role as Director of Music.

“I’ve had such a great love and respect for this educational institution as a student and adjunct instructor,” said Lai. “To have the opportunity now to bring my experience and vision to the Music Department is an exciting thing. In my time as interim director, I’ve found that the faculty, students, and administration all have a collaborative spirit that brings a mountain of potential to the arts in Dearborn. I look forward to doing all I can to realize that potential."