Honors Students and Alumni

The Honors Program at Henry Ford College has produced numerous successful graduates and exciting projects. While the listing of current students and notable alumni is certainly not exhaustive, highlighted below are some recent examples of success in our program. We invite alumni to submit exciting accomplishments and prospective students to read through these short biographies to see how our program can positively impact your lives.

Student Spotlight

Three male Honors students wearing Yemeni dress at HFC Globefest.Ahmed Alfotihi, and Honors Program members Ehab Al-Ghurbani and Oussama Ajerd at the International Student Organization’s (ISO) winning entry in Globefest 2015. Globefest raises funds to support scholarships for international students studying at HFC. The ISO entry included a mural depicting a mountaintop city in the Yemen, painted by another Honors Program student, Mounira AlMadrahi, and a henna artist. The participants wore Yemeni dress from different regions of the country; mock jamibya, the curved dagger traditionally worn by many Yemeni men, were seen, and a Yemeni wedding, also in the traditional style was staged.

Two female Honors graduates pictured with HFC instructor, Linda Brandt.Abear Awada and Tiffany Feebish, 2015 Honors Program graduates, collaborated on a study of invasive plant species in the Rouge River ecosystem in Dearborn. Since invasive plants are so pervasive and threatening to native organisms, quantifying invasive species is a necessary beginning in order to prioritize control measures. To establish a baseline for future evaluations they examined a total of fifteen sites, three not in Dearborn, determining numbers of native species, alien-but-non-invasive species, and alien-invasive species. Their work was entered in the Liberal Arts Network for Development (LAND) competition and, in February 2015, won first place in the state. The research was supervised by Linda Brandt of the HFC Biology Department.

Female Honors student standing with a pair of ceramic boots.Honors Program student Sophia Hart was among three Henry Ford College students to have work selected for inclusion in the Michigan Ceramic Arts Association Biennial Student Exhibition. Students from over a dozen schools in Michigan and northern Ohio submitted work; a group of award winners will be selected during the Michigan Mud Conference in late October. Ms. Hart’s work, A Walk in Vincent’s Shoes, has also appeared in an HFC student exhibit and was selected for an exhibit at Wayne State University. The sculpture is a coil project developed for a ceramics class at HFC. This “art in the round” piece was modeled from an 1887 Vincent van Gogh painting, A Pair of Boots.

Female Honors student reading at podium.Rana Makki was awarded second place in the 2015 Barrett Creative Writing Contest. She is shown here reading from her short story, “Mona Talks” at the award ceremony. Her fictional piece describes the difficult choices faced by a young Arab-American woman, Mona, who lives with her traditional grandma. Mona feels she has to choose between two worlds: either the one that she believes will give her creative freedom and independence or the one that will bring her closer to her culture. The Barrett Contest, named to honor one of the original faculty members when the College was founded, has been a part of HFC for more than 40 years. Many past winners have gone on to be published authors in other venues. Rana, however, is not going into English, but is a Computer Science major planning to transfer to the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor. Until her first directed study in the Honors Program, she had not taken her creative writing seriously.

Two male and female Honors students participating in panel discussion.Victor Uzodimma, and Honors Program students Huda Sedaki and Ahmed Zaid were participants in the International Students Panel Discussion held in February, 2015. This event is co-sponsored by the Religious Studies Program and the Council of World Cultures. Mr. Uzodimma, from Nigeria, Ms. Sedaki, a Syrian living in Algeria before coming to HFC, and Mr. Zaid, who joined the College from his home country of Egypt, were able to give some insights into the difficulties international students have when adjusting to life as a student in this country. Ms. Sedaki plans to become an aerospace engineer. Mr. Zaid intends to major in physics.

A group of male and female Honors students pictured with instructor from the HFC Pre-Engineering program.A team of four students in the HFC Pre-Engineering program submitted an entry in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Community College Innovation Challenge for 2014–15. The teams were required to have a community or corporate partner and to devise a solution to a real world problem encountered by the partner. The HFC solution to a problem posed by the Michigan Department of Transportation was presented in a paper and a brief video. The HFC team, Omar Dahbali, Isauro Sanchez, and Honors Program students Ibraheem Nadeem and Maria Hanna, was selected as one of the ten finalists. The HFC team prepared a prototype for their project which was demonstrated during the “boot camp” to which the NSF invited all ten finalists. The project was carried out under the guidance of Dr. Hassan Nameghi, director, HFC Pre-Engineering program and under the sponsorship of Dr. Tracy Pierner, vice president of Academic Affairs.

Notable Alumni

Portrait of male Honors program graduate.Ayad Alkhatib, M.D., a 2005 Honors Program graduate, completed his baccalaureate degree in biochemistry at Wayne State University. After graduation, he spent a year teaching in a Dearborn charter high school. He then entered the Wayne State University School of Medicine from which he graduated 2012. Completing a fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital in May, 2015, he began a two year fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Texas – Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. Dr. Alkhatib is planning on a career focus in medical research.

Portrait of male Honors program graduate.John Atallah, a 2015 graduate of the Honors Program, will be spending the 2015–16 academic year serving with City Year AmeriCorps in the city of Detroit. Only one of every six applicants is selected for a City Year appointment. John will be working with other City Year volunteers in one or more of the Detroit Public Schools.

Portrait of male Honors program graduate.Ali Bacharouch, 2013 Honors Program graduate and Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship winner, has completed his baccalaureate degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor. He will begin the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor School of Medicine in the fall 2015 term. Because of his outstanding performance in his two years at the University of Michigan, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has provided him an additional award, the Continuing Graduate Scholarship. While at HFC, Ali was not only a member of the Honors Program, but acted as a tutor in the Learning Lab, worked with the Student Environmental Association, and was very active in the campus chapter of Amnesty International. His assertion regarding the Honors Program could be taken as a perfect summation of the goals of the program: “The Honors Program lets you become a scholar rather than just a student.”

Portrait of male Honors program graduate.Charles Drew Corbin, a 2013 Honors Program graduate, completed his baccalaureate degree at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor in nuclear engineering. His undergraduate research dealt with developing a nuclear reactor simulation code. He has been accepted in the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor graduate school to work on his master’s degree in nuclear engineering.

Portrait of female Honors program graduate standing next to received awards.Meral Ebrahem, a 2015 graduate of the Honors Program, was the recipient of both an All-USA Bronze Scholarship award and a Lebanese-American Heritage Club scholarship. In addition she won a place in the University of Michigan’s highly competitive Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program for 2015, a summer research fellowship for community college students. She intends to complete her baccalaureate degree at the University of Michigan. Meral, who is also a wife, and mother to four children, plans to become a pharmacist, eventually focusing on pharmaceutical research. While at HFC, Meral was a regular spokesperson for the Honors Program, an active member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, a lab assistant in the Chemistry department, and was involved in her children’s school activities.

Portrait of male Honors program graduate in medical uniform.Anthony Iwelunmor, R.N., a 2007 Honors Program graduate, came to HFC after high school in New Jersey. Born in Nigeria, he came to the United States as a child. While at HFC he completed the pre-requisites for medical school, and entered the College’s RN program. While working as a Registered Nurse at the University of Michigan Hospital and the Oakwood Hospital systems, he completed his baccalaureate degree at the University of Michigan–Dearborn. After continuing as an RN for a period, he entered the Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica, West Indies. He is currently doing his Core Clinical rotations in Michigan, looking forward to graduation and residency in 2016.

Portrait of female Honors program gradudate.Estefania Jurado, a 2014 graduate of the Honors Program, is studying International Business at Eastern Michigan University. Recently she began working as a research assistant at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor, MI. CAR, a non-profit organization where she investigates a variety of trends and changes related to the automobile industry internationally and nationally at all levels. Ms. Jurado will be focusing on automobile manufacturing in Mexico. In addition, Ms. Jurado received an award for study abroad in South Korea for the fall 2015 term.

Portrait of male Honors program graduate.David Kamara, a 2000 Honors Program graduate, was an international student from the Ukraine and Sierra Leone. While here, he was active on campus in Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society as well as contributing to the student newspaper. With the completion of an Associate in Science at HFC, he continued his studies at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor. After receiving a degree in computer science in 2002, he worked as a software developer in Chicago as he continued his education, eventually receiving two master’s degrees from the University of Chicago. With an MBA in Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Strategy, he worked in mergers and acquisitions for a time, finally moving his family back to Michigan where he currently is employed by a New York-based consulting firm. While this position requires extensive travel, he still finds time to run marathons, and to raise funds supporting a number of charities which work in Africa.

Portrait of male Honors program graduate.Matt Lambert, 2008 graduate of the Honors Program, continued his education at Wayne State University where he received a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in psychology and University Honors with a minor in American Studies as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in metals, ceramics, and printmaking with a dual degree in University honors and a minor in art history. Since completing those degrees he has continued to be an active artist with exhibits in Michigan, California, Florida, Washington state, China, the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden, among others. His primary galleries are in New Jersey, Stockholm, and Copenhagen and his work can be found in private collections internationally. In 2014, Matt completed a Master of Fine Arts degree in metalworking from Cranbrook Academy of Art with notations in Sculpture and Fiber. He is currently a finalist for a Fulbright award to New Zealand. He has an upcoming solo exhibition in Stockholm in the fall. Locally he contributed to the Healing Arts mural project at Children’s Hospital of Detroit and has multiple upcoming community projects that will begin this summer. An Arts Corps video describes the 2.5-year mural project.

Portrait of male Honors program graduate.Farhan Latif, a 2003 graduate of the HFC Honors Program, completed his undergraduate work at the University of Michigan, Dearborn. After beginning graduate work at UM-D, he went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in Social Entrepreneurship, Philanthropy and Education from Harvard University. After working with various organizations to promote interfaith understanding, to enable educational access for underrepresented, low income, and first generation college students, and to assist philanthropic organizations to become more effective in their specific brief, Mr. Latif was selected to become the newest president of the El Hibri Foundation, beginning in June, 2015. The El Hibri Foundation is an organization dedicated to improving understanding and relationships between diverse groups.

Portrait of female Honors program graduate.Zyeenb Musleh, a 2015 Honors Program graduate, was accepted at Wayne State University (WSU), receiving the Gold Transfer Scholarship. After her participation in the WSU Transfer Scholars Day competitive interviews and essays, Ms. Musleh was notified that her scholarship was upgraded to the WSU Presidential Scholarship. She also received an invitation to join the Irving D. Reid Honors College. After completion of the pre-requisite courses at WSU, Ms. Musleh plans to enter the WSU Radiologic Technology program.