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July 7 , 2005
CONTACT: Carol Anderson


Eastern Michigan University receives additional $50,000 from Comerica Charitable Foundation

YPSILANTI - Make-A-Wish got a wish, along with several other local nonprofit organizations and Eastern Michigan University.

Comerica Charitable Foundation has given EMU a second gift of $50,000 in April 2005 to add to the original $50,000 the University received in 2004. Both gifts help fund EMU American Humanics internships at nonprofit organizations for seven students and provide one-year’s tuition for six undergraduate minority students in the College of Business.

“We are enthusiastic about the Comerica Charitable Foundation’s partnership with EMU, and impressed with the University’s dedication to scholarship and community outreach through its minority scholarships and American Humanics Program studies,” said Caroline Chambers, vice president, Comerica Charitable Foundation.

The EMU American Humanics program, which prepares students to work in a leadership role with a nonprofit organization, focuses on developing skills that are specific to running a youth or human service agency.  Students are required to complete their regular academic majors, earn specific competencies and fulfill 300 hours of internships.

The American Humanics internships are for undergraduates in the program who have at least a 3.0 grade point average.  Students who apply for an internship are matched with an organization, said Kim Creasap, American Humanics internship coordinator.

Half of the $50,000 funded nonprofit internships for Make-a-Wish Foundation, Girl Scouts, Ronald McDonald House and the EMU Welfare Rights Organization during the winter semester, Ten Thousand Villages in the spring semester and the Washtenaw Red Cross and Somali Community Center in the summer semester.

The EMU students receiving paid internships were April Aretz, a public administration junior from Taylor; Lindsay Buhagiar, a public relations senior from Ferndale; Kelli Dowd, a women’s studies senior from Milford; Michael Fitzpatrick, an accounting senior from Ann Arbor; LaTina Jackson, a sociology senior from Ypsilanti; Kathryn Ray, a criminology senior from Ypsilanti; and Hodan Said, a women’s studies junior from Ann Arbor.

            “This internship (with the Girl Scouts) helped me decide what aspect of nonprofits I really wanted to go into,” said Dowd. “I seem to be busy all the time, but the experience has helped me manage my time and find a balance.”

“I’m interested in working with nonprofit accounting,” said Fitzpatrick. “At the Ronald McDonald House, I worked hand-in-hand with the bookkeeper as well as the management team.”

The other half of Comerica’s initial $50,000 gift went to business students.

From a pool of 30 need-based, minority undergraduates in the College of Business, six students were chosen to receive approximately $4,100 each for tuition.

"The Comerica Foundation scholarships represent their strong commitment to diversity and higher education.  Comerica recognizes diversity as a core strength of the College of Business and EMU - a core strength they are partnering with us to further develop.  Most of all, the financial support provides opportunities for students with great abilities to achieve their goal of an EMU degree," said David Mielke, dean of EMU’s College of Business.

The business students receiving tuition are Yadira Benavides, a finance senior from West Bloomfield; Kristin Cook, an accounting senior from Norfolk, Va.; Lolita Nunn, a management senior from Ypsilanti; Tanisha Redding, an accounting junior from Detroit; Crystal Wilson, a finance senior from Detroit; and Zhiyi Xia, a finance senior from Ypsilanti.

“The scholarship was a tremendous help. Without it, I would not have been able to continue with school and achieve my goals,” said Nunn, who plans a career in banking.

            Cook is active with the National Association of Black Accountants and plans to become a budget analyst after graduation. She said the tuition scholarship allowed her to focus on performing well in her remaining classes.

            For more information, contact Nancy Mida, communications coordinator, EMU Foundation, at nancy.mida@emich.edu or call 734.481.2325.

            Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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