Ilitch School students awarded alumni-funded scholarships through ACCESS

This article was originally published by the Wayne State University Office of International Programs.

The burden of tuition costs is diminished for 13 students from the Wayne State University College of Engineering and Mike Ilitch School of Business, who are sharing more than $30,000 in scholarship awards from alumni Russell J. Ebeid, M.Engin. ’68, and Jim McLennan, Bus. ’66, Law ’71, M.Bus. ’72, and former Alumni Association board member.

The Ebeid Family Fund Scholarship housed at the Center for Arab American Philanthropy, an ACCESS Institution, and the McLennan Family Foundation Scholarship are $2,500 apiece for qualifying Arab American, African American or Latino students enrolled in business or engineering at WSU. Both private scholarships are funded and administered through the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS).

Awards, which are renewable according to university criteria, were announced during an annual dinner hosted by ACCESS and attended by several awardees.

“The dinner was lovely and Mr. Ebeid was very kind,” says marketing and finance student Trina Abdulnour of Novi. “The scholarship lifts a financial weight off my shoulders and helps me to focus better on my studies and not how much I need to work to pay for tuition and books.”

Entering his last year of undergraduate studies, electrical engineering student Jeremy Barnes-Smith (pictured) has been working an auto assembly job to keep school loans minimal. A native Detroiter, he lives in Rochester Hills for an even commute to campus and work.

“This is the first scholarship I have received,” says Barnes-Smith, a member of the National Society of Black Engineers who starts an internship/co-op this summer with Laird Technologies in Grand Blanc. “It will help cover the costs of my summer courses and keep me on track to graduate in May 2018.”

Maha Freij, deputy executive director and CFO for ACCESS, says that the Ebeid scholarships have provided $250,000 in financial support to more than 60 students at various universities since it was first offered in 2009.

“In keeping with CAAP’s mission to empower Arab Americans to give back to the community, Mr. Ebeid’s scholarship fund honors his Arab American heritage while enabling students of diverse backgrounds to dream big about their futures,” she said. “We are so proud of this year’s awardees, who truly exemplify the qualities we look for in scholarship recipients.”

To qualify, applicants also had to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and include two letters of recommendation, an essay outlining career aspirations and personal goals, and a list of involvement in organizations and/or student chapters of professional organizations.

It is the second year the Ebeid Scholarship has been awarded at WSU; the first year for the McLennan Scholarship.

Ahmad Ezzeddine, associate vice president for educational outreach and international programs at Wayne State, said private scholarships such as these are often the key to a student successfully completing their degree.

“We want more of our students to graduate within four years, and many times, their ability to do so is based on financial need,” he said. “Opportunities that are provided by alumni donors such as Mr. Ebeid and Mr. McLennan make a difference for these students that will last a lifetime. We are so grateful for their support and encouragement.”

Recipients of the Ebeid Family Fund Scholarship housed at the Center for Arab American Philanthropy, an ACCESS Institution:

College of Engineering

  • Julian Adams of Livonia, Electrical Engineering
  • Olamide Alabi of Detroit, Chemical Engineering
  • Diego Jimenez of Dearborn, Chemical Engineering
  • Ayman Makki of Allen Park, Mechanical Engineering
  • Jovan Morgan of Detroit, Industrial Engineering
  • Mayasa Shaawat of Detroit, Computer Technology
  • Jeremy Barnes-Smith of Rochester Hills, Electrical Engineering

Mike Ilitch School of Business

  • Trina Abdulnour of Novi, Marketing and Finance
  • Hala Almansoop of Detroit, Information Systems Management
  • Lisa Golidy of Ann Arbor, Finance
  • Andrea Steckle of Southfield, Management
  • Ahmad Younes of Dearborn, Information Systems Management

Recipient of the McLennan Family Foundation Scholarship:

Mike Ilitch School of Business

  • Mahmoud Saleh of Dearborn Heights, Finance