Well on his way to becoming a Distinguished Alumnus of Tomorrow, this past summer Brian Christian was awarded a coveted and prestigious internship offered by Compuware Corporation. Midway through he said that Marygrove prepared him very well for the challenge he faced at the computer tech services company.
Brian, who is in the college’s Honors Program, is working to complete a dual degree program—a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Accounting. He has a 4.0 grade point average. His honors projects have received high praise “...for the sophistication of his legal briefs and for the comprehensiveness of his analysis of the impact of new legislation dealing with accounting fraud,” according to Jane Hammang-Buhl ’68, chairperson of the Business and Computer Information Systems Department. She also cited a project where “...his ability to weave his readings into class discussion demonstrated a subtle understanding, not only of the material, but also of the group dynamics of sharing insights in a classroom setting.”
The Institute of Management Accountants awarded Brian one of twelve 2006 Student Excellence Awards. “Being a Catholic institution, Marygrove has reinforced my personal and family values,” says Brian who is from the island of Antigua in the West Indies. He transferred from Schoolcraft Community College due to the understanding, friendly and extremely helpful admissions staff at Marygrove.
Brian worked with other interested students to reinvigorate the Marygrove Business Association and has served as both president and vice president. The club was well prepared to recruit new members during Student Welcome Week in 2005 thanks to three preparation meetings he organized beforehand. The Student Affairs Division has recognized his leadership ability for the last two years and named him one of only two Students of the Year in 2006.
Brian is employed in Student Support Services where he has assisted both students and faculty in the administration of innovative, web-based tutorials designed to improve student analytical skills. Other students praise his helpfulness with the economics software. Brian independently volunteered to use his experience to develop a database of internships for the understaffed Student Affairs office because he knows how vital such hands-on experiences are for students developing their resumes. In recommending Brian as Distinguished Alumnus of Tomorrow, Professor Hammang-Buhl said, “I think this example provides a telling detail about his likely future behavior. He is a very involved student who must support himself, yet he still will make time to do something that he believes will benefit the larger community. That he simply recognized a problem, assessed how he could make a difference, and then just offered to help is a pattern that I think will be his lifelong pattern.”
Outside of work and school, Brian still finds time for community service and has volunteered at St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen in Detroit. Part of being well rounded is to know when to relax and find time for one’s self. Playing and watching most any sport, enjoying good food and fishing are ways this young man spends his spare moments.
For his part, Brian is very generous in praise for the staff of Student Services citing Veronica Killebrew and Tiffany Jennings whom he believes demonstrate the College’s values of competence, compassion and commitment. He also commended the excellence in teaching of Professor Hammang-Buhl and Dr. Gerold Haas, and adjunct faculty members Cynthia S. Blasses and Mark Trueman.
He urges other students to “step out of your comfort zone, be honest in your self-evaluation and strengthen your weak points.” He finds reassurance that he is meeting his goals in being named for the award.