Student speaker Amani El-Edlebi
Amani El-Edlebi received her bachelor of social work from Wayne State University in 2020 and is currently pursuing a dual graduate degree in social work and public health. She was also selected as the master of social work student of the year.
As an undergraduate, El-Edlebi conducted research with faculty in a developmental lab within WSU'S Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child and Family Development (MPSI) and engaged in program evaluation efforts, including the development of program databases and manuals.
El-Edlebi's interest in social work and the criminal justice system began through her community work at a local grassroots organization that focused on empowering men living in an urban environment. She also engages in policy change community groups where the focus is on advocating for legal and policy changes in Michigan that adversely affect men and their ability to be actively involved with children and families.
El-Edlebi currently works as a data assistant for the School of Social Work Center for Behavioral Health and Justice, where she assists in the entry, coding and analysis of multiple data sets from jails, courts and state-level agencies. In addition to her data responsibilities, she also assists in the writing of manuscripts and reports.
Student speaker Mary Zoran
Mary Zoran is graduating with a bachelor of social work from the School of Social Work. She has spent the past year involved with social work student organizations, serving as a volunteer administrative assistant for the new learning community, Social Work Peer Support (SWPS), where she worked with the peer mentors to create student events, attend weekly meetings and peer hangouts, and manage the group's Canvas page. Her work has given her the opportunity to interact with other social work student organizations and find ways to support and engage students during the pandemic.
Zoran has also accepted an invitation to serve with City Year AmeriCorps in Detroit, where she will be a tutor and mentor to younger students next fall. She hopes this program will help her further develop her social work skills and become more involved with the Detroit community.
Zoran has shown dedication and commitment to her schoolwork and to her development as a social worker throughout the B.S.W. program. She was also selected as the bachelor of social work student of the year.
Zoran has been uplifted by the opportunities from Wayne State that have allowed her to learn more about her strengths and weaknesses in order to best serve individuals and communities.
Ph.D graduate Sarah Mountain
I would like to acknowledge the unwavering support from my committee; Dr. Hong (dissertation chair), Dr. Lean, Dr. Kral and Dr. Burlaka. Their support and guidance helped me to overcome numerous challenges. I owe a debt of gratitude to my family. Their love and encouragement was monumental in the completion of my degree; my husband, Brett Mountain, our children; Matilda, Sadie and Milo, my parents Marc and Randie Kruman and my sister and brother; Elizabeth and Benjamin Kruman. My research has been dedicated in loving memory of my grandmother; Florence Kruman; you continue to inspire me to make the world a better place.
Ph.D. graduate Markus Whitehead
I am honored and equally humbled to have been given the opportunity and privilege to complete my dissertation and PhD requirements here at Wayne State University. I would like to thank my dissertation committee members Dr. Faith Hopp (dissertation chairperson), Dr. Debra Patterson, Dr. Shirley Thomas and Dr. Wanda Edwards for your support, faith and encouragement in helping me achieve this educational milestone. Further, I want to acknowledge and thank my wonderful wife Diana Whitehead and the rest of my family for their support, love and sacrifice while I was on this journey!