University of Michigan-Flint December Commencement and Student Speakers

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The December 2010 Commencement Exercises will be held on Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 2:30 p.m. at the Perani Arena and Events Center.  The Commencement and Student Speakers have both been announced.

Commencement Speaker

A. Boh Ruffin, Ph.D. is a distinguished alumnus of the University of Michigan-Flint. He graduated from UM-Flint in 1995 with a degree in physics and a minor in mathematics.

Ruffin attended Gundry Elementary, Bryant Middle School, and Flint Northwestern High.  While attending UM-Flint he was active on the campus and Flint community through student government, the Students for Black Achievement, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.- Theta Tau chapter.  As an undergraduate, he worked as a janitor, chemistry tutor, engineering intern for General Motors, and research assistant for the Department of Defense's Argonne National Laboratory.

Ruffin earned both his Master of Science degree and his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan. He conducted his research in the College of Engineering's Center for Ultrafast Optical Science where he completed a doctoral thesis entitled, "An Experimental Study of Diffraction-induced Effects on Single-Cycle Terahertz Pulses". During this same period, he was awarded the National Physical Science Consortium Fellowship from NASA's Kennedy Space Center and the Applied Physics Fellowship from the University of Michigan.  Upon completion of his doctorate degree, Dr. Ruffin accepted a position as a senior research scientist at Corning Incorporated in the Science and Technology Division.  His research activities include optical communication systems, optical fiber design, high powered fiber lasers, video compression, bio-physics, and nonlinear optics.  Presently, Ruffin is a commercial technology specialist for Corning's Specialty Materials business unit.

Dr. Ruffin is the author of over 35 proprietary and 26 scholarly journal publications.  Additionally, he has been granted three U.S. patents and has nine U.S. patent applications. Ruffin was awarded the Individual Outstanding Contributor Award from the Board of Directors of Corning, Inc. for his seminal on fiber design. He resides in the Finger Lakes region of New York with his wife, Dr. Millicent Ruffin, and three sons.

Student Speaker

Myron Manns found a number of reasons not to complete his bachelor's degree in his first attempt. He earned his associates degree in communication from Mott Community College in 2003. For the next six years, Manns spent most of his time traveling and trying to find himself. During those years, he worked both full- and part-time jobs, and his involvement with the ministry took him to Mexico and South America.

When Manns turned 25, he decided it was time to get serious and return to Flint to finish his degree in English. In the fall of 2009, he built up a determination to not only return, but achieve academic recognition in the process.

He accomplished his goal. Manns was named a Maize and Blue Scholar, elected president of Sigma Tau Delta, the honor society for English majors, and holds membership to the Golden Key Society.

He plans on earning both a master's and a Ph.D., and teaching at the college level. When he is not working in the Office of Admissions, you can find him on Saturday mornings in the Murchie Science Building teaching high school students who are enrolled in the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP).

Manns never doubted that he would return to UM-Flint. He says he has always carried a strong preference for  the University of Michigan, especially UM-Flint and the city of Flint.

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