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March 24, 2010 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-03-24

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9W

qw

ot many students can say
they've won an Olympic medal
before graduating college. But
University students and ice dancers
Charlie White and Meryl Davis can.
After skating together since the age
of five, Davis and White competed in
the 2010 Olympic Winter games in Van-
couver where they won the silver medal
in the ice dancing competition.
Though they almost returned to
campus with the gold - they scored
5.83 points less than the champions,
Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir
- the two said they are thrilled with
their performance.
"We put in so much time and effort
over the 13 years we've been together,"
White said. "To be able to skate so well*
at the Olympics and come away with a
silver medal was very satisfying."
But the road to Vancouver was not an
easy one.
Besides their daily five hours- of
training, the two have had to balance
homework, tests and papers while still
finding time for their social lives. Davis
admitted it's challenging trying to have
a normal college experience as a stu-
dent and world-class athlete.
"We've made sacrifices in terms of

not going to a birthday party on a Fri-$
day night or not being able to take all
the classes you want to or not being able
to graduate on time," she said. "But in
comparison to most other athletes at
the Olympic level, we've been very for-
tunate."
Davis added that she and White are
part of a small group of Olympic figure
skaters who have been able to attend
school throughout their career.
"We've been making sacrifices, but
nothing is really deterring us from
our goal," Davis said. "We've always,
through our career, had that mindset
that we knew we didn't want to regret5
anything later on in life."
Despite time constraints, both WhiteE
and Davis participate in extra curricu-
lar activities outside of ice dancing.
In high school, White played hockey
and the violin, and Davis is currently a
member of the Delta Delta Delta soror-
ity at the University.
"We were able to do a lot of things
that so many figure skaters and Olym-
pic athletes really just eliminate in ans
effort to make sure they're getting the{
most out of themselves and their sport,"
White said. "But really, it's such a bene-
fit to you as a person and probably helps
you in your sport as well to be able to do
different things and have different life
experiences."
While many professional skaters
decide not to attend college to focus
solely on their athletic careers, White;
said he always knew he would attend
the University. As a boy, he would cheer
See FIGURE SKATERS, Page 6B

Engineering senior Pascal Carole
never thought he would one day be
President of the University's chapter
of the National Society of Black Engineers.
But after partaking in a summer engi-
neering program at the University before
his freshman year, Carole discovered many
of his friends were joining NSBE and decid-
ed to jump on the bandwagon. The decision
not only helped him academically, but it
allowed Carole - who grew up in Toron-
to, but was originally from the Caribbean
island of Maratinique - to connect with his
culture in a way he had never before expe-
rienced while living outside of the United
States.
"I never really fully identified with Afri-
can Americans," Carole said. "But being
part of NSBE and getting to know a lot of
those people kind of gave me a sense of the
adversity that exists for a lot of black engi-
neers. I really started to take hold of that
mission and see that it's something that
can be worked on and something you can
believe in."
Carole attributes his rise in the organi-
zation to his dedication and commitment
to the society's mission - "excel academi-
cally, succeed professionally and positively
impact the community" - as well as the fact
See CAROLE, Page 7B

WHO: MERYL DAV S & CHARL IE WHITE
WHAT: OLYMPIC ICE DANCING
WHY: SILVER MEI)AL

WHO: PA SCA L CA RL E
WHAT: NATL. SOCIETY OF BLACK ENGINEERS
WHY: EMPLOYMENT EQ.UAL TY

eha Pandey is not eas-
ily confined. While many
engineering students focus
only on science and math courses, she
makes it a point to take classes like
"The History of the Partition of India"
or "Science, Technology, and Public
Policy." And, when others might have
been satisfied with local community
outreach, Pandey took her efforts to
other parts of the world.
Pandey is president of the Society
of Women Engineers, an organization
that works to create a support system
for women in the engineering field and
encourage constant community out-
reach.
SWE holdsnumerous events, includ-
ing engineering workshops in local
schools, shadow programs for prospec-
tive engineering students, summer
programs for high school students and
fundraising for science and engineer-
ing organizations.
Pandey said her proudest accom-
plishment as SWE president has been
overseeing the campaign to hold the
regional Society of Women Engineers
conference at the University.
"We've been trying to host a confer-
ence since 2008," she said. "Finally,
this year in January, they voted for us
and now the conference will be held in
February 2011 on North Campus."
Nearly 700 female engineers from
the Midwest will come to the Univer-
sity to participate in the conference.
But Pandey - who is fluent in both
Spanish and Hindi - quickly realized

she wanted to take her efforts beyond
Ann Arbor. Months into her sopho-
more year, she applied to the Engineer-
ing World Health program at the Duke
Global Health Institute. That summer,
Pandey traveled to Honduras to train
hospital technicians to use laboratory
equipment.
Pandeysaidthe mostenjoyableparts
of her trip were those outside her job
description - working with other vol-
unteers to better the community. F
"We made posters about health care
and did skits in the waiting room," she
said. "And in our free time, we decided
to hold English classes (for locals)."
In 2009, Pandey applied for another
international opportunity - the sum-
mer in South Asia Undergraduate'
Fellowship program through the Uni-
versity. Months later, she was living in
a hostel with six other girls and mini-
mal running water.
They worked for Seva Mandir, a
non-profit organization, analyzing the
infrastructure of a hospital in rural
India and recommending improve-
ments. After interviewing villagers
See PANDEY, Page 6B.
WHO: ME H PANDEY
WHAT: SOCIETY OF WOM E NENGIN EERS
.......................................................................
W HY: HE:UMA N TA RTIA.N AID
........................................................................

M ost student productions at
the University have a faculty
member on board to deal with
financial difficulties or internal dis-
agreements. But MUSKET, an on-cam-
pus student musical theater company
founded in 1908, is managed exclusively
by students. The company produces
two shows every academic year while
exercising complete fiscal and creative
autonomy, allowing directors to follow
their visions all the way through with-
out interference.
But there's always the one person at
the top; the one who runs the show. The
one who takes care of all the invisible
human relationships and drama that
surface during production, the stuff you
hear about but never see beneath the
perfectly sustained smiles during cur-
tain calls. The one responsible for every
aspect of production - from conception
to execution, from choosing the shows
to hiring the directors, to settling con-
flicts and marketing the final product.
And for MUSKET, Mike Michelon is
the one.
Alongside a co-producer, Michelon
works behind the scenes to sustain the
WHO: MIK EM IC ELON
WHAT: MUSKET
WHY: PRODUCE R

most important life blood of MUSKET
- the reputation and branding of the
company.
Heading a company of 50 to 60
motivated students every season, the
producing team is responsible for the
internal organization of MUSKET -
hiring people, overseeing all the depart-
ments, facilitating human relationships
and eventually marketing the show.
"Ultimately, it's our job to getbutts in
seats at the end of the day," Michelon, a
senior in the School of Music, Theater &
Dance, said. "It's about the process lead-
ing up to that.
"The joy of live performance is that
you only have three shots to get it right:
Friday, Saturday, Sunday," he said.
"Something could happen and, ulti-
mately, everything falls on us. It's our
investment - our time investment and
our name investment."
Michelon started with MUSKET asa
freshman working primarily with light-
ing and set design. At the beginning of
his sophomore year, he took an interest
in producing and switched his focus at
the University from production-based
curricula to a more producing-based
one. Michelon is currently studying
Arts Management, a subset of theater
and arts administration combining an
interdisciplinary curriculum of busi-
ness courses with theater courses.
"The thing about producing is that
I'm not in the role of the technical direc-
tor where I'm dealing with very techni-
cal things, like makingsure the lighting
See MICHELON, Page 7B

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