IE3Wednesday, April 16, 2014 // The Statement
I2Wdneda, Aril16 204 / Te-Satmen 7E
Of the 43,710 students on this cam-
pus, we're featuring 12 in our issue as
The Statement's 2014 Students of the
Year. Deciding our Students of the Year
was a tough call. After all, the Universi-
ty of Michigan is a huge institution that
houses remarkable talent, empathy,
and above all, rich and powerful stories
from each of the students enrolled. Our
Wolverines don't play small games.
We're big-hearted, big-voiced. We use
our vocal chords. We stomp our feet.
We dream. We spark change. The
Statement staff is tremendously proud
to feature our Students of the Year in
this semester's final issue. From film-
makers to social movement leaders to
entrepreneurs to arts visionaries, these
students cannot be reduced to a bullet
pointed list of simple accomplishments.
Rather, they're multi-dimensional, pas-
sionate and inspire us to be better lis-
teners, informers and students of the
world - not simply of the classroom.
Congratulations to our 2014 Students
of the Year. We hope their stories moti-
vate you to ignite even greater change
and awe across this campus. Enjoy the
COVER BY AMY MACKEN S
"As an active, participating student
at the University of Michigan who has
friends here, who lives here as a social
being, seeing needs that are unmet
is where I seek action," Public Policy
junior Carly Manes said.
Even during a casual conversation,
Manes' dark blue eyes will light up as
she smiles and questions you intently on
your day. Deep-seated empathy is what
pushes Manes to fight for the rights of
marginalized voices - both outside and
within the University.
Raised in a small city in New York,
Manes felt content with the way society
was before comingto the University and
said she was "complicit in the system."
She realized after arriving to campus
how dangerous conservative thinking
could be for marginalized groups.
"I didn't realize fully until I came to
college how harmful that was to soci-
ety and how that's not the society that
I want to be a part of, the kind of com-
munity that I want to live in or be a part
of," she said.
Through her presidency of Students
for Choice, a pro-choice student orga-
nization, Manes' accomplishments
include placing condoms in the vending
machines across University residence
halls, organizing the second Abortion
Speak Out event in the country and per-
suading University Health Services to
offer national brands of barrier contra-
ception for free.
"Carly had basically remade the
group," said Sophia Kotov, current pres-
ident of Student of Choice. "She made
Students for Choice this really, really
cool thing I was really excited to be a
As a freshman living in East Quad,
Manes took on the role of a self-pro-
claimed "condom-queen." She kept
condoms in her room and distributed
them to her floor whenever someone
was in need of one. She later realized
that there had to be a better mechanism
to distribute condoms to students. As of
Aug. 2013, condoms have been sold in 14
residence hall vending machines due to
"It was a need that was previously
unmet and if we hadn't advocated for it,
it would still be an unmet need for stu-
dents," Manes said.
Though Manes called the Abortion
Speak Out her "most proud" accom-
plishment, she received threats from
pro-life activists on its Facebook page
prior to the event. As a result, Manes
took precautions to ensure the space
would be as safe as possible by hiring
security guards and researching the
University's code of conduct at public
"I think recognizing that the work
that we do as a student group is a con-
troversial topic," she said. "We talk
about sex, people don't like young peo-
ple talking about sex and that's just a
reality of our world."
Aside from her work in Students for
Choice, Manes is perhaps best known
for her CSG presidential bid as the
forUM party nominee. During her
term as a CSG assembly representative,
Manes said she saw flaws in CSG and
said she believed it only catered to a few
groups on campus. By running for pres-
ident, she hoped to address these gaps
and bring to light how student govern-
ment had the potential to better each
student's University experience.
"I had the passion, I had the back-
ground and I had the skills to make it
where all students could thrive and be a
better community for all," she said.
Though their campaign ultimately
was not successful, Manes' running
mate, LSA junior Pavitra Abraham,
believes Manes will not stop trying to
make student life as fulfilling as pos- "
sible for the student body.
"Carly's next step very much is going
to include a lot of the things that were
on our (election) platform and continue
to make this campus a more inclusive,
safe space for everyone," Abraham said.
"She cannot function if she's not
doing activism or making the world the
better place, that's just her personality,"
BY DANIEL WASSERMAN
On April 2, a few days before the
Final Four, Engineering graduate
student Jordan Morgan was sup-
posedtobe ona plane to Dallas. That
was the plan, anyway.
But as consolations go, an
acknowledgement from the Presi-
dent of the United States, Barack
Obama, isn't too bad.
"I want to congratulate Jordan,"
Obama said, before mentioning
Morgan's undergraduate degree in
engineering and the master's degree
in manufacturing engineering that
Morgan will receive next month.
"That's the kind of student-athlete
we're talking about."
Obama was visiting Ann Arbor in
attempts to rally support for increas-
ing minimum wage, an issue which
hit close to home for Morgan.
"I'd like to take my manufactur-
ing education and really commit to
making a difference within urban
communities, to find awayto imple-
ment sustainable manufacturing
that would provide livable wages,
not just minimum-job wages, but
actually address the issue of the cor-
porate structure of most companies
in the United States, where you've
currently got a majority of workers
fighting for what's left - the scraps,"
His talk is big - a daunting chal-
lenge, it seems, but Morgan lays itall
out smoothly. He knows a thing or
two about being doubted.
After committing to Michigan
as a high school junior in Decem-
ber 2007, Morgan had to listen to
experts and fans alike say that he
didn't belong in Ann Arbor. Even
though the Wolverines, at the time
of his pledge, hadn't made an NCAA
Tournament in nearly a decade, it
was a near-consensus that his size
and athleticism were better suit-
ed for his next-best offer, Central
Morgan faced the same ques-
tions - welcomed them, even, to
prove a point - until the day his
playing career ended. Time and
again, Morgan answered his doubt-
ers, to the tune of 120 starts in a
program-record 140 games played, a
62.7 percent field goal mark - also
a Michigan record. Now, a month
away from graduation, Morgan has
won more games - 118 - than all
but two Wolverines.
What he gave up in stature - he
he played, often by three-to-four
inches and thirty-to-forty pounds
- he compensated for by being the
smartest and hardest worker on the
floor. Never consumed in individual
statistics, his prize accolade was
being named first-team All-Big Ten
Defensive last season.
He recently signed with an agent
and plans to play professionally,
He'll leave Michigan not as a
superstar, but with a legacy. Follow-
ing in the line of Zack Novak and
Stu Douglass, Trey Burke and Tim
Hardaway Jr., Morgan will be the
last player that we can point to and
say, 'He laid the foundation for what
is now an elite-level basketball pro-
"In the last five years, I've really
changed the way I want to go about
my life," Morgan said. "I'm so differ-
ent than when I got here. As a per-
son, ny focus on life is so much less
about myself than when I got here."
While the Wolverines will play
on without him, Morgan's time
rebuilding in the state isn't over.
When his professional playing
career is over - when that is, not
even he knows - he'll return to the
town that raised him to embark on
a challenge much larger than resur-
recting a fallen basketball program.
"Being from Detroit, seeing all
the hurt - it's so barren in some
areas, so many homeless people,
high school students not valuing
education - it's hard to see all that
and understand why," Morgan said.
"But then, when there's no type of
economy to support really anything
in these communities, that leads to
"That would be the main focus of
anything I do," he said.
In thatjourney, too, he's bound to
hear from the critics again. They'll
tell him, 'You can't,' but, just like he
did so often these past five years,
he'll answer with humility, a smug
grin and powerful results.,
leading scorer in the women's soccer pro-
gram and has been a leader in its rise from
a Big Ten bottom feeder to a national con-
tender. Last month, she was drafted by the
Boston Breakers, a member of the National
Women's Soccer League.
But perhaps the best way to describe
Ezurike is with how she reacted to being
named one ofThe Statement's Students of
"I feel honored - there are alot of great
students at this school, and a lot of people
around me that helped me do it," Ezurike
It may not sound much different from
how many recipients would acknowledge
the award, but this rings true consistent-
ly: Ezurike is a player of few words, and
almost none of them are about herself.
Ask her about a goal, and she will credit
the player who had the assist. Ask her
about the offense, and she will credit the
midfield. Ask her about a win, and she will
credit someone else.
When she arrived at the University in
the fall of 2010, she entered a program at
the beginning of what seemed to be at the
beginning of a long roadto recovery. Mich-
igan Head Coach Greg Ryan had come
from coaching the U.S. Women's National
Team, but his team didn't have the talent
he needed to compete on a Big Ten level.
In Ryan's first two years, before Ezurike
joined the team, the Wolverines went
10-19-10 and had scored one or no goals in
29 of 39 games.
To regain relevance, the team needed
to tie together several pieces, and Ezurike,
whose name means, "What I have is great-
er than anything else," was the knot.
Her accolades and numbers speak for
themselves:the all-time leader in goals (49)
and points (118), four-time All-Big Ten for-
ward, 2013 first-team All-American. After
she graduates in May with a degree in Eco-
nomics and International Studies, Ezurike
will begin training professionally.
It takes more than just numbers to lead a
teamback to prominence,which Michigan
achieved last season with an Elite Eight
.finish. To get that far, you have to have
competitors, of which Ezurike was one of
Off the field, she is shy, quiet and mild-
mannered. But when the game starts?
"She just becomes Nkem," Ryan said in
October. "She becomes that other Nkem
that everybody loves to see on the field."
Her competitiveness showed in games
last year when she would get visibly upset
with herself for missing the net. Other
times, she would get angry with an official
for a call - as she would with anything
that got in the way of winning.
"It's really funnycto me because she's not
like that at all off the field," said Kinesiol-
ogy freshman Madisson Lewid, the team's
forward, in October. "She's such a jokester,
and she's always so calm. She's a complete-
ly different person on and off the field."
"It was really tough because (Ezurike)
is sometimes too hard on herself,"
said her mother, Christie, in October.
"When the team is not doing well,
she gets really down. When that hap-
pened, she was disappointed. She
was a little bit hard on herself, but she
In the middle of a scoreless streak
in 2012, Ryan went to lunch with
Ezurike and encouraged her to ease
some of the pressure. If she kept try-
ing the goals would come, he told her.
Soon, they did - and Ezurike start-
ed rolling once again.
Last season, Ezurike broke the
school's all-time scoring record on
Oct. 20 vs. Purdue, with her mom in
town from Lower Sackville, Nova
Scotia to see it. She downplayed the
record in the weeks leading up to
that game, but she knew as soon as
she scored that she had it. She was
mobbed by her teammates, then after
the game, she went over to the oppo-
site sideline to get a hug from her
That moment left Christie beam-
"She's a great daughter," Christie
said thatday."When she comes home,
you know she's home because every-
thing will be taken care of."
For four years, home was the
Michigan soccer program. And now,
thanks in large part to Ezurike, the
program is taken care of.