Meet the Senators
Marcella Eid is currently a Senior pursuing a major in Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Irvin D. Reid Honors College at Wayne State University. This is her third year on Senate and presently serves as a Senator at Large on the Executive Board as the Vice President. In Senate, Marcella is a part of the Registrar's Task Force where she has been involved in helping to make class registration easier for students. Marcella also pushed for the implementation of early access syllabi functions and passed a resolution supporting the same. She has been involved in improving student facilities and improving recycling on campus, as she passed a Senate resolution supporting the increased efficiency of recycling on campus and pursued these efforts through the Senate's Sustainability Project Group. Furthermore, Marcella has supported and contributed to several different Senate efforts such as the free Student Printing Stipend Pilot Program, OER, and tuition cuts. Marcella also revitalized the Senate's presence online and offline during the 2019-20 term as the Director of Public Relations by interacting with students on all major social media platforms. She has also led efforts in the Senate's new Events Committee to create town halls where students can directly voice their opinions to invited speakers. When Marcella is not on campus, she works at a nationally recognized law firm as a law clerk. She plans on attending law school to become an attorney in the near future to contribute to the city of Detroit.
Madison Wiljanen is a Senior in Wayne State University's College of Nursing pursuing a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing along with a minor in Public Health. In the previous three years, she has worked for the Office of Housing & Residential Life as a Resident Advisor and served as the Captain of the Women's Club Soccer Team. Through her RA role, she has executed successful programs surrounding Feminism, Intersectionality, and Academic Success. Madison has a passion for community health and environmental policy reform. She enjoys living in Detroit and wants to help others utilize the unique opportunities Wayne State has to offer. Madison is currently the student representative on the University's Public Health Restart committee and chair of the Senate Public Health Project Group.
Director of Public Relations
Mike Ilitch School of Business Representative
College of Education Representative
Sarah Ducharme-Watts, a Senior at Wayne State University studying Learning Design & Technology, is honored to work as Student Senator for the College of Education. She is passionate about studying human behaviors, motivations, and the best methods for helping individuals and communities manifest growth; Within personal lives, work environments, schooling, etc. Sarah has passionately dedicated time to working for a Metro-Detroit area Nonprofit organization, servicing those with varying disabilities. Additionally, she has found enjoyment participating in a Human Service Coordinating Body, helping organize and brainstorm ways to connect locals with beneficial services. In the future her interests focus on keeping an open mind, relentlessly seeking knowledge, and using what she learns to positively influence those around her
School of Social Work Representative
Rajan Varmon is a Senior majoring in Social Work. He originally became involved in the field of social work through his interest in mental health, but he eventually became involved in politics through his advocacy efforts of House Bill 4325: a bill that would help secure LPC's rights to effectively perform their duties in the state of Michigan. After receiving a State Tribute from State Rep. Aaron Miller and the late State Rep. Isaac Robinson for the bill's passing, it became clear he wanted to pursue the field of political social work. Rajan currently continues his advocacy efforts for mental health through his role as the Co-President of the Wayne State University Suicide Prevention Initiative. Through the initiative, he helped prep and organize Mental Health First Aid Trainings, run events advocating for mental health resources across Wayne State's campus, and helped open up discussions about mental health in college life. He is honored to be able to serve as the Student Representative for the School of Social Work and is dedicated to bringing about positive changes for the Wayne State community.
School of Law Representative Representative
Basem Younis is a current second-year Wayne State University Law student seeking to specialize in corporate and property law. He is currently enrolled in the University's Joint JD/MBA program with an expectation to graduate in May 2022. Mr. Younis received his bachelor's degree, majoring in Accounting and Finance, from the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University in May 2019. Throughout his undergraduate career, he has served as an executive board member for many organizations across campus and was a recipient of the 2019 25 Under 25 Mike Ilitch School of Business Award. Mr. Younis is now actively serving as the President of the Muslim Law Student Association, Treasurer of the Entrepreneurship and Business Law Society, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Business Law. Mr. Younis is committed to increasing the presence of social enterprise and intends to contribute to the entrepreneurial momentum in Detroit by helping entrepreneurs and small-business owners navigate the complexities of the legal system and corporate world.
Irvin D. Reid Honors College Representative
Ryane Brown is a Political Science major, an English minor and a member of the Irvin D. Reid Honors College. She is passionate about amplifying the voices of students and ensuring that each student enjoys their Warrior experience. Presently, Ryane works for the City of Detroit City Councilman Scott Benson, who represents District 3. She serves as an aid to the policy staff, assisting them in policy analysis and community engagement. After graduating with her B.A. in Political Science, Ryane plans to go to law school and subsequently become a criminal defense attorney. Some of her favorite activities are watching movies, going to church and hanging out with friends. She is determined, kind-spirited and loves all things Wayne State.
School of Information Sciences Representative
Katherine (Kat) is currently 2 semesters away from completing her Master's in Library Sciences with a concentration in Archival practices. This is her second term on senate as the representative for the School of Information Sciences. Her dream is to be Head of Special Collections and work with the community to spread awareness about the important history the artifacts hold. Outside of senate, she is part a committee for the improvement of the libraries on campus. She also volunteers making masks and reading with kids in her community. Katherine is always available to SIS students or anyone who would like to speak with her about anything!
College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts Representative
Marcus Meade is a pursuing his Masters of Communications with the focus on Public Relations. He has previously worked with organizations to focus on the quality of life for the geriatric population. He currently works with individuals who have sustained Spinal Cord and Traumatic Brain Injuries to maximize their quality of life. Though this is directly connected to the study of communications, Marcus has taken an interest in the field after observing the lack of mental health awareness in society. He will focus on creating a campaign to bring awareness to psychological distress in communities of color. Outside of his academic endeavors, Marcus enjoys engaging in playing the cello or guitar, multiple sports, and writing.
College of Engineering Representative
Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Obioma Opara is a P1 pharmacy student in the Eugene Applebaum college of pharmacy and health sciences. He is in his first of many years in the senate. He joined the Student Senate because he wants to give back to Wayne state as it has presented him the opportunity to pursue his profession, pharmacy. He is a servant leader who is passionate about service to humanity, community health, and the mental wellness of students and people in general. He is a member of the public health initiative and suicide prevention initiative. He is currently serving in the US army. He interns at Beaumont Hospital in Taylor. One of his favorite quotes is, "Everything happens for a reason." Outside of school, he loves to read, play soccer, and board games, especially scrabble. He loves to travel and hopes to visit at least a country in all the continents of the world.
Extension Center Representative
Benjamin Blumenstein is known through most circles as a Specialized Generalist. He's worked in fields ranging from Education and Politics to Engineering, Art, and Intelligence, and is currently studying Learning Design and Technology and Emergency Management. When he's not studying, he teaches an astounding class of sixth graders. Benjamin also enjoys donating his time. With his siblings he founded and runs KidsRead2Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to helping kids with learning disabilities find a love of reading, through which he spoke at the 2019 International Dyslexia Conference. Whether he has room or not, he never turns down something new.
Senator at Large
Ali Fakih is a fourth year studying Public Health and Sociology. This will be his third year serving on student senate and he absolutely loves it. He initially ran for Senate because he believes that everyone's voice deserves to be heard, especially those who are often underrepresented. After having served as a Senator for the past two years, he found a deep appreciation for the hard work and dedication it takes to come together as one to better the campus as a whole. It's one thing to realize there is a problem and another to find the courage to ignite change, he said. Student Senate gives him the platform to bring about change/solutions to some of these problems. It also allows him to get involved in creating a more diverse, inclusive, and safe community. On his free time, he enjoys running, photography, watching Ted Talks, & rock climbing.
Joseph A. Lemelin
Regan Thorp is a Junior at earning her Bachelor's in Criminal Justice with a co-major in Honors. She is also pursuing a minor in both Spanish and Law. This is her first year as a member of the student Senate but plans to focus on Housing and Sustainability on campus this coming year. Regan is a second year RA in Atchison Hall and is passionate about helping residents have a safe and welcoming community to reside in. Outside of her life on campus, Regan's biggest passion is helping recovering drug addicts. She has spent her time volunteering at Maplegrove Rehab Center and Calumet Center talking to young people about recovery. One of Regan's goals this year is to establish a fully functioning Collegiate Recovery Program for her and other recovering addicts to have a safe space on campus. Regan plans to go to law school after finishing her undergraduate degree and become a public defender in the city of Detroit.
David Strauss, Ph.D.
Dean of Students
David has served as Wayne State's Dean of Students since January, 2002. In this capacity, he leads the university's student affairs activities, including the responsibility for student and campus activities, student organization resources, fraternity and sorority life, student community involvement, Warrior Pride affinity programs, student senate and student conduct and care services. David chairs the Student Update and Information Team (SUIT), serves as the university's Title IX Deputy Coordinator, represents student life on the university crisis team, and serves as the Office of the Provost's representative to the Academic Senate's Student Affairs committee. Since 2011, David has been an adjunct lecturer in the WSU Department of Economics where he teaches a section of Principles of Economics each fall and winter semester. Prior to joining Wayne State, David served as the Associate Director of the University Honors and Scholars Center at The Ohio State University and the Assistant Dean of Students for Greek Life and Student Activities at Centre College. David received his Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University, his Master of Science degree in College Student Personnel Administration from Indiana University, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Bucknell University. David is a member of NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education where he serves on the region 4 east board and is on the boards of the Farmington YMCA and the Lester & Jewell Morris Hillel Jewish Student Center at Michigan State University. David enjoys swimming, handy work projects around the house, gardening, and spending time with his wife Amy and children Nate and Caroline