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Two born-and-raised Detroiters who have chosen to embrace those who have never stepped outside their comfort zone will address the Class of 2022 at Michigan Technological University’s mid-year commencement.

Student speaker Jaylin Johnson, a research chemist with a minor in mathematics, and Michigan Tech Board of Trustees Vice Chair Brenda Ryan, a 1976 metallurgical and materials engineering graduate and award-winning owner of several businesses, will help celebrate the 292 undergraduate awards. and more than 150 graduate degrees in a commencement ceremony Saturday, Dec. 17, at 10:30 a.m. in the Student Development Complex (SDC) Varsity Gymnasium.

Like many high schoolers, Johnson’s final years in Detroit’s renaissance included going back and forth on choosing a college. She hadn’t considered tech until she met a regional recruiter at her college day–and was invited to a hockey game. “That was the first hockey game I thought Tech would do well.” Johnson said.

Ryan, who has served twice on Michigan Tech’s board of trustees, prefers an invisible view of Michigan Tech. It was recommended by her metallurgy teacher at Cass Technical High School. In the early 70s, her family drove her to a campus she had never been to for her first semester. Since then, Ryan has been instrumental in helping Tech achieve its vision.

“One very memorable highlight was serving on the Presidential Search Committee. As a trustee, this was one of the decisions that had to be made for the university. Ryan said. “Our charge was to select a transformational leader to ensure Michigan Tech’s relevance and success for many years to come. We found that right with President (Rick) Quebec.”

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