Governor Appoints Two Alumni to Board of Trustees

By Mark Wilcox | Published

First as students, then as active alumni, Derhun Sanders and Steven Tomaszewksi have made contributions to Michigan Technological University. Those contributions will take on added significance with their recent appointment to the University's governing board.

Governor Rick Snyder has announced the appointments of Derhun Sanders of Redford, Michigan and Steven Tomaszewski of Howell, Michigan to serve on the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees. The eight-person board is the governing body of the University. Both men are alumni of Michigan Tech.

Sanders graduated in 1997 with a bachelor’s of science degree in biological sciences. He is the Government Liaison and Congressional Lead for the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering (TARDEC).

Sanders was the 1996 recipient of Michigan Tech’s Percy Julian Award given to an undergraduate student leader who is active in the promotion of diversity, social equality or racial/ethnic and cultural understanding. Sanders has served on the Tech Alumni Association board of directors and the board of the Black Alumni Association.

In 2007, Sanders who was the Keynote Speaker at the 35th Anniversary Celebration of Michigan Tech’s Summer Youth Program, says he is honored to be appointed to his alma mater's governing board and looks forward to serving.

"As a native of Flint, Michigan, Tech was my home away from home for seven years,' Sanders says.

"I’m extremely grateful for the life lessons learned on the Michigan Tech campus. I am honored to be a part of this board and look forward to giving back to a University that has given so much to me."

University President Glenn Mroz said he was pleased with the Governor’s picks. “Derhun and Steve are longtime supporters of Michigan Tech and we’re really pleased and thankful that Governor Snyder has selected them to serve on the Board.

Tomaszewski is Director of Real Estate and Facilities Operations for General Motors Company. He received a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Michigan Tech in 1991 and a master’s from Wayne State University.

"I'm extremely grateful for the life lessons learned on the Michigan Tech campus."Derhun Sanders

He is one of the founders and past Vice President of the Michigan Tech Chapter of the Society of Environmental Engineers. He has served on Tech’s College of Engineering Advisory Board and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Professional Advisory Committee.

Tomaszewski received the Michigan Tech Young Alumni Award in 1999 and was instrumental in GM’s involvement in the Ride the Waves Program. Ride the Waves, which came about when Tomaszewski contacted the University asking what GM could do to help get children involved with water issues, has taken about 2,500 children and adults on Lake Superior aboard the RV Agassiz.

He said it’s an honor and privilege to be selected to serve on the Board of Trustees. “Twenty five years ago, Michigan Tech launched my career and prepared me for the global marketplace.”

Tomaszewski said as a Grand Rapids native, he seldom traveled outside the city until he completed his studies in Houghton.

“I walked out of the doors of Michigan Tech and joined GM which afforded me the opportunities to work in Russia, South Korea, Germany, Brazil, India and China. I know this was only possible due to the preparation at Michigan Tech.”

He said he looks forward to using his global automotive experience to guide and share the future of the University while providing others the opportunity to step out on the global platform and succeed.

In a press release from the Governor’s office, Snyder said, “I thank Derhun and Steven for their commitment to serving on this board. I am confident they will help the university continue its success."

The new appointees will serve eight-year terms expiring Dec. 31, 2024. Their appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the State Senate. Sanders and Tomaszewski replace Paul Ollila and Tom Baldini, whose terms expire on Dec. 31.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.

Last Modified 4:16 p.m. March, 1 2019