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ACCESS Board VP Andrea Awada Assumes President’s Post

posted on: Apr 9, 2008

The Board of Directors of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) accepted the resignation of recently elected Board President Fawwaz T. Ulaby during its April 5 meeting in Dearborn. The Board has named its vice president, Andrea Awada, as its new president.

Awada, a resident of Dearborn Heights, Michigan, is principal of Geer Park Elementary in Dearborn, and has served the Dearborn Public Schools in various capacities for 29 years. She has been a member of the ACCESS Board of Directors for over 15 years. Among her many volunteer leadership activities, Awada was recruited by Michigan’s First Gentleman, Dan Mulhern, to serve on the Community Service State Committee.

“Andrea brings a wealth of experience to this position,” said Hassan Jaber, ACCESS Executive Director. “She is intelligent, passionate, and possesses a keen understanding of the community’s needs. I have every confidence in her ability to guide ACCESS.”

Ulaby, a resident of Dexter, Michigan, is the R. Jamison and Betty Williams Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, where he has been employed in various capacities, including vice president for research, since 1984.

Last month, Ulaby was named Founding Provost of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, a new institution that will greet its inaugural class of 300 students in September 2009. He will take a leave of absence from the University of Michigan to launch the new university.

Ulaby will spend most of his time in the Middle East in this new position, leading to his resignation of the ACCESS presidency. Ulaby has also relinquished his role on the National Advisory Board of the Arab American National Museum (a project of ACCESS), but remains a member of the ACCESS Board of Directors.

“ACCESS has always had a special place in my heart, and will always continue to do so,” said Ulaby. “When I agreed to stand for election last summer, I fully intended to serve the full two-year term of the appointment, but I did not foresee at that time that I will be changing employment into a new arrangement that will require me to be away from Michigan most of the time.”

The slate of ACCESS officers is now as follows: Andrea Awada, President; David Allen, Vice President; Wadad Abed, Treasurer; Edward Bagale, English Secretary; Yasser Al Soofi, Arabic Secretary; Mike Makki, At-Large; Amal Berry-Brown, At-Large.

ACCESS is a human services organization committed to the development of the Arab American community in all aspects of economic and cultural life. ACCESS helps low-income families, as well as newly arrived immigrants adapt to life in America. Its goal is to foster a greater understanding of Arab Culture in the U.S. and in the Arab world. ACCESS provides a wide range of social, mental health, educational, artistic, employment, legal, and medical services, and is dedicated to empowering people to lead more informed, productive, and fulfilling lives.

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