GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology: a year in review

The sign at the renovated GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology is brightly lit by the orange light of the sun.

YPSILANTI – Over the course of the year, Eastern Michigan University’s GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology experienced profound changes in the $40 million renovated Sill Hall. 

“This year has been a great one,” said Mohamad Qatu, dean of the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology. “We achieved significant milestones in fundraising, academic excellence, and ranking, building new and innovative teaching and research labs, admitting more than 200 new students at the joint college in China, and helping students of color succeed. We are very proud of these achievements and look forward to exciting new ones in 2023.” 

Sill Hall features an enhanced learning environment for research and collaboration between faculty and students and provides world-class experiences in engineering, technology, cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, drone technology, gaming, aviation, and other areas of study in high-demand career fields. The highly-functional advancements of the labs and flexible maker spaces prepare and familiarize students with access to state-of-the-art devices, tools, and functional spaces to develop their skill set. 

Some of the college’s most recent noteworthy achievements include:

Jack E. Roush at the dedication of the automotive lab named for him at the GameAbove College of Engineering and TechnologyDedication of the Jack E. Roush Automotive Lab: On April 21, 2022, the college hosted a naming dedication in honor of the American motorsports icon and EMU alumnus Jack E. Roush. As chairman of the Board of Directors of Roush Enterprises and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing, Roush has long been recognized as a leader in automotive innovation and was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2017 and the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2019. EMU awarded him an honorary doctorate of commercial science in 2019. In addition,  Roush has provided significant support to EMU, creating endowed funds for math preparation and tutoring programming across the University and supporting the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology. 

Woods Construction Construction Lab dedicationDedication of the Woods Construction Construction Lab: The naming of the Woods Construction Construction Management Lab recognizes the longstanding commitment of Woods Construction and its president, EMU alumnus John Bodary. Over the past 30 years, Woods Construction and John and his wife Michelle Bodary, an EMU alumna have supported EMU’s Construction Management program significantly. Thanks to them, the John and Michelle Bodary/Woods Construction Endowed Scholarship benefits students pursuing Construction Management, as well as for equipment and renovations to the Construction Management Lab. The Woods Construction Construction Management Lab also honors the late Woods Construction founder, Oswald Pfaffmann, a dedicated supporter of EMU’s Construction Management program. 

President Smith, Mohamad Issa and Dean Qatu at the dedication of the atrium named for Issa.Dedication of the Mohamad M. Issa Atrium: The college’s atrium also received a new name in 2022 after Mohamad M. Issa, a strong supporter of the college and the University. Issa is a well-known business professional in Washtenaw County. From his early work in the food and service industry to development and real estate. Issa is a Michigan Charter School movement leader and director of Global Educational Excellence (GEE). To mark this special occasion, Issa’s family, friends, and charter school associates helped celebrate the naming of the atrium. Issa's endowment supports the College and provides scholarships, programs, initiatives, and equipment. 

Architectural drawing of an overhead view of the proposed parkNew park and event space at EMU funded by GameAbove: The Eastern Michigan University alumni group, GameAbove, donated more than $600,000 to the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology for a new upscale 38,000 sq. ft. park on the University’s campus. The new park is to include more than 20 new trees and shrubs, seasonal flowering trees, seating, a paved circular drive, and up to two new sculptures. The donation expands on GameAbove’s commitment and partnership with EMU and its College of Engineering and Technology. 

Since its launch in 2019, GameAbove has committed nearly $25 million to EMU, supporting or creating programs that spark innovation and academic advancement. Some of those programs include enhancing faculty enrichment, supplying financial aid to students, and building and improving new facilities that advance student-athlete achievements at EMU. GameAbove also supports programs to encourage STEM learning in school-aged children and partners with nationally recognized organizations that enable youth to explore an education and career path in STEM.

“We are proud of these achievements,” said Qatu. “In 2023, we have many things on the horizon, including pursuing Aviation Accreditation Board International accreditation for our aviation programs and delivering face-to-face classes at our joint college in China to serve 376 students. Additionally, we’re committed to enhancing our research and teaching labs with new equipment, advancing our college ranking, and increasing our fundraising efforts.”

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

January 04, 2023

Written by:
Nautica Marshall

Melissa Thrasher