Chelsea Smallish

2013 A Heart for Helping


According to Chelsea Smallish, anyone can make a difference.

“Volunteering is not a tedious task, and as long as there are others helping, anything can be accomplished,” said the University of Michigan-Dearborn senior. “I believe that what I’ve achieved is possible through the support I have received over my years at the university.”

Chelsea has a passion for volunteerism and it’s rubbed off on many of her classmates. That desire to give back earned Chelsea the title of “Difference Maker.”

Chelsea has made a difference across campus, but her biggest impact is felt within iLabs, UM-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research. She began working with iLabs in 2012, and it quickly spiraled into a perfect experiential learning opportunity.

Aside from her work with iLabs, Chelsea has been involved in a series of organizations, many with ties to the College of Business. But, for Chelsea, it’s difficult to identify just one defining moment.

“My time here has been scattered with moments that have together made my experience at Dearborn a defining time of my life,” she said. “My first meeting for all the organizations I joined were each their own defining moments. I jumped headfirst into all of them, signing up and getting involved however I could. This set the way for my future involvement. A single instance may make a memory, but not an impact. It’s the whole process that defines whether or not something has made a lasting impression.”

Nicole Mangis is well aware of Chelsea’s involvement and leadership ability. Mangis, assistant director of iLabs, works closely with Chelsea and quickly identified her colleagues’ work ethic.

“I was fortunate enough to witness her ability to think critically, engage with classmates and faculty, and ultimately positively contribute to the iLabs environment for learning,” Mangis said. “She, on a number of occasions, went above and beyond.”

That leadership will benefit Mangis when she graduates this April.

“On and off campus, Chelsea is truly a ‘Difference Maker,’” Mangis said. “I have yet to meet a student as equally committed to not only achieving their own dreams, but assisting others with their efforts.”