Dennis Lienhardt

2013 Driven to Lead


Dennis Lienhardt knows a few things about leadership.

As Student Government president, the University of Michigan-Dearborn senior serves as the voice of the student body. He also served as president of the Political Science Association and chair of the Student Organization Advisory Council.

Those roles helped Lienhardt hone his leadership skills and also earned him the title of “Difference Maker.”

“I have the privilege of working with great student leaders on a daily basis and with the opportunities I have received through these organizations, I have been able to grow as a student and as a person to prepare myself for life after UM-Dearborn,” said Lienhardt, who plans to graduate in April.

Life after UM-Dearborn, for Lienhardt, likely means a career in the courtroom. His goal is to become an attorney by the age of 25, so after graduation, Lienhardt’s next step is law school.

“I hope to be in a position where I can truly make a difference in my community with my law degree,” he said.

Lienhardt’s determination to make a difference stems from his involvement in UM-Dearborn’s Political Science Association. He joined the association as a junior, and that decision has impacted his campus outreach efforts.

“This was the first organization I had joined and it greatly motivated me to continue to push for change and join other organizations that led me to meet so many great students, faculty and staff members,” he said. “Without meeting these individuals, I would not be the person I am today.”

Lienhardt’s leadership certainly has resonated with UM-Dearborn’s campus community.

“His leadership, drive and determination has ensured that students are not only involved in the intellectual community life at Dearborn, but are central to it,” said Mitch Sollenberger, associate professor of political science. “Dennis is part of a core group of students who have helped to revitalize the Political Science Association and breathe new life into the student government organization. I believe Dennis is a Difference Maker by not only continuing the great tradition at UM-Dearborn of active student leaders, but also pushing ahead to make changes when needed.”