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The Magic of Connection

    Editors Note:

    Dear Reader,

    As I reflect on the past four years of my journey through computer engineering at the University of Michigan Dearborn, I am filled with gratitude for the countless partnerships that have shaped my academic and personal growth. Each collaboration, whether with fellow students, faculty members, or community organizations, has been instrumental in shaping my understanding of my field and enhancing my collegiate experience.

    To be candid, Disney’s movie series Tinkerbell is what first drew me to engineering. The movie depicts a female protagonist Tinkerbell evolving her fairy talent from simply making and fixing things to innovating machines that quicken their fairy processes all while navigating the challenges of being a female tinker fairy and growing from her mistakes. This movie was instrumental in opening up the engineering world to the ten year old version of myself. However, as I progressed through my studies in computer engineering, I soon realized that engineering is not solely about coding and computers; it’s about forging meaningful partnerships and collaborations. Initially, I was focused on mastering technical skills, but through my involvement with the Zine, I began to recognize the importance of interdisciplinary connections and the power of collective creativity. The Zine provided me with a platform to explore topics beyond the confines of my major, fostering a broader understanding of the role that engineering plays in society, and most importantly, stay creative. It challenged me to think critically about the intersections between technology, culture, and social justice, ultimately shaping me into a more empathetic and socially conscious engineer. Through the lens of the Zine, I learned that true innovation arises not just from technical prowess, but from the ability to collaborate effectively with diverse perspectives and experiences. In this way, the zine has been instrumental in broadening my perspective and helping me grow into a better person, both professionally and personally.

    Throughout my time as a student, the concept of partnership has been central to my academic pursuits. From collaborative projects with classmates to research endeavors alongside esteemed professors, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of teamwork and shared knowledge. These partnerships have not only enriched my education but have also instilled in me a deep appreciation for the value of interdisciplinary collaboration in solving complex technological challenges.

    Serving as the co-editor has been an immensely rewarding experience, providing me with a platform to amplify the voices of students and faculty alike. Through the Zine, I have had the privilege of spotlighting the innovative partnerships that exist within our academic community, showcasing the remarkable achievements that arise when students and faculty come together in pursuit of common goals. As you explore more stories in this volume, I hope this Zine helps you explore wider subjects and maintain your creativity.

    As I prepare to embark on the next chapter of my journey beyond academia, I am profoundly grateful for the lessons learned and connections forged during my time at UofM Dearborn. The partnerships cultivated within the engineering department and through initiatives like our Zine have not only shaped my academic trajectory but have also fostered a sense of belonging and friendship that will endure long after graduation. Thank you to everyone at the Zine for welcoming me in and providing a space to explore my creativity.

    In the pages that follow, I invite you to join me in celebrating the power of partnerships and the profound impact they have had on my collegiate experience. May these stories serve as a testament to the incredible things that can be achieved when we come together in collaboration and mutual respect.

    With heartfelt appreciation,

    Harleen Gill