DEARBORN — The 2018 Henry Ford College Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Mariam Bazzi, a former member of the HFC Board of Trustees and currently a Wayne County Circuit Court judge, at HFC’s afternoon commencement ceremony May 5.
The ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave.
The HFC Distinguished Service Award, first awarded in 1978, honors individuals who have made substantial contributions toward excellence in education, outstanding civic accomplishments, and for their unwavering support of the college. This year marks the award’s 40th anniversary.
“I was taken aback when I learned that I was chosen,” said Bazzi. “I am beyond honored, beyond humbled to receive such a prestigious award from the college.
“I miss being on the board; it really deepened my appreciation for education in the city of Dearborn. Through my service on the board, I have a much deeper appreciation and understanding of what HFC means to the community. Even though it was a short period of time, I was honored to be one of the people who guided the college’s future.”
A Dearborn native, Bazzi graduated from Fordson High School. She earned her undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and her juris doctor in law from Wayne State University Law School. She was a participant in the Harvard Young American Leadership Program in 2016.
“I was torn between going into higher education and law,” Bazzi said. “I was fortunate enough to get the best of both worlds when I was on the board.”
In a race for three open board seats in the 2014 election, Bazzi had the most votes among the 11 candidates. She served until 2017.
Bazzi began her career as a law clerk at the Law Offices of Hamood, Runco, & Fergerstrom, P.C. in Troy. From 2006 to 2017, Bazzi was an assistant prosecuting attorney in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
She served as the lead attorney in charge of the Deed and Mortgage Fraud Task Force, where she oversaw a multi-agency unit that prosecuted financial crime and other high-profile cases. She reported directly to Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.
In May 2017, Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Bazzi to the Wayne County Circuit Court to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Daphne Curtis in early 2017. After the appointment, Bazzi resigned from the Board of Trustees and the Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education. Bazzi must seek election in 2018 for the remainder of this term and must run again in 2020 to seek a full term.
Bazzi has been involved in the community and in local politics for many years. As a college student, she volunteered with the Arab American Institute and the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee. After graduating from law school, she joined the Arab American Political Action Committee, serving as president from 2010 to 2014.
Prior to appointing Bazzi the bench, Snyder appointed her to the Michigan Middle Eastern Affairs Commission. The commission aims to address the needs and issues of the Middle Eastern community in Michigan.
Bazzi was also appointed to the Environmental Justice Work Group, which was tasked to examine policy issues and develop guidance, training, and curriculum for state and local agencies. She was also active in the League of Women Voters/Dearborn-Dearborn Heights.
Bazzi was honored and recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of its “40 Under 40” for her contributions to her community and profession.
“Judge Mariam Bazzi was an exemplary member of the HFC Board of Trustees,” said HFC Interim President John Satkowski. “She has a deep appreciation and respect for the college’s mission and the role we play in our community.
“Judge Bazzi is very deserving to be recognized as the recipient of the HFC Distinguished Service Award for 2018.”