(Photo courtesy of twitter.com/umdvolleygirls)


Wednesday was a special night for both staff and students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn Fieldhouse.

‘MVP Night,’ with ‘MVP’ standing for Most Valuable Professor, took place during Wednesday’s home match against Lawrence Tech University.

Introduced by head coach Eric Stark in his inaugural season at the helm of the volleyball team, MVP Night began as a way to recognize the impact of campus faculty on the student-athletes.

“I think that it’s a special day that we get to have with them,” said sophomore middle blocker Kristina Ivanovic of the occasion. “I know that they appreciate it, and I know that we definitely appreciate it.”

Ivanovic invited her personal MVP, Professor Donald Shelton, to come share in the festivities.

Professor Shelton teaches social sciences at UM-Dearborn. He is also Director of the Criminal Justice Department.

“He’s influenced me,” said Ivanovic, “because that is a career path that I would want to go into. He’s a big part of that.”

In an email regarding the occasion, Professor Shelton expressed his approval of the special night.

“Ms. Ivanovic is an excellent student,” he wrote. “I was very happy to be honored as an MVP. I value the emphasis that this program places on the academic experience of the players.”

Professor Shelton was one of many faculty members honored on the evening, as each player on the roster is encouraged to invite their own personal MVP.

Faculty members being honored that were able to make it to the game were given framed certificates among all of the festivities.

Even as the Wolverines dropped their match to Lawrence Tech, it would take much, much more to spoil their special night.