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Zeynep Aycan

Dearest Michele,

Congratulations on serving quarter-of-a-century in one of the greatest academic institutions in the world! You should feel extremely proud of the many accomplishments, including many students you have mentored over the years in the University of Maryland. Your vita speaks volumes of your brilliance and achievements. What I want to focus on is you as a person (the capital you, your essence). In my 20+ years of professional life in academia, I have not come across anyone quite like you Michele. You are extremely generous and humble. You share your resources with others and involve them into your journey. You have an everlasting smile and energy. You love your family dearly and make them part of your journey every step of the way.

We share many memories over the years. Do you remember the chase of a young man on the streets of Indonesia wanting to ‘marry us’!? My son, Ata, used to call you the “seashell” (for its phonetic similarity to your name) when he was very young. The photo is me and Ata seeing your new book in the first days of its release in Toronto and jumping up and down in the bookstore with joy and literally hugging it!!

You are the epitome of kindness and sincerity Michele! I love your for your essence and I am proud of being your friend. Sending you much love from the bottom of my heart and best wishes in the new chapter of your life.


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