Michael Deas, Director of the Lehman Urban Male Leadership Program, Receives Bronx Chamber of Commerce Honor

Michael Deas

Michael Deas, the director of Lehman’s Urban Male Leadership Program (UMLP) was honored by the Bronx Chamber of Commerce , as a leader who has made significant social and educational contributions to the city. Director Deas was recognized alongside luminaries such as former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, newly elected Speaker of the New York State Assembly Carl Heastie, and keynote speaker, State Senator Ruth Hassel- Thompson. The recognition is part of the chamber’s African-American heritage celebration, an annual event honoring leading African-American men and women for their dedication to the community. Eight other notable community leaders were also celebrated at the event.

“In the case of Mr. Deas, we have an honoree that has influenced our society and future generations in a manner that we are thankful for today,” said Marquis Payne, the chamber’s membership director. “With his work with the Urban Male Leadership Program to what he has done for the Bronx through his influence with the Lehman College; we are proud to honor this great man during African American Heritage month.”

Director Deas was appointed to his current position with the UMLP in 2008, and since 2001, has served as an adjunct professor at Lehman, teaching Introduction to Black Studies and African American Heritage in the African and African American Studies Department.  He is also an adjunct professor at the College of New Rochelle’s social work department.

He said his most satisfying work as director, comes at the annual UMLP induction and awards ceremony. It’s during the ceremony that the accomplishments of UMLP scholars are acknowledged and freshman scholars are presented with the organization’s official blazer as they pledge to become ambassadors to the college and the community. The ceremony also bids farewell to the group’s seniors by presenting them with awards, scholarships and the UMLP sash.

For someone who thoroughly enjoys honoring others, it’s also exciting to be celebrated.

“For over a decade, I have worked diligently with the Lehman Community and it gives me great pride to receive recognition for my dedicated services to the community and to all students,” he said.

Being honored alongside Mayor Dinkins makes the day especially joyful.  He admires the former mayor for his work on numerous boards including the Children’s Health Fund and Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. “He is my inspiration to continue to work for all people and make this world a better place,” Deas said.

In 2006, Deas was the recipient of the adjunct excellence in teaching awards at Lehman. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Lehman and his Master’s degree in social work from Fordham University. He is a motivational speaker and a U.S. Army disabled veteran.

The UMLP offers a variety of activities and programs including student mentorship services, leadership workshops and the “Academic Intervention and Success” (A.I.S.) service which helps first year, transfer students and those at risk of dropping out with referrals for tutoring, study groups and academic advisement.