Skip to main content

Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

The Art of Impact

When Michael Sia ’20 transferred to UD after his sophomore year, he had one goal: make every day count.

“I spent two years not giving myself the opportunity for personal growth or professional growth,” said Sia about his time before coming to UD. “At UD, I wanted to do everything … leave no regret on the table, so that’s what I did — one day at a time.”

One of the things that helped Sia choose UD was the University’s transfer scholarship. No other university he was considering offered a transfer scholarship, and earning it made a difference for Sia. He was also happy to learn that the UD community had a newly formed Asian American Association, and he wasn’t the only one who noticed the group’s new presence at UD.

Around the same time that Sia found UD, alumna Dr. Corine Yee ’70 became aware of the Asian American Association on campus. When Yee attended, she was one of just a small handful of Asian American students on campus, and she was one of only a few women at UD with the goal of going to medical school.

While Yee was busy shattering glass ceilings, she was also struggling financially. During this time, a family friend sent her a letter every month. Each envelope contained a letter and a single dollar bill. Even that amount made a difference for Yee, and it demonstrated the power of giving in a very tangible way.

Inspired by this generosity and the work she sees being done on campus today, Yee established the Dollar in an Envelope Scholarship to help Asian American students on campus who are also facing financial difficulties. Read more about Yee’s story.

Learning of Yee’s scholarship, Sia and other members of the growing Asian American Association wanted to say thank you. To do so, they turned to Sia’s startup business to show their gratitude.

Sia majored in finance, but he has always appreciated art. In 2018, during his first year at UD, he launched Bandila Studios. “Bandila Studios is a design agency that provides websites, branding, logos and artwork for small businesses, nonprofits, startups — and now donors,” said Sia.

For Yee, Bandila Studios created a custom designed work of art depicting the Chapel in a traditional style of Japanese landscape paintings.

“Dr. Yee’s donation was a huge affirmation that we did something right,” said Sia. “Helping to coordinate and doing my part with our art for her is just a small token of saying thank you — what you did made an impact.”

Sia certainly believes in making an impact, too. He hasn’t allowed graduation or the pandemic to slow him down. He has a full-time job at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Bandila Studios is growing — and is now a sponsor of UD’s Flyer Pitch Competition. He’s working on his Government Contracting M.S.L. at UD’s School of Law. Plus, Sia is a member of the day10 young alumni executive committee.

“Yeah, I’m very busy,” acknowledged Sia. “But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m blessed, and I’m very, very thankful.”

Read about more Flyers who are making an impact.

Previous Post

Community on Ice

If you strolled across campus today, you would likely do a double take when approaching Stuart Field. Per usual, students might be competing on the field — but in an ice rink.
Read More
Next Post

Moved to Make a Difference

From Mumbai to Dayton, Varun Nair moved halfway around the world yet immediately felt right at home.

Read More