Welcome!

Mensa is the largest of the international high-IQ societies. The purpose of our Southeast Michigan chapter is to provide opportunity for intellectual and social belonging and networking among diverse people.

Bookmark this site to see SEMM’s calendar of events for members and their guests. In addition to local events and monthly meetings, SEMM hosts a Winter Bash (games party), SEMMer Bash (picnic), and a Regional Gathering held each April, known as SEMMantics.

22 November 2020

December Monthly Gathering – What does it take to compete on “Jeopardy!”?

Until it is deemed once again safe to return to meeting as a group, Southeast Michigan Mensa will be presenting a series of lectures on Zoom. These programs are “members only” events, not open to the public. Members need to pre-register at https://tinyurl.com/SEMM-1220-Gathering. The event’s Zoom URL and instructions for connecting will be sent to those who are pre-registered, about an hour before the presentation.

For SEMM member, Amanda Holm, the answer was: What is broad-based knowledge, nerves of steel, and timing? Alex Trebek butchered the pronunciation of Livonia, and almost called her a bed wetter instead of a bead weaver, but Amanda still persevered and ended up a winner on “Jeopardy!”

Now lots of smart people know tons of trivia and get told, “Hey, you should be on Jeopardy!” But what’s it like when that pipe dream comes true? Well here’s your chance to find out! Amanda will be with us on Saturday, December 19 to give you the answers (always in the form of a question) on everything you always wanted to know about being on the “grande dame” of game shows, but were afraid to ask. Questions such as; How does someone get on Jeopardy? How do you prepare for questions that could be on any imaginable subject? And what’s host Alex Trebek really like?

Amanda is a Project Manager at Henry Ford Health System (all opinions are hers, not theirs); wife & mom of a blended family with four kids, ages 5 to almost 18; her hobbies include: reading, making beaded jewelry, reading, baking all sorts of goodies, and reading. She’s been a SEMM member for about 10 years, and was all set to whip up a Chocolate Feast and a host of Decadent Desserts for the 2020 Regional Gathering when… well, you know. Amanda has drifted steadily eastward across Michigan through her life, with a brief dip southward to the Washington, DC area. She holds a Masters degree in Public Health and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, both from the University of Michigan (double Go Blue!).

So join us at 7:00pm, on Saturday, December 19, for this rare opportunity to find out first-hand from our own Amanda Holm, how it feels to actually go for broke in full view of millions of people, how life changed after appearing on Jeopardy, and maybe what actually happened to the money she won… or maybe not. The Zoom room will open at 6:30pm for mingling. The program starts at 7:00pm.

18 October 2020

November Monthly Gathering – Treason!

Until it is deemed once again safe to return to meeting as a group, Southeast Michigan Mensa will be presenting a series of lectures on Zoom. These programs are “members only” events, not open to the public. Members need to register at https://tinyurl.com/SEMM-1120-Gathering. The event’s Zoom URL and instructions for connecting will be sent to those who are pre-registered, about an hour before the presentation.

For David Tenenbaum, an Orthodox Jew, life has not been the same since February 1997. That’s when he was suspended from his job of 13 years as an engineer at the Army’s Tank Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) headquarters in Warren, and the media reported that he was suspected of being a spy for Israel.

Some of those involved in the investigation characterized Tenenbaum as another Jonathan Pollard, a Navy analyst sentenced to a life term for giving classified material to Israel in the 1980’s and paroled in 2015. Mr. Tenenbaum was interrogated at length by the FBI and Army intelligence, polygraphed, placed (along with his wife) under 24-hour surveillance and his home was searched. Items collected as evidence in the FBI’s search of his home included a drawing by one of his children of some Hebrew letters, which the FBI suspected to be a coded message.

After more than a year of investigation, the FBI officially closed the case. The U.S. Attorney’s office declined to prosecute, stating: “There is no question that if evidence existed which would prove this case, then these agents would have found it.”

Mr. Tenenbaum returned to work at TACOM and his security clearance was eventually restored. Yet despite having never been charged, some of his colleagues still shunned him on both a personal and professional level, fearing guilt by association, and/or believing him to have evaded prosecution due only to a lack of evidence, and that he was, in fact, a traitor. 

In 2008 the Department of Defense’s Inspector General issued a scathing condemnation of the investigation, and ruled the allegations against Tenenbaum were “both false and initiated with a discriminatory intent.”

Twenty-two years after the investigation ended, David Tennenbaum is still involved in litigation, but the Army steadfastly refuses to make Tenenbaum whole and compensate him for the false accusations against him.

Join us on Saturday, November 21 to learn what Mr. Tenenbaum actually did to merit such intense scrutiny by the government, if the investigation actually was motivated by prejudice, and the personal toll of the government’s actions on an American family. The Zoom window will open at 630pm for mingling. The program starts at 7pm.

20 September 2020

October Monthly Gathering – Of Icebergs and Inquiries: Michiganders on the Titanic

Until it is deemed once again safe to return to meeting as a group, Southeast Michigan Mensa will be presenting a series of lectures on Zoom. These programs are “members only” events, and not open to the public.

To register for October’s presentation, members must go to https://tinyurl.com/SEMM-1020-Gathering. Enter your first and last name and an email address where you will receive information on the meeting, then click “Register.” Once your registration is approved, you will receive the URL you will need to attend the meeting

On the night of April 15, 1912, the luxury ocean liner RMS Titanic sank during its maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. When the ship went down, there were a number of Michiganders aboard, some, but not all, of whom tragically lost their lives. Within a week, Senator William Alden Smith of Michigan, a native of Dowagiac, convened the Senate inquiry into the disaster. Sans all the glitz and hype, this presentation explores the history of the Titanic, Senator Smith’s far-reaching quest for answers, and details what became of the Michiganders on board

Our speaker, Bob Myers, is the Director of Education for the Historical Society of Michigan. He holds a BA in history from Alma College and an MA in history from Western Michigan University. He has authored numerous books, including Lost on the Lakes: Shipwrecks of Berrien County and Adeline and Julia: Growing Up in Michigan and on the Kansas Frontier.  His articles have appeared in Michigan History Magazine and Michigan Historical Review. He and his wife Candace live in Grand Ledge, where they are restoring their 1903 Colonial Revival home.

Members please join us at 7pm, on Saturday, October 17, for a story which is both historically significant and locally relevant .

16 August 2020

September Monthly Gathering – The US Peace Corps in sub-Saharan Africa

Until it is deemed once again safe to return to meeting as a group, Southeast Michigan Mensa will be presenting a series of lectures on Zoom. These programs are “members only” events, not open to the public. Members need to pre-register by sending an email to register@nullcpeacock.us. The event’s Zoom URL and instructions for connecting will be sent to those who are pre-registered, about an hour before the presentation.

Join us on Saturday, September 19, at 7:00pm when our guest speaker will be SEMM member, Peggi Tabor, a certified Integrative Wellness and Life Coach. After a corporate career with Xerox, which included designing and delivering training programs to managers both in the US and abroad, she spent two years in sub-Saharan Africa as a US Peace Corps volunteer initiating and implementing economic development projects. She holds an MBA in marketing and communications as well as a Master’s degree in metaphysical science and a PhD in philosophy.

Dr. Tabor’s talk looks at the current situation in Sub-Saharan Africa and what the US Peace Corps is doing to ameliorate the many challenges facing the people living there – problems that range from systemic poverty to HIV/AIDS. Dr. Tabor spent two years as a US Peace Corps volunteer living and working in a remote village in Lesotho.

Members, be sure to join us at 7:00pm on Saturday, September 19 as Peggi recounts that experience.

19 July 2020

August Monthly Gathering – The Future of Automotive Propulsion

The worldwide demand for automotive transportation remains strong even as the price of conventional fuels fluctuates. Auto companies are committed to providing safe and affordable vehicles which run on whatever energy sources are available in a particular market. A brief history of vehicle propulsion methods will be followed by an update on the current status of electric vehicles, including hybrids, batteries, and fuel cells.

Ed Becker is a life member of American Mensa and a past president of The Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers International.  He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He retired from General Motors after 30 years of service, mostly in the Powertrain division working on a variety of GM engines and transmissions. Ed then established Friction & Wear Solutions, LLC, which provides advice on materials to solve tribological problems. He holds 9 U.S. patents and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Michigan.

Members please join us at 7pm, on Saturday, August 15 for some timely insight into the future of automotive transportation.

Members Only Zoom Presentation

Until it is deemed once again safe to return to meeting as a group, Southeast Michigan Mensa will be presenting a series of lectures on Zoom. These programs are “members only” events, not open to the public. Members need to pre-register by sending an email to register@nullcpeacock.us. The event’s Zoom URL and instructions for connecting will be sent to those who are pre-registered, about an hour before the presentation.