Ginsberg Center Annual Report 2018

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2018 Ginsberg Center Annual Report

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From the Director


Dear Friends and Partners,

The Ginsberg Center was created to serve as a crucible for transformational learning, change, and community impact. For the past twenty years, we have helped U-M live into its mission as we continue to live into ours. We create opportunities for students to build wisdom through facilitated application of knowledge in and out of the classroom. We engage and support faculty and staff to broaden and deepen their approaches to teaching, advising, and developing research agendas, through collaborations with community partners.

In the past year, the Ginsberg Center has continued to grow, executing our strategic plan both in terms of the work we are conducting for the campus and the community, but also in the ways we connect within the Center and leverage our shared expertise to the maximum benefit of students, faculty and staff, and the community.

The heart of our work is focused on U-M’s mission of “developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.” We create opportunities for students to identify themselves as active and influential participants in communities and in our democracy, and we continue to expand opportunities for students to learn leadership skills, and skills to engage across difference, while contributing to the capacity of community organizations.

Now more than ever, Ginsberg is an important institutional asset, as we support the University in applying its knowledge and values to complex community needs. Through relationships with nonprofit, education, and government partners we have developed a dynamic inventory of community-identified priorities and needs, and we are stewarding an ever-growing catalogue of opportunities for campus partners to engage with communities.

We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the generous donors who have been instrumental in making this past year so successful. In particular, we wish to thank the Ginsberg family for their continued engagement and support of our students and our work.

In its twenty years, the Ginsberg Center has worked with nearly 50,000 students, and catalyzed thousands of stories of transformation and leadership. We look forward to continuing that growth and supporting U-M by working with students and faculty who carry with them a sense of purpose and commitment to social change for the common good.

Yours in partnership,
Mary Jo Callan


2 | Our Mission

The Ginsberg Center’s mission is to cultivate and steward equitable partnerships between communities and the University of Michigan in order to advance social change for the public good.

We accomplish this through a three-pronged approach:

  1. We connect community organizations with students, faculty, and staff who are invested in positive social change.
  2. We empower students to engage in positive change through social justice education, leadership development, and meaningful service experiences with community.
  3. We work with faculty and academic staff to connect their mutually beneficial community engagement efforts to coursework, research and programs.


3 | Our Principles

Centering on Reciprocity
Striving for balanced impact in our partnerships. Students, faculty and staff, and community partners all have the opportunity to share interests, goals, and expectations.

Starting with Community
Centering around community-identified priorities and most effectively matching U-M resources and expertise to those of community partners.

Fostering Long-Term Partnership
Stewarding long-term relationships with community partners that last well beyond the scope of a particular project or engagement.

Balancing Power
Recognizing community members as active agents with deep knowledge about their communities and practices.

Moving from Individual to Collective Action
Supporting coordination, collaboration, and increased coherence by bringing together parties with shared interests to amplify positive community impact.

Connecting Learning Across Contexts
Supporting students’ integrative learning across classroom, co-curricular, personal, and community settings. Reflection is a critical component of this integration before, during and after community engagement experiences.

The Year in Review

4 | Student Engagement

Central to all Ginsberg initiatives is our commitment to developing University of Michigan students who will go on to become community and global leaders best equipped to challenge the present to contribute to the common good. We challenge students to create a more inclusive and equitable world, and a better future.

Our emphasis is on leadership development that has a tangible and lasting impact on students’ lives and their futures—a result we have seen reflected in careers, relationships, and the way in which our graduates continue to contribute to our programs after they leave U-M.

In the past year, the Ginsberg Center has worked with more than 50 student organizations across campus, supporting the University’s high levels of student engagement. We support students and student organizations with leadership development through community engagement by applying theoretical knowledge to active community learning environments. We foster students through training and consultation in order to advance their goals while meeting community-identified priorities.

“Leadership is not about a position. Leadership is about empowering the collective.”

—Maria Fabrizio, Ginsberg Community Leadership Fellow

[Graphic: pie chart entitled Student Education & Engagement. Total students: 7,750. Voter Education & Registration: 4,300. Workshops and training: 2,800. Advising: 500. Paid Student Employees: 150.]


Student Engagement Initiatives

Learning in Community (LinC)
LinC involves training sessions, case studies, workshops, retreats, and dialogues focused on supporting students who are interested in community engagement, social change, democratic engagement, advocacy, and activism. Our efforts focus on critical skill building such as understanding political identity, working with children and youth, and creating mutually beneficial community partnerships. This year, Ginsberg conducted more than 100 curricular  and co-curricular sessions across campus for academic units, student organizations and general audiences.

Alternative Breaks
Ginsberg’s Alternative Breaks support a multitude of different ways in which U-M students can spend their spring break engaged in a community service learning experience. Ginsberg sponsors the student-led MAC-ASB program, which involves nearly 300 students annually. In addition, Ginsberg provides training, advising, and grants to more than 30 student organizations and academic programs that engage with communities across the globe during spring break.

America Reads Tutoring Corps
This year, 115 U-M students participated in the America Reads Tutoring Corps, working with elementary school children in Washtenaw County and the city of Detroit to enhance literacy skills. In addition, the program provides the opportunity to develop a home library, the chance to read and to develop a relationship with a U-M student. This program is especially important in light of Michigan’s newly-passed third-grade reading law, which goes into effect in 2020, and will hold back students who fall behind in third-grade reading requirements.

Fraternity & Sorority Life
Fraternity and Sorority Life efforts are focused on connecting the 6,000-plus members of U-M’s fraternity and sorority communities with locally-identified community engagement opportunities. This year, the Ginsberg Center created a joint staff position with Fraternity and Sorority Life to expand student engagement, and provide participating students with the education and guidance to serve community partners in the spirit of mutual benefit and positive impact.

[Infographic: More than 2,800 students participated in Ginsberg’s workshops, training sessions & events:


Average student responses, from 1 (Strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree):

Statement: I recognize how interacting with people from backgrounds and cultures different from my own enhances my work and learning: 4.5

Statement: I can identify examples of how my identities, personal values and beliefs influence my learning, decisions, and actions: 4.5

Statement: I can articulate key principles for effective partnerships: 4.4

Statement: I am more equipped to ask questions and listen to others in order to understand if and how the needs and perspectives of all group members are being addressed in the group’s decision-making and activities: 4.7]

Democratic Engagement
Recognizing that participation in the democratic process is a cornerstone of preparation for a lifetime of active, impactful engagement in the world, our nonpartisan Democratic Engagement efforts immerse U-M students in dialogue around pressing social and political issues. We base our efforts around three key objectives: engage, educate, elect.

This past year, our key partners in this work included: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, the Center for Campus Involvement, the Program on Intergroup Relations, the Office of Student Conflict Resolution, the School of Social Work, the College of Literature, Science & the Arts, Central Student Government, Fraternity and Sorority Life, the Office of the Provost, Vice President for Marketing and Communications, Vice President for Government Relations, Michigan Athletics, the Office of the Registrar and the Office of New Student Programs.

We worked with these partners to host numerous panels, workshops and events to help bring students together in dialogue and to provide them with access to public policy makers. Our events are designed to provide students with pathways to be informed and involved in the democratic process. This year, our events included the Women in Public Service event, the WeListen Staff Series, a series of workshops in collaboration with IGR and OSCR that focused on deconstructing political identities and engaging in constructive conversation around pressing issues, and the Michigan Voting Summit.

Big Ten Voting Challenge
The Big Ten Voting Challenge, initiated by President Schlissel and supported by all fourteen Big Ten universities, aims to increase rates of student voter turnout. The Ginsberg Center led the U-M campus initiative and convened the BTVC Conference. The challenge was announced on Constitution Day, 2017, and will see its first benchmark with the 2018 midterm elections.

Billed as a win-win competition for democracy, the nonpartisan Challenge will formally recognize the university with the greatest overall turnout, and the university with the greatest increase in percentage of eligible student voters as compared to the 2016 midterm elections. More than 4,300 U-M students have been registered so far this year via turboVote, in an effort coordinated by the Ginsberg Center, working closely with Edie Goldenberg as the effort’s lead faculty partner.

Grants, Scholarships & Fellowships
One of the ways the Ginsberg Center helps University of Michigan students effect positive change is by providing a number of different grants and scholarships that increase equity and support social engagement.

[Infographic: Ginsberg Community Engagement Grants:

Funding and support for student groups meeting community-identified needs through service and engagement.

What we offer:

  • Local impact grants up to $1,500: For student organizations working in partnership to advance equity in education, employment and/or housing in Washtenaw County.  
  • Alternative Breaks grants up to $500: Community service spring/summer break for student groups planning a short-term, immersive service and learning experience during University break.
  • Mini grants up to $250: For small-scale initiatives/partnerships between U-M students and external organizations that prioritize community-identified needs.]

Rosalie Ginsberg Scholarship for Community Service and Social Action

This year, Ginsberg awarded three $3,000 Rosalie Ginsberg Scholarships to U-M juniors or seniors who demonstrated a commitment to community service or social action and who demonstrated financial need.

“This scholarship funding supported my efforts to continue service learning programs and

authentic community engagement. I am graduating from my undergraduate studies with the most meaningful experiences and a wealth of knowledge in ways to continue to empower and uplift communities.”

— Julia Magas, 2018 Rosalie Ginsberg Scholarship Recipient

Shuyi Li Scholarship for Community Service and Civic Engagement
The Ginsberg Center awarded two Shuyi Li Scholarships for Community Service and Civic Engagement this year. Funded by a gift from Ginsberg alum Shuyi Li (LSA, ‘12), the scholarships supported first- or second-year students who demonstrated a commitment to community service or social action and who also demonstrated financial need.

Delta Delta Delta Community-Based Grants
This year, Ginsberg also awarded one grant endowed by alumnae of U-M’s Delta Delta Delta Iota House to support positive community engagement in current students. The grant supports off-campus, direct service and social action initiatives, in particular, those involving students from fraternities and sororities.

Community Leadership Fellows
The Ginsberg Center offers a year-long fellowship program for U-M undergraduate juniors and seniors. Through our Community Leadership Fellows program we provide students with an opportunity to expand their existing knowledge, skills, and leadership experiences around civic engagement, community service learning—and apply those skills in the development of a project that meets community-identified needs. Fellows participate in ongoing training and mentorship, connect as a cohort, and engage in intentional reflection throughout the program.

All five organizations who worked with our Fellows this year reported that the student’s work helped increase the capacity of their organization.

Scott MacDonald Community Fellows Program
This was the inaugural year for the MacDonald Community Fellows Program, made possible by a generous gift from Scott MacDonald. The Program provided a needs-based, renewable scholarship for a University of Michigan undergraduate student who worked with community partners, on leadership development, and on personal growth.

“The work I have done through the program this year connects to my other studies at the University of Michigan, and the work that I am doing for the MacDonald scholarship is relevant to all aspects of my life.”

— Monica Kim, 2018 Scott MacDonald Community Fellow

Ginsberg Graduate Academic Liaisons
Our Graduate Academic Liaisons are U-M PhD students who promote engaged learning and community engagement in curricular settings on campus. Through generous funding from William & Inger Ginsberg, Graduate Liaisons have been instrumental in strengthening the support the Ginsberg Center provides to faculty, academic units, and schools & colleges more broadly.

“Working with Ginsberg Center staff and the other Graduate Academic Liaisons taught me that our passion for community engagement brings us, and all the people we reach, together across disciplines, across age, gender, race, and socioeconomic status.”

— Marianna Coulentianos, Graduate Academic Liaison

Internships & Student Employment
We offer employment and field placement opportunities for graduate level students from multiple disciplines, providing interns with an opportunity to learn more about civic engagement and service-learning. Students have diverse experiences, working and learning alongside other students, staff, faculty, and community partners.

“I spent three semesters at the Ginsberg Center and each was filled with opportunities for both professional and personal development. I was empowered to offer suggestions and make decisions, encouraged to explore my own professional identity, and engaged daily in the work the Ginsberg Center team was doing. The team worked relentlessly to better themselves, to better our University, and to better our Community.”

—Toby Hutchins, 2017 Ginsberg Center intern


[Infographic: The four elements of balanced impact: connect, design, prepare, assess]

[Infographic: Pie chart depicting Academic Partner Support. Teaching: 31%. Research: 19%. Service: 21%. Other Academic Partnerships: 29%]

Community-Engaged Scholarship and Academic Service Learning

Faculty Engagement
Our work with academic partners supports U-M faculty to integrate community engagement into all three core areas of faculty work: teaching, research and service. This past year, we worked with 130 academic partners from all 19 schools and colleges to support their community engagement efforts in a number of ways. We expanded our support to faculty and academic programs by working with 77 new partners from 34 new programs, departments and schools. In addition:

• We helped academic partners explore potential community partnerships by matching community-identified priorities to their disciplinary focus.

• We provided course and research design consultations, sharing research on best practices, integrating DEI principles and critical reflection methodologies.

• We helped prepare students to work effectively with communities through interactive workshops within courses, including topics such social identities, social justice and working with underserved populations.

• Finally, we consulted with academic partners on assessment plans for community-engaged courses, programs and research projects, sharing tools to measure student learning, intercultural understanding, and community experience and outcomes.

“The Ginsberg Center helped alleviate my concerns about working with a new community partner in new ways. We had great conversations about partnership development, including the structures and resources that both the partner and the university could provide.”

—Anne Mondro, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Co-Director, Stamps School of Art & Design

Dewey Lecture
The Dewey Lecture brings together faculty, staff and community partners to explore the ways in which scholarship can be advanced through mutually beneficial partnerships.

This year’s lecture was “Amplifying the Diminished Voice of Detroit’s Urban Landscape,” with keynote speaker Charles Cross of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center and Adjunct Professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture.

Katie Richards-Schuster, Director of Undergraduate Minor Programs and Assistant Professor of Social Work, and her community partners Morghan Williams, Scott Phillips, and Zearia Chestang presented on Ypsilanti Youth Creating Change (Y2C2), a collaboration between Corner Health Center’s Youth Leadership Council and Ozone House’s Peer Outreach Workers. In addition, Hani Bawardi, Associate Professor of History at U-M Dearborn, spoke about oral histories of Arab American communities in Flint and Detroit.

Faculty Toolkit & Online Resources
Ginsberg offered U-M faculty a number of online resources to help support their community-engaged scholarship efforts with our Faculty Toolkit, providing information on topics ranging from pedagogy to research to tenure and promotion.

Faculty Grants
This year, the Ginsberg Center awarded 18 grants to faculty to help develop Community- Engaged Scholarship efforts.

  • Ginsberg Center Community Engagement Grants are offered to faculty in partnership with the Vice Provost for Global Engagement and Interdisciplinary Academic Affairs, the Office of Research, and Poverty Solutions to support the community-engaged scholarship of tenure and tenure track, research, and clinical faculty on the Ann Arbor Campus.
  • Ginsberg Center Community Engagement Grants for Interprofessional Education are offered in partnership with the Center for Interprofessional Education (IPE) to support interprofessional, community-engaged initiatives.

Faculty Advisory Board
The Faculty Advisory Board is composed of 13 faculty who provide ideas and advice, to broaden the Ginsberg Center’s engagement with faculty across campus to advance its role as a Community Engagement Center for the social sector. The Board’s work plan emphasizes translating needs and priorities identified by the community into potential research questions and agendas, and teaching opportunities; and convening conversations, learning communities and collaborations around them.

Community Engagement

Community Engagement & Partnerships
Facilitating beneficial engagement with community is the backbone of all of our work at the Ginsberg Center, beginning with establishing relationships to best assess and address community-identified needs and priorities. We focus on building and nurturing long-term relationships with social sector partners--including nonprofits, schools, and government agencies.

Community-University Matchmaking
The Ginsberg Center thoughtfully and purposefully connects U-M faculty, staff and/or students interested in positive social change to the priorities and needs of community partners. Our approach benefits university stakeholders while creating student leaders who will continue their commitment to creating positive change in the world well beyond their experiences at U-M. Our partnerships with faculty support their passion to develop knowledge that addresses consequential public issues. This year, Ginsberg facilitated more than 120 matches with partners including government, schools and nonprofits. Among our matches were:

  • We connected the Stamps School of Art & Design with Growing Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing public access to healthy food. Our U-M faculty partner developed a course in partnership with Growing Hope to help develop public art and explore creative space-making, resulting in a partnership that has continued far beyond the initial project’s scope.
  • We paired faculty from U-M’s College of Pharmacy and School of Nursing with Baker Commons, an affordable housing community in Ann Arbor, and a partner of the Ann Arbor Housing Commission. Students from both schools worked together to create a program that gave Baker Commons residents access to and support for their medical needs.
  • We worked with the School of Music, Theatre & Dance’s PEERS program to match U-M’s American Choral Directors Association student chapter with Ypsilanti Community Middle School to assist with vocal coaching for the school’s spring musical.
  • We brokered a partnership between faculty from the University of Michigan Library and A Brighter Way, a nonprofit providing services and support to citizens returning from incarceration. The resulting mini-course leveraged students’ research abilities to develop reference materials for the agency.

Community Advisory Board
Ginsberg’s Community Advisory Board—composed of frontline practitioners from nonprofit and other community organizations, local governments and local schools—provides guidance on how U-M can maximize its positive impact in our community partnerships.

Connect to Community
Ginsberg’s Connect to Community is an online resource that connects University of Michigan students with volunteer opportunities, internships, and fellowships. Connect to Community is a partnership with our local United Way and Eastern Michigan University to generate greater input and share resources.

Strengthening Our Engagement with Detroit-Based Partners
This past year, Ginsberg deepened our partnership with U-M’s Poverty Solutions, a presidential initiative that combines University assets to work toward the prevention and alleviation of poverty. Our shared interests have resulted in the deployment of a joint Community Engagement and Relationship Manager who focuses on connecting Detroit partners and campus partners, with a specific emphasis on advancing community vitality and economic empowerment for Detroiters.  

Community Technical Assistance Collaborative (CTAC)
CTAC provides Ginsberg Center’s community partners with experienced faculty and staff guidance to draw on the skills of graduate students across multiple disciplines to design, coordinate, and analyze data and conduct evaluation projects for community partners seeking to improve quality of life for residents. This year, CTAC completed 27 projects with 24 community partners.

Sample CTAC Projects

  • Assessing Quality of Life for Local Seniors
    CTAC leveraged the University’s expertise and talent to gather and analyze data to help the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation assess the quality of life of seniors in Washtenaw County, in order to help determine the distribution of a $18.3 million endowment.
  • Broadband Access for Rural Michiganders
    CTAC helped the Michigan Broadband Cooperative (MBC) better understand the experience of rural Michiganders’ access to high speed internet. CTAC designed a study gauging residents’ attitudes, and partnered with STATCOM (a statistics-focused student organization and frequent partner) to analyze the data. Finally, CTAC worked with the partner MBC present data in formats that will be used to share with area residents and decision makers to inform public policy around broadband access and equity.
  • Behavioral Health Appointment No-Show Cost Analysis
    CTAC helped Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County (CSSWC) to analyze the cost of appointment no-shows in their Behavioral Health Department (BHD). CTAC designed an instrument to track and analyze appointment patterns over the course of a year. The resulting analysis allowed CSSWC to adapt its operating budget to help cover financial shortfalls.

Advisory Boards

Ginsberg Center Staff

  • Ashleigh Johnson, Community Engagement & Relationship Manager
  • Brianne N. Johnson, Asst. Director for University-Community Partnerships
  • Caroline Wesley, Student Outreach and Advising Coordinator
  • Danyelle J. Reynolds, Asst. Director for Student Learning and Leadership
  • Dave Waterhouse, Associate Director
  • Erin Byrnes, Lead, Democratic Engagement
  • Julia Smillie, Writing & Communications Specialist
  • Julie Lubeck-Hofer, Coordinator, Special Projects
  • Maria Mora, Administrative Assistant
  • Mary Jo Callan, Director
  • Neeraja Aravamudan, Asst. Director for Engaged Learning Partnerships
  • Raven Jones, America Reads Coordinator
  • Sara Saylor, Asst. Director for Community Engagement
  • Ti’Kyra Napoleon, Student Leadership & Engagement Coordinator

Faculty Advisory Board

  • Aline Cotel, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Christina Weiland, School of Education
  • Elisabeth Gerber, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
  • Gerald Davis, Ross School of Business
  • Ivette Perfecto, School of Natural Resources & Environment
  • Jesse Austin-Brenneman, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Karen Farris, College of Pharmacy
  • Katie Richards-Schuster, School of Social Work
  • Luke Shaefer, School of Social Work & Ford School of Public Policy
  • Maria Arquero De Alarcon, School of Architecture & Urban Design
  • *Nick Tobier, Stamps School of Art School & Design; Edward Ginsberg Center Senior Counsel to the Provost on Civic Engagement
  • Sue Ann Savas, School of Social Work
  • Teresa Satterfield, LSA Romance Languages & Literatures

2017-2018 Community Advisory Board

  • Abigael Davis, Ann Arbor YMCA
  • Alan Oman, Washtenaw Intermediate School District
  • Armando Falcon, Red Cross & Barrier Busters Network
  • Becca Pickus, Family Learning Institute
  • Chris Barry, Interfaith Hospitality Network
  • Derrick Jackson, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office
  • Douglas Manigault III, Ozone House Youth & Family Services
  • Elizabeth Davila-Ferrall, Dawn Farm
  • Faith Kyunghee Chen, Ann Arbor Public Schools
  • Felicia Brabec, Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners
  • Janae Townsend, Washtenaw Intermediate School District
  • Jennifer Furstenberg Mann, Ypsilanti District Library
  • Jessica Ashmore, Washtenaw County Juvenile Court
  • Jessie McShane, Child Care Network
  • Jim McGuire, Area Agency on Aging 1-B
  • Jimena Loveluck, UNIFIED - HIV Health and Beyond
  • Joshua Meisler, Growth Works Inc.
  • Karena Shell, Food Gatherers
  • Laura Urteaga-Fuentes, Washtenaw County Community & Economic Development
  • Leah Borst, Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley
  • Margy Long, Washtenaw Success By 6 Great Start Collaborative
  • Marta Larson, Northfield’s Human Services, People’s Express, Whitmore Lake Foundation for Educational Excellence
  • Mary Morgan, CivCity
  • Mary Stasiak, Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority
  • Meredith Schindler, Ann Arbor Academy, Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Trustees
  • Morghan Williams, The Corner Health Center
  • Pam Smith, United Way of Washtenaw County
  • Rhonda Weathers, SOS Community Services
  • Ryan Walker, Avalon Housing
  • Sarah Thornburg, Friends In Deed
  • Terry Soave, Ann Arbor District Library

Student Advisory Board

  • Amani Echols
  • Caroline Kelly
  • Emily Costello
  • Erkina Sartbaeva
  • Julia Magas
  • Julia Snider
  • Luke Higgins
  • Maya Eter
  • Maya Makhlouf
  • Medha Sinha
  • Mina Juma
  • Rebecca Farag
  • So Jung Kim
  • Tait Chamberlain
  • Vanessa Magallanes
  • Yong-Joon Kim