Dr. Neeraja Aravamudan Named New Director of the Ginsberg Center

The Ginsberg Center is pleased to announce that, following a national search and in close consultation with key stakeholders and campus leadership, Dr. Neeraja Aravamudan has been selected to serve as the next director of the Center. In her new role Neeraja will lead our team in advancing our mission “to cultivate and steward equitable partnerships between communities and the University of Michigan in order to advance social change for the public good.”


Neeraja has been part of the Ginsberg Center team since 2016, previously serving as our Associate Director for Teaching, Research and Academic Partnerships and the Assistant Director for Engaged Learning Partnerships. Neeraja began serving as Interim Co-Director, with Dave Waterhouse, after the departure of former director Mary Jo Callan, in May 2021. Her career spans multiple roles, including instructor positions at both the University of Michigan and Northwestern University and a leadership role at the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence at Northwestern University. Neeraja came to higher education from a career in civic engagement, with experience in programmatic and counselor roles at major not-for-profit institutions in Chicago and Indianapolis. Neeraja earned both her M.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University and a B.A. from Purdue University.


Neeraja’s contributions to Ginsberg provide the underpinnings for much of the Center’s work, especially community-engaged learning and scholarship. “Neeraja’s notable track record reveals a deep understanding of and commitment to the Center’s mission and will provide valued continuity as the team moves forward following the departure of the previous director,” says Jennifer Meyer Schrage, Interim Associate Vice President for Student Life.  Neeraja’s leadership approach places a focus on the importance of faculty and student engagement, and she enjoys a reputation for creative facilitation with academic partners in the development of courses, programs, and research. 


“I am honored to continue supporting this organization, team, and mission as the Center’s next Director, and excited to build on the strong foundation of partnerships, programs and infrastructure already in place at the Ginsberg Center.” says Neeraja.  


Neeraja’s appointment as director will begin on January 17, 2022.