Alexia is a 3rd year graduate student in the Pharm.D. program. As a graduate academic liaison, she facilitates workshops to support students doing community-engaged work and hopes to help them more confidently enter new communities. She is passionate about helping community members who don’t have proper access to healthcare as she sees how many people cannot afford their medications, or don’t have the means to get regular checkups and screenings for various disease types. In her free time, Alexia enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants with friends, and learning how to cook new dishes.
Dave is a 1st year Master's student in the School of Public Health. As a Graduate Assistant, he develops tutor training, supports tutors, and coordinates the Family Literacy Nights with the Ypsilanti Housing Commission. Dave believes that schools and the area surrounding them should be the healthiest places in a community, and children's health is a core principle of justice.
Ebony is in her 3rd year of her Sociology PhD and Epidemiology MS looking at how social contexts shape health and illness distribution and disparities and the study of human social contexts, structures, and functioning. She's from Bridgeton, New Jersey and enjoys baking, hiking, and watching movies.
Elana is a first year PhD student in the School of Kinesiology. As a Gradaute Liaision, Elana facilitates workshops to prepare students for working effectively with communities. Her research explores how different regions in the brain work together to facilitate voluntary movement. Elana strives to increase diversity in STEM fields and improve access to research by promoting scientific outreach programs aimed at K-12 students. Outside of classes and teaching, Elana enjoys ballroom dancing and exploring the arboretum and botanical gardens.
Erica Karfonta is a MSW student with a practice method in Community Organization. Erica is completing her field studies with the Ginserg Center and actively supporting CTAC, the Matchmaking Process, and Democratic Engagement. She is also a leader in community action and responsible for overseeing human service programs aimed at reducing the causes and effects of poverty in Oakland and Livingston counties.
Erpan is a 4th year PhD student in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB) Program. As a Graduate Researcher in MCDB, he designs experiments and conducts bench work on studying protein secretory pathway as well as its role in various diseases. As a Graduate Academic Liaison at Ginsberg Center, he facilitates workshops to prepare students for respectful, equitable engagement with community partners. Erpan is passionate about scientific research, science communication, as well as application of science in creating convenient, safe and free world.
Kari is a second year Master’s student at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. As a graduate assistant with Democratic Engagement, she helps coordinate voter registration efforts on campus and assists with the Big Ten Voting Challenge. She holds a Bachelor's degree from U of M and previously worked in Washington D.C. at a nonprofit focused on government efficiency and educating the next generation about public service careers. In her free time, Kari enjoys getting outdoors, playing card games (her favorite is Euchre!), and finding the best local ice cream shops.
Kate is in her fourth year of her PhD in American Culture where she is studying the history of eugenics (in Michigan) through a critical disability lens. She is from Plymouth, Michigan and likes reading, swimming, and spending time with her rescue dogs. She is involved with GEO- Disability Caucus and the Michigan Lupus Foundation. She hopes to learn more about community/university partnerships and how to bring graduate students into those partnerships through the Ginsberg Center.
Kathleen is a 2nd year Master's student in Higher Education with a focus on student access and success within CSHPE. As a graduate academic liaison, she coordinates workshop communication and logistics. She also facilitates workshops to support students doing community-engaged work and contributes to Ginsberg's workshop curriculum through the Community Partner Voices Initiative.
Katie is a 2nd year PhD student in English and Education and a graduate academic liaison with the Ginsberg Center. As a graduate academic liaison, she facilitates workshops to support students doing community-engaged work and contributes to Ginsberg's workshop curriculum development. Katie is passionate about creating accessible, equitable, and reflective learning experiences in her work as a liaison and as a graduate student instructor; as a researcher, she is interested in how higher education forms students' civic and political identities.
Lucas is a 5th year PhD student in the Neuroscience Program. As a graduate academic liaison, he facilitates workshops to support students and faculty in their efforts to engage with the community, and contributes to Ginsberg's workshop curriculum development. Lucas is passionate about creating equitable work and learning environments, and enhancing access to STEM and science mentoring for K-12 Students. In his free time, Lucas enjoys rock-climbing, cooking, and yoga.
Marianna is in her 5th year of her PhD in Design Science focused on the design of products for the world's poorest populations and the science behind the inter-discipinary process of making things. She enjoys volleyball, cooking, building cool stuff and works with Center for Socially Engaged Design and Peace Neighborhood Center on UM campus. She is currently exploring how to be a passionate social justice advocate for causes such as racial discrimination and discrimination based on religion.
Melissa is an advanced standing Master's student in Social Work with a concentration in Community Organizing: Community & Social Systems. She is most passionate about dismantling the systematic discrimination of women and gender minorities and hopes to eventually aid in the implementation of equitable policies or public service programs.
Nora is working towards her Master's of Social Work this year. She is from Beverly Hills, Michgian and loves to dance with my friends, listen to a variety of music genres, and enjoy great food. She is passionate about furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts on college campuses. Nora works with Dean of Students Office, Latinx Social Work Coalition, and Global Activities Scholars Program. This year she hopes to learn how to engage with undergraduate students and grow in her self-confidence along the way!
Sarah is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Health and currently serves as Student Coordinator/ Community Technical Assistance Collaborative Student Coordinator and a Graduate Student Assistant. She graduated from U-M in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and a strong desire to use her education to help create a more equitable world. Sarah is especially interested in equitable education and food access for youth. Healthy eating is one of her passions.
Scott is in his second year of his PhD in Chemical Biology using computational and mathematical models to study cancer metabolism. He is from San Francisco and likes to play the piano and guitar, running, and traveling. He is passionate about digital equality and education and is involved with InnoWorks as the financial director. As a Liaison, Scott facilitates workshops for students, contributes to workshop curriculum, and provide data analysis support for the Academic Partnerships team.
Shanice is a 4th year PhD student in Epidemiology. As a Graduate Liaison, Shanice facilitates workshops to prepare students for engaging with communities and has supported the Center's program evaluation process. As a doctoral student, her work aims to understand how structural factors predict mental health outcomes. In her free time, she enjoys running, trying new restaurants and shopping.
Sheron Brown is pursing a graduate degree from the University of Michigan, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Brown is highly involved in his community and has the drive and passion to educate youth within urban communities. As an Education Coordinator, he develops tutor training, supports tutors, and coordinates local partnerships.
Suzanne is a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering researching ways to improve how we design products and services for improved adoption and outcomes for disenfranchised communities. She is from South Jersey and enjoys climbing, hiking, camping, reading, and live music. Through Ginsberg, Suzanne is interested in learning best practices for equitable community engagement, especially for stakeholder engagement in design.
Timnet is a PhD student in History and the graduate certificate programs in Museum Studies and African Studies. As a graduate academic liaison, she facilitates workshops to support students doing community-engaged work. Timnet is passionate about Black history and is interested in assisting communities outside of the academy gain knowledge of and engage with their histories and work toward social change. In her free time, Timnet enjoys dancing, traveling, and spending time with her nieces and nephews.
As the Student Engagement Coordinator, Alison builds relationships with students and student organizations who work with community partners to meet community-identified needs. She supports students in meeting their goals for social action by providing advising services, facilitating trainings, and managing the Alternative Breaks Grant. She also serves as the Michigan Active Citizens - Alternative Spring Break (MAC-ASB) advisor and works with the MAC-ASB team as they create and facilitate alternative breaks focused on community engagement and social change.
Amanda stewards and facilitates partnerships between the university, students, and the community. Taking into account the expertise and needs of potential partners, she forms new connections between Ginsberg’s various stakeholders, and she fulfills daily administration needs to ensure that existing partnerships continue to thrive. In addition, Amanda supports Ginsberg’s curriculum development and workshops for students and university partners.
Brendan’s role includes working closely with students and student organizations engaged in service projects in their local and global communities. Through trainings, consultations, and advising, he supports students in deepening their own learning, as well as the impact of their service, by centering their work on community-identified needs. Brendan also advises The Detroit Partnership, a Ginsberg sponsored student organization that facilitates weekly volunteer opportunities in the city of Detroit.
As the Community Programs Coordinator, Brianna provides administrative and program support for two community-engagement initiatives: Community Technical Assistance Collaborative (CTAC) and Michigan Engaging Communities through the Classroom (MECC). CTAC is a community-university partnership convened to address community partners’ universal need for data and evaluation. Working with CTAC, Brianna coordinates evaluation and data projects at the university, including team meetings, student preparation, assessment, and logistics.
Cecilia supports faculty, graduate students, and academic program staff as they develop, implement, and evaluate their work with community partners. She oversees Ginsberg’s classroom-based workshop curriculum, manages the Graduate Academic Liaison program (a team of doctoral students who facilitate workshops and support other Center projects), and contributes to Ginsberg’s partnerships with academic units across campus. In addition, Cecilia serves as the managing editor of the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning (MJCSL).
Assistant Director for Student Learning and Leadership
Danyelle's role includes supporting students and student organizations in leadership development through community engagement. She fosters student learning and development through trainings and consultations with student organizations, working with them to advance their goals and meet community-defined needs. Additionally, Danyelle is part of a team that collaborated to create a new massive online open course (MOOC) entitled Community Engagement: Collaborating for Change.
Dave provides strategic and administrative leadership to the Ginsberg Center which includes work with staff, students, and Ginsberg programs. His primary goals focus on building sustainable infrastructure for equitable campus-community partnerships, staff development, increasing student learning, and building authentic relationships with community partners that lead to positive results.
Erin leads the Big Ten Voting Challenge, a competition to increase student voter registration and turnout across the Big Ten Conference. Her work also focuses on diversifying the pipeline of future candidates for public office, and advancing civic dialogue through the WeListen Staff Series.
Julia oversees all of Ginsberg’s marketing initiatives, including our newsletter, social media efforts, website content, and writing and sharing our stories with campus, community, and beyond. Julia works to make sure Ginsberg’s branding is clear and consistent and conveys the myriad of ways in which we are working towards social change.
As the director of the Ginsberg Center, Mary Jo is responsible for leading the center’s efforts to promote civic engagement at U-M and foster equitable service, teaching, and research partnerships between U-M and communities.
Associate Director for Teaching, Research and Academic Partnerships
As Associate Director, Neeraja contributes to the strategic leadership of Ginsberg as part of the executive team, and supports the Center's strategic partnerships with academic units across the University. Neeraja leads Ginsberg's work with academic partners, supporting departments looking to foster community-engaged scholarship in their units, as well as indivdual faculty, academic program staff, and graduate students who want to integrate community engagement into their courses, research, and programs.
Professor, Edward R. Ginsberg Senior Counsel to the Provost on Civic Engagement
Nick’s role is to develop and support faculty and staff from academic units across the University to collaborate in their work with community organizations and institutions. This is a dual role at both the Ginsberg Center and the Vice Provost for Global and Civic Engagement. Nick aims to enable and encourage cooperative and dynamic relationships between University and community partners.
Raven serves as the program manager for America Reads and laeds the Ginsberg Center's literacy-focused work. In addition to training and coordinating student tutors, raven's work involves communicating with U of M faculty and school districts' curriculum coordinators to better enhance the literacy skills of students in Washtenaw County and Wayne County. She also organizes Ginsberg's Family Literacy Nights and Readers and Best initiatives.
Sara develops and stewards partnerships with non-profits, schools, government institutions and other social sector agencies. Through active engagement with the local community, Sara works to connect community priorities and needs with U-M teaching, research, students and other resources. In addition, she supports Ginsberg's Community Advisory Board, provides oversight to the Connect to Community volunteer portal, serves on the Washtenaw County steering committee for summer youth employment and co-chairs the Student Life Beyond University Sidewalks (B.U.S.) program.
Cory is a junior undergraduate at the University of Michigan, majoring in Political Science and minoring in History. As the Andrew Goodman Foundation Ambassador, he works with faculty, staff, and student organizations to increase student voter registration and election turnout. Cory has an interest in U.S. Public Policy with a focus on higher education, electoral politics, and Reconstruction-era history. In his spare time, Cory enjoys watching movies and cheering on the Michigan football team.
Eljonna is from Detroit, Michigan and is a sophomore at the University of Michigan. She is involved with Brains Beauty Benevolence and the University of Michigan Black Student Union. Eljonna's favorite hobbies include volunteering and conducting research that will have an impact on her local community. She is passionate about social justice issues that center around the youth, like health disparities that might impact populations of children living in food deserts.
Landon is a senior in LSA double majoring in Psychology and Communications and Media Studies. As the Marketing Assistant, she runs the Ginsberg social media accounts and is in charge of producing the biweekly newsletter. After graduation, Landon will be working in Chicago at Morningstar within their Development Program.
Meredith is a 3rd year undergraduate student at the Ford School of Public Policy, majoring in Public Policy and minoring in Community Action and Social Change. As a Team Lead for the Andrew Goodman Foundation, she collaborates with the democratic engagement team to create and deliver educational materials around Prop 3 (Promote the Vote), supports organizing voter engagement and registration events, and helps with planning for Michigan’s presidential primary in March 2020, with a focus on messaging and marketing.
Natalie is a sophmore in LSA from Beal City, Michigan. She is a part of Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity on campus and enjoys volunteering, going to U of M sporting events, and trying out different restaurants in AA. She hopes to learn more about the Ginsberg Center and how it benefits the surrounding community along with strengthening my communication and time-management skills.
Sam Plouff is a senior undergraduate student working towards a B.A. in Art & Design with a focus on photography and sustainable textiles and a B.A. in Program in the Environment with a focus on urban planning and food systems. She is Ginsberg’s photographer and is responsible for representing the variety of work that Ginsberg does through images, as well as creating a consistent brand for the Center.