Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, April 30, 2012

Michigan Road Scholars roll out on 13th annual tour

Nearly three dozen university faculty and senior staff have tapped their inner Jack Kerouac and hit the road for the 13th annual Michigan Road Scholars trek around Michigan.

 
 

A U.S. Coast Guard swimmer at the Traverse City Coast Guard Air Station demonstrates rescue equipment for Rie Suzuki, assistant professor of health education, public health and health administration at UM-Flint, during the 2011 Road Scholars tour. (Photo by Dana Sitzler)

 

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In their 2012 "seminar on wheels," the scholars will learn about the communities, people, and priorities in seven locations in Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas.

The Office of the Vice President for Government Relations initiated Road Scholars to increase knowledge and understanding between the university and the people and communities of Michigan; to demonstrate the many ways U-M is connected to the entire state; to cultivate an awareness among faculty of the state's distinctive geographic, economic, cultural and political attributes; and to encourage public service and research that ameliorate problems and advance solutions.

"When I visited the state Capitol and the Grand Rapids cooperative efforts on the 2011 Road Scholars tour, I learned about numerous strategies that have been helpful to me in my own efforts to develop collaborations with community partners to address community mental health needs," says Dr. Marcia Valenstein, associate professor of psychiatry.

Over the years, the program has sparked numerous academic-community collaborations that continue to enhance local assets and solve local issues, including expert consultations with industry, direct interactions in schools and communities across the state, the development of new course offerings to U-M students, and outreach to prospective students.

The Road Scholars program has triggered productive, sustained collaborations between U-M and urban, rural and Native American communities around the state in issues of the environment, K-12 and higher education preparedness; public health; and community and economic development.

2012 itinerary highlights

• Today: Lansing/state Capitol; East Lansing/Michigan State University National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory; Mackinaw City/Straits State Harbor.

• Tuesday: Sault Ste. Marie/ Sault Locks; Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians; Traverse City/Father Fred Foundation.

• Wednesday: Traverse City/Poverty Reduction Initiative discussion; Traverse City Film Festival; Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Public Schools discussion and Goodwill Industries site visit.

• Thursday: Benton Harbor community leaders forum; MSU Southwest Michigan Research Center; Detroit Hispanic Development Corp.

• Friday: Midtown Detroit tour; Southeast Michigan United Way for Early Education; Compuware Corp. headquarters; Michigan Economic Development Corp. LiveWork Detroit; Detroit Port Authority and Detroit Riverwalk.