Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, May 3, 2013

14th annual Road Scholars tour continues community-academic collaborations

The Michigan Road Scholars’ 14th annual five-day journey through Michigan begins Monday.

Traveling highways and two-lane roads, the 2013 “seminar on wheels” will take 30 faculty and staff members from Detroit to the Upper Peninsula, and from Grand Rapids to Bay City.

  Road Scholars '12
  Nick Carlson (center, in white shirt), director of environmental sustainability at Goodwill Industries of Grand Rapids, talks about the group's efforts during a visit from the Michigan Road Scholars in 2012. Learn more about the 2013 Road Scholars Tour. (Photo by Dana Sitzler, Office of the Vice President for Government Relations)

“In 2013, we are focusing on the ways Michigan is adapting and evolving into the new knowledge-based economy. The scholars will visit several firms that share common roots: a dynamic entrepreneur who had the vision, established the company and made a commitment to stay and serve the communities of Michigan,” said MRS coordinator Dana Sitzler.

This year’s scholars will continue the MRS tradition of identifying ways in which U-M can contribute expertise to local and regional initiatives. Their itinerary includes leadership consultations and site visits in:

• Lansing (Monday): State Capitol to meet with city and state elected and appointed officials, and leadership at Emergent BioSolutions and the Accident Fund of Michigan, which has chosen to keep its headquarters in Michigan as it expands nationally.

• Grand Rapids (Monday and Tuesday): Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi, Goodwill Industries and Cascade Engineering, whose mission embraces profit, and environmental and community well-being in equal parts.

• Traverse City (Tuesday and Wednesday): Front Street Writers, the Michigan Sea Grant program, and the CEO of Oneup Web, who relocated her Alaska firm to Michigan where it is achieving significant global growth from its shoreside headquarters on Grand Traverse Bay.

• Petoskey (Wednesday): Native North Tour, a visit to Emmet County and Charlevoix County landmarks with cultural significance to the Odawa, guided by cultural specialists from the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians.

• Sault Ste. Marie (Wednesday and Thursday): Lake Superior State University Aquatic Research Lab and Cloverland Electric Coop to review various aspects of caring for the Great Lakes and the complicated policy questions involved in meeting competing demands on this unique freshwater resource.

• Bay City (Thursday): Bay Carbon and Do-All Inc., which creates new companies to provide employment for adults with disabilities.

• Detroit (Friday): Detroit Hispanic Development Corp., College for Creative Studies, Eastern Market and a Detroit Future City presentation.

The Road Scholars program was established by the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Government Relations to help faculty better understand the communities and broadly diverse regions their students come from, and to identify areas where their expertise can make a difference to Michigan communities.