Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Addell Anderson takes over as director of
U-M’s Detroit Center

Addell Austin Anderson is the new director of the U-M Detroit Center, a hub for research, civic partnerships and student outreach in the state’s largest urban center.



Click here for more information about the U-M Detroit Center.

Anderson, who previously led the Michigan AmeriCorps Partnership at U-M’s Ginsberg Center since 2003, began her new position July 1. She succeeds Roger Doster, who has retired after directing the center since it opened in 2005.

Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs, says Anderson is the perfect person to direct the center as it enters a new phase of collaborative service to U-M and the Detroit community.

“We have a fabulous find in assigning her to this directorship,” Monts says. “The contacts she has developed through the AmeriCorps program, as well as the fact that she is a native Detroiter who has spent much of her career working in the city will serve the Detroit Center and its constituent organizations well.”

Prior to joining the Ginsberg Center, Anderson was executive director of the Woodward Heritage Organization, which focused on economic development of the city’s Woodward Avenue corridor. She also managed community programs and special events for the city’s 300th anniversary in 2001, and has been an adjunct professor in the humanities department at Wayne County Community College since 2002.

Anderson received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Kalamazoo College, a master’s in public policy from U-M and a doctorate in theatre from Michigan State University.

“Through the Detroit Center, I am looking forward to finding more ways to bring together the resources and expertise of the university in partnership with frontline community practitioners to affect change for the mutual benefit of our region,” Anderson says.

The Detroit Center is an interdisciplinary partnership of 17 U-M schools, colleges, centers and offices. It contains offices and space for classes, meetings, exhibitions, lectures and collaborative work, and provides a base for students and faculty working on Detroit projects.

The U-M Office of Undergraduate Admissions also has an office at the Detroit Center, from which it spearheads outreach to Detroit students, exposing them to the educational opportunities available at U-M and working with those seeking to attend the university.

Monts says the 10,500-square-foot facility’s location in the heart of Detroit’s cultural and arts district, close to similar centers operated by Michigan State University and Wayne State University, offers tremendous collaborative opportunities. “The Detroit Center has become a real focal point for research and community-based work,” he says.

Adds Anderson: “In this next stage of its evolution, we envision the Detroit Center to serve as a gateway for university and Detroit communities to take advantage of each other’s assets and capabilities to the benefit of the common good.”

Monts also lauded the previous director, Roger Doster, for his work during the center’s formative years, creating a solid foundation for his successor to build upon. “The footprint of the Detroit Center is much larger now.”