It’s all there in black & white

Photo bombing kid in a mask at play.

COVID-19 lockdown was not an option for producer/photographer Robin Fader, BA ’78. Based in Washington, D.C., she is one of three artists (along with colleagues in NYC and Boston) who spent a year documenting our fractured society for the book ‘2020 UNMASKED.’

  1. Schlissel will end U-M presidency in 2023

    President Mark Schlissel has announced he will end his service as president one year earlier than his previously announced appointment. The announcement will ‘support a smooth and thoughtful leadership transition for the University,’ he says.

  2. Energy from waste: Cow-inspired biodigesters

    A proposed energy-production system based, in part, on cow stomachs could generate 40 percent more power from municipal waste streams, at a 20 percent reduced cost — and provide a viable alternative to sending waste to landfills.

  3. Exoskeletons to assist workers, the elderly, etc.

    U-M is developing a solution for the one in eight Americans who faces a mobility disability. A $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health is funding the creation of a modular, powered exoskeleton system that could be used on one or multiple joints of the legs.

  4. LGBTQ+ oral histories: The ties that bind

    For 50 years, U-M’s Spectrum Center has advocated to expand civil rights and inclusion for LGBTQ+ students. Now, a new series of oral histories creates a queer sense of intergenerational connection and ‘chosen family’ to inform and enrich students of the next 50 years.

  5. Gather and sift

    The true tale of George Koval, ‘the atomic spy in America who got away,’ makes for enthralling narrative nonfiction in the hands of a gifted writer. Learn how author/journalist Ann Hagedorn, MLIS ’75, transformed mountains of research about this ‘hero of the Russian Federation’ into a compelling page-turner.

  6. The truth should set you free

    Attorney Brad Holbrook lost everything when he was wrongfully imprisoned for sexual abuse of a child. Then along came an investigative reporter and a criminal defense attorney — Michigan alumni, of course — who saved Holbrook’s future and helped change Oregon law.

When student becomes teacher

U-M students create impact far beyond the classroom, working with faculty to dispatch knowledge and expertise to schoolchildren, aspiring entrepreneurs, and community leaders seeking resources and support. This is Michigan.

  • Giving Music

    Detroit Youth Volume offers free and reduced-rate classical music training utilizing the Suzuki method. Detroit resident Clara Hardie, BA ’06, co-founded the organization in 2010. About 70 percent of her students are youth of color. Scholarships fund instruments and recitals, as well as music, materials, transportation support for parents, and tickets to local classical performances. Students also collaborate with Detroit musicians. Read more.

  • Sound Support

    Established in 1984, U-M’s Cochlear Implant Program is one of the oldest in the country and has restored hearing to more than 3,500 children and adults. Sound Support started as an outreach program in 2004. It is funded by a matching grant between the U-M Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and Michigan Medicaid. The goal is to improve the quality and timeliness of care for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. It also aims to reduce costs of care and management as they grow into adults. Read more.

    Child with cochlear implant
  • Earth Camp

    The lack of representation — and voices to engage people often impacted by environmental problems — can be problematic for communities across the state. It’s the reason Earth Camp took off in 2015. That year, about 20 rising high school sophomores across Michigan embarked on the first of three annual summer field trips and other activities throughout their high school years. More than 95 percent of campers since the program started have gone on to major in earth and environmental sciences in college. Read more.

    Student at Earth Camp
  • Future Physicians

    Every month, students from Detroit’s Cass Tech High School visit U-M to be mentored by medical students. Established in 2012, the Doctors of Tomorrow program focuses on diversifying the future of health care by exposing underrepresented minority students to careers in medicine, as well as providing them with foundational skills to pursue a career in the health sciences. Read more.

    High school students engage in medical simulation
  • Sparks Will Fly

    Samantha Farrugia, MUP ’15, founded the Detroit nonprofit Women Who Weld in 2014 to offer a partially subsidized welding training program for unemployed and underemployed women. Training is augmented with apprenticeships and job placement support. A majority of graduates receive multiple job offers before completing their six-week training. Read more.

    Women welders
  • Safer Play

    90,000 Michigan soccer players went back to playing the sport they love, thanks to a collaboration between U-M and the state’s youth soccer association. A group of faculty, staff and students from the School of Public Health came together in summer 2020 to assist with the development of a reopening plan to get teams back on the field with pandemic precautions. Read more.

    Michigan man twirls soccer ball
  • Science for Tomorrow

    U-M’s Museum of Natural History (UMMNH) provided a bit of relief for teachers working during the global pandemic. Jeanna Fox, UMMNH’s outreach manager, worked with creative teachers at Garden City Middle School, Washtenaw International Middle Academy in Ypsilanti, and Cesar Chavez Middle Academy in Detroit to identify hands-on experiments that would be most useful for their curriculum. Read more.

    Youth with science kit prepared by UMMNH
  • Cass Community Coasters

    Green Industries is a minibusiness that produces coasters from repurposed materials. The operation grew from a collaboration among U-M students of business, engineering, and art and design. Students worked closely with Detroit-based nonprofit Cass Community Social Services (CCSS) to brainstorm and set up the business. CCSS provides its clients food, housing, health services, and job programs. Read more.

    A woman makes coasters at Green Industries in Detroit
  • Bringing art back

    U-M’s Seven Mile is a student-run registered nonprofit founded in 2013 by SMTD alumnus Sam Saunders, BA ’09. The organization offers after-school programs and summer camps for youths in Detroit. Mission: City, a community center in the historic Brightmoor neighborhood, hosts the free after-school music, art, and coding lessons. Read more.

    Child learns code
  • STEM Doctors

    The U-M Department of Mathematics recently reimagined its master’s degree program as a stepping stone to the PhD when it received funding from a 2010 National Science Foundation grant called Building Bridges. The Marjorie Lee Browne Scholars Program, named for the first African American woman to earn a doctorate in mathematics at U-M in 1949, pairs faculty mentors with diverse students interested in STEM fields. Thirty-eight students have completed the program since 2011. Read more. 

    Woman writes complicated equation at blackboard