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The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of MichiganThe Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan

Annual retreat brings Ford School staff to Detroit

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Ford School staff traveled to the 'D' on a beautiful day in late June for the annual staff retreat, hoping to learn more about the City and to better understand the work our alumni do in shaping public policy.

The day-long retreat started at the University of Michigan's Detroit Center with an overview of the Center's purpose and mission from the director, Ford School alum Addell Anderson (MPP '80).

Next, the group heard from a panel of six Ford School alums and students who work and live in Detroit—each of them a strong advocate for the city's revitalization efforts, livability, and culture. In addition to Anderson, the panelists were Azania Tené Krantz (MPP '04), who is a legislative analyst for the Detroit City Council; Olga Stella (MPP '99), vice president for business development at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation; Steve Tobocman (JD/MPP '97), a principal with New Solutions Group; and Julie Schneider and Elizabeth Palazzola, current MPP students and David Bohnett Public Service Fellows finishing their summer internships with the Detroit Mayor's office.

The panelists talked about the impact of their work in Detroit and described promising efforts to spur growth and redevelopment in the city. They also talked about what they'd learned at the Ford School and how their education had helped prepare them for impactful careers.

Following the panel, the group took a bus tour around the city and visited areas such as Midtown, the Heidelberg Project, Campus Martius Park, and Hart Plaza. Finally, after lunch in Mexicantown , the staff wrapped up the day back at the Detroit Center, strategizing for how the Ford School might further contribute to the revitalization of the great American city just down the road.