State & Hill 2019 Spotlight Summary

April 4, 2019

Policy Pitch Highlights Students’ Niche

Nine returning MPP students reflected on their summer internships by sharing their experience and policy impact in the inaugural Policy Pitch Competition. Guest judges for the competition included former U-M Regent Phil Power and VP for Communications Kallie Michels.

Local Leaders’ Lessons

Four female local government leaders from Michigan Municipal League 16/50 Project, which supports women in municipal leadership in the state, spent the lunch hour with master’s students, sharing their work experiences and career journeys. In a mini-simulation, students tackled a scenario the municipal executives faced in their work, giving them a chance to apply the skills they learn in class to solve a real-life problem.

A Betty Biography

Students, faculty, staff, and long-time admirers packed into the Betty Ford classroom on Homecoming Weekend in early October to hear about the beloved First lady’s extraordinary life and indomitable spirit. The room was beyond capacity for this special conversation between acclaimed biographer Lisa McCubbinand the Fords’ eldest son, Mike Ford.

Veterans Day: Students gathered for the screening of Almost Sunrise Movie Night

Honoring Those Who Served

The Ford School honored Veterans Day by considering policy implications on military service and caring for veterans. a screening of the award-winning film Almost Sunrise, which chronicles two Iraq veterans’ 2,700-mile walk across the U.S., and a policy panel titled “The U.S. at ‘endless war’” gave the community the opportunity to learn and reflect on the challenges facing active and retired military.

Bravely Marching On

After receiving U-M’s prestigious Wallenberg Medal, representatives from March for Our Lives and B.R.A.V.E. Youth Leaders came to the Ford School to talk about their activist leadership and how they’ve worked together across their differences, finding common ground in their advocacy.

The More, the MERI-er

A new partnership between the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the Michigan Department of Education, and the Center for Educational Performance and Information will facilitate research projects in education, make data accessible, and improve education for Michigan’s students. The Michigan Education Research Institute (MERI) launched in November. The Ford School’s Brian Jacoband Susan Dynarski, co-directors of the Education Policy Initiative (EPI), will take the lead on one of the major parts of the collaboration: the Michigan Education Data Center (MEDC). MEDC is a new clearinghouse for base research files and for all research applications coming to the State of Michigan. The data center is expected to dramatically improve access to Michigan’s K-16 education data—enhancing the ability of researchers and policymakers to solve education policy challenges.

Coach John Beilein of the University of Michigan Men's Basketball Team John Beilein

Champions of the West

Just before the 2017–2018 college basketball season started, coach John Beilein, the father of a Ford School alumnus, agreed to visit the school to talk with students about leadership, teamwork, ethics, and more. The date was set: April 5, after March Madness would end. Few predicted that the coach and his team would be busy right up to the glorious Final Four finish. A packed room enjoyed a rousing and inspiring community conversation, hosted by English professor Anne Curzan. This year’s Wolverines are off to a 22–2 start.

Brain Trust

Faculty from the Ford School and around the University joined an expert roundtable with Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) in October. Peters called on faculty to provide insight into some of the rapidly-moving emerging technologies that intersect with the policy issues facing the Senate committees he sits on, including Armed Services and Commerce, Science & Transportation. Representing the Ford School were Robert Axelrod, Michael Barr, Brendan Nyhan, and Shobita Parthasarathy.

Honoring a Great Wizard

In recognition of the life, work, and legacy of long-time, much-loved Ford School professor John Dinardo, friends, students, and collaborators of John gathered for a conference on labor economics, co-hosted by the Ford School and the Ross School of Business.

Below is a formatted version of this article from State & Hill, the magazine of the Ford School. View the entire Winter 2019 State & Hill.