Spotlights, fall 2021

December 13, 2021

Face to face

After 18 months of remote learning, teaching, and work, Ford School students, faculty, and staff enjoyed gathering in person for a Fall Welcome in Weill Hall courtyard. Ice cream sandwiches, games, and warm smiles marked the start of a new year.



Ford School students standing in front of the base of a wind turbine
Photo by Fatimah Bohlassan

The wind at their backs

In October, nearly 30 Ford School and SEAS students witnessed the physical impact of Michigan’s growing renewable energy infrastructure.

Staff from solar developer Ranger Power and public utility Consumers Energy explained how the state’s largest solar and wind sites are built and maintained. The visits were led by Sarah Mills, a senior project manager with the Graham Sustainability Institute.



Photo of three Fordies volunteering at the polls

Students break voting records

A national study finds voter turnout among U-M students jumped from 60% in 2016 to 78% in the 2020 election. Success was driven by an all-campus effort: Edie Goldenberg advised student-led GOTV efforts, Stamps School faculty designed a new on-campus voting spot, the Ginsberg Center led Big Ten Voting Challenge activities, and thousands participated in the University’s Democracy & Debate Theme Semester, co-chaired by Dean Michael S. Barr.



Photo of Governor Whitmer and Laura Meyer (MPP '23) with a signed copy of the tampon tax repeal bill
Meyer and Whitmer

Tampon tax repealed

Betsey Stevenson and Laura Meyer (MPP ‘23) witnessed Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer sign SB 153 in a ceremony at the Michigan Union. The bipartisan measure recognizes tampons and other menstrual products as essential for health and eliminates the 6% sales tax previously applied. The tax had cost the typical menstruating Michigander up to $4,800 over the course of a lifetime. Stevenson gave remarks about the economic effects on families and low income women. Samantha Kennedy (BA ‘19) helped coordinate the bill signing event.



Photo of Walter Aguilar, in full drum major attire, bending backward to touch his head to the turf in Michigan Stadium
Photo by Michigan Photography

A Fordie up front

Fordies may recognize a familiar face leading the Michigan Marching Band from the Big House tunnel.

Drum Major Walter Aguilar (BA ‘21), a Grand Rapids native, led the band in all-virtual performances in 2020.

This fall he takes the field to an audience of 115,000 screaming fans.



Photo of Shobita Parthasarathy and Brian Jacob
Shobita Parthasarathy and Brian Jacob (Michigan Photography)

The best of the best

Brian Jacob received the U-M Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award for his rigorous, policy-relevant research, which helped the University become nationally recognized as a leading center in the economics of education and causal inference. Shobita Parthasarathy was selected for the U-M Faculty Recognition Award for her science and technology policy scholarship and policy influence and for her leadership of the STPP program.



More in State & Hill

Below, find the full, formatted fall 2021 edition of State & HillClick here to return to the fall 2021 State & Hill homepage.