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April 27, 2005

The University of Michigan in Detroit: A sampling

At any given time, the University of Michigan is engaged in at least 100 projects involving the city of Detroit. Here is a small sampler of one or two projects for each unit:

A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning. Each year, a team of architecture students and expert guest designers volunteer to put together the Detroit Design Charrette. The assembled teams work to come up with innovative designs and ideas for various areas of Detroit. The program also includes U-M students from disciplines as varied as the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, the U-M Law School and the School of Natural Resources and Environment. For more on the Charrette program, visit:

School of Art and Design. The new Detroit Center will serve as home base for the school's 'Detroit Connections' project, in which art and design students work directly with elementary schools in the city. The center will also serve as a presentation venue and collaboration site for artists and designers from both Detroit and the U-M.

School of Education. The school's many Detroit related activities include efforts to put Education students into teaching roles with the Detroit Public Schools as well as the Highly Interactive Classrooms/Curricula/Computing in Education, known as the Hi- Ce program. For more than 10 years, this research group has conducted curricular design experiments and explored facets of science, social studies, and literacy education reform in collaboration with Detroit middle school teachers and administrators. For more details, visit:

School of Information. S I students are required to earn at least six Practical Engagement Program (PEP) Points in order to graduate. PEP Points can be received for certain courses that work with outside organizations, through Directed Field Experiences or Summer Internships to obtain "real world” experience working for companies and other organizations outside the University.

School of Public Health. The school runs 15-20 projects through the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center. The school also runs several AmeriCorps projects including one on lead poisoning with the Greater Detroit Area Health Council, one with ACCESS (serving the Arab American population in Detroit and Dearborn), and one with the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation. For more information, visit:

Ford School of Public Policy. The Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) serves as a University resource for faculty and graduate students interested in state and local policy. Through research, teaching, and outreach involving academic researchers and policy practitioners, CLOSUP's mission is to foster society's understanding of the problems facing states, cities, and metropolitan areas and to seek effective solutions to them. It works to establish effective mechanisms of communication between academic researchers and the policy makers dealing with real state and local policy problems. For more information, visit:

School of Natural Resources and Environment. Researchers have worked on the Detroit Area Study, which seeks to understand the root causes of environmental changes and why such concerns have become a worldwide phenomenon. The school also tackles issues like understanding the causes of disproportionate environmental burdens in people-of-color communities and the role that environmental factors play in accounting for racial and socioeconomic disparities in health.

School of Nursing. The new Detroit office location is expected to boost the school's presence, awareness and outreach in the Detroit community. The location will make U-M more conveniently accessible to underserved populations including prospective nursing students, science teachers, career guidance counselors, and community nursing professionals, and make it easier for the school to work with area hospitals and healthcare organizations

School of Social Work. The school's multiple Detroit projects include the Center for Urban Innovation, a partnership with other Detroit community organizations seeking to provide access to wireless technology for the entire city of Detroit and the EZ Link project, a component of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded Global Project on Youth, which seeks to enhance community access to technology equipment while improving practical technology skills and knowledge. For more on the center, visit:

U-M Dearborn. The Pluralism Project is a study of religious diversity in southeastern Michigan and how the changed landscape has affected metro Detroit. The University of Michigan-Dearborn project is documenting how these factors have influenced and created one of the most dynamic religious landscapes in the United States today. For more details, visit:

Release: University of Michigan establishing Detroit Center at Orchestra Place

Contact: Joe Serwach
Phone: (734) 647-1844