Civic–Campus Working GroupLinking Classrooms with Professionals & Researchers

After lunch, we’ll convene an interactive roundtable allowing University of Michigan and other campus partners to focus on “Different modes for linking students with sustainability practice – How do we meet both learning goals and practitioner needs?” We’ll discuss issues of best practice in the spectrum of engagement, including ongoing classroom collaborations through cases, client-based capstone masters projects, and formalized clinics offering student-led services. Open to all interested stakeholders and focused on discussion & problem solving.

Preliminary program details listed below.


Sheila Schueller, UM School for Environment & Sustainability

Dr. Schueller teaches Ecology & Field Biology courses and has worked as an adaptive management consultant for conservation organizations across the country. She seeks to integrate student field activities with the real-world data needs of local natural resource planners and managers. She has also served as Assistant Director of the Ecosystem Management Initiative.

Ellen Kuhn, UM Academic Innovation

At the University of Michigan's Academic Innovation initiative, Ellen works collaboratively with individuals and groups around the University to build on existing efforts and envision new directions for public engagement in the future. Ellen is particularly interested in fostering models of engagement that are grounded in mutual trust, reciprocity, and empathy.

Claire Dancz, Clemson University Civil Engineering & Science Education

Dr. Dancz’s expertise lies in developing active, experiential-learning activities for sustainable engineering, including NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering and UN Sustainable Development Goals. She emphasizes the roles of teamwork and leadership to creatively illustrate the connections between sustainable engineering and other disciplines, including emergency management.

Susan McKenzie Reeves, Clemson University Watt Family Innovation Center

Susan is the Academic Director of Clemson’s Emergency Management Operation Center. Her vision and leadership has been responsible for the development of Clemson’s first center to bring together emergency management practitioners and academics to collaborate on real-world challenges across the region.

Chris Mueller, UM Ross School of Business

A lecturer at Um Ross, Chris Mueller coordinates the MAP program at the UM Ross School of Business, a capstone experience that fosters student engagement with national and international clients (ranging from NGOs to technology startups to consumer packaged goods suppliers)..

Claire Nuttall, Ross School of Business

Claire Nuttall is Curricular Support Coordinator for the MAP program at the UM Ross School of Business, a capstone experience that fosters student engagement with national and international clients (ranging from NGOs to technology startups to consumer packaged goods suppliers).

Paul Fontaine, UM Urban & Regional Planning Program

Paul Fontaine is a lecturer in Urban Planning, as well as Program Manager of the Michigan Engaging Community through the Classroom (MECC) Initiative. His research and professional practice focus is civic and professional engagement in the urban revitalization process. He is also founding member of Fontaine Urban Design that specializes in complex brown field and infill sites requiring public and private partnerships.

Richard Norton, UM Urban & Regional Planning Program & Program in the Environment

Richard K. Norton is a Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning. He also holds a joint appointment as Professor with the University of Michigan's Program in the Environment. Dr. Norton teaches and conducts research in the areas of planning law, sustainable development, land use and environmental planning, and coastal area management.

Paul Seelbach, UM School for Environment & Sustainability

Professor Seelbach's experiences bridge the academic study of aquatic ecosystems to its application across a range of resource management agencies. He currently serves the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Office of the Great Lakes, as Senior Fellow and has helped with major initiatives regarding watershed assessment and management, ecological flows and water allocation policy, water resources monitoring, coastal zone management, and revitalization of Areas of Concern.

Neeraja Aravamudan, Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning

Neeraja leads the Ginsberg Center's work with academic partners, supporting faculty, academic program staff, and graduate students who want to integrate community engagement into their courses, research, and programs. She administers the Ginsberg Center's Faculty Grants program, serves on the editorial team for the Michigan Journal for Community Service Learning, and supervises 15 doctoral students from across the University. She currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board for Michigan Engaging Communities through the Classroom (MECC), a DEI facilitator in U of M's Facilitator Engagement Program through Organizational Learning, and an IDI (Intercultural Development Inventory) Qualified Administrator.

Rebecca Hardin, UM School for Environment & Sustainability

Dr. Hardin is the Director of the Michigan Sustainability Cases initiative. Her current work includes research in educational innovation and environmental management, especially forest and water management for environmental justice and health in Kenya, Gabon, New England, and the upper Midwest.

John Hoinville, Alfa Jango

John is Director of Operations for Alfa Jango, an Ann Arbor software company specializing in design and development for startups. He has authored educational texts, such as “the Ruby on Rails bible” and founded initiativesto make tech skills accessible, affordable and adapted the needs of young people and small businesses.

Nate Phipps, Center for Educational Design, Evaluation and Research (UM School of Education)

Nate is managing director of the Center for Education Design, Evaluation, and Research (CEDER) where he manages a wide range of professional development activities offered by the School of Education faculty across all programs in SOE.

Belinda Bardwell, West Michigan Environmental Action Council

Belinda Bardwell is a commissioner for the Grand Rapids Community Relations Commission, as well as a board member for the West Michigan Environmental Action Council. She has served as project coordinator and spokesperson for the "Gi-gikinomaage-min (We are all teachers): Defend Our History, Unlock Your Spirit" initiative since its launch in 2014. She is also a member of the Gi-gikinomaage-min Advisory Council, serving as the project's lead oral historian, and a proud citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. She recently traveled to Montreal with WMEAC leadership and Rebecca Hardin (Michigan Sustainability Cases' Director), as a representative to the North American Dialogue on Biocultural Diversity.

Irina Prentice, Encounter Edu

Irina leads communication at, an innovative digital media enhancement service for face-to-face classrooms that brings to life a teaching-as-research approach even for younger and under-resourced learners. She brings 17 years of experience working with the UN and as a journalist covering conflicts, humanitarian crises and current events in the Middle East, USA and Europe.