Welcome to ‘now’ at UMSI

Judy Lawson

Judy Lawson

Judy Lawson, Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Affairs

Another fall is upon us, with new students making their way to UMSI for their first semester and students returning from summer internships, research, travel and more. After 13 years at UMSI, I still find it exciting to have a new academic year under way. On Facebook I see posts from any number of our alumni who have moved forward with their lives in exciting ways, and I remember when they were just coming into the UMSI community. This is what keeps my work at UMSI so rewarding and renewing.

As assistant dean, I am excited to be a part of efforts to help UMSI advance in ways that enhance the student experience in and out of the classroom. These efforts build on our history of excellence in practical engagement, active learning, and career services and pave the way to a future that affords outstanding experiences and outcomes for students in each of our programs: the new bachelor of science in information starting in 2014, the master of science in information, the master of health informatics and the PhD in information.

From new faculty and new courses to our renewed commitment to making diversity a part of everything we do, UMSI is focusing on what matters most in creating a transformative teaching and learning environment. With the support of generous donors and the Provost’s office, we are expanding programs in service engagement both domestic and internationally and are launching a new entrepreneurship initiative.

Associate Professor Cliff Lampe kicks off a three-year Citizen Interaction Design project in Jackson, Michigan this fall. This new project joins our ongoing service programs such as Alternative Spring Break, A2 DataDive, and Service Day. As UMSI prepares to hire the first Ehrenberg Director of Entrepreneurship, we will offer the first Start-Up Trek to New York City this fall for a group of students who are highly motivated to develop their entrepreneurial capacity. This immersion experience will afford students access to and advisement from venture capitalists and entrepreneurs as they develop their concepts and perfect their pitches.

While we build on our past success and work to advance UMSI goals for the future, we also focus our efforts on the here and now. We remember that each student has a story, faced challenges and change to make their way to UMSI, and anticipates the future which their UMSI experiences will help them realize.

Students joining UMSI this fall include Tamy Guberek, an incoming PhD student who has completed graduate studies in history at Columbia University and the London School of Economics following a bachelor’s in international relations at Tufts. Tamy will work on the Open Data project with advisor Margaret Hedstrom.

Among our entering MSI students is Jiye Huang, who studied advertising at Fudan University in China, has entrepreneurial aspirations, and plans to focus on human-computer interaction. Jacylyn Cohen, who plans to study information analysis and retrieval, completed a bachelor’s in linguistics and computer science at U-M and has been active in the NY Tech Women and Girl Develop It groups. Joining the MHI program is Nick Reid, who studied art at UC Berkeley and has worked as a campaign coordinator with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, as a web developer with DonorDigital, and in product development with Wellniks.

For each UMSI student, the student experience builds and evolves each day as they engage in coursework, student groups, activities, research, and more. Every staff member, faculty member, alumnus and fellow student has the opportunity to make the “now” of the UMSI student experience the best that it can be. Let’s get to work!

While we’re all looking forward to the fall semester, we thought you might like to take a look at what summer in Ann Arbor was like.


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