2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

Dreamers and Disruptors

Sophia Brueckner

Sophia Brueckner is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan’s Stamps School of Art & Design. As an artist, designer, and engineer her work focuses on the relationships between technological progress and its societal impacts.

Dr. AbdulEl-Sayed

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is an internationally recognized public health physician and epidemiologist. He currently serves as Health Officer and Executive Director of the Detroit Health Department.

Caitlin Holman

Caitlin Holman is a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan School of Information, and a co-founder of the gameful learning platform GradeCraft.

Sophia Kruz

Sophia Kruz is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker with a passion for non-fiction storytelling.

Scott Matzka

Scott Matzka is a 38 year old father of two and retired professional ice hockey player. He was diagnosed with ALS in September of 2015. Despite his diagnosis, Scott remains energized and believes that it is his turn to speak out and stand out.

Dr. Erika Newman

Dr. Erika Newman is an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Surgery at CS Mott Children's Hospital and Surgical Director of the Solid Tumor Oncology Program. In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Newman is a leading cancer researcher and hopes to provide new insights into the progression and treatment of neuroblastoma.

Koen Vanmechelen

Koen Vanmechelen is a renowned conceptual artist with a focus on biocultural diversity and identity.

Jeffrey Veidlinger

Jeffrey Veidlinger is the Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and the Director of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. He is an expert in modern Russian, Eastern European, and Jewish history, with a current focus on Jewish migration and displacement trends.

Midwest Territory Band

Rollie Tussing and the Midwest Territory Band's brand of music is informed by the era of vintage records, juke-joints, and street performers. They compose a number of original songs and have a knack for re-working an old tune to find beauty in the forgotten scratches.


Groove is a high energy performance group at the University of Michigan. Using both traditional and non-traditional instruments (garbage cans, buckets, brooms, etc.), they create a unique blend of music and choreography that lights up the stage.

Subject to Change

"A New Type of SuperPower"

Mia Cinelli

Mia Cinelli is an Assistant Professor of Art & Design and the Director of the Women’s Commission Art Gallery at Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio. After studying Graphic Communication at Northern Michigan University, Mia earned her MFA in Art and Design at the University of Michigan’s Stamps School of Art & Design. She is passionate about design, education, and the ways in which creative practices can engender positive experiences and social change.

"Doing the Knowledge"

Derrick Darby

Derrick Darby wonders how everyday people not destined for fame and fortune can live remarkable lives. He believes that by "doing the knowledge," and asking and answering questions we all want answers to, ordinary people can be extraordinary.

"The Power of Touch"

Jane Anderson

Jane Anderson is a professional, multidisciplined massage therapist for chronic pain relief and medically complex clients. Jane has founded multiple massage therapy schools and taught learning outcomes on par with the highest national level. Her work has affected the lives of all kinds of clients, including end of life and post surgergical patients, athletes, animals, and children.

"Compassion in Crisis: Finding the Hope that Binds Us"

Khawla Wakkaf

Khawla Wakkaf is a Syrian attorney and a member of the Syrian BAR Association. Currently she works as a legal assistant at the Panchencko Law Firm. Khawla has helped deliver humanitarian aid to people from around the world, whether by serving with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent or the American Red Cross. Since her arrival to the U.S. in 2012, Khawla has been involved in many humanitarian efforts trying to alleviate the suffering in her community. She serves as the International Services lead in at the American Red Cross Southeastern Michigan chapter and helps connect families separated by wars and natural disaster through the Restoring Family Links program.

"Who's On Your Poster?"

Leonard Haidl

Whether in a cockpit or a classroom, Len Haidl strives to live his life to better those around him. After graduating from Eastern Michigan University, Len served as a Commander in the U.S. Navy, where he learned what true civil service and leadership means. Returning to Michigan to teach in University of Michigan's NROTC program, Len incorporates core aspects of leadership with his compassion to help students learn what being a leader really means.

"What it Feels Like to Be Crazy"

Lynn Rivers

Lynn Rivers teaches courses on political science at the University of Michigan and Washtenaw Community College. She spent 8 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. Lynn was the first member of the House to publicly discuss her struggle with bipolar disorder, and she has been a leader in public policy on mental illness throughout her career.

"Improving Healthcare: Straight from the Heart"

Sanjay Saint

Sanjay Saint, MD, MPH, is the George Dock Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan and Chief of Medicine at the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center. His research is focused on preventing hospital-aquired infections, as well as implementation science and medical decision making. As a leader in the healthcare space, Dr. Saint is a Special Correspondent to the New England Journal of Medicine and a frequent contributor to other publications, including the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

"Choosing a Life Without Trash"

Sam McMullen

Sam McMullen is a junior at the Univeristy of Michigan, pursuing degrees in biochemistry and philosophy. As a passionate environmentalist, Sam has been living a zero-waste lifestyle for the past seven months in an attempt to not produce any waste at all for a year. His experiences as a student at UM combined with his environmentally positive lifestyle give Sam a unique perspective on an individual's ability to influence perceptions about waste and environmentalism.

"How to Peel an Onion Without Crying"

Soon-Young Yoon

Soon-Young Yoon’s Linked-in profile says “I work for the UN and sometimes I get paid”. As the UN representative for the International Alliance of Women and Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women/NY, she helps to organize the world’s women in support of CEDAW and the Beijing Platform for Action. She received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Michigan and earned a certificate in computer graphics from Pratt Institute of Art.

"Mythbusters: Gender and Sexuality Edition"

Terri Conley

Terri Conley received her Ph.D. in social psychology from UCLA and her undergraduate degree from University of Wisconsin. In her research, Professor Conley explores gender differences in sexuality, such as casual sex, desire, sexual fantasy, and orgasm rates; monogamy and departures from monogamy; and also the relationship between members of different groups, with a particular interest in marginalized group members’ perceptions of dominant groups.

"Aging: It's Not What You Think"

Thad Polk

Dr. Thad Polk has been a member of the University of Michigan psychology faculty since 1996. His lab uses functional MRI, computational modeling, and behavioral experimentation to study the neural architecture of cognition, including how it is affected by aging, by experience, and by genetics. He has taught over 6,000 UM students over the past 20 years. In 2006, he was named an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in recognition of outstanding contributions to undergraduate education, and in 2012 Princeton Review included him on its list of the Best 300 Professors in the US.

"The Paying it Forward Paradox"

Wayne Baker

Dr. Wayne Baker's teaching and research focuses on positive organizational scholarship, values, and social networks. Prior to joining the Michigan faculty, he was on the faculty at the University of Chicago business school. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University and was a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard University. He was the first director of the Center for Positive Organizations at the Ross School and recently completed a three-year term as chair of his department.

Constructive Interference

"Why is Designing the Oldest Profession?"

Allen Samuels

Allen Samuels explores the reasons why we create things. He compares the life-or-death prototyping process of mastodon hunters with the digital fabrication that we have access to today, and seeks to understand the way that these changing circumstances alter the way we think about design.

"Turning Disadvantages into Advantages"

Aditi Hardikar

Aditi Hardikar works as a community organizer on a national scale, representing the LGBT community across the entire country in the White House. At only 25, she believes that youth, determination, confidence and perspective can be the most powerful tools a person can have, and advocates strongly for the advantages of disadvantages.

"How Hidden Passions Connect People"

Herbert Winful

Herbert Winful studies complicated phenomena related to nonlinear optics, however at heart he is an artist. He sees the beauty in everything, including Maxwell's equations, and relishes the chance to explore creative expression in various fields.

"Broadcasting Black Girls' "Net Worth"

Kyra Gaunt

Kyra Gaunt examines patriarchal bargains and bottomlines of self-presentation in the age of new media. She explores the larger implications of social trends with a special focus on twerking.

"Secrets from a Trained Nose"

Michelle Krell Kydd

Michelle Krell Kydd has the unique ability to see the world through her nose. With an unparalleled ability to identify, evaluate, and describe thousands of scents, Kydd explores the identity of scent and what life would be like without it.

"Facing the Unknown, with Robots"

Shai Revzen

Shai Revzen believes that our next frontier in robots is making robots using materials that we find around us at the time we need them. He also is fascinated by legs, and how they have evolved into what they are today - autonomous systems that keep us upright and help us balance ourselves without realizing exactly how we are.

"Addiction 101"

Raj Mehta

Raj Mehta is a recovered heroin addict from Detroit who now specializes in addiction therapy. Raj understands from experience how complicated addiction can be and he knows the keys to freeing oneself from it. He is working to improve how people understand addiction across the state of Michigan.

"Beyond STEM: The Whole Flower Classroom"

Jill Halpern

Jill Halpern is dedicated to bringing humanity back to classrooms. On the intellectual side, her professional interests include teaching as a wisdom tradition, math as language, and modern physics as philosophy. In the broader realm of social issues, her passions include equal access in education and multicultural classrooms.

"Crowdsourcing Humor"

Bob Mankoff

Considered "the gatekeeper of humor", Bob Mankoff really understands how to make people laugh through cartoons. Bob is fascinated with the idea of crowdsourcing humor, and explores how cartoons work (and sometimes don't), and what crowds can tell us about a good joke.

"Pragmatic Idealism: On Doing Good Well"

Dory Gannes

Dory Gannes understands what it means to "do good," a term that loses value as a result of overuse and abstraction. She seeks to balance idealism and reality on an individual scale so that we can all find our own framework for actionable positive influence.

"Is Social Media Good for You?"

Cliff Lampe

Dr. Lampe's area of research is computer-mediate communications with a speciality in e-Communitites and Social Media. He is interested in how people can engage in collective action using tools that support their doing so. Put another way, he's interested in how groups use internet communities to accomplish goals.

"Re-Imagining Your Potential"

Valerie Tran

Valerie Tran is a graduate student, Co-Director of Nurses for Cool and Healthy Homes, and 2014 Dow Sustainability Fellow. Her work explores issues of health equity and environmental justice, and she believes that urban planning offers practical strategies for addressing the health impacts of climate change.

"Positivity: The Power of Choice"

Samantha Rea

Samantha Rea finds that optimism is a choice, and that the attitude you have when facing challenges has a real impact on the lives of others.

"Colorectal Cancer: The ins and outs"

John Carethers

John Carethers believes that empowering patients can simultaneously improve health care and reduce costs. By comparing statistics across many practices and procedures, he explores the possibility that our medical calculus may sometimes be "too safe."

Against The Grain

"Designing the Future with Intent"

Soodeh Montazeri

Dr. Soodeh Montazeri is currently a research fellow and adjunct faculty at UofM, experienced in human-centered design, design with intent, and user-experience thinking and methodology. A native of Iran and an alumni of the Design Science PhD Program, she believes that good design brings out the best in people and induces positive social and pro-social changes.

"On Purpose"

Victor Strecher

Dr. Strecher has been a Professor of Public Health since 1995. With the University, Dr. Strecher founded HealthMedia Inc., an Ann Arbor-based company that develops tailored health interventions for millions of users. Currently, as Director for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, Dr. Strecher is helping the University disseminate research in order to improve global health.

"The Pedagogy of Action"

Nesha Haniff

Dr. Haniff’s work focuses on empowerment pedagogies of marginalized populations. She has developed several innovative educational modules on HIV/AIDS, violence and women’s reproductive health. Her work emphasizes intersectionality by highlighting the need to integrate race, gender, and sexual orientation in human rights advocacy.

"Two turn tables and a satellite"

Robert Alexander

Robert Alexander is a Sonification Specialist with the Solar Heliospheric Research Group at the University of Michigan, where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Design Science program. He has constructed interfaces for sonifying data from sources including the human genome, real-time EEG data streams, weather patterns, celestial orbits, and binary-star systems.

"3D Printers and a cure"

Glenn Green &

Scott Hollister

Glenn E. Green, MD. is an Associate Professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology with a clinical interest in complex airway reconstruction. Scott J. Hollister, PhD, is a Professor of Bioengineering, who has an interest in 3D-printed biomaterials for tissue reconstruction. Their work focuses on implementing new discoveries into clinical practice, improving results for patients with trauma and cancer defects, and clarifying the long-term uses of 3D-printing.

"One patient...So may lives"

Michelle Aebersold

Dr. Aebersold is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Clinical Learning Center. Her career is focused on developing innovative educational techniques and technologies. Her research examines simulation including virtual reality simulation and its impact on skill development in nursing from the undergraduate to the post-licensure level.

"Vulnerability and Presence in Science and Medicine"

Gary Hammer

Gary D. Hammer, M.D., Ph.D. serves as the Director of the Endocrine Oncology Program in the Comprehensive Cancer Center at UM where he holds the Millie Schembechler Professorship in Adrenal Cancer. Under his leadership the Program has been uniquely recognized internationally for research and clinical excellence.

"Fishwork in Uganda"

Jennifer Lee Johnson

Jennifer Lee Johnson is an advanced Ph.D. Candidate at the School of Natural Resources and Environment and a current graduate fellow in residence at the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan. Her dissertation retheorizes gender and sustainability in relation to the contemporary social life and history of working with fish in Uganda, where she has conducted fieldwork since 2007.

"Acting Out!"

Alex Madda &

Mary Naoum

Acting Out! formed through a partnership between two student organizations, Michigan Performance Outreach Workshop (MPOW) and Basements Arts. The group is dedicated to engaging Detroit students in educational performance art exercises. Alex Madda, a senior Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting major, is the Artistic Director. Mary Naoum, a senior Bachelor of Theatre Arts major, is the Troupe Manager.

"A creation a day keeps the startup bug at bay"

Nancy Xiao

Prior to co-founding the Creators Co-op, Nancy has worked with nonprofit organizations such as Startup Weekend and the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship in addition to interning at two tech startups and the design firm Wolff Olins. A native of Seattle, she is currently a senior pursuing dual degrees in English and Business Administration, with a minor in Chinese.

"How Do We End Generational Poverty"

Dominique Lee

Dominique D. Lee is the Founder and Executive Director of Building Responsible Intelligent Creative Kids (BRICK). After graduating from U of M, he served in Teach For America as an educator in Newark, NJ. He lead the formation of BRICK as an education management non-profit that transformed Avon Avenue, a persistently failing school, into the BRICK Avon Academy.

"The Last Train"

Bright Sheng

The MacArthur Fellow Bright Sheng was born in Shanghai, China. He is currently the Leonard Bernstein Distinguished University Professor at University of Michigan. Since 2000, he has been studying and researching the music phenomenon of the Silk Road culture, and has served as the Artistic Advisor to Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project Inc.

"What is a terrorist"

Petra Bartozlewicz

Petra Bartosiewicz is a freelance writer living in New York City. Her forthcoming book, “The Best Terrorists We Could Find,” is an investigation of terrorism trials in the U.S. since 9/11. She is the recipient of a 2009 Alicia Patterson Fellowship. She got her start in journalism at The New York Observer and later attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

"Real Words"

Anne Curzan

Anne Curzan is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English at the University of Michigan. As an expert in the history of the English language, Curzan describes herself as a fount of random linguistic information about how English works and how it got to be that way. Anne blogs about language for The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Lingua Franca and appears every Sunday morning on Michigan Radio’s “That What They Say.”

"Revolution 101"

Sekou Andrews

A schoolteacher turned national poetry slam champion, Sekou Andrews has become the world’s leading Poetic Voice - a cutting-edge category of speaking that combines strategic storytelling, inspirational speaking, and spoken word poetry to give voice to powerful messages. Sekou does more than inspire us with his story; he inspires us with our story.


"Untapped_ Fierceness"

Gina Athena Ulysse

Gina Athena Ulysse received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She is an anthropologist, spokenword poet/performance artist and blogger. Her artistic work revolves around finding and defining the self as a Haitian-American woman, and she remains fiercely committed to her chosen role of change agent for her birth country. She is currently an associate professor at Wesleyan University.

"Untapped_ Stereotypes"

Evelyn Alsultany

Evelyn Alsultany is an Associate Professor in the Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Arabs and Muslims in the Media: Race and Representation after 9/11, co-editor of Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence, and Belonging and co-editor of Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of Diaspora. She is guest curator of the Arab American National Museum's online exhibit: www.arabstereotypes.org.

"Untapped_ Potential"

Mike Barwis

Mike Barwis is the founder and CEO of the Barwis Methods family of companies, and a consultant to the NY Mets. He was formerly the Director of Strength and Conditioning at the University of Michigan. During his career, he has trained over 500 professional and Olympic athletes, as well as college All-Americans, national champions, national and international competitors and medalists in over 40 sports.

"Untapped_ Freedom"

Mary Heinen

Mary Heinen is affiliated with the University of Michigan School of Social Work and Open Society Foundation. She organizes, educates and supports people returning from corrections. Mary is a Soros Justice Fellow. Heinen is co-founder of the Prison Creative Arts Project and the national Prison Arts Coalition. She is currently working with Nation Inside and the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women. Mary is a documentary filmmaker, visual artist, historian and scholar.

"Untapped_ Self"

James Robert

Jim Robert has been a public school teacher for over 24 years. He wrote and developed the curriculum for his high school Philosophy/Senior Passage Class that he has taught for over 17 years at Pioneer High School. He is the father of three and lives with his wife in Ann Arbor.

"Untapped_ Giving"

Sterling Speirn

Sterling Speirn is president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Since joining the foundation, ­he has refined the mission, focusing on propelling vulnerable children to success through an approach focused on education and learning, food, health and well-being, and family economic security along with a commitment to promoting racial equity and community and civic engagement. Speirn, a Michigan native, earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Stanford University, and a law degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

"Untapped_ Energy"

Zafar Razzacki

An Account Executive on Google's Brand Solutions sales team, Zafar Razzacki works with some of the world's largest brands to develop innovative digital marketing strategies. Before joining Google, Zafar spent 10 years in entrepreneurial ventures in technology, education, medical device, and music markets. When not busy chasing big ideas and developing crazy business concepts, he is a passionate singer-songwriter who has performed on stages around the world. The only thing stronger than his love of music is his love for the city of Detroit.

"Untapped_ Creativity"

Oliver Uberti

From 2003 to 2012, Oliver Uberti worked in the design department of National Geographic Magazine, most recently as Senior Design Editor. His designs and information graphics have won numerous international awards. A graduate of the UM School of Art & Design, Oliver left National Geographic last year to form his own studio, Oliver Uberti Creative, in one of his favorite places on Earth: Ann Arbor.

"Untapped_ Stories"

Sharon Pomerantz

Sharon Pomerantz’s first novel Rich Boy was the 2010 winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Debut Fiction, and was chosen by Entertainment Weekly as one of the Ten Best Novels of 2010, and by Booklist as one of the Ten Best First Novels of 2010. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals, as well as on NPR’s Selected Shorts program, and her story “Ghost Knife” was included in Best American Short Stories 2003. She teaches writing at the University of Michigan.

"Untapped_ Heroism"

Dan Morse

Born and raised in Jersey, Dan Morse has sought to live his life according to one philosophy – no matter where you come from, you possess immense potential to create a difference in the world. To help others see the same, he has formed a partnership with a youth garden in Detroit, served as the Chief Programming Officer for Future Civic Leaders (a youth political leadership non-profit in D.C.), and founded The Beet Box (a health empowerment food cart in Ann Arbor).

"Untapped_ Change"

Julie Steiner

Julie Steiner, graduate of UM School of Natural Resources and the Environment, has spent her career working for social change. Anti-poverty organizer with ACORN, political organizer for abortion rights with Arizona Right to Choose, Executive Director of ACLU of Tennessee, first Director of SAPAC at UM, and Human Rights Coordinator at the City of Ann Arbor. Julie is currently the Executive Director of the Washtenaw Housing Alliance, a coalition of 32 community nonprofits and local government offices working to end homelessness.

"Untapped_ Healing"

Maria Castro&

Pedro Lowenstein

Maria Castro and Pedro Lowenstein are Professors of Neurosurgery and Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Michigan. They both received their degrees from Universities in Argentina. Maria’s research focuses on development of immunotherapies for brain cancers. Pedro’s focus is discovering the cellular, molecular, and mathematical basis underlying the growth patterns of malignant brain tumors. Together, their pioneering work in gene therapy for brain cancer has recently been approved by the FDA and a Phase I clinical trial will commence at UM imminently.

"Untapped_ Planet"

Kathryn Clark

Dr. Clark is currently teaching in the School of Kinesiology. Clark spent 4 years at NASA Headquarters, two of them as the International Space Station Senior Scientist and 2 of them as the Chief Scientist for Human Space Flight. Kathryn also served on the Stafford-Anfimov Committee for the International Space Station and received the NASA Public Service Medal for time on the NASA Return to Flight Committee following the Columbia Shuttle accident.

"Untapped_ Detroit"

Michael Williams

Michael Williams is a native of Detroit and a senior at the University of Michigan where he studies Afroamerican and African Studies and Urban Studies. He credits civic engagement experiences in Vietnam, South Africa, and his hometown of Detroit to deepening his passion for social justice in urban environments. As he completes his final undergraduate term participating in the Semester in Detroit program, Michael hopes to remain in Detroit long-term tackling urban planning and policy issues to create equitable, sustainable, and self-empowered neighborhoods and communities.

"Untapped_ Respect"

Chris Armstrong

Chris Armstrong was the first openly gay Student Body President at the University of Michigan. After being elected, the Assistant Attorney General of Michigan began attacking him and lobbying for his resignation simply because he was gay. After the story gained national media attention, the Asst. Attorney General and Chris went on to win a settlement against his aggressor. Chris now resides in Washington, DC.

"Untapped_ Resonance"

David Chesney

David Chesney thoroughly enjoys teaching in the Computer Science and Engineering Division at the University of Michigan. His life is blessed by a loving wife, Jean, and three extraordinary daughters, Tegan, Brynn, and Mairin; all of whom make him better than he is.

"Untapped_ Exchange"

Robert Quinn

Robert Quinn holds the Margaret Elliot Tracey Collegiate Professorship at the University of Michigan and is faculty of Management and Organization (Ross Business School). He is co-founder and Director of the Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship. Quinn’s research, teaching and publishings focus on leadership, organizational-change and effectiveness. Recipient of Academy of Management’s 2010 Martin Trail Blazer Award for opening new directions in the field of organization theory. Recipient of 2011 Marion F. Gislason Award, presented by Executive Development Roundtable for life-long contributions to leadership.

"Untapped_ Body"

Melissa Gross

Melissa Gross has a background in dance (BA from University of Colorado) and kinesiology (PhD from UCLA). Her current research focuses on the expression of emotion in body movement in healthy individuals and individuals with mood disorders. She teaches anatomy and biomechanics in the School of Kinesiology at UM where she is delighted to observe the creativity in undergraduate students that emerges at the intersection of art and science.

"Untapped_ Competition"

John Bacon

John Bacon is a writer, speaker, teacher and coach of high school hockey. He authored five books on sports, business and leadership, including Cirque du Soleil: The Spark, Bo's Lasting Lessons: The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership and Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College football (New York Times bestseller). He is the recipient of the 2009 Golden Apple. In 2011 the Michigan Chapter of the Meeting Professionals International named him Speaker of the Year.

"Untapped_ Solutions"

Merry Michelle Walker

Merry Walker is the founder of Vort Port International (VPI), an organization that enables low-income communities globally to gain access to basic necessities through education, training, and innovation of sustainable technology-based solutions. With a majority of its membership being women, VPI champions women's rights around the world through empowering rural women attain skills that enable them to positively impact their communities. Ms. Walker holds a Masters of Science in Engineering degree in Energy Systems Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.


"Transforming Justice"

Elias Schewel

Inspired by issues of sustainability in today's developing "technocracy," this University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning Student spent his last summer as a part of a tree sit in West Virginia. He is one to take action towards all things just.

"Transforming Universal Communication"

Jim Bagian

Dr. Bagian is a truly interdisciplinary individual, as he has worked as a process and mechanical engineer, earned a medical degree, and was selected as a NASA astronaut. He now serves as the Director of the Center for Health Engineering in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Bagian's experiences have stressed the fundamental importance of communication in the pursuit of any goal.

"Transforming Creativity"

Tatiana Hofmans

Ms. Hofmans is a leader of F.O.K.U.S, a student organization advocating acceptance and free expression of all forms of individuality. She is studying Mandarin Chinese and International Studies in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Ms. Hofmans advocates the importance of creativity and its role in creating change in the world.

"Transforming Education"

Libby Ashton

Education has often been a problem sought to be solved by experienced policymakers (and unfortunately often to no avail). This is not the case with the University's Philosophy student Libby Ashton. Ms. Ashton is the Founder and President of rEDesign, a grassroots initiative to bring equal opportunities to the students of America's public education system.

"Transforming Local Eats"

Jeff McCabe

Mr. McCabe is a proponent of consumption of locally grown foods and is pioneering new methods of farming. He earned a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and has now created "Repasts, Present & Future" to support local nonprofits working in food production and education. Mr. McCabe is working to transform the way that people feed themselves everyday and challenge the paradigm of farming and foods.

"Transforming Literature"

Ralph Williams

Dr. Williams is an esteemed scholar of literature and an unmatched educator. He is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of English, Language, and Literature and recipient of the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Golden Apple Award. Dr. Williams' knowledge and passion transform the way his students think about literature and language. Engaging generations of students, he has been a member of the Michigan teaching community since 1970 and has been transformed, too, by his students! Can you say Go Blue?

"Transforming Neuroscience"

Sharon Glotzer

Dr. Glotzer is a nanoscientist reexamining the notion of shape and its role in generating new materials. She is a Professor in the Departments of Material Science, Chemical Engineering, and Physics at the University of Michigan. She looks at molecular shape and form at a new level, opening doors to brand new creations.

"Transforming Healthcare"

Susan Dorr Gould

Dr. Goold is a health system researcher that uses unique methods to simultaneously educate the public and give the medical establishment a novel perspective on healthcare. She is a practicing physician and Professor of Internal Medicine and Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan. Dr. Goold is changing the traditional notions of how our healthcare system should be studied and transformed.

"Transforming the Universe"

Jacob Bourjaily

Dr. Bourjaily has spent his academic career researching the use of analyticity to understand quantum field theory as well as string and particle phenomenology. He received Bachelor's from the University of Michigan in 2005, he has since recently completed his PhD from Princeton University and is now a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows. A master of his field, Jacob's work is dedicated towards testing the boundaries our Universe.

"Transforming our Communities"

James Reeves

James A. Reeves is a writer, educator, and designer. He's a partner at New Orlean's Civic Center, a creative studio dedicated to making cities more comfortable. He's driven 75,000 miles along the backroads of America which inspired his first book, The Road to Somewhere: An American Memoir. He attended the University of Michigan to receive his BFA in Graphic Design.

"Transforming Societal Paradigms"

Jim Toy

Mr. Toy is a pioneer in LGBT activism and education, having been a part of the Lesbian-Gay Male Programs Office at the University of Michigan for 23 years. He holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Michigan and is today a member of the Multicultural and Gender Affairs Committee. Mr. Toy has dedicated his life to defying old institutions of prejudice and discrimination, transforming the way that we think of an individual.

"Transforming Brazil"

Julie Bateman&

Ethan Shirley

Julie and Ethan have the future of our world as a whole in mind. Bateman, a Senior, and Shirley, a Graduate of the University of Michigan, built a school together which is set to open in May. The project was one of great collaboration with all areas of intellect: engineers, architects, and students. Through all of this, they are sure to keep sustainability in mind.

"Transforming Solitude"

Trevor Weltman

Trevor Weltman is an undergraduate in Asian Studies. A fluent speaker of Mandarin and a student of Hindi, he has traveled and lived extensively in China and India. Most importantly, Trevor is a certified meditation instructor who—in line with his teacher's belief that spirituality be made available to all those who seek it regardless of class, caste, color, or creed—teaches meditation for free.

"Transforming Words"

Ryan Krasnoo

University of Michigan student and Slam Poetry expert Ryan Krasnoo inspires all that he meets with his captivating voice and even further captivating pictures that he paints in the mind of audience members with his illustrative visuals painted by handcrafted poems. Also a broadcaster of sports at the University of Michigan, Mr. Krasnoo is a part of the Slam Poetry team and just completed his first novel.

"Transforming Film"

Filmic Productions

Filmic Productions is a group of undergraduate students rethinking the traditional concept of visual media in the modern digital age. The group consists of Stephanie Hamel, Josh Buoy, Rodney Hyduk, Steve Coffey, Christina Bender, Chris Duncan, Emily Lyon, and Joe Kasper. They believe that cinema is everywhere and are challenging the notion that only a select few can produce films.

"Transforming Sustainable Practice"

Joe Trumpey

Dr. Trumpey is a tremendous advocate for environmental conscientiousness and sustainable practices. He is a Professor in the School of Art & Design, as well as the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. Dr. Trumpey takes common ideas of sustainability and implements them in his everyday live at an unparalleled level.

"Transforming Detroit"

Detroit Treads

Detroit Treads is a group of University of Michigan students working on a project to make flip-flops from recycled rubber tries normally left to waste in Detroit. The group consists of Mr. Tian Lian, Mr. Kirk Goodman and Ms. Julia Tan. Detroit Treads is a prime example of the importance of combining disciplines when seeking to make a change in society.

"Transforming International Aid"

Rebecca Coulborn

Rebecca Coulborn served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso between 2000 and 2001 before being medically separated. She went on to assist the ACLU in successfully challenging a discriminatory policy upheld by the Peace Corps which prevented her from ever completing her service. Rebecca has since devoted her life's research to HIV/AIDS. A graduate of University of Michigan's School of Public Health, she is currently serving with Doctors Without Borders coordinating operational research in Thyolo, Malawi.

Encouraging Crazy Ideas

Parag Patil

Madeline Huberth

Mawuli Gyakobo

Chris Van Allsburg

AJ Holmes,

AliGordon &


Robert Bartlett

Jameson Toole

Jared Genser

Scott Page

Monica Ponce de Leon

Kathleen Sienko

Donia Jarrar

Thomas Zurbuchen

Ann Marie Sastry

Paul Courant

Marvin Ammori

Darshan Karwat

Erik Hall

Do You Realize?

"The Science & Engineering of Iron Man"

Daniel Ferris

Daniel Ferris is an Associate Dean for Research, Associate Professor in Movement Science and Biomedical Engineering and an Adjunct Associate Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan.

"Implications of Paper Folding"

Matt Schlian

Matt Shlian teaches Two Dimensional Foundations and Paper Engineering at the University of Michigan and works as a visiting research scholar at the University's Material Science Department. He is currently working with researches to utilize paper engineering as a way to understand the flexible nature of nano-structures.

Sam Valenti IV

Sam Valenti IV is the founder of Ghostly International, home to two of America's finest independent record labels, Ghostly and Spectral Sound. The Michigan based company has carefully built a reputation for artistic quality and innovation since its inception in 1999.

"Making Space Smaller"

Kiko Dontchev

Kiko Dontchev is a 2nd year masters student in Space Systems Engineering at the University of Michigan. Following graduation, he will be joining the team at SpaceX as an Avionics engineer.

"Unleashing Social Entrepreneurship"

Moses Lee&

Nick Tobier

Moses Lee is an Academic Program Manager and Lecturer at the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan (UM), where he manages the Social Entrepreneurship Initiative. As a native New Yorker, Nick Tobier is a lifelong participant-observer of street life and the social life of public places. These inherently layered scenarios are at the core of his work as artist and educator, and Tobier's practice and pedagogy reflect his belief in the power of social dynamism and the fundamental role of artist as catalyst and conduit in this relationship.

"Building Blocks and Innovation"

John Holland

John Holland is an American scientist and Professor of Psychology and Electrical Engineering @ the University of Michigan where he researches and teaches on the study of cognitive processes and complex adaptive systems in general, using mathematical models and computer simulation.

"Aptitudinal & Emotional Reconciliation"

Udae Sandhu

Udae is a freshman LS&A undecided major with a passion for entrepreneurship, yet his still set revolves around the humanities. Sandhu believes the lucky few that take their unique skill set and directly apply it to their passions in life will find happiness abound.

"Climate Change and the Media"

Thomas Pavone

Tommaso Pavone is a James B. Angell Scholar at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. His current work involves the study of Western European politics and comparative political theory. Recent projects have included an analysis of how corruption is contributing to Italian immigrants.

"If We Build It..."

Jim Burnstein

Jim Burnstein is one of the few working Hollywood screenwriters living in Michigan. His works include Renaissance Man and D3: The Mighty Ducks. Burnstein heads the Screenwriting Program at the University of Michigan, his alma mater, in the Department of Screen Arts & Culture.

"Mommy, where do ideas come from?"

Steve Rush

Stephen Rush is a Professor of Dance and Performing Technology at the University of Michigan where he has been teaching classes in music composition, music theory, and jazz for over 23 years.

"Inflated Aspirations"

Anca Trandafirescu

Anca Trandafirescu is an Assistant Professor in Architecture at the University of Michigan where she teaches in design theory and representation. In 2003, she established area.architecture with Glenn Wilcox. The practice explores the breadth of design issues through competitions, commissioned projects, furniture, and design/build work.

"Living in Nanobliss"

John Hart

John Hart is a MIT alum who teaches courses in design and manufacturing. His research involves carbon nanotube structures that are found, among other places, on the edges of samurai swords. His Mechanical Engineering has stood him in good stead, preparing him for the interdisciplinarity of nanotech research.

"Music in Unlikely Places"

Subaram Raman

Subaram Raman is a first year masters student at the University of Michigan, currently studying under Michael Daugherty. He formerly studied under Paul Chihara and Roger Bourland at the University of California at Los Angeles.