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Poster Presentations

Poster Presentations:

Ann Arbor Spark EMU: Partners for Economic Growth
Eastern Michigan University

  • Leigh Greden, Executive Director, EMU Government and Community Relations
  • Kyle DeBoard: Manager, SPARK East Business Incubator, kyle@annarborusa.org

Since its founding by Rick Snyder in 2005, Ann Arbor SPARK has been an engine for job growth.  EMU plays an integral role in SPARK by providing annual financial support, and EMU officials serve on SPARK’s governing boards.  EMU was a driving force in the establishment of the SPARK East Business Incubator in Ypsilanti, adjacent to EMU’s College of Business. Since opening in 2009, this incubator has provided reduced rent and business accelerator services to 26 physical tenants and 14 virtual tenants, graduated two companies into the local community, and currently has 38 jobs associated with SPARK East tenant businesses.

  • Chana' Ednomd-Verley, Senior Program Officer of Community Initiatives, DeVos Family Foundations
  • Darrell Ross, Co-Executive Director, LINC Community Revitalization Inc.

GVSU serves as a key partner to Believe-2-Become (B2B), a collaborative partnership of people and organizations who believe in Grand Rapids students and their capacity to enrich the lives of their community. Grounded in community engagement, its network of support includes baby scholars, summer enrichment and afterschool experiences for students, workshops and mentoring for parents, and positive recognition for achievement—all directed by residents who live, work and learn in four central-city zones. GVSU provides research, evaluation and data platform services for this unique placed-based initiative. The GVSU partnership around the establishment of a local master data sharing agreement has received national attention.  www.ibelieveibecome.org

Contacts: William Crawley, Associate Dean, College of Community and Public Service (CCPS), crawleyw@gvsu.edu and Teri Behrens, Director of Special Projects, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, behrenst@gvsu.edu

  • Jules Gehrke, Assistant Professor, History, and Special Assistant to the Provost, jgehrke@svsu.edu
  • Harry Leaver, Executive Director, Center for Business and Economic Development, hlleaver@svsu.edu
  • George Puia, Associate Dean, College of Business and Management/Dow Chemical Company Centennial Chair in Global Business, puia@svsu.edu

Committed to sustaining and enhancing the unique role of family businesses in Mid and Eastern Michigan’s industrial and economic future, the Stevens Center for Family Business channels the rich experiences and thirst for new knowledge and engagement of local and regional partners into forums and workshops that allow participants to learn both from each other and from nationally recognized experts attuned to the potential of family businesses. Together, family businesses and SVSU’s faculty, staff, and students are dedicated to building both local communities, and Michigan, in the twenty-first century.

Spearheaded by Cherry Street Health Services, Inc. of Grand Rapids and the College of Optometry and the College of Pharmacy from Ferris State University, faculty members and students are working in a collaborative, interprofessional model to improve the health of patients with multiple chronic conditions and ease the pressure on the health care system through preventative care. This effort is taking place with support from the Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services Collaborative, a program of the Health Resources and Services Administration. The program uses a fast-paced iterative improvement method designed to support teams in testing and spreading leading practices found to significantly improve health outcomes and patient safety through the integration of clinical pharmacy services. Outcomes achieved include a significant increase in the control of chronic diseases for patients that had been some of the most difficult to control previously. The College of Optometry provides comprehensive eye examinations, dilated eye exams, dispensing of eye glasses and diagnosis and treatment of eye disease. 

Steve Durst, dursts@ferris.edu
Robert Buckingham, buckingr@ferris.edu


EMU opened the Autism Collaborative Center (ACC) in 2009 in a former elementary school building. The ACC offers discounted therapeutic services to children and adults within the autism spectrum. Families are offered free support groups and education.  The ACC believes that the best outcomes occur when there is collaboration among local non-profits such as Easter Seals, local schools and Head Start programs. At the ACC, EMU students gain experience working in a multidisciplinary environment. A recent grant from the State will create a telehealth program to expand the ACC’s outreach to help individuals and families across a broader geographic area.

Entrepreneurial Action: Are you [IN]?

  • Dale Tuttle, School of Management, University of Michigan – Flint
  • Danny Bledsoe, Success Coach, CenterMark Coaching
  • Cade Surface, AmeriCorps Member, Flint River Corridor Alliance
  • Ravi Yalamanchi, Chief Executive Officer, Metro Community Development
  • Randy Slikkers, Executive Director, Goodwill Industries of Michigan

Imagine starting a business without any startup costs. That is exactly the opportunity college students and community members have through the University of Michigan – Flint’s Innovation Incubator (IN). IN nurtures and accelerates emerging social and business startups. Seven businesses operate out of the location, while 45 non-tenant student businesses use the resources of IN. In addition, community members who need business expertise and assistance are welcome to use the incubator as a place to convene and collaborate. An example of success is a technology firm that supplies services to local businesses, such as the Flint Farmers’ Market, to servicing an international clientele.
Contact: Jonathan Jarosz, Director, University Outreach, jaroszjo@umflint.edu

Fostering Interest in Information Technology (FI3T)

  • Matthew DeNio, FANUC Robotics
  • Mesut Duran, Associate Dean for Research and Administrative Affairs, mduran@umich.edu 
  • Associate Professor of Technology, UM – Dearborn
  • Elsayed Orady, Engineering Team Leader, UM – Dearborn
  • Ermelda Polk, Engineering Teacher, Renaissance High Schools, Detroit Public Schools

The FI3T project is designed to increase opportunities for underrepresented and underserved high-school students to learn, experience, and more importantly use IT within the context of STEM and explore 21st century career and educational pathways. The project accomplishes its goals through the creation of a “Community of Designers,” an environment where high-school students, K-12 STEM teachers, undergraduate/graduate student assistants, and STEM content area faculty and experts work together as a team. Lead by UM – Dearborn, the project partnership includes Detroit Public Schools, TARDEC, Reactor Zero, FANUC Robotics, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, SIEMENS, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, and Ford Motor Company.

  • Donald D. Uzarski, Director, Institute for Great Lakes Research, and Faculty, Department of Biology, uzars1dg@cmich.edu

Central Michigan University is leading a consortium of nine universities and three government agencies in implementing the first-ever basin-wide Great Lakes coastal wetland monitoring program for protection and restoration of ecosystem services in the Great Lakes watershed. The watershed provides employment, pride of place, and recreation and tourism to 43 million Americans and Canadians, and supports the $7.5 billion per year commercial and sport fishing industry that depends on healthy coastal wetlands. The Consortium is working to develop and carry out a sustainable long-term monitoring program to produce scientifically-defensible wetland health assessments for protection and restoration of these valuable ecosystems. Great Lakes Stakeholders, Environmental Protection Agency, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and NGOs are lead community partners.


The Lake Superior State University Aquatic Research Laboratory’s mission is to combine education and research to serve academic, scientific, and public communities. The ARL partners with Cloverland Electric Cooperative (Dafter), Michigan Department of Natural Resources (Lansing), and others. Each year, thousands of people visit the ARL and over 100,000 view the online FishCam. Research projects are designed to protect Michigan’s valuable aquatic resources and include studies of introduced species, water quality, fish management, habitat restoration, and aquatic pathogens. The ARL annually stocks more than 25,000 Atlantic salmon that are estimated to contribute over $1 million in economic impact.

MSU Gives Residents in Michigan’s Urban Areas Tools and Training for Broadband Use, Crucial to Economic Progress and Quality of Life for the State

  • Kurt DeMaagd, Assistant Professor, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media, Michigan State University
  • Cathy Post, Educational Program Manager, ITEC
  • Kirk Riley, Executive Director, ITEC, rileyki@msu.edu

MSU researchers are working with educational organizations and trainers to help develop computer content related to education and employment, train residents to use the technology, and showcase the benefits of using broadband for their lives and communities. Broadband adoption has the ability to transform Michigan’s urban areas into information economies. The MSU team is working with area high schools, Jackson Community College, Lansing Community College, the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center, and the Information Technology Empowerment Center (ITEC). This project is focused on Michigan’s Cities of Promise—Lansing, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Flint, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Muskegon Heights, Pontiac and Saginaw. The MSU Team also works with middle school students to improve outcomes in STEM areas—science, technology, engineering and math. 

New Economy Talent Development

  • Jim Baker, Executive Director, Innovation and Industry Engagement, jrbaker@mtu.edu

A limiting factor to growth of many technology companies is access to qualified technical personnel with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. This poster describes programs related to recruitment of students into key STEM disciplines and hands-on educational programs designed to train students to be highly productive employees on day one of their professional careers. Of particular note is Michigan Tech’s Enterprise Program, in which students spend three years within a specialized curriculum and operating within a formal corporate structure on campus to develop solutions to persistent technical and business problems provided to them by industrial sponsors. 

  • Darlene Groomes, Associate Professor, Human Development and Child Studies
  • Jenny Cloutier, Team Member, OUCARES 
  • Brian Cumins, Team Member, OUCARES 
  • Lisa Kowalski , President, Autism Society of Oakland County
  • Kathy Sweeney, Director, OUCARES, sweeney@oakland.edu

OUCARES is the Autism Center at Oakland University. Our mission is to promote understanding and awareness of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) through research, education and support to help improve the quality of life for those impacted by autism by gaining skills for social participation, independence and well-being. As a university-based Autism Center annually servicing over 400 participants in our programs, OUCARES is a value added resource for students to gain hands-on autism experience, for faculty to conduct autism research, and for the OU campus community to gain understanding and awareness of autism.

  • Sonia Hassan, Associate Dean, Maternal, Perinatal, and Child Health, s_s_hassan@wayne.edu 
  • Tom Malone, President, Harper University Hospital and Hutzel Women’s Hospital, Detroit Medical Center 

The Perinatology Research Branch (PRB) conducts clinical and basic research in perinatal medicine and related disciplines with the goal of developing novel diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative strategies to reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes, infant mortality, and handicap as well as to provide research training for physicians, scientists, and other health care professionals whose aim is to improve the health care of mothers and their children.  The PRB serves a vital role in the community by developing new knowledge and training medical professionals in state-of-the-art methods.  In partnership with the Detroit Medical Center, the PRB provides a unique service to the community.

  • Derek Aguirre, Executive Director, Racquet Up Detroit
  • Rashard Haynesworth, SID Alum/Program Assistant, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  • Craig Regester, Associate Director, Semester in Detroit, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, regester@umich.edu
  • Curtis Smith, Housing Development Director, Coalition on Temporary Shelters (COTS)

The Semester in Detroit mission is to engage U-M undergraduates in substantive, sustained and reciprocal relationships with the people and communities of the City of Detroit. Combining a semester-long residence in the city with rigorous academic study and a comprehensive community-based internship, SiD students become deeply involved in—and committed to—the life, challenges, and promise of this important American city. Since the program began in 2008, over 50% of alumni who participated as graduating seniors have moved into the city to live and work. SID has partnered with over 25 organizations since its inception, including but not limited to: Alternatives for Girls, Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative, Focus: HOPE, WDET-FM, Urban League, Living Arts, City of Detroit, Eastern Market Corporation, and many more. 

Service Learning: Software Engineering Senior Design Projects

  • Kiumi Akingbehin, Professor, Computer and Information Science
  • Bruce R. Maxim, Associate Professor, Computer and Information Science, bmaxim@umich.edu

This poster describes use of industry-based capstone design courses to provide service learning opportunities to students. In this type of course, students work as members of small teams to complete software development projects. These projects proceed from requirements gathering to analysis, design, implementation, and delivery of products to real-world clients. These projects provide students with opportunities to manage projects with real-world development constraints and deadlines. They can help students learn how to use their roles as computing professionals to address community needs. The authors have supervised more than 300 projects for more than 100 external partners (both commercial and nonprofit) over the past 15 years. Our project partners include Olympia Entertainment, Gleaners Inc., Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Ford Motor Company, Penguicon, and CEO Image.

Smart Routes, Smart Bridges, Smart Roads for Safety and Workforce Development 

  • Edmung Tsang, Associate Dean, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Haluk Aktan, Chair, Civil and Construction Engineering, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Upul Attanayake, Assistant Professor, Civil and Construction Engineering
  • Ala Al-Fuqaha, Associate Professor, Computer Science Engineering
  • Osama Abudayyeh, Associate Dean, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Western Michigan University, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Transportation, is increasing the safety and efficiency of our transportation systems. Future engineers add value to local school systems through surveying and planning that enable children to walk or bike to school to enhance physical wellness, and are being certified as Grade I concrete field testing technicians. Researchers develop tools and design criteria to decrease the impact of future repairs to our aging infrastructure, and develop the framework to integrate the smart cars of today and tomorrow with their environment to increase situational awareness and safety of all users.

Contact: Anthony Vizzini, Dean, College of Engineering and Applied Science, tony.vizzini@wmich.edu

Supporting Rural Economies

  • Brian Cherry, Assistant Provost, Graduate Education and Research, Northern Michigan University, bcherry@nmu.edu 
  • Bob Eslinger, Co-Director, Center for Rural Community and Economic Development

The mission of the Center for Rural Community and Economic Development at Northern Michigan University is to combine research, public service, education, and training to enhance the quality of life, support economic development, and improve the delivery of services in the Upper Peninsula. This poster highlights the work of the Center in developing a university asset list and assisting communities and regional economic development practitioners. The display also features the unique partnership between the university and one of the region’s largest employers as well as the entrepreneurial work of the Studio for Experimental and Eco Design (SEED). 


The University of Michigan spends over $1.2 billion per year on its wide-ranging research initiatives, making it one of the largest, most successful academic research institutions in the world.  U-M Tech Transfer, the University unit responsible for transferring research discoveries to business and venture partners, launches an average of 10 start-ups and signs over 100 agreements with businesses annually, placing U-M within the top ten of all universities. These activities have led to the launch of over 100 new start-up companies since 2000, including HealthMedia, Compendia Biosciences and Arbor Networks, and the adoption of several world-changing technologies, such as the FluMist® inhalable flu vaccine and the IntraLase® LASIK eye surgery system. Of the start-ups launched via U-M Tech Transfer’s Venture Center, over 70% are located in Michigan, creating jobs and helping to diversity our state’s economy. Learn more about U-M Tech Transfer, including a up-to-date list of technologies available for commercialization: http://www.techtransfer.umich.edu/index.php