Dana Sitzler

Veronica Wilkerson JohnsonDana Sitzler

Associate Director of State Outreach

Dana's Areas of Outreach

West side of state, northern, Tribal Connections
Project Manager, Michigan Road Scholar Tour
Below, some examples:

More from "What is an Indian?"

Student plays from the Sault Ste Marie Kewadin performances

Read about part 1 of a story-telling project by students taking the course Archives and Oral Histories, working with members of the Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe.

One of the students, Mia Massimino, edited the raw video we took during the culminating performances


Here is the staged reading of 'Sliver of a Full Moon'. Enjoy!

Sliver of a Full Moon at the Kewadin Casino, May 18, 2016

Jo-Anne Perkins of Cascade Engineering talks to scholars

Michigan Road Scholars (MRS) complete 2016 cycle through State

Jo-Anne Perkins, of Cascade Engineering in Grand Rapids, explains the manufacture of trash and recycling bins to the Road Scholars. (Photo by Dana Sitzler) The 15th annual Michigan Road Scholars trek around Michigan ended on Friday, and the scholars agree it was a wise investment of time and resources. “The pace was exhausting, but well worth it,” said Bob Grese, professor of natural resources in the School of Natural Resources and Environment, and director of the Nichols Arboretum. “I appreciate this opportunity to see some of my students’ hometowns. Michigan is really remarkable. Every region is distinct from the others. This will help me appreciate the unique personalities and perspectives my students bring to the classroom.”
“Every year, our scholars identify potential community/academic collaborations in which their expertise can make a solid contribution to current and future initiatives,” said MRS coordinator Dana Sitzler. “It happened again this year, maybe even more than in previous years.”

What is an Indian?

A couple of students said it was the name for people of India, and they blamed Christopher Columbus for the confusion because he used it to describe the native people he found when he thought he had landed in the east. Others admitted they didn’t really know.

Through the course Archives and Oral Histories, U-M students learn firsthand the history and traditions of the Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe.

“Their first writings were academic. You could tell they were well researched,” said Cecil E. Pavlat, Sr., Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe community member and retired leader, who with others from the Upper Peninsula tribe helped U-M faculty create an immersive experience for the students. The hope was that giving them somewhat unprecedented access to Anishinaabe rituals, customs and celebrations would help students answer the Indian question a little differently in two writings that would follow. (Anishinaabe refers to the Ojibwe, Odawa, Chippewa and Potawatomi people of Canada and the United States.) View a slideshow of their activities.

Read more about this U-M World Class course

Students wait to test the effectiveness of their straw rocket design as measured by the distance traveled once launched. Students conducted distance trials then altered their design by decreasing weight to see if that increased or decreased distance traveled.

Dreamcatchers Summer Enrichment Program

07/2014 - A group of young students from the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians learned about energy conservation from U-M Professor Mark Moldwin this summer by running 60 meters to a make-believe grocery store, picking up one item, and running back. They did this three times. Another group ran to the store one time, picked up three items and ran back. A discussion followed about which group used the most energy, and other ways to conserve energy.

They were part of a larger group participating in the Dreamcatchers Summer Enrichment Program, an annual month-long program each July for Native American students to enhance their educational experience through tribal history and promote awareness to others in the surrounding community.

The 5 - 7th graders had a lesson in designing and testing the efficiency of a rocket made out of soda straws.

Professor Moldwin also taught a group of 8 - 10th graders to study sunlight as a form of energy using spectroscopes and prisms, and making UV detectors. Other "optics" experiments proved that working in career fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) can be fun.

Dana Sitzler, Associate Director of State Outreach, facilitated a meeting between Professor Moldwin, a Professor of Space Sciences and Applied Physics within the University of Michiganís Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences within the College of Engineering, and Samuel J. Morseau, Director of Education, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, that created the collaboration.

The Dreamcatcher program is based on Tribal Sovereignty curriculum being developed by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians as well as supplemental curriculum created by Chi Ishobak, the Four Winds Casino Resort, and local higher education organizations that involve principles of experiential learning which allow students to explore career fields in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The foundation of the curriculum includes four main topics, which are Reclaiming Our Identity, Rethinking History, Self-Determination, and Moving Forward.

Dana manages tribal connections for the Office of State Outreach, and is project manager for the Michigan Road Scholars program. For more information about the Dreamcatchers Summer Enrichment Program, or other outreach, Dana can be contacted at dds@umich.edu

Sneaker Tour:

Students from Harrison Park School in Grand Rapids, Michigan, gather around the famous Wolverine statue during their tour of the University of Michigan. These middle-school students, interested in math and science, enjoyed an afternoon on North Campus assisted by Dana Sitzler, Associate Director of State Outreach.

4th Annual Camp KinoMaage - 2015

Camp KinoMaage is a week-long, hands-on science summer camp for middle school students from Michigan Native American tribes. Students who participate in this residential program explore a number of questions about science and culture through investigations at the University of Michigan Biological Station on Douglas Lake, near Pellston, MI.

During Camp KinoMaage, students learn and participate in scientific activities, and actively engage in field experiences. Cultural ties are also a dominant theme throughout the week as students have the opportunity to interact with Native American elders from surrounding tribes, and are also taught the Ojibwe language by staff and faculty from the University of Michigan Native American Studies program. Read more here Or, read the 2013 Record Article here.