1. LaSonia’s Way: U of M Outreach Director Moves with Intentionality

    Mark Rivett posted November 29, 2021

    Read full story on the Michigan Chronicle

    LaSonia Forté, associate director of State Outreach at the University of Michigan (U of M), takes her gift of engagement and puts service above self as she leads while serving the eastern region of the State of Michigan (including Detroit, Saginaw, Bay City, Midland, and Alpena).

    Forté’s role as outreach representative in the Office of Government Relations makes strides to build strategic partnerships in the business, institutional, government, education, and non-profit sectors throughout the east side of Michigan, according to her biography. The Detroit native also serves as the board president of the Washtenaw County’s Dispute Resolution Center and on the board of directors of Girls Group among other organizations.

    LaSonia Forte
    “Bringing together like-minded people to solve community problems using the university’s vast intellectual resources is what my job is all about,” Forté said. “It is extremely gratifying to witness people sharing their perspectives, then committing to working together to solve real-world problems.”

    Read full story on the Michigan Chronicle


  2. The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) launches BuyDetroit procurement portal

    Mark Rivett posted October 26, 2021

    Read more here

    The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) has launched and is continuing to develop the BuyDetroit online procurement portal. The overall goal of the procurement portal is to bring more Detroit-based, diverse, small businesses into the arena of procurement. In addition to the features on the portal which support procurement processes, the BuyDetroit portal will also contain an educational curriculum to prepare inexperienced suppliers to participate in the procurement process.

    Our team’s work begins with the educational aspect of the BuyDetroit portal. Our team was tasked with designing the experience for the educational modules in the portal while considering the needs of users on both sides of the procurement process.

    Before designing, our team conducted survey and interview research with small suppliers who will be the primary users of the educational modules as well as Buyers Council members who are helping fund the BuyDetroit portal and are invested in seeing suppliers learn and succeed. Next, our team conducted research on the platform on which the portal lives and therefore where the educational modules will live called Connect Space. This part of our research was imperative in understanding the constraints under which the educational module would be designed.

    Read more here


  3. UMSI students bring accurate COVID-19 data to Michigan citizens

    Mark Rivett posted

    Read full story at UMSI

    Four UMSI seniors on the information analysis pathway are undertaking an ambitious project to help empower Michigan citizens through access to accurate COVID-19 data.

    A year after the deadly strain of coronavirus entered the State of Michigan, policy and health experts have had to scale mountains of accumulating statistics. Data is being reported by the state and collected by third-party sources ranging from hospitals to media organizations. For everyday citizens, making sense of this deluge of information and understanding the discrepancies between each source can be overwhelming.

    Kavya Pratapa, Lucas Benson, Zini Brace and Kelly Kacan are spending their final semesters at UMSI partnering with Data Driven Detroit (D3). The Detroit-based nonprofit is on a mission to “collect, analyze, interpret, and share high-quality data to drive informed decision making and increase data-driven outcomes,” according to their website.


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