1. Elise Eden, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance Graduate Returns to Alpena

    Mark Rivett posted May 11, 2018

    Read full story at The Alpena News

    Read an additional story at The Alpena News

    Elise Eden

    Elise Eden is a Michigan-born soprano originally from Alpena.

    After thirteen years, University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance graduate Elise Eden returned to Alpena High School in late April to give a lecture recital at the Stanley C. Beck Auditorium. On May 18th, she will return again to give another performance, and hold an afternoon workshop for students of music.

    Elise hopes the story of her difficult journey will inspire others.

    “When I was in high school, I couldn’t afford voice lessons,” she said. “Lots of kids don’t have the money to do those things, so if I collect a little money, I will give it to Mrs. Baker for her students and hopefully inspire them. If I can do it, anyone can do it.”

    With a masters degree in-hand, Elise Eden will return to the University of Michigan to pursue her doctoral in vocal performance. Her work in Alpena is intended to encourage children to pursue music as a career, and is supported by the PEERs program.


  2. Bridging the Border: Collaborative Solutions to Enhance Kelly Road

    Mark Rivett posted May 9, 2018
    Read the full report
    Kelly Road Satellite View

    Kelly Road forms the 1.2 mile-long boundary between Greater Regent Park, a neighborhood in northeast Detroit, and Harper Woods, a small suburb of Detroit.

    Leaders from the City of Harper Woods and LifeBUILDERS, a non-profit organization serving the Greater Regent Park community in northeast Detroit, asked a team of eight graduate students from the Taubman University of Michigan Urban and Regional Planning Program to identify strategies to enhance retail and economic vitality. The project was shaped by community engagement that included resident focus groups and interviews, along with a survey of area business owners along the corridor. Urban Planning’s Harley Etienne and Eric Dueweke identified the Capstone project and led their students through the research and design process.

    Kelly Road forms the border between the cities of Detroit and Harper Woods in the northeast corner of Wayne County, Michigan. It was once a thriving commercial corridor, providing goods and services for local residents. In the present day, Kelly Road struggles with vacancy, blight, and declining economic activity.

    Kelly Road is remembered by many residents as a vibrant, family-centered retail and residential corridor that served the neighboring communities. As population and incomes declined, Kelly Road suffered from disinvestment which resulted in many commercial vacancies and a loss of vibrancy. The imminent closing of Eastland Center, a large shopping mall located in Harper Woods, adds to the declining retail landscape.

    “Kelly Road had a diner called TJs and it was a Friday night staple where family could meet. Waitresses knew what your kids ate…Kelly Road was a social atmosphere,” said one resident.
    “Biggest thing is teenagers that don’t have a place to hang out. [We need] some kind of place for kids to go.” said another.
    Bridging Border Team

    Bridging the Border Team: Grace Cho, Yu-Hung Kuo, JP Mansolf, Michelle Rubin, Anna Shires, Jordan Solano-Reed, Dewi Tan, Emilie Yonan

    Through research, the collaborative effort crafted recommendations to strengthen the retail corridor in ways that reflect the desires of residents and business owners. Recommendations focus on recapturing revenue lost to alternative shopping destinations, galvanizing business owners and their consumers to further invest in the corridor, and reviving the local economy by:

    1. Increasing the variety of retail businesses
    2. Marketing Kelly Road
    3. Encouraging local entrepreneurship
    4. Supporting existing business owners
    5. Improving consumers’ opinions on quality of goods and services
    Read the full report

  3. UM’s IRLEE Awarded Department of Defense Grant to Assist Defense Manufacturers in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana

    Mark Rivett posted June 4, 2014

    Read Article at The Department of Defense Archive

    Department of Defense Logo

    The Secretary of Defense is the principal defense policy advisor to the President. Under the direction of the President, the Secretary exercises authority, direction, and control over the Department of Defense.

    UM’s Institute for Research on the Labor, Employment and the Economy (IRLEE) is leading a consortium of three Midwestern universities to provide assistance to communities and to small and medium sized defense manufacturing companies in their respective geographic regions. The Defense Manufacturing Program (DMAP) is a Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment initiative to assist states and communities that have been significantly impacted by reductions or cancellations in DoD spending.

    The DoD press release stated that:

    “The University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy, in partnership with Ohio State University and Purdue University, was awarded a $2,479,069 grant for a regional Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program. These federal funds are part of a larger $2,777,257 project that will, among other activities, assist impacted companies across Michigan, Indiana and Ohio to find new markets, support business stabilization and implement diversification strategies”.

    The goal of DMAP is to provide stability, and stimulate growth, job creation and job retention in the defense supply chain resulting in keeping defense communities strong. Michigan has hundreds of companies, spread throughout the state, which could be impacted by the reduction in DoD programs and spending. IRLEE will provide the following services to these companies through DMAP: business analysis and planning assistance, project identification (core strengthening, market diversification, new technology commercialization), project development, consultant identification, new technology identification and project management and funding assistance (projects may be co-funded up to 50%).

    Each of the three university partners will be responsible for their respective states, with UM coordinating the work of the consortium from Ann Arbor. Larry Molnar, Associate Director of IRLEE and Megan Reichert, Program Director for DMAP are leading the project for UM and will be the principle contacts for the Department of Defense throughout the course of the project.

    Author: Michael Rein

    Associate Director of State Outreach | reinm@umich.edu | 734-764-8029


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