About Engage @ EMU

[email protected] is the University’s outward facing office charged with cultivating relationships, initiating and/or coordinating community and business partnerships and programs.

Engage is organized in three areas: Business, Academics and Community.

Specifically, Engage houses Professional Programs and Training (PPAT), Academic Service-Learning, Camps, The Testing Center, Eastern Scholars and large scale Community Programs such as the Legal Resource Center, EMU Bright Futures, The Family Empowerment Program and SEMIS.

The department recently presented updates to the EMU Board of Regents

Engage Staff

  • Jessica ‘Decky’ Alexander, Professor and Director of Academic Programs

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    Jessica ‘Decky’ Alexander, Professor, Applied Drama/Theatre & Director, [email protected]

    Jessica ‘Decky’ Alexander is a professor of applied drama/theatre and the Director of [email protected], an office whose mission is to cultivate community and university collaboration. Both as a performer and as a faculty member, Decky has used the mediums of theatre and performance to foster voice with underserved and under-heard individuals and communities.  


    Jessica ‘Decky’ Alexander’s current creative and scholarly endeavors include the use of theatre for faculty development; community performance, and community-based learning. Through [email protected], Decky oversees the Family Empowerment Program, a supportive services program in affordable housing, and the Prevention Theatre Collective, a high school theatre program, which uses theatre as a preventive tool in areas of substance use and abuse.


    Recent and Current projects include: Vital: A Fugue on Aging, An Ethnographic Performance and In the Neighborhood, an art creating and community conversation in collaboration with the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.

    Recent publications include:Disrupting a Disruption or Live Everything, book chapter in Community Engagement 2.0? Dialogs on the Future of the Civic in the Disrupted University. Palgrave MacMillian: NY 2014 and Addressing the Student Debt Crisis: Steps Universities Can Take for Academic Leader. (2019).


    Upcoming presentations include

    “I am the only chosen person in this room!” Declarations and Detours of a life lived in Non-Jewish Spaces” at Limmud Michigan -March 22, 2020


    Prof. Jessica "Decky" Alexander: "Stray Cats, Strangers, and Other Neighbors" | March 24, 7 p.m. | Honors College, EMU


    Awards and Recognitions

    • 2019 Student Advocacy Center Community Advocate Award;
    • 2018 State of Michigan Specials Tribute -Ypsilanti Community Schools, State Representative Ronnie Peterson
    • 2018 Dynamic Woman of Washtenaw County, Ypsilanti Community Schools
    • 2017 United Way of Washtenaw County Poppenger Award
    • 2007 ACLU Washtenaw County- Civil Liberties Champion Award
    • 2005 Institutional Values Award for Diversity, Multicultural and Human Dignity
    • 2002 Division of Enrollment Services Faculty Award
    • Gold Medallion Outstanding Faculty Award, 1998.

    Local Civic Engagement

    • Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor -Board Member, Chair of JCRC
    • Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation -Cultural and Economic Development Committee
    • Ann Arbor YMCA -Board Member
    • Awesome Foundation -Trustee
    • A2Y Chamber Policy Board

    Education

    • Master's in Fine Arts, Eastern Michigan University
    • Bachelor's, Lawrence University
  • Kristen Klochko, Communications and Operations Coordinator

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    Kristen manages daily communications among the entire suite as well as large-scale events and partnerships. She works to create an effective and collaborative work environment for those who are within the university and external in the community.

    She is happy to support new programs and initiatives that involves both campus and community. Kristen strives to build strong connections whether it is through events, social media, or convenings.


    Boards

    • Secretary, Digital Inclusion
      Staff Advisor, Optimize Eastern

    Education

    • Master's in Business Administration, Eastern Michigan University
    • Bachelor's Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience, University of Michigan
  • Janice Lee, Graduate Assistant, Academic-Service Learning and Minors on Campus

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    Janice assists with the Academic-Service Learning (ASL) program and manages the Minors on Campus procedures at EMU. ASL strives to help faculty develop meaningful connections between their coursework and the community. Minors on Campus seeks to ensure safety for minors as they engage in EMU programming.

    Education

    • Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (in progress), Eastern Michigan University
    • Bachelor's Psychology, University of Michigan
  • Caroline Sanders, Assistant Director, Community Relations

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    Caroline Sanders is the Interim, Assistant Director of Community Relations and Engagement for EMU. Her primary role is to represent EMU in Southeast Michigan with emphasis in the Ypsilanti-Ann Arbor-Detroit communities. Her collaborative skills, university and community relationships allow her to serve as a two-way portal that benefits the community and university.

    Boards

    • Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Chamber
    • Ypsilanti Rotary Club
    • Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars as a representative for EMU.

    Education

    • Ph.D. Candidate, Research Emphasis on Student with Children in Higher Education
    • Master's, Political Science and Legal Administration/Technology
    • Bachelor's, Political Science and Legal Administration/Technology
  • Julie Vogl, Graduate Assistant, Community Work Study

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    As the Community Collaborative graduate assistant, Julie helps to oversee the Community Work-Study Program for EMU which encourages students to use their federal work-study award to assist local organizations in their community improvement efforts. She also acts as a liaison between students at EMU and The Collaborative: Ypsilanti YMCA Child Development Center. Julie is also active in the Washtenaw County Job Developers Alliance.

    Boards

    • Board of Directors for the Ann Arbor YMCA as part of the Board Training Program

    Education

    • Master’s, Public Administration Candidate
    • Bachelor's, Psychology and Elementary Education, University of North Carolina-Asheville
  • Luke Yates, Community Program Development Manager

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    Luke Yates is the Community Program Development Manager for [email protected] and currently oversees the EMU Testing & Certification Center, Washtenaw County/EMU Legal Resource Center and Eagle Engage Corps debt forgiveness program. Beyond directing these program, Luke provides administrative support for all Engage projects and represents Engage on the Boards of the Legal Resource Center, EMU Paralegal Studies Program, Michigan Works Career and Educational Advisory Council and Michigan College Access Network. Luke has been with Engage since 2016.

    Education

    • Master's, Public Administration, Eastern Michigan University
    • Bachelor’s, Political Science, Beloit College

Program Directors

  • Wayne Doyle, Director, Veteran Student Support Services

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    Wayne and his team work very closely as part of EMU’s Veteran Resource Center to provide academic and career support for student veterans. The key areas of focus are to assist student veterans in career transition, increase graduation rates, and connect student veterans with the campus and community. Previously, Wayne spent 11 years active Army (Field Artillery) and 12 years US Army Reserve (Civil Affairs). Kosovo, Iraq. Lieutenant Colonel (Ret).

    Education

    • Master's, Land Warfare, American Military University
    • Bachelor's, Civil Engineering, West Point

    Boards

    • Advisory Board, TRIO Student Support Services
    • Advisory Board, TRiO McNair Scholars
    • Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Marquan Jackson, Director, The Family Empowerment Program

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    Marquan Jackson joined The Family Empowerment program at its inception in 2012. His responsibilities include developing and refining strategies to sustain resident service coordination for residents of Ypsilanti Housing Commission. Marquan has been successful in securing funding both private and public dollars to support the needs of the community. Marquan also serves as the homeless liaison for Ypsilanti Community Schools, where he coordinates services for services for students experiencing homelessness. Before joining FEP, Marquan gained clinical and macro practice experience in juvenile justice, community mental health, schools and foster care.  Currently, Marquan served six years as an executive board member for the United Way of Washtenaw County and most recently joined the board of IHN Alpha House (Family Shelter).

    Education

    • Master's in Social Work, University of Michigan
    • Bachelor's in Dual Major Political Science and Communication Studies, University of Michigan
  • Dr. Ethan Lowenstein, Director, Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition

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    Dr. Ethan Lowenstein is a professor of curriculum and instruction at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) and the Director of the Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition, a professional development network of schools, community partners, K-12 teachers, and university educators working together to address serious ecological and social problems in Southeast Michigan. The SEMIS Coalition is a hub of the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, the only statewide effort in the country focused on place-based education. He has two decades of experience in school systems reform, educational leadership development, and teacher professional development in moral, civic, and place-based education.

    Currently principal investigator or co-principal investigator on the following grant projects:

    • Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-Wet) Program (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
    • Climate Resilience from the Youth Up (NOAA Environmental Literacy Program)
    • Building Transformational Partnerships to Support Place-Based Education (Bay and Paul Family Foundation)
    • Fostering Social-Emotional Learning Through Place-Based Education (NoVo Foundation)

    Currently Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on the following grant projects:

    • Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-Wet) Program (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
    • Climate Resilience from the Youth Up (NOAA Environmental Literacy Program)
    • Building Transformational Partnerships to Support Place-Based Education (Bay and Paul Family Foundation)
    • Fostering Social-Emotional Learning Through Place-Based Education (NoVo Foundation)

    Boards

    • Vice President, Board of Directors, Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative
    • Member, State of Michigan, Region#2 MiSTEM Partners Group

    Education

    • Ph.D., International Education, New York University
    • Master's, Social Studies Education, New York University
    • Bachelor's, Sociology/Anthropology, Carleton College
  • Dr. Lynn Malinoff, Director, EMU Bright Futures

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    Lynn has been teaching, counseling, mentoring and leading for over 40 years in K-12 education as well as developing and directing an adolescent outpatient program for substance-abusing youth and their families.

    Lynn received her doctorate in educational leadership from Eastern Michigan University in 2002. She has several publications including a book chapter published in Women as Leaders in Education (Praeger, 2011), entitled “Both Sides of Mentoring: A Leader’s Story”. Her 30 years in the Wayne Westland Community Schools included many roles - special education teacher, Drug-Free Schools and Communities and Service Learning Coordinator, alternative high school teacher, and Project Director.  She received the Athena Award from the Women of Westland in 2007, the Dale Rice Award (EMU) in 2010, and multiple program recognitions. Since 2007, she is the director of EMU’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers Bright Futures programs funded through the Michigan Department of Education and serving youth and families in Romulus Community Schools, Wayne Westland Community Schools, and Ypsilanti Community Schools.

    She has two grown sons and loving daughters-in-law, a husband and two Shetland Sheepdogs. She is passionate about photography and preparing delicious meals for family and friends.

  • Dr. Eric Reed, Director, TRiO Student Supports Services

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    Dr. Eric Reed is an educator and entrepreneur who is devoted to building social mobility for people of oppressed backgrounds. Dr. Reed currently serves as the Director of TRiO Students Support Services and an adjunct professor at EMU. He holds a bachelor's and master's degree from CMU and obtained his Ph.D in Educational Leadership from EMU in 2019. In his ten years of working at several universities, he has guided hundreds of students from college application to graduation. Dr. Reed has been employed at EMU since 2012, formerly serving as the Coordinator of the EMU Opportunity Program (Summer Incentive Program).
  • Elizabeth Stoner, Director, Professional Programs and Training

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    Elizabeth Stoner brings over twenty-five years of experience as a strategic thinker, creative problem solver and project and program leader in a variety of assignments connected by a common thread – helping people and organizations to grow, change and thrive. As Director of Business Engagement and Non-Credit Initiatives, she helps individuals gain the skills, knowledge and credentials they need to excel and advance in their workplaces and careers — and works with organizations to help them improve performance, reach business goals and comply with regulatory requirements.

    Education

    • Bachelor's, English Language and Literature, Eastern Michigan University
    • Master of Arts, Strategic Communication and Leadership (MASCL) from Seton Hall University.
  • Rod Wallace, Director, EMU Upward Bound

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    Rod and his team engineer college readiness and academic excellence in high school students through a federally-funded program, EMU Upward Bound. Rod also actively seeks and executes collaborative opportunities between the university and the community through Engage @ EMU.

    Education

    • M. Ed, Marygrove College
    • Bachelor's, History, Eastern Michigan University
    • Boards and Activities
    • Director of Educational Programming, Grove Studios
    • Founder, The Plugin
    • Advisory Board, PROMISE Initiative, Ypsilanti Community Middle School
    • Advisory Board, TRIO Student Support Services and McNair Scholars
    • Steering Committee, Washtenaw County My Brother’s Keeper
    • Executive Producer, Formula 734
    • Committee, Washtenaw County Handle With Care Initiative
    • Committee, Diversity Campus Climate Assessment
    • Advisor, The Phoenix
    • Advisor, Aspiring Black Educators