Office of Government and Community Relations interim appointments

February 25, 2016

To students, faculty and staff:  

The Office of Government and Community Relations will have a modified organizational structure for an interim period of time until the search for a new permanent Executive Director is completed. Effective immediately, Dr. Russell Olwell will assume the position of Interim Executive Director for Government and Community Relations on a part-time basis. In addition, Marquan Jackson will serve part-time on an interim basis as Assistant Director for Community Relations. Chad Wing will continue in his role as Director of State Relations. 

These changes are a result of Ken Dobson’s recent departure from EMU to assume the role as Director of Government Relations at the Wayne County Airport Authority. 

In addition to assuming these duties, Dr. Olwell will continue in his role as Director of EMU’s Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Communities. He has worked on many projects that engage the community and local schools. In Ypsilanti, he has been working on several community development initiatives including Hamilton Crossing, Strong Housing, and Parkridge Homes, and he has developed and collaborated on educational programs to help K-12 students become college and career ready. He currently serves as EMU’s representative to the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority. Dr. Olwell is a professor of History. 

In addition to fulfilling the position in Community Relations, Marquan Jackson will continue in his role as Director of the Family Empowerment Program in Ypsilanti, where he works with families to overcome barriers to self-sufficiency. He develops programs for homeless students in Ypsilanti Community Schools, works extensively with EMU students, and creates culturally responsive community arts programming. He currently serves on the board of directors of the United Way of Washtenaw County. 

Dr. Olwell can be reached directly at

Marquan Jackson can be reached directly

The Office of Government and Community Relations can be reached by telephone at 734-487-7048 and by email directed to Executive Assistant Marge Preston at

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Olwell and Marquan Jackson to the Government and Community Relations team.

Don Loppnow
Interim President