Eric Joyce, Marketing Specialist
@ericmjoyce

Trevor Parnell, Events and Marketing Specialist

Student fellows and interns offer a great deal of creativity, energy and support to the Office of Academic Innovation. They become valuable, contributing members of our team working closely with our staff and faculty innovators throughout their experience in our office.

Last month, the University of Michigan community was treated to an exploration of the amazing work of our talented student interns and fellows at the Academic Innovation Student Showcase. This event highlighted the amazing contributions of these student innovators and their impact in the areas of user experience design, behavioral science, accessibility, graphic design, research and more through 15-minute lightning talks and a poster session illustrating the tangible impact of their work.

In celebration of their outstanding contributions , we would like to highlight students who have completed their fellowship,internship or other work with our office and will take the next step in their promising careers.


Ann Burke

Personalization Fellow Since September 2016

Worked on the Following Digital Tools: ECoach

What Have You Learned During Your Time with the Academic Innovation Team?

“While I was hired on to write messages for ECoach, I learned quickly that writing material for this learning tool does not happen in a vacuum, but requires constant collaboration and feedback. Ultimately, working at Academic Innovation has allowed me to draw on my expertise as a teacher and researcher, but also learn new ways of supporting students in their learning experiences through content generation, user testing, and working with the Academic Innovation team, students, and faculty across contexts.”

What’s Next For You After Your Experience with Academic Innovation?

“I graduated from my PhD program in April and transition into a new career. I’m not quite sure what that career will be yet, but I’m grateful to have had the experience I did at Academic Innovation as it has further shaped my career goals, which revolve around supporting students in their learning experiences.”


Kathryn Gabriele pointing to a poster while speaking to an event attendeeKathryn Gabriele

Graduate Student Research Assistant for the School of Education MicroMasters Since September 2016

Worked on the Following Digital Tools: Leading Educational Innovation and Improvement MicroMasters

What Have You Learned During Your Time with the Academic Innovation Team?

“This project was my first in the MOOC space and has helped me learn how to design interactive, collaborative learning experiences in this space. In collaborating with our lead designer and our Academic Innovation team, I had the opportunity to co-design course content and partake in thinking through how to best present that content to our learners in ways that motivated both self-directed and community-supported learning. Through my experiences working with our School of Education/Academic Innovation team, I have come to understand the importance of collaborative reflection about course design to improve the user experience.”

What’s Next For You After Your Experience with Academic Innovation?

“I hope to continue working on this project while finishing my studies. Then, I plan to continue to use my design skills in varying ways to support teacher learning and collaboration in the online space.”


Cathy HearnCathy Hearn

Course Advocate and Research Assistant Since June 2017

Worked on the Following Digital Tools: Leading Educational Innovation and Improvement MicroMasters

What Have You Learned During Your Time with the Academic Innovation Team?

“My colleagues at Academic Innovation and at the School of Education have a fantastic approach to work with respect to professional and organizational growth. They embody the idea that you shouldn’t just go to work to complete tasks. Rather, in completing your work you learn more about the task at hand, and about yourself as a professional, and in that way work to constantly improve yourself and your work. We’ve not simply been designing and facilitating a learning experience, we’ve been learning about what we need to do in order to design and facilitate a learning experience, how to share our learning with others, and how to do it better next time.”

What’s Next For You After Your Experience with Academic Innovation?

“I’m looking for further opportunities to apply my training in educational design and improvement in ways that reflect my passion for social justice causes.”


Yu LiuYu Liu

User Experience Design Fellow Since September 2016

Worked on the Following Digital Tools:  GradeCraft, ViewPoint

What Have You Learned During Your Time with the Academic Innovation Team?

“During the past two years at Academic Innovation, I have taken a lot of ownership on three projects. I improved my skills to present my design and collaborate with other stakeholders. Also, Academic Innovation gave me plenty of opportunities to explore new techniques, such as front-end development and some trendy design. The most precious experience here was that I have the chance to learn about our users (students) behaviors and thoughts, which is super helpful for my career.”

What’s Next For You After Your Experience with Academic Innovation?

“I am moving to the bay area and starting my career as a Product Designer at Yahoo (Oath).”


Michelle Peng

Michelle Peng

Marketing Graphic Design Intern Since July 2017

Worked on the Following Digital Tools: Rather than focusing on a specific tool, I assisted the marketing team with design deliverables and social assets regarding all of Academic Innovation’s initiatives.

What Have You Learned During Your Time with the Academic Innovation Team?

“During my time here, I was able to tremendously develop my collaboration and project management skills. I learned how to work effectively and professionally in cross-disciplinary groups beyond what class group projects taught me. I also grew to understand how to manage a variety of projects with different timelines.”

What’s Next For You After Your Experience with Academic Innovation?

“After graduating, I will be traveling around Southeast Asia for an indefinite time before continuing my career in graphic design and marketing.”


Yuanru TanYuanru Tan

Learning Design and Accessibility Fellow Since January 2017

Worked on the Following Digital Tools: Accessibility design of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)

What Have You Learned During Your Time with the Academic Innovation Team?

“In the context of online courses, accessibility means that it is possible for all learners, regardless of physical or developmental impairment, to use all course materials and tools. By collaborating with the course design team and communicating from the accessibility experts on campus, I learned both technical and pedagogical strategies to ensure the accessibility of online courses, such as document formats that are friendly to screen reader users.”

What’s Next For You After Your Experience with Academic Innovation?

“Because of the rich opportunities to participate in online course design and researchers, I am interested in further pursuing a degree about online learning after my fellowship ends.”


Stephanie YenStephanie Yen

User Experience Design Fellow Since May 2017

Worked on the Following Digital Tools: ECoach

What Have You Learned During Your Time with the Academic Innovation Team?

“I have experienced various types of interface design and engaged with users to get feedback and iterate the design. Through the work experience in Academic Innovation, I now understand how to tackle design problems from ideation to front-end development and learned how to articulate design with cross-functional teams.”

What’s Next For You After Your Experience with Academic Innovation?

“I am seeking a full-time UX Designer job.”


We would like to wish a fond farewell to all Academic Innovation interns and fellows who are completing their experience with us this spring:

Ann Burke, Behavioral Science Fellow
Cathy Hearn, Course Advocate for Designing and Leading Learning Systems and Improvement Science in Education
Yu Liu, UX Design Fellow
Kayla Mandel, Teach-Out Course Advocate
Michelle Peng, Marketing Graphic Design Intern
George Perrett, Behavioral Science Fellow
Samantha Silveria, Software Development Fellow
Yuan Tian, Software Development Fellow
Ning Wang, Innovation Advocacy Fellow
Stephanie Yen, UX Design Fellow


The Office of Academic Innovation offers a variety of fellowship and internship opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students and recent graduates. Please visit our Student Opportunities page to learn more and apply!