Introducing the 2020 Cohort of the Public Engagement Faculty Fellowship

We are proud to announce the inaugural 2020 cohort of Fellows and Mentor Fellows!

The 2020 cohort of Fellows and Mentor Fellows are University of Michigan-Ann Arbor faculty across eleven schools and colleges — including Lecturer IV, tenured and tenure-track faculty, curatorial faculty, and faculty representing all forms of public engagement. There are two roles  in the program:

  • Fellows are faculty who are relatively new to public engagement work or who are interested in trying something new in their public engagement practice. 
  • Mentor Fellows are faculty with more extensive experience in public engagement. Mentor Fellows will work closely with Fellows, providing guidance, connections, mentorship based on their own expertise and networks in public engagement. 

Meet The Fellows


Enrique Neblett

ProfessorSchool of Public Health: Health Behavior and Health Education

Enrique Neblett studies how the cultural strengths of Black youth, families, and communities can lessen the impact of racism on health. As a Public Engagement Faculty Fellow, Neblett will discuss research using digital technology, build relationships with community partners, and develop resources to promote healthy family communication about race and address the mental health needs of Detroit’s youth and families.

Stephanie Leiser

Lecturer IV in Public PolicyFord School of Public Policy

Stephanie’s general areas of interest are in public finance, budgeting, and financial management, and she has particular expertise in state and local tax policy, business taxation and incentives, and local government fiscal health. She is a faculty affiliate at the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy, where she leads the Michigan Local Government Fiscal Health Project. She is looking forward to finding ways that public engagement can contribute toward developing a deeper understanding of the fiscal health and fiscal challenges of local governments in Michigan.

Natalie Tronson

Assistant ProfessorLiterature, Science, and the Arts: Psychology

Natalie moved to the USA from Australia in 2000 to pursue her PhD at Yale University; followed by a post-doctoral position at Northwestern University at the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, before joining the faculty in the Psychology Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2012. Natalie’s research focuses on how memory works, and how events including stress, illness, and personal characteristics including sex and gender, influence what is learned, how memory is stored in the brain, and how changes in learning and memory contribute to the development and treatment of psychiatric disorders.

Nancy Khalil

Assistant ProfessorLiterature, Science, and the Arts: American Culture

Nancy A. Khalil recently completed her PhD in anthropology at Harvard University and a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale’s Center on Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration. Her research focuses on the politics of American Islam and her dissertation was on the profession of the Imam in America. Her academic work has been supported by several foundations, including the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, MSA National, IIIT, and the Islamic Scholarship Fund.

Isaac Wingfield

Lecturer IV, Residential CollegeLiterature, Science, and the Arts: Residential College

Originally from Asheville, North Carolina, Isaac Wingfield is a lecturer in the Residential College. He received a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design and a Bachelor of Science in Technical Photography from Appalachian State University. His prison-based collaborative photography workshop is on Instagram @humanizethenumbers.

Roshanak Mehdipanah

Assistant Professor of Public HealthSchool of Public Health: Health Behavior and Health Education

Roshanak Mehdipanah is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education in the School of Public Health. She is an urban health researcher with a focus on housing as a determinant of health. She leads several projects in this area including health evaluations of housing policies on affordability and discrimination within the U.S.A. Her work is interdisciplinary, working with researchers from urban planning and community organizations. Dr. Mehdipanah’s work ultimately aims to integrate housing resources into health care settings in the form of community-clinic partnerships that benefit, individuals, hospitals and communities.

Holly Jarman

John G. Searle Assistant Professor of Health Management and PolicySchool of Public Health: Health Management & Policy

Holly Jarman, PhD is the John G. Searle Assistant Professor within the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. As a political scientist, she researches the impact of market regulations on health and social policies and is exploring the power of public narratives in policymaking.

Meet The Mentors


Ashley Lucas

Associate Professor of Theatre & Drama and the Residential College, Former Director of the Prison Creative Arts ProjectSchool of Music, Theatre, & Dance: Theatre & Drama/LSA: Residential College

Ashley Lucas is Associate Professor of Theatre & Drama and the Residential College at the University of Michigan, where she also served for six years as the Director of the Prison Creative Arts Project. She currently is the co-primary investigator on Documenting Criminalization and Confinement—a large-scale, humanities-based archival project. Her book Prison Theatre & the Global Crisis of Incarceration will be released by Bloomsbury in September 2020.

Kentaro Toyama

W. K. Kellogg Professor of Community InformationSchool of Information

Kentaro Toyama is W. K. Kellogg Professor of Community Information at the University of Michigan School of Information, a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT, and author of Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology. Previously, Kentaro taught at Ashesi University in Ghana and co-founded Microsoft Research India, where he did research on the application of information and communication technology to international development.

David Michener

Curator at the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols ArboretumMatthaei Botanical Gardens and Arboretum

Dr. David C. Michener is the Curator at the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum where his team is internationally known for its work in conservation of historic peonies. Curation also includes stewarding lands, plants, and ecosystems that are homelands for Anishinaabek Tribes forced into exile and diaspora. The best stewardship programs for the climate changes ahead can only come through mutual respect, engagement, and work: a distinctive strand of engaged Tribal / University scholarship deeply embedded in reconciliation.

Terri Friedline

Associate Professor, School of Social WorkSchool of Social Work

Dr. Friedline’s research focuses on financial system reforms and consumer protections to ensure that people and communities have access to safe and affordable financial products and services. Her research has been covered by national media including The Washington Post, Bloomberg News, CBS News, and TIME. Dr. Friedline is an appointed member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Academic Research Council, a committee that advises the agency’s director regarding research on consumer finance.

Colleen Conway

Professor of Music Education, School of Music, Theatre & DanceSchool of Music, Theatre, & Dance: Music Education

Colleen Conway is a professor of music education in the School of Music, Theatre, & Dance. She has varied experience with public engagement mostly focused on partnerships with P-12 student educational collaborators. Her current project involves students (ages 7-18) from the Detroit-based Crescendo Detroit (CD) program participating the Pathways program in which music education students from the SMTD teach music to the CD students two Saturdays a month on campus.

Mark Fitzgerald

Associate Dean Community-Based Collaborative Care and EducationSchool of Dentistry: Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics

Dr. Mark Fitzgerald is the Associate Dean for Community-Based Collaborative Care and Education and serves as the lead faculty at the School of Dentistry in IPE initiatives. He has been involved in creating IPE/IPC opportunities for students in community health centers, creating IPE opportunities for students in campus-based clinical settings and developing and teaching a campus wide IPE course in team based clinical decision making. Dr. Fitzgerald currently is a member of the U of M IPE Center Executive Committee and co-chair of the U of M campus-wide IPE Curriculum Workgroup.

Ann Chih Lin

Associate Professor, Ford School of Public PolicyFord School of Public Policy

Ann Chih Lin is a political scientist who studies the implementation of public policy, with particular attention to how ordinary people understand the policies that affect their lives. She has studied prisons, poverty, and immigration. Her current projects include a book about Arab American immigrants; a study of ways to reduce prejudice against Muslims; and an examination of U.S. policy towards guestworkers and undocumented immigrants.

Andy Hoffman

Holcim (US) ProfessorRoss School of Business/SEAS

Andrew (Andy) Hoffman is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan; a position that holds joint appointments in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the School for Environment and Sustainability.