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Master of Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, St. Norbert College

Holly Derry

Associate Director, Behavioral Science

Why I Choose to Work at Academic Innovation

Before I worked at AI, I developed personalized health behavior interventions for wellness, disease prevention, and disease management. Helping people along their health behavior change journeys was very rewarding and meaningful and, as a result, it will always be important to me that my work to contribute to a greater good. It was an easy decision when I was offered a chance to apply my behavioral science and communication skills toward a new, equally meaningful purpose: supporting learners along their higher education journeys.

Current Roles/Previous Experience

I’m the Associate Director of Behavioral Science. The Behavioral Science team incorporates behavior change strategies across our entire portfolio, from Tools to Teach-Outs. We apply theory, research, communication techniques, and technology to improve habits and behaviors of the learners who use our digital pedagogical tools and platforms. For example, we develop tailored intervention content to help residential students study smarter or work better in teams. We help MOOC teams think about how to draw in different kinds of learners or motivate learners to engage differently with course content. We help structure Teach-Out content to focus on desired behaviors and calls to action.

Before AI, I worked for the U-M Center for Health Communications Research and, prior to that, at the Center for Bioethics & Social Sciences at U-M. I have developed assessments, tailored intervention content, and decision making tools for over thirty large interventions covering a wide variety of behaviors. Additionally, I am trained in motivational interviewing and plain language.

Ask Me to Learn About

Tailored communications, motivational interviewing, plain language, any of the Heath Brothers books, lice, how not to make cookies, palatable gluten free foods, tiny houses or campers, bad Hallmark movies, how to choose ugly magnets, Arrested Development, and ukuleles