B.A. in Film and Video, University of Michigan, 2006

Lauren Atkins Budde

Director, Open Learning Initiatives

Why I Choose to Work at Academic Innovation

AI is a singularly compelling place to work. On any given day, I get to help talented, creative, driven people solve problems. In any given week, I get an upfront seat to an incredible diversity of expertise from faculty and researchers across the university and beyond. And every year, the work we’ve done together helps thousands of learners from around the world learn something, do something, be something. As a child, my parents put my education before everything else, and worked really hard to give me opportunities that they didn’t have. Now, I want to help other people get opportunities they might not otherwise have too.

Current Roles/Previous Experience

I work closely with my colleagues within CAI and faculty and administrators from across campus and beyond to engage our global community of lifelong learners. My primary focus is around the stewardship and growth of our open learning portfolio, including Teach-Outs, MOOCs, and course series. I oversee our Partnership Development team, which explores and nurtures new partnership and content opportunities; our Design Management team, which facilitates the development of all kinds of projects across the AI portfolio; and our Course Operations team, which supports, iterates and engages learners within our live online courses. I also manage the relationship with each of our MOOC platform partners – Coursera, FutureLearn, and edX.

Prior to AI, I worked at Seelio, an e-portfolio start-up that helped thousands of students across the US reflect on their experiences, connect their learning to core competencies, and tell the story of their growth. And before that, I worked for several years as an instructional technology consultant at U-M’s College of Literature, Science and Arts, specializing in project-based learning.

Ask Me to Learn About

Project management and productivity; all things food (history, science, cooking, etc); and cinema!

screencap of Sean Swider using ViewPoint tool