UM Center for Academic Innovation Logo


Master of Arts in Educational Leadership – Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership, College of Education and Human Development, Western Michigan University

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Marketing, Mike Ilitch School of Business, Wayne State University

Roderick Simmons

Student Experience and Engagement Lead

Why I Choose to Work at Academic Innovation

I chose to work for the Center for Academic Innovation (CAI) because I wanted to be a part of a passionate and talented team who’s reimagining higher education to meet today’s global learning community needs. As a student affairs practitioner, I am devoted to creating access to higher education and ensuring the success of students’ academic, career, and personal aspirations. CAI’s mission and principles align with these values and allow me to support online learners from pre-college to lifelong learning. I am excited that I have an opportunity to support our online and hybrid students in achieving their dreams!

Current Role/Previous Experience

Roderick is the Student Experience and Engagement Lead for the Center for Academic Innovation (CAI). In this role, he leads CAI’s student fellowship program while providing holistic student support and mentorship. Additionally, from a DEIJ lens, he collaborates with CAI’s team and U-M’s partners to strategize ways to enhance students’ experiences and engagement.

Prior to Roderick’s most recent role, he served as CAI’s Program Manager for Online Student Services at CAI. Roderick’s career experience has expanded in various roles in undergraduate, international, and health science admissions and student orientation programs at Wayne State University and Kellogg Community College. While working at Kellogg Community College, he taught several service-learning and first-year seminar courses as an Adjunct Instructor. One of Roderick’s proudest accomplishments was developing Kellogg Community College – Brother2Brother mentoring program, which aimed to increase the retention of male students of color.

Ask Me to Learn About

  • Supporting students of color, especially male students of color
  • Supporting international students
  • College admissions, orientation, and first-year experience
  • Service-Learning
  • All things Detroit
  • Music, specifically R&B, Gospel, and Neo-soul