Campus briefs


Microsoft Teams now available for videoconferencing, collaboration

Faculty, staff and students have a new option for videoconferencing and team-based collaboration: Microsoft Teams at U-M. Information and Technology Services announced that Microsoft Teams is available to faculty, staff and students with an active affiliation on the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses. The tool is available at no additional cost through the university’s Microsoft 365 license for online meetings with optional auto-transcription, to connect with colleagues in a virtual chat room, host webinars or collaborate on documents. Groups that regularly use Microsoft documents or spreadsheets may find Teams to be a useful way to stay connected. The university’s existing videoconferencing tools, including Zoom at U-M and Google Meet, will continue to be available, as will BlueJeans until it retires in May. Microsoft Teams at U-M is FERPA-compliant and can be used by students and instructors in a class. Learn more at The tool is not HIPAA-compliant, so it should not be used to store or transmit sensitive information, such as patient health information. Michigan Medicine will soon offer its own Microsoft 365 and Teams environment.

Faculty Allies and Student Ally Diversity Grants open for applications

Applications are open to all U-M graduate programs for 2021-2022 Rackham Faculty Allies and Student Ally Diversity Grants. Developed to fund initiatives that help all graduate students —including those from groups underrepresented in higher education — to feel welcome and thrive in their studies at U-M, the Faculty Allies and Student Ally Diversity Grants aim to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within graduate programs across the U-M campus. The Faculty Allies Diversity Grant awards up to $12,000 for initiatives to improve program climates, aid student retention and completion, provide opportunities for academic and professional development, boost career outcomes and success for graduate students, and encourage engagement between students and alumni. Applicants can also submit a proposal for a Student Ally Diversity Grant, which awards up to $5,000 to pay graduate students to work closely with a Faculty Ally on initiatives and projects under the Faculty Allies Diversity Grant. Applications are due Feb. 22. For more information, visit the Rackham Graduate School website.

Nominations now open for Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Awards 

Regular instructional and research faculty — including librarians, curators, and archivists on the Ann Arbor campus (including the Medical School) — who go above and beyond their normal duties to contribute to a culturally and ethnically diverse campus community are eligible for the Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award. Up to five awards are given out annually, and each comes with a $5,000 stipend. Nominations are due April 1. The award was established in 1996 and is named after Harold R. Johnson, dean emeritus of the School of Social Work. Nominations must include the nomination form, which can be accessed online at, along with a letter from the nominator regarding the nominee’s service and accomplishments in the areas described above, and a copy of the nominee’s curriculum vita. Send the nomination packets as a single PDF, or address questions, to Laura Harrington at

Winter Blood Battle pits U-M against MSU in blood donation contest

This year’s winter Blood Battle against Michigan State is underway and runs through Feb. 28. Whether one never donated blood before or donates every year, consider donating for Blood Battle to be a part of the fight to save lives across the state and country. To make an appointment to donate visit and click “Donate” on the homepage or visit and insert the sponsor code “goblue.” Due to COVID-19, appointments are highly recommended, and walk-ins will only be permitted as space permits. All presenting donors will receive a Blood Battle T-shirt and coupon for Washtenaw Dairy while supplies last. Donors will also be entered into a raffle for gift cards to local businesses and other great prizes. The American Red Cross asks donors to use Rapid Pass, which allows donors to complete their donation quicker by completing some steps before arriving at the blood drive. Visit for more information.

UM-Dearborn grant to expand history course on Holocaust

A $20,000 Ravitz Foundation grant will help a UM-Dearborn lecturer educate more students about the Holocaust. Jamie Wraight, lecturer IV in social sciences in the College of Arts, Sciences and Letters and the Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive director, is creating a full-feature online experience for the History 387: Aspects of the Holocaust course by using archived expert lectures, Holocaust survivor testimony from UM-Dearborn’s archive collection, internationally renowned speakers on the World War II genocide, and more. The class, currently offered once a year, will now be offered twice thanks to the grant. Wraight says the class attracts students from across disciplines — art, engineering, business and health — and says part of the attraction is related to curiosity about the Holocaust. But there is also the understanding that this goes beyond learning about a past event and awareness is important because people across culture and industry can be affected.

Compiled by James Iseler and Jeff Bleiler, The University Record


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