Meet some of the new faculty and staff at U-M this year


Recently hired faculty and staff members — and some longtime staffers who switched jobs — are settling into their new roles as the fall semester gets underway at the University of Michigan. Meet some of U-M’s new or moving faculty and staff members:

Susan Page

Susan Page
Susan Page

Title: Professor of practice in international diplomacy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and professor from practice at the Law School

Start date: August 2020

Policy or research interests: As a former U.S. diplomat, ambassador, peace mediator, legal adviser and senior United Nations civil servant in U.N. peacekeeping missions abroad and in development agencies, I’m particularly interested in the role that anthropology and sociology could play in international diplomacy and public international law, particularly in understanding the drivers of conflict and motivations for change or peace.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in English with high distinction, University of Michigan; certificates of distinction (English) and merit (psychology), St. Andrews University, Fife, Scotland; Juris Doctor, Harvard Law School; Rotary International postdoctoral fellowship to Nepal to study women’s and children’s rights to inheritance

One reason I came to U-M: I loved my time here as an undergraduate and was offered the opportunity to combine my love for the practice of international affairs, international law and public policy with a joint appointment to the Ford School and the Law School.

What I’m excited about: I’m excited about being in a vibrant academic community, particularly at this time of social reckoning about our own history and past, and working on domestic as well as international issues that grapple with injustice and inequality, as well as trying to develop public policies that change the system for the better.

Grace Kawanza-Lee

Grace Kawanza-Lee
Grace Kawanza-Lee

Title: Clinical assistant professor, School of Nursing

Start date: Aug. 31, 2020

Policy or research interests: Cancer survivorship, neuropathic pain, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, behavioral/non-pharmacological interventions. My most recent study evaluated the impact of a home-based aerobic walking intervention to reduce neuropathy in people receiving chemotherapy for gastrointestinal cancer.

Education: Bachelor of Science in nursing, U-M; Ph.D. in nursing, U-M

One reason why I came to U-M: I came to the University of Michigan because of the spirit of the Michigan community and immense opportunities offered by the university. The community is driven; committed to high standards, healthy lifestyle and inclusiveness; and fiercely loyal to the university (particularly its athletic programs). The opportunities for high-quality research, seminar and conference attendance, mentorship and skill development facilitated by experts and the university’s support programs are outstanding.

What I’m excited about: I am excited to teach bright, driven and upstanding nursing students and collaborate across campus to contribute toward high-quality research and the continuous improvement of the school curriculum and environment. 

Shannon Gillen

Shannon Gillen
Shannon Gillen

Title: Associate professor of dance, School of Music, Theatre & Dance

Start date: Aug. 31, 2020

Policy or research interests: I am thrilled to bring my passion for radical storytelling and dance-making, for building community through physical practice and collaborative research, and for expanding the cultural vitality of physical dance theater to U-M and SMTD.

Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts, The Juilliard School; Master of Fine Arts, NYU Tisch School of the Arts

One reason why I came to U-M: To work and collaborate with gifted and progressive faculty and students who challenge me to grow and prosper in new ways.

What I’m excited about: Everything! First things that come to mind are bringing my commitment to physical exploration into a shared practice with students, delving into choreographic research, building artistic and professional relationships that broaden the reach of physical dance theater, and living so close to nature here in Ann Arbor.

Liza Roberts

Liza Roberts
Liza Roberts

Title: Executive secretary, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy

Start Date: At U-M since May 2014; started current role June 29, 2020

Job responsibilities: Provide administrative support to the Department of Clinical Pharmacy chair and associate chair; manage faculty promotion and tenure process; manage faculty recruitment and onboarding; coordinate graduate student recruitment processes

Education: Bachelor of Science in biology and political science, minor in Program in the Environment, U-M.

One reason why I came to U-M: I am a third-generation Wolverine, and I can’t remember wanting to be anywhere else! I am honored to support the faculty, students and staff conducting world-class research and scholarship at Michigan.

What I’m excited about: I am excited to work more directly with prospective and current students and to share my own experiences as a U-M alumna.

Dominique B. Green, Sr.

Dominique B. Green, Sr.
Dominique B.
Green, Sr.

Title: General academic adviser, LSA

Start date: June 15, 2020

Job responsibilities: Advisers in the Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center are responsible for the individualengagement of students from orientation to graduation that is grounded in best practices and research in advising and student success. While advising students on a variety of college and university policies, resources and programs, the academic adviser will also have responsibility for ongoing communication with advisees that encourages growth and development.

Education: Bachelor in General Studies, U-M; Master of Science in student personnel administration in higher education, Concordia University

One reason why I came to U-M: I wanted to come to Michigan to advocate for social change and assist in enhancing the students’ undergraduate experience. I am proud to say that I am an alum of the University of Michigan. For most of my undergraduate career, it felt as if Michigan was never going to be home for me. I faced much adversity and troubled emotions with the interactions I had with my peers, faculty and staff on Michigan’s campus. There were many days where I felt I did not belong nor was welcomed or seen as an equal. It was not until I met an adviser who truly empathized about my academic well-being and mental health that I felt Michigan was home for the first time. Assisting in the discovery of my self-worth and knowing I was just as capable as any other student. That I deserved to be at Michigan and that I was a value to the Michigan community.

What I’m excited about: I am excited to help students realize their value and the greatness that they possess within. Many students come to college carrying the weight and responsibilities of family and societal expectations; that can become overwhelming. I look forward to connecting students to the resources that will help them succeed academically and feel that their voice matters when concerns and injustices arise. I am excited to help students realize that Michigan can truly feel like their home and that they are valuable assets to the Michigan community. I am excited to be a new face on staff that students can identify with and feel comfortable reaching out to for whatever support they may need.  

Kayla Lang

Kayla Lang
Kayla Lang

Title: Events coordinator for the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching 

Start Date: May 4, 2020

Job responsibilities: I assist in the planning and implementation of events at U-M’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. These events span the spectrum from small meetings and focus groups to large-scale, annual campus-wide orientations. I am currently working on new faculty orientation.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in communication and business, Hope College 

One reason why I came to U-M: I have always been really passionate about working in a higher education institution. Michigan has always stood out to me as one of the top higher education institutions. However, the mission of the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching office is really what drew me to the university: “CRLT partners with faculty, graduate students, postdocs, and administrators to develop and sustain a university culture that values and rewards teaching, respects and supports individual differences among learners, and creates learning environments in which diverse students and instructors can excel.” I was really excited at the potential to work for an institution that values learning and is always working toward creating a learning environment that allows a diverse range of students to succeed. 

What I’m excited about: I am excited to learn more about the inner workings of higher education as well as dive deeper into CRLT’s mission. This is my first job out of college. That being said, I really am just excited to gain experience, learn as much as I can, and grow.


Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.