New faces: Meet some of the university’s new faculty and staff


The following profiles represent some of the newest additions to the University of Michigan faculty and staff.

Sander Levin

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Sander Levin

Title: Professor of Practice, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Start date: Jan. 8, 2019

Policy interests: Health care, the economy and tax policy, employment security and social security, and international trade and immigration

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree, University of Chicago; Master of Arts degree, Columbia University; Legum Baccalaureus, Harvard Law School

One reason why I came to Michigan: After I retired from Congress on Jan. 3, I wanted to continue my work on public policy. After meeting with Ford School Dean Michael Barr and former dean Susan Collins, it was clear to me that the Ford School at the University of Michigan would be an exceptional place to be able to pursue my interests. My records are lodged at the University of Michigan Archives, beginning with my days at high school, including my work in the Michigan State Senate, my campaign for governor, my work as assistant administrator for the Office of International Development, and my 36 years in the House of Representatives.

What I’m excited about: I was grateful when offered a position at the Ford School to explore with faculty and students the challenge of applying excellent academic training to the hurly-burly of the public arena. I am excited by all aspects of the Ford School. I have already been working with the highly talented leadership and faculty, the development of a new course with Professor Susan Collins with whom I will co-teach beginning in December, and an administrative staff who have been so forthcoming for me as a new faculty member. Having a family with connections with the University of Michigan beginning with my mother who was in the college a hundred years ago and a daughter, Jenny, and a son, Andy — both with graduate degrees — it has made me feel especially fortunate to be able to carry on our family’s University of Michigan tradition and to continue my work in public policy.

Mania Aghaei Meibodi

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Mania Aghaei Meibodi

Title: Assistant professor of architecture, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Start date: Sept. 1, 2019

Research interests: I work at the intersection of computational design methods, digital fabrication and new materials. In this context, I search for ways to exploit the potential of computation and digital fabrication — especially additive manufacturing — for design and building construction. To use a computer as a partner that helps in solving problems that we cannot resolve without it, searching and creating unseen experiences that are surprising, and designing buildings with elegance that their performances relate to their esthetic. By coupling computation with additive manufacturing, this research focuses on custom design solutions, bespoke and lightweight large-scale elements with precise detailing and unseen aesthetic. The motivation of my research is to enhance the quality of architecture toward performative structures, introduce unseen aesthetic that opens up new possibilities for tectonic expression and find new design and fabrication methods to avoid errors, increase precision, reduce material use and cost.

Education: Bachelor of Applied Science degree, Curtin University; Master of Architecture degree, KTH Royal Institute of Technology; Licentiate of Engineering degree, Lulea University of Technology; Ph.D. in architecture, KTH Royal Institute of Technology; postdoctoral studies, Digital Building Technologies, Switzerland

One reason why I came to Michigan: I strongly believe that the combination of the people and facilities at the University of Michigan, along with the context of manufacturing and fabrication in Michigan, has fantastic potential to develop a world-leading research for bespoke large-scale additive manufacturing in architecture. With the extensive surrounding industrial expertise, stemming from the automotive industries and global leader in AM technologies, this research can have both local impact and develop innovations for export.

What I’m excited about: I’d love to be where I can use my skills to make an impact that I can see with my own eyes. Of course, Michigan as a fast transforming state in the New Era of Manufacturing — Fourth Industrial Revolution — is only part of the equation. Being part of a university that I can grow and work toward something I care about matters too. Taubman’s goal of being the intersection between research and practice, shaping the future, and building sector innovation inspires me a lot. I’m really excited about this opportunity and looking forward to partner with centers of excellence across and beyond the University of Michigan.

Enrique Neblett

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Enrique Neblett

Title: Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health 

Start date: Sept. 1, 2019

Research interests: I am interested in the effects of racism on health in U.S. racial and ethnic minority populations and interventions, programs, and policies that can address the health consequences of racism and improve health and reduce health disparities. My work has examined racial, ethnic and cultural assets that racial and ethnic minority populations use to promote health.

Education: Bachelor of Science degree, Brown University; Master of Science degree, Pennsylvania State University; Ph.D., University of Michigan; postdoctoral fellowship, Howard University

One reason why I came to Michigan: It is nearly impossible to pick one reason, but I decided to come work at the University of Michigan because I love the university. I love U-M’s reputation for academic excellence, its outstanding faculty and sense of community, and its serious and longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. I wanted to return to Michigan to be a part of a tradition that trains, values and elevates racial and ethnic minority students, scholars and faculty. As I begin to conduct more community-based research, the opportunity to serve as the associate director of the Detroit Urban Research Center was another important draw in my decision. Returning to Michigan is also an excellent opportunity for my wife’s career (she’s an incoming assistant professor and alum in the Department of Psychology) and for our family. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention that I love Michigan football and basketball. Attending games in person will be much more fun than watching on TV!

What I’m excited about: I am excited about starting this new role for so many reasons. These include joining the faculty at one of the nation’s leading institutions and schools of public health; elevating my scholarship as I work alongside world-class faculty and colleagues and identify potential new collaborations and partnerships across schools, academic units and local communities; contributing to the university’s diversity, equity and inclusion mission and initiatives; building and strengthening existing ties between the university and Detroit and surrounding communities; and teaching, training, and learning from the next generation of #LeadersandBest.

Satyen Nichani

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Satyen Nichani

Title: Clinical associate professor of health professions in the Physician Assistant Program, College of Health Sciences, UM-Flint; medical director, Master of Science Physician Assistant Program, UM-Flint

Start date: July 1, 2019 at UM-Flint

Job responsibilities: In this role, I am actively engaged in identifying and developing high-quality rotations at different clinical sites to provide our students with world-class training experience. I will also be assisting the Master of Science Physician Assistant Program in developing its missions, goals and curricula. Later, my role will evolve and focus more on mentoring clinical preceptors, assisting with student admissions and performance evaluations, and clinical instruction. I will be serving as a liaison between the program and our clinical affiliates, and as an ambassador for the program, the PA profession, and the College of Health Sciences.

Education: Seth G.S. Medical College, Mumbai, India; completed residency training in Internal Medicine from SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University; served as chief medical resident at the Brooklyn VA Medical Center

One reason why I came to Michigan: I have been most impressed by the upbeat, warm and extremely positive attitude of the people in the College of Health Sciences.

What I’m excited about: The establishment of the new MSPA program at the University of Michigan is an exciting development and a significant step forward in fulfilling the university’s mission of serving the people of Michigan and developing the leaders and best. It is our best opportunity to train the next generation of academic-minded PAs whom we are proud of and confident about their success as future clinicians and leaders at Michigan Medicine and beyond. Likewise, the benefit our PA students would receive by working with some of the nation’s best educators in the vibrant and productive environment of our clinical sites is unparalleled. It would indeed be another example of what we like to call “the Michigan difference.”

Nicole Boroski

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Nicole Boroski

Title: Academic Programs Project Manager, Office of Academic Programs, School for Environment and Sustainability

Start date: June 3, 2019

Job responsibilities: I will be handling Office of Academic Programs data requests and implementing policies and procedures around data use, storage, and reporting. I will also be coordinating various projects that involve departments outside of OAP.

Education: Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree and Master of Science degree, U-M

One reason why I came to Michigan: The University of Michigan has always been a big part of my life. Long before I was accepted as an undergrad student, I attended my first football game at the Big House when I was 1 1/2 years old. U-M has always represented a place of excellence in education and integrity to me. I was extremely excited to see this job opportunity posted for the academic institution that I respect and love in an area that I am passionate about — the environment.

What I’m excited about: I will be transitioning from the automotive industry to higher education and I am excited for all of the new information and challenges that this transition will bring. I am proud that I can continue to call myself one of the Leaders and Best not only as alumni, but as a staff member as well.

David Humphrey Jr.  

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David Humphrey Jr.

Title: Diversity & Inclusion Officer, School of Education

Start date: April 15, 2019

Job responsibilities: Managing diversity, inclusion, justice and equity implementation efforts, including working with SOE leaders responsible for implementing the SOE DIJE strategic plan. Advising the school leadership with refinement suggestions for its strategic plan related to DIJE programming and objectives. Developing new programs, trainings and processes to promote DIJE throughout the school in areas of climate, recruitment, admissions, hiring, mentoring, curriculum, scholarship, service, and training.

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree, Alabama A&M University (Hunstville, Alabama); Master of Arts, Eastern Michigan University; Ph.D. candidate in educational studies, Ball State University

One reason why I came to Michigan: Being a native Detroiter (product of Renaissance High School), I have always admired the excellent work being done at U-M from afar. It seems my professional and academic accomplishments have brought me full circle. The mission of the School of Education at U-M is inextricably aligned with my life’s calling to pursue justice. Moreover, I came to work at the SOE because my role will enable me to invest my full self into serving a state, region and community that has invested so much into me. In the interviews and conversations, I felt comfortable being my true and authentic self: a jazz- and justice-loving scholar-practitioner guided by a radical love ethic.

What I’m excited about: I am excited to come home and work with leading scholars and practitioners to fulfill the SOE’s mission: “to generate, study, and teach strategies, practices, and tools for addressing educational problems and to prepare practitioners, policy-makers, and researchers who can develop equitable and just educational opportunities.”

Kelli Kearly

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Kelli Kearly

Title: Sport Management Career Coordinator, School of Kinesiology

Start date: July 15, 2019

Job responsibilities: I will be career advising Department of Sport Management students to better prepare them for internships and career opportunities in the highly competitive sports industry. I will also be working to build the department’s network of internship providers and prospective employers.

Education: Bachelor of Science degree, Central Michigan University

One reason why I came to Michigan: The reputation of this institution is second to none. I knew working here I would be working with the best, whether that be faculty, staff or students.

What I’m excited about: I’m most excited to meet and work with the students. I once was in their shoes and understand how overwhelming all this can be. I look forward to helping them determine their own career goals and witnessing their achievements.

Molly McCutchan

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Molly McCutchan

Title: Assistant Director of Human Resources, UM-Dearborn.

Start date: April 22, 2019

Job responsibilities: Provide advice and consultation on a wide range of complex human resource matters for faculty and staff, including employee relations, talent management, HR policies and employment law. Assist in implementing positive leadership best practices on campus, including leadership development and faculty/staff engagement. Assist in the developing and implementing of campuswide training curriculum and provide training. Serve as the contact person for all ADA workplace accommodations.

Education: Bachelor of Science degree, Michigan State University; Master of Arts degree, Roosevelt University; law degree, Michigan State University.

One reason why I came to Michigan: Because it is a high-caliber higher education institution — one of excellence.

What I’m excited about: I am excited to build positive working relationships with others and contribute collaboratively with the HR team.


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