Student Advisory Board
The Student Advisory Board supports a number of activities across all three partner graduate schools (Business, Public Policy, and Social Work), advises staff and faculty on strategy and policy, and identifies and executes student-facing programs.
Priority areas for the board include:
• Board Fellowship Program
• Social Impact Challenge
• Careers & Alumni Relations
• Outreach & Engagement
• Academics & Thought Leadership
2012-13 Student Advisory Board members include:
Vibha Mehta, Co-President, Ford School of Public Policy
Ethan Xiang, Co-President, Ross School of Business
Catherine (Cat) Fish, School of Social Work
Lorpu Jones, Ross School of Business
DawnLynne Kacer, Ford School of Public Policy
Jeff Kessner, Ford School of Public Policy/Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Caitlin LeStrange, School of Social Work
Jason Levin, School of Social Work
Emily Litwin, Ross School of Business
Caroline Meehan, Ford School of Public Policy
Alice Miller, School of Social Work
Matt Papadopoulos, Ford School of Public Policy/School of Education
Sarah Shaw, Ross School of Business/School of Education
Rachael Wiener, School of Social Work
Vibha Mehta Co-President, MPP '14
Vibha is a second-year MPP student at the Ford School of Public Policy. Before coming to the University of Michigan, Vibha completed a Master in Economics from St. Joseph's College, Bangalore, India. Prior to her Master's program, she worked in a non-profit firm Parikrma Humanity Foundation that managed four schools across Bangalore for children from underprivileged backgrounds. She was a first-grade English and Math teacher. Her experience with Parikrma helped build her interest in public policy, and she is interested in understanding the relationship between education and poverty alleviation. Through the NPM, Vibha is looking to connect with students from other fields who share her interest in the nonprofit space. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, music and long walks.
Ethan Xiang Co-President, MBA '14
Ethan is a second year MBA student at the Ross School of Business, where he studies business economics and strategy. Prior to attending Ross, Ethan worked for three years at Strayer University, where he was responsible for general management and profit/loss at a New Jersey-based campus. During this time, he also led the operations team for REACH, a nonprofit he co-founded focusing on leadership and philanthropy for college students. Having grown up as a classical pianist, Ethan is interested in arts management and hopes to sharpen his industry expertise while serving on the Student Advisory Board. He also looks forward to connecting Ross students and alums with nonprofit opportunities whether they work in the nonprofit or for-profit sector after graduation. In his free time, Ethan enjoys performing music, reading, and competing in triathlons.
Catherine (Cat) Fish MSW '13
Cat is a second year student at the School of Social Work, focusing in Management of Human Services. Prior to graduate school, Cat worked as a Policy Aide on Capitol Hill, handling federal legislation facing veterans, children, women and seniors. She has also worked on numerous political campaigns. Last summer, Cat received NPM support to intern with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) in New York. Through NPM, Cat has enjoyed meeting and working with U of M students who share her interest in the nonprofit and public space. Cat enjoys traveling, skiing, and live music.
Lorpu Jones MBA '14
Lorpu is a second year student at the Ross School of Business with an emphasis in Organizational Strategy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Statistics from Swarthmore College. Lorpu's experiences prior to graduate school spanned the nonprofit, public and private sectors. She was an AmeriCorps VISTA in west Philadelphia, an analyst at Fannie Mae and, most recently, a financial consultant for state and local governments. Lorpu is interested in capacity- and resource-building at the management level for large nonprofits, specifically addressing urban economic development issues. In her free time, Lorpu follows professional football and enjoys spinning.
DawnLynne Kacer Past President, MPP '13
DawnLynne is a second year student working towards her Masters of Public Policy. She received a Bachelor's degree in Sociology (juvenile inequality) and International Business at the University of Georgia. Currently she is studying domestic social inequality and education policy at the Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy. Prior to this, DawnLynne was a public sector healthcare consultant serving clients in state and federal government. Her areas of expertise include Electronic Health Records, health insurance and healthcare reform policy and requirements. DawnLynne's policy interests stem from her volunteer work focused on urban education and education inequality. This summer as an Education Pioneers fellow, DawnLynne was an Operations and Policy Intern for a charter school district in DC where she developed operational frameworks based on best practices to optimize academic and operational performance and improve internal communications. After graduation, DawnLynne hopes to join a non-profit organization focused on school reform to assist with the turnaround of troubled school districts one at a time. DawnLynne enjoys photography, reading, and travel with friends.
Jeff Kessner MPP/MUP '14
Jeff is a second year dual degree student at the Ford School of Public Policy and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. He is interested in the intersection of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in the revitalization of low-income urban communities. A former NPM Board Fellow, Jeff currently sits on the Board of Directors of Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW). Last summer he interned at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, a quasi-public agency responsible for the city's economic development. Previously, Jeff worked at Interise, a Boston-based social enterprise that trains entrepreneurs and helps them create new jobs and generate wealth in historically underserved communities. He has also worked at Commongood Careers where he helped launch the National Nonprofit Sector Workforce Coalition. Jeff is a 2011 StartingBloc Fellow for Social Innovation, an inaugural member of New Sector Alliance's Residency in Social Enterprise, and a graduate of Wesleyan University.
Caitlin LeStrange MSW '13
Caitlin is a second year MSW student. She received a Bachelor's degree in English and History at the University of Michigan. Currently, Caitlin is studying management of human services with minor in community organization and a practice area of children and youth in families and society. During her first year, she completed her field placement at SOS Community Services in Ypsilanti were she help facilitate and design programs for school-aged children. Last summer, Caitlin interned at the Clinton Global Initiative where she managed a webinar training series for over 1,000 students. This year Caitlin is placed at Big Brothers Big Sister Washtenaw County and will help to design a donor engagement and stewardship program. After graduation, Caitlin hopes to join a non-profit organization focused on education and improving the writing and reading of youth. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys reading, writing, and live music.
Jason Levin MSW '13
Jason is a second year MSW student, concentrating in Management of Human Services and Community and Social Systems. An avid traveler, he has worked in the nonprofit sector of many countries. His fondest memories are from LHA Charitable Trust in Dharamsala, India, where he played an integral role in educating Tibetan Refugees. Jason has recently begun the process of starting his own environmental and sustainability services nonprofit, Nurture Nepal. The emphasis of the group is to institute recycling programs, provide educational awareness, and promote environmental consciousness throughout Nepal. Jason is eager to take his skills from Michigan and employ them into his own endeavors. While at NPM, Jason greatly looks forward to elucidating the nonprofit world to a variety of University of Michigan students. In his free time, Jason enjoys playing the drums, abstract painting, exploring new places, eating exotic foods, and relaxing with his golden retrievers.
Emily Litwin MBA '14
Emily is a second year MBA student at the Ross School of Business focusing on strategy and finance as it applies to social entrepreneurship. Prior to business school, Emily was a member of the development team at Lyric Opera of Chicago where she managed relationships with the 100+ Board of Directors. Earlier in her career, Emily participated in a social justice service corps working at Chicago Women's Health Center (CWHC), a grassroots clinic that provides healthcare services regardless of a client's ability to pay. At CWHC, Emily served on the Steering Committee, tackling large-scale organizational challenges, and restructured the organization's volunteer program. Later, Emily had the privilege of joining the CWHC Board of Directors to focus on fundraising for the organization. Emily aims to work at the intersection of sectors after she earns her MBA; specifically, she is interested in how nonprofit partnerships develop and flourish with for-profit and governmental organizations. Emily holds a B.A. in History from Carleton College. In her free time, Emily is most likely at a concert, on her bike, or cooking.
Caroline Meehan MPP '13
Caroline is a second year student at the Ford School of Public Policy. Prior to beginning grad school, she worked for five years in nonprofit fundraising in Washington, DC, first at the Kennedy Center and then at N Street Village, an organization that serves homeless and low-income women. Due largely to her experiences at N Street Village, Caroline is interested in social policy, particularly issues of poverty, homelessness, and housing. In addition to serving on the Student Advisory Board, she is also the co-chair of the Ford School's Charity Auction Committee, which raises funds each year for a nonprofit selected by the Ford School student body. In her (rare!) free time, Caroline enjoys reading, running, crosswording, live music, and keeping up with her adored family (especially her nephews and niece).
Alice Miller MSW '13
Alice is in her second year in the MSW program, focusing in Management of Human Services and Health. Alice volunteered with many nonprofits during her undergraduate experience including UNC-Dance Marathon, which solidified her interest in fund raising and nonprofit management. During her first year at Michigan she enjoyed learning about innovative fundraising strategies with social entrepreneurship while interning with a local nonprofit. This year she is excited to expand her skills into a healthcare setting as a social work intern in the UM Cancer Center.
Matt Papadopoulos MPP/MA '13
Matt is a second year dual degree student at the Ford School of Public Policy and School of Education, focusing specifically on Philanthropy, Advancement, and Development in higher and postsecondary institutions. Prior to pursuing his Masters, Matt earned his Bachelors from the University of Michigan in sociology. He has spent time working with local non-profit organizations around southeastern Michigan, and most recently worked with the University of Michigan's Office of Development. During this time Matt has focused specifically on innovative fundraising strategies, and the changing landscape of the non-profit world. In his spare time, Matt loves to spend time outside and with his family. He is an avid sailor, and loves to travel.
Sarah Shaw MBA/MA '13
Sarah is a second year dual-degree student at the Ross School of Business and the School of Education. Before coming to the University of Michigan, she was a Teach For America corps member in San Jose, California, where she taught first grade at a bilingual charter school. Sarah is interested in the intersection of management and education reform and hopes to work at a charter school management organization, an education nonprofit, or a public school district. Sarah is excited to work collaboratively with students from Ford and the School of Social Work through the NPM Student Advisory Board, and she is looking forward to engaging students at Ross in conversations about transferring management skills to the public sector. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys reading, photography, and crossword puzzles.
Rachael Wiener MSW '14
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