What Happens If You Get Caught With a Fake ID at a Bar?

November 2023 Newsletter


Design Equitable Enterprises in the Winter +Impact Studio Course

Professors: Cat Johnson, Jerry Davis |  Credits: 3
Winter 2024

The +Impact Studio graduate course (BA670) prepares students to be architects of an equitable, just, and sustainable future. In Winter ’24, this award-winning course will focus on the green energy transition.  We will be engaging with neighborhood partners in Detroit to design equitable and feasible business models for innovative green energy models that support communities. The course is 3 credits and will be offered to all graduate students on Wednesday mornings during the Winter semester.  This course received an Aspen Business & Society Ideas Worth Teaching Award in recognition of its expansive purpose, innovative thinking, and integrated, multi-disciplinary approach.

Read a new Medium Post about the Winter ’24 +Impact Studio course.


Working in the ESG Space – A Panel Discussion

Mon, Nov. 27 @ 5-6 pm ET

Join us for a panel discussion about working in ESG. Ross alums and leaders in the ESG space will share their experiences, insights, and recommendations around working in ESG and tips for recruiting.


We are proud to announce our 2023-24 B+I Student Ambassadors — graduate and undergraduate students from the Ross School of Business and other peer schools who represent the student voice for the B+I initiative. Many of these students have participated in our programs or received funding or scholarships from us, and have been actively involved in the numerous impact activities at U-M.




B+I’s New Executive-in-Residence

Business+Impact  is proud to announce our newly-recognized Executive-in-Residence, Dr. Neil C. Hawkins! Neil Hawkins has spent a career collaborating to define a positive and impactful role for business in global sustainable development and public policy. For 31 years, he was a key leader at Dow, ultimately serving as Chief Sustainability Officer and CVP for Environment, Health, and Safety. He has also served as President of the Erb Family Foundation currently is interim CEO and President of the World Environment Center. B+I staff and students are excited to engage with and learn from the wealth of experience Dr. Hawkins brings to this position.


Sea Spider

Almost half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating island of trash twice the size of Texas, is made up of discarded fishing gear. This gear, called ghost fishing nets, strangle marine life and block sun from contributing to the underwater ecosystem. Sea-Spider uses artificial intelligence, in conjunction with existing technology, to predict when and where nets can be found and ultimately removed.

Read more

Ross Events:


Impact Gala

Mon, Dec. 4 @ 6-8 pm
University of Michigan Museum of Art

Community Case Competition, Net Impact @ Ross, and Detroit Impact @ Ross invite you to celebrate the conclusion of our Fall Impact Cases and build community with one another! Co-sponsored by Business+Impact.

RSVP on CampusGroups


Highlights from DNEP

The Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project is now part of the B+I stable of offerings, bringing together small businesses in Detroit with UM faculty-supervised student teams to provide a learning experience for students and solve business’ legal, financial, marketing, operational, and design challenges. Below are some highlights.

DNEP Holiday Market

Fri, Dec. 15 @ 3-8 pm
Jam Handy
2900 E. Grand Blvd., Detroit

Shop from a variety of local minority-owned businesses, including apparel, food, jewelry, artisans, and more at DNEP’s Holiday Market!  Support local Detroit Businesses while finding unique gifts for this holiday season. There is a shortage of affordable indoor market spaces available for micro-businesses, making it hard for businesses who do not have a brick and mortar to participate in #ShopSmall campaigns.



InterMission – An Action-Learning Expedition (MO 330)

Professor: Kevin Thompson
Credits: 3 | Winter 2024

Presented in cooperation with B+I, InterMission is a self-leadership course for students adrift in a sea of expectations who are exceptional at fulfilling goals set by others but find themselves too busy to reflect on whether they are the right thing to do.  The course includes a one-week wilderness expedition in Utah’s Canyonlands with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). The wilderness expedition is strenuous and has an incremental cost.  InterMission has 10 classroom sessions of 90 minutes each and 7 intensive days on the wilderness expedition, which runs at the conclusion of winter term before summer internships. The classroom sessions will utilize and apply three rigorous, science-based frameworks developed at Harvard Business School, Virginia’s Darden School, and Michigan Ross.

View the syllabus


See All of the Impact Courses Offered in Winter 2024

Continuously updated for current students, our listing covers hundreds of impact undergraduate and graduate courses for impact at Michigan Ross, across campus, and online. Courses in social impact and sustainability, as well as social justice and world issues are shown. Constantly updated, the list shows the most up-to-date courses actually available to students currently registering for the Winter ’24 semester. It’s just a part of our larger Impact Gateway.


Image of Impact Gateway homepage.

A Searchable Platform for All Things Impact at Ross and Across Campus

The Business+Impact Gateway provides you with a single location for all things impact. Here you’ll find all of the activities, people and key partners working to use their learning to make a real impact in the world. 


Impact News and Notes

At the University:



Diversity Alliance: Pathways to Public Policy

Tues, Nov. 14 @ 8-9 pm ET
Virtual Event

Topics of discussion with our alumni will include Unique pathways into careers in public policy; diversity, equity, and inclusion in the public policy work place; policy implications of current events; and mentorship and impact opportunities.

More Info


Start-up and Intern Applications

Startup Applicaton Due
Intern Application Due
Tues, Nov. 14

Join the Desai Community! We look for early-stage companies founded by upcoming or recent University of Michigan – Ann Arbor graduates. We prefer companies with demonstrated product-building capability, market validation, and an exceptional team dynamic with the ability to execute quickly.

Start-up Application    |    Intern Application


Social Work Events

Drawing on an interdisciplinary faculty within a public university seated in a region of enormous need and promise, School of Social Work events share education, research, and service that fosters progressive change for students, faculty and staff.

ENGAGE Community Engagement Showcase – Wed, Nov. 15

Unity in Diversity Dinner – Thurs, Nov. 16

A Microaffirmation Approach Toward Understanding Mental Health and Well-Being Among Black Male College Students – Thurs, Nov. 30

Community and Social Change Info Session – Wed, Dec. 6

Exploring a Social Justice Career Path – Thurs, Dec. 7

Promoting Action for Intersectional Social Justice – Mon, Dec. 11


Sustainability Honors Cords

Orders Due
Fri, Nov. 17

The Excellence in Sustainability Honors Cord program is designed to recognize students who went above and beyond to advance their knowledge, skills, and practice of sustainability ethics while studying at the University of Michigan. The acceptance to the Excellence in Sustainability Honors Cord program will allow students to receive an Excellence in Sustainability Honors Cord for graduation, join an exclusive alumni LinkedIn network, and be part of a sustainability spotlight series.

Learn More


Global Scholars Applications

Fall & Winter 2024 Deadline
Sun, Dec. 3

GSP is an interdisciplinary living-learning community that brings students together from around the world to engage in social justice education on a global level. We invite applications from students of all backgrounds and levels of intercultural experience and from any college or school at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

More Info


James A. Kelly Learning Lever Prize

Propose Now

The James A. Kelly Learning Lever Prize is a competition designed to challenge University of Michigan students to invent digital tools with the potential to significantly improve student learning. This prize encourages a culture of innovation in education, and rewards the creative, interdisciplinary work of University of Michigan students.

More Info


Community Engagement Grants

Apply By Fri, Dec. 8

The Ginsberg Center provides multiple forms of financial resources for student groups and organizations to engage in positive change through social justice education, leadership development, and meaningful service experiences with the community. The Community Engagement Grant program allows us to deepen our partnerships with student organizations and support community-based initiatives. Community Engagement Grants are offered on a rolling basis until funds are depleted.

Apply Now

In the Impact Community:



Nov. 15-17
Dallas, TX

Upswell Summit 2023, powered by Independent Sector, will advance our singular mission by offering thought leadership that wrestles with issues plaguing our nation, workshops and panels that will strengthen your institutional, personal, and professional development, as well as time to invest and care for the most important person in the work – you.  

Registration Information


John R. Lewis Case Competition

Application Due
Fri, Nov. 17 at 11:59 pm ET

All undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply as teams for the free John Lewis Case Competition this month. The preliminary round consists of an industry-generic PowerPoint statement on intention. Semifinalists will be assigned to a corporate sponsor on December 11th and given a specific case prompt based on that sponsor’s racial justice/equality goals. The overall winning team will receive $20,000, with $7,000 for second place and $3,000 for third place.

More info


Volunteer for VITA and Help Others with Tax Returns

Training in November

VITA stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. Join a community of over 80 volunteers in working to complete federal and state tax returns for low to moderate income families in Washtenaw County. Volunteer to help clients save on costly tax preparation fees, and put over $1.4 million of refunds into the hands of those that need it most. No experience? No problem! United Way’s comprehensive training process will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to prepare basic tax returns.

More Info


MBark 2 Boulder

Jan. 3-6
Boulder, CO

Academic institutions are only now beginning to provide instruction in relevant disciplines such as authentic leadership and sustainability.  Meanwhile, natural foods companies have seldom recruited MBA students, so many of the best management practices, analytical tools, growth strategies, and latest research on organizational development are simply not present in the ranks of their leadership. MBArk was created to bridge that gap, bringing the “hearts” of natural foods together with the “smarts” of business education.

Apply Now

Social Enterprise Spotlight: Sea Spider

Joe Huang with 4Ocean team members, pulling ghost nets from the ocean shoreline.

Business+Impact has introduced a series on U-M alumni who have created social enterprises and continue the work of entrepreneurship after graduation. For this edition, we are shining the light on  Sea Spider, founded by Joe Huang.

Joe grew up on the ocean’s edge and developed an early awareness of ocean pollution. He initially started investigating trash cleanup in waterways and quickly discovered the larger issue of discarded fishing gear. Soon Joe has assembled a team with passionate designers and diverse skill sets: Adam Zhang, Flora Luo, Joseph Vogelpohl, and Rim Bououdina. The team started by looking to create a robotic spider that crawled on the ocean floor looking for nets — inspiring the team name.  But after several stakeholder interviews, the team eventually settled on building additional software to retrofit autonomous, underwater drones already in use with artificial intelligence that can predict when and where nets can be found. 

What inspired you to create Sea Spider?

My inspiration for founding Sea Spider is deeply rooted in my lifelong connection to the ocean. Having spent a considerable part of my childhood living near coastal regions, my perspective was profoundly influenced, particularly during my time in Guam for a year and a half. It was there that I had the privilege of exploring the Pacific Ocean through snorkeling adventures, marveling at the extraordinary marine life thriving beneath the waves. The sheer beauty and diversity of these underwater ecosystems left an indelible mark on me. In the summer of 2022, Adam and I flew to Hawaii to work with three organizations that we interviewed in the past to understand their challenge and experience that in person.

Describe what Sea Spider does.

Sea Spider specializes in enhancing the identification and removal of abandoned fishing nets in delicate coral reef ecosystems. Leveraging advanced Computer Vision technology and GPS tags, our goal is to streamline the process for conservation organizations. Our approach reduces the time spent searching for these nets, which are detrimental to marine wildlife and coral reefs. Our mission is to facilitate more effective and efficient conservation efforts in protecting these vital ecosystems.

What is your biggest recent discovery about founding your business? 

I started by trying to solve the issue of plastics around the beach. But then I realized that the ghost nets are much larger than they expected, thousands of pounds each, and require large boats and labor to remove successfully. Marine litter poses more significant threats to marine ecosystems than I imagined, and ghost nets are especially deadly to plant and animal life alike:

  • 500,000 to 1 million tons of ghost nets are lost every year (Ghost Gear Report, n.d). 
  • 650,000 marine mammals are killed by ghost nets every year (Smith et al., 2014)
  • Millions of other fish, crustaceans, and high-value species are killed yearly as a result.
  • Important marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests are damaged as the nets travel and drag across the ocean floor.
Adam Zhang, BS Environment ’23; and Joe Huang, CS ’22 celebrate winning the 2023 Michigan Business Challenge–Seigle Impact Track.

What business school courses or UM entrepreneurship programs have helped you the most in building out the business?

I credit the University of Michigan’s Innovation in Action Competition with providing the initial foundation for this idea. It was in this program that I gained valuable insights about creating a user-centered solution. Additionally, the Michigan Business Challenge-Seigle Impact Track played a pivotal role in honing my understanding of the business aspects of this concept. Through both programs, I was challenged to assess the viability of my business and refine my vision, pushing me to consider the business’s self-sustainability. These experiences have been instrumental in shaping the trajectory of our business.

How much data on ghost nets have you gathered, and how is it stored for analysis?

Gathering a substantial dataset specifically tailored to ghost fishing nets has been a significant challenge. We initially utilized the “TrashCan 1.0” dataset, which included underwater images with various types of debris. Processing this dataset for our Box Detection and Convolutional Network approaches was demanding. We invested substantial time and effort in fine-tuning and preparing the dataset, as well as partitioning the data for Deep Learning purposes.

However, the dataset lacked available validation images, necessitating the creation of our own, using provided JSON files with image labels. This process involved extracting relevant information and generating accurate bounding boxes and binary semantic segmentation masks to train and assess our neural network.

In our quest to amass data on ghost nets, we encountered limitations. To supplement our dataset, we turned to other underwater databases and manually selected images and videos containing abandoned fishing nets. Additionally, we reached out to volunteer organizations in Hawaii to obtain further data. Our approach has encompassed Net Detection, Object Detection, Box Detection, and Deep Learning Semantic Segmentation methods, all contributing to our ongoing efforts in addressing this challenging issue.

Loading ghost nets for transport through 4Ocean.

What new ideas are you looking to pursue next, or what connections are you looking to make in the near future?

My next venture differs significantly from Sea Spider, focusing on land safety rather than ocean conservation. It addresses the pressing issue of drowsy driving, a major concern for truck drivers. Trucking accidents involving drowsy driving tend to result in more severe injuries compared to typical accidents, especially given the size of the vehicles involved. In 2021, over 100,000 drowsy driving accidents were reported in the US, with drowsy driving contributing to 40% of semi-truck crashes.

This issue arises from the demanding schedules and long working hours that truck drivers endure. They are often required to drive up to 11 hours a day, with shifts lasting 14 hours. Finding suitable overnight parking is a challenge, resulting in an average of only 5 hours of sleep per night for drivers. Due to these challenging arrangements, 64% of drivers report feeling drowsy while driving, and 18% admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel.

Addressing this problem will be a priority for my next endeavor, as it aims to enhance safety for truck drivers and reduce the risk of drowsy driving accidents.

Read another Social Enterprise Spotlight:

Don’t Miss Out on the Accounting Magic Workshops and Free Accounting Fridays

Don’t Miss Out on the Accounting Magic Workshops!

DNEP will lead four accounting workshops in 2023-2024 in the community at Detroit partner sites to help businesses establish strong financial practices and get investment-ready. No application is required, but registration is required.

In today’s fiercely competitive business landscape, being “bankable” is essential, whether you seek traditional loans, venture capital, or alternative financing. The Accounting Magic workshops equip small business owners with the knowledge, tools, and strategies needed to attract investment and secure capital for growth. Registration will be required; dinner provided. Registration links to follow.

Accounting Magic Workshop Dates:

  1. Thursday, November 9 from 6-8pm at TechTown, 440 Burroughs St., Detroit. Register here
  2. Monday, November 20 from 6-8pm at Eastside Community Network, 14711 Mack Ave., Detroit (Note: this is a repeat of 11/9). Register here
  3. Thursday, February 8 from 6-8pm at Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation, 19120 Grand River Ave., Detroit
  4. Monday, February 19, 2024 from 1-3pm at Jefferson East, Inc., 14300 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit (Note: this is a repeat of 2/8)
If you have questions on how to set up and use your accounting software, prepare and interpret your business’ financial statements, or need some help applying for a loan or grant, Free Accounting Fridays are a great resource to get accounting help. Book 1:1 biweekly coaching from our student accounting consultants from the Ross Business School and Ford School of Public Policy. Students are supervised by career CPAs affiliated with Ernst & Young.

Priority scheduling for 1:1 coaching will be offered to business owners/non-profit leaders who attend an Accounting Magic workshop.

Read more about the program on our website
Ricardo Peres Da Silva
Workshop Leader and Accounting Consultant

Ricardo is an undergraduate junior at the Ross School of Business who runs his own small business teaching kids how to swim on the side.

Lingfeng Zeng
Workshop Leader and Accounting Consultant

Lingfeng is in the last year of his Masters of Public Policy program at the Ford School of Public Policy.

Paul Steih, CPA
Executive-in-Residence, DNEP

Paul is a retired Global Client and assurance partner at Ernst & Young with a passion for sharing his decades-long accounting expertise to coach and mentor others.

Will Love, CPA
Executive Mentor, DNEP

As a Detroit resident, Will Love is an assurance partner at Ernst & Young and an active member of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Network.

Design Equitable Enterprises in the Winter +Impact Studio Course

ANN ARBOR – October 27, 2023 – The +Impact Studio graduate course (BA670) prepares students to be architects of an equitable, just, and sustainable future. In Winter ’24, this award-winning course will focus on the green energy transition.  We will be engaging with neighborhood partners in Detroit to design equitable and feasible business models for innovative green energy models that support communities.

Taught by Cat Johnson and Jerry Davis, the course is 3 credits and will be offered to all graduate students on Wednesday mornings during the Winter 2024 semester.  This course received an Aspen Business & Society Ideas Worth Teaching Award in recognition of its expansive purpose, innovative thinking, and integrated, multi-disciplinary approach.

Registration opens in early November 2023 and closes in January 2024.


Impact Courses You Won’t Want to Miss in Winter 2024

Below is our special listing of highlighted impact courses being offered in Winter 2024.  For a complete listing of all impact courses available to students in Winter 2024, please look at our Impact Gateway Course listing, where you will find over 500 impact courses!



+Impact Studio Course (BA 670)

Professors: Cat Johnson, Jerry Davis |  Credits: 3
Winter 2024

The +Impact Studio graduate course BA670 prepares students to be architects of an equitable, just, and sustainable future. In Winter ’24, this award-winning course will focus on the green energy transition.  We will be engaging with neighborhood partners in Detroit to design equitable and feasible business models for innovative green energy models that support communities. The course is 3 credits, and will be offered to all graduate students on Wednesday mornings during Winter semester.  This course received an Aspen Business & Society Ideas Worth Teaching Award in recognition of its expansive purpose, innovative thinking, and integrated, multi-disciplinary approach.


LBLE – Living Business Leadership Experience (BA 655)

Professor: Mike Barger  |  Credits: 3
Winter 2024


LBLE – Living Business Leadership Experience (BA 455)

Professor: Mike Barger  |  Credits: 3
Winter 2024

Living Business Leadership Experience (LBLE) is a 3.0 credit-hour Ross elective course where graduate and upper-level undergraduate students from across the University collaborate to shape, implement, and lead high-impact business initiatives alongside company founders and senior leaders. Whether you’re interested in learning business by doing business, working in a cross-functional team, or navigating complex and ambiguous business environments, this course will give you the chance to develop your leadership skills and dive headfirst into the challenges of business.

Learn How to Join. To learn more about upcoming Winter 2024 enrollment, email rossactionlearning@umich.edu.


Social and Environmental Responsibility and Marketing (MKT 470)

Professor: Burcu Tasoluk
Credits: 3 | Winter 2024

This course will cover interactions between society and marketing and marketing’s role and responsibility (in both environmental and social issues) in society. We will take a triple bottom line (People, Planet, Profit) perspective when evaluating these interactions. As such, the impact of social and environmental concerns on marketing actions, consumer behavior and company performance will be discussed in detail. Diverse perspectives from business ethics, strategy, economics, psychology, and sociology will help students adopt different lenses while analyzing a complex array of contemporary marketing issues. We will be using case studies throughout the course and students will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with peers and to discuss a broad set of interesting topics. Course topics will include Social Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability, Consumer Attitudes toward Sustainable Marketing, Social Influences on Responsible Consumer Behavior, Corporate Social & Environmental Initiatives, Marketing & AI, Brand Activism, and Brand Purpose.


InterMission – An Action-Learning Expedition (MO 330)

Professor: Kevin Thompson
Credits: 3 | Winter 2024

InterMission is a self leadership course for students adrift in a sea of expectations who are exceptional at fulfilling goals set by others but find themselves too busy to reflect on whether they are the right thing to do.  The course includes a one-week wilderness expedition in Utah’s Canyonlands with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). The wilderness expedition is strenuous and has an incremental cost.  InterMission has 10 classroom sessions of 90 minutes each and 7 intensive days on the wilderness expedition, which runs at the conclusion of winter term before summer internships. The classroom sessions will utilize and apply three rigorous, science-based frameworks developed at Harvard Business School, Virginia’s Darden School and Michigan’s Ross School.

View the syllabus



Sustainable Operations and Supply Chain Management (TO 560)

Professor: Ravi Anupindi
Credits: 2.25 | Winter 2024(A)

Firms today face increasing pressure from activists, investors, and customers, to reduce the environmental impacts of their operations and supply chains as well as uphold basic human rights and labor standards for the people who produce the materials / components / products.  How is responsibility (for ensuring sustainability) apportioned across the extended value chain that includes the end consumers? This course examines how to design and manage environmentally and socially responsible operations and supply chains. This course is actually 2.25 credit hours, although it may be listed as 1.5.


Systems Thinking for Sustainable Development and Enterprise (STRAT 566)

Professor: TBA
Credits: 3 | Winter 2024

Challenges to a sustainable human future such as climate change, population growth, biodiversity loss and persistent poverty are characterized by extraordinary detail and dynamic complexity. This course fosters the skills of systems thinking and systems dynamics modeling necessary for understanding global environmental and social change. This holistic and dynamic understanding is employed to chart pathways for sustainable human development and business.



Human Trafficking Lab (Problem Solving Initiative),
(LAW 741.001)

Professors: Elizabeth Campbell (Law), Courtney Petersen (Law), Chavi Nana (Law)
Credits: 3 | Winter 2024

The Human Trafficking Lab is a social justice innovation space where multidisciplinary student teams use design thinking to research, incubate, and build replicable, scalable, and disruptive solutions to reduce vulnerability to trafficking.

The Lab takes an expansive approach to addressing vulnerability. As such, projects cover a wide range of topics, and they vary each semester. Some examples of topics might be helping job seekers expunge their criminal records when they apply for a job, combating misinformation in anti-trafficking narratives, and addressing forced labor in supply chains. Geared towards creating systems level change at policy, service, and industry levels through collaborative partnerships across the nonprofit, corporate, and governmental sectors.


Roadmap to Clean and Equitable Power in Michigan (Problem Solving Initiative), (LAW 741.002)

Professors: Andrew Buchsbaum (Law), Mike Shriberg (SEAS)
Credits: 3 | Winter 2024

Extreme heat. Severe storms. These climate change impacts are accelerating a spiraling crisis: driving higher power demand while degrading reliability and increasing costs, especially for underserved communities. At our current tipping point moment, this multidisciplinary problem-solving course will analyze alternatives to investor-owned electric utilities in Michigan, creating a roadmap to solutions ranging from adjusting incentives to a full public takeover. Students from across campus will apply to partner with climate and energy justice advocates to publish and present their findings.



Socially Engaged Engineering & Design (SEED) Capstone (ENG 490.33530)

Professors: Charlie Michaels, Erin Moore
Credits: 3 | Winter 2024

The Center for Socially Engaged Design (C-SED) is excited to announce the new Socially Engaged Engineering & Design (SEED) Capstone course for the 2024 Winter semester. This 3-credit, elective course will provide students the opportunity to explore complex challenges, engage with real stakeholders, and design people-first solutions.

In the course, you will engage with stakeholders, perform primary and secondary research on contextual factors, learn and practice interviewing skills, present a solution idea and summary of your process and possibly continue your work in a funded Summer Fellowship program! How does it work? The SEED class will be hosted in a hybrid format, is group-project-based and requires significant independent teamwork outside of course hours. You will work on a team in this course. Project topics will be provided; there will also be an opportunity to propose your own team-based project as part of this course. 

Are you interested in joining the SEED Capstone course? To get course registration notifications and more information, please complete this brief interest form.

Jerry Davis delivers lecture on creating green energy and equitable enterprise

About 40 people gathered to hear Jerry Davis, the Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker professor of business administration, present a lecture titled Creating Green Energy and Equitable Enterprise in Detroit on Oct. 20. The event was part of the University of Michigan’s “Real World Perspectives on Poverty Solutions” Speaker Series, a weekly talk with leading experts in policy and practice surrounding poverty. 

Read Full Story on Michigan Daily

Three MBAs Receive 2023-24 Skip and Carrie Gordon Scholarships

ANN ARBOR – Oct. 23, 2022 – Business+Impact (B+I) is pleased to announce that Robin F. Baker (MBA ’24), Jill Dannis (MBA/MS ’24, Erb),  and Elijah Forrester (MBA/MS ’24, Erb) are the recipients of the 2023-24 Skip and Carrie Gordon Scholarships for outstanding commitment to solving complex social challenges. The award comes with $7,500 for each recipient. Gordon Scholars serve as B+I Student Ambassadors for the 2023-24 academic year. 

Learn more about each of them by reading highlights from their essays:

Robin F. Baker

For nearly a decade, I practiced as a licensed occupational therapist, specializing in stroke rehabilitation within the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan area. As a daughter of Liberian immigrants, I felt an innate sense of responsibility to extend my skills as an occupational therapist to the West African community. This inspired me to create GoTHERAPY, Inc., a nonprofit organization committed to improving access to physical rehabilitation and community health services in West Africa, specifically Liberia and Ghana.

My experience in Ghana shed light on the complexities of managing chronic conditions like hypertension and stroke in communities with limited resources. Notably, the center opened its doors on the very day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The center has achieved multiple milestones: it has transformed countless lives, contributed more than $250,000 in pro bono therapy services, and created job opportunities for four therapists.

During my time at Ross, I committed myself to understanding and addressing inclusivity and equity challenges, beginning with my transformative experience in Dr. Chris Rider’s Equity Analytics course in Fall 2022. This would lead me to pursue independent study and work to co-found the First at Ross club with equally passionate and committed students.

Building on my academic experience, my summer internship provided another perspective. In my internship, I observed similar challenges that first-generation students face in the corporate realm, particularly in areas such as financial accessibility and availability of resources. Recognizing this gap, I stepped forward as an advocate for underrepresented interns. Whether in the classroom, during my internship, or within the wider community, I have been inspired to challenge the status quo and advocate for equity and inclusivity. I now view impact as the small daily decisions that help shape the lives and experiences of those around us, often in profound yet understated ways.

Professionally, this new understanding shapes my leadership style, characterized by empathy, understanding, and a genuine desire to elevate those around me. As an incoming Regional Director in Detroit, I intend to use my role to coach and mentor frontline employees—often hourly workers—guiding them toward financial empowerment through the company’s career development program.

Jill Dannis

As an undergraduate at LMU, I joined the Belles Service Organization, whose mission is to inspire civically engaged and empowered women with and for others through direct service and domestic violence awareness advocacy. After undergrad, I worked as a mission coordinator at Angel Flight West, worked at The Trevor Project, and managed scholarships at the Point Foundation

After realizing my passion lay more in the DEI space than higher education, I joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to support marginalized young people seeking careers in the entertainment industry. I also completed the AIDS/LifeCycle ride in both 2018 and 2019.

This past year, I was the President of Ross’ Out for Business LGBTQ+ club, a founding board member and VP of Advocacy and Education for Business Leaders for Diverse Abilities (BLDA), a new club focused on disability within business, and VP of Professional Development for Net Impact during the Fall semester.  With the help of the entire Ross community, the OFB club raised $15k for Jim Toy Community Center, breaking previous MBgAy fundraising records. 

As an MBA1, I completed a consulting project for a Detroit nonprofit via the Detroit Initiative at Ross. I became a +Lab Fellow with the Center for Positive Organizations, and have prioritized taking courses taught by CPO faculty. As an MBA2, I lead a team of 4 MBAs in a consulting project for a Ross alum to explore and design recommendations building inclusivity for LGBTQ+ folks in the workplace. In addition, I am currently working as a Teaching Assistant for Professor Andy Hoffman for his course on Management as a Calling. 

Long-term, I hope to be a corporate social responsibility leader at a large technology company to integrate social good at the organizational level in business strategy and culture. In that vein, I interned last summer at Amazon Web Services in their HR Rotational Leadership Development Program (HRLDP).

While I started at University of Michigan as just an MBA student, I realized during my first year that, despite the additional time and money required, the M.S. in Behavior, Education and Communication from the School for Environment and Sustainability would enable me to make an even stronger impact in the business world. I negotiated with AWS to convert my full-time employment offer into a second internship, and will intern on a new Corporate Social Responsibility & Impact team this summer. Outside of work, I look forward to getting involved again in volunteering. I am interested in completing AIDS/Lifecycle again in the future, as well as potentially finding other cycling fundraiser rides. 


Elijah Forrester

Early in my career, I worked as a Policy Analyst at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. I worked on the Energy & Environment team, writing bill briefs and recommending policy positions by analyzing state and federal policies for 400+ member companies to understand and act on environmental risks. I received my BA from The Evergreen State College where I majored in Sustainable Development and completed a 6-month study abroad at the University of Copenhagen, studying Sustainability in Europe.

In 2015 I co-founded Volta, a clean energy company in Ghana. I will never forget the moment when I switched the power on for our first customer, a health clinic two hours from the capital city, Accra. By 2017, Volta was named a Top 10 Global Solar Startup at the World Expo in Astana, Kazakhstan. We went on to build more than 400 solar power projects.

From 2015 through 2020, I lived and worked in Ghana, building clean energy projects for farms, hospitals, schools, and businesses. Growing my solar company, Volta, into a leading clean energy company in West Africa has provided many insights and lessons rooted in my experience overcoming the challenges of building a business in an emerging market.

My time at Ross is a launchpad for the next chapter in a life-long path.

I have invested a substantial portion of my time at Ross outside the classroom to deliver impact in a variety of ways. Leadership positions in clubs and communities across campus have been rewarding, yielding robust results on a personal and professional level. Here are some of my most impactful highlights as a dual MBA/MS candidate:

– I founded the Africa Innovation Hub (AIH), a student-led initiative with support from the William Davidson Institute, Zell Lurie Institute, and Business + Impact. AIH is a startup incubator and accelerator for Africa-focused companies.

– I am a founder of the Student Carbon Neutrality Network (SCaNN), a network of student organizations sharing a common goal for a just transition to carbon neutrality.

– I am a Graduate Student Advisor to President Santa Ono on the Campus Planning Committee, where we focus on key topics like affordable housing, accessible transportation, and sustainability.

– I am a Graduate Student Advisor to the University of Michigan CFO Geoff Chatas on the executive search committee.

– I am organizing a learning and impact retreat for 25 sustainability students in Vermont this October. We will visit local food producers to learn from farmers about their work and how they approach sustainability.

– As a Board Member and VP of Partnerships of the Energy Club @ Ross, I organized and hosted two panels for our annual flagship event, Ross Energy Week.

– I am a board member of the Africa Business Club (ABC) and serve as the VP of Finance and Operations. I organized our annual flagship event, AfroBeats, an African dance competition.

My post-graduate plan is to join a Fortune 500 company that is actively investing in its climate goals and working on a net-zero emissions plan. My long-term career goals are to become a Chief Sustainability Officer at a large organization, driving the transition to a socially and environmentally responsible business, and becoming an agent of change within the global business community.

Job Posting: Accounting Consultant & Workshop Leader, Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project

Job Description:

The Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project (DNEP) connects small businesses in Detroit with experienced University of Michigan faculty and students, providing a series of financial accounting workshops combined with unprecedented access to free business, legal and/or design consulting that can help grow their ventures. As a part of this holistic approach, DNEP offers a series of financial accounting workshops, combined with accounting help at Detroit partner sites every other week via DNEP’s Free Accounting Fridays program.

The financial accounting workshops will be offered to Detroit entrepreneurs to improve their financial acumen, better manage their growing businesses, and get them investment-ready. In addition to working with our Entrepreneur-in-Residence and other Michigan Ross alumni to develop and lead workshops, accounting consultants will also meet with entrepreneurs at our Detroit partner sites to provide 1:1 coaching. This includes assisting with:

● Using Quickbooks and other accounting software
● Creating and explaining common financial statements
● Comparing different growth opportunities and strategies
● Forecasting payback periods for loans
● Analyzing cost structure for products
● Reviewing financial data for accuracy

Job Requirements:

Applicants must be currently enrolled students at the University of Michigan with strong accounting and communication skills who have completed their second year. Preference will be given to Ross School of Business Masters of Accounting students, to students who have worked in accounting or finance, and to those who have previously worked in positions requiring direct communication with clients and/or customers.
Student accounting consultants must have a valid U.S.driver’s license and either use their own vehicle or successfully complete University requirements to sign out and drive a U-M vehicle. Mileage is reimbursed if driving a personal vehicle.

Pay: $18/hour
Hours: 8 hours every other Friday
Start date: Ideally, October 2, 2023

Educational Value:

Students will gain consulting experience and improve their presentation skills while working directly with U-M alumni and real small business owners in Detroit.

Work-Study: Not required

How to apply:

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to Angela Nicoloff, nicoloff@umich.edu. The cover letter should explain why you would like this position, what skills or experiences you bring that would make you effective in working with entrepreneurs of color, and confirmation that your schedule will allow you to travel to Detroit every other Friday during the school year (excluding exam period and winter break).

Reports to: Christie Baer, Program Director, Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project, cbaer@umich.edu

Business+Impact’s 23-24 Board Fellows and Nonprofit Partners

Fri, Oct. 6, 2023 Board Fellows Orientation at the Michigan League.

During the 2023-24 academic year,  participants in Business+Impact’s 24th annual Board Fellows program will serve as non-voting members of local nonprofit boards while completing major projects.  On Fri, Oct. 6, 2023, all student Board Fellows met with nonprofit partner organizations for a morning-long orientation to the program. This year’s cohort features students from Michigan Ross, the Ford School of Public Policy, the School of Engineering, the School of Education, the School of Social Work, the School for Environment and Sustainability, and the School for Public Health.

See photos of the October 6, 2023 Board Fellows Orientation


Below are the regional organizations and the students assigned to them:

Alternatives for Girls

Alternatives For Girls helps homeless and high-risk girls and young women avoid violence, teen pregnancy, and exploitation; and helps them to explore and access the support, resources, and opportunities necessary to be safe, to grow strong and to make positive choices for their lives.

  • Elizaveta Dorfeeva, MPP ’25
  • Kira Farris, MBA ’24

American Indian Health and Human Services

American Indian Health & Family Services (AIHFS) has been a nonprofit health and community wellness center whose mission is to empower and enhance the physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental well-being of underserved populations in Southeast Michigan.

  • Daisy Ruan, MBA ’25
  • Nicolette Wolny Carillo, MBA ’25

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

The Mission of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and Leslie Science & Nature Center is to create moments of discovery that inspire curiosity, exploration and respect for STEM and the natural world. Our Vision is a world where curiosity today leads to more purposeful lives tomorrow.

  • Devon Thompson, MBA/MS ’26

Ann Arbor Skyline Athletic Booster Club

Distributing SABC profits to teams. Providing financial assistance for team fees. Keeping families up-to-date with the weekly Skyline Athletics Email Blast.

  • Brett Martino, MBA ’24

Avalon Healing Center

Avalon Healing Center’s new building is officially open for services! We’re so excited to welcome the community to our new and improved location and continue to grow moving forward.

  • Ellie Bai, MPH/MPP ’25
  • Yu-Yu Lin, MPP/MSW ’25

A Brighter Way

ABW is dedicated to reducing recidivism rates in Washtenaw County by creating a supportive community for our friends and family returning home from incarceration through mentoring, programs, resources, advocacy, and stigma reduction.

  • Peyton Witt, MM ’24

Center for Success Network

At Center for Success Network, we believe our values of growth, diversity, community, connection provide a strong foundation for building an equitable space where our team, students, families, volunteers, and community are valued, respected, and supported.

  • Jasmin Gonzalez, MA Ed ’24
  • Sam Schmitt, MBA ’25

Community Action Network

Community Action Network partners with children, youth, and families from under-resourced Washtenaw County neighborhoods to create better futures for themselves and improve the communities in which they live.

  • Chelsea Giller, MBA/MPP ‘ 26
  • Elizabeth Gelman, MPP ’24

Detroit Theatre Organ Society

The Senate Theater, home of the Detroit Theater Organ Society (DTOS), preserves the art of theater pipe organ music by maintaining and showcasing the Mighty Wurlitzer at concerts, film screenings, and events hosted at the theater.

  • Sam Stead, MBA ’25

Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center

The Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center advances innovative practices in higher education that promote respectful, transformative dialogue on controversial topics and complex social issues, thereby reflecting a commitment to pluralism and academic freedom and strengthening a democratically engaged society.

  • Brooke Tran, MPP ’25

Disability Network Washtenaw Monroe Livingston

We work with people of diverse abilities and disabilities to help you solve problems and achieve your goals. We also work throughout the community to expand awareness about people with disabilities and promote full inclusion.

  • Mauricio Andrade, OMBA ’26

Friends in Deed

Helping people in need; and building community to end poverty.

  • Christina Rice, PhD Engineering ’24

Groundcover News

Groundcover News exists to create opportunity and a voice for low-income people while taking action to end homelessness and poverty.

  • Aruj Parajuli, MBA ’25
  • Melannie Wurm, MBA ’25

Institute for Population Health

The mission of IPH is to advance positive health outcomes in populations and communities.

  • Jacob Gillis, MPP ’24

International Child Care – Grace Children’s Hospital

Grace Children’s Hospital, founded in 1967, is recognized as Haiti’s leading medical facility dedicated to the treatment of children with tuberculosis (TB). Each year, the hospital receives thousands of children who are suffering from TB, HIV, and other diseases.

  • Dillon Clancy, MBA/MPH ’26
  • Ryan Ko, OMBA ’24

Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor

The Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor is the vibrant hub of a community that celebrates Jewish life. We are the safety net that enables Jews to fulfill our obligations to take care of one another.

  • Ben Shovers, MSW ’24


We support organizations dedicated to young adults on the path to joy… the kind of joy they never knew was possible.

  • Audrey Fok, MBA ’25
  • Divya Ramalingam, MBA ’25

Michigan Disability Rights Coalition

MDRC’s mission is to cultivate disability pride and strengthen the disability movement by recognizing disability as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity while collaborating to dismantle all forms of oppression.

  • Karthik Ramasubramanian, MBA ’24

Michigan United Cerebral Palsy (MI-UCP)

MI-UCP enables all Michiganders with disabilities to live to the best of their abilities and ambitions.

  • Saad Malik, MM ’24

Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW)

NEW works alongside leaders, thinkers and visionaries, cultivating transformation in our community through relationships rooted in our values. We believe that learning is continuous, and that sharing systems, space and strategies with our partners builds resilience in our sector and the world at large.

  • Alejandro Villafuerte, MPA/MSW ’24
  • Iris Yuning Ye, MSI ’24

Progressive Lifestyles

Progressive Lifestyles, Inc. is a 501 C (3) non-profit corporation based in Waterford, Michigan, which has been in operation since 1983. Our mission is to provide supportive and caring residential opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Oakland County. 

  • Naixin Kang, MBA ’24

Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy

Our mission is to empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate fully in community life.

  • Samantha Madnick, MBA ’25

Washtenaw Housing Alliance

The mission of the Washtenaw Housing Alliance is to end homelessness in Washtenaw County, MI.

  • Jennifer Maxwell Manglik, MSW ’25
  • Shira Hammerslough, MSW ’24

Weiss Senior Fellows

  • Mackenzie Paull (MBA ’24)
  • Qamar Ghani (MBA ’24)
  • Caroline Rourke (MBA ’24)