July 26-28
Michigan State University

Ann E. Austin is associate dean for research and professor of Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University, where she has twice been selected to hold the Mildred B. Erickson Distinguished Chair. Dr. Austin’s research concerns faculty careers and professional development, organizational change in higher education, teaching and learning in higher education, doctoral education, reform in STEM education, the academic workplace, equity and inclusion in academe and higher education in the international context. She is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the past-president of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), and she was a Fulbright Fellow in South Africa (1998). She is a founding co-PI/Leader of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), funded by the National Science Foundation, and was the principal investigator of an NSF-funded ADVANCE PAID grant to study organizational change strategies that support the success of women scholars in STEM fields. Her work is widely published, including Faculty Development in the Age of Evidence: Current Practices, Future Imperatives (2016); Rethinking Faculty Work: Higher Education's Strategic Imperative (2007) and Educating Integrated Professionals: Theory and Practice on Preparation for the Professoriate (2008), as well as other books, articles, chapters and monographs concerning higher education issues in the United States and in international contexts. In 2011, she wrote a commissioned paper for the Board on Science Education of the National Research Council entitled “Promoting Evidence-Based Change in Undergraduate Science Education.” She has worked with colleagues at the national and institutional levels on higher education issues in a number of countries, including Australia, China, Egypt, Finland, Malaysia, Oman, Thailand, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

John P. Beck is an Associate Professor in the School of Human Resources & Labor Relations at Michigan State University. He previously served as associate director of the School, primarily in charge of two of the School's outreach units, the Labor Education Program and Union Management Initiatives. He also co-directs a project (with Karen Klomparens, the Dean of the MSU Graduate School), "Building Mutual Expectations and Resolving Conflicts in Graduate Education," on the use of interest-based conflict resolution approaches for graduate students and their faculty mentors. John holds degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. He worked for five years on the staff of the University of Michigan Labor Studies Center. He has taught labor studies on the community college level in both Oklahoma and Michigan and has taught history and education courses at the university level.

As leader of the Higher Education Studio in the Detroit office, Tricia specializes in cultivating strategy while applying sustainable, human-centered design for projects in both the Higher Education and Healthcare Practices. With nearly 20 years of experience, she excels at leveraging strong internal and external relationships, and is adept at managing project team activities and client expectations. Even looking back to her childhood, Tricia has always had a hand in architecture and design.  “Growing up with two older brothers, we had our share of Legos,” recalls Trish. “Together, we designed entire cities and harbors. I still keep Legos nearby as a reminder of my creative introduction to architecture.” Maybe those childhood memories have also fueled Tricia’s commitment to Michigan youth. She volunteers in her church’s youth program, and acts as an ambassador for the architectural profession by presenting at career programs for middle-school and high-school students. A Michigan native, Tricia balances that busy schedule with family time, and especially enjoys “being out in nature, boating, camping, trying a new playground or visiting a zoo.” Building a roaring campfire is a hidden skill. And come winter? Favorite pastimes include “pricing vacation packages to anyplace with palm trees” and—no surprise here—gathering around a table with her son, building with Legos.

Dr. Estry currently serves as a consultant to Michigan State University.  He most recently served as the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Michigan State University. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing University-level undergraduate initiatives that support and enhance the undergraduate experience, providing direction to a number of University-wide programs that serve undergraduate students, and coordinating the development and implementation of academic policies and procedures related to undergraduate education.  In his over 30 years at Michigan State University, Dr. Estry has served as faculty in the Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics (BLD) Program and held several administrative positions in that program. His research focused primarily on transmembrane signaling and the role of platelet membrane receptors in the hemostatic process. As the Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs in the College of Natural Science, he provided administrative oversight for issues relevant to both undergraduate and graduate recruitment and retention in science and mathematics. During this time, he concentrated on issues of teaching and learning in science and mathematics, student engagement, and learning outcomes assessment. He also facilitated discussions focused on the development of a new model for undergraduate biological science education and worked closely with the MSU Teachers for a New Era project and the Mathematics and Science Partnership grant (Promoting Rigorous Outcomes in Mathematics and Science Education, PROM/SE) funded by the National Science Foundation.

Philip D. Gardner is Director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University.  Dr. Gardner has been with MSU for 28 years after receiving degrees from Whitman College (BA in Chemistry) and Michigan State University (Ph.D. in Resource & Development Economics/Public Policy).  His major areas of research include the transition from college to work, early socialization and career progression in the workplace, workforce readiness, and other areas related to college student studies. MSU’s nationally recognized annual college labor market study is done under his direction each fall. He served as senior editor of the Journal of Cooperative Education and Internships. In the spring of 2009 he served as a Fulbright specialist to New Zealand on work-integrated learning.

Jeff Grabill is Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Technology and Director of the Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology at Michigan State University (MSU). The Hub is designed to help MSU reinvent itself as a learning institution by working with faculty, students, and staff to identify and invent new approaches to learning and teaching, including the use of digital technologies. Jeff is also the Teaching and Learning node leader for the Academic Advancement Network.  Before assuming his role in the Provost’s office, Jeff was Chair of the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures where he also holds a faculty position as Professor of Rhetoric and Professional Writing. He helped found the Writing in Digital Environments Research Center. Jeff is also a founder of Drawbridge Incorporated, an educational technology company. As a researcher, Grabill studies how digital writing is associated with citizenship, learning, and knowledge work practices. He has published two books on community literacy and articles in journals like College Composition and Communication, Technical Communication Quarterly, Computers and Composition, and English Education. He has won seven awards for his scholarly publications. 

Since joining SmithGroupJJR in 2000, Urbanek has led design efforts for many of the firm's most notable and award-winning projects. Significant works include the University of Louisville Clinical & Translational Research Building, Louisville, Ky.; Indian Springs Metropark Environmental Discovery Center, White Lake, Mich.; renovation and expansion of Cranbrook Art Museum & Collections Building, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; and First Automotive Works 4.5 million-square foot Research & Development Center, Changchun, China.  Urbanek is currently design principal for Oakland University's new 128,000-gsf Engineering Center in Rochester, Mich.; Michigan State University's Facility for Rare Isotope Beams in East Lansing, Mich.; and an international design competition for a new technology park in Beijing, China.  He was also a lead designer for the Memorial at Cameron, a tribute to be erected in Cameron, La. commemorating the 550 lives lost during Hurricane Audrey in 1957. In February 2012, the project was honored by ARCHITECT magazine as winner of a prestigious Progressive Architecture (P/A) Award.  Urbanek earned a bachelor of science in architecture and a bachelor of architecture from Lawrence Technological University, and was recognized as the school's 2011 Distinguished Architectural Alumni. He is a registered architect in Michigan and a LEED accredited professional. He resides in Royal Oak, Mich.