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University of Michigan School of Information


UMSI lecturer Colleen van Lent promoted to teaching professor

Promoted. Teaching Professor. Colleen van Lent. Teaching professor.

Monday, 06/19/2023

University of Michigan School of Information lecturer Collen van Lent has been promoted to teaching professor. She will begin her appointment September 2023. 

UMSI interim dean Elizabeth Yakel made the announcement on Friday, June 16. 

“Dr. van Lent has demonstrated impressive growth and advancement in her empirical, conceptual and procedural knowledge relevant to the subject areas in which she provides instruction,” Yakel says. “Professor van Lent has a record of evaluating and improving methods of instruction and has demonstrated a track record of high teaching standards. Dr. van Lent is also a leading voice in support of inclusion and accessibility in her teaching, and across the entire School, campus, and beyond.” 

Dr. van Lent began her career at UMSI in 2008 as an intermittent lecturer and was later promoted to lecturer III in 2012 and lecturer IV in 2015. Since joining, she has taught courses in programming, accessibility and computing. She is the recipient of a 2020 UMSI Diversity Award for her work on making accessible website design a priority in her classroom. She emphasizes to her students that accessibility is an essential component in any website and must be considered at each step of the design process. Additionally, van Lent is a recipient of a 2015 UMSI award for excellence in instruction. 

Dr. van Lent’s commitment to inclusive teaching is also evident in her engagement with students beyond the classroom. She has a multi-year commitment to mentoring a POSSE group, which supports students from under-represented groups to study in STEM. She has also had a global impact in inclusive teaching and learning. In 2015 she launched the Coursera Specialization, “Web Design for Everyone.” The course lowers the barrier to participation for underrepresented people in computer science and incorporates accessible design for a wide audience, including those with visual, audial, physical, and cognitive impairments.

"I appreciate the encouragement that UMSI has provided in my time here,” van Lent says. “I believe that teaching is a critical role in society and my peers here, including faculty and staff, have always supported my endeavors.  The past few years have been tough for all of us and I am looking forward to taking some time to celebrate the recognition and recharge for next semester.”


Learn more about Colleen van Lent, her classes and upcoming projects by visiting her UMSI faculty profile