UMSI 2023 PHILANTHROPIC
Information changes everything.
Thanks to your generosity, we created transformative opportunities for our students in 2022-2023. We leaned into UMSI's strong foundation to build its future.
I am delighted to share with you the results of an exciting year at UMSI. Here you will see the story of a school inspired to empower the next generation of information leaders. You’ll see stories about the ingenuity of students as they imagine new ways to tackle global and local challenges. And you’ll see how, with your help, we strive to make access to information studies available to everyone with a drive to pursue them, regardless of economic background.
On top of all that we've achieved in the past year, I feel tremendous excitement about UMSI's plans for the year ahead. I invite you to join us in our mission to create and share knowledge so that people will use information — with technology — to build a better world.
Equal opportunity to pursue dream internships
UMSI students pursued the internships they were most passionate about — without financial barriers. A generous gift from Carin Ehrenberg (AB ’88) and Roger Ehrenberg (BBA ’87), combined with existing internship funds, made it possible to fund 100% of the unpaid and underpaid internships of students who applied for this support in 2022, a year of record-breaking applications.
Traverse Area District Library
“Librarianship has been calling to me ever since I was a child and this internship is just one more step on my path to making it happen. In my future career I hope to make an impact on my community and be a friendly face that library patrons can rely on.”
— Nerissa Godfrey (MSI ’24), library intern
“I’m very grateful for the funding that made my internship experience possible. Because of this funding, I recognized that UMSI has a great network that really can propel students to excel in their fields.”
— Ji Hee Yoon (MSI ’23), communications and outreach intern
Empowering the next generation of information leaders
Enrollment by program
Student Leadership Retreat
Twelve student leaders attended a fall retreat to create connections across UMSI programs, hone their leadership skills and learn how to create a shared vision within their organizations. The Student Leadership Initiatives Retreat was funded by a gift from Eric Arnson (BGS ’78).
A record Giving BlueDay
Our community of students, faculty, staff and alumni raised a record-breaking $31,510 during Giving Blueday, U-M’s annual spring day of giving. Thank you to the students who helped make this year’s event a success. Gifts from 65 donors will contribute to scholarships; diversity, equity and inclusion programming; and school-wide needs through UMSI’s Annual Fund.
Community College Summer Institute
Community college students gained in-depth exposure to the field of information science while exploring U-M’s campus during the annual Community College Summer Institute. On-campus housing, meals and a stipend are provided to all participants through the John, Karen and Casey Cameron Community College Fund, allowing them to experience life at UMSI firsthand.
"The organization team did a great job at teaching us core leadership concepts and getting us to implement those concepts in relevant activities. I also got to work and connect with other driven students [who] I can collaborate with on a whole host of new projects."
Creating and sharing knowledge
Student Project Exposition
UMSI’s student project exposition celebrates work completed for courses, clients, student organizations and independent initiatives. Over 300 students presented this year — with focus areas ranging from inclusive online shopping to the use of TikTok in the Russia-Ukraine war. Winning projects were selected by a panel of UMSI Advisory Board members, alumni and partners, with award funding provided by the estate of Gerald P. Miller (AMLS ’86, PhD ’95) and the UMSI Miller Scholars Fund.
Power to the Players: Video Games and Low Vision
SI 699: UX Research and Design Mastery Course
“This project aimed to make an accessible and inclusive gaming concept for the low-vision gaming community. To do this, we created a customizable heads-up display system that allows players to change the size, location, color and other visual aspects of game information.”
— Emmy Thompson (MSI ’23), Stephanie Tong (MSI ’23), Elizabeth Riddle (MSI ’23), Edith Zhang (MSI ’23)
Evaluating US School District Achievement Scores Based on Community Resources
SIADS 699: Master of Applied Data Science Capstone
“How can we compare U.S. public grade school districts fairly? …We used measures of socioeconomic, health and environmental factors to group school districts, predict standardized test scores and identify high-achieving districts.”
— Kathryn Andrews (MADS ’22)
SI 491: BSI Capstone Independent Study
“CourseKit is a web app that helps students get into their desired courses. The project has made a real impact on the U-M community. I have launched two minimum viable products (MVPs). The successful launch of the second MVP, attracting 341 initial users and receiving 3,651 queries in just two weeks, demonstrates a clear product-market fit.”
— Chuxuan (Claudius) Ma (BSI ’23)
Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want
Ruha Benjamin, PhD, researches at the intersection of race, technology and medicine. In her latest book, she examines the COVID-19 pandemic and amplified movements for racial justice. With support from the DEI Fund, UMSI co-sponsored a lecture by Benjamin and purchased copies of “Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want” for all students, faculty and staff as a community read.
Breaking new ground to build a better world
We began construction on UMSI’s future home — groundbreaking in more ways than one. The Leinweber Computer Science and Information Building will house classrooms, maker spaces and research labs in a five-level complex set to open in the summer of 2025. It will be the first large-scale building at the university to feature geothermal heating and cooling, as part of U-M’s continued progress toward carbon neutrality.
Building on a legacy
Valeda Dent, PhD (MILS ‘92, MSW ’95), established the Johnnie O. Dent Endowed Scholarship Fund in honor of her mother, left, one of the first African American students to attend UMSI. The fund provides financial assistance to graduate students at UMSI, enabling them to effect change in ways that are meaningful to them.
“Advocacy, access and engagement are tantamount to understanding and bettering a world that can be heartbreaking and spectacular at the same time. My mother would have loved all of that.”
Your support shapes UMSI
Fiscal year 2022: Numbers include all gifts made from July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023.
*Total production includes all expectations committed to the school during the fiscal year, including pledges and unrealized bequests. Dollars raised represent the revenue received, including realized bequests and pledge payments from pledges established in previous years.