The University of Michigan

Partner Stories

Collaboration: The Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation

Learn by doing… or learn from those who do! The Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence program at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy brings distinguished policymakers to the University of Michigan campus to teach, lecture, and interact with academic and local communities. The Towsley Foundation provided the initial funding for this program in 2000 with a $2M endowment gift. Participants in the program have included Charles Vest, President Emeritus of MIT, Cecilia Muñoz, vice president, Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation for the National Council of La Raza, Yazir Henri, founding director of the Direct Action Center for Peace and Memory in Cape Town, South Africa, and Alberto Trejos, Professor of Economics and previous dean and general director of INCAE's Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development.

Collaboration: W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Everyone in the state of Michigan has been touched by the work of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in some way. The Kellogg Foundation has been a major supporter of the University of Michigan since its founding in the 1930s, and remains the University’s largest foundation donor. (Over $90M) Grants have been given for community nursing programs, support to the School of Information and School of Education.

In recent years, with support from the Kellogg Foundation, health care professionals in several regional public schools provide physical exams, help with asthma management, and offer nutrition counseling as well as performing the traditional role of handling visits from sick students.

The Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2006. The Alliance serves students at both middle and high school levels. These students and their families come from diverse backgrounds and often require language support, medical care, and counseling. Services provided include immunizations, crisis intervention, health education, routine physical exams for sports/school, and referrals for resources such as food, shelter, financial issues and transportation. The Alliance’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Program was awarded The Michigan Association of Health Plans Pinnacle Award for Best Practices in Childhood Weight Reduction in Sept. 2007. 

Another important grant from the Kellogg Foundation was a $350K planning grant to Professors Kenneth Burnley and Brian Rowan from the School of Education for a project “Catalyzing School Improvement in Michigan: Working with Schools, Families and Communities”. The grant will fund the design of a project to improve the educational outcomes of vulnerable children in Michigan communities, working in partnership with schools within the University, policy actors in the state, leaders from Michigan school districts and grass roots/community organizations.



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