About the Speakers

Topic Areas: Special Events

May 14, 2014 - 10:00am - May 16, 2014 - 1:00pm
Rackham, 915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070

This 3-day interdisciplinary, multi-sector conference will focus on identifying and combating barriers that women living in poverty face as they seek economic security and mobility. National researchers and practitioners will join U-M faculty, bringing multiple perspectives to this complex concern with policy recommendations as the expected outcome. Women & Economic Security is a joint conference presented by the Center for the Education of Women (CEW), University of Michigan, and Re:Gender (formerly the National Council for Research on Women).

Use Hashtag: #MakeEndsMeet



Conference Agenda | Day One with Keynote Sheryl WuDunn

Day Two Breakout Sessions | Day Three Action Agenda

Conference Registration | Speakers | Sponsors

Area Information | General Conference Information 

Navigate speaker information by clicking on the appropriate letter of the first name: A B C D F G J K L M N P R S T V

Dr. Adesola Akinleye is the artistic director of DancingStrong, an umbrella organization encompassing art, education, performance, and choreography. She trained at Arts Educational School, London and The Rambert Academy. Akinleye teaches dance and receives choreographic commissions internationally from universities, K-12/Foundation to secondary/high school systems and private dance academies, and community organizations. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society For The Encouragement of The Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA). She holds a PhD from Canterbury Christ Church University and a Masters of Arts from Middlesex University.



As President of Re:Gender, Áine Duggan is focused on leveraging independent research to accelerate advancements for women and girls. She served as the Vice President for Research, Policy and Education at the Food Bank For New York City, where she developed the organization’s research wing. Prior to this, Duggan’s work at the Coalition for the Homeless included initiatives focused on the issues of homelessness among women and children. She graduated with an MA from University College Dublin before taking up permanent residence in the United States.





Anne Ladky is the Director and a founding member of Women Employed, an organization working to ensure that women are treated fairly in the workplace, are able to attain the skills they need, and are respected for the work they do. Ladky is a nationally recognized expert on equal opportunity issues, workplace fairness, workforce development and higher education policy, and issues affecting low-paid working women. In 2007, she was named a Visiting Social Activist at the Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan.




Assata Richards is a long-time activist, working within historically underserved communities. She is currently the Program Manager of the Young Mothers Residential Program, the Vice Chair of the Board of Commissioners for the Houston Housing Authority, an Adjunct Professor in Sociology for the University of Houston Sociology Department, and the founding Director of the Sankofa Research Institute. Richards was encouraged to further her education with the support of the Young Mothers Residential Program (YMRP). She graduated from the University of Houston's Sociology Program, and received her Masters and PhD from Pennsylvania State University.




Barbara Gault, Ph.D., is the Executive Director and Vice President of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and Research Professor of Women’s Studies at the George Washington University. Since joining the Institute in 1997 she has focused on a wide range of issues of importance to women and their families, including poverty, access to education, health, work-life balance, political engagement, and the need for expanded preschool and child care options for working parents. She has testified in Congress on low-income women’s educational access, and has spoken on women’s issues in venues throughout the country including at White House sponsored events. She received her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from the University of Michigan.


Charla Drysdale has served as the recognized resource for personnel and labor relations for the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) for the past three years, and previously worked for the Office of Retirement Services for 13 years. Her current responsibilities include serving as the personnel liaison between MIOSHA and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Human Resources, while assisting agency managers with recruiting, selecting, and hiring staff, as well as labor relations. Charla provides information to MIOSHA staff and the general public regarding job opportunities, job requirements, compensation and fringe benefits. MIOSHA has won the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Workplace Flexibility the past six years.


Cindy Estrada, the Vice President of one of the largest and most diverse unions in North America, the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), is the first Latina elected to the UAW vice president office. Estrada previously served as director of UAW’s National Organizing Department. In 1993 she earned a degree in education from the University of Michigan. In 1999 Estrada led organizers in bringing about one of the largest victories in manufacturing of Spanish-speaking workers for the UAW. She has played a key role in developing and implementing innovative strategies to assist UAW, United Farm Workers, and AFL-CIO organizing efforts. Estrada is an active member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA).


Colby Spencer Cesaro is the Research Director at the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN). Cesaro works with educational institutions and employers on a variety of projects including best practices for employer engagement with workforce training institutions. Ms. Cesaro holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary and special education from New York University and Master of Public Administration in urban and social policy and quantitative analysis from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York City.




Danielle Atkinson is the founding director of Mothering Justice, a statewide organization working to improve the lives of families in Michigan. She received two Bachelor’s Degrees in Political Science and Sociology from Pfeiffer University. Ms. Atkinson continued to work as a field director, campaigning to increase the minimum wage in Florida. In 2005, Danielle relocated to Lansing, Michigan to become the executive director of Greater Lansing Association for Development and Empowerment (GLADE), a multi-congregational coalition. From 2006-2012, Danielle worked throughout Michigan forming labor union coalitions, women’s and civil rights organizations to increase underrepresented voters with America Votes and Michigan Voice. In 2013, The Michigan Summit awarded Ms. Atkinson with the Michigan Organization of the Year Award. Danielle lives in Royal Oak, Michigan with her husband and three children. 


Diana M. Pearce first began her career organizing with low-income women in-service for the Peace Corps in Eastern Turkey. She has served as a Fulbright Scholar three times, teaching and doing curriculum development in sociology, social work and women’s studies in Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; and Samerkand, Fergana & Tashkent, Uzbekistan (all in Central Asia). Dr. Pearce is on the University of Washington School of Social Work faculty, and is director of the Center for Women’s Welfare. Recognized for coining the phrase the feminization of poverty, she has written and spoken widely on women’s poverty and economic inequality, including testimony before the U.S. Congress and the President’s Working Group on Welfare Reform. Her areas of expertise focus on how low-wage and part-time employment, unemployment insurance, homelessness and welfare reform impact women. Dr. Pearce conceived and developed the Self-Sufficiency Standard, a measure of income adequacy now used in 37 states. She also founded the Women and Poverty Project at Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), and has helped found and lead several coalitions, including the Women, Work and Welfare Coalition and the Women and Job Training Coalition.

Diana Salas Coronado is doctoral candidate at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research focuses on gender, immigration, and state policies. She previously served as associate director of the Women of Color Policy Network at New York University where she worked to bridge research and advocacy to create informed public policies. As a former organizer, she recognizes the disconnect between those most impacted by policy and their participation in the policy process and debates. She currently serves on the board of Cidadao Global and Access Strategies Fund; as well as part of the leadership team of the Feminist Task Force of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty and Neighbors United for a Better East Boston. She holds a BA in Anthropology and Urban Studies from Queens College at the City University of New York and an MPA from NYU Wagner.

Families and Work Institute is a nonprofit center dedicated to providing research for living in today’s changing workplace, changing family and changing community. Since the Institute was founded in 1989, our work has tackled issues in three major areas: the workforce/workplace, youth and early childhood. Families and Work Institute’s research takes on emerging issues before they crest and includes some of the most comprehensive research on the U.S. workforce available. The Institute’s work has helped change the language of debates to move the discussion forward toward more effective, and data-driven solutions, and to result in action. In addition, because the Institute conducts some of the only research studies of their kind, our studies are quoted in the media every other day on average and are cited by decision makers in business, government, and the public.

Gilda Z. Jacobs is President & CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy, an organization working to foster economic opportunity, independence and security of Michigan’s economically vulnerable population by shaping public policy through objective data-driven research, education and advocacy. Prior to that, she was in the Michigan Legislature, serving eight years as a state senator and four years as a state representative from Huntington Woods. She made history as the first woman floor leader in either chamber of the Legislature. As senator, Jacobs was the vice-chair of Campaign & Election Oversight; Families & Human Services, and Finance and also served on Economic Development & Regulatory Reform; and Health Policy. She also is distinguished as the first woman elected to the Huntington Woods City Commission, serving from 1981 to 1994. A graduate of the University of Michigan, she received her bachelor’s degree with a distinction in education in 1970 and a master’s degree in behavioral sciences in education.

Gloria D. Thomas has served as director of the Center for the Education of Women (CEW) at the University of Michigan since 2009, expanding the Center’s work on advancing economic security and mobility for women living in poverty. Thomas has served in various positions at the American Council on Education (ACE), including associate director of the Office of Women in Higher Education and associate director of the ACE Fellows Program. Thomas holds a B.A. in English and Black studies from Swarthmore College, an M.A. in English from Villanova University, and a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Michigan.



Janet Weiss is Dean of Rackham Graduate School and the Mary C. Bromage Collegiate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Weiss has been responsible for a broad range of academic and faculty issues, including faculty promotion and tenure, family friendly policies affecting faculty, facilities planning, strategic planning, and oversight of museums and libraries. She received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Psychology and Social Relations and a B.A. from Yale University. Professor Weiss' research is focused on public management and public policy.  





Jennie McAlpine is the director of University of Michigan’s Work/Life Programs including services of the three central campus Children's Centers and the Work/Life Resource Center. Jennie has been working with children and families for over 30 years, beginning as an early childhood specialist at the John F. Kennedy Child Study Center at Vanderbilt University. She was executive director of Cooperative Child Care Center in Nashville, TN and for over 16 years was the executive director of Child Care Network in Ann Arbor, MI, a multi-service agency supporting the needs of early childhood professionals and parents with young children. Jennie received her Bachelor of Arts degree from State College of Pennsylvania and her Master of Science degree in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University. 


Judy Emmons is a first-term Michigan Senator, and chair of the Senate’s Families, Seniors and Human Services Committee. She is active as a mentor to other women statewide through the Senate GOP Women Matter training and education program. Senator Emmons has been deeply involved in developing legislation aimed at stopping human trafficking. She is also a mid-Michigan farmer and serves on the agricultural and economic development committees.





Kelly Sakai-O’Neill is Director of Marketing and Senior Manager of Applied Research at Families and Work Institute. She has over a decade of experience in the area of work life research, communications and programming and directs the marketing efforts across all of FWI’s program areas, from workplace/workforce issues to early child development. Since 2005, she has worked on the When Work Works initiative to create resources on effective workplaces for employers and employees and helped to build a rigorous, one-of-a-kind award program to recognize employers with excellent workplace flexibility programs. Her efforts have helped grow the When Work Works Award from a small grassroots effort to a national program with hundreds of applicants each year.


Kenyatta Brame is Chief Administrative Officer and Group Services Senior Vice President at Cascade Engineering. Brame is responsible for directing Cascade’s cross-organizational services, which include the Company’s engineering, legal/risk management, human resources, benefits, marketing, communications, talent management, IT, corporate quality and ESS (environmental, safety and sustainability) functions. Brame’s extensive community affiliations include serving as a board member of Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park; the Floyd Skinner Bar Association; Wabash College; and Alternative Directions, a probation residence service that offers an alternative direction to non-violent felony offenders. He is also a past chair of the City of Grand Rapids Civil Rights Commission. Brame holds a J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School, an MBA from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree from Wabash College.

Kim Bobo is the Executive Director and founder of Interfaith Worker Justice, the nation's largest network of people of faith engaging in local and national actions to improve wages, benefits and conditions for workers, especially those in the low-wage economy. Since 1996 she has been helping build interfaith groups and workers centers around the nation. She was named one of Utne Reader's "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World" in 2009. Kim is the author of Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid - And What We Can Do About It, the first and only book to document the wage theft crisis in the nation and propose practical solutions for addressing it. The book and Kim’s extensive speaking on the subject helped coin the phrase “wage theft” and has helped get the issue of wage theft on the national radar. She writes a column for the online magazine Religion Dispatches. She is co-author of Organizing for Social Change, the best-selling organizing manual in the country.  

Krista Brumley is assistant professor of Sociology at Wayne State University. Her research interests are gender, work, organizations, social movements, and globalization. She conducted two ethnographic projects in Mexico. One analyzed women’s and men’s experiences with workplace changes at a Mexican multinational company. The other was a case study of non-governmental organizations and political participation. Her current research focuses on women and men employed at U.S. multinational corporations. This project examines gender, family, and work in the “new” economy.





Laura Lein is Dean of the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Formerly Professor of Social Work and Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin (UT), she is a respected researcher and teacher. She has served as principal investigator on multiple grants on poverty, family and women's issues, and impoverished populations in Texas. 

Dr. Lein has directed the Women's Studies Program at the University of Texas at Austin and The Wellesley College Center for Research on Women. She is author of nine books on welfare, health care, children, and families, including Poor Families in America's Health Care Crisis (Cambridge University Press, 2006), coauthored with Ronald Angel and Jane Henrici. Lein graduated from Harvard with a doctorate in social anthropology. Her work has concentrated on the interface between families in poverty and the institutions that serve them. 

Lisa D. Brush holds appointments as Professor of Sociology and of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Her first book, Gender and Governance, documents and explains the ways contemporary capitalist welfare/workfare states and social polices produce and position women and men as different and unequal, and the ways gender difference and inequality organize states and social policies. Her second book, Poverty, Battered Women, and Work in U.S. Public Policy, investigates what happens when “work/family conflict” becomes literal; how men’s control, coercion, and sabotage trap women in poverty and abuse; and the failure of women’s waged work to end poverty and abuse. Her current collaborations 1) continue her research on poor and battered women’s appeals to welfare and the courts as they seek safety and solvency, 2) investigate preventing adolescent relationship abuse and teen dating violence by involving high school and middle school athletes in changing masculinities, and 3) explore the health and safety needs of sexual minority young women (including gender-non-conforming as well as lesbian and bisexual youth).

Lisa Tomanelli is the Director of Income Support Services at the Community Service Society of New York. In this role, Tomanelli oversees the dispersal of grants for housing, transportation and other work- and education-related expenses to poor and low-income individuals and families working towards viable employment goals. Since earning a Master’s of Science Degree from Columbia University’s School of Social Work, Tomanelli has spent over 15 years leading programs that help women and disconnected youth reach education and employment goals for notable organizations such as Women in Need, Coalition for the Homeless and Dress for Success Worldwide.


Luke Shaefer is Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work. Shaefer's research focuses on the effectiveness of the United States social safety net in serving low-wage workers and economically disadvantaged families. His recent work explores rising levels of extreme poverty in the United States, the impact of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program on material hardships, and barriers to unemployment insurance. He has significant non-profit program management experience and has served as board president for a public foundation and an education nonprofit.   




Maria Schneider is a Relationship Manager for Institutional Relationships at TIAA-CREF Financial Services, a Fortune 100 financial services organization and leading provider of asset management and retirement services for the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields. Her career at TIAA-CREF has been in the Beachwood, Ohio office for the past 3 years. Prior to TIAA-CREF, Maria was with Charles Schwab Retirement Plan Services. Maria holds a BA in finance from Kent State University. As a FINRA registered representative, she holds Series 7 and 63 securities licenses, while maintaining Life, Health and Variable Annuity licenses from the State of Ohio.


Maura D. Corrigan is the director of the Michigan Department of Human Services. She also served as Group Executive for the "People" group, which includes the departments of Human Services, Community Health, Civil Rights and Education, until November 2012. Corrigan previously served as a judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals and justice of the Michigan Supreme Court for 19 years, including four years from 2001 - 2005 as chief justice.She was appointed to the Michigan Law Revision Commission, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Attorney Advisory Committee, and the Rules Committee of the U.S. District Court in Detroit. She served on the Executive Board of the Michigan Judges Association and the Advisory Board of the Center for Law and Organizational Economics at the University of Kansas. She has been president of the Incorporated Society of Irish American Lawyers, the Federal Bar Association in Detroit, and MSU Inns of Court. She graduated from Marygrove College and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Corrigan has won numerous awards including: Casey Family Programs Excellence in Leadership (2013); Michigan Women's Foundation Lifetime Achievement Trillium Award (2013); Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Dennis W. Archer Public Service Award (2012); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Adoption Excellence Award (2011); and Women Officials Network Wonder Woman Award (2011). 

Meredith Loomis Quinlan is the Director of Development and New Adventures for Michigan United, which is a statewide organization fighting for racial and economic justice in Michigan through grassroots organizing. She has organized on campaigns working to fight violence against women, increase affordable housing, clean up toxic waste from a neighborhood, and raise Michigan's minimum wage. She holds a B.A. from Kalamazoo College in Human Development and Social Relations, an interdisciplinary major in the social sciences.






Mimi Abramovitz is on the faculty of Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and The CUNY Graduate Center. Her research interests include women, work, poverty, and social welfare policy. Author of the award-winning Under Attack, Fighting Back: Women and Welfare in the US, Abramovitz is currently conducting research about the relationship between “place” and social problems, investigating the impact of austerity policies on the human service workforce, and writing a book entitled Gender Obligations: The History of Low-Income Women’s Activism Since 1900.





Nancy Duff Campbell, a founder and Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center, is a nationally recognized expert on women’s law and public policy, especially issues affecting low-income women. For over 40 years, the Center has been getting new laws on the books and enforced, litigating groundbreaking cases all the way to the Supreme Court, conducting sophisticated advocacy campaigns, and educating the public about ways to make the law and public policies work for women and their families. 





Niki Dickerson vonLockette (Ph.D. Sociology, University of Michigan) is Associate Professor of Labor and Employment Relations and Sociology. Her work examines the impact of residential segregation on unemployment and wages for blacks and Latinos in metropolitan areas (Economic Geography, City and Community), and the effects of workplace occupational segregation on worker attitudes (Work and Occupations). The National Academy of Science awarded her a HUD post-doctoral fellowship to study the impact of residential segregation on the race gap in unemployment. She has served as consultant for the U.S. Departments of Labor and Commerce and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.



State Representative Pam Faris is serving her first term representing Michigan’s 48th House District, which includes areas within Genesee County such as Clio, Davison and Montrose. Before serving in the Legislature, Faris was elected to the Mott Community College Board of Trustees. While her husband, John Cherry, served as Michigan’s lieutenant governor, Faris showed her passion for education and women’s issues with her service on state-level entities such as the Early Childhood Investment Corp. and the Michigan Women’s Commission. Faris has also worked in the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office. She has an associate degree from Mott Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Baker College. Faris lives in Clio with her husband.



Pamela Moore is the President and CEO of Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC), the administrative and fiscal agent responsible for workforce programs and services for the City of Detroit. Over her 25 plus years under three Mayors she has been recognized for her ability to manage complex projects, create efficiencies, and use best-practices for continuous improvement. More recently, Ms. Moore led the transition of the city’s $60M workforce agency to a non-profit organization in four short months. Ms. Moore is a Cass Technical High School graduate and received a B.S. in Finance (Financial Markets and Investments) and an MBA from Wayne State University. Ms. Moore sits on several workforce councils, boards, and committees, including the Board of Trustees for the Workforce Development Council/U.S. Conference of Mayors, Detroit Future City Steering Committee, and Workforce Intelligence Network. She is a Certified Housing Development Finance Professional, a 2010 Graduate of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Leadership Detroit Program, and a 2014 Michigan Chronicle Woman of Excellence.

Professor Peggy Kahn joined the UM-Flint faculty in 1984 and focuses her teaching on comparative politics, European politics, and the themes of social welfare and women's employment. Her more recent work concerns women and low-wage work and women and public benefits in the U.S. and U.K. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Poverty, Women, Politics and Public Policy, and Gender, Work and Organization. She is currently working on low-income women's and children's oral health and access to dental services, with a particular focus upon neighborhoods in the City of Flint. She has worked closely with the UM-Flint Women's Educational Center, the Women and Girls Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, and the UM-F Common Read project. She has also edited a series of 13 books on global organizations for middle and high school students, writing the volume on the European Union.  

Rebecca Loya studies the role of sexual violence in creating economic disadvantage and the protective effects of financial assets and social capital. Rebecca’s other research interests include intersectional economic inequalities, asset-based poverty alleviation strategies, and work support policies for low-income families. She is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions at Brown University. Rebecca has taught courses on social welfare policy, inequality and poverty, and policy analysis. Prior to entering the academic world, Rebecca worked in the nonprofit and education fields in the areas of job training, violence prevention, and reproductive healthcare. She received a Ph.D. in Social Policy from Brandeis University and an M.A. in Psychology at Stanford University, where she also received her B.A. in Psychology.


State Senator Rebekah Warren is currently serving her first term in the Michigan Senate, and acts as Minority Vice-Chair of both the Health Policy Committee and the Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee. Prior to her work as a Senator, Warren served as State Representative for the 53rd House District. Warren’s legislative priorities include continuing to preserve our precious natural resources, expanding access to health care coverage, investing in education, strengthening our economy, and defending our civil rights and liberties.





Rosa Cho is the Policy and Research Analyst at Re:Gender, and is responsible for producing internal research products and analyzing diverse policy issues with a gender lens. Rosa has over a decade of experience in women’s human rights advocacy and worked in both grassroots and international human rights settings, including Amnesty International USA, UN DESA, and the New York Asian Women’s Center. Rosa received a B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley and an M.S.S.W. from Columbia. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the NYU Silver School of Social Work.





Ruth Milkman is Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and Academic Director of the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies at the CUNY School of Professional Studies. Ruth Milkman is a sociologist of labor and labor movements who has written on a variety of topics involving work and organized labor in the United States, past and present. More recently she has written extensively about low-wage immigrant workers in the U.S., analyzing their employment conditions as well as the dynamics of immigrant labor organizing. She also recently co-authored a study of California’s paid family leave program, focusing on its impact on employers and workers. She received her B.A. from Brown University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.


Sandra Danziger is professor of Social Work and Research Professor of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Her primary research interests are the effects of public programs and policies on the well-being of disadvantaged families, poverty policy and social service programs, demographic trends in child and family well-being, gender issues across the life course, program evaluation, and qualitative research methods. Her current research examines welfare program approaches to addressing barriers to employment among single mothers and evaluates family support and job training programs. She was Principal Investigator on the Women's Employment Survey and the Implementing Welfare to Work Programs in Michigan study. Professor Danziger previously researched how Michigan's General Assistance welfare recipients fared after Governor Engler terminated this income support program. Other areas of research/scholarly interest include social welfare policies, social services for families and children, poverty and well-being.

Sarah Fleisch Fink is senior policy counsel at the National Partnership for Women & Families. Fink researches and analyzes key workplace policy priorities, including paid leave, paid sick days, fair pay and pregnancy discrimination. Prior to joining the National Partnership, Fink practiced employment law in the litigation, arbitration and employment department of Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C. Previously, Fink worked in the communications department at the Center for American Progress where she coordinated media strategy for various policy issues and projects. Before that, Fink worked at David Axelrod & Associates (now AKPD Message and Media) on statewide and congressional campaigns. Fink graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in communication and a minor in political science from Northwestern University. She holds a law degree with honors from Georgetown University Law Center. 


Sarah Jane Glynn is Associate Director for Women’s Economic Policy at The Center for American Progress (CAP). Prior to coming to CAP, she worked as an adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt University and Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. She also served on the editorial staff for Work and Occupations, an interdisciplinary sociological journal. Sarah Jane’s research has focused on understudied aspects of the service economy, including working conditions, skilled service providers, and entrepreneurialism. Sarah Jane will receive her Ph.D. in sociology in the fall of 2011 from Vanderbilt University, where she also earned her M.A. A native of California, she holds a B.A. in women’s studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Saru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. The ROC has organized restaurant workers to win workplace justice campaigns, conduct research and policy work, partner with responsible restaurants, and launch cooperatively-owned restaurants. Saru is a graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She was profiled in the New York Times "Public Lives" section in 2005, and was named one of Crain's New York Business "40 Under 40" in 2008, 1010 WINS's "Newsmaker of the Year," and one of New York Magazine's "Influentials" of New York City. Saru co-edited The New Urban Immigrant Workforce, (ME Sharpe, 2005) and authored Behind the Kitchen Door, forthcoming from Cornell University Press.


Sheryl Pimlott Kubiak, PhD. is Professor of Social Work at Michigan State University and former Director of PhD Program. Her research interests are at the intersections of criminal justice, mental health and substance abuse – encompassing both individual as well as system-level issues. Dr. Kubiak is committed to the physical and psychological well being of those involved in the criminal justice system, particularly women, and has extensive practice, policy and research experience in this area. In addition she has examined gender differences and similarities in physical and mental health outcomes between men and women exposed to cumulative violence. Dr. Kubiak is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s joint Psychology and Women’s Studies PhD program. 


Susan M. Collins is the Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy and Professor of Public Policy and Economics at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. 

Dean Collins is an international economist whose research interests center on determinants of economic growth in developed and developing economies, and issues raised by increasing cross-national economic integration. Dean Collins is currently also a nonresident senior fellow in the Economic Studies program at Brookings, a member of the Board of Directors of the Detroit Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She was elected President of the Association for Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), for a 2-year term beginning June 1, 2013. She received her B.A., summa cum laude, in economics from Harvard University in 1980, and her Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984.  

Terri Stangl is an attorney who for the past 18 years has been the Executive Director of the Center for Civil Justice, a non-profit organization that advocates for low income persons, and has extensive expertise in Michigan’s basic needs programs. Informed by the experiences of its clients, CCJ undertakes administrative, legislative and legal advocacy to improve statewide policies and practices related to food assistance, healthcare, cash assistance, and welfare-to-work policies. Long concerned with the frustration and stress people in all walks of life experience when they cannot make lasting changes or find solutions, Terri recently retired from CCJ. She owns Great Lakes Flotation LLC in Swartz Creek, a business which offers both flotation therapy to relieve immediate stress, and classes that help people and organizations identify and change longstanding habits of thought in order to accomplish their goals. She has a BA in Psychology from Yale, and a law degree from the University of Michigan.  

Attorney Valerie J.M. Brader is the energy policy officer of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). As Energy Officer for the MEDC, Brader works closely with the Governor’s office, the Michigan Energy Office, and MEDC business development, and entrepreneur services groups to make energy policy recommendations for the state. 

Since April 2007, Brader has specialized in corporate and environmental law at Bodman PLC, one of Michigan’s leading business law firms with 140 lawyers and five offices. During her tenure, she was the youngest person in the nation to serve as a special master to the federal court. Brader is secretary of the Board of Directors of the Women's Caring Program, and the past president of the Harvard Club of Eastern Michigan. She is a Rhodes Scholar (Keble and Idaho 1998), a recipient of the Harvard College Women's Leadership Award, and was a winner in the Pacific Legal Foundation's writing competition. Brader is a graduate of Harvard University and Radcliffe College, the University of Oxford, and Georgetown Law School. 

Valerie Polakow is Professor of Educational Psychology and Early Childhood, and teaches in the Educational Studies Doctoral Program in the Department of Teacher Education at Eastern Michigan University. Her scholarship is dedicated to advocacy on behalf of women and children in poverty, and in her writings she has attempted to document the lived realities of those who have been shut out— from early childhood education, from K-12 education, and from post-secondary education; and to give voice to those whose rights have been violated by poverty, race and gender discrimination. Her work encompasses the impact of public policies on children in poverty, women and welfare, and access to child care and post-secondary education in national and international contexts. She was a Fulbright scholar in Denmark, and is the recipient of several awards for scholarship including the 2010 Distinguished Contributions to Gender Equity in Education Research by the American Educational Research Association. She is the author/editor of seven books including Lives on the Edge: Single Mothers and their Children in the Other America (which won the Kappa Delta Pi book of the year award in 1994) and Who Cares for Our Children: The Child Care Crisis in the Other America.


Thank you!
This event is one of the Michigan Meetings, a series of annual interdisciplinary meetings on topics of national and international significance sponsored by the Rackham Graduate School.

CEW thanks TIAA-CREF, our Premier Anniversary Sponsor for their generous support of all of our Anniversary events. We also thank our Event Contributing Sponsors, Morgan Stanley and Ford Motor Company Fund, and The Ford Foundation for support of the Michigan Partners Project (MPP).