Edward “Ted” Gibson, W ‘20 is a member of the 2020 BFA Acting class pursuing a minor in CASC. He’s a native of Westport, CT, and has been involved in numerous productions and theatre organizations here in Ann Arbor, including working with the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT “Players”) as an actor, hoping to spread awareness and education of important social matters in the Ann Arbor and University of Michigan community. Since the start of his CASC track, the values and lessons he has learned have motivated him to follow and engage in new and different stories being told in the Ann Arbor artistic community. He hopes his pursuit of this minor in Community Action and Social Change will educate him in becoming a more socially-aware and self-aware artist in the ever-changing artistic world; he has loved every step of working for this minor, and believes all students at UM, artist or not, can benefit from an interest in CASC, and that education, awareness, and dialogue are the most important things to foster in a college social setting.
Rickey Shackelford, W '21 is from metro Detroit and is currently a sophomore pursuing engineering and minoring in Community Action and Social Change minor. With a specific interest in mechanical engineering, he wants to pursue a career in the space industry. Rickey is also a member of the Kessler Scholars Student Advisory Board, where he serves on the Community Service committee and is a peer mentor, a member of the National Society for Black Engineers, where he is on the Pre-College Initiative committee, competes for the Michigan club track team, does research through the Space Research department on Saturn, and is a Student Manager with Michigan Dining. Rickey hopes that through the CASC minor he will develop skills and connections that will enable him to serve his community to the fullest extent.
Sabrina Kim, BS ‘21 is from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and is a junior in Computer Science in Engineering with a minor in Community Action and Social Change. She hopes to help all students have the same educational opportunities one day and eradicate the achievement and opportunity gap that exist today. Her passion for education led her to pursue her CASC minor to learn more about the education system and nonprofit organizations. She is a small group coordinator in Asian InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity.
Payton Watt, BS ‘18 is an undergraduate senior studying Biology, Health, and Society with a minor in Community Action and Social Change (CASC). While growing up in Ann Arbor, she volunteered with underserved communities in soup kitchens and local shelters. Payton saw firsthand the oppression that individuals faced, and it led her to co-founded Michigan Movement, during her sophomore year. The student organization aids individuals and families experiencing homelessness and poverty in Ann Arbor. Since then, she has advocated for and done research on economic mobility, food access, disability, and affordability both on and off campus. She is a member of the CASC student advisory board, a research assistant at Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan and is currently applying to MPH programs for health management and policy.
Jaya Thyagarajan, BS '21, is a junior studying Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience (BCN) with a CASC minor. Her involvement with CASC began as a freshman when she recognized healthcare disparities that were not emphasized within the pre-medical education; she sought to learn more about social injustice and how to initiate change. Through CASC she has interned with 'Telling It', supporting healing and learning needs of children through youth-driven experimentation with creative arts. Jaya also volunteers with adults with memory loss, guiding art and music therapies. In addition, she is involved with a campus organization known as F.E.M.M.E.S. that teaches young girls about STEM+ fields and encourages their involvement within these disciplines.She hopes to one day use her CASC knowledge combined with her medical background to create trauma-informed programs, specifically for children and adults coming from low resource backgrounds.
Melissa Smiley BS'21 is a junior from Oak Park, MI pursuing a degree from the School of Kinesiology in Movement Science, as well as a minor in Community Action and Social Change (CASC) . In high school, her passion with Social Justice began in a club called buildOn, a community service organization that builds schools overseas. She worked as the Education officer, and her participation in this organization allowed her the chance to travel to Washington D.C. to learn about and advocate for the importance of Education from a Global standpoint. These experiences led her to CASC, in hopes that she will make a difference in closing the gap of the inequalities that exists in Education within underrepresented community, and making quality education accessible to all, as she believes Education is the foundation need to overcome many barriers. Melissa hopes to become a Physical Therapist one day, and have the opportunity to use her career to service those in need, locally and globally. She hopes that her journey and experiences within Social Justice will inspire her currently 3 year old son to become an active participant in servicing and empowering his community.
Sara is a junior majoring in Art & Design at Stamps School of Art & Design. Since her freshman year, she has declared a CASC minor in the School of Social Work to incorporate her passions for art and design with community engagement and social justice. As an open-minded individual who is self-motivated to learn and broaden her experiences, CASC has given her the opportunity to learn from other individuals on campus that are equally passionate about similar topics, as well as help expand my passions.
Sara is interested in pursuing a career in ceramic design. She sees ceramic design as a platform to utilize mundane, everyday objects to encourage habits, creating spaces to promote social interaction and communicate ideas that may eventually influence social behavior. In the future, she hopes to create ceramic pieces that establish a connection with the objects’ users, evoking emotive and intuitive responses, while keeping a sense of the user’s touch in mind to determine how they may interact with the object.
Hope Crystal, BBA ‘21 is an undergraduate sophomore studying business with a minor in Community Action and Social Change (CASC). As a Chicago suburbs native, Hope became very interested in social justice during her junior year of high school when she did a research paper on the non-academic spending of her public high school. Through this paper she realized how large of a divide there is between the funding of her high school and the Chicago Public Schools. She aspires to make a positive social impact and help the Chicago Public Schools through her business career. She was eager to join the CASC minor during the first semester of her freshman year and has taken an active role in the CASC minor. She is involved in Lean-In, Sigma Delta Tau sorority, and is part of both the CASC Outreach Board and the CASC Advisory Board. Please reach out to her if you have any CASC-related questions!
Elsa Borrello, BBA ‘20 is an undergraduate junior with a major in business, a minor in CASC, and supplemental studies in environmental sustainability. While growing up in Saginaw, Michigan, a city facing many economic and social challenges, she witnessed the many ways small businesses and organizations can drastically impact community. In addition to her involvement on the CASC student advisory board, Elsa is a member of Net Impact, an organization dedicated to furthering social impact and sustainability through business. In the summer of 2017, she interned at Voices for Earth Justice, an urban garden and environmental justice nonprofit in Brightmoor, Detroit. She learned about some of the ways in which communities of color are unproportionately targeted and affected by negative environmental impacts. Through the process, she was exposed to many forms of community organizing. These experiences have helped shape Elsa’s passions in food access and economic empowerment through financial inclusion.
Logan Ziegler, BBA ‘19, is an undergraduate senior studying business with a minor in Community Action and Social Change. Originally from Dearborn, Michigan, Logan grew up in a very diverse community that shaped who he is as a person today. With his business degree and CASC minor, Logan hopes to utilize his education in the nonprofit sector following graduation, working with underserved and underrepresented people. Currently, Logan is volunteering at the Hikone Community Center, which is an after school program that is a part of the Community Action Network (CAN). On the CASC student board, Logan has helped start a volunteer initiative that we hope will launch this semester. On campus, Logan is also a member of the Mind Matters Mental Health Initiative at Ross, which puts on events throughout the year focused on de-stressing during exams and ending the stigma surrounding mental health awareness.
University of Michigan
School of Social Work
1080 South University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106