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Coffee with the Profs

One of the MSU Alumni Association’s long-standing featured offerings, the Coffee with the Profs series highlights research and work done by some of the university’s finest faculty and staff.

Fall 2017 Detroit Series

The Coffee with the Profs series is coming to Detroit, featuring two university faculty and staff working specifically in Detroit.

Tuesday, November 14
InnovateGov: Cultivating the Next Generation of Community Leaders
Joshua Sapotichne, associate professor, Department of Political Science, and co-Instructor, InnovateGov
The tension in Detroit between new opportunities and the day-to-day experiences of hundreds of thousands of city residents presents an immense challenge to the city’s civic leadership. MSU’s InnovateGov – a Detroit emersion program that has embedded nearly 100 talented and motivated MSU students within 30 distinct civic organizations – was launched in response to these challenges. This presentation will address the history and impact of this program, and consider broader questions about the delivery of high quality education for civic engagement.

Tuesday, November 21
Building Citizens Through Music
Jill Woodward, director, MSU Community Music School-Detroit
Music programs in our nation’s public and charter schools have become the exception rather than the rule. This is especially true in urban centers like Detroit, where school reform is a major priority. MSU is helping to sustain Detroit’s musical heritage through programs at the MSU Community Music School-Detroit (CMS-D). Learn about CMS-D’s innovative music programs and how they promote social justice through access to music for urban youth.

The cost is $25 for 2 sessions and includes continental breakfast and coffee. Please note that this is a series, so registration is for the series only, not individual presentations. 

Registration is required and will be accepted through November 9, or until capacity of the venue is reached, so don't delay.


The event will take place at the Madison, located in downtown Detroit. Continental breakfast and coffee will begin at 7:30 a.m in the Loft. The presentation will follow at 8:00 a.m in the Auditorium. The program will conclude at 9:00 a.m.

Parking is available in several lots in close proximity to the event location:

- Lot adjacent to the Madison
- Detroit Opera House garage
- The Z garage

Approximately 5 -7 days prior to the first lecture in the series on November 14, you will receive an email with final event details.

If you have any questions, please contact Pamela Jones via email or by calling (517) 355-7348, or Elizabeth Wheeler via email or by calling (517) 884-2106.


Coffee with the Profs Detroit is being offered in partnership with:

Quicken Loans


Fall 2017 Campus Series

The cost is $75 for 5 sessions and includes coffee and parking. Please note that this is a series, so registration is for the series only, not individual presentations.

Registration for the Fall 2017 series is full.  If you're not able to join us in person, we are livestreaming each presentation. Check our livestreamed archive approximately 48 hours after the conclusion of each of the presentations.

Monday, October 9
The ACA: Forward Progress or Impending Collapse?
John Goddeeris, professor, Department of Economics
The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is seen as an historic success by advocates like Paul Krugman but a “disaster” by opponents including President Trump. To some, the insurance marketplaces the law created will inevitably collapse, while others believe that they can easily be stabilized. This presentation will address what we really know about the ACA’s achievements and failures, and speculate about its future in light of current events.

Monday, October 16
The Global Refugee Situation - Is it Really a Crisis?
Stephanie Nawyn, associate professor, Department of Sociology, and co-director of academic programs, Center for Gender in Global Context
There have been numerous stories about refugee crises, but what makes a situation a crisis? Learn some of the rhetoric surrounding refugee migration, calling into question the labeling of these situations as “crises” and demonstrating how the way that we respond to the movement of people across borders can either make a challenging situation worse or can improve the lives of both refugees and those who welcome them.

Monday, October 23
Diverse Perspectives in the Pursuit of Inclusive Excellence
Wanda Lipscomb, senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion and associate dean, for student affairs, College of Human Medicine, and associate professor, Department of Psychiatry
MSU has three interwoven values: quality, inclusiveness and connectivity. The College of Human Medicine has a mission to “enhance our communities by…promoting the dignity and inclusion of all people, and responding to the needs of the medically underserved.” This presentation will address systemic ways to promote diversity and inclusion using medical education as an example.

Monday, October 30
‘Democracy’ in Eurasia 25+ years after the Dissolution of the Soviet Union
Norman Graham, professor, James Madison College, and director, Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies
Is there a trend toward “Democratic deconsolidation” underway globally, including in some western democracies? If so, what’s driving the trend toward authoritarianism and the apparent fragility of recently established democracies? Why are citizens less content with their institutions? Are the consequences for prosperity and harmony dire? We’ll examine these questions with a focus on post-Communist Europe and Eurasia.

Monday November 6
Spartan Athletics – Insight into the Green and White and Our Quest for Excellence
Shelley Appelbaum, executive associate athletic director, Athletics
An overview of the academic, athletic and community engagement achievements of Michigan State University Athletics.


Archived Series

Each presentation from the series is placed in our livestreamed archive so you can watch them at any time.


For more information: If you have questions about the Coffee with the Profs program or would like to be added to the email list, please contact Elizabeth Wheeler via email or by calling (517) 884-2106.