Alumni Spotlight

Just who is a typical CASL graduate?  The simple answer is that there is no such person.  CASL alumni have a diverse range of skills, talents, experiences, and goals.  By “spotlighting” someone every other month, we hope to introduce you to our diverse group of alums ... and maybe you'll see a familiar face.

Name:  Myra M. Tetteh

Degree, discipline, graduation year:  Master of Public Policy, 2010

What are your current job responsibilities and/or volunteer activities?  Currently, I am a full time doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education.  My research focus is on how the physical design of communities impacts reaching recommended physical activity targets.  Specifically, I focus on contextual factors in urban communities including lighting, the presence of violence, and built environment infrastructure.  Moreover, I serve as the Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative (DFFC) Active Living Work Group Co-Chair and the Detroit Complete Streets Coalition Coordinator for the DFFC.  In the latter role, I facilitate a coalition between over 15 representative organizations (including, the AARP, a wheelchair advocacy organization, community-based organizations, and municipal departments), coordinate events to educate the community and policy makers on complete streets, participate in the writing of a complete streets ordinance, and communicate regularly with coalition members and policymakers.

Does your career/volunteer work relate to what you studied at UM-Dearborn or is your degree in a totally different field?  My current work connects very well with my previous studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.  I am fortunate to have the opportunity to integrate the skills I learned in the Public Policy Program in my everyday life.  As a doctoral student and in my built environment work, I have included ways to move sound and effective public policy into practice, which is a skill that I gained in the classroom at UM-D!

Looking back at the classes you took, pick out one of your favorites and tell why.  My favorite class was Program Evaluation in the Public Policy Program.  This class was one of the most beneficial to my everyday work.  Far too often evaluation does not occur in intervention programs and if it is included the evaluation is not as effective as it should be.  In the Program Evaluation course we learned how to conduct an effective evaluation based on an actual program of our choosing.  The notes and book from the course to this day sits on my bookshelf and I reference them often!

If there was a “favorite” professor(s), let us know and why.  My favorite professor in the classroom was Professor Julie Roddy.  She taught three of my classes and served as my Master’s Thesis chair.  We formed a wonderful relationship while I was there that has continued to this day!  Though, I have not had the pleasure of taking a course by Professor Paul Draus in the classroom, we have worked together on research projects, I have spoken to his class, and worked with his students; all of which I have enjoyed.  I have learned a great deal from them both and I am thankful to have them as mentors.