OMI is comprised of UM-Dearborn staff and students working together to fulfill the Metropolitan Vision.
This dedicated group works collaboratively to establish and further university and community partnerships on campus and throughout metropolitan Detroit.
Tracy S. Hall, Ph.D., Executive Director
Tracy S. Hall, PhD, is Executive Director, Office of Metropolitan Impact and a Lecturer II in the Masters of Public Administration and Public Policy program.
Dr. Hall’s expertise encompasses higher education, nonprofit and public administration leadership; public policy advocacy; and workforce development/career transition. Her professional experience is grounded in 30+ years of cross-sectoral and government relations work, including service in the federal legislative and executive branches, and as a nonprofit executive and private sector lobbyist.
Since 2011, Dr. Hall has helped establish the Office of Metropolitan Impact (OMI), and now serves as its Executive Director. OMI strives to enhance the volume and impact of mutually beneficial community partnerships for research, teaching, learning, and service and to catalyze the University’s Urban Futures Mission. Most recently, she has co-developed regional youth development research and collective impact agendas that have informed knowledge co-creation, best practices, and decision-making in close collaboration with senior leaders from regional public school and workforce development systems. Key areas of research, social innovation and impact include: healing centered restorative engagement; youth voice; trauma-informed care; resilience; restorative practices; inequality; social justice; and education and career navigation.
In early 2013, Dr. Hall helped establish the UM-Dearborn Operating Site for the federally funded AmeriCorp service program Public Allies Metro Detroit (www.publicallies.org) and served as its Operating Partner until the University split with the program in 2020. From 2013-2015, Dr. Hall led a campus-wide effort resulting in UM-Dearborn receiving the prestigious national Carnegie Foundation engaged campus classification. Dr. Hall is a part-time faculty member serving her 11th year in the Master of Public Administration and Public Policy program where she teaches 7 of the course offerings.
Prior to UM-Dearborn, Dr. Hall served 10+ years in the nonprofit sector, most notably at Focus: HOPE, a nationally known Detroit organization engaged in civil and human rights and workforce development, where she led fundraising for its $28+ million operating budget, as well as public policy advocacy, community and volunteer outreach, communications and marketing, research and related activities. Dr. Hall also served roughly 20 years in public service and government relations positions in the Greater Washington, D.C. Area, including work for the U.S. Congress and as a political appointee for the 41st President of the United States.
Dr. Hall completed her doctor of philosophy (PhD) in public administration and public affairs from Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Virginia Tech) in 2006 and her master of public administration (MPA) from The George Washington University in 1993. Proficient in Japanese, Hall received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Japanese Studies from Bucknell University in 1982, the junior year of which she spent at the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan.
Dr. Hall actively participates in professional and academic activities related to: talent management and workforce development, especially related to disconnected young adults; the nonprofit sector; community/civic engagement; public administration & policy; and urban renewal and revitalization. Her primary interest is to engage in both theory and practice that lead to fundamentally positive transformational social change.
Molly R. Manley, Assistant Director
As OMI’s Assistant Director, Ms. Manley oversees the office’s day-to-day operations and programming. This includes implementation of the strategic plan, collaborating with campus and community partners, and general supervision of office staff. In addition, she is responsible for incorporating restorative practices within the office’s policies and procedures while also providing training, when necessary, in accordance with industry best practices.
A graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Ms. Manley completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science prior to graduating with a Master of Public Policy with a focus in Justice Reform in 2018. During her time as an undergraduate, Ms. Manley was recognized as a Campus Difference Maker. Prior to her role as Assistant Director, Ms. Manley worked as a Program Coordinator at OMI, having first joined the office in 2011 as a VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America), serving for two years in that role. As one of four authors that resulted in successfully earning the campus Carnegie Community Engagement Classification in 2015, she truly has helped develop OMI into what it is today.
Ms. Manley was elected to the board of the Youth Justice Fund in 2020. She is very active in her community with a variety of safety initiatives, the local block club, and community center. One of her passions is advancing Restorative Practices throughout the region- a passion in both her personal and professional life.
Michael Devoe, Financial Specialist
As the Financial Associate for OMI, Mr. DeVoe’s role is focused on overseeing the departmental budget while also serving as the single administrative point of contact for all federal and sponsored funds secured to advance programming and desired mission goals.
Mr. DeVoe came to the University of Michigan-Dearborn in July 2018 after several years working in both the private and public sectors in various positions ranging from project accounting to project team leadership. He has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) earned at the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2008 and 2016, respectively. His interest in public financial management developed as he navigated through the MPA curriculum while working full-time as a Project Accountant for a private firm.
Mr. DeVoe loves hanging out and being goofy with his wife and two kids, they truly are his inspiration. He also enjoys getting in a round of golf, watching movies, and even occasionally sneaking in a quick video game online, which he admittedly isn’t very good at anymore, but affords the opportunity to catch up with some old buddies. When not participating in one of his leisure activities, he also tries to keep up-to-date on current events. He is equally fascinated researching such topics that are particularly of interest to him, though that often changes.
Sara Neuenschwander, Project Coordinator and Administrative Assistant
Ms. Neuenschwander focuses on internal and external communication for the Office of Metropolitan Impact, as well as providing administrative support, particularly as it pertains to its Executive Director, Dr. Tracy Hall. Additionally, she facilitates programmatic work around campus initiatives. She schedules activities in the Ford Collaboratory, assists in maintaining the website, and coordinates the social media accounts. She serves as the programming co-chair for the Commission for Women and is excited to have brought weekly Zoom yoga to campus during this time of working from home.
In January 2016, Ms. Neuenschwander began working with OMI as an intern with the Humanities department. Since then, she has moved up to part-time Office Assistant, part-time Project Coordinator, and now full-time Project Coordinator and Administrative Assistant. Prior to coming to OMI, Ms. Neuenschwander held positions in retail, the coffee industry, apartment leasing, and banking. She is happy to leave the finances to Michael DeVoe and stick to office purchasing!
A 2019 graduate of UM-Dearborn with a degree in Political Science, Ms. Neuenschwander is currently considering graduate school options. In her free time, she enjoys knitting hats for friends and family and hopes to add crocheting to that list soon. She loves cooking and baking, especially breads and savory pastries. Ms. Neuenschwander enjoys reading about a variety of topics, but particularly enjoys books on spirituality and Tudor era fiction. Her favorite past time, however, is sharing a good cup of coffee with friends.
Nayyera Ahmad, Post-Graduate Intern
Mrs. Ahmad is a post-graduate intern with the Office of Metropolitan Impact. She assists with many projects, including SEMI Wild (a regional collaboration consisting of conservation, recreation, academic, and government entities), seed grants, the Carnegie classification, and co-designing student engagement activities. Additionally, she is working with the OMI team to establish a new framework for young adults using healing centered restorative engagement (HCRE) practices, which are rooted in trauma-informed and restorative practices.
Mrs. Ahmad truly believes that the team fosters college recruitment and retention for a diverse and bright community of youth at UM-Dearborn. This is accomplished by applying a proposed curriculum designed to help students excel and contribute to society.
Mrs. Ahmad graduated in Multan, Pakistan, from Bahauddin Zakariya University with a duel Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Physics and a Master’s degree in Electronic Physics. She went on to become an educator at an Army Public School in Pakistan. She recently obtained a Master’s in Public Administration and Public Policy (PAPP) from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She is fluent in three languages: Urdu, Punjabi, and English. She is passionate about helping and advocating for international students' voices and guiding them through their higher education journey in the United States. During her days off, she likes to spend time with her family and enjoys traveling.
Micah Blake-Smith, AmeriCorps VISTA
Mr. Blake-Smith serves as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Office of Metropolitan Impact. He is working to expand SEMI Wild’s youth career pathways program. The goal of this program is to increase minority participation in environmentalism and sustainability-based careers. Passionate about agriculture, Mr. Blake-Smith hopes to share that excitement with others.
Mr. Blake-Smith attended Tennessee State University where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science with a concentration in agricultural education, communication, and leadership in 2019. At TSU, he served as the student government representative at large to alumni relations and donors; College of Agriculture student ambassador; vice president of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS); and Dean’s scholar undergraduate researcher, among other leadership positions. Additionally, Mr. Blake-Smith gained experience in program development from interning at the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville, Tennessee and from designing the Science in the Kitchen camp at the Bowers Farm School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
In his free time, Mr. Blake-Smith loves to hang out with his college friends and help plan their futures. He also enjoys spending time playing video games with his friends. Mr. Blake-Smith is a self-proclaimed foodie and avid home cook. He loves finding new local restaurants and trying new recipes.
The OMI Advisory Committee meets quarterly to discuss goals and projects implemented by OMI.
Committee members are made up of staff and faculty representatives from across campus.
Current Committee members:
Keisha Blevins, J.D., Chief of Staff to the Chancellor
Stein Brunvand, Ph.D., Associate Dean, College of Education, Health, and Human Services
Nicholas Capul, Staff
Yi-Su Chen. Ph.D., Faculty
John Cristiano, Ph.D., Assistant Dean, College of Engineering and Computer Science
Kristine Day, Staff
Cheryl Donohoe, Staff
Paul Draus, Ph.D, Staff
Amy Finley, Ph.D., Dean of Students
Cristina Frendo, Staff
Tyler Guenette, M.A., Staff
Marcus Harris, D.B.A, Faculty
Ann Lampkin-Williams, Ph.D., Dean, College of Education, Health, and Human Services
Patricia Martin, M.P.A., Staff
Joshua Palmer, Staff
Britta Roan, M.S., Staff
Laurie Sutch, Staff