Taubman MUP/Ford Policy Students Team Wins Campus-Wide 2016 Social Impact Challenge

Taubman MUP/Ford Policy Students Team Wins Campus-Wide 2016 Social Impact Challenge

The University of Michigan Center for Social Impact announced the winners of its campus-wide 2016 Social Impact Challenge on February 9th. This year, the Social Impact Challenge partnered with the Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL) to create possibilities for the redevelopment of the former Tiger Stadium site.

Team Eye of the Tiger, comprised of four graduate students from the U-M Ross School of Business, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and the Ford School of Public Policy, won for their innovative and research-driven proposal that highlighted how to best utilize the new playfield, preserve the site’s history and generate enough revenue to effectively operate Detroit PAL’s new headquarters and youth sports center. The team, Aaron Ledbetter (Ford MPP), Andrew Kelley (Ross MBA), Karen Yocky (Ford MPP) and Michelle Rubin (Ford/Taubman MPP/MUP), spent the past semester focused on the past and future of the Tiger Stadium site. They visited Detroit stakeholders, attended PAL youth events, and sorted through economic and program data. Their winning recommendations included corporate and alumni sponsorships, social media awareness campaigns, integration of former heroes such as Ernie Harwell, enhanced sports leagues for both boys and girls, and co-hosted community events. The new Detroit PAL facility is planned to start construction in April 2016. During this time, the winning team will be able to work directly with PAL and partners to execute their vision.

Every winter semester, the Center for Social Impact partners with a Detroit-based nonprofit on a project that helps tackle pressing strategic roadblocks. The Social Impact Challenge is an opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students across the entire university to collaborate and solve complex social issues in a competitive environment with real-world implications.

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