Funded Projects
Faculty Development Fund (FDF)
Project Title Overview of the Project
Michigan Difficult IntraVenous Access (Mi-DIVA) Simulation Model
Ivan Co
Medical School
Brendan Munzer
Medical School
Cindy Hsu
Medical School


“Without studying, preparation, and practice, you’re leaving the outcome to fate” - Kobe Bryant (1978-2020)

Vascular access is a life-saving procedure for critically ill patients. Its scope encompasses commonly performed peripheral intravenous access to rarer central venous cannulations for vasopressor administration, hemodynamic monitoring, and mechanical support. Training clinicians to achieve mastery in central venous access has largely relied on task trainers to simulate cannulating normal vessels under ultrasound guidance. However, the commercially available task trainers are costly and unable to simulate patients with difficult vascular access that are common in real-life clinical scenarios. As such, learners cannot consistently achieve procedural competency in situations where prompt central venous access is critical for patient care. To solve this problem, we will create a novel, high-fidelity, and low-cost simulation model for difficult central venous access called the Michigan Difficult IntraVenous Access (Mi-DIVA). We will then demonstrate Mi-DIVA’s impact on emergency medicine learners’ central venous access procedural competency with a mixed method approach.
Equitable Stage Makeup and Hair Modules
Sarah Oliver
Music, Theatre & Dance
Music, Theatre & Dance


Far too long traditional modes of teaching theatrical makeup within university training programs have privileged Caucasian skin tones and hair texture; however, the pandemic has afforded the Design & Production (D&P) program in the Department of Theatre & Drama, in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) the time to examine and reflect on our own delivery of courses in stage makeup and methods of creating more equitable and inclusive delivering of training in theatrical makeup to all performance and design students. The goal of this grant is to ensure that all SMTD dance, theatre, musical theatre, and opera students are training in makeup and hair skills that reflect the diverse community in which they will be working and performing. By creating a series of online theatrical makeup module courses that train our students and performers not only how to apply makeup in the dressing room but guide them through the process of how to adjust and refine makeup for all skin and hair types in each of SMTD’s three main performance spaces we strive for a more equitable and unified way to teach stage makeup and hair to all design and performance majors, at SMTD. We evaluated lessons learned during the pandemic about leveraging a hybrid approach to course delivery content and how that can be a more powerful and equitable approach to capitalize on creating a sustainable teaching module to educate the entire department and beyond.
Advancing Equity through Teaching with the Arts


Advancing Equity through Teaching with the Arts will help beginning teachers learn how to combat systemic racism and structural inequality by using visual art in their teaching. U-M Museum of Art (UMMA) and School of Education (SOE) will collaborate to redesign a key unit in a course for elementary teacher candidates to focus on teaching for equity with visual art. CRLT funds will support this redesign of this course to be launched in Fall, 2022, as well as robust evaluation of the course. The Fall 2022 course will also inform the development of a campus-wide collaborative learning experience on Teaching with Art for Equity aimed to launch Winter 2025, and is open to any U-M student across all units.
Faculty Empowerment
Michael McElroy
Music, Theatre & Dance


Faculty Empowerment, created and facilitated by Michael Thornhill and Karen Olivo, is a series of workshops designed to investigate the ways in which tradition, culture, race, identity, and trauma inform artistic training. Through listening sessions and in person workshops, faculty develop applicable tools to build culturally inclusive pedagogies, equity forward teaching strategies, and community building structures to dismantle and innovate training for today’s young artist. Faculty Empowerment recognizes the individual and community trauma experienced as a result of the pandemic, taking of Black lives and subsequent protests that erupted across our nation during mandatory remote learning. As musical theatre training requires students to utilize the full self, a shift in training is needed to encompass the trauma that we all now hold. While building a specially designed program to help us meet the present moment, Faculty Empowerment will partner with University of Michigan’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion office as well as Counseling and Psychological Services to create a framework that addresses the whole person in artistic training practice. By teaching alternative classroom culture structures, principled disagreement strategies, and somatic mindfulness, Faculty Empowerment will provide skills and tools for faculty to engaged today’s young artists as we navigate our new normal in the Department of Musical Theatre.
Urology Surgical Collaborative Resident Education Curriculum (SCoRE Curriculum)
Yooni Yi
Medical School


Urology Surgical Collaborative Resident Education Curriculum (SCoRE Curriculum) – A solution to the challenges of the rapidly evolving landscape of urology residency

The field of urology is a rapidly expanding field and research has suggested that recently graduated urology residents do not feel ready for independent practice. Currently, a dedicated surgical curriculum outside the OR is absent. This presents an opportunity to modify surgical training to better meet the operative needs of trainees. In light of this gap, we sought to create a dedicated surgical curriculum incorporating video-based review. This curriculum would incorporate index cases – initially robotic and laparoscopic cases. Two faculty members from two different institutions would serve as panelist to display expert videos with annotation. This would then be followed by review of two trainee videos to provide constructive feedback and advice. A library of videos and video reviews will be created on a secure website for further review. We anticipate this curriculum will increase the trainee level of confidence, increase autonomy, and ultimately improve surgical education.
Equity in Architectural Education: Stacked Mentorship Program
Irene Hwang
Architecture and Urban Planning


The Equity in Architectural Education Consortium (EAEC) is an ongoing initiative at the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning aimed to reduce inequities for students of color and other underrepresented minorities in professional architecture programs. By building a series of strategic partnerships and programs outside the predefined curricular frameworks, the EAEC Stacked Mentorship Program will foreground the experiences, perspectives, and expertise from a diverse group of professionals and scholars from historically underrepresented minorities in order to enrich, transform, and evolve our collective understanding of what is to shape architectural education as an agent of societal change. We plan to use those new understandings to: 1) inform curricular change; 2) deliver new educational experiences to our students; and 3) to provide unique opportunities for faculty professional development through collaborative exchange.
Case Studies: Taking them outside the box
Maria Dorantes
LSA - Romance Languages and Literatures


Offering students in the Spanish for the professions (medical) class case studies that are simulations, enriches the students’ ability to look at the patient experience, take their medical history and even select a diagnosis, among other training. From the instructor’s perspective, I can add issues of justice, equity and access to each of the cases, but from perspectives of different Spanish speaking countries so that the students are producing results in Spanish as well. With these cases, students will be able to follow different patients, reflect on their own perspectives and thoughts, while also addressing cultural tendencies. This program would be offered in addition to the partner exchanges that students currently with a university in Colombia.
Utilizing Improvisation in Wind Band Curriculum
Courtney Snyder
Music, Theatre & Dance


Though improvisation was a valued musical skill hundreds of years ago in the European tradition, the art of musical improvisation has been lost in the Euro-centric musical conservatory setting. The written note reigns supreme in academy of “classical” music. Though improvisation is valued in the traditions of Jazz, Black American music, Indian music and in music of the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, most students in the American conservatory have little to no experience with these music types. When students are given opportunities to improvise in an academic, concert band ensemble, many students do not even attempt it. They judge their work as inferior before they even try. They want to know how, but they are scared of sounding “bad.”

By learning new methods to teach improvisation and engaging students in the art of improvisation as part of the concert band curriculum, students will recognize that they not only have the capacity to improvise, but that their ideas are worthy of performance. They can gain a new-found sense of musical creativity, contribution, and purpose. They can engage with their colleagues in new and unique ways.

As orchestral positions (those positions which do not require improvisational skills) are declining, the more versatile the player, the more employable they are. As our culture becomes more heterogenous and values “non-white” music-making, this will bring with it more improvisatory music-making as well. The professional music world is changing. The curriculum needs to provide more improvisatory opportunities to increase students’ versatility.
The M-COPE Curriculum Series for Pediatric Cardiology Fellows – Promoting Mental Health in both our Patients and Physicians
Amanda McCormick
Medical School
Melissa Cousino
Medical School
Sonal Owens
Medical School
Carolyn Vitale
Medical School
Heang Lim
Medical School


Aim: To design, implement and rigorously study a curriculum aimed at patient mental health in children with congenital heart disease as well as physician well-being for pediatric cardiology trainees.
Background: Through limited studies, it is known that children with congenital heart disease have increased incidence of mental health disorders than their peers, yet are underrecognized. Mental health disorders are associated with poor outcomes in adults with congenital heart disease. Currently, no formal training exists for pediatric cardiology fellows in mental health. Additionally, physician and fellow physician burnout and mental health is known to result in poor patient care as well as increased rates of physician suicide.
Approach: Design of a holistic and interdisciplinary led 8-12 month didactic based train-the-trainer model curriculum, integrating mental health topics directed at both the mental health of the patient and the physician. Pediatric cardiology trainees will learn to screen their patients for mental health disorders and facilitate referral, as well as participate in self screening for burnout and specific anxieties related to fellowship, and learn strategies to increase resilience and self-care.
Future Directions: If successful, this curriculum may be reproducible to other subspecialties and/or other centers for collaboration in larger multi-center studies.
A UM Student Facilitated Digital Wellness Conference for K-12 Students and Caregivers


Prior to COVID, pre-teenagers (age 11-13) primarily developed their independence in their physical school settings, engaging with peers in-person through academic and non-academic spaces. The COVID pandemic changed this developmental norm; remote learning led many pre-teens to be isolated and forced to replace their in-person growth with socializing on digital devices. While it was not uncommon pre-COVID for adolescents to use digital tools, pre-teens engaged in them earlier in their development and more often than did their pre-COVID counterparts. Often, digital communications were the tweens’ only way to socialize with peers. As a result, caregivers were challenged to quickly create digital tool parameters for their children. This rapid adoption was not universally embraced: caregivers struggled with the amount of screen time and number of applications their pre-teens were engaging in. Furthermore, both the tweens and caregivers were often unaware of the implications of what the tweens were and still are doing in their digital world, most critically, mental health. Thus, the need for both to better understand the implications of engaging with digital applications. Further, UM SOE teaching interns are preparing to teach national standards on digital wellness to K-12 students and need clinical experiences working with pre-teens. The UM Digital Wellness Conference will bring together caregivers, pre-teens, UM teaching interns, and experts on digital wellness to engage in active discussion and community building. Participants would spend time on campus discussing their experiences and developing strategies for their personal digital wellness, with activities facilitated by experts and UM teaching interns.
Empowering Educators: The MENTOR Series
Daniel Cronin
Medical School
Michelle Daniel
Medical School
Seetha Monrad
Medical School
Gurjit Sandhu
Medical School
Vineet Chopra
Medical School
Robert Dickson
Medical School

Medical School
Amit Gupta
Medical School
Nathan Houchens
Medical School
Sanjay Saint
Medical School
Jakob McSparron
Medical School
Janet Biermann
Medical School

Medical School

Medical School
Patricia Mullan
Medical School
Michael Englesbe
Medical School


Historically, medical students at the U-M Medical School have had limited educator preparedness training. This is unfortunate as once medical students graduate they have significant responsibilities teaching co-residents and the next generation of medical students. Although a teaching elective does exist within the medical school, it is not scalable and not suited to practice clinical teaching. This grant team seeks to create a new “Clinical Teaching Elective” which will be scalable and flexible, allowing senior medical students to learn core teaching principles and skills while simultaneously being immersed in clinical practice. To accomplish this, our grant team is developing a central repository of best teaching practices that can be used as a curricular tool and on-demand teacher’s guide, the Medical Educators Novel Teaching On-demand Resource (MENTOR) Series, which is comprised of primarily concise educational videos supplemented by summary infographics. Importantly, select videos will also be used futuristically to fill gaps in other areas of the medical school curriculum. The creation team is composed of a diverse group of education experts from various departments and divisions, who are involved in content creation, design, evaluation and implementation. To ensure that our resource is optimally created for a variety of learning styles and preferences, we will be obtaining iterative feedback from medical student group interviews. The grant money will be used to fund food for medical student group interviews, as well as costs of video and infographic production including editing videos, script styles, animations and graphics based off medical student feedback.
Holographic Visualization of Magnetization Dynamics for Improved Magnetic Resonance Imaging Education
Nicole Seiberlich
Medical School
Daniel Fessahazion
Libraries (UM)


In this project, flexible augmented reality holographic displays will be created as visual aids for teaching the basic concepts of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). MRI is one of the most important and widely used medical imaging modalities, but also complex and thus challenging for students to understand. Undergraduates and graduate students in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Physics, as well as medical students and residents, often struggle to truly understand the connection between the MRI scanner settings, the nuclear magnetic moment (which is the source of the MRI signal), and image contrast. Educators attempt to depict the complex motion of the magnetic moment using 2D figures or 3D movies, but these conventional approaches are insufficient and often give the impression that MRI is much more complicated than it really is. Novel holographic visualization apps, using hardware such as Microsoft HoloLens, provide a unique opportunity to help students learn this complex material. Interactive holographic visual aids will be developed in-house at the Duderstadt Center specifically for MRI education. These new tools will be accompanied by lecture materials such that the complete package can be disseminated to any faculty member wishing to teach MRI, including specialized holographic visualization modules for undergraduate and graduate students (BME 499.006 and BME/EECS 516) as well as radiology residents. The success of the project will be evaluated via surveys and improvement in student test scores. The team members involved in this project are enthusiastic and have the expertise and access to students to facilitate this work.
Undergraduate Medical Education Introduction to Antimicrobial Decision-Making
Emily Abdoler
Medical School


Research indicates that physicians have difficulty selecting appropriate antimicrobials for treating infections, which can harm patients and lead to increasing antimicrobial resistance. Difficulty with antimicrobial prescribing likely begins early in medical education, and nationally many medical students consider their knowledge of infectious diseases (ID) and microbiology inadequate at the time of graduation. At the University of Michigan Medical School, the first year ID/Microbiology course is the last dedicated opportunity for medical students to gain knowledge regarding optimal antimicrobial selection; during clinical rotations, they learn directly from practicing physicians who may be among those making antimicrobial prescribing errors. This project aims to provide medical students with a framework for antimicrobial selection and schema for organizing their ID knowledge during the first-year ID/Microbiology course, while also introducing the concept of therapeutic reasoning. The framework will be provided on a laminated card and introduced through an interactive, case-based session. The framework will be reiterated through each of the course’s clinical syndrome lectures, thereby providing an organizing structure for students’ burgeoning knowledge. It also will be reinforced and applied through two new interactive sessions – healthcare acquired infections and antimicrobial stewardship – that touch upon themes of empiric antimicrobial selection and de-escalation.

continued in Project Objectives
Lettersmith: Supporting Students in Client and Employer Communication
Julie Hui


Respectful and professional client and employer communication is a critical skill for students’ professional development. The goal of this proposal is to continue the development of Lettersmith, an online tool that scales expert guidance for student email communication with clients and employers. Instructors (e.g. professors, career counselors, lecturers) express that students continue to make various mistakes in their professional communication, including not using appropriate language, not clearly stating their intentions, failing to personalize their message, or lacking the confidence to even send these messages in the first place. In effect, instructors spend a significant portion of their time reviewing individual emails and repeating the same guidance, sometimes even rebuilding student-client relationships due to avoidable communication errors. For the past three years, we developed and tested Lettersmith (, an online tool that provides an instructor-informed checklist of best practices, tagged examples provided by instructors and peers, and open space for students to write a draft in their own words. While the prior work focused on improving student communication quality and confidence, we aim to better understand and incorporate instructor needs, specifically 1) supporting greater awareness of student-client and -employer communication relationships, and 2) providing the ability to allow for more nuanced and readily-available communication guidance in the tool. In the future, we hope to perform further studies to better understand how tools like Lettersmith could reduce the gap in access to communication guidance across marginalized student populations, such as first-generation college students and non-native English speakers.
Development of an Interactive Textbook Platform for Engineering and Science Education
John Kieffer


The primary goal of this project is to create novel electronic textbooks with interactive content. The key innovative aspect are numerical simulation models, or widgets, of processes and phenomena that are conceptually abstract, involve atomistic level mechanisms that are too small to directly observe, or occur within an industrial scale installation. Hence, they are difficult, if not impossible to demonstrate in class or a laboratory. However, using HTML5 and Javascript, simulations can be directly embedded in the text, and allow the reader to interactively explore processes and fundamental concepts that form the theoretical basis for various disciplines. It allows the reader to immediately test their understanding of the imparted information by manipulating the process parameters or phenomenological conditions to probe the effect on outcomes. Learning takes place through instinctual communication with the simulation, by merely swiping a finger across a tablet to control parameter settings. E-textbooks of this caliber do not yet exist, and their interactive functionality represents a pedagogical innovation. Embedded process simulations provide students with a radically new immersive learning experience, in that the content is not preconceived but it is generated on demand, in response to user queries. To realize this technology on a larger scale we propose to develop an easily expandable and user-friendly coding platform, made accessible through an efficient workflow integration and a generally applicable code design, organized into a library structure. We emphasize high quality GUIs with functional layout, instinctive usability, and esthetically appealing graphics.