I have often lectured on the power of teams in shaping one’s career – and I recently completed a dream team assignment over the holidays with the Honors College at Wayne State University –revamping and preparing a research website for launch. I was a graduate of Monteith College at WSU, but after that small experimental college closed its doors, graduates became affiliated with Honors.
Last winter I finally got a chance to start networking through the WSU alumni association and met the Honors Dean, Jerry Herron, who turned out to be both a southerner from Texas, (my late husband was from Alabama) and a former New Yorker (Brooklyn felt like my second home) before he was recruited to Wayne State University. He chose to live in downtown Detroit for many years and wrote lyrically about his belief in the resilience of the city, including AfterCulture: Detroit and the Humiliation of History.
One of my dreams since I recently returned to my hometown from Brooklyn was to help in the revitalization of a once great city. I already had experience in watching cities fall apart and finding ways to impact their revival, in both Brooklyn and LA. I also had a lot of experience in launching new projects, both organizations and websites, including in SF during the dotcom boom years.
The key, I always believed, was not in individual glory, but in working with great teams. After meeting and talking with Dean Herron, I was sure the Honors College was already a leader in Detroit and I just wanted to help spread its influence through vital research and community service (part of the four pillars of the College) on the area’s future. While my time on the project went by too quickly, it was long enough to verify the influence of powerhouse individuals both at the college and WSU or partnering with the University. I am including the link where you can see all the extraordinary individuals affiliated with Honors ( http://honors.wayne.edu/about/honors-faculty.php). I also worked closely with Andre Moses, a graduate of Eastern’s Honors program, who served as my student intern and associate. I remain so grateful for this opportunity and only hope I can continue to be involved in Detroit’s future as it emerges from bankruptcy into a bright new day.