October 02, 2017

To enhance the experience of Master of Community Development (MCD) students, University of Detroit Mercy’s School of Architecture has formed an MCD advisory board.

The goal of the board is to bring together a group of thought leaders to provide advice and guidance for the Master of Community Development Program.

“We constantly strive to ensure excellent programs that are nimble and relevant to our students, and the organizations and communities they serve upon graduation,” said School of Architecture Dean Will Wittig.

Wittig hopes the board will also expand the program's spheres of influence by reconnecting with alumni who are a making a difference through their work, as well as other influential community development leaders in the region.

The board features 20 members, including Wittig, Detroit Mercy alumni and major players in several different fields.

“We are very pleased at the response from those who were invited to join the board,” said Wittig. “It is a very diverse group that includes leaders of community development organizations, foundations, and a variety of service providers. We are confident that the program and our students will benefit from their collective wisdom in the future.”

Since its initial launch in 2006, the MCD program has produced talented graduates who have gone on to successful careers that reflect a broad range of interests. Many graduates have also been selected for competitive fellowship programs as they make their professional transition. Most recently, current MCD student Madhavi Reddy was named a 2017-19 Detroit Revitalization Fellow.

The MCD board will help ensure the continued success of the program and its graduates.

“This new Board of Advisors will continue to strengthen and advance one of Detroit Mercy's most unique academic programs, founded specifically to serve a need that was identified a decade ago for the next generation of community leadership in our region,” Wittig said.

For more information on the MCD program visit our website at or contact Assistant Professor and Director of the MCD program Virginia Stanard at 313-442-3520 or

Master of Community Development Advisory Board
Heidi Alcock
, Director of Grant Development and Communications, McGregor Fund
Phillip Caldwell '16, General Motors (Alumni)
Larissa Carr '14, Grand River WorkPlace Manager, Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (Alumni)
Fr. Phil Cooke, Co-Director, Center for Social Entrepreneurship, University of Detroit Mercy
Shelley Danner, Program Director, Challenge Detroit
Priscilla Darby '16, Parent Outreach & Community Partnerships Coordinator, Growing Minds Learning Center (Alumni)
Ja’Net DeFell, Director of Real Estate Services - Michigan, IFF
Shamyle Dobbs, Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Community Resources
Ed Egnatios, Program Officer, The Kellogg Foundation
Donna Givens, CEO/Executive Director, Eastside Community Network
Tom Goddeeris, Director of Community and Economic Development, Detroit Future City
Lauren Hood '03, Director, Live6 Alliance (Alumni)
Lisa Johanon, Executive Director, Central Detroit Christian CDC
Gaston Nash, General Engineer, Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA)
Megan McGreal Papi-Wark, Project Manager, Community Partnership Program, Detroit Land Bank Authority (Alumni)
Ceara O’Leary, Associate Director, Master of Community Development Program
Molly Redigan '10, Architectural Designer, Patrick Thompson Design (Alumni)
Sarida Scott, Executive Director, Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD)
Virginia Stanard, Director, Master of Community Development Program
Will Wittig, Dean School of Architecture, University of Detroit Mercy