University of Michigan

Posted on Feb 4, 2015

The World100 Representative

Elizabeth Parkinson - Executive Director of Marketing

Elizabeth Parkinson’s career in marketing and communications spans more than 25 years and features a broad breadth of work within consumer products, business services, nonprofit, government, professional sports and higher education.

As assistant vice president for marketing communications at the University of Michigan, Elizabeth is responsible for the overall marketing and brand strategy for the university, with a specific focus on institutional priorities. She works closely with the marketing and communication teams at each of the schools, colleges, business units and central administration offices and has direct oversight of Michigan Creative, Michigan Photography and Video, Digital Media and Brand Management. She also leads the university's Executive Marketing Council, which comprises the top marketing personnel across the University of Michigan. 

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Key facts about University of Michigan

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Network member since 2014

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66% of undergraduates are Michigan residents

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Students come from all 50 states of the USA and 114 countries

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Former US president Gerald R. Ford is an alumnus

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U-M faculty has included recipients of Macarthur fellowships, Nobel and Pulitzer prizes

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University of Michigan's Mission & Vision

The University of Michigan's mission is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through pre-eminence in creating, communicating, preserving, and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.

Our goal is to sustain U-M's academic and research environment as one of the best in the world, at the same time engaging with global partners in mutually beneficial research and study programs. We want to create and promote an environment that supports learning in many forms - artistic performance, public service, and community engagement in addition to teaching and research - and that fosters exploration and discovery.

About University of Michigan

One of the top colleges in the country, the University of Michigan has been serving the people of Michigan, the United States, and the world for nearly 150 years. Founded in 1817 in Detroit, the university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837, and has become one of the top research institutions in the world. Our alumni include presidents, diplomats, astronauts, and inventors: men and women who have helped shape the world.

International Partnerships

The University of Michigan's global outreach effort is a critical part of our core mission. Our commitment to global engagement is shown in our internationally rich student body; the 27,000 alumni living in more than 175 countries around the world; the more than 65 different languages taught and dozens of international centers and programs for students and faculty; and opportunities for scholarships and study abroad; just to name a few.

Michigan has especially robust partnerships with institutions in China, including the UM-SJTU Joint Institute in Shanghai and the UM-PUHSC Joint Institute in Beijing. In addition, Memoranda of Understanding have been signed with institutions in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea. And U-M will be expanding its global partnerships in Brazil and India in the near future.

Notable Research Areas

Research is central to the university's mission. Research expenditures for 2010-2011 totaled $1.24 billion, one of the largest by any U.S. university, and an increase of 8.5% over the previous fiscal year.

The disciplinary reach of the university's programs is exceptional. Research is conducted within all 19 academic schools and colleges. Michigan is noted for its interdisciplinary initiatives, such as nanoscience and technology, energy, and life sciences, where faculty from many units on campus work together on research projects.

Several large-scale institutes conduct full-time research. The Institute for Social Research comprises the renowned Survey Research Center and the Populations Studies Center. The mission of the Life Sciences Institute is "to improve human health through collaborative scientific discovery." The Michigan Energy Institute is a cross-campus interdisciplinary effort to develop affordable and sustainable energy sources. And UMTRI (the U-M Transportation Research Institute) is one of the top automotive research organizations in the country.

Most significant research breakthroughs


Higgs Boson ("God Particle") found - An international group of scientists including U-M researchers have found a particle that is likely the Higgs boson, the long-sought missing piece of physics' Standard Model, officials announced this week in Switzerland.

U-M offers new skin cancer mobile app - A new free app developed at the University of Michigan Health System allows users to create a photographic baseline of their skin and photograph suspicious moles or other skin lesions, walking users step-by-step through a skin self-exam.

Dark matter scaffolding discovered for first time - Scientists have, for the first time, directly detected part of the invisible dark matter skeleton of the universe, where more than half of all matter is believed to reside.

Researchers find tablet computers may interfere with magnetically programmable shunt valve settings - U-M researchers have found that the Apple iPad 2 can interfere with settings of magnetically programmable shunt devices, which are often used to treat children with hydrocephalus

UMTRI vehicle safety research shifts into high gear - University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute is embarking on the next step in a $22 million motor-vehicle safety research project. "Safety Pilot Model Deployment" is largest connected-vehicle, street-level pilot project in the western hemisphere. UMTRI and the US Department of Transportation have partnered to examine connected-vehicle technology in real world by equipping vehicles with devices that enable them to send and receive wireless messages.