Faculty Advisory Board

Andrew Newman

Associate professor of cultural anthropology
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Andrew is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research combines urban ethnography with anthropological approaches to environmentalism. His interests include urban political ecology, land-use issues, "reclaimed" urban spaces, social movements and the relationship between globalization and the city. In his fieldwork, he focuses on environmental and urban politics in a multiethnic district of Paris that is primarily populated by residents of Maghrebi and West African origin.

He's currently working on two Detroit-focused projects: a community-led "People's Atlas of Detroit" being done in conjunction with Building Movement of Detroit and a collaborative project with Yuson Jung, Ph.D., on ethical and sustainable food in the city.

Mary Elizabeth Anderson

Associate professor of performing arts
College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts

Mary Elizabeth Anderson received her MFA and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, where she studied devised performance, site-specific art and philosophies of embodiment. Mary's research engages questions about the human relationship to place as it manifests in performer training and site-specific performance.

Her essays have appeared in journals such as: About Performance; Body, Space & Technology; Research in Drama Education (RiDE); and Theatre, Dance and Performance Training. Her writing on flash mobs was published in the Palgrave Macmillan volume Embodied Consciousness: Performance Technologies. Co-authored works with Doug Risner have appeared in: Arts Education Policy Review; International Journal of Education & the Arts; and Teaching Artist Journal. She is the author of Meeting Places: Locating Desert Consciousness in Performance (Rodopi, 2014).

Michael Kral

Associate professor of social work
School of Social Work

Michael Kral is a clinical-community-cultural psychologist and medical anthropologist. He has been conducting community-based participatory action research with Inuit in Arctic Canada for over 20 years on suicide, suicide prevention, kinship, culture change and youth resilience. Some of this research has also been with Indigenous peoples in Siberia, Alaska and northern Norway. His current research is with Native American youth, in the Czech Republic with Roma (Gypsy) people and collaborative studies on suicide and bullying and on the mental health of mental health professionals.

He has co-edited four books and a special issue of a journal, books including Suicide in Canada, About Psychology: Essays at the Crossroads of History, Theory, and Philosophy and Critical Suicidology: Transforming Suicide Research and Prevention for the 21st Century. He is finishing his book The Return of the Sun: Suicide and Social Transformation among Inuit in Arctic Canada.

Richard Marback

Professor of English
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Professor Marback is the author of Plato's Dream of Sophistry (1999) and co-editor of The Hope and the Legacy: The Past, Present and Future of "Student's Right to their Own Language" (2004), Cities, Cultures, Conversations: Readings for Writers (1997) and Reading City Life (2004). For several years, Professor Marback has posted to a blog (Detroit Rhetoric) on historical and contemporary issues in rhetoric and composition as well as the intersection of the two terms of the blog's title through writings about local events and responses to academic and media coverage of Detroit.

In 2012, Marback was the inaugural recipient of the Marilyn Williamson Endowed Distinguished Faculty Fellowship for his proposal entitled "The Virtue of Vulnerability in Public Persuasion" which draws upon virtues inspired by the African concept of Ubuntu to foster public discussion. Richard is also the series editor of our book series in citizenship studies and a research fellow for the Center for the Study of Citizenship.

Richard Smith

Associate professor of social work
School of Social Work

Richard Smith, Ph.D., is a native of Michigan and concentration chair for the Innovation in community, leadership and policy concentration in the MSW program. Our social work students have twice named him teacher of the year. His research interests include sustainable community development, inequality and migration. He currently serves as a core advisor for the International Ecocity Standards project of Ecocity Builders, Inc. and serves on the FocusHOPE Hope Village Steering Committee.

Siobhan Gregory

Senior lecturer of art and art history
College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts

Siobhan Gregory. Ph.D., is an industrial designer and applied anthropologist, living and working in Detroit. Her research focuses on the progress of a more human-centered design practice. In the business sector, she pulls from anthropological theory and methods to help organizations form deep and meaningful connections with their customers through culturally informed product development, service innovations and brand direction. 

Gregory got her start as an automotive designer for General Motors working in many capacities including portfolio strategy, brand strategy, in advanced pre-production and production studios. She later made a career change to become the lead woman's footwear designer for the Keds Corporation where, with a strong sense of history and Keds as a cultural icon, she helped bring style and relevancy back to this heritage American brand.

She now works on a broad range of design research projects in the business sector and beyond. She joined the faculty of Wayne State University in 2012.