Dinners With

The BLI Dinner with series offers a valuable opportunity for Leadership Fellows to enjoy a dinner with a BLI stakeholder, community leader, and/or U-M alum to get a behind the curtain view of their leadership journey. Dinner attendees build community, share leadership interests, and cultivate meaningful connections in an informal setting.

The series kicked off in November when the BLI had the opportunity to host Senator Stephanie Chang. Through the 2-hour conversation with Senator Stephanie Chang, students connected with her through their shared UM experiences and discussed how to develop negotiation skills, navigate multiple identities, fight for social justice and positively impact one's community.

The dinners continued with notable guests including, Jeff Hall, UM alum and founder and president of Second to None; Dave Barger, co-founder of JetBlue Airways and co-founder of BLI; Anne Curzan, Dean of LSA; and Mirabai Bush, co-founder and former director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. Here are a few takeaways from the events,

"From my experience (Dave Korus and Jeff Hall) in the "Dinner with," I've learned just how valuable an hour or two of listening and learning from an alumnus really is. You never know where a conversation might go, but you are guaranteed to walk away with more than a few new lessons learned and values to live by. The "Dinner with" series is a prime (and low-stakes) opportunity to work on your active listening skills and learning how to ask meaningful questions. Alumni that participate in this event are so excited to talk with students and are very willing to share insights into their career and life. There are few better learning opportunities on campus!" 
Joseph Coates, Data Science, Mathematics 2021

Dinner with Stephanie Chang

"I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to have dinner with Senator Chang. I learned so much from our time together, and am now inspired to look deeper into politics and its impact on society"
Daijha L. Morrow, Organizational Studies 2020

Dinner with Jeff Hall

“It was fantastic to be part of the dinner with Jeff Hall… Jeff is a great role model and I learned so much about servant leadership, mindfulness, and the logistics of starting a business.”
Heather Burrum, Kinesiology 2022

"Jeff's success as an entrepreneur and his positive managerial style are truly inspiring; his journey and experiences provide a tangible narrative to see BLI Habits and Positive Organizational Scholarship in action."
Hyun-Soo Seo, Organizational Studies 2020

Dinner with Dave Barger

"Dave Barger provided us with unique insight on how to practice love within the workplace and towards ourselves — a message that frequently gets lost in today's fast-paced society."
Alexandra Wormley, Psychology, History 2020

"My biggest takeaway was the importance of building a positive community and finding a place to work where I feel valued and heard. I will take these lessons with me on the job search and beyond!
Lillie Heyman, Public Policy 2020