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Affinity Groups

LSA has launched a new Affinity Group project! Affinity groups are valuable additions to our workplace. They can help to cultivate bonds between employees by providing a forum to connect over shared identities and interests, such as knitting, Dungeons & Dragons, athletics, reading, parenthood, relocation to Michigan, and undergraduate affiliation, to name a few. Belonging to an affinity group has many benefits, among which are opportunities for leadership, reduced stress, new friendships, an increased sense of belonging, and greater workplace satisfaction. These groups are not intended to create extra labor; rather, they are an additional avenue for bringing about fellowship, fun, and camaraderie should you choose to involve yourself.

The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital or parentage status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status. As such, any and all affinity groups created at LSA must abide by this same standard of non-discrimination and inclusivity. Any group operating in an exclusionary or discriminatory manner may be removed from this page at the recommendation of the LSA Chief People Officer, LSA Chief of Staff, LSA Dean, or University Office of the General Counsel.

If you would like to propose an affinity group that you would be interested in joining or leading, we invite you to do so here. If you have any questions or concerns, or if you would like assistance with accessibility, inclusion, or other matters, please reach out to Karla Renee Williams at karewi@umich.edu. We look forward to launching (and participating in) your groups!

All Things Taiwan

All Things Taiwan is an affinity group for anyone who is interested in Taiwan. 

Point of Contact: Ben Peipert (he/him)

Baking

Do you love to bake or want to learn? Let's share recipes, troubleshoot baking issues, show off our creations, and more! 

Point of Contact: Alyssa Longo (she/her) 

Board Gaming

Share recommendations, meet up for lunch, and swap games with other members from respective collections. A chance to get to know fellow board game enthusiasts at the university and give us all another opportunity to play - we all know how difficult it can be to find the time or folks to sit down and play that game you've been so excited to try!

Point of Contact: Stefan von Werder (he/him)

Caring For Aging Parents

For those who are directly or indirectly involved in caring for their elderly parents. This includes delegating care among siblings/caregivers, making arrangements for food/travel/medical appointments, memory care, estate planning, socialization, and more. A place for shared experiences, laughter, tears and stress release. No one is an expert, we are all on this journey together.

Point of Contact: Mary Schlitt (she/her)

Ceramics & Pottery

This  group is for LSA employees who are interested in the art of ceramics/pottery. Members get together to work on ceramics projects in an informal and encouraging environment. Also, members who are currently taking pottery classes at the Ann Arbor Art Center might consider attending classes or studio hours together.

Seeking a leader. 

Climbing

For folks interested in rock climbing and bouldering, indoors or out! 

Point of Contact: Ana Austin (she/her) 

Diversity Book Club

Join this group if you enjoy learning about and discovering any aspect of diversity. Anyone can propose a book, and we will all vote on which ones to read and discuss. This is not a speed-reading club by any means.

Seeking a leader. 

Initial Contact: Carol Rabuck (she/her)

Eastern Michigan University (EMU) Alumni

We invite anyone who is an alumnus of Eastern Michigan University to join our group. If you want a place to be able to reminisce about your time at EMU or to help organize possible events between the two universities to help further collaborative efforts, please consider joining the group.

Point of Contact: Monika Wood (she/her) 

Games and Learning: Video Games, Tabletop Games, Physical Games & More

A group to test new games regularly and follow up with conversations around it. Members suggest / vote on new games to test. We can discuss gamification, game design, games and learning and other game related topics.

Point of Contact: Alfonso Sintjago

Health and Fitness

While juggling work, family, and any other responsibilities it is often that an individual may let their health take the backseat. In order to live a long and healthy life, it is important to play a proactive role in your health. This group hopes to provide tips on the lifestyle changes you can make that align with your goals and fit within your ability.

Point of Contact: Marwa Hassan (she/her)

Kickball Team

Remember playing kickball as a kid? It's even more fun as an adult! LSA could create a kickball team and complete through the Ann Arbor Rec & Ed program.

Point of Contact: Todd Ziegler (he/him)

LSA Artists Collective

A group to connect LSA community members who engage in artmaking, all media, to connect, learn, enjoy discussions, share resources, and more.

Point of Contact: Anna Batcke (she/her) 

LSA Young Professionals

LSA Young Professionals is committed to establishing, promoting, and encouraging opportunities that support LSA staff who are starting off in their career. This group does not discriminate by age, and seeks to encourage social activities, networking, & career development among individuals who are new to the workforce.

Point of Contact: Joseph Agosta (he/him) 

Men & Fathers

This group will provide an open and informal gathering space for those who identify as men and/or fathers to discuss the issues that we face and to share resources and provide mutual support. 

Point of Contact: Todd Ziegler (he/him)

Seeking a co-leader. 

Parenting For New Parents

An affinity group for first-time parents. Chat with other new parents and navigate unfamiliar waters together. Anything (work-appropriate) is game for this discussion group!

Seeking a leader. 

Photography

This group discusses the technical and creative aspects of photography, along with sharing photos with each other.

Point of Contact: Jocelyn Anderson (she/her) 

Tabletop Role-Playing Games (Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, etc.)

A group to talk about everything tabletop role playing games, listen, and provide strategies and advice. Other possibilities include starting a Google Chat space or SLACK group to chat and share ideas, questions, and exciting things we find related to DnD and TTRPGs. 

Point of Contact: Phill Cameron (he/him) and Shawn Jackson (he/him)

Woolverines (Knitters, Crocheters, Needlepointers, & Other Crafters)

Crafting has been scientifically proven to have significant health benefits. It is a way to quiet the mind, and make connections with other people. The Woolverines group welcomes all needle crafters, from those very (VERY) beginners to those with many (MANY) years of experience. We are an open and supportive group that enjoys sharing projects, tips, and ideas. 

Point of Contact: Kayla Schlaud (she/her) 

U-M Friends of Bigfoot and Other Cryptid Creatures

U-M Friends of Bigfoot and other Cryptid Creatures seeks to bring together all who are interested in learning, discussing, and exploring the paranormal/cryptozoological world. This is an inclusive group in every sense of the word. Skeptics, believers, and those who are curious are all welcome. While we take the topics discussed seriously, we do so in a lighthearted and fun manner!

Point of Contact: Frankie Quasarano (he/him)