April 24, 2019

Lumina Convening shines a spotlight on Wayne State, Detroit

Some of the nation’s best and brightest in higher education and community development will come together at Lumina Foundation’s annual Community Network convening, which will be in Detroit April 29 - May 1.

Lumina selected Detroit for its annual gathering in part because of its ongoing work within the city and its collaborations with Wayne State University, the Detroit Regional Chamber and other local partners. The invite-only Convening is expected to draw nearly 400 people for conversations and workshops focused on strategies to boost degree attainment and increase equal access to opportunities for postsecondary education.

Detroit was recently designated a Talent Hub by Lumina and The Kresge Foundation; this prestigious designation recognizes cities that meet rigorous standards for creating environments that attract, retain and cultivate talent, particularly among today’s students — many of whom are people of color, the first in their families to go to college and from low-income households. Detroit is one of only 24 Talent Hubs in the country; there are almost 700,000 people in the Detroit area with some college, but no degree. As a Talent Hub, the city and its stakeholders — including Wayne State University — have committed to work together to help address the growing demand for workers with an education beyond high school.

Many Wayne State representatives and initiatives will be highlighted, including:

  • Monica Brockmeyer, senior associate provost for student success, will lead a conversation about the business case for student success. Wayne State has been widely recognized for having some of the fastest-growing graduation rates in the nation, and Brockmeyer will present about the broad benefits of investing in student success.
  • Dawn Medley, associate vice president for enrollment management, will join the Detroit Regional Chamber in a dialogue about how Wayne State has disrupted the higher education landscape with its innovative Warrior Way Back program. The debt-forgiveness initiative has become a national model in student reengagement and wrap-around support. 


  • Amanda Rosales, enrollment management project director, will join representatives from AdmitHub and the Detroit Regional Chamber to speak about innovations in using artificial intelligence to serve returning students. The group will share information about DetroitEd411, a new collaborative effort that provides an online hub for educational resources and interactive support to help improve educational attainment in the Detroit area. This innovative technology, which uses Facebook Messenger, can be easily customized and replicated in other cities.

Learn more about Detroit’s Talent Hub designation here. Learn more about Wayne State’s commitment to student success here.