University of Michigan Professors to Participate in Workshop Exploring Partnerships, Collaboration with Indonesia

Jun 09, 2014 Bookmark and Share

Three faculty members from the University of Michigan will travel to Indonesia from June 16–18 to join 60 educators and administrators from the United States and Indonesia at Gadjah Mada University for a workshop to develop new research partnerships, explore potential areas of collaboration, and initiate joint proposals in the areas of sustainable environment and resilient community. The workshop is the first major activity planned by the United States-Indonesia Partnership Program (USIPP) Consortium—a binational group of twelve colleges and universities committed to advancing academic collaboration between the U.S. and Indonesia.

Professors Herek Clack, April Bigelow, and Meredith Miller will represent U-M at this workshop. Professor Clack, from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, focuses on control of trace toxic and metallic compounds emitted as a result of fossil fuel combustion and particulate carbon emissions and their climate forcing effects, especially as they intersect with other air pollutants emissions. Professor Bigelow is in the Division of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction at the School of Nursing, and her research focuses on health promotion issues within vulnerable populations, including smoking cessation and chronic disease management. Bigelow has led student groups to Thailand, and will be looking for opportunities for U-M students in Indonesia. Professor Miller, assistant professor of architecture in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, explores the influence of environmental thinking on architecture and its outcomes. She has researched the effects of flooding or inundation on the megacities of Bangkok and Jakarta, and has led student groups to conduct research in those cities.

U.S.-Indonesia academic relations have been on the rise since Presidents Obama and Yudhoyono announced the Comprehensive Partnership between the two countries in 2010, and included a working group specifically focused on education. The USIPP Consortium, founded in 2013 to build upon a two-year grant from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), demonstrates a strong commitment from the higher education sector in both countries to complement government initiatives with private efforts. 

From the very beginning, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) has been involved in the USIPP Consortium. One major venture that has grown from this partnership is the joint study abroad program of five of the consortium members. U-M students join with students from Lehigh University, Gadjah Mada University, University of Indonesia, and Airlangga University to travel the two countries for a month. This trip, supported by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, occurs every June.

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) is a U.S. Department of Education-supported National Resource Center. The center is committed to promoting a broader and deeper understanding of Southeast Asia and its peoples, cultures, and histories by providing resources for faculty, students, and the community. For more about the center, visit