MSU UARC is shutting down effective June 30, 2021. We are no longer taking on new projects.


  • Jeff Grabill, Ph.D.
  • Co-Director, MSU WIDE Research Center
  • Associate Professor, Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
  • Michigan State University

Grabill is interested in how people write together to do the "knowledge work" of their everyday lives. He locates his work at the intersection of professional and technical writing, rhetorical theory, and literacy theory. Grabill is the author of Community Literacy Programs and the Politics of Change (SUNY, 2001) and the forthcoming Writing Community Change: Designing Technologies for Citizen Action (Hampton, 2007). He has also published articles in College Composition and Communication, Technical Communication Quarterly, Computers and Composition, and English Education.

  • Dave Mitropoulos-Rundus
  • President, Michigan Usability Professionals' Association

Dave Mitropoulos-Rundus has designed user interfaces for hand-helds, kiosks, Web sites, and production machines, and has conducted evaluations in the lab, on the Web, in the field, and in the homes of consumers. He currently lead's Compuware's Usability and Interaction Design group whose mission is to improve usability and standardize user interfaces across Compuware's products. Mitropoulos-Rundus is a frequent conference presenter and user interface design instructor, and authored a chapter in Design by People for People. He is an active member of ACM SIG-CHI, HFES, STC, UPA and Uxnet. Mitropoulos-Rundus currently serves on the UPA International Board of Directors and is also the current president of the Michigan UPA. Mitropoulos-Rundus has a master's degree in human factors psychology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

  • Sarah J. Swierenga
  • Director, Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting
  • Michigan State University

Swierenga, Ph.D., C.P.E. is the director of the Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting at Michigan State University. A researcher and a practitioner with 20 years of experience in the scientific study of users in commercial, military, and academic environments, she possesses extensive skills in user interface design, data collection tools, and methodologies including usability tests, accessibility compliance evaluations, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, and expert evaluations. She also co-authored Constructing Accessible Web Sites (APress, 2003), and has presented widely on accessible Web site design, usability techniques, and health communication technology, and e-learning effectiveness, which comprise her research programs.

  • Susan Burton
  • Executive Director, Society for Technical Communication

Burton has a 30-year track record of association management successes. She has worked for a wide variety of trade and professional associations, most recently as president and CEO of the American College of Health Care Administrators, changing the culture to be more responsive, open, and transparent. She has served as the interim CEO for three associations. Prior to these assignments, Burton was the first paid CEO of the Vision Council of America (VCA), which started as a desk in a law office. Under her leadership, VCA grew to a $7 million association with the second largest trade show on the globe. VCA's public awareness program won prestigious American Society of Association Executives and Public Relations Society of America awards for increasing consumer awareness of the importance of eye care and eyewear. Burton has experience with every major functional area in association management. She has a B.A. in American history and education and an M.A. in Chinese history, and she earned the highest score in the nation when she became a Certified Association Executive (CAE) in 1984.

  • Christopher Hunter
  • Director, Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DODHH), Michigan Commission on Disability Concerns, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth

Hunter graduated from the California School for the Deaf in Riverside. He received his bachelor's degree from Gallaudet University and a master's degree in education administration and supervision from California State University, Northridge. Hunter taught deaf students at the Idaho State School for the Deaf and Blind in Gooding for seven years and administered a program of supportive services to deaf and hard of hearing students at the William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, IL, for five years before coming to Michigan in 1980 to take the DODHH director position. He has been adjunct professor of American sign language at Michigan State University since 1980. Hunter's talents and skills include public presentations, storytelling and joke telling, pantomime, and computers. He has been married for 38 years to Annella, who is also deaf, and they have six grown hearing children.

The Ford IT Creative Design and Usability team is integrated into the Ford software development process and provides user interface design and evaluation services to multiple divisions within Ford. Usability specialists and graphic designers on the Creative Design and Usability team work together to strengthen the quality of user interface design and to improve the user experience in all aspects of our business.

  • Timothy Keirnan
  • Producer and Co-Host, Design Critique: Products for People

Timothy Keirnan is co-founder of the Michigan chapter of the Usability Professionals' Association and creator of Design Critique: Products for People, a podcast that encourages user-centered design for a better customer experience. He holds a bachelor's in audio engineering from SUNY at Fredonia and a master's in scientific and technical communication from Miami University, where he studied under Robert Johnson, author of User-Centered Technology. After spending many years in consultancies helping clients improve the user experience of their products, Keirnan currently works "on the inside" of the IT department in a life insurance company in Michigan. He is a member of the Usability Professionals' Association, has spoken at multiple UPA conferences and local chapter meetings over the years, and is an active member of a local Toastmasters club.

  • Tom Brinck
  • Creative Director,
  • Co-Host, Design Critique: Products for People

Tom Brinck is the creative director at, a subsidiary of that develops search technologies for e-commerce applications. He is co-author of the book Usability for the Web. Tom recently relocated to Palo Alto, California, after 13 years in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he was the co-founder of a Web design and usability firm, Diamond Bullet Design, and an adjunct lecturer at the University of Michigan's School of Information.

  • Paul A. Green, Ph.D.
  • Research Professor, Human Factors Division, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI)
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE)

Green has spent most of his professional career studying how people drive and how to make driving safer and easier, as well as teaching courses on human factors engineering. His research has concerned driver workload, navigation system design, motor vehicle controls and displays, and person-computer interaction, research that makes extensive use of instrumented cars and the UMTRI driving simulator. He has led the development of and managed all three generations of UMTRI's driving simulator. He was the lead author of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practices concerning navigation system design (the "15-second rule," SAE J2364) and design compliance calculations (SAE J2365). Over the last 25 years, within IOE, he has been teaching the ergonomics laboratory, human-computer interaction, and automotive human factors classes. In addition, he is co-leader of the Human Factors Engineering Short Course (now in its 48th year), the flagship continuing education class in the profession. Green has a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and three degrees from the University of Michigan, including a joint Ph.D. in IOE and psychology. Professionally, he is a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and chair of its Publications Committee, a fellow of the Ergonomics Society, and a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, the ITS-America Safety and Human Factors Committee, and other organizations. He is a past secretary-treasurer of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and a former member of its Executive Committee and Executive Council.