Bios

  • George Boersma
  • Director, Office of Technology Partnerships
  • Michigan Department of Information Technology

George Boersma has worked in Michigan government for fourteen years. He began as State Purchasing Director and then was State CIO and Deputy Director of Infrastructure Services. In 2003 Mr. Boersma became Director of Technology Partnerships, an office founded to promote collaboration among local units of government, universities, nonprofits, and businesses. Boersma was recognized by Government Technology magazine as one of the Top 25 "Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers" in 2006.

Prior to this, Boersma worked for 22 years with Michigan National Bank, the fifth largest bank holding company in Michigan. While at Michigan National, he held a wide variety of positions including Director of Lansing Properties, Director of Corporate Purchasing, and First Vice President of the Credit Card Division.

Mr. Boersma has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

  • Carl Bussema
  • Information Technologist, University Outreach and Engagement
  • Michigan State University

Carl Bussema specializes in dynamic web application development using the ASP.NET platform, including database design, AJAX, and CSS. Across multiple dynamic web languages and platforms, he has over seven years of development experience, and has made accessibility a priority in his designs throughout that time.

Prior to his work with UOE, Bussema led the design of a site to support staff and students for a class of over 60 sections and 1,900 students per semester.

Bussema has an M.S. degree in computer science and engineering from Michigan State University and dual Bachelor's degrees in computer science and communications from Hope College.

  • Constantinos Coursaris
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media
  • Research Adjunct, Usability and Accessibility Center
  • Michigan State University

Constantinos Coursaris' formal training consists of a B.Eng. in aerospace engineering, an M.B.A. in electronic business (e-business), and a Ph.D. in information systems with a concentration in e-business and mobile commerce (m-commerce).

During his academic career he has received many accolades for his business analysis and e-business research and development. Over the last decade, Dr. Coursaris has been involved in the instruction of over 40 university courses offered by universities in the U.S., Canada, France, and the U.A.E. His current research interests lie in the intersection of usability and mobile devices for the purpose of health and/or commercial applications. The results of his research efforts can be found in numerous publications and conference presentations.

Coursaris has also been consulted on strategy, marketing, and technology matters by for-profit, nonprofit, and government organizations. Industry projects undertaken have involved web development, web content management, online marketing, social media marketing, and mobile commerce. Coursaris shares tips and resources on these topics via his Twitter account "DrCoursaris."

  • Michael Elledge
  • Assistant Director, Usability and Accessibility Center
  • Michigan State University

Mike Elledge does client development, project management, user testing, accessibility evaluation, and facilitation for the UAC. His areas of interest include course management software and accessible web design for persons with disabilities.

In addition to his duties at the UAC, Mike has been actively involved in accessibility for two open source projects: Sakai, a course management system (www.sakaiproject.org), and Fluid (www.fluidproject.org), the development of accessible Web 2.0 components.

Mike has an A.B. in economics from Vassar College, an M.B.A. in marketing and finance from Columbia University in New York, and an M.S.I. from the University of Michigan, School of Information.

  • Rex L. LaMore
  • Director, Center for Community & Economic Development
  • Michigan State University

In addition to directing the CCED, Rex LaMore is a faculty member of the Urban and Regional Planning Program in MSU's School of Planning, Design and Construction.

Dr. LaMore has over 30 years of experience in community and economic development and has focused his career on the unique challenges of revitalizing distressed communities. His current research is focused is on bio-manufacturing and Michigan’s knowledge economy. He has authored numerous publications on community and economic development, and his work has affected the nature of university-community partnerships nationwide. In 1995 he was the national recipient of the Community Development Society's Distinguished Service Award. He also received the prestigious Educator of the Year Award in 2008 from the Michigan Economic Developers Association.

Dr. LaMore is Vice-chair of the Williamstown Township Planning Commission and a founding board member of Capital Area Local First coalition. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees at Michigan State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

  • Graham L. Pierce
  • User Experience Researcher, Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting
  • Outreach Specialist, Center for Community & Economic Development
  • Michigan State University

Graham Pierce is responsible for conducting and supervising usability assessments, grant-supported research, and accessibility assessments at the Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting. At the Center for Community & Economic Development, he is responsible for knowledge economy assessments, data analysis, and maintaining the knowledgeplanning.org web site. Prior to joining University Outreach and Engagement, Graham earned his Master's degree in cognitive psychology at Michigan State University. His research areas included eyetracking, psycholinguistics, and cognitive modeling.

  • Steve Pollo
  • Technology Specialist
  • MEE Inc.

Steve Pollo has a Master's degree in Labor and Industrial Relations and over twenty years of human resource management experience in the utility and manufacturing sectors. Mr. Pollo has used computers for professional and personal purposes from the days of DOS through Windows Vista. He is familiar with most of the major screen-reading software as well as other assistive technology devices used by the blind/visually-impaired, and works for a Michigan dealer of assistive technology.

  • Al Puzzuoli
  • Information Technologist, Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities
  • Michigan State University

Al Puzzuoli brings over 20 years of experience in the arenas of IT and assistive technologies to his position. Prior to his time at MSU, Mr. Puzzuoli worked for Humanware, a company that manufactures and sells assistive technologies including Braille displays, note taking devices, and low vision aids. He has also served as an assistive technology consultant for colleges, school districts, and state agencies, including the Michigan Commission for the Blind, Oakland Community College, and Macomb Intermediate Schools.

  • Carl Raymond
  • Software Developer, University Outreach and Engagement
  • Michigan State University

Carl Raymond is a member of a team that designs and develops web sites for his own department, other University units, and external clients. He takes particular interest in learning and applying software development practices, technologies, and tools that promote building robust, reliable, flexible, and maintainable systems. Before joining MSU in 2007, he was the founder and principal at Orchard Software Development, where he built custom software solutions and provided consulting services to a wide spectrum of clients. Over a span of 13 years, he met many interesting people with interesting projects to work on, and really learned the value of robust, reliable, flexible and maintainable systems.

  • Kirk S. Riley
  • Executive Director, Information Technology Empowerment Center
  • Lansing, Michigan

The ITEC center—a nonprofit that operates under a board of directors composed of academic, governmental, school district, and private sector partners—seeks to strengthen K-12 learning in science, technology, engineering, and math. ITEC operates in the former Holmes Street Elementary School in Lansing.

In addition to his work with ITEC, Mr. Riley serves as an academic specialist with University Outreach and Engagement at MSU, where he also lectures on risk communication and public involvement in environmental decision making. Prior to his UOE appointment he was a specialist in MSU's Environmental Engineering Department.

Riley is a Fellow in the Center for Water Sciences at MSU and a member of the Outreach Advisory Board for the Great Lakes Environmental and Molecular Science Center at Western Michigan University. He has a master’s degree in resource development from Michigan State University.

  • John Rivard
  • Assistant Vice President and Information Architect, Comerica Bank
  • Michigan

John Rivard holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, where his studies focused on cognitive psychology and perception, communication, and graphic art. He founded JCR Design and Consulting in 1988 to explore the potential of new media technology and its impact on design, marketing, and culture. Awards for Rivard's web sites include UK Online's Featured Site for the Week, Useful Cool's Useful Site of the Day, The Guardian's Site of the Day, and Links2Go's Key Resource Award. Rivard has given presentations on usability and web site design, Internet privacy and encryption, marketing techniques, and Internet applications. His comments and writing about Internet issues have appeared in such online and traditional print media as C|Net, PC Week Online, the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the New York Times. He has helped numerous individuals and organizations to get online and develop a professional presence on the Internet. At Comerica Bank, Rivard helped design the information architecture of a Spanish version of Comerica.com, the integration of Flash technologies within a web content management system (CMS), and the interaction design for an electronic forms system.

  • Sharron Rush
  • Co-founder and Executive Director, Knowbility
  • Austin, Texas

Knowbility is a nonprofit advocacy and training organization that has pursued the mission of improving IT accessibility to increase educational, employment, and social opportunity for people with disabilities since 1999. Ms. Rush has led Knowbility to national recognition as a leader in the field of technology access and built a network of experts through community programming and accessibility training and consulting services. Under her leadership Knowbility has been profiled on the Oprah Winfrey TV show, been a "Best Practice" feature at the National Labor Skills Summit, and been recognized for excellence and innovation by the Peter F. Drucker Foundation.

In April of 2001, Rush was named one of the Top 25 Women of the Web and in March 2002, she received the Dewey Winburne Award for Community Service through Interactive Media. She is a ComputerWorld Laureate, an advisor to the SXSW Interactive Media Conference, was named Community Tech Champion by the Congressional Black Caucus, and co-wrote the book Maximum Accessibility. Ms. Rush annually assembles the best minds in web accessibility to deliver training conferences that teach and define interactive technology accessibility.

  • Shane Schulze
  • HV Battery Engineer, Ford Motor Company
  • Michigan

Shane Schulze grew up in Pigeon, Michigan, and graduated from Laker High School in 1998. From there he came to Michigan State University and was a member of the 1999 Track and Field Big Ten championship team. He graduated from MSU in 2002 with a mechanical engineering bachelor’s while completing 3 rotating semester internships with General Electric in industrial motors.

In 2003 Mr. Schulze started working as a durability engineer for the Escape Hybrid vehicle at Ford, where he later moved to a position as an HV battery engineer with a focus on testing the Escape and Fusion hybrid platforms. In 2006 he received a master's of engineering management degree from University of Michigan. In 2008, he completed an electrical engineering master's degree, also from UM.

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

A researcher and practitioner with over 20 years of experience in the scientific study of users in commercial, military, and academic environments, Dr. Swierenga possesses extensive skills in user interface design, data collection tools, and methodologies. She co-authored Constructing Accessible Web Sites and wrote a chapter for The User-Centered Design Casebook. Swierenga is an alternate member of the U.S. Access Board 508/255 refresh committee, and a member of the UPA Voting and Usability Project.

  • Salina Washington
  • Internet Presence Strategist and Usability Consultant, Information Technology eGovernment Team
  • Oakland County, Michigan

Salina Washington has nearly a decade of experience working for Oakland County Information Technology as an Internet Presence Strategist and Usability Consultant. She has led projects and managed staff who helped shape Oakland County's eGovernment transformation and contributed to the County's being named the most digitally advanced county in America by the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties in July of 2009.

Currently Ms. Washington is leading Oakland County's multi-channel marketing and communications project, which will provide the County with a cutting edge toolkit to promote programs and services cross-departmentally, as well as externally to the County’s citizens, businesses, and local units of government. Also, she is facilitating the assembly of the County’s first social media governance committee.

Washington lived, worked, and studied the Japanese language and business culture in Hiroshima, Japan, for four years and lived and studied advanced Spanish and International Business with a focus in marketing and communications in Monterrey, Mexico, for three years. She earned her B.A. in marketing with a minor in Japanese from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and an M.B.A. with a specialization in Finance from Walsh College. She is pursuing an advanced specialized certificate in Advanced Interactive Marketing and Measurement online through the University of San Francisco.

  • Mark Wilson
  • Associate Director, School of Planning, Design, and Construction
  • Associate Professor, Urban & Regional Planning Program, Department of Geography
  • Research Economist, Institute for Public Policy and Social Research
  • Michigan State University

Mark Wilson has undergraduate and Master's degrees from the University of Melbourne (Australia), and an A.M. and Ph.D. in regional science from the University of Pennsylvania. His research and teaching address urban planning, information technology, economic geography, public policy, and nonprofit organizations.

One of his major research interests is the economic, social, and political dimensions of cyberspace. His initiative, E*Space: The Electronic Space Project, investigates the urban and regional impact of the Internet. He co-authored a book (with Kenneth Corey), Urban and Regional Technology Planning (Routledge, 2006), which develops strategies for communities to utilize information technology in a global economy.

Dr. Wilson's other research interests focus on the planning, land use, and economic issues associated with mega events, such as the Olympics and world's fairs, and the Nonprofit Michigan Project, which explores the significance of Michigan's nonprofit sector, specializing in economic trends and public opinion about the sector.

Dr. Wilson serves as Chair of the IGU Commission on the Geography of Global Information Society.