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Founders and Associates of the Institute for Detroit Studies (IDS)

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Mary E. Byrnes is associate professor emerita of sociology and former faculty member at the Institute for Detroit Studies at Marygrove College.  Byrnes is now a qualitative sociologist at the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy (CHOP), Department of Surgery, at University of Michigan Medicine.  Her work focuses on improving surgical outcomes for the diverse population of southeast Michigan.  She has been published in Annals of Surgery and Journal of Surgical Research in addition to her previous research expertise in older adults and housing where she was published in Journal of Applied Gerontology, Aging and Society, and Sociology Compass. She is a founding member of the Detroit Theater Collective, an experimental theater company in the city.    

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Pao-yu Ching (Pao-yu Chou), professor emerita of economics, was an important member of the interdisciplinary Detroit studies team at Marygrove even before IDS was established. Although she retired from Marygrove in 2003, she remains a committed scholar and activist. Among her works are Revolution and Counterrevolution: China’s Continuing Class Struggle since Liberation (2012), Rethinking Socialism: What Is Socialist Transition? (2017), From Victory to Defeat: China’s Socialist Road and Capitalist Reversal (2019), dozens of articles, and scores of papers about China, Maoism, and revolution presented at conferences around the world.

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Rose E. DeSloover is a conceptual artist who has been actively engaged in the metro Detroit art community for many years. She has a B.A. from Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and an M.F.A. from the Claremont University Center in Claremont California. She was a professor on the faculty of Marygrove College from 1969 until 2013, becoming professor emerita upon retirement. She has participated in exhibits in numerous locations, in and around the State of Michigan, as well as around the U.S. and in Bonn, Germany. She was the Director of The Gallery at Marygrove College for 23 years, during which time she brought hundreds of artists to the attention of the Detroit community and co-curated URBANOLOGY, a multi-gallery exhibition focused on Detroit and the urban experience. 

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A music alumna of Marygrove College, Ellen Duncan received a master's degree from Eastern Michigan University, and has had further study at Westminster Choir College in Princeton and at Brevard Music Center in North Carolina. She was chair of the music department at Marygrove, where she directed the choir and taught courses in conducting, music theory, and voice. Duncan has also directed choirs at historic St. John's Episcopal Church in downtown Detroit and Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, Michigan, and the Detroit Public Library. Although raised in a cookie-cutter suburb of Detroit, as an adult she found more interesting places to live, including Ferndale, Michigan, where she has resided since 2004.


Mary Lou Greene was the chair of the Visual Arts Department at Marygrove College and now runs both the Institute for Music and Dance and the Institute for Arts Infused Education at the Center for Detroit Arts and Culture @ Marygrove. She collaborated with Marygrove colleagues in designing and promoting events for Defining Detroit and the Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series. Greene’s creative and professional projects reflect her interests in social practice and arts-infused education. She exhibits her work locally, nationally, and internationally and has acted as curator, lead investigator, grant-writer, and grant researcher. 

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Jane Hammang-Buhl is professor emerita of business and a former dean, department chair, and vice president for academic affairs at Marygrove College. As a professor, she focused on business ethics, sustainability, diversity in organizations, and organizational change and development. She was co-director (with Rose E. DeSloover) of Changing the Vibe: The Charles McGee Community Commons, and continues service in education with membership on the  Board of Directors of Detroit Cristo Rey High School and Gesu Regents. Hammang-Buhl was the director of Defining Detroit in 2000-2001, during which IDS was established, and continued on the IDS planning team until 2009.


Born and raised in Metro Detroit, Judith Heinen spent her career working in the city of Detroit. She taught high school for seven years and was a faculty member and academic administrator at Marygrove College for 37 years. She completed her Ph.D. in higher education at Wayne State University, served as an academic dean at Marygrove from 1998-2016, and was recognized as dean emerita in 2017. She has actively supported Detroit cultural, community, and educational institutions and events and has collaborated in initiatives such as IDS, Building Our Leadership in Detroit (BOLD), and the Urban Leadership Curriculum Project.

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Barbara A. Johns, IHM, was professor emerita of English at Marygrove and served as English Department chair and special assistant to the president. She was a major force behind the development of the Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series, IDS, and Defining Detroit. Her scholarly publications include works on nineteenth-century women writers and Catholic women’s education in Detroit. She wrote for many of the college’s publications and developed the applications for several major grants including the initial funding for Defining Detroit and IDS. Johns received a B.A. from Marygrove, an M.A. from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. from the University of Detroit. She died in 2015.


Thomas A. Klug, professor emeritus of history, taught at Marygrove College for three decades and served as the first director of IDS.  Raised in Warren, Michigan, he attended the Center Line Public Schools and went on to earn his B.A. at Wayne State University, his MA at the University of Chicago, and his Ph.D., at Wayne State. Klug is a student of Detroit’s labor and industrial history, with particular expertise on Detroit’s employers and managers.  More recently, his research and writing focus on the creation of US immigration law and its deployment along the US-Canada border in the Great Lakes region before the Second World War.  He compiled the Bibliography of Detroit History, Politics and Culture, Late Nineteenth Century to the Present (second edition, 2019).  Klug serves as editor of the Great Lakes Series of Wayne State University Press and on the board of editors of The Michigan Historical Review

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Dr. Glenda D. Price became the seventh president of Marygrove College in July of 1998. In addition to her commitment to academic excellence in the classroom, she fostered strong engagement between the faculty and students of the college with the broader Detroit community. Under her leadership the college implemented the Griot Program, the Women’s Leadership Institute, Study Abroad, an Honors program, and the Institute for Music and Dance. As an outcome of the college’s participation in the celebration of Detroit’s 300th anniversary, The Institute for Detroit Studies became an ongoing program that now lives on as a component of the Center for Detroit Arts and Culture @ Marygrove. Dr. Price holds a B.S. degree in Medical Technology, an M.Ed degree in Educational Media, and a Ph.D in Educational Psychology, all from Temple University.

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Frank D. Rashid is professor emeritus of English and a former dean and department chair at Marygrove College and a co-founder of IDS. Rashid is editor of the Literary Map of Detroit and co-editor of Tiger Stadium: Essays and Memories of Detroit’s Historic Ballpark. He has published on the poetry of Lawrence Joseph, Robert Hayden, and Emily Dickinson and on Detroit politics, history, and culture. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Detroit.  A lifelong Detroiter long active in local social causes, Rashid works on housing and neighborhood issues and opposes public subsidies for professional sports and other forms of corporate welfare.

Dena Scher is professor emerita at Marygrove College, where she taught from 1981-2015. She founded and established the John Novak Oral History Archive, which included Detroit Journeys (migration and immigration experiences to Detroit), migrant workers experiences in Florida, and Civil Rights sit-in experiences at Bennett College. She has recently founded the Jewish Journeys oral history collection which explores religious identity.

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