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Education Policy Fellowship Program

Leveraging Expertise, Relationships, and Leadership

through Technology, Risk-Taking, and Critical Conversations

May 9, 2011
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

This learning team session looks at a central issue in the important work of preparing students for the knowledge economy of the 21st century: how do people overcome real or perceived obstacles to make connections and influence policy decisions?



Our presentation will model specific ways in which leaders can leverage three key resources to shape, drive, and direct policy.  These intangible but invaluable resources are expertise, relationships, and leadership.  As we will show, these resources can be brought to bear on policy in many spheres through a combination of technology, risk-taking, and crucial conversations.

As will be defined by our project, expertise is knowledge and experience about how to bring about change.  Many policy leaders see expertise in other organizations, but may not know how to tap into that expertise to benefit their own organization.  Relationships are interdependent connections between individuals and teams that can pool organizational capacity.  Many policy leaders depend on relationships to find out information or to broker cooperation, but these leaders also know the importance of exploring new relationships, refining existing ones, and guarding against stagnation.  Leadership is the exercise of decision-making power within an organization toward an agenda.  Many policy leaders wield this naturally but sometimes assume that their leadership has a limit, and thus fail to recognize how to “borrow” the leadership of those with even more power.

Often, an obstacle to gaining access to these resources is the simple assumption that those who possess them will not share them.  However, the “big block of cheese day” is itself a model of bridging the phantom gap that exists between those who have these resources and those that need it to effect policy change.  Can we take the risk to ask for access?  Can we use technology to remove obstacles of distance and time?  Do we have the courage to build trust and develop relationships?


EPFP Learning Team Members:
Linda Fredrickson
Pete Mantei
Liz Borowski
Phil Chase
Ash Harris
Shelly Patton
Ryan Starkweather

Resource People

Jean Boven, Deputy Commissioner, Dept. of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs

Jean Boven is the Deputy Commissioner overseeing the Licensing and Product Review Division, within the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR), Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. She oversees the licensing programs for insurance producers (agents) solicitors, counselors and adjusters, third party administrators, foreign risk retention groups, mortgage brokers, lenders, servicers and loan originators, as well as nine other consumer finance regulatory programs. She also oversees insurance rates and form filings for personal home and auto policies.

Prior to coming to OFIR, Ms. Boven was the Director of the Licensing Division within the Bureau of Commercial Services, Department of Labor & Economic Growth, where she was responsible for the administration of 31 licensing programs. She also served as the Department Manager for the Bureau’s Enforcement Division, overseeing the intake of consumer complaints and the issuance of formal administrative complaints against licensees.

Jean has 35 years of public service working in various departments for the State of Michigan. She has Masters Degree in Public Administration from Western University and a Bachelors Degree in Public Policy from Michigan State University.

Justin Caine, Owner, Good Fruit Video

Mr. Caine has been studying video since high school, where he worked for his school's television channel. In 2002, as a high school senior, Justin's class won national recognition for excellence while competing against other high schools and even universities throughout the country.

After high school Justin attended Lansing Community College, where he studied media technology. Once he received his diploma from LCC, Justin had several short stints in local media outlets, both television and radio, before pursuing self employment. Good Fruit Video is Justin's third venture in the world of business ownership and has allowed him to pursue his two main passions in life: video production and philanthropy. Justin has won several awards for his work in GFV as well as in the community, including Ten Over the Next 10, awarded by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce and more recently, Good Fruit Video was awarded Innovator of the Year by the City of East Lansing.

Phillip Jeffery, Deputy Director of Strategy for Governor Rick Snyder

Phillip Jeffrey is the Deputy Director of Strategy for Governor Rick Snyder and supports the implementation of performance management through a balanced scorecard process.

Prior to his service in Governor Snyder’s executive office, Phillip served as the Deputy Director in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget for the state of Utah. In this capacity he directed the Budget and Policy section which provided objective budgetary analyses, reviewed state program and department plans, prepared budget details for the annual Governor’s Budget Recommendation to the Utah State Legislature, as well as summarized appropriations and monitored expenditures throughout the year. He also participated as a partner in implementing the statewide balanced scorecard initiative that integrated performance metrics into the Utah budget process and played an active role in operations that earned Utah the recognition as “the best managed state in the nation” by Governing Magazine.

Phillip holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Economics from the University of Utah.

Steve Hoelscher, Leadership Turn Around Coach, Godfrey Lee High School

Steve Hoelscher is presently serving as the Leadership Turn Around Coach for Godfrey Lee High School.   He has been a teacher, counselor, assistant high school principal and a middle school principal. As middle school principal, Steve successfully provided leadership in transitioning the school from a junior high to a true middle school that provided academic excellence, met the developmental needs of adolescents and provided equity in programming for all students. He is presently a member of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform and trustee of the Battle Creek Public School Board of Education.

Jacquelyn J. Thompson, Ph.D., President & CEO, QueSE Consulting, LLC

Dr. Jacquelyn J. Thompson (Jacque) is the President and CEO of QueSE Consulting, LLC. QueSE (“keys”) Consulting provides technical assistance and coordination of strategic resources to educational organizations for the design and implementation of new systems and/or policies as well as systems assessment and improvement. She is currently serving as an Appointee to the Commission on Equity and Excellence in Education. The Commission is appointed by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in response to a request from the US Congress to address issues of equity in public school funding.

Jacque also served as an elected member of the Board of Directors, and President, of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education; in 2009 she had the distinction of receiving the Association’s Heritage Award for contributions to the field of Special Education.

She is also a recipient of the Jane Scandary Early Childhood Education Award, and the National Leadership Award from the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL). Jacque served as a Co-Coordinator of the Michigan Education Policy Fellowship Program for over 10 years.

Jacque worked for the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) for 23 years, serving as the State Director of Special Education in Michigan from 1997 to 2010; previous to this appointment she was the Coordinator for Early Childhood Education for the Department. Prior to her tenure with the MDE, Jacque worked as an Early Childhood Educator, Speech and Language Pathologist, and University Instructor. She has a BA from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, and a Master’s and Doctorate from Michigan State University.

Carol Wolenberg, Deputy Superintendent with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE)

Carol Wolenberg is a Deputy Superintendent with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), a position she has held since April of 1995. She is responsible for executive direction of MDE’s administration and support functions: Financial Management, including budget, procurement, and accounting; Grants Coordination and School Support, including the National School Lunch and Breakfast and other USDA food programs; State Aid/School Finance; Audits; Administrative Law, and the Library of Michigan. Functions related to teacher tenure, certification revocation, property transfers and property management also report to Carol. The Department’s Communications Office, while aligned to the State Superintendent and Department’s overall communication functions, as well as Human Resources, officially housed under the Civil Service Commission, also report here.

Ms. Wolenberg is the department’s interagency liaison; oversees the organizational development function such as strategic and workforce planning; and serves as the Department’s Chief Financial Officer, Emergency Management Coordinator, and ARRA Economic Recovery Coordinator. She is the lead for the Superintendent’s Darkening the Dotted Lines partnership initiative working to build MDE capacity within the ISDs; consolidation of services and shared services is part of this initiative. She represents the Department on many boards and commissions, including the State Administrative Board, Children’s Trust Fund, Michigan Technology Executive Council, Michigan Food Policy Council and Mental Health in Schools Executive Council. During her tenure with MDE, Ms. Wolenberg has held various positions in the Superintendent’s Office and served as Director of the Office of Grants and Special Projects. She has also worked for MDE in the higher education, career education, and vocational education areas; she spent three years with the Michigan Department of Labor designing education programs for the Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps and Michigan Youth Corps. Carol has been an instructor at the community college, adult education, and high school levels and has worked in the business community.

Carol earned a B.S. in Education and an MBE from Central Michigan University and has done post-graduate work at Michigan State University. She successfully completed Strategic Leadership for State Executives at The Governors Center, Duke University; the Michigan Virtual University Leadership and Policy Program; and the Institute for Educational Leadership Education Policy Fellowship Program.


Presentation description and agenda