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EECS Juneteenth Celebration: Tech Empowering Our Communities

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Join the fourth annual EECS Juneteenth Celebration

Zoom link: https://umich.zoom.us/j/97138270916

Passcode: 696957

About the event

The EECS Juneteenth Celebration will take place virtually and will include:

  • a performance of Lift Every Voice and Sing, the Black National Anthem, on the Baird Carillon
  • a welcome address by Michigan Lieutenant Governor and EECS alumnus Garlin Gilchrist
  • a reading of the history of Juneteenth
  • a panel discussion on the importance of empowering and uplifting our Michigan communities, especially through STEM, as our goal is to train people-first engineers who inspire the next generation of problem-solvers.
  • Closing remarks by the EECS department leadership

Attendees will hear from the following panelists:

  • Madeline Miller, Doctoral Student, School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), University of Michigan
  • Leon Pryor (BS EE 1997) , Senior Game Producer, Meta
  • David Tarver (BSE MSE EE ’75 ’76), Entrepreneur, educator, and community organizer

Madeline Walker Miller is the Founder and CEO of NexTiles, a Detroit-based textile recycling company that converts textile waste into building insulation. Her professional background focuses on reducing textile waste and its harmful impacts to our natural environment. Her company specializes in creating secondary uses for textiles and engaging more Detroiters in creating circular economy solutions. She is an alumna of Spelman College and earned a master’s degree in Coastal Zone Management from the  University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Madeline’s passion lies in empowering young Black people and people of color to embrace environmentally sustainable behaviors. She is a PhD student at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), studying in the Urban Energy Justice Lab. In her spare time, she enjoys family outings and playing with her boxer, Maximus. Learn more about Madeline here.

Leon Pryor (BS EE 1997) is a Detroit-based technology professional. After graduating from Michigan, Leon joined Microsoft, where he helped launch the Xbox and Xbox 360 game consoles and dozens of games from Electronic Arts, Microsoft Game Studios, Disney, and Lucasarts. Leon is currently a Senior Video Game Producer for META’s(Facebook) reality lab group, building games for Augmented and Virtual Reality headsets. Outside work, Leon is a passionate advocate for STEM enrichment in Detroit, Michigan, where he co-founded the Motor City Alliance: A non-profit organization that supports over 100 robotics teams in Detroit in after-school programs, summer camps, and FIRST Robotics competitions. Leon is also the coach of two FIRST Robotics teams: FIRST Robotics Challenge team 8280 K9.0 Robotics from the School at Marygrove and FIRST Tech Challenge team 14010 TechnoPhoenix from the Foreign Language Immersion and Cultural Studies school. Team TechnoPhoenix recently made history as the first Detroit Public school to qualify for the World Championships. Additionally, Leon was recognized as the Michigan State  FIRST Robotics Coach of the Year and was runner-up for the award at the World Championships in Houston, TX.

David Tarver (BSE MSE EE) is a successful entrepreneur and educator who has focused on community service for the past two decades. After several years at Bell Labs, David launched Telecom Analysis Systems, Inc., a high-tech telecommunications instrumentation business. He sold that company twelve years later for $30 million and then, working as Group President for the buyer, built a telecommunications business with a market value in excess of $2 billion.

His community service activities include founding the Red Bank Education and Development Initiative (RBEDI), a community-based not-for-profit organization that catalyzed dramatic improvements in academic performance and opportunities for children in Red Bank, NJ. In 2014, he founded the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative, which facilitates the creation of sustainable business solutions to important urban problems. He has served as a lecturer in the Center for Entrepreneurship since 2012, and during the 2015-2016 academic year, he launched a new course entitled “Urban Entrepreneurship.”

Tarver’s book, “Proving Ground: A Memoir,” details his entrepreneurial journey from childhood dream to international success.

Sponsored by

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


Ann Stals

Faculty Host

Herbert Winful Joseph E and Anne P Rowe Professor of Electrical EngineeringEECS-ECE