Barbara Roberts

Barbara Roberts, M.Sc. OT, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Dr. Barbara Roberts is Executive Director of the WorkLife Office and Senior Advisor to the Provost at MSU, where she also holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the College of Education. Dr. Roberts brings to the WorkLife Office her expertise in how individuals participate successfully in university work environments, facilitating a climate where all individuals are respected and supported in their work and personal lives.

Prior to joining MSU, Dr. Roberts was the Human Rights Officer at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, advising the President on issues of human rights and positive environments in post-secondary education.

Dr. Roberts has been a licensed occupational therapist and disability advisor for over 20 years, in employment and educational accommodation, and adult mental health.She has a B.A.Hons. (Queen’s University at Kingston), and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (Boston University). Her PhD in Education (Queen's University) used the Canadian legal test questions of discrimination to identify bona fide academic requirements (BFARs) in clinical education. Dr. Roberts ran the Ontario-wide PACT Project (Post-secondary Accessibility Consulting Team), a mediation service for students and institutions struggling with accommodation issues.

Dr. Roberts is a co-investigator on a grant from the Canadian Institute for Health Research exploring participation by students with disabilities in allied health professions.

Phone: (517) 355-1528

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Audrey Smith: Office Manager

Biography: Audrey Smith has worked at MSU for 35 years, most recently in the former Women's Resource Center. Audrey is a recipient of the Jack Breslin Distinguished Staff Award and holds a Bachelor of Social Science from MSU. If anyone can find her way around MSU, it's Audrey, and she brings that wealth of knowledge and experience to everyone who contacts the WorkLife Office.

Phone: (517) 353-1635


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Lori Strom: Lifespan & Family Services Coordinator

Biography: Lori Strom directed the Michigan State University Family Resource Center for over eighteen years. In this position Lori broadened the scope of the work/life services in support of the family needs of staff, faculty and students with children. Initiatives included: an expanded elder care program, consultation for flexible work schedules, expanded Sick Child Care and Emergency Back-up services, the establishment of the Breastfeeding Support Service, acquisition of grant funds to subsidize child care for student parents, and the establishment of the Annual Outstanding Supervisor Award. Lori currently serves on the Board of Directors of CUWFA, the College University Worklife Family Association, had prior roles on the board for nine years, and was CUWFA President in 2005. In 2005 Lori also won the honor of being a recipient of the MSU Jack Breslin Distinguished Staff Award.

Lori graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor’s Degree in Gerontology and Community Services/Public Affairs in 1978. In 1990 she received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University. Lori’s proudest accomplishment is being the mother of her two “Spartans”, her son Jeremy received his Civil Engineering Bachelor’s from MSU in 2011, and David is currently a Senior majoring in Environmental Engineering at MSU.

Phone: (517) 884-0186

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Lydia Weiss: Educational Program Coordinator

Biography: Lydia is the Educational Program Coordinator at the WorkLife Office. She is responsible for creating educational initiatives and seminars, workshops and conferences related to work life concerns. Lydia previously served as the Educational Program Coordinator at the MSU Women's Resource Center for three years and is dedicated to creating equal access to resources, services and educational opportunities for all. Lydia received her Masters in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies from the University of Cincinnati and received her Bachelors in Sociology from Michigan State University.

Phone: (517) 884-7316