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

Jaimie Hutchison PhotoJaimie Hutchison: Lifespan & Family Services Coordinator

Biography: Jaimie Hutchison has worked in organizations that have served individuals and families for over 20 years. Jaimie's diverse work experiences have prepared her for focusing on the wide array of needs that faculty, staff, and families have. As a military spouse, Jaimie worked for several educational, government, and non-profit organizations in California, Montana, Colorado, and Michigan. Jaimie chose to return to Michigan to put her skills to use in her home state. Jaimie is an active volunteer in her community, and has volunteered thousands of hours in the Greater Lansing area. Jaimie received her Bachelors degree in Psychology from Michigan State University, her Masters degree in Community Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado, and a post-Masters certificate in School Counseling from Eastern Michigan University. Jaimie is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Michigan. Jaimie and her family are proud Spartans and enjoy all of the diverse events and activities that MSU and the Greater Lansing area have to offer. 

Phone: (517) 353-1635

John Girdwood
John Girdwood, MSA, PhD: Research & Educational Program Coordinator

Biography: Dr. John Girdwood has worked in the public sector and with non-profit organizations since he was a freshman at Michigan State University in 1997.  His entire professional journey has revolved around connecting community members with resources.  He has conducted statewide healthcare delivery research toward improving implementation of services for all Michiganders.  His first grad school project (Central Michigan University, MS Administration) examined the reasons why senior citizens do not access food assistance.  His dissertation (Michigan State University, PhD Sociology) provides more understanding about the homeless experience in Michigan.  Dr. Girdwood has taught sociology at seven colleges and universities throughout Michigan.  He volunteers as Executive Director of the Holt Community Foundation.  He lives in Flint with his dog Bo and partner Jaime.  When not in his office, you can find Dr. Girdwood strolling the Beal Botanical Garden looking for ideas and inspiration.

Phone: (517) 884-7316