"We are excited to have John Girdwood join our team, and here he is to introduce himself...”
There is no better place to be than smack dab the middle of our beautiful MSU campus, and I’m thrilled to be here now serving you as Research and Education Program Coordinator at the WorkLife Office! My experience at MSU began when my mother lugged me to her classes as she completed an MSU graduate degree in Child Development. I like to say I’ve been taking grad school classes since before I was in kindergarten. Everyday was “Take Your Child to Work” day at our house because my mom provided childcare in our house in Holt, MI. My college journey took me to Western Michigan University (BA, Philosophy) and Central Michigan University (MSA, Administration) then I returned and completed my PhD at Michigan State in Sociology.
My recent academic and professional endeavors have been focused on equity and quality-of-life for Michigan residents. I come to the WorkLife Office directly from my previous role as Program Manager in the MSU College of Human Medicine Division of Public Health, Flint Campus. I currently live in Flint with my partner Jaime, Bo (dachshund), and two koi fish. Before that, I managed two separate oral health grants at Detroit Mercy and the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. I was employed by UMICH when I completed my dissertation about the homeless experience in Michigan. My research included autoethnography, which is a scientific method involving personal experience. In my case, I lived in a homeless shelter to collect data toward better understanding the homeless experience.
In my fleeting spare time, I enjoy gardening and attending MSU home football games as a season ticket holder since 2008. I started the Holt Community Foundation to give back to the community that raised me. I combined my hobbies with volunteering, and it resulted in some very cool outdoor classrooms at Holt Public Schools.
I’ve been extremely lucky throughout my life to meet some amazing people and I know there are many more awesome people out there to meet! The best part of being Research and Education Program Coordinator will be connecting people with resources. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and learning about the great resources available to us. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of service to you. My job is to help you succeed and have the best WorkLife possible. Let’s partner to make that our collective goal. I look forward to a bright future!
John Girdwood, MSA, PhD
Research and Education Program Coordinator
MSU WorkLife Office
479 West Circle Drive
Linton Hall, Suite 116
East Lansing, MI 48824