Intergroup Relations

CommonGround Workshop Program

The Program on Intergroup Relations

Student Coordinator Position


CommonGround was born from the hard work and dedication of the 6 original student coordinators who invented the name and developed the program structure.  Today, the student coordinator team is still strong, and has adapted to meet the needs of the ever-growing CommonGround program.  This team is still a primary source of innovation and feedback for the program’s growth and direction with the primarily goal of  implementation of community building events that promote a positive and connected CommonGround community and programs that look to develop skills, resources, and knowledge around facilitation. The Student Coordinators also lead marketing and recruitment initiatives to recruit new Workshop Facilitators and Student Coordinators


Student Coordinator Goals:

  • Develop skills and knowledge in marketing, recruitment, building community and general facilitation
  • Support CommonGround Facilitators in the areas of workshop facilitation skills, dialogic pedagogy, and professional development.
  • Promote a positive and connected CommonGround community.
  • Lead Marketing and Recruitment Efforts


Team Structure:

  • Student Coordinators will have an opportunity to be a part of one of the following teams:
    • Facilitator Support Team
    • Professional Development Team
    • Yearbook Team and Social Team.


 Facilitator Support Team: Look to develop facilitation support tools and resources such as new Workshop Activities and Icebreakers, to help advance the CommonGround Program.


Professional Development: Look to increase the visibility of how the skills and experiences learned within CommonGround can be transferred in other areas of life. Develop programs and resources that will increase hard and soft skills of workshop facilitators.


Yearbook and Social Team: Community Building focus team that looks to create a fun, inclusive, interactive, and sometimes challenging space.



Commitments for Student Coordinators:

  • Marketing and Recruitment of CommonGround Workshops and Program
  • Attending the CommonGround Retreat (September 22, 23, 24 2017)**
  • Small and Large Group Meetings
  • 10 hours per month (1-2.5 hours a week, may vary per team)
  • Sign commitment contract

​**We recently became aware that our original Fall Retreat dates (Friday, Sept. 29 - Sunday, Oct. 1) conflicted with the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur. We apologize for this oversight and any harm we caused through this decision. It was not our intention to exclude any students in our campus community from fully participating in this CommonGround experience.  In an effort to address this and live into our values of pursuing inclusion, equity, and social justice, we have decided to reschedule the Retreat to the previous weekend. If you would like to discuss the impact of the original retreat dates, our decision-making process, or if you have any questions about the retreat in general, please don't hesitate to connect with us. You can reach us at



Meet the Student Coordinators:


Mengzhen Jiang:

Pronouns (she/her/hers)

Bio: Mengzhen is a second-year graduate student from School of Social Work with concentrations in aging in families and society and management of human services. Mengzhen comes from China. She is passionate about social justice education and interested in changing intergroup dynamics through dialogue. She is also passionate about animal welfare and believes in human-animal bonding. In her spare time, Mengzhen enjoys watching Netflix while eating take out, hiking, traveling, and working out.



Sooyeon Lee:

Pronouns (she/her/hers)



Bio: Soo is a junior double majoring in International Studies and Asian Studies with a concentration in Japanese. She became interested in intergroup dialogue after facilitating for high school students in the Yuri Kochiyama program. As a student coordinator Soo would like to interact more with the various communities and social identities on campus, and help further opportunities within and outside of Common Ground for facilitators. In her free time she likes to watch films, bake, and play Overwatch until early morning. 



Syeda Zaynab Mahmood:

Pronouns (she/her/hers)


Vidhya Aravind:

Pronouns (she/her/hers)



Bio: Vidhya Aravind is a first year's MSI candidate at the University of Michigan School of Information. Her academic interests are in online safety of marginalized people and the facilitation of online space creation for small queer and trans communities. She is heavily involved in activism and inclusion work on campus in the Spectrum Center, the library system, UMSI, and IGR itself. In what little free time she has, she enjoys disappointing her sisters, playing games, and tweeting too much.



Apply to be a Student Coordinator


Deadline: January 15, 2018 


Please email us at with any questions or concerns. Thank you!

Request a Workshop


  • We will accept workshop requests for the Fall semester (workshops held between October- December 2017) beginning August 1st.
  • CommonGround does not schedule workshops for the month of September because we use this time to recruit and train our new facilitators. 
  • At this time, we are booked and cannot take on anymore workshop requests for the month of October. We are still accepting requests for November. 

 We appreciate your understanding and look forward to working with you!

  • Requests must be submitted three (3) weeks prior to the intended workshop date.
  • The general purpose of these workshops is to create interactive spaces to engage in dialogue about social justice and social identity. If your organization is seeking mediation, the Office of Student Conflict Resolution ( or Student Activities and Leadership's Student Organization Support can serve as resources