BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Abbie Debiak is a biologist and the Program Coordinator for the Upper Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (servicing Alger, Delta, Marquette, and Schoolcraft Counties). Based out of the Superior Watershed Partnership in Marquette, Michigan, Ms. Debiak works closely with communities and project partners to plan and implement environmental education, conservation, and restoration efforts throughout the Upper Peninsula. Ms. Debiak received her MS and BS in Biology from Northern Michigan University where she also worked as an adjunct instructor in the field.
Dr. Suzanne Knight is an associate professor of English Education at the University of Michigan-Flint and directs Discovering PLACE, the Flint hub of the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative. Suzanne has been in the education field for 30 years, teaching at both the middle and high school levels and now at the university, specializing in secondary educator preparation. She has served as the Director of Educational Field Experiences for all undergraduate educator preparation programs, and she is now a co-coordinator for all secondary educator preparation programs. She also serves as the director of the University’s Master of Arts in English Language and Literature program. Suzanne’s research interests include narrative inquiry, teacher research, and place-based teacher education. She is also interested in how “sense of place” and philosophy of place helps us to re-think both literacy and the humanities.
Fred Sitkins is the Executive Director of the Inland Seas Education Association, the hub location of the Grand Traverse Stewardship Initiative. He holds a masters degree in Educational Administration and has 20 years of experience in public education including serving for 13-years as a school principal. Fred’s background includes a great deal of experience leading professional development, strengthening instructional methods and techniques, and curriculum coordination. This background has proven invaluable in his current role at Inland Seas Education Association overseeing place based educational experiences for students and professional development for educators. Fred has been managing a wide variety of federal, state, and foundation grants throughout his career.