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Irvin D. Reid Honors College welcomes former Detroit City Council member Sheila Cockrel to its faculty

January 7, 2010

The Irvin D. Reid Honors College at Wayne State University is pleased to welcome longtime civic leader and former Detroit City Council member Sheila Cockrel to its faculty. Cockrel, who recently retired from City Council after four consecutive terms, begins her teaching assignment next week. She will be teaching two Honors classes:

• Detroit Political History 1967 - Today
This course will offer students a firsthand account of a significant part of Detroit's political history. Topics such as the social movements of the 1960s, massive migration out of Detroit and the impact of institutional racism and racial prejudice on Detroit will be discussed. Students will also complete reading assignments and a research paper.

• Detroit City Government, Citizenship and Service
In this special directed-study course, students will learn about Detroit city government. Students will also plan and perform a voter education service project that will enhance Detroiters' civic participation and students' own sense of citizenship.

"The Honors experience is city-based and service-oriented, so by having Sheila Cockrel teach about Detroit's political history and civic engagement, we are certainly fulfilling our mission," said Jerry Herron, Dean of the Irvin D. Reid Honors College at Wayne State University. "It will be a tremendous opportunity for students to learn from her extensive knowledge and personal experience inside our city's political machine."

Born and raised in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood, Cockrel earned her B.A. from Monteith College and M.A. from Wayne State University; she also was a Fannie Mae Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Cockrel's many affiliations include the NAACP, Greening of Detroit, Michigan Democratic Party, Michigan Planning Association, Trade Union Leadership Council and the Women's Economic Club.

"I'm thrilled to be teaching at Wayne State and look forward to working with our community's future leaders who are now Honors students," Cockrel said. "I hope the students will be able to learn from our previous political successes and failures as they develop their own ideas for continuing to rebuild our city."

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution of higher education offering more than 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.