MSU Students are making an impact in Detroit with support from ITC

October 8, 2018

Michigan State University students are getting hands-on experience working on a wide array of social challenges through InnovateGov, an experiential learning program within the College of Social Science. ITC Holdings Corp. is supporting the program with a $100,000 donation.

“ITC’s gift will help provide long-term sustainability for this program,” said Josh Sapotichne, Associate Professor of Political Science and InnovateGov Program Director.  “Our team places a premium on utilizing MSU students to help Detroit’s civic leaders respond to the needs of an underserved community. We are so thankful to ITC for this investment in our students and in the city of Detroit.”

InnovateGov, a 10-week summer program, prepares and delivers MSU’s most vital resource – talented, diverse, and motivated students – to Detroit’s civic institutions while providing students with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to do real and impactful work on the city’s most critical social challenges.  Since the start of the program in 2014, nearly 150 interns from over 20 MSU academic units have worked to deliver high-impact projects to civic partners in over 30 Detroit civic organizations.  These projects span a range of areas critical to the quality of life of Detroiters – from chronic absenteeism, to property vacancies, to small business development, and many more – and touch every neighborhood in the city.  Program highlights include the development of an outreach process that prevented property tax foreclosure for thousands of residents and the launching of a celebrated and widely used database connecting Detroit small businesses with local suppliers.

“The students participating in InnovateGov are making a noticeable difference in the Detroit community. They bring the knowledge, energy and enthusiasm needed to tackle some of our greatest social challenges,” said Christine Mason Soneral, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for ITC. “I’m proud to be a champion of this program and look forward to seeing what these students can accomplish.” Mason Soneral, an MSU alumna, is actively engaged with the College of Social Science as a guest lecturer, is a member of the Board of Visitors, Women’s Leadership Institute Executive Board, and was a past officer of the Alumni Association Board.

“As a Michigan-based company, we can see firsthand the incredible impact and opportunity that this program provides, not only for the students but for our civic organizations and the residents they serve,” said Simon Whitelocke, Vice President, ITC Holdings Corp. and President, ITC Michigan. “It’s a ‘win-win’ for all involved.” Whitelocke is an alumnus of MSU’s Eli Broad College of Business MBA program.

ITC’s donation has inspired and served as a catalyst for others to support InnovateGov including: Dykema Gossett PLLC, Dykema Gossett’s Energy Fund, and Zausmer, August & Caldwell, P.C.

“We are so thankful and humbled by this generous support. We are excited to see what our students will do next,” said Sapotichne.

Find more information about InnovateGov here


About ITC Holdings Corp.

ITC is the largest independent electricity transmission company in the United States. Based in Novi, Michigan, ITC invests in the electric transmission grid to improve reliability, expand access to markets, allow new generating resources to interconnect to its transmission systems and lower the overall cost of delivered energy. Through its regulated operating subsidiaries ITCTransmission, Michigan Electric Transmission Company, ITC Midwest and ITC Great Plains, ITC owns and operates high-voltage transmission infrastructure in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma, and in development in Wisconsin. These systems serve a combined peak load exceeding 26,000 megawatts along approximately 15,800 circuit miles of transmission line, supported by 660 employees and nearly 1,000 contractors across our expanding footprint. ITC’s grid development focus includes growth through regulated infrastructure investment as well as domestic and international expansion through merchant and other commercial development opportunities. For further information visit WWW.ITC-HOLDINGS.COM. ITC is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. For further information visit WWW.FORTISINC.COM.