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Q&A: Faculty and Staff Share Their Interesting Hobbies

Along with the valuable contributions that faculty and staff make every day here at Ross, many individuals throughout our community have interesting hobbies and talents beyond their day jobs. 

To get to know our faculty and staff on a deeper level, here’s how some colleagues spend their free time outside of work. 

If you have a unique hobby or interest that you’d like to share in a future issue of The Ross Report, please email Nicholle Cardinal at ndcard@umich.edu.  

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Wally Hopp
C.K. Prahalad Distinguished University Professor of Business and Engineering

Eight years ago, I woke up one morning and decided I wanted bees. I searched online, found a local place that sold starter hives, and — bang — I became a beekeeper. The first couple of years were a struggle, particularly with winter survival. But with some help from the Ann Arbor Backyard Beekeepers, I gradually learned how to keep my bees alive. 

Today, I have eight healthy hives filled with some of the most fascinating creatures on the planet. Although weak and fragile individually, bees collectively form superorganisms that are strong and resilient. Watching every bee contribute fully and unselfishly to the hive lifts my spirits whenever I work with them. The honey isn’t bad, either.

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Lisa Frye
Director, Faculty Support and ACT

My hobby and passion is leading and teaching cardio drumming. What is cardio drumming, you ask? Cardio drumming combines cardio exercises, like squats, jumping jacks, lunges, and other moves, while drumming to the rhythm of your favorite music. It’s an easy, fun way to get your heart rate up, improve your rhythm, and burn lots of calories. You don’t need to be a drummer to do it, and even more amazingly, you don’t need drums — just a large bucket, a stability ball, and a pair of drumsticks!

I started cardio drumming as a participant in 2015. In 2020, I had the opportunity to start teaching classes and I love it. It’s a rush to be in front of a large class where everyone is drumming in sync and singing out loud. Last fall, I joined the university’s M-Healthy classes and taught drumming on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Wolverine Tower. Fall sessions will start again in August, and I hope to see more of my Ross colleagues sign up! It’s great for all ages and genders, regardless of your activity level. It’s so much fun you won’t even realize you’re exercising!

Corey Seeman
Director, Kresge Library Services

If you have ever seen a squirrel here at the University of Michigan that has lost its fur, you can be certain of one thing… no one is shaving them. What is happening is that squirrels have mange, a highly contagious skin disease caused by parasitic mites and often transmitted between squirrels who share a nest.  

I have been helping the campus squirrels combat mange since 2019. I reached out to Friends of Wildlife Michigan and they connected me with a rehabber who medicates pecans to eradicate these mites. You have to give the squirrels two doses, about a week apart. This is less tricky than it seems for a few reasons.

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Dobby on June 20 (left) and July 13 (right)

First, squirrels keep to very limited areas. Second, you can look for physical attributes to help distinguish a squirrel. Third, you look for behavior. Do they run toward you or away from you? Fourth, you look at gender, which is surprisingly easy to tell. 

Recently, I ran across Dobby, who was mostly bald and lived just north of Angell Hall. I gave her a first dose on June 20 and a second dose the following week. I saw her again on July 13 and she is doing great! If you ever spot a squirrel missing fur like Dobby, just write me at cseeman@umich.edu and tell me when and where you saw it.  

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Dana Muir
Robert L. Dixon Collegiate Professor of Business
Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Business Law
Area Chair of Business Law

Everyone who has talked to me for at least five minutes knows I am a scuba diver. I even met my partner while on a trip to Tonga to see humpback whales. My favorite place to dive is Indonesia, but I will dive anywhere the water is warm. I love that every dive is different, and I never know what I will see. As divers say, “The ocean is not a zoo.” This picture was taken in Little Cayman.

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Glenn Bugala
Marketing Director, Business+Impact

I’ve been acting since my freshman year in high school. I received two theatre scholarships — one for my Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and one for my Master of Fine Arts at Purdue University. I acted professionally in Chicago for seven years with incredible people, including Jon Favreau and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy Letts, and under directors like Tony- and Oscar-winner Eric Simonson. I came to Ann Arbor because of its vibrant arts scene and got involved with the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre where I have acted in and directed musicals and classics. I have been involved in 120 theatrical productions during my life. Some favorite shows I directed in Ann Arbor include Rent, Tommy, Chess, and Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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Besides theatre, I also enjoy windsurfing from May through October. I learned to windsurf on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin and continued windsurfing when I moved to Ann Arbor in 1997. Favorite places I’ve windsurfed include San Diego, the Straits of Mackinac, and Sturgeon Bay. To those who ask me, “How do you learn to do that?” I tell them, “Fall 1000 times, and then you’ll know how to sail one!”

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