ELi's Board of Directors

ELi's Board of Directors:

  • Alice Dreger, President and Secretary

  • Stephen Thomas, Vice President

  • Travis Stoliker, Treasurer

  • Michael A. Lawrence, At-Large Member


Alice Dreger

Alice Dreger (above), founder of ELi and currently President and Secretary of the ELi Board, is a native New Yorker but has been proud to live in East Lansing longer than anywhere else. In 1996 she and her husband moved to East Lansing to take positions at Michigan State University. In 1998, they bought a house in the Oakwood neighborhood built in 1923 by Charlie Washburn, and there they have raised a son (now in East Lansing High School) and helped to create the vibrant Oakwood neighborhood collective. Alice is a Ph.D. historian of medicine and science and a mainstream writer whose research has been funded by numerous organizations, including the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Arcus Foundation. Her essays on science, medicine, and life have been published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, WIRED, Slate, New Statesman, and numerous other venues. Her media appearances have included Good Morning America, NPR’s “All Things Considered,” CNN, Discovery Health, A&E Biography, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. She has also served as an editor for various books and journals and has also taught writing for many years, at Michigan State receiving nine teaching awards including the university's highest teaching honor, the Teacher-Scholar Award. In 2004, she gave up tenure to lead a more interesting life and be a more available mother, and she taught history of medicine and mainstream writing from 2005-2015 at Northwestern University's medical school in Chicago. She brings to ELi a grateful devotion to the community of East Lansing, expertise as a writer and editor, and a long background in non-profit service. In addition to being a Board member and donor to ELi, Alice regularly contributes reporting and editing to ELi. (Board members are never paid for their contributions.) If you donate generously to ELi, you are liable to be invited to one of her famous house parties! Read more about Alice at her personal website.


Stephen R. Thomas

Stephen Thomas (above), ELi's Board Vice President, is an assistant professor and curator at Michigan State University.  His masters and doctorate degrees are in evolutionary biology and entomology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, but Stephen's focus for the past decade has been on the overlap between science, art, and technology, more specifically on the visual communication of science. As a graphic artist, Stephen has used his drawing and animation skills to enhance his educational efforts. (No one draws a cooler bug!) Stephen and his husband Joe have lived in East Lansing for the last eleven years and have recently moved to a house in the Chesterfield Hills neighborhood.  Stephen brings to ELi his interest in using online technologies for public education, his background in the development of novel massive open online courses (MOOCs), and his experience producing original materials under the Creative Commons system, as well as a general appreciation for the integration of MSU’s intellectual and artistic threads into the fabric of East Lansing.

Travis Stoliker (above) joined the ELi Board of Directors in April 2016 and became our Treasurer in August 2016, taking over for Mike Lawrence. Travis brings to the organization a wealth of experience in communications, marketing, and informational technology as well as an appreciation for ELi’s values of helping local citizens feel educated and empowered. Travis was a member of the small executive team that grew Liquid Web from a small company to a major player in the web hosting industry. His substantial experience in marketing and customer needs’ assessment has already started being put to use as he has been helping the managers of ELi understand how to reach more readers with more information. While Travis is accustomed to dealing globally with million-dollar advertising campaigns, he’s excited to be working as a volunteer locally to connect neighbors through ELi. Travis also has experience in human resources and the development of organizational partnerships. He is co-owner of Saddleback BBQ, is a limited partner at Huron River Ventures, and is an Angel Investor at Capital Community Angels. He’s also been serving the City of East Lansing on the Zoning Board of Appeals and has been a steady financial supporter of ELi since we first incorporated. He is looking forward to helping ELi grow as it serves the people of East Lansing.

Michael A. Lawrence

Michael A. Lawrence (above) is ELi's former Treasurer and now an at-large member of our Board. Mike is also Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law, where he teaches courses on Constitutional Law, Property and Business Enterprises.  Previously at MSU's College of Law he has served as Associate Dean for Graduate and International Programs and as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. In 2005 he was a Fulbright Scholar in Beijing, China.  His book, Radicals in Their Own Time: Four Hundred Years of Struggle for Liberty and Equal Justice in America, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011, and his book, Model Problems and Outstanding Answers: Constitutional Law (with Kevin Saunders), was published by Oxford University Press in 2013.  Mike received his JD from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he graduated with honors and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Wisconsin Law Review. Prior to joining the MSU Law faculty in 1994, he practiced at the Washington, D.C. office of Baker & McKenzie.  He lives in East Lansing, Michigan, where he and his wife Deanne have raised their three sons.  In his spare time he enjoys reading, traveling and playing bass in the Americana band, Jackalope. Mike brings to ELi expertise in constitutional law and administration, an enthusiasm for the East Lansing Public Schools, and a vision of the critical role of the free press in American democracy.

Our Board of Director's Conflict of Interest Policy: The main thing you need to know about potential financial conflicts of interest is that members of the ELi Board and their immediate household and family members are prohibited from profiting from ELi. So if you see our board members functioning as editors, reporters, technical advisors, or in any other staff role, rest assured they are doing that work voluntarily. We also maintain the formal Conflict of Interest Policy recommended by the IRS for non-profits. You can read that by clicking here.


Previous ELi Boards of Directors:

April 2016-August 2016:

  • Alice Dreger, President and Secretary
  • Stephen Thomas, Vice President
  • Michael Lawrence, Treasurer
  • Travis Stoliker, At-Large Member


2014-April 2016:

  • Alice Dreger, President and Secretary
  • Vic Loomis, Vice President
  • Michael Lawrence, Treasurer
  • Stephen Thomas, At-Large Member