The EXCEL Lab is SMTD’s home base for performing arts entrepreneurship, leadership, and career services. We take a personalized, collaborative approach to professional development by first exploring students’ individual visions and goals, and then connecting them with the resources they need to thrive. Whether you are seeking out a new career pathway or honing in on your competitive edge, EXCEL offers comprehensive access to skill-building, mentorship, and funding to help make your dreams a reality.

The Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Career Empowerment & Leadership (EXCEL) Lab catalyzes success for SMTD students and alumni through weekly workshops, 1:1 mentoring, and more than $100,000 in student project and venture funding. Our programming is made possible by the Eileen Weiser EXCEL Fund, thanks to a generous gift from The Weiser Family.

Explore EXCEL’s impact at SMTD in the EXCEL 2020 report, which chronicles the Lab’s first five years through quotes and information about 50 student and alumni projects. You can also read full stories for each of the 50 projects in our digital archive.

Stay up to date about student projects, special guests, and other upcoming activities with the EXCEL Log.

EXCEL provided us with resources like marketing assistance, mentorship on event operations and development campaigns, and a generous grant that helped bring the 2018 Threads All Arts Festival to life; we more than doubled the amount of artists, audience members, and community partners involved this year.

Meri Bobber (BFA '15 dance) and Nicole Patrick (BM '16 percussion) Co-Directors, Threads All Arts Festival


Whether you are looking for mentorship, funding, access to dozens of special guests, or other resources, explore all that the EXCEL Lab has to offer.

Ways to Connect


734.615.8585 (EXCEL Lab)
734.763.5461 (Events Line)
734.764.2538 (SMTD/UMS Ticket Office)


Jonathan Kuuskoski (Chair, Director of the EXCEL Lab)
Caitlin Taylor (Career Services Coordinator)
Melissa Coppola (Program Assistant)


Department of Entrepreneurship & Leadership
Earl V. Moore Building, EXCEL Lab (Room 1279)
1100 Baits Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2075