Campus news in the news

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What is Wayne State’s role in building Detroit’s future?

Wayne State University powers a big part of Detroit’s economy, and has always done so. But as the city changes, Wayne State is also crafting its vision for the future - both as an institution of higher learning, and as a critical part of Detroit’s economy and culture. The goal at WSU is to be a very different place by 2040. But how to get there? A master planning process for the university begins today, and the university is inviting students, faculty, staff and community to give input. Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson spoke with WSU professor of urban planning, Robin Boyle, about the event and Wayne State’s role in Detroit.
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These three women are changing the way we think about education

There are currently over 13 million children in the United States at risk of going hungry, an issue that not only leads to sickness and decreased attention spans, but can set back whole classrooms, leading to community­wide deficits in test scores and more. Suzanne Baker, an anthropology professor at Wayne State University, has been able to make a substantial impact on their lives. Baker is one of 10 unpaid volunteers who run Blessings in a Backpack­-Livonia, an organization that buys and packs weekly grocery bags full of easy-­to-­make meals such as cereal, canned veggies and peanut butter to tide kids over for the weekend. “When I was younger, I wanted to change the world,” Baker said. “We do a lot of volunteerism in our family. But this was the first [time] where I thought, ‘I’m not just going to volunteer. I have the capacity, and there’s a need here...I gotta do this.’” By sending qualifying students home with accessible food to tide them over, Baker and her fellow volunteers are helping set up a whole generation of kids in her community to succeed against the odds.
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Groups, colleges to help former students finish their studies

Dawn Medley is a student affairs official at Wayne State University, a public four-year institution in Detroit, Michigan. She says the Lumina Foundation reached out to the school about setting an example for how schools could help improve student graduation rates earlier this year. Together, they began examining student data and found that Wayne State had 13,000 students drop out of college without earning a degree. So, Wayne State launched a program called “Warrior Way Back.” 
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Wayne State University in Detroit joins national effort to increase college access

Wayne State University is participating in a national effort by 130 public universities and systems to increase college access, close the achievement gap, and award hundreds of thousands of degrees by 2025. The participating institutions will work in clusters of four-12, and Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson will lead a cluster of 11 urban universities. Together, the institutions enroll about 3 million students, including 1 million who receive Pell Grants, or federal grants for college. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) is organizing the effort, which is called Powered by Publics: Scaling Student Success.
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Detroit businesses and institutions contributing to employee welfare with on-site childcare

Wayne State University has two on-site childcare centers for faculty, staff, students and community members: the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute Early Childhood Center and the College of Education Early Childcare Center, both serving children ages 2-and-a-half to 5 years old. Even with two centers, WSU still is experiencing an overwhelming need for additional childcare. WSU's Daycare Implementation Committee works to identify options for childcare in the Midtown area, including expanding on-site campus care.
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Wayne State recognized for improving student retention and graduation rates

Wayne State University is being recognized for strides made in improving its student retention and graduation rates. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities named Wayne State University the winner of its 2018 Project Degree Completion Award. “We’re an institution that has a lot of support resources for students,” said Dawn Medley, Wayne State’s associate vice president of enrollment management. “We restructured our financial aid programs so over one-third of our incoming freshman class had zero out-of-pocket expense. I think students are responding to these changes, because our freshman class grew 15 percent over last year, which is huge. It’s our largest freshman cohort in the institution’s history.”
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Youth midterm turnout spikes after Michigan campus drives

Young Michigan voters turned out in larger numbers for the midterm election than any time in recent history, thanks in part to campus registration drives by the state and activist groups. At Wayne State University, the Wayne County Clerk's office reported that turnout doubled from 152 voters to 335 at precinct 152, the closest precinct to campus. At Wayne State, groups worked to eliminate the transportation and timing barriers that student voters face on Election Day. The Student Senate partnered with the Detroit Department of Transportation to bus students to the polls, while NextGen Michigan coordinated shuttles to and from campus to precinct 152. Student volunteers also drove voters not only to precincts in Detroit, but also to precincts outside of the city.   
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WSUniversity nationally awarded for improvement in graduation rates

“Ensuring more students have access to college and are fully supported on their path to graduation has always been at the core of Wayne State’s mission,” said Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson. “Wayne State has made great strides by working hard to identify and support the differing needs of all students. We know that if our students thrive, then the university — and higher education — will, too.”
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Powerful partnerships fuel Detroit’s rebirth

To realize its dream of returning to its roots as an economic powerhouse, Detroit needs a massive boost in local talent. Using records from the past 15 years housed at the National Student Clearinghouse, Wayne State University and Macomb Community College have already identified nearly 53,000 “comebackers” for whom the schools have contacts. The institutions are reaching out on social media and working with business and community groups. They’ve placed stories in newspapers and on television, and they plan to post ads on buses. This academic year, Wayne State is offering comebackers perhaps its biggest carrot yet — a debt-forgiveness program called Warrior Way Back. The program waives past-due balances of up to $1,500 for all students seeking to complete their degrees. For full-time students, the first $500 will be waived the first semester, the second $500 the next semester, and so on. The ultimate goal is to eliminate students’ outstanding debt as they make academic progress. “We have been holding transcripts hostage,” says Dawn Medley, Wayne State’s associate vice president for enrollment management, “because it’s the only leverage we have.”
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Once embarrassed by its graduation numbers, Wayne State becomes a model

Wayne State has taken its lumps over the years. Less than a decade ago, about one in four students earned a degree within six years. Fewer than one in 10 black students who enrolled at the Detroit campus left with a four-year degree within that time. For black men, the rate was one in 14. Since then, the chances of Wayne State University students leaving the Detroit campus with a degree has almost doubled to 45 percent. And the African-American graduation rate has tripled to 26 percent. And while still trailing Michigan’s other public universities in graduation rate, Wayne State is garnering national attention for its turnaround, raising hopes that the lessons learned on the urban campus can be applied to improve grad rates of minorities, low-income and first-generation college students across the state. “If students suffer, the nation suffers,” said Monica Brockmeyer, WSU’s  senior associate provost for student success.
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Conversations with Wayne State University 11-07-18

Mildred Gaddis sat down with Darrell Dawsey, associate director, community communications for Wayne State University, and Henry L. Robinson, senior director of the Office of Federal TRIO at Wayne State. The three discussed how the Federal TRIO program provides academic assistance and support services to promising youth, adult learners and Wayne State University students who have been historically underrepresented in higher education due to economic deprivation, poor academic preparation and/or first generation college status. While student financial aid programs help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRIO helps students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.
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Family aims to continue legacy of Arbor Drugs founder Applebaum

Before his death nearly a year ago, Arbor Drugs founder Eugene Applebaum sat with his family, creating a strategy to ensure his philanthropy would continue. He didn't direct a huge infusion from his estate to the Eugene Applebaum Family Foundation. The Foundation is funding internships for University of Michigan and Wayne State University students at Detroit arts and culture organizations and nonprofits to help build a talent pipeline. And it's bringing its philanthropic relationships to bear to help forge collaborations between organizations like the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Wayne State University. The centerpiece of the family's giving is a $1 million commitment to the Applebaum Fellows program, providing opportunities for young people in their communities that inspire leadership, entrepreneurship and independence.
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Wayne State University unveils new float to debut at 92nd America's Thanksgiving Parade

Wayne State University unveiled its new float, “Warrior Strong,” this morning during the 19th Annual Parade Pancake Breakfast. In celebration of the university’s 150th anniversary, the “Warrior Strong” float will make its debut at the 92nd America’s Thanksgiving Parade® with a national broadcast reaching 185 major cities across the country. “For 150 years, Wayne State University has been committed to the city of Detroit and we are proud to celebrate our anniversary with our students, supporters and community with a new float on Thanksgiving morning,” said Dr. M. Roy Wilson, president of Wayne State University. “Our float, ‘Warrior Strong’, embodies a motto that Wayne State students and alumni live out each day in classrooms, boardrooms, labs, medical centers and on stage.” 
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Wayne State athletes join effort to feed those in need

Wayne State University athletes will be helping to make and distribute lunches in Detroit for those in need. The students are set to participate in the annual #Lunchbag event on Friday. The program began in 2015 in conjunction with Hartford Memorial Baptist Church’s “Feed the Hungry” program. School officials say roughly 5,500 lunches have been distributed by the athletes in past years at the Neighborhood Service Organization, Coalition on Temporary Shelter and Rosa Parks Transit Center.
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WSU students hold memorial for victims of Pittsburgh synagogue attack

Several students at Wayne State University hosted a public memorial service Oct. 30 on Gullen Mall for the 11 victims who lost their lives in the attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue Oct. 27. The event, organized by Hillel of Metro Detroit, featured speakers from several Wayne State University religious and cultural groups. “University communities should never be passive in the face of something so horrific as intolerance and hate,” said WSU President M. Roy Wilson. “We have a very diverse community, and we have a responsibility to respond. I am so proud of our students for putting this program together.”

WSU Business students vie for $1,750 In Elevator Pitch contest

Wayne State University business students will head to Detroit’s iconic Guardian Building on Nov. 2 to vie for $1,750 in scholarship money as they compete in the fourth annual Mike Ilitch School of Business Elevator Pitch Competition. The students have a roughly 80-second ride on an actual elevator to summarize who they are, what they know and what they want to do. Executives from Ally Financial, Enterprise, GM, PlanteMoran and Quicken Loans will evaluate the students on their ability to sell themselves and present a positive, professional first impression.