People in the news

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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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Sears facing bankruptcy: Here's what consumers need to know

Sears may be days away from bankruptcy. The long-troubled retailer has reportedly started making the moves for a filing, leaving nearly 1,000 Sears and Kmart locations on the chopping block. The company is $134 million in debt and hasn't turned a profit since 2010. Laura Bartel, professor of bankruptcy law at Wayne State University, has been watching it decline as the retail industry as a whole goes under, and online shopping takes over. Over the past decade, Sears has closed a lot of stores to downsize but hasn't been able to get its finances under control. In Michigan alone, in May, consumers learned four traditional Sears stores were closing. Then in July, it was announced the Sears at Oakland Mall and eight other locations would buckle by September.
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Peter Hammer named inaugural Taubman chair at Wayne Law

Professor Peter J. Hammer, director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School, has been named the Law School’s inaugural A. Alfred Taubman Endowed Chair. Hammer, who joined the Law School faculty in 2003, is a leading voice on economic and social issues impacting Detroit and the nation. He has spent more than 25 years engaging in matters of human rights law and development in Cambodia. Hammer is an expert on domestic health law and policy, as well as international public health and economic development. The $1.5 million endowed chair is part of a $3 million gift from the late A. Alfred Taubman in 2006 that led to the construction of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights building at Wayne Law.
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Andy Appleby to receive Ilitch School's Executive of the Year Award

If Andy Appleby shared one tip with aspiring entrepreneurs this would be it said the CEO and commissioner of the United Shore Professional Baseball League, who was recently named this year's winner of the Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business Michigan Executive of the Year Award. "Be willing to take a risk and be willing to support that risk with unending work ethics," added Appleby, who will be honored at the school's 38th Annual Recognition and Awards Program at the Detroit Athletic Club, Oct. 15. "It's a nice award to win. It is even more special given the enormous impact Mr. Ilitch had in our sports and entertainment profession over the years," Appleby said, during an interview at General Sports and Entertainment, taking place almost 20 years, to the day Appleby took one of the biggest risks of his life.
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Belinsky gifts $500k to WSU to create lab for student entrepreneurs

In August, Wayne State University held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Mike Ilitch School of Business, a $40 million, state-of-the-art facility in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood. The business school announced another piece of good news this summer when alumnus Russ Belinsky donated $500,000 to establish the Belinsky Entrepreneurial Learning Library, which aims to kick-start student and faculty entrepreneurship. Belinsky’s funding is meant to provide resources, training, and mentorship to students and faculty in order to help them launch investment-ready startups or startups based on the university’s intellectual property.
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Med students get lesson in senior care at Chesterfield Township facility

A Chesterfield Township senior living community is welcoming medical students from Wayne State University as part of a pilot program aimed at offering educational opportunities for both residents and physicians in training. The Village of East Harbor is one of four Presbyterian Villages of Michigan sites selected to take part in the program. Physicians in training from the Wayne State University School of Medicine are invited to the facilities for an overnight stay to learn about the challenges of aging and experience the qualities exhibited by elderly patients. Students provide educational opportunities on fall prevention, strength and balance exercises, properly managing medications, regular vision checks and how to make their living environments safer.
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N.M. telescope for Wayne State magnifies ties to late friend

Russ Carroll was a bit above it all and Dan Zowada was more down to Earth, but they shared an interest in the stars, and the two kids like that in a class will always form their own constellation. As high school ended, they took separate paths. Carroll, who is brilliant, went mostly west. Zowada, who was creative, stayed put. Then three years and two weeks ago, Zowada died — which is where the rest of the story begins. Nearly 2,000 miles away from the glow of Detroit's skyline, in the desert of southwest New Mexico, sits the Dan Zowada Memorial Observatory — Wayne State University’s gateway to the cosmos. The observatory and land were gifted to WSU's Department of Physics and Astronomy by Carroll, a retired entrepreneur and astronomer, in honor of Zowada, his late childhood friend.

Turkey's new vice president sworn into office

Turkey's first vice president Fuat Oktay was sworn into office in the parliament on Tuesday. Oktay, born in 1964 in Turkey's central Anatolian Yozgat province, served as the head of the Prime Ministry's Disaster and Emergency Management Agency from January 2012 to June 2016. From June 2016 until now, he has served as undersecretary in the Prime Ministry. Oktay earned a bachelor's degree in business studies from Cukurova University in 1985. He finished his master's degree in manufacturing engineering and business studies in 1990 at Wayne State University in the U.S.

Commencement speaker also an Amherstburg native

Wayne State University (WSU) held its commencement ceremony at Ford Field in Detroit recently with a student commencement speaker being from Amherstburg. Alexandra “Alex” Leroux spoke at the 4 p.m. ceremony on May 8. Leroux, a graduate of General Amherst High School, said graduates received an e-mail several weeks ago where they were invited to express interest and submit a draft of their speech and, as long as they were in good academic standing, be up for selection.