Student life in the news

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Wayne State recognizes two former county stars in football

The Wayne State University football team held its 2018 banquet on Sunday afternoon at The Dearborn Inn. Head coach Paul Winters concluded his 15th season by announcing several individual team honors. Graduate student Shane Hynes was selected as WSU's Special Teams Most Valuable Player for the season. He was named to the Honorable Mention All-GLIAC Team after playing in all 11 contests despite joining the squad just a few days prior to the start of the season. Hynes equaled the second-best mark in program history with an 82-yard punt against Northwood and concluded the campaign with a 40.6 yards per punt average with four inside the 20. He gained two first downs on fake punts, totaling 41 yards against Ferris State and Grand Valley State. During the season, he had 13 kickoffs go for touchbacks. Hynes also served as the holder for PATs and field goals during the final five games. The Defensive Rookie of the Year award recipient was true freshman safety Tieler Houston. He played in all 11 games, starting the last nine contests, and was named to the Honorable Mention All-GLIAC Team. Houston tied-for-sixth in the GLIAC with two interceptions, and was eighth with 50 interception return yards. He tallied a game-high and a season-best 11 tackles (8-3) against Northern Michigan, including one for loss along with his second career interception to earn WSU's Defensive Player of the Week award. He is the second consecutive member of the secondary to earn Defensive Rookie of the Year recognition since Jamiil Williams in 2012 (Myron Riley in 2017).
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Fairview's Wagner signs with Wayne State

Fairview senior Mercedes Wagner said she’s always dreamed of playing basketball at the collegiate level and she made those dreams a reality on Tuesday by signing to play at Wayne State University, an NCAA Division II school in Detroit. Wagner was in contact with several schools during the recruiting process, but said Wayne State ultimately felt like the right fit. It was at an AAU tournament earlier this summer in Louisville, Kentucky when she first appeared on the radar of the Wayne State coaching staff. Wayne State was originally there to see another player, but when they noticed Wagner starring as a member of the Glass City Fury, they couldn’t look away and got in touch soon after.
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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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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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How two women in Detroit neighborhoods are bridging the city’s divide

Sonia Brown — known to many as "Auntie Na" — works with the Kresge Foundation and Wayne State University. She has created a health clinic, food pantry, clothing distribution center, and tutoring center called "Auntie Na's House." The “village,” as Brown refers to it, is on Yellowstone Street on Detroit's west side. “Our programs are community-based. It started off with just trying to help some of the young mothers in the community with day-to-day living and responsibilities: clothes and food," Brown said. Now, the program helps in a variety of ways including babysitting children, providing educational opportunities, and holding meet and greets for neighbors.
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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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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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Universities team up on completion

Eight years ago, Wayne State University was widely criticized after a report from the Education Trust identified its relatively low graduation rates and a deep achievement gap between black and white students at the university. M. Roy Wilson became Wayne State’s president in 2013. He said improving completion rates has been the university’s top priority ever since. “We went to work immediately,” said Wilson. “We decided we were going to take the approach of not making excuses.”
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Marijuana a sure thing for entrepreneurs?

Jeff Stoltman, a professor of marketing and entrepreneurship at Wayne State University's Mike Ilitch School of Business, said a lot of his students look at opening a marijuana business as a sure thing. Stoltman said he pushes his students who are interested in the pot business to dig deeper into market realities. "They’re looking at this tremendous explosive growth in the states where the cannabis business was liberated a little earlier and there is this ‘Why not here, why not me?’ They don’t dig too deep to find out who is really benefiting the most of those kind of operations and what was the path that they took and can they replicate that here.”
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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.