In the news

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Microsoft to provide Wayne State University with tech jobs training curriculum

Microsoft has taken a greater interest in Detroit of late. Last year, the company moved its regional headquarters downtown, and Microsoft-owned LinkedIn secured a permanent office downtown as well. This month, Microsoft and Wayne State University announced that they will team up to improve job prospects in the tech industry by providing its Microsoft Professional Program curriculum free of charge. "Student success and employability are tied together," said Wayne State University Provost Keith Whitfield. "We want our students to reach their graduation day, and we also want them to have great jobs to go to the following week. Moreover, we want the businesses and industries in Detroit and Michigan to view our graduates as integral to their growth and success."
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Michigan health fund grants $500,000 for LGBT senior support

Corktown Health Center got $500,000 from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to offer care and support for older LGBT adults. The Detroit health center is the first focused on LGBT health in Michigan, according to its website. The two-year grant will fund its Silver Rainbow Health Initiative, according to a news release. The program will be a collaborative effort between Corktown Health, SAGE Metro Detroit and the Wayne State University School of Medicine. SAGE Metro Detroit grew out of the LGBT Older Adult Coalition. It works to build awareness and change for elderly members of the LGBT community. The Corktown Health Center opened in 2017 in a renovated 24,000-square-foot facility at 1726 Howard St., aiming to alleviate a lack of LGBT-focused care in the area. It partnered with Wayne State University and the Wayne State University Physician Group late that year to increase its capacity and expand its resources. The health center's services include primary care, health insurance help, behavioral health, and comprehensive HIV care and treatment. Pharmacy services are coming soon, according to its website.
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Acute flaccid myelitis: Cause of polio-like illness stumps doctors

Acute flaccid myelitis is a rare but serious condition affecting the nervous system causing the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak. While the condition or clinical manifestations of AFM are not new, the outbreak of cases that have been reported to the Center for Disease Control Prevention since 2014, when the agency began its surveillance for the condition, are new. "It's a clinical phenomenon that could be caused by a variety of causes," said Li, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Neurology and Scientific Director of Translational Neuroscience Initiative at Wayne State University. Li was among the doctors in Michigan who helped solve the mysteries surrounding West Nile, during its earliest outbreak in New York City. It was his research that produced scientific evidence showing that West Nile patients had damage to the spinal cord. "
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Is winter miserable for wildlife?

Bridget B. Baker, clinical veterinarian and deputy director of the Warrior Aquatic, Translational, and Environmental Research (WATER) Lab at Wayne State, wrote a piece for The Conversation regarding how wildlife adapt to winter weather. Wildlife can succumb to frostbite and hypothermia, just like people and pets. In the northern United States, the unfurred tails of opossums are a common casualty of cold exposure. Every so often an unusual cold snap in Florida results in iguanas falling from trees and manatees dying from cold stress. Avoiding the cold is important for preserving life or limb (or, in the opossum’s case, tail) and the opportunity to reproduce. These biological imperatives mean that wildlife must be able to feel cold, in order to try to avoid the damaging effects of its extremes. 
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What a 16th-century mystic can teach us about making good decisions

Annmarie Cano, professor of psychology and associate provost for faculty development and faculty success, wrote an article for The Conversation about decision-making and employing the strategies used by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatius advises three steps in the process of decision-making: Rely on reason and feelings, imaginative reflection and seek confirmation. Cano wrote: “In today’s hurried world, a 16th-century Catholic mystics’ advice may seem quaint or his process tedious. However, many modern psychological approaches confirm the value of such reflective practices.”
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Wayne State, Microsoft Team to Strengthen Employability in Detroit

"We are a place of opportunity and upward mobility in the heart of Detroit, a city undergoing a significant transformation," says M. Roy Wilson, president of Wayne State. "Partnering with Microsoft's employability initiative will help move the city forward. We have enjoyed recent successes in student achievement, enhanced research funding and more, and this will ensure this momentum continues while building the digital economy workforce for Detroit and this entire region."
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Macomb County's 'fatberg' donated for research at Wayne State University

“Although FOG blockages have been known for many years, our understanding of their detailed chemical structure and formation mechanisms is lacking due to limited real-time and in-place data,” Carol Miller, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of Healthy Urban Waters at Wayne State University, said. “The formation and planned removal of such a massive FOG blockage presents a rare opportunity to study these formations, and funding received from the National Science Foundation will help our efforts in this regard," said Miller. 

Netflix you: Why has there been a backlash against beck?

Wayne State University’s Harold Geistman argues the popularity of shows like You and the appeal of stalker characters like Joe has its roots in decades of Hollywood movies. “There is a long history of ‘romantic’ films in which the ‘hero’ wins the girl through dogged determination,” the criminal justice lecturer told Newsweek. Movies like The Graduate show women “giving in” to men who pursue them with behaviors that would be legally recognized as stalking, he added. It’s a common romcom trope seen in hit movies like Say Anything and There’s Something About Mary: a man worms his way into “every aspect” of a woman’s life until she gives in to his advances, Geistman explained. 
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Professor’s new book looks at education of young black males

A new book takes an interesting look at educational outcomes for young black males. “A Walk in Their Kicks” isn’t just about instruction. It delves into ideas about how to engage young black men in ways that acknowledge the difficulties they encounter and point them toward success. Author Aaron Johnson is a public school educator, the associate superintendent for Farmington Public Schools, as well as a lecturer at Wayne State University. Johnson joined Detroit Today to talk about the book, his research, and his personal stories as an educator and as a student.
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Plan would grow walkable campus linking Detroit cultural institutions

A new vision is taking shape for the area surrounding the Detroit Institute of Arts in the city's thriving Midtown neighborhood. The goal: redesign the outdoor space around the 1920s-era Beaux-Arts landmark so that it becomes the heart of a walkable, innovative public area stretching for 10 blocks and linking 11 major institutions. The plan would ideally better connect Wayne State University, the main Detroit Public Library, the Detroit Historical Museum, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the College for Creative Studies, the Michigan Science Center, and others. “We want to be a gathering place for everybody,” says Salvador Salort-Pons, DIA director. Early cost estimates for the plan are between $75 million to $85 million, organizers said. The money will come from foundations, grants, and corporations, organizers said. No taxpayer funding is being considered, they said. The plan has been underway for more than a year. On Jan. 23, visions of the what the 10 blocks could look like will be unveiled by three teams of finalists. Those plans will be on display at the DIA until April. The finalist team will be selected in the spring. 
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Trump calls border a ‘crisis of the soul’: 3 scholars react to his Oval Office address

President Donald Trump’s address to the nation on Wednesday night from the Oval Office announced no new initiatives either to end the government shutdown or to build the wall that’s caused the shutdown. Sylvia Taschka, senior lecturer of history, wrote a piece reacting to President Donald Trump’s address. “American presidents have traditionally made Oval Office speeches only under the gravest circumstances, such as during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis or after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. So when Trump said he would address border security in a nationally televised speech, critics who see authoritarian tendencies in this president understandably got worried. They feared he would declare a national emergency, abusing his executive powers to build a wall along the Southern border. Instead, viewers got a rather measured – if somewhat hastily and awkwardly delivered – speech by a softer version of a president better known for provocative, vicious rhetoric and obsessive daily tweets. Trump sat behind the Oval Office’s iconic, heavy wooden desk, framed by his beloved golden curtains, American flags and photos of his parents.”
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Metrics of Mary Jane monitoring

In November, Michigan voted to become the 10th state to approve the use of recreational cannabis. While medical cannabis avails in 23 others. One wonders how many drivers at any given moment have used the substance? In Detroit, scientists are addressing the dearth of knowledge. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Randy Commissaris and Kawthar Alali were in their lab at Wayne State University putting subjects through exercises. Commissaris, associate professor in the department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Alali, a graduate student from Saudi Arabia, installed volunteers behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Impala on loan from Doreen Head, director of the school’s occupational therapy program. Pointing at a large screen for fixed-base simulation of real-world driving, the Impala, outfitted with Drive Safety hardware and sensors, translated driver inputs through an interactive program called HyperDrive. The researchers measured performance of a control: a young male whose blood was first drawn and assessed to assure no trace of THC. And the performance of a medical cannabis user: another  young male — the pair were numbers nine and 10 so far in the study — who had consumed the substance within the hour (his cannabis-free baseline was previously established). Each subject spent an hour in the Impala.
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OnlineMasters.com names top MBA in human resources programs for 2019

OnlineMasters.com announced the release of their Best Online MBA in Human Resources Programs for 2019. The research identifies the top programs in the nation based on curriculum quality, program flexibility, affordability, and graduate outcomes. In addition to insights gained from industry professionals, OnlineMasters.com leveraged an exclusive data set comprised of interviews and surveys from current students and alumni. Each online degree program was analyzed with only 50 making it to the final list. The methodology incorporates the most recent data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and statistical data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Only programs from accredited nonprofit institutions were eligible. Wayne State University is included among the 2019 Best Master's in MBA in Human Resources Degree Programs.
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$1M grant to fight Great Lakes growing microplastic problem

Could the solution to microplastic pollution come from Wayne State University? Principal researcher Yongli Zhang, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, certainly hopes so. With the help of a recently awarded grant totaling $929,000 from the Great Lakes Protection Fund, Zhang will lead a team of engineers and biologists in mitigating the micro-contaminants from entering the water. "The issue of plastic pollution, and more specifically microplastic pollution, is beginning to get more attention," said Zhang in a press release. "However, this is still a relatively new issue for more people, and a great deal of research and outreach is still needed to make positive changes to public awareness and engagement.”
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Become a blood donor during National Blood Donor Month

January is National Blood Donor Month: a time to raise awareness on the importance of donating blood. According to Dr. Martin Bluth, professor of pathology with Wayne State University, blood is used every two seconds in the U.S., which is why there's a constant need. "The different kinds of products that are required for blood utilization -- whether it's red cells, or plasma, or platelets -- are in constant demand simply because there's a shelf life to them." he told WWJ's Deanna Lites.
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It's time to name a building or park after trailblazing Detroiter Maryann Mahaffey

It is time to recognize former Detroit City Council President Maryann Mahaffey for her 50-plus years of service to the city. As daughter, former students and mentees of Maryann, we are calling on the City of Detroit and Wayne State University to memorialize her through the naming of building, park and/or memorial garden. Maryann served 12 years as a city council president and 32 years as a member. She was also an author, educator, civil rights activist, volunteer and political leader at local, state, national and international levels for nearly 60 years, putting into action her deep commitment to solving critical social issues. Before her tenure on Detroit City Council, she served as program director of Brightmoor Community Center where she organized the first welfare rights group in Michigan. At city council, her lengthy list of accomplishments on behalf of people most in need includes developing the first Rape Crisis Center within the Detroit Police Department, chairing the Detroit City Council Housing Task Force and enacting legislation to ensure safety for homeless families and protect renters, passing laws establishing child care facilities in neighborhoods, prioritizing residents and neighborhoods over corporate interests, and establishing the first ever city-level task force led by residents with disabilities.
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Port Huron grad Burrell to be enshrined in Wayne State Hall of Fame

Troy Burrell will likely go down as one of the best athletes to ever come out of the Blue Water Area. The former Big Reds wide receiver had plenty of success after graduating from the school in 2007. He went on to star at Wayne State University, where he will be enshrined in the school's Athletic Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Feb. 16. After going undrafted by NFL teams, Burrell refused to quit and caught on with the Detroit Lions as a free agent. He caught their attention during a local combine and was soon after signed to the practice squad, where he played two seasons with the likes of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. 
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Michigan feeling the pinch of federal shutdown

Wayne State University has begun offering financial assistance to students who have been impacted by the partial government shutdown. "It's going to be determined on a case by case basis, depending on the situation," Matt Lockwood, director of communications for Wayne State, told The News. "It could look like waiving a late fee, emergency loans or setting up student on a payment plan to allow them to continue on with their classes and not interrupt their studies." Lockwood said this is the first time Wayne State has made such an offer to his knowledge.  "This has drug on. It's coming up on three weeks, fairly long," he said ."We were doing so many other things to ensure our students education is not interrupted. One of faculty members actually bought this up that so many of our students work and also rely on parents that any portion of their financial income stream being interrupted would impact their ability to stay in school. We've already received some information from students that have been interested in finding out if they qualify.”