In the news

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New Mike Ilitch School of Business opens in downtown Detroit

The new Mike Ilitch School of Business has opened Tuesday in downtown Detroit. A new addition to Wayne State University's campus, the development was made possible thanks to $40 million donation from Mike and Marian Ilitch. "Mike and I were so proud to make the gift to build this school, it was one of the highlights of our careers," said Little Caesars co-founder Marian Ilitch. "We were so excited about the positive impact it will have on the students, the university, the city of Detroit and our broader community, for generations to come."
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Detroit woman builds village for neighborhood

"This is a part of Wayne State Medical School's social mission," said Dr. Jennifer Mendez, the medical school's director of co-curricular programs and assistant professor of internal medicine. "It is a way for our students to apply their classroom knowledge to real-life situations." The Wayne State students also formed an organization to support Auntie Na's this year after being inspired during volunteer efforts during the last school year. It includes about 20 members.
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Detroit real estate game creates chaos in neighborhoods

Land contracts are a popular home buying tool in Detroit where mortgages have historically been hard to come by — have little protections for buyers. "Land contracts can be so pernicious there is no filing requirement, there is just no regulation on them," explained Peter Hammer, director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School. "They can just exist in this completely private space, and almost no accountability for them." 
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Women's March inspires Rosie the Riveter book for young readers

Five women are standing together in the drawing, each wearing factory coveralls, each with bright scarves tied around their heads, each raising their right arms and flexing their biceps. They are all Rosies, "a group of women defined not by the identity of a single riveter in a single factory, but by the collective might of hundreds of thousands of women whose labors helped save the world," explains the introduction to "Rosie, a Detroit Herstory." The Wayne State University Press book, which officially arrives Monday, is special in several ways, starting with the fact that it was created by two Detroit women: author Bailey Sisoy Isgro and illustrator Nicole Lapointe, whose friendship just happened to begin through a Rosie-themed trivia question.
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Making a model of Math Corps

Math Corps, founded in 1991, is a combined academic and mentoring program for Detroit public school students in grades 6-12. It features a summer camp, year-round Saturday programs, and enrichment courses for elementary school children. In addition to math, it also focuses on life skills, said Executive Director Steven Kahn. WSU Math Corps, which is attracting national and international attention, is spinning off from the university as it begins to expand to new sites. The program is heading into DPS middle schools in the coming academic year through a new pilot with the district, other states with a $3 million National Sciences Foundation grant and possibly the West African countries of Ghana and Nigeria, which have been benchmarking it. It's a story not often told: a Detroit nonprofit exporting an impactful program. But the program hasn't spread in Detroit beyond the approximately 3,000 students who've come through over its 26-year-history.
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Actor Hill Harper partners with Wayne State, others for youth program

Actor Hill Harper is deepening his connections to Detroit by establishing a new youth empowerment program in partnership with Wayne State University and local companies. Harper, who stars in the CBS drama "CSI:NY," is launching the Summer Empowerment Academy at the Detroit university. It is a weeklong mentorship program for incoming ninth-grade students in the city. Wayne State representatives and alumni are scheduled to host workshops on the college planning and admissions process, while entrepreneurs and employees from Microsoft and TechTown Detroit will also speak to the kids about technology careers. Tours of Quicken Loans and the Motown Museum are also planned.
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Overhydrating presents health hazards for young football players

With August football practice fast approaching, every coach’s favorite cheer will be to “stay hydrated” and “keep urine clear” during the summer heat. In 2017, a University of Texas football coach created a urine-based “Longhorn Football Hydration Chart,” which labeled players with yellow urine as “selfish teammates” and those with brown urine as “bad guys.” This “hydration shaming” practice has permeated high school sports, thereby encouraging a sporting culture which equates superior performance with superior hydration.
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Researchers launch efforts to ease stress of Syrian refugees

Wayne State University researchers are working with a refugee resettlement agency on efforts that aim to ease anxiety, depression and stress among Syrian refugees in the Detroit area. The Wayne State School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences has developed the project with Samaritas, the state's largest resettlement organization. The program includes a dance class for children, art therapy for teenagers and yoga for women. Organizers say incorporating art, movement and mindfulness seeks to help refugees deal with emotions and trauma. They cite the importance of such programs in a state that has taken in the second-highest number of Syrian refugees coming to the U.S.
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Michigan Supreme Court decisions reviewed

Robert Sedler, professor of law and constitutional law expert, was a guest on the Craig Fahle show discussing recent Michigan Supreme Court decisions. Sedler said that Michigan school districts can ban the open carry of weapons on school property. Michigan law prohibits holders of concealed pistol permits from carrying them on school property except that parents picking up or dropping off children may have the pistol in the car. The Court held that Michigan law prohibiting units of local government - defined as city, village, township or county - from enacting gun regulation did not include school districts. Also discussed was the upcoming decision from the Michigan Supreme Court in a challenge to the ballot proposal for a redistricting commission. The challengers contend that it is a general revision of the constitution, which can only be done by a convention. The Court of Appeals unanimously held that it is a constitutional amendment and not a general revision. Sedler said that the decision is clearly correct, because the amendment only deals with one topic, redistricting, and does not change the form of government.
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Michigan politicians, others react to Supreme Court redistricting decision

The Michigan Supreme Court decided late Tuesday to keep a proposal to change the way Michigan draws voting district lines on the November ballot in 4-3 decision released late Tuesday night. The decision came after months of contentious legal proceedings which kept the proposal, by the group Voters Not Politicians, in limbo. The opposition group, Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution,  unsuccessfully argued that the measure was too broad to legally go before voters. Instead, that group argued it would require a constitutional convention in order to make the changes. Susan Fino, professor of political science, commented to Bridge ahead of the decision last week. “It’s clearly a valid initiative petition that meets all the constitutional requirements, so unless the Court is willing to expose themselves as overtly political, they really can’t keep it off the ballot.”
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Ex-UAW official to head Detroit's neighborhoods department

Mayor Mike Duggan has selected a former UAW-Ford executive to lead the city's Department of Neighborhoods. Ex-UAW-Ford vice president Jimmy Settles Jr. is to replace Charlie Beckham, who is retiring Sept. 1. Marick Masters, director of the Douglas A. Fraser Center for Workplace Issues at Wayne State University, said he'd intended to hire Settles at the university before Settles got a call from the mayor. "He can do a lot more good there," Masters said. "He is very good at connecting with people, but he’s also demanding. He expects a workforce to work. He realizes that you have to have high levels of productivity to compete."
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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.
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Despite history of violations, hazardous waste facility in Detroit set to expand

US Ecology, an Idaho-based company, is close to receiving approval for a large expansion of its hazardous waste facility on Detroit’s east side, near Hamtramck. The expansion would increase the facility’s storage capacity nine-fold, from 76,000 to 677,000 gallons. Despite the facility’s spotty history, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is completing its approval of US Ecology’s proposed expansion. Noah Hall, founder of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center (GLELC) and professor of law at Wayne State University, is a sharp critic of MDEQ. He said the agency often gives polluters a free pass in Michigan, especially “in disenfranchised communities and in populations that our political system hasn’t cared much about.”