Tip sheet

Wayne State University experts available to comment on trending topics for April

Wayne State University's PR team compiles a list of university experts who can speak about trending topics and significant milestones each month.

To reach an expert, contact:

Ted Montgomery, 313-577-5699, tedmontgomery@wayne.edu

Tom Reynolds, 313-577-8093, treynolds@wayne.edu

NATIONAL AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH – APRIL

WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY – APRIL 2

There is a shortage of special education teachers, particularly those who are prepared to teach children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Susan Gabel, professor of inclusive education, is ready to discuss this shortage and how the university is preparing educators to meet the needs of ASD students through its autism spectrum teaching endorsement program.

Cheryl Somers, professor and assistant dean of the Division of Theoretical and Behavioral Foundations, is prepared to discuss the university's undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in applied behavior analysis that focus on treating autism and prepare students to respond to and support the needs of developmentally disabled learners and their families.

DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MONTH – APRIL

Statistics show that a growing number of automobile accidents occur because a driver is distracted. How are we working to eliminate the distracted driver threat, and does that involve creating new laws? Our expert can discuss the phenomenon of distracted driving and how motorists can protect themselves.

Randall Commissaris, associate professor, pharmaceutical sciences (pharmacology), has done extensive research on distracted driving. His research group studies the effects of drugs and other distractions such as texting, and driving performance using a driving simulator.

MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS AWARENESS MONTH – APRIL

Wayne M. Raskind, professor of mathematics, can speak about various mathematics topics including complex discussions about algebraic geometry, number theory, algebraic K-theory, partial differential equations, cryptography and mathematics education. At the age of 14, Raskind recited pi from memory through the first 1,220 digits.

NATIONAL MINORITY HEALTH MONTH – APRIL

This year's theme, "Active and Healthy," centers on the important role an active lifestyle plays in keeping us healthy. Physical activity promotes health and reduces the risk of chronic diseases and other conditions that are more common among racial and ethnic minority groups. 

Nate McCaughtry, assistant dean of the Division of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies, and director of the Center for Health and Community Impact, can elaborate on the center's efforts to increase health equity in Detroit and the state through its collaborations with community and corporate partners.

STRESS AWARENESS MONTH – APRIL

Mark Lumley, distinguished professor and director of Wayne State's Stress and Health Research Laboratory, is prepared to discuss topics such as emotions, stress and physical health. Much of the research conducted by Lumley, his students and his colleagues involves developing emotion-focused interventions to reduce stress and improve health.

Kristen Kaszeta, program coordinator and lecturer in the lifestyle fitness activities program in the Division of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies, can offer tips for helping students manage their final exams and/or make the college-to-career transition as stress-free as possible.

WSU PRIDE WEEK – APRIL 1-5

In celebration of Wayne State's LGBTQ community and its allies, the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement will host a weeklong series of events for its annual Pride Week. Events include panel discussions, workshops, a prom hosted by the JIGSAW student organization and more.

INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S BOOK DAY – APRIL 2

How important is literacy to the intellectual and cultural health of the United States? Our expert can address this and other topics related to this holiday.

Kathleen Crawford-McKinney, associate professor of reading, language and literature and assistant dean of accreditation and clinical experiences, can discuss the importance of literacy and share tips for raising voracious readers.

NATIONAL WALKING DAY – APRIL 3

The first Wednesday in April is National Walking Day, which is sponsored by the American Heart Association to remind people about the health benefits of taking a stroll.

Stephen DiCarlo, Ph.D., professor of cardiovascular physiology, is ready to discuss the importance of heart health and the steps we can take to improve and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.

NATIONAL SCHOOL LIBRARIAN DAY – APRIL 4

Are libraries still as popular as they once were? Our expert can discuss how vital a healthy library system is to our educational, cultural and economic well-being.

Dian Walster, professor in WSU's School of Information Sciences, can address the significance of National School Librarian Day with an emphasis on the everyday decision-making, collaboration and management skills that school librarians possess. Walster is also prepared to focus on her research area of literature and media materials for children and young adults, targeting 9 to 14 year olds.

NATIONAL BEER DAY – APRIL 7

Michigan is leading the charge with a proliferation of craft beer makers, stores and breweries. What is behind the popularity of craft beers, and is this phenomenon boosting the state's economic base?

Steven M. Firestine, professor of pharmaceutical sciences, is an expert in the history and chemistry of beer. He is also proficient in the areas of biochemistry, organic chemistry, drug discovery, anti-infective agents (antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal) and infectious disease.

WAYNE STATE CRIMINAL JUSTICE CAREER FAIR – APRIL 9

Wayne State and NOBLE will host the 28th annual Criminal Justice Career Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, at WSU's Student Center Ballroom. Representatives from several law enforcement agencies — including the FBI, Michigan Department of Corrections, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Detroit Police Department and Michigan State Police — will be present.

Marianka Holloway, coordinator of the career fair and academic services officer in the criminal justice department, is available to talk about the event.

DROP EVERYTHING AND READ (D.E.A.R.) DAY – APRIL 12

Kathryn Roberts, associate professor of reading, language and literature, is available to discuss the impact of literacy as a foundation for academic, career and personal success. She can also address the college's High Five Literacy Program, which provides free reading and writing skills to first- through eighth-grade students.

Leah van Belle, director of school partnerships and clinical practice for the College of Education's Office of Clinical Experiences, can explain her collaboration with the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) to develop its Literacy Corps, where Wayne State students serve as tutors for young men who need assistance with their literacy skills. 

NATIONAL THOMAS JEFFERSON DAY – APRIL 13

One of the primary authors of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson was also proficient in a variety of fields as a lawyer and scientist of agriculture, paleontology and astronomy.

Karen Marrero, assistant professor of history, is available to talk about Thomas Jefferson. Marrero's areas of expertise include the history of early North America, the early American republic, early North American indigenous peoples, the early northern border and early American women.

NATIONAL TAX DAY – APRIL 15

Major tax law changes have been implemented in the United States under President Trump's administration that affect tax filers. Legislators in Washington, D.C., have grappled with some of the major changes and are still charting a course toward implementation.

Albert D. Spalding, associate professor of accounting, is ready to discuss questions regarding income tax, estate tax, gift tax and generation-skipping tax as well as general taxation topics.

EARTH DAY – APRIL 22

It has been 49 years since the first Earth Day celebration. The movement was born on the campuses of American universities and colleges and in the public school systems, and has grown into a massive discussion about how best to protect the environment. What real-life solutions have arisen from Earth Day, and how have we significantly changed the course of potentially dangerous environmental practices over the years? Our experts can discuss this and more.

Daryl M. Pierson, sustainability coordinator at Wayne State, works with the university's operational divisions to increase sustainability initiatives that enhance environmental awareness and obtain efficiencies that preserve natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He also supports environmental education and research, and he engages the surrounding community through sustainability activities. Pierson is prepared to talk about Earth Day and various environmental topics and issues.

EVERY KID HEALTHY WEEK – APRIL 22-26

Nate McCaughtry, assistant dean of the Division of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies, and director of the Center for Health and Community Impact, is available to discuss efforts to improve health, nutrition and academic achievement of elementary school students through the Building Healthy Communities: Engaging Elementary Schools program. Research on the program has identified increases in student academic achievement and health improvements.

AP DAY – APRIL 23

Wayne State's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Irvin D. Reid Honors College, and Office of Undergraduate Admissions will host the 18th annual Advanced Placement Curriculum Enrichment Day on Tuesday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to noon. An estimated 1,600 area high school students will take part by attending lectures given by WSU professors. This event is designed to reward students who are enrolled in AP courses and offer them a glimpse into college studies.

Julie Hasse, WSU's associate director of marketing and communications, experiential marketing, is available to speak about the event.

NATIONAL TALK LIKE SHAKESPEARE DAY – APRIL 23

Did you know that the phrases "wild goose chase," "good riddance" and "break the ice" derive from William Shakespeare's writing? Our expert can discuss how Shakespearean dialect has had a lasting impact on the modern lexicon.

Ken Jackson, professor and associate dean for graduate studies in the English department, is an expert on William Shakespeare and can address various topics surrounding the legendary poet, playwright and actor. Jackson also has expertise in early modern/medieval drama, critical theory, and religion in philosophy and literature.