In the news

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The politics of fear: How it manipulates us to tribalism

Arash Javanbakht, assistant professor of psychiatry, wrote an article about the murder of 50 people in New Zealand, which he described as “another tragic reminder of how humans are capable of heartlessly killing their own kind just based on what they believe, how they worship, and what race or nationality they belong to.” Javanbakht, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist specializing in fear and trauma, offers some evidence-based thoughts on how fear is abused in politics. 
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Archaeologists excavate site of demolished Civil War-era log cabin in Detroit

The City of Detroit demolished an abandoned house that the Hamtramck Historical Commission wanted to save. As a concession, the city gave a team of archeologists one day to excavate the site and learn as much as they could. Wayne State associate professor of anthropology Krysta Ryzewski led the dig. "We're hoping today to find a couple of different sources of information. We're hoping to find artifacts that date to the period when the log cabin would've been occupied," Ryzewski said. 

5 big lessons from Slovakia’s presidential elections

Kevin Deegan-Krause, associate professor of political science at Wayne State University, co-wrote an op-ed about Slovakia’s presidential elections. On March 16, Slovakia held the first round of voting for its largely ceremonial Slovak presidency, with 13 candidates competing for the slot. Even though the country’s real executive power lies with a prime minister, the presidential election reveals the mood and changing politics of Slovakia. Two candidates are left standing: an anti-corruption crusader and a candidate promoted by the ruling party, Smer. The pair will face-off in the March 30 second round.
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WSU offering assistance to students affected by abrupt closure of Argosy University

Wayne State University is offering assistance to students affected by the abrupt closure of California-based Argosy University. Argosy University had more than a dozen campuses in 11 states and a large community of online students across the country, including those in Michigan. Wayne State officials say affected students are invited to schedule appointments with financial aid counselors to discuss issues related to financial aid and credit transfers. If a student wants to apply, Wayne State will waive the application fee. “We have great empathy for these students,” said Dawn Medley, associate vice president of enrollment management. 
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Are controversial programs in Detroit actually reducing crime?

Detroit’s Project Green Light now has 500 businesses signed up around the city. Mayor Mike Duggan, Police Chief James Craig and other officials say there’s no question the program is helping businesses keep crime away. But is that backed up by data? A new study from researchers at Wayne State University’s Department of Criminal Justice shows blight demolition in Detroit neighborhoods has reduced crime. Charles Klahm and Matthew Larson are the Wayne State researchers who conducted the study. They discussed their findings on Detroit Today.
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Walking on Water with STEM at Wayne State

Getting students engaged in and excited about science education early is the key to help preparing them for the jobs of the future. Educators at Wayne State University are doing their part by hosting the third annual STEM Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 12. Julie Hasse, associate director of marketing and communications, and Sarah Brownlee, associate professor of geology, stopped by the Fox2 News studios Saturday morning to preview the event and to showcase a science experiment that allows one to walk on water... for a short time anyway. 
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Jewish, Muslim migration explored in lecture series

Years and generations separated Jewish and Muslim migrations to the United States in the last century. Now, a Metro Detroit lecture series starting Wednesday explores how both groups faced similar, sometimes hostile, views of foreigners that affected their acclimation. “When reflecting on it, there are some real parallels between the debate over Muslim immigration now and the debate over Jewish immigration maybe 80-90 years ago,” said Howard Lupovitch, an associate history professor at Wayne State University. “There are a lot of similarities and in the way those communities transplanted themselves.” He and his academic colleague at the school, Saeed Khan, are exploring those common characteristics during a three-part series this month.
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Wayne State to offer artificial intelligence certification courses

Wayne State University is partnering with Ann Arbor’s Amesite Inc., an artificial intelligence software company, to create new online professional certificate programs intended to further skills in artificial intelligence and blockchain. The programs are tailored to those in engineering, law, health care, accounting, and business. “These training modules are being developed to address the gap that exists between academia and industry,” says Farshad Fotouhi, dean of the College of Engineering at WSU. “Our expert instructors, in conjunction with Amesite staff members, will deliver the six-week courses and be available to answer any questions the participants may have.” One of the classes, Blockchain: Cutting Edge Data Management, will teach students the fundamentals of data storage, including security and privacy issues, regulatory questions, and ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs. The class starts March 18 and runs through April 21.
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Study shows what happens after blight is removed from Detroit neighborhoods

Violent crime and property crime drop in areas where blighted homes are razed in Detroit — and the more vacant, dilapidated houses that come down in an area, the greater the crime reduction. That's according to a study done by two Wayne State University criminologists who examined nearly 9,400 home demolitions throughout the city over a five-year period. The study, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Criminal Justice, provides the first data-driven examination of the connection between the city's massive demolition program and its impact on crime. Matthew Larson and Charles Klahm IV, associate professors in Wayne State's Department of Criminal Justice, reviewed 9,398 demolitions completed by the city from 2010 to 2014, then looked at violent and property crime statistics from 2009 to 2014 in the same locations down to the "block-group" level, a U.S. Census Bureau designation equating to a group of five to 12 city blocks, usually contiguous, that contain between 600 and 3,000 people.
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America’s schools are crumbling – what will it take to fix them?

When I was asked to support a federal lawsuit that says Detroit’s deteriorating schools were having a negative impact on students’ ability to learn, the decision was a no-brainer. Detroit’s schools are so old and raggedy that last year the city’s schools chief, Nikolai Vitti, ordered the water shut off across the district due to lead and copper risks from antiquated plumbing. By mid-September, elevated levels of copper and lead were confirmed in 57 of 86 schools tested. Safe water isn’t the only problem in Detroit schools. A 2018 assessment found that it would cost about US $500 million to bring Detroit’s schools into a state of repair – a figure that could grow to $1.4 billion if the school district waits another five years to address the problems. A school board official concluded that the district would have to “pick and choose” which repairs to make because there isn’t enough money to make them all. 
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Med students learn empathy and skills in Detroit street care programs

The Michigan State Medical School's Detroit Street Care program and Wayne State University's Street Medicine Detroit are helping medical students see past stereotypes to build relationships between homeless people and medical professionals to improve their quality of care, put them in touch with other resources like housing, and overcome some of the structural problems that make being homeless in Detroit especially deadly. In the process, the students themselves are engaging in a form of back to basics medicine that puts patients first. These programs allow medical students to reach out to homeless people on the street, carrying backpacks with medicine and diagnostic equipment, as well as necessities like hats, gloves, and food. They also meet with patients at places like the Tumaini Center, working under the tutelage of other medical students, nurse practitioners and doctors. On the street, they go out with a "peer support specialist," a formerly homeless person who helps them approach people.  
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Proposed Wayne State-Henry Ford Health System Relationship Offers Great Benefits

In a letter to the editor, Eugene Driker discussed Wayne State’s successes wrote a letter to the editor. “The success of Wayne State University is crucial to the revitalization of Detroit and in restoring the State of Michigan to its historical place as a national leader in higher education. WSU, which just celebrated its 150th anniversary, is enjoying a string of  unprecedented successes under the able leadership of its president, Dr. M. Roy Wilson. Last year saw the University enroll its largest freshman class ever, while achieving the greatest improvement nationally in six-year graduation rates. Completion of the greatest fundraising effort in the University’s history yielded more than $750 million in gifts from tens of thousands of  donors. The largest contribution ever received by WSU--$40 million from the Ilitch family—has produced the magnificent new Mike Ilitch School of Business in the heart of downtown. Campus life is flourishing, with 800 new apartments just built.  And, at the School of Medicine more applications for admission were received than ever in its history.
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Opinion: Whitmer environmental order helps broaden input

Rahul Mitra, an assistant professor at Wayne State University who researches environmental organizing and policymaking, wrote an op-ed about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders to reorganize the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) noting that her move is in the best interests of ensuring Michigan’s water security. Mitra wrote: “By creating a new Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy from the ashes of the DEQ, Whitmer signaled she understands that Michigan’s water security requires a holistic engagement of socioeconomic disparities, infrastructure upgrades, and environmental risks.”
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Uber under the antitrust microscope

In a new article titled “Antitrust As Allocator of Coordination Rights,” Wayne State University Assistant Professor of Law Sanjukta Paul explains that antitrust law allocates the right to coordinate decisions such as pricing or output across economic agents, and does so favorably for large powerful firms but unfavorably for workers’ organizations and small businesses or “micro-enterprises.” The ostensible basis to prefer coordination by large firms is promoting competition through the pursuit of efficiency. But even that basis, Paul argues, fails to explain many antitrust decisions that yield significant coordination rights to large firms while undermining competition via concentrating power. To reach parity of treatment between these varieties of coordination, Paul calls for liberalizing horizontal coordination rights beyond firm boundaries while providing mechanisms for public oversight.
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Why Is the Genie in ‘Aladdin’ Blue?

The story of Aladdin is one of the most well-known works in One Thousand and One Nights (Alf Layla wa Layla) or Arabian Nights, the famous collection of folk stories compiled over hundreds of years, largely pulled from Middle Eastern and Indian literary traditions. Genies, or Jinn, make appearances throughout the stories in different forms. A rich tradition in Middle Eastern and Islamic lore, Jinn appear in the Qur’an, where they are described as the Jánn, “created of a smokeless fire,” but they can even be found in stories that date back before the time of Muhammad in the 7th century. The pop culture genie of Nights we recognize today, however, was shaped by European illustrators, beginning with the frontpieces done for 18th-century translator Antoine Galland’s Les Mille et Une Nuits. At the time, French writers often used what was then referred to as the Orient—a term indiscriminately used to refer to North Africa, the Middle East, and the Far East more generally—to allude to its own society and monarchy, explains Anne E. Duggan, professor of French at Wayne State University, who’s studied the visual evolution of the genie. “
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Is President Trump's emergency declaration for a border wall legal?

Constitutional law expert Robert A. Sedler wrote an op-ed about President Donald Trump’s executive declaration. Sedler wrote: “In the months ahead, there will be a plethora of commentary about the President’s declaration of a national emergency to obtain funding for his long-promised border wall. Ultimately, the questions we examined here will be resolved within the framework of the American constitutional and judicial system.”
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Wayne State to roll out fast-track librarian certificate amid shortage, student demand

Wayne State University is set to offer a new experimental school library certificate to address student demand and a general shortage of certified school librarians in the state. The university plans to offer a 15-credit program through its School of Information Sciences, said Matt Fredericks, academic services officer for the school. The course load is designed to equip students with the necessary media specialist skills without requiring the typical 36-credit master's program.