Academics in the news

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St. Clair College, Wayne State University expand cross-border partnership

Wayne State University and St. Clair College signed five articulation agreements Wednesday at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts, offering students the opportunity to develop their education between both institutions in two countries. Students in the accounting, business administration, computer technology, interior design, and marketing programs will now have the option to apply credits from their two- or three-year diploma toward a university degree in their field at Wayne State and receive both a diploma and degree in four years. Wayne State University president M. Roy Wilson said the partnership will save students time and money while building a résumé “that will make them attractive to employers on both sides of the border.” He echoed the value for business students to gain international experience through education. “I think right now, because of the way the world is and the way education is, you pretty much have to have some sort of international exposure,” Wilson said. “That’s the way business is.” With the enhanced partnership, St. Clair College students will receive Wayne State’s Great Lakes Tuition Award, a tuition break for Ontario students. Through the award, Ontario students will pay 10 per cent more than students in Michigan — around 50 per cent less than other international students. Wayne State is planning to hold an open house in November at St. Clair College to answer any questions from interested students.

Wayne State to Offer Experimental School Librarian Certification Program

Created to address Michigan’s low literacy rates, Wayne State University’s School of Information Sciences (SIS) is launching an experimental program for spring/summer 2019 aimed at increasing the number of professional school librarians in the state. Kafi Kumasi, assistant SIS professor and lead developer of the program, says the time is right to act on “new synergy” in the state’s educational system and legislative bodies. 
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How ‘Game of Thrones’ Can Teach You To Be a Better Person

The eighth and final season of the HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’ begins next month on April 14. The show’s popularity has had an impact at colleges and universities, where courses in medieval studies have increased since it began airing. Closer to home at Wayne State University, assistant professor Hilary Fox’s specialty in medieval ethics and history have made her a popular lecturer among the show’s local fans. This Thursday, March 28 at HopCat Brewery, Fox will talk about the real-life historical events mirrored in ‘Game of Thrones’ plot as part of Wayne State’s ‘Knowledge on Tap’ series, which is free and open to the public.
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Wayne State launching new program for librarians

As fewer and fewer students are meeting literacy standards in Michigan there’s a problem that experts say could be connected: Too few schools have certified librarians. In Michigan only 8-percent of school librarians are staffed with a full-time certified library media specialist, more than half don’t even carry a library staff. Kari Kumasi, an associate professor at Wayne State, believes that it’s a crisis that isn’t being discussed. “It’s unfortunate, but we see correlation between the decline of certified librarians and the decline in our students literacy scores,” explained Kumasi. It’s not that the literacy concern isn’t being acknowledged.
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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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Remembering Harry Houdini's Halloween death in Detroit 92 years later

Halloween marks the 92nd death anniversary of one of the most famous magicians ever. Harry Houdini performed his last show in downtown Detroit before dying at a Detroit hospital in 1926. Days before his show in Detroit, he was performing in Montreal when someone asked to punch him in the stomach. Houdini was known to be a strong man with powerful abs. "Legend has it, he wasn't ready for the punch and they hit him pretty good," Jeff Horner, a senior lecturer at Wayne State said. Horner, who is an urban planner and calls himself an amateur historian, said Houdini wasn't feeling well on the train ride down to Detroit. Houdini gave his last performance at the Garrick Theater, which stood near the corner of Griswold and Michigan Ave. in downtown Detroit.
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Peter Hammer named inaugural Taubman chair at Wayne Law

Professor Peter J. Hammer, director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School, has been named the Law School’s inaugural A. Alfred Taubman Endowed Chair. Hammer, who joined the Law School faculty in 2003, is a leading voice on economic and social issues impacting Detroit and the nation. He has spent more than 25 years engaging in matters of human rights law and development in Cambodia. Hammer is an expert on domestic health law and policy, as well as international public health and economic development. The $1.5 million endowed chair is part of a $3 million gift from the late A. Alfred Taubman in 2006 that led to the construction of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights building at Wayne Law.
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One classroom, 31 journeys, and the reason it’s so hard to fix Detroit’s schools

A recent analysis by two Wayne State University professors found that roughly one in three elementary school students changes schools every year — often in the middle of the school year. When the Wayne State professors, Sarah Winchell Lenhoff and Ben Pogodzinski, analyzed data from Detroit district and charter schools in the 2015-16 school year, they found that nearly 60 percent of students who live in Detroit — almost 50,000 children — were enrolled in two or more Detroit schools that year. Many had apparently boomeranged, returning eventually to the school where they started.
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Conversations with Wayne State University – 9/19

Mildred Gaddis sits down with Darrell Dawsey, Director of Community Communications for Wayne State University, Kenya Swanson, Coordinator of the Warrior Vision & Impact Program and Michelle Hunt Bruner, Director of the Academic Success Center at Wayne State. The four discuss the Warrior Vision & Impact Program, which is designed to help first-year students through a series of early support workshops that address some of the typical challenges students face during their transition to college.
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The Credibility Gap in Academe

The Harvey Weinstein scandal has led to renewed awareness about sexual misconduct in every sector, including a string of recent allegations in academe. In the past, claims by women — especially those in subordinate or less senior roles — were not always considered credible. That appears to be changing this time. Women are being believed, and predators are losing their jobs. Yet a recent incident showed me how much women’s credibility remains under siege, in subtle ways, even when dealing with faculty peers. In an academic environment where credentials are everything, women’s credentials may still mean little.