Appointments in the news

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Dave Massaron takes new job at Wayne State

The head of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget team is leaving state government to become the chief business officer and chief financial officer/senior vice president for finance and business operations and treasurer at Wayne State University. Although the announcement of his new role and departure comes before the governor and lawmakers have finalized a budget, he will stay with the administration through the end of the fiscal year in September. Before serving as State Budget Director, Massaron served as the city of Detroit’s chief financial officer. 
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Kornbluh assumes role as Wayne State University provost

Mark L. Kornbluh, Ph.D., who most recently served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky (UK), begins his new role as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Wayne State University on July 1. Kornbluh, who served as a history professor at UK, is a nationally respected educator, author and administrator whose extensive research spans U.S. history, oral history and academics in the age of the internet. Prior to his roles at UK, Kornbluh taught at Michigan State University from 1994 to 2009, rising from assistant professor to professor and department chair. He has also held positions at Washington University, Rice University and Oklahoma State University. "We could not have hoped for a better-qualified candidate for the provost's position, and are delighted that Mark Kornbluh will be joining the university," said Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson. "I have tremendous confidence in his ability to help us advance our mission and look forward to his guidance and leadership in all academic matters at Wayne State University."
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Wayne State board appoints chair, pledges to 'renew our efforts to work together'

The Wayne State University Board of Governors met Friday for the first time this year, with two newly elected members, and unanimously approved reappointing Marilyn Kelly as chair. "I consulted in recent weeks with other members of the Board of Governors and each of us has pledged to renew our efforts to work together in the best interest of this great university, and we've agreed on our intentions," Kelly said during the meeting, conducted remotely. 
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WSU Press hires new director

Stephanie Williams will take the helm of Wayne State University Press in early August, according to a university news release Tuesday. Williams comes from Ohio University Press, where she served most recently as director since June 2019. She replaces Kathryn Wildfong, who returned from retirement to take up the interim director post after Tara Reeser stepped down. “I am delighted that Stephanie will be joining the University Press as our new director," WSU spokesman Michael Wright said in a written statement. "Her leadership will make a difference for the Press, the university, and the community. I also wish to thank Kathryn Wildfong for stepping in as interim director while we conducted a new search. She did a great job getting the team refocused and re-energized, and we all wish her well on her second try at retirement.” 

Wayne State University adds new Endowed Chair in Addiction and Pain Biology

Nationally-recognized substance use disorder researcher Mark Greenwald, Ph.D., has been appointed as the inaugural Gertrude Levin Endowed Chair in Addiction and Pain Biology for the Wayne State University School of Medicine. Greenwald, a Canton, Mich., resident, is a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences in the School of Medicine. “The honor of the Gertrude Levin Endowed Chair in Addiction and Pain Biology is deeply meaningful to me,” he said. “This extremely generous gift recognizes and endorses a synthesis of two critically important areas of public health – substance use disorders and pain. Taken together, these two disease domains account for more than $1 trillion in annual costs to the U.S. economy.” Endowed funds support the ongoing investigation of solutions to the most complex problems in health care, and enable the WSU School of Medicine to strengthen its mission-driven work to provide high-quality education, deliver exceptional clinical care and pursue pioneering research investigations. The World Health Organization recognizes that substance use disorders, or SUDs, cause significant global burdens, associated with more years of life lost, known as premature mortality, and chronic pain primarily associated with more years lived with disability. The Levin Chair serves as an example of the power of endowment at the School of Medicine. By providing specially-designated resources for research and teaching, endowed positions enable gifted faculty and researchers to excel. Chaired faculty leave an indelible mark on the intellectual and creative life of the entire university. “The past few years have seen unprecedented overdoses and deaths from opioids in the United States and internationally, and these adverse outcomes overlap closely with pain problems and mental health issues,” Greenwald said. “Not to minimize in any way the horrible toll of the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has tragically taken about 60,000 U.S. lives as of today, but since 2016 we have been losing more than 60,000 U.S. lives each year to drug overdose deaths, and the majority are opioid-related. We have a considerable amount to learn about the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie substance use disorders and pain individually, and how they interact to produce the vexing problems that clinicians routinely face. Unfortunately, we also lack safe and effective therapies for many individual substance use disorders and pain conditions.” The Levin Chair will support ambitious short- and long-term plans and actions. Greenwald is planning a comprehensive initiative, nested within the new Translational Neuroscience Institute at WSU. The initiative will encompass a full translational cycle of research, education and clinical care activities founded on existing and emerging collaborations across the campus and community, and across institutions, using a four-quadrant approach. “Fully leveraging the Gertrude Levin Endowed Chair will create change for those suffering from chronic pain and addiction. With research efforts dedicated to cross-disciplinary solutions and treatments for chronic pain conditions, we can positively impact the nation’s opioid addiction crisis,” said Stephen Henrie, associate vice president of Development and Alumni Affairs for the School of Medicine. “The Levin Chair is an integral part of our multi-disciplinary initiatives in brain health, translational research and neuropsychological care. Cross-cutting programmatic interests in the neurosciences, chronic pain, prescription drug misuse, and integrated behavioral healthcare will maintain synergy with existing faculty expertise and activities,” he added. Research and training activities in the basic and clinical neuroscience quadrant will include pharmaceutical development and PK/PD evaluation, genetics/epigenetics, brain imaging and neuromodulation, as well as complementary/alternative therapies. “We already have ongoing projects in these areas. I also hope to explore with colleagues how we can use ‘big-data’ OMICS and modeling methods,” he said. Research and training activities will extend to a second quadrant in the translational cycle that addresses clinical translation, population and implementation sciences, and will include epidemiology, prevention and clinical trials. Greenwald and team have begun to collaborate with scientists, educators and clinicians at WSU, as well as like-minded hospital and industry partners, to develop work capacity. The third quadrant of the translational cycle will involve using scientific evidence to promote treatment and recovery from SUDs and pain conditions in the community and region. The idea is to improve the “cascade of care” for patients that will increase access, linkage, engagement and retention in care for these chronic conditions. Potential partners include several WSU colleges, centers, institutes and departments, the Veterans Administration and other health care entities. The final quadrant will involve evaluating and disseminating results and projecting the influence of these activities into the broader sphere, including collaborations with regional, state and national agencies; public and private insurance providers; fostering appropriate public policies; and training the next generation of clinician-scientists to effectively serve the community. Greenwald’s clinical neuroscience research in the field of SUDs focuses largely on opioid-related problems and the development of treatments such as buprenorphine for opioid use disorder (OUD), with additional brain/behavior studies on cocaine, marijuana and nicotine. “However, my very first publication as a graduate student was on the behavioral assessment of chronic pain patients, and in recent years I’ve returned to conducting research on issues in pain. We’ve already been weaving together research on these areas. Importantly, there does not appear to be a major research center in the U.S. that is explicitly dedicated to the nexus of these two key disease areas,” he said. Greenwald also serves as his department’s associate chair for Research. He leads the Michigan Collaborative Addiction Resources and Education System efforts at WSU to increase the number of certified addiction medicine specialists, and has published works in a variety of academic journals, including a paper in The Lancet on OUD treatment. He has expertise and involvement in the development of novel therapies of opioid addiction, including new forms of buprenorphine, a medication for OUD treatment.
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Wayne State University names Dr. Mark Schweitzer new School of Medicine dean, VP of Health Affairs

Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson today announced the appointment of Mark Schweitzer, M.D., as dean of the university’s School of Medicine and vice president of Health Affairs for the university. Schweitzer, a preeminent radiologist and chair of the Department of Radiology at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York, will join the university and School of Medicine on April 27. “We conducted in-depth interviews with a number of outstanding candidates during a yearlong national search, and Schweitzer’s experience, enthusiasm and vision made him a perfect fit for Wayne State University,” Wilson said. “Our faculty, our students, and the people of Detroit and the surrounding region will see great advances with Schweitzer’s leadership and energy. He will quickly become a leading contributor to our great city’s ongoing renaissance.” In addition to his leadership role in the School of Medicine, as vice president of Health Affairs, Schweitzer will work with the deans of WSU’s College of Nursing and the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences on clinical training issues. In this role, he will develop avenues to strengthen collaboration between the three schools to advance interprofessional, team-based approaches to healthcare. “I attended inner-city public universities during my undergraduate and medical school training, and I served at public safety net hospitals,” Schweitzer said. “My passion throughout my career has been education at all levels. The DNA of Wayne State University and the city of Detroit are intertwined, and the university’s national reputation is illustrious. I’m very much looking forward to serving the people of greater Detroit and Michigan.” An outstanding medical scholar and educator, Schweitzer is a talented administrator who has served in many hospital and medical practice roles, including vice chair for clinical practice and chair of the Information Management Group for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Extensively published and a lecturer for Harvard University Medical School, he holds a number of medical patents. “The Board of Governors is extremely pleased to be hiring someone the caliber of Dr. Mark Schweitzer to assume what is a critically important leadership position,” said Marilyn Kelly, chair of the board. “Wayne State’s health-related education and community programs are a vital part of the university’s identity and mission, and we think that Mark is the right person to lead us into the future.”
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Beaumont Health exec returns to WDET as general manager

The estate of prominent Judge Damon J. Keith, who was the grandson of slaves and a figure in the civil rights movement, made a $100,000 bequest to a scholarship fund in his name, West Virginia State University announced Wednesday. Keith, who was sued by President Richard Nixon over a ruling against warrantless wiretaps, died in April in Detroit at 96. He spent more than 50 years on the federal bench. Before his death, he still heard cases about four times a year at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. He was a 1943 graduate of what was then West Virginia State College and went on to graduate from Howard University Law School in 1949 and Wayne State University Law School in 1956.
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Wayne State welcomes Bosmat Nossan to serve as Allesee Guest Artist In Residence-in-Dance

The Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance at Wayne State University welcomes renowned Israeli choreographer Bosmat Nossan as the Fall 2019 Allesee Guest Artist-in-Residence, Oct.1 through 11. Nossan has performed her work internationally. She is the artistic director and founder of the Gaga teacher training program, a former dancer of the Batsheva Dance Company and the Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak Dance Company. Bosmat is a staff member of 'La Collectiz'- a graduate program for contemporary dancers. She was awarded with the Israel-America Cultural Foundation scholarship in 2004 and 2006, as well as the Remco award for promising artist in 2005, and a danceWEB scholarship in 2011. "This is a profound opportunity for our students and our community," says Meg Paul, director of dance for the department. "Having Ms. Nossan provide our students with her insight, artistry and experience is what makes the Allesee Guest Artist-in-Residence program such an integral part of our educational program. We are grateful to both Maggie Allesee, for whom the program is named thanks to her endowment, and to Ms. Nossan for making time to be with us."  
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Wayne State president elected medical college association board chair

Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson will serve as board chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges. His one-year term began Nov. 7.  Wilson will lead the 17 board members of the Washington, D.C.-based not-for-profit health care association. "I hope to build on the momentum that former AAMC chairs have established and sustained over their years of visionary leadership," Wilson said in a statement. "The vital contributions that medical schools and teaching hospitals make to health care, public health and innovative research in this country position the United States as a global health care leader. I'm honored and humbled to serve as board chair of the AAMC, and I'm eager to roll up my sleeves and get to work."

“All Things Considered” features interview with WSU's incoming provost Keith Whitfield

“All Things Considered” host Jerome Vaughn talked with Keith Whitfield about his upcoming role as provost at Wayne State University. Whitfield was recently named provost effective June 1, 2016. He currently serves as vice provost for academic affairs at Duke University and is an expert on aging among African Americans. Whitfield also holds Duke appointments as professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, research professor in the Department of Geriatric Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, and senior fellow in the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development.  
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Wayne State names new provost

Wayne State University has named Keith Whitfield as its new provost – the person in charge of academics at the school and the No. 2 executive behind President M. Roy Wilson. Whitfield, vice provost for academic affairs at Duke University and an expert on aging among African Americans, will start June 1. The WSU Board of Governors approved Whitfield’s appointment Friday. "We are delighted that Keith Whitfield will be joining the university,” Wilson said in a press release. “We could not have hoped for a better-qualified candidate for the provost's position, and we look forward to his guidance and leadership in all academic matters at Wayne State University.” Whitfield also holds Duke appointments as professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, research professor in the Department of Geriatric Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, and senior fellow in the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. He also is co-director of the Center on Biobehavioral Health Disparities Research. “I am very honored to have been selected to serve as the next provost of Wayne State,” said Whitfield in a press release. “It is clear that the university is working on great things, and I hope to provide the leadership needed to realize its ambitions.”     Other media mentions