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Transfer students have clear path to bachelor’s degree with new partnership between Wayne County Community College District and Wayne State University

DETROIT – A new agreement between two of Detroit’s leading higher education institutions provides transfer students with a clear path from an associate degree to a bachelor’s, limiting potential loss of credits and helping families save tuition dollars. The new Transfer Pathways Agreement between Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) and Wayne State University maximizes credits students earn while completing an associate degree at WCCCD and transferring to WSU to complete their bachelor’s. A special signing ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9, at the Wayne State University Integrative Biosciences Center, 6135 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 48202, will celebrate the program, which goes into effect in fall 2023. Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson and WCCCD Chancellor Curtis L. Ivery will officially sign the agreement and speak about the importance of the partnership, as will several students who began their academic careers at WCCCD and are now proud Wayne State Warriors. "We are proud to announce an agreement that continues our work with an institution that shares our commitment to helping people thrive through higher education,” Chancellor Ivery says. “This partnership will help more students forge career pathways to high-wage and in-demand job opportunities that will allow them to grow in place, support themselves and their families, and help their communities grow." The Pathways program provides a seamless transfer between schools, with the goal of students completing a bachelor’s within four years. Students will be eligible for WSU transfer merit scholarships valued at up to $6,000 a year and receive specialized academic advising and career counseling prior to transferring and once they enroll at Wayne State. “This new agreement strengthens the collaboration that already exists between our two institutions and elevates it to a new level,” President Wilson says. “But, more importantly, it benefits students in Detroit and Wayne County and contributes to the region and state’s competitiveness. “With our new agreement, we are offering students – including nontraditional and adult learners – high-quality education and seamless pathways to earn two degrees, which will set them on a trajectory of economic advancement and social mobility.”  WCCCD Pathways students who meet program requirements will receive guaranteed admission to Wayne State. Requirements include earning at least 60 credit hours with a 2.5 or higher GPA and completing their associate degree at WCCCD. About Wayne County Community College District WCCCD, one of the largest urban community colleges in Michigan, is a multi-campus district with six campus locations and educational centers, including the Mary Ellen Stempfle University Center, the Heinz C. Prechter Educational and Performing Arts Center, the Michigan Institute for Public Safety Education (MIPSE), the Curtis L. Ivery Health and Wellness Education Center and the Outdoor Careers Training Center. The District serves students across 32 cities and townships, and more than 500 square miles. WCCCD is committed to the continued development of innovative programs, workforce transformation, hosting community-based training sessions, and improving student facilities and services. About Wayne State University Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world.    
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Wayne State University to open Detroit Center for Black Studies

Last month, Wayne State University announced its plan to create the Detroit Center for Black Studies as part of its efforts to prioritize faculty and research centered on the Black experience. The university will recruit and hire 30 new humanities faculty, made possible by a $6 million grant from the Mellon Foundation. Dr. M. Roy Wilson is the president of Wayne State University. He says one of the goals in opening the Detroit Center for Black Studies is to connect the breadth of scholars who work in African American and African diaspora from all the universities in southeast Michigan. “The goal is an inclusive center that brings together the breadth of scholars who work in African American, African and African Diaspora Studies, and the interconnections with us and global histories, culture, economic, legal and health systems,” says President Wilson. 

WSU’s chief fundraiser, foundation president to step down

Susan Burns, the chief fundraiser for Wayne State University and one of the most senior development professionals in Southeast Michigan, is stepping down. Burns, vice president for development and alumni affairs and president of the Wayne State University Foundation will retire at the end of March after a 38-year career of raising money to support nonprofit institutions in the arts, higher education and health care fields. David Ripple, vice president of philanthropy at Trinity Health will succeed her, the university said, pending approval of the WSU Board of Governors later this month. Set to join WSU on Feb. 1, Ripple will be charged with developing plans for WSU's next comprehensive campaign, which will look to raise in the area of $1 billion, Burns said. She spent the first 16 years of her career in the arts with subsequent fundraising roles at the Jacksonville Symphony and Interlochen Center for the Arts before coming back to her hometown to lead development at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 1998. She returned to her alma mater as associate vice president for development at WSU in 2001. Seven years later, she shifted to health care, becoming president of the St. John Providence Health foundations. But another seven years later, she returned to WSU in 2016 to lead fundraising for the university. "I keep coming back to the same place — I'm just supposed to be here," she said of the square mile in Detroit where she was born, attended WSU and has led fundraising for the DSO and WSU. She's retiring, she said, to spend more time with family and friends and her husband, a visual artist. The couple, who live in a loft on Canfield between WSU and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, plan to remain in Detroit. "We're not leaving. We have a history of leaving places just before they become cool. We want to stay and enjoy it here," Burns said.

Christianne Malone named to dual role with TechTown Detroit and Wayne State

The Wayne State University Office of Economic Development in Detroit and TechTown Detroit have named social architect and urbanist Christianne Malone to the dual role of assistant vice president for economic development and chief program officer. In her role, Malone will be responsible for the design, implementation, management, and continuous improvement of entrepreneurship programs for both the OED and TechTown. She will assist in advancing the overall economic development strategy for WSU and establish relationships with funders, community partners and external stakeholders. “Wayne State and TechTown gained a tremendous leader with the hire of Christianne Malone,” says Ned Staebler, vice president for economic development at Wayne State University and president and CEO of TechTown Detroit. “She’s not only an innovator in the economic development space, but she’s also a coalition builder, teacher, coach, and catalyzer who will bring her wide range of knowledge to benefit our entire community.’
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Driker posthumously presented with inaugural award in his honor

Eugene Driker was a pillar in the Jewish community, a prominent attorney, and a tireless supporter of the city of Detroit and Wayne State University. In recognition of his profound contributions, President M. Roy Wilson and the Wayne State Board of Governors have created the Eugene Driker Award for Distinguished Service. The award’s first recipient is Driker, who received the honor posthumously at the Dec. 2 Board of Governors meeting, with his friends and family in attendance. A two-time Wayne State alumnus, former member of the Board of Governors, chair of the Wayne State University Foundation Board, generous donor and tireless ambassador for the university, Driker passed away in September. But the enormous impact of his contributions to Detroit and Wayne State will be felt for years to come. His wife, Elaine, and his son Stephen Driker along with his wife, Jennifer, accepted the award. “My only wish is that he was here to accept this himself,” Elaine Driker said. “Everyone knows how much he loved this university. He called it the portal to the American dream. ... I believe that's why he worked so tirelessly on behalf of the university. Hearing everyone speak about all of his contributions to the university and to the city, I want everyone to know that he was also a remarkable husband, an incredible father and a devoted grandfather.” 
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Wayne State adopts tuition model that promotes graduation rates

By Sherri Welch The Wayne State University Board of Governors on Friday adopted a block tuition model for undergraduate students. With the change, which takes effect in fall 2023, undergraduate students will pay the same amount for enrolling in 12-18 credits per semester. The shift incentivizes students to take full course loads and enables them to graduate sooner, WSU said in a release, noting it is the 11th public university in the state to adopt the model. "To fulfill Wayne State's mission as a university of access and an engine of social mobility, we constantly strive to align our students' goals with academic pathways to success," said Mark Kornbluh, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.