College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts in the news

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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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Wayne State University research examines Muslim response to Trump administration

Wayne State University’s Department of Communication presented research Nov. 27 that examines the effects of the Trump administration on North American Muslims. At the presentation, Stine Eckert of WSU’s journalism program introduced three doctoral candidates and contributors to the studies, Jade Metzger-Riftkin, Sydney O’Shay-Wallace and Sean Kolhoff of the Department of Communications. Eckert, a former Al Jazeera producer, said her previous studies incited an interest in Muslim identity; and though many studies based in number-based research found how Islamophobic rhetoric causes an increase in hate crimes, she wanted research based in conversation. “As I developed this project the Trump campaign came along,” Eckert said, “I didn’t plan for that; nobody did. It happened to be in this time that we started this research. So it kind of just fell into my lap to then ask more specifically, in this moment of heightened concern, particularly for people who claim that as part of their identity, what does that mean?” She said the study covered the time period of the latter half of the Trump campaign, the election season, before his inauguration and into the first 100 days of his presidency.
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Finley: Thank you, Don Pilette, and RIP

Detroit News editorial editor Nolan Finley wrote a memorial tribute about Don Pilette, and his Wayne State University memories. “In the winter of 1976, I was sitting in Don's news editing class at Wayne State University, a journalism major in my junior year, uncertain whether I'd be able to complete my degree. The small auto factory where I'd worked since high school, and which was providing the paycheck I needed to pay for college, had shut down. I was out of work and out of money, and on the brink of giving up. At the end of class, Don, who was then the national editor of The Detroit News, asked if anyone was interested in a copy boy's position at the newspaper. The duties, he explained, would fall mainly into the messenger/clerk category, but it would provide valuable exposure to the newsroom. I was amazed to look around the room of roughly 20 students and find that mine was the only hand in the air. Two weeks later I walked into the Detroit News to begin what is now 42 years in the newspaper business. Don continued to teach and mentor me after I arrived. Perhaps he didn't want to get the blame if I flopped.” “He (Pilette) kept teaching even after he retired from The News in 1992, at Wayne State and the University of Michigan-Dearborn. That was his joy. Wayne State named its journalism lab in honor of Don, who taught there for 37 years. I'm one of countless journalists in this town and across the nation who benefited from Don Pilette's wisdom. And from his helping hand.”
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Does science have a bullying problem?

The secrecy — and the resulting confusion — are prime examples of the difficulties that scientific institutions and researchers face in dealing with the thorny issue of bullying. Some actions might fit into a grey zone. What one person considers firm management, another might consider bullying. It is not difficult to imagine, for example, a Ph.D. supervisor giving a student a raft of unfamiliar experiments to complete, with a deadline that leaves the student stressed and working all night. Is this bullying? The answer depends on the broader behavior and approach, explains Loraleigh Keashly, a communications scientist at Wayne State University.

“As You Like It” announced at the Hilberry Theatre

William Shakespeare's “As You Like It” treads the boards at the Hilberry Theatre beginning Friday, Oct.26 and running through Nov. 11. Directed by Lavinia Hart and set in present day Appalachia, this comedy allows audiences to view a classic story through a creative lens that transports you to the hills of Tennessee. "Shakespeare's 'As You Like It' is universal in theme and characters, easily translating to any century in any city or countryside, revealing surprising cultural connections to the here and now," says Hart.
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NSF award to provide new insights on how drinking water and public health systems interact

A research team at Wayne State University recently received a four-year, $1.57 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for its project, “Water and Health Infrastructure Resilience and Learning.” The award is part of a multi-institutional $2 million collaborative project funded under NSF’s Critical Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Systems and Processes program.
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Wayne State Breaking Ground On Performing Arts Building

Wayne State University is breaking ground on a major project for theater, music and dance. Campus officials and others will gather Thursday night to mark construction of the $65 million Gateway Performance Complex and the future home of the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center. The Performance Complex will have three theaters, production space for students and a cafe for guests who attend performances. Wayne State's Hilberry Theatre will be renovated to become a 200-seat jazz center named for Valade, a Detroit-area philanthropist and granddaughter of the founder of Carhartt Clothing. Valade has committed more than $9 million to Wayne State's jazz program. She founded Mack Avenue Records and owns the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe in Grosse Pointe Farms.

Commencement speaker also an Amherstburg native

Wayne State University (WSU) held its commencement ceremony at Ford Field in Detroit recently with a student commencement speaker being from Amherstburg. Alexandra “Alex” Leroux spoke at the 4 p.m. ceremony on May 8. Leroux, a graduate of General Amherst High School, said graduates received an e-mail several weeks ago where they were invited to express interest and submit a draft of their speech and, as long as they were in good academic standing, be up for selection.
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The 2 things North Korea's Kim Yo Jong and Ivanka Trump have in common

As the Winter Olympics kicked off in PyeongChang, South Korea, this weekend, the media turned their attention to one notable nonathlete attendee: Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. Stine Eckert, chair of the feminist scholarship division of the International Communication Association and an assistant professor of communications at Wayne State University, notes that there is one particularly notable comparison that should be made between the two women in question. “They are both blueprints for whatever at the time their society and current administration needs in terms of a tool to advance their political agendas,” Eckert says.
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Fall theater mixes Broadway hits, old faves and more

Theatre and Dance at Wayne State University has “The Underpants” by Steve Martin running Sept. 29-Oct. 15 at the Hillberry Theatre. The actor/comedian/novelist/playwright adapted the play from a 1915 German farce, “Die Hose,” by Carl Sternheim, involving a wardrobe malfunction that leads to a bored wife attracting a fleet of suitors. The company also has Shakespeare (“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”) and Tennessee Williams (“A Streetcar Named Desire”) on tap.