Community in the news

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Wayne Law sex trafficking program draws large crowd

The conference “(S)exploiting the Vulnerable: Empowering Future Legal Advocates,” held April 12 at Wayne State University Law School, attracted more than 300 attendees from a variety of disciplines including, law, social work, law enforcement and non-profits. Planned and coordinated by Wayne State Assistant Professor Blanche Cook and law students Taylor Hilton, Ben VanSlyke, Lydia Mikail, Rebecca Bundy, and Elisabeth Moore, the event opened with remarks by WSU Law School Dean Richard Bierschbach about the issues of sex trafficking and how future legal advocates can make a change by bringing light to this topic. Wayne Law alumna Angela Povilatis from the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board, and Kim Trent from the WSU Board of Governors spoke about the growing world of sex trafficking and how the legal community can work to combat this practice. 
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Addressing rural Michigan's high infant mortality and poor maternal health

Michigan’s rural areas have high infant mortality and poor maternal health, fueled in part by substance abuse, lack of access to healthy food, and dwindling birthing hospitals and OB-GYNs. The root causes may be different from those in Michigan's urban communities, but the results are the same: Michigan's African-American and American Indian babies are three times likelier than white babies to die in their first year of life. Addiction is one of the biggest challenges for Michigan's rural mothers and infants. In Michigan’s rural areas, more pregnant women smoke cigarettes and abuse opioids than pregnant women in urban areas. "Cigarettes are the most commonly used substance during pregnancy and are at least as powerful a contributor to infant mortality as any of the other substances," says Dr. Steven Ondersma, a professor in Wayne State University's departments of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences and obstetrics and gynecology. 
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Roxbury's Bonstelle Theatre lease OK'd as part of boutique hotel project

The Wayne State University Board of Governors approved Wednesday a long-term lease of the to-be-decommissioned Bonstelle Theatre as part of Detroit-based developer The Roxbury Group's planned West Elm hotel project. David Di Rita, principal of Roxbury, said the 45-year lease also includes a number of options to renew and that the property would be renovated and restored with things like updated HVAC systems and interior, auditorium and finishes. A specific budget for the theater renovation project has not been calculated, but the overall effort to restore it and construct the West Elm hotel on Woodward Avenue on the edge of Midtown and Brush Park is expected to cost $50 million. Wayne State is decommissioning the Bonstelle and a building at 95 W. Hancock St. as part of the $65 million Hilberry Gateway Performance Complex project.
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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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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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Wayne State University looking to win Gift of Life Campus Challenge again

As you're reading this, 114,000 men, women and children await lifesaving transplants. You can help make a dent in that staggering statistic with the Wayne State University's Gift of Life Campus Challenge. Wayne State is once again leading the way when it comes to getting people to sign up for the organ donor registry. Alyssa Krieger and Erin Coburn from Wayne State were in-studio guests along with organ recipient Nicholas Giannamore.
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Plan would grow walkable campus linking Detroit cultural institutions

A new vision is taking shape for the area surrounding the Detroit Institute of Arts in the city's thriving Midtown neighborhood. The goal: redesign the outdoor space around the 1920s-era Beaux-Arts landmark so that it becomes the heart of a walkable, innovative public area stretching for 10 blocks and linking 11 major institutions. The plan would ideally better connect Wayne State University, the main Detroit Public Library, the Detroit Historical Museum, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the College for Creative Studies, the Michigan Science Center, and others. “We want to be a gathering place for everybody,” says Salvador Salort-Pons, DIA director. Early cost estimates for the plan are between $75 million to $85 million, organizers said. The money will come from foundations, grants, and corporations, organizers said. No taxpayer funding is being considered, they said. The plan has been underway for more than a year. On Jan. 23, visions of the what the 10 blocks could look like will be unveiled by three teams of finalists. Those plans will be on display at the DIA until April. The finalist team will be selected in the spring. 
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Become a blood donor during National Blood Donor Month

January is National Blood Donor Month: a time to raise awareness on the importance of donating blood. According to Dr. Martin Bluth, professor of pathology with Wayne State University, blood is used every two seconds in the U.S., which is why there's a constant need. "The different kinds of products that are required for blood utilization -- whether it's red cells, or plasma, or platelets -- are in constant demand simply because there's a shelf life to them." he told WWJ's Deanna Lites.
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As email use declines, universities try new digital tactics to reach alumni

At Wayne State University, Associate Vice President, Alumni Affairs & Advancement Services and Executive Director, Alumni Association Peter Caborn said they prepared to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the university by asking alumni to record themselves talking about their Wayne State experiences or taking a photo of an item they associate with their Wayne State days, such as a class schedule. Alumni could post these remembrances to a microsite that allowed each item to be cataloged as part of a digital time capsule. 
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Wayne State students priced out of Midtown

The hot housing market in Midtown is squeezing out Wayne State University students who want to live near campus. Officials at WSU say an increasing number of students want housing in the area but are finding it difficult to afford rents targeted to working professionals. “A lot of the apartments, particularly to the south of us and east of us, serve primarily students, and their rents are going up so high because of the desirability of living in Midtown,” WSU President M. Roy Wilson told The Detroit News.
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Police killings of 3 black men left a mark on Detroit’s history

Jeffrey Horner, senior lecturer of Urban Studies, wrote an article for The Conversation about the history of segregation in Detroit. He wrote: “Police routinely used violent force against blacks in the U.S. before the 1940s, primarily as a means of preserving segregation in cities. It became a last line of defense for segregationists after the U.S. Supreme Court in 1948 weakened the ability of property owners to refuse to sell to people of color. 
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University leaders want higher ed on Schuette, Whitmer's agenda

M. Roy Wilson, president of Wayne State, said he wants the next governor and Legislature to scale back the performance-based funding model created under Gov. Rick Snyder that rewarded universities with more money for a higher percentage of undergraduate degrees and penalized more research-focused universities. It's one reason why Wayne State has not recovered nearly as much funding as UM and MSU, its counterparts in the University Research Corridor.  With medical, law and other graduate schools, Wayne State gets penalized for having too many graduate degrees and too few bachelor's degrees awarded each year, Wilson said. "If we weren't a research institution, we'd be getting much more (state funding)," Wilson said in an interview. "That doesn't make much sense.
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President Wilson discusses the new Mike Ilitch School of Business on Conversations with WSU

Mildred Gaddis sat down with Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson, and Darrell Dawsey, director of community communications. Earlier this week, President Wilson joined with some of Detroit’s most important business leaders to announce the opening of the Mike Ilitch School of Business, which promises to be an incubator for some of Detroit’s sharpest minds and a boom for our local workforce. 
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Actor Hill Harper partners with Wayne State, others for youth program

Actor Hill Harper is deepening his connections to Detroit by establishing a new youth empowerment program in partnership with Wayne State University and local companies. Harper, who stars in the CBS drama "CSI:NY," is launching the Summer Empowerment Academy at the Detroit university. It is a weeklong mentorship program for incoming ninth-grade students in the city. Wayne State representatives and alumni are scheduled to host workshops on the college planning and admissions process, while entrepreneurs and employees from Microsoft and TechTown Detroit will also speak to the kids about technology careers. Tours of Quicken Loans and the Motown Museum are also planned.
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WSU president discusses higher education with Holland residents

WSU President M. Roy Wilson hosted a reception Tuesday, July 24, at New Holland Brewing to discuss higher education with Holland residents. The evening was one part of his “Road Warrior” challenge, a 500-mile bicycle ride across the state. As he biked through Michigan, he stopped in four cities — Marshall, Holland, Owosso and Imlay city — to spark conversations with community members about their expectations of higher education. “There’s really no better way to get to know a community than this,” Wilson said. Having never been to Holland before, he arrived with an open mind to learn what the Holland community can bring to Wayne State. For Wilson, the evening was very much an opportunity to think outside of the box and get to know cities he doesn’t usually interact with.

Thinking beyond the box

Dr. M. Roy Wilson isn't just thinking outside of the box when it comes to understanding the needs and concerns of those seeking higher education, he's literally going beyond the box to do so. And he's doing it on two wheels. The 64-year-old president of Wayne State University is stepping out of Detroit to embark on his second 'Road Warrior bicycle tour' in an effort to engage citizens in open and candid dialogue about higher education. The 500-mile trip will take Roy and his four companions through Holland and Owosso before landing in Imlay City on Thursday, July 26. While in Imlay City, Wilson will be at Hiram's Tavern from 5:30-7 p.m., to chat with patrons and visitors.