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Should we stay on daylight saving time? Debate goes beyond eliminating seasonal time changes

By Kimberly Craig  If you found yourself a tad grumpy Sunday after losing an hour of sleep, you’d be in good company. Studies show that most Americans would like to put an end to bidding farewell to that hour of sleep in March and waiting months to welcome that hour back in November. But while the U.S. Senate voted this week to eliminate that biannual clock change in the Sunshine Protection Act, it would also come with something sleep experts don’t want to see happen – making daylight saving time permanent in 2023. Supporters of living in daylight saving time year-round say it would give children more time to play outside in the afternoon and it would be good for the economy. But many physicians are urging lawmakers to make standard time a permanent thing, to allow our bodies’ internal clocks to be aligned with the timing of the sun. Wayne State University professor Dr. James Rowley, who also serves as the medical director at Detroit Receiving Hospital’s Sleep Disorder Center and as an officer with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, firmly believes we should be on permanent standard time. “It’s well known that the changes in March result in increases in cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, and driving accidents. And there are some subtle changes even when we go backwards again in the fall,” he said, noting that if lawmakers adopt a uniform daylight saving time, Michiganders won’t have sunlight until 9 a.m. in the winter. “There’s good evidence that we need sunshine in the morning to be awake during the day.” 
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Wayne State University Law students named finalists in Moot Court in-house competition

Wayne State University Law School students Elyse Victor and Andre Hage were named finalists of the Moot Court winter in-house competition. Victor and Hage demonstrated strong oral and written advocacy skills that advanced them to the final round. “Students prepare from the first week of classes to the preliminary rounds of the competition by researching case law, writing a brief, and practicing oral arguments with senior members of the moot court team,” said Emily Barr, chancellor of the Moot Court program. “The magic of the program is watching new team members blossom into talented and zealous advocates.” The final round judges included Michigan Supreme Court Justice Megan Cavanaugh, Third Circuit Court Judge Carla Testani, and Wayne Law associate dean for research and faculty development Christopher Lund. Semi-final judges included Wayne Law professors Amy Neville, Jack Mazzara, and Dan Ellman. 

Wayne State University THINK Lab’s Dr. Hilary Marusak studying the impact of childhood stress, trauma

By Logan Tesmer  Dr. Hilary Marusak is the director of Wayne State University’s THINK lab and an assistant professor at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. THINK is an acronym for Trauma History Investigation of Neurodevelopment in Kids. The THINK lab studies brain development in children and adolescents and the impacts of environmental stress on the brain, as well as anxiety and PTSD. These traumas can be found in interpersonal forms, such as violence, as well as medical-related traumas from a cancer diagnosis or treatment. The lab’s work also targets the recovery from these traumas through exercise, meditation, or pharmaceuticals. Dr. Marusak joins for a segment of Community Connect to discuss her love of science, getting more girls into the industry, and how the THINK lab helps children in the community. “If you work with kids, I think you share this idea that if you intervene early, you can really change the course of that kid’s life. The brain is changing so rapidly and dynamically during that time, so it’s much easier to take advantage of that brain plasticity and get kids on a better chart for the rest of their life,” said Dr. Marusak.  
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Opinion: How life as a trucker devolved into a dystopian nightmare

Ask almost anyone what’s wrong with trucking — drivers, transportation economists, advocacy groups — and they’ll all begin with one number: the extraordinarily high turnover rate. For decades, truckers have quit at alarming rates, leading to a chronic shortage. The turnover rate was at a staggering 91 percent in 2019, which means that for every 100 people who signed up to drive, 91 walked out the door. Plenty of people have the commercial driver’s licenses needed to operate trucks, said Michael Belzer, a Wayne State University economist who has studied the industry for 30 years. “None of them will work for these wages,” he added. Studies even show that their pay, when adjusted for inflation, has declined markedly since the 1970s.

Through ABA project, law students research police policies with plans to set up public database

The American Bar Association’s Legal Education Police Practices Consortium was created by deans of ABA-accredited law schools in 2020 in response to police killings and use of force in primarily Black communities. Besides learning about research, the students’ work will teach interpersonal skills, too, says Richard Bierschbach, the dean of the Wayne State University Law School who also is on the consortium’s advisory committee. So far, 59 schools are participating. “It’s a great way for law students to understand the realities of trying to get information from police departments and other similar bodies,” says Bierschbach, adding that sometimes agencies don’t want to share information, and other times they simply can’t do it or don’t have it “because of years of bad infrastructure or systems. In law school, before you do this kind of work, you might think, ‘Why are they stonewalling?’ With this project, you can get in on the ground and see what the world’s actually like.”
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Michigan's pandemic politics: Campaigns won't let you forget COVID-19 impact

Masks are mostly gone two years into the coronavirus pandemic. But so are thousands of family members and friends. Students are generally back in classrooms. But it's difficult to capture the scope of learning loss and  the emotional toll. Stores and restaurants, movie theaters and hair salons have been open for months. But businesses — and working families — are still struggling to pay the bills. And it's all fodder for Michigan politicians of all stripes seeking to capitalize on the real-world impacts of the pandemic and how leaders fought against it to propel their candidates to victory. "If you believe the old adage that the personal is political, then everything is politics, right?" said Patricia Wren, professor and chair of the department of public health at Wayne State University. "Maybe politics and public health function best when we share a common vision and a common goal, and maybe we differ on how to get there. But those, for me, are interesting conversations to think about how we might get Michigan or the country to a place where we feel safe and where people can live and work and play effectively together again."
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Age, education, voting for Trump associated with higher COVID-19 death rates in Michigan

Who died of COVID-19 in Michigan during the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic was heavily influenced by demographics like age, education level, the county where they lived, vaccination rates — and even who got their vote in the 2020 presidential election. As Michigan marked the grim two-year anniversary last Thursday of the day when the first cases were identified, a Free Press analysis of state and federal data shows a higher death rate in counties where a larger share of people voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. But analyzing COVID-19 deaths in Michigan is more complicated than just looking at who supported Trump and who didn't, said Brady Baybeck, an associate professor of political science at Wayne State University. “Pandemics work in complicated ways, particularly at the county level,” Baybeck said. "The relationship is not as strong potentially as it could be at the individual level.” Patricia Wren, chair of the department of public health at Wayne State University, agreed. "Sometimes when we paint with (a) broad brush, we want to say it's red versus blue," she said of so-called "red" counties with more conservative voters and "blue" counties with more liberal voters.
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Spotlight on the News: WSU’s CBHJ addresses opioids; City Council President Mary Sheffield on Detroit's budget

Spotlight on the News interviewed Nicole Hamameh and Tamarie Willis of Wayne State University's Center for Behavioral Health and Justice about what's being done to address the opioid epidemic for people serving time in prisons and jails. The program also featured Detroit City Council President (and Wayne State alumna) Mary Sheffield about the city's annual budget, neighborhoods and future development.
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Would gas tax holiday benefit consumers or big oil?

By Kim Russell Our leaders want to lower gas prices, but could their efforts have unintended consequences? At the national level, U. S. Congress is considering waiving the 18 cents federal gas tax. The Michigan House passed a bill that would waive the state gas tax for six months. The gas tax holiday still needs approval from the Senate and the Governor to become law. If it does pass, gas stations in Michigan would no longer have to pay just over 27 cents per gallon to the state in motor fuel tax used to fund road repairs. The idea of a tax holiday sounds great, but, the question is: who actually would get the holiday? Professor Kevin Cotter, chair of Wayne State University’s economics department, warns that while the idea of a gas holiday sounds great for stations and drivers, in the situation we are in now, everything would not remain equal. “A cut in the pump price, that is going to result in an increase in gas purchases that the market can’t accommodate,” Cotter said. He said that we have to remember what is causing the spike in pricing: a global shortage of oil due to the war in Ukraine. Russia is facing sanctions, and tankers don’t want to carry Russian oil through a war zone. “You either have a shortage or the price goes up,” said Cotter. “The alternative would be, if you look back to the 1970s, when we had price controls after the oil embargo there were long gas lines. Because people wanted to buy gas, but gas wasn’t available. The fact is we are going to continue to see the price go up, and I don’t think a tax holiday is going to make much of a difference.”
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Two years of Zoomin’: Here’s where metro Detroit’s biggest employers stand on returning to the office

By Chad Livengood A return to the normal 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday office-based work setting that was a staple of corporate America before the virus was first detected in Michigan two years ago this week is perhaps the exception now for big employers. Crain’s asked more than 40 of Southeast Michigan’s largest office employers this week what the current status of their workforce is and their plans for the future. Most of those who responded remain in either work-from-home or hybrid schedules where employees spend a day or two in the office each week and then Zoom in remotely for meetings the rest of the time. Wayne State University has a flexible, hybrid work schedule in place for office workers through May 31 that will be re-evaluated then, said university spokesman Matt Lockwood. “But we are confident that (hybrid) will remain an option to promote recruitment, retention and job satisfaction for all employees,” Lockwood said.

WSU to You: Explore STEM program offers exploration, inspiration in any setting for middle school students

This week, more than 4,000 middle school students will engage in learning and experimentation in areas of science, technology, engineering and math through Wayne State’s new WSU to You: Explore STEM program. The program, which runs from March 14–18, is an adaptation of Wayne State’s popular STEM Day event, designed to accommodate the flexible needs of local teachers while still providing interactive, hands-on lessons for students. Julie Hasse, who coordinates the event and is associate director of experiential marketing in the Office of Marketing and Communications, spoke with All Talk with Tom Jordan and Kevin Dietz about the weeklong initiative.
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Long COVID still a major problem for some two years after the pandemic began

As COVID-19 cases are falling quickly after a fourth surge earlier this year, the hope is that we are moving beyond the pandemic. But, as metro Detroiters get back to normal life, there are group of people at risk of being left behind: Those who are suffering the long-term effects of the virus. Dr. Teena Chopra, an infectious disease specialist at Wayne State University, said that long COVID remains one of the biggest mysteries of the pandemic. It’s believed to be related to the inflammation of the immune system. Dr. Chopra said that more than 80% of hospitalized COVID patients suffer from long COVID symptoms. Women are twice as likely as men to have long COVID, and those with obesity, asthma, COPD and over the age of 65 are also at greater risk. Those with long COVID tend to have symptoms that fall into three categories: fatigue, cardio-respiratory, and neuropsychiatric symptoms. “There is a ton of research going on at Wayne State University. Our researchers are working night and day, and they are learning more and more…It is going to be a long process, and it is going to require a lot of patience, both on the part of the patient and on the provider.”   
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State hoops: After plenty of nervous waiting, Wayne State women get to refresh season

The Wayne State women's basketball team watched a 15-point halftime lead slip away in an eventual loss to Ferris State in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament semifinal. And the Warriors suspected that might just be it for the 2021-22 season. That is until they learned there was more work to do, as Wayne State (18-9) earned an at-large bid into the Division II NCAA Tournament. It's Wayne State's fifth-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament, first since 2015. "It was just a waiting game," said Carrie Lohr, who's in her 11th season as head coach and is heading to her fourth NCAA Tournament. "We're certainly very excited. We feel very fortunate. Wayne State, which is the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region, will open against Grand Valley State (27-2) at 2:30 Friday.
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How Biden’s new ‘test to treat’ COVID plan works – and why it might not be enough

This week, the Biden administration is launching a test to treat COVID program. High-risk patients with COVID symptoms will be able to walk into hundreds of pharmacies for a free COVID test and walk out with a free course of pills. The program, according to some experts, is limited in scope. COVID pills are new, and they come with prescribing challenges. Pfizer’s Paxlovid can interfere with many commonly prescribed drugs and cause health problems. Merck’s molnupiravir comes with precautions due to reproductive risks. Independent pharmacies say they can help. “Pharmacists are medication experts. We have been managing drug interactions and dose adjustments routinely for decades. We could handle this,” said Susan Davis, a pharmacy professor at Wayne State University’s Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  
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2022 Ambulance Chase 5K to support Public Interest Law Fund

Wayne State University Law School will conduct its 2022 Ambulance Chase 5K on Saturday, April 2 from 10 a.m. to noon. Sponsored by the Wayne Law Student Bar Association Board of Governors, the Ambulance Chase 5K pokes fun at the stereotype of the ambulance-chasing lawyer and helps support a good cause. The event will support the Wayne Law Public Interest Law Fund, which provides scholarships to students to pursue positions in public interest fields. 

What can happen when sleep apnea goes undiagnosed

By Katherine Lee  Sleep apnea is a common and potentially serious sleep disorder. It causes you to stop breathing temporarily and occurs repeatedly during sleep. These pauses in breathing can happen as many as hundreds of times in one night. Your brain registers what’s going on and wakes you up, though sometimes only partially or for such short moments you may not even realize the arousals. Because the primary symptoms of sleep apnea occur during sleep, many people with sleep apnea may not even realize it’s happening. Sleep apnea can take a toll on the body and lead to a number of negative physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral effects, including inflammation throughout the body caused by chronic cycles of accelerated heart rate and increased blood pressure. “There’s good evidence that having obstructive sleep apnea puts you at increased risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and death,” said James Rowley, professor of medicine and division chief of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine.  
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Many Ukrainians face a future of lasting psychological wounds from the Russian invasion

By Arash Javanbakht  Arash Javanbakht, associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Stress, Trauma, and Anxiety Research Clinic at Wayne State University, authored an article about the psychological wounds caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine that could linger for generations. Javanbakht outlines research findings that human-caused catastrophes have a higher likelihood than natural disasters of causing severe consequences including PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Children are specifically vulnerable, and trauma can be transferred from parents to their current and future children. “Putting human suffering into numbers as I’ve done here is not in any way meant to convert a human tragedy into a cold statistical concept,” Javanbakht wrote. “The purpose is to show the enormous impact of such calamity. Each life or livelihood lost is a tragedy in and of itself.”  
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Wayne State law students launch new diversity initiative ‘Lawyers Look Like Me’

By Lauren Wethington  Law students at Wayne State University have a message for aspiring legal professionals from diverse backgrounds: lawyers come in every race, gender identity and religion. That message is the inspiration behind Wayne State University Law School’s new Lawyers Look Like Me initiative, which launches formally on March 4. Created by third year law student Aleanna Siacon, who also serves as the president of the school’s Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, the campaign brings together law students from an array of ethnic and cultural backgrounds to highlight the importance of diverse voices within the legal profession. “Lawyers and judges carry people’s livelihoods and liberties in their hands,” said Siacon. “It’s so important for the profession to welcome practitioners from all walks of life.” The student-led campaign has garnered the support of Wayne State University Law School Dean Richard Bierschbach, who says that stereotypes surrounding what lawyers look like have caused real harm. “I’m proud of our students for conceiving a campaign to challenges those stereotypes head-on,” Bierschbach said. “This campaign palpably and visibly conveys that the law careers in it belong to everyone. We hope that, by seeing and wearing these shirts, current and future law students from all backgrounds and identities inspire and further the change we need to see in our profession.”  
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War in Ukraine underscores need for ‘ethical leadership…doing right thing,’ WSU professor says

By Mark Hicks  As the Russian invasion of Ukraine sparks more bloodshed and alarms people around the world, Wayne State University at a rally Thursday heard messages about the global implications of war. Wayne State University professor Alisa Moldavanova teaches a course on ethics, and she said the conflict helped underscore the concepts for her students in real time. “Ethical leadership is about doing the right thing,” she told a crowd gathered on campus. “And I think the world should be doing the right thing. All of us here should be doing the right thing. Much like my family and other people in Ukraine are doing the right thing.” The importance of speaking up, helping and taking action anchored the peace vigil Moldavanova helped lead to support Ukrainians. The event came as Russian forces battled for control of a crucial energy-producing city in Ukraine’s south on Thursday and gained ground in their bid to cut off the country from the sea, as Ukrainian leaders called on citizens to rise up and wage guerrilla war against the invaders. The fighting came as another round of talks between the two sides yielded a tentative agreement to set up safe corridors inside Ukraine to evacuate citizens and deliver humanitarian aid. “We pray for peace and an immediate end to the violence,” said Ahmad Ezzeddine, Wayne State’s vice president for academic student affairs and global engagement. Viktor Burlaka, who teaches in the WSU School of Social Work and has ties to Ukraine, described the situation as pivotal and galvanizing. “Ukraine did not cease to exist and we are still alive,” he said. “Ukraine is magnified, and today it’s in the heart of the people around the world. We are united and organized as never before.” 
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2022 is a critical year for auto dealerships

By Steve Tengler  The point of sale (POS) of any business is critically important. If you imagine the register at any retail outlet or fast-food franchise, the operator must know the menu, those items presently sold-out, and the semi-scripted-yet-extemporaneous process of reacting to unforeseen incidents as to salvage the customer relationship. So is the standard life of an auto dealership. Only this year presents multiple challenges that far exceed the norm, and as the annual conference approaches where manufacturers and dealerships meet to coordinate the upcoming year – the 2022 National Automotive Dealers Association Show. The question hangs in the air about whether this year is the most critical for dealerships, specifically the looming areas requiring fantastic communication between manufacturer and dealer are how to presently manage the integrated circuit chip shortage and how to prepare for the anticipated, step-function change in electric vehicle sales. Depending upon the strategies of the manufacturer, supply chain issues have played out either by reducing manufacturing, offering fewer vehicle options, or stockpiling semi-built vehicles with plans to retrofit the shells later. Ford, for example, has stockpiled unfinished vehicles in various sites expressly to maintain manufacturing staffing, to be ready to quickly meet the pent-up demand of new vehicles, and per the words of Wayne State Univesity’s Tim Butler, associate professor of global supply chain management at Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business, to avoid “…suffering the long-term effects of not keeping [suppliers] sustained with business…”