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Prioritizing children’s mental health

A two-day virtual 2021 Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health Summit, held April 13-14, invited professionals and insiders to address critical topics related to mental health, wellness, substance use disorder and suicide prevention. The event was designed for clinicians, social service providers, educators, parents, and anyone who works with youth. “What is the worst stress you’ve experienced in your life?” This question can help mental health professionals get to the core of a patient’s distress. But, according to Dr. Arash Javanbakht, director of the Stress, Trauma and Anxiety Research Clinic (STARC) at Wayne State University, it often goes unasked. Javanbakht led a session on the role of trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during the summit. He explained that about 8 percent of Americans suffer from PTSD, described as an overgeneralization of fear, when memories are not where they belong in a person’s timeline. With PTSD, the brain reacts as if things are happening now, not as a memory. The brain is trained to be in a constant survival mode, making normal life nearly impossible to enjoy. Javanbakht said that diagnosing PTSD is not always a part of a children’s mental health professional’s training. “The two things you have to ask about are usually not volunteered: sex life and trauma,” he advises mental health professionals. “Trust is hard, especially when it comes to painful memories.” Javanbakht discussed different treatments for PTSD, including a variety of therapy options as well as medications. He said it’s important to see PTSD as a disease that can be treated.
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The Way Forward: Auto industry worries get flipped on their heads

The auto industry feared total collapse when the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to production and tanking vehicle sales brought on flashbacks to the Great Recession. Over the course of just a year, though, the problem has reversed. Automakers cannot make new cars fast enough. The reason why is that the industry is now grappling with a $110 billion dilemma the size of a fingernail. That's the estimated global revenue that will be lost this year due to the ongoing shortage of semiconductors, according to a recent analysis by Southfield-based AlixPartners. A single car part can use up to 1,000 of the tiny computer chips, which are also used in cellphones and other everyday electronics in hot demand during the pandemic. As a result of the supply shortage, new car production is expected to be cut by 4 million units this year, leaving automakers and suppliers reeling. Ford Motor Co., which has been hit particularly hard, said it expects to lose half of its production for the second quarter. While the fractured supply chain poses daunting challenges to profitability, the consensus is that it beats the alternative of a sustained economic recession, which most experts now are not expecting. "Despite all the dire predictions, there seem to be some signs of improvement," said John Taylor, chair of the department of marketing and supply chain management at Wayne State University. While Detroit remains the "mecca of automotive," local automakers and suppliers would be wise to sharpen their focus on the much larger, existential challenge looming ahead, Taylor said. That is the race for dominance in the electric and autonomous vehicle space, which many observers would argue Silicon Valley is winning.
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Don Cheadle says Detroit 'absolutely a character' after filming 'No Sudden Move'

There are important themes embedded in “No Sudden Move” — things like corporate greed and racism — that don’t necessarily make for a slick, diverting thriller. But Don Cheadle says what he loves about the movie is that weighty matters are “part and parcel” of the dangerous schemes that unfold in this engrossing crime saga set in 1954 Detroit and shot last year in the Motor City during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before filming, Director Steven Soderbergh consulted with experts like Larry Brilliant, a renowned epidemiologist and native Detroiter and Wayne State University medical school alum who had advised him on “Contagion,” the 2011 thriller about a deadly virus that eerily presaged the pandemic. The movie also hired Wayne State's Dr. Phillip Levy, who was involved in COVID-19 testing programs for Wayne Health, a 300-doctor group practice. Medical staffers from Wayne Health handled the regularly required testing for cast and crew members, using mobile testing units to reach various locations. To show his appreciation to Detroit, Soderbergh made a personal donation to Wayne Health of two new mobile labs. "It seems honestly like a really good way to contribute to the community, so that we weren’t just coming here and sort of extracting something without giving anything in return,” the director told the Free Press in November. 
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Wayne State University raises tuition for undergraduate, graduate students

Wayne State University's Board of Governors unanimously approved a tuition increase of 3.9% for both undergraduate and graduate students on Friday. The new tuition rate will result in a $15 increase per credit hour for lower-division undergraduates, officials said. The university also increased its commitment to financial aid, bringing total institutional support to almost $100 million. WSU board Chair Marilyn Kelly said as the governing body of the university, officials are keenly aware of the financial burdens many students face. "This is a decision not arrived at easily or without reservation," Kelly said in a statement. "We have committed the university to making its programs financially accessible to all, including those of limited means. We have not wavered from that commitment. We have provided financial programs to aid students." Wayne State will finalize its university budget in the fall, officials said. University officials say they remain hopeful the Michigan Legislature will increase appropriations to universities this year but is awaiting passage of the state budget. Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson said WSU is the only Michigan public university that has not had its budget restored to fiscal year 2011 levels after significant cuts were made to higher education that year. “No matter what the financial circumstances are, our priority remains the same,” Wilson said in a statement. “As stewards of the university, we will provide a high-quality education to as many students as possible, while continuing to feed the talent pipeline to ensure Michigan’s workforce and economy are strong in the years ahead.”  
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Gatorade’s new sweat patch can help your nutrition and hydration issues during your run

Most runners figure out their hydration strategy via trial and error because everyone’s body reacts so uniquely to workout intensity and environmental conditions. “In the same distance race in the same environment, some athletes lose less than 14 ounces an hour and some athletes lose 85 ounce an hour,” explains Matt Pahnke, a principal scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. But Gatorade’s new Gx sweat patch ($24.99 for two) aims to take the guesswork out of hydrating. The catch with the patch and the app is they’re only as useful as you make them—to get the full benefits, you need to be scheduling your workouts, checking out the pre-run plan and checking back in post-run. “The more information you put into it, the stronger the advice is going to be,” says Pahnke. That may work well for some runners, but it may seem like too much work for others. While the data makes it seem like an exact science, think of it as more of a guideline, says Tamara Hew-Butler, Ph.D., an associate professor of exercise and sports science at Wayne State University. “The move toward measuring fluid and electrolyte loss is a good start, but it should never be followed as an exact rule,” she explains. “You also have to listen to what your body’s telling you.” 
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Antitrust crusader Lina Khan faces a big obstacle: The courts

The fiercest foes of America’s technology giants cheered when Lina Khan, a professor at Columbia Law School, was confirmed by the Senate last week for a seat on the Federal Trade Commission. Khan has since been named by the president as the chairwoman of the antitrust agency. Khan is one of the most prominent antagonists of big business, and in her role she will be responsible for challenging mergers and taking on companies when they use their market muscle to snuff out competition. According to antitrust experts, the biggest hurdle to putting her agenda into action is a judiciary that has made it very difficult for competition watchdogs to win ambitious cases. To make any change of consequence, whether breaking up a monopoly or stopping a takeover, enforcers must prevail in court. “None of that is easy, and it’s particularly not easy when courts are very conservative, as they are today,” says Stephen Calkins, a law professor at Wayne State University and a former general counsel at the FTC. “She’s certainly talked about breaking up companies but, my golly, that’s incredibly hard to do.” 
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Transgender, non-binary search for selves, rights

Blake Bonkowski grew up in Royal Oak uncomfortable in his own skin, not knowing who he was, bullied as an outsider throughout school because other kids thought he was a lesbian. “I got the idea – you're weird, you don't belong,” Bonkowski said, who was born female. “People had been calling me a lesbian my whole life, but I knew that didn't fit. I never questioned gender. It was something I was never aware of. Until I graduated high school, I didn't know that trans people existed – I knew that some trans women existed, but not trans men, and I didn't know that non-binary was real. I knew that calling myself a gay woman didn't fit, so I repressed everything until the end of high school, and then I met a girl I couldn't deny I had a crush on ”Bonkowski said he never spoke to his parents about his sexuality, gender dysmorphia or even the harassment and bullying he experienced. They just weren't the kind of family that talked about things, he said. Roland Sintos Coloma, a professor in the Wayne State University College of Education, noted that being older is not at all unusual. “Because of cultural, generational pressures to conform and be a certain way, as well as there weren't as many models. Trans folks were seen as freaks, as people on the margins of society. Trans folks, they've been seen, especially in non-Western cultures, they've been revered as spiritual,” such as the “two-spirits” of indigenous cultures, the hijras in India, South American culture and their widespread presence in ancient Greek mythology. 
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COVID-19 virus is getting much better at moving from one person to another

On Tuesday, with few exceptions, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer removed all remaining capacity restrictions and mask mandates related to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Michigan has over 61% of people ages 16 and older vaccinated and declining case rates, some people still worry whether Michigan is reopening prematurely. Meanwhile, the delta variant is becoming more and more dominant, leaving many to wonder if they should be concerned about it and whether the vaccines will protect against these new strains. The delta variant has appeared in Michigan and as of Monday, there have been 25 reported cases. Dr. Paul Kilgore is an associate professor and director of research at Wayne State University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Kilgore says he’s happy that Michigan officials are lifting restrictions to transition to post-pandemic life because of the stress alleviation it provides to so many state residents. Yet, he adds he is still worried about the coming fall.  

A neurosurgeon explains just how awesome exercise is for your brain

When Harvard psychiatrist and author John Ratey spoke at MIT Media Lab's Wellbeing Seminar Series, he explained that "a bout of exercise is like taking a little bit of Prozac and a little bit of Ritalin." It's a memorable turn of phrase. It's also backed up by a ton of science. Ratey went on to lay out convincing evidence that exercise makes us smarter, happier, and less stressed. But Ratey doesn't explain exactly how exercise leads to all these impressive benefits. If you're the curious type who likes to know exactly what's going on in your skull when you hit the gym or jogging path, then a new Quartz article by Wayne State University psychiatrist and neuroscientist Arash Javanbakht does, however. Like Ratey, Javanbakht comes across as impressed with the benefits of exercise. He also comes across as super impressed with the resilience and complexity of the human brain. Most people underestimate just how changeable our brains remain even in adulthood, Javanbakht explains. "Not only are new neuronal connections formed every day, but also new cells are generated in important areas of the brain," he writes. That's right, your brain continues to sprout new cells even deep into adulthood, which means we're constantly rebuilding our minds through our choices and actions. "A molecule called brain-derived neurotrophic factor helps the brain produce neurons, or brain cells. A variety of aerobic and high-intensity interval training exercises significantly increase BDNF levels," notes Javabakht.  
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Wayne student interned for area Congresswoman

A graduate of Grosse Pointe North High School, Sarah Schade earned her undergrad degree in international studies and Spanish from the University of Michigan. After her junior year, she interned in 2017 for Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence in Washington, D.C., where she helped answer phones, respond to constituents' e-mails, gave tours of the Capitol, and helped with other tasks. “I was interested in legislation and government and I enjoyed learning more about how our government works and what our elected representatives and their staff do for their constituents,” Schade says. “I also really enjoyed giving tours of the Capitol, it was so interesting to learn about the history of that building and the entire area and being able to share that with others. I really enjoyed working for Congresswoman Lawrence, and one of the highlights of the summer was during our interns' last day Congresswoman Lawrence gave us a tour of Speaker Pelosi's office and we got to meet Speaker Pelosi.” Interested in the more substantive side of legislation and the law, she spent 15 months with the immigration law firm of Antone, Casagrande & Adwers, P.C. in Farmington Hills, before heading to Wayne State University Law School in 2019. Now a rising 3L, she is enjoying her law school experience. “I knew I wanted to stay in southeast Michigan but also go to a school with a great community. Wayne Law is so connected to the Detroit legal community and everyone I've met, whether in admissions when I was initially exploring Wayne State, professors in my classes, my classmates, and alumni have been extremely welcoming and supportive.” 

What does it really mean to have an "inferiority complex"

Feelings of insecurity are coming, but there is a fine line between a sense of humility and a sense of inferiority. The original notion of an inferiority complex was born in the late 1800s, but today mental health professionals focus on how feelings of low self-esteem and inadequacy are symptoms of other, more complicated mental and emotional health concerns. According to Arash Javanbakht, a psychiatrist and director of the Stress, Trauma & Anxiety Research Clinic at Wayne State University, the term “inferiority complex” is no longer in use in clinical diagnostics. Javanbakht says that extremely low self-esteem could be correlated with clinical depression or anxiety, which can be treated with talk therapy or medication.  
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What to expect from the Biden and Putin summit

Wednesday marks the first time that President Joe Biden  met with Russian President Vladimir Putin since taking office. The summit happened in Geneva, and the discussions could set the course between the two adversaries as tensions continue to escalate between U.S. and Russia. Since Biden took office, he has significantly ramped up his rhetoric against Putin. His administration has twice imposed sanctions on Russia. In March, they sanctioned seven senior officials over the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and in April, they imposed economic sanctions because of various cyberattacks. Aaron Retish is a professor of history at Wayne State University, with a specialization in Russian and Soviet history. He says while these meetings between world leaders are important, they are mostly “grand theater.” “What you want is to have two heads of state, shaking hands and speaking, that itself is important,” Retish says. “It’s actually essential in diplomatic relations to kind of show that the two are willing to be in the same room. It’s what happens behind the scenes, what happens on the sidelines that is really the most important.” 

Don't treat Juneteenth as another day off. Do this instead

Working on Juneteenth? Lobby your workplace to make the day a company-wide holiday next year. (Or at least recognize the day.) If your company isn’t giving you the day off or recognizing Juneteenth, ask your supervisors to try to implement it. Take a page from Isabella Warmbrunn and Kamali Clora, two Wayne State University students who successfully petitioned the college to officially recognize Juneteenth this year. “We started with a Google form petition and with the support of peers, faculty and community members, it’s now set to be an annual celebration!” Warmbrunn told HuffPost. 

Gary Bryce reflects on his 40-year career as head coach of Wayne State softball

After 40 seasons and 1,340 wins, Gary Bryce retired as the head softball coach at Wayne State (MI) last month. He's the all-time winningest coach in DII softball, and ranks sixth in total victories regardless of division. Bryce is a 10-time GLIAC Coach of the Year and finished with a career record of 1,340-793-8. The Warriors made it to the final eight of the DII softball championship three times under his watch. He was inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame in 2008. Shortly after the 2021 season ended in May, Bryce spoke with in a phone interview.  
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Techtown Detroit highlights their efforts to help during COVID-19 pandemic

In this 7 UpFront segment, Techtown Detroit helped keep small businesses and startups from folding during the pandemic. It has been a tough year, but the organization has become a lifeline in Detroit. TechTown President and CEO Ned Staebler, joined the discussion. "Obviously, you know it's been a horrible year medically and emotionally for the community, but our small businesses, which make up more than half of the jobs in metro Detroit and across the country, have really suffered as well. Estimates have shown that, maybe, 25 or 30 percent of small businesses nationally have closed over the last year," Staebler says. "We hopped right in in March of 2020, recognizing that the vast majority of our clients only had two weeks of cash on hand we were able, in the first days of the pandemic, to help over 700 businesses with cash grants totaling more than 1.2 million dollars to help those businesses, which collectively employed more than 2,300 people, stay in business."
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U.S. Department of Commerce invests $754,840 in Cares Act Recovery Assistance to support medical technology innovators in southeast Michigan

Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $754,840 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to TechTown Detroit to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the region’s medical and manufacturing sectors. This EDA grant, to be matched with $249,900 in local investment, is expected to generate $5.5 million in private investment. “TechTown has been helping to build a more resilient and inclusive economy by leveraging this region’s unique assets for more than 17 years, and now we have a partner at the highest level to help us expand our impact,” said Ned Staebler, president and CEO of TechTown Detroit. “With this grant from the Economic Development Administration, we’ll engage 25 regional stakeholders including healthcare systems, local government entities, private investors, universities and economic development organizations to advance regional innovation in medical technology, creating good-paying jobs and helping SE Michigan build back better.” “This critical support from the Economic Development Administration signals a commitment at the highest level to Detroit’s innovation ecosystem,” said Wayne State University President and TechTown Chair M. Roy Wilson. “With it, TechTown will continue to be a leader in driving the region’s economic recovery through the COVID-19 crisis via its MedHealth cluster. Since 2015, MedHealth has played a critical role in convening, educating and connecting medical innovation stakeholders in the Detroit region, and we are thrilled to work with the EDA to expand programs that will further catalyze entrepreneurship and business growth in the region’s healthcare sector.”  
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Women in the Workplace: Employers' role in avoiding a 'she-cession'

Bertie Greer, associate dean at Wayne State's Mike Ilitch School of Business, said companies have a lot to lose, or to gain, based on the tone they are set as we return to work. “Right up until we had the pandemic, conversations about flexibility at work or remote work were still a no-no. This pandemic really, has squashed that argument," she said. Greer, who also knows what it's like to be a working mother herself, said the pandemic has shown us workplace flexibility can no longer be a perk, but is a necessity in some cases. COVID, she said, taught us that it's possible to accommodate that. “It becomes second place to see a child walk in the back of a video conference. It has become second place to hear interruptions," Greer said. Data shows that inflexible work cultures have contributed to some women having to choose between caring for a loved one or advancing in their career or keeping a job. “There is this issue of not necessarily gender, but gender plus," Greer said, the idea that employers are not concerned with gender, but rather what traditionally comes with it; kids, household duties, care-taking, etc. “We’re going to have to work with our employees," said Greer. "Now we know we have more tools to use. Invite these tools into the workplace and figure out how to use them to retain your best and brightest.”
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What's fueling the massive spike in home and rent prices across metro Detroit?

Home prices are hitting record highs, and rent is also on the rise, making it difficult for some people to find and keep a place to live. According to Zillow, the average home value in Michigan is more than $205,000, up 13% from April 2020. Rent Cafe reports the average rent in the city of Detroit is up to more than $1,100 a month, a 4% increase from last year. This is a problem that can cause even more damage down the road, as the CDC said it's a basic necessity for families to find safe and affordable housing. "You really just need state and federal government to create tools that make it easier for developers to build affordable housing and for residents to qualify and to live in affordable housing," Matthew Roling, an adjunct professor of finance at Wayne State University said. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Detroit suffers from a deficit of about 100,000 housing units for low-income residents. The U.S. has a shortage of 7 million units of affordable housing. Roling said the term affordable housing typically refers to government-subsidized housing for low-income residents. "But these days the housing market, the 'for sale' residential market has exploded in value so much in the last year and a half, the affordable housing conversation in a lot of markets could also reasonably be construed to include that," he said.
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30 in their thirties 2021

Kelly Kozlowski, COO of TechTown Detroit, has found her place in operations. After working as COO of Automation Alley in Troy and COO for the Downtown Detroit Partnership, Kozlowski moved into the same position with TechTown. “I love the work of a COO,” she says. “I love the work of someone who’s working very closely with a leader, in support of that leader, and in partnership with that leader.” TechTown is a nonprofit entrepreneurship hub that supports businesses in and around Detroit by offering funding, workspaces, and programming. According to Kozlowski, finding startup capital can be a big hurdle. Many people who start a business first attempt what’s referred to as a “friends and family round,” asking loved ones for funds. It’s a route that typically isn’t an option in communities where generational wealth is scarce. TechTown partners with Wayne State University, which has resources and networks that TechTown wouldn’t be able to curate alone. In turn, TechTown can quickly change programming when necessary. Kozlowski’s role is dual-purpose; she’s also assistant vice president of economic development for Wayne State. In this role, she guides the development and execution of the university’s economic impact strategy, serving as a bridge between TechTown, Wayne State, and the community.