In the news

News outlet logo for favicons/freep.com.png

Parenting in black and white: Talking to our children about race

Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer and Wayne State University Board of Governors Chair Kim Trent, a regular contributor to the paper, are friends and colleagues raising children in Detroit. The following is excerpted from their conversation about the challenges of parenthood in a racially-charged city. “It’s been said that the personal is political, and that’s true even in motherhood and friendship,” Trent said. “With the way social media and other artificial boundaries section us off from each other, I think it’s important that mothers like us are intentional about talking about the things that we have in common. There’s hope of racial reconciliation if we model that behavior for our kids.”
News outlet logo for favicons/legalnews.com.png

Power play: Hockey player takes aim on a legal career

A former University of Michigan hockey player, Wayne State University law student Max Shuart likens preparing for a test to preparations to a hockey game—“Down to having a pre-game meal and listening to music before an exam to get pumped up,” he explains. “Along with that, I’ve found that being competitive, prepared to work hard, and managing time properly have been extremely helpful in the first year of law school, which is often very demanding and time intensive.” Approaching the end of his 1L year at Wayne Law, Shuart will spend this summer as a Levin Center legal intern working on the House of Representatives Ways & Means Subcommittee on Oversight in the nation’s capital. “I’m thrilled for this opportunity to continue developing my legal skills and represent Wayne State, Detroit and Michigan while working alongside people who day after day want to make the world a better place,” he says. In his upcoming 2L year, Shuart will serve as vice president of the school’s Federalist Society, which brings in speakers for dialogue on various topics; he also is a member of the Entrepreneurship & Business Law Society, which recently brought in a panel of Michigan lawyers to discuss their practices and career paths. “All of the people at Wayne Law make it a great place, from professors to students,” he says. “I’m pleasantly surprised to not have any 1L horror stories about any professors, they all conducted class each day in a way that was never too daunting while maintaining high expectations.”   
News outlet logo for favicons/theoaklandpress.com.png

Pontiac becomes test site for microplastics study by Wayne State researchers

A group of researchers from Wayne State University and environmental nonprofit Reroot Pontiac have been awarded a $929,000 grant to develop a microplastic detecting sensor. Every year 10,000 metric tons of plastic finds its way to the Great Lakes, where instead of decomposing, it will inevitably break down into microplastics — One water bottle can become 10,000 pieces of plastic smaller than five millimeters. Those microplastics eventually make their way into the water supply, from sources like textile fibers in laundry wastewater to microbeads in toothpaste or soap. The three-year-grant, awarded by the Great Lakes Protection Fund, will be used to develop a microplastic sensor and software to detect and analyze microplastics and their sources in the water supply. It will take about a year-and-a-half of development before the sensor is ready for testing, according to Yongli Zhang, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Wayne State University. Zhang has been studying microplastics since 2017 and was the lead writer for the grant. “We need something that can be left on a site or be carried to different locations for testing. Right now, there’s not much of that technology out there in the market,” Zhang said. The five other Wayne State University staff and faculty involved in the project are: Mark Cheng, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; Weisong Shi, professor of computer science; Carol Miller, professor of civil and environmental engineering; Donna Kashian, associate professor of biological sciences and Rahul Mitra, assistant professor of organizational communication.
News outlet logo for favicons/chronicle.com.png

How colleges use 6-word stories about race as a teaching tool

When librarians at Wayne State University learned about the Race Card Project, Kristen Chinery, a reference archivist at its Walter P. Reuther Library, was excited. As chair of the Wayne State libraries’ diversity and inclusion council, Chinery thought that participating in the project, which collects people’s six-word submissions about their experience or observations of race, would spark good discussions at the public university in Detroit. “Why don’t we have a wall in every library on campus?” she thought. Cards posted at the university’s five libraries and its archives included “Black Lives Matter! Act Like It!,” “DNA is what connects us all,” and “Deporting my mom is not ok!” Reading candid messages from students, professors, staff members, and people from the community about their experience with race, Chinery said, can be uncomfortable. But “from that discomfort and that questioning, it can help us move to a place of tolerance and accepting others’ viewpoints.” A number of professors gave students the option to submit cards for extra credit, she added.
News outlet logo for favicons/thejewishnews.com.png

Professor Robert Sedler: A champion of justice

After teaching constitutional law for more than a half-century, Wayne State University’s nationally renowned law professor Robert Sedler has had a giant impact not only in the classroom but also on society. A veteran of integration struggles in the South, Sedler, 83, has championed civil rights and civil liberties in Michigan and across America. On May 11 he will be honored with the “Champion of Justice” award at the annual dinner of the Michigan Association for Justice, a statewide organization of trial attorneys.
News outlet logo for favicons/hechingerreport.org.png

Colleges must stop holding students hostage and release their debt

On April 30, the Detroit Regional Chamber and three postsecondary institutions in Michigan — Henry Ford College, Oakland University, and Wayne State University — announced a new program that will forgive unpaid institutional debt among students who’ve previously attended those colleges but never earned a degree. This new debt forgiveness program in metro Detroit, which will give a significant boost to low-income students of color, represents a higher education reform that attempts to resolve one of the core reasons behind racial disparities in postsecondary attainment: the wealth gap. We should applaud the Detroit Regional Chamber, Henry Ford College, Oakland University and Wayne State University for eliminating barriers that keep low-income students in purgatory.
News outlet logo for favicons/cnbc.com.png

Federal criminal probe launched in connection with ‘microcap fraud’ case may include former Riot Blockchain CEO

Federal authorities have launched a criminal investigation into a group that appears to include the former chief executive of Riot Blockchain, the cryptocurrency company that was the subject of a CNBC investigation last year, according to court documents. The investigation is parallel to a Securities and Exchange Commission case that brought claims against John O’Rourke, the former chief executive of Riot Blockchain, and others in alleged pump and dumps unrelated to Riot. In September, the SEC said it charged a group of 10 individuals and 10 associated entities that included John O’Rourke, as well as Barry Honig, who was once the largest shareholder of Riot, in a scheme the agency said generated more than $27 million from alleged unlawful stock sales. If criminal charges are filed, the SEC case will likely be stayed, according to Peter Henning, a professor of law at Wayne State University, and a former senior attorney in the division of enforcement at the SEC. The SEC can give the information it has gathered to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he said.
News outlet logo for favicons/rollingstone.com.png

See Jack White receive honorary doctorate from WSU

Jack White received an honorary doctorate from Wayne State University during the Detroit college’s commencement event Friday. White, donning a cap and gown for the ceremony, was honored for his “dedication to the city of Detroit and significant contribution to the arts,” Wayne State president Roy Wilson said in his introduction. Wilson also detailed some of White’s philanthropic efforts in the city: His effort to restore Clark Park, how he saved the Masonic Temple from tax foreclosure and how his Third Man record plant helped revitalize midtown Detroit.
News outlet logo for favicons/fox2detroit.com.png

Jack White awarded honorary doctorate from WSU

Musician and Detroit native Jack White received an honorary doctoral degree Friday from Wayne State University. He was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters during the morning commencement ceremony at the Fox Theatre. Wayne State bestowed the degree "for his dedication to Detroit and significant contributions to the arts as one of the most prolific and renowned artists of the past two decades." Jack White III was born and raised in southwest Detroit and was the youngest of 10 children. He graduated from Cass Tech High School. 
News outlet logo for favicons/freep.com.png

Jack White receives his honorary doctorate from Wayne State: 'absolutely incredible'

Wearing a cap and gown for the first time in his life, donned in the green-and-gold of Wayne State University, Jack White, the Detroit-bred rock musician was awarded an honorary degree during a Friday commencement at the Fox Theatre. "As a teenager, I was a busboy in this building, so it's nice to be back here for a different reason," White said during a brief speech after being conferred his doctor of humane letters by Kim Trent, a governor on the WSU board. 
News outlet logo for favicons/nytimes.com.png

Rocker Jack White Receives Honorary Doctorate in Detroit

Detroit's own Jack White, a singer, songwriter and business owner has added "doctor" to his list of titles. The White Stripes frontman received an honorary doctorate during Wayne State University's commencement ceremony on May 3. The school says the degree is for White's dedication to Detroit, and for his significant contributions to the arts. Born and raised in southwest Detroit, White graduated from Cass Technical High School, worked as an upholsterer and played in underground bands before founding The White Stripes. He has won 12 Grammy Awards and Rolling Stone recognized him as one of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."
News outlet logo for favicons/abcactionnews.com.png

Mother of 8 to graduate from Wayne State with engineering degree

Najat Machiche is a wife, working mom of eight kids and is now graduating with an engineering degree from Wayne State University.  “I go to work, I drop off the kids at school, I come from work, I go exercising, I take my kids to do activities, I cook for my kids,” she said describing a typical day. Najat has been going to Wayne State University to achieve her life-long dream of getting an electrical engineering degree. “It’s my second chance here," she said. She’s a working mom who decided to go back to school five years ago when her father came to visit from Morocco, where her entire family still live. 
News outlet logo for favicons/theconversation.com.png

Brain over body: Hacking the stress system to let your psychology influence your physiology

Vaibhav Diwadkar, professor of psychiatry, and Otto Muzik, professor of pediatrics and radiology wrote an article for The Conversation about how the body responds to cold exposure. “There are people who show incredible resistance to extremes of temperature. Think of Buddhist monks who can calmly withstand being draped in freezing towels or the so-called “Iceman” Wim Hof, who can remain submerged in ice water for long periods of time without trouble. These people tend to be viewed as superhuman or special in some way. If they truly are, then their feats are simply entertaining but irrelevant vaudevillian acts. What if they’re not freaks, though, but have trained their brains and bodies with self-modification techniques that give them cold resistance? Could anyone do the same? As two neuroscientists who have studied how the human brain responds to exposure to cold, we are intrigued by what happens in the brain during such resistance. Our research, and that of others, is beginning to suggest these kinds of “superpowers” may indeed result from systematically practicing techniques that modify one’s brain or body. These modifications may be relevant for behavioral and mental health, and can potentially be harnessed by anyone.”