eastern michigan university

EMU Football Players Help Promote Literacy

Mar 21, 2014
Erin Burdis, EMU Athletic Department

Eastern Michigan University football players scored a touchdown with kids at Adams STEM Academy Friday.

The athletes visited the school as part of a joint effort between EMU and the 2nd & Seven Foundation to promote literacy among young children.

EMU Assistant Athletic Director for Academics Erin Burdis says the kids get a lot out of these visits, and learn about the importance of reading and being a good citizen.

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Some stomachs may be hurting this morning, but the FLY Children’s Art Center is in a better position thanks to the first ever Wurst Challenge at Ypsilanti’s Wurst bar. 

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The waiting continues for same-sex couples who'd like to marry in Michigan.

A judge is expected to rule soon on whether the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage should be overturned. 

Mary Larkin is Director of Eastern Michigan University's LGBT Resource Center.  She says the tension has been growing since last week.

"I think people are starting to get a little keyed up right now," Larkin said.  "It feels like we're waiting for lottery numbers."

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

More young people in Southeast Michigan will continue to have opportunities to make art thanks to several people attempting to eat 20 foot long brats.  Ypsilanti’s Wurst Bar is hosting the first ever Wurst Challenge Thursday evening as a fundraiser for the Fly Children’s Art Center.

EMU Swears In Six New Public Safety Officers

Mar 19, 2014

YPSILANTI – Six new police officers were sworn in this month as the Eastern Michigan University Department of Public Safety took another major step in its plan to expand off-campus patrols and collaboration with other area law agencies.

Chief of police Bob Heighes, far left, swears in new officers (l-r): Ermir Vila, Michael Richardson, Michael Harhold, Kevin Dorsey, Bridget Bofysil and Helaina Bell.Credit Eastern Michigan UniversityEdit | Remove

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The head of Michigan’s Education Achievement Authority believes the data shows better performance by students in the program than they had in Detroit Public Schools.  Eastern Michigan University hosted a panel discussion on the EAA Wednesday. 

Eastern Michigan University

An Eastern Michigan University educator wants people to give themselves a 24-hour break from smartphones, text messages and other media-based technology. Professor Christine Tracy is urging students, faculty and others on the Ypsilanti campus and in nearby communities to spend today celebrating the fifth annual National Day of Unplugging.   

Tracy teaches digital journalism and media ecology. She says people have a "mostly unconscious dependence on technology" and a "daylong respite is just the first step toward more enlightened use of" digital tools.


A group of about 30 people gathered at Eastern Michigan University today to protest the university's affiliation with the Education Achievement Authority. 

Samir Webster is a member of the group "Students for an Ethical and Participatory Education", which organized the protest.  He says they've met with the Board of Regents and EMU President Susan Martin, but they feel their voices aren't being heard.

 Critics of the EAA says it's failing in its mission to turn struggling schools around.  Area school districts have been boycotting EMU student teachers because of the school's ties to the EAA. 

 Eastern Michigan University officials say they respect the right of faculty members to share their concerns, but the school has no plans to end its affiliation with the EAA.

Eastern Michigan University officials hope to avoid using reserves to balance the budget this school year despite student credit hours dipping slightly.  E-M-U officials gave the campus community an update on the budget and strategic plan Tuesday. 

Eastern Michigan University


YPSILANTI – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has reappointed Ted Ligibel, a professor at Eastern Michigan University, to the State Historic Preservation Review Board. The appointment was announced Jan. 28, 2014. 

Ligibel is director of Eastern Michigan’s award-winning Historic Preservation Program, which is the largest such program in the nation, with 90 graduate students and 15 undergraduates currently enrolled.

Bob Eccles

If you earned $52,000 or less in 2013, students from Eastern Michigan University's School of Business will do your taxes for free. 

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or VITA service is staffed by student volunteers who are certified by the IRS. 

VITA program coordinator Umar Rabbimov says offering the tax help is a great way for students to give back to the community, and for community members to get some relief from the cost of having their taxes done. 

Your next chance to take advantage of the free tax assistance is Saturday from ten a.m. to five p.m. at the College of Business. 

You can find other dates, times and locations here.

EMU says Lecturer Layoffs Enrollment Driven

Feb 12, 2014

Eastern Michigan University says it had to lay off a number of full-time lecturers in its College of Education due to declining enrollment. 

Pam Olech and six fellow full-time lecturers in her department are being laid off effective at the end of August. 

She says she worries about the quality of student teacher supervision if she and her colleagues are not recalled, and hates to see the university lose the relationships the College of Education has with areas school districts.

Critics of the Education Achievement Authority want to not only stop the spread of the reform effort but also want it out of Detroit, that was the message Tuesday night at a community forum on the issue hosted by the Ann Arbor Education Authority.  

Almost all of Eastern Michigan University's full-time lecturers in the College of Education have received layoff notices.   College of Education Dean Jan Joseph says declining enrollment in the program means fewer lecturers are needed.   She says EMU is not unique in seeing enrollment for education students dropping. She says it's a trend that most teacher training programs have seen over the past decade or so. College of Education lecturers teach student teachers and place them in area school districts for hands-on training.

An Eastern Michigan University expert thinks he knows the main explanation for new study results that show that gay and bisexual teenage boys use steroids at a rate almost six times higher than do straight kids.  The study out of Chicago says that 21 percent of gay or bi male teens claimed they have used steroids, compared with four percent of straight boys.  Michael Tew is the Director of the Center for the Study of Equality and Human Rights at Eastern Michigan University.

Between 600 and 800 video game enthusiasts will take over the Eastern Michigan University Student Center Ballroom this weekend for "Gamers for Giving", a charity gaming tournament. WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with event founder Zach Wigal about the event. 

Listen below for the interview:

Eastern Michigan University is partnering with the Michigan Historical Center to help preserve some of the state's history. Five EMU grad students will perform research and catalog artifacts at three historic sites around the state. Faculty Coordinator Nancy Bryk says this is part of a larger effort by the university to help students gain real-life experience. Bryk says EMU's students have done outstanding work with the MHC in the past, and she's proud of the university's entire program. Among the locations the EMU students will be working is the Mann House, in Concord, MI.

EMU Announces 2014 Football Recruiting Class

Feb 5, 2014

Eastern Michigan University's 2014 recruiting class features 17 student athletes, including nine from the state of Michigan.  

Head football coach Chris Creighton says the class is full of talented players, but he's "even more excited about their quality of character."  

The class includes a wide receiver, two running backs, four defensive backs, three linebackers and a number of offensive and defensive linemen.  

As for players from nearby communities, Jeremiah Harris is a 6'5", 235 pound defensive lineman who comes to EMU from Monroe county's Bedford High School. 

Eastern Michigan University is hosting a National Signing Day Celebration to welcome the recruits and introduce the new football coaching staff. The event begins at 6p.m. Wednesday in the Convocation Center Atrium, with Eagles fans treated to food and beverages.

Follow the link below for the complete release, including biographies of each student athlete:


Matt Sayles/Associated Press

Educator and Activist Geoffrey Canada says the US has a national problem with educational issues which is clear through the high percentage of high school graduates that can't qualify to enter the military. Canada gave the keynote address for Eastern Michigan University's Martin Luther King Junior Celebration on Monday.

EMU Events to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jan 16, 2014

Eastern Michigan University has many events planned to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Keith Jason is coordinator of student services for EMU's College of Technology.  He says Friday's events include a community service event and a screening of the film, "Finally Got the News". 

That'll be followed by a student talent show at 7pm Friday at Pease Auditorium. 

Jason says the show is called H2E, short for "Hip Hop Explosion", in which students will compete for scholarship money with performances that pay tribute to Dr. King.

zebble / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

While representatives from several apartment complexes to the north of Eastern Michigan University attended a neighborhood watch meeting only a handful of residents were present.  

Law enforcement officials from EMU, Ypsilanti, and the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department say it will take participation from the residents to reduce crime in the Leforge Road area. 

Jess Spike is the Ypsilanti Township Neighborhood Watch Liaison for the sheriff's department.  Spike says they have received more assistance since the homicide of EMU football player Demarius Reed.

A new community action team including law enforcement officers from Ypsilanti, Eastern Michigan University, and the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department will work on narcotics and other crimes across the city and surrounding neighborhoods.  The new team is a result of the greater collaboration between law enforcement in the Leforge Road area after Reed's death.

Ypsilanti Township has had a similar program in place for several years and township officials say it has been successful. 

Eastern Michigan University's Endowment has grown from about $36 million in 2009 to about $64 million  currently, the largest endowment in the school's history. 

Last year's return on investment was over 15-percent and they have averaged annual returns of over eight percent over the last 20 years. 

Laura Wilbanks is the Chief Financial Officer of the EMU foundation.  Wilbanks says in the last few years they've limited the costs and percentage of endowment spent annually on scholarships and other gifts.  She says the actual dollars spent from the endowment however can increase as the endowment grows. 

Wilbanks says the strong investment return is a result of aggressive investments in the stock market, limited exposure to alternative investments and being dilligent on rebalancing the portfolio.

EMU also successfully completed the Invest, Inspire Fundraising campaign a few years ago.

 — Andrew Cluley is a reporter and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him aCluley@emich.edu.

Eastern Michigan University's winter Commencement ceremony takes place Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center.

EMU's Director of Media Relations, Geoff Larcom  tells WEMU News that EMU's graduation numbers are up slightly from last year, when 1,715 students made the trek across the stage. More than 1,800 students are expected to graduate Saturday.

Larcom adds that the percentage of students graduating from Eastern has been in the high 30% range over the past ten years or so and that EMU has a graduation and retention program in place to help bring those numbers up.

The Ann Arbor teachers union is refusing to hire any student teachers from Eastern Michigan University due to the college's involvement with with Michigan's Education Achievement Authority. 

The EAA is a state school system tasked with improving consistently under-performing school districts. It currently runs 15 schools in Detroit and receives student teachers from EMU. 

EAA opponents say it removes too much control from local government. 

EMU's Head of Media Relations, Geoff Larcom  says EMU has no intention of terminating its contract with the EAA.

Eastern Michigan University's new football coach says he's excited to be here and passionate to work with the players.  

Chris Creighton was introduced to the EMU community at a press conference Thursday that included a pep talk by the new coach. Creighton says his goal at EMU is to win a MAC championship as soon as possible, but also to make sure they are getting everything out of the program's potential, adding that he will work his offense around what the players are most capable of doing, but wants to have a balanced attack.