education

Dow Award Winners
Sustainability.umich.edu/ / University of Michigan

Four Teams of graduate students at the University of Michigan have won Dow Distinguished Awards to pursue projects dealing with sustainability solutions. 

Three of the winning teams will work on projects in Southeast Michigan, and the fourth is heading up a water management project in India. 

Drew Horning is Deputy Director of the Graham Sustainability Institute.  He says one of the winning proposals is the retrofitting of a 112-year-old house in Ann Arbor to be self-sustaining.

Horning says other winning projects include a pilot project aimed at enabling energy efficiency in rental properties in Ann Arbor, a greenhouse gas inventory for the City of Detroit, and water demand management for improved adaptation by small farmers in India.

He says these projects have the ability to impact how we address and implement sustainability solutions in the future.

For more information about the Dow Distinguished Awards in Sustainability, visit the U-M Planet Blue website at http://sustainability.umich.edu/education/dow.

Accugenix

A brand new bacterium in the same family as E. Coli and Klebsiella Pneumonia has been identified by the NSF International's Applied Research Center in Ann Arbor, and you're not going to like where it can be found.

The bacteria is called Klebsiella michiganensis, and it grows in the bottom of your toothbrush holder.

Dr. Robert Donofrio is the Director of the Applied Research Center at the NSF.

He says more research is necessary to identify the exact source of the bacterium, but what is known is that saliva and toothpaste mixed with fecal matter can fester, creating a sludge that could potentially cause a drug-resistant infection.

Dr. Donofrio also says that the bacterium is unique because it is in capsule from, and is hard to break down due to a slimy surface that helps it attach to mucus membranes and evade immune system responses.

He suggests closing the lid of your toilet before flushing as a way to help prevent cross-contamination.

A new Michigan State University study found that website videos are more effective at delivering public health messages than using text alone.

The study created two websites designed to teach mothers with young daughters about breast cancer. One contained only text, while the other included short video clips.

Evan Perrault works for MSU's Communications Department. He says there was a clear difference in results between the two sites.

He says those who viewed the website that included videos performed one more risk protection behavior than those who visited the plain text site.

Perrault says MSU has been looking for the best way to inform the general public about their scientific discoveries, and is likely to conduct further research to expand upon this study's findings.

The study, “Testing the Effects of the Addition of Videos to a Website Promoting Environmental Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Practices: Are Videos Worth It?” was published online today in the National Communication Association's Journal of Applied Communication Research.

Science Photo Library

Many factors play into whether a woman considered at low risk for developing cervical cancer will be tested for the virus that causes the disease, such as the gender of the woman's doctor and his or her status as a resident or seasoned physician. 

That's according to a study from the University of Michigan Health System, where senior author Dr. Mack Ruffin says procedures at individual clinics can also make a difference.

The study found that female doctors were twice as likely to order H-P-V testing for a low-risk patient than male doctors. 

Seasoned physicians were less likely to order the test than Residents and other less-senior doctors.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

David Fair / WEMU-FM

Click below to listen to "Cinema Chat" with WEMU's David Fair and Michigan Theater Executive Director Russ Collins.

The Michigan Theater Book -- goes on sale Tuesday, November 19 at Michigan Theater

The Michigan Theater has been featured in commercials, billboards, films, and even a music LP from the 1960s, but has never had its own book – until now. Dr. Henry Aldridge, an Eastern Michigan University film professor emeritus and theater scholar, has written a new full-color, photo-illustrated book that explores the first 80 years of the theater’s life and how it ties into the histories of Ann Arbor and film. He also includes key local figures from along the way: manager Gerry Hoag, organist Paul Tompkins, Ann Arbor mayor Lou Belcher, philanthropist Margaret Towsley and her daughter Judy Rumelhart, and the theater’s staff and volunteers.  Aldridge has a deep connection to the Michigan Theater. In 1979, he and a group of other concerned citizens helped rescue the theater and its rare Barton organ from the wrecking ball. He continues to lead the theater’s organ program, give visitor tours, and teach a film appreciation course. Despite his extensive knowledge of the theater, Aldridge still spent three years immersed in the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library archives, Michigan Theater Foundation meeting minutes, Ann Arbor News articles, and interviews with past and present staff members. “Unlike most histories of individual theaters,” Aldridge says, “this book is thoroughly researched, carefully documented, lavishly illustrated, but written in a style that general readers will find interesting and colorful.”  A paperback edition of the book will be available for purchase starting the week of November 19 at the Michigan Theater, Nicola’s Books, Literati Bookstore, Bookbound Bookstore, Crazy Wisdom Bookstore & Tearoom, and Kaleidoscope Books & Collectibles. The Michigan Theater will also carry a limited edition hardcover and provide a discounted price to Michigan Theater members for both versions.

Ann Arbor Public Schools have still not determined how much they will participate in three county-wide high school options.  The school board last night postponed a vote until next week's study session on how many seats they will use in the Early College Alliance, Washtenaw International High School, and Widening Advancement for Youth.  The delay comes with Ann Arbor Schools wanting to use many fewer seats than the consortium has allocated to the district. 

Superintendent Jeanice Swift says much of the confusion has been blamed on the superintendent transition, but she believes both parties are to blame for the communications issues.  Swift recommended the district use 80 seats total in the ECA and Wi-Hi and 15 for WAY.  The allocation approved by the consortium last month would give Ann Arbor 80 new seats in the ECA  alone, and a straight lottery for Wi-Hi.

David Dugger is the Washtenaw Intermediate School District Director of Secondary Options.  Dugger says the other consortium members  in October opted to continue to use a straight lottery for Wi-Hi and a proportional system to assign slots to the ECA.


AAPS

Ann Arbor Public Schools used less fund balance last year than approved in the final budget.  The School Board last night received a briefing on the 2013 fiscal year budget audit.  The audit shows the district used $7.2 million dollars in fund balance, compared to projections of up to $9.8 million.

Superintendent Jeanice Swift says halting furniture and most equipment purchases, travel restrictions, and other measures starting in March saved about $1.5 million.   Swift says many of these restrictions are back in place following student enrollment numbers not reaching projections in September.  


The University of Michigan is condensing its human resources and financial services departments into a Shared Services Center.  

University spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald says the new center will improve efficiency and cut costs. The center is expected to save U-of-M $5 to $6 million in its first three years of operation.

It should be operating at full capacity by October of 2014.

Fitzgerald says employees currently working in the affected departments will be considered first for employment in the new center, but are not guaranteed a job.

For more information: http://ast.umich.edu/

Eastern Michigan University

This press release comes from Eastern Michigan University:

Eastern Michigan University to host Graduate Open House for prospective students on Nov. 16 Great chance to learn about graduate school programs and opportunities for advancement at Eastern

 

A new national report says only one in three children who started school in the late 1990's had the necessary cognitive skills by the third grade to go on to be successful adults.

Jane Zehnder-Merrell is the Director of the Kids Count in Michigan project. She explains that the study helps to chart the trajectory of kids' lives.

The report followed 13,000 kids who began kindergarten at the end of the 1990's. Children from lower-income families had the lowest rate of sufficient cognitive development.

Zehnder-Merrell says funding programs that support these families, such as cash assistance or food stamps, would positively affect these rates.

Bob Eccles

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Early Childhood Advisory Committee is working on ways to improve education at the earliest levels, going as far as finding ways to give parents pre-natal help in making education choices. 

The committee presented a draft plan to the school board last night. 

Margy Long co-chairs the group.  She's also director of the Success by Six Great Start Collaborative.

Long says achievement gaps happen when every child isn't ready to learn by the time they enter kindergarten.

She says the Early Childhood Advisory Committee is trying to expand on what's been done in the area before. 

She says teachers can't do everything, so a Family Resource Center could help. 

The committee will make its formal report to the school board in early 2014.

Timo Kirkkala / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

The University of Michigan Credit Union is hosting a couple of workshops designed to steer people towards a life of meaning rather than a life of consumption this holiday season.  

Washtenaw County Treasurer Catherine McClary is a co-sponsor of the "Tis The Season to Hang Onto Reason" workshops. She says the program provides alternative ways to celebrate the upcoming holidays, not based on consumerism. 

The workshops are taught by Kathryn Greiner, Director of Education at the U-of-M Credit Union and a renowned speaker and budget guru. 

The workshops are free of charge, but pre-registration  is required.

The first is scheduled for Saturday from 10 to 11:30 a.m.  The second is Thursday, November 7th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Both take place at the University of Michigan Credit Union. 

Eastern Michigan University has launched a new website with information about off-campus housing as part of its ongoing efforts to improve safety on and around campus. 

The website includes neighborhood crime stats and questions students should ask when apartment hunting. 

EMU Vice President of Communication Walter Kraft says it's very important that the university provide the information and resources to help students make good, wise and informed choices on where to live.

Ann Arbor Public Schools have gotten some good news about cash flow issues that likely means the district won't need to borrow money to pay salaries next month. 

WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more:
 

The Michigan Senate has restored funding to implement the Common Core educational standards. WEMU's Bob Eccles has reaction from one local school district.


Ypsilanti Community High School can thank graduates of the former Ypsilanti and Willow Run high schools for a new electronic sign.

   

WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.


AAPS

The Ann Arbor School Board will likely eventually renew their contract to participate in a consortium of three county-wide high school options, but have frustrations on the agreement.  The board discussion last night took place after a large number of Washtenaw International High School and the Early College Alliance spoke in favor of their programs. 

WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more:


Eastern Michigan University's College of Business has done it again - making the Princeton Review's list of top business schools in the country for the 10th straight year. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.


The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education last night approved replacing the alarm systems in several district buildings.  Superintendent Scott Menzel maintains that most of the new systems are being installed in former Willow Run school district buildings.

Bob Eccles has the full story:


AAPS

Ann Arbor Public Schools are facing both an overall decline in enrollment and some overcrowded classrooms.  The school board last night got an update on preliminary information about the start of the school year.  WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more. 

  


Head Start Services To Be Offered In Ypsilanti

Sep 17, 2013

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education last night approved a contract with the Washtenaw Intermediate School District to provide Head Start services in the district.  


Lead in text: 

Eastern Michigan is the fastest growing public university in the state of Michigan for new freshmen over the last three years. The University’s fall 2013 freshman class of 2,872 tops Eastern’s previous all-time record of 2,854, set in 1999, and represents an increase of 43 percent or 864 students over the last three years, according to final fall enrollment figures. No other public university in Michigan has seen its freshman population grow so significantly over the last three years.

cleanenergy4america.org

A group called "Clean Energy America" is touring college campuses across Michigan this week, speaking with students about the role nuclear power will play in the country's energy future.  

WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with Desirée ' Wolfgramm, an engineer with Energy Northwest who's traveling with the group.

Eastern Michigan University

With record freshman enrollment for two consecutive years, Eastern Michigan University is, by far, the fastest growing public university in the State of Michigan.

As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the statistics show, it's not even close:


Officials from the Ann Arbor Public Schools are looking into security upgrades at district buildings in response to tragedies at schools across the country. 

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports:

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