Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, December 21, 2009

Commencement speaker Jeff Daniels offers encouragement to graduates in the form of a musical surprise Sunday. (Photo by Scott Galvin, U-M Photo Services)

Inspirational words and music at 2009 Winter Commencement
In words and music, multi-faceted entertainer Jeff Daniels helped send U-M graduates into the world Sunday, telling them they owe it to themselves and everyone who helped them achieve their diplomas “to give everything you’ve got toward your life’s work, whatever it is.”
At a press conference after the ceremony, Daniels discussed the state's fledgling film industry as a tool for rebuilding Michigan's economy.

Bitsy Ritt named senior associate athletic director
Athletic Director Bill Martin has announced the promotion of Bitsy Ritt from associate athletic director to senior associate athletic director effective immediately. Ritt was Michigan's head women's tennis coach for 25 years and oversees the administration for 22 Olympic sports.

Hodges to receive Candace J. Johnson Staff Award for Excellence
Patricia Hodges, executive assistant to the dean in the School of Art & Design, has been named the 2009 recipient of the Candace J. Johnson Staff Award for Excellence. The honor recognizes staff members who positively influence in the workplace through their professionalism and personality. Hodges will receive the award and a $500 cash prize Jan. 26 at A&D.

Experts offer tips for healthy eating over the holidays
The holidays present us all with eating challenges, says Dr. Robert Winfield, chief health officer for the university. Traditionally, most of what people consume during the holidays is food high in saturated fat. So Winfield and some campus nutrition experts are promoting healthy eating tips on moderation and foods to avoid.

WORTH REPEATING: Finances sound, but leaders seek help with more belt tightening
Although U-M is relatively well positioned to withstand the effects of recession, university leaders are encouraging everyone on campus to help find ways to operate more efficiently and reduce overall costs.

Record Update to go on hiatus over holiday break
This is the last regular issue of the Record Update for 2009. If major items of interest to faculty and staff occur over the holiday break, they may be posted to the Record Update’s Web site, but the morning e-mail version will not be sent. Regular daily issues of the Record Update will return Jan. 5.

The Michigan Difference

Around the world and back
Dr. Joseph Kolars will bring a world of experience to his new job as senior associate dean for education and global health initiatives at the Medical School. In his career, he’s worked to make a difference in Nepal, India, Africa, South America and China, including working with Mother Teresa and helping to create a new health system in Shanghai.