Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The U-M solar car Quantum crosses the finish line to win its fourth straight and seventh overall American Solar Challenge. U-M also broke a national record, previously held by the 2008 U-M Solar Car Team, finishing with a 10-hour, 18-minute lead on its nearest competitor. Read more about Quantum's victory. (Photo by Ethan Lardner)

Three U-M researchers receive early career presidential awards
Three U-M faculty members — structural biologist Georgios Skiniotis, dental researcher Margherita Fontana and mental health researcher Amy Kilbourne — are among the 96 recipients of the 2012 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the nation's highest honor that is given to professionals at the outset of their independent research careers.

U-M selects new prescription drug plan vendor
New prescription drug plan ID cards will be issued in September as the university teams with MedImpact Healthcare Systems Inc. to administer its prescription drug benefit plan. Prescription drug plan members will see little or no changes when MedImpact replaces informedRx/SXC on Oct. 1.

University leaders invest in two Voices of the Staff programs
University leadership has made another financial investment in Voices of the Staff, recently approving funding for two VOICES initiatives: the Career Development Passport, a 12-month pilot initiative to enhance knowledge of career navigation strategies among employees; and two bi-annual conferences focusing on sharing best practices that can help improve workplaces across all U-M campuses.

Athletic director Brandon's contract extended an additional three years
David A. Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, has had his contract extended through June 30, 2018. The three-year extension was approved July 19 by the Board of Regents.

Some college loans may be forgiven for those working in public service jobs
U-M employees and students working in or considering a career in public service may qualify to have the remaining balance on eligible federal student loans forgiven through the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Kinney named new dental hygiene director at School of Dentistry
Janet Kinney, clinical assistant professor in the Division of Dental Hygiene at the School of Dentistry, has been named the new director of the dental hygiene program, effective Sept. 1. Kinney will succeed Wendy Kerschbaum, associate professor of dental hygiene, who directed the program from 1988 to 2012.

Joint biomedical engineering department aims to improve health care technologies
In an effort to develop more technologies that improve health care, U-M will establish a Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering with footholds in its top-ranked College of Engineering and Medical School, in an action approved July 19 by the Board of Regents. The change takes effect Sept. 1.

Center for Japanese Studies awarded $450K from Japan Foundation
The Center for Japanese Studies has been awarded a $450,000 Institutional Support Grant from the Japan Foundation to create new fellowships for graduate students enrolled in its interdisciplinary master's program. Meanwhile, U-M was selected as one of three new test sites to host the Japanese Language Proficiency Test for 2012.

Regents approve Institute for Social Research addition
The Board of Regents approved moving forward with construction of a $29 million addition to the Institute for Social Research at its July meeting. The five-level addition, which will be located on the Division Street side of ISR's Thompson Street building, will add approximately 56,700 square feet to the existing ISR-Thompson building.
• Regents also approved a Schembechler Hall renovation and marquee project at Michigan Stadium, and schematic designs for a new parking structure on Wall Street and the new School of Nursing building

U-M to play leading role in national project to move research to market
In a move designed to fast-track more research from the lab to the real world, U-M was named one of two new nodes of the National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps program, NSF officials announced July 18 at an I-Corps anniversary celebration in Washington, D.C.

In the current University Record
• Research: Generation X is surprisingly unconcerned about climate change
• Research: College students likely to disagree with religious teachings on homosexuality
• U-M in History: Students study on a walking bridge over the Huron River
Read these stories and more in the Record, on racks across campus.

Applications to U-M for 2012-13 are highest in school's history
For the sixth consecutive year, U-M received a record number of applications from prospective freshmen: 42,535 applications for academic year 2012-13, an increase of 7.5 percent over the previous year's record of 39,570.

U-M hospital care best in state, among best in nation, new ranking says
The U-M Hospitals and Health Centers offer the best care in Michigan and some of the nation’s best care, according to a new ranking from U.S. News & World Report. This is U-M’s 18th year in a row on the national honor roll of "America's Best Hospitals", and the first time a statewide rank has been given.

2012 Ann Arbor Art Fairs run this week
The 2012 Ann Arbor Art Fairs get under way Wednesday and run through Saturday. Among the exhibits at the fair will be BioArtography, artistic images created from science from the Medical School’s Department of Cell and Developmental. View a list of streets affected by Art Fairs-related traffic changes.

Barteau named new director of Energy Institute
A professor recognized by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as one of the “100 Engineers of the Modern Era” has been appointed the new director of the Energy Institute and the inaugural DTE Energy Professor of Advanced Energy Research. Mark Barteau, who currently is at the University of Delaware, will join U-M on Sept. 1. 

U-M, Traverse City Film Festival build on 'educational partnership'
For the fourth consecutive year, film experts and students from U-M will take part in the Traverse City Film Festival 2012, held July 31-Aug. 5. U-M's "educational partnership" with the festival includes faculty serving as moderators, conducting workshops on production and acting for the camera, and premiere screenings of two short student films.

University part of Instant Innovation Program to help businesses
The ability for businesses to take advantage of the technical expertise and resources within the Michigan Corporate Relations Network university partnership has become much easier with the formation of the Instant Innovation Program. U-M's Ann Arbor campus and UM-Dearborn are two of the six universities in the MCRN.

New patent office in Detroit will help inventions coming out of U-M
U-M President Mary Sue Coleman joined several top federal officials Friday to open the first satellite office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Detroit. U-M officials say the PTO satellite will be good for the region and university researchers because it will help Michigan inventors protect their discoveries and bring them to the marketplace.

Focus on partnerships, not money, Forrest says
Vice President for Research Stephen Forrest recently told Washington reporters that the key to innovation is to focus on moving technologies from university labs into the marketplace, not collecting licensing revenues.

Cleaning out former Mott Hospital helps those in need, environment
In the transition to the new C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s hospitals, the U-M Health System has partnered with a group called World Medical Relief to ensure that medical supplies and equipment, furniture and even art from the old hospital do not go to waste.

California Digital Library joins U-M's copyright review project
The U-M Library recently announced the California Digital Library, one of the world's largest digital research libraries, is joining the effort to identify public domain volumes from among the more than 10 million volumes in HathiTrust.

The Michigan Difference

Giving back to the future of MEMS
For more than 20 years LSA's interdisciplinary program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies has given graduate and undergraduate students a unique study opportunity. Thomas Green, professor emeritus of law and history, has participated in MEMS for many years. Now he and his wife, Ruth, have established a $50,000 endowment to support the interdisciplinary collective enterprise featuring conferences, public lectures, discussion groups, dissertation writing workshops, and summer research grants to graduate students, which are critical to the scholarship and teaching of its members.