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Updated 5:15 PM November 6, 2008




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The Michigan Difference impact

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Tonya Mallett knew she could be a great teacher. She had the passion. She had experience with young people, including her own children. She even had many of the necessary college credits. What she needed was advanced teacher training. But looming between her and her dream was the specter of debt. A scholarship funded by U-M-Dearborn alumna Beth Beson not only helped Mallett pursue her education as a teacher, it even subsidized the cost of a personal computer.

Dr. Yehoash Raphael is finding ways to regrow hair, and Dr. Eva Feldman is raising mutant rats. Raphael, the Williams Professor of Otolaryngology, and his colleagues are looking at how gene therapy may someday be used to regrow auditory hair cells, whose destruction leads to hearing loss. And Feldman, the DeJong Professor of Neurology, is using rats that carry a mutated gene to understand the causes and possible treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Both Raphael and Feldman have been named among the first cohort of Taubman Scholars. Funding from A. Alfred Taubman created the program as well as the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute.

Michigan Law students are enjoying new opportunities for learning how to bridge theory and practice, thanks to two extraordinary new professorships at the Law School. Leading practitioners have taught Michigan Law students for many years through adjunct appointments. The creation of the Harvey J. Gunderson Professorship from Practice and Jeffrey Liss Professorship from Practice has endowed two of these positions in perpetuity, helping the Law School attract renowned attorneys like Mark D. Rosenbaum to the faculty. Rosenbaum previously served as legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Los Angeles. He has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on three occasions and regularly appears before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court.

For more than two decades the Women's and Men's Hypertension Experiences and Emerging Lifestyle Program, or WHEELS, has been developing and testing techniques that encourage African-American patients — who have one of the highest rates of hypertension of any population — to adhere to their treatment. Program founder and Nursing professor Margaret Scisney-Matlock designed a new plan, WHEELS-I, that uses interactive technologies to promote healthy lifestyles. But she needed funding to launch her pilot study. Nursing Dean Kathleen Potempa was able to direct discretionary funding from alumni Donald and Karin Allen to help get WHEELS-I off the ground.

When Damon Dickerson visited Ghana in 2007, he discovered a world he never could have imagined from a classroom in Ann Arbor. The 2008 Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning (TCAUP) graduate visited homes of the affluent and very poor, and saw large cities with dirt roads and no stoplights, as part of a countrywide tour led by Professor of Architecture James Chaffers. Overseas experiences can be the spark for great architecture and planning at home. TCAUP donors appreciate that. Their support has contributed to a 200-percent increase in educational, student travel abroad since the start of the campaign.

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