Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, August 20, 2010

On Oct. 14, 1960, at approximately 2 a.m., U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy stood on the steps of the Michigan Union to address more than 5,000 students who had assembled to greet him. In those remarks, Kennedy sketched his earliest vision of the Peace Corps. Click the image to view a preview of the documentary "The Passing of the Torch — The University of Michigan, JFK and the Peace Corps" and check out the upcoming Peace Corps 50th anniversary events, which will begin where the corps began, at U-M.

National anthem auditions for upcoming sports season set
The Athletics Department will hold auditions for national anthem singers for the upcoming sports season on Sept. 16 from 4-8 p.m. The auditions will take place at Cliff Keen Arena. Each singer will have five minutes to perform a traditional version of the anthem.

International Institute centers receive more than $16M in grants
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded more than $16 million in federal grants to seven International Institute centers. Six centers were designated National Resource Centers for specific world regions. A seventh named a Center for International Business Education.

U-M launches new nutrition and obesity research center
The university received a $5.7 million grant to establish the Michigan Nutrition Obesity Research Center, one of only 13 federally funded centers that focus on studies related to diet and metabolism. The center is a cross-campus effort that includes faculty from the Medical School, School of Public Health and School of Kinesiology.

U-M again ranks near top in U.S. News & World Report rankings
U-M again was cited as one of the nation’s best universities by U.S. News & World Report, gaining special attention this year as one of the top schools where the faculty has “an unusual commitment to undergraduate teaching.” The university also ranked near the top in a new listing based on high school guidance counselors' opinions.

Website highlights alumni service in the Peace Corps
A new university website has collected more than 50 testimonials from alumni who describe how they were affected by their service in the Peace Corps since it was found a half century ago. The website is part of a 50th anniversary celebration of the organization’s founding that is planned for U-M this fall.

Open Enrollment for 2011 benefits set for Oct. 25-Nov. 5
Open Enrollment is the annual opportunity for faculty and staff to review their benefit choices and make sure they continue to meet individual needs. Employees can change their benefit elections for 2011 during the Oct. 25-Nov. 5 enrollment period with the changes taking effect Jan. 1. There are a number of changes worth noting during the upcoming enrollment period.

UMHS efforts to encourage disclosure of medical errors decreased claims
The U-M Health System's program of full disclosure and compensation for medical errors resulted in a decrease in new claims for compensation (including lawsuits), time to claim resolution and lower liability costs, according to a new study.

U-M museum director part of team that discovered rare coin
The director of the Kelsey Museum of Archeology was part of a team that discovered a 2,200-year-old gold coin in Israel. It is believed to be the heaviest and most valuable gold coin ever found in that country.

Ex-smoker ready for smoke-free campus in July 2011
After smoking for more than 30 years, Bobbie Young hasn’t had a cigarette for seven months. The announcement of the Smoke-Free Campus Initiative that will eliminate smoking on all U-M campuses by July 2011 inspired Young, a senior human resources representative on the Ann Arbor campus to think about quitting. A timely e-mail about MHealthy’s Kick the Habit tobacco treatment program spurred her to action.

More than 50 areas reach 50 percent participation in MHealthy Rewards
More than 50 university areas achieved 50 percent or greater participation in this year’s MHealthy Rewards program. The select group includes schools, colleges and administrative areas from all four campuses.

Statement regarding the university's hearing before the NCAA
Athletic Director Dave Brandon released a statement Saturday after U-M officials met with the NCAA regarding allegations against the football program. He said the committee "gave us a full and fair hearing."

UMHS rolls out Segways for improved security patrolling
The U-M Health System’s Security Services Department has purchased two Segway Personal Transporters to help its officers more efficiently deter crime on the medical campus. The new Segway Patrol Team will consist of 23 officers who have been trained on the Segways.

School of Public Health partners with China to fight diseases
The School of Public Health and China will partner under a new grant to characterize the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases in China and improve control efforts there. Matthew Boulton, associate professor and associate dean of SPH, received a five-year, $3.62 million grant to fund the effort that will focus on measles, which is epidemic in China.

U-M announces enhancements to retirement savings plans
The U-M Benefits Office has announced changes to the investment funds offered in the U-M Retirement Savings Plan, the SRA (Supplemental Retirement Account), and 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan. The changes take effect in mid-September and result in an increase in investment choices available and a reduction in fund management fees and expenses.

Other photos from the Record Update
Click the headline to view other photos that appeared this week in the Update, including the School of Information's move into the new North Quad, and a parking-lot project at UM-Flint.

The Michigan Difference

Working hard for your money
What started as a favor to a friend trying to navigate the maze of customer service in search of a new transmission has become a company with the goal of assisting consumers. Allen Banez received his master of business administration degree from U-M in 1990 and founded LetterChamp in 2006. Its dual mission is to advocate for disgruntled customers and help companies regain the favor of those customers.