Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, July 30, 2012

Taiwanese delegation members Dr. Ya-Han Tang, center, and Chi-Yuan Chen chat with Ruth Wescott, a 14-year resident of Chelsea Retirement Community. Fully 10 percent of Taiwan’s population is 65 and older, and that number is expected to double in the next 10 to 20 years, says Ying-Chun Li, director of the Graduate Program of Health Care Management at Taiwan’s National Sun Yat-sen University. It’s one reason Li and 25 Taiwanese health care professionals and graduate students spent a week in Ann Arbor this summer learning first-hand from School of Public Health Professor Jersey Liang and others about how Americans finance and deliver health care, manage hospitals and health care systems, and cope with the challenges of long-term care for an aging population. Says Li, “It’s very important for our students to learn something good from other countries. We want them to have an international perspective.” (Photo by Leisa Thompson)

Department of Public Safety re-accredited by CALEA
The U-M Department of Public Safety was awarded law enforcement re-accreditation, as of Aug. 1, by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Interim Executive Director Joe Piersante has announced. To achieve the recognition, the department had to show compliance with several hundred professional standards measured by the commission.

Maize & Blue go for the gold at 2012 Olympics
More than two dozen current or former Wolverine athletes and coaches are scheduled to participate in the 2012 Olympics, currently ongoing in London. Follow their progress at and on Twitter, and learn more about U-M Olympians past and present.

UMHS linked to New Hampshire hepatitis C investigation
The Michigan Department of Community Health has been investigating the employment history of a hepatitis C-positive health care worker who recently was arrested in New Hampshire for allegedly obtaining injectable narcotics at hospitals there, and infecting patients with the hepatitis C virus through used syringes. An internal review requested by MDCH shows that the individual worked at the U-M Health System for three months of 2006 as an interventional radiologic technologist; he did not have responsibility for administering medication to patients.

Dynarski to Congress: College tax credits should work like a grant
Testifying Wednesday before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, Susan M. Dynarski, professor of education and public policy, advocated for a simplification of the financial aid process that would allow families to better understand exactly how much the federal government can help pay to send their child to college. 

UM-Dearborn set to launch master’s degree in ed tech
The UM-Dearborn School of Education will launch a new master’s degree in educational technology beginning this fall. The Master of Arts in Educational Technology, which can be completed fully online, is designed to support educators as they meet the growing demands of technology-driven students.

Peregrine falcons atop UM-Flint building are named and banded
After an unsuccessful attempt at raising a family on top of the Mott Foundation Building in downtown Flint earlier this year, peregrine falcons Majesty and Barry moved back to Northbank Center on the UM-Flint campus where three of four eggs successfully hatched in June.

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.

MCubed update: Getting closer to cubing
For most faculty members eagerly waiting to sign up for the innovative MCubed research funding initiative, organizers say keep brainstorming and networking, but no other action is required until fall semester — unless they're in the Medical School or LSA. Interested researchers in those units must register for virtual tokens in advance at websites designated by each unit. In the Medical School, the deadline is 4 p.m. Friday.

University 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.

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.

Solar Car Team wins fourth straight American title, breaks own record
The U-M Solar Car Team and its car, Quantum, won the 2012 American Solar Challenge on July 21 for a fourth consecutive American title — and broke a previous national record that U-M set with Continuum in 2008. Quantum finished the eight-day, biennial 1,650-mile competition in an elapsed time of just less than 45 hours, with a 10-hour, 18-minute lead on its nearest competitor.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

The Michigan Difference

Scaling Mount Kilimanjaro
Gary Was, Walter J. Weber Jr. Professor of Sustainable Energy, Environmental and Earth Systems Engineering, and professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences, and materials science and engineering, has reached another accomplishment in life — the summit of Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro. Was completed the trek on July 2, accompanied by his sons Alex and Adam. The trip to the summit was part of a seven-day hike. “We started at about 6,000 feet in a rain forest and ended at the summit at 19,341 feet in what was probably 20-degree Fahrenheit temperatures and a pretty stiff wind,” Was said.