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Kalamazoo doctor: Chance of Ebola outbreak gripping U.S. is slim

Kalamazoo doctor: Chance of Ebola outbreak gripping U.S. is slim

KALAMAZOO, Mich.— The Ebola virus has claimed more than 1,200 lives in West Africa, but at least one West Michigan doctor says there is little chance the outbreak will take hold in the United States.

"We are monitoring pretty darned carefully if the people coming into the United States from these countries, where this virus is prevalent, whether they have a fever or not," Essani says. "So we really have some idea. But this is biology and there will always be exceptions to it. I do expect the number of cases to go up, there's no doubt about it. So we are going to see these sporadic cases around the globe. But I don't think it will acquire an epidemic form as it has in Africa," says Dr. Karim Essani, virologist and professor of biological sciences at Western Michigan University.

 Essani says Ebola is more difficult to spread than other viruses, like flu.

My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

The start of the 2014-15 schools year is just around the corner.

As a parent, don’t let the start of a new school year catch you off guard- start preparing your students now to hit the books this fall.  While some activities, like waking up early, may be met with less enthusiasm, back-to-school preparation can be fun. 

Educators at Michigan Connections Academy have developed four fun, yet educational, activities parents and students can do together to help prepare for a successful start to the new school year— and the best part is the students won’t even realize they are learning!

My Town: Cooley Law and WMU announce affiliation agreement

My Town: Cooley Law and WMU announce affiliation agreement

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Cooley Law School has a new name and partnership.

Leaders of the nonprofit law school joined those from Western Michigan University this week to announce they reached an affiliation agreement.  Under the deal, Cooley Law School will now be known as the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.  The name change applies to all Cooley campuses in Michigan, including Lansing, Grand Rapids, Auburn Hills and Ann Arbor.  Cooley and WMU will maintain separate governments and finances.

As part of the new partnership, WMU Cooley Law will offer first-year law classes on Western’s Kalamazoo campus this fall.  Faculty at both schools are also developing a law minor and a 3+3 program at WMU that will allow students to earn a bachelor’s degree and a law degree in six years.  Tuition to both schools will not change because of the affiliation.

My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Michigan Department of Human Services is teaming up with Grand Valley State University to measure the success of a family support program in more than 150 Michigan schools.

A three-year, $1.05 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will go toward measuring the impact of the Pathways to Potential program in Michigan.  The program places DHS case workers in schools to make it easier for children and their families to address barriers to their safety, health, education, attendance and self-sufficiency.

“We know that many children struggle in school because of outside of school challenges affecting both students and their families,” Gov. Snyder said. “The goal of Pathways to Potential is to reduce or eliminate those challenges by conveniently connecting families to the services they need to help everyone become more successful.”

EmploymentGroup names winners of 5 in 5 scholarships

EmploymentGroup names winners of 5 in 5 scholarships

KENTWOOD, Mich.-- EmploymentGroup, a solutions-oriented staffing and outsourced services firm, has announced the winners of its 5 in 5 scholarship program. 

Launched in 2013, the program is a five-year initiative in honor of the company’s 55th anniversary as a leading regional provider of business staffing solutions. EmploymentGroup started the program to give Michigan-based community college students the skills and resources they need to succeed.

As part of the 5 in 5 program, each year three students are awarded scholarships totaling $5,000.  This year, students were encouraged to tie their essay submissions to EmploymentGroup’s mission of helping people succeed, explaining how their future plans include both their own professional growth and helping others excel.

My Town Kalamazoo: WMU teams' plans could save bankrupt Detroit millions of dollars

My Town Kalamazoo: WMU teams' plans could save bankrupt Detroit millions of dollars

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Two teams from Western Michigan University have come up with plans that could save bankrupt Detroit nearly $2 million a year.

Since early May, students, alumni and a faculty advisor with WMU’s integrated supply management program have been working on cost-cutting measures for two city transportation facilities that house city buses and emergency vehicles. The teams worked with city personnel at the Russell-Ferry and Shoemaker Terminal garages to create lean systems to improve the city’s budget outlook. 

"When the call for expertise in the area of lean consulting came from the city of Detroit, we knew that our students and alumni could provide the necessary talent and teamwork to help the city," says Ken Jones, director of executive education and instructor of integrated supply management at WMU.

My Town Kalamazoo: WMU solar race team takes 25 years of experience on the road

My Town Kalamazoo: WMU solar race team takes 25 years of experience on the road

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A green machine created by Western Michigan University students is about to embark on a cross-country road trip in the 2014 American Solar Challenge.

On Monday, July 21, the Sunseeker solar car racing team will begin its 1,751 mile journey from Austin, Texas to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The team has one week to complete the trip.

"The team is looking forward to competing against and learning from those national and international teams in attendance, this year," Harris says, "especially as we look forward to building a new vehicle this fall semester."

Before they make the trip, WMU’s 14 person team must qualify during the Formula Sun Grand Prix this weekend.  The closed-course track race runs through July 19 at Austin's Circuit of the Americas Grand Prix facility.