Media Coverage of the University of Michigan — January 2015


Driverless research site in Ann Arbor to open in July
(Detroit Free Press, January 24, 2015)
The new Mobility Transformation Center, which will feature a fake downtown for research involving automated cars, will have its grand opening July 20 at the University of Michigan’s north campus in Ann Arbor. More

University of Michigan professor’s novel now a Sundance film
(Detroit Free Press, January 23, 2015)
Seeing the film based on her novel, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” for the first time at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival is bound to be memorable for Phoebe Gloeckner. The University of Michigan associate professor already has been through the stage version of her acclaimed book, a graphic novel-prose hybrid with autobiographical elements. “When I saw the play, it was as if I was watching ghosts of my past just walking and talking and living and breathing,” she says. “The movie’s like that as well. So it’s very emotional for me. It’s a wonderful experience and very strange.” More

Anthropologist seeks the roots of terrorism
(Scientific American, January 20, 2015)
In the wake of terrorist attacks last week on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Paris supermarket, the world has struggled to understand the combination of religion, European culture and influence from terrorist organizations that drove the gunmen. Scott Atran, an anthropologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, studies such questions by interviewing would-be and convicted terrorists about their extreme commitment to their organizations and ideals. Atran recently returned from Paris, where he talked with members of the shooters’ communities. He spoke with Nature about what he discovered. More

U-M professor and daughter of Cuban exiles on new policy toward Cuba
(Michigan Radio, “Stateside,” January 19, 2015)
President Obama’s decision last month to overhaul our policy toward Cuba has pushed our Caribbean neighbor to the forefront of our attention. Ruth Behar is a professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan and the daughter of Cuban exiles. She was born in Cuba and her family left in the 1960s. Behar has recently published pieces in the Washington Post and Huffington Post about what President Obama’s decision means to her and her family, and what to expect when traveling to the country. More

U-M President Schlissel to visit China in July
(CBS Detroit, January 19, 2015)
With about 200 University of Michigan students pursuing education abroad for credit each year in China, the school’s president is heading to the country this summer. President Mark Schlissel will travel to China to build relationships with the leaders of Chinese partner institutions and strengthen relations with international alumni. During his visit, Schlissel will talk with Michigan students and faculty who are in China. Nearly 5,000 alumni live in China. More

Crowdfunding propels scientific research
(The Washington Post, January 18, 2015)
Although the money being raised through crowdfunding sites is only a fraction of the roughly $435 billion spent each year on research and development in the United States, thousands of scientists are building their brands and research coffers on sites such as,,, and others, with the blessing of their universities. Benjamin Longmier, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan, has raised $100,000 to build low-cost thrusters capable of sending miniature rockets into deep space.  More

Man walks from U-M hospital without a human heart
(USA Today, January 20, 2015)
A 24-year-old Ypsilanti man has become the first person in Michigan to walk out of a hospital with a totally artificial heart. The SynCardia Total Artificial Heart is connected to two tubes in Stan Larkin’s chest. They snake out from under his ribs and connect to a 13-pound compressor carried in his backpack. It’s an apparatus that provides Larkin a sort of sound track of his life right now — an ever-present, rhythmic gallop as pulses of precisely calibrated, compressed oxygen are forced into the pneumatic ticker. More

General Mills former CEO to give $20 million to U-M
(Detroit Free Press, January 14, 2015)
Stephen Sanger, the retired chairman and CEO of food giant General Mills, and his wife Karen are making a $20-million gift to the University of Michigan to expand leadership development programs at the Ross School of Business. The university is expected to announce creation of the Sanger Leadership Center, to be headed by Ross associate dean Scott DeRue, with the aim of developing leaders who not only succeed at business but also make a positive impact on the world and their communities. More

Michigan’s blue economy a growing industry
(Detroit News, January 2, 2015)
Water emerged as one of the most compelling issues for Michigan’s economic future during a five-city “Blue Economy Tour” led by the University Research Corridor (URC) – an alliance of Michigan’s three leading research institutions, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University. More

 A writing professor’s contribution: So many words, so little debt
(Chronicle of Higher Education, January 5, 2015)
As he retired as a professor of English at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in December, Nicholas Delbanco was recognized not just as a novelist, nonfiction writer, and teacher, but also as the author of an innovative idea that set a high bar for creative-writing graduate programs everywhere: Ensure that all students can attend free. More



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