Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

MABEL, a robot built and developed in the College of Engineering, now is able to run like a human — a feat that represents the height of agility and efficiency for a two-legged machine. With a peak pace of 6.8 miles per hour, MABEL is believed to be the world's fastest bipedal robot with knees. Click here to read more about MABEL.

What's new for Open Enrollment this year
U-M faculty and staff will be able to see 2012 benefit plan rates on Wolverine Access as soon as Aug. 22. The new rate pages will display both the 2011 and 2012 rates so employees can begin planning their benefits plan choices well in advance of the Open Enrollment period, which is set for Oct. 31-Nov. 11. Upcoming changes for 2012 include optional online enrollment for retirees, no co-pay for preventive services, a co-pay increase for certain prescription drugs, and the elimination of the Priority Health plan.

Johannes Schwank chosen as interim director of energy institute
Johannes Schwank, the James and Judith Street Professor of Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering, has been named interim director of the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute.

New Web portal organizes continuing education
The university is launching a new Web portal this month that ties together continuing education offerings from units across campus. It information on non-degree classes, lectures and events that are available for those interested in career development, personal enrichment, programs for K-12 students and distance education

Federal grants support U-M nuclear energy research and development
U-M has been awarded approximately $3.5 million by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of a grant package aimed at developing cutting-edge nuclear energy technologies and training and educating the next generation of leaders in the U.S. nuclear industry.
• The Energy Department also has announced U-M researchers have won two grants to support research on advanced turbines that are expected to help future power plants supply clean, low-cost electricity.

Architect Barbie got her start at Taubman College
Architect Barbie, inspired by female architect Despina Stratigakos while she was teaching at U-M in 2007, went on sale Monday. Stratigakos enlisted students at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning to create prototypes for a collegewide Architect Barbie Exhibition in 2007. After more than four years of campaigning, Architect Barbie came to be and was announced this year.

New mobile site available for Travel Registry trip information
Students, faculty, and staff who have registered their travel in the Wolverine Access Travel Registry can now use a Trip Summary mobile site on their mobile devices. Travelers can quickly access emergency contacts, U M contacts, and itinerary information.

More information sought before implementing new health plan design
The university's executive leadership wants details on the complexities of implementation before deciding whether to enact a new health plan design that would offer incentives for employees and their enrolled spouses and Other Qualified Adults to actively manage and improve their health.

Wolverines, Buckeyes to play January outdoor game in Cleveland
The U-M ice hockey team will play Ohio State University in an outdoor game titled "The Frozen Diamond Faceoff" on Jan. 15 at Progressive Field, home to the Cleveland Indians. This will mark the third straight season in which the Wolverines will participate in an outdoor game, and the fourth in program history.

School of Nursing implementing Clinical Initiative for Excellence
The School of Nursing is implementing the Clinical Initiative for Excellence in Education, Practice, and Scholarship, which will revolutionize the way that nursing clinical education is taught and will create a new partnership between the School of Nursing and the U-M Health System.

Supervisor safety sessions add more eyes, ears in community
Several hundred staff members soon could become extra eyes and ears for the police, and help co-workers be more diligent about safety in response to recent sexual assaults near campus.

CTools Mobile offers optimized view of sites
A version of CTools for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices now is available to the U-M community. CTools Mobile provides an optimized view of CTools sites, allowing users to interact with course and project sites virtually anywhere.

President Coleman named chair of Internet2 board of trustees
Internet2 announced today that President Mary Sue Coleman was elected chair of the group's board of trustees and will serve until July 2012. The board provides strategic direction, leadership and oversight for the organization and greater community. Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community.

University, Skilled Trades Union reach tentative agreement
The university and the U-M Skilled Trades Union have reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract covering about 500 U-M employees. A ratification vote on the agreement, which includes wage increases over the four-year contract term, is set for Aug. 24.

Child Care Initiative meets major goals with consolidation of centers
The consolidation of five Ann Arbor campus child care centers into three state-of-the-art children's facilities provides U-M faculty, staff and students with flexible care options for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and achieves the goals of the U-M Child Care Initiative launched by President Mary Sue Coleman in 2005.

Dworkin confirmed to serve on National Council of the Arts
The U.S. Senate has confirmed U-M alumnus Aaron Dworkin to serve on the National Council on the Arts. Dworkin is a violinist and arts educator who founded the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization to increase the number of minority students pursuing classical music careers.

Other photos from the Record Update
Click the headline to view photos that appeared during the past week in the Record Update, including the M-Bio Summer Program and Fan Day at Michigan Stadium.

This week in the University Record
• Students prepare for success at academic, sports camps
• Old School: U-M in History — Architect Albert Kahn and the William L. Clements Library
• Spotlight: Laundry Services veteran cooks a mean spaghetti sauce
Read these stories and more in the University Record, available on racks across campus.

The Michigan Difference

Keeping babies safer
There are approximately 1,300-1,600 reported cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome each year in the U.S. One out of four babies with the syndrome die. Dr. Faisal Mawri, a pediatrician at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, has developed a community-based initiative to combat this health challenge. He created the Keep Infants Safe and Secure program, which works with three Flint high schools to educate students about the effects and dangers of SBS.