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Week of May 7, 2012

Extreme competitors

When Pam Quinlivan (left) and Shawna McManus signed up for the Tough Mudder — a 12-mile, 27-obstacle race — they didn’t anticipate what they would go through to reach the finish line. The obstacles were challenging: a 30-foot jump into cold, muddy water; a network of live electric wires (charged to 10,000 volts) to run through; a run up and over a half-pipe; a 40-foot balance beam precariously balanced over water. But Quinlivan, human resources generalists for the Department of Internal Medicine at the U-M Health System, and McManus, director of human resources at the Law School, set their minds to finish the race — and they did just that. Photo by Dan McManus.

Coleman calls for engaging, active undergraduate learning

 President Mary Sue Coleman celebrated U-M’s teaching innovations while calling on educators to dig deep to overhaul undergraduate education for the 21st century, in a talk delivered during an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the pioneering Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.

Psychology researcher Susan Gelman receives top scientific honor

 Susan Gelman, the Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of Psychology, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences for her excellence in original scientific research. 

Boxer Laila Ali aims to inspire physical activity in girls, women

Athlete Laila Ali hung up her boxing gloves in 2007 after an impressive undefeated career, but her fight plan now is to knock out apathy among girls and women when it comes to physical activity. Ali is the keynote speaker at the “Title IX at 40: Progress and promise, equity for all” conference at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Rackham Amphitheatre. She will discuss women and sports, as well as how sports affected her life.

Experimental Chaos and Complexity Conference grows to include social sciences

The tipping points of phenomena as varied as social uprisings, extreme weather and bacteria colony growth can all be described by similar math. Complex systems theory and nonlinear dynamics are becoming ever more useful tools in far-flung fields of study. More than 200 practitioners will present their latest findings at the upcoming Experimental Chaos and Complexity Conference, which is presented as part of the Michigan Meetings. 

Educational reform in China topic of public lecture

 The campus community is invited to hear an update on efforts to reform Chinese higher education, during one presentation of the Michigan-China University Leadership Forum, now in its fifth year.

Better use of space is focus of new policy for classroom scheduling

A new classroom scheduling policy will help the university make better use of existing classroom space and spread out classes throughout the day and throughout the week. The policy will take effect for the Winter 2013 curriculum-planning period. 

Student Affairs research symposium examines practice in motion

Student affairs professionals and interested students, faculty and staff from Ann Arbor and beyond will convene May 16 at the Division of Student Affairs’ ninth annual research symposium, Getting to Nine: Moving Toward Data-Informed Decisions.



Marc Stephens, instructional multimedia developer, Medical School, on what it takes to get in shape: "Both feet, in the water, go … because there is no other way to do it."


Nichols Arboretum Peony Festival, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
 May 15-June 5.

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School of Information dean and wife pledge $2.5M to U-M

School of Information Dean Jeffrey MacKie-Mason and his wife, Janet Netz, have committed to a gift of $2.5 million to the school.


Old school: U-M in History

Modern dance