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Michigan legislators pass bill, increase higher education funds Universities must keep tuition down to receive more money SEAN MCCABE Contributing Writer Wayne State may see an increase in public funding in the upcoming year, but only if the university can keep tuition increases at or below 3.75 percent. If the university can’t keep tuition down, they will lose “performance” funding that they would otherwise receive for graduation rates, degree completions and other factors. This is all part of the $48.7 billion budget that Michigan
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legislators passed this week, which included a 2 percent overall increase in funding to all 15 public universities in the state, with WSU receiving the lowest increase at 0.29 percent. The state senate passed the budget 24-14, with all 12 democrats voting against it. The bill will go to Gov. Rick Snyder to be signed as early as next week — four months before the new
fiscal year begins in October. “I think this is the best bud-
money to be put towards higher
percent with retirement system
education after it became ap-
get I’ve ever been a part of. I
parent that the budget surplus
really do,” said Senate Majority
would be higher than expected,
• Michigan State University,
Leader Randy Richardville, R-
but it went to K-12 schools,
Monroe. “Six hundred million
road maintenance and the
University, up 2.05 percent (2.6
now in the savings account. We
state’s “rainy day” fund instead.
percent including retirement
put more money toward educa-
The following is the list of the
up 1.82 percent • Michigan Technological
tion than we have in recent
funding increases for each uni-
years, for sure.”
versity, assuming they follow
versity, up 2.11 percent (2.6
the tuition requirements:
percent including retirement
While universities are in line for an increase this year, several legislators noted that it
system funding) • Central Michigan Universi-
doesn’t make up for cuts in past
ty, up 2.99 percent (3.6 percent
including retirement system
“Community colleges will get a 2 percent increase and fund-
funding) • Eastern Michigan Universi-
ing for offering more online
ty, up 1.19 percent (1.6 percent
courses, which will broaden
including retirement system
the opportunity for Michigan
residents to continue their
• Ferris State University,
education, and after taking a 15
up 3.06 percent (3.8 percent
percent decrease two years ago
including retirement system
in the higher education budget,
it is good to see a slight increase,” said Gretchen Driskell, D-Saline. Democrats pushed for more
• Northern Michigan Uni-
• Grand Valley State University, up 4.2 percent • Lake Superior State University, up 1.5 percent (2.1
• Oakland University, up 1.49 percent. • Saginaw Valley State University, up 1.27 percent. • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, up 1.81 percent. • University of MichiganDearborn, up 1.2 percent. • University of MichiganFlint, up 2.06 percent. • Wayne State University, up 0.29 percent. • Western Michigan University, up 1.83 percent (2.3 percent including retirement system funding)
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NEWS JON ADAMS/THE SOUTH END
Detroit coke city Coal-like substance worries residents
CORRESPONDENT CHRISTOPHER EHRMANN Detroit has a coke problem, and it does not deal with the carbonated drink that people enjoy for refreshment -- or the drug. This coke problem deals more with coal-like material that results from processing oil into gasoline. Petroleum coke, commonly nicknamed “pet coke,” is defined by the American Petroleum Institute as “a hard, coal-like substance ... It consists mostly of carbon with smaller amounts of hydrocarbons (oil) and sulfur, and trace amounts of metals.” Recently, mounds of pet coke have appeared alongside the riverfront, and a number of complaints have come up from citizens and businesses in the nearby area about these mountains. The pet coke mounds have been sitting there since November of last year, according to Environmental Law Clinic Professor Nick Schroeck. “So November of 2012 is when the refineries expansion was finished and were able to start processing this tar sands oil, and soon after that, so sometime in November, we started seeing the pet coke,” Shroeck said. Schroeck is the executive director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center and the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic. The law center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that was founded in 2008 by Wayne Law
Professor Noah Hall. “Basically, what we are is public interest environmental law. So, we’ll represent environmental groups or citizen organizations on issues that concern them. We end up doing a lot of events with the public just to educate them on environmental issues,” Schroeck said. Schroeck said these mounds that are in front and alongside the riverfront have gone through a long trip and a long process before they are dumped into storage. First, the tar sand oil comes from Alberta, Canada, transported through a pipeline over 2,000 miles long. Once it gets to Detroit, it gets refined into oil that people use for gasoline at the Marathon refinery in Detroit. A byproduct of that process is the petroleum coke. The next step for the pet coke is Detroit Bulk Storage, the place that houses the mounds of pet coke. According to Schroeck, a third of the tar sands oil that needs to be disposed of remains in the pet coke. The ships take the mounds off to other countries to get rid of it by burning the mounds. “The problem with that is that it has more carbon, it’s more carbon intensive, which means more greenhouse gas emissions than coal,” Schroeck said. Another thing to point out, according to Schroeck, is that Detroit Edison has a permit to burn the pet coke in Michigan at their Monroe plant. “It’s an open question as to whether or not they are. They are permitted to do it if they so choose, and they can burn about 95,000 tons of it a month, which is, you know, a lot,” Schroeck said.
According to Schroeck, they first found out about the mounds because people from the Windsor side of the Detroit River started noticing them, which bystanders believed to be coal. The law clinic started getting phone calls about it, and Schroeck said the reason they didn’t know about these mounds was because there was not a permitting process or public notice. “They just appeared and started stacking up, and folks were wondering what was going on,” Schroeck said. “There was no public notice; they started piling this stuff up without getting a really basic permit. You are supposed to get a bulk storage permit … and they didn’t bother getting one for the facility from the city. And the city now, six months later, is going through a permitting process.” These pet coke mountains have concerned residents like Jonathan McClinton and McKenzie Duke, tenants of the Hudson Loft apartment building. One of the managers at the building, Jenny Kay, wiped her hand on her desk to show how much of the black material would appear on her hands and fingers. McClinton, who moved into the lofts three months ago, and Duke, who has lived there since last fall, both have been concerned with the problems that the pet coke has caused. McClinton said he would clean his floor three times and still more pet coke would appear on his floor. “I had started noticing for almost a month, that all this black stuff was coming into my apartment. I couldn’t keep up with it. It was getting on my furniture and on my floors … it’s grimier and grittier and you can’t just
clean it off,” Duke said. “I’m a heart patient, so I’m not supposed to be around any chemicals. I’m taking about eight different medications a day, not including this breathing stuff … I don’t want it exacerbated,” McClinton said. Duke said she would go through five cleaning mops in a day. They’re also concerned about potential health risks for residents and employees. Duke said the apartment complex currently has one pregnant woman, children and people with health problems. Duke herself also has allergies. “We live in one of the dirtiest zip codes in the United States, 48217, which is right next to the Marathon refinery,” said Stephen Boyle, a Detroit resident and organizer of Detroit Coalition Against Tar Sands. “It’s (pet coke) just blowing on the river … and we need to be environmentally conscious.” “What I would like the city to do is enforce the law. Get down there and prevent any movement of the mounds at this time and plan your way to remediate the problem,” Boyle said. According to Boyle and Schroeck, Detroit Bulk Storage is spraying an epoxy that keeps the dust down, but both men are still concerned because the epoxy is yet another chemical being used that has unknown health risks or interactions. “People are now saying they (Detroit Bulk Storage) are spraying some kind of chemical onto the piles to keep the dust down, but another question is what’s in the chemical, and without some sort of permitting process we just don’t know what’s going on there,” Schroeck said.
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M. Roy Wilson to lead WSU Board of governers selects 12th president JILL LUBAS The South End There is a new chief in town. As of Wednesday, Wayne State announced the appointment of M. Roy Wilson, M.D., M.S., as the twelfth president of the university. With a strong leadership background in higher education and research, as well as understanding the diverse needs of an urban university, the presidential search committee concluded that Wilson would be an ideal fit for WSU. With many candidates vying for the position since the search began in fall of 2012, the university’s Board of Governors voted unanimously in favor of Wilson after his campus visit June 5th, according to a university press release. “We looked at a number of outstanding candidates from around the nation. The board concluded that Roy’s extensive leadership experience, particularly in academia and medicine, will be crucial as both the state of Michigan and Wayne State grapple with changes in higher education and health care. We are delighted that he has joined this great university,” said Debbie Dingell, chair of the Board of Governors. Wilson served as dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for health sciences at Creighton University, president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and, concurrently, chancellor of the University of Colorado, Denver and chair of the Board of Directors of University of Colorado Hospital. He currently holds the position of deputy director for strategic scientific planning and program coordination at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health. A reception was held Thursday at the McGregor Memorial Conference CenPHOTOS BY JILL LUBAS/THE SOUTH END
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ter. The room had energetic ambiance as Wilson stopped to shake hands and say hello to faculty and students before making his way forward to address those in attendance. The afternoon’s speeches were initiated by Eugene Driker, a member of the Wayne State Board of Governors and part of the presidential search committee; he discussed the board’s initial concerns when faced with selecting a new president. “We were concerned that no one wanted to come to Detroit,” Driker said. But the board soon found the opposite to be true. They were presented with several highly qualified candidates, but in the end choose Wilson to come on board to replace former-president Allan Gilmour who served in the position for the past three years. Wilson commended the work of former president Gilmour as he took the podium to address the crowd. “There could not have been a better person over the last several years than Allan Gilmour to lead this university,” Wilson said, “I would like to personally thank Allan because I feel like I don’t have to fix a thing.” When Wilson was asked by a colleague if he ever wanted to serve as president in a higher education capacity – Wilson had turned down an opportunity to stay on as president of Creighton University – Wilson told his colleague that if he ever did serve in such a position he would want it to be at an institution like Wayne State. “I feel privileged to be a part of this great faculty,” said Wilson, “I am absolutely certain that I’m in the right place at the right time.” After his speech, many attendees lined up for the opportunity to meet Wilson and offer their congratulations
PHOTOS BY JILL LUBAS/THE SOUTH END
on his appointment. “We are so excited to have our new president. Someone with a lot of energy, someone who understands students, but also has a medical background – such a well-rounded person,” said Janice Green of the college of Education, “We are just elated, this is one of the best kept secrets that is out there.” Former president Gilmour said that next up for him was rest and relaxation, as well as a visit to Vermont; he was also excited and positive about the appointment of his successor. “He is a delightful person. I leave the university in capable hands,” Gilmour said. In his address, Wilson acknowledged current obstacles that are being faced by many universities including Wayne State, such as cuts in funding by federal and state agencies and a declined economy. “This is a very challenging time for higher education – there are so many things that have to be done that are
difficult in this environment,” Wilson said, “I am not daunted by that. There are so many opportunities here; Wayne State has a firm foundation.” Wilson esteemed the members of the faculty and board or governors, as well as the members of the community, for their support in helping to make the university formidable in such difficult times and holds a positive outlook for its future. “Despite all of the challenges,” Wilson said, “there will be a way for Wayne State to really rise and become what it should be – the premier urban research university of this country.” Wilson will assume the office of University President in August of this year at which time former president Allan Gilmore, who will be acting president throughout the summer, will step down. Chris Ehrmann contributed to this article.
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FOCIS on Detroit issues Forum sheds light on city’s financial woes
CHRISTOPHER EHRMANN News Correspondent It is no secret that Detroit has been having financial problems. Wayne State’s Forum on Contemporary Issues in Society held a special event in conjunction with the Eugene Applebaum Chair in Community Engagement June 6 for citizens of Detroit to help figure out a way to save the city from financial ruin. “This is a citizen education effort of FOCIS at Wayne State University, and it continues a program we started last year and it gives citizens an opportunity to select choices that would address the city’s financial emergency,” said Bettie Buss, senior research associate for Citizens Research Council of Michigan. According to Buss, last year the event happened four times and was considered more of a budgeting exercise. This year, Buss said they are trying to figure out what to do to fix the city and some of its problems like the deficit, decline in revenues and balancing the budget. FOCIS was established in 2007 by its
director and former president of WSU Irvin D. Reid as a special initiative designed to focus the university’s problem-solving abilities and resources on different topics to bring together people to, according to their website, “advance the frontiers of knowledge, promote informed debate and encourage responsible citizenship in an increasingly fast-paced, interconnected and complex world.” FOCIS also addresses certain topics that directly affect the citizens of Detroit, as well as America and the world. One of the subcategories under FOCIS is Citizen Detroit. “I decided that I wanted to facilitate the dialogue between the university and the broader community. To bring a kind of presentation to the community that it ordinarily would get that you would expect from a university. We broadened that to include a program like Citizen Detroit which allowed citizens of the city to dialogue with each other on topics of importance to them, but also to contemporary issues — everything from education to crime to governance. And so that’s what Citizen
Detroit is,” Reid said. This year, the program decided to schedule an event that deals with Detroit’s emergency manager and deficit problem. At the event, citizens sit at different tables, each representing a different district. On each table there are cards for attendants that stand for the EM as well as city council members. The citizens role play as these members and together they have to find a way to resolve the financial emergency facing the city of Detroit. The goal was to avoid bankruptcy. “Our credit rating is so bad, it’s CCC, and I didn’t even know that there was even such a rating. CC and CCC are designations that (show) the Wall Street bond rating agencies expect the city to go into bankruptcy,” Buss said. “I participated last year. I thought it was a very eye-opening discussion and eye-opening topic to put myself in the position of the decision makers of the city. I am absolutely enjoying myself,” said Brandon Wilkins, a Detroit resident. “I live in the City of Detroit, District
6, and so I can be in conversation with the person I am supporting if they should win on and be able to explain to the community some of the issues of balancing the budget,” said Otis Mathis, a retired education coordinator at WSU. Former Detroit City Council member Sheila Cockrel was also present at the event. “Working with Dr. Reid was a natural outcome from deciding (not to run) for political office,” Cockrel said, “I wanted to find other ways to work on them. There is a lot of discussion and debate going on here, and the net of this is that people are getting more information, better information, that they can use to evaluate candidates that are running for office and what is going on in the city. I would absolutely say it was a success tonight.” The event concluded with one member from each district addressing the other districts and members with their best plan. For more information on the next meeting, visit focis.wayne.edu.
Can you hear me now? Campus, SOM’s tech support get revamped
DEBANINA SEATON Contributing Writer Wayne State’s Computer and Information (Technology) department and the WSU Medical School Inormation System – MSIS – have created a new system known as the Wayne State Tech Support service which will serve as a one stop shop for technical services to both campuses. According to main campus and SOM officials, there were several systems used by both campuses over a number of years. Jill Zeller, Senior Director of IT Customer Services and Telecommunications at WSU said the university needed to provide enhancement that [had] home-grown design. “We were looking for something that would enhance our customer experience and improve our IT service delivery, as
well as provide issue resolution. It also uses ITO – Information Technology Infrastructure Library Philosophy – for its core functioning,” Zeller said, “We were looking for improvements across the board so we used a product that had all these components.” According to Zeller, the idea for a new system was led by a team of C&IT staff who had been researching for a number of years for a system that could replace CallTracker. Last summer the team gave their input on what should be selected along with a rigorous review of all the products and eventually the new system was selected. The new system, originally known as FootPrints, was rebranded for WSU as Tech Solutions. The system is a comprehensive incident and problem management tool. When someone visits the Tech
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Solutions website they will be able to report any IT problems and submit any IT service requests. The previous systems for the main campus SOM – including CallTracker – was a functional help desk style system but did not function at the level each campus hoped it would. Zeller said the Medical school was having some of the same problems the main campus was having, so the two decided to partner together. Ed Bogardus, Associate Director for Desktop Services of the SOM, said the campus partnered with the main campus to replace their current home-grown ticketing system TIMS. The TIMS system, which stands for Ticketed Information Management System, received and kept tracks of calls from employees and faculty
from the start of the phone call to the very completion the call started according to Bogardus. “The previous system was really good allowing things not to slip through the cracks, but It really didn’t add any value from a desktop standpoint,” Bogardu said, “When it came to being efficient at what we do, it did not keep the Knowledgebase part of the solution, have asset inventory control and it didn’t have a good reporting mechanism -- it just really allowed for us to keep track of tickets but it didn’t add any value or efficiency within IT.” The SOM utilized CallTracker for about 14 years before switching over to the TIMS system in 2000. Realizing there was a need for something better suited to its needs, the SOM will once again revert to the use of CallTracker.
‘Mary Coin’ endures through heartache Novel explores tragic human condition JEREMY WILLIAMS Contributing Writer Marisa Silver’s new novel blends an interesting collection of distant narratives set on an unforeseeable, coalesced course — tussling together multiple layers of the intricate complexity of “Mary Coin.” Depression-era stories like “Mary Coin” are quite common (like Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath,” or Tim Egan’s “The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl”). The women, Vera Dare and Mary Coin, have aspirations, desires and ups and downs while raising children, dealing with the trauma of fatherlessness, loneliness and consequential detachment. The women are from different walks of life, but anguish and despair connects them. Vera is a successful photographer with polio. Mary is a poor migrant worker, straddled by abject poverty and hungry children. Mary’s story begins in Oklahoma. She is the daughter of a migrant mother struggling to raise Mary and her siblings. Her story is contrasted with Vera’s life as a lonely photographer working for the Roosevelt Administration collecting photos of poor migrant camp-life. Walker Dodge is a present-day professor who discovers a photo of Mary Coin while salvaging through
the possesions of his recently deceased father, George. Walker sets out to find out if Mary Coin is in fact his grandmother. But Silver’s novel is not so common in that it is inspired by reallife photographer Dorothy Lange’s “Migrant Mother,” an image I’d first learned of six years ago while doing research on Depression-era novels. The photo, redolent of the Depression-era, is of a worn and weathered woman with her broken children resting along an obscure path. Lange took duty to record and collect via various photography assignments for the U.S. government. I wondered about the story of the “Migrant Mother” (later identified as Florence Owens Thompson) and how she got to that spot, that day, at that moment where the lives of Lange (Dare) and Thompson (Coin) would intersect. “Mary Coin” is depressing and tragic, but that isn’t the point. Silver’s story also is about an American experience in terrible times, a reminder that humans are fragile and weak in the face of Mother Nature. Mary Coin’s situation could have been different — a life’s trajectory spun in a different direction if only this and that hadn’t happened. Yet, Mary Coin endured her suffering plight. Vera Dare endured, too. And Marisa Silver’s magnificent novel also endures because she has illuminated our human capacity to endure.
Rockin’ on the Riverfront is back Annual concert series brings rock bands to Ren Cen every Friday PARRIS THOMAS Contributing Writer As the Detroit River’s warm breeze fills the air with summer excitement, Wayne State students take a break from school and focus on fun in the city. Music will be flooding Detroit’s summer as Bruno Mars, Little Mix, Justin Timberlake and multiple other artists hit the stage. If rock music makes your ears happy, then Rockin’ on the Riverfront is the place to be. General Motors is bringing the biggest rock concerts close to WSU, as they hold six free concerts on the Detroit River Walk. Rockin’ on the Riverfront is an annual concert series held in the heart of Detroit. For the past six years, General Motors and 94.7 WCSX-FM have brought some of the greatest rock bands to shake the streets of the Motor City. Once again, it is time to Rock ‘n’ Roll every Friday starting July 12 through Aug.16 at 7:30 p.m., outside of the Renaissance Center. Acts include: July 12: The Romantics (“What I Like About You”, “Talkin’ in Your Sleep”)
July 19: America (“A Horse with No Name”, “Sister Golden Hair”) July 26: Grand Funk Railroad (“Some Kind of Wonderful”, “We’re an American Band”) Aug. 2: Great White (“Once Bitten Twice Shy”, “Rock Me”) Aug. 9: Loverboy (“Working for the Weekend”, “Turn Me Loose”) Aug. 16: Night Ranger (“Sister Christian”, “(You Can Still) Rock in America”) For students at WSU who love classic rock, this is a great way to spend some time with friends and family without spending tons of money on a concert ticket. By tuning to 94.7 WCSX, listeners have the chance to get up close and personal with the rock bands by winning VIP tickets. FOX News is also giving away special meet-and-greet tickets to viewers. With the help of sponsors such as Chevrolet, 94.7 WCSX Classic Rock, Quicken Loans, Andiamo Riverfront, Joe Muer Seafood and the Marriott Detroit, Rockin’ on the Riverfront is able to provide food, fun and free concerts for the whole family.
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Chene Park kicks off summer concert series West-coast rapper Kendrick Lamar gives crowd reason to party LEJLA BAJGORIC
Contributing Writer On the cool spring night of June 5, a group of Black Hippies brought the sounds of South Central Los Angeles to Detroit and performed in front of an eager crowd at Chene Park. The line-up was predictable, based on the level of popularity that each rapper has gained. Jay Rock was the first one up, and everyone in the audience remained in their seats during his set. This didn’t upset the Watts gang member though, who took time to show his respect for the crowd. He recognized the amount of diversity and colors in the audience and gained the crowd’s approval by the time he performed “Hood Gone Love It,” his final song — all 5,000 seats were empty, because everyone was on their feet — mission accomplished. Next up was Ab-Soul, who may not
have much mainstream attention but has enough underground respect among the crowd of Detroiters to put on a memorable show, including a surprise appearance by Danny Brown. Soul took time to interact with the crowd and had them participating in a call-and-response, repeating “Soulo Hoe,” in between the artist’s rebellious pieces. Before he finished, he had a revelation to share with the crowd as “Pineal Gland” began to play: “You got three eyes,” Soul preached, as he reiterated the HiiiPower philosophy of Black Hippy. The vibe changed by the time ScHoolboy Q arrived as fans continued to grow anxious to see “Compton’s human sacrifice,” Kendrick Lamar, perform. The sun was beginning to set on the river and the stage lights were on Q, who energized the audience with tracks off of his acclaimed “Habits & Contradictions” album while at the same time promoting his anticipated “Oxymoron” project.
The intro from “The Art of Peer Pressure” began to play, soon transitioning into “Westside, Right On Time,” at which point the star of the night, Lamar, appeared, wearing a grey T.D.E. hoodie, camouflage pants and a genuine smile. Lamar revealed that at a previous show in Detroit -- before he had an album -- there were only nine people in the audience. Compared to this night’s 5,000, it’s obvious the artist has earned a great deal of support. He performed songs from previous projects for those day-one Kendrick fans, including “A.D.H.D.,” the romantic druggie anthem for ‘80s babies. When it was time to dive into “good kid, m.A.A.d. city,” Lamar began with “Money Trees,” with the crowd singing along to every word, not missing one “ya bish.” The energy in the audience doubled when Jay Rock came back out to perform his impressive verse. When Lamar performed “m.A.A.d.
City,” which he presented as Detroit’s opportunity to prove itself as the “livest” crowd on the tour, the entire group joined K. Dot on stage as they threw free merchandise into the audience. This time, there were no feet on the floor in the venue because all 5,000 fans were in the air, going “ape sh*t,” as Kendrick politely requested. He pointed out one fan as the “most turnt up”: Justin, a 12-year-old boy, who, according to Kendrick, represented the entire crowd. Kendrick left the stage after performing a handful of “Good Kid” tracks, only to come back a few minutes later, ending the night with the intuitive “Cartoons & Cereal.” It was now 11 on the dot. The boys of T.D.E. managed to exceed the night’s expectations. Kendrick said it himself — his show is more than a concert or performance: it’s a real party. As he walked off stage with the river still shining, he promised the fans that he will always come back to Detroit.
Monsters matriculate Pixar favorites go to college in new prequel
Senior Writer “Monsters University” is arriving in theaters and it deals with the college life of Mike Wazowski and James “Sulley” Sullivan and how they started their friendship. The director of the film and native metro Detroiter, Dan Scanlon, said the idea of the prequel came about because the production team wanted to more deeply explore the relationship between Mike and Sulley. “Early on, we loved the characters of Mike and Sulley and we loved the relationship. We always wanted to do
something with them again,” Scanlon said. “We kind of got together and talked about what that might be. That’s where we started thinking about how these guys met and learning a little bit more about that. Which led naturally to the college idea, and we loved the idea of doing,” he said. Kori Rae, the producer of the film, gave another reason why they picked the college setting. “I think we thought that it’s kind of a coming of age — that age between 18 and 22 is so crucial in all of our lives, whether you went to college or not,” Rae said. “And so we just think that’s kind of where you first are out on your own, you just figure out who you are,
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who you want to be. You can reinvent yourself, all of that kind of stuff, and so that was also really appealing, I think.” Scanlon said getting to sit in the seat and see what everyone does at Pixar to make the film better was amazing. Both Rae and Scanlon agreed on the fact that coming up with the story can be the hardest part of any movie. “It takes the most time in a lot of ways. Every Pixar film goes through a number of iterations. We’re always trying different versions of the movie to find our way toward the right version,” Scanlon said. Scanlon and Rae hope college students go see the film. They want college students to learn self-discovery and
friendship after viewing it. “I think that’s definitely something I experienced in college; that feeling of realizing this is going to be a lot harder than I thought,” Scanlon said. “Or maybe I’m not the person that I thought I was, and rather than giving up completely, really finding out who you are, that sense of self-discovery,” Scanlon said. Rae agreed with Scanlon on the fact that college is about “self-discovery and friendship and what that means as you go along that path of figuring out who you are and how important friendship is,” she said. Monsters University will be in theaters June 21.
PHOTOS BY JAMILAH JACKSON/THE SOUTH END
Detroit’s party of the year Opera House has attendees saying “Bravo Bravo!” JAMILAH JACKSON
The South End
Bravo Bravo! transformed the Detroit Opera House into the city’s biggest summer party. Guests were greeted by cocktail girls, and had their pictures taken on the red carpet. As soon as attendees walked through the double doors, they were handed glasses of complimentary champagne. Food, drinks and entertainment were included in the $105 ticket. In the Cadillac Café, guests enjoyed the sounds of “Beat Box Extraordinaire” Stevie Soul and Omar. Their set list included covers of pop songs from Miguel and Bruno Mars. During their performance in the small café, they invited friend-and-singer Ansara to join them for a jazz number. Stevie Soul’s sound effects included the traditional beat boxing technique and even the sounds of a trumpet. The sultry sounds of Stevie Soul and Omar were accompanied by the taste of 1917 American Bistro and Crème Detroipolis. Detroipolis’ sweet potato pie treats seemed to be crowd favorites. People could be seen indulging in the dark and white chocolate-covered treats. Outside, in the venue’s parking lots, partygoers were treated to the sounds of DJ Ryan Richards and Erno the Inferno. The smell of barbeque filled the air as guests stood in line to get a taste of R.U.B. BBQ Pub’s award-winning food. Upstairs, event sponsor McDonald’s transformed the Allesee Lounge into The McD Lounge. On the 1s and 2s was DJ L Boog playing all the latest in dance music. As the night progressed, L Boog played more and more hustle music and encouraged everyone in the room to get up and dance.
The most exciting part of the night had to be the main stage. The house of the main theater was transformed to resemble a premier Detroit night club. Chandeliers were installed and bar tables were everywhere. First to hit the main stage was Sin Hielo. Sean Blackman, Wayne Gerard and Rick Beamon enticed the crowd with sensual and sultry Latin music. Though few danced intially, as the set progressed more people flocked toward the stage to show off their moves. Sin Hielo ended their set with a mash-up of Van Morrison’s “Moon Dance” and the classic “Fever.” The Killer Flamingos followed Sin Hielo’s performance. The Flamingos’ high energy set list included covers of pop hits like “Moves like Jagger,” Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and “Party Rock Anthem.” As soon as the Flamingos hit the stage, everyone rushed to the front to dance the night away. Throughout their performance, the group played with the crowd. Guests would sing into the mic and the group even photo-bombed a few fan pictures. As The Killer Flamingos’ set wound down, the stage was set for DJ Godfather to take over. The native Detroit DJ (and one of Time Magazine’s 100 Best DJs) took Bravo Bravo! to another level. Spinning dance mixes intertwined with the hottest hip-hop songs, Godfather got the crowd loose (although the endless supply of alcohol helped too). Godfather also included a set of drums to give his sound a Latin flavor. Bravo Bravo! may be the best party Detroit has ever seen. The fashion, food and entertainment created a wonderful atmosphere and set the stage for Detroit’s big comeback. Bravo Bravo! put on a show for the city, bringing together people of all walks of life to have a good time.
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Robbie Taylor chats with TSE Local playwright talks inspiration, spirituality, nostalgia JEREMY WILLIAMS Contributing Writer On a bright, sunny day at Wayne County Community College’s Eastern campus, The South End met with local playwright Robbie Taylor to talk about art, writing, the current state of Detroit theatre and her upcoming play, “Rita.” Taylor regularly attends art classes at this campus, hoping to improve her painting techniques. She is currently working on a painting she calls “After the Dance.” Taylor interrupted her painting session to answer a few of our questions. Q: I’ve got a couple of questions I want to ask you about your upcoming play, “Rita,” but I want to get a little background information on you. How did you get into playwriting? A: I was in a play years ago. The name of the play was called “Making It to the Big Time.” I was in the play, but I soon realized that I wasn’t interested in being an actress; I wanted to be behind the scenes. I started off in photography, which is a very behind-the-scenes position, so I switched over to see how I would like it. I became a production assistant, and then it took off from there. Q: How did you get to The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute? Tell me about that experience. A: I was here in Detroit studying photography at the Center for Creative Studies. My friend Ira asked me if I wanted to go to New York. We had some experience with doing film work as extras in a movie called
“Collision Course” with Pat Morita and Jay Leno, the comedian. We did that for about a month before returning to a daily life and jobs. I was working at a dry cleaning store and attending school. Ira called me and asked if I’d call the Lee Strasberg School in New York to see if we could get an interview to get into the class. I got an interview. The lady conducting the interview didn’t think I was serious: she thought I was at a turning point in my life and wasn’t too sure or confident about where I was headed and what I wanted to do, but she eventually accepted me and I was thrilled. That was February of ’88, and by June of that year Ira and I were headed for New York and I was there forever. Q: Do you believe your creativity rests inside — that you are born with it? A: Yes. I remember wanting to be a photographer, and my mom bought me my first camera, and I would take pictures around the house. By the tenth grade, my mother hooked me up with a friend’s father — a photographer — and I went out with him a couple times to take pictures. Q: Anybody? A neighbor, perhaps, a teacher, or anybody you can recall as being instrumental in your creative development? A: No. I loved art classes in elementary, and I loved doing what I was doing. After a long period of not producing I returned to drawing in the ninth grade. I would spend my lunch period in Ms. Shriver’s class. She was the art teacher over at Henry Ford High School. She always allowed me to come in and work. It’s a gift, and God has blessed me with a
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gift of painting and writing. Q: What are some of the themes you like to deal with? A: I think my nostalgic approach comes from growing up in my grandparents’ home in Highland Park, watching “Bill Kennedy at the Movies” on television. Even as a kid I would watch these movies like “A Streetcar Named Desire” and it would capture my imagination. The Nicholas Brothers were very glamorous to me. Q: So for you it’s about history, it’s about the way we were. A: Yes. The time when things were simple but glamorous. Q: What are your thoughts on the Detroit art scene? A: Well, with some Detroit playwrights I’ve come to notice a certain style. I do go and watch and critique, but I stay in my little world. Q: You’re very independent. A: Yes, because I have my own little formula. Q: I know you like Dorothy and Marilyn for the nostalgic, feminine appeal in the sense of the kind of women they were, and the whole glamorous, feminine thing, but is there any artist you like, in general? A: I like Maya Angelou, Lorraine Hansberry and James Baldwin is excellent. At one time I read Terry MacMillan. After “Waiting to Exhale” I fell off; I had kids. But I haven’t had a lot of time to read as of late. I’ve been reading a book about the acts of the Bible. Q: We are going to get into that because I know you are a very spiritual person. Do you fuse your religious and spiritual beliefs with your writing, or does that become a theme
in your work? A: You have to. The message is always from God. I am his temple and he uses me to convey messages. Q: Describe your process of writing. When do you work? Do you keep a strict schedule or do you write when the urge hits? A: I write when the urge hits me. Q: What do you do when you have no inspiration to write? A: I tend to my children. Q: What would you consider to be the best intellectual training for the would-be writer? A: Reading is good. Networking is good. Q: So tell us about your new play, “Rita.” A: “Rita” is a story about a young lady who is a schoolteacher. It takes place in Harlem during the fifties. She lives with her mom, and she is waiting on this guy to marry her. It’s been a year, and you know how it goes back then; you could be dating for two months and then you get married. After years of no proposal, her mother becomes suspicious and doesn’t see Rita’s relationship going anywhere. Rita is also disappointed but she is prepared to wait a little longer than her mother. Q: I noticed “Rita” is set in Harlem during the fifties. Why did you choose that place and that time? Is it about the nostalgia of old-time love pursuits? A: Yes. Actually, many of the streets of Harlem today are untouched by time. I love it there. Q: If you could go back in time where would you go? A: I do go back in time … when I write …. through the art.
FEATURES ELI HOERLER/ THE SOUTH END
Office materials, industry redefined JENNIFER CLINE Features Correspondent For decades, giant brick-and-mortar stores have ruled the office and school supply market , offering very little excitement to the industry. However, as college students are well aware, purchasing paper, pens and other supplies is a necessary aspect of life, and this has allowed the industry to remain virtually unchanged for more than two decades. “It’s a $30 billion a year industry. I’d be the first one to say that it’s super unsexy and unexciting; there’s zero innovation and there’s nothing cool about it,” said Ryan Landau, co-founder of Chalkfly.com. “Like Zappos has done in the shoe industry or Diapers.com has done for mothers and parents, we’re really looking to make a big disruption in the office supply industry.” Offering more than 50,000 products from finger paint to index cards and a huge array in between, Chalkfly has created a progressive e-commerce store that has the potential to redefine the office supply industry. Located in the M@dison building, the start-up was created by Landau and his brother, Andrew, to offer a better alternative to consumers. Launched in July 2012, Chalkfly strives to create a quick and easy buying experience for customers while giving back to schools. With projected revenue of more
than $2 million for 2013, the 13-person team continues to evolve and strengthen the community and culture behind the brand. With each purchase, 5 percent is donated directly to teachers and schools. By establishing relationships with teachers, schools and various organizations, like Teach for America that work to enhance education in redeveloping schools, customers can determine precisely where the donations go. “It’s not a 5 percent that goes to some lofty charity; it’s 5 percent that goes back to your local school district,” Landau said. “If you’re buying in Detroit, we’re giving back to teachers that are in our network in Detroit. We’re a national company, but we try to be really hyper local.” The start-up recently launched a blog that will share teacher stories and showcase how donations have influenced classrooms nationwide. Landau estimates that about $10,000 has been donated thus far and that amount increases daily. Additionally, Chalkfly works to create the quickest, most user-friendly experience in the industry with 24-hour customer service. With more than 52 nationwide distributors, the start-up offers next-day shipping for free. While traditional stores require returns in less than 30 days, Chalkfly allows customers to send products back, free of charge, for up to a year. With a passionate team operating the ecommerce website, it produces a culture
that is unmatched by competitors. “I’ve never met a group of people who were more in love with their jobs and that seeps into every interaction our customers have with us,” Lisa Alberts, Chalkfly’s director of marketing, said. “We’re in the business of creating experiences.” For most companies, the creation process is led by a brilliant idea, followed by a plan to turn it into a profit. For Ryan and Andrew, however, Chalkfly was a way for them to return to Detroit, a city in which their family has a deep history. Ryan left his position at IBM Corp. in Washington D.C. and Andrew at Google Inc. in Chicago in order to become a part of Detroit’s technologydriven rebirth. “We saw what Dan Gilbert and Josh Linkner were doing to Detroit , and really this Detroit 2.0 movement, and at the time it wasn’t like, ‘oh my god, we’re going to start Chalkfly.’ It was, ‘oh my god, we know we need to be a part of this revolution and comeback,’” Landau said. The brothers’ grandfather owned a pharmacy in Detroit for years. With business in their blood, the pair spent their early adult years watching the decline of the automotive industry take its toll on Michigan. However, they both held a passion and optimism for the city’s future. “Andrew and I have always been close with each other … We always knew that we wanted to come back to Detroit and start a business,” Landau said.
Startup does more than supplies With the collaborative, technology-heavy environment at the M@dison building, companies like Chalkfly are given the resources to test ideas and make valuable connections. More than 30 start-ups are currently housed in the building renovated by Gilbert, and the Chalkfly team believes the atmosphere is invaluable to the city’s long-term success. “I’m originally from Metro Detroit and I really did not think I would live here as an adult. I’ve lived on three continents and I’ve never experienced a community like the one we have here in Detroit. Chalkfly just fits here,” Alberts said. One of the perks of operating in the M@dison building is the ability to get noticed by investors. Chalkfly recently secured $750,000 in funding from five companies like Detroit Venture Partners, a capital investing firm dedicated to the city’s revitalization. The office supply website will use this money for new technology like a mobile app launching next year, enhancing the brand, expanding merchandise options, marketing and growing the team. “Building this company in Detroit is special,” Landau said. “Not only is it great because we’re adding one more person to Chalkfly, but we’re really adding one more person to Detroit. I think this city is extremely special … There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity … The talent, resources, space — I could go on and on — this is the best place to do it.”
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PHOTOS BY KRISTIN SHAW/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Can you hear us ESPN? Team leads Detroit’s X Games bid ELI HOERLER The South End When Ian Studders heard that the X Games were leaving Los Angeles, he saw an opportunity. After several weeks, he convinced Kevin Krease to help out. They then contacted Garret Koehler and joined forces to figure out what it would take to bring the games to Detroit in 2014. Soon they were meeting with executives from ESPN, getting onto airplanes, and hiring famous turntableists for downtown Detroit parties. With Krease and Koehler taking lead on the project, Studders stepped back to take more of a support and advisory role. In the early days, the whole project was a leap of faith not unlike dropping into a halfpipe. Quitting a stable job in order to work on a project that may or may not pay off takes serious guts. The three met in college at Miami university of Ohio. Krease is a metro Detroit native, while Studders and Koehler are from Chicago. So how did self-described “liberal arts guys” with no experience or prior knowledge get this far? “It started by Googling,” Krease said, “We have no background in any of this. We don’t skateboard, we’ve never planned events. We saw the value out front, and just believed that it made
sense. That if we just say it over and over, and if we just figure out the right way to say it, people will get it.” People are, in fact, getting it. Eight months into their campaign, Detroit is one of four finalists being considered to host the games, and, according to a recent poll by ESPN, is in the lead. Social media sites have exploded with support for the bid. The official Facebook page has well over 17,000 likes, and Twitter is littered with the hashtag #XG2D, meaning of course, X Games to Detroit. To bring attention to their cause, they’ve been hosting parties around Detroit. In April, they threw a party in Eastern Market. In May, they impressed ESPN representatives with a Campus Martius bash, complete with graffiti artists, turntableist Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys fame, and, of course, a half pipe. After garnering enough support from stakeholders and the public, a formal bid to ESPN was made and is now finalized. Krease and Koehler’s DIY approach to the bid is mirrored by the culture of the X Games. “There’s a whole doit-yourself mentality that underpins action sports. To skate, build your own ramps, or find them. Go out into the city and find materials to turn into a playground,” Koehler said, “So it’s like, how do we bring out that mentality in a
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cool program?” If Detroit’s bid wins, the city will host the games for three years, starting next summer. All the funding will come from private sponsorships, according to Koehler. The city will only be responsible for providing security. Events will include skateboarding, BMX, motocross and rallycross (think motocross, but with cars). However Krease and Koehler want more than action sports at the Detroit X Games. “All the Detroit art should come out in this event. Ramps should be spray painted by Detroit graffiti artists. Detroit musicians should be a big part of doing the festival,” Koehler said, “ESPN is trying to figure out how to create a festival that really celebrates the lifestyle behind the sports. What it would be here is a three-day festival experience like Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza.” The location of each event is still to be determined, but Koehler speculated that the riverwalk would host the ‘street’ skate park, half pipes would be in Hart Plaza, and the motocross and rallycross events would be on the Belle Isle racetrack. Ford, a veteran sponsor of the X Games, will continue its support of the 2014 games. Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans has also come out in strong support of the games coming to Detroit, and will be Board Chairman if they do. Paxahau, the company behind the
Detroit Electronic Music Festival, is working with organizers of the bid, and will likely play a part in putting on the X Games if they come to Detroit. “This is a perfect case study of two liberal arts people that created work, even though we have no background in what we’re doing,” Krease said. “Our generation really needs to start thinking about creating your own job, instead of just wanting someone else to give you a job. No one told us we could do the X Games. You don’t need someone to hire you, you can just start working on something which is really interesting.” The X Games in Detroit could well be the next step in the continued revitalization of Detroit. It could bring in attention, business interests, and would make Detroit a destination for young people. ESPN has said that it will make a decision in June, but may not announce it until August. As the decision looms, the city seems to be screaming and holding its breath simultaneously. Organizers encourage people interested in supporting the bid to like the Facebook page, tell friends, and come to the events. The next event is tentatively scheduled for late June. To hear more about updates and events, visit the page at www.facebook.com/ XGamesDetroit.
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‘Belle Isle to 8 Mile’ makes visitors, residents local explorers First Detroit guidebook since the ‘80s features city essentials, oddities LYNN LOSH
Contributing Writer With over 100 neighborhoods, Detroit is not an easy place to navigate. Many tourists, as well as residents, get lost trying to find the city’s attractions. Fortunately, there’s a solution. “Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider’s Guide to Detroit” is a curated, comprehensive, printed guide to Detroit. The book features 1,000 sites and attractions, from the essential to the oddities of the city. Siblings, entrepreneurs and life-long Detroiters Andy, Emily and Rob Linn got the idea to start the book by meeting visitors to the city at their local shops, City Bird and Nest. “People would come in and be referring to restaurants that were closed, so we found ourselves making lots of detailed lists and maps for people, so we eventually thought that we should make a guide,” Emily Linn said. “We realized, through meeting people, that there hadn’t been a current, printed guide for Detroit since the ‘80s.” The trio used kickstarter.com, an online website used to request donations from supporters to help inventive and creative people fund their ideas. The book was written by contributing authors and edited by the three Linn siblings. “We quickly realized that it was going to take a lot of research to really be thorough with the guide,” Emily Linn said, “We really wanted to explore all parts of the city, even parts we weren’t really very familiar with. It grew organically, a lot of people contributed to ideas to the project. We had some focus groups with people in different neighborhoods, had survey tables at events, and we emailed out surveys. People were enthu-
siastic and wanted to contribute. We had hundreds of people contribute ideas, but probably about 35 writers contributed to the project.” It took two years, with an especially intensive six months, to complete the book. Between Oct. 18, 2012, and Nov. 12, 2012, the Linn siblings were able to raise nearly $20,000, and got a total of 472 supporters. They had only asked for $8,000. The extra funds were used to give copies to as many of the 691 public libraries in Michigan that they could afford to. Donators who pledged money also received gifts starting at pins and going all the way up to the Linn’s helping them plan a trip and a customized itinerary with bed and breakfast covered. “(The support) was really gratifying. People were so supportive (of the project) and that sort of buoyed us and helped us finish it. We were really grateful through the support we got through Kickstarter. We received a couple small grants through some local (businesses), from Detroit Soup and Awesome News Foundation Task Force and that was awesome,” Emily Linn said. The book paints an enlightening portrait of the city, taking what many considered a bleak canvas and splashing color over it by showing what the city has to offer. “Even as lifelong Detroiters, through research, surveys and on-the-street research, we realized there were so many places we didn’t know about,” Emily Linn said, “We learned a lot doing it.” The book divides Detroit into 10 chapters. Within each chapter, the siblings tried to include the most classic, unique and exciting attractions. Corktown, Eastern Market, Midtown and downtown all have their own chapter, while Highland Park and Ham-
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tramck share one. “Belle Isle to 8 Mile” covers major attractions such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, as well as minor attractions like Archer Record Pressing, one of 10 record-pressing plants in the world. “There (are) lots of businesses that had been around for a long time, lots of different vestiges from different groups of immigrants in the city (where) the neighborhood has changed over time, but the business stayed, like Knudsen’s Danish bakery from an area that used to be a Danish neighborhood. (These) are remnants from when people from different areas lived in those neighborhoods,” Emily Linn said. The book combines Detroit’s history, cultural attractions and businesses alike in its 450 pages. “In addition to all the new businesses coming up, there are smaller older businesses we found. There’s a go-kart track in Detroit called Della’s Go-Karts,” Emily Linn said. “A place we have always been going to and were excited to include was called John’s Carpet House. It’s Sunday blues on the near east side. The house is gone, but the musicians still gather where the house was, and people cook out. Also, Raven Lounge is an old bar, where old Motown singers used to and still hang out.” The financial crisis Detroit has been going through for the past several years has caused many to forget the hidden gems of the city. “Belle Isle to 8 Mile” is not only a comprehensive guide to Detroit, but it is also a way to introduce and remind the public of some of the city’s forgotten treasures. John K. King’s Used & Rare Books, of Corktown, is one of these gems. The downtown location holds around 750,000 books. The Corktown chapter also includes favor-
ites such as Slow’s, Nemo’s, Nancy Whiskey and Green Dot Stables. Mike’s Antiques on Morang, on Detroit’s east side, is another gem covered in the book. The store has been around for almost 25 years. In February, The Detroit Bus Company planned a Belle Isle to 8 Mile three-hour bus tour, showing the city’s most curious attractions. One of the contributors to the book led the tour. “The other side of it is, we’re really excited to direct people, you know, visitors or people who are moving here, or long term residents to all the businesses of our city, and drive business downtown. Of course it includes all the places downtown, but we were really excited to include some things in more outlying neighborhoods,” Emily Linn said. The Linns have received amazing feedback from the public, but are getting to work on a second edition of the book to keep up with the ever-changing map of Detroit. “Things change fast in Detroit, so we’re working on the next edition now. The guide came out in December (2012) and we were adding things that had just opened a week before it went to press. Some things have closed since then, and of course there are new things opening.” Emily Linn said. Being such a large city and having roots dating back 300 years makes Detroit a hard place to get around, and even to remember where a location you enjoyed was. The Linns hope that they have given people a guide they can use to find new and old treasures. “We’re really enthusiastic about Detroit and love the city,” Emily Linn said, “It was exciting for us to discover these places and share them with other people. We hope that people will use the guide to help them discover the city.”
SPORTS COURTESY WSU ATHLETICS
The best of the best WSU athletes win awards HUMBERTO MARTINEZ JR. Sports Correspondent Swimming and Diving Wayne State senior swimmer Nathan Hesche and sophomore diver Dylan Szegedi were named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) All-American At-Large Second Team on June 5. The CoSIDA honor is just one of many accomplishments on Hesche’s resumé. He earned four All-America accolades, including one First Team honor as part of the seventh-place 400 medley relay, at the 2012 NCAA Championships and 16 All-American honors overall at WSU. Szegedi became just the second WSU men’s diver and the first in 31 years to win a national title as he won the one-meter competition (529.65)
at the 2013 NCAA Championships. He was the GLIAC Diver of the Year at last season’s NCAA Championships, and received a 2012-2013 GLIAC AllAcademic Excellence Team selection this season. Szegedi is the first men’s diver to receive CoSIDA Academic All-American honors. Baseball Three members of the Wayne State baseball team were voted to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) All-Midwest teams. Utility man Brad Guenther was a NCBWA All-Midwest First Team selection. The 2013 GLIAC Player of the Year and All-GLIAC First Team honoree was also named to the ABCA/ Rawlings All-Midwest Second Team. Guenther finished his senior season with a .361 batting average and
41 RBI. He finished with a slugging percentage of .574 and became the program’s all-time walks leader with 104 base on balls. Senior outfielder Kasey Koster was named to the NCBWA All-Midwest Second Team. Also an All-GLIAC First Team selection, Koster hit .344 with four home runs, 40 RBI and finished with a .484 slugging percentage. This is Koster’s second All-Region honor as he was a Daktronics All-Midwest Second Team selection as well. Also named to the second team was Alex Pierse after going 7-2 with a 2.14 ERA. The senior threw four complete games this season with three shutouts, earning him a Daktronics AllMidwest First Team and All-GLIAC First Team nod. Golf The Golf Coaches Association of
America (GCAA) voted two members of the Wayne State men’s golf team, Eric Johnson and Tyler LaSerra, to its Division II PING All-Midwest team. Johnson, a senior, was the 20122013 GLIAC Golfer of the Year and an All-GLIAC First Team selection. He finished the season with three top five finishes and a stroke average of 74.58. Johnson also received the GLIAC Golfer of the Week award on April 9. LaSerra, a redshirt freshman, was named the 2012-2013 GLIAC Freshman of the Year, as well as an AllGLIAC First Team selection. His season included two individual victories and four other top ten finishes to go with a stroke average of 73.65. LaSerra was also named to the GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team and earned a GLIAC Golfer of the Week honor on April 22.
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“MOTOR CITY PRIDE”
VIEW THE ENTIRE GALLERY AT THESOUTHEND.WAYNE.EDU
PHOTOS BY KRISTIN SHAW/ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
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