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Grant boosts technology research NEI awards Wayne State $820,000 for better service



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CORRESPONDENT CHRIS EHRMANN Wayne State’s Technology Commercialization Office was awarded over $820,000 in grant aid from the New Economic Initiative for Southeast Michigan. The grant helps create and expand on the office’s focus and goal of providing “high level, quality assistance and services to WSU researchers and our industry partners to maximize the availability of next generation technologies that will benefit society worldwide,” according to their website and the Technology Commercialization Office. Two divisions focus on three areas: technology transfer, new venture creation and facilitating


interactions between industry and WSU’s faculty. The first half of the grant money that the office applied for was initially received in 2012 and now the office is receiving the second half of the money. The New Economy Initiative (NEI) launched in 2008 as a philanthropic initiative to help put southeast Michigan on the map of the new global economy. According to the NEI website, they are committed to increasing prosperity and expanding opportunity for all residents and communities in the region. So far 10 national and local foundations have committed $100 million to the eight year initiative of the acceleration of the metro Detroit economy. Some of the foundations include the McGregor Fund, Skillman Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation. “The funding will be used to create the infrastructure to expand the pipeline of faculty-

disclosed inventions and to accelerate the translation of high-potential inventions into commercially viable products and services,” Interim Assistant Vice President for Technology Commercialization Joan Dunbar said. “The Tech Commercialization outcomes will also contribute to local economic development through workforce development and job creation, entrepreneurial enterprises and the ability to attract federal and venture funding to the region.” Dunbar also gave some specific goals of establishing a fund program to support proof of concept and validation studies for early stage technologies. Another goal of the program is to train the next generation of entrepreneurial scientists, in addition to supporting a “Mentors in Residence”to help the business model and business plans for WSU start-ups. She also said that this will help student entrepreneurs be-

cause they are working closely with WSU Blackstone Launchpad and Tech Town. According to their website, Blackstone Launchpad, which opened it 2010, is funded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, and is a place that offers career guidance, resources and advice to entrepreneurs, innovators, and inventors at WSU. Blackstone’s primary goal is to show Wayne State students that starting a new venture is a real career path, and to encourage WSU students to do so in metro Detroit, so it can help continue the growth of the region. Dunbar said that the money the office received from the grant will be managed by the commercialization office and the office of the Vice President for Research. Windfall from the grant will help WSU, and metro Detroit, in revitalizing the city with new technology, research and business ventures.


Author reveals “Proper Secrets” Love letter to Jane Austin is not a sugar coated story JEREMY WILLIAMS Contributing Writer

Historical romance writer Rachel Francis has a new book on the shelves, and she recently discussed her work, life and future ambitions with The South End. She has always shown an interest in Jane Austen and said “Proper Secrets” is a love letter to the famous feminist writer. This is what Francis had to say: Q: Tell us a little bit about you outside of being an author. A:I live in the Midwest with my children, and enjoy sketching, gaming and reading. Q: Tell us a little bit about your recent release. A: “Proper Secrets” is my love letter to Jane Austen. There were many social elements I wanted to explore, and this style of story really packs a punch in character interaction. Within the book I cover the value of keeping secrets, having the fortitude to look at a relationship with logic instead of being swept away into an ultimately painful situation, and double standards between men and women. The main character, Emily Worthing, has her mind set on her principles and the way she wants her life to turn out. From his arrival, Mr. Wingrave challenges her to examine the black and white value she assigns everything. At the same time, Emily refuses to excuse his inconsistencies, which strains them both to their breaking point. Q: How did you come up with the title? A: I usually come up with a working title when I start writing to make conversation with my writing confidantes easier. Proper Secrets was the working title because of the idea going in that some secrets may not be right, but have an appropriate time for revelation, and

I couldn’t think of a title more fitting. Q: What credentials establish you as an expert in your field or have contributed to your suc cess as an author? A: Graduating from Holly Lisle’s How To Think Sideways course in addition to several of her shorter clinics has turned my writing career into a viable option as opposed to a dream. Q:What was your motivation for writing this book? A: The recent climate in romance concerns me, not that I think escaping into an unrealistic fantasy is bad, but taking those expectations out into the real world is both ridiculous and liable to make anyone miserable. I wanted to write a piece that stressed the strength of holding out for what is going to bring the greatest long-term joy, instead of giving in to unhealthy relationships. At the same time, it’s important to realize that pain comes to everyone, and even making the right decision can temporarily hurt. Q: Tell us some of the factors that make your book unique. A: Books are unique when the author puts some of themselves in the pages. I created an alternate Europe to play with, in order to establish the correct atmosphere and external conflict. The antagonist, Jude, is a special blend of warped logic and selfcenteredness. He perfectly matches Emily’s arguments with infuriatingly charming yet twisted rebuttals. Mr. Wingrave isn’t perfect. He and Emily have to grow throughout the course of the book simply to keep up with each other, and to have a slim chance at a happy ending. Q: What is the single most important thing that readers of your book will be able to do af ter reading “Proper Secrets”?

A: I hope that readers will be able to step back and recognize what they may be expecting of their significant other that is sugar-coated nonsense, and what is a reasonable expectation of growth and development. Q: Are there any controversial elements in your book? A: Without giving too much away, I also explored self-guilt, sexual shaming, and briefly touched on suicide. Q: What did you learn while writing this book? A: It’s not so much what I learned as what I put into words about how I view love and honesty. I knew that honesty was a key component for me to deep, fulfilling, sustainable love, but I didn’t realize how much I dislike the period of deception a lot of modern couples go through when trying to form relationships. It’s a waste of time to fake reality and excuse tiny (yet important red flag) flaws because once you really dig deep into being with another person, the illusion drops and those flaws can become huge, deal-breaking problems. Q: What is one thing about writing you wish others would understand? A:It takes remarkable focus to produce a quality work. Quality will always be debatable at a certain level, but I spent months of my life refining and building and polishing my novel. Writing is tough mental exercise, if you’re doing it right. Q: If you could change one thing you did during your road to publication, what would it be? What would you have done differently? A: I am really pleased with the publication of “Proper Secrets”. It was the smoothest story to write and edit,


mostly because I knew what I was doing this time. Q: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? A: Holly Lisle. She makes you roll up your sleeves and get down into the nitty-gritty pieces of writing as a career. Q: What are your current projects? A: My current projects are a comic fantasy serial which I post for free on my website, and a novel in the works about a legendary thief hero. Q:What advice would you give an aspiring author? A: Don’t wait for inspiration; you’ll never finish a book that way.



DEMF lights up Detroit’s techno festival draws music lovers KATHERINE ADDY Contributing Writer Memorial Day Weekend came to a close with another successful turnout at Detroit’s Movement Electronic Music Festival. Despite the uncharacteristicly cold and rainy weather, tens of thousands of fans poured into Hart Plaza to celebrate an eclectic mix of electronic music. The festival continued its grand tradition with five stages, including a newly dubbed Electric Forest stage and an expanded VIP area. The starstudded weekend filled the city with techno fans from around the globe. Featuring 115 artists and nearly 25 official after parties, the streets of Detroit teemed with excitement. Techno giants Richie Hawtin and Moby headlined Saturday night. Hawtin played the steady, minimalist techno he is known for, and packed the main stage amphitheater with elated fans. Moby surprised many fans by spinning an unexpected DJ set mostly featuring new-school dubstep, as opposed to the techno and break-beat hardcore music he became widely known for in the 90s. Despite the genre change, scores of dancing festivalgoers filled the riverside Beatport stage for his memorable set. The festival opened Sunday with performances from two Detroit natives: Grant “K@dog” Jackson and John “Calico” Davis. The day continued with knockout performances from funk-house duo Soul Clap and Dirtybird’s own Jessica “J Philip” Phillippe. Known for being the birthplace of techno, Detroit has become a mecca for fans that come from all over the world to experience Movement. This


unique situation gives performers the freedom to experiment with and expand the definition of electronic music year after year. “In Detroit, the people really appreciate DJs for being DJs and not being like robots,” Phillippe said. “You’re not supposed to be perfect.” When asked about her first trip to Detroit, Phillippe recalled, “I wanted to come for the music; I didn’t know much about the city. I drove in and saw all of the abandoned buildings and abandoned high-rises, I thought it was beautiful. Beautiful in a way, but, also one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen.” Despite battling a bad reputation, Detroit has remained a cornerstone in the techno community, promoting creativity and giving like-minded people a canvas on which to express themselves. On Monday, two of the three men credited with creating techno, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May, came together as High Tech Soul Concept. Their performance rocked the main stage amidst screaming fans and pouring rain. When the festival came to an end, the official closing party at Leland City Club began. Michigan native Seth Troxler, born in Kalamazoo and raised in Detroit, headlined the event. The club was packed wallto-wall with music lovers not quite ready for the weekend to be over. “Paxahau and all the people involved provided exactly what the city needed -- an event that stimulated the economy and boosted the morale of the people,” long-time techno enthusiast Kristopher Krzeszak said. “The countdown to next year’s Movement festival has already begun.”




Make way for royalty Independent film by local director,“The Kings of Summer,” hits the big screen

CHRISTOPHER EHRMANN Contributing Writer “The Kings of Summer” premiered at the 2013 Sundance film festival to enthusiastic reviews. The film’s director and Royal Oak native Jordan Vogt-Roberts talked about how he got into filmmaking and his experience during the filming of “The Kings of Summer”. “I grew up in Royal Oak and, as a kid, I was always making stop motion movies with my dad’s camera and my action figures,” Roberts said. “When I got to college I couldn’t figure out what to do. Do I want to study philosophy, or sociology, or history? So I was like, you know what let me try out this filmmaking thing. Let me see if I can synthesize all of those things into one, and then I started making shorts on the internet.” Roberts’ internet shorts, like “Successful Alcoholics”, eventually lead him to creating other things,

such as the Comedy Central original “Mash Up”. “Successful Alcoholics” was made with a very specific tone which Roberts related to that while making “The Kings of Summer.” “That short had a really specific, tricky tone and this movie obviously has a really tricky tone as well,” Roberts said. As far as casting for “The Kings of Summer”, the film features well-known actors including Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie, and Mary Lynn Rajskub. Roberts also balances the stars out with some relatively unknown actors, mainly to capture the teenage spirit of the film. The three actors, who play main characters Joe Toy, Patrick Keenan, and Biaggio, are Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, and Moises Arias. “It was important for me that the kids felt like they were a bit of a discovery, not casting movie stars, and I didn’t want to cast anybody who was too old. Hollywood’s

tendency would be to have the 22 year-old to play the teenager. I wanted them to feel authentic and real. I also wanted them to be close to that age because it is a re ally tricky age,” Roberts said. The film’s main character, Joe Toy, is a high school student who is becoming increasingly frustrated with his father, Frank, and the way he is attempting to control his life. With the help of his best friend Patrick and a strange kid that they meet named Biaggio, the three escape their problems by running away into the woods to try and live on their own and be their own men. Alone in the woods, the three become even closer and work to live in a house that they build on their own. “The movie is very clearly born out of old movies, like “Goonies”, and “Stand By Me” and clearly inspired by John Hughes and Terrence Malick. That mash up mentality leads it to making something

new,” Roberts said. For Roberts the best part of making the movie was the process. “The whole experience, it was a very hard movie to make, we didn’t have a lot of money, and not a lot of time, and we wanted to make a movie that felt big, that had scope, that felt cinematic. There were a lot of battles to be fought, but the whole experience, I’m a different person, I don’t want to get cheesy about it, but I am.” Roberts said rest is the next thing on his agenda. “I am going to sleep for a solid month and relax. I just want to find a script I love. I want to make something that even more reminds me of the movies I grew up on.” He explained that when all of this is said and done it will be about three years of his life. Three years is a big chuck of time to devote to one thing and now Roberts wants to find something that will be worth at least another three years.


Local storefront gives Detroit designers sales opportunity Follow The Local Collective on Instagram @thelocalcollective for updates JAMILAH JACKSON The South End The Local Collective opened its doors to the public for the first time June 1. The eclectic storefront on the corner of Livernois Avenue and Seven Mile Road, features 15 designers hailing from the Metro Detroit area. Store owner and founder Alfred Chase Majors said he got his inspiration from his late father. “I always grew up around him and I was always taught business,” said Majors. Majors’ father created a strip mall across the street from Marygrove College. According to Majors, the Local Collective was created to help bring other local design-

ers to the forefront. “It’s something different and it gives people a storefront,” he said. Majors is also the owner of his own design label, WoodWorkz Clothing, which features snapback caps with wood brims. “I was a struggling designer,” he said. “I started off with one hat.” Majors wanted to give people a fresh look that wasn’t already on the market and learned to create the wood brims by himself. His first attempt at fusing wood with clothing resulted in a wood belt. Majors acquired the three-level storefront just days after his father passed away. The main floor is the actual storefront where


customers can purchase clothing and accessories from all of the designers. “It’s a lot of one of a kind items,” he said. “You can’t go to the store down the street and find the stuff that we have.” The top floor is now an art gallery, but until recently Majors didn’t know how he was going to utilize the space. “I said “let’s get all the paint and just throw it on the floor’ because we couldn’t afforad any carpet or rugs.” Majors said. So he provided all of the designers and some artist friends with buckets of paint. The top floor is now splattered with paint and a painting of Barry Sanders can be seen on the floor at the top of the steps.

Majors’ envisioned the basement to be an event lounge. “We’ll have poetry nights, girls night out -I got a whole list,” Majors said. The area will also be available for different groups to rent out for their own events. The grand opening of The Local Collective brought out the community and enticed them with a barbeque cookout and music. Majors also invited troubled youth from the community to show them a good time. The storefront features free parking behind it and a Foot Locker right next door. “A person can buy the outfit, go match with the shoes and then wear it here that night.”


ELI HOERLER/ THE SOUTH END All-natural aromas of soap and oils fill the shop, open Tuesday-Saturday from 11- 8.

All natural, all homemade Amyra Woods Contributing Writer

Connecting beauty with community is the business of The Natural Market, a new shop at 204 E. Grand River, which sells all natural cosmetics. Owner of The Natural Market and Wayne State University graduate Victoria Roby, 26, said that owning her own business was something that she always wanted to do. Pure ingredients set her apart from most retailers, she said, adding that all of her products are high quality for her customers to enjoy the handcrafted bath and body products. “I use jojoba oil, pure African shea butter and pure fruit extract to create the fragrances. I need my products to have the best because I like the best for myself and want to share that with others.” Other cosmetic products claim to use those ingredients in their products but they don’t use enough for customers to reap the benefits, she said. Suzanne Wright and Louise Chang, MD stated on that consumers should “keep in mind as you try these natu-

ral skin care remedies that many of them may not contain enough of the ingredient to make a difference. A drop of an extract in a two-ounce product is most likely not enough.” Roby said that she makes sure each product is “absolutely perfect” and that her products contain more of the natural oils than her competitors’ products. “Unfortunately, products containing only such trace amounts of active ingredients for marketing purposes are still the majority on the market,” said Thomas Bombeli, MD, a Seattle-based member of the International Society of Dermatology and founder of the Shenui, Inc. Roby said she feels like other companies do not care enough about the needs of their customers. Global Healing Health Center’s website stated, “government regulations allow virtually any ingredient to be used in the manufacture of products that we use daily on our skin, hair and nails and in the water we drink.” “The problem is that they [Food and Drug Administration] do not pay as much attention to skin care and make-up as they

Products connect beauty, community

should, thereby allowing some very harmful chemicals to be used in creating almost every product that is mass marketed,” according to the aforementioned website. Moreover, health and wellness are important for Roby, but she said that she didn’t start out on this pathway. She began her college career as a Med Start student with hopes of becoming a doctor. However, throughout her course work she said that she was not engaged or inspired to continue on that track. She said business and marketing called to her. She enjoyed the fast pace of business and the immediate connections she made to other people in the community. After working at H&R Block, then Campbell & Ewald in Atlanta, Roby said that she wanted to be self-employed and make something that she loved to help the community. Though her products help the individual, she said she wants her company to positively influence local Detroit communities. Roby, said “because this is The Natural Market, it should impact the community in a positive way. Next week I will be working with the Detroit Young Professionals. We

will do more clean up and giving support. I want to make sure that I’m giving back.” Her contributions are base around being environmentally friendly, not just being kind to the human body and soul, but spreading that kindness to the environment we share. According to Roby, none of the natural products she found on the market satisfied her needs; in that moment, she decided to make natural skin and hair care products herself. Roby makes all natural hair and body butters, soaps, scrubs, oils, lip balms and candles. Her next venture is making facial scrubs she said. Roby said that she feels invested in her clients’ well-being since; they are counting on her to use the best ingredients for their health and wellness products. Furthermore, Roby said she would love to expand the business and her message. “I have a great deal of passion for total health, wealth, and beauty,” Roby wrote, “Beauty is being comfortable with who you are. Our products create a multi-sensory reaction while motivating you with confidence to move forward and take on the day.”



Paying it forward for students Organization helps teens overcome barriers to success MEGHA JAGANNATHAN

Staff Writer With the plethora of problems plaguing Detroit, there have been several solutions thrown about to restore the city to its former glory. However, none seem to address one of the cornerstones of Detroit’s misery: the unemployed young adults with unfulfilled potential. Pay It Forward aims to employ the youth, as well as educate them on proper real-world workforce skills. Their mission is to create opportunities to revive the robustness of the city, and, in their short existence, have been generally successful in their goals. Pay It Forward was founded two years ago by Charlie Cavell, a “crazy, enigmatic, energetic guy who would start a conversation with anyone,” Pay It Forawrd Executive Director Dom Holmes said. Cavell was on a transit bus home when he struck up casual conversation with another passenger concerning unemployment in Detroit.


After the conversation, Cavell began considering the barriers the youth of Detroit face more seriously, and was motivated to begin Pay It Forward to combat the lack of social mobility young adults often face. Today, Pay It Forward is a budding institution that focuses on three pillars for success: employment, education and empowerment. To start employment, Pay It Forward matches clients with participating business partners with which they receive decent living wages as well as the potential to advance. “We try to get businesses that suit our needs and that are interested in our population. It’s sometimes difficult, but typically interns have the ability to choose their own business,” Holmes said. Past business partners have included Tim Horton’s and other local franchises. When a typical applicant first enters Pay It Forward, they complete a survey sheet to assess their interests, prior training, certifications and education levels. Although this

is helpful in placing the individuals, Holmes says, interns are generally just given the options of whatever current business partners PIF has at the time. The next aspect of the program is the several educational sessions offered. “We always encourage them to continue their education, and we offer tutoring to that effect,” Holmes said. All program participants receive resume and skills development, 16-week job coaching, grievance resolution training and social services assistance. Participants also have the option to receive GED preparation courses. “The thing that makes me passionate about Pay It Forward is the mentoring support system,” Holmes said. “The goal of Pay It Forward is to knock down barriers that lead to gainful employment. We want to help people take care of those backend issues, and a lot of times those are health care issues, child care issues, education issues … one thing we’re currently working on is forming a

larger education component as part of the program because we know how important it is. We send people to certification programs, and get them coaching programs to coach them through.” In terms of fundraising, Pay it Forward’s primary source of funding is contracts with various participating businesses including a contract with the Michigan Economic Development Commission. In addition, they recently began a partnership with University of Michigan graduate students to begin a successful fundraising program. Though young, Pay It Forward is determined to meet its goal of widening the workforce base of Detroit as well as eliminating the barriers into which many young adults were born into. As their mission states, their focus is the “cause, and the symptom.” They not only focus on immediate results, but also sustainability. Pay It Forward will certainly make a large impact on Detroit in the years to come, and this impact will be the fuel to revitalize the city as a whole.

Tours show off best of Detroit


Contributing Writer Detroit. Just the name of the city brings to mind images of devastation and ruin. Few are focusing on the resurgence of the city that was once dubbed the “Paris of the Midwest.” Show Me Detroit Tours is one of the few. The narrated daily sightseeing tours are offered at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The chauffeured two-hour van tours give tourists and Detroiters alike a fun, new introduction to the cities highlights and attractions. Tour guides Kim Rusinow and Pat Haller wanted to give a personalized and entertaining way to show others the unique regions of greater Detroit. Both native Detroiters, they have an intimate knowledge of the city. “There’s no shortage of interest in Detroit.” Haller said. “Half of our audience is international.” The Greater Detroit Tour covers down-

town, Greektown, Corktown, Eastern Market, Belle Isle, art andarchitecture, Campus Martius Park, the Stadium andEntertainment district, Midtown and the Cultural Center, Riverwalk andRivertown, the Heidelberg Project and landmarks, as well as legends and lore. “The tour tends to be an overview, so they can make a plan later and view things they liked again.” Haller said. The tours show the city in a unique light, focusing on the history and the renaissance that Detroit is currently going through. They give information that many may not have known prior to taking the tour and give tourists a view of the hidden gems of the city. “It was really fun and informational.” WSU student Michael Smyth said. The tours focus mostly on the downtown area, but the tour guides show some of the less attractive sights of the city too. “We call our tours ‘The Pretty and the Gritty.’” Haller said, “We show the ruins of the city because it tells the story. We


talk about the challenges of too much land and too few people, the loss of population.” Detroit has been on the rebound, and the tour aims to show what the city has to offer. As a newer company —they just started rolling in April of 2012 — Show Me Detroit Tours is still getting it’s legs. They recently partnered with Motor City Brew Tours and gave a Detroit Auto/Brewery History Tour. The collaboration was a success and there has been discussion regarding collaborating again and doing similar collaborations. “We’re (still) finding our way,” Haller said, “We’re cautiously looking at other collaborations. The culture and architecture of the city is really on display in these tours. Some of Detroit’s most fascinating attractions deal with art and music. “Motown” is never far from anyone’s memory and the Detroit Institute of Art is always a great place to go to appreciate culture

from around the world. “There are some outstanding cultural institutions here, and then we have locations like the Heidelberg project as well. It’s really showing both sides of art,” Haller said. Detroit has seen some tough times in the past few decades, but there are still things in the city that has many features from it’s former glory. “We take some things for granted.” Haller said. “Many cities and towns don’t have architecture like Detroit. I take (tourists) to the Guardian and Fisher Buildings, and they always say how beautiful they are.” Detroit has architecture dating back to 1887, and a rich history to go along with it. Everything about the city isn’t old though, there are new and exciting things happening in Detroit, and people taking the tour have noticed. “People think Detroit has potential.” Haller said. “Sometimes, before the tours, they might not think that, but I hear it a lot after.”


LSA shares rich, diverse Lebanese culture Students bring traditions, celebrations to campus

Zeinab Najm Staff Writer

When Jessyca Mourani came to Wayne State, she saw the huge population of Lebanese students and couldn’t believe there wasn’t an organization for them. She is now president of Wayne State’s Lebanese Student Association, which has been active for two years. “I love the Lebanese culture, everything about it. The close knit relationships and how intertwined you are with everyone in your family,” Mourani said, “It’s so rich and diverse and if you look back in history of Lebanon, the struggles our ancestors have gone through to get Lebanon to where it’s at. It’s a beautiful thing.” Events organized by LSAs at Oakland University, the University of Michigan and University of Michigan-Dearborn inspired Mourani too. “I would go to different events that the other LSAs threw and thought this would be great at Wayne,” she said. She bounced the idea of an LSA at Wayne off several students, and they all gave positive reactions. After that, she started building from the ground up. “We really formed it from scratch, created our constitution and in less than a month we had 300 members,” Mourani said.

Social Chair Rayan Halwani has been with LSA since it was created. “Jessyca approached me about starting the group and I said that’s a great idea because we don’t have one,” Halwani says, “I really took an interest because I wanted to spread the Lebanese awareness and make events everyone can go to.” In her role as social chair, Halwani does just that. She controls the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for LSA along with answering questions and getting the news out to students. Informing everyone about the Lebanese culture is also done through the social, culture and volunteer events of LSA. “Social events are when we try to get everyone together and have a good time. We try to incorporate Arabic music and stick to our roots even though we are in America,” Mourani said. The LSA’s annual gala is their chance to give back to the students involved. They invite a speaker to speak to the students about Lebanon and their connection to it, give away scholarship money and end the night with a huge party and an Arabic singer. “Cultural events include educating our youth about Lebanon in general,” she says. They invite speakers to talk about the history of Lebanon’s Independence Day, Nov. 22, why they became indepen-

dent and where they are today. At the end they sing the National Anthem of Lebanon and cut a big cake in the shape of the Lebanese flag to celebrate. The LSA helps the community by working with non-profits in Dearborn who deliver food to Arabic families of low income. “We split up into groups and deliver food to them. We get to knock on the door and see them; they’re so happy to see us,” Mourani said. To get people interested in LSA, Mohamad Dabaja creates the relationships with supporters for the association, and he loves his role as outreach coordinator. “I thought to myself since freshman year we need more Lebanese influence on campus,” he says. “When Jessyca approached me with the opportunity to take part in making that happen, I did not hesitate to take the offer,” Dabaja said. “I make them feel welcome and encourage and motivate them to volunteer for the various opportunities LSA has to offer that will help them out later on in their lives,” he said. What Dabaja does on a smaller scale is done on a bigger scale under the Lebanese Collegiate Network (LCN) that connects all the LSAs together. Representatives of LSA just came back from an annual convention in Indiana

at Purdue University where they get to know other Lebanese students from LSAs across the country. Joining LSA is easy; you just have to be a Wayne State student and sign up for email alerts or just go to a student body meeting. Halwani says, “When I first joined this board, we really didn’t know each other. After all the things we’ve been through, I feel like I came out with a new family.” Members of LSA have a lot of pride for their Lebanese culture and enjoy their experiences that come along with being a part of it. “By far my most favorite experience is the opportunity to meet the large diverse amount of Lebanese students on campus. I was shocked, because I had been on campus for 2 years and hadn’t met nearly half the Lebanese students that I know now,” Dabaja said. LSA carries on the Lebanese tradition but Mourani knows there’s still more to do. “Lebanon used to be called the Paris of the Middle East because it was at such a high peak, and to see where it is now is a very sad thing,” she said, “it’s our youth that’s going to be the changes.” “If we’re not proud of our culture and make those changes, than who’s going to be able to do it?” Dabaja said.

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Detroit builds up steam Convention brings steampunk to city KATELYN BURKART

Contributing Writer

The inaugural flight of the “Up in the Aether” steampunk convention was held over Memorial Day weekend at the DoubleTree Hotel in Detroit, complete with neo-Victorian costumes, weapons demonstrations and mustache rides. But what is steampunk, exactly? “Have you ever seen ‘Wild Wild West’ with Will Smith? It’s kind of like that,” Justin Muha, a volunteer with convention operations, said. Steampunk is basically what the Victorians thought the future would be like - a steam-powered, Jules Verne-esque one. The weekend consisted of over 300 hours of programming and a number of panels and events. It even features a Mr. & Ms. Steampunk competition, which according to convention organizer Sal Sanfratello is more a test of “skill and cleverness” versus a traditional beauty pageant. One convention hall contained Steamfleet, a 6 person PC game where players are the crew of a zeppelin in combat - a true steampunk experience, albeit a virtual one. Also included was a music tent, a vendor’s room, and 50 hours of panels on steampunk literature and history. The Aegis room, an area sponsored by Aegis Academy of Marital Arts

in Ann Arbor, Mich., held events on weapons and tactical training, as well as an afternoon of playing a horse-less version of Buzkashi, considered to be the national game of Afghanistan. The game was originally played with the head of an opponent; today it’s played with a headless goat. At the convention, however, the plastic head of Albert Einstein was used. It involves carrying said head from one side of the field to the other, with other players carrying knives to stop them, again in the case of the convention it was fake knives that, at worst, would cause a minor bruise. Still, the convention takes safety very seriously, with EMTs on staff in case of injuries on the floor because, although the weapons are fake, participants are still using real techniques and real force. Steampunk also consists of a strong making or do-it-yourself culture, as evidenced by the 20 programming hours on costuming and character creation, and another 40 hours of making, with panels and demonstrations ranging from metal crafting to how to safely and legally distill your own absinthe. Metal working artist Christopher Bright, whose previous experience focused mostly on art shows, remarked that Up in the Aether was “the first time I’ve seen this level of maker involvement.” The Maker/DIY room also contained what is arguably a guitarists’ dream -


playable, steampunk-themed guitars made by steampunk fabricator and “making guest of honor” Steve Brook, whose work has been featured at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation in Massachusetts, the Bennington Museum in Vermont, and the District VII Gallery in Detroit, as well as at the Detroit Music Awards and on the television show “Hardcore Pawn.” The purpose of Brook’s work is to “recycle old, unwanted guitars from the ’60s and ‘70s into desirable, high-end musical instruments.” To that effect, Brook’s quality control is a professional guitarist who plays each instrument to make sure it is up to snuff. He even played one of Brook’s creations - an electric guitar made from a repurposed cigar box - at the Detroit Music Awards. How each convention member got into steampunk is as varied as the costumes. Muha admits he came from “more of a cyberpunk background,” but the Royal Oak resident became interested in steampunk through friends, as well as a trip to the Phoenix Cafe in nearby Hazel Park, which has steampunk-themed events, and is partially owned by one of the convention’s organizers, Michael Wiggins. Sanfratello, owner of Aegis Academy of Martial Arts and one of Up in the Aether’s main organizers, came into steampunk only four years ago when his company was invited to perform a weapons demonstration at the

now-defunct World Steampunk Convention. Brook entered the steampunk world through his son, who was going to a convention and inspired his father to create his first “grand experiment” guitar for the occasion. Sanfratello says that “the key thing about this con is it is by the community and for the community,” and this focus on community is one of the most noticeable things about the convention. One convention goer, Rachel, found riding the mustache-shaped see-saw, said she became interested in steampunk after seeing the band Steam Powered Giraffe at the San Diego Zoo while she was living in California. Intrigued by their music style, “I googled them, and steampunk came up.” Rachel mentioned that she had only attended a single day of a previous year’s convention, but this year was attending the whole weekend because she had fun, and loved the sense of community found at Up in the Aether - a similar story reiterated by many other convention attendees. After their successful first year, Up in the Aether is planning to return to Detroit for Memorial Day Weekend 2014. Steam Powered Giraffe is already scheduled to appear, with more announcements to come over the course of the year. Pre-registration tickets are currently available at their website,



Sleep improves performance Doctor discusses importance of sleep in latest book HUMBERTO MARTINEZ JR. Lead Sports Correspondent Sleep. We all love it. We all want it. We all need it. But the problem is that we don’t get enough of it. And while a lack of sleep can be - and really is - detrimental to the performance and mood of regular, working, everyday people, it is especially damaging to athletes of all ages at all levels. The topic of athletes and sleep is discussed in Dr. James Maas’s latest book, “Sleep to Win!: Secrets to Unlocking Your Athletic Excellence in Every Sport”. Maas, author of “Power Sleep: The Revolutionary Program That Prepares Your Mind for Peak Performance” and “Sleep for Success! Everything You Must Know About Sleep But are Too Tired to Ask”, is a leading voice and international consultant on sleep. He has studied the subject for more than four decades. “Sleep to Win!” is co-authored by Haley Davis, who, according to the book, is the “vice-president of the Sleep to Win consulting firm. She is completing her B.S. in psychology and pre-med at Cornell University, where she has been conducting research, speaking and publishing articles on sleep.”

Maas in particular has been a sleep consultant for athletes and athletic teams at every level of competition. Maas worked as a professor in the psychology department at Cornell University for 48 years. “It struck me in the classroom that here were a lot of sleepy students who were also athletes,” he said. “Sleep deprivation certainly wasn’t good academically, but it struck me that there might be some deleterious effects on the playing field.” It’s said that practice makes perfect, but there are only so many hours in the day to dedicate to practice. So, athletes trade a few hours of sleep in the morning for a few hours in the gym or on the court or field. But Maas and Davis say that early practices and coach-mandated “twoa-days” not only hinder an athlete’s sleep, but the athlete’s performance as well. “Coaches have to understand sleep,” Maas said. “They have to understand that two-a-days are absolutely a waste of time – stupid – because these guys and gals need their sleep. And when you have scholar-athletes that have to stay up late doing papers and then are stressed out and they might have a couple of beers or something, you don’t want to curtail the sleep that they need by having an early morning practice.” Instead of getting the recommended

7 ½ - 8 ½ hours of sleep for adults 26-years and older or the 9 ¼ hours for those under 26-years-old, athletes are getting an average of 6.1 hours, according to Maas. The rationale for early morning practices and two-a-days is that the practice will make an athlete better, but the loss of sleep that has an adverse effect. “In every sport where we’ve cut out early morning shootarounds or lacrosse practice or whatever, the kids actually improve by not practicing twice a day, mainly because it is interfering with their sleep,” Mass said. “Sleep is definitely being missed out on because so many athletes have these two-a-day practices,” Davis said. Maas and Davis offer tips and strategies to get a good night’s sleep, improve recovery time from injury and improve performance on the playing field in the book. They also have a test to determine if someone is sleep deprived. Some of the questions on the test: •Does a warm room, a boring meeting, a heavy meal or a low dose of alcohol make you sleepy or drowsy? •Do you fall asleep within five minutes of getting into bed? •Do you need an alarm clock to wake up? •Do you hit the snooze bar repeatedly?

•Do you sleep extra hours on the weekend? If you answered yes to all of these questions, “you’ve got a serious problem,” Maas said. Davis said 75 percent of people are sleep deprived and that there are three main rules that she and Maas recommend to offset sleep deprivation. “The first is just getting the total number of hours of sleep that you need. We also say to keep a regular sleep schedule. The last one is just getting a constant sleep,” Davis said. Implementing these rules and guidelines, as well as the many others in Sleep to Win!, will tremendously improve an athlete’s performance. Through their studies using these rules, Maas said that he and Davis found that “literally overnight we could change athletic performance.” A sleeping tip – one that you’ll love to hear – that can be applied not just to athletes but to all people, especially college students, is sleep more. “People don’t realize, they say ‘Oh, I’ve got all this work to do I don’t have time to sleep’, if they took the extra hour to sleep or two hours to sleep, they’d actually get more done because they’d be in a better mood, more efficient, more effective,” Maas said. “More sleep and less late nights actually will send your grades up.” So grab a soft pillow, a warm blanket and get to sleep.


SPORTS Brian Camilleri/ THE SOUTH END Stephanie Forman helped lead the Warriors to a 30-22 overall record this season.

Softball season recap Warriors step up to the plate in 2013 ZEINAB NAJM Staff Writer The Wayne State softball season filled with ups and downs ended in Indiana on May 11. The Warriors lost to Ashland in round two of the NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament. “They didn’t come in with high expectations, they achieved some high expectations and they overcame a lot of things,” head coach Gary Bryce said. Even though it was an injury ridden team, Bryce knew his team would fight through it. “I think they did play to their maximum. I don’t think they ever didn’t put out an effort and that’s a credit to them,” Bryce said speaking about his players. A season with injured players also had some great performances by key contributors. Briana Lee, Logan White and Nikki Fulton stood out to their coach. “Briana Lee pitching back-to-back against Grand Valley and shutting them out because they were the No. 9 team in the country,” Bryce said, recalling one of the highlights of the season. Bryce was also impressed by the team as a whole just as much as each


individual player. “Some kids got an opportunity to play and rose to the occasion and I’ll just remember the team as a whole.” The 2013 season was full of team accomplishments which justified what a good season the Warriors had. WSU won their second straight GLIAC tournament championship this year. “That’s a credit to the program. The kids rose to the occasion and did an outstanding job and got us into the nationals and we ran out of gas,” Bryce said. Those kids will help lead WSU in 2014. Only three seniors will be leaving the team to graduation-- keeping a good, solid group for next year. “Well, I think we still have some question marks in terms of Shelby Spano and Shannon Hilton because of knee injuries, we don’t know how quickly they’ll heal. Of course you have Lyndsay who had the blood clot and she’s a big time player for us,” he said. Coach Bryce still likes his team’s chances come next season. “If all three of them come back and with what we have coming back, obviously we’re going to be competitive and we’ll see what happens from there.”




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