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Oakland University signs educational agreement with Changchun University of Technology

Recognizing the world wide need for engineers with broad international experience, on September 21, 2012, Oakland University (OU) Interim Vice President and Provost Susan Awbrey and Changchun University of Technology (CCUT) Vice President Ying Xi signed an agreement to implement a joint undergraduate program in mechanical engineering.  

In the program, students will spend their first two years studying at CCUT taking courses which mirror those taken in the first two years of study at OU. Then, the students will transfer to OU for their last two years and upon completion of degree requirements, they will receive two Bachelor of Science degrees in mechanical engineering: one from OU and one from CCUT.  To help ease the transition of CCUT students to the USA educational system and to American culture, some of the courses will be taught at CCUT by OU professors. Oakland University School of Engineering and Computer Science Dean Louay Chamra said, “The School of Engineering and Computer Science is very excited about this opportunity to emphasize the global aspects of engineering. I believe that OU students will benefit as much as the CCUT students as they will perform projects and laboratories assignments with international students thus increasing their global awareness and knowledge.”
Other goals of the agreement include additional cooperation between the two universities, increasing the international standing of each university and promoting friendship between China and the USA. Future plans include expansion of the undergraduate program to other majors a joint Master’s of Science program and enhanced research cooperation between faculty.  Mechanical Engineering Professor Laila Guessous will be the first OU professor to teach at CCUT in the summer of 2013.  She commented, “I have been deeply impressed by the dedication of the CCUT faculty and administration to make this program a success.  I am sure I will learn as much from the CCUT professors as they learn from me.” Initial demand for the program by CCUT students has been high, for the Fall semester (2012) 135 students have enrolled in the program and will transfer to OU in the Fall of 2014.  For further information on the program please contact program coordinators:
Professor Gary Barber, 248 370-2184, barber@oakland.edu
Professor Lian Yang, 248 370-2283, yang2@oakland.edu

Medical Main Street’s INNO-VENTION 2012 smashing success as work begins on 2013 event

Global interest in Medical Main Street’s inaugural INNO-VENTION 2012 has prompted Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson to begin planning INNO-VENTION 2013.
“We had attendees from 14 states and viewers from as far away as Dubai, Germany, Norway and Japan who witnessed the medical revolution that’s going on in Oakland County,” Patterson said. “People are talking about INNO-VENTION 2012 and Medical Main Street. We are a central part of the health care and life science conversation in Michigan and beyond and we intend to remain a relevant part of that discussion.”
While no date or location has been set for the 2013 conference, a focus under consideration is information technology in health care.
Those who watched the Oct. 4 live streaming on Detroit Public Television joined the 400 attendees from 14 states for the conference, which focused on the complete life cycle of medical device development. The conference was held Oct. 3-5 at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester.
Patterson, who viewed the live streaming online as he recovers from injuries suffered in an August traffic accident, said the sold-out conference clearly illustrated the increasing importance of the Medical Main Street brand on the region and the state. Patterson launched the branding strategy in 2008 to publicize the strength of the health care and life sciences in Oakland County and the region.
“There are a lot of people who don’t know we have more than 100,000 life science and health care jobs here – more than the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic combined,” Patterson said. “That’s a powerful number and we think it’s significant.”

INNO-VENTION 2012 featured many of the top minds and companies in the medical device industry. Sessions focused on the types of medical devices doctors would like to have created in the future; medical innovations already in use that have Michigan roots; and a commercialization competition patterned after the television show “Shark Tank” where start-up companies actually made pitches in hopes of getting commitments to fund their products.
Two companies were also chosen as Medical Main Street Innovators of the Year:
  • Southfield-based Sentio LLC, created a device to alert doctors when nerves are at risk of injury during surgery
  • Kalamazoo-based Ablative Solutions Inc., developed a technology for a more streamlined treatment of hypertension
A 30-minute program on the conference is being prepared by Detroit Public Television for broadcast locally and will be offered to public television stations across the state and the country in the next few weeks. Interviews and sessions from the event can be viewed On Demand at www.MedicalMainStreet.org.
In four years since its creation, 24 life science companies have expanded their presence in Oakland County or settled here, investing more than $212 million and creating or retaining more than 2,600 jobs. The county’s burgeoning life science industry includes more than 4,300 life science and medical facilities.

About Oakland County, Michigan’s Medical Main Street:
Oakland County, Michigan’s Medical Main Street is a unique alliance of world-class hospitals, universities, medical device, biopharma companies and some of the country’s top medical professionals creating a global center of innovation in health care, research and development, education and commercialization in the life sciences industry.
Medical Main Street has assembled a board of industry leaders to provide advice and support to this initiative. The board includes: Beaumont Health System, Beckman Coulter Molecular Diagnostics, Crittenton Hospital, Ferndale Laboratories, Henry Ford Health Systems, Housey Pharmaceuticals, McLaren Health Care, MichBio, Michigan State Representative Gail Haines, Oakland Community College, Oakland University, Oxus Inc., Rockwell Medical Technologies, St. John Providence Health System and St. Joseph Mercy Oakland. Visit www.MedicalMainStreet.org to get involved in the medical solutions of the future. 

OCC signs pact with community college counterpart in India

Oakland Community College and Shriram IGNOU Community College in Chennai, India, signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding in a brief ceremony conducted via Skype on June 14.
The agreement promotes virtual cultural exchanges between students of the two schools using Web 2.0 tools such as wikis and interactive online forums.  Faculty and staff members will share information and training through the internet as well.  Among the topics to be covered will be teaching English as a Second Language, counseling practices, assessing student learning styles, and the conduct of academic placements.  “We sincerely look forward to working with the team at OCC that will surely benefit the students” said Shriram IGNOU Community College Resource Head J. Murali Krishnan.
Signing the document on behalf of OCC were Vice Chancellor of External Affairs Sharon Miller and Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs Richard Holcomb.  The Shriram IGNOU Community College signers were Principal Vidya Shankar and J. Murali Krishnan.  Also present were Highland Lakes Campus Dean Cathey Maze and Auburn Hills Campus Interim Dean/English faculty member Suba Subbarao, who assisted in arranging the agreement.  “We hope to meet you in person someday…you will be welcome here,” Miller said to the Indian officials.
Both parties will revisit the agreement after two years.  Once reapproved, renewals are scheduled automatically each succeeding two years.
Home to 1.21 billion people, India is the world’s largest democracy.  In the past few years the country has established a community college system on the American model in an attempt to bring higher education to the nation’s vast population, and in so doing, raise the standard of living.
Middle- and upper-class urban Indian citizens are able to access higher education, but community colleges like Shriram IGNOU (IGNOU stands for “Indira Gandhi National Open University”) seek to bring affordable, practical and job-oriented education to the nation’s rural and urban poor.  Thus far the IGNOU system has set up 50 community colleges throughout the country.
Established in 2009, Shriram IGNOU Community College is located in Chennai on India’s southeast coast.  It offers certificate, diploma and associate degree courses in fields such as integrated farming, welding, motorcycle mechanisms, office administration, non-banking finance and sports education.  As with American community colleges, graduates may continue their educations at universities.
“As a community college we at OCC found we have a lot to offer community colleges in India,” said Dean Cathey Maze who visited Shriram IGNOU in 2010.  “We discovered that their vision, mission and goals are the same as those of community colleges in the U.S.”
With five campuses located throughout Oakland County, OCC is the largest of Michigan’s 28 community colleges and the 21st largest in the nation.  OCC offers degrees and certificates in more than 160 fields including university transfer and general studies degrees.

Farmington Hills ceremony marks 100th anniversary of Japan sending cherry blossom trees to US

100 years ago, Japan sent about 3,000 cherry blossom trees to the United States as a gift and showing of friendship. Oakland County officials and business gathered at Glen Oaks Golf Course in Farmington Hills on May 9 to mark the occasion with a cherry tree planting ceremony. 

Read more.

Novi to celebrate 100th anniversary of Japanese-U.S. friendship by planting cherry trees in May

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. and Japanese friendship, symbolized by Japan's gift of more than 3,000 cherry trees to Washington D.C. in 1912, the embassy of Japan has been working with several partner organizations to reinforce this symbolism and promote the planting of new cherry trees in a number of cities across the U.S. Beginning May 12, Novi will take part in this initiative with a week-long celebration of Japanese culture culminating in an official planting ceremony on May 19.

Read more.

Year of the Dragon Celebration

The Chinese Association of Greater Detroit along with Oakland County, Wayne County and Macomb County present the Year of the Dragon Celebration on Saturday, March 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi (46100 Grand River Ave.). This culturally-enriching family-friendly event will feature:

- Chinese music and dance performance
- Children's hands-on activities featuring Chinese folk art
- Chinese arts & crafts demonstrations
- Authentic crafts, apparel, and other unique gifts from China
- Authentic Chinese food

Admission is only $5 per family which includes free parking.

OU graduate students offer introduction to the wonders of China

The Educational Resources Lab at Oakland University's School of Education and Human Services invites individuals interested in learning about China to participate in its upcoming "China Workshop: An Introduction to Chinese Language and Culture."
Three international graduate students in OU's Reading and Language Arts program will work as a group to teach this six-week series of introductory lessons. Mei An, Xiangqun Li and Deqi Sun, all experienced teachers, are native Chinese speakers who are fluent in English.
"We have them help OU students and the community to get to know about the Chinese language, culture, history and geography. And in the cultural part of this workshop, we also discuss social perspectives," explained Ledong Li, coordinator for China program in the School of Education and Human Services, and organizer of the workshop.
"People who come are very enthusiastic about learning. They want to learn more about China from something other than textbooks."
Li said that in recent years, the annual workshops have become popular not only with students studying China, but with professionals planning business trips to China, travelers planning visits and parents who have adopted or are looking to adopt Chinese children.
Noting that the series of informative workshops is open to all, Li added, "I think it's a very productive workshop that really helps promote cross-cultural understanding."
The workshops will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays for six weeks starting March 7. Instruction will take place in the Educational Resources Lab, located at 350 Pawley Hall on the campus of Oakland University.
Registration for the series is $65 per person. Space is limited, so participants are encouraged to register early. The registration deadline is Friday, March 2.
Those interested in attending can obtain a registration form at oakland.edu/erl. Registration forms should be sent with a check payable to Oakland University, to the address: Educational Resources Lab, 350 Pawley Hall, Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309.

Doing Business in Brazil: Latin America's Engine of Economic Growth

Looking to boost your global competitiveness and expand into one of the world's fastest growing markets? Automation Alley invites you to join our conference on doing business in Brazil, one of our nation's top ten trading partners.

The event will include a video conference with U.S. Commercial Services' trade specialists from Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. They will discuss the opportunities and challenges of doing business in their respective areas and provide an analysis of the leading sectors for U.S. exports and investment.

In addition, you will learn more about Automation Alley's next trade mission to Brazil, taking place May 20-26, 2012.
Click here for more information and registration.

Date: February 2, 2012

Location: Automation Alley Headquarters, 2675 Bellingham, Troy, MI 48083  MAP

8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Registration and continental breakfast
8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Program
For a detailed agenda, click here.
For speaker bios, click here.

Members - Pre-registration: $20; At the door: $30
Non-members - Pre-registration: $40; At the door: $50
Pre-registration closes January 31, 2012 at close of business.

Registration: Click here.

Farmington Hills swimmer crosses English Channel

Farmington Hills resident and avid open water swimmer Jenny Birmelin trained over year for the swim of her life -- a treacherous 11-and-a-half hour excursion through the frigid waters of the English Channel. On Aug. 20, she realized her goal.

Swimming the English Channel is akin to climbing Mount Everest for aquatic athletes. The swimmers wear normal bathing suits and aren't allowed to touch the boat which follows them through the waters. They leave in the early-morning darkness, swimming by feel rather than sight. Food is delivered by a basket sent out from the boat. The water temperature ranged from 63 down to 56 degrees in some pockets.


"I yelled, 'I can't be this cold for nine more hours!' And they said, 'You're not going to be. It's a pocket of cold water. Just keep swimming,'" said Birmelin. "I got the tough love from my friends and family on the boat, which is what I needed, a little kick in the butt right then."

Read more about Birmelin's accomplishment here.

Macedonian couple bring Balkan food to Berkley

Jonce and Ellie Ilievski, immigrants from Macedonia, wouldn't be deterred from their dream -- opening a restaurant specializing in the distinct foods of their homeland in Oakland County.

Using Jonce's IRA and money from their savings, the Ilievski's have realized their goal, opening the doors of Ellie's Euro-American Grill on Coolidge Hwy. in Berkley. After $30,000 in renovations, the bistro now offers an expanded kitchen and parking lot.

The couple prepares all the food themselves, offering Hungarian and Balkan specialties, along with Polish food on Wednesdays and Thursdays.


"We struggled in the beginning. ... Later on, we started Hungarian. When we started serving it, we drew in Hungarian people," Jonce Ilievski said. "We have a lot of customers that have been customers since day one."

Find out more about Ellie's here.

Madison Heights karate instructor "shatters" Guinness World Record

Head to Community Fitness Martial Arts in Madison Heights, and you'll be in the presence of a real live Guinness World Record holder.

Karate instructor Kevin Taylor, standing at an even six feet and carrying 300 lbs. of muscle, can shatter more than 800 bricks with his bare hands in a matter of minutes.

For the 2012 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, he achieved a feat which has eluded karate masters over the past 25 years -- breaking a tempered car window with his bare hands. Taylor, in fact, shattered 25 in a row.


On first swing, Taylor's hand bounced harmlessly off the car window, like he had hit something rubberized. He swung again, and no luck. The reps were telling him to stop before he broke his hand, but Taylor felt he could do it. So he let loose his "kiai" -- Japanese for "spirit yell" -- and unleashed his full power.

"I put my whole body into it and I broke it, and it exploded, broke the metal frame -- broke everything -- and they ran out of the room because I screamed so loud," Taylor said. "The impact sounded like a bomb."

Crack into the story here.

OU to host GOP Presidential Debate

A Republican presidential candidate debate will be held at Oakland University on Nov. 9. CNBC Television President Mark Hoffman, whom will broadcast the event, thinks the location will be ideal for the candidates to present their plans to revive the nation.

Set to be broadcast exclusively on CNBC, the participating candidates have yet to be announced. However, regardless of the debate's participants, Oakland University is thrilled to receive national attention from hosting the event.The event is co-sponsored by CNBC and the Michigan Republican Party.


"Oakland University's reputation as one of the finest universities in the region went a long way toward us being chosen to host this important national event," OU President Gary Russi said in the email. "We can all share a great sense of pride that our public profile has increased to the point that we are a first-choice venue to host an eventthat showcases our university to the entire nation."

More news available here.

Love story leads two Clarkston teachers to new school in China

Oakland County educators Aaron Dobson and Jennifer Platukas' love language is fluent in Chinese.

The two teachers -- with Dobson as acting principal -- will both instruct students at Oxford Community Schools' new international high school in China. Dobson asked Platukas to marry him after ensuring they would both be able to teach at the Northeast Yucai Oxford International High School. In what can only be described as a whirlwind proposal, the couple became engaged, accepted the positions, and will move to China in less than a month.


The couple will leave July 15 to move to China, giving them time to get acclimated and finish up curriculum work before the new high school opens its doors on Sept. 1. They have signed a one-year contract and regardless of where they're living at the time, they've promised their parents to get married in Michigan.

Read the rest of the couple's love story here.

Oakland County residents can help Joplin

On Tuesday, May 31, Main Street Oakland County Program Coordinator Bob Donohue and 51st District Court Judge Jodi Debbrecht, a native of Missouri, announced how residents of southeast Michigan can help the victims of the tornado that destroyed most of Joplin, Missouri.

With a little more than a week left, the response from southeast Michigan residents has been encouraging, but there is still work to be done to reach the goal of filling at least four semi-trailers. A caravan led by Donohue and Debbrecht will depart Oakland County on June 16 to deliver the donated supplies to Joplin, Missouri by June 17 to aid in its recovery efforts.

Here is a reminder of the supplies requested by Joplin, Missouri Mayor Mike Woolston:
    •    Portable power generators
    •    Heavy duty extension cords (all sizes)
    •    Construction lighting
    •    Electric fans (all sizes)
    •    Wheelbarrows
    •    Garden rakes and shovels
    •    New or used power tools (circular saws, drills, chop saws, miter saws, nail guns, etc.)
    •    Dust masks, work gloves and eye safety goggles
    •    Construction safety grade hard hats
    •    Contractor grade garbage bags
    •    Plastic storage containers (all sizes)
    •    Tarps and bungee cords
    •    Ropes (all sizes)
    •    Pet food
    •    And children's books

"This list of needs comes straight from Joplin's mayor, Mike Woolston," said Donohue. "We know Joplin -- a former Main Street community itself -- needs these supplies and will put them to good use in order to help its residents and businesses recover."  Please note that Woolston says they do not need water. They have more than ample supply of water that already has been donated.

The collection points are located in the following Main Street Oakland County communities:

•    Farmington City Hall, 23600 Liberty Street
•    Ferndale – Simply Self Storage, 181 West Marshall
•    Franklin Village Hall, 32325 Franklin Road
•    Highland Fire Station No. 1, 250 West Livingston Road
•    Holly DPW, 201 Elm Street
•    Lake Orion DDA, 51 North Broadway
•    Ortonville DPW, 159 Cedar
•    Oxford DDA, 22 West Burdick
•    Rochester DPW, 1141 North Wilcox
•    Walled Lake DPW, 718 North Pontiac Trail
•    Oakland County Government, 1 Public Works Drive, Building 95 West, Waterford

"We're benefiting from tremendous generosity from people all over the country," Woolston told Donohue. "But if people can give cash, that's the best way to help us right now." 

Monetary donations may be made to "Oakland County Helps Joplin" at the Oakland County Credit Union, 1375 North Oakland Boulevard, Waterford, Michigan 48327. Oakland County Credit Union President & CEO Allan McMorris made the first donation of $1,000 today on behalf of the credit union. All donations will go directly to help with the recovery of the Joplin tornado victims. Donations are not tax deductible.

For more information, go to OaklandCountyHelpsJoplin.com.  

OU Med school to open; helps builds county's future as biotech leader

With a new medical school, a partnership between Oakland University and Beaumont Hospitals, slated to open Aug. 6, The Daily Tribune of Royal Oak says Oakland County is poised to become one of the nation's leaders in biotech.

Innovative companies, vacant office space and the forthcoming training institution for new doctors will make Oakland County a leader in bioengineering, the paper predicts.

It also may provide added stimulus to the local economy.


Pete Auger, City Manager of Auburn Hills, said the school is an asset to the community. "We're still hoppin'. We're still growing. We're exploring a lot of new companies," Auger said.

Auburn Hills Mayor James McDonald, said, "It's going to be a boon for our city. Other things are in the planning stage, but it's here. This could lead to mom and pop establishments coming to Auburn Hills."

Read more here.
46 Global Oakland Articles | Page: | Show All
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