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News - 2011

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Kyle LiechtyKyle Liechty, 2011 graduate of Career and Technical Education, was hired in July 2011 by Jackson Community College to be the IT Literacy Outreach Coordinator. In this position, Kyle is teaching free introductory computer and employability classes to the public in Jackson, Lenawee, and Hillsdale counties. Along with this, he has been active in the promotions department with the Detroit Tigers.
Posted October 21

Julia DavisJulia Davis, senior, Textile and Apparel Studies: Fashion Design was recently awarded the Ethel O. Washington Memorial Scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship is given to a college or university student in Michigan who demonstrates leadership, high academic ability and career goals in a human ecology discipline. Instructors Linda Winquist and Anne Marie Forrest nominated Julia for this award. Congratulations, Julia.
Posted October 12

Rick Zinser

Brian Horvitz, Educational Leadership, Research and Technology and Richard Zinser, Family and Consumer Sciences will present results from their National Science Foundation (NSF) funded research project at the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) National Principal Investigators Conference in Washington, DC on October 27. The ATE program provides grants to improve and expand educational programs, primarily at community colleges, that prepare skilled technicians to work in the high-tech fields. Their presentation, titled "Online Instruction in ATE Funded Projects: Opportunities and Challenges", highlights results from their survey of NSF-ATE projects that include a significant online instructional component. Their report includes a look at the state of ATE-funded online instructional development and trends in this area.
Posted October 10

Linda DannisonDr. Linda Dannison, Chair, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Dr. Andrea Smith, Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies, provided the keynote address for the fourth annual Michigan Kinship Care Conference in Detroit, September 15. Their talk was titled, "Resiliency in kinship care families: Capitalizing on family strengths."
Posted September 26

Adam Manley Receives Grant to Explore Role Models' Influence on Career Decision Making

Adam ManleyAdam Manley, assistant professor of career and technical education, has been awarded the Eulalia Toms Grant. The grant will help Dr. Manley explore the impact of live and symbolic role models on a Career and Technical Education (CTE) concentrator's decision to pursue or not pursue a career within their industrial technology-related career pathway. Dr. Manley plans to interview high school level seniors who have concentrated in one of CTE's industrial technology career pathways. Also, he plans on interviewing community college students who have decided to pursue an industrial technology major. The interviews are intended to help determine if certain individuals or group of individuals influenced the participants to choose their career path.

The research is theoretically based on Albert Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), which proposes that most human behavior is learned observationally through both live and symbolic modeling. Live role models are generally defined as parents, peers, and teachers. Symbolic role models are people portrayed in some peripheral medium such as news media, TV and radio personalities, and Internet websites.

Dr. Manley hypothesizes that students who focus on live role model support rather than the support or lack thereof from symbolic models are more prone to initially pursue an industrial technology career pathway. Additionally, Dr. Manley hypothesizes that students with support to pursue their career pathway, especially from parents and peers, are more likely to pursue it.

Posted September 16

WMU CTE Launches The CTE Advocate WebsiteAdam Manley
Dr. Manley has developed a news website for Michigan Career and Technical Education (CTE) called The CTE Advocate. The Advocate offers viewers CTE-related news, information, and free stuff! The website is broken into six sections:

Dr. Manley plans to continue building the website. The next section Dr. Manley plans on adding to the website will be a professional development page. This page will have online professional development sessions that will be intended to help new CTE teachers learn more about the art of teaching. To visit the website, go to
Posted September 15

Ghada Soliman

Dr. Ghada Soliman published the following article featured in Cell Cycle: Soliman GA. The integral role of mTOR in lipid metabolism. Cell Cycle. 2011 Mar 15;10 (6):861-2. She was also  awarded Level II Certification in Adult Weight Management from the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), after completing the training in May 5 - 7, 2011 in California, successfully passing the examination, and fulfilling weight management level 2 certification requirements.

Posted September 7

Family and Consumer Sciences undergraduate dietetics student, Daniel Barrett won a Michigan Dietetics Association scholarship in May.
Posted June 17

Larissa FriasDr. Larissa "Aisa" Valera Frias, a popular Western Michigan University faculty member, died suddenly in her sleep June 5. She was 38. Frias was an assistant professor of family and consumer sciences specializing in family studies. She joined the WMU faculty in 2008, after having begun her career in education as a guidance counselor and then an instructor at the University of the Philippines.
WMU News article
Posted June 10

Carla Zidarevich received her bachelor's in Textile and Apparel Design in December 2006. Since then, she has been working as a Technical Designer in Target's PD&D division at their headquarters in Minneapolis. Specializing in home products including bedding, kitchen textiles, table linens, and seasonal product, she has received two promotions and traveled throughout the US and China meeting with vendors and developing products. Carla was quoted saying "I wouldn't have had my start without the education I received from Western".
Posted June 6

Five WMU students receive Michigan service awards

A statewide organization presented community service awards to five Western Michigan University students during the 15th annual Outstanding Student Service Awards ceremony April 9 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, Mich.
The awards were presented by the Michigan Campus Compact, a coalition of 38 colleges and universities from around the state. The recognition ceremony honored Michigan college students who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to community service during their college years.
WMU students who received awards were:

Paauwe and Raisanen received the Commitment to Service Award, which recognizes two students per MCC member campus for either the breadth or the depth of their community involvement. Only 45 students of the 350 honored this year received this award.
The remaining three students received the Heart and Soul Award, which recognizes students for time, effort and personal commitment to their communities through service.
Posted April 20

Adam Manley and Richard ZinserIn January, Drs. Adam Manley and Richard Zinser were awarded a grant from State of Michigan's Office of Career and Technical Education to update the Performance Based Teacher Education (PBTE) competencies. These competencies, which were last updated and published in 1987, detail the measurable knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors critical to successful CTE teacher job performance. The study's participants include 475 CTE teacher educators, administrators, and teachers from Michigan. A three round modified Delphi technique will enable the participants to update the antiquated competencies to better reflect the 21st century CTE teacher. The results from this study will provide a foundation for further studies that will identify the professional development needs of Michigan's CTE teachers
Posted April 1

GuidlinesThank you to everyone who came out and showed support to five of the graduating Interior Design Seniors during their ‘Guidelines’ reception Friday, March 11th. The show displayed work that the seniors have completed while in the Interior Design Program over the last four years. The term “guidelines” has many meanings and interpretations, and the girls felt that this was the most powerful way to convey their intentions for the show. They utilized different colored duct tape as both a directional and representational tool to guide viewers through the gallery and to help viewers differentiate which work belonged to which designer.

Pictured are Interior Design graduating seniors Bridget Bueche, Laura Zylstra, Riwa Khawaldeh, Kelly Timmer and Elizabeth Riggan.
Posted March 30

USDA ProjectStudents enrolled in FCS 3300, Entrepreneurship in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, are working on a USDA sponsored project to explore entrepreneurial opportunities in rural communities. Course instructor Dr. Barbara Frazier is currently a principal investigator on a 3 year USDA Agricultural and Food Research Institute project to investigate community factors that lead to entrepreneurial success in rural areas. A key focus of the project is to discover ways that rural communities can attract and retain younger residents. As part of the project, students are working with community economic development representatives and business leaders in Hastings, Michigan during the Spring 2011 semester to learn what it takes to be successful as a rural entrepreneur. Students visited Hastings in January to learn more about the community, and completed team interviews with local entrepreneurs. Student teams are conducting extensive research and analysis of the community, and presented their findings and recommendations to the Hastings business community on March 8. Presentations included students’ recommendations on how to make the downtown business district more attractive to younger consumers. During the second half of the semester, student teams will develop business plans for potential businesses that can attract new markets to the community later in the semester, and present to the Hastings community.  The course project is scheduled to be widely disseminated via the website later this year.
Posted March 14

Marlene BreuMarlene Breu, Professor Emerita from the Family and Consumer Sciences Department, and her co-author Dr. Ronald Marchese of the University of Minnesota at Duluth announce the publication of their book Splendor & Pageantry:  Textile Treasures from the Armenian Orthodox Churches of Istanbul.  Their ground-breaking study resulted in presentation of historical artifacts never before published. The book contains over 170 plates of textiles in the church collections, some of which are still used for the Divine Liturgy and others for display in the Patriarchal museum collection. Substantial dialogue about the objects’ context within the social, cultural, political and economic parameters within which they were produced is also given. The book provides a brief historical background, inscriptions found on the objects, discussion of iconographies of the objects and description of their techniques of production.  A reference catalogue provides detailed information on each piece included in the book.  The book will be an excellent reference for art historians, textile historians, Armenian scholars, religious historians and others interested in minority populations within the Ottoman Empire. Dr. Breu’s work was funded in part by the Faculty Research and Creative Activities Support Fund, Diether H. Haenicke Center for International Studies and the Eulalia Toms Fund for Family and Consumer Sciences.  The books are available at and Barnes & Noble. 
New York Times article
Posted March 14

Interior Design ShowThank you to everyone who came out and showed support to six of the graduating Interior Design Seniors during their ‘Sprout’ reception Friday, February 11th. The show displayed work that the seniors have completed while in the Interior Design Program over the last four years. It was a great experience for the student designers to see the amount of growth that has taken place throughout their time in the program here at Western Michigan University.

Pictured are graduating seniors Amanda VanDoornik , Andrea Smith, Sarah Bombard, Ashley McCullough, Allison Muir and Melissa Sauter.

NicoleSeveral Textile and Apparel Studies students showcased their work in Student Fashion Exhibition 2011 in January in Kohrman Hall. Family and Consumer Sciences graduate assistant Nicole Eckerson hosted the event and welcomed the public for viewing of outstanding student designs.