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Bosco coordinates WMU's Kalamazoo Promise programs

March 23, 2006

KALAMAZOO--A longtime education professor at Western Michigan University is coming back to WMU to establish institutional coordination with Kalamazoo Public Schools and the recently announced Kalamazoo Promise.

Dr. James Bosco, who retired from WMU in 2004 as professor of educational studies and director of external technology affairs for the College of Education, has agreed to an initial two-year term as institutional coordinator. Ronika Hamilton, a finance specialist with the WMU Division of Multicultural Affairs, will assist Bosco, and other staff members in WMU's Office of the Provost will help as needed.

"Jim is exceptionally well-qualified for this task, given his extensive knowledge of community-school partnerships," says Dr. Linda Delene, WMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. "He has extensive knowledge about the University, a deep commitment to the community and a strong educational technology background. He's also well-versed at the international level on how collaborative arrangements can work. I am grateful for the leadership and energy he will bring to the task, and delighted at Ronika's willingness to assist him as needed."

Bosco served as WMU professor of educational studies from 1965-2004, when he retired with emeritus status. In the years immediately before his retirement, he was well-known on campus for leading various educational technology initiatives, including spearheading several online projects. Since leaving WMU, he has remained active, serving as a senior advisor for Michigan Freedom to Learn and co-chair for both the Consortium for School Networking International Committee and the World Bank/Consortium for School Networking International Symposium.

Bosco has taken part in a number of statewide education initiatives, serving as chair of the Michigan Tech Corps Board from 1994 to 2000, coordinator of Michigan's ThinkQuest initiative from 1995 to 2000, a member of the State Superintendent's Technology Advisory Committee from 1992 to 1996, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin's Education Technology Task Force and a long list of other posts. He has written papers and articles for numerous publications, and he was awarded a "Making It Happen" National Technology Award in 2001.

Bosco says he's excited about his new position.

"I accepted the role of WMU coordinator with enthusiasm because it was clear to me that the WMU administration is deeply committed to helping make the Promise a complete success," Bosco says. "As I spoke with Linda Delene and other key administrators it became clear to me that they see this as an opportunity for WMU to play a key role in something that can transform education in our community."

Announced in November 2005 and funded by anonymous donors, the Kalamazoo Promise offers Kalamazoo Public Schools graduates free tuition at any public college or university in Michigan.

"When I first heard about the Promise it seemed too good to be true," Bosco says. "We all know what they say about things that seem too good to be true. But the Promise proves that there can be exceptions to that rule."

Bosco earned his bachelor's degree from Duquesne University, a master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a doctoral degree from Columbia University.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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