February 2021 WMU News

WMU Public Safety joins the 5% of Michigan police agencies to achieve accreditation

WMU Department of Public Safety is one of just 34 departments out of almost 600 police agencies in the state to achieve Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation. This "raises the bar" of the department's practices, says Deputy Chief Carol Dedow, evaluating standards for high-risk liability actions, including use of force, vehicle pursuit and search and seizure, to internal operations, such as officer and workplace training, command structure and recruitment.

Research shows alarming gap in mental health access for adolescents of color

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the pandemic has pushed youth mental health concerns to crisis levels, yet a Western Michigan University study finds significant racial disparities in access to care. Led by clinical psychology doctoral student Kalani Gates, an audit of mental health providers in southwest Michigan found Black and Arab American mothers who sought services from mental health therapists for their adolescent children were more than 70% less likely to get a call back from a provider than their white peers.

Western supports new Grand Rapids scholarship recipients

Western's Challenge Scholars will not only receive full-tuition scholarships but have tutoring and writing coaching, career and employment advising and resources for first-generation college students and student financial aid, among other services, to help them thrive.

Pandemic pushes dancers to explore new territory in virtual Winter Gala

The pandemic thrust the world into a new era of digital connection, from remote work and virtual learning to family gatherings via computer screen. The evolution of communication in the pandemic inspired assistant professor Kelsey Paschich's piece "Recode," which she choreographed for Western students to perform at the annual Winter Gala Dance Concert.

CHHS names Dr. Betty Dennis as director of new diversity office

Dr. Betty Dennis and the new Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will  work within the college and with leaders across the University to move WMU toward inclusivity and antiracism, to benefit students and the greater WMU community.

WMU recognized among top schools for online master's in education program

Western Michigan University's online master's in education program is among the top in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report. Second in Michigan only to Michigan State University, the report cites Western's use of "contemporary instructional design practices and instructional technologies combined with the subject matter expertise of faculty to provide students with an effective and engaging learning experience."

Merze Tate: A trailblazing Western alumna who made an international impact

Professor. World traveler. Journalist. Inventor. This 20th century renaissance woman may not have made it to the moon, but Dr. Merze Tate's resolve to boldly blaze her own path puts her among Western Michigan University's brightest stars. Fueled by a thirst for knowledge and boundless ambition, she became the first Black student to receive a bachelor's degree from Western State Teachers College—which would later become WMU—in 1927. But the road to get there was not easy.