March 2021 WMU News

Pandemic didn’t swallow restaurant industry’s appetite for innovation

Pandemic restrictions took a bite out of restaurant sales, curbing indoor dining for months and pushing the industry to reimagine the dining experience. John Schmitt, a former restauranteur, alumnus and senior business consultant for the Michigan Small Business Development Center, looks toward the future of the industry.

New Resiliency Center coordinates care for the ‘whole person’

Established by the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) in 2020 through a state appropriation of $1.5 million, the Resiliency Center for Families and Children addresses the many needs of those experiencing trauma, toxic stress, chronic disability, neurodevelopmental disorders or substance use disorder.

Redefining Normal: Alumni find strength in each other to inspire a new generation

Alexis and Justin Black share their challenging journeys to overcome in their bestselling book, "Redefining Normal: How Two Foster Kids Beat the Odds and Discovered Health, Happiness and Love."  The memoir lays bare the wounds of their childhood and highlights the support they found in Western's Seita Scholars Program—a comprehensive support and scholarship program for students who have experienced foster care—and each other to build the lives they dreamed of having.

Persisting through the pandemic

Our world is not the same world it was a year ago. We’ve seen tremendous challenges—a pandemic, an economic crisis, political and social strife—and yet, we persisted. In the University’s quest to fulfill its purpose, “So that all may learn,” countless stories of innovation, adaptation and ingenuity have emerged.

University photographer shares top photos

Mark Bugnaski, University photographer, shares his insight into what makes a compelling photo as well as his favorite picks for photos featuring student life.

City to begin Howard Street sidewalk development project

One lane of northbound Howard Street between West Michigan Avenue and Stadium Drive will be closed  for the duration of the project, begins Thursday, March 25, 2021, and is expected to wrap up in early September. With the creation of the new pedestrian pathway, the city project will provide a safer and well-lit way for people to walk along Howard.

Some campus services on reduced hours during spring recess

Some campus services at Western Michigan University will be on reduced hours during spring semester recess, which begins Monday, March 29, and continues through Friday, April 2. Classes resume beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, April 5, via distance education except for programs with hands-on instruction.

Putting student well-being ‘front and center’

Recognizing the need for more resources for students to thrive, Western Michigan University has launched several initiatives focused on student mental health since the COVID-19 pandemic began, including two well-being platforms—WellTrack and YOU at Western. These new initiatives paired with existing programs are aimed at providing a mental and emotional check-in for students and connecting them with campus resources to ease the stressors of life during distance education and beyond.

Public health students reflect on year since Western shifted to distance learning

It has been a full year since the growing COVID-19 pandemic changed the world and shifted Western Michigan University to distance learning. Over those 365 days, the community has experienced losses, dramatic change, isolation and uncertainty, but the period has also been a time of hope, innovation, resilience and adaptation.

COVID-19 at Western: One year later

Students, faculty and staff worked quickly to find new ways to learn, teach and create, facing challenges head-on as they traversed uncharted territory sparked by the global pandemic. At the same time, Broncos stepped up to support the community, creating and donating personal protective equipment for front-line workers and banding together to feed students in need.

First cohort of product design program sharp on all edges

The first class of the University’s product design program, which is based in the College of Fine Arts’ Richmond Institute for Design and Innovation (RIDI), graduates this spring. Many of the grads have positions at prestigious companies.

Outstanding student employees, supervisor recognized

Career and Student Employment Services announces Isaac Hughes as graduate Student Employee of the Year, Flor Santana as undergraduate Student Employee of the Year and Norm Risk as Supervisor of the Year.

Trustees to set 2022 meeting dates Thursday

Trustees will convene in formal session at 11 a.m. Thursday,  March 18, via virtual platform. Their meeting will be livestreamed at wishing to address the board during either public comment sections of the meeting must notify Dr. Kahler Schuemann at by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 17.

WMU students place first at sales competition

A team of two students from Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business claimed first place at the University of Toledo Invitational Sales Competition, continuing a winning streak for the sales and business marketing program.

Celebrate Bronco graduates at spring 2021 virtual commencement

Western Michigan University is hosting a virtual commencement ceremony on May 1 to celebrate spring 2021 graduates. As the rescheduled in-person graduation continues to be delayed, we have also invited 2020 spring and summer graduates to participate in this virtual ceremony. 

'Choir for Good' sets the stage for students to explore purpose, amplify nonprofits

The innovative, interactive "Choir for Good" virtual concert weaves together music and social justice—an effort to give back while also giving students a meaningful experience in uncertain times. In order to ensure the safety of students, Kimberly Dunn Adams, director of choral activities, divided her classes into eight smaller chamber ensembles. Each group was given a different repertoire and charged with researching the composer, text and historical context of each piece. They then identified a societal issue connected to the piece—topics like hunger, racism, LGBTQ+ equality and access to clean water—and a nonprofit organization to highlight.