November 2021 WMU News

Plan, do, check, act with Audrey Oswalt

Audrey Oswalt, B.S.’19, took charge of her future in Floyd Hall when she earned an engineering management technology degree and as a WMU top javelin thrower. Now she is a thriving production manager with a knack for problem-solving, using skills she learned in the classroom and on the field as she strives for continuous improvement. “I am thankful for WMU Athletics and the engineering college for helping me get to where I am today,” she says.

Western engineering alum helps power next frontier of military defense in Space Force

Researching and developing engines that could power intergalactic missions sounds like a job description ripped from the film script of "Men in Black." But there are no sleek black suits among the ranks of the United States Space Force—an elite group of military personnel known as guardians working to protect America's interests in space. Western Michigan University alumnus Lt. James Mostek was among the first service members recruited to the team.

Two PA grads receive white coats at private ceremony

When COVID-19 sent classes online and canceled in-person graduation ceremonies, one preceptor took matters into his own hands, organizing a private ceremony to present two 2020 physician assistant grads with their coveted white coats. 

Senior engineering students test their education for area projects

Thanks to the months-long project work of a team of Western engineering students, residents of White Oaks Assisted Living community in Lawton, Michigan, now have a new bike adapted for their needs. The work of the bike team is one of 40 team projects that will be shared on Tuesday, Dec. 7, as part of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences' Senior Design Conference.

WMU formalizes partnership with Kalamazoo Literacy Council

Since 2011, Western and the Kalamazoo Literacty Council  have been collaborating in a variety of areas to explore best practices for adult literacy instruction, develop service-learning and internship opportunities for students and define relevant areas of research to expand the breadth of knowledge on the issue of adult literacy.

Check campus office hours for Thanksgiving recess

Western Michigan University will not hold classes beginning at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 24, through Sunday, Nov. 28, for Thanksgiving recess. Classes resume at 8 a.m. Monday, Nov. 29. Some WMU offices will close or operate on limited hours Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 25-28

Western Michigan University launches new course on tribal governance

Western, in partnership with three local tribal nations, is adding a tribal governance course to its Master of Public Administration program. The product of nearly two years of meaningful planning, the course was developed in partnership with members of the Pokagon, Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish and Nottawaseppi Huron bands of Potawatomi Indians.

Ready for liftoff: Engineering student has sights set on space

Mechanical and aerospace engineering major Parker Jarrett thrives on being busy but sets her priority on her ultimate goal. “I love seeing the reactions when I tell people I want to be a rocket scientist, but my fellow engineers look at me and recognize that it is a good fit for me,” she says.

Engineering professor conferred special service award

Engineering professor Larry Mallak teamed up with eight experts across the United States to create a training series for the American Society for Engineering Management certification exams and served as the subject matter expert in leadership and organizational management, adding his broad skills in creating virtual content to the mix.

First-of-its-kind research shows lake-effect snow trends in Southwest Michigan

Winter is coming, and it could be a snowy one in Southwest Michigan. Dr. Lei Meng, associate professor of geography, environment and tourism at Western Michigan University, studies the impact of climate variability on precipitation. His recent comprehensive study on lake-effect snow in Michigan's lower peninsula—the first of its kind for this region—uncovers the factors that ramp up the Lake Michigan snow machine.

Business fraternity receives multiple recognition awards for excellence

The Western Michigan University chapter of the Delta Sigma Pi professional business fraternity, Epsilon Omicron, won several awards during the October 2021 Virtual LEAD School. The chapter’s accomplishment of receiving not one but three awards speaks to its commitment to excellence in promoting the ideals of the fraternity through consistent, focused actions and activities. 

Western honors, celebrates veterans with student scholarship, local events

The campus and Kalamazoo communities will celebrate veterans in appreciation for their sacrifices and contributions to national safety for Veterans Day. Among our many Bronco veterans is Jessica Clark, who is the recipient of the 2021 Operation Hat Trick Military Scholarship. Clark is set to graduate in April 2022 with a bachelor's degree.

Supply chain team claims first place in case competition

A team of Western Michigan University integrated supply management students finished in first place at the General Motors/Wayne State University Supply Chain Case Competition. The team used teamwork to solve supply chain challenges, sourcing battery trays for the GMC Hummer EV and BrightDrop Electric Delivery Van. Ultimately, the highly experiential nature of the supply chain program prepared the team to perform at a superior level, and not only earn the top award but many accolades as well.

Circuits and music: Engineering student creates energy in and out of the classroom

During her first physics course, what resonated most with Jillian Bright was a circuits section. That course put her on the path to becoming an electrical engineer—a commitment of time and hard work. “I’m so glad I picked WMU—mostly for the insane number of experiences available.” One of those experiences has her also pursuing musical talent as part of the Bronco Marching Band. Read more about Jillian’s strategies for managing a busy schedule and commitments and how she is making her WMU experience her own. “Embracing opportunities is what WMU is all about.”

Racing toward his goals: Engineering student follows passion on the track

Senior Mitch MacDermaid always knew he wanted to be an engineer. Growing up, one of his favorite activities was to take things apart and rebuild them—a hands-on hobby that quickly became the basis for his career and the reason he chose Western Michigan University for his education.

WMU and Greenleaf Trust celebrate 2021 scholars

Greenleaf Trust and Western recently celebrated their 2021 scholars—a group of 13 students from the Haworth College of Business with majors in accounting, finance and personal financial planning. 

WMU AD Beauregard announces plan to retire at year’s end

Director of Athletics Kathy Beauregard has announced her plan to retire after 42 years with the University. She says, "It's difficult to step away from them, from my colleagues and what we've built together, but I've been blessed to have a wonderful career. I'm filled with gratitude as this chapter of my professional life comes to a close." 

Beauregard's final day on the job will be Dec. 31. The University will immediately launch a national search to identify the Broncos' next director of athletics.