December 2022 WMU News

Office of Research and Innovation launches Bronco Innovators Challenge

Undergraduate students will have the opportunity to pitch innovative ideas and receive support and mentorship through the Office of Research and Innovation's Bronco Innovators Challenge. The winning ideas will receive funding and see their projects through to production.

Empowering Futures already making impact on student success

About 60 staff and administrators from across vice presidential divisions gathered in December at Heritage Hall for the Empowering Futures Work Group Kickoff. This was the first collective gathering of all team members working on the Empowering Futures project. Work groups, with the support of the Executive Leadership Team and Steering Committee, will continue advancing and refining initiatives supported by the historic Empowering Futures Gift.

Intrigued by a good mystery, Western student decodes path in cybersecurity

Western's cybersecurity program is letting Evelyn Ortiz-Martinez explore her fascination with encryption and decryption—and solving a good mystery. The sophomore loves "having the flexibility and freedom to find a specific part of cybersecurity I love and do that as my career.”

National leader, respected public servant and longtime advocate for Western to receive honorary degree

The Board of Trustees approved an honorary degree for outgoing U.S. Rep Fred Upton at its Dec. 15 meeting. A campuswide committee recommended the honor, noting during his tenure, Upton has “remained committed to his district and the entire state of Michigan. Our institution has greatly benefited by having a respected bipartisan leader advocating for WMU in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Physician assistant program celebrates 50 years at WMU

In 2022, the physician assistant program at Western Michigan University celebrated 50 years of preparing physician assistant professionals. Founded in 1972, it was one of the first PA programs in the nation and the second in Michigan.

PA department makes holidays special for local family

Each year during the holiday season, students, faculty and staff from Western's physician assistant program adopts a family to help them meet basic needs and provide Christmas gifts for their children. Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo matched the PA program with a local family in need, a family with six with children ranging in age from three months to eight years old.

WMU Board of Trustees to meet in formal session Thursday

Items for consideration by the Board of Trustees on Thursday, Dec. 15, include renaming the Stadium Clubhouse, an honorary degree recommendation for Congressman Fred Upton, personnel updates and a proposal seeking flexibility in the use of an endowment fund to compensate graduate assistants in Bronco Athletics.

Being a little brave can take us a long way: Fahad Shiraj’s journey

Fahad Shiraj, from Dhaka, Bangladesh, is a senior majoring in business analytics and becoming a leader every day. As treasurer of the Business Analytics Information Technology registered student organization and a founding member of the Bangladesh Student Association, Shiraj is making an impact at Western. 

Finding fun in Sydney Wade’s future

Math and its many applications isn't everyone's idea of a good time. For Sydney Wade, a student in the accountancy and finance programs, she was practically born for it—coming from a family of entrepreneurs who exposed her to business plans and financials early on.  

New dean appointed to help College of Aviation continue to soar

“Dr. Thompson has extensive professional accomplishments in the aviation field both in academic as well as industry settings,” says Dr. Christopher Cheatham, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “I believe he is uniquely positioned to lead this college in part due to his knowledge and experiences related to the three different majors in the college.”

Western honored for innovation, leadership in sustainability

Western's amped-up EV charging network, facilities management staff member DeVon Miller and alumnus Matt Hollander were all recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan during its 2022 Leadership Awards on Dec. 8.

Auden Ceithaml is part of a winning team

Auden Ceithaml is a digital marketing and eCommerce major who has found success in the program's registered student organization, digital marketing competition and managing the men's soccer team social media. 

Haley Jackson is the heart of human resources

Haley Jackson aims to put heart into her career in human resources. In joining student organizations, securing an recruiting internship and networking with business professionals, Jackson is positioning herself to make a positive impact on people at organizations that value their employees and culture. 

Megan Taylor’s online community

If you type in #community into TikTok, Instagram or your preferred social media, senior Megan Taylor will certainly be in your feed. Inspired by well-known companies like Nike for their impactful campaigns, Taylor is ready to take on advertising and promotion once she graduates—with an industry-relevant internship and scholarship already on her resume. 

Senior engineering students to show their skills

The Senior Design Conference celebrates with pride the dedication, perseverance and excellence of our students. You are invited to attend our students’ presentations—virtually or in-person—to learn about their work and the exciting things they have accomplished. What you will see are the results of our thriving Broncos—designing, building and testing.