Wayne State University to launch Innovation Hub to maximize student success, strengthen community connections and streamline business partnerships

As one of the nation’s preeminent urban research universities, Wayne State consistently generates important innovations and ground-breaking research. At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, in the Student Center Ballroom, the university will launch the Wayne Innovation Hub to coordinate and enhance its programs for entrepreneurship education, technology commercialization, and community partnerships, and to enhance the university’s overall culture of innovation.

The Wayne Innovation Hub is an element of the university’s five-year strategic plan, Distinctively Wayne State, which identified innovation and entrepreneurship as strategic focus areas. This strategic focus is driven by rapid technological advances that impact all university disciplines and strongly influence where jobs for students will be in the future.

The Innovation Hub will work with all university units to ensure that students, faculty and staff have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to achieve career success, drive economic development and improve their communities. These efforts include expansion at TechTown Detroit, Wayne State’s community-facing venture incubator and accelerator; innovative programming at Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute; educational offerings such as entrepreneurship certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels from the Mike Ilitch School of Business; strengthened support for student ventures, projects, and organizations; and enhancement of the university’s technology commercialization and business partnership practices.

“To achieve success in this world of accelerating technology, we must prepare our students with innovation and entrepreneurship skills, strengthen our community connections, and enhance technology transfer and business partnerships,” said Provost Keith E. Whitfield. “Our strong Detroit roots, world-class academic and research programs, and thriving, diverse campus culture make us exceptionally well positioned to produce needed innovation and play a leadership role in the revitalization of the Detroit region.”

W. David Tarver, recently hired senior counselor to the provost for innovation and entrepreneurship, will administer the Innovation Hub and provide guidance and strategic direction. Tarver brings experience as a successful technology company founder, author, urban business development advocate, and entrepreneurship educator. He aims to play a key role in making Wayne State University an innovation and entrepreneurship powerhouse.

“Wayne State is one of the nation’s leading urban research universities, and considering the current Detroit resurgence, the time is right to grab hold of the talent and ideas that exist here to produce the groundbreaking innovations, new ventures and community partnerships that will improve the quality of life here and around the world,” said Tarver.

The Innovation Hub launch celebration will remind people on campus and throughout the region that Wayne State has a strong track record of innovation and entrepreneurship and showcase how it is taking its commitment to an even higher level. The event will include music; a series of short, entertaining “IDO” (Innovation, Disruption, Opportunity) talks; and the kickoff of a student-led community engagement project in which participants produce one-minute video profiles to highlight the innovations produced by everyday Detroiters. Attendees will also be encouraged to connect with the many innovation and entrepreneurship resources that exist on campus and around the community, and representatives will be on hand to answer questions and provide information.

A reception with food and beverages will follow the program. This free event is open to the public. Please register by visiting http://go.wayne.edu/innovation-hub. Wayne State students need not register in advance.


Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students.

Jocelyn Benson Joins Michigan Campaign to Fix the Debt

From Fix the Debt Michigan
December 18, 2012

Prominent Democrat joins Business Owners, Local Elected Officials, Community Leaders Calling on Federal Lawmakers to Find Practical Solutions

December 18, 2012 (Lansing, Michigan): The Campaign to Fix the Debt – a national nonpartisan coalition of business leaders, elected officials, community leaders, academics and individual citizens is pleased to announce that Jocelyn Benson, Interim Dean, Wayne State University Law School and Director of the Michigan Center for Election Law, will co-chair the effort in Michigan.

Jocelyn Benson joins Campaign to Fix the Debt Michigan co-chairs Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Sandy K. Baruah, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Regional Chamber. Benson, Sikkema and Baruah are calling on policy makers in Washington to put aside political differences to forge a credible plan to stabilize and bring down our national debt.

“Jocelyn’s experience and background is a strong addition to non-partisan effort to come together and tackle a challenging problem,” said Campaign to Fix the Debt state co-chair Sandy K. Baruah, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Resolving this issue will take a smart combination of spending restraint, revenue enhancements and a robustly growing economy. We must continue to urge President Obama and our leaders in Congress to work together to find resolution.”

“No other issue is as urgent or important to our country as addressing both the immediate and long-term debt problems the U.S. currently faces,” Jocelyn Benson, Campaign to Fix the Debt state co-chair, who is the President of the Military Spouses of Michigan and former Michigan Democratic Party Candidate for Secretary of State said. “In recent years the national debt has grown to unsustainable levels relative to the size of our economy, placing an untenable burden on many small businesses, veterans and military families.”

To date, the Campaign to Fix the Debt has attracted more than 300,000 grassroots supporters from across the county, including the active support from small businesses, volunteers and local officials in Michigan. The Campaign to Fix the Debt is committed to advocating for our elected leaders to avert the cliff while gradually putting our debt on a sustainable course by generating more tax revenues and making smart spending cuts to programs that aren’t working or aren’t necessary.

Through grassroots organizing, earned media activities and high-profile outreach, the Campaign to Fix the Debt is urging lawmakers to set aside political differences to formulate practical solutions to our nation’s debt problems.

Jocelyn Benson is the Interim Dean at Wayne State University Law School where she serves as the Associate Director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. She is the founder and Director of the Michigan Center for Election Law, and is a member of the national board of directors for iCivics, Inc., a non-profit created by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to improve civics education throughout the country. She was asked to serve on the national board of directors of iCivics, Inc., a non-profit created by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to improve civics education throughout the country. Benson, a military spouse, is also the current President of the Military Spouses of Michigan. In 2010 she was the Michigan Democratic Party’s candidate for Secretary of State. For more information, please visit www.jocelynbenson.com

For more information, and to sign the campaign’s Citizen’s Petition, please visit www.fixthedebt.org.

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