Michigan Means: Excellence + AchievementExcellence + Achievement

The Michigan Difference

The University of Michigan’s excellence is grounded in an outstanding community of students, faculty, and staff drawn from throughout Michigan, across the nation, and around the globe. We bring a wealth of perspectives drawn from a wide range of ideas, beliefs, ethnicities, and personal backgrounds that critically inform our understanding of a complex world. Ours is an environment that fosters achieve-ment in everything we do—from academics, the arts, and athletics to research and teaching.

Solar Car Team Shines Again

Solar Car Team Shines Again

Innovation, collaboration, ingenuity, teamwork, and a competitive “drive” came together as the U-M Solar Car Team won the 2008 North American Solar Challenge. Team Continuum crossed the finish line in Alberta, Canada, on July 27, 2008, after more than 2,400 miles and 50 hours of racing over nine days in a competition that began in Plano, Texas. This is the fifth time U-M finished first in this competition. Continuum finished ten hours ahead of its nearest competitor.

The Michigan team’s legacy of achievement is as old as solar car racing. U-M won the inaugural North American race in 1990 (then called the SunRayce) with its first car Sunrunner. The car called Maize and Blue finished first in 1993. M-Pulse won in 2001 as did Momentum in 2005.

With more than 100 members, Solar Car is one of the largest student organizations on the Ann Arbor campus. It includes students from the College of Engineering; the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; the Stephen M. Ross School of Business; the School of Art & Design; and the School of Education. Working in collaborative teams with the assistance of faculty mentors, the group designs, finances, builds, and races a solar-powered vehicle in competitions around North America and the world.

Each educational discipline brings different expertise to the project–from raising and managing the team’s project budget to designing, manufacturing, and testing the vehicle to operations, marketing, and public relations. The team raised more than $2.4 million from over 350 corporate and individual sponsors to fund the project.

Excellence + Achievement in Brief

Pursue excellence—should you stumble, let it be to a lofty mountain. –Maori Proverb

  • Research expenditures by U-M were $876 million in fiscal year 2008, a 6 percent increase over the previous year and an all-time high. The federal government provided 70 percent of the total. Investments by U-M, industry, foundations, and the state accounted for most of the rest.
  • U-M produced the highest number of 2007–08 Fulbright awards for American students, with 37 receiving grants. Yale University followed with 27 grantees. Two faculty members affiliated with U-M will teach and conduct research abroad with Fulbright Scholar grants. They are: Steven Wright, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Thomas O’Donnell, who taught at U-M from 2001–07.
  • The National Academy of Sciences named two U-M researchers to the prestigious Institute of Medicine in October 2007. They are: Dr. Theodore Lawrence, chairman of the Medical School radiation oncology department and Isadore Lampe Professor; and Antonia Villarruel, Nola J. Pender Collegiate Professor of Nursing, director of the School of Nursing Center for Health Promotion, and a professor in the school’s division of risk reduction and health promotion.
  • For the 13th straight year, U-M Hospitals and Health Centers earned a place among the best hospitals in the nation, according to rankings compiled by U.S. News & World Report. U-M is 13th among the 19 on the honor roll, and fourth among public institution hospitals. No other Michigan hospitals made the honor roll.
  • Seven faculty members received 2008 Guggenheim Fellowships, the most this year by any university in the United States or Canada. They are: Geri Allen, associate professor of music, School of Music, Theatre & Dance: Sheldon Danziger, H. J. Meyer Distinguished University Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; Phoebe Gloeckner, assistant professor of art, School of Art & Design; David Halperin, W. H. Auden Collegiate Professor of the History and Theory of Sexuality, Department of English; Richard Primus, law professor, Law School; and Ashutosh Varshney, political science professor, Department of Political Science.
  • The National Academy of Sciences elected to its membership Conrad Kottak, the Julian H. Steward Collegiate Professor of Anthropology. Working in Brazil, Madagascar, and the United States, Kottak has researched how local cultures interact with national and global forces.
  • Five faculty members were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. They are: Elizabeth Anderson, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and John Rawls Collegiate Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies; L. Ross Chambers, Marvin Felheim Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of French and Comparative Literature; Susan Gelman, Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of Psychology; John Jackson, M. Kent Jennings Collegiate Professor in Political Science; and Margaret Jane Radin, a professor in the Law School.
  • At least eight U-M researchers contributed to the latest set of climate change reports issued by the U.N.-sponsored panel that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore. They include: Rosina Bierbaum, dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment; Henry Pollack, emeritus professor of geological sciences; Joyce Penner, professor of atmospheric science; graduate students Minghuai Wang and Li Xu; Maria Carmen Lemos, associate professor, School of Natural Resources and Environment; and Detlef Sprinz, visiting professor of political science.
  • For the third year in a row, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services awarded the Organ Donation Medal of Honor to the U-M Health System Transplant Center and its Gift of Life Michigan partners for achieving the national goal of converting at least 75 percent of eligible deaths into actual organ donors.
  • Members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science elected 10 U-M researchers as fellows in recognition of their efforts to advance scientific applications that are considered scientifically or socially distinguished. Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal Science.
  • In 2007–08 varsity sports, the Wolverines captured Big Ten Championships in baseball, women’s gymnastics, softball, men’s swimming and diving, field hockey, and men’s outdoor track and field; and NCAA regional championships in softball and men’s tennis. In addition, the U-M hockey team won the Central Collegiate Hockey Association championship and women’s water polo won both the Collegiate Water Polo Association’s Western Division Championship and Eastern Championship titles. In varsity club sports, men’s lacrosse won the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association national championship.
  • Advances in fuel-efficient engines and insights on quantum dot optoelectronic devices earned U-M College of Engineering professors Dennis Assanis and Pallab Bhattacharya election to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest honors in engineering.
  • Dr. James R. Baker Jr. was named the Distinguished University Innovator for 2008. Baker, a scientist in the Medical School and a successful entrepreneur, has conducted breakthrough research in nanotechnology materials and launched two start-up companies based on the results.
  • The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards recognized the U-M Health System for its variety of eco-friendly programs focusing on energy conservation, waste management, and environmental education.
  • Gus Rosania, an assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Bush at a White House ceremony. The award is the highest honor the U.S. government bestows on early-career scientists and engineers.
  • The World Bank selected Rosina Bierbaum, dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment, to co-author and co-direct its prestigious World Development Report 2010, which will focus on climate change and development.
  • Twenty-seven individuals with ties to U-M participated in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The Wolverines represented nine countries across six sports, and included five medal winners.
  • U-M researchers disclosed 306 new inventions in FY 2008. Results also included 144 U.S. patent applications and 87 issued patents. Revenue at the Office of Technology Transfer rose to an all-time high of $25 million. The income—about half came from royalties—will fuel ongoing reinvestments in research, technology transfer, and industry-outreach activities.
  • Six members of the U-M faculty were awarded Arthur F. Thurnau Professorships for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. They are: James Cogswell Jr., professor of art in the School of Art & Design; Sherman Jackson, professor of Near Eastern studies in LSA; Robert Megginson, associate dean and professor of mathematics in LSA; Dana Muir, professor of business law in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business; Ann Marie Sastry, professor of mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, and materials science and engineering in the College of Engineering (CoE); and Peter Washabaugh, associate professor of aerospace engineering, CoE.
  • The National Institutes of Health awarded U-M a five-year, $55 million Clinical and Translational Science Award as part of a national initiative to encourage and speed collaboration and interdisciplinary research for therapies that improve human health. It is the third-largest NIH award in U-M’s history and the largest ever to the Medical School.
  • For the fifth year in a row, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters named Michigan Radio Public Broadcasting Station of the Year. It also received a National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Radio News Documentary for the series “Ashes to Hope: Overcoming the Detroit Riots.” Michigan Radio was the only television or radio station in the state of Michigan, public or commercial, to receive the award.
  • Erik Lundberg, chief investment officer for U-M, was a winner of Institutional Investor’s 2007 Awards for Excellence in Investment Management in the endowments category.

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