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August 13, 2007
CONTACT: Ron Podell
734.487.4400
ron.podell@emich.edu

Schaffer, Shell recongized for Wireless Washtenaw efforts

YPSILANTI - Two Eastern Michigan University employees were recently honored for their efforts on the Wireless Washtenaw project.

Connie Schaffer, chief information officer for ICT, and Bill Shell, director of academic and computing technology services, played key roles in the Wireless Washtenaw Project, which received the Midwest Collaboration Award from the Midwest Technology Leaders May 9. Schaffer, a resident of Lambertville, Mich., serves on Wireless Washtenaw’s Advisory Board. Shell, from Ypsilanti Township, was a member of the project’s steering committee.

The award recognizes partnerships that impact growth within the technology community. As part of Wireless Washtenaw, EMU’s physical plant will, within the next nine months, work with the county to provide several building locations, free of charge, for the county to mount small antennas. The antennas will assist the county’s wireless service network while the university will benefit from having wireless services expanded to campus green space.

All EMU classroom buildings and 97 percent of its administrative buildings are already wireless, Schaffer said.

“I am very honored that Eastern Michigan could be involved in Wireless Washtenaw,” said Schaffer. “To me, it’s an example of the way collaboration should take place. It was a great opportunity for people from different organizations to come together in a positive way.”

The purpose of Wireless Washtenaw is to develop a community wireless boardband network in Washtenaw County through use of the local government’s infrastructure and regulatory authority to partner with private providers, community institutions, businesses and community organizations.

Goals include providing an economic development tool to attract and retain businesses; reduce the digital divide; improve the delivery of county services; facilitate wireless technology use for citizens and visitors; crate a seamless, wireless infrastructure to attract and retain young professionals; and establish a wireless, broadband network without burdening taxpayers.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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