FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2003
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY TO PLAY SUBSTANTIAL ROLE
IN NATIONAL SECURITY
INITIATIVE WITH FEDERAL AWARDS TOTALING $3.1 MILLION
YPSILANTI Eastern Michigan University will play a substantial
role in the United States national security initiative, both at home and
abroad, thanks to special federal appropriations totaling $3.1 million.
EMUs Coatings Research Institute (CRI) will receive $2.1 million from
the Department of Defense for an innovative project to protect military vehicles
from biochemical hazards. Another $1 million award from the Department of Justice
will help EMU establish a Center for Community Building and Civic Engagement.
These appropriations are a tangible result of Eastern Michigan Universitys
on-going commitment to partnerships with government, community organizations
and business to address issues of regional and national importance, said
Samuel Kirkpatrick, president of Eastern Michigan University. During our
strategic planning process, several areas were identified that could have a
substantial impact on our community and the nation. These two awards represent
the Universitys commitment and the facultys ability to link knowledge
resources to direct needs in order to produce practical results.
The CRI will partner with the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and the Tank Automotive
Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), which is part of the Armys
Research Development and Engineering Command, on research and development of
longer lasting coatings for vehicles and equipment with multifunctional protective
coatings that provide improved durability for weather, corrosion, chemical and
biological resistance. The CRI is a national center that partners with government,
industry and other universities to conduct basic and applied research on high
tech coating materials.
We are extremely pleased to be working with EMU because it is recognized
as the premier coatings research institute in the country, said Bruce
Fink, chief of the weapons materials division of ARL.
This funding will expand the research capacity of the Coatings Research
Institute and enhance and broaden the research capability of EMU. I view this
as a significant opportunity for CRI to do highly relevant research on the practical
problem of corrosion prevention and control, said Ted Provder, director
of EMUs CRI.
In May 1998, an Army Material Command corrosion prevention and control program
documented that corrosion costs the Department of Defense about $10 billion
a year. More recent independent studies estimate the costs of corrosion to be
greater than $20 billion a year.
These initial federal appropriations are an important and early milestone
of EMUs involvement with the homeland security component of Gov. Jennifer
Granholms tri-corridor initiatives and represents the strength of federal-state-university
partnerships, Kirkpatrick said.
Closer to home, Eastern Michigan University will establish a Center for Community
Building and Civic Engagement that develops programs, leadership training, technical
assistance and applied research relevant to communities in southeast Michigan.
The initial program will involve the Ypsilanti Police Department, Detroits
4th Police Precinct, the Latino Family Services Agency and the Arab Community
Center for Economic and Social Service (ACCESS).
Our nation can be no stronger than our communities. This program will
build upon another successful grant the Community Outreach Partnership
Center that links community organizations, municipal government and the
University in order to identify and address social, cultural and economic needs
of Ypsilanti and its residents, Kirkpatrick said.
The Center for Community Building and Civic Engagement will strengthen
community organizations and individuals by helping them in terms of management,
leadership and program planning, said Ron Woods, director for the Institute
for the Study of Children, Families and Communities.
As part of the Centers goals, individuals in the fellowship mentoring
program will work with EMU faculty for a one-year period. There will be mentoring
of individuals by teams of faculty to develop and implement specific programs
that deal with youth, violence, crime, engagement and integrating with the community,
Congressman John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), as well as representatives from the
offices of Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and
officials from the city of Ypsilanti participated in the conference.
Eastern Michigan University (www.emich.edu) is a four-year, comprehensive metropolitan
University committed to the needs of its students and communities through teaching,
research and service. EMU offers more than 400 programs in the arts, sciences
and professions through traditional classroom settings, off-site continuing
education classes and online courses. EMU is the fifth largest University in
Michigan, serving more than 24,000 students from around the world and offers
undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate programs.