Update regarding August data incident at U‑M
U-M has posted follow-up information about an August incident that involved a third party gaining unauthorized access to personal information relating to certain students and applicants, alumni and donors, employees and contractors, University Health Service and School of Dentistry patients, and research study participants. The university has mailed letters to all individuals for whom it has an address and whose sensitive personal information was involved in the incident. Letters were mailed on Oct. 23 and recipients should allow at least five business days for them to arrive. Individuals whose sensitive information may have been involved in this incident are being offered complimentary credit monitoring services. Additionally, a dedicated call center has been established to handle questions about the incident. Persons who believe their information was involved in this incident and did not receive a letter should call the toll-free call center at 1-888-998-7088 from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Read the full update.
Spectrum Center launches introductory LGBTQIA2S+ web course
Spectrum Center has launched a free, one-hour webcourse for the U-M community this fall to provide an overview of terms and topics related to gender, sexuality, and marginalization. Students, faculty and staff can register for and take Introduction to LGBTQIA2S+ Communities and Identities through Canvas. Spectrum Center developed the course, and later released the pilot in October 2022, as a high-quality, accessible online replacement for its foundational vocabulary and concepts workshop. “This is such an important step in putting basic information, terminology, and expert guidance at the community’s fingertips,” said Spectrum Center Director Jesse Beal. “It’s now a core co-curricular offering for us, and we’re excited to build on this foundation through our partnerships, in-person workshops, and consultations across campus.” Learners in the introductory webcourse are guided through an overview of terms and topics related to gender, sexuality, and marginalization, with a focus on terms relevant to LGBTQIA2S+ communities. Learn more about the course and get started at spectrumcenter.umich.edu/intro-identities-webcourse.
Week of events honoring veterans at U-M runs Nov. 6-11
U-M is hosting its annual Veterans Week celebration Nov. 6-11. The annual event features a week of programming that educates and celebrates the experiences and sacrifice of those who have served our country. All events are free and are open to the entire university community and to the general public unless otherwise noted. Those with questions about this year’s events should email Philip Larson, program director for U-M Veteran and Military Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For a complete listing of Veterans Week events, go to vets.umich.edu/events/veterans-week-2023.
UM-Flint awarded $1.2 million to support student success
UM-Flint has been awarded three new grants totaling $1.2 million to support student success, retention and graduation. The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity – Workforce Development approved $203,000 annually for six years to support three programs: the Morris Hood, Jr. Educator Development grant, the Select Student Support Services program and the Michigan College/University Partnership program. Funding for each grant comes from the state of Michigan’s Martin Luther King Jr. – César Chávez – Rosa Parks Initiative with costs shared by the university. The KCP Initiative increases the number of Michigan’s academically and economically disadvantaged citizens who have the opportunity to complete college degrees and experience career success. Students supported through the grants form a community of scholars and a network of support, with grant-funded staff members providing tutoring and coaching. Students in the programs also learn valuable skills to help navigate the college experience. Each program teaches lessons on financial literacy, time management and basic academic skills. Read more about the project.
New phone case provides workaround for inaccessible touch screens
A new smartphone case could soon enable folks with visual impairments, tremors and spasms to use touch screens independently. Developed at U-M, BrushLens could help users perceive, locate and tap buttons and keys on the touch screen menus now ubiquitous in restaurant kiosks, ATMs and other public terminals. Users can comb through a touch screen interface by holding a phone connected to BrushLens against a touch screen and dragging the phone across the screen. The phone sees what’s on the screen with its camera then reads the options aloud by harnessing the phone’s built-in screen readers. Users indicate their menu choice through screen readers or an enlarged, easy-to-tap button in the BrushLens app. “So many technologies around us require some assumptions about users’ abilities, but seemingly intuitive interactions can actually be challenging for people,” said Chen Liang, a doctoral student in computer science and engineering. Liang works in the lab of Anhong Guo, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering who led the development of BrushLens with Alanson Sample, an associate professor in the same department. Read more about BrushLens.
— Compiled by James Iseler, The University Record