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Board of Regents to meet Feb. 15 in University Hall

The Board of Regents is scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. Feb. 15 in University Hall in the Alexander G. Ruthven Building. Members of the public also will be able to watch a livestream of the meeting at umich.edu/watch/. Those wishing to make comments during the meeting must attend in person. An agenda will be posted online at noon Feb. 12 at regents.umich.edu/meetings/agendas/. Those wishing to sign up to speak at the meeting or submit written or video comments must do so before 5 p.m. Feb. 12. To sign up or learn more about the public comments policy, go to regents-stage.web.itd.umich.edu/meetings/public-comments/. People with disabilities who need assistance should contact the Office of the Vice President and Secretary of the University in advance at 734-763-8194. For more information, go to regents.umich.edu.

U-M Health announces new chief medical officer, chief nurse executive

Hitinder Gurm has been named chief medical officer and Julie Ishak has been named chief nurse executive for University of Michigan Health, Michigan Medicine’s clinical care enterprise. Both appointments are effective March 1. Gurm, the Park Willis III Collegiate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and professor of internal medicine, will provide senior executive leadership for safe, high-quality clinical care, professionalism, risk management and other key clinical services. He will ensure medical care remains consistent with the mission and vision of the clinical enterprise through engagement with other U-M Health leaders, administrators and governing boards. Ishak currently is chief nursing officer for ambulatory care. In her new role, she will provide strategic direction and guidance for the ongoing growth and evolution of U-M Health’s nursing practice. She will work closely with nursing and leadership teams across the adult hospitals, children’s and women’s hospitals and ambulatory care to drive innovations and best practices that support the health system’s strategic priorities.

Event, competition seek to turn climate anxiety into action

A School for Environment and Sustainability class is organizing a spring event to empower U-M students, faculty and staff to engage in individual and collective efforts to build a sustainable and just future. Building on the 2023 Advancing Climate Education event and the recommendation that such an event take place annually, plans are underway for ACE 2.0, organized by the “Leadership for Turning Climate Anxiety into Action” seminar. This time the specific focus will be on leadership for turning climate anxiety into action, since anxiety is one of the main barriers to individual and collective mitigation and adaptation behaviors. Scheduled for March 20-21, ACE 2.0 will allow students, faculty and staff to connect with, learn from and support each other with the aim of cultivating the next generation of U-M climate leaders. A new feature of ACE 2.0 is a creative expression contest open to all U-M students. The winners will receive cash prizes totaling $1,000. The contest submission deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 14. The submission form is available online.

U-M researcher designs interactive dialogues for AI-assisted cartoon

The new PBS KIDS animated series, “Lyla in the Loop,” will feature interactive digital episodes that incorporate AI-assisted conversations between the audience and the show’s main character because of programming devised by Ying Xu, assistant professor at the Marsal Family School of Education. Focused on improving learning outcomes for children, the series will feature interactive digital episodes that incorporate AI-assisted conversations between the audience and the show’s titular character, Lyla Loops, who lives in a city inspired by Philadelphia with her family and “fantastical” sidekick, Stu. Xu and colleagues have partnered with PBS KIDS and worked on the interactive components for this new show using real-time conversational artificial intelligence to support STEM learning among young children. Read more about this project.

University part of NSF effort to decontaminate and find uses for wastewater

A $15 million effort to wring both valuable resources and harmful pollutants out of wastewater involves University of Michigan researchers and educators. U-M is a partner in the Great Lakes Water Innovation Engine, one of 10 regional hubs the National Science Foundation announced as part of a program that’s among the largest broad investments in place-based research and development in the nation’s history, according to NSF. Each NSF Engine could receive up to $160 million over the next decade, adding up to a potential investment of $1.6 billion. The funding establishes Great Lakes ReNEW, a 53-member consortium that aims to “turn waste into wealth and health.” ReNEW members will develop new ways to remove from wastewater both emerging contaminants, such as PFAS, and critical commodities including renewable energy, minerals for batteries and nutrients for fertilizer. Learn more about this project.

Compiled by James Iseler, The University Record

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