WMU

Earlene McMichael | WMUK

This is a story of when the power of social media meets the desire to do good. Jeremy Cole, 32, rescues dilapated homes in Kalamazoo County. He'd post before-and-after pictures on Facebook. One day, the licensed builder shared a light-hearted video about his restoration work. Stanley Steppes, a local independent filmmaker with whom Cole attended Kalamazoo Central High School, saw it and convinced Cole to let him do a YouTube series on him. A Detroit film production company executive was "tagged," liked it, and dreamed even bigger. His firm turned it into a show for the DIY network. Now HGTV is giving "Gritty to Pretty" a trial run this fall.


Courtesy Matt Grocoff

Matt Grocoff says today’s children may grow up in a world without power outages. The founder of the Ann Arbor based Thrive Collaborative says that’s part of the promise of “net-zero” buildings.


Johnny Rodgers

Johnny Rodgers began his life as a performer in theatre - singing, writing songs on piano, and dancing - when he was a boy growing up in Florida, egged on by his music-loving grandmother.  But he credits Western Michigan's Gold Company, and director Steve Zegree, with some of the most critical training for his career. Today he is an acclaimed one-man-band performer about whom the Chicago Tribune wrote: "He plays piano better than most singers. He sings better than most pianists. And he writes songs better than most singer-pianists." (Reich, Howard. "Johnny Rodgers: A Singer-Pianist For All Seasons." Chicago Tribune. Nov 25, 2014).  

Rodgers joined Jazz Currents host Keith Hall in the studio at WMUK during a visit to his alma mater in December 2017. He plays his own songs, "Home To Mendocino," "The Best of You And Me," and "Mid-Day Moon," as well as the popular song, "What a Wonderful World."


Benjamin Famiano

You may not know it but you're left-handed. We're not talking about the hand you use the most but rather the amino acids in the molecules in your body. All life in earth uses "left-handed" molecules as building blocks. And a research team led by associate Western Michigan University physics professor Michael Famiano is trying to find out why that's true, and whether the "stuff of life" was forged in the depths of space.


Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Western Michigan University set tuition and fees for the next academic year on Wednesday, at a meeting where the Board of Trustees also approved a new contract with the school's Teaching Assistants Union. 

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