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Author Kevin Young says P.T. Barnum didn’t invent the hoax, but he came close to perfecting it. The author of Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News says Barnum provided people with a good show. But Young says some the acts are troubling “when you look at his shows up close.” 

Updated January 30th 1:45p.m. Young's lecutre scheduled for January 31st at WMU has been canceled due to weather. The University Center for the Humanities says it will be rescheduled.

Meg Marie Photography

Jeremiah Downes and Friends, a cabaret show of original music and lyrics by Jeremiah Downes, is an opportunity for the Western Michigan University assistant professor of theater to introduce his music to the community. Downes, who recently served as music director for Farmers Alley Theatre's production of The Marvellous Wonderettes, has been writing songs for the stage for around 15 years. For this production at Farmers Alley, he invited guest artists from the New York theater scene - Evan Gallagher-Frace and Madge Dietrich - as well as WMU theater students, to join him at the theater for two nights of performances on Jan 18 and 19 at 7:30 pm. Downes and Gallagher-Frace joined Cara Lieurance for a preview.

The Sunflower, Wichita State University, 2016

Soprano Renee Macdonald, a rising star who recently earned her master's degree from Wichita State University, will present a concert of American songs with pianist Gunta Laukmane and saxophonist Jarad Selner in a free concert, Sunday at 2:30 pm at First Congregational Church. At WMUK, Macdonald described how she was given early encouragement by her teachers, including Marie Kerstetter (Loy Norrix High School) and Fred Sang (Kalamazoo Children's Chorus) She says her undergraduate years at Western Michigan University were transformative, as she worked to bring her powerful voice under control. Last year, she entered the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and came in first in her district. Now, as an adjunct voice professor at Wichita State, she helps young voice students master their instruments with a variety of techniques she learned along the way.

In this Jan. 2, 2019, photo, a border patrol office inside his vehicle guards the border fence at the U.S. side of San Diego, Calif., as seen from Tijuana, Mexico. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Daniel Ochoa de Olza / The Associated Press

Western Michigan University Economics Professor Susan Pozo says she admires immigrants. Her dedication in a new book on the economic impact of immigration says “in honor of your many achievements and in sympathy for the sacrifices that come from leaving your home to offer your talents in a new country.” Pozo is the editor of The Human and Economic Implications of 21st Century Immigration Policy.

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Western Michigan University Economics Professor Susan Pozo says that when the debate over immigration heated up in 2016, it was important to hear from economists who had studied the issue. She says several of them came to the Western Michigan University campus during the 2016-17 academic year for the Economics Department’s Werner Sichel Lecture series. 

Pozo is the editor of The Human and Economic Implications of Twenty-First Century Immigration Policy. The book published by the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research includes summaries of the work by the economists who spoke at Western that year.