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'A' for Appleton
If a teacher’s success can be measured by the achievements of his students, then Political Science Professor Sheldon Appleton could be called the JFK of higher education — inspiring a generation of students to serve their country and their communities as politicians, professors, provosts, even college presidents.
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Cranes, Brick, Glass, Concrete
Oakland University’s landscape tells the story: cranes, brick, glass, concrete. Buildings are rising all over campus, providing expanded learning and living space for the university’s 16,000 plus students.
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Reaching Back, Moving Forward
Most people who grow up in disadvantaged communities spend their lives trying to get out. Lenwood Compton hopes to go back in – but this time as a middle school teacher. Three days a week he leaves behind the green stretches of Oakland's campus to volunteer at Great Lakes Academy in Pontiac.
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Lean on Me
Dennis Pawley calls it a mindset, a way of thinking, a mental attitude. If he could bottle it and sell it, the 1982 Oakland University graduate would. But you can’t bottle attitude. It evolves with time and experience, challenges and achievements. So, the former executive vice president of Chrysler has begun a one-man mission to convince America’s future business leaders to “think lean.”
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Balancing GPAs & RBIs
A softball hurtling toward her at 60 mph doesn’t phase Megan Piar. Neither does 14 hours a week of upper-level business management classes, 15 hours of conditioning and batting practice, another 15 hours working two part-time jobs and an avalanche of homework.
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Driving While Black
10 p.m. The red and white flashing lights of a police cruiser appear in your rearview mirror. Your tags are good. All your lights are working. You are driving the speed limit. There are no points on your record, no tickets or warrants outstanding. So, why are you being pulled over?
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Stroke of Genius
For a quarter century, Professor Michael Chopp has searched for ways to stop the brain from self-destructing. He pioneered the use of magnetic resonance imaging, better known as MRI, to evaluate the brain’s health without surgery. In 1996, he was one of a handful of scientists invited by the World Health Organization to discuss how best to treat this neurological equivalent to a volcanic eruption.
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Violin Virtuoso
Once, when Regina Carter CAS ’85 climbed into a New York City cab with her violin, the driver noticed her instrument and offered encouragement. “Keep practicing,” he said. “Maybe someday you’ll play Carnegie Hall.” Carter, 37, just smiled. The internationally recognized jazz violinist didn’t tell the driver she’d been there, done that – with Wynton Marsalis, no less.
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A Dream Cut Short
At 37, Beckie Francis never imagined she would give up a job she dreamed about since childhood. The OU women's basketball coach the past five seasons, Francis sat before the press and officially resigned her dream job on Oct. 31 after quietly sharing her decision with assistant coaches and players.
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Winter 2003 Issue



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