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Troy Chamber hosts 13th annual Nonprofit Management Conference, presented by PNC Bank

The Troy Chamber of Commerce and its Non-Profit Network (NPN) will host the 13th Annual Nonprofit Management Conference, presented by PNC Bank on Thursday, May 17, 8 a.m.–3:10 p.m., at Walsh College, Troy campus (3838 Livernois). This affordable management conference for nonprofit professionals, board members and volunteers is sponsored by PNC Bank, Walsh College and the Troy Chamber of Commerce.
 
 “We are proud to say that throughout the 12-year history of this conference, the Troy Chamber has provided low-cost training and networking opportunities to more than 1,500 nonprofit professionals from all over southeast Michigan,” explains Jody House, Troy Chamber Vice President and Staff Liaison to the Non-Profit Network. “The kind of training offered during this one-day conference can be key to growing nonprofit core competencies among staff, board members and volunteers alike,” she says.
 
Patricia Mooradian, President & Chief Operating Officer of The Henry Ford, will be kicking off the conference with a keynote presentation. Since joining the Henry Ford in 2000, Ms. Mooradian has developed a ten-year strategic plan focusing on increased attendance, new visitor experiences and amenities, new educational products and benchmark hospitality. She also introduced new tourism and sales initiatives and spearheaded The Henry Ford's brand development.
 
Following the keynote, continental breakfast and networking, the conference continues with two breakout sessions, lunch, and two afternoon sessions. Throughout the day, there will be a mini-expo with exhibitors showcasing products and services to help nonprofits operate their organizations better and more efficiently. 
 
At each breakout session, attendees choose one of four sessions with topics covering eight core areas of nonprofit management: Governance/Operations, Marketing, Technology, Human Resources/Volunteers/Staff, Fund Development/Donor Relations, Leadership/Board Development, Strategic Planning and Finance/Accounting.
 
The cost for the conference, breakfast & lunch included, is $60 for Troy Chamber members and $110 for non-members. Two or more attendees from the same non-member organization will receive a $10 discount per person. Space is limited and reservations must be made in advance.

To register, call the Troy Chamber at 248-641-3694 or email: jody@troychamber.com. For more details on the event, including topics and descriptions of the breakout sessions and speakers, click here.

OU Anthropology professor deploys drone to combat hunger in Africa

Oakland University professor Jon Carroll, Ph.D., is part of a pioneering team of scholars harnessing the latest advances in science and technology to promote sustainable agriculture in Africa. 
 
Carroll recently traveled to Liwonde, Malawi to work on a research project helping farmers boost crop production in the face of mounting threats posed by climate change. The project, called “Precision Agriculture for Smallholder Systems in Africa,” is part of Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

It is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and is in collaboration with Michigan State University’s Center for Global Change and Earth Observations, and Kansas State University’s Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab.
 
Carroll worked extensively with the Center for Global Change while in graduate school at Michigan State and was asked to join the project because of his expertise in using unmanned aerial vehicles for various research endeavors. These include archaeological excavations in Israel and a historical survey of Chateau de Balleroy, a 17th-century castle in Normandy, France.
 
“They knew of the work I had been doing in different parts of the world, and they thought that drone capability would be a great asset to the project,” said Carroll, a Registered Professional Archaeologist, FAA-licensed drone pilot and assistant professor in OU’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Criminal Justice.

So, how can a drone be used to counter the ill effects of climate change on crops in Africa and elsewhere? It starts with high-precision aerial photography that drones can provide to help researchers assess crop health.
 
As Carroll explained, “What we are doing is bringing highly detailed aerial imagery together with weather station data to understand what’s going on with these farm fields. This approach is widely available in the U.S., but in Africa they simply don’t have access to these technologies.”
 
The drone captures images with special cameras that allow researchers to quantify how much water and chlorophyll is in the plants. It also allows for 3-D measurements of plants in different parts of the field. Based on this data, researchers can recommend potential solutions to low crop yields.
 
“The answer could be water or fertilizer, or it may be that they are growing the wrong types of crops for that soil,” Carroll said.

Researchers are also working to develop models that can better predict seasonal and environmental patterns, which have been disrupted by climate change.

According to USAID, recurring droughts have ravaged Malawi’s agriculture sector, threatening the livelihoods of Malawi’s smallholder farmers, who constitute 80 percent of the country's population. In addition, 38 percent of Malawians live below the poverty line and 47 percent of children have stunted growth.

“It’s a big problem, potentially disastrous.” Carroll said. “We went down there in February because that’s their growing season, and it didn’t rain once while we were there.”
 
Carroll’s research team worked in conjunction with other research groups, which included government officials and scholars from Malawi and other places. Aside from the influx of visitors, the appearance of a flying object was a source of fascination for children and families in the community.

“This is an area where people are just not used to seeing this type of technology, so any time that I flew the drone, we always had a crowd,” he recalled. “Entire families would come out to see what was going on, and I would make it a point to try to explain to the people what we were doing and answer their questions, either in English or through an interpreter.”
 
Carroll called his time in Malawi “one of the most profound” research experiences of his life.
 
“I’ve worked in different parts of the world, usually on archaeological questions, and most of the people that I study have been gone for hundreds or thousands of years,” he explained. “This was a very different kind of project because I was surrounded by the people who were going to be affected by this research.”
 
Carroll lauded the College of Arts and Sciences and Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Criminal Justice for their support of his work and for helping put Oakland at the forefront of drone-driven, global research efforts.
 
“This is one capability we have that many other institutions in the region don’t,” he said. “Oakland is leading the way in using drone technology in different parts of the world, and for different purposes. None more urgent than helping those whose survival depends on achieving sustainable food production.”

Orion Township Public Library starts its own Repair Cafe

What do you do with a broken toaster? Or a piece of clothing that needs to be altered? Or with a hair dryer that won’t work? Toss it? No way! The Orion Township Public Library is organizing the first Repair Café on Saturday, April 14 from 1:00p to 4:00p.

 

Various volunteer repair experts will be available to help make all possible repairs FREE of charge. Tools and materials will also be on hand. People visiting the Repair Café will bring along their broken items from home. Toasters, lamps, hair dryers, clothes, bikes, furniture, toys...anything that is broken is welcome, and can most likely be repaired.

 

 “The Orion community has been very supportive of the Orion Green-Up and NOHAZ days, so we wanted to bring Repair Café to Orion as another opportunity to practice sustainability,” said Beth Sheridan, head of adult services. “Repair Café not only promotes fixing things rather than throwing them away, but also those with practical repair skills are given the opportunity to share that knowledge. Above all, Repair Café wants to show people how fun repairing things can be; it’s a win-win for everyone, including the environment!”

The Repair Café concept arose in the Netherlands, in 2009, and was formulated by Martine Postma, at the time an Amsterdam-bases journalist/publicist. In 2010, she started the Repair Café Foundation (see Repaircafe.org). This foundation provides support to local groups around the world wishing to start their own Repair Café.

 

For questions about the Repair Café contact Beth Sheridan at esheridan@orionlibrary.org, or 248.693.3000 x332. The Orion Township Public Library is located at 825 Joslyn Road, Lake Orion, MI 48362 and is open 9:30a-9:00p Monday through Thursday and 9:30a-5:00p Friday and Saturday.  For more information visit orionlibrary.org.


Spring has sprung at Oakland County Parks and Recreation

The signs of spring are everywhere at Oakland County Parks and Recreation. Hike the trails to watch as birds happily prepare for warmer weather, learn tips for planning a vegetable garden and check out the spring produce making an appearance at the Oakland County Farmers Market.

 

Spring is also the time to start making your summer plans. Oakland County Parks and Recreation has a full slate of summer activities scheduled, including the popular Come Out and Play series, Sink or Sail Cardboard Regatta, Cosmic Connection Perseids Meteor Shower event, Feather Fest and Make a Splash series. New this year is Camp Oak Ventures, weekly adventure day camps for children ages 6-12 years old. Check out information about these events at OaklandCountyParks.com.

 

Events planned in April include:

 

April 21

  • A educational series at the Oakland County Farmers Market is 10-11 a.m. April 21. Held in collaboration with Farver Creek Food & Fiber Farm i Oakland Twp., this moth’s topic will be “Planting Produce: A Vegetable Epic.” Learn simple tips ad tricks to get started on your vegetable garden. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.

 

  • A Pirate’s Life for Me! is 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. April 21 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Learn about the piracy that took place o the Great Lakes, then head out onto the trail and put pirate skills to the test during a pirate scavenger hunt. Inside, enjoy a snack and make a craft. Come in pirate wear, if you would like. Cost is $7/perso and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.

 

  • Nature Fit: “Hearty” River Hike is 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. April 21 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Bring the family out for a heart-healthy, naturalist-led hike rain or shine. Exercise your body and celebrate Earth Day weekend. Trail snacks and water will be provided. Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. Cost is $4/person and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.

 

  • Caring for Planet Earth is 1:30-3:30 p.m. April 21 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Continue the legacy of Earth Day by learning how you can help the environment in your backyard. Drop in for a compost demonstration and make “seed bombs” for pollinators. Take a hike to learn about stewardship activities at Friendship Woods. Dress for the weather. This free event is sponsored by Pure Oakland Water. Details: 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.

 

April 28

  • Tiger Cub Scouts: Backyard Jungle is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. April 28 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.

 

April 29

  • Nature Fit – Sprig Photography Hike is 2-3:30 p.m. April 29 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Grab your smartphone or DSLR and explore elements of photography including perspective and composition. Capture the color, beauty and texture provided by nature during a hike. A Facebook group will be created to share your best shots. Trail snacks and water are provided. Cost is $5/person and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.

 

For information on other events, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Mentorship group for child entrepreneurs wins Pontiac SOUP seed funding prize

More than 100 people invested in the community of Pontiac at the latest Pontiac SOUP event this past Saturday, March 3. They gathered to choose the winner of the micro-granting contest and dinner. The winner, Young Entrepreneurs Squad Foundation, walked away with $802 to help get their project off the ground.

This was the second Pontiac SOUP event and the first of 2018. The organization, which comes from the original Detroit SOUP concept, plans on carrying out the events four to five times a year from here on out.

"Pontiac SOUP is a beautiful thing because when you are a new organization and don't have all the funding, every cent helps," says YES Foundation founder Mary Evans.

YES Foundation offers children ages six to ten years old mentorship services, entrepreneurship training, workforce development, and more. These are real businesses that kids are running, says Evans, ranging in businesses that make and sell ice cream, jewelry, bow ties, and more--and all owned and operated by children in the six to ten age range.

Pontiac SOUP has the stated goal of providing seed funding for organizations doing great work in the city of Pontiac. At the events, four finalists are chosen to present on behalf of their organizations, and the audience participates in a Q&A session with each. The five dollar cover is put toward the cash prize. It's also a social event, with performances from local artists and a dinner. Attendees then vote on a winner.

The organization also tries to connect the runners-up with resources like business plan counseling and public speaking coaching.

"We're looking for what makes the greatest impact, to get it off the ground or take a project to the next level," says Pontiac SOUP co-founder Scott Stewart.

Click HERE to learn more about Pontiac SOUP and its forthcoming events.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

First Oakland Schools Scripps Regional Spelling Bee worthy of n-o-t-a-b-i-l-i-a

Rahul Reddy, an eighth-grader at Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy in Pontiac, is the winner of the first Oakland Schools Scripps Regional Spelling Bee. After nine rounds, he correctly spelled notabilia, which, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, means "things worthy of note."

Annabella Evangelist, a seventh-grader at Our Lady of Sorrows School in Farmington, was the runner up. 
 
This year's event, which was held at Oakland Schools Main Campus, was sponsored by Oakland Schools, the Oakland Schools Education Foundation, Bank of Ann Arbor and Ehlert Charitable Fund.
 
A total of 79 fifth- through eighth-graders from all over Oakland County competed in the Bee. The winner receives many prizes, including a trophy and an automatic invite to the Scripps National Spelling Bee May 27-June 1, 2018 in Maryland.

Lawrence Tech College of Management gets prestigious accreditation from AACSB

AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, announced that Lawrence Technological University has earned accreditation for its College of Management.

Founded in 1916, AACSB is the longest serving global accrediting body for business schools. Only 5 percent of the world’s 16,000 institutions of higher learning offering business degrees have earned its accreditation.

“AACSB accreditation recognizes institutions that have demonstrated a focus on excellence in all areas, including teaching, research, curricula development, and student learning,” said Stephanie M. Bryant, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB International. “We congratulate Lawrence Technological University and Dean Bahman Mirshab on earning accreditation, and applaud the entire College of Management team – including the administration, faculty, directors, staff, and students – for their roles in earning this respected honor.”

AACSB accreditation provides a framework of 15 international standards against which business schools around the world assess the quality of their educational services. These standards ensure continuous improvement and provide focus for schools to deliver on their mission, innovate, and drive impact. AACSB-accredited schools have successfully undergone a rigorous review process conducted by their peers in the business education community, ensuring that they have the resources, credentials, and commitment needed to provide students with a first-rate, future-focused business education. 

“Through accreditation by AACSB, Lawrence Technological University's College of Management has met high standards of excellence and demonstrated its commitment to the Association's hallmarks of innovation, engagement, and impact,” said Virinder K. Moudgil, LTU president. “I commend Dean Bahman Mirshab and our faculty and staff for achieving this milestone. It advances LTU's historic motto of ‘Theory and Practice’ and assures that this university continues to provide exceptional educational experiences to our students.”

Added Bryant: “LTU College of Management’s commitment to earning accreditation is a true reflection of their dedication – not only to their students, alumni network, and greater business community, but to the higher education industry as a whole. Today’s students are tomorrow’s business leaders, and the addition of Lawrence Technological University to the network of AACSB-accredited business schools will have a lasting positive impact for their institution, both locally and globally.”

About AACSB International

As the world’s largest business education alliance, AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – connects educators, students, and business to achieve a common goal: to create the next generation of great leaders. Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence since 1916, AACSB provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and professional development services to nearly 1,600 member organizations and nearly 800 accredited business schools worldwide. With its global headquarters in Tampa, Fla.; Europe, Middle East, and Africa headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore, AACSB’s mission is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation, and amplify impact in business education. For more information, visit aacsb.edu.

Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.


Oakland County improves IT security assessment tool

Oakland County has launched an updated version of CySAFE, a free information technology security assessment tool to help small and mid-sized organizations assess, understand and prioritize their basic IT security needs, Deputy County Executive and CIO Phil Bertolini announced today. CySAFE 2.0 has five new controls: email and web protections, monitoring and review of third party services, physical and environmental security, penetration tests and red team exercises, and compliance.

“IT security threats are always evolving,” Bertolini said. “We’ve updated CySAFE so businesses and governments will have the latest from three well-known IT security frameworks when evaluating the security status of the apps they use to conduct business internally and externally.”

CySAFE 2.0 condenses and removes redundancies from three well-known IT security frameworks: NIST, CIS 20, and ISO 27001.

“CySAFE combines the 400-plus controls from all three frameworks into one condensed list, removing any redundant controls and assesses the controls against the organization's current IT security capabilities,” said Chris Burrows, Oakland County’s chief information security officer.

After downloading and completing an IT security evaluation form online, which takes 60-90 minutes, CySAFE 2.0 generates a priority list and trending graphs for an organization’s IT security needs. The most critical updates will be in red.

“The data an organization enters is private and only stored in Excel format,” Burrows said.

For more information about CySAFE 2.0, go to G2GMarket.com. CySAFE is a collaborative effort of five Michigan counties – Oakland, Livingston, Monroe, Washtenaw, and Wayne - and the state of Michigan.

Register for severe weather spotter classes

Registration is now open for Skywarn severe weather spotter training classes coordinated by Oakland County Homeland Security Division which begin in March. Skywarn is an effort to save lives during severe weather by having a network of well-trained spotters who can accurately observe weather phenomena and identify cloud features that lead to tornadoes and those that do not.

“Only one instrument can detect a tornado or funnel cloud with complete certainty - the human eye,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “While new technological and scientific tools have advanced the capability of meteorologists to predict severe weather, the trained spotter remains essential to the National Weather Service warning process. Trained spotters save lives.”

The Skywarn classes cover what kinds of weather phenomenon to report, how to report it, and severe weather safety. Classes are free and last 90 minutes.

“The more trained eyes we have in the field during a severe weather event, the better our service to the public will be,” Oakland County Homeland Security Division Manager Thomas Hardesty said.

To register, go to www.OakGov.com/homelandsecurity and click on the Skywarn logo to register or call 248-858-5300. Space is limited.

Upcoming Skywarn spotter training classes:

Wednesday, March 7 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford

Saturday, March 24 from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford

Monday, March 26 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Southfield Public Library, 26300 Evergreen Road, Southfield

Thursday, April 12 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
City of Rochester Hills City Hall, 1000 Rochester Hills Dr., Rochester Hills

Wednesday, April 18 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Charter Township of Commerce Township Hall, 2009 Township Drive, Commerce Township

Thursday, May 10 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Ortonville Old Town Hall, 476 Mill Street, Ortonville

The STEMinista Project introduces girls to the wonders (and comradery) of science

Fourth-grader McKenzie Randolph's interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) was sparked earlier this year when her mother, Felicia, took her to see Hidden Figures, a film based on the true story of female African-American mathematicians who worked at NASA during the 1960s.

"That was an eye-opening moment for my daughter," says the elder Randolph, a Metro Detroit pediatrician. "I remember, when she watched that movie, how amazed she was at the possibility of being involved in something that great, to put someone on the moon. She was just blown away."

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Organization offers lifelong educational programming opportunities in Rochester area

Mary Eberline and Frank Cardimen believe in the power of lifelong learning. It's why they started Smart Towns, a continuing education program that aims to enrich the community through presentations on a wide range of topics, well after individuals have completed their traditional schooling.

"We're pushing the envelope because when you're looking at the demographics of our area -- Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township -- we're becoming an older community," Frank says. "So we're creating continuing educational experiences for these people."

Smart Towns got its start in 2017 and, as Frank tells it, was so successful that they just had to do it again. More than 20 presentations will be given this year. And though they will cover a sleiu of topics, from micro-finance lessons to examining various anti-Catholic and anti-Islamic movements, Smart Towns 2018 will be united under one theme: Agents of Change.

The idea is that agents of change influence and alter all facets of our culture, from health to education, economics to the arts. The various events will occur throughout the year and will be held at the locations of the program's partners: Ascension Crittenton Hospital, Meadow Brook Hall, Oakland University, Rochester College, Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm, and Rochester Hills Public Library.

Future presentations include a demonstration and performance from the Michigan Opera Theatre, and on topics that include the Panama Canal, medical science, and the first computer.

"We're looking at it in different ways of how our lives have been affected," Frank says. "We want to have people recommit to educating themselves. We think that's an important part of our role."

Visit the Smart Towns website for more information on this year's events. The next event is "Micro-Finance: Your Chance to be an Agent of Change (just Like a Nobel Prize winner!)," which takes place Jan. 30 at the Rochester College Auditorium.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Free community event Feb. 27 to focus on healthy weight management

More than one third of Americans are obese. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer. With diet, exercise and, sometimes, surgery, many of these medical conditions could be avoided.

Knowing which healthy lifestyle changes to make can help you manage your weight and well-being.

On Feb. 27, Beaumont Hospital, Troy, will host an event, “Living Well: How to Achieve a Healthy Weight and Lifestyle” in the Qazi Auditorium within the Moceri Learning Center, 44201 Dequindre in Troy. Doors open at 5 p.m. and presentations begin at 5:45 p.m.

“Our patients have many questions about managing their weight. This event is a great way to support our community and share knowledge that will assist patients and families to take an active role in their health and wellness,” Beaumont, Troy, President Nancy Susick, RN, said.

WWJ news anchor Jackie Paige will emcee the free event which begins with a health fair that includes:
  • dietitians
  • pharmacists with information about medications
  • free blood pressure screenings
  • integrative medicine experts
  • stroke education and awareness
  • CPR education and training
  • vein center experts
  • patient and family advisors
  • health and fitness experts
After the interactive health fair, Jackie Paige will share her personal weight loss story. Then, Beaumont’s Weight Control Center director, Wendy Miller, M.D., will discuss the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight through nutrition and medical weight management. Beaumont bariatric surgeon Kevin Krause, M.D., will explain what surgical weight loss options are available.  Registered dietitian Megan Jozefowicz will share healthy eating advice. And, exercise physiologist Christine James will demonstrate easy exercises you can do at home. The evening concludes with a panel discussion.

Throughout the event, there will be drawings for prizes.

Those planning to attend should enter the hospital campus on Emergency Drive, parking in the Northwest lot adjacent the Moceri Learning Center entrance.

Space is limited and registration is recommended. To register, visit beaumont.org/weight or call 800-633-7377.

Epiphany Glass Studio spring show and sale

Experience the art of glassblowing by joining the new epiphany glass workshops held during the annual Spring Show and Sale, Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6, 2018 from noon to 6 p.m. each day at the epiphany glass studio in Pontiac, located at 770 Orchard Lake Road. Glass artist April Wagner and her team at epiphany glass studio will open their doors to the public all weekend to offer hourly glassblowing workshops, discounts on one-of-a-kind glass artwork, elegant wine decanters, colorful paperweights, functional glassware and bowls and ornaments galore. The event is free and open to the public.

The glassblowing workshops are a hands-on experience like no other. Participants may choose their own glass colors before working with one of the professional studio artists to create a vibrantly-colored, pulled glass flower in front of the 2400-degree epiphany glass studio furnaces.  Adults and children (age 6 and up) will use various hand tools and age-old techniques to create a unique flower of their own, while learning about the creation of glass art and the many beautiful forms it can take. Comfortable clothes and closed-toed shoes are recommended. The workshops will only be offered a few times per year and space is limited, so registration in advance is recommended.  Visit the website at www.epiphanyglass.com and click on “Store,” followed by the “Workshops” tab.  The workshops will be held on the hour during the Spring Show and cost $55 per person. For more information, call (248) 745-3786.

Many of Wagner’s pieces are inspired by her love of nature, and she notes, “Everything in nature is beautifully designed and that design serves a function, color, scale and form.”  In her artwork, the vibrant colors, hues and shades of glass combined with the fluidity and flexibility of the medium, come together to provide limitless interpretation of the natural world through glass art. Working in a studio adjacent to a flowing river, Wagner finds daily inspiration in her surroundings and the seasons of the Midwest.  Patrons at the Spring Show will enjoy the epiphany glass studio gallery filled with sculptures of all sizes and colors, along with Zanfirico bowls showcasing traditional Italian caneworking at its best. Each Zanfirico piece is handmade from specially prepared glass “canes” in an array of beautiful spring hues and swirling designs.
 
epiphany studio is located at 770 Orchard Lake Rd. in Pontiac, 1/4 mile east of the intersection of Telegraph/Old Telegraph and Orchard Lake Rd, at the corner of Orchard Lake and Sylvan Ct.  The studio entrance is in the rear.  Call (248) 745-3786 for more information.
 
epiphany glass, www.epiphanyglass.com, is a state-of-the-art, 4,000 sq. ft. glassblowing studio and gallery located in Pontiac, Michigan.  Since 1997, epiphany’s distinctive look has been created by artist and owner April Wagner.  Wagner adds a contemporary twist to the traditional fazzoletto technique, which originated in the Venini factory of Murano, Italy, during the 1930s and was later popularized by Seattle glass artists. Her work is found in many public and private collections, including those of GM, Pfizer, Strategic Staffing Solutions, Vladimir Putin, Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson. It is the only hot glass studio to receive WBENC certification.

OCC culinary community events -- prepared to be wowed by student chefs

If you like amazing food, prepared with skill and dedication, you’re in for a treat this season. Oakland Community College’s (OCC) award-winning Culinary Studies Institute continues its lineup of events open to the community. Join the College’s aspiring chefs for an incredible dining experience and enjoy the best in food and service. Events and dining are at OCC’s Orchard Ridge Campus, 27055 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills. More information and tickets available at www.oaklandcc.edu/culinary.

Special Event Dinners
·         Chinese New Year Festival, February 22, 2018, 6:00p.m.: Join us to celebrate the auspicious Year of the Dog with a festive five-course dinner of traditional Chinese cuisine accompanied by wine service. Price is $55 per person. Signature drinks available for purchase.
·         Espionage Spy vs. Spy, April 19, 2018, 6:00p.m.: You are under specific instructions to enjoy a five-course dinner accompanied by a secret wine selection revealed to you at the appropriate time. Come dressed to kill and join us for a cocktail, wine or beer at our cash bar with passed appetizers as you assume your secret agent identity. Price is $55 per person. Signature drinks for purchase.
 
Lunch and Dinner Buffets
·         Valentine’s Grand Lunch Buffet, February 1, 11:15a.m. – 1:00p.m.: You and your sweethearts will be treated to a special menu featuring appetizers, salads, fish seafood poultry and beef entrées, starches and vegetables and a decadent dessert table. Price is $12/person and may be purchased at the event.

Age-friendly in the future: Engineering contest has students thinking about seniors' needs

Excerpt: 

In Valdada, in the year 2065, senior citizens get help from Herbie, a robotic personal assistant that can cook, clean, have conversations and even use Braille to communicate with the visually impaired.

"It looks like us, but it's animatronic," said Joseph Waller, an eighth-grader from New Era Christian School, who explained Valdada — and Herbies — to visitors at Novi's Suburban Collection Showplace. "It's made by Apple, so you know it's good."

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