Liz Hornyak: In this week’s news, one EMU professor retires after 46 of teaching, Student Government prepares for elections, the Aviation program solidifies a new partnership, and a global esports organization commits to donating $1 million to the university. I’m Liz Hornyak. This is the Eastern Echo podcast.
After 46 years of teaching at EMU, Nelson Amos, the university’s oldest professor, will retire at 81 years old.
Amos was first hired to teach classical guitar, lute, and music history courses in 1975. In 2004, he opened Nelson Amos Studio in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town. The studio offers custom framing services, and sells paintings and drawings of Amos’ own creation.
Nelson Amos: I have always had this dual interest in both art and music. It started a long time ago, even when I was in high school, I used to do a lot of drawing and painting and then practicing my musical instruments. So when I went to college, I was both an art major and a music major, but I couldn’t have both so I dropped out of the art program. Now I only came back to it [art] about 20 years ago [and] I started painting again.
Liz Hornyak: Amos has continued to focus on his students’ growth in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the summer, he offered to teach free one-on-one lessons, and created a Facebook group where students could stay connected.
Amos’ students are certainly appreciative of their time together at Eastern. Reporter Gracie Thompson was able to talk with Bradley Birkle, a student of Amos and a junior at EMU.
Bradley Birkle: The capacity that he has to be able to run that shop and be a professor is just kind of an eye-opening thing for me. He has been able to pursue his dream so thoroughly. He’s talked about what he wanted to do when he was in his early 20s, and he didn’t know whether he wanted to do art or music. But he just decided on music, and he’d do something like art on the side. That shop is his side project, and it’s awesome. It’s in Depot Town and it’s really cool, I love going there.
Liz Hornyak: Amos will continue to run Nelson Amos Studio, where he says business has actually increased despite the pandemic. You can find directions to the studio, a link to its website, as well as a link to Amos’ YouTube page here.
Student Government elections have been postponed since March due the coronavirus pandemic. However, students are expected to vote later on this month, even though dates have yet to be announced. When the dates of election are announced, the Office of the President will send an email to students’ emich email address, telling them when and how to vote. This year, voting will be handled by the University Information Technology Division.
For each ticket, students can vote up to eighteen senate candidates, but can only vote for one presidential candidate and one vice president candidate.
Luis Romero and Colton Ray will run together for President and Vice President, respectively. Jack Swartzinski and Allanah Morales will run for the President and Vice President positions. You can find a list of all ten candidates for Student Senate on our website.
To ensure that students have all the information they need to vote for candidates, the Office of the President is creating a site that will include photos of each candidate, a bio, and why each candidate is running for their position. Student Government will have their meetings via Zoom, and anyone can attend.
Despite the delays, student organizations can still receive funding from Student Government, and Student Government is still funding legal services that are offered to students of EMU, free of charge. For more information about Student Government you can go to their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, or go to https://www.emusg.com/
EMU’s Aviation program has agreed to a five-year partnership with Crosswinds Aviation. Crosswinds Aviation is a flight school that currently has three locations, and are working on a fourth at Willow Run. The current locations are in Oakland, at the Flint Bishop International Airport, and the Livingston County Spencer J. Hardy International Airport.
Matt Dahline the owner of Crosswinds Aviation, had this to say about the partnership.
"The partnership with EMU will allow us to connect with and help even more students beyond high school who desire a career in aviation. We look forward to the opportunities this partnership will open for aspiring pilots.”
With this partnership, aviation students will get to train in a variety of aircrafts. This year, students will be trained in the Diamond, DA20 and the DA40, as well as the Cessna 172. For more information about Crosswinds Aviation you can go to https://www.crosswindsaviation.com/
On Aug. 27, global esports organization Gen G. announced that it will be donating a total of $1 million to EMU in order to help create the next generation of gaming industry leaders. To uphold this commitment, Gen. G will donate $100,000 dollars annually for the next ten years.
Along with this donation, Gen. G is offering a scholarship called Gen. 10. for incoming freshmen. The application for the scholarship opened Sept. 15. The winners of the scholarship will be announced in Dec. The purpose of this scholarship is to help support women, people of color, and low income students who want to major in gaming, esports, entrepreneurship, journalism, and content creation.
EMU offers a Bachelors of Science in Simulation, Animations, and Gaming(SAG)through the simulation animations and gaming program. EMU is ranked in the top ten of affordable bachelor degrees in animation programs.
For more information about the Gen. 10 scholarship you can go to https://geng.gg/
Ypsilanti-based musician Kid Jay, who we’ve featured on the podcast before, recently collaborated with the Detroit Youth Choir and rapper Indigo Yaj on a cover of “Glory.” The song, which was originally sung by John Legend and Common, is the theme of the 2014 film, “Selma.”
Kid Jay and Indigo Yaj both added new verses to this updated rendition of the song. Their lyrics bring attention to racial injustice, as well as the struggles many have faced in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
KidJay had this to say about the song.
Kid Jay: I just really wanted to make it clear that, me and my people are strong. Not just us as people, but for us as a black community . . . That’s how I wanted to get my point across in that song. I wanted to also get my point across about how angry I was about the George Floyd killing . .. I just wanted every emotion and every feeling and word to be expressed.”
Liz Hornyak: The Detroit Youth Choir, famous for having competed on NBC competition show “America’s Got Talent,” got together with the two rappers to film a music video for the song. LaVell R. Nero, The Detroit Youth Choir manager, said the group had no trouble preparing the piece.
LaVell R. Nero: They’re used to doing that, coming from America's Got Talent. I didn’t go there with them but Mr. White explained to me how intense it was--the rehearsals and the vocals and them going to school. It was very intense. Most of the times they learn those routines or the songs in a day or a day and a half.
KidJay told the Echo, “The fact that they reached out to me wanting to do a song is crazy. It was just a blessing working with them and I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity.”
You can find a link to their cover of “Glory” on our website.
Reporting: Gracie Thomson, Kennedy Robinson, Cameryn Eberly, Bianca Ramsey
Script: Jasmine Boyd, Ronia Cabansag
Host: Liz Hornyak
Produced: Lauren Smith