Central Talks created to encourage community and university growth

Delfield Corporation Director of Product Management Marcy Mathews gives a presentation during a Central Talk at CMU Research Corporation headquarters Jan 22

In 1855, educator David Ward purchased the land that would grow into the city of Mount Pleasant. 

Ward's purchase paid off decades later when Central Michigan Business School opened in 1892. 

Marcie Otteman, executive director of Alumni Relations and Development Strategies at Central Michigan University, said the city and university grew together. 

Otteman said this relationship between the two was the inspiration for the first-ever "Central Talks" series, celebrating more than 100 years of collaboration, expansion and companionship between college and city. 

"Central Talks" is the university's version of the popular "TED Talks" online series. It was designed in honor of CMU's 125th anniversary celebration. Otteman serves on the committee overseeing festivities regarding the anniversary. 

"We were talking about the community — about CMU and how they grew up together," Otteman said. 

The series will feature seven faculty-led discussions in various Mount Pleasant locations. 

Otteman said each discussion is unique and will cover a topic that should be of interest to a variety of people. Topics will highlight business relationships, the biology of the Chippewa River, medicine and the liveliness of art in Mount Pleasant.   

"It's a chance to take our faculty outside of the classroom and have them be in a community space to talk about the cool things they are doing," Otteman said. 

She said by using different venues — like the CMU Research Corporation, Camille's on the River restaurant, the Art Reach of Mid Michigan and the Mount Pleasant City Hall Commission Chambers — will allow viewers to explore intimate parts of the city. 

"It was really important to us that we go to spaces that are unique to Mount Pleasant," she said. "This was designed to bring that relationship between the university and the community together and talk about it." 

The first Central Talk took place Jan. 22 at the CMU Research Corporation headquarters located at 2625 Denison Drive.

Speakers included Jeff Hoyle of the College of Business Administration and CMU alumna Marcy Mathews, director of Product Management at Delfield Corporation. 

The two discussed Hoyle's marketing course, Organizational Selling. Each semester, students team up to help real world businesses achieve their goals, which differ per establishment. 

Hoyle said any local organization in Mount Pleasant, including family owned establishments and non-profits, can come to his students for assistance during this project. 

Otteman said the talk provides a different outlook on faculty talk, as sessions last only an hour and aspire towards a casual atmosphere. 

"We've got so much happening and I just don't think we realize how much there is. I don't think we can keep up with it," she said, adding that the speaker series will be a huge jump towards keeping the CMU community updated. 

She hopes the university "is interested in trying to keep it going" after the academic year concludes in May. 

Upcoming Central Talks include:

  • Feb. 12: Jennifer Weible, teacher education and professional development faculty member will host "A Look Back: Higher Education and the Impact on Local Communities" at the Mount Pleasant Discovery Museum at 5093 E. Remus Road.
  • Feb. 26: Tracy Galarowicz, biology department chair will host "The Chippewa River: Connecting the Community and CMU" at Camille's on the River at 506 W. Broadway St. 
  • March 12: Lisa Hadden, executive director of the Mid-Central Area Health Education Center will host "Connecting Our Community Youth with Health Careers in Central Michigan" at Camille's on the River.
  • March 19: Jyotsna Pandey, College of Medicine faculty member will host "Healthy Aging and Aging in Place: A CMU Perspective" at Camille's on the River.
  • April 4: Hope May, philosophy and religon faculty member will host "To Think in World Terms: The Moral Vision of E.C. Warriner" at the Mount Pleasant City Hall Commission Chambers at 320 W. Broadway St. 
  • April 16: Latoya Lain and Lindabeth Binkley, School of Music faculty members will host "Love Songs," a collection songs based on Native American words and traditions, at Art Reach of Mid Michigan at 111 E. Broadway St. 


About Samantha Shriber

Samantha Shriber is a staff reporter at Central Michigan Life and is a Saint Clair Shores ...

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