The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 6, 2004 - 5
Experts analyze American transport
By Sarah Sprague
For the Daily
A group of Unversity nursing students see an
aspect of basketball beyond the hype of college
Students in the class Nursing 214, which focuses
on spinal cord injury raised hundreds of dollars for
cord research by holding a three-on-three basket-
ball tournament yesterday. The class raised $700
for the Daniel Heumann Foundation for Spinal
Teams of students not in the class competed in
the tournament for the first prize of basketballs
signed by University basketball coach Tommy
"We just figured out what sport would work
the best and be of most interest to students,
and we came up with
basketball," said LSA
senior Jeff Kominsky, "This is the b
who had the oppor-
tunity to instruct the of class, that
credit. for academic are approach
The tournament was disability iss
part of the one-credit ~ S
nursing seminar. Guest real world, n
speakers visit the class
every week to talk in the classr
about issues related
to spinal cord injuries
and other disabilities,
some sharing their per- LSA senior, Nut
"The class goes
through the progressive process of spinal cord
injury," Kominsky said. "For instance, one week
we had a doctor come in to talk about physiologi-
cal aspects and the next week a physical therapist.
We even had a class in the hospital to learn about
technology and one with the Law School's dean of
The class covers a wide range of topics, from
disability law to technological systems to the care
of disabled individuals.
"It is one thing to learn theory in a class-
room, but it is entirely different to see and
hear the reality of a situation. That is the pur-
pose of this class, to expose the students to the
realities of life," Kominsky said.
The e laseoueeires each estuentte he imnolved
By Amber Colvin
and Emily Liu
Sue Zielinski, a former transportation plan-
ner for the city of Toronto, used to have a 45-
minute bike ride to work every morning. In her
new hometown of Boston, however, she longs
for the days when she'd commute to work by
bike, which she described as a highly efficient
and accessible mode of transportation com-
monly overlooked by Americans.
Speakers from all over the country laid
out the problems with American transport.
They gathered at the University's Art and
Architecture Building Friday for a sympo-
sium on sustainable transportation called
"From Mobility to Accessibility."
The five speakers - professionals in the
field of transportation planning - discussed
topics such as traffic congestion, public transit
and the development of alternative modes of
Douglas Kelbaugh, dean of the Taubman
College of Architecture and Urban Planning,
said the topic of more accessible transporta-
tion, such as better road systems and mass
transit, is "a pressing and complex issue that
U-M's interdisciplinary strengths can begin to
Literature available distributed at the
symposium explained the current dilemma
only travel convenience
and speed, particularly
in which urban transportation planning con-
siders only travel convenience and speed,
particularly for motorists. Such narrow
views disregard alternative travel modes
that could allow residents to get around
in more efficient and less costly ways, the
"From Mobility to Accessibility" aims to
bring these modes back into the planning pro-
cess. The pamphlet stated that "the purpose (of
sustainable transportation) is not to eliminate
the use of private cars as much as to enable
other forms of accessing desired places," for
example, "by using public transit, biking or
walking, and enabling shorter trips by what-
Kelbaugh said a goal of hosting the sym-
posium was to discover and then frame some
of the most promising research questions in
Zielinski, whose speech was titled
"Toward Integrated Mobility Solutions,"
said a common belief among Americans
that because transportation is necessary
and cars are the only means of transporta-
tion for them, cars must be indispensable.
Instead of sticking to this belief - which
Zielinski said is unfavorable to American
mobility - she proposed integrating differ-
ent modes of transportation.
She showed an example of her ideal system
with a video that documented transportation
in Bremen, Germany, where a mix of bik-
ing, walking, public transportation - such as
buses and trains - and a car-sharing program.
The video portrayed the German city as being
more efficient and having more space because
of this integration strategy.
The other speakers included Hank Dit-
tmar, president and chief executive officer
of The Great American Station Foundation,
an organization that attempts to revital-
ize communities by building and restoring
train stations; Anthony Downs, a senior
fellow at the Brookings Institution; Susan
Handy, an environmental science professor
at the University of California at Davis; and
John Pucher, a planning and public policy
professor at Rutgers University.
Kelbaugh noted that the symposium
attracted a variety of people from indus-
try, government, nonprofit organizations
and academia from Michigan and neigh-
in a community service project, and everyone got
involved in one large group effort to plan the bas-
ketball tournament, which Kominsky said proved
to be a great success.
"At first I was doing this because I had to as part
of a class project, but then I met a bunch of great
people while organizing it, and as I learned more
through the class, I began to really care about the
issue (of spinal cord injury).
"I would get overwhelmed with work, but then
I would listen to another speaker who was living
with injury or paralysis and be motivated all over
again," said Pam Clay, co-chair of the organization
Students in the class worked for months on the
project, starting out with basic plans.
"You wouldn't believe the work that can go into
a three-on-three basketball tournament. I have
organized events before,
but none of them were as
)est part involved as this," Clay
students The tournament was
ping set up so that eight teams
were playing at a time.
ues in the The original goal for the
tournament was to get
lot just about 60 teams to sign
up. But with less than a
Dom. week before the event
and just four teams reg-
istered to play, students
- Jeff Kominsky became more than a little
rsing 214 instructor worried.
"Luckily, there was
a surge at the last min-
ute of teams registering, and now we have
18. It ended up being a great number for
the event," said Pharmacy graduate student
The atmosphere was laid back as some teams
laughed at their own lack of skill while others
played with the intensity of professionals.
"I'm excited to be here, and it's great to see that
there are so many other people willing to contrib-
ute. ... Everyone seems to have come out to play
basketball and have a great time while supporting
a good cause, no matter how good they are a bas-
ketball," Clay said.
"That is the best part of the class, that students
are approaching disability issues in the real world,
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Doors open at 1:15 p.m.
Ceremony begins at 2:00 p.m.
and lasts about two hours.
Summer Term 2004 and Fall Term 2004 graduates and candidates are eligible to participate in Winter Commencement.
Tickets will be distributed Monday, December 13 through Thursday, December 16 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
in the Pond Room of the Michigan Union. Graduates and candidates are eligible to receive up to six (6)
tickets during this time. Additional tickets will be distributed on Friday, December 17 from 8:30 a.m.
to noon in the Pond Room of the Michigan Union.
Academic Attire (Cap & Gown)
Michigan Book & Supply, Michigan Union Bookstore and Ulrich's Bookstore all carry Bachelor's attire.
Both Michigan Book & Supply and the Michigan Union Bookstore carry Master's attire, while Doctoral
attire is only available from the Michigan Union Bookstore.
Individuals With Disabilities
Graduates or guests with disabilities should call (734) 647-6037 for information about
accessible seating and special parking arrangements.
For more on Winter Commencement, call (734) 647-6037 or visit
the Graduate Guide Web site: http://www.umich.edu/~gradinfo