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Ann Arbor, Michigan
"Harmon, Howard, Woodson, Markovits."
- Political Science and German Prof. Andrei Markovits jokingly compares winning the Golden Apple Award to
winning college football's Heisman Trophy
A SPORTING LIFE
Thursday April12, 2007
AND THE BIG THREE
First in a three-part series about how the
American auto industry's troubles affect
By AMINA FARHA
For the Daily
Standing in front of Rackham
Auditorium last night, Political
Science and German Prof. Andrei
Markovits remembered his first
connection with the University of
On Nov. 22, 1969, Markovits
watched Bo Schembechler's Wol-
verine squad upset then number
one ranked Ohio State from his
Columbia University dorm room.
From then on, Markovits said, he
was a Michigan fan.
Last night, Markovits, recipient
of the 17 h Golden Apple Award,
gave his ideal last lecture, titled
"Sports as Culture on Two Con-
tinents: Metaphors for My Life."
The Golden Apple is an award pre-
sented by a committee of students
for outstanding teaching.
During his lecture, Markovits
couldn't help compare winning
the Golden Apple to winning col-
lege football's Heisman Trophy,
which is awarded to the best col-
lege football player every year.
"Harmon, Howard, Woodson,
Markovits," he said, referring to
the three Heisman winners from
Markovits said he never truly
felt at home until he started teach-
ing at the University in 1999. He
joked that after teaching for only
three weeks at the University of
California at Santa Cruz, he met a
University of Michigan professor
and asked for help finding a job in
Markovits grew up in Soviet-
controlled Romania as the son of
He came to America as an 11-
year-old, and the first thing he
encountered was a customs work-
er chewing Juicy Fruit and listen-
ing to a New York Yankees game
on the radio, said Markovits's
friend, Opthamology Prof. Jona-
than Trobe, in an introduction to
For his lecture, Markovits, who
teaches a popular sociology course
As financial troubles
struggle to draw
By EMILY BARTON
Engineering junior Nidhi Shah
grew up around cars.
When she was younger, she
would often accompany her father
to work at automotive parts maker
Delphi. That piqued her interest in
cars, she said.
Shah, a mechanical engineering
major, has had internships with
Delphi, Toyota and Dow Automo-
Despite her professed love of cars
and a major that would make her a
strong candidate for a job with an
automaker, Shah does not plan to
go into the automotive industry
when she graduates next year.
"I really like cars," Shah said.
"But I'm not looking to work in an
industry that's not doing so well."
Overthe past few years, the high-
profile restructurings and massive
layoffs at the Big Three automakers
in Detroit has led many students at
the University to reconsider pur-
suing careers in the automotive
industry, a sector that has driven
Michigan's economy for decades.
And even though there are still
some jobs available in the indus-
try, the Big Three - Ford, General
Motors and DaimlerChrysler - are
finding it increasingly difficult to
lure top talent to work at their ail-
Shah said that if the compa-
nies recover from their slump, she
would "definitely" want work in
the automotive industry.
Today, though, she is worried
about job security.
"No one wants to be out of a job
five years after they graduate," she
Of course, many University
students still take jobs in the auto
industry after graduation.
Prof. Dennis Assanis, chair
of the mechanical engineering
department, said the University
has always supplied a large amount
of students to the auto industry.
Assanis admitted that in recent
years,the number ofstudents going
to work at the Big Three is probably
decreasing. But he said he doesn't
think there has been a dramatic
decrease because there are still
jobs available despite the troubles
at the companies.
Graduates who are trained well
still find good jobs, he said.
Unlike in the past, though not
all those good jobs are with the Big
Three in Detroit.
With foreign companies like Toy-
ota taking an even largerslice of the
American worldwide auto market,
the Detroit companies are not the
only focus for aspiring engineers.
"The ratio is changing some,"
Assanis said. "But still the majority
goes to the Big Three,"
According to the Engineering
Career Resource Center's annual
report for the 2002-2003 school
year, 19 percent of University engi-
neering students intended to work
in the automotive and transport
equipment industries after gradu-
A year later, only 11.5 percent
said the same.
Last year, the numbers have
rebounded a bit: 13.7 percent of
students said they planned to work
in the automotive and transport
Eric Olson, assistant director of
the office of career development at
the Ross School of Business, said
that while automotive companies
are still coming to campus, stu-
dents are often unsure about jump-
ing into the auto industry.
Ten years ago, the auto indus-
See BIG THREE, Page 8A
Prof. Andrei Markovits holds his Golden Apple Award before giving his "ideal last lecture" in Rackham Auditorium last night.
called Sports and Society, talked
about the many purposes sports
have served in his life: a connection
to his father, an assimilation tool in
America, a tie to his European roots
and a topic that he has taught and
studied throughout the world.
Markovits's students were
enthusiastic that he had received
Engineering junior Joel Seh-
weitzer said part of what makes
Markovits a great professor is his
knowledge and ability to under-
"I've yet to miss one of his lec-
tures," he said.
In an interview after the lec-
ture, Markovits said part of what
makes being a professor so special
is that it's never boring. Even if
you're teaching the same subject,
he said, every class has different
"I love learning," he said. "I
love communicating about what I
MUSI INDUSTRY LAWSUITS
Students sent lawsuit threats
Trade group sends
letters to 'U'
accusing 23 students
By KATHERINE MITCHELL
The Recording Industry Asso-
ciation of America issued letters
yesterday notifying the Univer-
sity that it intends to sue 23 of
its students for alleged copyright
The notices, which the RIAA
calls pre-litigation letters, offer
students the opportunity to settle
out of court before a lawsuit is
The University has been tar-
geted in the trade group's recent
crackdown on college campus
peer-to-peer file sharing.
On Feb. 28, the trade group,
See RIAA, Page 8A
The top recipients of pre-itigation let-
ters from the RIAA this month:
* Ohio University:50 letters
* UMass-Amherst: 32 letters
* Indiana Unioetsity: 21 letters
SU. of Maryland system: 25 letters
* Central Michigan U.: 25 letters
* U. of Mich.-Ann Arbor: 23 letters
. U. of Rochester- 22 letters
* Cornell U.: 19 letters
4 Keene State U.: 19 letters
Charges dropped in Duke case
By DUFF WILSON accused of gang-raping a stripper been wrongly accused by an
and DAVID BARSTOW innocent of all charges yesterday, "unchecked" and "overreaching'
TheNew York Times ending a prosecution that pro- district attorney who had ignorec
RALEIGH, N.C. - North Car-
olina's attorney general declared
three former Duke University
lacrosse players who had been
vokedbitter debate over race, class
and the tactics of the Durham
County district attorney.
The attorney general, Roy
A. Cooper, said the players had
contradictoryevidence and instead
relied on the stripper's "faulty and
"We believe that these cases
See DUKE, Page 8A
Architecture junior Sydney Talcott participates in a critique for an environmental art class on the Diag on Tuesday. Students in
the two-credit minicourse have completed projects meant to integrate art and nature. The projects are scattered around Central
TODAY'S HI. 44
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