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September 20, 2007 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-09-20

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, September 20, 2007 - 7A

IT DON'T MEAN A THING

Patent
office aims
to improve

Ann Arbor resident Adam Boehnmer swing dances at the Michigan Union on last night. Swing Ann Arbor holds swing dancing nights every Wednesday in the Union. U
Guided practice is offered at 6:30 p.m., beginner lessons at 9and open dancing from 9:30 to 11:30. More information is available on the group's website at www.umich.
edu/-swingaa.
Group supports start-ups

BUSINESS From page 1A
the Entrepreneurship Opportuni-
ties Fair on Oct. 2 - a showcase
of local start-up companies - pro-
vide a chance for students to make
important connections with local
innovators, including University
faculty and alumni.
MPowered is also hosting a golf
outing for students and profession-
als tomorrow to aid students in
creating relationships with, real-
life entrepreneurs.
"If you watch a professor that
you really admire slice a golf ball
into a lake, you're going to be able
to relate to that person a little bit
better," Lalendran said. "You real-
ize that they're human, and they'll
be more accessible to you."
Engineering senior George
Joshua, an Industrial Operations
Engineering major, said that he
plans to attend the fair to meet
JENA
From page lA
perhaps tens of thousands of peo-
ple, dwarfing Jena's population of
about 3,500.
Students from other schools
across the country - including
historically black colleges like
Morehouse College, Spelman Col-
lege and Clark Atlanta University,
Howard University, Hampton Uni-
versity and Southern University
- were en route to Jena yesterday.
The case has resonated with young
people, said Jeff Johnson, an activ-
ist and organizer who is covering
the Jena rally for Black Entertain-
ment Television.
"It does not happen often, where
there's something that catches fire
and really creates a mass move-
ment of students," Johnson said
as he boarded a Louisiana-bound
plane in Atlanta.
According to Mulholland, the
bus she was riding yesterday car-
ried two other University of Mich-
igan students, a University alum,
a Wayne State University student
and two students from Malcolm X
High School in Detroit.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson likened
the gathering protest to historic
JAKE
From page 1A
other times he was at Peaceable
Kingdom, a trinkets shop a few
doors down. He also hung out in
front of Kilwin's Chocolate Shop as
well as Caf6 Felix, strumming his
guitar, spouting random lines from
past blues songs.
Music wasn't his only job.
He considered himself a psy-
chologist to other Ann Arborites,
and he'd take time out to listen to
others' problems.
"I always got time. I make time
for people with problems," he said
in 1998. "That's what I do. In 50
years, I ain't never had a day off. I
don't want no day off. I keep goin'. I
play my music and I do my psychol-
ogy job and ... oh yeah, I don't have
any problems. I have a good life."
He was also a salesman, often
seen selling T-shirts and bumper

stickers with phrases like "I Brake
for Jake!"
Jake had some help with his sales.

small business owners because
small businesses allow employees
more opportunity for innovation.
"It would allow me to commu-
nicate with all levels of business -
from the president on down - and
to have more of a say in where the
company is going," he said.
Lalendran said he hopes that
exposure to local opportunities
will convince students like Josh-
ua to consider other employers
besides jobs with a Fortune 500
company.
Engineering senior Alex Voice
said his involvement with MPow-
ered has encouraged him to consid-
er working for a start-up company
in the region after graduation. He
said there is an advantage to stay-
ing local if you're looking to start
your own business.
"Who knows ifI would have even
thought about it if'I hadn't gotten
involved with this organization,"
events in Montgomery and Selma,
Ala., and Little Rock, Ark. 1
Mulholland said she was
shocked when she heard that the
students could face so much jail
time.1
"It was such a racist decision,"
she said. "It's crazy to see someone
still in high school that might go to
prison for the rest of their life."1
But for many residents of thisi
predominantly white town, today'si
march is a bitter pill - the result,1
they said, of overblown and unfair
media coverage. Most wouldn't
comment and those who did were
visibly irritated or angry.
"This isn't a racisttown. It never
has been. We didn't even have fist
fights when the schools were inte-i
grated," said a white man who1
refused to give his name or com-
ment further.
Still, town and state officials
said this week they wanted the
demonstrators to be welcome andi
comfortable and the resistance
demonstrators met in the '50s
and '60s was nowhere evident.
State transportation workers were1
installing flashing message signs1
on the town streets that would aid
with traffic and state police saidt
portable toilets would be placed
along the route.]
Middle Earth on South University
Avenue also sold the T-shirts and
bumper stickers for him.
Jake had many fans, but one
remembered Jake's friendliness on
a personal level.
"He was very gentle," said Cyn-
thia Shevel, the owner of Middle
Earth. "I remember seven years
ago, somebody mugged him. The
whole town was like, 'Who would
mug Jake?' Everyone was out-
raged."
Shevel remembered seeing Jake
one time while driving downtown.
Jake hopped in the car after Shevel
asked whether he wanted a ride.
But before she could ask Jake where
he wanted to go, he asked her to let
him off.
Shevel had driven just one block.
So many Ann Arbor residents
and students have a Shakey Jake
story.
"LastFebruary, Iwas takinga cab
home from campus, and we were

going over the Broadway Bridge,"
said Dan Trump, a University Law
School student. "And we saw an

he said. "It's a trade-off because
less than one out of 10 start-ups is
successful, so it's a huge risk, but
also a huge reward."
The group has grown fast for an
organization that started this sum-
mer with 25 people and has been
publicized mainly through word-
of-mouth.
Before their official kick-off
meeting Tuesday night, member-
ship was already at 583 people and
counting.
Vicars said this student par-
ticipation is critical for making the
program work..
"That has been the missing ele-
ment all this time," he said. "Peo-
ple are starving for this. There
are people on the outside who are
accomplished and want to feed
something, and now we've found
that outlet."
Many faculty members have
already showed their support,
Walters, the district attorney,
broke a long public silence yester-
day afternoon during a news con-
ference outside the courthouse,
accompanied by Barker and his
parents, who all declined to speak.
Walters again denied that rac-
ism had anything to do with the
charges and said Barker's suffering
has been largely ignored. "With all
the emphasis on the defendant, the
injury done to him and the serious
threat to his existence has become
a footnote," Walters said.
He noted that all but two of the
defendants in the case were all of
adult age under Louisiana law. He
also noted that Bell has a criminal
record including juvenile convic-
tions for damage to property and
battery. And he also addressed the
hanging of the nooses from the
Jena High School tree. "I cannot
overemphasize what a villainous
act that was. The people that did
it should be ashamed of what they
unleashed on this town," Walters
said. But he also added that he
could find no statute in Louisiana
law under which they could be
prosecuted.
So far, the only one of the "Jena
Six" tobe tried is Mychal Bell, who
was 16 at the time of the attack.
His conviction on aggravated sec-
old man walking in the middle o
the road. The cab driver pulled up
to him and saw it was Jake. He war
like, 'Jake, what're you doinghere?
He told Jake to get in the cab and
said he'd drive him home."
Jake said he was born in Little
Rock, Ark., 10 miles away from
the birthplace of former presiden
Bill Clinton, who he once told the
Daily he thought was a decen
guy.
Jake said he'd moved from
Arkansas to New Orleans and made
a living as a bluesman. In fact, Jake
said the Shakey Jake Bar on Bour
bon Street was named after him.
It was there, Jake said in 1998
that some students from Ann Arbor
met Jake and decided to take hin
back to Ann Arbor.
Jake claimed to have 14 broth-
ers and sisters, all born to a mother
Jake said died in 1974 at age 106.
"He lived life the way he want-
ed to," said Kelley Rubelman, the

owner of the Peaceable Kingdom
who also handled Jake's finances
"You have to admire that."

making their contact information
accessible to students on MPow-
ered's website, www.engin.umich.
edu/mpowered.
Besides faculty connections,
members of MPowered will have
access to an online blog where they
can talk to attorneys and other
professionals that can help them
in getting patents and protecting
ideas.
The group also plans to bring in
local venture capitalists from Main
Street-based RPM Ventures to hold
office hours where students can
discuss business ideas at no cost
apart from $20 to join MPowered.
"I see this as an opportunity
for students like myself," Lalen-
dran said. "There's a huge need to
solve the state's economic prob-
lem. Working in this collaborative
environment and starting from the
ground up - we could be part of
the solution."
ond-degree battery could have
sent him to prison for 15 years, but
it was overturned last week when
a state appeal court said Bell, who
has maintained his innocence in
court, should not have been tried
as an adult.
Bell remains jailed while pros-
ecutors prepare an appeal of the
latest court ruling. The Rev. Al
Sharpton, an organizer of the pro-
test, met Bell at the courthouse
yesterday morning.
"It breaks our hearts to see him
in handcuffs and leg shackles, but
his spirit is high," Sharpton said
after the meeting.
Sharpton said Bell is heartened
by the show of support and wants
to make sure it stays peaceful.
"He doesn't want anything done
that would disparage his name
- no violence, not even a negative
word," Sharpton said.
Marchers were expected to
start gathering at 5 a.m. today.
The two-mile march was to begin
at 7 a.m. and take protesters on a
route that would pass Jena High
- and the stump of the infamous
tree that authorities had removed
in July.
-E.J. Horstman
contributed to this report.
f
s
'
t NEED EXTRA
CASH?
Join the Daily's uploading staff.
E-mail
cesere@michigandaily.com.

TECH From page 1A
The tech transfer offices at Stan-
ford and MIT are regularly regard-
ed as the best.
"In a way we're not competing
with other institutions, but if you
say tech transfer you hear Stanford
and MIT," said Robin Rasor, direc-
tor of licensing for the technol-
ogy transfer office. "Our mission
is to get in that same sentence and
breath."
Technologies developed at the
University could boost the state's
economy.
"We are a state school and the
states are looking to the schools
for economic revival," Rasor said.
"There's a lot of economic develop-
ment involved in this to see if stu-
dents will stay and start companies."
Three people are currently in
the process of starting new com-
panies using technology invented
at the University of Michigan,
Maynard said. The technology
went through the Office of Tech-
nology Transfer.
In the past, some Michigan fac-
ulty worried that going through the
tech transfer office would hinder
research, but new professors and
researchers are more receptive to
the office, Rasor said.
GRANT
From page 1A
the funds will go toward research
and education within a wide range
of disciplinary areas, including
the Medical School and the Ross
School of Business, as well as the
schools of dentistry, nursing and
public health.
The grant will also go toward
community outreach.
Dorene Markel, managing
director of the Michigan Institute
for Clinical and Health Research,
said it's important for the Univer-
sity to establish a level of trust
in the community in order for
clinical research to be effective,
because studies need volunteer
subjects.
School of Nursing Prof. Carolyn
Sampselle said community involve-
ment and interdisciplinary partner-
ships are crucial to the program.

"The younger faculty are
more entrepreneurial and under-
stand this won't slow down their
research," Rasor said.
From 1969 to 2005, the Uni-
versity's tech transfer office has
overseen 777 products, according
to the United States Patent and
Trademark Office's most recent list
of patents from universities in the
United States.
The office hopes to increase that
number.
Less than a dozen schools have
patented more products than the
University. The largest number of
patents from an academic institu-
tion is 5,226 from the University
of California system. MIT has pro-
duced 2,919 patents, the largest
number from a single university.
Electrical Engineering and Com-
puter Science Prof. John Nees -
who has patented two laser-related
products through the tech transfer
office - considers patenting prod-
ucts a crucial part of sharing an
invention with the world.
"Without a patent, often times,
an excellent idea can't be used
because there's no leverage for a
company to start up with that idea,"
Nees said.
-Rebecca Patterson
contributed to this report.
"Our long-range goal is to reach
out across the state and include
other communities intheresearch,"
Sampselle said. "Eventually we
want to share our research with
scientists and the public across the
country."
But the results of the grant prob-
ably won't be immediately notice-
able. The grant money will be
distributed over a five-year period.
Still,research andtrainingmeth-
odologies are already being devel-
oped and launched, Markel said in
a written statement.
Part of the research will also be
conducted at the University's Flint
and Dearborn campuses.
The University is one of 23 other
academic medical centers that
were awarded a grant. The schools
involved are allworkingtoward the.
same goals with the grant money
By 2012, about 60 institutions will
be included in the research pro-
gram.

ICHIGAN SOCCER DOUBLEHIEADER WEEKEND
THIS Friday and Sunday, Sept 21st and 23rd
Friday: Men's Soccer against Detroit at 5pm
Women's Soccer against Miami (OH) at 7:30pm
Sunday: Women's Soccer against USC at 12pm
Men's Soccer against Wisconsin at 2:30pm
FREE SNO-CONES ON OTH DAYS

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