Everyone brings something unique to the table: The origin of Michigan’s University Research Corridor

Image by Eak K. from Pixabay.

If I asked you to organize dinner for 30, you could — but it’s a lot of work. The potluck dinner strategy is simpler and more powerful.

We followed what I call the “potluck dinner strategy” in 2006 when our University of Michigan team partnered with Michigan State University and Wayne State University. The alliance we organized throughout 2006, the University Research Corridor, turns 15 this year.

As U-M Mary Sue Coleman said when the URC was announced, “We have an absolute responsibility to the state to help transform an economy that is flagging. Together we have achieved much. …


The 10 best reasons to buy a timeshare as Hilton Grand Vacations buys Diamond Resorts International

Hilton Grand Vacation's Ocean Enclave became the tallest building in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, when it opened in 2019. Photo by Joseph Serwach.

Why buy a timeshare? It’s like buying a beach condo, cottage, cabin, or boat — a personal place of escape, a second home.

The new Hilton Grand Vacations agreement to buy Diamond Resorts International for $1.4 billion could be a game-changer for the industry, creating a well-known global brand with 154 resorts and 720,000 property owners.

“Diamond’s extensive regional, drive-to network of resorts and expanded demographics uniquely complement HGV’s best-in-class lead generation, world-class hospitality, and premier destinations backed by the strength of the Hilton brand,” said HGV President Mark Wang.

When Americans can more easily “drive to” nearby timeshare “second…


The epic of loneliness and isolation skyrocketed during and after lockdowns

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Isolation is deadly. Deaths from Alzheimer’s and related dementias jumped 18 percent after 2020 lockdowns began, new research shows.

  • A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows the pandemic caused 359,352 direct deaths. That total doesn’t include a greater 451,777 “excess deaths” related to Alzheimer’s and a host of other causes during the same period.
  • Nationwide, deaths jumped 19 percent above normal from March 15, 2020, through Jan. 9, 2021.
  • In New York, the state attorney general found the state under-reported nursing deaths by 50 percent during the pandemic.
  • Deaths of Despair — related to alcohol, drug overdoses…


Fr. Jarzębowski escaped Nazis, Communists to get Divine Mercy to Michigan — and then the whole world

Image by Michał Kondrat, poster for his film, Love and Mercy: Faustina.

My dad called and asked if I’d heard of Father Józef Jarzębowski.

Oddly, I’d just read about the Polish priest who made it past Nazi, Soviet, and Japanese authorities to bring the Divine Mercy from Poland to America at the start of World War II.

Jarzębowski (1897–1964) died before I was born, and now he’s depicted in one of the most popular Catholic films. Dad sent me Jarzębowski’s autographed photo (originally sent to his friends, my great-grandparents).

Dad remembered cleaning their house for Jarzębowski’s visits. They were part of the Polish Intelligentsia who fought for freedom. …


Michigan Medicine administering thousands of vaccines at Michigan Stadium

I got my vaccination at Michigan Stadium, America’s largest football field with room to seat 115,109, Photo by Joseph Serwach.

ANN ARBOR, Mich . — Michigan, once No.1 in football, is now №1 in the nation for coronavirus cases so here I am standing in line to get a shot.

A wave of friends started getting the virus (nearly half catching the new variant) even in small-town Brighton, Livingston County, where the cases were previously low. Then three friends, including a priest, got it. One went to the hospital.

So I told my bride (who’d already gotten her first dose) she could sign me up.

On Friday, Michigan reported 7,834 new cases and 26 deaths from COVID-19. Michigan continues to…


One Day Only? Divine Mercy is like your favorite store putting everything “on sale’’ — for free

The Divine Mercy rays representing the blood and water of Jesus. Image by David Eucaristía from Pixabay.

The Easter Octave culminates in Divine Mercy Sunday. St. John Paul the Great declared, “This miracle of mercy has radically changed humanity’s destiny.”

Humanity’s destiny? Father Chris Alar, the Michigan native whose order focuses on Divine Mercy, likens Divine Mercy Sunday to a day Catholics can be made spotless of sin so the Church can wed Jesus, the spotless groom, the time when we can become complete as one.

As Jesus told St. Faustina in her diary: “I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners… The soul that…


Sidewalk Rage, measuring lockdown fury: The expected trouble never comes — until you forget to look

Photo by Emerson Peters on Unsplash

My “peaceful place” is dog-walking — the last spot I expected to encounter “sidewalk rage.”

“Our streets and sidewalks aren’t really ideally designed for a lot of walking,” Bill Lindeke, an urban geographer, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “A lot of cities that are designed for walking have much wider sidewalks than we do in the United States.”

Ditto for “social distancing” on hiking trails. We all know about “road rage” and how to avoid it, but I didn’t realize “sidewalk rage” was a real “thing” until I encountered it on our nearby portion of Michigan’s Lakeland Trail.

Early in the…


Combine some favorites with a dash of creativity and wow the public

Great Writing Is Like Inventing Buffalo Wings
Great Writing Is Like Inventing Buffalo Wings
A bowl of chicken (Buffalo) wings and celery. Photo by John Tornow via Wikimedia Commons.

Americans eat more than 28 billion chicken wings per year, including more than 1.4 billion on Super Bowl Sunday, but they’re still a fairly new invention.

The secret is in the sauces. The newness of these flavorful food inventions (and every variation of sauces that turn ordinary chicken into Buffalo wings) keeps wing demand “hot.”

During the 2020 Pandemic, combined U.S. sales to restaurants and supermarkets jumped10.3 percent to more than $3 billion while sales of frozen wings leaped 37 percent.

The gritty Buffalo, NY story adds to the appeal. Most credit the invention of Buffalo wings to Teressa Bellissimo…


As Michigan again tops U.S. Pandemic rankings, Catholics look to Detroit’s future saints

Blessed Solanus Casey Shrine at Saint Mary Magdalen Church in Brighton, Michigan. Photo by Nheyob via Wikimedia Commons.

For two straight Easters, Michigan topped U.S. Pandemic rankings despite some of the strictest lockdowns. Catholics are calling on Detroit’s patron, Blessed Solanus Casey.

Casey, beatified in Michigan’s largest public Mass ever in November 2017, and Father Gabriel Richard, a founding father of the University of Michigan and author of Detroit’s motto, offer a road map for facing death and the unkown.

We all have Good Friday moments, they teach, but faith leads us to our own salvation and resurrection.

“Death is the climax of all humiliation — when we must finally give up all and turn all over to…


The Good Friday hike making Brighton men feel closer to Jesus

Image by Robert Allmann from Pixabay.

Why do Christians call their darkest day “Good Friday?” Rory Clark invited neighbors to bear their own cross in a two-hour, three-mile hike.

“When Jesus went into His passion, His followers were crushed, just devastated,” Clark, founder of Brighton, Michigan’s Men on Fire movement, explains. “A word came to me: ‘surrender.’ ‘Sur’ means ‘high above’ and ‘render’ means to give away. God totally gives Himself.”

Clark challenges men to walk similar steps to give themselves up for their families and community as they pray sacred prayers together.

In 2019, Clark inspired a group of local Catholic men, mostly from St…

Joseph Serwach

Story + Identity = Mission. Author, Writer: Journalism, Leadership Culture, Communications, Religion, Education, History. Inspiration: Catholic, Polish.

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