Around the Big Ten: Michigan State heads anti-malaria campaign

Around the Big Ten: Michigan State heads anti-malaria campaign

News from the home cities and states of the Big Ten universities:

MICHIGAN STATE: University heads $9.1million anti-malaria campaign in Malawi

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan State University is leading a $9.1 million federal research project in Malawi to try to control and stop the spread of malaria.

The university says the goal is to start a self-sustained research entity that can implement and test tactics against the mosquito-borne parasite that kills 1 million people worldwide each year.

The National Institutes of Health finances the work. Michigan State began malaria research in Malawi in 1985.

Internal medicine professor Terrie Taylor is leading the study. She spends half the year treating mainly child malaria patients at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.

Malawi has 13 million people and had 4.4 million known malaria cases in the 12 months through June 2007.

PURDUE: US Coast Guard cutter to honor late dean

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) – A U.S. Coast Guard cutter will be named after Purdue University's first full-time dean of women this week – a posthumous salute friends say she more than earned during her World War II military career.

First lady Michelle Obama was to speak at the christening in Pascagoula, Miss., of the USGSC Stratton, honoring Capt. Dorothy Stratton, who died in 2006 at age 107.

Eleven of Stratton's relatives are expected to attend the ceremony, along with several friends, former Purdue students and others.

Stratton became Purdue's first full-time dean of women in 1933. During her nine-year tenure, the enrollment of female students rose from 500 to more than 1,400 on the West Lafayette campus.

In 1942, Stratton left Purdue and was commissioned a full lieutenant in the U.S. Navy as part of the Women Appointed Volunteer Emergency Service, or WAVES. Later that year, she was tapped to lead the Coast Guard's women's reserve, which freed up men to serve in World War II

Stratton named the Coast Guard women's reserve the SPARS, which is a contraction of the Coast Guard motto, "semper paratus" – always ready.

During her four years as SPARS director, she recruited and led 10,000 enlisted women and 1,000 commissioned officers, ultimately earning the Legion of Merit medal for her contributions to women in the military.

Betty Reed, an 87-year-old Lafayette resident, was a Purdue student when Stratton was dean. She joined the SPARS at age 20 and served from January 1944 to June 1946.

"We relieved the men of their office jobs so they could go to sea," Reed said. "I'm proud of the Coast Guard and my service. This is definitely something that should be done for Dorothy Stratton."

The Northrop Grumman-built ship is one of eight national security cutters being built for the Coast Guard. The vessels are 418 feet long and include flight decks for helicopters; chemical, biological and radiological hazard detection and defense; and other equipment.

Retired Navy Capt. Sally Watlington, a friend and housemate of Stratton's in West Lafayette, said the ceremony will be emotional for her.

"When I'm at the christening, I'll be looking up into the sky and saying, 'Dorothy, did you ever think this would happen?' If she was alive today, she would never expect this. She would say, 'I only served four years' active duty.' She was very humble."

Stratton left the Coast Guard in 1946 to become the first director of personnel at the International Monetary Fund. She later became executive director of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.

MINNEAPOLIS: Dolphin born at Minnesota Zoo

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Zoo says a dolphin born last weekend is doing well.

The 30-pound calf has been swimming alongside its mother and taking synchronized breaths.

The baby's mother, Allie, is one of the zoo's three Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. The father, Semo, at age 45, is believed to be one of the oldest reproducing male dolphins in captivity.

The gender of the calf hasn't been determined. KSTP-TV reports it's expected to be on exhibit this fall.

OHIO STATE: Columbus considers buying stretchers for obese

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Columbus fire department is considering buying stretchers to carry morbidly obese people who weigh up to 1,000 pounds.

The city's fire division already has 18 stretchers that hold patients who weigh up to 650 pounds, but paramedics have to carry people who weigh more than that about twice a month.

Medics currently use a tarp to transport people who weigh more than 650 pounds.

The bigger stretchers include a hydraulic system to move up and down and cost about $10,000 each. That's double the cost of their 650-pound capacity counterparts. The larger models also require that ambulances be retrofitted to accommodate them, which costs $6,000.

INDIANA: IU president honored by native Australia

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – Indiana University President Michael McRobbie is being honored by his native Australia.

In June, McRobbie was appointed to the Order of Australia, a national award for those who have demonstrated distinguished service to Australia or humanity. Last week, the Australian National University awarded McRobbie an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.

McRobbie came to the United States from Australia in 1997 to become IU's first vice president of information technology and chief information officer. In 2007, the IU Board of Trustees named him the university's 18th president.

That year he was also made an honorary member of The Australian Academy of the Humanities.

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