Earlene McMichael

Morning Edition Host

  Earlene McMichael became WMUK's local host of NPR's Morning Edition in August 2012. A former, long-time Kalamazoo Gazette editor, reporter, and columnist, she was a news anchor at WHCU-FM when it was owned by Cornell University, her alma mater.

Earlene McMichael / WMUK

It was a time of plant closings and corporate downsizing when Southwest Michigan First formed in 1999 in Kalamazoo. SWMF CEO Ron Kitchens says the 14 business leaders who dreamed up the group wanted it to keep existing employers here and, draw new ones to the region. The organization has been successful in doing that, Kitchens tells WMUK's Earlene McMichael on today's WestSouthwest public-affairs show. In the last five years alone, he says, Southwest Michigan has seen a net gain of 37,000 jobs.

Kim Willis / WMUK

Western Michigan University's new fundraising chief Tim Terrentine made his pledge to WMUK this morning in a live interview with General Manager Stephen Williams, and urged listeners to donate to the fall fund drive, too.

"I think public radio is one of those places that remains in America where you can have an elevated dialogue about issues," said Terrentine, WMU vice president for development and alumni relations. "The ability to have dialogue and banter about a topic in a respectful, thoughtful way, unfortunately, is not the norm in our media anymore." 

(Make your pledge. Click here.)

Earlene McMichael / WMUK

Today we get to know Jorge Gonzalez, Kalamazoo College's new president. His first day was July 1. Gonzalez's wife is a K graduate. He has his own ties to Michigan, earning both his master's and doctoral degrees in economics at Michigan State University. He’s spent his academic career at small liberal arts colleges, like K, starting out as a professor. Most recently, he was vice president of academic affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Click on the icon to hear WMUK's Earlene McMichael interview with him on the WestSouthwest public-affairs show.

Earlene McMichael / WMUK


Belinda Tate's rise to executive director of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts even surprises herself. "I never expected to have a career in the arts," she tells WMUK's Earlene McMichael on WestSouthwest today, her two-year anniversary at the KIA. "While an undergraduate at Yale, I was a math major -- applied math with a concentration in operations research."  Then she got a job in the Finance Department at the Yale Center for British Art in her sophomore year. What happened next shows the power of mentors, of which she'd had several while in college.

Family & Children Services

Sherry Thomas-Cloud, head of Kalamazoo's Douglass Community Association, is the new chief executive officer of the area Family & Children Services, the regional human services organization announced today. Her first day is Oct. 3. She takes over from Rosemary Gardiner, who is retiring after 44 years with the agency, the last eight in the top spot.