Independence Day ranks pretty high on my favorite holidays list, and what’s not to love? I have memories of beautiful summer days with bluebird skies and endless sunshine, shimmering bodies of water, sparklers and fireflies in the warm nights, but here’s the real McCoy: this picnic holiday brings some serious food game. God, I love it—all of the summer’s best offerings! Normally I’m (mostly) civilized and follow proper etiquette when it comes to social gatherings involving food (truly, I swear), but put me around Fourth of July coolers and cookout spreads and I turn into Yogi Bear.

To celebrate our national holiday, please note that the TVP Comms offices will be closed on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4.

Before you head out to enjoy your own shindig, scroll down to get the higher ed round-up from this week.

What’s new this week:

In a piece for WBUR’s Edify blog, Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC) board member Tony Wagner discussed what grades measure, what they don’t, and how MTC hopes to build a better transcript.

Grinnell College Professor Tammy Nyden wrote a letter to the editor in the Des Moines Register to emphasize that community mental health services are less expensive than incarceration.

Professor Shontavia Johnson of Drake University stressed that professors, not just students, need digital literacy and offered advice on using social media to discuss controversial topics in an op-ed for Inside Higher Ed.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette ran a heartfelt tribute to Jacqueline Peterson, vice president of student affairs and dean of students at the College of the Holy Cross, who is retiring after 20 years at the college.

On the heels of the Supreme Court’s Trinity Lutheran decision, Christian Science Monitor examined the case and what could be coming for religious freedom and separation of church and state, and Drake Professor Dennis Goldford weighed in.

This week on Inside Higher Ed’s Call to Action blog, don’t miss three ways to better integrate social media efforts.

What we’ve been talking about:

If you’re looking for summer reading recommendations, Ali shared a few options in the campus novel genre.

Cristal celebrated her one-year anniversary at TVP Comms with a look back at lessons learned and her favorite memories.

We hope you can kick your feet up and relax over the holiday weekend. From our offices to yours, #happyfourthofjuly!

A post shared by TVP Communications (@tvpcomms) on

What’s next on our calendars:

Teresa will present a preconference media training at the CASE Annual Conference for Media Relations Professionals on Monday, September 18 in Philadelphia, PA.

Teresa will be co-leading the “Developing Presidential Voice: Toolkit for Marketing and Communications” webinar for Academic Impressions on September 22.

Teresa will be leading a crisis communications session and case study review for the Dean’s Section of the American Association of Law Schools in San Diego, CA on January 6, 2018.

What we’re recommending:

Ali Lincoln
It’s blueberry season down in Virginia, which means it’s time to make jam (again)! I came across this recipe for blueberry Earl Grey jam last year in Foolproof Preserving, and I am trying to make up for all the time spent without this spread in my life. It’s delicious and fancy, but so simple to make, even if you’re not really into canning or producing jam. Plus, it’s an excellent companion to scones, so you should probably make that happen.

Erin Hennessy
As of today, I’m just 50 days until I reach the beach, the pinnacle of my summer. As I count down the days, I’m also working hard on the Spotify playlist that will serve as the soundtrack to that vacation. I put out a call for quintessential summer songs on Facebook and a friend shared this list from NPR, which covers the last five plus decades of summer hits. Revel with me in the quality (or lack there of) of some true classics, like “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield, “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, or “MMMBop” by Hanson. Whether your decade of choice is the 1960s, 70s or the early 2000s, there’s something here to get your toes tapping.

Cristal Steuer
Whether you buy your groceries online or make a weekly trip to the store, this New York Times article about a day in the life of a Peapod (online grocery service) delivery man will make you think twice about how your food gets to your table. Did you know bananas and apples can give off fumes that can hurt loose leaf lettuce and tomatoes lose flavor when they cool to below 55 degrees? These are just a couple of things that driver Sinclair Browne has to take into consideration during his day, not to mention fighting traffic and parking in the city. Then he needs to deliver groceries on time, make sure all cold items stay cold, the milk is up right and the eggs don’t break. I was stressed out just reading about his daily tasks, never mind actually doing them. Kudus to Mr. Browne and all the other grocery delivery people out there.

Teresa Valerio Parrot
A few weeks ago I was able to attend two panel discussions that featured Justin Simien, the creator of Dear White People. He talked about socially impactful television and his comments really made an impression on me. I binged Dear White People and felt as if I was watching a primer for higher education administrators—almost an insider’s view of what so many presidents have struggled to understand—on what it is like to feel unwelcomed on campus and desperately want change for yourself and others. And every hot topic and uncomfortable reality is on the table for discussion—blackface parties, protests, counter protests, armed campus police, well intended bystanders who make situations worse, conflicted administrators, and inappropriate donor influence. If you are looking for something to binge over the holiday weekend, I highly recommend a watch. And then send me an email so we can compare notes on the episodes.

Follow us on Twitter!

Here’s a look at what we were tweeting this week:

For all of the latest news and media successes from TVP Communications, follow us on Twitter.