I can’t believe it, but my baby turns two today! I’m kind of in denial about it, but she’s definitely a full-blown toddler. And man, she is strong willed. Now, I’ve been known to be a bit principled (read: stubborn), but she’s going to give me a run for my money. We haven’t had too many showdowns (or meltdowns) yet, but I’m bracing myself for the inevitable. Our biggest squabble to date has been the heated “Wheels on the Bus” lyric debate. She sings the chorus totally wrong (all day long) and gets mad and tries to yell over me when I sing it correctly (all through the town). And while her version could technically make sense, I’m not about to change the song for the worse. Sorry not sorry, kid. Here’s to hoping that this next year won’t be so terrible—after all, I do think she’s still funny and cute and silly, even when she tries to banish me from her room…

Scroll down for the latest in higher ed happenings.

What’s new this week:

Congratulations to Mount St. Mary’s University and President Timothy Trainor on a successful inauguration celebration this week.

The Montserrat program at the College of the Holy Cross encourages faculty collaboration across disciplines and intentional conversations about teaching. Read more about the program in this Chronicle of Higher Education article.

What we’ve been talking about:

Kristine shared an important PR lesson from her new bestie Tina Fey.

It’s always a win when half of the team is together. #triplewordscore #periodictable #hotelgrinnell

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What’s next on our calendars:

On Dec. 7, Erin will conduct media training for participants in the American Council on Education’s National Women’s Leadership Forum in Herndon, VA.

Teresa will lead 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.

On Feb. 9, 2018, Erin will present “Finding—and Using—Your Voice: A Communications Toolkit for Advocates,” part of Mount Holyoke College’s Advocacy in the Public Domain event series.

Teresa will be at the National Conference on Trusteeship for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges in San Francisco. She will run the Crisis Management: What is the Role of the Board? Workshop on April 22, as well as facilitate the master class Fake News, Social Media, and Your Institution’s Reputation on April 23.

What we’re recommending:

Teresa Valerio Parrot
I was strangely captivated by this piece on the barrage of lawsuits filed by mattress manufacturers toward online mattress review blogs. I had no idea of the players in the industry, the money to be made or the tactics being used to silence critical reviews. Who knew there was such a thing as a mattress mafia?

And there isn’t a way I can end this week without sharing two cute clips. First, my dear Fiona was witness to a marriage proposal in Cincinnati. And second, who can resist a quadruple amputee dog who is now a service animal? 

Kylie Lacey
To say I am addicted to online shopping may be something of an understatement. It’s gotten to the point that I cannot consider buying something in a brick-and-mortar store without a little voice popping up to say, “But I bet it’s cheaper on Amazon!” As such, the news about Amazon Key has me very excited.

With this new service, Amazon couriers can leave packages inside the homes of consenting customers. An Amazon Cloud Cam (required for this service) records the entire process of the courier entering the home via smart lock, leaving the package and exiting. I live on a busy corner with heavy foot traffic, and with the holidays approaching—i.e. even more packages than usual—I’d much prefer parcels be left in my house than left vulnerable outside. Amazon just took another step in their path to world domination.

As for the rest of the team, we collectively recommend: a nap—it’s been a long week!

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