I’m not quite sure what to say about 2017, except maybe good riddance? It was truly an incredible year. (And for the most part, not in a positive way, but rather, in a way that was hard to believe). Hopefully as we head into the homestretch, we can all take a beat and reflect on lessons learned and how we can best move forward, individually and collectively, for a less tumultuous new year. And of course, we should all take some time to check out all of the very important memes (and more memes), tweets, GIFs, and fun internet moments from the past year. You’re welcome.

via GIPHY

And with that, we’ve wrapped up the Week in Review posts for the year. Stay tuned for a fun holiday post next week, and then we’ll be back in 2018!

What’s new this week:

What is emotional intelligence and why does it matter for your career? Professor Joseph Rode of the Farmer School of Business tackles this question in his latest study; read more about his research and the value of emotional intelligence in this Business News Daily article.

Five years after the Sandy Hook massacre, The New York Times examined how mourning and grief evolves and endures with different perspectives, including one from David Wheeler. His son Benjamin was one of the children killed in the shooting, and his grief-turned-activism led him to Iowa and Grinnell College for a screening of a documentary of the shooting and a demonstration outside of a gun company run by the president of the NRA.

Despite more Americans having a positive view of Muslims today than two years ago, anti-Muslim hate crimes are on the rise. In a piece for The Washington Post, Grinnell College Professor Caleb Elfenbein explains why outreach is not enough to overcome deep-seated anti-Muslim hostility.

Scripps College Professor Roberto Pedace’s piece on the international box office and its affect on diversity in Hollywood, which originally appeared in The Conversation, was also picked up by Business Insider and U.S. News & World Report.

This week on Inside Higher Ed’s Call to Action blog, learn how to avoid pitfalls with “Dear Community” letters as calls for campus-wide communications become more frequent.

What we’ve been talking about:

In a Quick Hit, Kylie takes a look at the latest headline from United—the resignation of Jim Olson, senior vice president of corporate communications.

What’s next on our calendars:
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:

Erin Hennessy
I like holiday music as much as the next person—I do know every word to “Last Christmas” by Wham! and dance around to “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses—but I also like incorporating more off-the-beaten-track holiday music into my yearly playlists. Here are three albums I’m loving this year:

It’s a Holiday Soul Party by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

Everyday Is Christmas by Sia

Christmas Party by She & Him

And for my fellow Wham! fans, here’s a special gift.

Ali Lincoln
I mentioned last year that my new favorite holiday tradition is Jólabókaflóðið, or Iceland’s Christmas book flood. While I’m definitely excited for my own reads (fingers crossed for Smitten Kitchen’s new cook book or a fantastic novel), I’m really digging our picks for Lucy’s book flood. First up, Tacos! Cook in a Book, which features a real recipe but also lots of interactive features like flaps and pop outs. I just discovered it’s a series, so my budding sous chef may see more of these in the future. And I love Red and Lulu, a sweet story of two cardinals who love Christmas. We originally got this from the library and my Lulu loved it so much that I actually bought it the same day after checking it out. It’s already become a classic in our house (and yes, we had to give it to her before Christmas Eve).

And, Merriam-Webster’s word of the year is out: Feminism. Lookups of the word spiked 70 percent from 2016, and spiked several times over the year. Since the winner and runners up offer a good way to check our national pulse, I enjoy looking at the contenders as a snapshot of each year. 

Kristine Maloney
Racial tensions have been high across the U.S. for some time, including—and perhaps surprising to some—in Boston, which has had its share of highly publicized bigotry and hate incidents in recent months. As home to so many colleges and universities, the issues naturally extend to the city’s campuses, manifesting in a variety of ways. This week the Boston Globe Spotlight Team took a closer look at diversity and racism in Boston’s colleges, where only seven percent of students were African American in 2015. They pay particular attention to institutions’ claims of increased diversity, through larger numbers of international students, and what that really means for other members of the student body.

Also, I read Wonder during Thanksgiving weekend, just days before coming across this article on why so many adults are reading YA. While I’m not sure it “all goes back to Harry Potter,” since I’ve never been able to really get into the series, I do think some of the other reasons the article cites ring true. Some of the best books I’ve read this year have been YA. Now I find myself seeking them out.

Teresa Valerio Parrot
Maybe Michael Crichton wasn’t so far off… scientists found ticks and skin beetles preserved in amber. Interestingly, one of them was hanging onto a dinosaur feather. Just let that sink in! Maybe we CAN have a real-life Jurassic Park! After all, one of the ticks was engorged with what must be dinosaur blood! Although the researcher says it is impossible to determine the host animal and they wouldn’t “perform any Jurassic Park shenanigans by extracting its stolen blood,” I’m still hopeful. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and he might be bringing me a triceratops in the future.

And, do you remember the internet outage of 2016? It wasn’t the Russians, but the Russians could see those who did it from their backyards. It turns out, three Alaskan college students were trying to dominate at Minecraft and things got a bit out of control. I enjoyed the story of what they intended to do versus what happened and plan to share the tale with my kiddo this weekend.

Kylie Lacey
I definitely played with toys, but no one paid me $11 million! According to Forbes, six-year-old Ryan of Ryan ToysReview made that much, and was the eighth highest paid YouTuber between June 2016 and 2017. His 10 million subscribers tune in to watch him unbox and construct Legos, open giant surprise eggs, and perform age-appropriate science experiments. He simply plays for the camera. Industry experts claim there is a direct correlation between toys Ryan particularly enjoys and increased retail sales. I had never heard of this particular YouTuber until I came across this Washington Post article, but it certainly makes sense why this adorable little boy has quite the following! The story focuses on the positives of being a young YouTuber, but it does make me think about whether Ryan is afforded the same rights as unionized child actors. Where exactly does that $11 million go?

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