It was a weird week, weather-wise, here in Williamsburg. We kicked it off over the weekend with a big snowstorm (with about a foot of snow, so truly, a real storm!) and icy temps that closed schools and daycare for two days. And now suddenly, it feels like spring. The snow is completely gone, the thermometer hit 72 degrees yesterday, and I opened my windows and hung my laundry outside to dry again. What the what?

And that’s weather. Back to you, higher ed news.

What’s new this week: 

From copper to immigration to mental health, Grinnell professors had a hat trick this week!

Professor Shannon Hinsa-Leasure shared her research on copper’s ability to reduce infections in hospitals with Academic Minute.

Immigration expert and professor David Cook-Martin weighed in on sanctuary cities for La Opinion, the leading Spanish-language daily newspaper in the U.S.

And the final clip for Grinnell this week was a powerful and personal story in the Washington Post that featured professor Tammy Nyden, children’s mental health, and her quest to change the system.

Donald Brand of the College of the Holy Cross looked at why Meryl Streep’s Golden Globe speech didn’t quite strike the right note for empathy in a piece for Fortune.

This week on Inside Higher Ed’s Call to Action blog, read posts with tips for keeping your band fresh and challenges for liberal arts communicators.

What we’ve been talking about:

As we draw close to an administration change in the U.S., Michelle Obama gave her last official remarks as First Lady and her words on her final topic of choice—education—offered a nice reminder for Ali on why education is so important.

Quick Hit: New to the blog, be sure to check out our Quick Hits, short posts with helpful tips and links. First up, a calendar with important dates for 2017. 

What’s next on our calendars:

On February 3, Erin will co-present at NACUBO’s 2017 Endowment and Debt Management Forum in New York City on how institutions can communicate effectively about their endowments in a time of heightened legislative scrutiny.

On March 30, Erin will be presenting with Inside Higher Ed’s Paul Fain on crisis communications at CASE’s 25th Annual Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations.

What we’ve been reading:

Cristal Steuer
The beginning of my week was consumed by reading about the best dressed, the worst dressed, Ryan Reynold’s spray tan, and Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globes. But if you haven’t checked out the most awkward moments of the glamorous evening, Us Weekly has you covered in this round up. I love Emma Stone, but check out what happens when she goes to give the director of La La Land a hug for winning “Best Screenplay.” (We’ve all been there!)

Ali Lincoln
I have a history of word-related tiffs littering my past, including a very memorable discussion of the pronunciation of the word “crayon” with my entire world studies class in ninth grade—I’m that cool. A few years ago, I got into a bit of a squabble with a friend over the spelling of the word “whoa” and for the record, I’m firmly in camp “whoa” and not “woah” or “whoah” (I didn’t know that was an option until this week). And judging from this Slate article, I’m not the only one who has issues with the word. As geeky as it may be, I do find the evolution of language fascinating, which is part of the reason I miss my free access to the OED from college like whoa.

I also finished up my first reads of 2017—Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman, and The Mothers by Brit Bennett. I really enjoyed Behold the Dreamers and The Mothers, not so much The Zookeeper’s Wife. I so wanted to like it and the premise was interesting, but the writing and the style of writing left me wanting more of a story—I think it should adapt well to film, though!

Kristine Maloney
Journalist Clare Hollingworth passed away this week age the age of 105. I was not familiar with her before Tuesday, but became fascinated after seeing a few stories, including this one from NPR, in the days following her death. Hollingworth broke the story of the start of WWII just one week after landing a job as a war correspondent. And that was just the beginning of her remarkable career uncovering more major scoops and reporting from the front lines of several more wars. I’ve just added her biography to my book list as well.

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