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Week in Review

The Council of Independent Colleges and American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ annual College Media Conference is coming up at the end of the month, and the TVP Communications team is pretty pumped about it. I’m jazzed because I feel like now that I’ve got a full year under my belt, I’ll glean a lot more from the conference. Plus, it’s always fun to see my colleagues and make new friends in the biz. Let us know if you’ll be there—we’d love to say hi! And be sure to join us for the TVP Comms roundtable on the morning of July 1st.
What’s new this week:
Harvard’s historic $400 million gift has had a lot of people buzzing about philanthropy and colleges. While some argue that wealthy colleges shouldn’t be getting such large gifts, others are able to look more favorably at and applaud the donation. Sue Cunningham, president of CASE, wrote a piece and was quoted in an Inside Higher Ed article about why institutions shouldn’t be criticizing generous donations—even to well-endowed schools—and instead focus on using that gift to inspire giving from their own alumni.
What we’ve been talking about:
Stuck in a productivity rut at work? Kyle Gunnels shared some great strategies to help break you out and get back on track.
In the middle of a crazy week, Teresa Valerio Parrot took a minute to celebrate who and what we are on the blog and shared some big news—we have received official designation as a small, women and minority business.
This week, Inside Higher Ed’s Call to Action blog featured guest posts from Pam Hardy, director for marketing and communications at California Western School of Law and Tim Jones, associate vice president of marketing at Clarkson University.
What we’ve been reading:
Kyle Gunnels
Ever wonder what world leaders got their degrees in? Is law the most prevalent degree? STEM or medicine? The correct answers are the social sciences and humanities. In fact, more than half of all leaders who participated in this British Council survey have degrees in those two fields. As a fellow student of the social sciences, I appreciate this insight.
Jurassic Park is one of my favorite movies of all time. And even though deep down I know it’s impossible, I still hold out a little bit of hope that one day I’ll see a dinosaur–yes, even after all of the destruction and chaos that happens in the movies. Impossibility aside, that doesn’t mean that we all can’t still dream about reintroducing dinosaurs to our world. In fact some “rewilding” projects in the U.S. and Europe have been successful, albeit dinos are not part of the equation. This piece does a great job of exploring the scientific realities of why a Jurassic Park isn’t realistic, but why attainable rewilding efforts are beneficial.
Teresa Valerio Parrot
Sesame Street holds a special place in my heart and for that reason I eagerly read the media coverage of a study entitled “Early Childhood Education by MOOC: Lessons from Sesame Street.” The researchers found, “Sesame Street accomplished its goal of improving school readiness; preschool-aged children in areas with better reception when it was introduced were more likely to advance through school as appropriate for their age.” I have very fond memories of watching Sesame Street with my dad— it was always our special time together. Only a couple of years ago my dad, who learned English as a second language, admitted that he used to watch Sesame Street with me so that he could focus on the pronunciation of commonly used words. That honest admission made me treasure the memories of my dad—and all of my Sesame Street friends—that much more.
Ali Lincoln
It seems like every year since I was in high school, there has been a “new” SAT—I remember when they introduced the writing portion for the graduating year behind me and it incited a lot of grumbling. One change for the latest “new” SAT I support is eliminating the penalty for guessing. Not that I’ll be taking this test ever again, but I’m a terrible test-taker and I was paralyzed when I came across a question that I only felt okay about my answer. Should I guess and potentially lose points? Or risk nothing and gain nothing as a result? I’m glad that for now, at least, students won’t have to deal with the same anxiety.
Something you may not know about me is that I’m something of a yupster (or yuccie, which is TERRIBLE name)—and I’m proud of it. There are SO many “types” of millennials, and frankly, I identify with many of them. I’m not ashamed to admit words like “local,” “artisan,” “sustainable,” and “reclaimed” make me swoon. Why not enjoy things that are lovingly made or grown and better for the Earth? I think bowties on gentlemen are dapper, I know how to make cheese and pickles from scratch, and I’m glad nerdy glasses are in because I’m blind without them. Thanks to Erin for a heads up on this entertaining read. And here’s a bonus read on yupsters for you.
Oh, and if you weren’t yet convinced of my yupster status, I also really loved this slide show of the best farmers markets in the country. I can personally vouch for the top picks for Massachusetts, Vermont, Colorado, and New Mexico—and looks like I’ve got to test out the best market in Virginia next.
Kristine Maloney
As an English major in college, I spent hours pouring over the Oxford English Dictionary. And, at the risk of sounding like a complete nerd, I loved it. The way words have been used over time and the different meanings they had at different points and places in history were fascinating to me and still are, which is why I couldn’t resist this Lingua Franca post on pluralism. Bonus points because the piece centers on a New Yorker poem and the poet’s choice of title.
This was another piece I couldn’t help but click on this week. The Atlantic asked a group of writers and journalists to answer the question, “What’s the most important element of a good story?” I love stories and even though I think I’m pretty decent at recognizing the good ones, I am in awe of the people who have the talent to tell stories in surprising and inspiring ways. It didn’t hurt that participants in this piece included writers and producers from some of my favorite television and radio shows including House of Cards, The Moth and The Newsroom.
Erin Hennessy
Two weeks ago, I was home visiting my family and noticed that my mom had a coloring book and a box of colored pencils on the kitchen table. I didn’t think much about it—my nearly four-year-old nephew spends a lot of time at my mom and dad’s house. Looking closer, though, I realized that this was no Thomas the Train coloring book—it featured intricate floral designs and geometric patterns. Yup, my mom’s totally on trend—she’s an adult colorer. And so, now, am I.
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