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Week in Review

Although there’s plenty in the news this week, including the Deflategate verdict and Beyoncé’s birthday, the biggest event in my week happened at the gas pump. At the end of each month, I have to use any gas reward points accumulated from my trips to the grocery store, and boy, did I get a surprise for the start of September: SIXTY. CENTS. OFF. I’m not kidding—I filled up my empty SUV for $18.74. While I’m not quite sure how a household of two people and one cat amassed so many points with food purchases, I’ll take that sweet discount any day!
After you’ve reveled enough in my gas bargain excitement, scroll down to get caught up in the exciting world of higher education.
What’s new this week:
Both Cathy Sandeen, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and the Unviersity of Wisconsin-Extension, and Kevin Kruger, president of NASPA, were included in this Inside Higher Ed article about institutions seeing results from borrowing EAP-style supports for online and low-income students.
Don’t forget to head over to the Call to Action blog to check out new posts this week on applying microeconomic theory to marketing practice and the dangers of collaboration and consensus.
What we’ve been talking about:
The TVP Comms team knows that Kristine Maloney is awesome, but we’re so excited to see that others think she deserves recognition, too! Congrats to Kristine on being named to the Worcester Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty list!
Principal Teresa Valerio Parrot lent her expertise to the Chicago Tribune in an article on the University of Illinois scandals and to the Huffington Post on Michigan State’s Title IX delays.
What we’ve been reading: 
Kyle Gunnels
This year is SPIN Magazine‘s 30th anniversary, and to celebrate they have been posting articles from the archive on their site. Recently, they posted an in-depth feature from 1986 that was the first major coverage of a new drug that would soon go on to decimate communities across the country—crack. The article offers a gripping view into the lives of those affected by the new drug sweeping across Harlem, well before it was mainstream. All around, it’s a great piece of journalism.
Ali Lincoln
While I certainly use tools like Yelp and TripAdvisor when planning travel, I also try to get recommendations from people I know who have been to the place, or locals once I get there. I take reviews with a grain of salt because inevitably, someone somewhere will have had a bad experience—like the people who left these bad reviews of travel destinations.
When Erin Hennessy tweeted this NYT article on backpacks, I was suddenly thrown back to high school. We only had three minutes to get from one class to another, and since my high school was on the larger side, it meant that you had to sprint to make it on time—which also meant that there was no time for a locker stop. That means I was lugging around most of my textbooks at all times. That thing was at least 40 pounds daily and I had to walk funny to balance all that weight. I would have loved to just carry around a digital burrito instead (or better yet, a real burrito—but no eating outside the cafeteria)!
Kristine Maloney
I went back and read this column (originally published last week) on test optional policies by Stephen Burd of Higher Ed Watch after listening to a report about it on NPR. I’m a big proponent of test optional policies for college admissions. Personally, I was always a good, hard working student with embarrassingly low standardized test scores. And professionally I worked for a college in the first wave of those to implement test optional admissions in 2006 and was proud that it leveled the playing field for low-income students. I still like to believe that most colleges go test optional for altruistic reasons, but this article reminds us of all the advantages for the institutions as well. And yet, I wonder how much does intent matter if both sides reap benefits?
I’ll admit it. I’m not yet a fan of the new Google logo, but couldn’t really articulate why. This article shed some light on my negative reaction to the new look.
Teresa Valerio Parrot
After you read/listen to Kristine’s pieces, then read mine! Not sure if you saw, but average SAT scores plummeted this past year. And unsurprisingly, many people are drawing conclusions on the state of K-12 education based on the results. For those who believe the sky is falling, I encourage them to re-read and re-listen to Kristine’s two clips.
My family was captivated by This American Life’s Serial podcast last year and we are anxiously awaiting the rollout of this season’s storyline. After the podcast’s episodes came to an end we started listing to Undisclosed to hear the next twists and turns in Adnan’s criminal case. Well, now we’re reading criminal filings as the movement toward his request for a new trial grows. And, interestingly, our understanding of the law has grown exponentially, too. Hopefully this cultural phenomenon makes us all smarter advocates and participants in our nation’s legal system.
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