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Week in Review

Happy College Decision Day to the class of 2019 (boy, did writing that make me feel old)!!! What an exciting time for incoming college first years and their families! Choosing a college that’s a good fit academically, financially, and socially is a huge milestone. So be sure to proudly display your new school colors; slap that bumper stick to your car, your bicycle, or your backpack; and stay tuned for all notices from your institutions—there is still a lot of work to be done between now and the fall, and you need to stay on top of deadlines and paperwork! And remember, yes college choice is a big deal, but it’s a bigger deal what you do with your college experience and education once you get there.
For other higher ed news, scroll down and click away.
What’s new this week:
A bit of a different outlet for our clients this week: Beer Advocate ran an article on college craft beer courses featuring both Farmer School of Business and Saint Mary’s College of California.
What we’ve been talking about:
Kyle Gunnels shared a personal reflection on the tornado that hit Tuscaloosa, AL four years ago this week.
What we’ve been reading:
Kyle Gunnels
This piece is spot on in describing the way in which technology has become a constant distraction, and particularly, why even those of us who love reading can shy away from books nowadays. I envy the author’s commitment to ridding himself of technology’s exhausting pull. While I love technology and instant access to information, it’s also a huge burden. 
One of the things I enjoy about traveling and living in large metropolitan areas is being able to hear different languages spoken. I am fascinated by the sheer number of languages in existence and think it’s amazing when I meet those who are fluent in multiple languages. This piece from the Washington Post provides seven charts and maps that detail just how diverse the world is in terms of languages.
Kristine Maloney
I loved so many things about this amazing story from Florida Atlantic University. It’s about a student who was born without a hand and worked with a faculty member to create one using a 3D printer. During a week where tragedy, violence and disaster overwhelmed Twitter feeds and airwaves, this story was a refreshing and uplifting break.
I also enjoyed this piece about a place near to my heart, the College of the Holy Cross, where I worked for more than a decade pitching similar stories about the importance of teaching and the value of mentorship. Holy Cross is doing well by its visiting assistant professors—some would argue better than most—and I’m so glad Inside Higher Ed recognized their efforts in this way.
Ali Lincoln
I love books and reading, and I always get really excited by efforts to improve literacy and access to books, especially for children. The books I read growing up really shaped me and stayed with me into adulthood, and everyone should have access to that kind of development. I spent much of my childhood visiting the library and impatiently awaiting the Reading is Fundamental book fair days at school—free books to keep! So I was delighted to read about efforts to spread the joy of reading to more children—even if it IS mostly through digital books and e-reader applications.
I’ll admit it: I really like well-done Instagram food photos. I love food, and if someone can make it look phenomenal, why not? This article (and its photos) was so lovely that my next trip to the farmers market is definitely getting documented.
Erin Hennessy
I have, like so many, been following the Nepal earthquake and its aftermath. For me, it’s a bit personal as a dear friend arrived in Kathmandu for work just days before the quake. Glendora works for the International Reporting Project, based at Johns Hopkins University, which helps facilitate the coverage of underreported areas and issues. While network reliability has been spotty, Twitter has been my lifeline to Glendora, and her tweets are well worth following. 
And it seems I’m not the only one turning to social media to get the latest information from those on the ground. This India Times piece looks at how the Indian government is using social media to reach out to its citizens in Nepal and to coordinate rescue efforts. And this story looks at how tech companies are pitching in to provide their own form of humanitarian aid to those in Nepal.
Teresa Valerio Parrot
After Serial I was desperate for a great podcast to share with my family. We’ve found our new binge-worthy program—Criminal. And one episode in particular put a smile on our faces. Yes, you read that correctly. A podcast named “Criminal” and an episode that profiled someone who “got fed up and took matters into his own hands” made us laugh and inspired us. The Parrots give this podcast three thumbs up.
One of the topics I feel most passionate about is identifying and helping those students at risk for dropping out of college. The definition of at-risk students was expanded for me as I caught up on last week’s edition of The Economist. The article profiled a group of students with declining attainment rates (Mormon females) and the trigger event for the decline (a reduction in the eligible age for a missionary trip). It’s an interesting read and a reminder that to increase the nation’s attainment rates we need to focus on all students and the considerations in their lives.
Finally, it has been hard to read my hometown paper this week, because the Aurora movie theater trial has begun and coverage of the testimony has been heart wrenching. My sympathies are renewed for the impacted families and the Aurora community. (Warning: this clip is quite graphic).
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