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Week in Review: The One with Every Thanksgiving Episode

I love Friends, and even though it’s a pretty dated show by now (off the air for over a decade), it is still in my regular rotation thanks to Netflix. Part of my annual Thanksgiving prep is to watch all of the Thanksgiving episodes of the show and plan out the meal. Bring on the meat sweats and complex carbohydrates! While some staples are hard to mess with (banana beef trifle, anyone?), now that I’ve been hosting a low-key affair for a few years (and for a tiny crowd), I find that I’m more open to experimenting. New items on the menu this year include pomegranate palomas with sour candied citrus peels (which I have happily been testing and tweaking in advance), roasted squash with sticky walnuts, and a Brussels sprout coleslaw that I’m really just testing out so I can use it on my leftover sandwich (hopefully no one steals MY SANDWICH). So, I’m feeling pretty good about this year’s feast—take that, last year me!


If you’re feeling pretty good about higher ed happenings, scroll down to feast your eyes on the latest. Please note that TVP Comms will be closed starting Wednesday, November 22 for the holiday; we will reopen on Monday, November 27. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

What’s new this week:

In a piece for Fortune, Professor Greg Burnep of the College of the Holy Cross explained why Democrats are wrong in reading the latest election results as the end of Trumpism.

A new Gallup poll conducted for the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) was released this week, the first of three annual studies to assess trustee perspectives on the current state of higher education. This first study emphasizes the need to change the higher ed business model and also highlights perceived barriers, including lack of faculty support. Read this Inside Higher Ed Quick Take for more details and a link to the study.

This piece in the Des Moines Register makes a strong case in support of AGB’s new national campaign, the Guardians Initiative, which calls upon trustees to become guardians of the value proposition of higher ed.

Professor Andrew Hwang at the College of the Holy Cross explains how to make sense of giant numbers—millions, billions, and trillions—in the news in this article for The Conversation.

This week on Inside Higher Ed’s Call to Action blog, get three tips on ways to attract and enroll graduate learners.

What we’ve been talking about:

Ali looks to the Christmas creep phenomenon for lessons on how soon is too soon to target kids with college marketing materials and application stress.

Teresa shared a heartfelt letter with her wishes for her daughter during the college search and application process.

If there’s focaccia, they will come. The Massachusetts members of the TVP Comms team gathered for good food & good company today!

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@teresavalerioparrot thinks she may have found the prettiest campus in America. What campus do you think is most beautiful? #highered #university #washingtonandlee @wlunews

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What’s next on our calendars:

On Dec. 7, Erin will conduct media training for participants in the American Council on Education’s National Women’s Leadership Forum in Herndon, VA.

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:

Teresa Valerio Parrot
My family has a proud tradition of serving in the armed forces. One of my grandfathers was on a ship in Pearl Harbor on December 7th, and my other grandfather was among the troops that stormed the beaches in Normandy. My father served during Vietnam, and my brother was a pilot during many of the Middle East operations over the past 25 years. I have many great uncles (including one who was a prisoner of war), cousins, and extended family members who have served our country. As importantly, I have experienced firsthand the sacrifice a family makes when someone is overseas and have observed how much my sister-in-law and niece have sacrificed alongside my brother. For these reasons, Veterans Day holds special meaning for me. And I’ve been wrestling with so many emotions this football season. I was impressed with how Stephen Curry, in such an articulate way, used his platform to express how he feels about our veterans and the ways in which we must support them during and after their service. His eloquent letter is worth a read and reflection.

Speaking of football, I followed the meteoric rise and fall of Rae Carruth’s football career in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Carruth, a former CU Buff and Carolina Panther, was living the NFL dream when he orchestrated the death of his pregnant girlfriend to avoid paying child support. Cherica Adams died, but her baby, Chancellor Adams survived. I’ve followed the stories of Chancellor’s life and I thought this piece, in honor of his 18th birthday, was a beautiful tribute to Chancellor, Cherica, and her mom/Chancellor’s “G-Mom.” Have tissues handy when you read this and be prepared to be inspired by the power of forgiveness. 

Kylie Lacey
The other day I was driving, mindlessly flipping through radio channels (okay, I was looking for Christmas music), when I landed on NPR, specifically This American Life. I decided this would do for the rest of my journey and admittedly only half listened until I heard “…my hooves…” Um, what? It took me a few minutes to realize the show, “If Wishes Were Horses,” was about a woman who chooses to undergo a procedure to turn into a horse. The show is an excerpt from a short story in The Wrong Heaven by Amy Bonnafons. I typically don’t enjoy such quirky material, but I found myself captivated by the main character’s transformation, and immediately listened to the rest of it online when I got home. I’m glad I stepped out of my typical content box, and highly recommend giving it a try.

Erin Hennessy
I don’t have a lot to say about the lovely, heart-wrenching Vows column that appeared in The New York Times last weekend, because you really only need to get a few words into it before you feel the weight and simultaneous lift of this piece. Written by renowned journalist C.J. Chivers, the story, which is accompanied by stunning black-and-white photographs by Devin Yalkin, brings home yet again the challenges facing veterans, the amazing power of a second chance, and the extraordinary gift of love in the life of two individuals.

Ali Lincoln
There are a lot of stimuli that can overwhelm us in a given day. For me, once I shut down the news and my screens, I find that I still am plagued by noise: a very loud dishwasher, humming refrigerator, my neighbors constantly running lawn care machines, and, of course, a shrieking toddler and a meowing cat. Truly, one of the best moments of the day is when the house fan in the HVAC system goes off—it’s like a weight lifting off of my shoulders. I loved reading this New York Times article on the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park, one of the quietest places on earth. The pictures are beautiful, the sound video is incredible, and the writing is lovely. Adding this to my list of places to visit as soon as possible for some peace and quiet.

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