Thursday, September 19, 2013

Noack family gifts $20,000 for Blinn scholarship

September 19, 2013

Ruth Noack recently graduated from College's Licensed Vocational Nursing program

Less than a month after graduating from one of the most rigorous programs Blinn College offers, Ruth Noack is giving back to those who will follow in her footsteps.

The Blinn College Foundation recently accepted a $20,000 gift from Ruth Noack and her husband Steven to establish an endowed scholarship for students enrolled in Blinn's Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) program. The scholarship will be awarded to an LVN student on the College's Brenham campus during the Spring/Summer semester who has demonstrated the ability, character and integrity necessary for a successful career in the nursing field.

Ruth Noack was recently one of 19 new nurses welcomed into the profession during the program's 51st annual pinning ceremony at the Dr. W.W. O'Donnell Performing Arts Center in August. She recently passed the National Council Licensing Examination using the knowledge and skills she learned from Blinn's state-recognized LVN program.

"Ruth knows first-hand the challenges that our LVN students face in achieving their dreams, and her genuine love for the nursing profession has been inspirational to her fellow students and to me," said Joe Al Picone, Blinn Foundation Board President. "I would like to thank Ruth and Steven for this endowed scholarship, which will give future nursing students the assistance they need to further their own goals and will strengthen our healthcare workforce for years to come."

Blinn's vocational nursing program consists of classroom, laboratory and clinical experiences, some of which begin at 6:30 a.m. Hospitals and other health care facilities throughout the Brenham and La Grange communities are utilized for clinical rotations. Students are expected to spend 35-40 hours each week in scheduled, attendance-mandatory activities.

The program's first semester includes 10 courses, and students must pass all their classes to advance to the next semester. To pass, students must score at least a 75 percent, and the program also features a strict attendance policy.

The Foundation supports programs and activities that enhance the quality of education for Blinn College students and expand the educational opportunities for the entire community. While raising funds is an important function, the Foundation also seeks to heighten community awareness of the mission and accomplishments of the College and to promote excellence in education.

For more information on the Foundation and its mission, call 979-830-4107. A complete list of endowed scholarships available to Blinn students can be found at:

PHOTO - Blinn College Foundation Board President Joe Al Picone (right) recently presented Steven and Ruth Noack with a plaque commemorating their establishment of a new endowed scholarship benefitting a Licensed Vocational Nursing student on the College's Brenham campus.

Source: Blinn
Read More

Graduate Assistant - Deer/Vegetation Interactions: Texas

Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute
Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Research on 2 private ranches.
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
$1,400/month for M. S. students or $1,600/month for Ph. D. students plus benefits (medical package has a 90 day waiting period).
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Vegetation responses to high deer densities in semiarid environments are poorly understood compared to the more humid environments of northern and eastern North America. We are seeking M. S. and Ph. D. students to conduct research on plant responses to a range of white-tailed deer population densities. The successful applicants will work as part of a team of graduate students, research associates, and undergraduate assistants involved in a large, collaborative research project under the supervision of Drs. Charles DeYoung, David Hewitt, and Timothy Fulbright. The research is based on a recently completed 10-year-long project on the Comanche and Faith Ranches. Successful applicants will be expected to live in housing provided at the study areas in addition to spending time on campus. Portions of the research will be used by the successful applicants for theses or dissertations. Successful applicants will be expected to publish manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and present papers at scientific meetings.
B. S. (M. S. for Ph. D candidates) in ecology, wildlife science, range science, range management, biology, or closely related fields. A strong work ethic, good verbal and written communication skills, ability to work independently and as a productive member of a research team, and ability to work under adverse field conditions (hot humid South Texas environment) are essential. Ability to operate 4-wheel drive vehicles and conduct field research. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and competitive GRE scores (application package must include GRE scores). Send a cover letter stating that you are interested in the deer and vegetation interaction assistantship. Include your career goals, resume/CV, transcripts, GRE scores, and have 3 references send letters or e-mails (preferable) to: Dr. Timothy E. Fulbright; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville; 700 University Blvd, MSC 218; Kingsville, TX 78363; 361/593-3714; email:
Contact Person
Tim Fulbright
Contact Phone
Contact eMail

Source: Tamu
Read More

Branker hits high note in leading jazz program

After a session of his course on jazz theory, Anthony D.J. Branker talks with sophomore Jonathan Scholl, a saxophonist who plays in the Concert Jazz Ensemble. Since taking over as director of Princeton's jazz program in 1989, Branker has increased the music department's course offerings in jazz and expanded the University's Jazz Ensembles to allow students to perform a variety of styles. (photo: Denise Applewhite)

Princeton NJ - Anthony D.J. Branker, director of Princeton's jazz program, spent the fall 2005 semester helping the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre develop its jazz studies curriculum. For Branker, a 1980 Princeton graduate, the challenge hearkened back to his own return to campus in 1989.

As a music student at Princeton, Branker envisioned one day coming back to help transform the University's small jazz program. He has fulfilled that goal by broadening course offerings, bringing in notable musicians to teach and perform with students, and entertaining audiences at Princeton and beyond with the award-winning University Jazz Ensembles.

"Before Tony the jazz program really lived from year to year, from hand to mouth," said Paul Lansky, a longtime Princeton music professor who taught Branker. "If there weren't students who cared about it, it wouldn't have existed at all. Tony built the program into what it is today and deserves all the credit."

Branker, a senior lecturer in the Department of Music, is an acclaimed composer and trumpeter known for his energy and dedication to Princeton's jazz program. In addition to teaching courses in jazz history, theory and composition, he conducts the University's Jazz Ensembles, which typically consist of two big bands and several smaller ensembles focused on different composers and styles each year. The ensembles have twice received national awards for performance from Down Beat magazine, a leading jazz publication.

"What's neat is seeing that students recognize there is a really vibrant jazz culture here at the University, and many are applying to Princeton specifically to be part of that program," Branker said.

Besides handling his teaching, conducting and administrative duties, Branker makes time for his own music. He has written some 110 works, which have been performed in Europe and the United States. The International Association for Jazz Education has awarded him two composition prizes.

Earlier this year, his ensemble, Anthony Branker and Ascent, released a CD of eight of his original compositions, "Spirit Songs," which bring together Brazilian, Cuban, African and Jamaican influences. A review in the May issue of All About Jazz: New York noted, "Primarily working outside of the major league jazz spotlight, but not far from it, Anthony Branker is crafting some of today's finest compositions."

Planning his return

During his student days at Princeton, Branker "had a look in his eye that said that he was going to get where he wanted to go," Lansky recalled. As it turned out, that was back at the University.

"When I was an undergrad I used to talk to other music majors and say how much I would love to come back here at some point and try to develop the jazz program," Branker said. "I remember we had such talented kids who just loved to play; Stanley Jordan [class of 1981] was a contemporary of mine. There really was no reason why we couldn't develop a program on the same level of schools of music or jazz studies programs at other institutions."

After graduating from Princeton, Branker earned a master's degree in jazz pedagogy from the University of Miami. While writing and performing his own music and playing with many top artists, Branker taught at several institutions, including the Manhattan School of Music, Hunter College, Ursinus College and the New Jersey Summer Arts Institute at Rutgers University. When the position of director of Princeton's jazz program came open in 1989, he jumped at the opportunity.

"Princeton had some really wonderful jazz conductors over the years. A number of faculty from the Manhattan School of Music served in the 1980s as director of the jazz ensembles, including Justin DiCioccio, who is now chair of the jazz department at the Manhattan School of Music," Branker said. "There always had been a great environment for the music and an interest from the students, but a real need to expand."

Under Branker's guidance, Princeton has added three courses to the introductory course in jazz history that existed when he was a student - two courses in jazz theory and composition and a jazz performance seminar that is traditionally taught by a visiting artist. He has won several teaching awards from jazz education organizations and from the U.S. Department of Education. Branker also has brought in many well-known musicians and jazz educators to teach and perform with students, including current visiting instructors Ralph Bowen, Michael Cochrane and Ralph Peterson Jr. and previous guests such as Jordan, Clark Terry, Terence Blanchard, Slide Hampton, Roy Hargrove and Craig Handy.

Branker conducts the Concert Jazz Ensemble and the University Orchestra in a February 2004 performance in Richardson Auditorium featuring Martha Elliott, a 1982 Princeton graduate and a voice instructor in the music department. The University's Jazz Ensembles have won two national awards for performance from Down Beat magazine, a leading jazz publication. (photo: John Jameson)

Branker has created opportunities for students to perform a wide spectrum of music by establishing smaller rotating ensembles to augment the traditional 17-piece big bands. These smaller ensembles have focused on the music of Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus and other famed composers, as well as on varied styles such as Afro-Latin, avant-garde, New Orleans, hard bop and fusion. He also conducts the Jazz Vespers ensemble, which performs regularly in the University Chapel.

Princeton's student ensembles have produced nine recordings during Branker's tenure and have performed around the country. A recent highlight, Branker noted, was a concert at McCarter Theater in April, when the Concert Jazz Ensemble joined the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra in a performance of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's classic "Far East Suite."

Ben Wasserman, a senior who plays tenor saxophone, is a member of the Jazz Composers Collective and also has played in the big-band Concert Jazz Ensemble and smaller groups. He said the members of the Jazz Composers Collective, who have played together in various forms, have grown a great deal under Branker's direction.

"We now spend less time working on technical aspects of the music and more time making the music just feel good - something that is not easy to facilitate as a director, but Tony offers articulate guidance based on years of experience and a deep understanding of the music," Wasserman said.

"It has been especially rewarding to work with him on his original compositions," Wasserman added. "He always communicates a clear idea of how he wants a given tune to sound, and then we as musicians put our stamp on it. As a result, Tony's compositional style has had a big influence on my development as a musician. The emphasis of the Jazz Composers Collective has been to place each of us in the role of composer/director with our own original tunes, but Tony is still there to help us make the music feel good."

Sharing expertise overseas

In 2005, Branker spent five months at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre as a Fulbright Scholar, helping to shape the conservatory's jazz studies curriculum, which was then in its second year. He taught jazz composition and history courses while conducting three student ensembles. One of the ensembles performed an original work by Branker's 12-year-old daughter, Parris, a budding pianist and composer, as a surprise when she visited.

While in Estonia, Branker wrote 32 new songs, inspired by the culture and people of the small Eastern European country and by themes of spirituality. A number of these compositions have been performed by Princeton student ensembles, and he hopes to have his Ascent ensemble record a CD of some of these works in the spring.

At Princeton, most of the students Branker teaches and conducts are not music majors - of the 35 students in the jazz ensembles this year, he estimated four or five are majoring in music. At the Estonian Academy, many of the students he taught already were established professional musicians and teachers, but were seeking their first opportunity to obtain a degree in jazz studies. While the academy provided a much different environment, Branker said his time there was particularly valuable for his work at Princeton.

"One of the great things about the experience is I had a lot of time to reflect on how I teach," he said. "Language should not have been an issue, but it was at times. They do speak English, but communicating in the same kind of ways and presenting material in the same ways I would do here was a bit difficult, so I had to fine-tune that process a bit, which got me thinking about how to get to the crux of the matter in dealing with issues of performance or composition. I had a chance to really look at what it is I do and see what, if anything, needed to be revamped."

Branker returned to Estonia during fall break in November, bringing the five-member Jazz Composers Collective for a brief concert tour. The Princeton students performed their own original material in concerts at two jazz clubs. The group appeared on Estonian national television's version of "The Today Show," performing one of Branker's compositions, "Crystal Angel." They also performed at the academy, premiering "The Eesti Jazz Suite," Branker's five-movement work inspired by his time in Estonia.

Wasserman said the trip "was a great opportunity to share our original music with people from a different culture, and I really enjoyed seeing a part of the world that I might not otherwise have had the occasion to visit. Performing abroad provided a sense of purpose and energy that doesn't necessarily accompany our performances here. ... The trip brought us closer together, both musically and personally."

Following his work in Estonia, Branker is now involved with an outreach project closer to home. The Princeton jazz program has partnered with the Princeton Public Library to obtain a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities' program, "Looking At: Jazz, America's Art Form." The grant will support a series of films and discussions on the cultural and social history of jazz, as well as concerts by three Princeton jazz ensembles, to be held this spring for the campus and local communities.

Whether on campus or 4,000 miles away, Branker has demonstrated a strong commitment to raising awareness of and interest in the music he loves. Students and colleagues said that his passion for jazz and his enthusiasm for teaching and performing are infectious.

"He so obviously loves what he is doing, that his students and his audiences just beam at his concerts," said Scott Burnham, chair of the music department. "Everyone goes home happy."

Source: Princeton
Read More

WLU Welcomes New Faculty for 2013 - 2014

West Liberty University welcomed 14 faculty members to the teaching ranks this fall, bringing the total number of full-time faculty to 144 for the start of the school year. New faculty include:

    Gregory Chase, Associate Professor of Economics and Finance. Chase joins WLU after teaching at the Australian College of Kuwait. Prior to that he worked at Brenau University in Gainesville, Ga., and Maine Maritime in Castine, Maine. In addition, he has taught at the Academy of Economics in Moldova as a Fulbright Scholar and in China at Zhong Yuan Technical University and the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology. He earned his bachelor's degree from Eastern Michigan University, his master's at the University of Central Florida, and his doctoral degree from Kent State University.

Source: Westliberty
Read More

Southwestern University: Academics: Faculty Notables

Southwestern launches new initiative to help prepare students for prestigious national scholarships and fellowships

Over the years, Southwestern students have had an excellent track record when it comes to being selected for prestigious national scholarships and fellowships such as the Fulbright Teaching Assistantships.

But university officials think they could do even better.

That's why David Gaines, an associate professor of English who has been serving as director of the Paideia program, has been asked by President Edward Burger and Provost Jim Hunt to lead a new initiative to make Southwestern students competitive for even more prestigious scholarships such as the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.

"Southwestern students can be competitive on a national level," Gaines said. "We just need to start working with them earlier. We can't pull together a Rhodes Scholarship application the month before when other people have been working on it for three or four years. Students will have the best chance for scholarships and fellowships if they are identified early and mentored consistently throughout their years here."

Gaines will chair a campuswide committee that includes Alex Anderson from Career Services, Tisha Temple from the Office of Intercultural Learning, Kathryn Stallard from Information Services, and faculty members Barbara Anthony, Erika Berroth, Emily Niemeyer, David Olson, Carl Robertson and Willis Weigand.

In addition to identifying strong candidates for various national scholarships, the committee will select candidates for various visiting interviewers and prepare those students for their interviews.

With his role as director of the Paideia program winding down, Gaines said he is excited about the new challenge.

"Part of what I've enjoyed about teaching at Southwestern is the opportunity to work with students over their four years here," he said. "Paideia emphasized that and this will also."

Over the summer, Gaines went to Chicago to visit the three students from Southwestern who are currently participating in the Kemper Scholars program, which is limited to students from 16 of the country's top liberal arts colleges. He also went to Atlanta to meet with the people who run the Fulbright program.

"It's important for us to know how the system works and for foundations and agencies to be able to put a face with our institution," Gaines said.

Gaines said national fellowships and scholarships can help set students apart when it comes to finding employment or getting accepted into graduate schools. They also provide opportunities to meet people with energy and drive who they might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet.

Students interested in learning more about national scholarships and fellowships can visit here or contact Gaines at

Gaines will be keeping his office on the second floor of the Prothro Center that previously served as the office for the Paideia program. He said students are welcome to drop by any time or call him at 512-863-1494.

"I'm delighted that David will bring his famous energy, creativity and love for students to this important leadership role in inspiring our students to see exciting intellectual life-changing opportunities beyond their Southwestern experience," President Burger said.

Source: Southwestern
Read More

Dr. Seepersad Wins ASEE Educator Award

Mechanical engineering Associate Professor Carolyn Seepersad at The University of Texas at Austin, has recently been selected by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) as an Outstanding New Mechanical Engineering Educator.

Professor Seepersad is extremely proud of the work her creative students are doing and wanted to spotlight the innovative projects they are designing in her senior design class.

Dr. Seepersad was nominated by Professor Rich Crawford. The nomination was supported by letters from three former Ph.D. students and a post-doc. They include Drs. Peter Backlund (now with Sandia National Lab), Nathan Putnam (now with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Champaign, Illinois), Cassandra Telenko (now a post-doc at MIT and the Singapore University of Technology and Design), and former post-doc David Shahan (now at HRL Laboratories in Malibu, California).

Dr. Seepersad was recently promoted to Associate Professor and has worked in the Mechanical Engineering Department for eight years, where her enthusiasm, knowledge and inviting personality have made her an invaluable asset to the department. Colleagues, undergraduates and graduate students are highly appreciative of her work here and "feel lucky to have her" as the nominating students wrote in their opening letter to the selection committee. She is a highly creative, innovative engineer who is described by colleagues as "enthusiastic, organized, efficient, courageous, encouraging and patient." She has consistently scored extremely high marks on student evaluations, even in classes with 50 to 75 students, at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Seepersad teaches the second-to-last core undergraduate course Mechanical Design Methodology where students redesign and engineer an existing product, such as a leaf blower. Students reconstruct the decisions made by the original designers regarding manufacturing, the assembly process, and product architecture. In her graduate level course Design of Complex Engineered Systems students learn statistical techniques for designing and analyzing experiments by using in-class, hands-on learning methodology. In all her courses, she uses a "writing for reflective learning" assignment to encourage students to reflect on their experiences and articulate the lessons learned.

Research Interests & Projects

In addition to her work with mechanical engineering students, she is involved in engineering outreach programs and several research and funded engineering initiatives. She has three main research interest areas. The first is the design of customized mesostructure (honeycomb and lattice structures) for use in many applications where strength and weight must be optimized. In addition, she's developing methods and computational tools for engineering design and using empathetic experiences to help designers better understand product-user interactions with emphasis on assistive use considerations.

In 2009 she received the Outstanding Young Researcher Award from the Advanced Manufacturing community. The subsequent ME news story details some of these efforts. She has just been selected by the Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology (LIFT) to bring 3-D printing to the university in a form of a vending machine. Students will be able to log on to a web portal to upload their files. Using layered manufacturing technology, a MakerBot desktop 3-D printer will build their design inside a glass kiosk as they watch.

Outreach Efforts

Besides the work teaching current students, she is involved in outreach programs including a program called "Extreme Engineering" that is performed with the Women in Engineering Program (WEP). This is an activity with high school students where they redesign a common household item (an alarm clock) for people with either situational or physical disabilities. Students interact with prototype products using blindfolds, earplugs, and oven mitts to temporarily handicap their senses and dexterity. The ensuing discussion revolves around how engineers create products and technologies that help people and help make people's lives better.

Seepersad has advised over 25 undergraduate researchers and serves as the faculty advisor for the college chapter of Tau Beta Pi (the national engineering honor society) and mentors finalists for the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, and is on the selection committees for the Hertz Fellowship and the Rhodes Scholarship -honors that she herself earned as a student.

One of the best ways to understand the level of professionalism and excellence Seepersad brings to her work is to read selected portions of letters from her colleagues and students. See the sidebar above.

A woman who never stands still

Because she's so open to new possibilities and seems to possess boundless, positive energy, she is always working on the next thing- be it another way to teach a concept better, another research method, another idea for a project or a way to fund it. The department is honored to have such a forward thinker in our midst, always spurring the same type of thinking in the people around her. Carolyn Seepersad is a professor who will surely leave her mark on engineering education for many years into the future.

Source: Utexas
Read More

High School Programs/Study Abroad Programs - Hillsdale College

High School Study Abroad Programs

"O, for a Muse of Fire:" The Land and Literature of England
- Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, John Milton, Jane Austen, and T.S. Eliot

Monday, June 16, 2014 - Sunday, June 29, 2014

Rising high school juniors and seniors are invited to earn college credit with Hillsdale faculty in an intensive two-week summer travel seminar on the ideas and historical influences of select English authors and some of their enduring works that shed light on the good life. Course study begins on the Hillsdale College campus in southern Michigan and continues at sites including Windsor, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford, Bath, Canterbury, and London. Featured faculty include Provost and Professor of English Dr. David Whalen, Associate Professor of English and Temple Family Chair in English Literature Dr. Stephen Smith, and Professor of History Dr. Bradley Birzer. A $4,250 course fee includes tuition fees for three academic credits, airport shuttles to and from Hillsdale, international flight from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, private bus and other land travel while abroad, housing, daily breakfast and dinner, and all site fees.

A complete application is encouraged no later than March 1, 2014. Courses will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, with applications received before March 1 taking precedence. Applications received after March 1 will be considered until the course reaches capacity.

Questions?: (517) 607-2325,

Winston Churchill and World War II: Remembering Their Finest Hour

Monday, July 7, 2014 - Saturday, July 9, 2014

Rising high school juniors and seniors are invited to earn college credit with Hillsdale faculty in an intensive two-week summer travel seminar on history's most terrible war and one of its enduring examples of leadership. Course study begins on the Hillsdale College campus in southern Michigan and continues at sites including London, Oxford, Normandy, Versailles, and Paris. Featured faculty include Professor of History and William P. Harris Chair in Military History Dr. Thomas Conner, and Chairman and Professor of History and Henry Salvatori Chair in History and Traditional Values Dr. Mark Kalthoff. A $4,250 course fee includes tuition fees for three academic credits, airport shuttles to and from Hillsdale, international flight from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, private bus and other land travel while abroad, housing, daily breakfast and dinner, and all site fees.

A complete application is encouraged no later than March 1, 2014. Courses will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, with applications received before March 1 taking precedence. Applications received after March 1 will be considered until the course reaches capacity.

Questions?: (517) 607-2325,

Western Civilization: Visions from Italy

Friday, June 27, 2014 - Saturday, July 19, 2014

Rising high school juniors and seniors are invited to earn college credit with Hillsdale faculty in an intensive two-week summer travel seminar on the cultural riches of Italy and their influence on Western Civilization. Course study begins on the Hillsdale College campus in southern Michigan and continues at sites including Rome, Pompeii, Venice, and Florence. Featured faculty include Edward Reid Chair and Professor of Classical Studies Dr. David Jones, and Chairman and Associate Professor of Classical Studies Dr. Joseph Garnjobst. A $4,250 course fee includes tuition fees for three academic credits, airport shuttles to and from Hillsdale, international flight from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, private bus and other land travel while abroad, housing, daily breakfast and dinner, and all site fees.

A complete application is encouraged no later than March 1, 2014. Courses will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, with applications received before March 1 taking precedence. Applications received after March 1 will be considered until the course reaches capacity.

Questions?: (517) 607-2325,

The Roots and History of American Liberty

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rising high school juniors and seniors are invited to earn college credit with Hillsdale faculty in an intensive two-week summer travel seminar on the origins and development of the American experiment of liberty under law. Course study begins on the Hillsdale College campus in southern Michigan and continues at the College's Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship. Interim destinations include the historic Pennsylvania cities of Philadelphia and Gettysburg, as well as excursions to Washington's Mount Vernon and Jefferson's Monticello. Featured faculty include Hillsdale President Larry P. Arnn, Director of the Kirby Center David Bobb, and the Kirby Center's Director of Academic Programs, Paul Moreno. A $2,290 course fee includes tuition fees for three academic credits, airport shuttles to and from Hillsdale, private bus and other land travel, housing, daily breakfasts and dinners, and all site fees.

A complete application is encouraged no later than April 1, 2014; however, applications will be accepted until the course reaches capacity.

Questions?: (517) 607-2325,

Source: Hillsdale
Read More

Silver Chips Online : Blair holds "Los Padres" meeting

On Saturday Feb. 9, parents of Hispanic students had an informational meeting about the college admissions process. The event included a question and answer session and a discussion with the selected panel.

The panel consisted of Alyssa Perez, who graduated from Towson and now works for her alma mater's Office of Admissions, Jihan Asher, a representative from CASA De Maryland, Jennifer Romero, a University of Maryland student and Marcy Campos, the mother of a college student.

One of the most heavily discussed topics in the meeting was obtaining financial aid and scholarships. Many parents were worried that even with the right grades, their kids would not be able to go to college due to lack of money to cover the expenses. "There are many scholarships that are given to high school students. The fact that they don't have money isn't an excuse to not go to college," Romero said. According to the panel, the first option for financial aid that students should look into, was the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) . According to their website, Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation.

Alicia Deeny, one of the coordinators of the event, repeatedly suggested that parents talk to Career Center coordinator Phalia West in order to get more information more specific to individual students. West, Deeny said, along with the student's counselor, can find scholarships and colleges that are suited to the individual.

The panel also discussed the requirements for college applications. Perez placed an emphasis on the importance of grades as well as the essays that have to be written as part of the application process. According to Perez, although grades and the SAT are important parts of the process, they only show the numerical value an individual has. The essay shows the personality and passion of the student. Perez suggested writing about a topic that reflects who the student is as a person. The essay is an opportunity for the student to sell themselves. "Its like a puzzle and some puzzle pieces are bigger. Once you put these pieces together, you'll be able to market yourselfno one else is going to do it for you. You have to be your own advocate," CASA de Maryland representative Asher said.

The whole panel stressed that the parents should remind their students to take their time with applications. "Just know that it's a really long process. In 11th grade just map it out for yourself. There are a lot more resources, more access to scholarships and more information, [so] the longer you give yourself, the better," Deeny said.

According to Deeny, the ideal scenario would be starting applications the summer before senior year. It would also be beneficial for the students to ask for recommendations in the summer or early senior year, out of consideration for the teachers since they will have many other recommendations to write. The panel told the parents to get a head start on visiting colleges, planning financially, and reminding their students to start the application process early.

The next panel meeting will be April 3 in the Blair library.

Source: Mbhs
Read More

Scholarship Pageant Focuses on Uplifting Young Women

The Epsilon Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., on the campus of Fayetteville State University (FSU) will hold its annual Miss Black and Gold Pageant on Sunday, September, 29, 2013, at 6 p.m. in J.W. Seabrook Auditorium. The theme of this year's pageant, "The Blame Game," will focus on the growth and rebuilding of young women.

Ten beautiful and equally brilliant young women will have their intellect, talent, and poise on display as they vie for the coveted title. Competing for the Miss Black & Gold 2013 crown are Kristina Allen, Chiquanna Anderson, Jasmine Bogan, Jessica Edwards, Jaqualla McLaughlin, DyJae Mooney, Darielle Pickett, Tiffany Provost-Holloway, Jasmin Sessoms and Tianna Shelly. The contestants will compete in the following phases of competition: Scholarship, Interview, Introduction and Personality, Swimsuit, On-Stage Knowledge and Awareness, Talent, and Evening Gown. The winner will receive a scholarship and will represent the Epsilon Zeta Chapter at the Association of North Carolina Alphamen's District Miss Black and Gold Pageant in Rocky Mount, N.C., in November. She will compete against other chapter Miss Black and Gold winners from across the state.

The current Miss Black and Gold chose to compete on the platform of self-worth and has used her crown to promote a heightened awareness of the importance of valuing oneself. The Epsilon Zeta Chapter asks that you too join in the dedication this year. A portion of the proceeds will support local middle and high school female students attending the fraternity's Leadership Development Institute in June 2014.

Advance tickets are $3 and are available in the FSU ticket office in the J.W. Seabrook Auditorium. Tickets are $5 the day of the show. The event is open to the public. Take advantage of the Miss Black & Gold promotional day as well. On September 24 th, see any member of the Epsilon Zeta chapter for a green ribbon symbolic of the pageant's dedication. Wear that ribbon to show your support and receive a discounted ticket for only $2!

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African-Americans, was founded December 4, 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York by seven college men who recognized the need for a strong bond of Brotherhood among African descendants in this country.

For more information, please contact Ronald Blanks, chairman, at

Source: Uncfsu
Read More

Office of Community Engagement Fall 2013 E-Newsletter

Here at the Office of Community Engagement (OCE), we echo the excitement expressed by many College Park residents and city employees in response to several recent University-community partnership efforts designed to launch us toward our goal of becoming a sustainable, world-class college town.

In late spring, University of Maryland President Wallace Loh signed a resolution passed by the University Senate to expand the jurisdiction of the Code of Student Conduct so that disciplinary repercussions will attend all instances of unbecoming student conduct, irrespective of whether the Conduct Code violation occurred on-campus or off. As a member of the City of College Park's Quality of Life Working Group, I recognize that this policy development represents a 'win' for those community residents who believe this development will promote safety of students living both on- and off-campus while also encouraging responsible behavior by students at all times, everywhere.

Earlier this week, President Loh joined with the City of College Park, the College Park City/University Partnership (CPCUP), and Prince George's County government to announce the expansion of the UMD Police Department's concurrent jurisdiction. Effective immediately, we will be seeing additional security cameras, UMPD officers and vehicles patrolling in a wider area of College Park. UMPD is now authorized to police in the city's Calvert Hills, Crystal Springs, Berwyn and Lakeland neighborhoods where there are large populations of students. For more information about this development, follow this link.

These major enhancements to existing public safety efforts in College Park have come about through CPCUP's University District Vision 2020, which has set ambitious goals for the community in the areas of housing and development, education, transportation, public safety and sustainability.

As you read this edition, you'll learn that the University President is not the only one at UMD that has been busy working to build stronger connections with members of our community off campus. Maryland Athletics, the Maryland Cooperative Extension, the School of Public Health, the School of Music, the Department of Criminology, the College of Education, the Confucius Institute at Maryland and others been investing in successful community partnerships in exciting ways! We hope you enjoy the read.

With gratitude for all you do to enhance quality of life in our city,

Gloria Aparicio Blackwell, Director
Office of Community Engagement

In July, Prince George's County Police Department (PGPD) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Criminology, allowing county police to draw upon the resources of the University in a collaboration unprecedented in scope for the two entities. OCE brings you the full

County Police Approach Crim Department for New Partnership, Ideas

Meet the 2013 JRT Grads In July, the Maryland Multicultural Youth Center (MMYC/LAYC) celebrated the graduates of its Job Readiness Training (JRT) program. Among the JRT graduates are Monica Cariño (above), and Celeste Lucero, a recent high-school grad who is now working for OCE part-time.

College Park Development Update

Read the City of College Park Department of Economic Development's most recent Hear the amazing stories of transformation that are taking place at the UMD-owned, OCE-operated Center for Educational Partnership in Riverdale this summer: a job training program, a development update for a complete list of new businesses and other amenities coming soon to our city.

Apps to Serve Make a Difference: Create a mobile/web-based app. to meet a community need. And win a cash prize! Dr. Alexander Chen, Associate Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, is joining up with UMD's Division of Information Technology to mobilize students to develop applications that serve the community. Discover what the Code for Community Challenge is all about and find out how you can enter the competition!

UMD's Center for Educational Partnership Continues Changing Lives substance abuse recovery clubhouse, nutrition education programming, and academic enrichment for youth.

Source: Umd
Read More

El Camino College - ECC Matters - September 2013

"Would You Woodwork?"

Woodworking student C.C. Boyce came to Los Angeles for an acting career, but her goals expanded when she enrolled in woodworking classes at El Camino College. She recently launched the first two installments of "Would You Woodwork?" a new comedic and instructional Web series where she gives basic instruction about woodworking equipment. C.C. is now working hard to earn a fine woodworking and cabinet maker certificate, while producing her fun and informative video segments. Click here to view the two episodes: the first features instructions on using a table saw and planer. In the second, she gives a how-to on turning a pen on the lathe.

Financial Aid TV

ECC's new "Financial Aid TV" features short video clips that answer questions about financial aid. Students have 24-7 access to this service that covers a variety of topics from understanding the application to the new GI Bill eligibility guidelines. Financial aid is a great way to pay for fees, books, and other college expenses. Click on the video to learn more.

Planetarium Shows for Fall

Everyone is invited to fall planetarium shows at El Camino College! The planetarium features an amazing projector by Chronos, which projects the night sky from all over the world onto the planetarium dome. Upgrades to the planetarium were made possible by Measure E. The shows are free and open to the public, made possible with funding by a Title III HSI-STEM grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Click here for a list of fall shows.

ECC Scholarship Program Opens for 2013-14

The El Camino College Foundation Online Scholarship Application is now open! Students with a 2.0 grade point average or better and have completed, or are in the process of completing, a minimum of six graded credit units at ECC are encouraged to apply by the December 6 deadline. Scholarships range from $500 to $5,000 and may be used to help pay for tuition, books and fees. El Camino College offers a diverse scholarship program with criteria including: honors and academic achievement, financial need, leadership and community service, organizational and campus club affiliation, and more. A record-breaking $1.4 million was awarded to approximately 650 students for the 2013-2014 academic year. Click here to get started.

Fall Transfer Fair

Want to transfer? Attend the annual Fall Transfer Day Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. October 10 on the Library Lawn. ECC's Fall Transfer Day Fair is the largest transfer fair of the year, featuring representatives from more than 60 colleges and universities, including out-of-state colleges, private universities, and historically black colleges. Representatives from the University of California and California State University systems will also be available. Students are invited to ask questions, make contacts, and find out more information. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, click here.

Fall Blood Drive

Everyone is encouraged to participate in the campuswide fall blood drive, scheduled for October 8-10 in the Student Activities Center, East Lounge. The El Camino College Inter-Club Council and Student Development Office sponsor this twice per-year blood drive with the American Red Cross. Blood donors can come to the campus Student Activities Center from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day of the blood drive, with extended hours until 8:00 p.m. on October 10. Help donate life-saving blood! For more information or to make a donation appointment, go to the American Red Cross website and enter the sponsor code: ECC.

ECC Counselor Wins Ford Freedom Unsung Award

Congrats to counselor Elaine Moore, who was recently honored by the Ford Motor Company as a winner of the annual Ford Freedom Unsung Award, celebrating individuals who have made significant contributions in their communities. Awards were presented to individuals in the areas of community, education, military, and youth. Moore, who recently retired after 31 years at El Camino College, was selected as an honoree in the education category. More...

Ghostly Fun

As part of the ECC Center for the Arts Resident Artist Series, a presentation titled "Phantasms: Can we communicate with the dead?" is scheduled for 8 p.m. October 18 in Marsee Auditorium. ECC Professor Jason Davidson will discuss the history and demonstrate the methods of the Spiritualist Movement, which was popular in the United States during the late 1800s, and will explain how these techniques are still in use today. Ghostly manifestations in the auditorium might be unsettling - but it's all in good fun! Click here for ticket info.

ECC Compton Center English Instructor Helps Students Publish Literary Work

ECC Compton Center English instructor Hiram Sims inspires students by encouraging them to tell stories about their own personal experiences. In 2012, he helped the students in his creative writing class do exactly that by compiling their work into a book titled "The Invisible Door." Then in 2013, he published "The Chopping Block," featuring the literary work of the 12 students in his subsequent creative writing class. Sims pays for the publishing of the books himself and receives no profit from the books. Through an outreach program supported by LA Bookshelf Publishing, he gives all of his students a complimentary edition of the book, and copies are also available for purchase online.

Social Media Update

Who have you followed on social media lately? With more than 26,000 Facebook fans and 3,700 Twitter followers, ECC's social accounts are the place to be! In addition, our new Instagram photo and video-sharing profile is a hit. Join in the conversation! Follow @ECC_Online for ECC news, info, and all things college. We want to hear from you, so stop by and say hi! Be sure to use the hashtag #ECConline when you do! What is a hashtag? Click here and find out!

Veteran Services

The L. A. Veterans Resource Center's Mobile Vet Center will visit El Camino College from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. October 10 at the west side of the Student Activities Center. The Mobile Vet Center provides free VA counseling, VA benefits information, and VA referrals in confidentiality and privacy. Staff from the Department of Veteran Affairs will be available to answer questions and offer guidance. This service is available to students, staff, faculty and anyone in the community who is able to benefit from VA services.

ECC Compton Center Hosts First Spanish Spelling Bee

Congratulations to Evelyn A. Medina who was named the winner of ECC Compton Center's first Spanish Spelling Bee! The contest at the end of the spring 2013 semester featured students from each section of Spanish 1 courses, with total of 23 students entering the event. Many members of the ECC Compton Center faculty provided support to make this event successful. Click here to read the full story.

Share your comments about these stories!

You can use your Facebook, Hotmail, Yahoo or AOL account to make a comment!

Your browser must support JavaScript to view this content. Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings then try again. Events calendar powered by Trumba



Source: Elcamino
Read More

What Constitutes Merit?

Christine Ortiz
Dean for Graduate Education

What Constitutes Merit?

Dear Students:

I recently attended the 2013 MIT Institute Diversity Summit which focused on the topic of "Meritocracy and Inclusion at MIT: Principles or Practices?" At the Summit, we were reminded that MIT has been an institution committed to the ideal of a meritocracy and inclusion from its inception. In fact, William Barton Rogers, the founder of MIT, wrote in 1862 in the original proposal to create MIT―Objects and Plan of an Institute of Technology―

"The limited and special education which our plan proposes, would, we hope, fall within the reach of a large number whom the scantiness of time, means, and opportunity would exclude from the great seats of classical and scientific education in the Commonwealth."

Striving for the ideal of a meritocracy compels us to consider the question of what defines merit, as well as how to mitigate unintended bias in the evaluation of merit. Discussions at the Diversity Summit emphasized the importance of maintaining a multidimensional concept of merit to achieve diversity and, correspondingly, the highest possible levels of excellence and creativity. Embracing a multidimensional concept of merit is consistent with a commitment to providing a multidimensional educational experience, where students integrate discipline-specific academic rigor with innovative and enriching non-traditional learning opportunities that develop transferable skills, context and character. I recall a particularly insightful quote from the 2010 report of the Initiative for Faculty Race and Diversity, on which I had the honor to serve:

"To insist on orthodoxy [i.e. narrow, singular definition of excellence] would stifle one of the pillars of MIT which is to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship of ideas."

When considering what constitutes merit, we might begin with the values and mission of MIT, the latter of which emphasizes the generation, dissemination, and advancement of knowledge in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. Importantly, today we are seeing an increasingly broad array of mechanisms to create, disseminate and advance knowledge, which are often highly discipline-dependent.

For example, in addition to scholarly journal publications and citations, consider the following recent work at MIT:

The list could go on and on. Consider the diversity of these achievements and of the individuals and teams behind them. Clearly, all contribute to MITs mission and excellence, and represent our collective creativity in generating, disseminating and advancing knowledge in diverse and impactful ways. My office, the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education, aims to highlight and recognize publicly the rich diversity of achievements of MIT students; we support an array of content-rich co-curricular activities that facilitate a multidimensional educational experience; we foster inclusiveness through welcoming and dialoguing cross-cultural events and we serve as a caring resource for personal support, mentoring and advising of individual graduate students.

I encourage you to consider what you think constitutes merit at MIT and to write to me your thoughts on this matter directly ( or post a comment on my facebook page post at this link:

Have a great semester.
Christine Ortiz
Dean for Graduate Education
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Source: Mit
Read More

University of California - UC Newsroom | A social way to support scholarships

If you think crowdfunding is only for indie filmmakers and bootstrap startups, think again. The University of California today (Sept. 18) became one of the first universities in the nation to tap the fundraising power of social networks with its Promise for Education campaign.

The goal: Boost scholarship aid for deserving UC undergraduates through an online campaign that draws attention to the importance of keeping public higher education within reach for all Californians.

UC Regent Sherry Lansing, who was lauded by other members of the Board of Regents today for her leadership in helping launch the program, said the campaign was unique in that it represented the "democratization of fundraising," allowing anyone who cares about UC and its students to get involved at any level.

"We've been struggling with how to have more resources available for students, and that's what the Promise campaign is all about," Lansing said. "There is an ability for everybody to get involved. It brings the whole community in."

The concept of Promise for Education is simple. Individuals make a personal promise - run a marathon, tutor a student, ride a unicycle - and set a crowdfunding goal ($50, $100, $1,000 or more). Then they share their promise through Facebook, email and other social media channels.

Their friends are directed to, where donations can be made to see the promise fulfilled. All donations go directly to scholarships and grants for UC undergraduates with financial need.

The campaign has already drawn significant support from celebrities, industry partners and other notables, said Jason Simon, UC executive director for marketing and communications.

"Over the last three weeks we have engaged in a bit of a 'preview' mode and as we launch today, with more than 150 promises, we already have pledges of roughly $900,000," Simon said.

Among those who have joined the effort: Gov. Jerry Brown, Jamie Foxx, David Spade, Matt Barnes, Wilmer Valderrama, Gabrielle Union, Sasha Alexander, filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke, and rapper and spoken word poet Watsky.

The promises range from the silly to the serious. Jamie Foxx, for example, has pledged to rap like Bill Clinton, President Obama and Mo'Nique from the movie "Precious." His fans already have pitched in $10,000 for student scholarships to see him fulfill it.

Gov. Brown, on the other hand, has taken a decidedly more scholarly tack, promising to hold a brown bag lunch with a student from each campus if he reaches his fundraising goal of $10,000.

Other members of the UC Board of Regents also have gotten involved, and three of them - Regents Richard Blum, Norman Pattiz and Fred Ruiz - each promised during the meeting to give $100,000 to the cause.

In addition, Bank of America and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), which is chaired by Lansing, have each come aboard with $100,000 donations to the student scholarship fund.

Jay Sures, vice chair of EIF, told the board that as a UCLA alum and board member of the UCLA Medical Center, he felt a deep personal connection to the campaign and its goals.

"We believe in the powerful role that UC plays in transforming California, and I've experienced that first-hand as an alumnus," he said. "But we are also keenly aware of the transformative nature that social media is having on philanthropy."

Crowdfunding campaigns have taken off in the past couple of years, Sures said. More than $2.7 billion was raised last year through such campaigns, and that amount is expected to nearly double in 2013. UC is smart to capitalize on the phenomenon, he said.

His promise? Five paid internships for UC students next summer at the highly coveted United Talent Agency, where he is managing director.

Student Regent Cinthia Flores said she initially had been apprehensive about the campaign, but had become excited about its potential. She told board members that she raised $800 in less than 24 hours after pledging to spend a day dressed up as Superwoman, and had less than $200 left to raise.

"I'm fully on board and there are a lot of students who are really excited about it," Flores said.

Students have embraced all sorts of creative promises, from a UC Berkeley student who promises to work a soup kitchen for 2,000 hours to a UC Riverside athlete who has pledged to do 20,000 pushups in 20 hours.

Brittaney Khong, a recent graduate of UC San Diego, told the board she became involved because scholarships had done so much for her personally.

"My parents are Vietnam War refugees and our family has faced a number of challenges, namely financial."

As a senior in high school, Khong had nearly given up her college dream, until the phone rang and she learned she had been awarded a scholarship from the UC San Diego Student Foundation.

"This scholarship was entirely funded through student donations. UCSD students, who were struggling to pay for their own tuition, were generous enough to help out a future classmate, whom they'd never even met. Their spirit of philanthropy inspired me and gave me hope for the future. Sure enough more scholarships came in, and by fall of 2009, I had moved into my dorm room...

"I owe everything I am to the generosity of others," she said.

Source: Universityofcalifornia
Read More

Financial Aid Glossary| UW-La Crosse

Accruing Interest (on a loan): The cost of the loan, represented by the interest rate, is adding up prior to the repayment period or prior to a payment installment.

Adjusted Available Income: The portion of family income remaining after deducting federal, state, and local taxes, a living allowance, and other factors used in the Federal Need Analysis Methodology.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI): All taxable income as reported on a U.S. income tax return.

Advanced Opportunity Program Grant (AOP): These grants are available to qualified ethnic minority graduate students.

Advanced Placement (AP): Credit and/or advanced standing in certain course sequences that postsecondary institutions may offer to high school students who have taken high-level courses and passed certain examinations.

Army Reserve Student Loan Repayment Program: Student loan repayment program available to Army Reservists; amount of repayment is based on years of service and job specialty.

Assets: Cash on hand in checking and savings accounts; trusts, stocks, bonds, other securities; real estate (excluding home), income-producing property, business equipment, and business inventory. Considered in determining Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Associate's Degree: A degree given for successful completion of some courses of study at a two-year college.

Award Letter: A means of notifying successful financial aid applicants of the assistance being offered. The award letter usually provides information on the types and amounts of aid offered, as well as specific program information, student responsibilities, and the conditions which govern the award. Generally provides students with the opportunity to accept or decline the aid offered. (See Financial Aid Notification)

Bachelor's Degree: The degree given for successful completion of the undergraduate curriculum at a four-year college or a university. Also called a baccalaureate degree.

Budget: See Cost of Attendance.

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Grant: A federal grant program administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for needy students who are members of an Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut tribe and enrolled in accredited institutions in pursuit of an undergraduate or graduate degree.

Business Assets:Property that is used in the operation of a trade or business, including real estate, inventories, buildings, machinery and other equipment, patents, franchise rights, and copyrights. Considered in determining an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) under the regular formula.

Campus-based Programs: The term commonly applied to those U.S. Department of Education federal student aid programs administered directly by institutions of postsecondary education. Includes: Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and Federal Work-Study (FWS) programs.

Capitalization (of interest): The arrangement between borrower and lender whereby interest payments are deferred as they come due and are added to the principal amount of the loan.

Central Processing System (CPS): The computer system to which the student's need analysis data is electronically transmitted by the FAFSA processor. The Central Processing System performs database matches, calculates the student's official Expected Family contribution (EFC), and prints out the Student Aid Report (SAR).

COA: See Cost of Attendance.

Commuter Student: A student who does not live on campus; typically, "commuter" refers to a student living at home with his or her parents, but can also mean any student who lives off-campus.

Consolidation Loan: A loan made to enable a borrower with different types of loans to obtain a single loan with one interest rate and one repayment schedule. Federal Perkins, Federal Stafford (subsidized and unsubsidized), Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized, Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL), Health Professions Student Loans, and Loans for Disadvantaged Students may be combined for purposes of consolidation, subject to certain eligibility requirements. A consolidation loan pays off the existing loans; the borrower then repays the consolidated loan.

Cost of Attendance (COA): Generally, this includes the tuition and fees normally assessed a student, together with the institution's estimate of the cost of room and board, transportation and commuting costs, books and supplies, and miscellaneous personal expenses. In addition, student loan fees, dependent care, reasonable costs for a study abroad or cooperative education program, and/or costs related to a disability may be included, when appropriate. Also referred to as "cost of education" or "budget."

Credit (or Credit Hour): The unit of measurement some institutions give for fulfilling course requirements.

Custodial Parent: The parent with whom the dependent student lives, and whose financial information is used in the need analysis when parents are divorced or separated.

Deferment (of loan): A condition during which payments of principal are not required, and, for Federal Perkins and subsidized Federal Stafford and Direct Subsidized Loans, interest does not accrue. The repayment period is extended by the length of the deferment period.

Department of Education, U.S. (ED): The federal government agency that administers assistance to students enrolled in postsecondary educational programs under the following programs: Federal Direct Subsidized Loans, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans, Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study (FWS), Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Programs, Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) and Federal National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART).

Dependent Student: A student who does not qualify as an independent student and whose parental income and asset information is used in calculating an Expected Family Contribution (see Independent Student).

EFC: See Expected Family Contribution.

Employment: With reference to financial aid, the opportunity for students to earn money to help pay for their education. Federal Work-Study is one program by which needy students can work to defray their educational expenses.

Employment Allowance: An allowance to meet expenses related to employment when both parents (or a married independent student and spouse) are employed or when one parent (or independent student) qualifies as a surviving spouse or as head of a household. Used in need analysis formula for parents and student, if eligible.

Entrance Loan Counseling (ELC): A federal requirement that must be completed by a student before a Federal Stafford Loan can be disbursed.

Exit Loan Counseling (XLC): A federal requirement that must be completed by a student each time they leave school, graduate or drop below half-time.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The amount a student and his or her family are expected to pay toward the student's cost of attendance as calculated by a Congressionally-mandated formula known as Federal Methodology. The EFC is used to determine a student's eligibility for the student financial assistance programs.

FAFSA: See Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan: Long-term loans made available to graduate students. Interest rate is fixed at 7.9%. May be used to replace EFC; annual amount borrowed limited to the cost of attendance minus estimated financial assistance.

Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized): Long term, low interest loans administered by the Department of Education. Fixed interest rate of 6.8%. Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans may be used to replace EFC. Government pays interest on the Federal Direct Subsidized Loans while the student is in school or in their grace period.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan (FDPPLUS): Long-term loans made available to parents of dependent students. Interest rate is fixed at 7.9%. May be used to replace EFC; annual amount borrowed limited to the cost of attendance minus estimated financial assistance.

Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Programs: The collective name for the Federal Stafford (subsidized and unsubsidized), Federal Parent PLUS Loan, Federal Graduate PLUS Loan and Federal Consolidated Loan programs. Funds for these programs are provided by private lenders and the loans are guaranteed by the federal government.

Federal Need Analysis Methodology: A standardized method for determining a student's (and family's) ability to pay for postsecondary education expenses; also referred to as Federal Methodology (FM). The single formula for determining an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for Pell Grants, campus-based programs, FFEL programs, and Direct Loan program; the formula is defined by law.

Federal Pell Grant: A federal grant program for needy postsecondary students who have not yet received a baccalaureate or first professional degree; administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

Federal Perkins Loan: One of the campus-based programs; a long term, low interest loan program for both undergraduate and graduate students at a current interest rate of 5%.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): One of the campus-based programs; grants to undergraduate students of exceptional financial need who have not completed their first baccalaureate degree and who are financially in need of this grant to enable them to pursue their education. Priority for FSEOG awards must be given to Federal Pell Grant recipients with the lowest EFCs.

Federal Work-Study Program (FWS): One of the campus-based programs; a part-time employment program which provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students who are in need of such earnings to meet a portion of their educational expenses.

FFELP: See Federal Family Education Loan Programs.

Financial Aid: General term that describes any source of student assistance outside the student or the student's family. Funds awarded to a student to help meet postsecondary educational expenses. These funds are generally awarded on the basis of financial need and include scholarships, grants, loans, and employment.

Financial Aid Administrator: An individual who is responsible for preparing and communicating information pertaining to student loans, grants or scholarships, and employment programs, and for advising, awarding, reporting, counseling, and supervising office functions related to student financial aid. Accountable to the various publics which are involved and is a manager or administrator who interprets and implements federal, state, and institutional policies and regulations, and is capable of analyzing student and employee needs and making changes where necessary.

Financial Aid Award: An offer of financial or in-kind assistance to a student attending a postsecondary educational institution. This award may be in the form of one or more of the following types of financial aid: repayable loan, a non-repayable grant and/or scholarship, and/or student employment.

Financial Aid Notification: The letter from the postsecondary institution that lets the student know whether or not aid has been awarded. If the student will be receiving assistance, the notification also describes the financial aid package. State agencies and private organizations may send students financial aid notifications separately from the postsecondary institution. Also see Award Letter.

Financial Aid Package: A financial aid award to a student comprised of a combination of forms of financial aid (loans, grants and/or scholarships, employment).

Financial Need: The difference between the institution's cost of attendance and the family's ability to pay (i.e., Expected Family Contribution). Ability to pay is represented by the expected family contribution for federal need-based aid and for many state and institutional programs.

Financial Need Equation: Cost of attendance minus Expected Family Contribution equals financial need (COA - EFC = Need).

Forbearance: Permitting the temporary cessation of repayments of loans, allowing an extension of time for making loan payments, or accepting smaller loan payments than were previously scheduled.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The financial aid application document completed by the student, and the student's parents if applicable, that collects household and financial information. The FAFSA is the foundation document for all federal need analysis computations and database matches performed for a student.

Fund for Wisconsin Scholars: For recent graduates of Wisconsin public high schools. Must be Wisconsin resident undergraduates. Need based. Must maintain full-time enrollment and satisfactory academic progress. Number of awards limited to amount of allocation given to UW-L by the Fund.

Gift Aid: Educational funds such as grants or scholarships that do not require repayment from present or future earnings. See Grant

Grace Period: The period of time that begins when a loan recipient ceases to be enrolled at least half-time and ends when the repayment period starts. Loan principal need not be paid and, generally, interest does not accrue during this period.

Grant: A type of financial aid that does not have to be repaid; usually awarded on the basis of need, possibly combined with some skills or characteristics the student possesses.

Income: Amount of money received from any or all of the following: wages, interest, dividends, sales or rental of property or services, business or farm profits, certain welfare programs, and subsistence allowances such as taxable and non-taxable social security benefits and child support.

Income Protection Allowance: An allowance against income for the basic costs of maintaining family members in the home. The allowance is based upon consumption and other cost estimates of the Bureau of Labor Statistics for a family at the low standard of living.

Independent Student: A student who:

(a) who is 24 years of age, or who:

(b) is an orphan or a ward of the court;

(c) is a veteran;

(d) is married or is a graduate or professional student;

(e) has legal dependents other than a spouse; or

(f) presents documentation of other unusual circumstances demonstrating independence to the student financial aid administrator.

Investment Plans: Educational savings programs, usually sponsored by commercial banking institutions.

Lawton Undergraduate Minority Retention Grant: These grants are available to statutorily defined ethnic minority sophomores, juniors and seniors who are in good standing academically and are residents of Wisconsin or Minnesota.

Legal Dependent (of Applicant): A biological or adopted child, or a person for whom the applicant has been appointed legal guardian, and for whom the applicant provides more than half support. In addition, a person who lives with and receives at least half support from the applicant and will continue to receive that support during the award year. For purposes of determining dependency status, a spouse is not considered a legal dependent.

Loan: An advance of funds evidenced by a promissory note and requiring the recipient to repay the specified amount(s) under prescribed conditions.

Merit-based Aid: Student assistance awarded because of a student's achievement or talent in a particular area, such as academics, athletics, music, etc.

Methodology: Refers to the system used to calculate the expected family contribution (i.e., the Federal Need Analysis Methodology).

Military Scholarships:Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarships available for the Army, Navy, and Air Force at many colleges and universities throughout the United States. These scholarships cover tuition and fees, books and supplies, and include a subsistence allowance.

Need: See Financial Need.

Need Analysis: A system by which a student applicant's ability to pay for educational expenses is evaluated and calculated. Need analysis consists of two primary components: (a) determination of an estimate of the applicant's and/or family's ability to contribute to educational expenses; and (b) determination of an accurate estimate of the educational expenses themselves.

Need Analysis Formula: Defines the data elements used to calculate the expected family contribution (EFC); there are two distinct formulas: regular and simplified. The formula determines the EFC under the Federal Need Analysis Methodology.

Need-based Aid: Student assistance awarded because a student's financial circumstances would not permit him or her to afford the cost of a postsecondary education.

Non Need-based Aid: Aid based on criteria other than need, such as academic, musical, or athletic ability. Also, refers to federal student aid programs where the expected family contribution (EFC) is not part of the need equation.

Packaging: The process of combining various types of student aid (grants, loans, scholarships, and employment) to attempt to meet full amount of student's need.

Parent Contribution: A quantitative estimate of the parents' ability to contribute to postsecondary educational expenses.

Parent Loan: See Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan.

Principal (of a loan): The amount of money borrowed through a loan; does not include interest or other charges, unless they are capitalized.

Professional Judgment (PJ): Aid administrator discretion, based on special circumstances of the student, to change data elements used in determining eligibility for federal student aid.

Promissory Note: The legal document which binds a borrower to the repayment obligations and other terms and conditions which govern a loan program.

Repayment Schedule: A plan that is provided to the borrower at the time he or she ceases at least half-time study. The plan should set forth the principal and interest due on each installment and the number of payments required to pay the loan in full. Additionally, it should include the interest rate, the due date of the first payment, and the frequency of payments.

Reserve Officer Training Corps Scholarship Program: Competitive scholarship that pays for tuition, fees, books and a monthly living stipend and other benefits in exchange for participating in drills and classes during the academic year, military camp during the summer, and, upon graduation, full-time active duty in the military for at least four years.

Return to Wisconsin Scholarship: Scholarships which provide a 25% discount of non-resident tuition to children and grandchldren of UWL graduates.

SAR: See Student Aid Report.

SAR Information Acknowledgment: A non-correctable one-page Student Aid Report. Students who file electronic applications or who make electronic corrections to applicant information through a school receive this acknowledgment.

Scholarship: A form of financial assistance that does not require repayment or employment and is usually made to students who demonstrate or show potential for distinction, usually in academic performance.

Simplified Needs Test: An alternate method of calculating the expected family contribution for families with adjusted gross incomes of less than $50,000, who have filed, or are eligible to file, an IRS Form 1040A or 1040EZ, or are not required to file an income tax return. Excludes all assets from consideration.

Student Aid Report (SAR): The official notification sent to a student as a result of the Central Processing System (CPS) receiving an applicant record (via FAFSA) for the student. The SAR summarizes applicant information, an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for the student, and displays other special messages related to the student's application. In some instances the SAR may need to be submitted to the financial aid office at the school the student plans to attend, but only if the school requests it.

Student Contribution: A quantitative estimate of the student's ability to contribute to postsecondary expenses for a given year.

Subsidized Stafford Loan: See Federal Direct Loan

Subsidy: The money the federal government uses to help underwrite student aid programs; primarily refers to government payments to lenders of the in-school interest on Federal Stafford Loans.

Talent Incentive Program Grant (TIP): Need-based grants available to qualified undergraduate students who are Wisconsin residents and demonstrate exceptional financial need.

Taxable Income: Income earned from wages, salaries, and tips, as well as interest income, dividend income, business or farm profits, and rental or property income.

Title IV Programs: Those federal student aid programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Includes: the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Stafford Loan, Federal PLUS Loan, Federal Direct Loan, Federal Direct PLUS Loan, and SSIG.

Unmet Need: The difference between a student's total cost attendance at a specific institution and the student's total available resources.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: See Federal Direct Loans.

Untaxed Income: All income received that is not reported to the Internal Revenue Service or is reported but excluded from taxation. Such income would include but not be limited to any untaxed portion of Social Security benefits, Earned Income Credit, welfare payments, untaxed capital gains, interest on tax-free bonds, dividend exclusion, and military and other subsistence and quarters allowances.

Veterans Educational Benefits: Assistance programs for eligible veterans and/or their dependents for education or training.

Vocational Rehabilitation: Programs administered by state departments of vocational rehabilitation services to assist individuals who have a physical or mental disability which is a substantial handicap to employment.

Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarship: This program is available to top students at Wisconsin high schools. The program is administered by local school boards, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board.

Wisconsin Higher Education Grant (WHEG): Need based grants available to qualified undergraduate students who are Wisconsin residents.

Abbreviations Commonly Used in Financial Aid Administration

American College Testing Program AGI: Adjusted Gross Income
Bachelors of Arts Degree Bureau of Indian Affairs Bachelors of Science DegreeCollege-Level Examination Program Cost of Attendance Central Processing System Direct LoansEducation Department, U.S. Expected Family Contribution (also FC, Family Contribution)
ELC: Entrance Loan Counseling Free Application for Federal Student Aid Federal Family Education Loan Program Federal Methodology Federal Parent PLUS Loan Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
FWS: Federal Work-Study Grade Point Average Income Protection Allowance Internal Revenue Service
MPN: Master Promissory Note Parental Contribution Reserve Officer Training Corps Student Aid Report Student Contribution Talent Incentive Program Grant SEOG: Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

Wisconsin Higher Education GrantXLC:Exit Loan Counseling
Source: Uwlax
Read More

Simmons College

BOSTON (March 19, 2008) - A nationally known African American research scientist will address what high schools and colleges can do to prepare African American and Latino students to achieve in math, science and engineering, April 3 from 4-6 p.m. at Simmons College.

Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County - named one of the 50 Most Important Blacks in Research Science - will discuss "Beating the Odds: Preparing African American and Latino Students for Success in Science and Engineering." The lecture, free and open to the public, is in the Linda K. Paresky Conference Center, Main College Building, 300 The Fenway, in Boston.

Dr. Hrabowski is a nationally recognized leader in math and science education, with a special emphasis on minority participation and performance. He is the founder and first director of the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program, which sends more African American students to doctoral programs in science and engineering than any other scholarship program, college or university. Dr. Hrabowski has received several prestigious awards, including the first U.S. President's Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, the McGraw Prize in Education, and the Educator Achievement Award from the National Science Foundation.

At a young age, Dr. Hrabowski became a leader in the Civil Rights Movement to desegregate his hometown of Birmingham, Ala., and was featured prominently in Spike Lee's 1997 documentary, "Four Little Girls," about the 1963 racially motivated bombing of Birmingham's Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. He graduated from Hampton Institute at age 19 with highest honors in mathematics and received a doctorate in higher education and statistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at age 24.

He currently is a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academy of Sciences, and universities and school systems nationally. He has co-authored two books, "Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males," and "Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Young Women."

The lecture is part of the Race, Culture, Identity and Achievement Seminar Series, co-sponsored by Simmons College, the Center for Leadership Development of the Boston Public School System, Lesley University, The Boston Plan for Excellence, TERC, Connie and Lewis Counts, The Children's Museum, the Center for Collaborative Education, and Wheelock College.

Due to construction, parking is limited. For alternative options, visit the Simmons parking website.

Simmons College is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston.

Source: Simmons
Read More

"A Spark of Hope for Peace"

Randolph-Macon College was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the Davis United World College Scholars program. The grant was used to support a Davis Project for Peace that was created by Kethelyne Beauvais '15, Phuong Bui '15, Nana Adwoa Ohenewaa Bamfo '16, and Shuyan Zhan '15. The students traveled to Haiti August 11-16, 2013 to implement their project, "A Spark of Hope for Peace," which stresses the value of education in promoting peace in Haiti.

"The catastrophic earthquake experienced in Haiti in 2010 destroyed many schools," says Beauvais, a biology and French major. "Since that time, much has been done to ensure that children remain in school, and, through our project, we wanted to nurture and build upon the progress that has been made."

The Project
With the help of Haiti Outreach Ministry (HOM), the R-MC team used the Davis grant to sponsor the secondary education of a Haitian student. They also donated 41 French books for a new library in the HOM, and organized a four-day arts-and-crafts summer camp for 11 orphan girls.

"We lived on the HOM's compound and really got involved with the local community life," says R-MC French Professor Jennifer Shotwell, who served as the faculty advisor during the trip. "We participated in church gatherings, spoke with the members of the Église Chrétienne de Terre-Noire Women's Ministry, attended soccer matches, and visited an orphanage for children with special needs."

An Inspiring, Heart-wrenching Experience
Shotwell, who also serves as director of R-MC's Butler Multimedia Learning Center, says the experience was both inspiring and heart-wrenching. While staying in the security and comfort of a mission site, the R-MC group knew there was suffering and tension not far beyond the walls of the compound.

"Everything we saw indicated that Haiti is still in a sort of holding pattern after the earthquake: UN trucks are ever-present; displaced families languish in tent cities; rubble in the streets and remnants of the national cathedral stand as a constant reminder of progress yet to be made," says Shotwell. "After the U.S. and other countries spent billions to 'prop up' a nation that still struggles so much, it's easy for Americans to ask if we should simply turn away from Haiti. The students and I were convinced even during our short time there that the answer is 'no.' We were overwhelmed by the Haitian spirit, the efforts they themselves are making toward reconstruction and self-sufficiency, and their strong desire for the privilege of public education."

For Bamfo, a biology major and religious studies minor, the project was an opportunity to see the world through others' eyes.

"We lived in a Haitian community and can now better understand the problems residents experience every day," she says. "Our project is a step toward the many things we can do to help promote peace in Haiti."

The trip to Haiti was an experience the students will never forget.

"We are grateful to Randolph-Macon and the Davis Foundation for the opportunity to participate in this project," says Beauvais. "We are also very thankful for having the chance to nurture this idea and bring it to fruition. Although Haiti definitely has its struggles, it is also a beautiful country with people full of life, energy, and hope for a brighter future."

The Projects for Peace Program
College students across the country were challenged to design and undertake "Projects for Peace" around the world, thanks to philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis. The 106-year-old Davis launched Projects for Peace on her 100th birthday and has renewed her commitment every year since. In 2013, more than $1.20 million was awarded in $10,000 grants to students submitting the winning proposals for projects.

Undergraduates at 90 partner schools of the Davis United World College Scholars Program, as well as those at International Houses Worldwide, Future Generations, the Graduate Institute in Geneva, and the University of Maine are invited annually to submit plans for Projects for Peace. Winning proposals selected from competitions at all these campuses are funded through Davis' generosity.

Source: Rmc
Read More