Peace Corps launches its first-ever HBCU Barbershop Tour in October with visits to historically black colleges and universities in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. The tour officially kicked off on October 2 at Nile Style Barbershop near Morgan State University in Baltimore.
“In the African American community, the barbershop is the cornerstone of politics, religion, sports, culture, networking and professional development,” said Peace Corps Diversity Recruiter Dwayne Matthews (pictured) a returned Peace Corps volunteer from Little Rock, Arkansas and a graduate of HBCU Norfolk State University in Virginia. “This tour is a chance for the Peace Corps to participate in these conversations – to listen, engage and share information about the opportunities available through volunteer service in an organic and familiar setting.”
The tour will feature 10 stops on HBCU campuses and local barbershops that serve the university population and surrounding communities. Each visit will include stakeholder meetings with university and college staff, class talks and information sessions on campus and panel discussions with returned Peace Corps volunteers and university alumni at local barbershops.
Over 30 percent of Peace Corps volunteers self-report as racially or ethnically diverse, following the agency’s efforts to expand outreach to diverse communities across the United States. The HBCU Barbershop Tour is the Peace Corps’ latest effort to expand opportunities for international service and recruit a volunteer corps that shares the rich diversity of America with communities around the world.
Here is the full October tour schedule with dates and locations:
October 2: Morgan State University and Nile Style Barbershop (Maryland)
October 3: Virginia Union University and Mike Blendz (Virginia)
October 9: Bowie State University and Bowie Town Barbers (Maryland)
October 15: Norfolk State University and Kappatal Cuts (Virginia)
October 16: Virginia State University and Real Cutz (Virginia)
October 22: Hampton University and Just Earl Barbershop (Virginia)
October 23: Howard University and Wanda’s on 7th (Washington, D.C.)
October 24: Delaware State University and J Stylez Barbershop (Delaware)
October 29: University of Maryland, Eastern Shore and Wolf Barbershop (Maryland)
October 30: Coppin State University and Phaze Two Barbershop (Maryland)
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 230,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide.
Choosing between a one-year MBA and a two-year MBA should be a simple matter of personal choice. Yet, the reality isn’t so straightforward.
If you wanted to study at a top school in the United States, for example, you would find your selection of one-year MBA programs somewhat limited, although the idea is catching on. The same would apply in Europe if you were looking for a two-year program. So, you may have to compromise on one of these aspects.
The two-year format of the MBA is the long-time precursor of its one-year counterpart, brought into being by the Tuck School of Business back in 1900. The one-year MBA came to prominence in Europe 60 years later. This condensing of the degree might have come as an affront to some leading management experts at the time, but the format gained traction. According to The Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®), a global, non-profit association of leading graduate business schools, in its 2016 Applications Trends Survey, it is becoming the more popular of the two program lengths.
This North American-European divide is still in play, and may well impact your options in terms of program length—be it a decision on the length of program you pursue or one on where you study. Though there are certainly exceptions on both side.
The Two-Year MBA: Time on Your Side
“We haven’t felt comfortable offering a one-year MBA here,” Madhav Rajan, former senior associate dean at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (now at Chicago Booth), told the New York Times back in 2014. “I think there would be huge demand if we ever went that route, but given the content we want to disseminate, that’s not something we’ve pursued.”
This is the big argument for the two- year MBA encapsulated. The two-year program (and remember that ‘two years’ can mean anything from between 16 and 24 months), allows students more time to read, digest, study, and apply what they’ve learned. The schedule may be slightly less intense than a one-year program, leaving more days to participate in extracurricular activities and networking.
A longer MBA program may also mean more opportunity to do electives. MBA programs are composed of the core subjects that need to be covered by all students to obtain a full grasp of management, but there are also chances to specialize. With hundreds of electives available at some schools, students are offered a colorful bouquet of options. If that makes you feel like a kid in a candy store, well … maybe you should look into two-year MBA options.
Most, if not all, two-year MBA programs feature a summer internship as the filling in the sandwich. For students who have not had a traditional business background or who want to change sector, this can be an excellent opportunity to trial a new industry or job function, without having to commit long-term. Younger students with less work experience may also benefit from the experience the internship can provide.
The One-Year MBA
The one-year MBA benefits two sets of students in particular: those with solid functional experience, and those who know precisely what job they’re aiming for when they set foot on campus.
The one-year MBA can cost as much as 50 percent less than a two-year MBA, and you’ll only have to save up enough money to cover your living costs for one year. Taking one year rather than two out of work also means a great deal less salary lost, too. Nick Barniville is director of MBA and master’s programs at the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin. He explains that, in addition to time and money saving, “all evidence from major rankings suggests that graduates from one-year programs earn roughly the same as those graduating from similarly ranked two-year programs.
“Participants on one-year programs get less vacation and have a more intense work schedule; this can be included as an efficiency benefit because it makes little sense to be paying a lot of money to have free time,” he adds.
Ultimately, the decision is a personal one. How much experience do you have? How sure are you of your future plans? Where do you want to study? Do you want to change careers or just upskill? Consider your options carefully, and make sure that you speak to schools in the process, so you can fully understand which is the right format for you.
Source: This article first appeared in TopMBA.com
November 27, 2018, Pasadena, Calif. –ArtCenter College of Design President Lorne M. Buchman announced today that, after a comprehensive international search, the College has named Aaron I. Bruce to the new inaugural role of vice president and chief diversity officer.
With more than 20 years of experience leading initiatives focused on campus diversity, inclusion and international engagement, Bruce will officially begin his tenure at ArtCenter on December 3, 2018, and will lead the establishment of a new Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Art and Design.
Since 2008, Bruce has served as the chief diversity officer at San Diego State University where he led the implementation of that University’s diversity strategic plan.
“His achievements in curricular redesign, recruitment, retention, marketing and global community programming are all deeply impressive,” said Buchman. “His passion for art and design, together with his extensive record of research and program development in areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, make him an ideal candidate for the job.”
“I’m excited to join such a stellar team of creative giants,” said Bruce. “ArtCenter represents the intersection of some of the most innovative art and design spaces in the world. The journey towards adopting inclusive art and design strategies provides us with the power to collectively change human expression in ways we cannot fully imagine.”
Bruce holds a PhD from the University of Rhode Island and a Masters of International Business Administration from United States International University (Alliant).
As envisioned, the Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Art and Design will involve students, alumni, faculty and staff, as well as external communities, in robust research, exhibitions, symposia, lectures and curricular expansion on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in art and design. The proposed Center for DEI will create and support collaborative and transformative activities in the service of the College’s values of DEI that are designed to break new ground through practice, scholarship and pedagogy. In addition, the Center will serve as a partner to ensure that DEI programs, practices and policies for faculty, staff and students are aligned with the College’s strategic plan, values and mission.
“Harnessing creative energy to develop positive change globally is just one of the many characteristics that attract me to ArtCenter. Research shows that embracing the unique identities and lived experiences of artists and designers helps industries achieve higher levels of performance,” said Bruce. “I envision the Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Art and Design to be a nucleus, where the combined energy of our community helps us thrive. The goal is to build a flexible learning space where diverse research, pedagogy and creative expression is explored. A space where all perspectives are valued, and new skills will be adopted. The end game is to prepare students to be successful creative leaders in a highly diverse and globalized workforce.”
About ArtCenter College of Design
Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round continuing education programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.
Kristine E. Guillaume ’20 will lead the newly elected 146th Guard of The Harvard Crimson, the organization’s President announced on Monday. Guillaume is the first black woman to serve as President of The Crimson in the paper’s 145-year history.
Guillaume, a joint African American Studies and History and Literature concentrator, is currently one of The Crimson’s Central Administration reporters. In that capacity, she interviewed two successive University Presidents — Drew G. Faust and Lawrence S. Bacow — and worked as part of the reporting team that covered Harvard’s 2018 presidential search.
She is also one of three Chairs of The Crimson’s Diversity and Inclusivity committee, responsible for formulating and overseeing initiatives meant to make the paper more diverse and welcoming to students from all backgrounds. Guillaume, who lives in Lowell House, will begin as President on Jan. 1, 2019.
“I have the utmost confidence in the 146th Guard’s ability to carry on our proud mission of covering and informing Harvard and its affiliates,” current Crimson President Derek G. Xiao ’19 said. “I could not be more excited to see the direction the next President, Managing Editor, and Business Manager will take The Crimson in 2019.”
News writer and designer Angela N. Fu ’20 will serve as Managing Editor, overseeing the production of The Crimson’s daily newspaper, magazine, arts, and sports sections, and blog. Fu, a Government concentrator and Dunster House resident who hails from Birmingham, Ala., currently serves as a Faculty of Arts and Sciences Administration reporter. In that role, she interviewed two successive FAS Deans — Michael D. Smith and Claudine Gay — and helped report on the presidential search along with Guillaume. She also led The Crimson’s Design Board comp for two semesters.
Fu was one of two reporters who broke a story revealing that star Economics professor Roland G. Fryer, Jr. was being investigated separately by Harvard and the state of Massachusetts over allegations of sexual harassment. She faced down a threatened lawsuit to report the piece, which later earned “Honorable Mention” for Associated Collegiate Press 2018 Story of the Year.
Next year’s Business Manager will be Charlie B. Zhu ’20, an Applied Math and Economics concentrator and resident of Winthrop House from Warren, N.J. He will take the helm of The Crimson’s finances and operations after serving this year as a Director of Staff Development for the Business Board. Prior to that, he worked as an Advertising Associate.
DiversityComm, Inc., more than 8,500 attendees, representatives from more than 250 leading Fortune 500 companies, and 45 colleges and universities attended the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) 40th Anniversary Conference and Exposition in Detroit, Michigan, September 25–29.
Formed in 1970 as an initiative to share insight and experiences with Black professionals within the corporate sector, the NBMBAA serves as an influential nationwide organization with a multi-faceted approach to nurturing its members through innovative programs, trainings, partnerships, and career opportunities.
Mona Lisa Faris, president and founder of DiversityComm, Inc., sat down with NBMBAA President and CEO Jesse Tyson and FedEx Staff Vice President of Operations Analysis Donald Comer to learn more about the organizations’ present and future goals, as well as how their personal and professional life experiences have impacted their approach to and influence in leading what has become the premier business organization serving Black professionals.
“We have more than 14,000 members who expect a lot from our organization, so we try to run it using the same business principles as our corporate partners,” Jesse Tyson said. “It’s important that we remain authentic and take great measures to ensure we align with sponsors that share our values. It takes an army of good, dedicated people to pull this event off, and that’s exactly what we have.”
Building and maintaining that dedicated army capable of holding the nonprofit to a high standard has been a priority for both Tyson—who stepped in to lead NBMBAA after a successful 35-year career at ExxonMobil—and Comer, also the NBMBAA Chairman of the Board.
Tyson can distinctly recall growing up in the rural, segregated South with his grandparents, working as a sharecropper to make a living. It was an upbringing that fueled a burning desire to overcome his circumstances and forge a different path for his life.
“I knew it was never a question of if I would get out…it was just a matter of timing,” he said. “I went through what I did knowing the day would come when things would change and I would be able to reposition my family and change the trajectory of where we had been.”
Tyson went on to attend a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), where he caught the attention of a professor that would change the course of the self-professed country boy’s life. Sensing his talent, the professor pushed for him to apply for an internship with the State Department—something Tyson assumed wasn’t his cup of tea.
“He hounded me for three weeks to apply, finally going so far as to fill out the entire application on my behalf without my knowledge,” he said. “When he approached me and said all he needed was a signature, I obliged—mostly so he’d leave me alone!”
Three weeks later, however, Tyson got the surprise of his life when he got a visit from the FBI to conduct a background check. He was quickly accepted into the program, where he spent three months in Washington, D.C., and five months in Dakar, Senegal. The experience, he said, was a turning point, solidifying his love for business and planting leadership seeds that would mature and blossom over the next several decades.
“What I’ve learned, internalized, and applied throughout the years is that it can’t just be about me—to be truly successful, you have to champion a greater cause—that of community,” Tyson said. “If your elevator takes you to the top floor, it’s not just to sightsee—you’ve got to not only send it back down but also utilize that further view to react and avoid potential catastrophe for those in your charge. You’ve got to use your advantage to see the broader causes that will help position you to help others. Helping others is what it’s all about, and it’s why I do what I do.”
For Comer, it has been the professional growth offered through FedEx, a company that thrives on diversity and inclusion, that has contributed to his overall view on what is important for both the business and the employee.
On a day-to-day basis, he leads a team focused on researching and implementing artificial intelligence strategies, machine learning, and big data.
“At FedEx, we believe in the business value of diversity and in the growth of our employees,” he said. “You’ll find that we’re not just on the career floor when we attend this conference; we participate in all of the areas that are focused on those goals that align with our business objectives, from sponsoring the pitch contests to investing in small businesses and hosting e-commerce committees. We also sponsor the IMPACT awards and the Leaders of Tomorrow program. We’re trying to show that diversity isn’t just philanthropic—it’s what drives business.”
Comer attended his first NBMBAA conference in 1997 on behalf of FedEx and hasn’t missed one since. As his participation has grown, so has the company’s involvement, with FedEx presenting its largest booth yet at the Career Expo in addition to their other sponsored events. Since 2016, the company has contributed close to $4.4 million to facilitate helping those needing business assistance in reaching their goals.
“When we attend NBMBAA, we know we’ll have access to the best talent to fulfill our available opportunities, from full-time professional positions to entry-level and even internships,” he said. “The main goal is connecting people to opportunities.”
The annual traditional Business Case Competition, which gives students an opportunity to pitch a business case for a chance to win scholarships, was a highlight of the conference, with both undergraduate and graduate levels represented.
The Scale-Up Pitch Challenge finals—a Shark Tank-style competition for professionals to pitch their innovative and scalable start-up business ideas to a group of judges—sponsored by FedEx Corporation—was also a huge draw.
While the conference exceeded its mission as a business opportunity for its attendees, there was also a human element at play during the week—the desire to help position the next generation to be successful, Tyson said.
“My grandmother often said that life should be lived in three phases: learning, earning, and returning,” Tyson said. “I rose above those circumstances and learned that it can’t just be about me rising above—it has to be about a greater cause, and that cause is my community.”
“We do what we do here because not only because we enjoy it but also because we know our young folks need it. We’re living in a global economy today, and if they’re not ready to think internationally, then they’re going to be behind. That’s why what we do here is important,” he added.
The National Black MBA Association® will hold its 41st Annual Conference and Exposition in Houston, Texas, September 24-28, 2019, with the theme “Transcend the Power of You: Empowered to Lead, Equipped to Succeed.” For more information, visit nbmbaa.org.
About the Author
Jovane Marie is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and freelance journalist. She is also the founder of MUSE Enterprises, which provides brand ambassadorship and event planning services for small businesses. Connect with her via LinkedIn @JovaneMarie.
Students met college recruiters from various institutions and participated in workshops to learn more about college access and affordability.
Hundreds of college-bound high school students joined State Senator Kevin Parker and the National College Resources Foundation (NCRF) for the Annual Black College Expo at Medgar Evers College on Saturday.
“Every year, The Black College Expo aims to create a platform for children of color to learn more about the college admissions process, and to network and gain insight on scholarships,” said Diana Love, director of College Access and New Business Development at NCRF.
During the expo, students met college recruiters to explore their pathways to higher education institutions. Families were able to discuss the college admissions process, scholarship opportunities and what attending a historically black college means to their academic success. Students and parents also had the opportunity to participate in a myriad of workshops from test prep tips for the SAT and ACT to resume writing sessions.
In addition to co-sponsoring the event, Senator Parker afforded a $1,000 scholarship to a student headed to college next year.
“It can be difficult for parents and students to navigate the college admissions process, and this event helps by focusing on both accessibility and affordability students of color,” stated Senator Parker. “I am thankful to the National College Resources Foundation for being such a critical resource for students of color here in New York State and across the country.”
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College students and parents are already looking ahead to the 2019—2020 school year with the FAFSA- the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The great news is that the Department of Education just launched “myStudentAid” app to make it easier for students and families to fill out the federal student aid application through their mobile phones.
According to the National College Access Network, only 61 percent of high school students file a FAFSA, leaving more than $24 billion in state, federal and institutional aid on the table. Completion of the FAFSA form is one of the best predictors of whether a high school senior will go on to college, as seniors who complete the FAFSA are 63 percent more likely to enroll in postsecondary education.
For the 2019-2010 school year, the FAFSA filing season opens on October 1st and the sooner students file, the better as some financial aid is awarded on a first come, first served basis or from programs with limited funds.
Furthermore, students should look beyond federal student aid as scholarships are a great way to pay for college, and unlike loans they don’t need to be repaid. But winning scholarships takes time, dedication, intensive research, and hard work, especially on the essays. It’s deadline time for college applications, so it’s important to start the application for free money now!
Tuition Funding Sources (TFS) offers access to 7 million scholarships and $41 billion in financial aid. Start by filling in the registration; then with a click, the site searches to find any scholarships for which you might qualify. The more information you provide about yourself, the more matches TFS can make.
Richard Sorensen suggests these tips when applying for financial aid and scholarships:
Tip No. 1: Apply through FAFSA mobile app
The FAFSA mobile app is very simple to use as it asks one question on each page and after answering the question the student goes to the next page and the next question. The student can leave and return to the app as often as they want so it can be completed in several different sittings over a period of time.
Some students don’t apply because they mistakenly think the FAFSA is only for students with financial aid. That’s not accurate, families should know that income is not the only factor used to determine the financial aid they can get. It also depends on the number of children in a family and how many are enrolled in college at the same time.
Tip No. 2: Follow the steps carefully
Even though the FAFSA mobile app is generally easy to use, pay attention to the signature process, because both parents and dependent students are required to sign before the application can be processed. Never tap to “Start Over” button when including a parent signature as this will erase all previous information. And if you need to add a school, click “New Search” not “Next” which moves students to the next question.
Tip No. 3: Submit scholarship applications early
Meet the deadlines and don’t wait until the due date. If the organization asks you to mail the application, don’t try to email it and if there is a maximum word count limit, don’t go over it. Most scholarship providers receive more qualified applications than available funds so reduce your chances of being disqualified because you didn’t follow their requirements.
At TFS undergraduate and graduates can search for scholarships that fit their interest. The majority of the scholarship opportunities featured on TFS Scholarships website come directly from colleges and universities, rather than solely from competitive national pools – thereby increasing the chances of finding scholarships that are the best match for undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Each month TFS adds more than 5,000 new scholarships to its database maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education.
TFS has been helping students for over 30 years and offers more than 7 million individual scholarships and more than $41 billion in aid. Visit tuitionfundingsources.com to learn more.
SALT LAKE CITY–TFS Scholarships is the most comprehensive free online resource for higher education funding connecting students to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in aid.
It was founded in 1987 after Richard Sorensen’s father, an inner-city high school principal, bemoaned the lack of good scholarship resources for his students.
High school seniors now applying for college should also be applying for scholarships, according to Richard Sorensen, an expert with more than 30 years experience helping students find scholarships.
“College bound students should spend four to five hours a week looking for scholarships, starting in the fall of their senior year,” says Sorensen, President of TFS Scholarships. “They should think about finding scholarships like it’s a part time job.”
A scholarship, unlike a student loan, is free money and should always be the first place students look for help in funding their college education. The majority of the scholarship opportunities featured on the TFS Scholarships website come directly from colleges and universities, rather than solely from competitive national pools, thereby increasing the chances of finding scholarships.
“There are new scholarships posted on the site every month, each with different deadlines and time frames,” says Sorensen. “There is plenty of aid out there and a lot of it goes untouched. If a student is diligent, they’ll find it.”
TFS Scholarships also posts a new scholarship opportunity every day on its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media accounts (@TFSscholarships), making it easy to find new scholarship opportunities. “We call it ‘The Scholarship of the Day,’” says Sorensen. “Most of the scholarships are available for all students so if a student or their parents follow us, they will have the opportunity to apply for more than 300 scholarships every year from this source alone.”
TFS takes it a step further, digging deeper into localized scholarships. “If you wanted to go to Arizona State, for example, we have scholarships specific to that school,” says Sorensen.
Each month TFS adds more than 5,000 new scholarships to its database in an effort to stay current with national scholarship growth rates – maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education.
Once students have their scholarships in hand, how they manage them can have important implications. It is up to the student to inform the school of the scholarship.
“The truth is, the money is going to be sent to the school in most cases,” says Sorensen. “If the money is going to tuition and books, it’s tax free. But it is taxable if they use it for living expenses. And if students get more money in scholarships than their direct expenses, they get the difference back from the school,” says Sorensen.
The TFS website also provides financial aid information, resources about federal and private student loan programs, and a Career Aptitude Quiz that helps students identify the degrees and professions that best fit their skills.
Thanks to the financial support of Wells Fargo, TFS has remained a free, online service that effectively connects students with college funding resources to fuel their academic future. “Students trust us with a lot of their personal information and we respect that,” says Sorensen. “With TFS, they never have to be worried about being bombarded by spam.”
TFS Scholarships (TFS) is an independent service that provides free access to scholarship opportunities for aspiring and current undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Founded in 1987, TFS began as a passion project to help students and has grown into the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding. Today, TFS is a trusted place where students and families enjoy free access to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in college funding. In addition to its vast database that’s refreshed with 5,000 new scholarships every month, TFS also offers information about career planning, financial aid, and federal and private student loan programs as part of its commitment to helping students fund their future. Learn more at tuitionfundingsources.com.
Lab assistant positions offer students interested in the sciences unparalleled professional experience, not to mention high wages. PayScale estimates that college laboratory assistants make around $14.62 an hour on average.
But Lakhani says that working as a lab assistant is worth more than just a paycheck. “If I’m interested in medicine, for instance, it would be a great idea for me to land a place, paid or unpaid, in a professor’s lab,” he says.
Working in a lab can expose students to a wide range of scientific processes and teach them the importance of diligence and attention to detail. More importantly, working as a lab assistant can help students network with professors which can lead to research opportunities. Getting research published alongside a widely respected professor is one of the best things that students in sciences can achieve during their academic careers.
Its not easy to launch a career in music but if you have your mind made up, then you are going to have to work hard. One of the easiest ways for students to get experience in the music industry is to get involved with their college radio station.
Most college stations have opportunities for first year students to work behind the scenes in operational roles with pathways to more front-facing positions like DJing.
The key to excelling in this position is to take advantage of every chance you get. Your first solo show may be at an awkward time or you may be assigned a genre that isn’t your favorite, but by embracing every opportunity that is thrown your way, you can turn an on-campus job at the college radio station into some serious professional preparation.
Newspaper ad sales
Another way to think about what on-campus job is best for you is to think about what types of skills you want to master. If you are interested in fields like sales or marketing, the school newspaper may offer the perfect job for you.
This job often includes reaching out to local businesses to sell ad space and working with operational teams to create and adjust strategy. Working in ad sales for the newspaper can be an amazing opportunity to get your hands dirty and make real sales. It also can give students the chance to oversee team goals and budgets.
Potential employers want to hear concrete examples of when you have performed a function that is part of a role so if you want to work in sales, you are going to need examples of when you have made sales. The newspaper will give you plenty of opportunities to do just that.
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Converse College announces that alumna Phyllis Perrin Harris ’82 has taken the helm as chair of the Board of Trustees, marking an historic milestone for the College as she becomes the first African American to hold this leadership position.
Recognized as a transformational leader in the corporate and federal sectors, Harris is Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Legal Operations for Walmart Stores, Inc. In this role, she leads legal operations and focuses on technology advances for the world’s largest company.
“Serving Converse is one of the most meaningful and important roles in my life because I believe so strongly in the educational experience it provides young women,” Harris said. “Converse opened my mind to new ways of thinking about myself and my world, and it helped me become confident and resilient. Much of who I am today stems from that experience.”
Both a trailblazer and a leader, Harris is paving the way for fellow women through the launch of the Walmart Ready conference, which secures work for female and other diverse attorneys and prepares them for the demands of Walmart legal work. Earlier in her career, Harris was the first African American to serve as Regional Counsel and Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency where she advocated for justice, directed the nation’s environmental enforcement programs, and received the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service.
“We know that diverse organizations are stronger, make better decisions, and are more successful because their Boards consider different perspectives and their decisions resonate with the variety of experiences, cultures, talents and contributions that comprise our global society,” said Converse President Krista L. Newkirk. “We believe that ensuring diversity on our Board of Trustees is an important step in building a stronger community both within and beyond Converse College.”
His Help From the Hart Charity Fund is partnering with the UNCF to award $600,000
Last week, actor and comedian Kevin Hart saluted LeBron James on the opening of his I Promise school for at-risk youth in James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio. Now, we have a reason to salute Hart.
In a partnership involving the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) and Hart’s own Help From the Hart Charity Fund, 18 KIPP students will have an opportunity to earn a college degree.
Through this partnership, a $600,000 scholarship will be established to provide funding in order to support KIPP students from eight different cities who are attending 11 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
“The Help From The Hart Charity Scholarship will not only support students but will also demonstrate support for HBCUs,” said UNCF CEO and president Michael L. Lomax. “Research shows that HBCUs matter, and that HBCU students are having a positive college experience, but they also have an unmet financial need. Together, Kevin and KIPP have made an investment that will have a significant impact. We can’t thank them enough for their support.”
Derek Anderson, the former San Antonio Spurs star, wants to teach black kids how to talk to the police. Growing up virtually homeless in Louisville, Kentucky, Anderson made the unlikely journey from inner-city high school to college basketball star at the University of Kentucky and then an 11-year career in the NBA, crowned by a championship with the San Antonio Spurs.
None of that would have happened, he said, had he not treated people with kindness from his earliest memory. Kindness is transformative.
That insight inspired him to create the Stamina Academy, an after-school and weekend program in his hometown. While free of charge, the school demands a lot from its students, who are boys ranging from fifth grade through twelveth.
The lessons taught are what sets Stamina Academy apart. Instructors present scenarios that students may encounter in everyday life and teach them how to manage potentially explosive encounters—including ones with law enforcement. The scenarios are filmed to be watched and studied.
In one film, a student plays a police officer who has just pulled over another student in a random traffic stop, as often happens in the real world. The pretend-officer challenges the student with increasingly uncomfortable questions. The student-driver learns how to keep calm and avoid feeling provoked.
“They see first hand how something can get out of hand and how something can be avoided,” Anderson said. “They figure that if they respond with respect there could be no escalation to the situation.”
The real-world lessons may be just as valuable as learning to diagram a sentence or remember what happened on July 2, 1776. “It’s just as important that kids have strong life skills as it is they achieve in the classroom,” Anderson said. “We want to produce well-rounded kids who can avoid challenging situations through knowledge and being kind and positive, and who understand it all starts simply with being nice.”
Anderson insists his calm demeanor has carried him through, around and above various situations.Staying calm wasn’t easy. His father was not in his life and his mother, who battled drugs, often was not there. “When I wanted a job at the candy store and grocery store, I was kind and polite and it helped me get hired,” Anderson said. “When I needed to sleep at someone’s home, I was kind and grateful. Always. That’s what got me through.”
Anderson uses basketball to lure his 76 students. The former star player takes a hands-on approach to coaching, and his players benefit from his vast experience and know-how.
“And who Derek is as a person is important,” said Rontisha Toney, whose son, Austin, plays basketball and attends Stamina Academy after school and on weekends. “He focuses on the kids as people. He’s positive. He’s patient, always smiling. After practice, the player who performs the best in character and in play gets a belt that he gets to take home for the night. That kind of stuff helps build character and let’s them know it is more than just about the game.”
Anderson is among the most respected citizens in Louisville, largely due to the class and grace he displayed during his basketball career. Now he wants more young players to follow his lead.
He told the story of one of his 13-year-old students approaching an older woman at a Louisville Dairy Queen and paying for her order. “The woman cried,” Anderson said.
“If they perform acts of kindness everyday,” he said, “it becomes a lifestyle. That’s how you make change.”
Stephen Franklin, whose 14-year-old son Miles, attends Stamina and plays for its team, said a gesture by Anderson stood out to him—and validated what he teaches the kids.
“My wife is busy, I’m busy. My daughter is in dance,” Franklin recalled. “And I called D.A [Anderson] to tell him I would be late getting Miles to practice. He shocked me when he said, ‘Want me to go get him?’
“You never hear that from a coach. He’s a great example of what he wants the kids to become. We’re a family about community service and D.A. reinforces the spirit of gratitude.”
Students can spend the night in the Stamina gym, where tents are set up on the basketball court. There is a shower, a sauna and a barber. Anderson provides food and clothes for those who need them.
He guesses he has spent about $60,000 to make phase one of Stamina Academy a reality. He is seeking funds and property to build out a full-scale campus to teach more young men.
“The plan is to make it everything I wish I had growing up,” he said.
“We have to be the example, be positive, to change the way people act, the way people deal with each other,” Anderson said. “I say it all the time: Being kind is the greatest gift in the world.”
When Mareena Robinson Snowden walked across the commencement stage at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) on June 8th, she became the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the storied university.
For her, there was one particular word that the experience brought to mind: grateful.
“Grateful for every part of this experience — highs and lows,” she wrote on Instagram. “Every person who supported me and those who didn’t. Grateful for a praying family, a husband who took on this challenge as his own, sisters who reminded me at every stage how powerful I am, friends who inspired me to fight harder. Grateful for the professors who fought for and against me. Every experience on this journey was necessary, and I’m better for it.”
Snowden’s Ph.D. was the culmination of 11 years of post-secondary study. But the 30-year-old tells CNBC Make It that a career in STEM wasn’t something she dreamed of as a child.
“Engineering definitely was not something I had a passion for at a young age,” she says. “I was quite the opposite. I think my earliest memories of math and science were definitely one of like nervousness and anxiety and just kind of an overall fear of the subject.”
She credits her high school math and physics teachers with helping to expand her interests beyond English and history, subjects she loved.
“I had this idea that I wasn’t good at math and they kind of helped to peel away that mindset,” she explains. “They showed me that it’s more of a growth situation, that you can develop an aptitude for this and you can develop a skill. It’s just like a muscle, and you have to work for it.”
When Snowden, who grew up in Miami, was in the 12th grade and studying physics, she and her dad were introduced to a friend of a friend who worked in the physics department at Florida A&M University. At the time, she says, she was considering colleges and decided to make a visit to the campus.
“We drove up there and it was amazing,” says Snowden. “They treated me like a football player who was getting recruited. They took me to the scholarship office, and they didn’t know anything about me at the time. All they knew was that I was a student who was open to the possibility of majoring in physics.”
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