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We are proud to present the Winter 2012 issue of The Educated Observer! As only this city would have it, the legendary Frank Sinatra once crooned, “If I can make it there, I ll make it anywhere. It s up to you New York, New York!” However, today, in order to “make it” in New York (and anywhere else in the world) one needs a proper education. In this issue of The Educated Observer we provide an insider’s perspective on the city’s best offerings for educators, students and their families. We bring you an insightful feature on the trend sweeping universities-technopolises, dish on the best neighborhood nooks to take your textbooks and offer a list of upcoming cultural events (to round out your resume, of course!). We profile the surprisingly vibrant campus scene in the city where we meet a remarkable Tom Handley, the vibrant and energetic professor at Parsons The New School for Design, who’s been busy inspiring his students to put their best foot forward everyday. We also visited Jason Philips, the head librarian on gender
and sexuality studies at NYU’s Bobst Library. Mr. Philips talked to us about his unique approach to teaching, based largely on the idea that learning begins with the written word. There is certainly no shortage of learning opportunities available in New York City, home of numerous prestigious pre-college programs for high school seniors. The Educated Observer highlights five pre-college programs that are worth some serious consideration. Education often leads to great inspiration. We sat down with the extremely inspiring Adam Braun, who launched his entrepreneurial venture “Pencils of Promise” armed with an education from Brown University and a mere $25.00. Mr. Braun believes that education is the foundation for creating sustainable and self-reliant communities across the world, which is why he is passionately dedicated to building schools and making education accessible to students all over the world. Happy Reading! The Educated Observer
THE EDUCATED OBSERVER
summer school ... By Choice?
By Krista Carter
SUMMER USED TO BE A TIME dedicated to endless hours at the beach, when one could revel in the company of friends, read a book for leisure (and guilty pleasure) and catch up on missed episodes of TV shows; essentially, summer equated to having a schedule free of definitive plans, commitments and obligations. But those days are long gone. Given today’s distressed economy, there seems to be no time to enjoy life’s frivolous pursuits. One must seize each and every moment, or carpe diem as Professor John Keating encouraged his students in Dead Poets Society. As competition among college applicants grows fiercer, prospective students need to find ways to set themselves apart from their peers; one approach could be to show some initiative during those two blissful and fleeting months of summer vacation.” It is never too early to start thinking ahead, and high school students should anticipate the next step in their academic future. Although it might not be breaking news, it is assured that college administrators are looking for applicants who not only possess exceptional test scores, but who also are involved in extracurricular activities; in other words, the well-rounded student is often the most sought-after candidate. While the college application process can be taxing on a seventeen-year-old, there are certain measures one can take in preparing for such an occasion. Select colleges and universities offer pre-college programs to high school students. Depending on the institution, high school students may be afforded the opportunity to enroll in college-level courses, study abroad programs, or seminars. Aside from a focus on academics that aims to satiate the intellectual curiosities of incoming students, pre-college programs bring the social aspect of the college experience to students, allowing them to realize the full scope that relationships and networking have on one’s personal and professional development. Now is the time to start planning ahead. Here are five top pre-college programs that are worth giving some serious consideration:
Summer Session Credit courses: Rising or graduated high school seniors earn college credit in seven-week courses beginning June 17 and ending on August 3, 2012, studying side-by-side with Brown undergraduates. Pre-College Courses: Students completing 9th-12th grade by June 2012 are eligible to apply to multiple 1 to 4-week sessions from June 17 – August 10, 2012. Eligible for College Credit: Summer Session Credit courses: Yes; Pre-College Courses: No Deadlines: Applications for the Summer Session Credit Courses and Pre-College Courses begin in January, and while there are no definitive deadlines, applicants are encouraged to apply early, as courses tend to fill quickly. Online Courses offered: Yes Study Abroad: Yes, in four locations: Segovia, Naxos, Ireland, and Rome. Website: http://www.brown. edu/ce/pre-college/
New York, NY
Programs are divided between a Junior-Senior Division and a Freshmen-Sophomore Division and courses can be in either Session I (June 25July 13, 2012), Session II (July
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Pre-College Programs at Brown University
Prepare to succeed in a college environment Experience the freedom and responsibility of college life Discover and develop new passions Environmental Leadership in Hawaii Pre-College Courses Summer Session Credit Courses Brown Leadership Institute Intensive English Language Program Scholar Athlete
Meet exceptional students from around the world Connect with world-class ideas, people, and facilities TheatreBridge SPARK – Science for Middle School Summer Study Abroad for High School Students Online Courses – Spring, Summer and Fall Sessions
SPARK – Middle School Science Program
Students entering 8th and 9th grade immerse themselves in exciting science subjects, and gain the foundations necessary for further scientific inquiry.
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17-August 3, 2012) or both. Eligible for College Credit: No Deadlines: Priority Applications are due by February 10, 2012 (Note: application fee is waived for online applicants), while Regular Applications are accepted through April 6, 2012. Online Courses offered: No Study Abroad: No Website: http://ce.columbia. edu/Summer-Program-HighSchool-Students-NYC
Eligible for College Credit: No Deadline: May 7, 2012 Online Courses Offered: No Study Abroad: No Website: http://barnard. columbia.edu/precollege
New York, NY
Summer in the City: A variety of liberal arts courses are offered over a four-week session, from June 24, 2012 through July 21, 2012. The courses are co-ed and are open to high school juniors and seniors. Young Women’s Leadership Institute: A one week program (July 8, 2012 - July 15, 2012) that explores the relationship between gender and leadership. It is only offered to female juniors and seniors.
Cornell Summer College begins June 23, 2012, and runs through August 7, 2012. Programs are either three weeks or six weeks in duration. Applicants must have completed their sophomore, junior or senior year of high school by June 2012 in order to be considered. Eligible for College Credit: Yes Deadlines: Applications for Research Apprenticeship in Biological Sciences (RABS) are due by March 16, 2012, while all other programs must be received by May 4, 2012. Online Courses offered: No Study Abroad: No Website: http://www.sce. cornell.edu/sc/about/overview. php
Secondary School Program (SSP), running from June 23, 2012, through August 10, 2012, is open to high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
Eligible for College Credit: Yes Deadlines: The application period begins on December 8, 2011, and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Online Courses offered: Yes Study Abroad: No Website: http://www.summer. harvard.edu/programs/ssp/
The educaTed observer
caliFornia cthulhu, will hart
Safety School? As Stanford Says ‘See Ya!’ Bloomberg Hops in Bed with Big Red
How New York City got a better deal by going with the less prestigious choice
By Nitasha Tiku
This article was originally published to Betabeat.com on December 20, 2011.
ON MONDAY, THE LOBBY OF the Weill Cornell Medical College, which resides on a particularly gray stretch of the Upper East Side, was crawling with men and women in wooly blazers dotted with “carnelian” buttons—the technical name for the maroon hue that invariably moves Cornell students to chant some version of “Go Big Red!” Inside the auditorium, as an assembly of press, pols, and local technorati waited for Mayor Bloomberg to appear, a giant projector flashed a mosaic of the Cornell University logo. The news had been leaked to every major news outlet by midnight on Sunday; there was no point in being coy. “Today will be remembered as a defining moment,” Mayor Bloomberg told the crowd, officially announcing that a 50-50 joint proposal between Cornell and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology had won the $100 million grant to build a new engineering mecca and applied sciences campus. The project is designed to help New York surpass Silicon Valley as a global innovation capital, creating 30,000 jobs and as much as $1.4 billion in tax revenue. For the next hour, a stream of political operatives, from New York City Economic Development Council president Seth Pinsky to councilmember Jessica Lappin, who represents Roosevelt Island, where the 2 million sq. ft. buildout will stand, took to the podium to express their breathless excitement at the scope of the $2 billion initiative. Cornell president David Skorton debuted a video of an aerial rendering of the gleaming net-zero energy building. Set to a dramatic score, it looked like a CGI version of a utopian future— you know, the part in the sci-fi flick before the apocalypse sets
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Bloomberg addresses the press, and anxious techies everywhere.
in. “There are visions of sugarplums dancing in my head right now,” said New York City Public Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott in response to the bit about Cornell and Technion instructing 200 of his teachers in science education every year. “Of all the applications we received, Cornell and the Technion’s was far and away the boldest and most ambitious,” Mr. Bloomberg said of the sweeping offer, which
Was Stanford trying to save face with a preemptive break-up, or did Cornell win by default?
included a $150 million venture capital fund, startup accelerator, and ambitious plans to construct 300,000 sq. ft. by just 2017—as close to the end of his third term as the mayor was likely to get. But what should have been an effortless victory lap for the city’s yearlong plan to remake its economy for the coming century was clouded by a note of confusion. Stanford, after all, was pegged the front-runner at least as far
back as March, when Mayor Bloomberg gave a speech in Palo Alto, noting, “We’re particularly pleased that Stanford—which has a top-flight engineering school— is considering the idea.” Stanford batted its eyelashes back by launching a Tumblr—New York native!—featuring a video of Larry Page and Sergey Brin talking up the Mayor’s initiative. Indeed, as late as Friday morning, the school’s negotiating team was still locked in meetings with EDC officials; a few hours later, news hit the wire that Stanford had withdrawn its bid. And not long after that, Cornell issued a hastily-written press release revealing that it had received a $350 million anonymous donation. The largest gift in the school’s history was announced late on a Friday afternoon. At the time, it was hard to say what was chicken and what was egg. Was Stanford trying to save face with a preemptive break-up, or did Cornell win by default? Surprisingly bitter recriminations followed from the various players as everyone tried to spin the narrative in their favor. Part of the difficulty of understanding where negotiations broke down is a silence clause stipulated in the request for proposal (RFP). But numerous sources, who spoke under condition of anonymity, painted a picture of tense discussions and
onerous demands that left several schools wary, including Stanford. Cornell, eager to increase its presence in New York City, was more compliant at the negotiating table and better versed in what it took to get city approval, including fundraising before commitments were made. Sources said the $350 million gift, for example, had been secured for months. “We need to expand beyond Ithaca,” President Skorton said plainly from the podium. “Cornell needed it more. But NYC Tech needs Stanford more,” tweeted New York City–based venture capitalist David Pakman, alluding to the latter’s prestige within tech circles and facility with spinning out successful startups. (There’s a reason China and Russia are trying to build their own Silicon Valley.) In the end, it seems the city got a better deal for taxpayers by going with the one that wanted it more, rather than the one it was supposed to want. A university source familiar with the negotiations said Stanford’s decision to drop out wasn’t based on any one issue, but rather due to “a whole host of things that held them liable for factors outside of [their] control,” such as big-ticket penalties for missed construction deadlines and the city’s desire “to indemnify themselves for any toxicity” at the Roosevelt Island site. Although a Phase II study was commissioned this year, a full scale analysis of the medical dump under the hospital cannot be done until the building is razed. Should serious hazards be uncovered, the school will be on the hook not only for the clean-up but also potentially for resultant delays.”You had a lot of institutions that wouldn’t even apply because of the terms, and they got even more severe in the negotiation process,” said the source. City officials counter that such stipulations are par for the course. “If we didn’t include these types of commitments, there would be a chorus of people saying: How could the city write
a blank check to a university that in five years could just decide it wasn’t into it?!” one official said. “It’s standard in any kind of longterm land lease or land sale that the city would ask the recipient to agree to certain benchmarks.” (Cornell and Technion are leasing the land for the next 99 years, at which point they can pony up $1 to buy.) However, legal representation for schools besides Stanford also balked at the contract. “The legal document that we got was essentially, if you signed it, it would require you to build even if you didn’t hit the [fundraising] target,” another university source said. “If you state that by this date, you’re going to have this much faculty and this much building completed, and you don’t get it completed, you’re left open to a legal challenge. It was enough for our general counsel to raise a red flag to say they are not comfortable with signing this.” Even institutions that have negotiated to build in New York City before hadn’t encountered this level of vulnerability to legal action. “There wasn’t any contract we signed that if our endowment goes to Madoff and then goes to nothing, we’re required to build,” said another source familiar with land use issues in New York. The city’s aggressive negotiating stance also created friction. As has been reported, Stanford did not take a shine to Mayor Bloomberg’s assertion during a talk at MIT in late November that “Stanford is desperate to do it,” even if he said the same of Cornell. The bigger stumbling block, according to our sources, seems to have been another remark uttered during that same speech: According to Mr. Bloomberg, the desperation meant that, “We can go back and try to renegotiate with each one.” A university source said Stanford “had no idea that everything was back on the table.” The school “responded in good faith, and everything was changing,” said the source, wryly adding, “But apparently Cornell said yes to everything.” “Seth [Pinsky] famously negotiates every last penny off the table, and that spooked Stanford,” acknowledged a New York City real estate executive. “They thought they had a partner and were shocked with his hard line. They were told not to worry about the particulars and that it would be fixed in the end, but despite assurances, they ultimately
Technion President Peretz Lavie, left, and Cornell President David J. Skorton in front of the composite rendering of the proposed campus on Roosevelt Island.
‘Cornell was hungrier, Cornell was more humble in the process—I think it helped them win the proposal.’
felt uncomfortable partnering with the city.” A city official pointed out that it was that same aggressive stance that helped Mr. Pinsky close “complicated and thorny” deals on Hudson Yards and Willets Points, which the city had been trying to navigate for years. In fact, a source with knowledge of the negotiation process said familiarity with the way the city does business helped Cornell, which already employs more than 5,000 New York City residents. “There are things the city is going to ask you to do that [Cornell] was very comfortable with, it’s not clear that the other side was that comfortable,” said the source before dropping a bit of local trivia, “They know what a ULURP is.” ULURP, or Uniform Land Review Procedure is the city’s notoriously arduous standardized review process. In October, Columbia University president Lee Bollinger told the school’s newspaper, “I’ve been through a ULURP process. Nobody in their right mind should go through a ULURP process more than once in their life.” Of course, Mr. Bollinger was talking about how the ordeal might hold back his competitors for the tech campus RFP, noting that it took Columbia three-and-a-half years from submitting rezoning plans to getting mayoral approval to develop in Manhattanville. It’s something candidates no doubt had in mind considering the penalties for delays. “It’s binding,” Mr. Bloomberg shot back to a question from the press corps about the contract. “Keep in mind, if we’re gonna invest, commit this land, turn down other people who wanted it, and invest $100 million, you don’t do that unless you have a binding commitment… One of the attractive things about Cornell is that they know how to do business in the city. Just look around,” he added, referring to Weill Cornell Medical College. But both city officials and Cornell say it was the school’s superior offering that clinched the deal. “The catalyst was that Cornell was beating them in every single category,” said source close to Cornell, citing the speed of construction, the size of the campus, and the amount of students and faculty it will serve. “Cornell was hungrier, Cornell was more humble in the process—I think it helped them win
the proposal,” said Charlie Kim, CEO of Next Jump, a loyalty rewards company, who sits on the advisory committee that helped select winners. Mr. Kim said the committee met a thirty to forty-five days ago and then again last week to go into more detail. “I think probably after reviewing everything, and this is kind of my opinion, I felt CornellTechnion was the number one recommendation.” City officials claim the rush to sign the papers was merely a reflection of the way discussions were being structured. The city was simultaneously negotiating with everyone that applied, trying to move each deal as far along as possible. When Stanford dropped out, the deal with Cornell was already near completion. And what of the mysterious $350 million donation? Though some speculated that the money had come from Mayor Bloomberg himself, The New York Times revealed Monday evening it had been a gift from Cornell alum Charles Feeney, the Duty Shop Group entrepreneur and subject of the book The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Made and Gave Away a Fortune Without Anyone Knowing. Which isn’t to say Mr. Bloomberg won’t be opening up his wallet to see that his legacy-defining project remains on track. Although Cornell and Technion have been granted the full $100 million, the city left open the possibility of approving a second smaller-scale project, like plans from NYU and the Polytechnic Institute to transform the derelict former MTA headquarters into a Center for Urban Science and Progress, or Carnegie Mellon’s proposed partnership with Steiner Studios to build a digital media campus at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, both of which will now likely have to rely on philanthropic donations. “You assume that when they make phone calls, I’d be on the list,” Mr. Bloomberg said at the press conference, while trying not to crack a smile. “But I also have some commitments to some other educational institutions, as you know.”
The educaTed observer
Cornell University PhotograPhy, Jason KosKi, digital worK Matthew FondeUr
NYU’s Brooklyn Tech Campus Is a Top Contender, But MTA’s Jay Street Asking Price Has Grown
By Nitasha Tiku
This article was originally published to Betabeat.com on January 1, 2012.
FOR MONTHS, MAYOR Bloomberg has dangled the possibility of picking two winners for the city’s tech campus competition. He even left the possibility open while announcing that the New YorkCityEconomicDevelopment Corporation would give the full $100 million grant to Cornell-Technion to build an applied sciences campus on Roosevelt Island. Now Crain’s is reporting that between the remaining contestants, NYU’s Downtown Brooklyn proposal may have “taken center stage” over Carnegie Mellon’s Navy Yard campus and Columbia’s Manhattanville proposal. Hey, if the Fulton St. Mall can have its own Shake Shack, why shouldn’t the M.T.A’s derelict former headquarters on nearby 370 Jay St. be transformed into a Center for Urban Science and Progress? Although Crain’s says NYU, the M.T.A., and E.D.C. all want to make a deal to help revitalize Downtown Brooklyn, “but money is the sticking point.” Back in October, NYU was asking for $20 to $25 million from the city and pledged spending $450 million on the 200,000 sq. ft. space. Now that someone actually wants the blighted building that has frustrated officials for year, the M.T.A. is asking for more: “NYU has asked the city for $20 million to help buy out the MTA, based largely on numbers thrown around during previous attempts to revive the beleaguered building, sources familiar with the proposal said. But the MTA’s asking price has now ballooned to $50 million to $60 million.” As Crain’s reports: “The MTA controls the site via a master lease and has the right to stay in the building as long as it is using it. The 459,000-square-foot property contains vital communications equipment, and the negotiations hinge on just how much it
THE EDUCATED OBSERVER
NYU’s proposed campus at 370 Jay Street.
would cost to move or replace it.” At the press conference announcing Cornell-Technion’s big win, city officials seemed somewhat optimistic about the ability to find the financing for a second project, even without any of the $100 million in play. “Obviously the city budget funds other projects,” said the source, “If there’s a way to make it work with other funding, that could be a possibility. If there’s philanthropy we can do, then we might be able to get somewhere.” Another City Hall source offered some clarification on the MTA’s position. As we originally mentioned back in October, the $20 to $25 million that NYU
pledged to build the center was allocated in part to cover, “infrastructure improvements and moving out old MTA equipment.” The latter appears to be the real issue because the 459,000-square-foot property still contains vital communications equipment for the MTA. “It’s pretty integral signalling equipment, it has to do with running the train lines,” said the source who believed the infrastructure was currently in use by the agency. “The tough piece of 370 Jay has been that that equipment is there.” The source also noted that it wasn’t so much that the cost “ballooned” as that estimates to relocate that equipment has varied through the
years, including when the MTA was contemplating putting out an RFP to redevelop the building. “Clearly neither of those estimates was the city’s estimates,” said the source, who also seemed optimistic about the ability to reach a deal with NYU and the MTA. Even if NYU’s Downtown Brooklyn project was selected as a second winner, that might not necessarily leave Columbia and Carnegie Mellon out. “I think we’re still working on creative ways to do all of them,” said the source. ” Even without the $100 million, we wondered? “There are other ways to create incentives for people to pursue these projects,” the source offered obliquely.
Spring is the time to grow. Now is the time to plan.
There’s Still Time to Register @ NYU-SCPS
The holidays are over and a new year has begun. Although you may be tempted to go into hibernation, now is the time to plant the seeds for growth in the spring. New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS) offers more than 1,500 intensives, certi cates, traditional classes, and online courses to cultivate your creativity, grow your network, and sow the seeds for success. Study online or onsite with top industry professionals. Day, evening, and weekend schedules are available.
Choose from professionally oriented programs in:
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Online registration is quick and easy: scps.nyu.edu/x566 or call 212-998-7150
New York University is an afﬁrmative action/equal opportunity institution. ©2012 New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
Above, Pencils of Promise in Laos. Right, Adam Braun with a young student in Guatemala.
Building an Education from the Ground Up
By Krista Carter • Photographs by Nick Onken
What are traditionally yellow in color, more popular as #2 than as a #1, and when inserted into “___________ of Promise,” completes the name of a young and successful non-profit? A. B. C. D. Bananas Hand-me-downs Pencils Post-its
Answer: [C.] Pencils
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Nick oNkeN/PhotograPhs courtesy PeNcils of Promise
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Cover economic and business news, from industry beats to consumer trends. Work from the downtown Chicago newsroom, in the center of the financial district. Have a competitive edge in the job market with a degree from the best business journalism program in the country. Bloomberg Scholarships available to select students who qualify.
“Employers are impressed by the caliber of the business reporters that come out of Medill, and our students are prepared for anything that comes their way.” Ceci Rodgers, Business Reporting Lecturer
Visit medillbizreporting.com to learn more about graduate journalism at Medill
EducationObserver_Medill_Bloomberg8.5x11.indd 1 12/6/11 8:59 AM THE EDUCATED OBSERVER 13
Above and below, children in Laos.
MEET ADAM BRAUN, THE 28-YEARold Founder and Executive Director of Pencils of Promise (PoP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, or what Mr. Braun prefers to call a “for-purpose” organization, dedicated to building schools and making education accessible to students in developing nations. After graduating from Brown University and landing a job as an He ... reveals that using associate consultant at Bain & Company, Mr. for-profit business acumen Braun decided to change career paths, and in according to a non-profit October 2008 launched agenda has provided Pencil Pencils of Promise. To of Promise with a sound and undertake an entrepreneurial venture at 25 strategic business approach. (with a mere $25 deposit, no less) seems like a big risk, but in just over three years, Pencils of Promise has proven to be one of the fastest-growing and most successful non-profits in recent years, building 60 schools in Laos, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. The secret? Having graduated college the same year as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Mr. Braun understands, utilizes and appreciates social media as a cheap, yet highly effective way to get the word out. He also reveals that using for-profit business acumen according to a non-profit agenda has provided Pencil of Promise with a sound and strategic business approach to tackling education in underprivileged Asian and Latin America countries. (Interestingly, Mr. Braun admits that finding talent in the for-profit sector willing to make the switch over to a non-profit is one of PoP’s biggest challenges.) Inspired by his time spent travelling abroad in his early 20s, Mr. Braun saw extreme poverty, most notably in Northern India. Piqued by curiosity as a young foreigner, he would ask children, “If you could have anything, what would it be?” Expecting to hear responses such as a PlayStation, an iPod or even a house, he was surprised to hear much simpler answers: “To dance,” one girl had said. Perhaps the response that resonated with him the most, and from which the organization gets its name was, “a pencil.” Mr. Braun happened to have a pencil with him and gave it to the young boy, watching as “his face just lit up.” The exchange made him realize how an act so simple and so small can make such a significant impact. While Mr. Braun views money as an enabler that will ultimately “keep kids on the streets,” he believes that an education is what will lead individuals and communities in becoming sustainable and self-reliant. During his travels he was approached by parents who expressed to him a strong desire for their children to have an education. Empowered by these encounters, and with a newfound sense of purpose, Mr.
Nick oNkeN/PhotograPhs courtesy PeNcils of Promise
The educaTed observer
At 12-years-old, students will have to face the difficult decision of continuing their education or working to help their family.
Braun set out to make a change. Pencils of Promise collaborates with the Ministry of Education (PoP’s first partnership), local government and NGOs in compiling a list of areas in need of the most educational assistance; however, the responsibility of deciding which areas to pursue is not always an easy task. While the list may be organized numerically, those areas at the top of the list are not necessarily the most in need. “Because of nepotism,” Mr. Braun says, “it is good to have locals on the ground.” With a staff that is 95% local, PoP can easily discern which villages are actually in need of assistance from those that are seemingly in need (oftentimes these are villages connected to government officials). Once a village is identified, and before build-
ing begins, the village agrees to provide 10-20% of construction costs, typically in the form of raw materials and labor. PoP’s dedication to sourcing local labor has provided communities with jobs, especially in the areas of construction and teaching. Mr. Braun says, “Once they break ground, it takes approximately two and a half to three months to complete a single school.” Undoubtedly, there is a lot to be done in 2012, especially because PoP will need to build 40 schools in order to reach its goal of 100 (60 were constructed in the past three years) by the year’s end. While Mr. Braun’s initial goal for PoP was to build one school, the organization’s influence in developing countries has continued to extend even further, and perhaps one of the biggest challenges will not be made manifest
The educaTed observer
Nick oNkeN/PhotograPhs courtesy PeNcils of Promise
until the years ahead when many of the current pre-school and primary students will be entering secondary school, or what Mr. Braun terms as “the drop-out point.” Although PoP undertakes building middle schools, such as Pamezabal Básico Institute in Guatemala, the majority of its completed projects are early-education institutions. At 12-years-old, students will have to face the difficult decision of continuing their education or working to help their family. But in anticipating the future, PoP is already planning to launch a scholarship program that would allow underprivileged students to continue their education with the following condition: they must mentor five to ten kids from their own village as a way of perpetuating education and giving back to the community. So how do Mr. Braun and his team manage their hectic schedules? His answer was simple:
elizabeth mitaro/Courtesy PenCils of Promise
“I listen to music,” citing Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and Radiohead among his favorite artists. He adds, whether intending to excite or relax the staff, there is always music playing in the office. Jaded pragmatists might gawk at the pipe dreams of yet
another twenty-something, but after having spoken with Mr. Braun, I interpret his quixotic idealism as charming rather than naïve, and given Pencils of Promise’s successful track record, one can sense how “Like a rolling stone … ” or better yet, like the Rolling Stones, it will
not be stopping anytime soon. This might be the first instance, but it will definitely not be the last that you will hear of Adam Braun and Pencils of Promise. To learn more about Pencils of Promise and to donate, please visit the website: www.pencilsofpromise.org
Bankstreet Graduate School of Education
Explore graduate programs focused on learner-centered education.
Becoming a Teacher: A Forum for Career Changers
Monday, January 26 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Graduate School Open House
Thursday, February 2 5:15 - 7:00 pm
RSVP: email@example.com 212.875.4404 Bank Street College Graduate School of Education 610 West 112th Street, New York, NY to 110th Street www.bankstreet.edu/explore
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Our Picks That Will Have the Town Buzzing
by stephen duFFy
Theatre: Lovers and Other Creatures
Hunter College, Goldberg Studio 8:00pm
A compendium of performances produced by the Hunter Theatre Company, Lovers and Other Creatures includes a version of Edward Albee’s Broadway hit The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? And is directed by Kevin Maloof. The Weiner Monologues promises to be interesting. The play was conceived and developed by The Red Couch Group, written by John Oros and directed by Jonathan Harper Schlieman. firstname.lastname@example.org
NYU Scientists’ Band, the Amygdaloids, Launch New EP
327 Bowery at 2nd Street, Bowery Electric
Columbia University, Morningside Campus, International Affairs Building: Room 1501
Arts: Andy Warhol’s Greenwich Village
The New School, Wollman Hall, 65 West 11th St. 6:30pm
Miral: A Palestinian/ Israeli Dialogue On and Off Screen
NYU Tisch School of the Arts Room 006 6:00pm-900pm
Andy Warhol’s legacy is synonymous with New York and furthermore, Greenwich
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NYU will host a discussion on the seemingly, sadly endless, ideological debate
With the recent exceptional level of media coverage devoted to Mormons in the public eye due to two would-be Mormon presidential candidates, Columbia University takes a broad look at the history of Mormon participation in America life, with a particular focus on political life. Going right back to Joseph Smith’s 1844 run for the presidency to the Reed Smoot trials of the early 20th century, the conference will give those with very limited knowledge of the subject a fascinating insight loaded with information. Randall Balmer, Claudia Bushman and Richard Bushman are among the speakers.
Amy SuSSmAn/Getty ImAGeS; GrAhAm Wood/Getty ImAGeS; JemAl CounteSS/Getty ImAGeS for the WeInSteIn CompAny
Not an academic event per se, but just as, if not more interesting will be a group of NYU Scientists performing with their band: The Amygdaloids. The Amygdaloids include NYU neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux, director of NYU’s Emotional Brain Institute. Behind, what for many will be a curious performance is the serious issue of increasing awareness of mental health issues. Students and many interested in neuroscience will likely be in attendance, and with the aid of rock music as an ice-breaker, the conversation will at least provide more stimulation than a 9am class.
NYU will hold a discussion with Thomas Kiedrowski and Robert Heide on Warhol’s time in the East Village.
Village. On the 31st Thomas Kiedrowski and Robert Heide discuss in detail Warhol’s connection and involvement to the arts scene in the area. They are well positioned to discuss the “15 minutes of fame” artist, with Heide having written some of Warhol’s screenplays and Kiedrowski authoring the book Andy Warhol’s New York City. email@example.com
for hearts and minds on the Israel/Palestine issue, as part of their Center for Dialogues program. The discussion will include Zachary Lockman, professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at NYU, Helga Tawil-Souri, NYU’s Associate Professor of Media, Culture and Communication and Rula Jebreal, author of Miral. The Panel will be held after a screening of Miral, an adaptation of Ms. Jebreal’s semi-autobiographical novel, directed by Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly). firstname.lastname@example.org
Mormonism And American Politics Conference
and visual arts roundtable at NYU’s Creative Writers House on Feruary the 17th. Six practitioners of this newly evolving art form will take part in the discussion: Somner Browning, Mark Leidner, Mahendra Singh, Bianca Stone and Paul Tunis. It wil be moderated by Matthea Harvey.
Great Thinkers of Our Time-Steven Pinker and Rebecca Goldstein
Hunter College, 695 Park Avenue, West Building, 8th Floor
24th. This is the event where you can find and meet the literati of tomorrow as they read their latest fictional works from recent NYU graduates in their self produced publication Washington Square.
This is bound to be a popular event so be sure to RSVP! As part of an ongoing ‘Great Thinkers of Our Time’ series, Hunter College brings Steven Pinker and Rebeccer Newberger Goldstein. The speakers will allow time for questions and answers afterwards and also conduct a book signing. Both speakers have written recent acclaimed books, Mr. Pinker’s The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, and Ms. Newberger Goldstein’s Thirty-Six Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction. email@example.com
Linguistic Diversity within the Latino Population in the United States: Indigenous Languages, Migration and Language Endangerment
The City College of New York, 160 Convent Ave.
Cover of East Village Other.
and endangerment. 212-650-6731
BLOWING MINDS: The East Village Other, the Rise of Underground Comix, and the Alternative Press, 1965-1972.
Running in NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute for an extended time—February 28th through March 16th—you have no excuse not to make a visit to this exhibition of the underground press. The exhibition will be of equal interest for those of an older persuasion who will remember The East Village Other and those who are students of the press. The opening night will coincide with a discussion with The New York Times’ Claudia Dreifus, The New York Times columnist Steven Heller, and Alex Gross, all East Village Other writers. Additionally, on display will be seminal Village Other papers and artifacts. firstname.lastname@example.org
Poetry and Visual Arts
NYU: The Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House, West 10th St. 2:00-4:00pm
Mixing visual art and poetry together, and at the same time – whatever will these kids think of next?! Quench your curiosity by going along to the poetry
Since Noam Chomsky came along and worked his magic, linguistics has become a matter of infinite interest. This look into linguistics focuses the Latino U.S. population and is presented by Pérez Báez. Dr. Báez is the curator of linguistics at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Most of her work has emphasized factors of language maintenance
Writers in Conversation: Nathan Englander
NYU: The Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House, West 10th St. 7:00pm
Nathan Englander, whose debut short story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges won widespread critical acclaim, will read from his highly-anticipated new short story collection, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, at NYU’s Creative Writers House. Mr. Englander is an accomplished author, appearing in The Best American Short Stories on numerous occasions. Mr. Englander will be in conversation with Darin Strauss, a faculty member in NYU’s Creative Writing Program. www.cwp.fas.nyu.edu
An Evening with David Patrick Columbia,
Hunter College, West Building, 8th Floor
Washington Square Launch Party
NYU: The Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House, West 10th St.
Those looking out for the freshest literary talent in the city will be making their way to NYU’s Creative Writers House on the
Bound to be an evening of fascinating insight into how the other half lives, Hunter College will host a night with New York’s main man, David Patrick Columbia, on all things social. Mr. Columbia is editor of Quest Magazine and The New York Social Diary. Both titles are known to be the de facto record on the lives of Manhattan’s upper crust. email@example.com
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The Best Places to Study
Neighborhood nooks to cook your books
HOUSING WORKS BOOKSTORE CAFÉ
“I love coming here with just the intention of getting work done and wind up leaving with a newly purchased book.” Keeler Sandhaus
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STUMPTOWN COFFEE ROASTERS
“Although it may be a bit pricey compared to other coffee joints, this is one of the coolest places to come and relax. Tastiest coffee I know in New York.” Michael DeGennaro
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“Nothing starts my day off better than sitting here in the morning with a fresh cup of Oren’s roast in my hand.” Jonathan Capecci
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FREE! Upcoming Events at
Writing | Literature | Cultural Events
S P R I N G 20 12
Best Selling Author Series
Stacy Schiff Alice McDermott Alan Furst Susan Isaacs Stuart Woods January 12, 2012 | 7:00pm February 28, 21012 | 7:00pm March 27, 2012 | 7:00pm April 24, 2012 | 7:00pm May 21, 2012 | 7:00pm
Great Thinkers of Our Time Series
Steven Pinker & Rebecca Goldstein John Donoghue Seth Lloyd Lisa Randall February 17, 2012 | 7:00pm April 3, 2012 | 7:00pm April 16, 2012 | 7:00pm May 3, 2012 | 7:00pm
An Evening with David Patrick Columbia
David Patrick Columbia March 5, 2012 | 7:00pm
An Evening with the Kleiers
Michelle, Sabrina & Samantha Kleier April 12, 2012 | 7:00pm
REGISTER TODAY FOR SPRING 2012 CLASSES!
Featuring: Master Classes Alison Espach- Fiction; Daphne Merkin- Memoir Bruce Jay Friedman- Comedy; Marty Panzer- Lyrics
Plus many more writing, literature, and specialty courses
To RSVP for events e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
See our complete list of Spring 2012 courses at www.hunter.cuny.edu/ce/the-writing-center Lewis Frumkes, director
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“I love to come here in between class to grab some of the best coffee I’ve had in New York and do some work. They always have the best music playing too.” Gabriela Small
JOE THE ART OF COFFEE
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“Being that they’re open 24 hours a day, this place is a lot more enjoyable than the library to pull that all-nighter in. The option to get diner-style food helps tremendously with the studies as well.” Nick Robbins
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An Open Letter to New York City Parents
New York City is losing its teachers.
More than 66,000 have either resigned or retired since Mayor Bloomberg took control of the schools. Teachers leave one of the toughest jobs in New York City for a variety of personal and professional reasons, but the most common single reason is a lack of support from supervisors and the Department of Education. Teaching is a craft that is acquired over time, and teachers desperately want to improve their skills. That is why the United Federation of Teachers led the campaign to create a better teacher evaluation system, one that put a priority on helping all teachers do their job better. The UFT’s role was critical in creating the new system, and in going to Washington, D.C. to help get federal funds for it through the Race to the Top program. Starting last spring, many of our members with expertise in evaluation worked for months on the state subcommittees designing the new system. We have been trying to work with the Bloomberg administration to iron out the final details of the new system, but the administration has refused to engage in meaningful talks about teacher and principal improvement. Instead it has focused on ensuring that administrators have unlimited power over their employees. If we agree, it will mean that supervisors’ decisions can never be properly reviewed, much less overturned. This would be true even if their negative rating of a teacher or a principal can be proven to be the result of their refusal to inappropriately change a student’s grade or to give students credit for courses they have not properly completed. Make no mistake about it. The administration has put tremendous pressure on principals to make their schools appear to be successful. But any claims of success ring hollow in the light of national tests that show very limited student progress for the system as a whole, and state measures that show that while the high school graduation rate is increasing, the number of graduates ready for college is only about one in five.
The sad truth is that Mayor Bloomberg’s “reform” agenda — raising class size across the system; closing schools and “warehousing” the neediest students; pushing art and music out of the schools to make room for more test prep; turning a deaf ear to parents’ concerns; and appointing a completely unqualified publishing executive to be Chancellor — hasn’t made our schools better.
A real teacher evaluation system that helps all teachers improve while providing checks and balances is a critical step toward stopping the hemorrhaging of our teaching force and making our schools more effective. At the same time it would help ensure that teachers who cannot succeed in the classroom leave the profession. We have an open offer to the administration to continue our negotiations on this issue, or even to take it to binding arbitration. It’s time the administration sat down with teachers and principals to come up with an agenda that will actually help our children learn. Sincerely, Michael Mulgrew President United Federation of Teachers
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Founded in 1916, Bank Street College of Education has a rich history of innovation and of learner-centered education. Bank Street’s pioneering ideas about developmentally appropriate practices, the value of observation and reﬂection, and the importance of discovery and experiential learning have inﬂuenced successful teaching and learning approaches in schools, museums, and other learning environments across the nation. The College includes both the Graduate School and a lab school called the School for Children. Bank Street graduates become educators who facilitate learning, create community, aim for developmentally appropriate educational objectives, and encourage learners to engage fully in the process of discovery and of creating understanding. The master’s degree programs engage students through active participation in small classes and discussion groups, combined with extensive supervised ﬁeldwork and advisement. Course work focuses on human development, curriculum and inquiry, ways of engaging children as active learners, and the foundations of education. Theory and practice are integrated in all components of a Bank Street education.
Bank Street’s master’s degree programs include child life, teacher preparation, special education, literacy, museum education, bilingual education, and school leadership. Many programs lead to initial and professional certiﬁcation to work with children in early childhood education, elementary or childhood education, preparing individuals to work in general education classrooms or in special education settings. Those graduate students with initial certiﬁcation from undergraduate programs will ﬁnd a full range of graduate programs that will lead them to professional certiﬁcation, including curriculum and instruction and teacher leader in mathematics education.
Pre-College Programs at Brown University: Summer 2012 A True Residential College Experience Summer@Brown attracts serious college-bound students from around the world. As a student, you’ll live in a Brown University residence hall, eat at Verney-Woolley, or other Brown dining halls, and join your fellow students on The College Green—just as you would if you were a Brown undergraduate. You will be surrounded by peers from diverse backgrounds and cultures—all sharing a passion for high-level academics and a desire to succeed at a selective institution like Brown University. A student who completes a Summer@Brown course is better prepared, more conﬁdent, and better
positioned to succeed during one of the biggest transitions of his or her life: the move to college. Brown University: 250 Years of Academic Excellence Brown is known in the Ivy League for an innovative open curriculum that challenges students to be actively engaged in their own intellectual
development. Summer@Brown is an opportunity to explore this stimulating learning environment. Academics are at the program’s core, with more than 250 courses in one- to seven-week sessions. Dive deeper into a subject you love or a new area of learning you may never have considered. You will face exciting challenges and accomplish more than you can imagine. Come to Summer@Brown to prepare for college success and experience life in the Ivy League. Brown University O ce of Continuing Education Providence, Rhode Island www.brown.edu/summer
of college life at a world-class Ivy League university. Every summer, nearly one thousand students from around the world come to Cornell’s beautiful campus in the heart of the Finger Lakes to get a head start on their college education in one of our acclaimed three- and six-week programs. Enrolled in courses taught by world-renowned faculty, students earn college credit while exploring academic majors and making new friends. Programs are available in architecture; art and design; business; college success; engineering; environmental studies; history and politics; hotel management; humanities; law and government; medicine; psychology; research and science; and veterinary medicine and animal science.
Cornell University Summer College
“An unforgettable, life-changing summer.”
Programs for High School Students
Within a challenging but supportive environment, students explore life at Cornell and gain conﬁdence that they can succeed at college. And with the help of a college fair, admission workshops, and one-on-one consultations, participants get a better idea of what they want in a college, where to apply, and how to create the best application. “Truly priceless” is how Summer College 2011 parents Sean and Helen Dunlea describe the program. “We would highly recommend it.” For more information, call 607.255.6203, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.summercollege.cornell.edu/ eo.
One of the longest running and most highly regarded precollege academic programs in the United States, Cornell University’s Summer College gives academically talented high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors the chance to experience the excitement
8th to 11th Graders! Aiming for the Ivy League? Aiming for the Ivy League?
Work with the Top Ivy League Consultant in the country Work with the Top Ivy League Consultant in the country
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Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business
Offers Graduate Students Flexibility Recently ranked as the 5th part-time M.B.A. program in the Northeast and 49th in the country by Bloomberg Businessweek, listed among the nation’s top M.B.A. programs by Forbes, and recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report, Hofstra’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business provides professionals with the skills necessary to excel and advance in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business world. Our students benefit from an intensive education with real-world application, in a variety of industries, all within close proximity to the nation’s top media and business market – New York City.
What We Offer Hofstra offers traditional classes as well as the opportunity to earn course credits online, giving students the flexibility they need to succeed. Our online M.B.A. program allows access to Hofstra’s world-class faculty, technology and course work from the location of your choice, on your time. In addition, the 20-month Executive M.B.A. program is for those individuals who hold middle- to senior-level management positions in private industry, government, and the notfor-profit sector. Classes are held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Saturday, giving professionals the opportunity to pursue a degree while maintaining their job responsibilities. The traditional Zarb M.B.A. may be completed either part-time in the evening or full-time during the day, and
students can choose from among 11 concentrations. No matter the program, Hofstra’s dynamic business faculty share business theory that has been tested and proven through real-world experiences. Explore the possibilities at hofstra. edu/zarb.
Want to set yourself apart from the crowd? Continuing Education at Hunter College has your answer. We offer a variety of Certificate Programs and courses that will provide you with the tools and credentials needed for your job search. Choose from our certificates in the following fields: Fitness Instructor, Medical Coding & Billing, Legal Studies, Legal Nurse Consultant, Graphic Design, Real Estate Salesperson, Marketing, Translation and/ or Interpretation, Gerontology, Interior Design, Microsoft Office, Office Assistant, Web Programming and/or Web Design, and Small Business & Entrepreneurship.
Our programs take anywhere from one to two years to complete and are taught by prestigious faculty who are dedicated leaders in their field and take an interest in each student. There are several payment plans available to you for the certificate programs. Please call us for details. We offer professional development classes in financial investment, digital media,
foreign languages, sustainability, computers and much more! Self-enrichment classes in literature, history, music, visual arts, and dance are also available. We are also proud to present “Talking Movies” with Jeffrey Lyons and Roberta Burrows. This exciting film series allows participants to see movies before they are released. After the private screening, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with actors, directors and producers in a question and answer session. Join us for one of our Open Houses to learn more about our certificate programs and courses. Spring semester begins February 2012. Call us at: 212 650-3850 or visit our website: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/ce
The Writing Center, part of the Continuing Education department at Hunter College offers a wide-range of special literary and cultural events which are free and open to the public. Our “Best Selling Author Series” begins with Stacy Schiff on January 12, followed by Alice McDermott, Alan Furst, Susan Isaacs, and Stuart Woods. The “Great Thinkers of our Time Series” features Steven Pinker and Rebecca Goldstein, John Donoghue, Seth Lloyd, and Lisa Randall. In addition, there will be two special evenings: one with The Kleiers, hosts of the hit TV show “Selling New York,” and another with David Patrick Columbia, editor of Quest Magazine. A question and answer session plus book-signing and reception follows each lecture.
In addition to events, The Writing Center offers many exciting workshops. Master classes will include Memoir with Daphne Merkin, Comedy Writing with Bruce Jay Friedman, Fiction with Alison Espach, and a new Songwriting class with master lyricist Marty Panzer. New this spring is a class on finding a literary agent with Katharine Sands, and the Introduction to Social Media class taught by Elyssa Goodman. The Writing Center will host its second
annual Writers’ Conference at Hunter College on June 9, 2012. The conference includes an extensive array of literary enthusiasts who will be sharing their knowledge, experiences, and advice. Keynote speakers are Carol Higgins Clark, Mary Higgins Clark, and Colson Whitehead. For more information about all of The Writing Center offerings, please visit our website at: www.hunter.cuny.edu/ ce/the-writing-center
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Q & A With Campus Personalities
One-on-One With Tom Handley
Professor at Parsons The New School of Design
By Krista Carter
TOM HANDLEY IS ONE OF THE most popular professors in New York City, especially in the world of public relations. He can be described as a super hero character of sorts, with the strength of an educator, a mind full of big ideas and a heart of gold, a beacon of high hopes to to many up-andcoming stars in New York City. But it is his superb memory that serves him the best, in that he has no difficulty remembering all of his past students’ names, their hometowns and their specific undergraduate university. Recently, The Educated Observer experienced all of these traits firsthand. It is easy to see that Tom’s vibrant energy is a driving force in inspiring his students to put their best foot forward when stepping into the job market. Krista Carter: What do you enjoy most about teaching? Tom Handley: Being able to empower others to step into the next level of their career. I am not just a professor and have taken on the role of a mentor to many
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of my students. I have been in the industry for so long and can easily help students look out for that “bump in the road” and can provide more insight for them to succeed. KC: Why did you choose to become a professor? TH: In my late 20s and early 30s, I did not know what I was passionate about but it turned out my passion is teaching and empowering others—which is something that I do everyday as a professor. KC: If you could have chosen any other profession, what would it be? TH: It would have to be something within the same field. KC: After taking your classes, what do you wish for your students to walk away with? TH: I want students to walk away with a marketing portfolio from projects in the class that they can ultimately use on job interviews. KC: What is frustration? your biggest
TH: People in the industry who do not want to help or even understand how they can empower others. KC: What do you usually expect out of a student taking one of your classes? TH: I expect students to be focused, creative, inquisitive, and to show a skill-set. Sometimes the answer is not always “googleable,” and students need to be resourceful. KC: What do you do with your time away from Parsons? TH: I LOVE coffee! On Saturday or Sunday afternoons, I can usually be found at my favorite neighborhood coffee shop, Joe the Art of Coffee. I nickname the one by my apartment “Fashion Joe” because there is always someone in the industry at the coffee shop doing work, conducting interviews, having coffee, etc. It is also my “office” and my “home away from home.” Also I am an avid “foodie.” Currently my favorite Italian restaurants are Zio (17 West 19th Street) and Pepolino (281 West Broadway). For Asian restau-
rants I am a regular at Laut (15 East 17th Street), a Michelin star restaurant owned by one of my former students and for sushi, Blue Ginger (106 8th Avenue) is the best. KC: What do you think of the current economy and how is it affecting students today? TH: Facing the current economy for my students was a challenge at first - but now there is greater opportunity for students to get internships that call for strong roles, which were usually assigned to entry-level employees. KC: If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive), with whom would you dine? TH: Dead: Edith Head and Cristobal Balenciaga Alive: President Obama, Warren Buffet and Mayor Bloomberg KC: If money were not an issue, what would your trip itinerary look like? TH: Not necessarily in this order: Honolulu, Sydney, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Dubai, Florence,
Paris, London, and Reykjavik KC: What can you NOT live without? TH: Coffee, great food, friends and family KC: What is your favorite NYC destination? TH: Joe the Art of Coffee KC: What is the one thing that most people don’t know about you? TH: I am the youngest of six and great up in the town in the Midwest with a population of 2,200. Also, right before college I was a paid actor and did summer stock theatre. KC: Who do you most respect in the industry? TH: Lance Isham, my mentor at Ralph Lauren and currently the Executive Chairman and CEO of Faconnable S.A.S. Prior to this he served as the President of Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation. He is brilliant, just brilliant! KC: What is your best NYC moment? TH: In 1996, after returning from Hawaii (rather tan), I left a Saks Fifth Avenue and two teenage girls came running towards me with their autograph books flailing in the air. I scribbled in the books and the girls responded, “Oh my God! Thank You!” And then I jumped into a car. To this day, I have no idea who they thought I was. KC: What advice can you give to ensure success in New York City? TH: Go out there and get experience and not just the degree. Intern at 2-4 different places Cover letters are a thing of the past, I suggest students do a pitch letter instead. Don’t spend all your time applying to jobs online (if it’s online, chances are a lot of others are applying too). Instead create a database of companies that you want to work for. AND differentiate yourself; send something to the company in the mail such as a hand-written letter. Most importantly make sure that you read everything you can online and in print. And of course, always be nice to everyone you meet. KC: Any last words? TH: Do what you love with people you enjoy. Twitter: @PRProfessor
Jason Philips Makes Being a Librarian a Young Man’s Game
Bringing sexy back to books
By Hannah Ghorashi
Jason Philips, head librarian on gender and sexuality studies at NYU’s Bobst Library, answers some of our questions concerning what it means to be a librarian these days. Speaking of... Hannah Ghorashi: In your opinion, what does it mean to be a librarian today? Jason Philips: Our current time is one of uncertainty for certain. There’s always competition from likes of Google, the Internet in general, etc. which is a good thing. We also live in a time of diminutive trust in government institutions, and public universities will be the resulting academia. It’s very expensive to go to university, whether private or state, and if institutions come under attack from a lack of funding, we have to ask ourselves, What does that mean for libraries? And how are we using the money we do get to support scholarship? I spend a lot of time working with constituents, the students and faculty at NYU. A lot of times this means helping them with research. But I’m also always collecting, and looking for materials that will help students and faculty with their own work. I also look into materials that will help students and faculty at other schools besides NYU. We have a professional ethos of cooperation and we’re always looking to help each other out: in teaching, consulting, collecting, and preserving, determining what’s the best space, and how we can most easily provide information. It’s really a job fraught with difficulty, sitting in New York in a library that is bursting at the seams in terms of total volume (also one of the biggest in the country), and we usually compare ourselves to other research libraries, not just college libraries. HG: How has technology changed the job of a librari-
an? What are the positives and negatives of this? JP: The primal thing that’s changed is user expectations, so users often think that all information is digitized. Digital format takes money to store, migrate, and takes resources to describe it. With all the immediacy, access, and emerging technology, expectations are rising higher and higher. NYU specifically has made great headway in providing electronic access that is better than other institutions. Not everyone can keep up. But we can always do better. I don’t think there will be a time when everything is made available online, at least in my lifetime. Both print books and digital books can be equally expensive. When you buy a print book you have to pay for the book, pay for the climate of the book, pay for the shelf space, and pay for the rent of
the space. With going digital, you have to pay somebody to digitize it, someone has to keep the digital copy, and IT people and librarians have to provide an electronic description of that book. It can vary from title to title, but there’s always an ongoing cost. HG: What are some challenging/rewarding parts of the job? JP: The most rewarding part is helping people. Librarianship is a service profession, and if you don’t have that mentality, it’s probably not the right job to help people come to an insight or assist them with further research. A challenge is that we live in a world of social and economic upheaval, the way people come into the building and interact with you, and this can result in licentiousness that makes it difficult to preserve
The educaTed observer
The School of Continuing Education at Columbia University is a resource for those who wish to take their lives in new directions, with a mission to transform knowledge and understanding in service of the greater good. The School offers thirteen applied master’s degrees in the established and emerging fields of Actuarial Science, Bioethics, Communications Practice, Construction Administration, Fundraising Management, Information and Digital Resource Management, Landscape Design, Sports Management, Strategic Communications, Sustainability Management and Technology Management. Each program provides practical, professional education for students seeking demanding, focused training. Courses are taught by faculty and industry leaders who bring current
perspectives into the classroom. Full- and part-time options vary by program. The Postbaccalaureate Studies program at the School of Continuing Education offers university courses and certificate programs in over 50 subject areas for graduate school preparation, academic enrichment or career advancement. Working with advisers, each student develops a plan of study tailored to his or her background and academic goals. Business courses and certificate programs are offered both on campus and online. The School also offers certificate programs, summer courses, high school programs in New York, Barcelona and Jordan, and a program for learning English as a second language. Though the offerings are diverse, they are unified by a mission to mount innovative, instructional programs that meet
Columbia’s standard of excellence, take good advantage of its resources, and produce positive educational outcomes for the members of the student body. For information, go to www.ce.columbia.edu email, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 854-9666.
World Views from Every Classroom An interview with Drew Alexander, Head of School, Léman Manhattan Preparatory School. Drew Alexander previously headed schools in Moscow and Cairo. Q. What excites you most about Léman Manhattan? First, we are a new school creating our own traditions. And we are empowering students to participate in the process. Not many students applying to a university can write an essay about creating the future of their school. Secondly, we are located in downtown New York surrounded by history -
Federal Hall, where George Washington took his oath of office, Trinity Church, Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty. It’s an amazing place to teach and learn. Q. What does the phrase “world views from every classroom” mean? A. Our student body is represented by over 40 nations so we truly are an international community. And our students participate in learning, leadership, athletic and art programs at our sister campuses in Europe, Asia, Latin America and throughout the US. This develops a real-time cultural exchange that will prepare them to lead and succeed in a global world.
Q. Critical thinking is the focus of Leman’s curriculum. Why is this so important? Today, it’s not enough to know who, what, where and when. You need to be able to analyze and interpret information to understand why. This is essence of critical thinking. It’s what colleges are looking for and what the world needs to solve its complex problems. To learn more visit, www.lemanmanhattan.org or contact Janet Barrett, Director of Admissions (212) 232-0266 ext. 259. jbarrett@lémanmanhattan.org.
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or Jonathan Klein, Account Executive
Q & A With Campus Personalities
collections and spaces. Patrons can be greatest ally and the greatest problem. With 9,000 people coming in each day, everyone has a different agenda. Sometimes being the gatekeeper can be difficult. In a library there are very few completely illegitimate goals, and balance often falls to the librarian. For a library to be vital or important, it has to be a social, cultural, intellectual center for all users. HG: How did you end up at this job? JP: I’m personally like a lot of academic librarians. I had a scholarly intent, but I never finished a PhD. A lot of librarians have a library degree but they may not have finished their postgrad. Those people are right to be academic librarians, they have a commitment to study and research. I was in a PhD program and didn’t finish because I got sick, took a job at NYU, and have been here for almost a decade. I have no idea how that represents my colleagues though. There are different types of librarians: archivist, conservationist, special collections librarians, special library librarians, IS academic librarians, public school librarians, children’s book librarians—like different specialties of doctors. Many have a master’s degree in library science and a master’s degree in their personal field. I have qualifications to be a social sciences librarian, a day librarian, and also a psychologist. HG: Being an authority on gender and sexuality, what kind of qualifications did you need? JP: I studied gender and sexuality from a social standpoint. People come to me and I can speak their language and understand their field, and with my librarian hat and scholarly hat on we can move forward on a subject of research. I don’t work personally with any students on their research. It’s most appropriate to be working as a consultant, as in working with students closely but for a very short time frame. I offer no opinions on what they study, I just try to point them in the right direction for materials. Discussion on the project itself is most appropriate for coming out of a recession, and I’m fortunate that having I have this position in New York, and that we have the capital we have being in this particular city at this particular institution. It was a considered choice. HG: What are the differences in being a specialized university vs. a regular librarian? JP: We’re in a very good situation at NYU, and I find myself feeling fortunate that I do my craft here. I worry about other institutions, where training and money is cut back. I worry about whether or not we’re making the right decisions, because everyone has to do more with less. The best thing I can possibly do is to keep in mind that I’m at an elite institution at a very good position. We won’t come to a place where librarians are a waste and superfluous. I like to think I bring value on tuition dollars, on scholarship, and on the business of information. I’m hoping that scholarship and the university will survive. We’re all hurting. There’s a growing realization of how important it is to preserve. HG: What’s your opinion on using more unofficial methods of research, such as Wikipedia? JP: I use Wikipedia and Google everyday, and my hope is that I learn to use them intelligently. I’ve had the opportunity to teach as a grad student and as a librarian, and I sometimes ask students what they’re using to get the majority of their information? They try to be polite, and say things like JSTOR, ProQuest, LexusNexus, etc., but there’s no shame in using free information. It’s a question of how well you’re using it and if you understand what the limitations are. It’s similar to picking up a book at a library and saying this is a good book, well sourced, well written. I look at a Wikipedia article and many of them are well written and well sourced. NYU has millions of books, and not all of them are great. What’s important is that individuals are taught to appraise and critique information. That’s the value of librarians: we’ll always need people to teach students how to appraise good information.
The educaTed observer
Bobst Library at NYU
It wasn’t something I considered when I was younger, but at the time I started I considered it a thoughtful choice and it was an opportunity that presented itself.
student and teaching faculty. I’m very clear about that. HG: How has the economy affected your job? JP: NYU’s libraries are just part of the university institution, we are an institution dependent on private tuition, and we are supported by the dollars that our students pay. They definitely pay a premium, and I library leadership has made good decisions. We’re in a good position. We’re still able to support scholarship and teaching at a high level and NYU’s global network only strengthens library collections. For example, NYU’s satellite campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai are 3,000+ miles away. It makes us think more intelligently about electronic resources, and it makes us think about work flows and teaching and research. I don’t personally spend a lot of time on global library concerns, we have professionals in place who are thinking everyday about that. The work that I do helps users on Washington Square, and I like to think this diffuses through our global network. Have I been asked to offer an opinion? Yes. Do I help change things for all students? In a sense, but it’s not something that I deal with everyday. HG: Did you ever consider being a librarian when you were younger? JP: It wasn’t something I considered when I was younger, but at the time I started I considered it a thoughtful choice and it was an opportunity that presented itself. We were also just
Jin Lee/BLoomBerg via getty images
The Knox School
The Knox School is an independent boarding and day school serving grades 6-12 and Post Graduate. We are conveniently located approximately 1 hour from New York City on Long Island’s North Shore. Our mission is to provide the opportunity for capable
students to excel within a liberal arts program infused with artistic and athletic pursuits, in preparation for higher education at selective colleges and universities. At Knox our collective goal is to inspire in each student a love of learning and the desire to continually develop the skills necessary to lead happy, conﬁdent, and successful lives in a complex and changing world. Our diverse student body enjoys a traditional, structured, and familial atmosphere that fosters academic, intellectual, and character development. We celebrate individual strengths and talents and give our students the tools to meet the global challenges of today and tomorrow. At Knox, we feature a ﬁve-day boarding option
for our students, instruction in small class settings, Advanced Placement (AP) courses in all core subject areas, rich programs in the ﬁne arts and a competitive, three-season athletic program that includes equestrian and crew. We are proud that the twenty students in the Class of 2011 were accepted to more than one-hundred colleges and universities around the world, and were o ered more than $1.4 million in scholarships and grants. Visit us at www.knoxschool.org or call 631.686.1600 extension 414 to learn more about what makes us exceptional. Don’t forget to ask about our FLEXIBLE TUITION option for day students and ﬁve day boarders.
Medill, a leader in education since 1921, o ers a master’s degree in journalism at Northwestern University that combines the enduring skills and values of journalism with new techniques and knowledge that are essential to thrive in today’s digital world. Here, you will join a diverse group of students who are motivated by many ambitions. In journalism, no single size ﬁts all. Perhaps your goal is to expose wrongdoing through investigative reporting or to give voice to the voiceless. You might aspire to create ﬁnely crafted prose or tell stories with interactive tools. Maybe you want to be a documentary ﬁlmmaker or a
magazine editor. Or maybe you see yourself as a broadcast producer or media entrepreneur. Perhaps your path is still unclear, but — like your Medill classmates — you have a passion for journalistic storytelling, a creative instinct and a commitment to do good in the world. Our full-time faculty are seasoned professionals with extensive industry experience and contacts. We also draw on Chicago’s journalism community for accomplished adjuncts who have
specialized in reporting, photography, videography, non-ﬁction narrative, magazine editing, web design and more. You’ll be able to go further and faster in a rapidly changing profession where there is a growing range of opportunities in new and traditional media. Employers look to Medill as the pre-eminent source for media professionals who are well-educated in fundamentals, skilled in new techniques and willing and able to take on tough challenges. For information about the master’s program and to ﬁnd out where Medill graduates are working now, please visit the Careers page on the Medill website. www.medill.northwestern.edu
New York University
This SPRING, REACH NEW HEIGHTS IN YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER AT THE NYU School of continuing and professional studies (NYU-SCPS) With thousands of courses, certiﬁcates, and intensive programs in a wide array of subject areas, NYU-SCPS is one of the world’s leading providers of continuing education. Programs include course o erings in the arts; business; global a airs; hospitality, tourism, and sports management; philanthropy and fundraising; real estate; media industry studies and design; and liberal studies and allied
arts. Whether you’re returning to school for personal or professional reasons, our course o erings are designed to help you to advance on your path to career achievement and ongoing intellectual discovery. Add a Digital Dimension to Your Résumé Learn about the latest trends in mobile technologies and online tools to increase your marketability and advance your career. New courses, including Facebook Marketing, Advanced Web Tools and Platforms for Publishing Professionals, Collections Management and Digital Technology, and Social Media Management, empower you to broaden your skill set and increase your knowledge base in today’s digitally
driven professional landscape. Explore New Certiﬁcate Programs Certiﬁcate programs at NYU-SCPS allow you to move your career forward by expanding your expertise in a speciﬁc area. Courses are conveniently scheduled and provide in-depth insights into subject matter. This spring, new certiﬁcates include: International Banking Risk and Regulation; Nursing Home Administration; Building Modeling Using REVIT; Editing; and Journalism. There’s still time to enroll for the spring. Visit: www.scps.nyu.edu/springce
Knowledge of the world can be gained in many ways. Through reading and lectures. Or through actual experiences that make the world come alive every day. There is only one preparatory school in New York that offers students endless opportunities for live international exchange: Léman Manhattan. Our Touchpoints Curriculum enables students to collaborate on global issues with fellow students at our sister schools in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the U.S. Our students can participate in unique international academic and athletic events, music festivals and art summits that develop cultural knowledge and real-world experience. And our emphasis on critical thinking encourages young minds to see the world from fresh and divergent perspectives. Léman Manhattan prepares young people to become successful global citizens, ready to compete and contribute to the world.
WE PUT THE WORLD IN
WORLD VIEWS FROM EVERY CLASSROOM
For information about admission, 3s through Grade 12, please contact Janet Barrett, Director of Admissions (212) 232-0266 ext. 259 email@example.com www.lemanmanhattan.org
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