Brody School of Medicine ranks 4th in production of family doctors | WNCT

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May 212015


Updated: May 20, 2015 6:03 PM EDT

To view news video at WNCT, click here.

GREENVILLE, N.C. – The Brody School of Medicine is getting national attention for turning out a lot of family doctors.

The school ranks fourth in the nation for producing family docs.

Almost 19 percent of Brody graduates chose family medicine over the last three years.

This year’s ranking is one place higher than last year.

Those responsible for training the doctors are proud of the ranking.

“When we think about the need for comprehensive family care, a physician who can really cover the primary needs of most everything that walks in the door, family medicine is best suited to do that,” said Dr. Jonathon Firnhaber, ECU Family Medicine.

This is the 9th consecutive year the school received recognition.

Some of those family docs stay here in the east to provide better access to care.


Greenville gets in groove for festival | The Daily Reflector

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May 212015


By Abbie Bennett
May 21, 2015

Greenville will groove again Friday with a new name for its jazz festival.

In its second year, the festival, scheduled at 5:30 p.m. on the Town Common, has been named for Carroll V. Dashiell Jr., a musician known locally and internationally.

“Carroll has done a lot to put Greenville on the map, musically,” Merrill Flood, the city’s community development director, said. “He is known, liked and respected by fellow artists around the world and is passing along some of the knowledge he picked up while playing with some of the jazz legends in his younger days. Even better, he’s just a great guy with tremendous talent and a big heart, so it’s nice to recognize him by naming the festival for him.”

“I’m just really honored and feel so blessed and fortunate that people would think so much of me and what we try to do,” Dashiell said.

Dashiell heads up East Carolina University’s jazz program. He is a jazz musician recognized worldwide as a producer and recording artist who travels with his own band.

Dashiell also helps to coordinate the free festival that will be held rain or shine.

“What we hope ultimately to accomplish is to maybe make it a music series in an accessible atmosphere,” Dashiell said.

He also said organizers are hoping to hold it on Memorial Day weekend each year, possibly extending it to a two-day event that would include traditional jazz one day and possibly more contemporary music the following day.

“My vision is that we make Greenville a destination for it,” Dashiell said. “We want people to come down and have fun, bring a picnic basket and blanket and just relax with their families.”

Recording artist Vanessa Rubin will headline the event. Dashiell said Rubin has been to Greenville before, so she will be a familiar face, but she also is one of the most in-demand jazz vocalists in the world. Dashiell and Rubin have worked together since about 1990, he said, and his son will be playing drums in her trio along with Allen Johnson, director of jazz studies at the University of the District of Columbia, on piano and Dashiell on bass.

The opening act will be Scott Sawyer, a guitarist from Raleigh who is a jazz guitar professor at ECU.

“This will be the second year of the music festival, so bringing in someone of Vanessa Rubin’s stature is a big plus for us” Flood said. “This year is also a chance for us to recognize what Carroll Dashiell means to our community as well by naming the music festival for him.”

The Carroll Dashiell Greenville Grooves Music Festival is presented by the City of Greenville, the Pitt-Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau and Beasley Broadcasting’s KISS-FM, 107.9 WNCT-FM and Beach Boogie & Blues.


Maxed Out Credit Card: Tips, When It Makes Sense & More | CardHub

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May 212015
To view complete article at CardHub, click here.

Maxed Out Credit Card

Maxing out a credit card means you have used all of your available credit and must make a payment in order to restore spending power.

Potential credit score damage is the most serious concern resulting from a maxed out credit card, as credit utilization – the ratio of your available credit and your consumed credit – accounts for a significant portion of the Amounts Owed segment of your credit score, which itself amounts to about 15% of your overall score. There are no direct costs associated with maxing out your credit card, but if doing so is a sign of overextending your finances, credit utilization is the least of your worries.

For more information about maxed out credit cards, including tips for dealing with a maxed out credit card and situations when it actually makes sense to take things to the limit, continue reading below.

What Happens When You Max Out a Credit Card?

A few things happen when you max out a credit card. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  1. Purchase Decline: Once you hit that wall, only a payment or an increase in your credit limit will enable you to make purchases with your plastic moving forward. This can put you in quite the predicament if you aren’t prepared. This is actually one of the reasons we do not recommend No Preset Spending Limit credit cards (e.g. VISA Signature, World MasterCard, Amex charge cards), whose spending limits are determined on a monthly basis and are not communicated to the user.
  1. Credit Reporting: Your credit card issuer will relay news of your maxed out status to the major credit bureaus in the course of its normal monthly account information update.  This information will then be incorporated into your credit files and thus factored into your resulting credit scores.This, of course, assumes that you do not make a payment prior to the end of your monthly billing cycle.  If you do so, you’ll minimize any resulting credit damage since the only balance that gets communicated to the credit bureaus is that remaining at the end of the month.  If you don’t, interest will apply to your average daily balance – which can become quite expensive.
  1. Penalty Rate:  Depending on the issuer, maxing out your card may trigger the Penalty APR (at least for future transactions). Considering the average Penalty rate is currently 27.99%, that could make future transactions potentially costly.

What to Do After Maxing Out a Credit Card:

The measures that one should take in the immediate aftermath of a maxed-out card are fairly commonsensical. Make sure to also check out our tips for avoiding a maxed out credit card for help steering clear of future max-outs and controlling your credit utilization.

Step 1: Pay Your Bill – This will restore your spending power and potentially prevent your utilization ratio from being reported to the credit bureaus as 100%.

Step 2: Check Scheduled Payments – Depending on when you hit your monthly limit, there’s a chance that any payments you had scheduled to be made from your credit card account – rent, Netflix, Spotify, etc. – might not have gone through. It’s thus a good idea to double check your status in order to avoid service interruptions and late fees.

When It Makes Sense to Max Out a Credit Card

While it would be easy to take a hard line and say that maxing out your credit card is never, ever a good idea, we at CardHub live in the real world. We recognize there are certain situations when maxing out your plastic may actually be beneficial.

This is especially true when you do not have any important credit needs, such as a car or house purchase, coming up. There’s no reason to obsess over your credit score if no one will be checking it for the foreseeable future, after all.

  1. Very Low Credit Lines: Credit card newcomers have almost no choice but to max out their credit cards if they have a spending limit of only a few hundred dollars and rely on plastic for everyday purchases.
  1. True Emergencies: You shouldn’t give a thought to credit utilization in the face of a true financial emergency, such as a medical emergency, repairs to your ride to work or legal services.
  1. Debt Consolidation: The rise of introductory 0% credit card rates has made it quite popular to transfer debt from a high-cost loan or line of credit in order to save on finance charges and pay down the principal faster. Considering that the average household could save more than $1,000 on their roughly $7,000 credit card balance by transferring it to one of the best offers on the market, temporarily high credit utilization should be an easy pill to swallow, provided that you use the 0% rate to pay down your debt faster. A credit card calculator will help with that.
  1. Valuable Rewards:  Credit card companies have also been offering extremely lucrative initial rewards bonuses of late. For instance, the best rewards cards on the market offer $400 bonuses to new customers who spend at least $3,000 in the first three months their accounts are open. Such value is likely worth having a maxed out credit card for a few months.

How to Avoid Maxing Out Your Credit Card

In addition to getting a higher credit limit or new credit line, there are a few things you can do to avoid maxing out your credit card, thus preventing high credit utilization:

  • Ask For a Higher Limit: This will enable you to supplement your spending power and reduce your per-card credit utilization. Remember, secured card users can simply add to their deposits to increase their spending power.
  • Adjust Your Plan: A maxed out credit card can easily sneak up on someone, especially those who are relatively new to credit and thus have low credit lines.  Three-to-five hundred dollars can go very quickly these days, after all, considering the average household spends $549 on gas and groceries alone each month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.And while things aren’t as bad as they once were in this regard – the CARD Act put an end to predatory sub-prime pricing, prohibiting first-year fees in excess of 25% of one’s credit line – planning is still essential. You need to start each month with a clear idea of how much credit you have available as well as how much cash you can afford to spend, and then carefully allocate these funds to necessities like food, health insurance and rent payments.
  • Pay More Than Once: There’s no reason not to submit multiple monthly payments. This will enable you to keep utilization consistently low, avoid missed payments and recognize dangerously high spending patterns.
  • Keep Track of What You Buy: Keeping a running tab of your recent expenses will enable you to foresee a potential maxed out card and plan accordingly.
  • Use Cash:  While using cash means forfeiting potential rewards earnings and essentially subsidizing the purchases of card users, it can be helpful in the face of a low credit limit or if you’ve run into trouble with overspending in the past. Reevaluating whether certain automatic monthly payments need to be made with plastic will also be beneficial.

Ask The Experts: Taking It to the Max

For more insights into the inner-workings of the credit card industry, including how to avoid and deal with maxed out credit cards, we posed the following questions to a panel of leading personal finance experts. You can check out their bios and responses below.

  1. What other financial difficulties might a maxed out credit card signify?
  1. Where would you rank a maxed out credit card in the pantheon of consumer financial mistakes?
  1. What is the best way to deal with a maxed out credit card?
  1. Are maxed out credit cards less worrisome for students and people with damaged credit who might not have high credit lines to begin with?

UNC search panel debates how to identify next leader | The News & Observer

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May 212015


May 20, 2015

The University of North Carolina is arguably the best public higher education system in the nation, but finding a superb president to lead it will be like looking for a needle in a haystack, consultants told a UNC search committee Wednesday.

The UNC Board of Governors committee searching for a successor to UNC President Tom Ross interviewed three search consultants Wednesday and will question a fourth firm next week. A decision could come late next week on which firm gets the job of orchestrating a high-profile search for the next leader of the 17-campus system, which has 222,000 students.

In discussions that stretched for hours, board members learned about the processes used to recruit candidates and how they might go about winnowing the field and conducting discreet interviews in small groups.

Several ideas emerged repeatedly. Candidates from outside the academic world are increasingly being sought for university presidencies, consultants said. And some universities are embracing “change agents” as the higher education landscape shifts with technology, financial constraints and the demand for accountability.

Terrence MacTaggart, a senior fellow from the Association of Governing Boards, was brought in to advise the UNC committee on the fundamentals of the search.

He said people from business, government, politics and even the military could be appropriate leaders for a university system head. He pointed out that several retired military generals have made excellent presidents elsewhere in the United States.

“I would be surprised if you hired a very conventional candidate, actually,” MacTaggart said. “For these jobs, nontraditional is traditional, almost.”

But he emphasized that there is no reason to go looking for a big name, “some icon.”

“You want someone who can do the job,” MacTaggart said.

That, he admitted, will be a tall order at a time of rapid change in education. “Just getting a pretty good president ain’t good enough,” MacTaggart said. “The bar is really high. You’re not going to have anything to tell your kids and grandkids if this system kind of goes downhill and erodes because it had weak leadership.”

A time of change

Public university systems across the country are reorganizing themselves – merging campuses, accelerating online programs, and, in some cases, becoming more independent at a time of decreasing state revenue.

The consultants conceded that North Carolina is different from many public universities because it enjoys wide public loyalty and a tradition of strong financial support from the state. Low tuition “as far as practicable” is written into the state constitution.

One search consultant, Jerry Baker of Baker & Associates, was blunt in his assessment of outsiders’ view of political upheaval in the state. He said there is a perception of increasing involvement of the legislature and the board in managing the university.

“I am concerned about higher education in our state,” Baker said. “I think we have not reached our potential. I think the University of North Carolina can be and should be the best higher education system in the country.”

The UNC system board has been harshly criticized in some quarters for forcing the early retirement of Ross, who will step down in early 2016. Some viewed it as purely political act by a newly Republican board eager to please the Republican-led legislature.

People across the nation have noticed changes in education in North Carolina, Baker noted, as he described his recent discussions in other searches.

“Folks from Boston to Berkeley kept saying, ‘Jerry, what’s going on in North Carolina?’ It doesn’t feel right to people afar when they look at what we’re doing here,” Baker said. “So I want us to think about how we can get to where we should be. Higher education in North Carolina has been superb for 200 years. We’re slipping a little bit, at least in the eyes of those around the country.”

Search consultant Bill Funk said he withdrew from a search at Florida State University recently because the candidate was a predetermined political pick.

“I really wanted to do an honest search,” he said.

Funk said the key is to recruit people who aren’t looking for a job – those who are at the zenith of their careers. And, he said, the demand for good leaders far outstrips leaders coming from the university world.

“I think you’re going to see more and more nonacademics,” he said.

‘Necessary requirement’

David Powers, a board member from Winston-Salem, said neglecting to hire a “change agent” to North Carolina is “not an option.”

“It’s a necessary requirement,” Powers said.

MacTaggart said that the board members must have agreement on the broad direction of the university system – what needs changing and how that should be accomplished.

Former board Chairwoman Hannah Gage pointed out that the board hasn’t really had that conversation yet. When should that happen? she asked MacTaggart.

“Soon,” he said.

Board Chairman John Fennebresque said having a larger discussion is a good idea, and he will think about it.

“We want a change agent, but we don’t know the specifics of what we want to change,” he said. “Do I think the board ought to get together and be able to talk back and forth about what they’re looking for? Yes. Do I think there will be a precise itemization of the factors or traits of a new leader or a new job description coming out of that? Probably not.”


UNC creates online program, advising for military students | The News & Observer

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May 212015


May 20, 2015

UNC-Chapel Hill has announced a new push to help veterans and active-duty military pursue higher education.

At an event attended by students in uniform Wednesday, Chancellor Carol Folt announced an online education program available to active-duty military, so they can take introductory, general courses that could lead to an undergraduate degree. The program, dubbed UNC Core, will allow soldiers, sailors, Marines and Air Force members to take UNC courses at a distance – from their bases across North Carolina or at military installations around the world.

The university also created a student veteran assistance program, including a new full-time coordinator to help veteran students navigate the campus.

Folt said the university had experienced a 95 percent increase in the number of students using GI Bill benefits since 2009-10. Between fall of 2014 and 2015, she said, the university doubled the number of incoming transfer students identified as veterans and active-duty service members.

“We’re really proud of that, and we want to make sure we’re ready and able to give the proper services,” she said.

The program was created in conjunction with the UNC Board of Governors and the UNC system staff.

Online courses make it easier for on-the-move service members, reservists and National Guard members to begin pursuing degrees wherever they are, while they’re serving the country, Folt said.

“We don’t want them to have to wait,” she said. “We want to make it possible to have a jump start, as part of that military service, into the next phases of their lives.”

The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education at UNC already has 250 online courses that serve adult and nontraditional students. The center will offer these flexible courses, along with customized plans and academic advising, to military service members, who can complete general education classes and later apply to UNC system campuses.

“It doesn’t matter where you are,” said Rob Bruce, director of the center. “You can be at Fort Bragg, or Camp Lejeune, or Seymour Air Force Base, or you can be in East Asia, or North Africa or Europe.”

The program’s website is


ECU’s Brody School of Medicine a Worthy Investment in Primary Care | Higher Education Works Foundation

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May 202015


By Brad Wilson
May 19, 2015

There is not much use debating the value of preventive health care. Science and data show us that it’s better for our physical, emotional and financial health to live a healthy lifestyle than to treat conditions once we are sick.

To cite but one data source among many, the Trust for America’s Health tells us that investing as little as $10 per person in community prevention programs can yield as much as $16 billion in annual U.S. health care savings. That calculates to a better than 5-to-1 return on investment.

This kind of data serves to confirm what we already knew from our grandparents when they mentioned “an ounce of prevention.”

The question in my mind is not whether to invest in preventing chronic disease and in keeping people healthy, but how to best go about it. In North Carolina we are fortunate to have a resource dedicated to answering that question and then putting that knowledge into practice.

The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has a 40-year history of supporting preventive health throughout our state. The school’s focus on preparing doctors to practice primary care and to serve North Carolina communities sets it apart from our other outstanding institutions of medical education.

In particular, Brody is successful at ensuring that we have primary care doctors who live and practice in underserved communities across the state — areas where access is limited and where rates of poverty and illness are high. In fact, only North Carolina residents are admitted to the school.

Brody’s mission gives it a critical role in primary care and a significant influence on both the health of North Carolinians and the amount we all spend on health care. Consider some of the impact Brody has had on our state’s health care system:

More than half the roughly 2,200 physicians who have graduated from Brody practice in North Carolina.
Brody is consistently ranked among the nation’s top five medical schools for dedication to primary care, as measured by the percentage of students who choose family medicine each year.
Brody-educated doctors stay in primary care. The percentage still practicing primary care after five years is higher than other medical schools.

Any way you look at it, Brody stands out as a North Carolina treasure. The problem is that Brody is an underfunded resource. Ironically, the very mission that gave life to Brody four decades ago – to train family doctors to serve a population in need of better health – threatens to cut short the gains we have made in improving our health as a state.

Unlike other medical schools in North Carolina, Brody does not own its teaching hospital. Absent that source of revenue, Brody must depend more on state appropriations to maintain its critical role in preparing primary care physicians.

ECU is asking the General Assembly for significant new state appropriations to maintain Brody’s positive contributions to the health of North Carolina and to maintain its critical role in preparing primary care physicians to serve their communities.

The $8 million additional funding needed this year, as well as potentially $30 million long-term, would represent a worthy and effective investment in our state and in the health of its residents.

The school has effectively maximized its other funding sources. In 1990, more than half of Brody’s budget came from state appropriations. That figure is now down to 21 percent. To fully meet its mission, the school needs to see this percentage climbing again.

We are encouraged that Gov. McCrory included the additional $8 million for Brody in his recommended budget for 2015-16, and that the state House appears to include the funds in early versions of its budget.

Brody’s unique mission and funding model demand strong state support. The correlation between access to quality primary care provided by this valuable state resource and cost-effective health care delivery makes that support imperative.


UNC to hold public forums on presidential search | The News & Observer

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May 202015


From staff reports

The search for a UNC system president is under way, and here’s your chance to weigh in on the qualities, skills and experience needed in the next leader.

A UNC Board of Governors committee will host four regional forums to hear public input in the search for the next president of the 17-campus UNC system, who will succeed outgoing UNC President Tom Ross.

Here is the schedule:

▪ May 26 – 7 p.m. at UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center.

▪ May 27 – 7 p.m. at East Carolina University’s East Carolina Heart Institute in Greenville.

▪ May 28 – 7 p.m. at N.C. Central University’s Mary Townes Science Complex in Durham.

▪ June 1 – 7 p.m. at UNC Charlotte’s Harris Alumni Center.

More detailed information about each forum is available online at Each session will be streamed live and archived on the website. Participants may comment via social media (#uncsearch) or via text to 919-590-3630.

You can complete an electronic survey at (through May 22) or email feedback to the board’s leadership statement committee at


NCAA urges caution on idea of paying college athletes | The Charlotte Observer

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May 202015


By Renee Schoof

NCAA vice president Kevin Lennon on Tuesday told the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics that schools should resist pressure to change the rules on what it means to be an amateur college athlete.

“We know degree completion will best serve them in the long run,” Lennon said. “The introduction of pay may lead some – not all, but some – to not take full advantage of these educational opportunities that are available to them in their college years.”

On the sidelines of the meeting, Lennon, the National Collegiate Athletic Association vice president of Division I governance, said in an interview that he wouldn’t talk about his organization’s investigation into the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill academic scandal. Federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein found athlete eligibility at the heart of the scandal, in which fake classes were created in the African studies department.

Lennon said the answer wasn’t necessarily more public information about what classes athletes took. They shouldn’t be given extra scrutiny, he said.

“Depending on what an institution likes to do for all their students, I would think they’d apply the same policy to their student athletes,” Lennon said.

During the commission’s meeting, no individual infractions cases were discussed.

Lennon, speaking on a panel about compensating athletes, said public support for college sports would drop off if the line blurred between amateur players and professionals.

“Amateur status, as defined by being college eligible, is compromised when they use their athletic skill for pay,” he said at the meeting, which the Knight Commission described as a “public examination” of issues surrounding pay for college athletes. The commission, which was founded in 1989 after a series of high-profile college sports scandals, has no connection to the NCAA.

Other panelists suggested that there are ways colleges and universities could do more for athletes without running afoul of the laws that protect competition.

The discussion came as the NCAA is appealing a federal judge’s decision to allow football and men’s basketball players to be compensated in addition to scholarships for the commercialized use of their names, images and likenesses. Other cases that could change the status of amateur players include one that seeks a free market to pay college athletes. Another ruling allowed Northwestern University football players to form a labor union.

“The sand is shifting underneath the feet of NCAA, and it’s important to re-evaluate the model of intercollegiate athletics that we’ve been working with,” said Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist at Smith College.

He argued that schools could treat athletes better and stay within the model of amateurism, for example by offering year-round health insurance and lifetime disability insurance for college athletic injuries.

Zimbalist also said that Congress should establish a presidential commission on college sports. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., introduced a bill, H.R. 275, in January that would set up such a commission to examine issues such as how athletics are financed, health and safety protections and the recruitment and retention of athletes.

“Whether you think they’re employees or not, they certainly work,” said Doug Allen, a professor at the School of Labor and Employment Relations at Penn State University. His ideas included covering athletes’ full cost of attendance, including travel to and from their homes, and giving four-year scholarships that can’t be taken away if their athletic performance falters. These and other improvements should be granted in exchange for athletes agreeing to be full-time students making progress toward their degrees, he said.

Some of the panelists mentioned the many hours football and basketball players spend practicing. Currently there is no alternative to college as a path to professional football or basketball. Neither the NFL nor the NBA has a farm system like baseball, and both prevent athletes from being drafted out of high school.

Ronald Katz, an attorney and board chairman of the Institute of Sports Law and Ethics at Santa Clara University, said that “student athlete” was a term that should be jettisoned, because it implied two separate roles.

He also made five other proposals: Students should be on track for graduation in order to be eligible to play; sports scholarship recipients should commit to four years in college; red shirting should be banned (allowing a student to practice and attend classes while not using one of his or her four years of athletic eligibility); NCAA bylaws should be simplified; and retired judges, not NCAA officials, should decide when rules are broken.

One of the members of the commission said those suggestions seemed simple and wondered why they weren’t carried out.

Katz responded by referring to the millions of dollars at stake in college football and basketball.

“The one-word answer,” he replied, “is money.”


Wisconsin governor sued for withholding records on bid to change university’s mission | The Washington Post

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May 202015


By Valerie Strauss
May 19 at 4:48 PM

A nonprofit watchdog group filed a lawsuit in a Wisconsin circuit court against Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Tuesday, alleging that he is refusing to make public documents relating to an effort by his office to change the mission of the University of Wisconsin that is embedded in state law.

Earlier this year, Walker submitted a budget proposal that included language that would have changed the century-old mission of the University of Wisconsin system — known as the “Wisconsin Idea” and embedded in the state code — by removing words that commanded the university to “search for truth” and “improve the human condition” and replacing them with “meet the state’s workforce needs.”

The change is not insignificant; the traditional mission speaks to a role for the university system of broadly educating young people to be active, productive citizens in the U.S. democracy, while Walker’s suggested change would bend the school’s mission towards becoming a training ground for American workers.

Walker didn’t mention the suggested change in a speech he gave about the budget, but it was discovered by the nonprofit Washington -based Center for Media and Democracy and widely publicized. Walker quickly backtracked and said it was a “drafting error.”

The Center for Media and Democracy filed a Freedom of Information Act request to Walker’s administration requesting documents about the “drafting error” and how the language to change the university’s mission wound up in the budget document. The center says it received some documents but not all; Walker’s office saying that the withheld papers are protected by something called the “deliberative process privilege,” which the center says is not recognized under Wisconsin’s public records law. That’s why it filed the lawsuit in circuit court against Walker and his office.

“CMD believes there is significant public interest in how this attack on Wisconsin traditions was developed, and that blowing a new hole in the public records law to keep that a secret would do grave damage to Wisconsin’s traditions of clean and open government,” Brendan Fischer , the center’s general counsel, said in a statement.


Mattress Protest at Columbia University Continues Into Graduation Event | The New York Times

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May 202015


MAY 19, 2015

Aided by four friends, and to the cheers of some of her classmates, the student who protested Columbia University’s handling of her sexual assault complaint by carrying a mattress around campus all year hoisted it for the last time on Tuesday as she crossed the stage at a graduation ceremony.

Until seconds before the student, Emma Sulkowicz, walked onstage, Columbia officials had asked her to leave the mattress behind. President Lee C. Bollinger turned away as she crossed in front of him, failing to shake her hand, as he did with the other graduates.

Ms. Sulkowicz’s graduation, and the end of her protest, brought to a close a tumultuous year, in which Columbia became a focus of the movement to change how universities address sexual assault.

A student group called No Red Tape has held protests, including one in which it projected the words “Columbia protects rapists” on the facade of a school library, and a number of students on Tuesday put red tape on their baby-blue mortarboards to show their support. In February, the university instituted a sexual respect education requirement, which obliges students in all schools to attend workshops or complete art projects on the theme of sexual respect.

As a result of her protest, which is also her senior art thesis, Ms. Sulkowicz herself has become the face of a national movement to raise awareness about sexual assault.

She attended the State of the Union address this year as the guest of Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, who is pushing a bill that would require every college to survey its students about their experience with sexual violence, create a uniform disciplinary process for accusations of assault and give law enforcement agencies a greater role.

Minutes before Ms. Sulkowicz walked across the stage, Paul Nungesser, the student she has accused of rape, did so as well, to little response from the crowd.

Mr. Nungesser, who was cleared by the university and has maintained that their sexual encounter was consensual, filed a federal discrimination suit last month against the school, Mr. Bollinger and the professor who approved Ms. Sulkowicz’s thesis project, saying he has been the victim of a harassment campaign.

One of the rules Ms. Sulkowicz set for her project was that she would carry the mattress whenever she was on campus until Mr. Nungesser was no longer there.

The ceremony on Tuesday was on Class Day for seniors at Columbia College. The universitywide commencement is Wednesday, but Ms. Sulkowicz said on Tuesday that she was done with her project.

As for what will become of the mattress, which she bought online, she said she would hang onto it.

“If some sort of museum wants to buy it, then I’m open to that,” she said, “but I’m not going to just throw it away.”

Mr. Nungesser, who walked briskly away from campus immediately after the ceremony, declined to comment.

The university had actively discouraged Ms. Sulkowicz from carrying the mattress. In an email sent to students on Monday, the university asked students not to bring “large objects which could interfere with the proceedings or create discomfort to others in close, crowded spaces shared by thousands of people” into the ceremonial area.

Ms. Sulkowicz said that as students were lined up before the ceremony in Alfred Lerner Hall, a woman approached her and asked her to put the mattress in a room in the hall for the duration of the ceremony.

Ms. Sulkowicz, who had stated she would not walk in the ceremony if she could not carry the mattress, refused.

Later, as Ms. Sulkowicz and her friends approached the stage, the woman reappeared and again asked her not to take it onstage, saying it would “block the flow of traffic.”

Even the dean who was reading out the names seemed to get nervous, stumbling over hers.

As Ms. Sulkowicz and her friends ascended the stage, Mr. Bollinger, who had been shaking the students’ hands, turned his back and leaned down as though to pick something up from his seat. Ms. Sulkowicz leaned over the mattress, trying to catch his eye, then straightened up and kept walking, shrugging with her free hand.

“I even tried to smile at him or look him in the eye, and he completely turned away,” she said later. “So that was surprising, because I thought he was supposed to shake all of our hands.”

A spokeswoman for the university, Victoria Benitez, said that the mattress had been between Ms. Sulkowicz and Mr. Bollinger and that no snub was intended.

However, the keynote speaker, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, alluded approvingly to Ms. Sulkowicz’s protest. Applauding student activism at Columbia, he told the students: “You felt outside of society, sufficiently determined to challenge hierarchy that you took risks. You held contrary opinions, held die-ins and sit-ins and carried mattresses. Most importantly, you have learned to empathize, to look out for others and to listen.”


He turned down every Ivy League school. Stanford too. Who is he and where is he going? | The Washington Post

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May 202015


By Valerie Strauss
May 18

He turned down Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities, and, for that matter, every other school in the Ivy League school. He said “no” to Stanford, Johns Hopkins and Vanderbilt too, as well as Washington University in St. Louis and New York University. So who he is and where is he going?

He is Ronald Nelson, a high school senior from Memphis, Tennessee, who decided to accept an offer to attend the University of Alabama’s honors program with a full scholarship. Why? According to Business Insider, he wanted to go to a school while saving money for medical school, and the University of Alabama gave him the best offer.

Nelson’s academic credentials were top-notch: a 4.58 combined grade point average with 15 Advanced Placement courses, a 34 out of 36 on the ACT and 2260 out of 2400 on his SAT.

The Business Insider article says:

Nelson and his family were faced with a choice — stretch their budget and potentially take on debt for a brand-name school, or save their money for a graduate degree down the line. His father, Ronald Sr., is an engineer who works as a manager at the Federal Aviation Administration and his mother, Sandra, works in management at FedEx headquarters.

“I think it would have been possible, given some sacrifice,” Ronald Sr. told Business Insider about sending his son to an Ivy League school.

But the high school senior decided he did not want to take on debt — which he would have accumulated because no other school offered him a free ride. And, he said, he doesn’t think going to Alabama will prevent him from getting in to a top medical school.
He was quoted as saying:

“I’ve had a lot of people questioning me — ‘Why are you doing this?’ — but after I explain my circumstances, they definitely understand where I’m coming from.”


Are internships the only way for recent college grads to grab entry-level jobs? | The Washington Post

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May 202015


By Jeffrey J. Selingo
May 18

During the next few weeks, Washington, D.C. will welcome thousands of temporary residents for a few months: summer interns.

Like many people who now live in D.C., I was introduced to the Washington working world through this annual rite of passage for college students. As a summer intern at U.S. News & World Report, I lived in a dorm at American University with dozens of other college students from around the country. Our jobs were mostly menial and many didn’t pay, but none of us really saw our internships as an extended tryout for a full-time job down the road at our employers.

But in the space of just a little more than two decades since that summer internship, the recruiting game for new college graduates had changed drastically. Perhaps nothing illustrates this shift in how college graduates launch into a career these days as much as the role the internship — an experience most of us took for granted — now plays in the journey to the workplace.

Companies are increasingly bypassing the spring job market, when they typically interviewed college seniors, and instead are hiring directly from their intern pools, offering jobs and forcing students to commit just weeks into their senior year. More than 70 percent to 80 percent of new hires at big companies like Facebook, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and eBay come through their internship programs now, compared to about half or less just a decade ago.

“There was a time when 50 employers came to recruit for interns,” Patricia Rose, director of the career center at the University of Pennsylvania, told me. “Now we have 180.”

This new emphasis on the internship has upended the traditional recruiting calendar on campuses nationwide. Because more companies are hiring from their intern pools, fewer are coming to campus to hire seniors as full-timers. Employers want to shift even intern recruiting from the spring to the fall of junior year. “They want to wrap up talent before anyone else,” Rose said.

Indeed, the peak recruitment time for internships is February and March, according to an analysis of nearly 215,000 online job postings for internship positions by Burning Glass Technologies. The Boston-based company provides real-time labor market data by combing the key words in online job postings.

In some industries, including engineering, graphic design, communications, marking, and information technology, the share of internship postings is now a significant proportion of their overall entry-level job openings, the Burning Glass analysis found. That signals internships are increasingly the only way for new applications to get in the door.

“You can’t spend your first couple of summers in college lifeguarding or working as a camp counselor anymore if you have a specific job in mind after graduation,” said Matt Sigelman, the CEO of Burning Glass. “Those typical summer jobs are not going to position you for work after graduation.”

The tightened recruiting timeline seems like yet another effort to short-circuit the first two decades of life. We are hastening the pathway to adulthood at a time when we are living and working longer than ever before and should be doing just the opposite: giving more time to teenagers and 20-somethings to explore careers. College is only four years, yet it might begin to feel like four weeks as students rush to pick a major and apply for internships.

I saw this first-hand last November, when I sat in on a Goldman Sachs’ recruiting presentation at Penn. On the chairs lined up across the room was a one-page description of the intern recruiting events planned on Penn’s campus: six in all, mostly during the course of the following month, for several divisions in the firm from securities to compliance. Also listed were the deadlines to apply and interview dates.

It was already too late if you wanted to apply for a technology internship. That deadline passed in October. Most of the interviews for the other divisions were to come in January.

At the event, I ran into a small group of sophomores who had come to gather intelligence and get a head start for next year. They were barely a quarter of the way through their college years yet they already were trying to figure out how to jump through the next hoop and line themselves up for a full-time job after graduation.

Investment banking has always been a competitive field, so what I witnessed at Penn was somewhat of an anomaly: it’s not quite that intense in most industries. Even so, according to the Burning Glass analysis, internships are no longer about fetching coffee and making photocopies at most employers. They are real work.

Employers are demanding that more interns come to the position with specific skills already in hand. Students with technology internships are expected to know programming languages like SQL and Java, design interns need to be proficient in Photoshop and InDesign, and basically every intern needs to know how to manipulate a spreadsheet in Excel.

“A job posting is flagging a set of expectations, and they tell us that even internships are asking for really technical skills,” Sigelman said. “It puts a lot of pressure on students to learn on their own outside their core academic program.”

Two decades ago, many of the other students I lived with at American the summer I interned really didn’t know what they wanted to do with their lives after graduation. Most of us had applied for our internships just a few months earlier, many without a formal interview, and we were satisfied to enjoy Washington for a summer with a job that didn’t require showing up in a uniform or flipping burgers for minimum wage. Now, unfortunately, the summer internship is seen less as a right of passage to gain some skills and much more of a necessary requirement for students to land a job after college.
Selingo is a regular contributor to Grade Point. He is a former editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education, an author of books about higher education and a professor of practice at Arizona State University.


Dermatologists fighting to treat skin cancer | WNCT

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May 192015


Updated: May 15, 2015 4:17 PM EDT
By Josh Birch, Digital Journalist

To view news video at WNCT, click here.


Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and it is also one of the most treatable if it is found early. However, too many people delay, or put off entirely, skin cancer screenings that could help save lives.

Al Drake, a survivor of skin cancer twice, said he waited 45 years before his first skin cancer exam. When he finally went, he found out he had a squamous cell skin cancer on his ear.

“I thought it was just a little sore spot on the ear, but I did remember that the doc told me that if you get a sore that won’t heal, come get it looked at,” Drake said.

Dr. Charles Phillips with ECU Dermatology has diagnosed about 4,000 skin cancers over the past two decades. He said all too often, he hears from people who have put off having a skin cancer exam.

“Maybe they were afraid of doctors and maybe they didn’t have insurance and didn’t want to incur any costs,” Phillips said.

Phillips performed a routine skin cancer screening on WNCT’s Josh Birch, who was diagnosed with skin cancer on his eyelid two years ago. Phillips said the screenings are quick, but extremely important.

“I look for pink bumps. Typically on sun exposed skin, so head and neck are the most common locations. Forearms, back and hands because that’s where you get chronic sun exposure,” he said.

About 3.6 million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer every year, with about 13,000 people dying from it. Even if you are wearing clothes, UV rays can still penetrate them.

One of the more shocking facts about skin cancer is that Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, can pop up in areas that don’t receive sun at all, like the groin and esophagus.

Phillips said you don’t have to hid from the sun, just be smart by using protective clothing, hats and sunscreen.

“Enjoy the summer. I mean people live in Eastern North Carolina because they like to play golf and go to the beach, and you need to be able to do that. But do it smart,” Phillips said.

If you’ve had skin cancer, it is recommended that you get screened twice a year. For everyone else, it’s recommended to get screened once every year.


Experts: Be prepared for hurricanes | The Daily Reflector

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May 192015


By Michael Abramowitz
May 19, 2015

Hurricanes and other disasters might not be avoidable, but the worst outcomes can be avoided when people are prepared with a plan and the right supplies, experts said at Monday’s town hall meeting on the topic held at East Carolina University.

“You never can know with certainty what will occur, so you never can let your guard down,” said John Cole, National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist with the Newport/Morehead City forecast office.

The town hall event was part of the America’s PrepareAthon, coordinated by the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and organized locally by the ECU Office of Environmental Health and Safety and the National Weather Service’s Newport office.

The PrepareAthon is an opportunity to help communities prepare for, cope with and recover from disasters. ECU brought together a diverse group of individuals to discuss hurricane forecasting past and present.

Three named storms — considered a low number, — have been forecast to affect the Atlantic Coast this hurricane season, Cole said. The season begins June 1 and ends in November, but historically peaks in September. Every five to seven years, a hurricane will have significant effect on North Carolina, Cole said. Hurricane Fran in 1996 was the area’s last major hurricane, a Category 3. Those occur an average of every 15-20 years, he said.

People now pay closer attention to weather forecasts that can heavily affect them and take them very seriously, he said.

“They get more lead time now for hurricanes — 48 hours for a hurricane watch and six hours for warnings — but you might only get 10 to 15 minutes for a tornado watch and maybe just a minute or two for a warning,” Cole said.

The NWS is preparing for 2017, when it will fully introduce public storm surge warnings as part of its information package, Cole said. Look for experimental watches and warnings this year, along with graphics that depict area inundations, as the service fine-tunes its process, he said.

“Even a weak hurricane can produce a lot of storm surge,” Cole said. “We’re putting out a lot more products on our website than we used to have. With the addition of Doppler Radar and other technologies, the service has greatly improved over the last several years,” he said.

Cole was followed by Samantha Royster, North Carolina Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program coordinator who presented information on individual, family and community approaches to disaster preparation and response through drills, group discussions and exercises.

“Your emergency disaster personnel are not going to be right there with you when a disaster happens; it takes time for them to get there,” Royster said. “Every North Carolina resident and family can benefit from CERT training and help their community at the same time.”

The CERT program helps train people to give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community.

“You need to think about your family members when you prepare a disaster kit,” Royster said. “Think about what medications your loved ones take and make sure those are included. Think about your elderly, young and disabled family members and make sure their needs are included and covered.”

A CERT on Hatteras Island was ready when Hurricane Arthur brushed the North Carolina coast last summer, Royster said.

“They performed damage assessments on the island and saved emergency responders a lot of time figuring out their next moves, making it possible for them to get right to work at what they do best,” Royster said.

Tim Wiseman, ECU assistant vice chancellor for enterprise risk management, said the university values public education about disaster preparedness.

“As we’ve grown in our footprint, we can’t lose sight of the fact that we’re geographically prone to hurricanes and large storms” Wiseman said. “The work we do informing and educating our staff and students connects directly with the community and has a positive impact on all our safety.” For more information about severe weather and disaster preparedness, visit


ECU’s Godwin AAC top coach | The Daily Reflector

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May 192015


May 18, 2015

In his first season at East Carolina, Cliff Godwin was chosen as the American Athletic Conference baseball coach of the year on Monday. It was voted on by the American’s eight head coaches.

Godwin, an ECU catcher from 1998-2001 who was a standout assistant coach nationally before taking over the Pirate program on June 25, 2014, led East Carolina to a 36-20 record during the regular season. The Pirates were picked third in the AAC preseason poll, but they went 15-9 during league play to finish in second place — one game behind Houston — and appear poised to be an NCAA regional participant after missing out the last two seasons.

Godwin becomes the fifth Pirate skipper in school history to take home conference coach of the year accolades, joining Monte Little (Southern Conference, 1977), Gary Overton (Colonial Athletic Association, 1990), Keith LeClair (CAA, 1999 and 2000), Randy Mazey (Conference USA, 2004) and Billy Godwin (C-USA, 2009). Cliff Godwin is the second first-year coach in school history to be honored, and his 36 wins are the most by any first-year skipper.

The AAC tournament begins Tuesday in Clearwater, Fla., with two games, but the Pirates don’t begin their slate until Wednesday with an 11 a.m. contest against No. 7 Central Florida.

Senior Reid Love and junior Luke Lowery joined Godwin with AAC season accolades. They were first-team all-conference selections.

Love, the only player in the league this year to claim player and pitcher of the week honors, was named a first-team pitcher and a unanimous first-team selection as a utility player. On the mound, the left-hander owns a 7-3 record with four saves in 20 appearances (nine starts).

In conference games only, Love went 5-1 with a 2.11 ERA and a pair of complete games — one a shutout versus Tulane on April 2.

At the plate, Love is batting .301 with three home runs, 18 RBIs and 22 runs scored.

Lowery was named the first-team designated hitter after belting a team-best 12 home runs, which ranks fourth in the American. Lowery, who leads the club in 11 offensive categories, has registered 16 multi-hit and 11 multi-RBI games — both new career-highs.

Also on Monday, East Carolina outfielder Garrett Brooks was named the league’s player of the week.

Brooks helped the Pirates to a 4-0 record last week thanks to batting a team-best .571 (4-for-7) with two home runs, four RBIS and three runs scored. He recorded at least one hit, one RBI and one run scored in all three of his starts.