Vixen Watch for Saturday, January 9th, 2016

Good Saturday morning,

Below are a few articles on Sweet Briar, STEM, Liberal Arts, and more, as well as reminders for events.

The Sweet Briar Swim Team is currently in South Florida and alumnae will host two dinners for them.   Watch for photos in the next edition.


 

SWEET BRIAR NEWS

Ethics Alarm Award awarded to Sweet Briar

http://ethicsalarms.com/2016/01/05/the-seventh-annual-ethics-alarms-awards-the-best-of-ethics-2015-part-i/


 

Explore engineering is taking applications

http://sbc.edu/news/engineering-science/explore-engineering-applications/


 

Mary Baldwin enrollment down slightly

http://www.newsleader.com/story/news/local/2016/01/06/mary-baldwin-college-enrollment-down-slightly-up-at-murphy-deming/78369196/


 

Winter events round up – American Shakespeare Center at the Academy, the return of Ellington and more

http://www.newsadvance.com/lifestyles/winter-events-round-up-american-shakespeare-center-at-the-academy/article_75630f6a-7847-5602-9fa1-2cd76c4dd374.html


 

Winless season doesn’t bring down Sweet Briar field hockey squad

http://www.newsadvance.com/new_era_progress/sports/winless-season-doesn-t-bring-down-sweet-briar-field-hockey/article_f2e74180-f21d-509f-ba9d-62971182aeef.html


 

Sweet Briar made the in and our list

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/01/04/2016-and-out-list?utm_source=Inside+Higher+Ed&utm_campaign=6c5ca7522e-DNU20160104&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1fcbc04421-6c5ca7522e-197341369


 

Alumna Dorothy Yates ’42 dies

http://sbc.edu/news/performing-arts/music/alumna-dorothy-yates-42-dies/


 

ALUMNAE ALLIANCE

A future initiative of the Alumnae Alliance is to create a Lifelong Learning Program on campus and across our regions. This has already proven successful with the Atlanta Club’s Living Room Learning Series. The co-chairs of AA’s spoke called “The Network” are in search of alumna (and SBC friends) to assist in researching lifelong learning programs to develop a program unique to Sweet Briar. If you would like to volunteer sign up signup on the attached form.

Holla, Holla and Thanks!
Katie Schellhammer and Sarah Clement
(Co-Chairs of The Network of the Alumnae Alliance)

 

http://sbc.edu/alumdev/alumnae-alliance-nomination-form


LIBERAL ARTS

Open eyes require open ears

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-petillo/open-eyes-require-open-ea_b_8939824.html


 

Humanities should be valued more

http://www.thepolypost.com/opinion/humanities-should-be-valued-more/article_275354e8-b28b-11e5-94e4-2b19e50bddc3.html


 

2016 The year of Liberal Arts Colleges – Six Predictions for 2016

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/noah-s-leavitt/2016—the-year-of-libera_b_8909238.html


 

The 3 things I say about Ed Tech in 2016

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/3-things-i%E2%80%99ll-say-about-edtech-2016


STEM

STEM news roundup –  Looking for a 3-D printer for your classroom?  Apply here:

http://www.educationworld.com/a_news/stem-news-round-looking-3d-printer-your-classroom-apply-here-1884610909


 

More depressing news for women in STEM

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/articles/2016-01-06/researchers-show-male-stem-faculty-less-likely-to-support-research-showing-gender-bias


 

Why STEM’s Future rests in the hand of 12 year old girls

http://techcrunch.com/2016/01/05/why-stems-future-rests-in-the-hands-of-12-year-old-girls/


 

Changing mindset of STEM

http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/ikim-views/2016/01/05/changing-mindset-on-stem/


 

Girl Scouts Expands Presence At 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show To Help Girls Imagine A Future In STEM

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/girl-scouts-expands-presence-at-2016-international-consumer-electronics-show-to-help-girls-imagine-a-future-in-stem-300198448.html


 

Lawrence Arts Center expands STEM learning

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2016/jan/02/lawrence-arts-center-expands-stem-learning/


NO GIRL LEFT BEHIND: GIRL SCOUTS EXPAND PRESENCE AT CES

No Girl Left Behind: Girl Scouts Expand Presence at CES


MIT partners with Johnson & Johnson to promote women’s STEM education

http://news.mit.edu/2016/mit-johnson-johnson-collaboration-women-stem-education-0108


STEM Wars: Can the Force Awaken Change for More Women in Science?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/helen-drinan/stem-wars-can-the-force-awaken-change-for-more-women-in-science_b_8938612.html


STEM lover’s new YouTube channel is music to our ears

STEM lover’s new YouTube channel is music to our ears


Gwen’s Girls introduces the world of STEM to at-risk teens

http://www.nextpittsburgh.com/features/gwens-girls-introduces-the-world-of-stem-to-at-risk-women/


FOR WOMEN AND MINORITIES, THERE’S NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO BE A “TECHIE”

http://thesource.com/2016/01/07/for-women-and-minorities-theres-never-been-a-better-time-to-be-a-techie/


New Year, New Focus: STEM Alumnae From Women’s Colleges

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-propsner/stem-alumnae-from-womens-_b_8920984.html


University trying to attract more women to technology fields

http://msbusiness.com/2016/01/university-trying-to-attract-more-women-to-technology-fields/


Girls get ready to ROCK with STEM program

http://theworldlink.com/lifestyles/go/girls-get-ready-to-rock-with-stem-program/article_1ab5f1eb-44dd-55f3-b844-854b0eba9697.html


 

African American Women Make Up Only 2% Of America’s Doctors

http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/african-american-women-make-up-only-2-of-americas-doctors/


 

Grace Autosport builds on IndyCar’s STEM values

http://www.racer.com/more/viewpoints/item/124967-grace-autosport-builds-on-indycar-s-stem-values


 

FORD, GIRLS WHO CODE TEAM UP TO CLOSE STEM GENDER GAP

http://www.businessadministrationinformation.com/news/ford-girls-who-code-team-up-to-close-stem-gender-gap


 

THIS BLACK WOMAN WAS AWARDED A $1.1 MILLION GRANT TO MAKE CANCER TREATMENT LESS HARMFUL

http://madamenoire.com/607176/this-black-woman-was-awarded-a-1-1-million-grant-to-make-cancer-treatment-less-harmful/


 

Women Who Advanced Science and Changed History: An Interview with Rachel Swaby – See more at: http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/161435#sthash.ecbz4oS3.dpuf

http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/161435


 

Mark Zuckerberg’s Advice to Women: Don’t Date a Nerd—Be a Nerd

https://www.takepart.com/article/2016/01/04/mark-zuckerbergs-advice-women-dont-date-nerd-be-nerd


 

Empowering women key to combating climate change, expert says

http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/environment/empowering-women-key-to-combating-climate-change-expert-says-1.1648562


 

Alabama scientist, one of nation’s few black female physicists, breaks ground in cancer research

http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2016/01/cancer_treatment_is_personal_f.html


ALUMNAE IN THE NEWS

Congratulations to Brooke Linville

http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/business/technology/article53426490.html


 

Alumna -led start up partners with Intel

http://sbc.edu/news/alumnae-and-development/alumna-led-startup-partners-intel/


STUDENT RECRUITMENT

UB makes the national top 10 list for success in recruiting foreign students

http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/news/2016/01/07/ub-makes-the-national-top-10-list-for-success-in.html


MSUM visits China, South Korea in hopes of attracting more international students

http://www.inforum.com/news/3918661-msum-visits-china-south-korea-hopes-attracting-more-international-students


College mail and why it fails

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/13194


 

Colleges widen nets during tough times

http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20160103/NEWS/151239969/colleges-widen-nets-during-tough-times


 

Student services key to campus recruitment

http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/student-services-key-to-campus-recruitment/article_47bc54aa-2043-5821-9d59-9ff452973ac4.html


OTHER

Chart of the Day – Universities are pretty liberal places

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/01/chart-day-universities-are-pretty-liberal-places


 

Free College Proposals Costs for Students

http://americanactionforum.org/research/free-college-proposals-costs-for-students


Internship grants give students experience with added perk: A paycheck

http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/internship-grants-give-students-experience-with-added-perk-a-paycheck-b99636032z1-364078751.html


University of Missouri agriculture group goes all-female

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jan/4/university-of-missouri-agriculture-group-goes-all-/


International Students, Support Structures and the Equity Question

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/world-view/international-students-support-structures-and-equity-question


EVENTS

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cd37705d-5b8b-4694-b916-3033f0520707

The Sweet Briar College
Alumnae Club of
Southern California 
cordially invites you and your spouse
to a
President’s Brunch
with
Sweet Briar College President
Phil Stone
Sunday, January 17, 2016
11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Red, White + Bluezz
37 S. El Molino Ave.
Pasadena, California
(626)792-4441
Cost is $40 per person
Reply by January 12
Stephanie Pratt McKinney `91

or calling (626) 840-6011

12493936_10153792515671904_8086411280244867679_o

12484668_10153792515686904_7748012093705169721_o

 

Articles Contributed by Members of the Sweet Briar Community

By Prof. Claudia Chang

Elevator Pitch for a Women’s College: Revamp Curriculum, Attract Students
By Lawrence Biemiller JANUARY 06, 2016
DECATUR, GA.
Dustin Chambers for The Chronicle
When asked why a student should choose Agnes Scott College, Elizabeth Kiss, its president, used to wax long about the value of the liberal arts, the college’s great faculty members, its beautiful campus, and so on. Now she simply says that it’s a college for women who aim to become leaders in a world of global problems.
Agnes Scott College is making a big bet on its future as a liberal-arts institution for women.
It’s a wager that trustees have backed with a $20-million investment from the $260-million endowment, and that faculty members have enthusiastically supported by refocusing the curriculum. And this past August it brought the 127-year-old college its largest first-year class ever, raising total enrollment to 915 students.

Administrators say it’s too early to be sure the bet will pay off, but there’s no hiding how happy everyone is with the initial results.

The elevator pitch is this: Agnes Scott has refocused its liberal-arts curriculum to emphasize leadership and global awareness, two concepts that an in-depth market survey showed had far more appeal among high-school women than any others the college could come up with. And every first-year student will travel as part of a spring-semester course, with most going overseas.

At the same time, the college is adopting digital portfolios in which students will record their work, and is also overhauling its advising system so that each student will have a four-person advising board, including a career adviser who may be a successful alumna. Those changes appeal to parents as well as applicants. And the college has given the athletics director new responsibilities as “dean of fun,” with a budget for enlivening the campus with occasional bands, food trucks, and more.

An elevator pitch was exactly what Agnes Scott needed, says its president, Elizabeth Kiss (her last name is pronounced like “quiche”).

Before last year, if a high-school student asked why she should consider Agnes Scott, which is named for the mother of a 19th-century benefactor, Ms. Kiss would give a long answer about the value of the liberal arts, the college’s great faculty members, its beautiful Collegiate Gothic buildings, and so forth. But the only really distinctive element was one many high-school students consider a drawback — Agnes Scott is a women’s college. Now Ms. Kiss can say instead that it’s a college for women who aim to become leaders in a world where problems and solutions are increasingly global.

The Need for a Plan

The transformation plan, called Summit, took shape slowly. Like many small liberal-arts institutions, Agnes Scott College has known for a while that it needs to grow. Enrollment, just under 500 two decades ago, leveled out at about 900 a few years back, and nothing the college tried pushed it higher. Meanwhile, a strategic plan developed to keep the college viable financially set 1,100 as an enrollment target for 2020 — and 1,200 for 2025.

“When I first got here, 15 years ago, we were pretty flush,” says Elizabeth Hackett, an associate professor of women’s studies and philosophy. More recently, she says, “people started to get really concerned about financial stability. I really worried that there wasn’t a plan.”

‘We said, OK, fall of 2015 is when we start. The ability to catch students’ attention has an expire date.’
The recession that began in 2008 drove those worries home. During the downturn the college offered early-retirement packages that 24 faculty and staff members accepted; it laid off 16 others. It also started holding regular convocations to discuss finances, says John P. Hegman, vice president for business and finance. “We became very transparent. The faculty and staff started owning the need for change.”

So did the Board of Trustees. “The board has felt for some time that Agnes Scott needed to find something unique, a program that could distinguish us,” says Elizabeth Jones, a 1973 alumna who is a lawyer and a board member. “We’ve tried different marketing approaches, but none really took. We heard that these are tough times for liberal-arts colleges, and unless you come up with something unique, you’re not likely to survive.”

“We started talking about what’s going to be the big idea?” says the board chair, Clyde C. Tuggle, senior vice president and chief of public affairs at the Coca-Cola Company. He organized a retreat for trustees and faculty members that many here recall as a turning point in relations between the board and the faculty. Ms. Hackett says the retreat “started to give the faculty some trust that these aren’t people who just parachute in.”

Ms. Kiss returned to an idea that had been proposed a few years earlier — creating a Center for Women’s Global Leadership. She also hired a consulting firm, the Art & Science Group, which recommended that Agnes Scott test the global-leadership idea against other possibilities. So faculty members came up with a total of eight concepts.

“There was a lot of brainstorming — what idea that is true to who we are could we go big with?” says Ms. Hackett. Among the possibilities were making Agnes Scott a college centered on social justice and turning the college into an institution for self-reflection.

Admitting men, however, was never on the table.

Art & Science commissioned a survey that reached 675 students in the college’s inquiry pool and 323 students who had been admitted, and the consultants presented the results at a faculty meeting in November 2013. Of the big ideas, only leadership and global awareness were hits with the high-school women.

Afterward, Ms. Kiss challenged the faculty and staff to move fast. “We said, OK, fall of 2015 is when we start,” the president recalls. “The ability to catch students’ attention has an expire date.”

5 Skills for Leaders

What followed was a frenzy of debating, planning, and testing that involved most faculty members and many members of the staff. Some professors worried that they’d have to teach corporate-style leadership, but what the faculty settled on instead were five skills essential for leaders — teamwork, critical thinking, writing, public speaking, and digital literacy.

“A lot of things we teach in a liberal-arts education are leadership skills — we’ve just never thought about them that way,” Ms. Hackett says.

Dustin Chambers for The Chronicle
Students in a mathematics class at Agnes Scott College deliver their final project, which focused on voting schemes in a fictional country with four ethnic groups.
Academics in some disciplines had trouble imagining what role their courses could play. “A lot of people have questions about how math fits in,” says Rachel L. Bayless, an assistant professor of mathematics.
For one of her own courses, she created a fictional country with four ethnic groups and asked teams of students to write a constitution that distributed votes fairly while safeguarding the interests of all four groups — a challenge during which they learn “complicated and advanced mathematics.”

The curricular changes have been widespread. Every student takes a leadership and a global-awareness course in her first year, and travels somewhere with her class during the spring semester. She also decides whether to emphasize leadership or global awareness at the same time that she completes a traditional major (or more than one).

Meanwhile, faculty members are rethinking how they teach existing courses so that students will come away having learned the traditional content but also having practiced working in teams, speaking in public, and the like.

So far, results are promising. A survey of the current freshman class found that two-thirds rated Summit as either important or very important to their choosing Agnes Scott. Yield increased: The admissions office overshot its 240-student goal and ended up with 272 — even though attracting students to a women’s college usually means “working twice as hard for a quarter of the results,” according to Laura Martin-Fedich, vice president for enrollment.

Even so, Mr. Hegman won’t reveal the college’s current discount rate — that’s the average share of tuition covered by institutional aid, and it’s an important component of an institution’s viability. (Moody’s Investors Service estimated it at 61 percent in an unflattering 2013 report.) But Mr. Hegman will say that the way to get that rate down “is by getting demand for the college up.” Then “you’re in a better negotiating stance with students.”

Meanwhile, Ms. Kiss is looking ahead. “Very soon,” she says, “we will have to start thinking about Summit 2.0.”

Lawrence Biemiller writes about a variety of usual and unusual higher-education topics. Reach him at lawrence.biemiller@chronicle.com.


 

By Deirdre Conley

TED talk Social Media Can Start a Revolution, Winning it More Difficult…

Today, a single email can launch a worldwide movement. But as sociologist Zeynep Tufekci suggests, even though online activism is easy to grow, it often doesn’t last. Why? She compares modern movements — Gezi, Ukraine, Hong Kong — to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and uncovers a surprising benefit of organizing protest movements the way it happened before Twitter.


By Deirdre Conley
Stereotypes are holding women back, Cheryl Saundberg TED talk interview.

 

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Vixen Watch for Saturday, January 9th, 2016

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