Ruth Simmons, Ph.D. ’73, president of Prairie View A&M University, president emerita of both Brown University and Smith College, and one of the nation’s foremost leaders in higher education, will be the principal speaker at Harvard’s celebration of the Class of 2021 on Thursday, May 27.“I am delighted to announce that Ruth Simmons will deliver our principal address,” said Harvard President Larry Bacow in a message to the Harvard community today in which he announced the virtual celebration, calling her “among America’s foremost advocates for higher education.”“Having led a women’s college, an Ivy League research university, and a historically Black university, she has a unique perspective on how very different types of institutions contribute to the fabric of our nation” said Bacow. “She has also defended with great passion the possibility of improving our society by learning from our differences. I very much look forward to hearing her remarks later this year.”A native of Grapeland, Texas, and the 12th child of sharecroppers, Simmons began her career in academia with a scholarship to Dillard University, where she graduated summa cum laude in 1967. She then continued on to Harvard, where she earned her Ph.D. in Romance languages and literatures in 1973.After several years teaching as a professor of French at the University of New Orleans, Simmons entered university administration, and went on to serve in various academic leadership and faculty roles at California State University, the University of Southern California, Princeton University, and Spelman College.In July 1995 she was chosen to be the ninth president of Smith College. During her groundbreaking tenure there, she focused on expanding access and breaking down academic barriers, perhaps most notably by establishing the first engineering program at a women’s college in the U.S.Her six-year tenure at Smith ended in 2001, when she was appointed the 18th president of Brown University, and the first African American to lead an Ivy League institution. She was beloved by the Brown community, and her time there was marked by an expansion of need-blind undergraduate financial aid, faculty expansion, enhanced curricula, and new facilities.Simmons also helped Brown begin to grapple with its historical connection to slavery and the slave trade, establishing the Brown University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice. In her charge to the group, she asked that they “organize academic events and activities that might help the nation and the Brown community think deeply, seriously, and rigorously about the questions raised,” acknowledging also that the University’s history has given it “a special obligation and a special opportunity to provide thoughtful inquiry.” Today, the committee’s report continues to serve as a blueprint for other institutions reckoning with their own histories of injustice.Simmons left Brown in 2012 for what she thought was her retirement from leading institutions of higher education. That changed in 2018, when she accepted the presidency of Prairie View A&M University in her native Texas. In taking the reins of the historically Black college, Simmons saw another opportunity to continue opening doors for a new generation, just as Dillard had done for her in 1963.“How could I turn away from doing for other young people what was done for me?” she said during her inaugural address at Prairie View A&M.Simmons’ work toward equal educational opportunity also continues outside of the halls of Prairie View. In 2018, she testified on Harvard’s behalf in a lawsuit challenging Harvard College’s right to consider race as one among many factors in the admissions process.“The beauty of higher education in this country is that it’s very differentiated. We have women’s colleges. We have male colleges, very few, but we have some. We have African American institutions. We have religious institutions. And then we have great research universities like Harvard,” she said in an interview with the Gazette about the lawsuit. “Preserving the flexibility of institutions to create these classes, with very different students coming together, learning from each other, intensifying the environment for learning, both in and outside the classroom, preparing for leadership, is critical.”Over half a century of distinguished service in higher education, Simmons has received many honors, including a Fulbright Fellowship, the President’s Award from the United Negro College Fund, a Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal, the Foreign Policy Association Medal, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 1997, she received the Centennial Medal from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and in 2002, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard University. In 2013, she was named Chevalier in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor, the highest decoration bestowed by the French government.Bacow also announced today that the Harvard community once more would gather virtually in May to award degrees, due to public health and safety concerns related to the ongoing COVID pandemic.“The delay of our Commencement Exercises for two years running is deeply disappointing, but public health and safety must continue to take precedence,” wrote Bacow. “Though circumstances may well improve by spring, it takes months of planning to prepare for our usual festivities, which draw to campus and to Cambridge thousands of people from around the world. Right now, the risk posed by that possibility is too great, but please know that one day we will welcome the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 back to campus for an unforgettable — and unforgettably joyous — Commencement.”Past Commencement speakers have included Washington Post executive editor Martin “Marty” Baron, the late Civil Rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, entrepreneur and talk show host Oprah Winfrey, and Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations. Simmons will be the sixth president of another university to deliver the address.
By Kristen PlankUniversity of Georgia“It has been almost 10 years since natural gas has been deregulated,” said Cynthia Johnson, director of public affairs with the Georgia Public Service Commission. “But when asking consumers who their natural gas provider is, the answer is almost always the same: Atlanta Gas Light Company.”That’s a problem, because AGL isn’t a provider. When problems arise, consumers need their natural gas marketers. This is where University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agents come in handy.The UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences was granted a $1.9-million grant to educate Georgians on using natural gas in their homes.“The grant was funded by Atlanta Gas Light Company, which is also working with the Georgia Public Service Commission,” said FACS associate dean Jorge Atiles. “It’s really designed to help consumers in choosing a gas marketer, understanding their bills and knowing exactly what they’re buying.”Ten UGA Extension county FACS agents will be teaching consumers about safety practices, gas maintenance and preventing unnecessary disconnections in service. “The agents are spread all over the state,” Atiles said.The information is aimed at everyone who uses natural gas. High-income, low-income and everyone in-between will have access to the educators.For Johnson, this is great news, since she deals with consumers daily.The relationship among UGA, AGL and the Georgia PSC is a “perfect partnership,” Johnson said. The grant money will enable more consumers to gain information in more effective ways.“Typically, information about natural gas is printed in newspaper ads and on billboards and buses,” she said. “But people can walk by those without really noticing them. But the commission gave explicit instructions on what educators’ initiatives should look like.”The grant will allow more face-to-face contact with consumers, she said, “from large gatherings with agents to one-on-one communication with households.”“We’re taking a multilayer approach now,” Atiles said.The information on how to help consumers with natural gas problems will still go out through the media and through UGA Extension offices. Atiles said they’re trying to get gas marketers to reach out more to their customers.None of this is lost on Johnson, who said many people don’t know other options are available.“We have elderly consumers on fixed $8,000 annual incomes with gas bills that can be more than $300 a month,” she said. “They don’t realize they’re eligible for discounts or that they can choose a provider with a lower rate.”She points to other consumers who get disconnected after a late payment. “Once they finally pay the bill,” she said, “they find out they have a $200 bill for reactivation and reconnection.”Many people don’t realize they have a right by law to set up a reasonable payment schedule so they can afford their bills, Johnson said.“This grant with UGA will help us get these consumers educated (on their options),” Johnson said.(Kristen Plank is a student writer for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
Sharing is caring! 36 Views no discussions EducationLocalNewsPrimary Primary School principals and teachers to receive training in creating child friendly schools by: – October 14, 2011 Image via: kekiprimary.wordpress.comRoseau, Dominica – October 14, 2011…The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development will on Monday October 17 conduct training for principals and teachers of primary schools to provide them with the strategies and processes for implementing child friendly practices.The Child Friendly School (CFS) training session will take place at the Public Service Training Centre from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.The CFS programme is intended to have students grow and acquire knowledge in safe environments which are conducive to learning.During the training teachers will be instructed in ways to create a safe environment for their students by providing inclusive, learning-ready classrooms and promoting positive behavioural change. Participants will be provided with the skills and strategies needed to gain a deeper understanding of student behaviour, learn how to conduct behaviour assessment and develop a plan to manage behaviour.The workshop aims to ensure that students emerge as kind, cooperative, respectful and peaceful.The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with UNICEF, in 2009 piloted the CFS practices in ten Dominican primary schools in an effort to engender the development of students in a calmer school setting. The scale of the programme was increased to 24 schools in September 2011.The CFS initiative promotes a child centered approach to learning and is aimed at high quality education for all. It focuses on behavioural management practices in classrooms, the creation of classrooms that are learning ready, healthy lifestyles and systems that encourage the participation of all children. The programme is also aimed at promoting parental and community involvement in children’s learning.By: Dionne Durand Tweet Share Share Share
WHEN the dust settled following the Congress of the Americas Boxing Confederation (AMBC) last Friday in Panama, Guyanese Steve Ninvalle emerged as one of the vice-presidents of the body.Ninvalle, president of Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), was elected to the prestigious position and will hold the office for four years.The AMBC governs amateur boxing in the Caribbean, North, South and Central America and is one of five Confederations affiliated to the world governing body AIBA.In a telephone interview from Panama City, Ninvalle declared that his election underlines the growing confidence the international boxing fraternity is placing on the Caribbean.“My election to Vice-President is indicative of renewed confidence placed in the Caribbean and our ability to administrate. My intention is to use the new office to promote further development of the sport not only in the Caribbean but also throughout the Americas,” Ninvalle said.The recent elevation to the AMBC hierarchy follows two other important positions that the boxing trailblazer received this year.The GBA boss was elected Chairman of the Caribbean Steering Committee in January, and last month was appointed Chairman of AIBA Youth Commission.According to Ninvalle the recent achievements were only possible through the “solid and unflinching” backing he received from Caribbean countries.“It is my humble opinion that countries in CARICOM and other parts of the Caribbean constitute one of, if not the most unified block in boxing. It is only through this sustained united approach that we were, and will be able to achieve more. We have indeed remained true to our motto of One Voice, One Goal, One Caribbean.”Meanwhile, two other Caribbean administrators were elected to the AMBC executive on Friday. Attorney-at-Law Leyla Jackson of Cayman Islands and Dr Debra Stephen-John were voted in as Executive Committee Members.
Liverpool yesterday erased the disappointment of last season’s Champions League final loss by claiming the trophy for the sixth time with victory over Tottenham in Madrid.It was Mohamed Salah, such a disconsolate figure when he was injured early in that loss to Real Madrid, who set Liverpool on their way with a penalty after two minutes when Moussa Sissoko was contentiously punished for handball.In a final that rarely touched the heights of the blockbuster semi-finals that made this an all-Premier League showpiece, Spurs had chances but were denied by Liverpool keeper Alisson, who saved well from Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Christian Eriksen. And their failure to capitalise was ruthlessly punished when substitute Divock Origi ensured manager Jurgen Klopp won his first trophy as Liverpool manager by driving low and powerfully past Hugo Lloris with three minutes left.Spurs counterpart Mauricio Pochettino took the gamble of selecting England captain and main striker Harry Kane despite his not having played since April because of an ankle injury, replacing semi-final hat-trick hero Lucas Moura, but he had no impact.Liverpool lifted the trophy that was taken from their grasp in Ukraine last season and now stand behind only Real Madrid and AC Milan as serial winners of this tournament.One of the enduring images of Liverpool’s loss to Real Madrid in Kiev was a tearful Salah being led off midway through the first half as realisation dawned he could not continue with the shoulder injury sustained in a tangle with Sergio Ramos.It was a moment that changed the mood inside the stadium and left Liverpool unable to turn the tide once it went against them – so this was an occasion laced with meaning for the world-class Egyptian.And his moment came almost instantly when he took responsibility from the penalty spot and powered the ball past Lloris.How fitting it was that the player who has contributed so much to Liverpool’s renaissance should make such a significant contribution.Another major difference from last year’s disappointment was the giant presence of Alisson in goal as opposed to the hapless Lloris Karius, who gifted goals to Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in Kiev.Here, the £67m Brazilian was a rock with his safe handling and vital interventions when Liverpool came under stress in the second half.Alisson, along with Virgil van Dijk, has given Liverpool the extra dimension that pushed them so close to a first league title in 29 years and has now made them European champions once more.Liverpool manager Klopp knew one sub-plot to this Champions League final, played out in the searing heat of Madrid, would be his grim record of losing six successive finals.He had lost three with Liverpool, including in this competition last season, and while no-one can seriously doubt the German’s outstanding work it was his legendary Anfield predecessor Bill Shankly who coined the phrase: “First is first and second is nowhere.”Klopp can now cast off that mantle and instead be known as the manager who restored Liverpool to the pinnacle of European competition.Ironically, after a season of sustained brilliance and a single defeat brought the scant reward of second place to Manchester City in the Premier League, this landmark triumph was achieved with one of Liverpool’s least sparkling performances for some time.That will not matter, however, because Liverpool earned this glory with wins such as those over Bayern Munich in the quarter-final and the astonishing 4-0 turnaround against Barcelona at Anfield in the semi-final.Klopp was already a much-loved figure – now his name will be written into club folklore.For Pochettino, the temptation to play Kane was simply too much to resist – and it was easy to understand why.Pochettino knew his world-class striker was a player who had hurt Liverpool in the past and could hurt them again – so he left out Moura, the scorer of that dramatic hat-trick in the semi-final second leg in Ajax that took Spurs to the final.Kane had not played since sustaining another ankle injury in the quarter-final first leg against Manchester City on April 9 and it showed as he failed to exert any influence on the game, Moura introduced belatedly but unable to produce a second miracle.Spurs and Pochettino were left heartbroken and perhaps with a sense of missed opportunity, because Liverpool were nowhere near their best and occasionally looked vulnerable.Pochettino, however, deserves huge credit for taking Spurs to their first Champions League final without strengthening his squad this season.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram