Tuesday, May 30, 2017

New research explains why girls

Can't be likable and popular at the same time. Ah, high school. From NYMAG.com.

Why Everyone Loves the Alpha Girl
According to research, it’s no coincidence that alpha girls all start to come into their own in early adolescence. The very definition of popularity starts to change around that time. “In elementary school, the kids who are really well-liked and who are nice are also the kids who are popular,” said Amanda Rose, a psychology researcher at the University of Missouri. “But in middle school, this starts to change.” By the time high school starts, there are two kinds of popularity: There are the well-liked students, and then there is the emergence of a new group, which researchers call the high-status students — these are the ones who dominate their social groups, who are perhaps voted to the homecoming court, or are captain of the soccer team. 
This distinction — between status and likability — is especially important in understanding the alpha girl over her teenage-boy counterpart. Alpha boys tend to be aggressive in physical ways, starting fights or pushing each other around, while alpha girls are more likely to act in relationally aggressive ways, spreading rumors or using the silent treatment. But the behaviors can be interchangeable; sometimes the guys gossip, and the girls fight. The most critical difference in how alpha-like traits manifest in men and women, research suggests, is how the other students react to those acts of aggression.

For girls, “the more aggressive you are, the less likable you will be. But it will make you more popular,” said Mitch Prinstein, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of the upcoming book Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World. “For boys, a lot of them can be [high-status] and also well-liked at the same time. But that is so not the case for girls. The correlation between likeability and status approaches zero for girls.” Alpha girls are admired and feared, but they’re not often liked.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

All eyes are on Tennessee

When looking at innovation in higher education. But will the progress continue after this governor? From The Tennessean.

Tennessee college work sets a national example, report says
Tennessee's campaign to boost college success has made it a national education leader, according to a new report from Ivy League researchers, but the researchers warned that several problems stood in the way of unqualified success. 
The report released Tuesday by the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education tracked the progress made by Republican and Democratic governors who collaborated with college and business leaders to boost college enrollment and graduation over the last several years. Lead author Joni E. Finney said that collaboration, combined with the rapid-fire launch of support programs like the Tennessee Promise scholarship under Gov. Bill Haslam, has established a model other states should follow. 
"Tennessee is a big experiment, and I think everybody in the country is watching," Finney said, noting the constellation of forces that had aligned behind a singular goal. 
But Finney said the state's continued progress would depend on teamwork that persists after Haslam leaves office in 2018. 
"The next race for governor will be very important in Tennessee," Finney said. "The political leadership, you can't understate the importance of having that in place for this agenda to be sustained and to move forward.... It's amazing how much can be undone by a governor who doesn't care or is somehow hostile to higher education."

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

We actually rode on this ferris wheel

When the 2014 ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting was held in Las Vegas. Unsurprisingly, there's a bar on board. From Travel+Leisure.

The Highest Places on Earth


The highest ferris wheel is the High Roller, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Views this dope are only legal in some U.S. states.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Who knew?

I might have thought it would be related to music. From MSN.Com.

The most profitable industry in each state
2016 Value: $2.39 billion 
The export of instruments for medical, surgical, dental and veterinary applications is big business in Tennessee, with exports valued at more than $2 billion since at least 2013. The industry has grown steadily for the past three years. Today, the sector represents 7.6 percent of all state exports.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Tales of the non-traditional

Nice touch for the college president to hand-deliver her diploma. To Hawaii. It's a tough job but someone has to do it. From The Huffington Post.

This 94-Year-Old Woman Just Graduated From College With A 4.0 GPA
A 94-year-old woman is proving that it’s never too late to achieve your dreams.  
Amy Craton of Honolulu is hoping to inspire others to “learn as long as you can” after earning her bachelor’s degree with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
“I couldn’t see myself just sitting there watching Netflix all the time,” the great-grandmother told NH1 during a graduation party Monday. “It feels good to graduate, to finish that part of my life, but I feel like I’m still on the road. I have more to learn.” 
Craton began pursuing a college degree in 1962, but had to put off her studies not long after so she could support her children following a divorce, she previously told NBC News. 
Now that her children are all grown up, Craton ― who uses a wheelchair and is hard of hearing ― decided it was now or never.
She enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University’s online degree program in the fall of 2013, WMUR reports. 
“I said, ‘I can’t do it. I can’t go back to school,’” she told the New Hampshire station, describing her initial doubts.

Now, roughly 55 years after she put her dreams on hold, Craton holds a degree in creative writing and English that was hand-delivered to her Monday by the university’s president. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Beauty is only skin deep

Baltimore leads the list as the least attractive city in the U.S. Memphis is number 9, but I had the best time I've ever had in Memphis at the ACHE South conference this spring. From Travel+ Liesure.

These Are the Least Attractive Cities in America
9. Memphis, Tennessee 
Memphis may be the south's hottest city, but its residents apparently are not. They're singing the blues about the low ranking in this survey category, but Memphis hits plenty of high notes in others. Dedicated sports fans love rooting for the Grizzlies NBA team and the brand new Memphis City Football Club, and the city also scores well for affordability. Maybe that’s why residents are so friendly (landing the city another near-perfect score).

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Learning from Tennessee Promise

It's not often New York looks to Tennessee for advice. Or at least not often they admit it.  And...President Noland is featured in the article. From The New York Times.

For Cuomo’s Free-Tuition Plan, Lessons From Tennessee
In Tennessee, where Ms. Riel and other members of Tennessee’s first cohort of scholarship recipients graduate this spring, community college enrollment numbers are up by a third, while the amount that students are having to borrow from the federal government is down, though it is unclear what effect the money is having on on-time graduation, a key goal of the New York plan. 
And at least some of the state’s four-year colleges have faced declining enrollment, as more students use community college as a steppingstone to a four-year degree. That experience may offer valuable lessons and caveats to New York and other places. 
“We’re very encouraged by the early results,” said Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee, a Republican. “I don’t know I would say, ‘Andrew, you should have done it this way,’ but I would salute him for trying to find a solution that works for New York.” 
Just a decade ago, Tennessee’s higher education outlook was bleak: A 2007 report card on state education initiatives, commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, gave the state an F in several categories, including “academic achievement of minority and low-income students” and “postsecondary and work force readiness.” 
Under Mr. Haslam’s immediate predecessor, Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, the state changed its higher-education funding formula to reward colleges for, among other goals, successfully shepherding more students toward graduation. 
In 2013, Mr. Haslam unveiled a multipronged initiative, “Drive to 55,” to increase the number of state residents with a college degree or certificate to 55 percent, from 32 percent, by 2025. That initiative eventually included the Tennessee Promise, which fills the gap between any aid students receive, such as federal Pell grants or merit scholarships, and their tuition and mandatory fees at the state’s community colleges or colleges of applied technology. 
Tennessee’s approach — called “last dollar,” and similar to what New York is trying — contrasts with more established “first dollar” Promise programs in various cities. Under those programs, which are often financed by private money, scholarships are offered upfront before other aid is calculated. Those programs have proved very effective, researchers have found, but would also be more expensive on a large scale.

Monday, May 15, 2017

From the TACHE East meeting on Friday

For the best doughnuts in Tennessee

Head to Nashville. From MSN.Com.

The Best Doughnuts in Every State
Fox’s Donut Den is a family-owned, old-school doughnut shop that has made itself a Nashville landmark. The flavor selection sticks to the classics, such as blueberry cake, maple, and plain glazed. We recommend the chocolate glazed doughnut, which is made with high-quality chocolate so that it really does melt in your mouth.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

I was just in Memphis.

And I thought ribs at the Rendezvous were cheap. From Travel+Leisure.

The Best Cheap Eats in Every State
Ribs are a dish you want to be sure to try in Memphis, but getting them on the cheap can be tough.  
That's why Khan recommends going for the rib sandwich at Payne's BBQ, where you'll get slow-cooked ribs sliced and topped with barbeque sauce and stuffed into a bun at $7. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Even in our social media age

Never forget the value of colleagues, and friends. Join a professional organization and take advantage of those contacts. This is reinforced by Ravi Raman, writing in The Muse. It's one of his 11 life lessons...

11 Life Lessons Every Professional Should Know (Before It’s Too Late)
10. Build a Broad Network of Friends 
Networking events and superficial business deals aren’t all that useful. What’s crucial is building up a strong network of authentic friendships and relationships. 
It’s no surprise that the best jobs and careers come not through applications and shuffling around resumes, but through trust between humans and word-of-mouth referrals. 
For example, while I worked at my last company for almost 14 years, I had five distinct jobs. Each position change happened because someone was willing to bet that I could do the job better than anyone else. In most cases, I wasn’t the most qualified person (based on my resume), and yet I got the position anyway. 
Challenge yourself to forge new bonds. Instead of networking, aspire to connect to people.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Start off your conference

With an icebreaker. I used to be skeptical but now ThoughtCo.
believe these are wonderful. From

Adult Ice Breaker Games for Classrooms, Meetings, Conferences, and Parties
01. Two Truths and a Lie 
This can be truly hilarious in any group, whether the participants are team members or strangers, and especially if they are creative people. You just never know what your fellow students have experienced! See if you can identify the lies!

Save the date!

“All Shook Up”

Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education 

Annual Conference
November 8-11, 2017

Holiday Inn Downtown

Monday, May 8, 2017

If you've ever taught an online course

You know this instinctively. Just follow the emails. From Nevada Today.

New research reveals that college students study best later in the day
A new cognitive research study used two new approaches to determine ranges of start times that optimize functioning for undergraduate students. Based on a sample of first and second year university students, the University of Nevada, Reno and The Open University in the United Kingdom used a survey-based, empirical model and a neuroscience-based, theoretical model to analyse the learning patterns of each student to determine optimum times when cognitive performance can be expected to be at its peak. 
"The basic thrust is that the best times of day for learning for college-age students are later than standard class hours begin," Mariah Evans, professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Reno and co-author of the study, said. "Especially for freshmen and sophomores, we should be running more afternoon and evening classes as part of the standard curriculum." 
Prior research has demonstrated that late starts are optimal for most high school students, and this study extends that analysis to freshmen and sophomores in college. The analysis by Evans, Jonathan Kelley, fellow University sociology professor, and Paul Kelley, honorary associate of sleep, circadian and memory neuroscience at The Open University, assessed the preferred sleeping times of the participants and asked them to rate their fitness for cognitive activities in each hour of the 24-hour day. 
"Neuroscientists have documented the time shift using biological data - on average, teens' biologically ‘natural' day begins about two hours later than is optimal for prime age adults," Evans said. "The survey we present here support that for college students, but they also show that when it comes to optimal performance, no one time fits all." 
The study showed that much later starting times of after 11 a.m. or noon, result in the best learning. It also revealed that those who saw themselves as "evening" people outnumbered the "morning" people by 2:1, and it concluded that every start time disadvantages one or more of the chronotypes (propensity for the individual to be alert and cognitively active at a particular time during a 24-hour period).

Thursday, May 4, 2017

I'm sure they

Wrote this with me in mind! From Pacific Standard.

Your Online Profile Photos Aren’t as Flattering as You Think
Planning to upload a photograph of yourself onto the Internet any time soon? Presuming you want to make a positive impression, here’s a tip: Don’t choose the image yourself. 
Rather, outsource the job to a stranger. 
“People make suboptimal choices when selecting their own profile pictures,” writes a research team led by Australian psychologist David White. To their surprise, he and his colleagues found participants in a new study “selected images of themselves that cast less-favorable first impressions than images selected by strangers.” 
Apparently, it is hard to be objective when judging your own face.
For the study, which was published in the journal Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 102 undergraduates each contributed 12 images of themselves, which were cropped to frame their face. They were then asked to choose which of them they were most likely to use as a profile image for three online sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Match.com. 
In general, they did a good job. Photos that made the person look more attractive were chosen for the dating site, while those chosen for the professional networking site LinkedIn tended to convey competence and trustworthiness. 
Next, 178 people recruited online compared those same photos and made their own choices. Finally, 432 people looked at both sets of photos and determined which best conveyed the desired qualities of attractiveness, trustworthiness, or competence. 
To the researchers’ surprise, they found “self-selected profile images conveyed less favorable impressions” than those picked by strangers.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

"They are different from you and me"

The rich are. And they live longer. From Time.

The Richest Americans Live 10 Years Longer than the Poorest
Money may not buy you happiness, but it may help buy you health, and ultimately a longer life. Researchers analyzing data on income disparities and health outcomes in the U.S. found that health gaps between the rich and poor are widening, and that’s translating to bigger differences in how long people live. 
In a study published in The Lancet, scientists from Boston University School of Public Health report that the richest 1% of Americans live an average of 10 to 15 years longer than the poorest 1%. Since 2001, those with the least income showed no increase in survival, while people in middle and high incomes groups have gained on average two years in life expectancy. 
Poverty has always been linked to poorer health outcomes, because people in lower income groups cannot afford as much health care and also tend to adopt less healthy habits, such as smoking and eating an unhealthy diet. But in recent years, several trends have worsened this connection, the researchers say. Poverty rates have increased, along with obesity and chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, which can contribute to early death.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A bit misleading

Since this article counts buying grandchildren toys and clothing as a loss. I mean they'll have to pry my debit card from my cold dead hand before I stop doing that. Plus, everyone advises us Boomers to work longer. Sigh. From MSN Money.

Boomers are losing $11,000 a year to their millennial children
Lynch said the TD Ameritrade research shows the majority of grandparents don't view the financial support they give their children and grandchildren as a burden. While more than half find the combination of saving for retirement and supporting adult children to be stressful, they still put family first, he said. 
If boomers value helping their kids, though, they need to have a plan so their finances don't take a hit.
"It's all about setting limits and having an open dialogue with your adult child," Lynch said. "Work together to set clear limits and expectations for both financial support and childcare." 
Both generations should also set financial goals, he said. For example, millennials could seek to become financially independent of their parents within a certain timeframe. Boomers could set a retirement savings goal by using an online calculator to figure out how much they need to save to retire comfortably. Then they'll have a better idea of how much financial support they can give their adult children. 
For boomers who are behind on saving because they've been supporting their kids, there are several options. To start, they should consider working longer, Lynch said. 
"Staying in the job market even a few extra years can make a big difference in terms of additional savings and investing," he said. "It will also reduce the time that investors' nest eggs need to stretch in retirement."

Monday, May 1, 2017

Had the job interview?

Now follow up with the thank-you note. I know I never hire someone who doesn't thank me for the interview. Monster lists some common mistakes, including sending a gift!

10 mistakes that could wreck your thank-you note and cost you the job
In today’s fast-paced world of online job ads, mobile apps and social media networking, does something as old-fashioned as a post-interview thank-you note still mean anything? In a word, yes.  Actually, heck yes. 
“A thank-you letter is a must,” says Diane Gottsman, owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in executive leadership and business etiquette training. 
“If you and another candidate are equal contenders and the other person follows up with a thank-you note and you don’t, you’re going to lose out,” she says.
A thank-you note reinforces that you’re seriously interested in the position and lets you reiterate that you’re the best person for the job. 
However, there’s a right way and a wrong way to craft the perfect thank-you note. Make sure you don’t blow your chance to seal the deal by avoiding these 10 common stumbling blocks.