Uintah Basin educator named Utah’s Carnegie Professor of the Year

Rich Etchberger, a wildlife science professor at Utah State University’s Uintah Basin campus, has been named the 2015 Carnegie Professor of the Year for Utah by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Etchberger, who created the wildlife science program at the Uintah Basin campus when he arrived in 1995, was presented the award during a ceremony Nov. 19 in Washington, D.C.

“I motivate my students to grasp the opportunities to change their lives, to earn a degree and to contribute to their community,” Etchberger said. “I have been extremely fortunate to work with an amazing bunch of undergraduate students over the past 20 years.”

That dedication and focus on his students’ successes is one of the many reasons Etchberger took home the award that salutes the most outstanding undergraduate educators in the country. As one of only 35 to take home the award, Etchberger is the 14th honoree from USU.

“Dr. Etchberger pioneered a very hands-on wildlife science bachelor’s degree at the USU Uintah Basin campus,” USU President Stan L. Albrecht said in a statement. “His vision has given local, often nontraditional students a route to professional careers they would never have been able to achieve otherwise. Graduates from his program now dominate the Bureau of Land Management activities and policies in the basin area, and he is responsible for balancing the basin’s environmental health with its newfound economic growth.”

Making Way for a Better Education

One of the very basic things that you need in order to secure a well paying job and a bright future is good education.  Indeed it all begins at home and then school and then college.  But it is at the college stage where you need to make some really important decisions.  From what you are going to study to where you are going to study, these are crucial questions that need answers.  These are in fact the answers that will shape your future.  Therefore you must give some serious thought to what kind of courses you wish to pursue and which college or university you wish to secure your degree from.

What and where?

One of the most important decisions you need to make as soon as you finish high school is the subject you wish to study further.  It could be literature, art, finance, science, engineering, medicine or associates degree detroit.  These are just a few of the popular options out of the hundreds of subjects out there, and you could choose to pursue your degree in any one of these.  What you choose should not depend upon what you like or where your talent lies.  Do not force yourself to study something that you don’t really like just because it seemed to promise a better paycheck in the future.  If your heart is in it, you can become successful studying any subject.

Next comes one of the questions that is topmost on the mind of every student graduating high school: Which college do I go to? There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a bachelors degree detroit. Some of these are the reputation of the university, programs available, fees, faculty, infrastructure and placement records etc.

Degrees in Engineering

For those interested in engineering and hoping to get a bachelor’s degree in Detroit, there are a number of great colleges available. Engineering is one of the most coveted degrees and has a wide variety of options from electronics to software and mechanical engineering. A typical bachelor’s degree in engineering would take you at least 4 years to complete. For those interested, this could be followed by 2-3 years of specialization in a particular area.

There are plenty of great career opportunities in America and across the world, available to those who have completed their bachelor’s degree in engineering. However, for those who wish to further acquire a stronghold on the subject and do a specialization in engineering, a mba Detroit is the perfect option. It is needless to say that the career opportunities after a master’s degree in engineering are huge and really high on the paycheck.

Once again, just make sure you do your research and seek admission in a truly reputed engineering college in Detroit that has world class faculty and an excellent track record. Getting admission in a reputable college almost always guarantees a good job at the end of the course duration.

For those looking for something other than an engineering degree or an enhancement to their degree, a good management college in Detroit could award an associate, bachelors or masters degree in business management. In the end, it’s all about where your interest lies.

Time for Utah to develop comprehensive plan to address inequality in public education

Canyons School District recently changed its boundaries to shuffle students among its high schools, notably Alta High, which is well under capacity, and Corner Canyon High, which is operating at 115 percent of capacity. The district’s solution is to move only 63 students from Corner Canyon to Alta while moving 175 students from nearby Jordan High School to Alta. All this despite the fact that Jordan doesn’t have the overcrowding problem facing Corner Canyon, and, in fact, will ultimately end up with more students overall than before the boundary change.

Many parents, particularly those at Jordan High, see the changes as nonsensical. They insist the logical move is to make up Alta’s shortfall with Corner Canyon students, not Jordan students. They also point to the fact that Corner Canyon is slated for a multimillion-dollar expansion in the coming years, and a boundary change that diverted some of its student body to Alta would relieve some of the pressure making an expensive expansion necessary. Corner Canyon parents, however, overwhelmingly prefer to keep their children where they are, despite the fact that class sizes are large — 45 students per classroom in some cases — and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

The entire dispute is largely focused on perceived financial disparities between the schools. Corner Canyon largely serves a more affluent population than both Jordan and Alta, and many students and parents consider any change in schools to be a step down. All this is happening in a school district that broke away from the larger Jordan School District several years ago in an often less-than-amicable split fueled largely by concerns that the wealthier schools on the east side of the district were subsidizing the poorer ones on the west side.

This is not the first such dispute over school resources, nor is it likely to be the last.

While the state is committed to providing a quality public education to all, the challenge has long been how to provide an equitable experience for all students, regardless of their financial background. Several proposals have been floated over the years that would take steps in that direction, but, in practical terms, this goal remains more theory than fact. Parents, educators and even lawmakers often seem more interested in protecting their local turf than in finding workable solutions that benefit the whole state, not just the neighborhood school.

That’s human nature, but legislators ought to know better. It’s time for Utah to develop a comprehensive plan to address inequality in the public educational experience. Until that plan materializes, expect to see a slew of ongoing squabbles like the one in Canyons School District for the foreseeable future.

What Is Little House of Science

Little House of Science is an in-school and after-school science workshop for children as young as 2 years. It was founded by three ladies – Veronika Covington, Liliana Crachilova and Elisabeth Keck. They wanted their own kids to find answers about how the world works in a fun and safe environment, which led to the birth of Little House of Science.

Making maths and science thrilling and attractive for children is not an easy task. But Little House of Science, just manage that by tapping into kids’ natural curiosity and their enthusiasm, with exciting experiments, interactive discussions and hands on experiments.Located in Central London and open six days a week, their curriculum includes diverse topics like: physics, chemistry, biology, mathsand engineering.They re-enforce the curiosity of children by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related subjects so that kids get connected to science at an early age.

Each project oriented lesson, introduces children to a new logical concept in a simplified and age adjusted way. The workshop or classes begins with a presentation followed by group discussion of the subject often combined by a video and practical demonstration. The later part of the workshop is devoted to practical work where children get the opportunity to discover more about the topic with hands on experiments. These workshops encourage children to ask questions and build self-confidence and problem solving skills.

The Classes Include

Little Discovery– Age group (6-24 months): Aimed to stimulate various senses through sounds and rhythms, colors and shapes and touch of materials and objects. They change the topic every week which includes: butterflies, bees, plants etc.

Little Maths – Age group (2-4 Years): weekly classes aims at incorporatingnumbers and math skills at an early stage. With a new topic each week, activities combined with music, shapes and color, help children to build confidence with numbers.

Little Science – Age group (3-8 years): A weekly science based projects and workshops which includes interactive sessions and experiments. All these are age-adjusted and conducted in small groups to maximize the individual attention. A take home project and parental notes are also included. The topics vary from gravity motion to the Human Heart, machines and scientists such as Isaac Newton and Galileo.

Big Science – Age group (8-11 years):Aims at deeper understanding of topics with analysis.Also build and nurture on whatthey already learned in school. Additional topics are added to deepen their understanding on Life Science, Earth and Engineering. This session includes learning materials, interactive talk, hands-on experiments, take home projects and parental notes. Their blend of techniques helps create a distinctive learning atmosphere, which stimulates children’s curiosity to learn more.

Each child has a scientist in them, Little House of Science gives the perfect platform for children to learn and hone their skills at a very young age. All classes are age adjusted, small groups and fun-filled which nurtures theircuriosity.


Saudi women face off against men for first time in elections

Outside of the Saudi capital, in one of the country’s most conservative provinces, Jowhara al-Wably is making history. She’s running in this weekend’s elections.

Saturday’s vote for local council seats marks two milestones for Saudi women like al-Wably: Not only can they run in a government election for the first time, it is the first time they are permitted to vote at all.

The municipal councils are the only government body in which Saudi citizens can elect representatives, so the vote is widely seen as a small but significant opening for women to play a more equal role in Saudi society.

Still, women face challenges on the campaign trail: Because of Saudi Arabia’s strict policy of segregation of the sexes, they cannot address male voters directly and have to speak from behind a partition — or have male relatives speak for them.

In an effort to create a more level playing field, the General Election Committee banned all candidates, both men and women, from showing their faces in promotional flyers, billboards or in social media. They’re also not allowed to appear on television.

This suits al-Wably, a 52-year-old community activist and Ministry of Education employee. Like all women in Saudi Arabia, she wears a loose-flowing black robe called an “abaya.” She also covers her face and hair under a veil called a “niqab” when in public.

When she meets with female voters in her district, she talks to them at the hotel conference hall she’s rented in Buraydah, 220 miles (350 kilometers) northwest of Riyadh. But when she makes her pitch to male voters this week, she won’t be doing the talking. Her two sons, both in their mid-20s, her husband and her brothers will address the male crowd and she won’t be present.

With around 5,000 men registered to vote in her district compared to 620 registered female voters, al-Wably says she can’t afford to rely solely on Internet campaigning through Twitter and Facebook to reach men.

“I want to be part of the development of my city,” she told The Associated Press. “I want to be a positive force on the ground in my community.”

While the councils do not have legislative powers, they do oversee a range of community issues, such as budgets for maintaining and improving public facilities like parks, roads and utilities. All major decision-making powers rest solely in the hands of King Salman and the all-male Cabinet of ministers.

The first local council election was held in 2005 and the second in 2011, with only men taking part. This time around, state-affiliated media report there are 979 female candidates and 5,938 male candidates vying for seats. About 130,000 women have registered to vote versus 1.35 million male voters.

Up for grabs are around 2,100 council seats. An additional 1,050 seats are appointed with approval from the king. While there is no quota for women, the king may use his powers to ensure at least some women get onto the councils.

While calling the vote a “step forward for women,” Rothna Begum of Human Rights Watch noted that because male candidates cannot directly address women, they could easily disregard the female vote because it is proportionally so much smaller. And the high cost of running a visible campaign has proven prohibitive for some female candidates, she said; at least 31 dropped out because it was too expensive.

At his campaign headquarters in Saudi Arabia’s second-largest city of Jiddah, Bassam Akhdar said he allocated a night specifically to reach out to the female electorate, with female staff lined up to explain his platform.

But no women showed up and none have passed by his office to inquire about his campaign. So he ended up allocating the entire space to his male constituency, who come every night to hear and meet him.

Washington university cancels classes over hate speech

After a racist thread on social media sparked outrage on a quiet Washington state campus, college officials sent students home a day early for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Western Washington University sent out an alert cancelling classes and an email to students just after 6 a.m. Tuesday from President Bruce Shepard. It is unknown if the people who posted the threats are students at the state university in Bellingham, but the posts were made from a phone located within 10 miles of campus, Shepard said.

“I need to be very clear here: we are not talking the merely insulting, rude, offensive commentary that trolls and various other lowlifes seem free to spew, willy nilly, although there has been plenty of that, too. No, this was hate speech,” Shepard wrote in an email posted on the university website.

A series of threats against minorities were posted over the weekend on YikYak, an anonymous social media platform populated by college students.

The posts mentioned almost every ethnic group, including blacks, Muslims, Jews and American Indians, blaming them for an effort on campus to debate changing the university’s mascot, a Viking. The threats came days after some student leaders suggested that the mascot is racist. The posts did not mention a specific action against the students.

Most of the online comments contained racist language and profanity, making fun of the mascot debate and the students who proposed it. “They’ll probably change it to something like the WWU Trans-Muslims. Then they will be stealing your culture,” one poster wrote.

Another post called black students crying babies and another complimented the school for having an “overtly Aryan” mascot.

The university of about 15,000 students boasts that nearly a quarter of its enrollees are from minority groups. The small campus located about 90 miles north of Seattle is known for its environmental education program. The college also sends more graduates into the Peace Corps than any other midsized university in the nation.

Law enforcement officials do not believe there is a threat to general campus security, but Shepard said a threat to any Western student is an attack on the whole college community. The decision to cancel classes was precautionary and to make sure students were safe, he said. The school’s Thanksgiving break officially begins Wednesday.

“We take the feelings of safety of our students very, very seriously,” he said.

Even with more debate and protests about racial issues sparking at colleges across the nation, such as the University of Missouri and Yale University, heated discourse is not common on this sleepy campus in the northwestern Washington woods.

“With disturbing social media content continuing through early this morning, students of color have advised me of their very genuine, entirely understandable, and heightened fear of being on campus,” Shepard said in his letter.

At Missouri, posts were made on social media threatening to shoot black people after protests about racial issues on that campus. The posts followed the resignations of the University of Missouri system president and the chancellor. A white college student at aa sister campus was later arrested for making a terrorist threat.

Shepard said debate about the Western Washington’s mascot has come up on occasion and he welcomed the discussion.

Some students do not believe a white European man is a good representation of their school, but Shepard, who is retiring at the end of this academic year, said he doesn’t plan to change the mascot.

Patrick Eckroth, a senior from Port Orchard, Washington, said there is a problem with racism at the school.

“The idea of having a critical conversation about our mascot and the reaction to that is a great illustration of the problem we have not just in our university, but in society,” said Eckroth, who is a member of the student government but said he was speaking personally, not as a student leader.

Dozens of students, who said they represented Christian groups affiliated with the school, gathered on campus just before noon Tuesday to pray against fear and hate.

Shepard said that a large percentage of students haven’t thought enough about race, society and social justice.

“I hope this is the beginning of something…a teachable moment.” he said.

Do boys and girls perform better in school when separated by gender?

The teachers at Franklin Boys Preparatory Academy sat in stunned silence on their first day back from summer break. It was the fall of 2011, and principal John Haley had just announced that the state had given their school a “D” grade.

A year earlier, Haley and his team had taken over the failing middle school in Tampa, Florida, and turned it into an all boys magnet school, hoping a new culture of higher expectations and mutual respect among young men would lift the school’s performance.

After one year, that plan was in doubt.

That “D” grade was a gut check, but it wasn’t a pink slip. Changing a school’s culture takes time, Haley reassured his teachers. And he was right. The next year the school earned a “B,” and each of the past two years the school earned an “A” grade.

Franklin is part of a radical experiment that could reshape how we think about education. Its success hinges on a simple, albeit controversial, premise: boys and girls do better academically when separated by gender, and this is especially true among students who are struggling.

Critics, including many social scientists, decry the notion of separating genders. But the parents and administrators who embrace it argue that boys and girls learn differently and that many kids, especially early adolescents who struggle in school, achieve better focus and better performance when separated.

In 2004, there were just 34 single-sex schools, according to the National Association of Single Sex Public Education. By 2014, the U.S. Department of Education estimated there were 850, according to the New York Times.

And measured by parental demand in Tampa, this phenomenon is not going away. There are 12 magnet middle schools in Hillsborough County with various emphases, but the two single-sex schools get more applications than the other 10 combined, says Carla Sparks, director of single gender programs for Tampa’s Hillsborough County Schools.

Pseudoscience? Maybe. Anachronistic? Perhaps. But single-sex education retains both a long tradition and a broad appeal that seems unlikely to fade in an era when parents have come to expect a smorgasbord of educational choice.

Vive la différence

The popularity of single sex schools rests, at least indirectly, on research that shows boys’ and girls’ brains are different.

One prominent neuroscientist who insists that boys and girls develop differently is Dr. Martha Denckla, a neurologist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Denckla says she has conducted and replicated large-scale studies, always arriving at the same result. From 20 weeks of pregnancy through puberty, she says, the brains of girls develop faster than boys.

“That’s a long time for girls to be in the front seat,” she says.

One place the difference shows up is in the ability to make “rapid sequenced movements with fingers,” she says, “which is in the same circuitry as using a pencil to make a quick sequence of moves.”

Many little boys, Denckla says, have “mitten hands,” meaning the four fingers can’t be manipulated separately. This difference is most stark in kindergarten. A normal distribution graph of 5-year-old girls can be overlaid directly on a graph of 6-year-old boys. The girls are a full year ahead of the boys.

At that age, the gender gap on finger control is dramatic. The most advanced 5-year-old boys, she says, will bump up against the least advanced girls. The gap narrows through grade school, but doesn’t disappear until about the time of puberty.

And in general, boys develop at a slower rate than girls, Denckla said.

Avail superlative essay writing services in Australia

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Watching my daughter transform with Candor!

My daughter has been studying in Candor International for two years and we have seen her change, from being a withdrawn girl to a more confident one. It makes me so happy as a father as she wasn’t always so confident and struggled with major issues from the time she turned eight.  She was always a quiet and shy child but was good in studies and though she took long to make friends, when she did she cherished her friends and was so generous with them.  We were living in Chennai then and she was studying in a pretty famous school. Her primary years in school seemed okay, but once she went to middle school she started to change. She became withdrawn and sullen. She stopped eating and there were days when she refused to go to school. We tried talking to her and cajoling her to tell us what had happened, but she just kept silent.

The school organised a picnic in October and that day my daughter threw her first real tantrum. She refused to go and started bawling. This time we refused to let up.  We pestered and pestered her till she broke down and told us that one of her classmates was bullying her. This girl would go on pulling her hair, hiding her books, hitting her hard on her back and making fun of her along with the other classmates. We went to school the next day and spoke to the teacher who actually tried to dismiss it as all part of growing up. We went straight to the principal who thankfully took the matter more seriously. The bullying stopped but the damage had been done. Our sweet and shy daughter just became withdrawn.

When we moved to Bangalore two years back, we put her in Candor International. It was a new school but we liked the look of it. I shared my daughter’s experience with a teacher recently and was so surprised to hear that a few weeks later Candor International organised a special assembly that dealt with bullying. As parents, we were so happy that the school was taking this matter so seriously. They keep having sessions on different topics and we’ve seen our daughter transform back into the shy but effervescent little girl she is. Candor is a proactive school that really wants children to shine.

Lawsuit over stolen Nazi art at U of Oklahoma suspended

A federal judge has suspended activity in a lawsuit that challenges the ownership of a painting that hangs at a University of Oklahoma art gallery as negotiations continue with a French woman who claims the artwork was stolen from her family by Nazis during World War II.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton signed an order to suspend activity in the lawsuit until Feb. 28 as negotiations continue between attorneys for Leone Meyer and the university over the painting “Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep” by the impressionist master Camille Pissarro.

Meyer filed the lawsuit in May 2013, saying the painting belonged to her adopted father. Meyer, a Jewish woman who lives in Paris, wrote an open letter in 2014 that said her biological family was killed at Auschwitz between 1942 and 1944. Meyer survived the Holocaust and was adopted by Raoul and Yvonne Meyer in 1946.

Raoul Meyer fled to the United States, but returned to Europe in 1945 and found the painting missing. He discovered it in Geneva six years later — a year after the statute of limitations ran out. He claimed subsequent owners made a weak attempt to prove the Pissarro wasn’t on a list of known Nazi-looted works. A Swiss court found that post-war owners had done due diligence and rejected Meyer’s claim.

Oklahoma oil tycoon Aaron Weitzenhoffer and his wife, Clara, purchased the painting from a New York gallery in 1956. The painting was among more than 30 works totaling $50 million that were donated to the university when Clara Weitzenhoffer died in 2000. It now hangs in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.

Leone Meyer’s lawsuit claims that “minimal ownership information” was provided for the 1886 painting and other artwork in the collection and has demanded the painting be returned to her.

An attorney for Meyer, Pierre Ciric, released a joint statement Thursday that states negotiations between Meyer, the university and the OU Foundation are ongoing and the parties “are diligently working to reach a final agreement.”

Heaton’s order, signed Tuesday, says the parties told the court they’ve reached a compromise and settlement. But state Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, who has closely monitored Meyer’s lawsuit and urged the university to return the artwork, said suggestions that a settlement has been reached are premature.

“All that has occurred is a cooling-off period,” said Wesselhoft, R-Moore. “Leone Meyer wants the painting. That’s the real story.”

Wesselhoft also said he has made a formal request for information and documents involving all 30 of the paintings the university received from the Weitzenhoffer family and believes there are other paintings in the collection that were looted by the Nazis. He said he has not yet received the documents.