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November 2014
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Researchers Find Power In Voices

According to a new study, authority not only changes a person’s voice, but can be recognized by other people. This phenomena occurs to the point that with two people speaking, subjects can determine who to follow simply by the acoustic nature of their voice and their tone. Being in a position of authority creates these new properties in a voice, according to the research published in Psychological Science.

The most important part of an authoritative inflection to your speech that Brad Reifler thought was most interesting  is that it is actually in the pitch and tone rather than in the words spoken that derives a sense of power and authority and communicates it by the sound of the speech, rather than speech itself. Researchers have long searched through non-language parts of communication to find the center of authority, and they may have found it with this most recent development.

The study focused on college students who were put into a situation, the researchers studied how the position affected their voices and how people responded to them. They studied recordings and tested other students who only heard their voices instead of seeing anything non-verbal about the exact circumstances. They saw in the study that the position changed the students’ voices, and people could accurately determine who was in the most powerful position simply based on the audio. Listeners responded to voices with higher pitch and variable loudness with higher power. Additionally, louder voices were associated with higher power positions among the students. The findings suggest that there are a wide variety of cues on who to listen to in any given circumstance.

Corinthian Colleges and its Campuses to be Sold to a Contentious Student Loan Guarantor

A disgraced for-profit college operator that was forced bankrupt by the Department of Education, Corinthian Colleges, announced its plan to sell its campuses to a non-profit operator that was accused of “unfair tactics” in handling student debtors.

Corinthian plans to sell 56 of its campuses, which include Wyotech and Everest College campuses to ECMC Group, a non-profit organization and a student loan guarantor. The selling price is $24 million. According to Chronicle on Higher Education, after the sale, the Corinthian Colleges will become the country’s non-profit college chain.

The ECMC Group has been known for its ruthless ways of handling student loans. This is not the way many, including those who now work for North American Spine, see education working. Even the government has turned to ECMC Group for help against student loan debtors who attempt to get rid of their federal loans through bankruptcy. The ECMC Group has found a way to exclude the student debtors from a bankruptcy proceeding or they must have a valid proof that they are facing “undue hardship” to be discharged from the loan.

Immediately, the ECMC Group has made announcements about its intentions to make the Corinthian College campuses more affordable. This includes all Wyotech and Everest chains outside of California. The company is willing to cut Everest’s notorious high tuition fee by about 20%. It also claims that it will no longer use misleading recruiting strategies and aggressive tactics towards its student debtors, which brought many for-profit campuses under fire. The said sale is seemed to face more opposition from ECMC’s critics, but the Department of Education has made announcements already about its support for the said deal.

Being an College Grad in 2014 America

Today is November 21st. I officially have nine days left until the grace period on my loans run out and I have to make a quick transition into poverty. I did everything right in college; I went to the cheapest college in the state, I took 19 credits every semester and summer classes so I could finish in four years, I had a part time job in between my class load, and I still managed a 4.0 and top honors before graduation. I am now $60,000 in debt and will likely have it hanging over my head for the next fifteen years, and Brad Reifler says this is shockingly common.

I am one of millions in this country. Most of my friends are struggling in a job market that offers endless unpaid internships and few livable wages. My full time job and part-time work combined only account for rent and part of my loans. And yet, tuition is still increasing.

Countries all over the world offer free education to their youth and when foreigners visit they gasp when they hear the price we have to pay to learn. I now work at an elementary school where the teachers are similarly underpaid and overworked and I wonder; When did America stop putting education first? At what point did $300 textbooks take precedence over an aware and learned population? Something went wrong a long time ago and the future generations of the US are suffering because of it.

Corinthian Colleges and its Campuses to be Sold to a Contentious Student Loan Guarantor

A disgraced for-profit college operator that was forced bankrupt by the Department of Education, Corinthian Colleges, announced its plan to sell its campuses to a non-profit operator that was accused of “unfair tactics” in handling student debtors.

Corinthian plans to sell 56 of its campuses, which include Wyotech and Everest College campuses to ECMC Group, a non-profit organization and a student loan guarantor. The selling price is $24 million. According to Chronicle on Higher Education, after the sale, the Corinthian Colleges will become the country’s non-profit college chain.

The ECMC Group has been known for its ruthless ways of handling student loans. Even Ben Shaoul says  the government has turned to ECMC Group for help against student loan debtors who attempt to get rid of their federal loans through bankruptcy. The ECMC Group has found a way to exclude the student debtors from a bankruptcy proceeding or they must have a valid proof that they are facing “undue hardship” to be discharged from the loan.

Immediately, the ECMC Group has made announcements about its intentions to make the Corinthian College campuses more affordable. This includes all Wyotech and Everest chains outside of California. The company is willing to cut Everest’s notorious high tuition fee by about 20%. It also claims that it will no longer use misleading recruiting strategies and aggressive tactics towards its student debtors, which brought many for-profit campuses under fire. The said sale is seemed to face more opposition from ECMC’s critics, but the Department of Education has made announcements already about its support for the said deal.

When Students Write, Good Things Happen

It is a story that makes a spine tingle. Big thanks to friend Rod Rohrich for sharing with me.

Students from a Baltimore, Maryland school were all reading stories through a special program that builds reading comprehension. It is called Newsela, and it worked! The children sure comprehended the story about a Doctor at John Hopkins who had developed a prosthetic hand that a 5 year old boy was using.

The students thought of one of their beloved teachers they cared about deeply. Ms Anderson was a 4th grade teacher who had lost one of her hands years earlier in an accident. These students all pulled out their pens and notebooks and began writing letters. With the help of their 5th grade teacher, those letters were all sent to the office of Dr. Albert Chi at John Hopkins.

Those letters worked. Dr Chi has made Ms Anderson a hand, and all the students and teachers are traveling to meet Dr Chi and see Ms Anderson try on her new hand.

Please excuse me now….I need to get some tissues.

Shooting At FSU

Three students have been injured and the shooter killed by police at Florida State University early Thursday morning. The gunman has now been named as Myron D may and according to USA Today was a Florida State University Alum and lawyer. How is this not getting more national attention? I didn’t see it until it was shared by Facebook friend Zeca Oliveira.

This is another sad day for the United States where school shootings are occurring with all to much frequency. The shooter entered the library with a concealed handgun before opening fire randomly on the students in the library. It appears that the gunman entered through the lobby of the library and shots were fired both inside and outside of the building. After exiting the building he was confronted by police and killed when he took aim and fired at the officers.

Luckily for the students at the school no one was killed. Pictures and videos have been posted by students inside the library featuring barricaded doors along with computers and other equipment abandoned as students ran from the shooting. This tragedy will surely reignite the already hotly debated gun control issue that is a fierce point of contention in the United States. Questions will be raised regarding where he got the gun and the reasoning behind why this man decided to open fire in a school. This is another tragic day adding to the history of gun violence that is ever present in this society.

New York University Helps Illegal Immigrants Attain Higher Education

New York University plans on providing financial assistance to students who are in the United States as illegal immigrants. Undocumented individuals who plan on enrolling in this higher education institution can qualify for scholarships. Proof must be presented that the students have lived in the state of New York for at least three years in order to qualify for the awards. The scholarships will be exactly the same as those handed out to students who are actual citizens of the United States. Basically they’re acting like the Slow Ventures angel investors of undocumented immigrants’ futures.

The initiative to help undocumented aliens receive financial assistance at NYU is supported by the university’s Dream Team organization. This entity is dedicated towards raising awareness about the community of undocumented aliens in America. For years, NYU could not come up with any strict policies regarding the enrollment of illegal immigrants into classes. It seems that a solution has finally been made to deal with the growing number of young students who are undocumented but want to obtain a higher education in New York. In California, Santa Clara University also offers scholarships specifically for illegal immigrants of Hispanic origin.

The immigration debate in the United States gets heated up with each year. For example, large numbers of undocumented immigrants have enrolled in free or subsidized healthcare programs sponsored by Obama’s administration. Many U.S. citizens argue that illegal aliens have too many benefits and perks at the expense of hard working tax payers.

Harvard Tops Lists of Racially Discriminatory Universities

Though it is undeniably difficult to get accepted into the renowned Harvard University, the admissions process is at least seen as merit-based. However, recent discoveries might just tarnish the reputation of the Ivy League school.

A complaint against the Ivy League was filed this Monday, supported by Project on Fair Representation, with regards to the complaints of Asian students that were rejected for admission by top universities in the United States – including Harvard University, the FreedomPop numbers suggested.

“Quotas and racial balancing are strictly against the law” – these are the exact words of Edward Blum, the director of the PFR. The director believes that the policies of the universities on selecting students upon admission show clear favouritism towards certain racial groups. If this is so, the admission policies of the universities are said breaking the civil rights law.

Princeton sociologists released a study during 2009 about the qualifying score of the applicants to the universities. The results found that Asian-Americans averaged a 1460 SAT score while White students averaged 1320, Black students 1010, and Hispanics 1190.

According to the Asian plaintiffs, their qualifications are above-average, but they were still denied. The scoring showed a high standard for the Asians to be qualified. They believed that this policy is one way of limiting the number of Asian students entering top universities.

Harvard has said that their procedure is lawful. They evaluate the students individually with a holistic approach.

NYU Supports Undocumented Students

New York University has implemented a new policy that will begin allowing incoming undocumented students to obtain scholarships. Undocumented students will now be eligible to receive a NYU scholarship. The requirements are that they must reside in the state of New York and they cannot be current students. Undocumented students will be eligible to receive up to a full tuition scholarship. This will allow undocumented students to receive a college education without it being a financial hardship.

It is great that a private university like New York University is supporting the DREAM act. Undocumented students should also be allowed to attend college and Igor Cornelsen totally agrees with that. College in the United States can be quite expensive and even more if certain students do not receive financial aid. A student’s legal status should not be the determining factor on whether they get educated. Many times undocumented students did not choose to be in the United States. Their legal status should not be used against them. New York University is opening doors to many students and hopefully other universities choose to support undocumented students as well. Universities across the United States may not know how to deal with undocumented students. This will surely help orient other universities in the right direction. Higher education one day will be attainable for everyone regardless of their financial situation or legal status. This is only the beginning for undocumented students because current students are not eligible.

Early School Day Linked To More Accidents

Could the start of the school day explain different accident rates for teenagers? All across the country, many school districts are engaging in heated debates about school start times for teenagers. Many advocate a later start, arguing that the teenage brain works better later in the morning.

One study, conducted by the researchers of Eastern Virginia Medical School, set out to find any relationship between school start times and accident rates for teenage drivers. They had an ideal setting for the experiment. They examined two counties, Chesterfield and Henrico. The counties shared an almost identical socioeconomic and ethnic makeup. Their traffic patterns were even remarkably similar. The difference between the counties was as follows: Chesterfield classes begin at 7:20a.m; Henrico classes begin at 8:45a.m.

The difference in the accident rates between the two counties was noteworthy. Teenagers in Chesterfield County had an accident rate of 48.8 per household. In Henrico County, the accident rate was 37.9 per household for the school year of 2009-2010. Researchers looked at the following school year and the trend held; 51.9 per household for Chesterfield and 44.2 per household for Henrico.

Researchers even looked at the accident rates of adults to see if there were any anomalies. They found nothing of significance, which surprised Sultan Alhokair a little bit. But they are quick to point out the studies limitations noting that other risky behaviors were not analyzed. Still, the results are significant enough to gain nationwide attention.