College welcomes junior parents


first_imgHarvard faculty, experts, and President Drew Faust welcomed the families of third-year undergraduates to campus and gave the Class of 2012 advice on preparing for life after college during the Junior Parents Weekend (JPW) program, March 4-5. More than 560 students and nearly 1,200 of their guests attended the annual event.Faust greeted an enthusiastic crowd in Sanders Theatre on Friday afternoon for the program’s official welcome. She recalled that the first time she addressed this group of parents and students in 2008, she urged the new freshmen to explore and move beyond their comfort zones. Now, she asked parents if their children had stretched their boundaries enough to have failed at something during their three years at Harvard.“If not, they haven’t been adventurous enough,” she said. “The good news is, there’s still time.”While she acknowledged students’ anxiety about the economy and the job search that lay ahead, Faust urged them “not to leave Harvard with your heads before you leave it with your bodies.” She said that the 14 months remaining in their college careers was a long time and encouraged parents to help keep their children focused on the present, even as they consider what to do next.President Drew Faust asked parents if their children had stretched their boundaries enough to have failed at something during their three years at Harvard. “If not, they haven’t been adventurous enough,” she said. “The good news is, there’s still time.”Faust’s advice was echoed by a panel of college seniors who followed her address and shared wisdom gained during their time at Harvard. All said that experiences outside the classroom had been influential in shaping their college experience and their plans for the future. Senior Romeo Alexander shared a path that took him from Africa to New York.“I went to Ghana to study the history of slavery after my freshman year,” he said. “I visited the slave castles and learned about my own history and the history of the world. After my sophomore year, I did the Princeton in Ishikawa Program in Japan, in a home where no one spoke any English at all. Last summer I was in Tokyo with Deutsche Bank. Next year I’m going to New York. I’ve got a job helping to sell Japanese stocks.”Earlier in the day, parents piled into Science Center and listened as Harvard’s Office of Career Services (OCS) staff listed ways that third-year students could prepare for graduate school, work, and other opportunities: Take the GMAT and GRE now, while you’re in school mode; study hard, because graduate and professional programs look for a strong GPA; apply for fellowships early in the fall of senior year.Then, OCS’s undergraduate advising guru Nancy Saunders uttered three words that were music to the ears of tuition-payers. “Senior job search,” she said, savoring each syllable. “How good does that sound?”Saunders said that the process of finding a job often begins with an internship during the summer after junior year. She recommended that parents and students visit the OCS website to find out about opportunities. Saunders plugged the Crimson Careers portal, on which OCS has posted 9,679 internships and 4,000 full-time jobs since July 2010. She also urged juniors to look to the fall of their senior year and book one-on-one appointments with OCS career counselors, who see seniors almost exclusively during the first month of the semester.“Not everyone knows that they want to be a banker,” she said. “Seniors are welcome to come in and meet with a counselor, to take the Myers-Briggs personality test, to have a conversation, and to brainstorm.”OCS Director Robin Mount acknowledged the desire of parents to see their children enter the world of work, but said that Harvard undergraduates have broad interests and many different skills, which can make the decision to commit to a career path challenging. She told parents not to be concerned if their child wants to take some time off before applying to graduate school “since 75 percent of Harvard College graduates will eventually get a graduate degree.”On Saturday, parents and students considering a career in business heard from Rakesh Khurana, the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development at Harvard Business School, on the history and future of business education.Khurana noted that business education has expanded dramatically in the past 60 years. This year, for instance, U.S. business schools will award more than 120,000 master’s degrees in business administration, up from only 3,000 M.B.A.s in 1950. At the same time, business schools — originally brought to the university in the early 20th century to professionalize the occupation, standardize the knowledge of practitioners, and tie the action of firms and corporations to the common good — have increasingly become places for students to acquire a credential and to build networks that will further their careers.Khurana said that, to reconnect business education with its founding values, institutions should have an honest conversation about what students need to know and then raise the standards of the curriculum. Moreover, business education should be lifelong. Managers should come back to school frequently to refresh their knowledge.Later on Saturday, parents and undergraduates addressed the common good more directly at the public interest careers discussion, hosted by the Phillips Brooks House Association. Travis Lovett, interim director of the Center for Public Interest Careers (CPIC), led the informal session. He said that Harvard undergraduates can receive funding for public service in two ways: They can come to CPIC with an idea for a public service project and apply for direct funding, or they can use CPIC as a liaison to one of the more than 600 nonprofits that have a relationship with the center.“Our postgraduate fellowship program works with nonprofits in six major cities including Boston, New York, and Chicago,” he said. “Students can see a catalog of job listings on our website. If they’re interested in one, they can apply through us. We interview them and give them feedback. Based on the interview, if we feel they’re a good fit for a particular organization, then we recommend them for the position.”While no one in the audience expected to get rich through public interest work, many were glad to hear that each organization that lists a job with CPIC must pay a living wage and offer benefits.“Most of our positions are between $30,000 and $45,000,” he said. “Commitments are typically one to two years, because many of our fellows go on to graduate school. Some are offered a continuing position, though, and stay on.”Response from parents and students to the weekend’s events was positive. Detroit’s Jeannie Wonders, parent of junior Grant Wonders, said that she appreciated the workshops and information she got during JPW. At the end of the day, though, she said that the best part of being in Cambridge was seeing her son and his friends.“It’s nice to come and see Grant in this environment,” she said. “I got to chat with his roommates. The energy of the youth on campus is invigorating. He can come home and tell us about what it’s like to be at Harvard, but it’s not the same as being here.”last_img read more

Trusted voice among leaders in higher education


first_img Members of Harvard community, from deans to faculty to students, respond to naming of next president Related Explains who he is, how he’s learned, what he values Last summer, Trinity College was engulfed in a firestorm after a faculty member released a tweet that some interpreted as saying that bigots should not be aided by emergency responders who are minorities and instead be left to die.Joanne Berger-Sweeney, president of the Hartford, Conn., college, was blindsided by the controversy, which rapidly escalated, fanned by conservative outrage at liberal campus views on one side and by fears of white supremacist movements on the other. The outcry grew, resulting in death threats against the professor, who left the state with his family, and the closure of campus for a day due to safety concerns.As tensions rose, Berger-Sweeney, president of the school since 2014, needed someone to talk to about a situation that isn’t in any leadership textbook. She called Larry Bacow.“Being a president is hard,” Berger-Sweeney said. “You run into things that you have never seen before. I first heard about it on a Monday. On Tuesday morning I called Larry to say, ‘OK, I don’t know who else I can talk to. Just help walk me through this.’”Lawrence S. Bacow, who was named Harvard’s 29th president on Sunday, has a reputation as someone fellow leaders seek out for advice. Berger-Sweeney, who first met Bacow when he was the president of Tufts University and she was the school’s dean for arts and sciences, said she was delighted when she heard the Harvard news. A storm of emails from former Tufts colleagues showed she was not alone.“Being a president is hard. You run into things that you have never seen before,” said Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney, who turned to Lawrence Bacow when a controversy hit her campus. Photo by Al Ferreira Photography“I got the email yesterday, I was in the car,” she said. “Luckily my husband was driving or I’m sure I would have had an accident. I was thrilled.”When she spoke with Bacow last summer, Berger-Sweeney recalled, he didn’t tell her what to do, but rather asked questions that helped shine a light on the problem and guided her through its most important dimensions.“He just gives such sound, reasonable advice,” Berger-Sweeney said. “He doesn’t tell you what to do, but asks questions that lead you to … understand how you might approach a situation.”In naming Bacow the University’s next president, Harvard leaders cited wide respect for his wisdom and counsel among his qualifications. “He is someone other leaders across higher education look to for advice on leadership and solving hard problems,” Bill Lee, senior fellow of the Harvard Corporation and chair of the presidential search committee, said as he introduced Bacow.Former Princeton president Shirley Tilghman, who as a Corporation member has served alongside Bacow, praised the choice.“Larry Bacow brings an extraordinary combination of broad experience in academia, deep knowledge of Harvard, and that intangible quality, wisdom,” Tilghman said in a statement Sunday. “I have been struck during the years I have served with him on the Corporation by his generosity to many leaders, both inside and outside Harvard, who regularly turn to him for thoughtful counsel.”Danoff Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana, who was paired with Bacow as part of a Corporation initiative linking senior leaders with deans, said that Bacow was helpful as both a coach and a sounding board. That was at least in part because he has such high standards about what an institution of higher education should be, Khurana said. In addition, Khurana said, Bacow was never too busy to talk.,“He always made himself available and was willing to invest time and effort,” Khurana said. “He’s somebody who demonstrates how important good listening is and who knows how powerful empathizing can be for someone. What you could see is what an extraordinary teacher he is. … I always thought about him as one of the real statespeople of higher education.”Bacow’s willingness to act as a sounding board for colleagues extends back to his time on the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to Robert Birgeneau, who has served as chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, and president of the University of Toronto, and knew Bacow when they were both MIT professors.During the late 1990s, Birgeneau said, he asked Bacow and a handful of other MIT faculty leaders to gather and discuss academic issues in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences. The six scholars hit it off enough to continue to meet every few months. The discussion expanded over the years as their careers evolved to include broader issues important to higher education.When Birgeneau was Berkeley’s chancellor and Bacow was Tufts’ president, each provided the other with insight that was difficult to find elsewhere.“I found meeting with this group — including Larry in particular because he was also a university leader — invaluable, because it was a set of very smart people who cared deeply about academia and who were not part of your institution,” Birgeneau said. “It can be very hard to keep your head above water.” Widely admired higher education leader, who previously served as Tufts president and MIT chancellor, to become next president in July Harvard names Lawrence S. Bacow as 29th president Praise, optimism in reaction to Bacow choice Bacow, named Harvard president, meets the presslast_img read more

Wisconsin loses heartbreaker to Purdue


first_imgSenior captain Brittney Dolgner ended her career on a sour note, watching from the sidelines as UW fell to the Boilermakers.[/media-credit]It was a frustrating end to a frustrating season for the Wisconsin volleyball team as the Badgers lost their season finale in five sets to the Purdue Boilermakers at the Field House.After Purdue took the first two sets by a score of 25-23 and 25-19, UW answered with an impressive 25-15 win in the third set and 25-20 result in the fourth, forcing a fifth set. The Boilermakers escaped Madison with the season-ending victory as they took the final set 15-11 over the Badgers.“I was real proud of how they battled to come back to the fifth (set),” head coach Pete Waite said. “I just wish they could have been rewarded by winning that fifth and getting it done here tonight for the seniors or for the whole team finishing off the season.”Wisconsin was shorthanded from the beginning Saturday night after losing freshman Kirby Toon to an injured left thumb a night earlier. Toon’s absence forced UW to alter its lineup, which may have led to the Badgers’ slow start.The Badgers’ attack was abysmal in the first set as they finished with just a .098 hitting percentage and just 14 kills to 10 errors. Purdue was not much better, but the Boilermakers hit .114 in the first set, which allowed them to escape with the 25-23 result.UW continued to struggle in the second set but improved as the Badgers hit .212. Unfortunately for Wisconsin, the Purdue attack had its best set on the night, hitting .375 with just four errors to 16 kills, which allowed PU to take the 25-19 win and a two-set lead.Despite the slow start, Waite was happy with the way his team reacted to the loss of Toon.“It is tough … but I think they really stepped up and adjusted well,” Waite said of his team. “Especially someone like Mary Ording, who has hardly practiced on the right all season and yet we asked her to do that, and she did well. Kelsey Maloney (had a) great match — 10 kills and one error.”“I think just everyone has to step their game up a little bit,” freshman Alexis Mitchell added. “Mary did a great job coming in on the right side. She stepped it up for us and got some big blocks at the end there.”Mitchell led the UW attack, tallying 15 kills to just three errors for a .375 hitting percentage on the night, which was second only to Maloney. Ording and Maloney were especially important as they helped UW bounce back after dropping the first two sets.With the team struggling through the first two sets, Waite changed things up beginning with the third set, including removing seniors Brittney Dolgner and Caity DuPont in favor of younger players.Waite’s changes worked, as the Badgers dominated the third set, 25-15 to extend the match to a fourth set. UW had 13 kills to just three errors in the third, improving their percentage again as the Boilermakers hit just .108, their worst in any set on the night.“I think our serve receive picked up a lot,” Dolgner said. “Tougher serving and keeping them out of their offense was definitely a key factor in that. And then we were just blocking a lot more balls and just being really scrappy and picking up a lot of our defense.”The fourth set was not quite as easy as the third, but the Badgers still came out on top, 25-20, in order to force a fifth and final set, which would be the last of their season.It looked like UW could finally get a victory and avoid ending the year on nine match losing streak and a home loss, but the Boilermakers responded well in the final set.After the two teams battled to a 7-7 tie, Purdue took control, scoring four straight points and forcing a UW timeout.Although the Badgers battled back to cut the lead to three points at 13-10 and again at 14-11, they couldn’t escape the Field House with a win Saturday, falling 15-11 in the final set.With nine straight losses to end the season, Wisconsin will not compete in its second straight NCAA Tournament, the first time the Badgers have missed back-to-back tournaments since 1988-89.“That’s no fun; we want to stop that,” Waite said of the losing streak. “But I think the team has stayed really positive throughout the whole last half of the Big Ten season. They continued to work hard … looking to next year, they’ll be much more experienced and savvy on the court.”last_img read more