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Archive for March, 2010

Spring Break

Hello, dear reader!

This is Molly, the assistant city editor for the education beat. Usually, I’m in the newsroom, whipping our reporters into shape, making them blog and contribute to our democracy through top-notch journalism. However, this week is spring break, so there will be significantly less activity on our humble blog.

Have a wonderful last week of March! See you in April!

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In five minutes it will be 5:30 pm. It is Thursday. Tomorrow is Friday. Tomorrow class ends for Spring Break. Only one looming Communications Law class stands between freedom and me. There are 0 days, 18 hours, 34 minutes and 54 seconds until Friday, March 26, 2010 at noon. I’m not counting or anything.

I considered going out tonight; apparently it won’t affect my test scores. But I decided that I’ll stick it out, hit the books and be home free tomorrow. As students flock to various locations for Spring Break I can’t help but be fascinated by everybody’s plans. I’m heading to Arkansas next week to go camping with friends. Others flock to tropical locations. Some simply want to return home for some TLC from Mom and a nice home-cooked meal.

People’s plans are pretty typical but this Huffington Post slideshow caught my eye. Check out some unique ways some college students are spending their Spring Break. Consider spending the next week meditating, investigating immigration issues or “spring break crashing.” See ya next week!

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After Congress’s history-making decision to pass an extensive new health care bill on Sunday, people all over the country have spoken out – some in staunch favor of the plan and some in firm disapproval. Although much of the dialogue is about, well, health care, there is also some discussion about the seemingly misplaced provision regarding student loans.

The student loan condition in the bill would expand the government’s direct-lending program and take away banks’ profits for acting as a go-between in the loan process.

The New York Times reported that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, this plan could save taxpayers $61 billion over the next 10 years, which would be added to the federal Pell grant program.

To read the full New York Times article, go here.

For a look at how Missouri’s representatives voted on the matter, go here.

To read what some Missouri stakeholders have to say about the bill, go here.

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Last week, retiring MU campus master planner Perry Chapman presented a plan for 2010 that emphasized sustainability through renovation. His presentation was full of maps, diagrams and pictures of MU’s campus over the years, which I thought were particularly interesting. Jesse Hall is about the only thing I recognize amid buildings and streets that have since been destroyed.

Check out the photographs in his full presentation here.

Read the full article on the plan here.

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Friday marked the start of Mizzou Engineers Week.  The College of Engineering celebrates “E-week” for the 107th year with events every day through March 20.  The following are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

Thursday, March 18 – Lab Exhibits/Open House

WHEN: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

WHERE: Lafferre Hall, Engineering Building West & Engineering Building North

WHAT: Graduate labs show off their work in open houses, and each department in the College of Engineering puts out an exhibit.  Interested parties can tour the labs and get a free T-shirt.

Friday, March 19 – Knighting Ceremony

WHEN: 5 p.m.

WHERE: Shamrock between Lafferre Hall and Engineering Building North

WHAT: Graduating seniors have the opportunity to be knighted Honorary Knights of St. Patrick.  Seniors who sign up are dubbed Knight while kneeling to kiss the blarney stone.  Those who aren’t graduating seniors are welcome to watch the ceremony and enjoy cake and punch.

For more information on any event, please contact the presidents of St. Patrick’s Board, Katie Giddens, kighwb@mail.mizzou.edu (573) 442-6608 or Kyle Sellers, kas6c6@mail.mizzou.edu (660) 826-6231.

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The Missouri Department of Higher Education hosted a meeting yesterday with presidents from community colleges and four-year colleges and universities to discuss the current financial aid award system in Missouri. At the heart of the discussion was Access Missouri, a program that provides students with need-based financial aid funded by state revenue, federal funding and philanthropic donations.

Students attending public two-year schools are eligible for awards of $300-1,000 per year, and four-year public school students can get anywhere from $1,000-$2,150. Students at private four-year schools, however, can get from $2,000-$4,600 per year.

Unhappy with the idea that private-school students can earn higher awards, Robert Stein, the commissioner of higher education for the department, invited leaders from institutions of higher learning to discuss reallocation of funds in ways other than type of institution (on his blog, he specifically suggested basing the decision on level of coursework or graduation rate for the particular institution).

Lawmakers have noticed this issue as well, and proposed legislation is in the works to stabilize four-year amounts at $2,850, regardless of the institution’s status as public or private, Stein said on his blog.

I will update the blog as more information about the meeting becomes available, so keep checking U.Town!

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The American Association of University Women partners with the library each year to hold an event for women’s history month. This year, the subject of the event is Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Her 125th birthday would have been last fall. Previous topics have included immigrant women in Missouri and Lilly Ledbetter.

“Eleanor was very much a feminist,” organizer Holly Burgess said. “She was always an advocate for women and wanted women to achieve as they could.”

The program will include a brief speech about Roosevelt’s contributions to America and the world and a performance. Katherine Gardner of Columbia Independent School will be performing as Roosevelt tonight. She won the 2009 History Day competition in Missouri for her performance.

“I hope  that (the audience) will get a better appreciation for a woman who has made her mark not just on the 20th century but the 21st century and will continue to leave her mark,” Burgess said.

The event will take place at the Columbia Public Library (100 West Broadway) at 7 p.m. Reception at 6:30 p.m.

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