Posts tagged with "Columbia University"

Dartmouth College to eliminate undergraduate student loans, replace them with scholarships

June 22, 2022

Dartmouth College has announced that it will eliminate all federal and institutional loans from its undergraduate financial aid packages and replace them with scholarship grants. The new policy will first take effect beginning with the 2022 summer term, reports Forbes magazine.

The no-loan financial aid packages—revealed by Dartmouth President Philip J. Hanlon—will benefit both current and future students, but they will not be applied retroactively to loans that Dartmouth students may have received before the start of the summer term.

Just last year, Dartmouth had eliminated loans for incoming students from families earning less than $125,000 per year, says Forbes.

But now, because of the fundraising success of the College’s “The Call to Lead Campaign,” Dartmouth is eliminating that threshold and will be offering no-loan, need-based financial aid to all eligible students.

According to the  news release from Dartmouth, the policy will reduce the college-related debt by an average of $22,000 over four years for about 450 Dartmouth students and their families.

In addition, because Dartmouth has been able to raise $120 million in scholarship gifts and pledges for its endowment in the past year, it has made other significant enhancements to its financial aid. For example, it now offers need-blind admissions to international students, thanks to a record $40 million gift from an anonymous donor; and it also has eliminated the expected parent contribution when calculating financial aid awards for students from families earning less than $65,000 per year.

Two recent gifts helped Dartmouth reach its no-loan financial aid goal. In May, Anne Kubik, a 1987 Dartmouth alum, added $10 million to an earlier commitment of support she had made. And an anonymous donor committed $25 million—endowing one of the largest scholarship funds in Dartmouth history.

But many others contributed as well. According to Dartmouth, more than 65 families gave to the campaign to eliminate the loan component of the college’s financial aid, committing more than $80 million in gifts to the endowment. That included several families who recently donated $5 million to eliminate loans in the financial aid awards for current undergraduate students going forward.

“Thanks to this extraordinary investment by our community, students can prepare for lives of impact with fewer constraints,” said President Hanlon. “Eliminating loans from financial aid packages will allow Dartmouth undergraduates to seek their purpose and passion in the broadest possible range of career possibilities.”

Dartmouth now joins several other leading, private institutions that have adopted a no-loan, need-based, financial aid policy. They include Williams College and Ivy League peers Brown University, Columbia University, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University.

Research contact: @Forbes

Breach ‘berth’: Study finds New York waters may be a vital, extra feeding area for large whales

September 24, 2021

A study has determined that some large whale species—humpback, fin, and minke whales—use the waters off New York and New Jersey as a supplemental feeding area, feasting on two different types of prey species, Eureka Alert reports.

Publishing their results in the journal Marine Biology Research, a team of scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Columbia University describe the New York Bight (NYB)—the area of water from Montauk Point, New York, to Cape May, New Jersey on the East Coast—as an important supplemental feeding ground for several whale species.

From their boat surveys, the team studied three species of baleen whales:

  • Humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae),
  • Fin (Balaenoptera physalus), and
  • Minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata).

They found that large, mixed-species groups—often including all three whale species, as well as common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), and various seabirds—gathered in certain areas mid-shelf (6.2 miles – 37.2 miles from shore) to feed on schools of sand lance (Ammodytes spp.), a slender species of baitfish.

In nearshore waters less than 6.2 miles from shore, whales were more scattered and fed mostly on schools of Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus), a larger, oily species.

Use of the NYB as a feeding area for some of these whale populations may be evolving with time as unprecedented and ongoing climate-driven shifts in ocean temperatures, currents, and salinity in the Northwest Atlantic drive shifts in whale distribution within other documented feeding areas in adjacent regions.

Said one of the study’s co-lead authors, Carissa King of WCS’s Ocean Giants Program: “There is a lot of excitement about seeing whales in the waters off New York, and we often don’t get to highlight what they are doing here. Considering the high prevalence of foraging behavior documented in the study, it is more likely that changing prey availability and/or oceanographic conditions have led to some recent shifts in whale distribution and greater habitat utilization in coastal waters of the New York Bight.”

Foraging was the primary behavior documented, although resting, traveling, and socializing behaviors also were observed—including instances of competitive group behavior for humpback and fin whales, behaviors that typicallyare associated with breeding areas.

The scientists noted that whales were often observed feeding around shipping lanes and in areas of high recreational boating activity. Of particular concern is the potential for vessel strikes—one of the main causes of injury or death for humpback, fin, and minke whales along the U.S. East Coast.

The authors say the results of the study can help inform management decisions to balance the needs of whales and other wildlife with various ocean resource users and other human activities in the region.

Said Dr. Howard C. Rosenbaum, Director of WCS’s Ocean Giants Program and a co-author of the study: “The extent that we have seen whales and other marine life feeding in the New York Bight are truly amazing wildlife spectacles that need better protection. This new information is particularly important given the current and potential pressures facing whales within the New York Bight. Hopefully our data now illustrate the need for better practices and effective mitigation in this urbanized region.”

Research contact: @EurekAlert

FCC to designate national three-digit suicide prevention hotline number, like 911

December 16, 2019

Do you know the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number (1-800-273-TALK) off the top of your head? Chances are, you don’t—and that could mean the difference between life and death in an emergency, Refinery 29 reports.

Unfortunately, such dial-or-die moments are increasing in the United States: From 1999 through 2016, the number of suicides increased in every single state except Nevada—and there were 45,000 total self-inflicted deaths in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In fact, suicide is currently is the tenth leading cause of death in America, and the second most common cause of death for Americans between the ages of 15 and 34.

But now, the Federal Communications Commission is stepping up to help those in need to get help before it’s too late, says Refinery 29. Soon, reaching out for rescue will be as simple and intuitive as dialing 911 for help from police or fire professionals.

In a report published on December 13, the FCC reveals that the process of designating the number 988 as a new, nationwide, three-digit hotline for suicide prevention and mental health crisis has officially begun.

There’s an overwhelming amount of support for the shorter crisis number, the report says. And why wouldn’t there be? A shorter number takes less effort to remember and to call, which will make it easier for those in distress to get the help they need. Those who call 988 would be directed to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a national network consisting of 163 crisis centers available 24/7.

“The three-digit number is really going to be a breakthrough in terms of reaching people in a crisis,” Dwight Holton, CEO of Lines for Life, a suicide prevention nonprofit, told the Associated Press. “No one is embarrassed to call 911 for a fire or an emergency. No one should be embarrassed to call 988 for a mental health emergency.”

“More than 20 veterans die by suicide every day and more than half a million LGBTQ youth will attempt suicide this year alone,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told AP. “A shorter, simpler suicide hotline number could be a game-changer.”

A study conducted between the years of 2003 and 2004 by the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University found that those who contacted a suicide hotline had significant decreases in suicidal thoughts during the course of their telephone session. Their feelings of hopelessness and psychological pain in the following weeks also decreased.

This new proposal will require all carriers to implement the number 988 as a national suicide prevention hotline within 18 months, Refinery 29 reports. The three-digit number won’t be available for texting conversations, but Lines for Life offers a text service you can use by texting 273TALK to 839863.

Research contact: @Refinery29

‘Fitting in is overrated,’ if you want to succeed, say Oprah Winfrey and Melinda Gates

December 16, 2019

A lot of career advice boils down to various ways to fit in with whatever professional group you aspire to join. That’s why mentors will suggest that you “dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” when you go out to network, and that you police your tone to sound more “competent,” Inc. magazine reports.

But at least two incredibly successful women have exactly the opposite take, says the news outlet for entrepreneurs. Sure, being mindful of others and the norms of your industry is always a good idea. But, according to these two titans, the real secret to career advancement (especially for women) isn’t fitting in. It’s being more truly yourself.  

The latest superstar to offer this take is Melinda Gates, who joined an incredible roster of flourishing females  in sharing their memories and insights for National Geographic‘s new special issue focusing on the lives of women around the world. The issue was produced exclusively by women writers and photographers.

When the magazine asked Gates for her number-one piece of advice for young women, she was blunt in her recommendation.

“Fitting in is overrated,” she replied. “I spent my first few years at my first job out of college doing everything I could to make myself more like the people around me. It didn’t bring out the best in me—and it didn’t position me to bring out the best in others. The best advice I have to offer is: Seek out people and environments that empower you to be nothing but yourself.”

While superficial changes like trading in your hoodie for a suit might make sense,., Gates insists that when it comes to your fundamental character and values, letting your inner light shine beats adapting to your surroundings every time, Inc. reports. She’s far from alone in thinking that.

No less than TV superstar Oprah Winfrey backs her up. As the talk show mogul explained in a recent Hollywood Reporter interview, her stint at storied news program 60 Minutes ended abruptly when she realized the show didn’t line up with her true self.

“It was not the best format for me,” she explained. “I think I did seven takes on just my name because [my way of speaking] was ‘too emotional.’ I go, ‘Is the too much emotion in the ‘Oprah’ part or the ‘Winfrey’ part?’ … They would say, ‘All right, you need to flatten out your voice, there’s too much emotion in your voice.’ So I was working on pulling myself down and flattening out my personality—which, for me, is actually not such a good thing.”

Oprah, who is certainly not short of other opportunities, up and quit to search for projects that lined up more closely with her personality and approach, Inc. notes. That sort of abrupt departure probably isn’t possible for most of us, but we can still put the central point made by both super-achievers to work.

Indeed, according to Inc., research out of both Columbia and Deloitte shows that “covering” your true identity at work (whether that’s your sexual orientation, your introverted nature, or your emotional soul) has a negative impact on your professional performance and psychological well-being. When fitting in comes at the cost of authenticity, the research is clear: It’s not worth it.

Research contact: @Inc

When parents are gay, the kids are okay

November 29, 2018

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Amsterdam, UCLA School of Law in Los Angeles, and Columbia University in New York City has found that the children of same-sex parents are just as healthy emotionally and physically as the children of different-sex parents, CNN reports..

Dr. Nanette Gartrell of UCLA, one of the study’s authors, told CNN that the researchers intended to provide a real population-based, apples-to-apples comparison.

It is the only study to compare same-sex and different-sex parent households with stable, continuously coupled parents and their biological offspring,” Gartrell said, noting that she and her colleagues tried to compensate for the shortcomings of previous investigations—which recruited same-sex parent families and could thus establish a certain selection bias. “It’s been a goal of ours to do a nationally representative survey in which we could do this very carefully matched study,” she said

Using the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health, provided by the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the researchers matched 95 same-sex female parent households to 95 different-sex parent households based on the following characteristics:

  • Parents’ age,
  • Parents’ level of education,
  • Whether parents were born in the United States,
  • Whether the child was born in the United States or elsewhere
  • Family residence (urban or rural),
  • Child’s age,
  • Child’s race, and
  • Child’s gender.

The study found that there were no differences in the children when it came to their general health, their emotional difficulties, their coping behaviors, or their learning behaviors. What the study found to be more indicative predictors of these behaviors were the relationships between the parents, the parents and the child, and parenting stressors.

The study did note that lesbian parents seem to exhibit higher levels of parenting stress, which Gartell attributed to perceived homophobia. “Parents feel pressured to justify the quality of their parenting more than their heterosexual counterparts. We also suspect and feel that more study is warranted, but the cultural spotlight on same-sex parenting may be part of the stress,” she told the news outlet.

Those who oppose same-sex parenting have pointed to studies—such as one conducted at the Catholic University of America several years ago—that have found gay parents to have a negative impact on childhood outcomes, such as lower levels of income, and poorer mental and physical health

Gartell told CNN that such studies did not compensate for the fact that they were comparing children from same-sex couples who were not continuously coupled. Rather, those studies looked at children from same-sex families who experienced family upheaval such as divorce, adoption or foster care and compared them to children from stable households with different-sex parents.

The current study only looked at lesbian households, she said, because when households were finally matched and controlled for continuous relationships, there were too few male same-sex households.

Gartrell said this is by no means the final study to be done on same-sex parenting. “We still have so much to learn and find out about different types of families,” she commented.

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