Fast read: When I received my freshman year room assignment in the Merner Hall dormitory on the campus of my small, undergraduate college, I thought I hit jackpot.
Today’s architects and campus project managers believe they too hit pay dirt with the construction of new residence halls complete with private apartments. It is backfiring: The first-year students feel isolated in their fancy housing. If that seems the young co-eds are grateful, they are not. A new study shows that there is a correlation between incompatible housing and poor grades during the first year in college. Worse, black students are especially vulnerable to poor academic performance in relation to their freshmen year housing. according to a , “The Hidden Structure: The Influence of Residence Hall Design on Academic Outcomes,” which was released in June 2019.
In the estimated $35 billion university construction and renovation industry, the new dorm digs are a far cry from my counterpart. In the mid-1970s when I arrived at suite 220 in Merner Hall, I recall my greatest amenity was the picturesque, tree-lined sidewalks’ view that led to and from the dorm https://webcpm.com/Home.aspx. When I received my room assignment, I believed that the suite was a double-bed room with a private bathroom and cozy chairs in a living room. Instead, it was a four-person suite with a half-bath and it had enough space for a large desk that we used to store our books and purses. It was a noisy first year of college for me with a constantly ringing, communal telephone just a few feet from our door. The shared bathroom and showers were down the hall.
There were several structural maladies maladies in the nearly 100-year-old dorm. It was also hard to study in the dorm so my group made frequent visits to the library. Our rooms were steam heated and therefore, we kept the fans running year-round.
Guess what? I loved every minute of it. I made lifelong friends beginning with those nights when some forgot their room keys or just wanted to talk. None of us were ever alone walking to and from the cafeteria, library and the central gathering spot where card games and good food were staples. I lived in Merner Hall through the end of my junior year.
It is perhaps a similar experience of shared living and common experiences that must be alluding today’s freshmen who arrive on campuses with impressive physical accommodations that largely please their parents. Increasingly, university administrators are now asking questions to find hopefully stem the tide of unhappy freshman
Ask the users how they wish to live
The study that was published in the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, was based on a four-year case study of nearly 6,000 students attending a private, southern university. It found that grade point averages suffered when socialization was limited. Of the first-year students in the study, more than 14 percent were black students. For black students, the difference between the isolated apartment-like dwellings and traditional dorm living was 2.3 to 1.9 GPAs.
Other students about freshmen year housing experiences are turning up other uncomfortable findings. This year, highly regarded Williams College in Massachusetts, included input from the Black Student Union in its public queries and retooling of its housing for first year students. Now, the university is planning to retool existing residence hall space to “affinity” space that allows for more open areas for activities the students deem valuable and critical for their successful matriculations https://williamsrecord.com/2019/04/push-for-affinity-housing-builds/. The student newspaper published an editorial in favor of residence halls allowed for open spaces and conversations. The strategic plans for residential housing at Stanford University is proving favorable based on the responses from students and the student newspaper leadership after reading a 104-page ResX report. The findings call for building residence halls that are friendly to the freshmen students, especially those who seek arrangements in communities with friends https://www.stanforddaily.com/2019/04/29/editorial-board-31-pressing-questions-for-resx/.
Fancy amenities score better with juniors and seniors
All the news is not bad for university administrators building new facilities for the aged-out dormitories. In the “Residential Satisfaction among College Students: Examining High‐End Amenity Student Housing” study published in March 2019, customer service, fancy swimming pool and high speed Internet are the big winners among student soon to leave college life. But game rooms and coffee shops on the premises of new residence halls, are found to be unfavorable. The extensive study included satisfaction questionnaires and other observations in a case study of a housing leasing company with properties across the United States.
A sample of today’s campus living amenities include;
Snapshot of Properties and Amenities
St. Louis, MO
Pet friendly, resort‐style pool, fitness center, pool table, fire pit, walk to campus, ping pong, study room, tanning
Ann Arbor, MI
Close to mass transit, retail centers and restaurants; rooftop terrace with stadium view; outdoor grill and fire pit; café’ study lounge with private study room; computer lab; free building Wi‐Fi; club room with foosball, arcade game, and billiards table; state‐of‐the‐art fitness facility; wellbeats fitness‐on‐request, free tanning; electronic key access to all amenity spaces; garage parking available; bike storage with keyed entry
Clubhouse, fitness center, greenspace, game room, pool area, computer lab, gold simulator, coffee bar, tanning, yoga studio, bike storage, pet friendly
Pool area, basketball court, greenspace, clubhouse, golf simulator, computer lounge, cardio space, strength center, tanning, outdoor grilling, pet friendly
Pet friendly, clubhouse, large pool area, volleyball, basketball court, tennis, bocce ball, multipurpose fitness room, greenspace, sauna, golf simulator, computer lounge, tanning, pool hammocks
Pet friendly community, free shuttle service, expansive clubhouse, computer lab with study room, large multitiered pool w/tanning ledge, swim‐up movie, screen on pool deck, weight and cardio room with state‐of‐the‐art fitness equipment, free tanning featuring two stand‐up beds and one lay down bed, spa suite offering manicures, pedicures, massages, and other spa services, virtual golf simulator featuring PGA tour courses, water volleyball, outdoor grilling stations, community basketball hoop, bocce ball court
Large pool, fitness center, basketball, tennis, putting green, greenspace, clubhouse, private shuttle, pet friendly
Pet friendly, luxury clubhouse with theater, state‐of‐the‐art 24‐h fitness center, study rooms, business center, resort style saltwater pool, sand volleyball, grilling area in‐unit laundry, walk‐in closets, high‐speed Internet included, tanning beds, green spaces and sidewalks, gated community
Furniture package available, hardwood‐style floors, in‐unit laundry, flat‐panel HDTV in living room, patios and balconies available, 24‐h fitness center, study spaces, business center, game/media room, resort‐style pool, grilling stations, 24‐h on‐site management, covered parking in attached garage, bicycle storage, pet friendly
Clubhouse, fitness center, pool area, volleyball, movie theatre, computer lounge, basketball court, putting green, greenspace, tanning bed, pet friendly
Source: Residential Satisfaction among College Students: Examining High‐End Amenity Student Housing,2019.
Brown, J. , Volk, F. & Spatto, E. (2019). The Hidden Structure: The Influence of Residence Hall Design on Academic Outcomes, Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 56:3, 267-283, DOI: 10.1080/19496591.2019.1611590 .
Moore, H. P., Carswell, A. T., Worthy, S. and Nielsen, R. (2019), Residential Satisfaction among College Students: Examining High‐End Amenity Student Housing. Fam Consum Sci Res J, 47: 260-275. doi:10.1111/fcsr.12298.
The proliferation of podcasts listeners is profound. More than half of the U.S. population over 12 years of age, have tuned into at least one podcast or radio broadcast
The double-digit growth in this exploding sector has caused a related explosion in venture capitalists, angel investors and technology companies offering lucrative financing, training and marketing services to the new creators of audio content. Some tech companies such as Google and Spotify are especially interested in supporting “people of color” podcast creators.
The trends show that younger listeners are increasing their podcast listening:
As a professor of journalism at Florida A&M University, I require my digital media/storytelling students to produce audio stories. In all, more than 60 podcasts are posted on my Wix, wordpress.com and pinterest sites. Some of the podcasts were stellar and others needed work. The scale of great to acceptable was directly due to the students’ willingness to follow the recommended steps involving everything from idea creation and naming to journalistic interview skills and audio editing.
Here are a few links of recent student podcasts:
Food insecurity among college students: An interview of two students by Tenae Taylor:
FAMU grad and Florida Sen. Bobby Powell, Jr. interview by Dontay Thomas:
Podcast hunters are seeking new creators
There is a steep learning curve for my students and other podcast creators to learn the detailed aspects of designing and maintaining successful audio shows.
An angel investor consortium known as Podfund debuted in May 2019 with the promise of assisting start-up podcast companies. There are financial and other terms to Podfund’s offer to podcast newbies. I’ve found Podfund to be reasonable, accessible and full of great resources for the new podcast entrepreneur. I like Podfund’s open and rolling deadlines for consideration of proposal. Be sure to click on all the FAQs and terms agreement before applying. See https://podfund.submittable.com.
Zebras Unite https://www.zebrasunite.com/ is an active investor in the podcast realm with the commitment to “a more ethical and inclusive movement to counter existing startup and venture capital culture. We believe creating an alternative to this status quo is a moral imperative.”I like this company that was founded by four female entrepreneurs because of its extended opportunity to individuals who may be interested in different aspects of angel investing.
A hand up
Google and Spotify are among a handful of companies inviting competition and offering training and financial incentives. A mission-driven media investment company, PRX, https://googlecp.prx.org/ just closed its open call for podcast creators, yet still offers webinars for budding podcasters. Spotify revived its popular podcast bootcamp for women of color, “Sound Up” to take place in August 2019. It comes complete with $10,000 to each of the three winners. Last year, 18,000 applicants flooded Spotify’s competition website.
There are hundreds of podcast training programs offered by media companies, universities, entrepreneurs and others with specialized skills in the
It’s no wonder that podcast angel investors, venture capitalists and technology companies are actively recruiting new creators of audio content.
Who says there aren’t internships and full-time jobs for journalists, other media professionals, social media whiz kids, specialty communicators and seasoned professionals? and specialty communicators? Also, check out the state-by-state offering of the latest and greatest communications jobs.
Be sure to like, share and comment!
High Noon is looking for a summer intern based in Washington D.C.
The Minnesota Vikings are looking for a Social Content & Entertainment intern:
The Wall Street Journal is seeking a reporter to join Life & Arts to cover social-media and internet culture: the latest trends, personalities, influencers, memes and communities that exist on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and emerging social-media platforms. The reporter will cover the ever-changing ways people are communicating and socializing within established and new social media, the social and political micro-communities that exist on various platforms, and the broader youth zeitgeist. The focus of this beat will be newsy features about lifestyle and culture rather than on technology.
At least five years of beat reporting experience is required. Please include a cover letter and at least five clips in your application.
Chicago Sun-Times (This post will go live May 28 and stay up for two weeks. This is a senior-level position and not for recent graduates. Please feel free to contact me with any questions before you apply: email@example.com, Kathy Chaney,Chicago Sun-Times,Deputy Managing Editor, Breaking News and Staff Development).
The Chicago Sun-Times — home of one of the nation’s best sports sections, as well as the new Sun-Times Sports Saturday product — is seeking a digital sports editor who can work with beat writers, other editors and the newspaper’s audience team to make sure the most people possible are viewing the sports staff’s award-winning content… This is a senior-level position, requiring a sports journalist who has deft writing and editing skills and knows industry best practices. This position reports to the Deputy Managing Editor, Sports and Production.
• Edit copy throughout the day and optimize it for the Sun-Times’ content management system • Write and aggregate posts on breaking sports news • At the sports editor’s direction, communicate with beat writers about daily and long-term coverage • Manage the sports homepage on suntimes.com and other online sections • Work with the Sun-Times audience/homepage and visual teams to develop interactive elements that engage both digital and print readers — with some of these elements to be used to promote stories on social media
• Write and edit stories clearly on tight deadlines and thrive in breaking-news situations • Make sure daily stories include multiple elements (text, photo, video) • Team player with sound news judgment • Working knowledge of social media and SEO best practices
• Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or related field • Experience as a Chicago pro- or college-beat writer — along with previous editing experience in Chicago — strongly preferred • While this position is geared toward driving attention to Sun-Times content during the day and assisting the sports editor with planning, night and weekend work will be expected depending on the news cycle
Candidates are encouraged to provide samples of work to show evidence of the ability to excel in this position. Please send these clips or links to your work — along with a resume and cover letter with “Digital Sports Editor” in the subject line — firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. (No phone calls, please..)
This is a non-exempt (union) position. Sun-Times Media Productions LLC does not discriminate in its employment decisions on the basis on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender, color, religion, age, genetic information, medical condition, disability, marital status, citizenship or national origin, and military membership or veteran status, or on any other basis which would be in violation of any applicable federal, state or local law.
My blind son opened my eyes to the world | Opinion
Ann Wead Kimbrough, Your TurnPublished 4:00 a.m. ET May 12, 2019 | Updated 11:58 a.m. ET May 12, 2019CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE
John Charles Kimbrough graduates this weekend from Lindenwood University. (Photo: Ann Kimbrough)
It was the darkest day in the life of young John Charles Kimbrough. Literally.
During a creative activity at the Southwest DeKalb Summer Arts Camp, John told his twin sister, Jocelyn Cheryl, that he could not see. They made a pact to finish the camp day by walking arm-in-arm and sticking together until his sight returned.
Jocelyn, now a minister, recalls their faith was based on a Bible verse. The camp counselors uncovered the 8-year-olds’ secret after John gained a few bruises from walking into doors and tripping over children while he was changing into his dance clothes.
Seven eye surgeries later, in early August 1995 the surgeons declared John would not regain his eyesight. The after-effects of the meningitis that crept upon him at 3 months old severely damaged his retinas.
The news of the inevitable hit me in the midsection and I landed in a familiar, uncomfortable hospital chair. John was asleep in his hospital bed with bandages covering his eyes.
Our pastor arrived and asked his dad, Wendell Kimbrough, Sr., and me if we believed John would see again. Realizing his question was spiritually metaphoric, I replied, “Yes.” I did not know then how much John would open my eyes to a world of focused, sightless individuals and their advocates.
This Mother’s Day weekend, John will receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lindenwood University in Southern Illinois. With his twin sister as his guide, John will be bestowed with magna cum laude honors, and will begin graduate work in June.
John’s big brother, W. Earl Kimbrough II — a math teacher at Rickards High School and Ph.D. candidate at Florida A&M University — and I will join John’s grandparents and more family and friends to witness what some doctors and therapists suggested would be next to impossible.
It is in the impossible that John has guided me to live. His infant brain grew at a rate faster than his skull could withstand, and he was scheduled for life-altering surgery. He suffered from seizures and was at risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The seizure medicine was addictive and the weaning process was like that of an adult addict. It was horrible, but necessary, for a 3-year-old.
Medical insurances dropped John’s coverage because of pre-existing conditions, so the hospital stays and doctors’ visits were out-of-pocket expenses.
John was developmentally delayed by 18 months compared to his twin; he lost hearing in one ear and learned to walk much later than she did.
Today he is in the early stages of prepping for a kidney transplant, as the harsh medicines that saved his life cost him an organ.
Yet John has thrived and so have we — during periods of financial, emotional, physical and spiritual challenges. He is a skier, golfer, goal ball player and a track and field competitor. John was named a Helen Keller scholar and spent a week in a leadership institute in New York.
He has helped with hurricane relief while a student at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, and received accolades and scholarships during his high school graduation. He married and is the father of a 5-year-old daughter Jazymyn, who lives in Ocala with her mother. Eventually, he returned to Lindenwood to finish his degree.
It is because of John that Florida legislation was signed by former Gov. Jeb Bush to streamline and facilitate the process for disabled students to take the then-FCAT. I asked state legislators to mandate the Education Department to offer John a Braille test. The governor’s office staff, initially incensed with me for my advocacy, created a statewide task force and placed me on the committee.
I’ve been trained as a blind guide, participated in “Dinner in the Dark” fundraisers, taken elementary school field trips as John’s chaperone. The most memorable was a camping trip when John and I laid on the cool grassy knoll and I described the stars in the sky. John, whose memory became nearly “steel trapped” after he his lost sight, explained the configuration of the constellations.
FAMU professor Ann Kimbrough (Photo: Democrat files)
There is not enough space to describe the insults I’ve endured, tears I’ve shed, miles I’ve traveled and the sleep that will never be returned, all for John. His siblings and other family members have shared in the joys and pain.
CANAL STREET is a faith-filled and timely portrayal of racial and class conflicts ripped from today’s headlines, where young men of color are often guilty until proven innocent. After the murder of a white classmate, all eyes fall on Kholi Styles (Gray), and it is up to his father (Williamson), an up-and-coming lawyer from the south side of Chicago, to prove his son is not the monster the world has made him out to be. This inspirational film will be entertaining for audiences of all ages.
Canal Street is directed, co-written and produced by Rhyan LaMarr. The film boasts a veteran multi-ethnic cast which includes Bryshere Gray (“Empire”), Mykelti Williamson (“Fences”), Mekhi Phifer (“Divergent”), Woody McClain (“The Bobby Brown Story”), Lance Reddick (“John Wick”), and Kevin Quinn (“Bunk’d”). Grammy Award winning record executive Amir Windom (Bruno Mars, Pharrell) executive produced the film and also music supervised the film.
I keep up with the current and historical data and trends on what to generally know about each generation. I am a Baby Boomer. I was born in 1958 — almost in the middle of the 1946 – 1964 range when we were cast as the biggest group of babies born in modern times.
I love my age colleagues. Yet, I love the Millennnials (1980 – 2004), Gen Xers (squeezed in between the Millis and Gen Zers), and my iGen or Gen Zers. Why? They are rebels. They are inquisitive and if you answer their queries in a thorough manner and never tire of the questions, they are forever engaged in your space.
As a university professor, I am fortunate to learn from a lively group of young people. My current semester’s classes have their own cultures. In one class, my sophomores, juniors and a few seniors are interested in the how-tos of blogging and podcasting. The other class is interested in writing drills and building confidence in their writing. The other class is interested in learning more about the multi-media and public relations/affairs environment. In all, the students have these factors in common: They want to learn more, they do not like traditional textbooks and varied classroom engagements are their favorite distractions from regularly checking social media posts on their portable devices. They respect data, especially when they count the number of views and likes one has on their social media posts. That’s why I’ve included just one of my social media stats from @Quora. See the weekly stats that are the featured image in this post.
I learn from this group. I engage with them through the traditional school-based tools — Blackboard and iRattler — yet, I utilize all social media formats identified by them and me as their key sources of news and information. I also blog and am a frequent contributor on @Quora and LinkedIn’s private mentor platform. My email and text features are also open to students. I incorporate games into the learning modules, conduct quizzes and offer surveys. Visuals, including live TV news shows, podcasts and “Skyped-in” telecasts are included. They also love the in-person appearances of grads, especially those on the celebrity level.
I recommend to my colleagues to consider different approaches to reaching this important group of our current and future leaders. Often, my peers quip to me something like, “it must be tough teaching Millennials and the other Gens.” I answer back: “No, it is easy. They know everything!” My response is meant to be a joke, because the one feature of my favorite group of folk is that they believe that they know a lot because they are digital natives. Naw. When it comes to insight on interpersonal skills development, general life skills, effective workplace decorum and similar “basic” life experiences, my favorite group of young people are well … er uh … lacking.
The upshot: We all have a lot to learn from one another.
Happy New Year. Some course numbers are being reconciled to ensure your course registration matches your schedule. As I await information to correctly post on Blackboard, please find your syllabus. See you on Monday!