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Aiming for what we can’t see

You can’t aim for what you can’t see. I’m heading into the final months of my ACE fellowship and am desperately seeking any last bits of inspiration before I return full time to USC. This year has been exciting but challenging—and I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. One of the particular challenges […]

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ACE fellowship Updates: “Everything looks like failure when it’s only half way done”

Last month I wrote about the selection of an acting president at UNLV, my host institution for my ACE fellowship. It’s been a month and a few days since the acting president was selected; the work and responsibilities of the leadership team in the Provost’s Office have not slowed down. One of the things that […]

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Picking Up the Big Red Shiny Ball, or Not.

I’m heading into the 2nd semester of my journey as an ACE fellow. So far this month, I’ve spent four days in Miami going through the mid-year retreat and almost two weeks at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) watching the action as the new acting president was named and an immediate search was launched […]

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ACE Fellow Diary 2: Leadership Changes

As you may know, the current president of UNLV (where I am doing my ACE placement this year) has announced that he plans to transition onto a new role as the president of University of North Texas. The transition should happen pretty quickly. Like in the next month, which in the realm of university presidents […]

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Humblebrags, Fangirling, & Throwing Shade: Academic Reputation Building in Social Media

Over the summer, I tried to develop a Twitter and Facebook presence for my current team research project. It went nowhere. I don’t think we’ve put a thing on there since August. There are a few reasons for this. First, we were too busy collecting and analyzing the data to post about it. Second, the […]

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ACE Fellow Diary: From 4.5% to 2.3%

I’m an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow this year. What that means is that I was selected by ACE to spend a year developing my skills and knowledge as an emerging leader in higher education. To get into the program, I had to be nominated and go through an interview process, which was kind […]

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I Work at USC and I Study Financial Aid. Is it Really that Much of a Paradox?

I am totally aware that when I say that “I study financial aid and I work at USC” that people get skeptical. Over the last few weeks. I’ve had five people say something that can be summarized as: “How can you work at a place like USC and care about the costs of college and […]

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Advice from My Elders: The Morality of Student Loans

I was in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, sitting in the kitchen of a small condo with a man I’ve never met before. My 17 month-old son had settled his sleepy little body in my arms and was softly snoring. How I ended up in the condo and talking with the man is […]

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Scare Tactics and Student Loan Debt: A Lesson in Reading Past the Headlines

Early Wednesday morning, a student I work with tagged me on Facebook (FB) about an article on student loan debt. I was a little confused when I saw the FB phone alert, which displayed this message: “Kristan might as well start becoming more familiar with what is likely to be the story of many lives […]

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The Thursday Pop: 5/29 is 529 Day!

Only six days until 529 day! 5/29 is 529 day … and May is actually 529 month—so as someone who writes about financial aid, I shouldn’t end the month without at least mentioning them. What is a 529? It’s a college savings plan that can begin for kids from the day that they are born […]

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