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Ferguson, Ethics, and the Public Intellectual

During the 1890s, newspaper publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst competed against each other to sell more papers. They printed sensationalist stories accompanied with fear-inducing headlines and vivid, provocative pictures. Journalists eschewed facts for melodrama. At the height of yellow journalism, the two newspaper tycoons published stories that contributed to the United States’ involvement […]

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What’s in a Name?

Professor? Dr.? Bill? Since the first day of my Ph.D. program I consistently called all of my instructors Dr. So and So. This was against the norm of most students; students called the faculty members by their first names both to their face and behind closed doors. Along the way I have received some pushback […]

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I Read This Book and You Have To: It’s Complicated

It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by danah boyd is a fun, thoughtful, essential book to read for anyone who is trying to make sense of how teenagers make use of social media. Her narrative voice is great; from page 1 until the end of the book 213 pages later, the reader has […]

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Paying for College

Over the last several years we have rightfully been obsessing about student debt. Many students are taking on too much debt. The cost of college can also be a turnoff for poor students who understand debt but don’t necessarily understand foregone earnings. Why go to school for four years, incur debt, and end up with […]

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What Makes an Excellent Dissertation?

What is an excellent dissertation? It is not, as many students initially think, a document to revolutionize education. It is a culminating product that allows one to demonstrate his or her ability to address a significant problem, synthesize information around that problem, develop arguments and a rationale for a study or project in a clear […]

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Quality Grading

When grading, it can be tempting to give a check mark or a letter grade and call it a day; but grading student papers can be a conversation between master and apprentice. The body of research on effective feedback indicates that feedback should be timely, specific, and detailed; the research also shows that the majority […]

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Transferring Athletic Discipline into Academic Discipline

Any athlete over the long haul has to be disciplined. Some natural athletes can perform at a peak level for a time (think Babe Ruth), but as your body ages it betrays you (think Joe Namath). I’m not a natural athlete but I enjoy physical activity—whether it’s hiking, working out, or running. I enjoy the […]

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On Mentoring, Goals, and What It’s All About

I have mentored lots of students over the years. Insofar as we are all different every individual needs to be mentored in a different way. The methods may differ, but there is an underlying basis to mentoring that stays the same for everyone, and that has to do with trust. There is someone I have […]

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Youth Experiencing Homelessness and Transitioning to College–What’s Promising? What’s Challenging?

This is my 20th year working in the field of homeless education and I’ve witnessed tremendous change. While the general public may not see the face of a child when they hear the word, “homeless,” many educators do. Gone are the days when I would offer training on homeless education and find the room nearly […]

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Supporting Unaccompanied Youth

In 2011, we explored how homelessness shaped student and families’ K–12 schooling experiences in a medium-sized Midwestern city. We gathered longitudinal district data and conducted 132 semi-structured interviews with school employees, parents experiencing homelessness, and community providers. Our study led to myriad findings on the diversity of homelessness, educational resource access, and parental engagement. While […]

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