first_imgStudents have been warned that a failure to follow official sub fusc regulation could lead to “serious inconveniences” and delays.The reminder comes after some attempted to graduate with what University Proctors considered excessive “flesh” on show, among other infringements on the University’s graduation dress-code.The email sent to students cited a number of infractions including bare legs or no socks or tights, non-dark footwear, and coloured clothing. At this year’s ceremony, some women wearing high-heeled shoes without socks were barred entry to the ceremony until they covered up.French graduate Eleanor Broome’s ceremony was delayed by fifteen minutes as she “had to run, in full sub fusc and gown, through the crowded streets round the Sheldonian in a desperate search for black socks.”After eventually finding a pair of tights to wear under her trousers, she was allowed entry to her graduation. She told the Telegraph that she thought the regulations to be “so outdated” for not considering women wearing trousers and heels.She said: “It was a boiling hot July, I didn’t want to wear covered lace up shoes and black socks.“I did really love my degree and I loved my time at Oxford, but what should have been the happiest day of my life turned into the angriest day of my life.”On her Facebook page she shared what she called a “provocative photo of my exposed ankles.”She told Cherwell: “It’s mad [the university] takes it so seriously and won’t allow people to do exams or graduate.”She added that she has never seen a male student be “told off”.She also referred to an incident in her Finals during which a female student was threatened with being barred from re-entering the exam room after leaving to go to the toilets without her gown.Broome told Cherwell: “When we were doing finals, one girl came in, sat down, took off her gown, got up to go to the loo and then when she came back, the exam invigilator said, ‘By rights I don’t have to allow you back in because you are not wearing your gown.’”In response to her own situation, Broome thanked her friend for who “literally risked not graduating because she wanted to make sure I found some socks” and her mother for “putting up with me in spite of my ankle exposing tendencies.”Rebecca Morton also had difficulty attending her graduation ceremony as she too was “showing flesh”, according to University officials.She told the Telegraph that she also saw sexism in the University’s dress code regulations saying they are “designed for a default male student.”“It is one of the many ways in which the University continues to adhere to a set of archaic regulations that are coded for men.”In response to these complaints, a spokesperson for the University said: “The note went out to College Deans of Degrees at the start of summer as a reminder of the dress code for degree ceremonies.“The note was intended to avoid delays to ceremonies, as a courtesy to everyone attending. “We are not aware of any significant delays as a result this year.”last_img read more

first_imgBack in November, Dave Matthews got together with Cuban singer-songwriter Carlos Varela, a key player in Cuba’s Nueva Trova movement, for a private event in Washington, DC to benefit The Center for Democracy in the Americas. Today, a full taping of the intimate performance has emerged. The first third of the video captures a Dave Matthews solo set of three songs before welcoming Varela and his band (Aldo Lopez Gavilán, piano; Yissy García, drums; Julio Cesar González, bass) to join him for the rest of the set. The hour-long performance ran through favorites from Dave Matthew’s catalog including “Save Me,” “#41,” and an encore of “Ants Marching.” The group also performed a song of Varela’s “Muros y Puertas.”The proceeds from the event, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Center, went toward normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba, two countries with a tenuous history at best. Matthews and Varela have played together a handful of times during 2016, both on American and Cuban soil, as part of the cultural exchange program established with the lifting of the Cuban embargo. Matthews serves on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and Varela has served as a cultural delegate to Cuba.Watch the performance and check out the setlist below, courtesy of Jason E. Stessel.Dave Matthews Solo Set03:30 Little Red Bird08:05 Don’t Drink the Water14:16 OhDave Matthews With Carlos Varela and Band19:00 Save Me24:14 #4131:01 Samurai Cop38:09 Muros y Puertas*Encore46:33 Ants Marching[H/T JamBase]last_img read more

first_imgIf you have it, you probably don’t know it. Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is perhaps one of the biggest pathogens you’ve never heard of — big both proportionately and epidemiologically. It contains approximately 200 genes, compared to HIV’s paltry 18, and it’s everywhere. You can catch it as a preschooler salivating over blocks, or as a teenager experiencing your first kiss. Once you have it, you have it for life.The good news: If you’re healthy, it’s harmless. Your T cells keep it in check, and you’ll be none the wiser.The bad news: If you have any medical condition that dampens your immune system, such as HIV infection or a recent organ transplant, the virus can assert itself with a vengeance. The results, sometimes, are life-threatening.Researchers in the lab of Steven Gygi, professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School, report that they have discovered a menu of tactical secrets CMV employs. Using mass spectrometry, a technological platform commonly employed in physics and chemistry, the researchers were able to describe the dynamics of a CMV infection in a fibroblast, or connective tissue cell, over a three-day course of infection. As a result, the researchers discovered ways CMV evades the immune system, and also showed how certain viral proteins target and destroy human proteins that defend against infection.“This is an entirely new way of studying the behavior and tactics of viruses,” said Gygi.These results are published in the June 5 Cell.Mass spectrometry has existed for more than a century, used primarily by physicists and chemists to describe and measure small molecules. Inside the mass spectrometer tool (or mass spec), molecules are shattered by an electric charge and then brought through a magnetic field where they are characterized one by one.Traditionally, this approach has not been relevant for the life sciences because biomolecules such as proteins are too large for the process. But over the last 15 years, Gygi has been innovating ways to incorporate mass spec into biology. In one approach, “electrospray,” subunits of proteins called peptides are vaporized and then sprayed into a chamber where they are broken apart by helium. The mass spec then sequences the amino acids of each peptide. The molecules are “reassembled” through an algorithm that matches them to a protein database.Michael Weekes, a postdoctoral researcher in the Gygi lab and an expert in infectious disease, decided to use mass spec for virology. He chose CMV because, for a virus that is so widespread, very little is known about it. “Many scientists are interested in CMV, but few if any have tried to tackle it in a comprehensive way before,” he said.Weekes took a sample of fibroblasts newly infected with CMV, harvested the proteins from both the virus and the cell, and sprayed them into the mass spec at different times over three days in order to construct a thorough trajectory of infection. The first three days of infection are particularly important since they mark a covert stage in which the virus hijacks, but hasn’t yet destroyed, the cell.The researchers were able to study approximately 8,000 total proteins, identifying not only ways that CMV evades the immune system, but also discovering a number of new therapeutic targets. Most notably, they were able to look closely at proteins that live on the cell surface. This is especially crucial since most drugs target cell surface proteins, yet these proteins are harder to study than proteins inside the cell due to their low numbers.Weekes and his colleagues found 29 viral proteins living on the cell surface, 23 of which had not been discovered previously. Many of these CMV surface proteins deter immune cells. Others block cellular proteins that activate immunity. In other words, CMV wards off rescuers while disabling a cell’s ability to defend itself.“So much of this viral genome is dedicated to simply evading the immune system,” said Weekes.The next step, according to the researchers, would be to identify antibodies against many of these viral proteins, ideally destroying infected cells before they replicate and spread the pathogen.“This would be an entirely new way to combat CMV,” said Weekes.This study was funded by the Wellcome Trust Fellowship and a National Institutes of Health grant.last_img read more

first_imgWhile Massachusetts K-12 students as a group consistently rank at or near the top in the nation for their academic performance, not every local school district has found the secret to success.Take Lawrence, an industrial, Latino-majority city 25 miles north of Boston with a school system that has about 13,000 students, 90 percent of whom are from low-income homes and 70 percent of whom speak English as a second language. The district had a long history of leadership instability and student underperformance. Only half of its students typically graduated from high school in four years, and its test scores ranked in the bottom five for the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) state-run exams for both math and English language arts during the 2010-2011 school year.That spotty track record prompted state officials, for the first time, to take control of the school system in late 2011, paving the way for a top-to-bottom reorganization, new leadership, and sweeping reforms that began in early 2012 and are still continuing.Among the changes:Higher performance expectations were established for the district;More flexibility was added for each school to determine what strategies worked best and what support was needed;The management of three schools was turned over to charter groups that expanded instruction by 90 minutes per day;District-run schools added enrichment offerings after school for kids, while teachers met to discuss and prepare daily plans;Outside data experts were brought in to guide ongoing changes;A new teacher compensation structure and contract was reached. There was broad new hiring of principals and assistant principals, and dismissal of low-performing teachers.Researchers at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) have studied the first round of academic achievement data to come out of Lawrence since the turnaround effort started. During a discussion Tuesday evening, they offered a first look at how the process is going. Compared with the state’s 48 other low-income-majority school districts, Lawrence students closed the achievement gap by two-thirds in 2012-2013.“There’s no question that in the first year of the turnaround, Lawrence’s achievement in math really jumped up by a substantial amount, whether you compare it to the state as a whole or to other low-income districts,” said Joshua Goodman, assistant professor of public policy at HKS and an HGSE faculty member, who was part of the research team.While the English language arts scores did not improve on average, those students who attended “acceleration academies” ― new weeklong intensive sessions held during school vacation breaks and taught by top teachers ― showed improvement both there and in math. “These gains that we see in math in particular are pretty widespread … so that’s somewhat comforting to us in the sense that it means these results are not being driven by one or two or three schools doing remarkable things,” said Goodman.The group will examine data from the current school year when it becomes available in early fall.“We’re trying to do something different here in Lawrence, and I think it really comes down to a school-by-school and student-by-student strategy,” said Seth Racine, chief redesign officer at Lawrence Public Schools. “We’re not trying to impose one model or one intervention on everybody.”“To me, this is very encouraging news,” said Paul Reville, the Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration at HGSE and the Massachusetts secretary of education from 2008 through 2012. Reville noted that given the country’s “terrible” track record trying to improve chronically underperforming schools, Lawrence is in the national spotlight as other districts and policymakers consider similar reforms.“Nowhere has a state done a good job in turning around the academic performance of a school district, and everyone has been very hopeful from the outset that we’re going to be the first state to break that logjam and to show that we can get promising educational results from an enlightened strategy” of school takeovers, he said.“We’ve got a lot more work to do if we’re going to make good on this promise of education reform, which is ‘we’re going to educate all students to a high level,’ and all means all.”last_img read more

first_imgAfter University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh died in 2015, the South Bend city council wanted to find a way to honor his memory, South Bend deputy director of public works Jitin Kain said. So it decided to install a statue of Hesburgh in the city.“ … The mayor’s office began speaking with the University about honoring his legacy, and the idea that came forward [for the statue] was the picture of him and Dr. King that has been used on campus a lot,” Kain said. “It’s very known. The idea was, ‘Can we make that into a life-size monument?’”The picture — replicated in the LaFortune Student Center — depicts Hesburgh holding hands with Martin Luther King Jr. at a rally in Chicago while they sing “We Shall Overcome,” according to a University press release.Fr. Hesburgh was known for his involvement with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which he helped to engineer, former Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Digger Phelps said.“There were three men from the South and three men from the North — including Fr. Hesburgh — and they went up to the Land of Lakes in Wisconsin, where Notre Dame has a retreat place,” he said. “And that’s where after an afternoon of fishing, the six men … came up with ideas for the Civil Rights Act [and] took it to the White House to give to President Eisenhower.”Professor Emeritus of American studies and journalism Robert Schmuhl, author of “Fifty Years with Father Hesburgh: On and Off the Record,” said Hesburgh played a critical role in the Civil Rights movement.“Fr. Hesburgh was one of the original members of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission when it began its work in 1957,” he said in an email. “He served while four presidents were in the White House (from 1957 until 1972) and was named chairman of the Commission by Richard Nixon. That was a critical 15-year period in civil rights for this country, and Fr. Hesburgh was at the center of many of the actions and passions of this time.”Though Hesburgh tended to concentrate his personal involvement in national and international affairs rather than in South Bend, his work still impacted the local community, Schmuhl said.“Fr. Hesburgh viewed Notre Dame as a national — and international — university and as a result he tended to focus his attention and work on national and international affairs,” he said. “His appointments to various commissions and boards by American presidents and Popes reflected assignments of broad consequence with local implications. His service reverberated to encompass South Bend and the local area.”The sculpture of Hesburgh and King was designed by local sculptor Tuck Langland and funded by the African American Community Fund, the University of Notre Dame, the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, Arthur J. Decio, Dorene and Jerry Hammes, Jerry H. Mowbray, Great Lakes Capital, Visit South Bend Mishawaka and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), Kain said.“We knew we wanted to do more than just install the statue because we were also trying to activate the public plaza space,” Kain said. “So at that point we identified the need to fundraise a little more, to do some landscaping and the water feature which you see now in the plaza, tables and chairs and that part was done through a crowdfunding program called Patronicity.”Kain said the city raised approximately $20,000 through Patronicity, which the IHCDA then matched with a grant. Fundraising, along with choosing a location for the statue, were the aspects of the project which he said required the most planning.“But beyond that, you know, once the funding was in place, once the location was in place, we did have some challenges in getting contractors for the installation,” he said. “Because we have so much construction activity in our city, and this was a smaller project compared to some of the other work that’s happening in South Bend and on campus.”Kain said the statue was constructed in Leighton Plaza on South Main Street, in order to create “a space for gathering.”   “We often see people who are walking by the plaza will stop and take their picture with the statue, but will also sit in the plaza space,” he said. “So the plaza, Leighton Plaza, was very under-utilized. Once we placed the statue in there, it’s really become more of a vibrant public space.”Tags: City of South Bend, Fr. Ted, Martin Luther King Jr.last_img read more

first_imgIn light of Pope Francis’s announcement to appoint Archbishop Wilton Gregory to the rank of cardinal, University President Fr. John Jenkins expressed his congratulations Monday.“We offer Archbishop Gregory our warmest congratulations on his elevation to cardinal by Pope Francis and assure him of our prayers and support,” Jenkins said.Gregory is currently the archbishop of Washington D.C. In 2012, the University awarded Gregory an honorary degree.“Archbishop Gregory’s appointment as the first African American cardinal is particularly important at this critical moment in our nation’s struggle for racial justice and equality,” Jenkins said.Tags: Archbishop, Cardinal, Fr. John Jenkins, Wilton Gregorylast_img read more

first_imgHanover, NH, February 9, 2005 – UK Architects, PC, has finalized a contract with the Sugar River Redevelopment Company, LLC, to be the Architect of Record for the rehabilitation of the Peterson and Wainshal Mill Buildings in Claremont, New Hampshire. UK Architects will be working in collaboration with the Design Collective, an architectural firm from Baltimore, Maryland. The Design Collective will provide master planning and schematic design services for the project, and UK Architects will be responsible for implementing the design and overseeing the construction. This professional collaboration brings expertise in the area of mill building rehabilitation, along with local knowledge and project oversight experience, to Sugar River Redevelopment and the City of Claremont.The Peterson and Wainshal Mill Buildings were originally part of the Monadnock Mills Company founded in 1846, and were used primarily for the manufacture of cotton goods. The Wainshal Building was constructed in 1853 and is one of the few remaining examples of mill construction with a monitor-style roof that admits light or air into the space. In 1915, the building was extended with a rear addition that approximately doubled its size. The Peterson Building was built in 1892, and at some later date, an upper story was added to it. The Monadnock Mills Company closed its mills in the 1930s, and the buildings, for the most part, have remained unused since that time. Both buildings are classic examples of New England brick mill construction and are integral to the architecture of Claremonts historic mill district.The developer, Sugar River Redevelopment Company of Burlington, Vermont, is tentatively proposing a mixed-use redevelopment of the two existing buildings into residential condominiums and commercial offices. The structures large windows, wood interior columns and beams, and brick walls lend themselves to interesting architectural interiors. The design team, the developer, and City officials will begin preliminary planning and design in the latter half of February.UK Architects, PC, led by principals Hunter Ulf, AIA, and Chris Kennedy, AIA, is located in Hanover, New Hampshire and provides architectural services that make a lasting difference in communities and the environment through their work with residential, commercial, and institutional clients. Founded in 1992, a sample of the firms recent projects include the Upper Valley Haven in White River Junction, Vermont, the renovation of the Bridgman Building in downtown Hanover, New Hampshire, and the Billings Common Office Park in Wilder, Vermont.# # #Contact: M. Hunter Ulf, AIA UK Architects, PC 23 South Main Street, Suite 2A Hanover, NH 03743 Phone: 603-643-8868, x123 Fax: 603-643-5958last_img read more

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An unidentified woman was fatally struck by several vehicles while walking on the Northern State Parkway in Dix Hills on Wednesday morning.New York State police said the pedestrian was hit on the westbound side of the roadway while in the lanes of traffic near Deer Park Road, exit 42, shortly after 6 a.m.The incident occurred near where 16-year-old Taylor Ann Cavalere was fatally struck by a car after walking onto the parkway shortly after she left an under-aged drinking party in April 2011.The westbound lanes of the parkway were closed during the morning rush hour commute while investigators were on the scene.Anyone with information regarding this incident please contact Investigator Richard Esposito at 631-231-6389.last_img read more

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Nitrogen pollution continues to threaten vulnerable marshlands that serve as natural buffers, causing losses of critical areas along the South Shore of Long Island and diminishing their ability to protect coastal communities, according to a study released by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Thursday.The scientific white paper bolsters what environmentalists (and the Press) have been warning about for years. Salt marshes were once thought to have an unlimited capacity to remove excess nitrogen from the environment. But not any more. The negative effects of nitrogen pollution have garnered greater attention in recent years due to the marshland damage caused by powerful storms, most notably Superstorm Sandy.“The report illustrates the noxious effect excess nitrogen pollution has on marshland systems that help to protect Long Island against storms like Sandy,” DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said in a statement announcing the release of the study. “Based on this information, it is imperative that efforts to improve coastal storm resiliency include actions to significantly reduce nitrogen pollution.”Scientists blame marsh loss on several factors: sea level rise, sediment alteration, wave action and coastal development. But the greatest source of nitrogen pollution came from wastewater, according to a previous study of the Great South Bay, which the report cites.According to the report, 68 percent of the total nitrogen that entered the Great South Bay originated from wastewater emanating from septic systems and sewage discharged into the watershed.The DEC’s report noted that increased nitrogen exposure causes marsh grass to become greener and grow taller, but the roots are weaker and smaller. Eventually, the marsh grass grows too tall and collapses, “exposing soils to erosive forces.”“The destabilization of creek-edge and bay-edge marshes makes these areas much more susceptible to the constant tugging and pulling of waves, accelerating erosion and the ultimate loss of stabilizing vegetation,” the report stated.It continues: “This process results in the loss of the naturally resilient coastal barrier marshes—a barrier that protects shoreline communities from major storm surges and wave action along coastal areas.”Thus, according to the report, reducing the resiliency of our coastlines and making the Island more vulnerable to future storm surges.The DEC highlighted three projects that could limit nitrogen concentration, though their combined price tag would likely soar into the billions: adding an ocean outfall pipe to Nassau County’s troubled Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, expanding the use of the Bergen Point wastewater treatment plant with a repaired outfall pipe, and extending sewers to cover densely populated areas of southern Suffolk County.The federal government has already agreed to provide Nassau County with $810 million to repair Sandy-ravaged Bay Park plant, but state and local officials are still lobbying for an additional $600 to $700 million to build an outfall pipe that would extend from Reynolds Channel into the Atlantic Ocean.Sandy’s storm surge overwhelmed the plant, contributing to near-crippling damage rendered by decades of mismanagement and neglect by county officials and causing a catastrophic failure that spewed sewage into local streets and homes, and spilled nearly 200 million gallons of treated and untreated sewage into Reynolds Channel and Hewlett Bay. The plant serves about half-a-million residents across the county.The DEC’s release of its white paper comes just four days before local and state officials are expected to hold the first of three public meetings discussing ways to improve wastewater management in Nassau and Suffolk.The first meeting will be held at the Nassau County Legislative Building on May 12; the second May 19 at SUNY Stony Brook; and the third on May 28 at a location that has yet to be determined.Read the report: Nitrogen Pollution and Adverse Impacts on Resilient Tidal Marshlandslast_img read more

first_imgGovernor Wolf Announces New Funding to Help Create a New Shopping Center with Supermarket in Reading October 29, 2019 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced that Commonwealth Cornerstone Group (CCG) has completed a New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) transaction of up to $8 million to rehabilitate a former automotive dealership site into a mixed-use retail shopping center in Reading.“This large, vacant parcel of land was having a negative effect on nearby neighborhoods, discouraging investment and reducing home values,” said Gov. Wolf. “Bringing life back to this property through the variety of retail shops planned for the site will be of benefit to people in that area and should attract additional economic development.”The 45,288-square-foot structure along Lancaster Avenue was formerly known as the A.W. Cadillac Building and has been vacant for several years. Once rehabilitated, the building will house a number of tenants including an El Gallito Grocery, a nail salon, a smoothie shop, a pharmacy, a restaurant, a beauty and barber school, and a daycare center. The supermarket, which would be the anchor store in the shopping center, is especially welcome in that part of Reading, which has a shortage of healthy food offerings for people living nearby.With six prospective tenants from the surrounding low-income community planning to occupy the shopping center, it’s crucial that these businesses are able to pay rents that keep the project financially viable. With a total project cost of $8.6 million, the NMTC allocation will enable Shuman Development Group (SDG), the project sponsor, to close the financing gap, renovate the existing building, and offer tenants below-market rents.“This planned shopping center will be less than two blocks from Oakbrook Homes, the largest low-income housing development in Berks County, with more than 4,000 low-income residents,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. “The supermarket, pharmacy, daycare center, and other shops should be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.”In addition to the supermarket, the daycare center planned for the shopping center is expected to benefit local families. It’s anticipated that the daycare center will serve about 55 children a day, with most coming from low-income families.This project is expected to create 24 temporary, full-time construction jobs. Following the rehabilitation and conversion of the building into a shopping center, the project is expected to support 200 employees at an average wage of $12.39 an hour. The MIT living wage for Berks County is $12.36 an hour. It’s estimated that 98 percent of these jobs will be accessible to low-income people. It’s also predicted that the operation of the new shopping center will support 40 indirect jobs with $2.5 million in added wages.About Shuman Development GroupAs the only commercial real estate development company founded, headquartered, and primarily focused within the city of Reading, Shuman Development Group is Reading’s leading developer. SDG has redeveloped, sold, or leased more than 2 million square feet and more than $100 million of commercial property in downtown Reading. This project will be SDG’s third shopping center in the city of Reading.About Commonwealth Cornerstone GroupThe goal of CCG, through its administration of New Markets Tax Credits, is to fund projects in key areas of communities that have historic or cultural value and offer opportunities to spark economic revitalization. CCG utilizes NMTCs to provide loans and equity investments for business expansion, mixed-use development, and community facilities across Pennsylvania. Examples of past developments that have benefited from CCG’s investment of tax credits include Bakery Square in Pittsburgh, the Coal Street Community Facility in Wilkes-Barre, and Schmucker Hall in Gettysburg. Learn more at: www.commonwealthcornerstone.org/.About the New Markets Tax Credit ProgramThe New Markets Tax Credit Program was established by Congress in 2000 to spur new or increased investments in operating businesses and real estate projects located in low-income communities. The NMTC Program attracts investment capital to low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their federal income tax return in exchange for making equity investments in specialized financial institutions called community development entities, such as Commonwealth Cornerstone Group. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.last_img read more