Check it out from Newsweek: “In Another Blow to Free Labor, Columbia University Halts Academic Credit for Internship.”
We share a lot of the concerns nestled in the short read above, and have mentioned many of them previously, trying to save internships by making them academic research experiences, attempts to create training programs in order to instill this in a growing number of students, or blending internships with traditional work-based learning in order to make them more academic.
Interestingly enough: instead of innovation, Columbia seems to be sounding the charge that “academic internships are over” … it seems to be an interesting case of leadership in higher education based on ending a struggling facet of the system rather than starting something new and innovative. Let’s see if the rest of academia jumps on the proverbial bandwagon.
February 28th – March 1st, the first annual Northeast Ohio Undergraduate Sociology Symposium (NEO-USS) will convene. The event will:
showcase the scholarly work of undergraduates from across the region that have interests in sociology, criminology/criminal justice, gender studies, LGBTQ studies, and black studies/Pan-African studies. The conference will provide students with an opportunity to present their work in a friendly and supportive forum and to network with faculty and students from over twenty-five colleges and universities.
At Penn State Altoona, we are sending a current student and a couple of our recent graduates to share their work. The finalized program is available here.
On Friday night, I will kick-off the “opening ceremony” (if I may use that Olympic reference unfairly) and I plan to do it with this talk: “Undergraduate Research will Save all of Sociology: Here is how.”
Interesting development in Alabama:
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Feb. 27, 2014) – An Internet search engine developed specifically for schools by two University of Alabama in Huntsville professors is being tested as a way to increase reading abilities in challenged students and help motivate intellectual development in gifted students, while saving schools money on textbooks.
Check out the full story here.
Nicholas Pyeatt, assistant professor of political science, earned his doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010. He has worked at Penn State University-Altoona since the Fall of 2010.
Nick joins the discussion from the political science department and has woven undergraduate research into his regular teaching, in particular, at the upper division. He mainly writes about Congressional Elections and Nominations, Gender and Elections, and Public Opinion in his own research, but supports student work in a number of different directions.
We welcome Nick and are excited about the fresh perspective he brings to the blog.
Interesting article about gaining gainful employment at Google in the last weekend’s New York Times.
Colloquium today at Penn State Altoona about blending two growing trends — the trend toward more and more undergraduate research and the trend in librarianship toward embedded librarian work, in this case, in undergraduate research.
A copy of the presentation is available here (note: it is best to download it). A video recording should come shortly.
This is based on work that Jeffery Knapp (reference librarian) and Nicholas J. Rowland (associate professor of sociology and science and technology studies) have been collaborating on for the last half-decade. These ideas have been presented at a number of venues — for example, the 2013 Pennsylvania Forward Information Literacy Summit, the 2012 Library 2.012 Worldwide Virtual Conference, and the 2013 Pennsylvania Library Association Annual Meeting — with generally positive response.
The bottom-line, which we outline in a forthcoming article, is the following:
Findings – Librarians are capable of directly contributing to the retention of students. While their efforts, it is contended, contribute routinely and to the actual retention of students, it is difficult for their efforts to register in the assessment of retention used by administrators. This discrepancy can be solved if librarians play a more explicit (and quantifiable) role in retaining students.
Research limitations/implications – UREs are a growing, but generally untapped trend for librarians; however, because UREs generally correlate with academic success and student retention, they offer librarians a useful entry point to contribute to the academic mission of colleges and universities, and in a measurable way.
Practical implications – Embedded librarianship poses a number of hurdles for its practitioners; however, it also has the potential for libraries and librarians to become more explicitly connected to overall institutional goals and strengthen their positions in the academy more broadly.
Originality/value – Systematically embedding librarians into UREs is not strongly represented in the literature.
Recently, Tom Shaffer and I were showcased in the Penn State Teaching & Research magazine.
Check it out; we featured prominently a couple of past students in the post.
Teaching the Public Understanding of Science with Ancient Aliens
Originally posted on Installing (Social) Order:
I have had unprecedented success with a new lesson in STS and I thought I’d share it with you all on the blog. NOTE: I’ve also got a sheet that can be used for students to follow along and it provides some questions to orient discussion after viewing (if you’d like it, it is like some others I’ve shared, for example, related to the “King of Kong” as an easy way to teach students about the scientific community and philosophy of science or a handout used to teach students about controversies in science through a documentary on intelligent design). So, every semester, the chapters on the “public understanding of science” in Sismondo’s introductory text end-up being sort of boring to students.
However, working with a student over the last year, we found another way to “get at” the information. Instead of dealing directly with some of the…
View original 411 more words
Grad school tips from our friend Fabio over at orgtheory.net
Originally posted on orgtheory.net:
I strongly believe that graduate education in America is exploitative and structurally flawed. The system requires cheap teaching labor and lab assistants, but provides no incentives for quality training or professorial accountability. But still, that doesn’t mean that students should abrogate responsibility for their careers. Here are some simple (though not easy) things that can help you to make sure you aren’t screwing up:
- Show up. Even if you feel horrible, show up. No matter what. Period. Unless someone died in your family, show up.
- Do your job. Grade the papers. Do the lab work. Unless the work is extreme, take it in stride.
- Be completely realistic about how you will be evaluated from day #1 – acquire a teaching record and a record of publication. Don’t have the fantasy that you will magically get the job of your dreams sans publications. Time spent on other issues is “out of…
View original 238 more words