My disability does not define me – and I am no victim

It was the first truly chilly day we’d had in Oxford, and I was taking my favorite winter coat on its first outing of the season. I heard, “Excuse me,” as I was walking to class. Looking over my shoulder, I saw a guy straddling a bike, wearing a navy blue puffer jacket and an earnest smile. I offered a tentative hello. Usually members of the male species don’t speak to me unless forced to, so I was in uncharted territory here. What came next, though, would not, in my limited experience, count as a pickup line. “I noticed you were having difficulty walking,” the guy told me. It’s true. My gait has been variously described as “herky-jerky,” “lopsided” and “like a drunk person’s” – all accurate descriptors. I didn’t learn how to walk until I was 3 years old, and I’d long since crossed “professional runway walker” off my list of potential careers. I was trying to formulate a proper response to, “I noticed you were having difficulty walking,” when the guy, abandoning his bike to walk alongside me, asked a follow-up question. “Do you mind if I ask why?” Given that we were walking past Alumni Hall and that I needed to be in class in Hiestand in 20 minutes, I decided not to give him the long answer, which is that I was born with an...

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Teaching after Trump: Professors reflect on changes in the classroom

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president one year ago, Patrick Haney, an associate dean in the College of Arts and Science and former chair of Miami’s political science department, said he’s been adding three words to each of his lesson plans — “or maybe not.” As in: “This is what the path of American foreign policy is — or maybe not.” Or, as Oana Godeanu-Kenworthy, a lecturer in the department of Global and Intercultural Studies, put it, “I had to redo a lot of my PowerPoints.” So it’s been going in American higher education in the Trump era....

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Juniors now eligible for Goldman Prize

The eligibility requirements for one of Miami’s most prestigious student awards are changing this year to increase engagement. The Goldman Prize, a stipend of up to $11,000 awarded to students pursuing yearlong research, creative or academic projects, will be given to two rising seniors in spring 2018. Since 1991, the prize had been given to one graduating senior, to be used in the year after they left Miami. Making the prize available to two current juniors instead, Goldman coordinator Zeb Baker said, would resolve several of the hesitations students expressed about applying for it. One of the primary concerns students had was whether they could defer their student loans during their year working on the Goldman project. But because Goldman winners were not officially enrolled at Miami during the prize period, their student loans would still need to be paid off, a fact Baker said “scared students away.” Students were also hesitant to take what they viewed as a “gap year” after college to work on a personal project. “We have so many ambitious students that…are primarily focused on when they graduate from Miami, leaving here to go right into graduate school or med school or law school or go right into the workforce,” Baker said. “So a gap year between the end of their undergraduate experience and either going to graduate school or going into the workforce just...

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Despite predictions, international enrollment at MU still climbing

Undergraduate international student enrollment at Miami has continued its upward climb this year, despite early predictions that U.S. political anti-immigration rhetoric might discourage students from studying in America. International students make up 14.5 percent of the undergraduate student population on the Oxford campus this fall, up from 13.4 percent in fall 2016, according to statistics from Miami’s Office of Institutional Research. An Inside Higher Education report from September found that universities across the nation are experiencing mixed results in their international recruitment efforts. While major destinations for international students, such as New York University and the University of California, Los Angeles, projected slight increases in their international student populations, other schools have experienced a decline one university president quoted by Inside Higher Education called “precipitous.” Locally, Wright State University in Dayton reported a 20 percent drop in international enrollment across undergraduate and graduate levels. Indiana State University’s president told Inside Higher Education his institution saw a 50 percent drop in new international student enrollment. “Those students bring significant revenue. I would guess that it takes two U.S.-based students to replace them in terms of revenue,” he told the website. “We also miss the diversity that they bring to the campus.” An April report from the American Association of College Registrars and Admission Officers (AACRAO) showed that 77 percent of higher education institutions surveyed expressed concerns about international application yield,...

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Career Services debuts new name, location

Miami University’s Office of Career Services has moved to the east wing of the Armstrong Student Center, with a new name and new leadership to boot. The new name of Career Services, the Center for Career Exploration and Success, reflects the expanded role the center will have on the entire student life cycle, from orientation to graduation. “The elevation of the title correlates with the elevation of the role of Career Services,” said Jen Franchak, assistant vice president of the new Center for Career Exploration and Success. Franchak was selected to lead the revamped office following a national search....

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