Outreach programs may be key to Miami’s small graduation gap

At Miami University, the number of Pell Grants awarded to low-income students has been decreasing steadily over the years, yet its graduation gap between students of different socioeconomic backgrounds is below the national average. The Basic Education Opportunity Grant, now called the Pell Grant, was created in 1972. The six-year grant serves as federal support for low-income undergraduates whose expected family contribution is below $6,000. A 2015 report by The Education Trust revealed the national average graduation gap per institution was six and a half percent. Over the last six years, around 80 percent of Miami students graduated on time, said Brent Shock, assistant vice president for enrollment and management at Miami. However, Pell Grant students graduated at a rate of a little less than 75 percent, meaning Miami’s graduation gap falls near four percent. Shock, a first-generation Pell Grant recipient when he was a student at Miami, keeps in  mind the challenges he faced in reaching his 1992 graduation when helping current students with their financial aid. “I understand something about paying for college, specifically paying for Miami,” Shock said. “I remember feeling stunned about what I saw at Miami in terms of wealth. So, part of our mission as a public university is to be as affordable as possible to Ohio’s lowest income families.” Yet the amount of money allocated for Pell Grants at Miami has been...

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Miami participates in Parkland demonstrations

Miami University students plan to add their voices in the upcoming demonstrations in response to the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. School walkouts and marches, organized by students across the nation, will peacefully for an end gun violence. A walkout has been planned for Friday, April 20 in which high school and college students will abruptly leave their classrooms. Charles Kennick, president of College Democrats, believes Miami will show its largest display on solidarity during this walkout. “By then, the situation will have had time to simmer in the political discourse,” Kennick said. This walkout also falls on a Friday and on the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, all things which Kennick thinks will make the demonstration more accessible and relevant. However, the national walkout is set to occur at 10 a.m., a time when most Miami students are either between classes or have yet started classes for the day. “You would just be late,” Kennick said. “There’s no dramatic stand up and walk out, which is what you want.” College Democrats plan to hold a gathering during the walkout period, though where it will take place is not yet determined. Miami has designated free speech areas on campus, including the sidewalk outside the Shriver Center and the Phi Delt gates near Uptown. However, Kennick imagines the assembly transpiring by the Seal,...

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Miami sees record number of Fulbright semifinalists

Ali Preissing was sitting in a quiet library in Italy when she got the news. In the midst of studying for her J-Term exams, the email pinging in her inbox told her that all her hard work was beginning to pay off. She was a semifinalist for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. “I told my friend, who’s Italian, that I’m not going to get it, I’m not going to get it, I’m not going to get it, because it’s so competitive,” Preissing said. “I was shocked, to say the least. It’s one of those things you don’t think of as a realistic possibility, so you put it out of your mind.” Preissing, a graduate student, is one of 14 Miami undergraduate, graduate and alumni Fulbright semifinalists for the 2018-2019 program, the most the university has ever had. Fulbright is a nationwide program that receives over 10,000 applications every year, yet only about 1,900 grants are awarded. Fulbright provides financial aid for two types of programs outside of the United States: the English teaching assistant program and independently designed study/research projects. Karla Guinigundo, director of global partnerships at Miami, has worked with each semifinalist over the long application process. This year, Guinigundo said, 28 people applied — two more than the previous year. “The past few years we’ve been trying to push that number up, but the jump in semifinalists...

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How the ‘Me Too’ movement is shaping this awards season

In 2006, social activist Tarana Burke wrote two words on her MySpace page: “Me Too.” Since then, MySpace has fallen out of significance in the realm of social media, but these words have remained relevant. Originally used to convey unity and empathy to women of color who have experienced sexual abuse or harassment, “Me Too” has ignited a global conversation empowering all survivors of sexual misconduct, while highlighting just how widespread the problem is. The “Me Too” revolution has had an influence on the entertainment industry, in particular. When October 2017 brought about allegations against Harvey Weinstein, everyone saw...

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Netflix brings the nostalgia with ‘The Magic School Bus Rides Again’

It’s been a long time since I buckled my seatbelt and hunkered down for a trip through outer space. Or through some kid’s digestive tract. Or, in this case, a wild adventure to the Galapagos Islands, complete with invasive species and symbiotic ecosystems. That’s right, 1990s babies, the magic school bus is back, or should I say “The Magic School Bus Rides Again,” which arrived on Netflix Sept. 29. Although geared toward younger audiences, this revival has the advantage of calling upon the fond memories of college-age people like myself who will never forget the thrills of delight and...

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