Q&A: Girls Who Code founder talks college, bravery and letting go of perfection

Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of the national nonprofit Girls Who Code, visited Oxford on Monday to deliver a keynote address, “Girls Who Code: Paving a STEM Path Forward” as part of Miami’s Lecture Series Monday night. Saujani, a former attorney, became passionate about closing the gender gap in technology in 2010, during her campaign as the first Indian-American woman to run for Congress. Before Saujani addressed a packed crowd at Hall Auditorium, The Miami Student sat down with her to discuss her undergraduate experience. TMS: Given my questionable coding ability, I was a bit nervous about conducting this...

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Torn between two worlds: Visiting professor balances work and family, continents apart

The projector in 235 Upham Hall isn’t working. That means Karim Ibrahim has to summarize the “Seinfeld” clip he’d planned to screen for his Professional Communication for Business students himself. In the scene, Jerry criticizes a car rental agent who can’t accommodate his reservation for a midsize car. “Seinfeld” — paired with contrasting clips of Gerard Butler and George Clooney firing people in movies — is Ibrahim’s way of teaching his students about “bad news messaging.” Ibrahim, a visiting assistant professor of English, is discussing the prevalence of bad news in business, whether it’s a boss firing an employee...

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20-year MJF veteran Heckler left strong legacy for journalism students

Most students who took journalism classes with associate professor Cheryl Heckler came to know her passion for Whitelaw Reid, an 1856 Miami graduate and Civil War-era journalist and newspaper publisher. Heckler called Reid Miami’s most famous journalism graduate. “Who,” she asked students on the first day of classes, “is going to be the next Whitelaw Reid?” It was Heckler’s way of inspiring her classes, from syllabus week throughout the semester. That question is one Jenna Sauber ‘07, a former Miami Student editor who studied journalism, won’t forget. When Sauber moved to Washington, D.C. after graduation, she sent her former...

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MU discusses changes to faculty composition

Change may be coming for non-tenure-track faculty at Miami as administrators explore changes to the composition of the university’s teaching force. Among the possibilities being discussed are increases in the number of lecturers and clinical faculty members and an extension of the amount of time visiting faculty members can stay in their positions here. Currently, the Miami University Policy and Information Manual (MUPIM) dictates that lecturers and clinical or professionally licensed (LCPL) faculty — whose work focuses on teaching as opposed to research and scholarship — can comprise up to 20 percent of the full-time faculty who are tenured or on track to earn tenure. But based on ongoing discussions, this number could be upped to 25 percent. Faculty holding the title of “visiting” — including visiting professors, visiting assistant professors and visiting associate professors — are reappointed on a yearly basis, but are limited by MUPIM to a five-year stay in Oxford. Among the changes being discussed is lifting this cap so that visiting faculty could be eligible for reappointment beyond their fifth year at Miami. A third point under consideration is adding a second promotion point for LCPL faculty, who currently may apply for “senior” status by submitting a dossier during or after a fifth year as an LCPL faculty member. Last spring, the office of Provost Phyllis Callahan and the executive committee of University Senate appointed...

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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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