Category: Urban Ed Written by D.L. Chandler/ News One Staff
Dr. Gregory Ellison's, a 36-year-old assistant professor of theology at Emory University, efforts to engage and enlighten young Black men are noteworthy considering the herculean task ahead of him: Dr. Ellison has launched a new program entitled the "Fearless Dialogues Community Empowerment Tour," which looks to work with youth leaders in the African-American community and and a team of expert consultants from the areas of education, law, healthcare, science, and technology, and the arts in order to implement strategies to give Black youth and men their voice and render them visible.
The Grio reported on Dr. Ellison's program, which kicked off July 20th at the Georgia university. "Fearless Dialogues" features spoken word, live music, and Dr. Ellison reading from his book, "Cut Dead but Still Alive: Caring For African-American Young Men," a book he said took him seven years to complete.
The book also serves as a backdrop for a group session for the tour, which groups attendees in separate conversations that are related to themes in "Cut Dead." The book focuses on the actual stories and development of six young men Dr. Ellison mentored during his years as a counselor.
"The crux of my work is serving those who are invisible and giving a voice to the muted," he told the Grio. Dr. Ellison's passion is evident, considering he grew up in the Atlanta Public School system. What he witnessed then and what he's encountered since becoming a professor serves as the spark that keeps him going.
"The aim is to have candid conversations about how we can see, hear, and change the way we interact with young African-American males in our communities," he says about the tour and his book.
"Cut Dead But Sill Alive: Caring For African American Young Men" was released in June. For more information about the "Fearless Dialogues" tour, follow this link.
Last Updated on Thursday, 25 July 2013 15:06
Category: Urban Ed Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
The Education Achievement Authority of Michigan (EAA) Tuesday unveiled a new school enrollment campaign emphasizing the tremendous academic growth students achieved during its first year of operation and underscoring the opportunities for success the new system offers to every student.
The campaign features actual Education Achievement Authority students proclaiming that thanks to the education they are receiving and the environment at EAA schools, "I can soar."
The concept was developed by Lowe Campbell Ewald working in cooperation with the Education Achievement Authority and the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF) and features students currently enrolled in EAA schools.
"The ads underscore the fact that the Education Achievement Authority is a different system for a better outcome and that we will not continue to educate students in the traditional way," said Chancellor John Wm. Covington. "In the Education Achievement Authority we tailor the education of each child to their own unique and diverse needs. In these ads you'll see different sets of wings, different sizes, and different colors, which is symbolic of the fact that we have moved education delivery away from a 'one size fits all' approach."
Mark Simon, Chief Creative Officer at Lowe Campbell Ewald, said the firm became involved because "upon learning about the Education Achievement Authority and the importance of their mission, we knew we had to help. We toured the schools, met some amazing kids and experienced firsthand this innovative approach to education. Everyone associated with the Education Achievement Authority is so passionate about what they're trying to accomplish. Their cause became our cause. We want to do everything we can to help these children succeed."
The enrollment effort will utilize broadcast and print advertising as well as mailings directed to households with school age children.
Lowe Campbell Ewald became involved in the EAA's mission upon learning about its unique approach via the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation. The agency agreed to do the creative work on a pro bono basis as it learned more about the system's ground breaking work in developing a new type of educational system. MEEF is underwriting the broadcasting and printing needs of the campaign. No public funds have been involved in preparing or disseminating the advertisements.
"At the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan it's our goal to give every student their own set of wings and inspire them to believe they can soar and be the best that they can be," Covington said. "The Education Achievement Authority is a different way and it's working. That's the message we want to get to every parent and student."
Education Achievement Authority schools are creative, innovative learning environments that provide students a quality education. They offer struggling students the opportunity to catch up to their peers around the state and receive the education they need to succeed in college or a career after high school. The system opened in September 2012 with 15 of Detroit's lowest-achieving schools, which were identified by the Michigan Department of Education as schools with the greatest need.
Education Achievement Authority teachers tailor their instruction to the needs of each individual student. Students are tested to determine their individual level of educational achievement and then a program is designed for each student to help them achieve their maximum potential based on their academic progress, interests and needs. The system enables each student to proceed at his or her own pace.
Assessments are administered four times a year to help teachers tailor student learning plans according to their academic needs. By the third testing period completed in early May, more than half of EAA students tested had learned twice as much as what students learn in a typical year. Students had a combined growth rate of 53 percent.
"Students have responded enthusiastically to the new blended, student-centered approach to education," said Covington. "They are showing they want to learn and can learn given the right environment. They are closing the educational gap."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 July 2013 09:47
Category: Urban Ed Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
The Patent Procurement Law Clinic at Wayne State University Law School gives students interested in patent law a major advantage, according to local attorneys practicing in the intellectual property field.
"Wayne Law has the only patent procurement clinic in Michigan, so if you want to be a patent attorney, you have to look at Wayne Law first," said patent attorney Christopher Darrow, who earned his law degree at Wayne Law in 2000 and his master of laws in intellectual property law at George Washington University in 2004.
He's a shareholder with Young Basile Hanlon & MacFarlane PC, a firm that specializes in intellectual property law, and a special master and technical advisor to federal judges on patent cases. He also was instrumental in developing the patent clinic last year at Wayne Law, which is the only school in Michigan — and among only 25 law schools nationwide — chosen by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a participating patent clinic certified for the office's pilot program. Selected schools were praised for their intellectual property curriculum, their outreach to the community and their comprehensive client services.
"The patent clinic is an exceptional opportunity for students to actually practice patent law before graduation," said patent attorney Thomas Helmholdt, who earned his law degree at the University of Detroit School of Law in 1986 and is the founding member of Helmholdt Law PLC, an intellectual property firm in Rochester Hills. "I would expect that Wayne State University Law School will be the premier destination for any law student in the Midwest region with an interest in intellectual property law."
Helmholdt was so enthused about the idea of the patent clinic and its affiliation with the Patent and Trademark Office that he agreed to become a Wayne Law adjunct professor to teach the clinic, which recently completed its first year.
Patent attorney Jeffrey Doyle, a 2002 Wayne Law graduate, isn't involved with the new patent clinic but is happy to see it at his alma mater. Doyle works at Reising Ethington PC, which specializes solely in the practice of intellectual law.
"I think the clinic offers law students a chance to get exposure to patents and the patent system in general that is not typically available to law students," Doyle said. "It affords students the opportunity to get real-world patent law experience ... and provide students with experience that may make them more marketable to employers."
The idea for the clinic was born when Helmholdt first heard last year that the Patent and Trademark Office was considering Detroit for a satellite office and learned about its pilot program for law school clinics.
"It seemed like a unique opportunity for a local university to create a synergistic relationship with the new Detroit satellite patent office," he said. "However, there was a very short deadline for applying."
He contacted Darrow, whom he knew was an active Wayne Law alumnus.
"I thought, 'We have to get this at Wayne Law,' " Darrow said. "My thought was that Wayne Law could provide practical legal training to its law students while at the same time help local startup companies get patent protection for their ideas, which in the long run, could create jobs in the struggling Michigan economy."
He offered to design the clinic and submit an application to the patent and trademark office. With less than a month to go before the deadline, Darrow, working with Wayne Law faculty, including Assistant Professor Eric Williams, who directs the school's Program for Entrepreneurial and Business Law, went to work.
"Eric Williams incorporated the Patent Procurement Law Clinic into his Business and Community Law Clinic," Darrow said. "Given the strength of our faculty and the design of our proposed Patent Procurement Law Clinic, we put together a compelling application to get Wayne Law into the USPTO's Law School Certification Pilot Program."
Darrow pitched the merits of the application to Patent and Trademark Office Director David Kappos, who agreed that Wayne Law was the right place for a prestigious spot in the pilot program.
"At that moment, I felt that I had given something back to Wayne Law," Darrow said. "It was a great feeling."
He and Helmholdt went further to promote the plan and visited most of the business incubators in southeast Michigan to tell them firsthand about the new clinic and how it could help startup companies and inventors. Clients accepted by the clinic pay only for government filing fees.
"Not only is the clinic educating students, but it also is stimulating the local economy by providing free legal services to startup companies who otherwise would not be able to hire an attorney," Darrow said.
Darrow earned his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, Helmholdt earned his in mechanical engineering and Doyle earned his in electrical engineering. All three men decided patent law was a natural choice for them, incorporating their interests in science, engineering and law.
"Patent law is a great field for engineering students who have very good critical thinking and writing skills, who enjoy learning about new technology, who are quick studies and who have strong interpersonal skills," Doyle said.
Darrow said he particularly loves working with inventors.
"There is always a sparkle in an inventor's eye when he starts talking about his invention, similar to a parent talking about his or her child," he said. "As a patent attorney, seeing that excitement from the inventor really gets me excited, also."
Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2013 11:26
Category: Urban Ed Written by Amber Bogins
The changes will ease the burden on people who are disabled and are trying to get a total and permanent disability (TPD) discharge of student loans.
The new regulations, which went into effect July first, make it easier for people to prove they're disabled. Instead of having to go through several doctor's certifications, which can take months, they can just use their state disability status. If they're already on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Social Security income (SSI) benefits they can submit their Social Security Disability (SSA) notice of award – if it includes that their next review is in five to seven years which means they're considered permanently disabled.
The changes affect most loan programs including the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, the Federal Family Education Loan (FEEL) Program, the Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program and the Teacher Education and Access to College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant service obligations.
Also with the changes, people with disabilities will no longer have to submit discharge applications to several individual loan holders. They'll just have to submit one to the U.S. Department of Education. That one application can liquidate all of that person's Title IV loans and/or TEACH Grant service obligations.
These changes are allowing attorneys at Legal Services of Eastern Michigan to help more people who are disabled and can no longer work to pay their loans.
"This will help a lot of people who are already struggling," said LSEM Attorney Lindsey Lavine. "It takes a long time and it's very difficult to prove total disability. With the new regulations many of our clients will be able to skip that process because they already have proven disabilities and have SSDI or SSI and we'll hopefully be able to take care of their debt."
The only other avenue for LSEM to take in these cases is to get people on an income-based repayment. "It drops peoples' payments to zero, but their debt still remains," said Lavine. "Now, having proven total disability with SSDI or SSI we can actually try to erase their debt."
An LSEM client should benefit from the new regulations soon. She has severe arthritis and can't leave her home, so she can't work. Lavine said, "she contacted us in February and we got her on an economic hardship deferral so she doesn't have to pay for a year, but now with the new regulations we should be able to get her loan discharged."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 July 2013 11:23
Category: Urban Ed Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Broadcaster Tavis Smiley, in partnership with the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, will launch a $75,000 TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge to help address some of society's most pressing issues in three key areas: hunger, education, and sustainability.
The inaugural TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge invites aspiring entrepreneurs to develop transformative solutions to affect positive change for individuals and communities across the nation. The Challenge serves as a prompt for diverse groups of people to come together to solve specific societal issues by harnessing inventiveness and bringing innovative ideas to the marketplace.
Submissions will be evaluated by a panel comprised of representatives from academia, business, community/grassroots, government, nonprofit groups and the technology community. The winners will be announced in January 2014.
The TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge supports Tavis Smiley's initiative to dramatically reduce poverty in America and the University of Maryland's commitment to increase the number and quality of new businesses inspired by competition to create a large and strong new generation of entrepreneurs who benefit society.
"Solutions to the many daunting problems facing the United States and the global community will come from a diversity of thinking in the areas of science, engineering and technology," says Smiley. "I can think of no better way to invest in our collective well being than to invest in the minds of the future."
Adds Darryl Pines, Dean and Nariman Farvardin Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the Clark School, "I believe that competitions are crucial to create a climate of innovation and entrepreneurship, and for driving new advances in targeted social areas. The future economic growth and competitiveness of the United States depends on our capacity to innovate."
The TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge will award a minimum of $25,000 each to three social innovators, one in each of the target impact areas of hunger, sustainability and education. Additionally, each winning entrant will have an opportunity to appear on the Tavis Smiley Network, receive an entrepreneur mentorship at the Clark School's Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), and showcase their innovation at Platform Summit 2014.
Key Information for Challenge Entrants:
Entrants' submissions must include a written executive summary and short video articulating the issue being solved; methodology; a sense of the potential local, national and global impact of the solution; and more.
* Friday, July 12-September 13: Pre-registration for announcements and award increase
* September 13, 2013 at 9:00am EST: Entrants may register online (no cost) and post project submissions
* October 13, 2013 at 5:00pm EST: Deadline for entrants to register online (no cost) and post project submissions
* November 2013: Finalists will be notified and invited to pitch their idea to the panel of judges
* January 2014: Winners will be listed on tavistalks.com/socialinnovator and announced on the TAVIS SMILEY NETWORK
The winners and the three promising projects will share a minimum of $75,000 in cash prizes. For more information, visit www.tavistalks.com/socialinnovator or via Twitter #socialinnovator.
About Tavis Smiley
Tavis Smiley is host and managing editor of the nightly talk show Tavis Smiley on PBS produced by TS Media, Inc., and the host of The Tavis Smiley Show and co-host of Smiley & West from Public Radio International (PRI), both produced by Smiley Radio Properties, Inc. Smiley is also the author/editor of 16 books, including New York Times bestsellers Covenant with Black America, What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America, and his most recent, The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto. In 2009, TIME magazine named him one of the World's 100 Most Influential People. 2013 marks his 10th season on PBS and is the inaugural year for the Tavis Smiley Network (TSN) on BlogTalkRadio. For more information, visit www.tavistalks.com.
About A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland
The Clark School of Engineering, situated on the rolling, 1,500-acre University of Maryland campus in College Park, Md., is one of the premier engineering schools in the U.S., with graduate and undergraduate education programs ranked in or near the Top 20. In 2012, the Clark School was ranked 14th in the world by the Institute of Higher Education and Center for World-Class Universities in its Academic Ranking of World Universities. Three faculty members affiliated with the Clark School were inducted into the National Academy of Engineering within the last three years.
The school, which offers 13 graduate programs and 12 undergraduate programs, including degree and certification programs tailored for working professionals, is home to one of the most vibrant research programs in the country. The Clark School garnered research awards of $171 million last year. With emphasis in key areas such as energy, nanotechnology and materials, bioengineering, robotics, communications and networking, life cycle and reliability engineering, project management, intelligent transportation systems and aerospace, the Clark School seeks to develop engineering solutions that impact the lives of millions.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2013 10:55
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