All Articles Tagged "Ivy League"
Breaking Academic Barriers: Ruth J. Simmons Is The First African-American President Of An Ivy League College
Ruth J. Simmons achieved two major firsts. She was the first woman—and first black person—to become president of an Ivy League college. In 2001, this great-granddaughter of slaves was sworn in as the 18th president of Brown University. At the time she also held an appointment as professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Department of Africana Studies. Prior to this she was president of Smith College from 1995 until the time of her appointment at Brown.
Simmons was born in Texas in 1945 and graduated from the HBCU Dillard University in New Orleans in 1967. She received her Ph.D. in Romance languages and literatures from Harvard University in 1973.
According to PBS, in 1983, after serving as associate dean of the graduate school at the University of Southern California, Simmons joined the Princeton University administration, where she remained for seven years. In 1990 she served as provost at Spelman College for two years. But she returned to Princeton in 1992 as vice provost, she remained at the university until 1995. In 1995 she became president of Smith College, the largest women’s college in the United States. At Smith she inaugurated the first engineering program at a U.S. women’s college.
Simmons served on a number of boards, including the Dillard University’s Board of Trustees, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Texas Instruments.
Even the government tapped her expertise. She was appointed by President Obama as a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.
Simmons, herself, is the recipient of a number of prizes and fellowships, including a Fulbright Fellowship to France. She was selected as a Newsweek “Person to Watch” and as a Ms. Woman of the Year in 2002. In 2001 Time magazine named her America’s best college president, and in 2007 she was named one of U. S. News & World Report’s top U.S. leaders and – for the second time – a Glamour magazine Woman of the Year.
During her tenure at Brown University, Simmons created an ambitious set of initiatives which led to a major investment of new resources in Brown’s educational mission and a successful $1.6 billion campaign, reports PBS.
She stepped down from her position at Brown in 2012.
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In the world of celebrity culture, the importance of an education often takes second billing to the bright glares of the spotlight. Many stars have opted to forgo their education in pursuit of their career. However, these 10 stars not only got their degrees first but raised the academic bar by attending Ivy League institutions.
Sanaa was born the daughter of famed director Stan Lathan and for some that might’ve been her golden ticket to Hollywood. However, Sanna pursued a degree in drama at Yale University. She graduated with her BA in 1995 and has made a name for herself all on her merit. Her roles in Love & Basketball and Something New are a testament to her talent.
Attending the best school so you can snag the best job, so you can bring home tons of bacon is what most of us dream about before we set off for college, and it’s what we keep pressing for as we graduate, land our first job, and strive to make increasingly more money throughout our careers. But then what? Once we achieve all that will we be truly happy? Science says no.
Timothy Judge, professor of management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, just completed research on 717 high-ability individuals who have been followed over seven decades. Using multiple criteria, Judge measured participants’ ambition during several periods of their lives from childhood to young adults just beginning their careers. The participants’ education ranged from Ivy League universities like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, Cornell, Northwestern, Berkeley, Oxford, and Notre Dame, to more modest educations, including high school diplomas and community college degrees. What Judge found was this:
“Ambitious kids had higher educational attainment, attended highly esteemed universities, worked in more prestigious occupations, and earned more, so it would seem that they are poised to ‘have it all.’ However, we determined that ambition has a much weaker effect on life satisfaction and actually a slightly negative impact on longevity. So, yes, ambitious people do achieve more successful careers, but that doesn’t seem to translate into leading happier or healthier lives.”
For all the positive perks that come with being overly ambitious, Judge emphasizes that a high level of professional success is not without cost to not only ones personal relationships but also their own mental and physical health. “Ambitious people are only slightly happier than their less- ambitious counterparts, and they actually live somewhat shorter lives,” he said.
Right now, Judge doesn’t know the underlying causes of the shorter lifespan for these individuals, but he does have a theory:
“Perhaps the investments they make in their careers come at the expense of the things we know affect longevity: healthy behaviors, stable relationships, and deep social networks.”
While this study obviously isn’t encouraging people to give up on pursuing their goals, the takeaway message is that balance is necessary in order to be successful professionally, personally, and physically.
Do you notice other areas of your life lacking while you try to climb the professional ladder?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Who would’ve guessed Tatyana Ali was a stepper in college—and at Harvard of all places—but it’s true. The young actress and Harvard grad, class of 2002, recently talked about what it’s like to be black in the Ivy Leagues, and she says it’s not at all like you’d expect.
Watch the video on TheUrbandaily.com and tell us what you think. Is her description of black life on an Ivy league campus pretty accurate from your experience?
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Yay for black excellence! Don’t you just love when you hear about celebrities receiving with college degrees or who go back to school? No? Okay, well, I do. There are so many musicians and actors that drop out of college, even high school, to follow their dreams. While that’s cool if it worked for that individual, bailing on your education is not really something that should be promoted or encouraged for the new generation. You need something to fall back on! That’s why I’m amped about this list of big names in entertainment that got their Ivy League on thanks to our friends over at Black Enterprise. Note, I said in “entertainment,” not only black folks with political aspirations try the big 8 institutions you know. You’ll be delighted by the names, and even a bit surprised: Did you know Sanaa Lathan went to Yale and got her degree in drama from there? BOSS.
To see the full list of folks who attended, attend or tried their hand at Ivy League education, click over to Blackenterprise.com.
Morris Kaunda Michael spent his formative years struggling with his family in a refugee camp after fleeing Sudan’s civil war. Now 23, he has just graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering. Despite the sunny smile and youthful glow that is common to students, Michael’s path to accomplishment was far from typical. A top-performing student according to his professors, he started life facing harsh deprivations — but this did not stymie his desire to develop. Yes, he grew up in a refugee camp where “there was a lot of hopelessness,” Micheal said. Yet he always strove to be his best.
Michael’s family escaped the civil war in Sudan, which killed two million people and displaced four million others. Leaving behind everything they had, Michael, his mother and seven siblings settled in a Kenyan camp. Michael struggled under these circumstances as a boy, playing soccer and attending school when possible from 1994-2001. Then, a chance opportunity broadened his horizons. Today.com reports:
In 2001, his luck began to change. He was offered a scholarship at a school in Nairobi run by Dominican nuns called the Emmanuel Foundation. His older brother attended the same school, and from there they began the process of applying for resettlement in the U.S. [...]
In December 2003 he came to the U.S. with his older brother and was placed in the care of his foster mother, Carol Karins, in Syracuse, N.Y. He said his new home was affectionately called the “U.N. of Syracuse” because Karins hosted a number of refugees from other countries [...]
Michael said he had never even thought of going to college until he came to the U.S. As a high school student, he loved math and science, so his guidance counselor suggested he look into engineering programs.
“I owe a lot to a lot of people,” Michael said. “Columbia, I would say, was the family I always wished to have. They helped me a lot.”
Still, the academics were challenging. “I felt really humbled. I didn’t feel like I was among the smartest in the classroom. I had to always work very hard. It encourages you — you don’t do well today, you work harder and then the next day, you’d probably do fine.”
Morris Kaunda Michael has done more than fine. In addition to graduating from a challenging engineering program, Michael also co-created a fetal monitoring device with a group of students that won a national prize. And he is not stopping there. Now applying to medical schools, this Sudanese whiz kid plans on using his talents to help others. Michael has plans to alleviate suffering in third world countries when he has finished his studies.
He told “The Today Show”: “There are a lot of refugees out there struggling. They feel like they don’t really belong anymore. They feel like they’ve lost it. There is no chance they can get up and do it anymore. So I wanna tell them that they can do it. I am here. I tried my best. I am not the smartest person, but I tried; I worked hard.”
What an amazing example of making the most of one’s opportunities, no matter how humble your beginnings.
Most people realize the profitability of attaining a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from one of the top-ranked business schools in the country. MBA graduates from Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, and other top schools should expect to generate seven-figure salaries at some point in their career. Recent research commissioned by Bloomberg Businessweek has officially confirmed that a MBA from an ivy-league business school is lucrative with an average base salary after two years of $126,000.
Here comes the surprise. In a 20-year career, graduates of ivy-league MBA programs are almost guaranteed to net $1 million more than their peers from lower-ranked B-schools. According to PayScale, the company that Bloomberg Businessweek utilized to compare salaries, graduates from the top 57 MBA programs earned an average of $2.4 million in the course of their 20-year career. On the higher end, Harvard Business School graduates tended to earn the most with $3.3 million while graduates from Dartmouth University’s Tuck School of Business had the least salary growth with an average pay of $172,000.
The margin is much more extreme than some experts projected, but Ken Hugessen, an executive compensation expert isn’t surprised by the extreme range. “If you’re at a top school, you must be pretty smart to get in, he told Bloomberg Businessweek. “You’re a stronger breed of cat from day one. That will follow you throughout your career.” Overall, MBAs are still profitable, but the choice of business school is as crucial to success after the program.
With all the talk these days about the exorbitant cost of a college degree, some may wonder if a degree is actually worth it. Ivy league schools boast the highest tuition but also offer the most lucrative networks, which begs the question is it about where you go or the cost value of your education. TAP correspondent weighed in on the topic via her fellow New Yorkers.
As it turns out, corporate America’s elite boys club is thriving in our “post-racial” society, and it is just as exclusive now as it was before diversity programs were instituted to pacify the public and boost Wall Street’s image when it is convenient. To qualify for said club, you only need to do a few things: be white, be a man, graduate from an Ivy League school (Harvard, though. Not Brown) and play sports that “resonate with white, upper-middle-class culture,” CNN reports. Many franchise owners wouldn’t be caught dead with a basketball; lacrosse and squash is the sport of choice for those seated in the skyboxes. Basketball and football is for the people sitting on the cold, hard bleachers.
While conventional wisdom, via the “American Dream”, leads one to believe that anyone can rise to any level of accomplishment with hard work, CNN’s report wonders who, exactly, is the American Dream fooling.
Sociologist Lauren Rivera conducted the study, and she found that “elite professional service employers rely more on academic pedigree than any other factor. For recruiters, it’s prestige that counts, rather than ‘content’ like grades, courses, internships or other actual performance. That’s because if you got into a ‘super-elite’ school – which essentially means Harvard, Yale, Princeton Wharton (University of Pennsylvania) and Stanford – you must be smart.” Or, as is commonly the case, you must have well-connected parents.
The study suggests that competence not completely necessary for many of the well-paying and highly sought after careers. An Ivy League pedigree will get one much farther than being on any silly Dean’s List ever could.
The cycle continues.
(New York Times) — More than 22 percent of students now receive federal Pell Grants (a rough approximation of how many are in the bottom half of the nation’s income distribution). In 2005, only 13 percent did. Over the same period, other elite colleges have also been doing more to recruit low- and middle-income students, and they have made some progress. It is tempting, then, to point to all these changes and proclaim that elite higher education is at long last a meritocracy. But Mr. Marx doesn’t buy it. If anything, he worries, the progress has the potential to distract people from how troubling the situation remains. When we spoke recently, he mentioned a Georgetown University study of the class of 2010 at the country’s 193 most selective colleges. As entering freshmen, only 15 percent of students came from the bottom half of the income distribution. Sixty-seven percent came from the highest-earning fourth of the distribution. These statistics mean that on many campuses affluent students outnumber middle-class students. “We claim to be part of the American dream and of a system based on merit and opportunity and talent,” Mr. Marx says. “Yet if at the top places, two-thirds of the students come from the top quartile and only 5 percent come from the bottom quartile, then we are actually part of the problem of the growing economic divide rather than part of the solution.”