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Posts Tagged ‘Education’

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Bill Gates, Father of three adorable children shares his love of books. Reading is crucial and the backbone to everything we do in life….here are some of his favorites.

 

~My Favorite Books~
By Bill Gates

 
Never before have I felt so empowered to learn as I do today. When I was young, there were few options to learn on my own. My parents had a set of World Book Encyclopedias, which I read through in alphabetical order. But there were no online courses, video lectures, or podcasts to introduce me to new ideas and thinkers as we have today.
Still, reading books is my favorite way to learn about a new topic. I’ve been reading about a book a week on average since I was a kid. Even when my schedule is out of control, I carve out a lot of time for reading.

 
If you’re looking for a book to enjoy, here are some of my favorites from this year. They cover an eclectic mix of topics—from tennis to tennis shoes, genomics to great leadership. They’re all very well written, and they all dropped me down a rabbit hole of unexpected insights and pleasures.

 

 

String Theory, by David Foster Wallace. This book has nothing to do with physics, but its title will make you look super smart if you’re reading it on a train or plane. String Theory is a collection of five of Wallace’s best essays on tennis, a sport I gave up in my Microsoft days and am once again pursuing with a passion. You don’t have to play or even watch tennis to love this book. The late author wielded a pen as skillfully as Roger Federer wields a tennis racket. Here, as in his other brilliant works, Wallace found mind-blowing ways of bending language like a metal spoon.

 
Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight. This memoir, by the co-founder of Nike, is a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like: messy, precarious, and riddled with mistakes. I’ve met Knight a few times over the years. He’s super nice, but he’s also quiet and difficult to get to know. Here Knight opens up in a way few CEOs are willing to do. I don’t think Knight sets out to teach the reader anything. Instead, he accomplishes something better. He tells his story as honestly as he can. It’s an amazing tale.

 
The Gene, by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Doctors are deemed a “triple threat” when they take care of patients, teach medical students, and conduct research. Mukherjee, who does all of these things at Columbia University, is a “quadruple threat,” because he’s also a Pulitzer Prize– winning author. In his latest book, Mukherjee guides us through the past, present, and future of genome science, with a special focus on huge ethical questions that the latest and greatest genome technologies provoke. Mukherjee wrote this book for a lay audience, because he knows that the new genome technologies are at the cusp of affecting us all in profound ways.

 
The Myth of the Strong Leader, by Archie Brown. This year’s fierce election battle prompted me to pick up this 2014 book, by an Oxford University scholar who has studied political leadership—good, bad, and ugly—for more than 50 years. Brown shows that the leaders who make the biggest contributions to history and humanity generally are not the ones we perceive to be “strong leaders.” Instead, they tend to be the ones who collaborate, delegate, and negotiate—and recognize that no one person can or should have all the answers. Brown could not have predicted how resonant his book would become in 2016.

 
Honorable mention: The Grid, by Gretchen Bakke. This book, about our aging electrical grid, fits in one of my favorite genres: “Books About Mundane Stuff That Are Actually Fascinating.” Part of the reason I find this topic fascinating is because my first job, in high school, was writing software for the entity that controls the power grid in the Northwest. But even if you have never given a moment’s thought to how electricity reaches your outlets, I think this book would convince you that the electrical grid is one of the greatest engineering wonders of the modern world. I think you would also come to see why modernizing the grid is so complex and so critical for building our clean-energy future.

 

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Old Fashioned Mom Magazine hosted a VIP Soiree at The Skylark.

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This intimate gathering included, Sabrina Baldieri, Lauren Lawrence, Alessandra Emanuel, Joy Marks, Elizabeth Washer, Laura Bounin and Michelle-Marie Heinemann.

The Septet celebrated the OFM lifestyle brand at The Skylark which provided the most fantastic views of the City.

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Set thirty stories up in the heart of Times Square South, The Skylark delivers a classically-styled cocktail lounge with expansive panoramic views of the Hudson River, Hudson Yards, Times Square, The Empire State Building, and the best of Midtown Manhattan.

With its multi-level indoor spaces, open-air rooftop terrace and warm furnishings — designed by Meyer Davis Studio — The Skylark is a truly all-season destination. In cooler months, guests can enjoy breathtaking city views from the main lounge’s floor-to-ceiling windows. Warmer days deliver an experience that flows naturally between the indoor and outdoor spaces.

Drinks and food at The Skylark are as distinctive as the space itself. The exclusive mixologist’s cocktail menu is based on classic inspirations that are rendered using only the freshest ingredients. The light fare options include a variety of small plates – perfect for an after-work or evening bite.

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I throughly enjoyed several of these Harvest Cobbler’s handcrafted by master mixologist Johnny Swet. It includes; Titos Vodka, Marilde Pear Liquor, Pear and Rosemary.

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The Skylark was developed by hospitality veteran David Rabin together with Jim Kirsch and Alison Awerbuch of Abigail Kirsch.

…..until the next OFM Soirée!

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~The Skylark~

212-257-4577

200 West 39th Street

30th Floor

www.theskylarknyc.com

 

 

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Madame Tussaud pales in comparison to the Living Wax Museum, presented by the 3rd grade at the private Dutchess Day School. Students stood frozen with pride as they became one with their favorite famous American….citing “fun facts” and “historical trivia” in front of a giant paper backdrop.

 
Old Fashioned Fun was at work, as attendees had to push a button to hear the interesting information, and once pushed it was amazing to learn details of the famous Americans.

 
Hudson Cornelius Heinemann chose Duke Ellington, the composer, pianist and bandleader. In true Ellington style Hudson sported spectators by A. Testoni and a dapper Merlot wide stripped button down, for his Ellington look.

 
Ellington’s career spanned 50 years composing masterpieces like “It don’t mean anything, if it ain’t got that swing” and “Prelude to a kiss.” He was a 12 time Grammy award winner and really knew how to get the crowd moving with unique jazz melodies. The project was in true Old Fashioned Mom style as students had to pull a book out of the library and use an encyclopedia to learn about bibliographies.

 
The Head Mistress, Nancy Hathaway perused each wax figure while other notable Americans included: Amelia Earhart, Edger Allan Poe, Babe Ruth, Arthur Ashe, Betsey Ross, and Sacajawea. “This was a great project, I enjoyed making my backdrop and studying about Duke Ellington. I feel I became more connected with him, as opposed to just googling his name, definitely more interesting to go to the library.” said Hudson Heinemann.

 

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Hudson Heinemann

 

1934: American jazz pianist, composer and bandleader Duke Ellington (1899 - 1974) smiles as he holds a double bass on his shoulder and a flute in one hand, Hollywood, CA. He is wearing a fedora, a suit, and a scarf around his neck. Ellington and his band were in Hollywood to appear in director Mitchell Liesen's film, 'Murder at the Vanities.' (Photo by Frank Driggs/Frank Driggs Collection/Getty Images)

Duke Ellington


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Head Mistress, Nancy Hathaway and 3rd grader Hudson Heinemann

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alumni notre dameAlumni Couple makes $20 million gift to establish the Notre Dame Institute for global investing.

James Parsons and Dr. Carrie Quinn of New York City have made a $20 million gift to the University of Notre Dame to endow a new Institute for Global Investing in their alma mater’s Mendoza College of Business.

“This magnanimous gift will allow a cadre of superb finance faculty members at Notre Dame to advance their teaching and research to new levels,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president. “Jim and Carrie are distinguished graduates of the University, and we are most grateful for their wonderful generosity.”

The Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing is poised to advance investment-management research and educational outreach on a worldwide scale, according to Roger D. Huang, Martin J. Gillen Dean of the Mendoza College of Business.

“The Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing provides that vital nexus for research, the classroom, our alumni and other partners so that we can leverage all of it for a greater impact than the sum of its parts,” he said. “I’m confident that the institute will enable us to expand opportunities for our stakeholders — especially for our students — and become a significant thought leader in the global investment community.”

Scott Malpass, vice president, chief investment officer and a professor in Notre Dame’s Applied Investment Management (AIM) course, added: “I have known Jim since he was a junior at Notre Dame and have watched him become one of the finest money managers in the nation today. Jim and Carrie’s tremendous generosity will allow us to train the next generation of top-tier money managers imbued with the strong business ethics and principle-centered leadership that come from a Notre Dame education.”

The institute will leverage three key strengths of Notre Dame — top-rated finance faculty, an innovative finance curriculum and extensive strategic partnerships — to form a platform for both learning and influencing the way investment managers the world over think about global finance.

The institute’s goals include expanding internship and career placement opportunities; leveraging key partnerships among the college, the Notre Dame Investment Office and the University’s extensive alumni network; furthering faculty research and thought leadership; attracting prospective finance faculty; and adding depth and breadth to Mendoza’s already strong finance curriculum.

Shane Corwin, associate professor of finance, has been named as the inaugural director of the institute. A member of the Notre Dame faculty since 2000, he teaches and researches in the areas of security market design and investment banking. He has published articles in numerous finance journals, most recently studying the role of limited attention in securities trading, the measurement of transaction costs and conflicts of interest related to maker-taker fees on U.S. stock exchanges.

Corwin has served as a member of the Nasdaq Economic Advisory Board and has been awarded research grants from the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership, Morgan Stanley and the Q-Group. He earned a doctorate in finance from Ohio State University and bachelor’s and master of business administration (MBA) degrees from Mankato State University.

Parsons earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Notre Dame and an MBA from Harvard University. He is founder and portfolio manager for Junto Capital Management in New York City and previously served as a portfolio manager for Viking Global Investors in New York.

Quinn is a graduate of both Notre Dame and Tufts University Medical School. She completed her pediatric residency at Boston Children’s Hospital. After working in private practice in Queens, New York, for six years, she is now an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital. In addition to seeing patients and teaching medical students, she is the executive director of the Mount Sinai Parenting Center, a not-for-profit entity created to support and educate parents in evidence-based parenting practices designed to help improve the health, resilience and well-being of children and families. The couple has three children.

“There has never been a greater need for outstanding leadership in the investment management industry,” Parsons said. “It has been a privilege to work together with the Mendoza College of Business, Scott Malpass, the Investment Office and other University leaders to form an institute that should enable the University to adequately address the need to educate the investment management leaders of tomorrow. The University is uniquely positioned to assist in the formation of leaders around the globe, and Carrie and I are delighted that our gift will help address this critical need.”

Quinn and Parsons made a $5 million gift in 2010 to endow the directorship of Notre Dame’s Boler-Parseghian Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases. They also have made gifts to their alma mater for a Donor Advised Fund, scholarship, the Applied Investment Management Alumni Endowment Fund and the President’s Circle.

 

Philanthropy Story ~ By Dennis Brown

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What do we know about bilingualism? Much of what we once thought we knew — that speaking two languages is confusing for children, that it poses cognitive challenges best avoided — is now known to be inaccurate. Today, bilingualism is often seen as a brain-sharpening benefit, a condition that can protect and preserve cognitive function well into old age.

Gigi Luk Connecting research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience and education, Gigi Luk investigates how bilingual experiences influence cognition, learning, and the brain in children and adults.

Gigi Luk Connecting research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience and education, Gigi Luk investigates how bilingual experiences influence cognition, learning, and the brain in children and adults.

Indeed, the very notion of bilingualism is changing; language mastery is no longer seen as an either/or proposition, even though most schools still measure English proficiency as a binary “pass or fail” marker.

It turns out that there are many ways to be bilingual, according to HGSE Associate Professor Gigi Luk, who studies the lasting cognitive consequences of speaking multiple languages. “Bilingualism is a complex and multifaceted life experience,” she says; it’s an “interactional experience” that happens within — and in response to — a broader social context.

Usable Knowledge spoke with Luk about her research and its applications.

BILINGUALISM AND EXECUTIVE FUNCTION

As bilingual children toggle between two languages, they use cognitive resources beyond those required for simple language acquisition, Luk writes in a forthcoming edition of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Child Development. Recent research has shown that bilingual children outperform monolingual children on tasks that tap into executive function — skills having to do with attention control, reasoning, and flexible problem solving.

Their strength in those tasks likely results from coping with and overcoming the demand of managing two languages. In a bilingual environment, children learn to recognize meaningful speech sounds that belong to two different languages but share similar concepts.

In a paper published earlier this year, she and her colleagues looked at how bilingualism affects verbal fluency — efficiency at retrieving words — in various stages of childhood and adulthood. In one measure of verbal acumen called letter fluency — the ability to list words that begin with the letter F, for instance — bilinguals enjoyed an advantage over monolinguals that began at age 10 and grew robust in adulthood.

BILINGUALISM AND THE AGING BRAIN

Luk and her researchers are looking at the neuroscience of bilingualism — at how bilingualism may affect the physical structure of the brain in its different regions.

What they’ve found so far shows that older adults who are lifelong bilinguals have more white matter in their frontal lobes (important to executive function) than monolinguals, and that their temporal lobes (important to language function) are better preserved. The results support other evidence that persistent bilingual experience shapes brain functions and structures.

A growing body of evidence suggests that lifelong bilingualism is associated with the delayed diagnosis of dementia. But the impact of language experience on brain activity is not well understood, Luk says.

In a 2015 paper, she and her colleagues began to look at functional brain networks in monolingual and bilingual older adults. Their findings support the idea that a language experience begun in childhood and continued throughout adulthood influences brain networks in ways that may provide benefits far later in life.

WHO IS BILINGUAL?

Monolingualism and bilingualism are not static categories, Luk says, so the question of what it means to be bilingual, and who is bilingual, is nuanced. There are several pathways to bilingualism. A child can become bilingual when parents and caregivers speak both languages frequently, either switching between the two. A child can be bilingual when the language spoken at home differs from a community’s dominant language, which the child is exposed to in schools. Or a child can become bilingual when he or she speaks the community’s dominant language at home but attends an immersion program at school.

Bilingualism is an experience that accumulates and changes over time, in response to a child’s learning environments, says Luk.

LANGUAGE DIVERSITY IN SCHOOLS

In one of her projects, Luk works with a group of ELL directors to help them understand the diverse needs of their language learners and to find better ways to engage their parents. She’s looking at effective ways to measure bilingualism in schools; at connections between the science of bilingualism and language and literacy outcomes; and at the long-term relationship between academic outcomes and the quality and quantity of bilingual experience in young children.

Part of her goal is to help schools move beyond binary categorizations like “ELL” and “English proficient” and to recognize that language diversity brings challenges but also long-term benefits.

“If we only look at ELL or English proficient, that’s not a representation of the whole spectrum of bilingualism,” she says. “To embrace bilingualism, rather than simply recognizing this phenomenon, we need to consider both the challenges and strengths of children with diverse language backgrounds. We cannot do this by only looking at English proficiency. Other information, such as home language background, will enrich our understanding of bilingual development and learning.”