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August 16, 2012

Office of Media Relations
Darlene Trew Crist, Director

Courtney Coelho, Editor
(401) 863-7287

The Huffington Post   9 August 2012
For teachers, there’s always chance for improvement
A new study co-authored by John Tyler, professor of education, finds that, contrary to prior evidence, experienced teachers can continue to improve upon their teaching methods after a few years in the classroom. The researchers looked at a group of 105 mid-career elementary and middle-school teachers in Cincinnati and found that actually evaluating the teachers in a very specific way made their students perform somewhat better a few years later.

The Providence Journal   10 August 2012
Solar system yields annual summer showers
The annual meteor shower known as the Perseids, which occurs each year as planet Earth circles the sun, it barrels through the trails of debris cast off by comets making their way through the solar system, peaked last weekend, making it visible to the naked eye. “This usually is what many people consider the best meteor shower of the year, mainly because it’s the summer and people can go outside and lay on the grass or sit on lawn chairs, and don’t have to be bundled up,” said Francine Jackson, staff astronomer at Brown’s Ladd Observatory.

The Philadelphia Tribune   9 August 2012
Passing is a part of cultural identity
Visiting scholar Marcia Dawkins has just published a book titled Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity. In it, Dawkins she examines passing, which describes the fact of being accepted, or representing oneself successfully as a member of a different group. Dawkins’ study explores the concept’s old limits and new possibilities: from women passing as men and able-bodied persons passing as disabled to Black classics professors passing as Jewish and white supremacists passing as white.

Medical News Today   10 August 2012
Weight loss yields a decade of benefits
According to a new study presented by Rena Wing, professor of psychiatry and human behavior, at the American Psychological Association’s 120th Annual Convention, individuals who are overweight or obese could gain ten years worth of health benefits by simply losing 20 pounds. The study also found that modest weight loss reduced the risk of individuals developing Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education   2 August 2012
Leadership Alliance celebrates 20 years
During the last 20 years, the Leadership Alliance has helped more than 200 minority scholars earn doctoral degrees. The organization, a national consortium based at Brown University, recently celebrated that milestone at its annual symposium, July 27-29, 2012, in Hartford, Conn. The Alliance attracts, recruits, and nurtures minority students who, with consortium support, are encouraged to pursue their educational aspirations through graduate study. Since its inception, the Leadership Alliance has produced 215 Ph.D.s and 19 M.D./Ph.D.s.

The Providence Journal   12 August 2012
Med School introduces palliative care fellowship
A new fellowship program at Brown’s Alpert Medical School give medical students additional training in hospice and palliative care. The first program of its kind in the state, the fellowship made possible through a new affiliation between Brown and Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island. The fellowship will offer instruction on how to manage symptoms such as pain, nausea, shortness of breath, anxiety, delirium and depression.

The Indian Express   14 August 2012
What China’s growth means for its future
Ashutosh Varshney, professor of political science, pens an op-ed about China’s continuous economic growth, raising the questions of whether China overbuilding and who is bearing the costs of such development. “At $4,000-5,000 per capita, nominally one-eighth of the US, China is building American-style infrastructure, if not better. Isn’t that uneconomic? Rich societies build world-class infrastructure; China is still a middle-income country. But China appears to be saying that supply does not have to follow demand. Rather, supply will create demand – investment will flow if the infrastructure is good,” Varshney writes.

The Boston Globe   13 August 2012
Roskiewicz named assistant to president
Kimberly O. Roskiewicz, currently associate dean for operations at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, has been named assistant to the president at Brown University. Roskiewicz will begin her work at Brown Monday, Aug. 27, 2012. In her new position, Roskiewicz will have primary responsibility for managing the Office of the President.

The Providence Journal   13 August 2012
Wing honored for lifetime achievement
Rena Wing, professor of psychiatry and human behavior, recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association. Wing is principal investigator of the Diabetes Prevention Program, a nationwide study that has shown that an intensive lifestyle-intervention program focused on modifying diet and exercise is more effective at preventing diabetes than drug treatment. The lifestyle program is now offered at medical centers and YMCAs around the country.Wing also co-founded the National Weight Control Registry, which tracks more than 10,000 people who lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off, identifying the “secrets” to their success.

World Policy Blog   13 August 2012
Where U.S. and German court powers diverge
When examining the recent events surrounding the eurocrisis, it’s easy to wonder how the powers of the German Constitutional Court and the U.S. Supreme Court could be so divergent. This blog post suggests considering the reflections of Gordon Wood, professor emeritus of history, who tracks America’s extraordinary elevation of a constitution to a higher order transcending mere legislation.   14 August 2012
Ryan’s plan could increase elderly costs
Several economists were surveyed to see what they thought about Republican running mate Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which calls for deep cuts in tax rates and federal spending for years. David Wyss, adjunct professor of economics, says the plans would mean significant savings for the federal government, but that it "just transfers the costs to the elderly, who probably won’t be able to pay them."

U.S. News & World Report   14 August 2012
Alpert Medical School among lowest acceptance rates
Brown ranks fourth on this list of medical schools with the lowest acceptance rates with an acceptance rate of 3.5 percent out of 6,230 applicants. Results are compiled based on myriad self-reported data from each school about academic programs and the makeup of the student body.

NPR   15 August 2012
Storytelling to make science fun
Alpert Medical School student Bill Brucker has founded the Providence Alliance for Clinical Educators, which combines captivating storytelling with exquisite illustrations to teach scientific principles in a fun and memorable way. The organization’s goal to is to improve science education in the United States. Distribution of the free material started in September 2011. Today more than 200 high schools in all 50 states are using the material to improve reading and science skills – at no cost.

Bloomberg Businessweek   16 August 2012
Van Dam testifies in Apple-Samsung trial
Apple and Samsung are currently embroiled in a multibillion-dollar intellectual-property trial in which Apple is accusing Samsung of copying patented designs for mobile devices. Andries Van Dam, professor of computer science, testified that Apple “was not the first to invent the snap-back” of graphic images. Samsung elicited the testimony in an attempt to invalidate a patent Apple claims covers “rubberbanding,” or the way an iPad or iPhone screen seems to bounce when a user scrolls to the end of a file.

The Providence Phoenix   15 August 2012
Tomasi: Free markets and social justice compatible
John Tomasi, professor of political science, answers questions about his new book Free Market Fairness, which argues that free markets and social justice are compatible ideals. “Against the self-professed "progressives," I argue that our social world has fundamentally changed since the early days of the industrial revolution and the requirements of true progressivism have therefore changed fundamentally as well. In current conditions, I suggest, and, provided that the state delivers a set of basic services to needy citizens, free markets embody a particularly attractive kind of fairness,” Tomasi says.

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