Vermont State Colleges forms system-wide task force

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Vermont State Colleges System (VSCS) Interim Chancellor Sophie Zdatny today announced the creation of a new system-wide task force charged with developing plans and advising the Chancellor’s Office and Board of Trustees on how to move the organization forward to ensure quality, financial viability, and access to programs for students across Vermont. The 15-member task force, called VSCS Forward, is comprised of diverse and highly skilled individuals representing all VSCS entities, as well as faculty, staff, students, and trustees.Each college and full-time bargaining unit was asked to select participants. An outside professional facilitator will be hired to lead the group discussion and support the team’s work.“VSCS Forward is a critical next step in our work to move beyond the challenges of the past and toward a future where our system is thriving, our faculty and staff are supported in new and exciting ways and our students receive the high quality education they deserve,” said Interim Chancellor Zdatny. “We must seize this opportunity to build an inclusive and thoughtful process to consider how we transform into a sustainable organization with high-demand programs that prepare students for the economy of the future.”VSCS Forward members will spend the next few months meeting, researching and analyzing the system. They will engage the entire VSCS system and collect feedback from the community through public forums.Specifically, they are charged with reviewing ideas and developing recommendations to:address program duplication;ensure quality, financial viability, and access to programs;clarify distinguishing characteristics of member institutions;strengthen VSCS’s focus on core, high-demand programs that meet the needs of today’s students and the Vermont workforce;identify sustainable strategies to deliver programs and provide student support in rural areas of Vermont; andreconfigure the system in organization, finance, governance, and accreditation. “This is no small lift and we know change is very hard. We also know that we have to change to be relevant and successful for decades to come. I am so grateful to this brilliant team from across the system and Vermont who are stepping up to move us forward,” added Zdatny.The Task Force is expected to deliver a preliminary report of ideas reviewed and potential recommendation areas to the Interim Chancellor for consideration and presentation to the Board no later than August 14, 2020, at which time the Board will provide further direction to the Task Force.Task Force members include:Dylan Giambatista (Legislative Trustee)Yasmine Ziesler (Chancellor’s Office – Chief Academic Officer)Heather Weinstein (CCV – Dean of Strategic Initiatives and Student Affairs)Tiffany Keune (CCV – Associate Dean of Workforce Education)Lit Tyler (VTC – Dean of Administration)*Sarah Billings-Berg (VTC – Associate Dean of Nursing)Kim Hannon-Brobst (VTC – Coordinator of Remote Access Services and selected representative of the Staff Federation)Rich Clark (Castleton – Professor, Political Science Program Coordinator)Maurice Ouimet (Castleton – Dean of Enrollment)Bethany Sprague (Castleton – Office Manager for Center for Schools and selected representative of United Professionals)Nolan Atkins (NVU – Provost)**Elaine Harvey (NVU – Director of Student Engagement and Persistence, Academic Affairs)**Alex Huff (NVU – Student and Editor of The Critic, NVU-Lyndon’s student newspaper)Greg Petrics (NVU – Associate Professor of Mathematics and selected representative of Faculty Federation)Interim Chancellor (ex officio, non-voting member)*Also on VTC’s Transition Advisory Taskforce**Also on NVU Strong Advisory CommitteeSource: Montpelier, VT – Vermont State Colleges System 6.1.2020last_img read more

Federal appeals court denies Shawnee Mission parents’ challenge to Kansas school finance formula

first_imgThe federal lawsuit emerged from the group that organized to “Save Mission Valley” in 2010.Dismissing their legal arguments as a “kitchen-sink approach,” three 10th Circuit Court of Appeals judges on Monday denied a group of Shawnee Mission parents’ attempt to get the federal government to intervene in the Kansas school finance formula, which the parents claimed unfairly hampers Shawnee Mission’s ability to operate its schools by capping the amount of money districts can raise locally.The ruling comes at an intriguing time, just two months after the legislature shelved the 23-year-old finance formula at the heart of the matter in favor of a two-year block grant bill. However, since the block grant bill still keeps a cap on local spending, the court ruled that the case was still ripe for consideration — though it found little compelling about the parents’ claims, suggesting that the local option budget cap was a key part to Kansas’ equitable schooling system.“Displeased with the outcome of school finance litigation in state court, plaintiffs, parents of students in the relatively wealthy Shawnee Mission School District, seek federal intervention to upend decades of effort toward establishing an equitable school finance system in Kansas,” wrote judge Carlos Lucero. “Stripped to its pith, plaintiffs’ position is that the U.S. Constitution requires the state of Kansas to grant its political subdivisions unlimited taxing and budget authority. We discern no support for their novel and expansive claims.”The appellate court’s ruling comes four years after the group of parents filed a federal case challenging Kansas’s local option budget cap in the wake of the Shawnee Mission School Board’s vote to close Mission Valley Middle School.Shook Hardy and Bacon attorney Tristan Duncan, who represented the plaintiffs in the federal case and has recently represented the Shawnee Mission School District in part of the Gannon case at the state level, said the group was evaluating its options for further appeal.“Obviously we’re disappointed in the decision,” she said. “The case isn’t over. We will continue to fight.”You can read the full ruling below: read more

Cybathlon 2020 Goes Virtual, Coordinating Live Team Competition From 20 Countries With TVU Networks

first_imgMOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – December 17, 2020 – Fifty-one teams from 20 countries competed in Cybathlon 2020 Global Edition, a series of races in which people with disabilities used exoskeletons, brain-computer interfaces, and other state-of-the-art assistance systems to complete everyday tasks. This year, teams were unable to gather in Zurich, Switzerland, due to COVID-19 restrictions, and instead opted for TVU Networks remote production solutions– including TVU One mobile transmitters, the TVU Anywhere mobile broadcasting app, and the TVU Partyline collaborative platform – which helped teams provide multi-camera video from around the world to create a live streaming event.“We were challenged by the Cybathlon organization to produce a completely remote version of what is usually an in-person competition. The goal was to find a solution that could transmit high-quality live video over the internet from multiple locations around the world,” explained Thomas Stäubli, CEO of BBM Productions, whose team produced nine hours of live streaming content. “TVU was able to seamlessly combine live footage from professional cameras and camera phones into the same production.”Teams competing in Cybathlon 2020 Global Edition from around the world used remote production solutions from TVU Networks to create a live streaming event. The production used a mix of footage from TVU One mobile transmitters and the TVU Anywhere app. Before the competition, BBM Productions helped teams configure their mobile phones to deliver the best quality signal using TVU Anywhere.“Most challenging was that we were collaborating with teams that were not familiar with broadcast or streaming technology,” Stäubli said. “We had to deal with teams from all over the world in many different time zones and with limited prep time, which created a lot of challenges. The flexibility of the TVU system gave us the freedom to do this.”TVU systems and support were provided to Cybathlon participants by Videolink, a systems integrator headquartered near Zurich. Coordinating the live feeds from competing teams was simplified using TVU Command Center, a cloud-based management platform that remotely controls and monitors all live transmissions. Five BBM operators managed the event, with one assigned to the TVU Command Center while the other four coordinated live streaming efforts with the competing teams.“The GUI from the Command Center is great. It provided a complete overview of the production at all times, which made it easier to manage so many video feeds from so many different locations,” Stäubli said. “The TVU system delivered all the video sources directly to the SDI outputs of the receivers, so we could switch the live production like any other show.”Now in its sixth generation, the TVU One mobile transmitter can transmit live, up to 4K HDR 60p signal video from any location by aggregating all available data connections, including 5G, cellular, WiFi, Ethernet and satellite with sub-second latency. The TVU Anywhere remote production app allows any smart device to transmit full-HD video, up to 1080p for live streaming. A collaborative solution for TVU Producer, TVU Partyline offers a familiar videoconferencing interface that allows content creators to move beyond traditional studio-based workflows, with real-time interaction between talent, crew, and external content contributors.last_img read more

PB Bar places 20 students in diversity program

first_img PB Bar places 20 students in diversity program The Palm Beach County Bar Association’s Committee for Diversity and Inclusion has placed 20 minority law students in its Summer Diversity Internship Program.These students will gain valuable legal experience by working with law firms and government agencies in Palm Beach County and will be introduced to the Palm Beach County legal community.The internship program will run from June through July 29. Interns will work between 20 and 40 hours per week and will participate in a bi-weekly event hosted by the Palm Beach County Bar Association. In addition, each intern will be paired with a mentor who will assist in introducing the student to all the benefits of practicing in Palm Beach County.“We are very pleased to have the support of so many well-respected law firms, attorneys, and organizations,” said Adam Rabin, chair of the Palm Beach County Committee for Diversity and Inclusion.“Their commitment to diversity and inclusion within the Palm Beach County community is helping to build a welcoming and diverse legal community that we all can be proud of.” June 1, 2011 Regular News PB Bar places 20 students in diversity programlast_img read more

Brain volume predicts successful weight loss in the elderly

first_img“A simple test that can predict intentional weight loss success using structural brain characteristics could ultimately be used to tailor treatment for patients,” said Jonathan Burdette, M.D., professor of radiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist, and co-author of the study.“For example, people identified at high risk for failure might benefit from intensive treatment and close guidance. People identified as having a high probability for success might best respond to less intensive treatment.”In the study, 52 participants, age 60 to 79, were recruited from the Cooperative Lifestyle Interventions Programs II (CLIP-II) project. The participants were overweight or obese (BMI greater than 28 and less than 42) and had a history of either cardiovascular disease or metabolic syndrome.All participants had a baseline MRI scan and then were randomized to one of three groups – diet only, diet plus aerobic exercise training or diet plus resistance exercise training. The goal of the 18-month diet and exercise program was a weight loss of 7 to 10 percent of body mass.Basic brain structure information garnered from the MRIs was classified using a support vector machine, a type of computerized predictive algorithm. Predictions were based on baseline brain gray and white matter volume from the participants’ MRIs and compared to the study participants’ actual weight loss after the 18 months. Brain gray matter volume provided higher prediction accuracy compared with white matter and the combination of the two outperformed either one alone, Burdette said.The study’s small sample size was a limitation, Burdette said, but the researchers hope to include more people in follow-up studies and broaden the types of interventions to help improve the predictive nature of the test.“Future studies will investigate whether functional brain networks in association with patterns of brain anatomy may improve prediction, as our recent research has demonstrated that brain circuits are associated with food craving and the self-regulation of eating behavior,” he said. If you’re trying to lose weight, what are your chances of success? Your brain may hold the key.Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center believe they may have found a way to predict who will be successful in their weight-loss efforts with a quick, non-invasive brain scan.In findings from a small study published in the current online issue of the journal Obesity, the researchers were able to predict weight loss success with 78 percent accuracy based on the brain volume of the study participants. Email LinkedIn Share on Twittercenter_img Pinterest Share Share on Facebooklast_img read more

Turkey-linked Salmonella outbreak total climbs to 164

first_imgA multidrug-resistant Salmonella Reading outbreak linked to raw turkey products has sickened 74 more people from 26 states, with one fatal illness reported, the first, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.In its update on the outbreak, first announced in the middle of July, the CDC said the illness total is now 164 in 35 states. States with more than 10 cases are California, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and Texas.So far 63 people have been hospitalized, and the fatal infection involves a person from California. Illness-onset dates range from Nov 20, 2017, to Oct 20, 2018. Patient ages range from younger than 1 year to 91, and 56% of the patients are female.Interviews with sick patients suggest that raw turkey products, including ground turkey, turkey pieces, and whole turkey, from a variety of sources are connected to the outbreak. Three patients are from households in which raw turkey pet food was given to pets.The CDC said testing has identified the outbreak strain in raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products collected from patients’ homes, and live turkeys. The outbreak strain was also found in samples from raw turkey products from 22 slaughter and 7 processing facilities.A single common supplier, however, has not been identified. The CDC said that, given that the outbreak strain is present in live turkeys and many types of raw turkey products, it may be widespread in the turkey industry. Federal health officials have shared the findings with professionals in the turkey industry and asked about steps they could take to reduce Salmonella contamination.Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) has found that those samples are closely related to the strain from sick people.Resistance found in 152 isolatesWGS didn’t identify predicted resistance in 116 isolates from 53 sick people and 63 food and animal samples.But 68 isolates from patients and 84 from food, animal, and environmental samples had genes for resistance to all or some of the following antibiotics: ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, kanamycin, gentamicin, nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin, ceftriaxone, and fosfomycin.Standard antibiotic susceptibility testing on five isolates confirmed the results. “Most of the infections in this outbreak are susceptible to the antibiotics that are commonly used for treatment, so this resistance likely will not affect the choice of antibiotic used to treat most people,” the CDC added.See also:Nov 8 CDC outbreak updateJul 19 CIDRAP News story “Multidrug-resistant raw turkey Salmonella outbreak: 90 ill in 26 states”last_img read more

Surveyors up in arms at rating reforms

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Piste off with the market

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Supplier of the year award for Linde Electronics

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Building buys a pint …

first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAYlast_img read more