My Wheelchair is My Superpower

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Madeline Delp, wearing a pink dress and smiling at the camera on a black cackground

By Sara Salam

Madeline Delp knows no bounds. She applies her strengths, or her “superpowers” as she calls them, to focusing on what she can do—defying and transcending boundaries along the way

Consistent with her trailblazing efforts, Delp serves as the executive director of Live Boundless, an organization that educates people on those with disabilities and provides equipment like wheelchairs to those in need worldwide. Whether it’s coaching people on how to release the mental bounds of fear, showing others how to navigate the physical bounds that come with a disability or providing critical medical resources for people, Delp says her goal is to equip others with the tools they need to thrive.

“We aspire to challenge others to reach for a higher potential in their lives, and in turn, give back to the world around them,” she said.

Delp strives to follow her own credo. She competed in her first beauty pageant in 2016, the Miss Wheelchair North Carolina competition, and won. That same year, she would go on to win Miss Wheelchair USA 2017.

Delp is also the first person to compete in the Miss North Carolina USA pageant in a wheelchair. She placed in the top 10, won Miss Congeniality, and is the first woman in a wheelchair to make it this far in a state pageant in the history of the program.

She also became the first paraplegic girl to BASE jump. She has also rock climbed and gone skydiving. “Focus on your ability and what you can do,” Delph said. “Learn to accept fear as a tool, because when you’re able to look your fears in the face and do that thing that you’re terrified of, you’ll become a stronger person.”

When she was just 10 years old, Delp learned she would never walk again. In surviving a debilitating car crash, she suffered a severe spinal injury resulting in paralysis and incontinence.

Within a short time following this life event, Delp began a homeschooling program, because her high school campus was not wheelchair-accessible and unable to accommodate her. She didn’t see her father for almost a year following her accident. Her best friend was killed in a car accident the next year.

“People and circumstances I had thought would always stay constant were quickly fading away….and as the last domino in a long line of heartbreaks fell, a thick cloud of darkness surrounded me–so much so that I could barely breathe,” Delp wrote in a blog post for Aeroflow Urology.

In the wake of these tragic and angst-laden experiences, Delp struggled with anxiety and depression. She would spend as many as three hours a day waiting on toilets during her tween and teenage years as a result of her bladder challenges.

Delp and her mom moved to Detroit when she was 14 where she started going to a rehabilitation center. She had an accident in front of her physical therapy team while balancing with the aid of a harness on a treadmill.

“As we left, one of the therapists caught up with me and said, ‘Madeline, don’t be embarrassed. This kind of thing happens all the time! We think nothing of it–we are used to it. This is just your new kind of normal. It’s just pee.’”

Triggered by a realization of a new kind of normal, Delp decided to make a change.

“In my late teens I firmly decided that I didn’t want to be that person anymore,” Delp told Glamour Magazine. “I may not be able to walk, but I wanted to find something inside myself that was stronger than all the reasons I had to be negative. So I started trying to push myself in new ways.”

She describes a study abroad trip to Germany during college as a “second life catalyst event.” While not without accidents and incidents, Delp would travel to Germany three more times. She would also walk across the stage to receive her diploma. She graduated from UNC Asheville in May 2017 with a degree in foreign language and a concentration in management.

“I did all these things to show people with disabilities that you don’t have to be stopped by the limitations that people put on you.”

National Scholarship Providers Association Introduces the NSPA Exchange During National Scholarship Month
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National Scholarship Month, sponsored by the National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA), is a national campaign designed to raise awareness of the vital role scholarships play in reducing student loan debt and expanding access to higher education.

To celebrate, the National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA) has announced the launch of the NSPA Exchangethe first and only scholarship metric database.

Thanks to a partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the NSPA Exchange was created to serve as a central access point for scholarship provider data. Currently, the database is home to metrics from over 1,300 organizations, allowing members to search details about peer providers by location, compare scholarship award amounts, eligibility criteria, program staff size, and more. All information is kept in a secure, cloud-based, centralized database maintained through a custom administration system.

“Our goal for the NSPA Exchange is to ultimately define best practices and industry standards for scholarship providers.” says Nicolette del Muro, Senior Director, Membership and Strategic Initiatives at NSPA.

“With this database, members now have the data they need to make strategic decisions. For example, of the over 15,000 scholarships in the Exchange database, the average application is open for 90 days. And 75% of these scholarships open in the months of November, December, and January. This offers applicants a relatively short window of time to apply for all scholarships. Insight like this could help a provider determine to open their application outside of the busy season or encourage them to make their scholarship criteria and requirements available online in advance of the application open date.”

“The NSPA Exchange is a great resource for IOScholarships as the information is constantly updated and enables members to review and update their own organization’s scholarship data”, said María Fernanda Trochimezuk, Founder of IOScholarships and Individual Affiliate Member at NSPA. “IOScholarships also uses scholarships from the Exchange in our own Scholarship Search, and we trust these scholarships are safe for students, vetted, and current offerings.

To learn more about this exciting new NSPA initiative click here –  Launching a New Member Service: The NSPA Exchange or visit www.scholarshipproviders.org. For more details on how to sponsor the NSPA Exchange, contact Nicolette del Muro Senior Director, Membership and Strategic Initiatives at ndelmuro@scholarshipproviders.org.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION (NSPA)

The mission of the National Scholarship Providers Association is to advance the collective impact of scholarship providers and the scholarships they award. Currently serving over 2,000 individuals, they are dedicated to supporting the needs of professionals administering scholarships in colleges and universities, non-profit, foundations and businesses. Membership in the NSPA provides access to networking opportunities, professional development, and scholarship program resources.

ABOUT IOSCHOLARSHIPS

By conducting a free scholarship search at IOScholarships.com, STEM minority and underrepresented students gain access to a database of thousands of STEM scholarships worth over $48 million. We then narrow this vast array of financial aid opportunities down to a manageable list of scholarships for which students actually qualify, based on the information they provide in their IOScholarships.com profile. They can then review their search results, mark their favorites, and sort their list by deadline, dollar amount and other criteria. We also offer a scholarship organizer which is completely free to use, just like our scholarship search. There are scholarships out there for diverse students in STEM. So take advantage of National Scholarship Month and search for available scholarships today!

For more information about IOScholarships visit www.ioscholarships.com

Why Women Are Turning Away From MBAs
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Despite the coronavirus pandemic, business school applications are booming. MBA providers have been grappling with record numbers and increasing class sizes to accommodate a rush of executives seeking to improve their management credentials.

However, the gender divide persists. Demand among men for MBA places has been much stronger than among women, raising concerns that years of progress towards greater inclusion in business education is at risk of regressing.

(Image Credit – Financial Times)

The Forté Foundation, which lobbies for gender equality in education, found last year that the proportion of women enrolled in MBAs at their 52 member schools remained unchanged compared with 2019. Although almost half of schools managed to break the 40 per cent barrier in 2020, improvements in female representation across the membership had stalled. Female enrolment in full-time business programmes had been inching up in recent years as admissions teams promoted female alumni, and schools offered scholarships specifically for women and targeted sectors where women hold more of the management roles.

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Female enrolment in full-time business programmes had been inching up in recent years as admissions teams promoted female alumni, and schools offered scholarships specifically for women and targeted sectors where women hold more of the management roles.

When Forté was formed in 2001, it calculated that less than 28 per cent of MBA students in the US were women. A third of full-time MBA students at member schools were women in the autumn of 2013 and that rose to nearly 39 per cent of the group in 2019.

“There is a concern that the progress that has been made will go into reverse,” Elissa Sangster, Forté’s chief executive, says. “Concern has been higher among women about returning to full-time study during a pandemic, given that the jobs market may be far harder after graduation,” she says. The financial risk is often the biggest factor for female MBA applicants, she adds, and suggests the most effective change schools can make is cutting the price tag for those considering a return to formal education.

Read the full article at Financial Times.

How to Apply for Higher Education Careers – Revised Edition
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How to Apply for Higher Education Careers promo

“How to Apply for Higher Education Careers – Revised Edition” is a free ebook for anyone interested in getting a job in higher education.

If you’re starting your career or considering a career change, this ebook dives into what’s needed to apply for higher ed jobs: understanding the difference between a curriculum vitae and a resume, drafting a career-change resume, and checking if your resume can pass the 10-second test. The revised edition includes cover letter writing tips and candid advice from higher ed professionals, including representatives in HR and recruiting.

Download the ebook for strategies to tackle that crucial early step of putting yourself out there to secure your ideal job in higher ed.

Getting Girls Into STEM by Improving Education for Everyone
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young girl in stem discussing STEM education for everyonefor the Young science challenge

ByAsia A. Eaton, Psychology Today

Although women make up about half of the U.S. workforce, they have long been underrepresented in many STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Given that boys and girls perform similarly in STEM, this means a lot of STEM talent is being left untapped. Until we are successful at including diverse women and girls in STEM, we will be unable to address STEM labor shortages or stay globally competitive in research and development.

Our failure to include all available STEM talent in our workforce is even more dire for women of color. For example, Hispanic women represent 7 percent of the total U.S. workforce, but just 2 percent of STEM workers.

Various efforts have attempted to address these gender gaps in the last few decades, including the creation of STEM toys targeted at girls, large-scale research efforts, government funding, and afterschool programming. Despite this, the gaps haven’t narrowed as quickly as needed. In a 2022 review in the journal Social Issues and Policy Review, Drs. Sophie Kuchynka, Luis Rivera, and I explore (1) why these gaps persist and (2) ways to bridge them in K-12 education through policy and practice.

Why Do Gender Gaps in STEM Persist?
Features of the systems we live in and of our own social and psychological functioning serve to keep gender gaps in STEM alive.

1. Macrosystem influences.

Macrosystems, like our educational, economic, and justice systems, uphold gender stereotypes about the superiority of boys and men in STEM. STEM textbooks, for example, disproportionately portray male role models in STEM, sending the message that STEM is for boys. Further, system-justifying myths perpetuated in the media, such as the protestant work ethic and the myth of meritocracy, lead people to believe that the representation of men vs. women in STEM is just, and a result of differences in interest, aptitude, or hard work.

2. Microsystem influences.

The macrosystems we live in influence the smaller social systems closer to us (microsystems), like our families, schools, and peer groups. They also affect our individual psychology—how we see, interpret, and act on our social worlds.

Being raised in a world where STEM is associated with boys and men may implicitly lead parents to use less scientific language with daughters compared to sons, for example. It can also affect the amount of air time boys vs. girls get to work out their ideas in STEM classrooms. Eventually, these messages can be internalized by girls, negatively affecting their STEM self-image, interest, and participation.

How to Improve STEM Education for Everyone
Based on our review of macrosystem and microsystem factors that sustain gender-STEM inequities, we make several recommendations for K-12 STEM policy and practice to optimize success for all children.

In terms of practice, we recommend:

  • Classrooms be designed to promote relational and collaborative learning. Teachers should emphasize gender-inclusive classroom norms that promote positive working relations between girls and boys.
  • Classes should teach the history of gender inequality and bias so teachers and students can actively work to create equitable and inclusive STEM environments.
  • Teachers should encourage cooperation between children, and vary the roles students are assigned so they do not automatically adopt traditional gender roles in the classroom.
  • Teachers should promote active learning and growth mindset strategies. Cross-discipline evidence indicates that active learning, rooted in constructivist theories, is more beneficial in STEM education.
  • STEM should be reframed as helping students achieve communal goals through scientific collaboration. Emphasizing socially-meaningful aspects of STEM can help stimulate STEM interest in girls, because they tend to place more value on communal than dominance goals.
  • Classes can utilize near-peer mentorship programs, which pair students with similar mentors slightly more advanced than them. These near-peer mentors can be especially important for marginalized students who often feel isolated or excluded in STEM.
  • Schools should expand STEM evaluation metrics beyond traditional and standardized tests to include the assessment of skills like motivation, empathy, problem-solving, and adaptability, which are closely tied to positive educational outcomes.

Click here to read the full article on Psychology Today.

Soccer Star Carson Pickett First USWNT Player With Limb Difference
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Pro soccer player Carson Pickett on the field in her uniform

By TMZ

Pro soccer player Carson Pickett made history on Tuesday … becoming the first player with a limb difference to hit the pitch for the United States women’s national team.

Pickett — who was born without a left hand and forearm — started for the USWNT in its 2-0 victory over Colombia … as the Red, White and Blue extended their home win streak to 69 games.

The 28-year-old defender — who plays for the NWSL’s North Carolina Courage — competed in the entire contest against Colombia.

Pickett’s coach, Vlatko Andonovski, spoke about her spot on the team … saying, “Carson did very well in training for us in last week and with the management of minutes for Emily Fox that we had, we felt like Carson would be a good replacement.”

“I’m happy that she was able to perform well for 90 minutes,” he added.

Pickett has been very open and transparent about her limb difference … acknowledging it publicly, but also embracing the reality of her situation.

In April — Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness month — Pickett spoke about it in an Instagram post, “While I know that I am confident and comfortable with showing my arm, I know there are so many people in the world who aren’t.”

She continued … “The feeling of being different and the anxiety of not fitting in is something that I have been through. Wearing sweatshirts in the dead heat of summer to hide my arm. This month is really really special, important, and should be celebrated.”

“I hope to encourage anyone who struggles with their limb difference to not be ashamed of who they are. I want to be an advocate for others like me, and for the longest time I didn’t use my platform well enough.”

Click here to read the full article on TMZ.

Barbie releases first-ever doll with hearing aids. 5 other groundbreaking Barbies
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Barbie wearing a hearing aid

By Ishita Srivastava, Daily O

Barbie has been an icon and inspiration for women across the world. Since its creation in 1959, Barbie has evolved from being only a doll for young girls to a global symbol of ‘anything is possible’.

The doll, however, has a long history of lacking inclusivity, in terms of race and body shape. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Lizzo have made the non-Barbie body type ‘stylish’ and as social media is evolving to become a safe space for all body types and races, Barbie has begun making changes of its own.

Here are 5 groundbreaking Barbie dolls that promote body acceptance and racial diversity:

1. HEARING AID BARBIE

On May 11, Barbie’s latest Fashionistas line was announced and it was a reason for joy for many consumers with hearing disabilities. The new collection, for the first time, features a Barbie doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids.

The new line also features a doll with a prosthetic leg and a Ken doll with vitiligo.

Mattel’s Barbie team collaborated with expert and hearing loss advocate Dr Jen Richardson in order to accurately represent the doll.

“I’m honoured to have worked with Barbie to create an accurate reflection of a doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids. As an educational audiologist with over 18 years of experience working in hearing loss advocacy, it’s inspiring to see those who experience hearing loss reflected in a doll,” said Dr Richardson.

While in 2020, Mattel did release a Barbie doll with vitiligo, this is the first time a Ken doll has been released with the skin disease. (Read more about vitiligo Barbie here: 11 fancy Barbie dolls we wish we had in the 90s. Just like the Queen Elizabeth one)

2. DISABLED BARBIE

Barbie’s 2019 Fashionistas line marked the first time Mattel released Barbie dolls with physical disabilities. Available to buy since June 2019, the new line featured a Barbie doll with a prosthetic leg and another doll with a wheelchair.

Similar to Mattel’s collaboration with Dr Richardson to create a Barbie doll with hearing aids, Mattel joined hands with 13-year-old disability activist who was born without a left forearm, Jordan Reeves in 2019 to create the Barbie doll with a prosthetic leg.

Mattel also worked with the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and wheelchair experts to design the Barbie doll with a wheelchair.

Not only the physically disabled Barbie dolls, Mattel also introduced a Barbie DreamHouse compatible ramp to promote infrastructure accessibility for the physically disabled.

3. BODY POSITIVE BARBIE

Back in January 2016, Mattel announced that Barbie will now be available to buy in three new body shapes; tall, petite and curvy, marking the first time the popularly skinny doll was available in other body types.

At the time, spokeswoman Michelle Chidoni explained that the new Barbie dolls will allow “the product line to be a better reflection of what girls see in the world around them.”

4. ASIAN BARBIE

Named Oriental Barbie, Mattel’s first Asian Barbie doll was released in 1981. The collector doll was a part of Barbie’s Dolls of the World collection.

The Oriental Barbie was released in a long yellow dress with red trimmings and a red and golden-flowered jacket. Oriental Barbie described herself as from Hong Kong. Since Oriental Barbie was the first Barbie of its kind, the face sculpt came to be known as the Oriental / Miko / Kira Face Sculpt.

While Mattel did release an Asian Barbie in 1981, it was ultimately in March 2022 when the toymaker released its first Desi Barbie. To celebrate Women’s History Month, Mattel released a South Asian Barbie who was modelled after Deepica Mutyala, the founder and CEO of makeup brand Live Tinted.

Click here to read the full article on Daily O.

Scholarship Connoisseur Encourages Students to Apply for STEM Scholarships and Internship Opportunities Now
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young black woman carrying backpack

IOScholarships is the first of its kind scholarship and financial education platform for minority and underrepresented STEM students. The technology has been designed with a streamlined user-friendly interface that offers great functionality to help high school, undergraduate and graduate students find scholarships and internship opportunities. IOScholarships proprietary matching algorithm can match students with life-changing scholarships where their diverse background is valued.

“Now is the time for students to apply for college scholarships,” said María Fernanda Trochimezuk, Founder of IOScholarships. “While there are many scholarships that have qualifications like a minimum 3.5 GPA, there are just as many that have lower GPA requirements or don’t even take GPA into consideration at all.”

GPA is an important factor for getting scholarships but is not the only thing that’s important. Schools are looking for dedicated students, who contribute to their community or are involved in STEM organizations or activities. They want to see leadership and perseverance, and while these can sort of be reflected in a GPA, they mostly shine through in extracurriculars.

The majority of the scholarships featured on IOScholarships come directly from corporations and organizations, rather than solely from competitive university pools – thereby maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education. There’s plenty of money that goes unused every year, students just have to search for it.

Each month IO Scholarships adds hundreds of new curated scholarships to its database and posts “The Scholarship of the Week” on its Instagram social media accounts(@IOScholarships), making it easy to find new scholarship opportunities.

In addition to providing scholarships, the IOScholarships platform features a scholarship organizer, news articles designed to provide guidance on how to apply for scholarships, and money saving tips. The platform also offers a Career Aptitude Quiz designed to help students identify the degrees and professions that best fit their skills.

For more information about IOScholarships visit www.ioscholarships.com or for weekly STEM scholarships email maria.fernanda@ioscholarships.com.

10 Ways to Tell if Online Education is Right For You
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Online education has become a popular topic of conversation across the country. Even before the global pandemic, nearly 1 in 5 college students reported that they had taken at least one course online.

The massive adoption of online education during 2020 has only accelerated these trends and has inspired many students to ask if online education might be right for them, even as more traditional learning forms begin to return.

Online education opens many doors for students, empowering them to complete their studies on a more flexible schedule that is often friendlier towards other obligations, such as existing jobs or childcare. “Should I go to college online?” is a question many students are asking themselves. It helps to review important criteria that provide a good indication that a particular student is ready to become an online student.

What is Online School Like?

Online college will have many similarities with more traditional learning environments. Instructors will create content-rich courses that students can engage with and examine the material presented to prepare them for their degrees. Students have tests and papers to determine their understanding of the material along with opportunities to work on group projects with other students and create networks of peers through their school.

However, since online school can often be completed on an independent schedule, many students find that they need greater amounts of discipline to ensure they stay on top of course material. Without the physical act of having to attend classes and engage with the professor and fellow students in real life, it can be easy to get more distracted during class time or fall behind on the course material.

Online education offers some tremendous opportunities for students who want to earn degrees with greater flexibility and with the ability to read and study at home or another location of choice. This requires some unique characteristics and preparation steps.

Signs you are ready to become an online student

Are you ready to become an online student? Maybe, especially if …

You have the organizational skills needed to excel

To excel in an online learning environment, you will need to have quality organizational skills. Not only do you need to keep track of the dates and times of lectures, projects, exams, and papers without the visual triggers and personal reminders you would get in an in-person environment, but you also need to make sure that you have the space needed to study and keep track of all your books and materials. Students studying in person might find themselves walking over to their library when needed, attending lectures in a focused hall or classroom, and meeting up with fellow students for meals. This does not happen online, so you need to be organized to create a study space and schedule that benefits you.

You are self-disciplined in your studies

Without the external forces that drive your studies found in-person, you need to make sure that you have the self-discipline to keep yourself on track. Regularly logging into your classroom and any discussion forums offered for the section can make it easier to track important dates and keep you on top of the material. Before you make the commitment to online learning, make sure you have the self-discipline to will drive you to succeed.

You can remain focused in classes and on your studies

When you attend a class from the comfort of your couch, potential distractions abound. With your email open alongside the lecture and the fridge right in the other room, it becomes easy to find reasons and excuses to step away from the class for just a moment and lose track of what is going on. When you log in to attend classes, you need to make sure you will have the discipline to remain focused on the material in front of you throughout the presentation.

You are willing to ask for help

With a digital class, there are no options to hang back after class to speak to a professor privately about a question regarding the material. Instead, you need to make more of an effort, connecting with the instructor through emails or their other preferred means of communication. If you want to thrive in a digital learning environment, make sure you feel comfortable asking questions if they should arise, reassuring yourself that you will not allow misunderstandings to fester.

You are self-motivated

There are two main types of motivation—internal and external. External motivation helps to entice people towards specific desired behavior through outside rewards or punishments. Internal motivation, however, comes from the person’s individual goals and dreams that help to drive them to complete the task at hand.

Online learners will perform best if they carry a high degree of self-motivation. Since they will have to work particularly hard at remaining on task and keeping up with the schedule of classes and assignments, those who do not have self-motivation to finish the degree or program will begin to struggle with completing their goals.

You know that flexibility and freedom will benefit you

For many prospective students, the freedom and flexibility offered by virtual learning sound particularly enticing. Going to college online allows them to take classes when their schedules allow and study on their own time. For some students, however, this level of freedom and flexibility can be detrimental to their studies, resulting in students who end up procrastinating. Before becoming an online student, you should carefully consider whether this level of freedom and flexibility is for you. Will it benefit you and your learning style? Or will make it harder for you to reach your goals?

You enjoy virtual interaction

To succeed in an online learning environment, you also need to make sure that you actually enjoy virtual interaction. Classrooms and interacting with other students offer many benefits for students, including the ability to form study groups, network, and work together on group projects. If your classroom is digital, chances are that many of these interactions will be online, as well.

A successful online student, therefore, will not mind needing to meet and coordinate with professors and fellow students via a computer. They feel comfortable scheduling mutually agreeable times to connect through one of the different video conferencing platforms.

You feel confident and comfortable with technology

As a student, you also want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the technology itself. Many digital classrooms need a few different components, and teachers may use a multi-featured platform or a few different platforms to answer these needs. For example, professors and students will need to be able to:

  • Post and view lectures
  • Manage and submit assignments
  • Collaborate with fellow students
  • Connect with the professor virtually

Even if you have not used a particular type of technology before, the mark of a good online student will be a willingness to experiment with it, try it out, and learn how it works. If you feel unsure navigating technological inventions and trying out new platforms, you may find it a challenge to successfully engage with online learning easily and take advantage of all that the course has to offer.

You enjoy the opportunity to learn independently

Many students find that they enjoy learning independently. From the time they were children, they enjoyed investigating, in their backyard or in books, the questions that sparked their interest. These types of students enjoy diving into new material, digesting it a bit, turning it over in their minds, and then learning how to make it their own.

Although online learning contains many of the same components as traditional learning, including access to an expert in the field and a classroom of other excited and interested students, much of online learning does consist of a self-learning environment. Conversations with professors and students generally need to be more planned and less spontaneous. If the classes themselves are recorded, instead of live, there also may not be opportunities to ask questions during the lecture itself—often these students submit questions to the professor after they watched their video.

Since students in this position do not gain the same opportunities to learn in this more group-style environment, they will engage with the material more independently.

They might watch and rewatch a lecture and pair it with readings from their books, followed by submitting questions to their professors based on the material that they struggled with. To succeed, students need to adapt to a more independent style of learning, taking ownership of the classes and the material and ensuring that they understand what they need to know.

Read the complete article posted on Post University.

16 Black women who shaped history
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black women making history - Rosa Parks

By Madeline Merinuk, Today

One of the best ways to get inspired is to examine the stories of courage and strength of others. As part of Together We Rise, a 31-day package highlighting amazing Black people, experiences, allies, and communities that shape America and make it what it is today, we’ve compiled a list of Black women who have made historic impacts in our nation and the world as a whole.

The history-making Black women included in this group defied odds, broke boundaries and left special marks of excellence in their communities, paving the way for other Black women to do the same.

Elizabeth Freeman (unknown-1829)
Freeman, also known as Mum Bett, was a nurse and midwife who successfully sued Massachusetts for her freedom in 1781, becoming the first African-American enslaved woman to win a freedom suit in the state. Her suit helped lead to the permanent abolition of slavery in Massachusetts altogether.

Ona Judge (1773-1848)
Ona Judge, known by the Washingtons as Oney, was a mixed woman born into an enslaved family on Mt. Vernon and brought to Philadelphia to serve at the President’s House. On May 21, 1796, a 22-year-old Ona successfully escaped her enslavement to President George Washington while he and Mrs. Washington ate dinner. She fled to New Hampshire.

Harriet Tubman (unknown-1913)
American abolitionist Harriet Tubman is most known for her efforts to move slaves to liberation in the Underground Railroad, a network of antislavery activists. Her legacy is indelible in the movement to abolish slavery, as she is documented to have made approximately 13 trips through the Underground Railroad to lead dozens of slaves to freedom — and never got caught, despite a $40,000 reward for her capture.

Ida B. Wells (1862-1931)

Ida B. Wells was a prominent Black investigative journalist, educator and activist in the early civil rights movement. She was one of the founders of the NAACP (National Assocation for the Advancement of Colored People), and led a powerful anti-lynching crusade in the U.S. in the 1890s.

Rosa Parks (1913-2005)
Rosa Parks, a trailblazer known for her courageous participation in the Montgomery bus boycott, sparked a movement against racial segregation on public transit. Her defiance to give up her seat led to her arrest on Dec. 1, 1955, but sparked a revolutionary movement. The United States Congress has since honored her as “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement.”

Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
Maya Angelou has a distinct voice as a Black writer and activist. She left her legacy with a large collection of memoirs, poems, essays and plays. She rose to fame in 1969 after the publication of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” one of her autobiographies that details her early years as a young Black woman.

Nina Simone (1933-2003)
Nina Simone possessed a unique raspy voice and had a massive impact on the jazz community, as well as continued involvement in the civil rights movement. In her early years, she changed her name from Eunice Kathleen Waymon, her birth name, to her new alias, Nina Simone, so she could disguise herself from her family while trying to make a career in jazz as a pianist and singer. She rose to fame and recorded more than 40 albums between 1958 and 1974.

Audre Lorde (1934-1992)
Audre Lorde made incredible contributions to feminist literature. In her writings, she highlights her experience being a Black lesbian woman and confronts issues of racism, homophobia, classism and misogyny, giving voice to other Black female writers and activists.

Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)
“Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin was ranked ninth in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” twice and it’s said that no one understood soul music better than Aretha. She also was the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Marsha P. Johnson (1945-1992)
Marsha P. Johnson, born Malcom Michaels Jr., was the first American self-identified drag queen. She was one of the first gay liberation activists and one of the most prominent figures of the Stonewall riots in 1969. When asked what the “p” in her name stood for, she responded, “pay it no mind,” and continued to use that phrase when asked about her gender identity.

Click here to read the full article on Today.

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Upcoming Events

  1. NGLCC National Dinner 2022
    November 18, 2022 - December 21, 2022
  2. WBEC West Virtual Business Conference
    December 6, 2022 - December 8, 2022
  3. WBEC West Rise Up Strategic Procurement 2022
    December 6, 2022 - December 8, 2022
  4. Elder Customers –Treating Customers with Empathy–Virtual Event
    December 14, 2022
  5. NAWBO Leadership Academy–Winter 2023
    February 6, 2023 - February 7, 2023
  6. CSUN 38th Annual Assistive Technology Conference
    March 13, 2023 - March 17, 2023
  7. CSUN Assistive Technology Conference
    March 13, 2023 - March 17, 2023
  8. WBENC National Conference
    March 20, 2023 - March 23, 2023

Upcoming Events

  1. NGLCC National Dinner 2022
    November 18, 2022 - December 21, 2022
  2. WBEC West Virtual Business Conference
    December 6, 2022 - December 8, 2022
  3. WBEC West Rise Up Strategic Procurement 2022
    December 6, 2022 - December 8, 2022
  4. Elder Customers –Treating Customers with Empathy–Virtual Event
    December 14, 2022
  5. NAWBO Leadership Academy–Winter 2023
    February 6, 2023 - February 7, 2023