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For big questions, a bigger forum

first_imgOne of the most challenging and lauded programs at Harvard isn’t part of the academic course curriculum.Coordinated through the Freshman Dean’s Office, the “Reflecting on Your Life” initiative invites freshmen to think about meaning and purpose. Featuring facilitators from across the University, the program typically meets for three sessions, at the beginning of second semester.The sessions fulfill no academic requirements, and yet, year after year, freshmen show up for three consecutive weeks to participate in small-group programming that delves deeply into their values, leading to conversations with peers that sometimes reveal gaps between thought and action.“The program gives students time to stop and think about what really matters to them,” said Katherine Steele, project manager and director for freshman programming, such as “what their values are and how those values shape the decisions that they make — from what’s important to them to how they spend their time, and even who they spend their life with.”Now, a grant from the Teagle Foundation is broadening the scope of the program, making it possible for Harvard to share it with colleges and universities interested in launching similar initiatives. The grant will also enable collaborations on best practices and programs to help students to consider the big questions: meaning, value, and purpose.After Richard Light, the Carl H. Pforzheimer Jr. Professor of Teaching and Learning, learned about the Teagle Foundation’s initiative to advance civic and moral education on college campuses, Steele worked with Dean of Freshmen Thomas A. Dingman to submit a proposal to help develop programs for the “civic and moral education of today’s college students.”The grant will sponsor the effort for three years, helping leaders at Harvard and elsewhere understand the impact of the various ways universities encourage dialogue about personal values and citizenship. But most importantly, Steele said, the grant should help promote programs that allow students to figure out how they want to live.“How do you affect moral growth? How does someone really solidify what they stand for? It’s about developing a stronger sense of who they are, and what they stand for. It’s about drawing the lines between what’s important to you and how you’re spending your time … and if the connections between those two things are missing, what can or should you do about it?”“Reflecting on Your Life” began at Harvard as a result of the in-depth, one-on-one interviews that Light conducted each year with students about to graduate. One answer was especially provocative, that of the student who told Light that Harvard had “forgotten to offer the most important course of all” — namely, how to think about living his life.“It was a revelation to realize that we were missing out on such a key and fundamental question,” Light said. “It’s often covered in an academic sense, but not necessarily from a personal, real-life point of view. What does it mean to live a happy, or useful, life? What about living a productive life? Are those concepts inherently different? If they are, which one do you choose?”Light approached Howard Gardner, the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, for his perspective. Gardner, whose research has often focused on professional ethics, said that the discussion mirrored a trend he had observed among students over the years.“I’d become concerned about something I’d observed from our best and brightest,” Gardner said. “They wanted to do the right thing, but they felt like the most important thing was to be successful. So if they had to cut some corners in order to accomplish that, they felt like they needed to do so. The metaphor I like to use is that the ethical muscle was very thin.”For the past six years, according to both individual testimony and a formal evaluation, alumni of the program have left it feeling that they have a better understanding of themselves, their goals, and their values.“In the 19th century, one of the reasons you went to college was to think about values, purpose, and deep spiritual values — which was completely expunged in the 20th century,” Gardner said. Although the secularization of universities was positive in many ways, he said, a void was left.“Some students fill this with religion, science, or a strong familial unit, but for many students in today’s fast-changing world — particularly those new to college, and especially those attending a high-pressure institution, such as Harvard — they need, and deserve, our guidance and our help.”For Steele, the grant will provide an opportunity for students across a range of Schools to pause and take the time to ask themselves the hard questions.“Harvard students are so busy and so focused, but we’ve found that students really benefit from posing these challenging questions,” she said. “When we create an opportunity for them to do that, and have a structure where they can pose these questions, it can have a really profound effect.”last_img read more

Tix Now On Sale for Marcy Lovitch’s Office Politics Off-B’way

first_imgTickets are now available for Marcy Lovitch’s Office Politics. Directed by Aimee Todoroff, the new play will begin previews on June 5 at off-Broadway’s June Havoc Theatre and officially open on June 11.The cast will feature Patrice Bell (Six of One), Josh Doucette (Irreversible), Philip Guerette (American Genius), Carson Lee (The Water Children), Molly Lovell (And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little), Maria Wolf (The Balcony) and Nicholas De Sibio (Working Out with Leona).In Office Politics, when a white male co-worker makes an off-the-cuff racially insensitive remark to his boss’s black female assistant, what seems like a harmless joke snowballs, suddenly catapulting the ad sales office of a women’s magazine into turmoil. Threats are made, loyalties tested and contrasting beliefs about power, race and class surface, resulting in shocking reveals, lies and accusations, ultimately leaving their department in utter shreds. View Commentslast_img read more

This week in esports: Blizzard, 100 Thieves, Nick Fry and Vitality

first_imgIt’s been another frantic week in the world of esports news. There’s been plenty going on as always – and we’re on hand to bring you the biggest stories before the weekend hits.Amongst the biggest headlines this week include Blizzard’s reveal of Overwatch League expansion plans and the revelation they expect to make a profit on its first year. Additionally, 100 Thieves and Fnatic have both made big appointments – whilst rounding off the weekly news is Team Vitality securing substantial investment as the organisation continues to grow.Here’s your weekly roundup:Blizzard eye second season Overwatch League expansionBlizzard has revealed that it will be looking to expand the Overwatch League later this year with the second season.A representative from Blizzard confirmed the news to PC Gamer, saying: “We expect to begin selling additional expansion teams in the Overwatch League later this year. We have no further details to share at this time”. The quarterly earnings call also revealed that it expects the price of expansion teams to increase on the reported $20 million for initial franchises, and also that it expects the Overwatch League to turn a profit in its first full year of operation. The other notable points from the call are that Blizzard is set to focus on expanding the audience and improving the viewer experience. The current season will finish in June and one would assume a second season will get underway and finish before the end of the year.Currently there’s nine of twelve franchises over in the United States, with only three outside of the US. London Spitfire, Seoul Dynasty and Shanghai Dragons are the sole representatives from outside of North America so one would assume Blizzard will be targeting further global expansion.Read the full article here.100 Thieves welcome John Robinson as COO100 Thieves, the organisation founded and owned by Matt “Nadeshot” Haag, has brought John Robinson on board as its first President and Chief Operating Officer.Robinson will report to Nadeshot and serve on 100 Thieves’ board of directors – predominately focusing on growing monetisation capabilities and partnerships for the organisation.John Robinson and Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, 100 ThievesFirst announced in a tweet, this is just another new development for 100 Thieves. Initially starting as a lifestyle and clothing brand run by Nadeshot, the organisation entered the Call of Duty scene during Black Ops II before exiting on July 7, 2016, following a last place finish in the second season of the Call of Duty World League.Discussing the new hire, Nadeshot tweeted that he was “thrilled to announce one of the most important pieces we’ve added to 100 Thieves this year. John’s passion for esports paired with his deep business experience makes him the perfect partner for me. We’ll be working side by side to take 100T to new heights.”More recently, 100 Thieves joined the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS) after receiving an investment from Dan Gilbert, Cleveland Cavaliers, and his venture capital firms. The organisation also joined the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitive scene by acquiring the ex-Immortals roster. It then withdrew from the 2018 season on January 31 due to roster and visa complications.Read the full article here.Nick Fry joins Fnatic as Head of Commercial StrategyLondon based Fnatic have made a major appointment this week with the former CEO of the Mercedes AMG Formula One team, Nick Fry, joining the esports org asHead of Commercial Strategy.Acting as an advisor both commercially and strategically, Fry and his firm Stonehaven Partners will look to continue to grow the esports brand.Announced on February 5, Fnatic will use Fry’s knowledge and experience in performance management and media rights to boost its footprint in the esports industry, as well as improving its potential for partnerships with other brands.Fry began his long-forged career in the automotive industry with Ford Motor Companyover 40 years ago in 1977, initially working in Product Development. 25 years later he became the Managing Director of BAR F1. More recently, he was a main player in Formula One, acting as CEO of Mercedes’ team before leaving in 2013.Read the full article here.Team Vitality secure €2.5 million investmentThe co-founders of Team Vitality, Fabien Devide and Nicolas Maurer, have today announced that they have secured a major investment to the tune of €2.5 million (£2.21m). This has come from investment groups Korelya Capital, Kima Ventures and H26. H26 is an investment company owned by Olivier Decourt, the President of Ligue 1 side Dijon FCO. Team Vitality have stated that they will use the funds to ‘recruit the best players, participate in major professional video game competitions and leagues around the world, and create an academy dedicated to League of Legends’. This academy aspect is perhaps the most interesting, and it’s something more teams are looking to as they aim to train and nurture the next generation of pros. Nicolas Maurer, CEO of Team Vitality said of the news: “Vitality’s ambition is to become an undisputed European leader whose teams participate in all the major professional e-sports leagues. The fundraising, along with our partners, will let us accelerate our growth and consolidate our position among the biggest e-sports brands in Europe.”Team Vitality is one of the top organisations hailing from France, and recently announced that they would be one of four currently announced new teams to join the new season of Gfinity’s Elite Series in London. This investment is notable too as whilst an increasing number of esports orgs over in the States have found major investors, this is a rarer occurrence here in Europe. Vitality field players and teams across a dozen games including League of Legends, FIFA, and PUBG. Read the full article here.last_img read more