Exceptional Higher Ed Content Writing

Finding Love in the Least Likely Place | | University of Notre Dame

When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, Professor Misha Gekhtman was in Kyiv. His life changed forever for better and for worse. Gekhtman, professor of Mathematics at Notre Dame, never expected that Russia would invade Ukraine–or that fleeing for his life would also lead to falling in love, marrying, and gaining a daughter. When he tells the story–part tragedy, part romantic comedy–Misha admits, "If I read this as a screenplay, I would laugh because it's so unbelievable." Lifetime Movie or not, it's his reality...

From Reluctance to Revelation: A new path for students to discover economics

When Noely Irineu Silva ’27, a student from Brazil, began selecting courses for her first semester at Wellesley, she focused on political science and sociology—fields she considered open-ended and creative. “Nothing involving math, please,” she remembers thinking, cringing as she charted her schedule. But a personalized invitation from two professors to join ECON 251: Wellesley Initiative for Scholars of Economics (WISE) offered an intriguing plot twist. Irineu Silva admits she enrolled in WISE to cross a graduation requirement off her to-do list. Yet as a result of having taken the course, she’s now set on majoring in economics and pursuing a career involving economics research...

What Netflix’s ‘The Staircase’ is Teaching Endicott Students about the Criminal Justice System

In his first year teaching at Endicott, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Ethan Boldt created a course to examine the U.S. court system in a highly unconventional way. The syllabus for CJ 205: American Court System requires students to subscribe to Netflix for the semester and binge-watch all 13 episodes of The Staircase. (Popcorn is recommended, but not required.) The documentary and Boldt’s course both follow the Michael Peterson case, which tested the limits of the North Carolina court system and became a twisted national obsession...

Christian Walker’s Candid, Caring Photos of the Combat Zone and Other Taboo Subjects

Christian Walker: The Profane and the Poignant, a major retrospective of work by the multidisciplinary artist, curator, and critic is now on view at the Tufts University Art Galleries (TUAG) through April 21. A portion of the show comprises work that Walker shot and developed while a student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (now SMFA at Tufts) in the early ’80s. During that time, Walker (1953–2003), who was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, often spent nights with a camera dangling from his neck, trawling the Combat Zone, a now-defunct adult entertainment district in Boston’s downtown.

Endicott’s Comeback Kid

You can find Matthew Ibrahim on Instagram, posting stories in the Endicott weight room, lunging with kettlebells, squatting with barbells, deadlifting double his weight, and demonstrating Copenhagen side planks with perfect form. He might make it all look easy to his viewers, but Ibrahim’s path hasn’t been so straightforward. What makes the Clinical Coordinator and Instructor of Exercise Science so incredibly relatable is that he’s failed, dusted himself off, kept going, and succeeded many times along the way...

Designing for Belonging: The Online Master of Design Studies Design for Human Health Program at the BAC

The Boston Architectural College (BAC) was the first forward-thinking design school to launch an online Master of Design Studies Design for Human Health program (MDS-DHH) nearly a decade ago in 2014. “This program is the place for those who want to design to make a difference in users’ lives. It’s for those who are trying to figure out how to create spaces where users feel excited, feel a sense of belonging, and see that their environment tells that story,” Valerie Fletcher, a member of the Board of Trustees at the BAC said from the Institute for Human Centered Design, where she serves as Executive Director...

Rowing in the right direction

She was captain of her team last year, but winning isn’t the current that pulls Wilhelm deeper and deeper into her sport; it’s teamwork. “When I first came here, I had the preconception that everyone at MIT was a genius and super into their books,” she says. “They are very smart, but everyone also does really cool stuff outside of academics. My favorite thing about this school is the people — especially my team.”

The Formula: Deniz Hotamisligil, BFA '08 | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

Adjusting to the BFA program with its expansive structure was overwhelming at first—but turned out to be what Hotamisligil needed to thrive. He said, “At SMFA, you have the freedom to explore, but it comes with responsibilities. It pushes you to be independent and creative in a powerful way. At the end of the semester, you have to be able to talk about what you’ve accomplished in a room with faculty and your peers.”

Turning Over the Soil: Erin Woodbrey, BFA '07

Erin Woodbrey, BFA ‘07, works in rhythm with the sprawling garden that sits just beyond Woodbrey’s art studio. “The garden is very much a part of my art practice,” Woodbrey said. Arguably, the bees, containers, and seeds are a literal extension of the multidisciplinary artist’s work. A few years ago, a pile of tomato cages in the corner of the studio turned out to be a breakthrough. Now the cages form the foundation for a body of work called The Carrier Bag Series...

Empowering Futures: STRIVE Program at 35 | Wentworth

When Raquan Wright Pritchett first walked through the doors of the STRIVE Wentworth Program at age 19, he didn’t know how to ask for help–or have the skills he needed to land a job and launch a career. Three years into the program, Wright Pritchett sat down with pride to reflect on how far he’s come. He had just worked a morning shift using industrial equipment and chemical-free cleaning products to sanitize and polish the common area floors of an Institute residence hall. “When I got here, I was struggling. This program saved me, kept me out of trouble, and now when I look at myself, I can see that there is a big change,” he said...

Leaving a Mark: Vanessa Platacis, MFA '05 | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

Vanessa Platacis, MFA ‘05, pulls a respirator over her face and tightens the straps behind her ponytail. Classical music blasts serenely in the background. Instagram is watching. Spray paint in hand, she’s about to work on her latest project, a large-scale installation spread across, Hotel Bardo, a sumptuous new urban resort and member-only social club opening in Savannah, Georgia...

The Flowers Are Always Blooming: Daisy Patton, MFA ‘11

Daisy Patton, MFA ‘11, prepared for three shows this fall. One of them her first solo exhibition at Houston’s Foto Relevance, With Hands Clasped Tightly. But in the intense leadup to delivering the work, her Western Massachusetts studio lost electrical power for two months. “I didn’t have time to wait to get it fixed,” she admitted. “I also lost my carpenter and had to learn how to frame everything myself, and work with salvaged wood panels and antique pediments.”

Leveling Up

One morning in July, Omar Ocasio, a recently graduated senior at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School (MP) in Boston, was putting up the third wall of a small house he and his classmate Kenron Parchment were building by hand. The house was the centerpiece of the Summer Intensive program that they were part of—held in partnership between MP and North Bennet Street School (NBSS). He was surprised by how much easier this wall was to install than the first one had been just a few days before. “With wall one, we were nervous,” Omar admitted. “We had to double check the measurements with our instructors and felt self-conscious. After the second wall, we became faster and more confident. Today, the third wall went up smoothly because our teamwork had gotten stronger.”

Brave New World

When given a few vague prompts, ChatGPT spits out this generic, if grammatically flawless, Convocation speech to be delivered at Endicott: “As you stand on this beautiful campus overlooking the sweeping views of the Atlantic, you are not just in Beverly, Massachusetts. You’re at the starting line of one of the most transformative journeys of your life. Endicott is not just a place; it’s an experience, a challenge, a community, and from today—it’s your home.”

When Silvia Moreno-Garcia Haunted Endicott

What you might not realize is that back before she made it big as an author, Moreno-Garcia was first a Gull, majoring in communications, working her way through college as a Resident Assistant at Endicott’s very own haunted house, Winthrop Hall, which legend says is stalked by the ghost of the Pink Lady. “There’s a door in the stairwell that goes nowhere, but I can confidently say that while patrolling the halls at night as an RA, I never saw anything other than students trying to trick each other into believing they’d seen a ghost,” said the 2003 graduate from the Vancouver, British-Columbia, townhouse she shares with her family. Is it possible that the idea of the Pink Lady subconsciously came up in her latest book, Silver Nitrate, in which a vision of a main character’s dead, mangled girlfriend visits him in a claustrophobic hallway after midnight? Perhaps, but Moreno-Garcia said bluntly, “I don’t believe in the supernatural—and I especially don’t believe in the supernatural in that dorm.”
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