News highlights for August 11, 2010

CisionPoint news monitoring provides this small sampling of the university's daily news coverage. Click headline to read full text via Cision or link directly to the online article where available. For questions or comments about this service, or to add or delete a name from the mailing list, please contact Gerry Everding.

American Banking News
Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) Gives $500,000 grant to Washington University

Wells Fargo & Co. gave a $500,000 gift to Washington University in St. Louis, to fund scholarships and internships for undergraduate business school students, Bloomberg reported. The majority of the gift ($400,000) will fund annual scholarships called the “Wells Fargo Scholars” award, which will be given to six promising sophomores whose academic studies align with the economic development priorities of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association. Link to Article

KETC-TV/St. Louis MO
Living St. Louis / College students benefit from art internships
Ginny Page, a 2010 WUSTL graduate, is featured in this Living St. Louis feature exploring opportunities for student internships at area non-profit groups in the arts. One of several students who enjoyed being introduced to the world of opera and attending performances Page said she would be packing her bags for Washington, D.C., as part of her job search. She’s already had a number of interviews with various performing arts groups. Link to Broadcast
Sagging income signals tough road ahead
The total amount of money earned by everyone in the St. Louis area dropped 3.5 percent, according to new numbers out Monday. It’s unprecedented, but not unexpected — cash in the hands of consumers, after all, is the juice that powers the economy. With less of it to go around, growth will be hard to come by, said Steven Fazzari, an economics professor at Washington University. “The economy is weak. Incomes are falling. People are spending less,” he said. Link to Article

The New York Times
Spinal-fluid test is found to predict Alzheimer’s

Researchers report that a spinal-fluid test can be 100 percent accurate in identifying patients with significant memory loss who are on their way to developing Alzheimer’s disease. The study, said Dr. John Morris, a professor of neurology at Washington University, establishes that there is a signature of Alzheimer’s and that it means something. It is very powerful. A lot of work lies ahead, researchers say making sure the tests are reliable if they’re used in doctors offices, making sure the research findings hold up in real life situations, getting doctors and patients comfortable. Link to Article

NatGeo News Watch
African wild ass is the mother of donkeys, DNA shows

Genetic analysis proves that the African wild ass is the ancestor of modern donkeys, according to study co-author Fiona Marshall, a professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. “The ancestors of the domestic donkey were considered vital for collecting water, moving desert households, and creating the first land-based trade routes between the ancient Egyptians and the Sumerians,” says Marshall. An Old World prehistorian, Marshall found evidence of the donkey’s domestic service by looking at skeletal wear and tear of animal remains found entombed near Egyptian pharaohs. “These were the first transport animals, the steam engines of their day,” she says. Link to Article

David Strom’s Web Informant
The generational divide of Google Docs

David Strom, an international authority on network and Internet technologies, gave a speech last week at a class at the business school at Washington University here in St. Louis. Before the class, he ate lunch with a few of the students, who were interns in various start-ups around town. The experience spurred him to write this column on how older and younger generations have split on collaboration tools such as Google Docs. Link to Article

News in higher education

Washington Post
Despite scandal, for-profit education offers valuable model
An opinion piece by business columnist Steven Pearlstein suggests that non-profit universities should be subject to the same level of transparency now being demanded of for-profit educational institutions. Pearlstein describes the “hidebound” higher education establishment as “caught up in a self-destructive arms race for students, faculty, athletes, research funding and charitable gifts — a competition that has driven up costs at twice the rate of everything else even as schools lag in meeting the educational needs of students and society.” Non-profit colleges, he says, should see the situation as a wake-up call for needed reforms. The most effective model, he suspects, will be one that combines the efficiency and accountability of on-line learning with the collegiality and interactive experiences of a traditional college campus.

College-bound kids with learning disabilities get help
Colleges and universities across the nation are increasingly offering programs such as Project Access to help prepare incoming students who have learning disabilities. Since 2001, the number of such programs has increased tenfold, from 22 to more than 250 today.

The New York Times
Pulling an all-nighter for the college application
As more students each year seek to get the earliest possible jump on the nerve-racking process of applying to college, deans of admission are sounding a cautionary note. They say that there is no reason to apply five months in advance, let alone two, and that they are far more inclined to put a premium on thoughtfulness and contemplation than speed.

Website sponsors gambling on grades at 36 colleges

Think you’re going to ace freshman year? Want to put money on that? A website called Ultrinsic is taking wagers on grades from students at 36 colleges nationwide starting this month.

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The Chronicle of Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed
University Business

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