The Harvard Committee on General Scholarships has awarded Mallika Kaur, M.P.P. ’10 the 2010-11 Sheldon Traveling Fellowship. The competitive fellowship is awarded to one graduate from across Harvard. First nominated by Harvard Kennedy School for this award, Kaur was then selected by the Harvard-wide committee from a pool of applicants from the various graduate schools.Kaur focuses on South Asian human rights and security issues. Her perspectives have been informed by growing up in Punjab and having worked on advocacy efforts in the United States since 2001. She holds a master in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a juris doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. Kaur has worked with underrepresented communities in South Asia as well as in the diaspora.The Sheldon Fellowship will support her travel, study, and writing on gender issues in Indian-administered Kashmir. With heightened international involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan, South Asian security issues are at the forefront today. Understanding how women are affected by and effect the situation in Kashmir will help deepen an understanding of this crucial region.Kaur concentrated in international and global affairs at Harvard Kennedy School and in international law at Berkley Law School. Under Rory Stewart’s leadership, she helped co-found and serves as the coordinator of the Kashmir Initiative at Harvard Carr Center. The purpose of the initiative is to create an interdisciplinary dialogue around this vital region by involving students, academics, policy makers, Kashmiris and non-Kashmiris. Multilingual and with a commitment to building bridges between disparate ethnic groups, NGOs, and state actors, Kaur continues to work toward promoting inclusive security and democracy.
Life at a distance Related A remote ‘Doctor of Philosophy Dance Party,’ laughter yoga, crowd-sourced altruism, and tweet to remember Bits of the socially distanced lives of staff and faculty, from a LEGO model of the Music Building to Gov. Andrew Cuomo as Henry V to cereal for dinner — in the shower Snapshots of the widespread Harvard community: A Zoom wedding; reunion in St. Croix; challenges of teaching ASL online; and a taste of Cuba Dispatches from socially distancing students and faculty Notes from the new normal For Marion Dierickx, living in a socially distanced world is nothing new.In fact, she does it for two to three months every year in one of the most extreme conditions on Earth: the South Pole. Dierickx ’12, A.M. ’14, Ph.D. ’17, is a postdoctoral fellow in the Cosmic Microwave Background Group at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Every year she and some colleagues take the 9,000-mile journey from Cambridge to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station to build and maintain the BICEP/Keck microwave telescopes there. Life on the ice feels a lot like life in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic.“In some sense, they are complete opposites but, in general, there’s also very clear parallels,” Dierickx said. “Here, you have to shelter in place because the outside is a dangerous place … venturing outside carries risk. You can’t forget your mask, your gloves. You steer clear of other people and heading into a store is like a whole expedition. Living in Antarctica is also like that, where the outside world is actively trying to kill you.” Temperatures never rise above freezing and can plummet to more than 100 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. “You have to be prepared [with the proper equipment each time], and it takes a mental toll every time you step outside.”Another defining parallel: The internet and phone are necessary to keep up with friends and family. In Antarctica, it’s a little tougher because connection is limited, but she’s discovered that civilization comes with its own discontents.Dierickx, who returned to Boston in January, now finds herself isolated in a different way. At the station she was surrounded by colleagues but cut off from the outside world. Here, she is “in the middle of a dense urban environment, the world’s knowledge at my fingertips thanks to a high-speed internet connection, but no ability to [meaningfully] connect in person with another human being.”This is where lessons from the past come in handy. During her last trip to the pole, from October to late December, she made a big effort to connect with people outside her immediate team over the internet, and it paid off. “For the first time ever, I did not want to leave.”She figured out that one way to avoid loneliness while distanced, socially or geographically, is “to diversify our social exposure through the phone, through different media, different social networks,” she said. “I think that’s a very healthy thing to do right now. Use that time to connect with people we don’t normally connect with. To reach out.”,Taking a lecture for a jogBefore the pandemic, Elena Glassman’s “Design of Useful and Usable Interactive Systems” course was a conventional “flipped” class. Thirty-minute mini-lectures by the assistant professor of computer science at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences were followed by individual and group exercises in which her 70 students practiced applying insights from the lecture to their group design projects.“The format entails brainstorming, ideation, and introspection on the part of the students,” said Glassman, who is also the Stanley A. Marks and William H. Marks Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute. “The big question was whether the psychological safety I’ve strived to develop in the class would transfer to this new online infrastructure. It takes courage to sketch something and share it on a document camera with 69 others.”In week one of remote instruction, Glassman abandoned the goal of a synchronous lecture with students, who were situated in different time zones around the world. Instead she turned that part of her flipped class into a podcast.“For every topic we talked about, there was an expert out there, and many are my friends,” Glassman said. “So instead of talking to a wall in my home studio — a.k.a. my dining room — I talked directly to the experts, recorded our conversations, and edited it down into an engaging podcast.”The format allowed greater flexibility for students who could listen at their convenience — even while taking a run or walk — instead of having to sit before a screen at a prescribed time. Glassman’s podcasts are posted on her faculty website and available to all.Glassman said she received some pushback about the audio-only format from students who learn best when they have something to look at, and she has explored options for adding a visual component to each episode should classes remain online come fall.Creating an engaging podcast required significantly more effort than recording a solo lecture. For her first two episodes, Glassman estimated she spent an average of 4½ hours to plan, record, and edit each 45-minute segment. She invited each of her six teaching fellows to join her in interviewing an expert of their choice.“It was really fun to see one of our TFs gush over Zoom to a researcher she’d followed online and finally got to talk to,” she said.Students have 24 hours to listen to each podcast once it is posted. Glassman asks them to spend 10 minutes reflecting on the recorded conversation and its implications for their creative process and group project. They then submit a paragraph on the course Canvas site, discuss ideas with their groups, and develop a communal answer to post on a forum so students could see what others took away from the lecture.“The solo answer helps me make sure that students got something out of the lecture,” she said. “In this different format, where I’m not relying on people to raise their hands, I get to read everybody’s 10-minute reflection on my lecture. I get a more thorough understanding of what got across and that is thrilling; I never had that before.”Rachel Kahn has been doing her best to recreate her favorite dishes from spots around Harvard Square at home.Recipe for missing schoolRachel Kahn ’20 knew she would miss much about school — friends, singing in the Harvard Opportunes, living in Leverett House. But she also longed for simple pleasures like the Harvard breakfast sandwich at Darwin’s Ltd.“I wrote my thesis at the Darwin’s near Mather [House], and I hate to be home not having it,” said the senior from Lexington, Mass., who concentrated in history and literature with a secondary in women, gender, and sexuality studies. “My whole past year was working on that thesis, and everything it would take to do it. Getting that fun sandwich was a treat.”So she recreated the sandwich — egg, bacon, cheddar, and avocado on a bagel — and posted it on Instagram. When Darwin’s reposted it, she was inspired to sate her hunger for other Harvard Square favorites as well.She made &pizza’s American Honey, which features pepperoni, arugula, and hot honey, during Passover, so she replaced the crust with matzoh, and served up her best creation a la Tatte in the form of a ham and fried egg tartine.“That tasted the most like the real thing,” said Kahn, who posts at @woohooitsrachel. “I don’t really know how to cook, which is why I mostly have been doing eggs, but it’s fun to experiment and work with the ingredients I have.”She’s expanded to drinks, concocting Felipe’s margarita alongside the Mexican restaurant’s nachos. Next up may be the burger and beer punch from Cambridge Common.“Some of the restaurants have commented, and I feel like an influencer,” said Kahn. “It’s so hard for them to not be fully open for business. This must be at least entertaining for them to see they have dedicated fans.”,Playing her songThe COVID-19 pandemic has upended Isabella Kwasnik’s life. Her senior year was disrupted by a campus evacuation, and her hometown of Staten Island, N.Y., is at the center of the outbreak in the U.S.The one constant has been her virtual voice lesson.“My voice lessons have been one of the most stabilizing experiences and a routine that carried over even though I’ve shifted locations away from Harvard,” said the Lowell House resident and history concentrator.Kwasnik began taking lessons two years ago through the Music Lesson Subsidy Program at the Office for the Arts. She was paired with Katherine Fuller, a voice instructor at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music, and commuted to Boston every Thursday for lessons.Now the sessions take place online. Fuller suggests mostly jazz and musical theater numbers, and Kwasnik practices in her bedroom at home. She records herself singing and emails the files to Fuller before each lesson. The two then review and “spot check” elements of the piece during their 30-minute meeting on FaceTime or Zoom.Amid the upheaval around her, staying connected to the musical world feels essential to Kwasnik, who is also a member of the Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones. The group is not able to rehearse while its members are scattered around the world.“Having a teacher who presents me with a challenge and gets my mind out of these otherwise darker times by giving me something I have to learn and invest in is very therapeutic and rewarding,” she said. “Music is the way we connect with people, and nobody is able to attend performances on a large scale, so I feel incredibly grateful that I have a way to connect to art. I sit at my laptop in a specific corner, and that’s the place where I can sing my heart out and have a really good time.”
HAYS, Kan. – Five IMCA divisions are on the weekend card when RPM Speedway opens the 2017 season with its fifth annual Sunflower Classic special this Friday and Saturday, March 24 and 25.IMCA Modifieds run for $1,000 to win each night and both features are qualifying events for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot.Also running both nights are IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars for $750 to win, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks and Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods both for $500 to win and Mach-1 Sport Compacts run for $200 to win.IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, regional and Allstar Performance State, but no local track points, will be awarded.Pit gates open at 3 p.m. both days. Hot laps are at 5 p.m. and racing starts at 6 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m. for the Thursday, March 23 open practice. Pit passes are $25 on Thursday and $30 on Friday and Saturday. One-time entry fees are $75 for Modifieds, $50 for Stock Cars, $40 for Hobby Stocks and SportMods, and $30 for Sport Compacts.Reserved parking will be observed.More information is posted at www.rpmspeedway.net and is also available from promoter Rod Bencken at 785 672-0123.
Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (7) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +32 Vote up Vote down Jkb · 329 weeks ago What a great tribute! We should all be like both the student, appreciative, and the teacher, supportive and accepting! Thanks for sharing. Report Reply 0 replies · active 329 weeks ago +29 Vote up Vote down former teacher · 329 weeks ago What a beautiful story. I definitely admire both of them. Mrs. Kiker is definitely an asset to the school district. I strongly recommend that she gets the reward this year. Report Reply 0 replies · active 329 weeks ago +23 Vote up Vote down Kathy Ford · 329 weeks ago Excellent letter Mason. What a tribute to a wonderful teacher and person, Mrs. Kiker. It is hard to define a “good” teacher. I think Mason did it beautifully. I feel blessed to work with all of the great teachers at Kennedy. Report Reply 0 replies · active 329 weeks ago +22 Vote up Vote down crusader pride · 329 weeks ago Jill rocks. ..great letter. ..nice tribute to an even nicer lady. Report Reply 0 replies · active 329 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Pokesalad · 329 weeks ago Everyone one has a story to tell about a teacher that was kool, great to deal with, or was best in making most of us knuckle heads learn something. The professional teacher, to most a personal friend that we will remember forever. Hats off to a nice story. Report Reply 0 replies · active 329 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down Guest · 329 weeks ago Great letter and great teacher. Need more teachers like her. Report Reply 0 replies · active 329 weeks ago +10 Vote up Vote down Julie Carey · 329 weeks ago I was lucky enough to be Jill Kiker’s co-teacher for three years and Mason is right: she is a wonderful, loving person who treats her students and co-workers like family. I’d love to see her get the award, but I know it will never mean as much to her as Mason’s beautiful letter. 🙂 Report Reply 0 replies · active 329 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments By Mason Lough – April 17, 2014Jill KikerWhat does it mean to be an excellent teacher? To me being an excellent teacher means treating students like family, helping them through tough situations, and doing your best at teaching them new things.Mrs. Kiker does all of these things and more. She showed friendship and understanding to me when I had no friends and showed my classmates that I was not as different as they thought I was. I was not accepted because I was a new kid and also have odd habits caused by Touretteâ€™s syndrome.Mrs. Kiker was able to put aside my differences when no one else could. She helped the class see that TS is not a bad thing. This helped me be able to enjoy school.Before third grade, I dreaded going to school and was shy and withdrawn. If not for Mrs. Kiker, I would be a loner now. But instead I have many friends, am outgoing, and happy. Friends were never easy for me to make. She showed me how to make friends. I have very few friends coming into third grade and she helped me meet my current best friend.I am currently on a special diet for TS that started in third grade. It is a very strict diet where I can only eat all natural foods and no dairy and because of this it is hard for teachers to give me rewards. But Mrs. Kiker would go out of her way to get me special treats when the class got rewards. On Fridays, we did a store where you could get food and snacks, and she always made sure I had prizes that I could eat.Because I came into her class, I could barely write. I had terrible handwriting. She searched for special pencils for me in her spare time to improve my handwriting. She bought me special wishbone pencils to use to improve my grip and showed me a trick to correctly hold my pencil. I still use this trick today.I have greatly improved my ability to write. I am so grateful for this because otherwise no one would ever be able to read my work. In addition to normal handwriting, she also taught me calligraphy. And that was so much fun.She encouraged my music every day. I started using the piano as a therapy to help my tics. Because of my diet, I have very little symptoms of Touretteâ€™s Syndrome now, but when I was in Mrs. Kikerâ€™s class, my tics were the most severe that they have ever been.Every time I learned a new song on the piano, she allowed me to perform for my whole class, several teachers, and my parents. She also lent me books to read that other students had not read before because I had already read most of the ones in the Kennedy Library.I could continue to go on and on about the amazing and awesome things Mrs. Kiker has done for me, but that would take a book. She is a wonderful person who put aside my differences and helped me through my struggles and helped me know my own personality. My parents say she saved me.She truly deserves the Excellence in Teaching Award.I am in middle school now and I still look back on when I was in third grade. When I am grown I will still remember how she accepted me for who I am. Mrs. Kiker saved me from being constantly bullied by showing my classmates that I was like them which helped them accept me. A teacher like Mrs. Kiker comes around once in a lifetime.Follow us on Twitter. by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” Since it is Easter Sunday and itâ€™s about renewal and hope, I’m turning over my Sunday blog to a sixth grader at the Wellington Middle School.Each year, â€œThe Excellence in Teaching Awardâ€ is sponsored by the USD 353 School Foundation Inc. and seeks to encourage and recognize the professional and leadership excellence of Wellington educators.A USD 353 student can nominate a teacher. At the end of the year, a winner is presented the award and receives a $1,000 cash reward.Mason Lough performing at the Zac Brown Concert…The other day, Carrie Lough, the mother of a sixth grader, shared with me a letter written by her son Mason. Mason if you remember was the 11-year-old boys who performed a piano solo â€œColder Weatherâ€ at a Zac Brown Band concert in Wichita in 2012 (see story here).She said for the past four years he has been nominating Jill Kiker, a third grade teacher at Kennedy Elementary, for the award.â€œIâ€™m not sure how they decide,â€ Carrie said. â€œBut donâ€™t listen to me, just read Masonâ€™s letter.â€Itâ€™s a good one and weâ€™re sharing it here.Â