UMass Lowell’s online programs get high marks in national ranking - Lowell Sun

UMass Lowell’s online programs get high marks in national ranking - Lowell Sun UMass Lowell’s online programs get high marks in national ranking - Lowell Sun Posted: 31 Jan 2021 12:00 AM PST LOWELL — UMass Lowell's online education programs are again ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, which assessed more than 1,000 programs nationwide. UMass Lowell's online graduate program in criminal justice is No. 4 in the nation and No. 2 among all public colleges and universities, and offers the lowest price among New England-based programs appearing in the new ranking. UMass Lowell's online graduate program in information technology is No. 16 in the nation and is the highest ranked among all public institutions in New England. UMass Lowell's online graduate programs in education are ranked No. 23 nationally and the highest among New England colleges and universities. UMass Lowell offers multiple opt

First China-US music school Tianjin Juilliard starts graduate program amid COVID-19 pandemic - Global Times

First China-US music school Tianjin Juilliard starts graduate program amid COVID-19 pandemic - Global Times

First China-US music school Tianjin Juilliard starts graduate program amid COVID-19 pandemic - Global Times

Posted: 13 Dec 2020 11:33 PM PST

The landmark building of the Tianjin Juilliard School Photo: Courtesy of the Tianjin Juilliard School

The Tianjin Juilliard School, the first performing arts institution in China to offer a US-accredited Master of Music degree, has kicked off its graduate courses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The graduate program brings together 39 graduate students from 11 countries around the world, including South Korea and Canada, to the school, which was co-founded by The Juilliard School in New York and the Tianjin Conservatory of Music.

The 39 students are inaugural class majoring in Orchestral Studies, Chamber Music and Collaborative Piano. Among them, 61 percent are Chinese students and 39 percent are international. 

Everyone or No One 

All of the international students have overcome difficulties to get to the campus in North China's Tianjin Municipality. Alexander Brose, Executive Director and CEO of the school, told a story about Alla Sorokoletova, a student from Uzbekistan who is currently a flute major at the school.

Alla went to the Chinese Embassy in Uzbekistan several times to apply for her student visa, but she was turned away each time due to the special situation in 2020. After the Foreign Affairs Office of the Tianjin Municipal Government contacted the Embassy and introduced the school, the latter finally agreed to give Alla her visa. 

Brose explained that they needed all 39 graduate students to arrive at the school as otherwise the orchestra consisting of students would not be complete and therefore would not be able to rehearse and perform. There would be only four cello players but without oboe, flute and some other instrument players.

Alla has already arrived at the campus and started her study. She told the Global Times that all staff members at the school are friendly and helpful, so she has not been homesick despite living in a far-off city.

International Cooperation

The Juilliard School in New York manages the school in partnership with the Tianjin Conservatory of Music, the Tianjin Binhai New Area Administrative Commission and the Tianjin Innovative Finance Investment Company. The announcement on the initiation of the project was made at a ceremony attended by China's First Lady Peng Liyuan in 2015.

One of performance halls of the Tianjin Juilliard School Photo: Courtesy of the Tianjin Juilliard School

Students interested in studying at the school need to provide the same application materials including TOEFL scores as required by the New York Juilliard School and will get a degree granted by the latter when graduating.

Cooperation between the two schools takes many forms, with some students receiving instructions online from teachers in New York. 

When the pandemic eventually passes, it is expected that the people-to-people exchanges between the two schools will become more frequent. Teachers in New York will come to Tianjin and students at the school will have the chance to travel to the US for lessons and performances.

"I'll just add that obviously,this has been a very difficult time period for China-US relations," Brose told the Global Times. 

"But throughout that entire time,the support that we've received from our partners in Tianjin and from our partners in Beijing has been unwavering."

"So we feel that we have already served as a cultural bridge between the two countries and we know that we will be able to continue to do so in the years ahead," he added.

Besides graduate courses, the school also offers Pre-College lessons to students aged 8-18 every Saturday. Nearly 90 students from different places around China, including Beijing, the island of Taiwan and Hong Kong have been enrolled in the program.

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the campus covers about 45,000 square meters along the Haihe River in Tianjin. The school has 22 teaching studios and 84 practice rooms for students.

The school is also open to the public with three performance halls of various sizes. After registering online, audiences can access performances presented by the school's students and teachers in its landmark new building. 


Awesome (Mostly) Online Events Happening This Week: Dec. 14 - 17 - LAist

Posted: 14 Dec 2020 07:00 AM PST

The Institute of Culinary Education offers a free online class on making a holiday favorite: the snickerdoodle cookie. ( via Creative Commons/Flickr)

With most events, concerts and festivals canceled or pivoting online, please consider contributing to your local arts organizations or to individual artists and performers.

L.A. County's new "safer at home" order went into effect on Nov. 30. Check the status of any drive-through events listed before heading out as the new safety measures only allow occupants in each car from the same household.

Celebrate Kwanzaa and Nochebuena — online. Sing along with the Master Chorale from your home. Get a visit from the ghost of Jacob Marley. Pay homage to Federico Fellini. Watch a lauded (and long-suppressed) Iranian film. And finally, tune into the next installment of KPCC/LAist's Unheard LA.

Monday, Dec. 14; 10 a.m. PST

Family Holiday Cookies & Milk
Gather the family around the computer screen and learn how to make snickerdoodles and vanilla bean milk from chef Tracy Wilk of the Institute of Culinary Education. The class is for all ages.

Monday, Dec. 14; 6:15 p.m. PST

An Evening With Chris Erskine
Friends of Sherman Oaks and North Hollywood libraries host an evening with writer and columnist Erksine, who retired earlier this year after three decades at the L.A. Times. His recently released book, Lavender in Your Lemonade: A Funny and Touching Covid Diary, chronicles his life's journey during this new normal. RSVP for the Zoom link.

Tessa Thompson stars as Sylvie Parker in the Amazon Original release, 'Sylvie's Love.' (Nicola Goode)

Tuesday, Dec. 15; 7:30 p.m. PST

Sylvie's Love
This screening of Sylvie's Love is followed by a post-screening conversation with writer-director Eugene Ashe and composer Fabrice Lecomte. Set during a hot New York summer in 1957, the drama follows the relationship between Robert (Nnamdi Asomugha) and Sylvie (Tessa Thompson), co-workers at a Harlem record store. RSVP to receive a screening link.

Tuesday, Dec. 15 - Saturday, Dec. 19

Ho Ho Ho Grab-N-Go Events
Various locations
Throughout the week, the L.A. County's Parks and Rec department hosts several drive-through events at parks around the county. Giveaways may include a $25 gift certificate toward a holiday meal, a stocking and decorating kit, and food supplies. Pre-registration is required and only one registration per household is permitted. Face masks required at the drive-through and walk-ups are not allowed.

A view of the 88th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Rockefeller Center on Dec. 2, 2020 in New York City. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Tuesday, Dec. 15; 3:30 p.m. PST

A Virtual Holiday Visit to Rockefeller Center
The Art Deco Society of New York invites guests on a seasonal virtual tour of Rockefeller Center featuring its towering Christmas tree, store windows, skating rink and Radio City Music Hall. Tour guide Deborah Zelcer discusses art, architecture and holiday traditions.
COST: $12 - $20; MORE INFO

Tuesday, Dec. 15; 6 p.m.

Lost and Found at the Movies: Asa Nisi Masa
This program pays tribute to filmmaker and artist Federico Fellini on the centennial of his birth. Natasha Lyonne, Mira Nair, Suzanne Rust and John Sayles join the virtual discussion of Fellini's most memorable movie moments, including the meaning of "Asa Nisi Masa" from 8 1/2.

Wednesday, Dec. 16 - Wednesday, Dec. 30

Doom, Gloom & Zoom with The Ghost of Jacob Marley
Receive a live, thrilling and chilling 22-minute visit from the ghost of Jacob Marley from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. This is a chance for you and your household to learn Marley's life lessons as he Zooms in from the grave. Featuring Zombie Joe as Jacob Marley, the show is suitable for all ages.

Unheard LA, KPCC/LAist's live storytelling series, takes a deeper dive into gender identity. (KPCC/LAist)

Wednesday, Dec. 16; 6:30 p.m. PST

KPCC In Person: Unheard LA
KPCC/LAist's live storytelling series returns in a digital format, revisiting stories recorded for radio broadcast. Host Bruce Lemon, Jr. and Race In LA's Dana Amihere welcome storytellers Daniel Mazzacane, Ash Nichols and Pickle as they dive into the topic of gender identities. The guests share stories about their journeys and what it means to realize your identity.
COST: Pay-what-you-can, from free to $20; MORE INFO

Kamilah Marshall and Terron Brooks reunite at the Garry Marshall Theatre for 'Holidaze Harmony,' the duo's annual holiday extravaganza. (Matthew Gilmore)

Wednesday, Dec. 16; 7 p.m. - Sunday, Dec. 20

Garry Marshall Theatre's Holidaze Harmony
Recording artists and Broadway performers Terron Brooks and Kamilah Marshall perform their annual holiday show filmed on the stage of the Garry Marshall Theatre. The lifelong best friends put on an event that's part variety show and part intimate concert.
COST: $29 - $39; MORE INFO

Seamus Dever stars in the audio theater production of 'Life on Paper,' from L.A. Theatre Works. (Courtesy L.A. Theatre Works)

Wednesday, Dec. 16

Life on Paper
L.A. Theatre Works releases the audio recording of the play by Kenneth Lin, starring Sarah Drew (Grey's Anatomy) and Seamus Dever (Castle). When a billionaire dies in a plane crash, a forensic economist and a small town actuary clash over the exact value of a man's life. The ticket includes a taped interview with playwright Lin.

Thursday, Dec. 17; 5 p.m. PST

Festivals in the City of Angels: Kwanzaa in Leimert Park Village
Kwanzaa, which was created in 1966 to unite the Black community after the Watts Rebellion, is now celebrated annually around the world, mostly notably in Leimert Park Village. This online program from UCLA's Fowler Museum honors the holiday's seven principles and symbols, which were adapted from the teachings of Asante and Zulu harvest celebrations. The program ends with a dance class led by Kamilah Marsh and Keti Ciofassa.

The Musco Center and the Carpenter Performing Arts Center present Nochebuena: Christmas Eve in Mexico, a night filled with song and dance. (Courtesy of the Musco Center)

Thursday, Dec. 17 and Saturday, Dec. 19; 7 p.m. PST

Nochebuena: Christmas Eve in Mexico
Enjoy a night with two of L.A.'s most acclaimed performance ensembles: Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles and Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar. Artistic director Kareli Montaya and music director Jimmy K. Cuéllar hold a live Q&A about the performance and holiday traditions before each show at 6:30 p.m. On Dec. 17, watch at @TheMusco online, and on Saturday, watch at

UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Farhang Foundation screen 'The Deer' ('Gavaznha, '1964), the Iranian classic by writer-director Masoud Kimiai. (Courtesy UCLA Film & Television Archive)

Thursday, Dec. 17 - Thursday, Dec. 31

The Deer (Gavaznha)
This acclaimed 1964 film by Iranian writer and director Masoud Kimiai stars Behrouz Vossoughi as an anti-hero bank robber who challenges authority. The film was political dynamite when it was released, and Kimiai was forced by the Iranian government to shoot an alternate ending, which was the only one seen by the general public until the 1979 revolution when the original finale was restored. RSVP for the screening link.

George Lopez, Frank Grillo, Andie McDowell and Jake Allynstar in Conor Allyn's 'No Man's Land.' (Courtesy of IFC Films )

Thursday, Dec. 17 - Saturday, Dec. 19

GuadaLAjara Film Festival in Los Angeles
The Festival Internacional de Guadalajara is now offering all of its programming online. The opening night film is No Man's Land from director Conor Allyn, starring Frank Grillo, Andie MacDowell, George López and Esmeralda Pimentel. It examines migration between Latin America and the U.S. from a human perspective. Each day pass only applies to regular screenings and cannot be used for galas and special screenings, which must be purchased separately.
COST: $15 per daily pass, special screening prices vary; MORE INFO

Karaoke time: The Los Angeles Master Chorale's annual sing-along is going virtual this year. (Jamie Pham)

Thursday, Dec. 17; 7 p.m.

Los Angeles Master Chorale's Holiday Karaoke
In this livestreamed event, Grant Gershon and Jenny Wong lead an audience through songs selected from the Master Chorale's annual Festival of Carols and the Messiah Sing-Along. Sing along to caroling favorites and learn how to harmonize with others across the web. Instructional videos for select songs are now available.

Niv Nissim and John Benjamin Hickey star in 'Sublet,' which screens at the 34th Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles. (Courtesy of Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles)

Through Sunday, Dec. 27

34th Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles
The largest showcase of Israeli cinema in North America presents its entire slate of films online for the first time. Watch both new films and classic titles from Israel, accompanied by prerecorded Q&As or presentations from filmmakers and talent. The festival's centerpiece film is Sublet, directed and co-written by Eytan Fox, a drama that follows a travel writer who escapes to Tel Aviv after suffering a tragedy. Films are only available to watch in Southern California.
COST: $12 - $180; MORE INFO

'It's Not Over' is an online and outdoor exhibition that focuses on the AIDS epidemic and includes political graphic art from Keith Haring and others. (Courtesy One Archives at the USC Libraries)

Through Thursday, Dec. 31

It's Not Over
8954 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood
The ONE Archives Foundation, the oldest active LGBTQ organization in the U.S., recently opened an outdoor exhibition that features posters and graphics from the early days of the AIDS epidemic. The exhibition features work from several artists including Keith Haring. There is an online component if you're not able to get to the venue before the show closes.

Through April 2021

The Red Book: Women's Dreams, 2020
The Women's Salon Los Angeles and Salón México present an artist book and exhibition inspired by the 10th anniversary of the publication of Carl Gustav Jung's Red Book: Liber Novus. The exhibition features the work of 44 women in six countries who used their dreams as inspiration to explore the unconscious. The exhibition is on view at the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles (pending COVID restrictions) through Jan. 29, 2021, and virtually at the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo de Costa Rica through April 2021.

The Bowers Museum presents 'Treasures in Gold & Jade: Masterworks from Taiwan' with sculptures by Taiwanese artists Wu Ching and Huang Fu-shou. (The artist with Prosperous Descendants, 2016 © Wu Ching)

Through Sunday, May 30, 2021

Treasures in Gold and Jade: Masterworks from Taiwan
The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana showcases sculpture by two of Taiwan's premier artists: Wu Ching and Huang Fu-shou. While the works are currently viewable online only, the exhibition will be available for in-person viewing once the museum can open its doors.

View of a COVID-19-themed cake made by Guatemalan pastry chef Roberto de Leon on May 14, 2020. (JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP via Getty Images)


Food Artist Casting
A new competition series coming out in 2021 is casting for teams of food artists. It doesn't matter if you use veggies, or sweet or savory ingredients, the show is looking for individuals or teams of three who can create large-scale, 3D edible sculptures with their food. You must be 18 years and older to apply.

Water Grill at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa sells market offerings three days a week. (Courtesy of the Water Grill)

Dine & Drink Deals

Who doesn't miss going out to eat or stopping by a bar for a drink? Here are a few options from restaurants and bars as we work our way back toward normal.

  • Costa Mesa's Water Grill is doing its best to adapt to the closure of outdoor dining by creating a takeout menu of seafood dishes that travel well (shrimp scampi and wild Icelandic Atlantic cod fish & chips). There are also to-go cocktails available in both small and large formats for three to six drinks. The South Coast Plaza location also offers big ticket holiday food items at its marketplace including Kumamoto oysters, live Maine lobster and king crab legs. The market takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Seniors and higher-risk guests can enter at 8:45 a.m.
  • Golden Road Brewing offers three different holiday-themed kits: the Cookie & Cocoa Box ($18), the Hoppy Holidays Box ($25) and the Beer Lovers Box with four beers and treats ($30). The kits need to be ordered by Dec. 17 and can be picked up at the Atwater Village, Huntington Beach or Anaheim locations. Delivery is also available.
  • L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele Hollywood has opened a new drive-in dining experience in the private parking lot adjacent to the restaurant. Diners can enjoy their meal in their cars while a selection of music, TV shows, films and iconic Italian soccer games screen after sunset. Order from the full menu before or after you arrive and your meal will be delivered to your car by restaurant staff. Reservations for a parking spot are recommended and can be made by calling 323-366-2408 or emailing the restaurant. Also, if you shop at the marketplace, for all grocery orders of $100 or more the restaurant offers a free Margherita pizza for a limited time.

With Help from Student Emergency Fund, Graduate Thrives As Educator - Tennessee Today

Posted: 14 Dec 2020 10:57 AM PST

For David Leventhal, the coronavirus pandemic hit during an already challenging time. A nontraditional student, Leventhal returned to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to pursue a master's degree in secondary education and teaching during midlife with a young child to support and a mortgage to pay.

David Leventhal in graduation regalia stands next to his framed Master of Secondary Education degree.
David Leventhal in graduation regalia stands next to his framed Master of Secondary Education degree.

Completing his master's degree meant spending an entire year as an unpaid intern teaching at Gresham Middle School and Maryville High School. He applied for mortgage forbearance during that time, expecting to graduate with an offer of employment. However, the educational sector was completely upended when COVID-19 hit, and Leventhal's prospects disappeared.

At that point, UT's Student Emergency Fund and Center for Career Development and Academic Exploration helped him navigate the situation to reach a positive outcome. He has since graduated, found full-time employment, and caught up with his mortgage.

"I really can't underestimate how helpful and timely the emergency funding was, as well as the career development center," Leventhal said. "The opportunities that I got were amazing. As disappointing and troubling as 2020 has been, it never ceases to amaze me how something good will happen that just keeps me going."

Today Leventhal is a full-time social studies teacher with Tennessee Connections Academy, an entirely online public school available to students in Tennessee. His pay and benefits are on par with what he would earn in a brick-and-mortar school, and he's able to teach from Knoxville. That is crucial for Leventhal because his daughter and her mother live locally.

Leventhal's path to his current role has taken a number of turns. Originally from Atlanta, he completed his undergraduate degree in philosophy and religious studies at Appalachian State University in 2001. He came to UT and completed a master's degree in history in 2007. After graduation, he operated a restaurant marketing and delivery business for five years before moving into the information technology sector. He's also been a banjo and ukulele instructor and taught college-level history.

Now, as a high school teacher, Leventhal wants to bring all of those skills to bear in his social studies instruction. When he was a history student he spent time learning geographic information systems (GIS) because, he said, "as a history teacher, you can't ignore geography. Everything happens at a time and place."

GIS can be extremely versatile and allow for data to be overlayed onto maps. One project Leventhal worked on at UT involved correlating a dataset of blighted potato harvests and grain exports during the Irish Potato Famine with statistics on emigration to the United States.

"It was very clear the hardest-hit counties were in the western part of Ireland, and that's where people emigrated from," Leventhal said. "When you factor in the folk music and stringed instruments, a picture starts to emerge that connects to our life today."

Leventhal would like to start a geography club at his school and potentially a GIS club. He wants the subject matter to be relevant to his students. With a bright future as an educator ahead of him, Leventhal reflects positively on the good fortune he has enjoyed during an extremely complicated time.

"My new work with a K–12 virtual public education academy has shown me how to grow as an educator and build my resume while also earning the same compensation as my brick-and-mortar colleagues," Leventhal said. "I am forever indebted to the University of Tennessee, in more ways than I could ever quantify—and indeed it's great to be a Tennessee Vol!"


Gerhard  Schneibel (865-974-9299,

Wisconsin College One of Several Helping Need for Nurses - Spectrum News 1

Posted: 14 Dec 2020 07:58 AM PST

CLEVELAND, Wis. — Graduation is just around the corner for Angela Rauwerdink.

A week later, she's expecting to start her new job as a registered nurse at a Sheboygan hospital.

"A lot of hospitals are so short staffed right now," the Lakeshore Technical College student said. "I did apply for many jobs just to see what would come in, and this came right to my feet, really."

Her experience highlights the short and long-term needs for nurses. A number of factors — from the pandemic to a wave of retirements and an aging population — have made nursing a high-demand job for many years.

The college has about 250 students enrolled in the two year program — with 30 to 40 graduating annually. Once they pass a licensing exam they become registered nurses.

Lakeshore Technical College President Paul Carlsen said the school works to respond to the needs of area employers and healthcare providers.

"They want nurses now," he said. "As great evidence of that, the majority of our students will graduate from our registered nursing program and upon passing their licensure, they're going to be hired by a local hospital."

The past nine months have highlighted the need and for students like Elizabeth Tlachac, the pandemic has reinforced her career choice. 

"There are a lot of people in need right now and that's what I want to do, help people," she said. "With these people in need I just really want to get out there and help them."

Rauwerdink says as she transitions from student to registered nurse, she's ready to help make a difference in other people's lives.

"I'm obviously a little bit nervous because the health industry is booming right now with so many illnesses and COVID cases and a lot of people in need," Rauwerdink said. "But I think it also motivates me and excites me to get out in the field and help with this illness that's affecting so many people in our country right now."


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