Lay should let sleeping dogs lie - Lowell Sun

Lay should let sleeping dogs lie - Lowell Sun Lay should let sleeping dogs lie - Lowell Sun Posted: 05 Mar 2021 10:15 PM PST THREE REASONS why School Committee wannabe Dominik Lay should abandon all efforts to replace his buddy Bob Hoey, who resigned from the committee Feb. 26 just a few days after his abhorrent, racially insensitive behavior on a local cable television show: First, the evidence to support Lay's claim he lives in Lowell and not Boston is scant. After Lowell officials received complaints that Lay did not live in the city, and in fact lived in Brighton, City Solicitor Christine O'Connor penned a four-page letter last week explaining in part why Lay does not live in Lowell. O'Connor, a top-notch sleuth, found via a search of public records that Lay has owned his Brighton property since 2015, however, a search of the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds shows that Lay has been associated with this property since Novemb

Strategies for Applying to Graduate School - All Together - Society of Women Engineers

Strategies for Applying to Graduate School - All Together - Society of Women Engineers

Strategies for Applying to Graduate School - All Together - Society of Women Engineers

Posted: 07 Dec 2020 08:37 AM PST

Authors' Note – Indrani is a working professional with close to six years of experience, working in software development in India. She is all set to commence her Masters program at Georgia Tech in Spring 2021. Sreyoshi has completed her doctoral degree in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech in 2017 and has since mentored several students transitioning from undergrad or industry to higher education. Together, the authors reflect on strategies that they found useful and which might help prospective graduate students. They also share additional strategies to help navigate challenges posed by distance and exacerbated by the pandemic.
They welcome comments and encourage those going through the admissions cycle to reach out, should they need help, mentorship, or even a second set of eyes at application materials. You are not alone, your SWE network has your back!

2020 has not been without its many challenges, affecting each and every individual across the planet, albeit in varying degrees. The whole world is still grappling with the deadly pandemic, and we are beginning again, to see rapid surges in infection rates as we enter the last month of the year. For prospective Graduate students, the year poses unique and unprecedented challenges, in addition to typical considerations. Preparing for, applying to, and finally planning to attend graduate school is a long-drawn process which often takes well over several months of dedicated planning and disciplined execution.

The following are some strategies that may be useful to those considering higher studies, but are unable, unsure or even afraid to take the next steps towards this goal.

1. Conduct a SWOT analysis

The first step in considering graduate school or higher education is to answer why it is important for your professional growth, and how it will help your career. Graduate education is time and resource intensive, and before making the plunge, it may be worthwhile to weigh the pros and cons. A SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is a great tool to exploit, when weighing out pros and cons. Popular since the 1960s, SWOT analysis was primarily a way for organizations to plan and strategize for their future. Individuals considering graduate education can borrow this technique to help themselves understand what they seek from higher education, and what are some potential areas that they would need help in.

Activity – Using your preferred technology (yes! Good ole pen and paper count!), list out your:
a) Strengths (i.e., What makes you ready/good fit for higher education – e.g., years of practical experience in the field or passion for a particular area of research),
b) Weaknesses (i.e., What areas would you need help/coaching/mentorship in? – e.g., help writing a statement of purpose or narrowing down universities to apply to),
c) Opportunities (i.e., What external opportunities can you leverage? – e.g., funding opportunities at universities, emphasis on work-life balance, scholarship options, etc.), and
d) Threats (i.e, What are potential barriers that you would have to navigate? – e.g., relocation costs, application costs, the ongoing pandemic!)

As a software professional with over 6 years of experience under her belt, Indrani knew that a Masters degree could potentially be a good next step for her career trajectory. She used the initial few weeks to introspect. She reflects, "My strengths helped me understand what my baseline was and what I needed to build on to reach my goal. Similarly, assessing my weaknesses helped me zero in on areas which need more concerted effort. Listing down the opportunities made me realise that there are options and possibilities to balance work and life simultaneously, which was important for me. Understanding and evaluating threats helped me plan for the future, such as keeping my finances well under control, as I thought about applications and relocation. This list allowed me to form criteria which helped me select universities and programs that best aligned with my expectations and inclinations."

2. Visualize your Timeline

A critical characteristic of the application process is that it is one that is (often, painstakingly) long-drawn. Applicants typically begin prepping for and applying in Fall, for admission in Fall beginning the following year. Since the process is long, and involves several steps, it is important to visualize one's timeline and mark out crucial dates and times important to the application process. It is helpful to begin by first narrowing down on your universities and programs of choice, and work with their application deadlines to backtrack into creating some time-markers for your own application journey. Information about what needs to be included in the application packet is usually available on the universities' website. Once you have a list of all that is required from applicants, you can use it to break down the time between the present and the application deadline, and assign yourself tasks along the way to help gather the elements needed to build your application packets.

Activity –  Using your preferred technology again, list out everything you need done to get your application packet ready. Leading up to the final date of submission of the application packet some of the important dates that you may need to plan for are:

  • dates for taking the GRE/GMAT/TOEFL tests (if required)
  • dates to reach out to and add recommenders into the system (typically allowing 1 month for them to write you a letter)
  • time to reach out to your previous universities/schools for transcripts, scholarship application deadlines, etc.

Finally, setting up calendar reminders using Outlook or Google Calendar or time-keeping technology of choice, for these dates will allow you to keep yourself accountable and on track and it is likely that you will not find yourself in a last minute confused haze of struggling to get documents and letters ready for a submission deadline.

Thinking about her own timeline, Indrani reflects, "Drafting a statement was the hardest part for me. After writing several drafts of the SOP, my final version was ready just a day before submission! Engaging your reader is important for SOPs, but so is narrating your story and articulating how the program will augment your career. I referred to several SOP's online to get an idea about how to best draft my SOP. But every story is different, and I realized that one has to pen their own story themselves. An important takeaway from this part for me was that a well-articulated SOP comes only after several drafts, and multiple re-reads and edits. It is important to factor in an adequate number of days to ensure you have the time you need to craft an engaging and meaningful statement. Keep in mind too that there is an ongoing pandemic, and factor for reduced productivity some weeks, as you draft your timelines, to cater to life."

3. Expand and Lean on your Network

While applying to universities, one's network is one's biggest assets. It is important to grow and leverage one's professional network and also lean on it when required. One's network includes the individuals that make up one's professional circle including colleagues, mentors, teachers, etc. Along with your network, also assess the resources that may be available to you. If you are reading this, you are likely part of the Society of Women Engineer (SWE) network, and you have at your disposal resources such as mentors, to help you as you apply for admissions, Speaker series and talks hosted by Grad SWE for a glimpse at graduate student life, etc. Assessing, understanding and fully exploiting resources at your disposal is a skill that applicants need to hone as they go through the admissions cycle. It is important to note that your network will be important to you throughout your professional journey – from application to admissions through graduation and beyond. Connecting with and leveraging from a diverse set of individuals can not only help make your application and admissions journey easier, but also serve as a wonderful resource throughout one's profession.

Activity – Go back to your list from your SWOT analysis, and your timeline. Mark out the key steps that you anticipate needing help in. Based on these broad steps, then identify individuals from whose expertise you may benefit. For example, if you are undecided about applying to a program and want to know about career prospects beyond graduation, reach out to prospective students or alumni at that program. Select a networking medium of your choice, e.g., LinkedIn, and reach out and connect with individuals who you can learn from, or who may have the expertise to help you in your application process. This may include looking up current students and alumni of the programs that you are applying to, professionals and academics in the field, recruiters and headhunters, and colleagues and fellow aspirants of the higher education journey. The broader and more diverse your network, the higher is the probability of you finding answers to the different questions you are bound to have along your journey.

Indrani recalls her experience of leaning on her network for help through the various parts of the application process, but particularly in navigating online and at-home test-taking due to the pandemic. She reflects, "I reached out to my network and learned about several free online resources available to prepare for these online exams. For instance, I learned that the ETS website also offers MOCK tests which helped me tremendously to gage my performance and preparation. I was also prepared for technical glitches, since that had been discussed in the forums, I was part of. Patience and self-confidence were my primary driving factors while appearing for the standardized tests from home, and I was able to build upon these thanks to my network, including mentors and colleagues who had either done this before, or were going through the process along with me.

Every applicant's journey is unique. However, each applicant does have to go through similar steps in the application process, and this article attempted to cover some strategies that may help those in different stages of the application, admission, and transition to Grad school cycles. The article also seeks to serve as a reminder for applicants going through this arduous process to prioritize self-care and redefine and recalibrate their productivity given the pandemic.

As you get ready to take the next big steps for your professional journey, what are some strategies that have worked for you?

Related content:

  • Strategies for Applying to Graduate School graduate schoolDr. Sreyoshi Bhaduri

    Dr. Sreyoshi Bhaduri is a SWE Member and serves as Vice President at SWE New York. Dr. Bhaduri leads Global People Research and Analytics at McGraw Hill, where she manages research leveraging employee data from across 45 countries to generate data-driven insights for policy decisions impacting organizational effectiveness, culture, and talent. She has interdisciplinary expertise with a Ph.D. in Engineering Education and Master's degrees (M.A. and M.S.) in Statistics and Mechanical Engineering, from Virginia Tech. Sreyoshi is also a maker of lists and itineraries, who likes statistics, loves dogs, practices feminism, dabbles in writing, and enjoys tea and long conversations.

  • Strategies for Applying to Graduate School graduate schoolIndrani Sen

    Indrani Sen works as a software engineer at Tata Consultancy Services and will be starting her Master's in Computer Science at Georgia Tech from Spring'21. Indrani also has a Master's in Computer Application from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, India. In her career as a software developer for 6 years, Indrani has worn multiple hats: from being an individual contributor to leading a team of junior engineers and mentor. Indrani has always been passionate about increasing representation of women in STEM. She volunteers at several global organizations to inspire, mentor and help more womxn to persist in STEM. Indrani is also a singer, and in her spare time, loves to explore and enjoy music from around the world.

Minus live shows, E-Media helps UC conservatory promote its stars online - Cincinnati Business Courier

Posted: 07 Dec 2020 03:17 AM PST

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Minus live shows, E-Media helps UC conservatory promote its stars online  Cincinnati Business Courier

High Desert Chamber Music's Gala Silent Auction opens online this week - KTVZ

Posted: 07 Dec 2020 10:06 AM PST

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- High Desert Chamber Music's Thirteenth Annual Gala Silent Auction opens this week! Pre-registration is available now, and online bidding will open on Thursday, Dec. 10 at noon, and continue through Tuesday, Dec. 15 at noon.

From the comfort of your home, you can take care of your holiday shopping or treat yourself to some incredible items. Many packages this year can also be mailed to any destination in the United States.

A number of offerings are personalized and unique to High Desert Chamber Music. Some notable ones are listed below:

• Private one hour online presentation by Laura Putnam, Wellness Expert, to your group of up to 50 co-workers, board members, friends, and/or family. This session provides a rethink on why our wellness efforts aren't getting us any more active or any healthier, and what we can do differently. As COVID-19 has laid bare, "there is no me without you." That is, my health depends on yours and your health depends on mine, meaning that the only way forward is together.

• Original framed oil painting by Idaho artist Silas Thompson - "A New Day" (measures 24X24) Mockingbird Gallery has been proudly presenting fine original paintings and sculpture in Central Oregon for over 20 years. This is Mr. Thompson's third year donating an original work to HDCM.

• Spend an afternoon in the passenger seat of the #36 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe! You will be whisked away to take-in the stunning mountainous views, via curvy roads and an impressive 530 hp - an envious combination for any adventure-seeker. Your drive in #36 will conclude at Cascada, located at Pronghorn Resort for drinks and delectable apps. Relive your experience anytime, thanks to the entire drive being captured, digitally!

• 4 days'3 nights in a private condo in PDX Pearl District -  located steps from restaurants & cafes/pubs, coffee houses, a fabulous bakery, two parks, shopping, and both the Central Loop & North-South streetcar lines.

• Mushroom Foraging Trip for 4 – choose from Chanterelles in May, or Porcinis in June. Join hosts with over 40 years experience, on a 3-4 hour trip within driving distance of Central Oregon.

If wine is your pleasure, choose from multiple packages featuring Faith, Hope, & Charity Vineyards, Portello Wincafe, or Elixir Wine Group. Other items include pieces by local artists Jacob Joseph Norris and Megan Marie Myers, photographer Jim Davis, personalized cutting boards by Hardenbrook Hardwoods, and handmade wooden works by craftsman Doug Peichel. To view all items and register as a bidder, please visit

Funds raised from this event allow High Desert Chamber Music to offer all Educational Outreach programs at no cost to students, teachers, and schools in Central Oregon. The mission of High Desert Chamber Music is to bring world class chamber music and musicians to Central Oregon. Through our concert series and Educational Outreach programs, we aspire to heighten a level of appreciation, awareness, and understanding of this great genre of classical music.

HDCM 2020-2021 title sponsors include Mission Building and Renovation, Miller Lumber, German Master Tech, and Newstalk KBND and 101.7 Radio. Additional support provided by the Tower Theatre Foundation, BendBroadband, and Tracy Lynn Photography.

Bringing light to winter's darkness - Oregon ArtsWatch

Posted: 07 Dec 2020 02:47 PM PST

Scene from Joanna Na's Contemplation, MTF Concert 1. Screen capture by Gary Ferrington.

Scene from Joanna Na's Contemplation, Music Today Festival, Concert 1. Screen capture by Gary Ferrington.

"During these unprecedented times, music and the arts have a crucial role to play in the healing process of individuals and society," Dr. Robert Kyr, director of the Music Today Festival 2020-2021 and University of Oregon Composition Chair, told ArtsWatch as he and the Oregon Composers Forum prepare to host this year's celebration of new music.

Since its founding in 1993 the UO School of Music and Dance's biennial festival has been a Eugene-based event, with most performances held in the School of Music and Dance's esteemed Beall Concert Hall. However there will be no brick-and-mortar venue for concerts this year given the social constraints the pandemic has created for all the performing arts.

Scene from Jared Knight's I Hide Behind My Music, MTF Concert 1. Screen capture by Gary Ferrington.

Scene from Jared Knight's I Hide Behind My Music, MTF Concert 1. Screen capture by Gary Ferrington.

"Without the option of giving live concerts, we have the opportunity to create new forms of multimedia art that are ideally suited to online presentation," Kyr enthusiastically noted, and added that this year's festival will offer a series pre-recorded webcasts premiering 80 new works by University of Oregon composers.

The season begins with three online Oregon Composers Forum concerts in December and January featuring works composed for solo instrument or socially-distanced ensemble. The festival concert season ends in April and May with four online multimedia events, with music composed for and performed by soprano Estelí Gomez, the Delgani String Quartet, the UO Saxophone Studio, and the composer/performers of the Oregon Composers Forum. Kyr noted that these latter events will be "followed by a private master class for UO composers given by Matt Browne, this year's composer-in-residence with the Eugene Symphony."

Sarah Kitten, Eucalyptus, MTF Concert 1. Screen capture by Gary Ferrington.

Sarah Kitten, Eucalyptus, MTF Concert 1. Screen capture by Gary Ferrington.


Each online concert is conceptualized as a series of multimedia musical pieces that are edited into a "film with themes about our deepest concerns, including racial and social justice, global climate change, facing the challenges of the pandemic, or bridging the divisions within society," Kyr observed, adding, "we offer this year-long festival in the spirit of hope and healing during a time of national and global crisis."

Most of the pieces integrate acoustic music with photography, videography, electronic music, and/or sound design. Each work, Kyr indicated, "is a unique collaboration between students who are composers, performers, videographers, photographers, video technicians, and/or producers. In this sense, the Oregon Composers Forum is striving to create a new genre of art that redefines the concert experience as an online multimedia event that is co-created by a single artistic community." 

OCF Zoom concert planning session with Dr. Kyr. Screen capture by Gary Ferrington.

OCF Zoom concert planning session with Dr. Kyr. Screen capture by Gary Ferrington.


The move from concert hall to the internet's world stage has presented challenging opportunities, as a cadre of OCF graduate composers–Mitch Davey, Abby Kellems, Sara Jordan and Joanna Na–shared with ArtsWatch. 

When it comes to composing, the group suggested, don't expect to write a large ensemble work and have it performed during a pandemic. Most pieces in this year's festival will be composed for solo performance or perhaps a trio or quartet that can be safely staged. Many will be performed by the composers themselves.

The performance of a new work often requires valuable face-to-face time as the composer and performers work together. It has been difficult substituting virtual meetings for interpersonal communication with colleagues when planning, rehearsing and recording. But, as the composers discovered, it can be done–with the final performances quite rewarding, as viewers will experience in the first Music Today Festival Concert on December 10th.

Finally, the group acknowledged that the festival's multimedia approach to concert programming has encouraged the forum's 21 members to not only think musically, but also consider how video, photography and other media can enhance creative expression. Sara Jordan noted, "I have had the opportunity to push myself further outside my technological comfort zone and have created video and digital audio effects within my works that I'm not sure I would have done if the circumstances were different."

Abby Kellems, Sea Glass, MTF Concert 1. Screen capture by Gary Ferrington.

Abby Kellems, Sea Glass, MTF Concert 1. Screen capture by Gary Ferrington.

Tuning in the Music Today Festival 2020-2021 worldwide: 

Concert #1: Thursday, December 10 at 4:30pm (PST). Enjoy this first concert of the New Music Today Festival for 2020-2021 in which solo musical works by 13 composers/performers of the Oregon Composers Forum will be premiered. Webcast link and Program details available on the OCF Music Today Festival #1 Event page.

Concert #2: January 15 at 4:30pm (PST). Solo and ensemble music by members of the Oregon Composers Forum. Program and webcast link TBA.

Concert #3: January 29 at 4:30pm (PST). Solo and ensemble music by members of the Oregon Composers Forum. Program and webcast link TBA.

Other Music Today Festival Concerts will be scheduled through May 2020 and announced on the Oregon Composers Forum facebook page.

Concert events are free and will be archived on YouTube after each performance.

Sarah Jordan, Mystery and Fear, MTF Concert 1. Screen capture by Gary Ferrington.

Sara Jordan, Mystery and Fear, MTF Concert 1. Screen capture by Gary Ferrington.

Gary Ferrington is a Senior Instructor Emeritus, Instructional Systems Technology, College of Education, University of Oregon. He is an advocate for new music and serves as project coordinator for Oregon ComposersWatch.

Want to read more music news in Oregon? Support Oregon ArtsWatch


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