WABC-TV(MOUNT OLIVE, N.J.) — A child and a teacher were killed when a school bus full of fifth-graders collided with a dump truck and slammed off a New Jersey highway on Thursday morning, the governor said.Photos of the chaotic scene show the school bus on its side in the median of Route 80 near Mount Olive Township, which is about 50 miles west of New York City.The students — fifth-graders at East Brook Middle School in Paramus, New Jersey — were on the way to a field trip at the time of the collision, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said at a news conference from the middle school.Seven adults, including the driver, and 38 students were on board the bus, Murphy said, and 43 people of those 45 were injured and hospitalized.Some patients are in critical condition and undergoing surgery, Murphy said. “Our hearts are broken by today’s tragedy,” he tweeted.Mount Olive Mayor Rob Greenbaum called the accident “horrific” in an interview with ABC New York station WABC-TV.New Jersey state troopers used cadaver dogs to search for victims who may have been ejected, WABC-TV reported.Multiple ambulances were on the scene and police said Route 80 was closed in both directions.This story is developing. Please check back for more updates. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Scott Olson/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — Chicago police are looking to charge two suspects seen threatening to shoot and kill officers in multiple videos posted to social media.Police advocate group Chicago Code BLUE recently posted three videos to social media showing two men flashing guns and using threatening language when referring to a Chicago police officer driving in the car next to them while a woman sits in the passenger seat.Investigators say they know the identities of the men and are looking to file charges and bring them into custody.In one three-minute video, a man flashes the camera toward the marked police SUV, saying “I’m gonna kill him.”At one point, the man reveals a firearm on his waist band after saying several more times that he’s going to kill the officer.The threats continued in the two additional videos posted by the Facebook group. The videos have been viewed about 1.4 million times.“If they look like they are going to do anything to me, I’m going to start shooting,” the man says.In a press conference Saturday, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters the department immediately became aware of the videos and warned officers to be vigilant, adding that “tracking social media posts is largely what we do now.”“It’s very important for all of us standing here to track social media, because that’s how a lot of things get started,” Johnson said.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ABC News(NEW YORK) — A mother and son were killed when a tree fell on their home during a tornado in Ruston, Louisiana, on Thursday, state officials said.The son was 14 years old and a high school freshman, said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. In Ruston, about 70 miles east of Shreveport, “the damage is extensive,” the governor said at a news conference Thursday. “From the air, if anything, it is more remarkable than it is from the ground.” “Our prayers are with the people of Ruston today,” Edwards tweeted.The governor said he declared a state of emergency for the entire state. Tornadoes and severe storms slammed Texas and Louisiana overnight and at least four tornadoes have been confirmed in the area.Tornado watches remain in effect from New Orleans to Pensacola, Florida, Thursday evening. Winds up to 70 mph and flash flooding are also possible.=By 7 p.m. Thursday, the severe storms will move out of Louisiana and Mississippi and into the Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola area,The storm will then move east on Friday, bringing heavy rain to the Carolinas and the Northeast.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ABC NewsBY: LUKE BARR, ABC NEWS(NEW YORK) — As more White House officials test positive for COVID-19, attention is turning to the safety of U.S. Secret Service agents who are tasked with protecting the president.Agents were seen Sunday afternoon in the front seat of an armored SUV while President Donald Trump took a ride outside the Walter Reed Medical Center to wave to supporters while the president was likely still infectious, according to experts.A Secret Service spokesperson told ABC News they don’t discuss matters of protection.“The Secret Service does not discuss our protectees or the specific means and methods regarding our protective mission,” the spokesperson said.During an update on the president’s health, Dr. Sean Conley said the agents in the vehicle were wearing full personal protective equipment.Experts say the incident brings to light one of the challenges that come with protecting the president — saying no.The president can usually go anywhere, and it is the Secret Service’s job to ensure that the president gets there safely — whether it is traveling to a war zone or walking across the street to Lafayette Park.Retired senior Secret Service agent Don Mihalek, an ABC News contributor, said the president’s security detail is at times caught “between a rock and a hard place” when a president wants to do something that is potentially unsafe, like President George W. Bush’s returning to D.C. during the 9/11 attacks.Often the Secret Service has to work with subject matter experts and figure it out, Mihalek said.“So intrinsically it’s a difficult job because you’re protecting the top target in the world,” he said.But the matter cuts both ways. While visiting Paris in November 2018, Trump said that he could not to go to nearby Aisne-Marne American Cemetery to commemorate lost World War I troops because the Secret Service said so.Because of bad weather, the security detail would have had to motorcade through the city and not use Marine One, the helicopter that usually transports the president.“When the helicopter couldn’t fly to the first cemetery in France because of almost zero visibility I suggested driving,” Trump tweeted. “Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown.”Sunday’s drive outside Walter Reed sparked immediate condemnation from many Democrats on Capitol Hill.House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Mich., called the president’s actions outrageous and requested a briefing from the Secret Service on the matter.“The height of reckless disregard for others was the President’s ‘joyride’ yesterday where Secret Service agents were required to drive him around in a hermetically sealed vehicle,” Thompson said in a statement Monday. “Exposing Secret Service personnel to the virus does not just put them at risk, it puts their families and the public at risk.”Both Mihalek and another retired Secret Service special agent told ABC News that it is often a compromise between agents and others around the protectee.“Our job is to make that activity as safe as possible for them,” the former agent, who spoke to ABC News on the condition of anonymity, said of the president. “There are inherent risks in many law enforcement operations and that is certainly increased from a health perspective during a pandemic.”Mihalek said that it appears from video that the agents in front were wearing masks and some sort of protective covering over their clothes. He also noted that some of the armored vehicles that carry the president have protective barriers inside that can restrict the airflow between the front compartment where the driver and front passenger sit, and the rear part of the cabin that holds the president. That would mean that the agents in front would not have had to breathe the same air as Trump.The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges in protecting the president, said Mihalek, but agents still do an “amazing” job.The retired agent who spoke to ABC News also pushed back on reports that the agents were taking their cues directly from the president.“The Secret Service has established protocols and procedures that are followed through a chain of command,” he said. “No agent should ever take it upon themselves to violate a protective procedure unless cleared by a supervisor, or if there was immediate danger of injury or death.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
View post tag: Aircraft View post tag: Australian December 29, 2014 Share this article The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has deployed a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)AP-3C Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft to assist in the Indonesian-led search for missing Air Asia flight QZ8501.The Australian AP-3C Orion took off from Darwin this morning (Monday, 29 December, 2014)to join the search operations.The Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, said the ADF was ready and willing to support its Indonesian friends in the search for Air Asia flight QZ8501.“The RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft has a well proven capability in search and rescue and carries maritime search radar coupled with infra-red and electro-optical sensors to support the visual observation capabilities provided by its highly trained crew members,” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.Press Release View post tag: Flight View post tag: missing View post tag: search Back to overview,Home naval-today Australian Aircraft Assists in Search for Missing Air Asia Flight Australian Aircraft Assists in Search for Missing Air Asia Flight View post tag: News by topic View post tag: asia View post tag: air View post tag: Assists View post tag: Maritime
The String Cheese Incident just wrapped up a great three night run at Electric Forest, bringing in special guests and more for some great music. The band is clearly on a roll, getting their summer started with the release of a new EP, SCI Sound Lab Vol. 1, and following it with some special shows at their immersive festival event in Rothbury, MI.The band welcomed a number of special guests to their set on Sunday, June 26th, including a pair of covers with all of the Greensky Bluegrass band. Together, the group jammed out on JJ Cale’s “Call Me The Breeze” and Prince’s “When Doves Cry,” bringing some serious emotion to their performance. SCI had performed two Prince covers with Karl Denson the night before, but “When Doves Cry” was a more heartfelt song for the occasion.The show also saw the band jam on “Bumpin’ Reel” with UM’s Joel Cummins. Finally, it was Anders Beck who got the call at the end of the show, joining in for “Restless Wind” at the end of the second set and staying on for a cover of the traditional ballad “I Know You Rider” as the encore! Some seriously great shows for Cheese at Electric Forest.The band’s summer tour continues on Friday, July 1st, at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, NC. Check out the full setlist from E Forest, below.Setlist: The String Cheese Incident at Electric Forest Festival, Rothbury, MI – 6/26/16Set I: Miss Brown’s Teahouse, These Waves > Djbouti Bump > Sometimes A River, Call Me the Breeze*, When Doves Cry*, Down a River, Close Your Eyes, Hi Ho No ShowSet II: You’ve Got the World, Way Back Home, Desert Dawn > Bumpin’ Reel**, Looking Glass > Rollover > Restless Wind***Enc: I Know You Rider***Notes: *w/Greensky Bluegrass **w/Joel Cummins ***w/Anders Beck Load remaining images
Musical renaissance man, Keller Williams, always seems to have something up his sleeve. The guitarist has seemingly done it all, whether it’s playing as a solo artist, with his new band KWahtro, or any of his major collaborations throughout the years. The newest chapter of Keller’s musical career will see him team up with legendary guitarist Leo Kottke for an extended winter tour.Dubbed Shut The Folk Up And Listen, the new tour will see Keller and Leo hit performing arts centers across the country for intimate evenings of acoustic bliss. With these exciting dates announced today (see the full schedule below), Keller Williams took a little time out of his jam-packed touring schedule to speak to us about what fans should expect from this unique new project.Live For Live Music: I think it’s safe to say that we’re all really stoked on this new project. Can you talk a little bit about how this tour came together and how long you’ve had it in the pipeline?Keller Williams: Well, Leo Kottke has been a huge influence of mine since I started playing music. You know, it was the Grateful Dead, Michael Hedges, Leo Kottke, those types of folk when I first started really getting into music. Skip ahead many years to about ten years ago, that’s when the idea first came up of actually doing shows with Leo. Thing is, he always wants to go first and I just could never really get behind actually following him playing. Out of respect, I always wanted to go first, so it took a while for me to come around to it. And I did, and I think the way we’ve set it up makes sense. The format we’ve landed on is that each of us does one set a piece of about 65—70 minutes, and we play together at the end of the first of set, which is Leo’s segment. So, Leo will do his segment, I’ll walk out and play a few songs with him, there will be an intermission, and then I’ll play the final set. That’s really worked out great because a lot of the folks who come out to see Leo, they get to see the whole thing early, and they can stay and see mine if they wish. The three shows that we’ve done, it’s really worked out in an interesting way, and I’m really looking forward to these dates.L4LM: How are you thinking about this tour in contrast to the other things you have going?KW: With my career and my life, there are so many projects with so many different humans playing so many different types of music. There is also my solo looping world that has so many signal paths, so many things that can go wrong, so many electronics. The beautiful thing about my sets during the Shut the Folk Up and Listen tour is that none of that is there. There are no other humans, no other electronics to get in the way. It just goes back to the beginning—the roots of where I began with one guitar and one microphone. I’ll be focusing on material people sitting in seats can focus on, as opposed to playing venues that don’t have seats—you know, clubs. I’m used to those. I’m used to being background to the party. However, this is not that. This is a different kind of energy where people hang on your every breath and note, and that’s a completely different energy than the people up front on the rail give off. This is another way for me to evolve and do something completely different than I could have possibly done last time I was in that town. You know, it’s an alternative to rail-riding.L4LM: With this change in focus for this tour toward being particularly listening-oriented, how did you end up getting to this place? Is it just a natural product of working with Leo?KW: There are a handful of listening rooms around the country, and it seems like they’re shrinking. There are the City Wineries that are in different cities, the Birchmere outside D.C., the Hamilton, the Coach House—places that are like dinner clubs. Every now and then, I’d get the chance to go play these venues and get a taste. The funny thing is my audience is just trained to come and feel free and feel like they can do whatever they want. I would go to shows in these listening rooms and see other people play, and it’d be drop-dead silent. Then, I would play.You know, it would kind of be like a relaxed party in the sense that there were seats, but people were definitely not quiet. The first couple times I went to these venues, I would see these pin-drop silent shows, and then I’d see these people talking and feeling free. I would get a little bit upset, but then it hit me: these people paid for their tickets, they’re allowed to do whatever they want, and I’m not going to stand in their way.With this particular tour, we’re trying to focus on the intensity that really listening can give off and the energy that can happen from that. So, Leo Kottke has been doing this for so long and has played so many of these beautiful sit-down rooms and theaters. When Leo plays, there are no speakers on stage. He also has an interesting story about damaging his hearing in the Navy. It’s never quite been the same, and he’s particularly sensitive to whistling because those high pitches can actually really hurt him. So, his audience, you know, they know they can’t be hollering or whistling in the middle of the show. He brings an element of folks who feel that this is what you do at this type of show, for whom this atmosphere is the norm. So, we’re going to bring in those people who can hopefully laughs teach the folks who may not be quite as used to being quiet in this kind of situation.L4LM: Doubling back to the format, in consideration to the venues and the way each night is set up, it almost seems as though these shows could lend themselves to being programmatic. Will you two be developing a loose program of sorts so that there is a degree of musical consistency across the setlists for the tour, or is there going to be more spontaneity than that in a given night?KW: At the present, we’re just getting to know one another musically as far as playing together, though, I mean, I know his catalog and everything. Leo is very set in his set, in the sense that he definitely rotates songs, but there are some that will appear every night and others that will kind of come and go. My set, it definitely rotates. There’s a big handful of songs that work really well in this setting and this situation, knowing this is not the type of tour that people will go to for multiple nights in a row. But as far as rotating songs, for right now, we’re trying to bring our A-game, which means probably focusing on performing songs that will be presented in the tightest and best way possible, and those will probably be ones that are repeated.L4LM: In descriptions of the tour, you’ve talked about how you’ll be able to hear everything that Leo is playing throughout the night, and how you’re going to let that inspire your playing. What does that mean and how does that manifest, especially in the context of repeating your tighter songs?KW: Well, I’ll be hearing everything Leo plays. I have an in-ear monitor, so I have a wireless belt-pack that’s connected to the monitor board. Like I mentioned earlier, Leo uses absolutely zero monitor. Even when he did all those shows with Mike Gordon, there were never monitors on the stage, and they were both playing off of the front-of-house speakers. When you’re on stage, it can sound not-very-clear. I have these speakers with little sub woofers and tweeters just lodged right next to my eardrums going into this belt-pack, which has the perfect sound of his guitar and his vocals. When I’m backstage while he’s playing, I’m trying to listen to the show. I’m actually shutting the folk up and listening. I mean, it’s to the point where I’m very, very rude backstage. Some people will just sit there and talk to me while I have my headphones in, and I’ll have to take my headphones out. It really doesn’t make me very happy when I have to do that.But yeah, I’m listening and hearing every note as pristine as can possibly be, and definitely taking that out and that vibe on stage. As far as the question about how this affects any repeated songs, some of these songs, if you listen to Leo Kottke live shows, you’ll pick out a pattern of songs that he does every show. I wanted him to feel as comfortable as possible by choosing songs where he can kinda do his thing, and I can add my “-isms” over on the side and sing a little harmony. The fact that he doesn’t have monitors, if my harmonies are off a little bit, I don’t think it really affects him, because he’s not really hearing it like I’m hearing it. So, it seems to be working, and my main concern is keeping him as comfortable and wanting to continue this idea.L4LM: This is definitely a much more formal setting than a lot of your fans are used to seeing you playing. I know both you and Leo are both noted for having great senses of humor though, so, your fans shouldn’t prepare themselves for a formal and serious night at the opera, right? It’s still going to be a jubilant and joyous occasion, just with the volume turned down a little?KW: Oh, absolutely. It’s almost like a passive-aggressive comedy show. Leo seems to be the happiest when he is on stage. He really feels the most comfortable up there. He starts to talk and then he tells a story, which opens up another idea of another story, and then he veers off and gets another idea for another song, and then he remembers the original song he was going to do before he veered. If you’re listening, you’re following him in every way and at every turn, and it’s really hilarious. He’s very dry, and he’s real, and he remembers so much in the moment. As far as spontaneity goes, he could tell the same story, but it’s never quite the same. There are always different variations that go off. So, absolutely, it’s not a take-yourself-so-seriously type of show. It’s serious enough to where people might shush you. But there will be laughing, that’s for sure. There are comedy elements throughout that are somewhat unintentional, and it’s how kinda we roll. You know, I write songs that entertain me and make me laugh, and sometimes it carries over, sometimes it’s dark. The comedy in Leo’s world is in the back corners of his brain, and it totally comes out during the stories.L4LM: Because this tour is targeting venues with a different vibe than those that you traditionally hit, how does venue affect how you prepare or even just conceptualize your different shows?KW: You know, there are a handful of songs that are just 100 percent ripe for dancing and the looping element. That’s obviously not going to be here. The songs that I’ll be playing are most suited for this environment. I can definitely do an acoustic “Freeker,” “Best Feeling in the World,” “Doobie in my Pocket”—all these songs can totally work in the sit-down environment. Then, there also these story songs like “Missing Remotes,” which are kind of spur-of-the-moment, state-of-consciousness type songs that I make up. Those are all really good for this type of element. Plus, then, there are the random cover songs that comes out and the asking of the audience of what’s next. There’s definitely the relaxed night at the theater vibe as opposed to tight-buttoned ushers. Well, there could be usher issues with dancing in the aisles. You know, sometimes people stand up and turn around and try to get people to get up as well… I guess there could be usher issues. laughs But no, this is definitely a more relaxed night at the theater than what maybe we’re leading on.L4LM: Do you find it difficult, changing gears so quickly? Especially in contrast with this current tour, KWahtro, do you find it hard to change from something that is so energetic and lively and dance-oriented to this new feeling, or does it come naturally with the setting and with Leo being there?KW: I think it’s very inspiring and not very hard to change gears. It’s going to be a welcome change, and I think I’m going to learn a lot. And I’m going to take what I learn with me back into my solo looping shows as well as. I’m probably going to miss it when I go on solo looping shows. It’s very freeing and easy, not to have so many signal paths and personalities and hotel rooms. It’s just different. It’s just easier, you know? Travel is the fastest when you travel alone type-of-thing. Yet, in that same breath, you can’t really do the things you do with others by yourself. It’s different. But, I’m thinking I’m going to enjoy the change and relish in it.L4LM: Would you say this is foreshadowing a new direction for you, or rather, a return to an old direction? Or do you think of this as just a crazy and wonderful reprieve from your normal schedule? Because, we all know you always have some new trick up your sleeve that you’re working on.KW: Right, right. I think this is just another option, you know? There’s the funk, there’s a couple different bluegrass things, the gospel. There’s the solo dancing. This is the solo sitting. This is another option. This is definitely where it started, where I kind of came from—alternative folk music is what we were calling it in the late 80s, early 90s. You know, following the footsteps and the trails blazed by Ani DiFranco and Michael Hedges and Martin Sexton and all these people who I still look up to. Not really overthinking too much, but it’s definitely a possibility of a direction I could go in twenty years if I’m lucky enough to be able to still be doing it in twenty years. If I still got people coming out in twenty years, this could be an option. Like I said, it’s is another direction, a different way to present myself for the next time I come to town. That’s kinda how I’m thinking about it right now.Keller’s tour with Leo Kottke begins on January 12th and will run through April. Tickets can be found here.Future Dates for Keller William and Leo Kottke’s Shut the Folk Up And ListenSolo Keller and KWahtro Dates Noted With *1/12 Ridgefield Playhouse | Ridgefield, CT1/13 Paramount Theatre | Rutland, VT1/14 The Colonial Theatre | Keene, NH1/19* WoW Hall | Eugene, OR – KWahtro1/20* Wonder Ballroom | Portland, OR – KWahtro1/21* Nectar Lounge | Seattle, WA – KWahtro1/26 Reilly Arts Center | Ocala, FL1/27 Capitol Theatre | Clearwater, FL1/28 Parker Playhouse | Ft. Lauderdale, FL2/2 Live at the Ludlow Garage | Cincinnati, FL2/3 Carnegie of Homestead Music | Pittsburgh, PA2/4 Performing Arts Center Rockwell Hall | Buffalo, NY2/9* Redstone Room | Davenport, IA – Solo2/10* Waiting Room | Omaha, NE – Solo2/11* The Cedar | Minneapolis, MN – Solo2/16 Carolina Theatre | Durham, NC2/17 Carolina Theatre | Greensboro, NC2/18 TBA2/23 NY Society for Ethical Culture | New York, NY2/24 State Theatre | New Brunswick, NJ2/25 The Cabot | Beverly, MA3/9 Sheldon Concert Hall | St. Louis, MO3/10 Park West | Chicago, IL3/11 Barrymore Theatre | Madison, WI3/16* Blind Pig | Ann Arbor MI – Solo3/17* The Intersection | Grand Rapids, MI – Solo3/18* The Vogue | Indianapolis, IN – Solo3/30 The State Room | Salt Lake City, UT3/31 TBA4/1 Green Valley Rec | Green Valley, AZ4/6 Florida Theatre | Jacksonville, FL4/7 Variety Playhouse | Atlanta, GA4/8 Charleston Music Hall | Charleston, SC
The Office of Career Services and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences are offering a number of don’t-miss events this year as part of their ongoing Becoming Faculty career series. These special programs run through the end of January and are geared toward helping graduate students in GSAS prepare for the academic job search.The series offers an excellent opportunity for students to get “feedback and a broader perspective on the academic job market, as well as to ask questions they may not [otherwise] feel comfortable asking,” says Laura Malisheski, the assistant director and coordinator for graduate student advising in Harvard’s Office of Career Services.One of the main benefits of the series is that students get to hear directly from faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, recent PhDs, and advanced graduate students now on the job market – all of whom share their expertise and first-hand experience. The fall semester in particular is an important time, as many PhD candidates begin the process of preparing their dossiers and applying for fellowships and positions that are posted in late summer and early fall.
Distance learning is typically thought of as a relatively modern innovation — accelerated through the Internet and online classes.But Hansun Hsiung, a Ph.D. student in East Asian languages and civilizations, isn’t convinced.As part of the Harvard Horizons symposium, May 6 at a packed Sanders Theatre, Hsiung argued that distance learning began significantly earlier, with the printing of the first international textbooks in the 18th century.“The textbook as we know it was a fairly recent invention,” developing only in the second half of the 18th century and rising in use over the course of the 19th, Hsiung told the audience.For readers, he said, the access such books provided was considered in the same light as online learning is today. Access to the textbook “promised that every man could be his own teacher,” Hsiung said. “No matter who or where you were in the world, as long as you had the right textbook,” you — as a reader — could share in long-distance learning.Created this year by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), the Harvard Horizons initiative highlights top research by doctoral students. One of the goals is to foster a greater sense of intellectual community across Harvard’s graduate schools. Another: to help students develop crucial presentation skills. The culmination of the initiative was an afternoon symposium in which eight Ph.D. students each offered five-minute presentations, styled on the popular TED talks, about a specific aspect of their current research.Along with Hsiung, other presenters included:Edgar Barroso, music, “Enhancing Music, Social, and Entrepreneurial Innovation through Trans-Disciplinary Collaboration”Stephanie Dick, history of science, “Aftermath: Following Mathematics into the Digital”Alex Fattal, anthropology, “Guerrilla Marketing: Information War and the Demobilization of FARC Rebels”Fenna Krienen, psychology, “Big Brain Science: Strategies for Mapping the Human Brain”Aaron Kuan, applied physics, “Graphene Nanopores for Single-Molecule DNA Sequencing”Liz Maynes-Aminzade, English, “Macrorealism: How Fiction Can Help Us Understand a Networked World”Jeff Teigler, medical sciences, “Building Better Vaccines by Learning the Language of the Immune System”GSAS Dean Xiao-Li Meng, Ph.D. ’90, hosted the event, which was attended by Provost Alan M. Garber ’76, Ph.D. ’82, and FAS Dean Michael Smith. In a video address, President Drew Faust emphasized the importance of the symposium.“Communicating about one’s work outside of one’s discipline is an essential skill for scholars and researchers in the 21st century, and the women and men you are about to see are persuasive and powerful presenters,” she said. “Their presentations exemplify one of the finest gifts universities give to humanity: individuals capable of making new and significant contributions to the world of knowledge.”While the presentations may have looked simple, they were the result of weeks of work.After being selected from 55 applications, the eight members of the inaugural class of the Society of Horizon Scholars underwent a five-week training course that included mentoring sessions by Harvard faculty members and experts from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning. The sessions, which focused on voice and on visual presentation skills, among other topics, were led by Laura Frahm, an assistant professor of visual and environmental studies, and Pamela Pollock, an assistant director of the Bok Center.Harvard Horizons was the brainchild of Shigehisa Kuriyama, chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.GSAS Dean Xiao-Li Meng: “In addition to possessing deep expertise in their field of study, our students need to be able to deliver an elevator speech, and that’s a skill that has not traditionally been emphasized. They need to be able to talk with a variety of audiences, across a variety of disciplines, about what they do and why it’s important.”“One of the big challenges at Harvard is this: the wealth of talks and presentations constantly occurring on campus makes it hard to reach audiences beyond one’s division, or sometimes even beyond one’s department,” Kuriyama said. “Because the competition for attention is so intense, the ability to communicate one’s ideas lucidly and crisply is becoming an even more fundamental skill.”Equally important, Kuriyama said, have been the social aspects of the program. Given the focus and time research demands of students, it’s unlikely any of the Horizon Scholars would otherwise have met each other.“I think that’s one of the things that they found most invigorating, the social bonding and the intellectual exchange,” he said. “All of our students are curious, and eager to learn about other fields. But they have relatively few opportunities to speak with students in other divisions, especially students who have the ability to explain their research in terms that are clear and compelling to the nonspecialist. This program is designed to give them those opportunities.”Meng said he sees the initiative as filling an important role in helping provide much-needed training in the communication skills students require — as teachers, as scholars applying for grants and fellowships, and in their professional careers, whether in academia or in policy, corporate leadership, or industrial research. Going forward, Meng said, he hopes to explore how to expand the program to ensure more graduate students receive the benefit of such training.“We now have about 10 departments that include various courses on how to communicate,” he said. “Regardless of what your career may be — some of these students may become professors, and others may go into business or government — communication is a skill that is absolutely critical.“If you look at how society is evolving, we’re all multitasking, every one’s attention span is getting shorter,” Meng continued. “In addition to possessing deep expertise in their field of study, our students need to be able to deliver an elevator speech, and that’s a skill that has not traditionally been emphasized. They need to be able to talk with a variety of audiences, across a variety of disciplines, about what they do and why it’s important.”
Sponsorship is as sought-after as it is misunderstood, but there’s no doubt about the fact that it is extremely prevalent in the alternative sports world today. Massive companies like Red Bull and GoPro, alongside smaller industry manufacturers, are putting significant portions of their marketing resources into sponsorship. They align themselves with top athletes to benefit their own bottom lines alongside the athletes’ careers, and a great deal of money and product exchanges hands every year through these relationships. For athletes who truly understand the game, it really is as close to “living the dream” as you can get.The trouble with the whole system is that many athletes don’t know what to do beyond just being an exceptional athlete to set themselves apart. In these economic times, it is not acceptable to simply perform well in your sport and call it a day.After 11 years of working as a sponsored athlete in the paddlesports industry, and one year working as Pro Team Manager for Dagger Kayaks, I have learned a bit about the ins and outs of corporate sponsorship. Here are my top 10 recommendations for securing (and retaining) your ideal sponsors:DO protect your personal brand.When a company endorses you as a sponsored athlete, they are linking their brand with you and all of your actions. Your personal brand is the image that is generated by everything that you do and everything that comes out of your mouth. Due to the Internet, our world is shrinking and information about all of us is much more readily available. You need to know what online and social media searches for your name will turn up and make sure that they showcase you well.DON’T burn bridges. These industries are very small places, and negative dealings tend to reverberate far beyond any single relationship. You never know when an opportunity has been closed off due to a bad reference. Do good work and maintain good relationships.DO realize that it is about far more than just being a great athlete.Of course you need raw skill and talent, but what separates the truly successful athletes from those who soon fade into another profession is what goes on behind the scenes. Resourcefulness and the ability to create value for sponsors whenever possible is the most important thing.DO think about and create your niche.What is your individual hook? What are you better at than anyone else? Team and marketing managers do not want a whole team of athletes who are chasing the same thing. When I look at Team Dagger, I see Freestyle World Champions, non-profit owners, 6-year-old prodigies, expedition paddlers, incredible videographers, and grassroots ambassadors in their local communities. Each individual comes at it with their own style and brings something different to the table. It can be helpful to consider the main needs of the companies that you are working with: big picture marketing, sales account support within each region, R&D feedback, photo and video generation for the website, and other collateral. Sometimes it can be helpful to leverage those to guide your pitch.DON’T use improper management introduction techniques.Cold-messaging a marketing or management employee on Facebook or other social media is an invasion of privacy… that is set up for their personal use. Short of getting an introduction from a mutual contact (the ideal scenario), take the time to at least find a company email. And (this goes without saying), don’t have typos or grammatical errors in your correspondence!DO work in advance. Most team budgets are finalized and committed by shortly after the first of the year. That means if you want to work with a company beyond getting a pro-deal, you need to get on it! November and December are good months to check in, and the professionalism exhibited by planning ahead will go a very long way.DO keep your Team Manager updated. The more that you can stay top-of-mind and in focus for the company, the better. Regular email updates with competition results, exposure, and trip plans will position you as a professional—someone who is worthy of sponsorship dollars.DO work hard.Many people think that being a sponsored athlete is a gravy train. I will tell you that the most successful athletes that I know absolutely work their asses off. They are always shooting media, emailing, facilitating, checking in, helping with product R&D and launch, and planning their own exploits. These things are done alongside the physical demands of training and maintaining fitness as an elite athlete. It’s not easy at all, and requires great time management and self-motivation skills, but it is worth it.DO hang the carrot.One thing that I have found very useful in my own dealings with different sponsors is something that I refer to as “hanging the carrot.” This means always keeping them up-to-date on upcoming projects, and what you need from them to position their brand in the best way possible. If you are thinking like this, you are doing an excellent job as an athlete. The final step to this is to follow through and deliver on all promises and commitments made.DO have fun.Taking these steps requires you to look at your sport as work. While it can be very smart to cover all the sponsorship angles, it’s equally important not to lose sight of the original passion that got you into it in the first place. If that ever goes away, the whole house of cards falls. Go outside and play—that’s why you got into this in the first place.Chris Gragtmans is sponsored by Dagger Kayaks, Chaco Footwear, Speedboard USA, Immersion Research, Shred Ready Helmets, Astral Buoyancy and Adventure Technology Paddles.