Monthly Archives: November 2015

Knowledge Gaps in Vaccination Against Meningococcal Disease

Meningococcal disease is a rare but aggressive bacterial infection that can be fatal or cause serious life-long disability within 24 hours of onset of symptoms: about 10-15 percent of people infected with meningococcal disease will die, and 11-19 percent of survivors will have long-term consequences, including deafness, nervous system problems, brain damage or loss of limbs.

GSK is hosting an event (#GSKsummit) on December 9, 2015 in New York City with bloggers, advocates, a patient survivor and caregiver to brainstorm ways to reach parents and young people with important disease information and to highlight knowledge gaps as identified in two national consumer polls with parents and teens/young adults. Follow #GSKSummit on Twitter to learn more.

For more information about the event, please contact:



Five Easy Steps to Own Holiday Shopping on a Budget


Brought to You by Discover

Your list of people to shop for during the holidays grows by the day, making it easy to get carried away spending money on purchases that may not fit your budget. To avoid re-gifting the free T-shirt from the job fair or leftover meal points from the dining hall, here are five money-saving tips for the holidays.

1. Budgeting Made Easy
Creating a budget can seem daunting, but there are many apps available to help simplify your finances by syncing all of your accounts. And, since your phone is always by your side, use an app to:
• Monitor your spending.
• Manage your budget while shopping.
• Pay your bills on time.

These easy tips can help you save some extra cash for the spring semester.

2. Get Extra Credit for Your Shopping
Using the budget you’ve created, research the gifts you want to buy to see if there are any promotions, coupons or deals. Most major credit card issuers also offer an online shopping portal, like Discover Deals, which gives you cash back when you shop at your favorite stores after connecting through the Discover Deals site. With Discover, you can redeem those credit card rewards for a statement credit or a direct deposit.

3. DIY to Save Dollars
If you want to avoid the crowded malls and overzealous shoppers, DIY gifts are a great option. Not only are they great for the hard-to-please people on your list, but also making the gifts can also be a fun activity with your friends. A few inexpensive and easy-to-make gifts include:
• Mason jar recipes filled with delicious treats for late-night study sessions.
• Tie-blanket using your school’s colors or favorite sports team.
• Print canvas of your best selfie or travels from studying abroad.
• Homemade treats for holiday parties. Make a few extra so you have leftovers for study groups during finals week.

4. Out with Gifts, in with Giving
What better way to make an impact on your community and create lasting memories than getting friends together to put time and money toward a charitable cause instead of each other? Here are a few ways you and your friends can give a gift that keeps on giving:
• Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
• Collect canned goods for a local food drive.
• Clean out your closet and donate your clothes.
• Read to children at a local hospital.

5. Make Your Money Work for You
If you’re planning to buy gifts this year and pay with your credit card, make sure it has benefits that will put money back in your pocket, like discounts from your favorite retailers and cash back rewards. You can even use that cash back to pay for those gifts. For example, the Discover it® chrome for Students card gives you:
• 2% Cashback Bonus® at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 of combined purchases quarterly
• 1% Cashback Bonus on all other purchases
• The ability to pay with your Cashback Bonus on
• The option to get a boost in value on merchant gift cards and eCertificates when you redeem your Cashback Bonus for them – This is a great gift option for anyone you may be struggling with gift ideas for.

And new cardmembers can get a Good Grades reward where you can earn $20 in Cashback Bonus if your grade point average is 3.0 (or equivalent) or higher each year you are enrolled in school, for up to five years from your account opening.

Now that you have all of the tips you need for a budget-friendly holiday season, start shopping!

About Discover
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover card, America’s cash rewards pioneer, and offers private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit through its direct banking business. It operates the Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation’s leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit

Media Contact
Derek Cuculich


Application Deadline Near for $100,000 Excellence in Innovation Award

Excellence in Innovation

BATON ROUGE, LA, November 17, 2015 — Applications for the $100,000 Phi Kappa Phi Excellence in Innovation Award are due by December 10, 2015. Interested institutions are encouraged to apply for the award sponsored by The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.

“The Phi Kappa Phi innovation award is a fitting extension of our mission to recognize and promote excellence in higher education by lifting up the transformative work being done on college and university campuses across the country,” said Dr. Mary Todd, Phi Kappa Phi executive director.

Beginning in 2016 and each biennium, the award will recognize one college or university for achievements in finding powerful substantive solutions to improve the lives of others and create systematic large-scale change. The recipient institution will receive $100,000 in tangible recognition of its best practice in response to the changes and challenges facing higher education in the twenty-first century.

Since 1933, Phi Kappa Phi has awarded fellowships and grants to members and students on its chapter campuses. Currently, more than $500,000 is awarded annually through programs that last year recognized over 270 individuals. The Excellence in Innovation Award is the Society’s first award for institutions.

The application period for colleges and universities to apply for the Excellence in Innovation Award is currently open until December 10, 2015. For more information including award criteria, eligibility, and timeline details, visit

About Phi Kappa Phi
Phi Kappa Phi annually inducts approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. The Society has chapters at more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of second-term juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. The Society’s mission is “To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.” For more information about Phi Kappa Phi, visit

Media Contact
Hannah Breaux
The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
(225) 923-7777

Voto Latino to Host Event on Climate Change Challenges & Opportunities

November 13, 2015


What: On November 17th, Voto Latino, the leading non profit organization empowering Latino millennials and engaging them in the civic process, will join Defend Our Future, Environmental Defense Fund’s campaign to empower millennials in the fight against climate change for a conversation about how young Latinos can take action to address climate change impacts affecting their communities. The conversation will be moderated by Univision anchor Enrique Acevedo.

The conversation will highlight ways in which rising leaders can be active in combatting climate change in their own lives and within their communities, as well as learn about diverse career paths that are important to addressing the effects of climate change and protecting the environment.

This event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a mix and mingles reception with food and drinks.

Who: Keynote Speaker: Mustafa Ali, Senior Advisor of Environmental Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Moderator: Enrique Acevedo co-anchor of \”Noticiero Univision Edición Nocturna\”
Karina Castillo, Director of Programs, The CLEO (Climate Leadership Engagement Opportunities) Institute
Eric Chappel, 2014 Environmental Defense Fund Fellow at Ocean Spray Cranberries
Edwin Luevanos, Chief Executive Officer, Citizen Energy
Alexis Calatayud, FIU Student Body President

What: Defending Our Future: Fighting Climate Change in South Florida

When: Tuesday, November 17, 6:30PM-9:30PM ET

Where: Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, Rooms 105/107
10975 SW 17th Street
Miami, FL 33199

Info: Space for this free event is limited. All participants must RSVP here to reserve their seat.


About Voto Latino
Voto Latino is a nonpartisan organization that empowers Latino Millennials to claim a better future for themselves and their community. United by the belief that Latino issues are American issues and American issues are Latino issues, Voto Latino is dedicated to bringing new and diverse voices to develop leaders by engaging youth, media, technology and celebrities to promote positive change. To learn more about Voto Latino, visit Also engage Voto Latino on Facebook at, on Google Plus at, and on Twitter at and on Instagram at

About Defend Our Future
Defend Our Future, a campaign of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), is dedicated to empowering young people to lead the fight against climate change. We are building a movement to show our elected leaders that we aren’t just waiting for them to act on climate change – we are taking action ourselves, in our personal lives, in our communities and in our government. Learn more about us at

Media Contact
Audrey Lopez
(202) 386-6374

Edvisors unveils paying-for-college trends for 2016

Edvisors Logo

LAS VEGAS, November 9, 2015 – Edvisors, publisher of free web sites that help students and families plan and pay for college, has identified several key trends on the horizon for 2016 that will affect students.

“These trends are important because the affect how students picks the right school for them, apply for financial aid, and pay for college. Students and their families will see some immediate changes next year, such as having two versions of the FAFSA form, as well as potential longer term changes based on election-year campaign promises,” said David Levy, editor of and co-author of Filing the FAFSA.

Here is a list of key trends in paying for college that Edvisors has identified for 2016:

• Two FAFSAs in 2016 provides more flexibility. High school seniors and college freshmen and sophomores applying for financial aid will need to file two Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) forms next year. In addition to a FAFSA for 2016-17 academic year, available Jan. 1, 2016, students filing for the 2017-18 academic year must use a new FAFSA form available Oct. 1, 2016. Another change: to make it easier to complete the 2017-18 FAFSA, you will use income and tax data from the prior-prior year (2015) rather than from the immediate year (2016) so it won’t hold up the process if you and your parents haven’t filed your 2016 taxes yet.
• Keeping the college list confidential. For high school seniors and transfer students applying for financial aid, colleges will no longer see the names of other schools you listed, starting on your 2016-17 FAFSA forms. (Previously some colleges used the order of colleges you listed — generally ranked in preference order — to influence their admission and financial aid decisions.) However, the list of colleges will still be submitted to your state so it can evaluate your eligibility for state grants.
 Student debt will continue to climb. Sorry, but without any legislative change, we expect the average student debt when you graduate to match, if not surpass, the $35,000 level incurred by the class of 2015. The average debt load will affect your future career choices since six months after you graduate, you will need to pull down a salary that can cover your daily expenses plus start paying off your loans.
• Expect to get more grants next year as part of your financial aid package. Student debt is increasing but, according to the College Board’s most recent “Trends in Higher Education” report, the average grant increased $570 while the amount that students borrowed in Federal loans declined by $720. The increase in grants is good news: since grants don’t get repaid, they reduce your end cost of a college degree. It could mean the difference between going to a private institution or a public university or a community college.

About Edvisors
Edvisors publishes free web sites to help students and families plan and pay for college. Every year, millions of students and their families turn to the company’s flagship site,, for timely, accurate information, advice and tools that help them confidently make the best decisions about paying for college. Additionally, Edvisors owns, where students earn points and enter scholarship drawings (the site has awarded more than $750,000 to date);, a large free online database of scholarships with an easy-to-use scholarship matching tool; and, which helps students find private loans that are right for them. Founded in 1998, Edvisors is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. More information can be found at


Media contact:
Norman Birnbach
Birnbach Communications, Inc.

The authors of FREAKONOMICS offer to retrain your brain!

The New York Times bestselling book Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything. Then came SuperFreakonomics, a documentary film, an award-winning podcast, and more.

“Utterly captivating.” - Malcolm Gladwell

“Over nine entertaining chapters [Levitt and Dubner] demonstrate how not to fall into hackneyed approaches to solving problems and concretely illustrate how to reframe questions.” - New York Daily News

“Compelling and fun.” - New York Post


With THINK LIKE A FREAK: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and teach us all to think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally—to think, that is, like a Freak.

THINK LIKE A FREAK turns what the authors have learned into a set of lessons that anyone can follow, whether your interest lies in minor life-hacks or major global reforms. Readers are taken inside the special thought process behind Freakonomics to reveal a new way of approaching the decisions we make, the plans we create, and the morals that affect our everyday lives. It answers the questions on the minds of everyone who has read the previous books: How can I apply these ideas to my life?

The following is an excerpt from the book:

     What sort of signal does a college diploma send to a potential employer? That its holder is willing and able to complete all sorts of drawn-out, convoluted tasks – and, as a new employee, isn’t likely to bolt at the first sign of friction.

     So, absent the chance to make every job applicant work as hard as a college applicant, is there some quick, clever, cheap way of weeding out bad employees before they are hired? Zappos has come up with one such trick. Zappos, the online shoe store, has a variety of unorthodox ideas about how a business can be run.  Its customer-service reps are central to the firm’s success.  So even though the job might pay only $11 an hour, Zappos wants to know that each new employee is fully committed to the company’s ethos.  That’s where “The Offer” comes in. When new employees are in the onboarding period – they’ve already been screened, offered a job, and completed a few weeks of training – Zappos offers them a chance to quit. Even better, quitters will be paid for their training time and also get a bonus representing their first month’s salary – roughly $2,000 – just for quitting! All they have to do is go through an exit interview and surrender their eligibility to be rehired at Zappos.

     Doesn’t that sound nuts? What kind of company would offer a new employee $2,000 to not work? A clever company. “It’s really putting the employee in the position of ‘Do you care more about the money or do you care more about this culture and the company?’” says Tony Hsieh, the company’s CEO. “And if they care more about the easy money, then we probably aren’t the right fit for them.”

     Hsieh figured that any worker who would take the easy $2,000 was the kind of worker who would end up costing Zappos a lot more in the long run. By one industry estimate, it costs an average of roughly $4,000 to replace a single employee, and one recent survey of 2,500 companies found that a single bad hire can cost more than $25,000 in lost productivity, lower morale, and the like. So Zappos decided to pay a measly $2,000 up front to let the bad hires weed themselves out before they took root. As of this writing, fewer than 1 percent of new hires at Zappos accept “The Offer.”

     The Zappos weeding mechanism is plainly different from those employed by medieval priests, David Lee Roth, and King Solomon. In this case, Zappos is operating with utter transparency; there is no trick whatsoever. The other cases are all about the trick. It is the trick that makes one party reveal himself, unaware that he is being manipulated. The Zappos story therefore may strike you as more virtuous. But using a trick is – let’s be honest – more fun.

Dubner and Levitt suggest a different way to solve problems by giving readers a totally new way to approach them. Along the way, they share stories of real people who have broken out of the box and tackled problems with innovative techniques, including an unlikely eating competitor from Japan who learned to crush the competition (and eat 50 hot dogs in 12 minutes); the doctor who discovered the cure for ulcers (by infecting himself with bacteria); and a computer scientist who figured out the trick behind e-mail scams (ever get a pesky letter about a Nigerian bank account?), and so many more.

THINK LIKE A FREAK will radically change the way that all of us think about solving any problem.


Connect with the Authors on and on Twitter @Freakonomics

THINK LIKE A FREAK: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your
Levitt, Steven D./ Dubner, Stephen J.
$16.99 | William Morrow Paperbacks
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