Monthly Archives: January 2019

ACTA Launches

-A groundbreaking public online resource will help higher education leaders confront the exploding costs of college-

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) announced that it has launched, an innovative gateway into a vast trove of data on college spending across the country. The public launch took place on January 30 in a packed room of higher education policy makers and governing board members at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. provides unprecedented ease of access to financial information and spending trends from 1,500 public and private colleges and universities. Visitors can select specific colleges and instantly access eight years of their administrative and instructional spending patterns; compare them with other institutions in their peer groups; research student tuition, retention, and graduation rates; generate reports, and much more.

“The dream of a college education has become a financial nightmare for millions of students and families beset with the runaway costs of tuition and fees,” says Michael Poliakoff, ACTA’s president. “With student loan debt burgeoning past $1.5 trillion and student borrowers graduating with more than $37,000 in debt, institutions simply must get control of their explosive costs if we are to safeguard the value of higher education for the nation.

“ is designed to equip college trustees and leaders to be more effective stewards of their institutions,” Poliakoff adds. “For the first time, they can easily arm themselves with critical data to make informed decisions about college spending in the best interests of their students—and the public.”

“Those of us who serve on governing boards urgently need solid data, better analytics, and more transparency to face down the rising costs of college,” adds Heidi Ganahl, Regent at the University of Colorado. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure. ACTA’s new resource will be a major tool to help us tackle administrative expense bloat on our college campuses.”

“I wish I’d had this website when I was on the board at Maryland. It would have been so useful in the spirit of transparency,” says former U.S. Congressman Tom McMillen (D-Maryland 1987-1993), who served as a Regent at the University of Maryland from 2007 to 2015.

To explore the site:

Video overview:

For more info and FAQ:

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Doug Sprei,

ACTA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to academic freedom, academic excellence, and accountability in higher education. We receive no government funding and are supported through the generosity of individuals and foundations. For more information, visit

ACTA invites journalists to interview the creators of along with higher education leaders and policy makers concerned with the explosion of college costs and student debt.

Nikon Announces The Second Year Of The Nikon Storytellers Scholarship, Reaffirming Its Commitment To Education For The Next Generation of Creators

MELVILLE, NY (January 29, 2019) – Nikon Inc. has announced that applications are now open for the second “Nikon Storytellers Scholarship.” The program, launched in December 2017, is designed to celebrate the power of visual storytelling by supporting the education of aspiring content creators. Beginning today, eligible students in the United States and Canada can apply for the chance to be selected as one of ten winners to receive a $10,000 USD academic scholarship to further their development as visual storytellers and help them in their passionate pursuit of compelling stories.

“We are so excited to be able to continue to offer scholarship support to talented students across the US and Canada who are exploring their creative passions,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “In launching this program for a second year, Nikon is reaffirming its dedication to supporting and encouraging the next generation of creators in their pursuits to become the confident, fearless voices of tomorrow.”

The Nikon Storytellers Scholarship, which received over 1,000 submissions in its first year, is once again open to undergraduate and graduate students in the United States and Canada who are pursuing degrees in visual arts, fine arts, journalism, film, photography and multimedia/content creation, and have completed their freshman year of college or the academic equivalent.

The scholarship includes two stages of submissions. The first round consists of academic and professional references. If selected, students will advance to a semi-finalist round in which they submit an original piece of creative work to be evaluated by a committee of industry professionals. This year, building on its legacy of developing innovative optical technologies that help creators bring their creative vision to life in new and compelling ways, Nikon is challenging students to showcase what “Capture Tomorrow” means to them and how they are pushing the creative boundaries of their craft.

The ten emerging visual creators will be awarded an academic scholarship for use in the 2019-2020 school year. Qualified students are invited to visit for more information about submitting an entry, including eligibility details.

The Nikon Storytellers Scholarship Key Dates (2019-2020)

Application Open: January 29, 2019
Application Deadline: March 1, 2019
Recommendation Deadline: March 1, 2019
Semi-finalist Open: March 18, 2019
Semi-finalist Deadline: April 15, 2019
Notification of Selection Results: June 2019
Funds Disbursed: August 2019

For those interested in learning more about the Nikon Storytellers Scholarship, please visit For more information on the latest Nikon products, please visit

About Nikon
Nikon Inc. is a world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo and video capture technologies; globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for an award-winning array of equipment that enable visual storytelling and content creation. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories, Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras and Nikon software products, as well as the revolutionary Nikon Z series of mirrorless cameras and NIKKOR Z lenses, which achieve a new dimension in optical performance. In November 2018, Nikon Corporation, the parent company of Nikon Inc., announced the production of 110 million NIKKOR lenses, creating a new milestone in Nikon’s heritage of superior optics. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit, which links all levels of photographers and visual storytellers to the Web’s most comprehensive learning and sharing communities. Connect with Nikon on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo, Flickr and Snapchat (@NikonUSASnap).

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Media Contacts
Matt Kopacz: E:
Abby Jurgens E:
212-704-9727 /

New Survey: Demand for “Uniquely Human Skills” Increases Even as Technology and Automation Replace Some Jobs

Survey shows 73 percent of employers say it’s very or somewhat difficult finding qualified candidates

BOSTON—January 16, 2019 — As automation increases, “uniquely human” or soft skills are among the most important skills wanted by employers, although they have difficulty finding the right candidates, according to a new survey. The survey of more than 650 employers and more than 1,500 current and former college students was conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of Cengage, the largest U.S.-based education and technology company serving the higher education market.

The survey revealed soft skills are most in demand by employers (by at least 65 percent), while quantitative skills and computer and technical skills were less so (47 percent and 50 percent, respectively).

The top skills today’s employers are looking for in candidates include:

● Listening skills (74 percent)
● Attention to detail and attentiveness (70 percent)
● Effective Communication (69 percent)
● Critical thinking (67 percent)
● Interpersonal skills (65 percent)
● Active learning/Learning new skills (65 percent)

However, the majority of employers (73 percent) said it was very or somewhat difficult finding qualified candidates, and about one-third (34 percent) say schools have not properly prepared students for jobs.

“These results show that we must not underestimate the power of the people factor in the workforce.  Technology and automation will continue to change and replace jobs, but there are skills that cannot be automated, such as the ability to think critically or problem solve,” said Michael Hansen, CEO of Cengage.

“There is a need for more soft skills training, both in college and on the job, and today’s learners and graduates must continue to hone their skills to stay ahead,” Hansen continued. “The onus is on everyone – students, colleges, employers and industry partners like Cengage – to make learning more accessible, relevant and affordable.”

Students are not having an easy time either: 65 percent say finding a job is more difficult compared to their parents’ generation.  A quarter of students (25 percent) are worried that jobs will be replaced by technology; however, what worries them even more is having the skills needed for a job (77 percent). One in three students believe their education has not adequately prepared them for the workplace.

“For candidates willing to hone their ‘uniquely human skills,’ there is opportunity,” said Hansen.   “While employers anticipate that computer and tech skills will be among the most coveted in the next five years, many human skills, such as critical thinking, communication, and the ability to learn new skills will remain important.”

For more information about the survey, please visit

About Cengage
Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. As the largest US-based provider of teaching and learning materials for higher education, we offer valuable options at affordable price points. Our industry-leading initiatives include Cengage Unlimited, the first-of-its-kind all-access digital subscription service.  We embrace innovation to create learning experiences that build confidence and momentum toward the future students want. Headquartered in Boston, Cengage also serves K-12, library and workforce training markets around the world. Visit us at or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

About the Survey Methodology
Employer Survey: Conducted online from September 11-16, 2018, among 502 managers who have hired in the past 6 months and 150 HR decision-makers directly involved in hiring. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Student Survey: Conducted online from September 11-24, 2018, among a national sample of 1564 Students, with 1050 Current Students and 514 Former Students from community colleges, two-year and four-year colleges, vocational or technical schools, and graduate schools. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.


Media Contacts
Susan Aspey

Kristina Massari

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi Accepting Applications for 2019 Award Programs

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi—the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society—is currently accepting applications for its 2019 award programs including Fellowships, Study Abroad Grants, Literacy Grants and Love of Learning Awards. The award programs provide funding for graduate study, continuing education, professional development, studies abroad and local, national and international literacy initiatives.

Since 1932, Phi Kappa Phi’s award programs have recognized members and students on its chapter campuses for outstanding academic achievement. Nearly $1 million is awarded each year through programs that last year recognized more than 350 individuals.

“Phi Kappa Phi encourages the ‘love of learning’ and supports scholarly, interdisciplinary efforts through direct support and recognition of academic excellence,” said Scott Willard, a 2018 award recipient. “This recognition and support opens doors for members of the Society and encourages continued scholarship.”

Programs currently accepting applications include:

● Fellowships: The Society recently announced an expansion of its Fellowship Program from a total distribution of $345,000 each year to $615,000. Beginning in 2019, 50 Fellowships of $8,500 each, six at $20,000 each, and two at $35,000 will be available to members entering their first year of graduate or professional study. The deadline to apply varies by each Phi Kappa Phi chapter. Contact your local chapter for deadline information.

● Study Abroad Grants: 75 grants of $1,000 each will be awarded to both members and non-members studying abroad. The deadline to apply is March 15.

● Literacy Grants: Grants of up to $2,500 are available to Phi Kappa Phi chapters and individual members seeking funding for literacy initiatives. The deadline to apply is April 1.

● Love of Learning Awards: 200 awards, at $500 each, are available to help fund post-baccalaureate studies and professional development for active members. The deadline to apply is June 30.

For more information including eligibility requirements and application instructions for each program, please visit

About Phi Kappa Phi
Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Phi Kappa Phi inducts approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni annually. The Society has chapters on 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 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, visit


Hannah Breaux
Communications Director


New York Times Bestseller
Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True
by Gabrielle Union

On Sale in Trade Paperback:
*January 15, 2019*

Praise for We’re Going to Need More Wine:

“Union’s collection of wide-ranging, insightful, and funny essays is full of the candid stuff that readers love to find in celebrity memoirs, along with genuine storytelling and bare emotion, which are rarer… Throughout, Union is warm, outspoken, laugh-out-loud funny, and unafraid to reveal painful moments or the versions of herself that had a thing or two to learn. This is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, and deservedly so.”
Booklist, starred review

“With honesty and humor, Union bares her soul and shares her levels of insecurity, the difficulties of being a black woman in Hollywood, and the way fame has changed her life. She embraces many multilayered issues in these intimate essays, giving readers glimpses of insight into her soul.”
Kirkus Reviews

“This sparkling book collects amusing and heartbreaking stories from the life of actress Union (Being Mary Jane)… Union’s no-holds-barred essays and intimate voice will appeal to her fans as well as those less familiar with her work.”
Publishers Weekly

“I have gotten the pleasure to know Gabrielle over the years and besides the fact that she loves to drink, I’ve always taken comfort in how much we have in common. The predilection to go from talking about the latest humiliating sexual position to a debate on politics or racism, that’s exactly what this book felt like to me, an honest conversation with Gabrielle about her life. I appreciate her integrity, love her humor and openness about her life. I also love the fact that she’s older than me . . . Go, girl.”
Chelsea Handler, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Uganda Be Kidding Me

“I love this woman and her book.”
Mindy Kaling, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Why Not Me?

If you ever thought, ‘I could be friends with Gabrielle Union,’ then We’re Going to Need More Wine is the book for you. It’s honest, raw, and funny. Union’s vulnerability about her flaws, mistakes, and also pride in her triumphs will not only make you feel as though you’re seeing yourself reflected, but will also inspire to be your most authentic self. It makes me excited to see where she is going next as a person and as an author.

Give me book #2 already, please!”
—Phoebe Robinson, New York Times bestselling author of You Can’t Touch My Hair

“A hilarious and moving memoir from a natural storyteller. Gabrielle Union explores love, family, trauma and racial identity in a book that somehow manages to be both heartbreakingly honest and laugh-out-loud funny.”
—Brit Bennett, author of The Mothers

Actress and women’s rights activist Gabrielle Union’s 2017 New York Times bestselling memoir WE’RE GOING TO NEED MORE WINE: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True is now available in trade paperback (On Sale: January 15, 2019; Trade Paperback: $16.99; ISBN 9780062693990)!

Gabrielle Union is a lot like you and me. While you likely know her from her many film and television roles; her work as an activist on behalf of victims of sexual assault; her smart statements about the place of women, especially black women in the world and in Hollywood; or her status as one of half of the Wade-Union power couple—she’s also navigating today’s world in ways that are all too familiar. She has had to get over her family baggage, go through the wrong men to get to the right one, and push her way past head shakers and naysayers who thought she was less than.

In this engaging, provocative, and funny collection of essays about her life and our modern world. Union gives details of her life that go beyond the headlines and social media to show the smart, tough woman she really is. From her younger years as one of the very few African Americans in her California high school, to the harrowing story of her rape and the aftermath, to her navigation of Hollywood, to the role she plays as stepmother to her husband Dwyane Wade’s sons, to the devastating loss she felt over the friend she loved and couldn’t save, reading WE’RE GOING TO NEED MORE WINE leaves you with that feeling of time with a dear friend. This surprising and special book will nourish your soul and expand your mind.

Union says, “Throughout my life, I’ve often wondered aloud ‘How the hell did I end up HERE?! Why me?’ Not sure I’ve ever found all the answers to those questions, but in this book I share my journey…the good, the bad, and the WTF. You will definitely need more wine for this one.”

With a voice that is loud, personal, brave, and bold, Union demonstrates what it means to wrestle with self-doubt and revel in self-discovery, balancing a glass of wine and a whip-smart sense of humor at the same time.

Gabrielle Union is an actress and activist. Currently she stars as the titular character in the critically acclaimed drama Being Mary Jane on BET. She is an outspoken activist for women’s reproductive health and victims of sexual assault. She lives in Miami, Florida.

Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True
by Gabrielle Union
Dey Street Books | Trade Paperback | On Sale: January 15, 2019
$16.99, ISBN: 9780062693990 | E-Book ISBN: 9780062694003

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