Monthly Archives: March 2008


In the whirlwind that was Friday I didn’t get a chance to shout from this virtual rooftop what you surely have heard by now: our fantastic college of education and human development, Peabody, continued its upward trajectory this year, coming in at No. 2 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of the nation’s graduate schools. Coming back from a week in New York at the American Educational Research Association conference where I had a chance to sample over 100 Peabody faculty and graduate students showing their stuff – and by showing their stuff I mean presenting and discussing their wide-ranging, innovative and policy-driving research – I have to say I wasn’t surprised by this external recognition. But delighted? Most definitely. Congratulations, Peabody. Get the whole story about this year’s rankings on VUCast.


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Filed under Administration, Education

Making lemonade at Davidson

I don’t usually blog about anything other than Vanderbilt in this space, but couldn’t resist sending kudos to my PR colleagues at Davidson College this morning for a clever press release they crafted about the impact, in numbers, of their NCAA performance. Looks like one team’s loss can still be that same team’s gain:

Average regular daily sales at Davidson College Bookstore before Sunday, March 23: $1,700
Daily sales at Davidson College Bookstore on Wednesday, March 26 (the first day “Sweet 16” t-shirts were available): $35,000

Read all of the fun facts here.

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Filed under Off-campus

Two lucky Commodores win iPhones from AlertVU

alertvu.jpgTwo weeks into the promotion of our new emergency alert system, AlertVU and we already have well over 10,000 subscribers, more than the 9,200 or so who had signed for the previous system.

As an incentive, one that appears to be working, we’re giving away four, count ’em, four iPhones to students, faculty and staff who’ve subscribed. We announced the first two lucky winners today – med student Jim Bekeny and Amanda Dixon, administrative assistant at the School for Science and Math. The win was especially sweet for Jim, who confessed he’d never won anything before in his life.

The winners are pictured here with Robert Wheaton, director of Vanderbilt Environmental Health and Safety, which is the ‘owner’ of AlertVU (thanks Bob!), and Mr. AlertVU himself, Johnny Vanderpool. In addition to celebrating this exciting give away, looks like everyone is celebrating St. Paddy’s Day, too.

If you haven’t signed up yet and want a chance to win your own iPhone before the contest ends March 23, by all means, sign up now! (If for some reason you don’t find out about AlertVU until after March 23, don’t worry, sign up will always be available. Unlike the free iPhones).

What the heck is AlertVU, you ask? From the Web site: AlertVU rapidly sends messages to the delivery points a subscriber chooses—cell phone (voice or text), land line, e-mail account or pager—in the event of an emergency that poses an imminent threat or danger to the Vanderbilt community. Examples of such a threat include a tornado forecasted to strike Vanderbilt, or an active shooter on campus.”

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Filed under Administration

Vanderbilt Web site on the iPhone

iphone2.pngI’ve been itchin’ to tell you guys about this and now I can: we’ve optimized the VU homepage for the iPhone. Ta dah! Lion’s share of credit goes to the Vanderbilt News Service’s mad programmer Mike Petruna.

To see the site on your iPhone, just go to Check it out elsewhere here:

What makes it cool, IMHO – the snazzy yet simple design, it’s populated with RSS feeds from all of our main news sites, it works nicely with our iTunes U and YouTube spaces, the special content for prospective students, and the nice little Vandy V you get on your iPhone homescreen when you click on the + sign.

Oh, and the fact that as far as I can tell we’re one of the only universities so far to have done this. Many more exciting things coming for higher ed and the iPhone, of course.

We’re just getting started. Stay tuned.

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Filed under Uncategorized

More from the Center for Innovation in College Media workshop

Another guest post, this one from David Salisbury, editor of Exploration, Vanderbilt’s groovy online research magazine.

Over spring break more than 100 college journalists from 40 different
universities came to campus for a workshop on new media put on by the Center
for Innovation in College Media workshop. It was a hands-on workshop and the
attendees produced 35 media packages that are published on the web. Page
Clancy from CICM got in touch with me ahead of time to ask for suggestions
of science stories for the student teams. As a result, the participants did
several science stories along with stories on subjects such as panhandling,
tatooing and body piecing, the Parthenon and Bongo Java. If you are
interested you can watch them at:

* Naked Mole Rat research at VU (also: Ethiopian Immigrants)

* Vanderbilt Greenhouse

* Research with Cockroaches

* VU Research with Zebrafish

* VU Research with Mosquitos to Prevent Malaria

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Filed under In The News, Students, Technology

VUCast featuring Iraqi child’s unbelievable journey

Amenah at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
Guest posting today is our own Emily Pearce, associate director of the Vanderbilt News Service, on her remarkable experience over the last several weeks:

Sometimes you cover a story that, well, quite frankly, just gets to you. That’s what happened when I met Amenah, an Iraqi child whose journey for life led her to the Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. She arrived near death. And, yet, she was smiling. She was always smiling. She liked to blow kisses. One day she looked at me and said her first American word, “hello”. That did it for me. I had crossed over from objectivity to caring deeply what happened to this two-year-old from Haditha, Iraq. She just had to make it through complicated open-heart surgery. Videographer Pat Slattery and I followed Amenah’s story for weeks, including being the only crew shooting surgery day. And, thanks to an amazing group of doctors and nurses, Amenah left Vanderbilt with a ‘happier heart’. I hope you get to know Amenah in our story in the latest VUCast for the week of March 16th. We will be doing a long-form piece on Amenah’s journey also. Be prepared to smile, care and, possibly cry when you meet Amenah. Oh, yes, her mother wants her to “fix hearts” and be a doctor or nurse one day. Who knows, maybe she will go to medical school at Vanderbilt.

Watch the video.

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Filed under In The News, Medicine

Bob Geldof set to speak at Vanderbilt’s Senior Day


Hot off the presses – Humanitarian and rock star Bob Geldof will be the featured speaker at the Vanderbilt Senior Day celebration Thursday, May 10 at 10 a.m. Go to VUCast for more info. about Geldof, Senior Day, and more.

Also, 70’s and 80’s funk / soul gurus The Commodores will head up The Party the night before. You heard me right — The Commodores will play for the Commodores.

Go here for all things Commencement.

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