"Rising Faculty Star" features e-mail interviews with up-and-coming young professors about their backgrounds, their work and their career arcs, among other things. Alison Farmer, a fifth-year graduate student in astrophysics at Caltech, was all over the Astrophysics Rumor Mill this winter; she received fellowship offers from MIT, Berkeley and Harvard.
Q: What drew you to astrophysics?
After freshmen go home for their December break, a major concern for many institutions of higher education is making sure they come back.
Mary Stuart Hunter, director of the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience, says that many institutions have started programs based on the "urban myth" that students will have made up their minds about whether or not to stay after their first six weeks in college.
As enrollments at American colleges continue to soar, vaulting past the 17 million mark in fall 2002, students grow ever more likely to be black or Hispanic and female and to attend community colleges or for-profit institutions, according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Education Department.
As "60 Minutes" prepares to broadcast a potentially damaging report on for-profit colleges, the Career College Association has begun a public relations campaign aimed at dealing with "any fallout here in Washington or elsewhere," the group's president said in an e-mail to its members last week.