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Quick Takes: Getting Aid to Community College Students, President Admits Drunk Driving, Nobel in Physics, College Women Seek Smart Men

October 7, 2008
  • Community colleges and the government need to do more to make sure that community college students apply for federal student aid, according to a new report by the federal Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. The report notes that many community college students are eligible for aid but never apply. In many cases, the report says, aid could allow the students to spend more time on their academic work and less time working to earn money -- and such a shift in priorities could have a dramatic impact on completion rates.
  • Randolph Flechsig, president of Davenport University, on Monday pleaded guilty to drunk driving, The Grand Rapids Press reported. Immediately after his arrest last month, he indicated that that the arrest may have been due to his diabetes, not drinking. But the Press reported that in court he admitted to having had beer and "some Bloody Mary's" at home prior to the drive that led to his arrest. Board leaders have said that they would let the legal process run its course before considering action.
  • Three researchers will share the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics. Yoichiro Nambu, the Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the Enrico Fermi Institute of the University of Chicago, will receive half of the prize "for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics." The other half of the prize will be shared by Makoto Kobayashi of the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, in Tsukuba, Japan; and Toshihide Maskawa of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics, at Kyoto University, in Japan. They were honored "for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature."
  • Whether looking for a hook-up or a long-term relationship, college women prefer smart men to dumb jocks, according to research published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. New Scientist wrote up the research, explaining that it was based on interviews with 200 female students who had watched videos of 15 college men who both demonstrated mental talents (talking about themselves, news events, and the ramifications of a discovery of life on Mars) and physical talents (tossing a Frisbee). The lead author of the study is Mark Prokosch, an evolutionary psychologist who teaches at Elon University. The students who were analyzed were undergraduates at the University of California at Davis.
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