'Money' ranks VU among most affordable for low-income students

Money magazine has ranked Vanderbilt University No. 10 among the nation's 40 most affordable colleges and universities for low-income students.

The list includes schools at which students from families earning less than $48,000 annually can typically graduate debt-free.

For its criteria, Money cited a new benchmark for affordability established by the Lumina Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving higher education access and success. The foundation has proposed that a college be describe as “affordable” if the cost of earning a bachelor’s degree is no more than the total of 10 percent of a family’s discretionary income over a 10-year span, or the equivalent of the amount a student can earn working 10 hours per week during the school year.

Read more here at vanderbilt.edu.

Nov 24, 2015 6:45 AM

Lipcomb, Vanderbilt land federal grants

Lipscomb and Vanderbilt universities have simultaneously announced work fueled by federal monies.

HIV diagnoses are disproportionately high among young African American males, especially those who engage in sexual activity with men, according to a recently completed $1.5 million VU study supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services.

Unrelatedly, LU's educational program for students with developmental and intellectual disabilities has received a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education through its Model Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) initiative. Of note, Vanderbilt secured a TPSID grant, too.

The Vanderbilt study involved VU and First Response Center, a nonprofit HIV/AIDS prevention and care organization run by Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in North Nashville.

The study, “Black Young Men Building Capacity,” was developed by Sandra L. Barnes, a professor in the Department of Human and Organizational Development at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development.

“Interventions and services are out there, but the numbers are still rising,” Barnes, lead investigator of the study, said in a release. “That suggests there is a disconnect somewhere. How do you establish trust and reach a demographic that has a history of being marginalized?”

During the next five years, Barnes (pictured) said the aim is to reach 5,000 members of the target population of black males who have sex with males, known as MSM. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MSM account for 75 percent of new HIV diagnoses among 18- to 24-year-old black men.

“The overall goal of BYMBC is to educate, equip and empower members of the target population to access prevention and testing services,” Barnes said.

Read more here.

Lipscomb and VU were two of only 25 universities in the nation to receive the aforementioned TPSID grant. The grant will help support and expand services in the LU College of Education’s IDEAL (Igniting the Dream of Education and Access at Lipscomb) program.

“This grant is significant to our IDEAL program in several ways,” Deborah Boyd,  LU College of Education dean, said in a release. “Being one of only a few universities in the country to receive a TPSID grant is a strong indication that the program we launched just last year is already being recognized for its quality and for the positive impact it is having having on campus and all students, in addition to the students in the program, who otherwise might not have an opportunity to have a college experience. The size of the grant is also very significant in that it will allow us to add resources, to serve students and their families better, to expand our programming.”

IDEAL is a two-year certificate program, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, designed to encourage and support students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to experience college as their peers do. Launched in January 2014, the IDEAL program includes academic and skill-building classes, exercise sessions, daily internships, leisure time and a daily study period.

The initial cohort included three students. This fall, 19 students comprising three cohorts are enrolled in the program. (Read more here.)


(Photo courtesy of VU/John Russell)

Nov 20, 2015 7:15 AM

VU launching marketing master's

Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management will next summer launch a master's degree in marketing. The 10-month program will feature classes on statistics and pricing strategies, among others, and will be directed by professor Stephen Posavac, who is pictured here.

Modern marketing skills, including digital marketing tools such as social media and web-based marketing, are in high demand in the workforce. Master of Marketing students will take courses in marketing analytics, statistics, digital marketing, communications, new product development, consumer insights, brand management and more. Two immersion-based independent studies enable students to customize the program to fit specific industries, desired roles or other career goals.

Nov 17, 2015 8:36 AM

Barry talks Insure Tennessee, Nashville General at VU panel

Mayor pushes for Medicaid expansion, also calls for creative approaches to health care
Nov 17, 2015 7:09 AM

Waller adds two to compliance team

Vanderbilt counsel, U.S. Attorney rejoining law firm
Nov 10, 2015 2:28 PM

Vanderbilt to take ex-ESa office space at Loews

Vanderbilt University is preparing to move various departments to the Loews Vanderbilt Plaza midrise in Midtown, taking space most recently used by Earl Swensson Associates.

Brentwood-based Orion Building Corp. is handling the work to get the offices ready, with a Metro Codes Department-issued permit valued at $3 million.

Included in the move to the modernist structure (see here courtesy of Google Maps) will be the VU Office of News and Communications, which currently operates from the Baker Building, also located in Midtown on 21st Avenue North.

Princine Lewis, the office’s senior strategist, said the renovations and relocations to Loews are expected to be completed in early 2016.

“Vanderbilt will use the renovated space in Loews Vanderbilt Plaza to consolidate some university departments that currently have offices located across campus,” Lewis said.

Five floors and the penthouse space within the Loews Vanderbilt Plaza, which is located at 2100 West End Ave., will be rehabbed. ESa had occupied most of the space on the floors before moving earlier this year to the mixed-use Gulch Crossing, which the Nashville-based architecture firm designed.

Loews Nashville Hotel Corp. owns the building, which is anchored by the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel.

The VU Office of the General Counsel already operates from the building.

Oct 21, 2015 1:00 PM

Vanderbilt lands $16M federal grant for AIDS education, training

Center to move from Atlanta to Nashville as part of effort
Oct 16, 2015 12:52 PM

VU ranked 20th in hoops poll unkind to SEC

Vanderbilt is ranked No. 20 in the just-released USA Today Coaches Poll, joining SEC mates Kentucky (tied for No. 1 with North Carolina) and LSU (No. 19).

The SEC has been mired in mediocrity for years and this season suggests no change to that situation looms. Of note, of the 24 other teams receiving votes in the coaches’ poll, only Texas A&M is from the SEC. Simple math shows that the coaches who voted (and some of them toil in the SEC) feel 49 teams are Top 25 worthy. For the 14-team SEC to have a mere four in that mix speaks volumes about its weakness (at least by the standards of a major conference).

However, it is that lack of multiple strong league teams (some feel, including John Calipari himself, Kentucky is vastly overrated) that could work in Vanderbilt’s favor. With depth, shooting, experience, a star big man in Damian Jones and Kevin Stallings (the SEC’s most senior coach), the Commodores could not have picked a better year for the conference to be, perhaps, its most dismal in years.

See the poll here.

Oct 15, 2015 12:52 PM

VU prof, Shalom founder launch social enterprise in Guatemala

A malnutrition-oriented project started by a Vanderbilt University professor and the founder of the Middle Tennessee-based Shalom Foundation has reached a milestone with the opening of a Central American supplementary food production facility.

According to a VU release, Ted Fischer (pictured), professor of anthropology and director of the Center for Latin American Studies, teamed with multiple Vanderbilt students over a five-year period on the project. Relatedly, Shalom head Steve Moore, a former Country Music Association CEO, worked with Fischer to found NutriPlus, a social enterprise effort that produces the supplement, Mani+.

The supplement (a fortified nut paste that provides calories, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals essential to brain development in babies and toddlers) is used to specifically address the nutritional deficiencies seen in Central American children. It is the first ready-to-use supplementary Food (RUSF)  to be both locally produced and locally sourced in Guatemala City, Guatemala, creating local jobs and supporting local farmers.
The new facility opened on Sept. 23 and will eventually mass produce Mani+. Eventually, Fischer and Moore hope to produce 25 tons of Mani+ a month, reaching 25,000 children.

To recognize the opening of the facility, an event was held recently at the Instituto de Nutrición de Centro América y Panamá (INCAP). Senior health officials from Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic attended, as well as prominent business and NGO leaders and representatives from the World Food Program.

Shalom Foundation’s Guatemala City pediatric clinic has strong ties to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. The clinic houses the Vanderbilt Guatemala Research Station.

Regarding Mani+, Vanderbilt students helped develop financial and quality control models, an aflotoxin eradication plan for partner peanut farmers, and educational materials and packaging. They also conducted field research on peanut cultivation and Mani+ usage in the home. The paste itself was developed in partnership with food scientists at INCAP, which also donated the Mani+ production facility.

A 40-year longitudinal study by INCAP finds that the costs of childhood malnutrition are high and lasting.

“There’s a huge economic impact to malnutrition,” Fischer said in the release. “Kids don’t do as well in school, and we know from this data that they earn 40 percent less as adults than peers who were well-nourished. So to put it into a dollar figure, in Guatemala, that’s $300 million a year that malnutrition is costing this country.”

Oct 9, 2015 6:45 AM

Vanderbilt names chief human resources officer

Veteran academician, VU grad returns to Nashville after N.C. State stint
Oct 8, 2015 11:13 AM