FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailJoel Auerbach/Getty Images(ATLANTA) — Georgia Tech dismissed its head women’s basketball coach Tuesday following an investigation over “concerns about player and staff mistreatment,” the school’s athletics department said.Georgia Tech said in a news release that Littler Mendelson P.C. Employment and Labor Law Solutions Worldwide conducted an independent investigation for the school after concerns were brought forward regarding head coach MaChelle Joseph’s conduct with the team. The school said Littler Mendelson was retained on Feb. 25, and Joseph was placed on leave two days later. Athletic Director Todd Stansbury said the report’s findings “left [them] no choice but to dismiss Coach Joseph.” “I am disappointed and saddened to learn that the well-being of our student-athletes was being compromised. The findings of the independent investigation make it clear that the dismissal of Coach Joseph is necessary to restore the well-being of student-athletes as the No. 1 priority within our women’s basketball program,” Stansbury said in a statement.The investigation consisted of 40 interviews with the 13 current members of the team and four former players, as well as Joseph herself, assistant coaches, administrative support staff, parents, consultants, and other individuals involved with the team, as well as a review of documents, according to the investigation summary report. Georgia Tech said Littler Mendelson submitted its report on March 20 and Joseph responded to it on March 25.The report described players who said they had limited relationships or no relationships at all with Joseph, who became head coach of the team in 2003. At least nine players said they could not trust any members of the coaching staff, according to the report.“When asked to describe their general feelings associated with the program and working with Coach Joseph, players described feeling insecure, nervous, anxious, and scared at various points in the season and in their careers. Others described the environment as ‘toxic,’ ‘suffocating,’ ‘draining and miserable,’ and ‘unhealthy,’” the report said, adding that some players said their experiences affected their enjoyment for playing basketball.According to the report, players described sometimes being targeted by Joseph, which could lead to “extreme cursing and yelling” over their mistakes, and claimed she often threw objects like basketballs and clipboards and regularly broke her clipboard. The report also said players had sometimes felt pressured to play despite being injured and were subject to “daily belittlement” and called “derogatory and demeaning names.”“The players described Coach Joseph’s conduct as ‘bullying’ and emotionally, mentally, and verbally ‘abusive,’” the report said.Some staff members also echoed players’ claims and said they had also felt “regularly disrespected” by Joseph, and described her conduct was “different in nature and severity as that exhibited by other collegiate coaches with whom they have interacted.”Lisa Banks, Joseph’s attorney, said in a statement Tuesday that Joseph’s firing was “the culmination of an unlawful campaign of retaliation against her for advocating for gender equity in athletics at Georgia Tech.” She said Joseph had been vocal about “the subpar treatment of the women’s basketball team” and that the athletic department was trying to remove her by “manufacturing allegations” and “manipulating an investigation” while denying the allegations against her. Banks also said Joseph “will continue to fight for equality in women’s athletics and for justice related to the discrimination and retaliation she has suffered at the hands of the Georgia Tech Athletic Department.”In her response to the report, Joseph said the report’s conclusions were “based on vague statements from unidentified players and staff” and also claimed the school was attempting to “silence [her] complaints of gender inequity and retaliation.” Joseph said in her response that she had spoken with the school about disparities between the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the school had “attempted to silence” her and engaged in a “pattern of ongoing retaliation and harassment, baselessly accusing [her] of wrongdoing and attempting to interfere with [her] team and [her] players.”Joseph also said in the response that when she was interviewed, the investigator “did not reveal the specific allegations against [her] and did not provide [her] the opportunity to respond to or rebut any of those allegations,” and that she was only given two business days to respond when the report was given.Joseph also said in the response that though people may call her coaching “tough,” she had never been accused of being abusive. She also clarified or denied statements that the report said that she made to her players and listed text messages and emails with her players and parents that she said the investigator never asked for.“Georgia Tech has been my home for the past 18 years, and the players and the staff have been my family,” Joseph said in a statement after her dismissal. “I have so many great memories of the amazing journey we have been on with this program. I will be forever grateful for all of the young women who took a chance on Tech and on me. They have forever changed this program and my life.”In 16 seasons as head coach of the Yellow Jackets women’s basketball team, Joseph led the team to 11 postseason appearances, including seven NCAA tournaments, and was the winningest coach in program history, according to her biography on the athletic department website.The Yellow Jackets finished the 2018-19 season with a 17-13 overall record.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. Written by March 27, 2019 /Sports News – National Georgia Tech coach fired over alleged ‘toxic’ culture; coach disputes the dismissal Beau Lund
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Students and mental health campaigners have condemned Oxford’s stressful academic environment and lack of mental health training for staff.Calls for reform follow comments made by the mother of Andrew Kirkman, a 20-year-old Balliol undergraduate who took his own life in 2013.Wendy Kirkman said she believes that the services currently in place are seriously flawed, and would like to see mental health care professionals accessible 24 hours a day across UK university campuses. She called for the expansion of university drop-in services with mental health specialists in order that students can receive immediate assessment, and additionally for further training for university staff to improve awareness of signs of suicidal intent.Kirkman told The Telegraph she also wants university staff to be trained in how to spot the signs of suicidal intent: “I want them to be better trained to spot how at risk a student is and when it’s appropriate to pass it up to a specialist.”Andrew Kirkman was found dead in Port Meadow in December 2013, after being told the previous day to take medical leave when he informed his GP that he was struggling with academic demands and was thinking of self-harming.In a BBC Three documentary, Kirkman’s ex-girlfriend Clarissa revealed that he had told her he “felt like a fake” who was “falling short of the image that people had of him. He didn’t want to tell anyone else about his depression because he felt really ashamed”.Three months after Kirkman’s death, another Balliol undergraduate, Jennifer Xu, also took her own life. In 2007, Andrew Mason, a 20-year-old Physics and Philosophy (PhysPhil) student and JCR president of Balliol was found dead in his bedroom.In the PhysPhil handbook, there is a section titled “When things go wrong”, that includes guides for “changing your course” and dealing with “problems with your tutor”. The Physics handbook contains no such sections. A second-year PhysPhil student told Cherwell that the poor organisation, isolation and intensity of the Oxford course could contribute to the high rate of students suspending their studies, changing their course, or experiencing mental health difficulties. They said: “PhysPhil is really poorly organised – meaning you could do 70% of your work in one term and 10-20 in the other two terms.“There’s no conversation between Physics and Philosophy so they don’t have an understanding of how much work the other is giving you and when – and limited choice in philosophy compared to PPE or Philosophy and Theology mean people are forced to do badly taught courses they aren’t interested in.“And in most colleges there’s only one PhysPhil student which means people are really isolated and lonely.“They wanted to make it so that you have at least two students per college but it didn’t happen.”Another second-year student, who switched from Physics and Philosophy to Music in their first year, told Cherwell: “One of the major things was that I found that not all, but a lot of my tutors were not supportive and made me feel really stupid.“One of my tutors told me to ‘treat problem sheets as if it was a life or death situation’.“On top of that, simply fitting in both problem sheets and essays with the amount of contact hours and classes was extremely difficult. They said I couldn’t row – they basically expected our whole life to be completely devoted to our degree.”According to research this year by the IPPR thinktank, in 2015/16, over 15,000 UK first-year students disclosed a mental health condition – almost five times the number in 2006/07. In England, 19% of 16–24-year-olds experienced a mental health condition, up from 15 per cent in 2003. In this age group, 28% of women experience mental health problems, compared to 10% of men. The study also found that a record number of students took their own lives in 2015. Between 2007 and 2015, the number of student suicides increased by 79%. In 2014/15, 1,180 students who experienced mental health issues dropped out of university, according to the study, an increase of 210% from 2009/10.Tj Jordan, mental health campaigner and co-chair of the Oxford Mental Health Support Network, agreed with Kirkman’s claims, telling Cherwell: “Oxford University is known for its pressurising academic and social environment, but this tends to be a trigger, rather than a cause, for mental illness.“The problem arises from the lack of mental health training given to both support and academic staff. They are not fully equipped to deal with – or even recognise the signs of – cases of severe mental illness.”Kate Cole, President of Oxford SU told Cherwell: “Oxford SU calls for improvements to professional mental healthcare provision, at a university-level and a national scale, and resoundingly supports sustained access to these services.“Ensuring that mental health support for students is of the highest quality is a core part of Oxford SU’s long-term strategic priorities.“Our ambition of better provision of services for our student members is inherently tied to lobbying for more funding for national services and parity of esteem between mental and physical health.”Speaking on the current state of mental health care provision, a University spokesperson told Cherwell: “Many students find the University’s college system a source of strength, offering an intimate environment where any mental difficulties are quickly noticed.“Every college offers medical support and a welfare team, clearly identified on their websites, giving students a choice of individuals to turn to.“The University’s professional Counselling Service provides training to the welfare teams on how to support students with mental health difficulties.“We also provide 30 hours of training to students selected to act as peer supporters and this initiative has been welcome by many other students facing personal challenges.”If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article you can ring or make an appointment with the university counselling service –https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/welfare/counselling – 01865 270300 – [email protected] support services:Nightline – http://oxfordnightline.org – 8pm to 8am in term time at 01865 270 270The Samaritans – http://www.samaritans.org – 01865 722122
Louise Richardson has also faced criticism for her attempts to encourage Congregation members to block the debate on Tuesday. Academics have accused her of a “patronising and dismissive” tone in her second email to Congregation members encouraging them to suspend the debate.“I fully understand the depth of feeling on this issue but I have to say that I have been disheartened these past few days by the tenor of some of the debate,” Richardson wrote. “As a university we take pride in our defence of freedom of speech, in reasoned argument, and evidence based decisions. If we are to impart these qualities to our students, we should, at a minimum, practice them among ourselves.“Whatever the decision on the procedural resolution tomorrow, an open discussion will take place. I hope that when it does, we will all remember our responsibility to model to our students how to respond to views they find objectionable and to express our disagreements in a spirit of ‘robust civility.’”Some staff hit back on social media, describing the email as a “blatant appeal to the free speech brigade”.Jonathan Healey, a history fellow at Kellogg, said the email “Feels like we’re all getting a telling off from the headmistress!”Taylor said: “I’ve already had complaints that staff have found this and the previous email patronising and dismissive of staff concerns.”A demonstration will be held outside the Sheldonian to support the vote reversing Oxford’s position on the USS. “With this vote at Congregation, we hope to reaffirm the common purposes of our University, and universities across the country,” organisers said in a statement.They added: “It also provides a moment to come together to celebrate Oxford’s most valued and ancient tradition of liberty.” Oxford’s striking lecturers are set for a showdown with the vice chancellor, Louise Richardson, this afternoon in an increasingly bitter dispute over pensions, with some accusing her of appearing “patronising and dismissive of staff concerns”.Congregation, the university’s governing body, will meet at 2pm today in an attempt from around 150 dons to reverse Oxford’s position on the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) that has triggered university staff across the country to go on strike.But dons have accused senior university administrators of attempting to “block” the debate by encouraging a required 20 members of the Congregation to stand and cancel the meeting.Emails, seen by Cherwell, show how some faculty heads have sent staff a message from the proctors presenting arguments in favour of suspending the debate.An email from Helen McShane, interim Deputy Head of the Nuffield Department of Medicine, sets out the “advantages to postponing this debate until the Tuesday of Week 1 of Trinity Term.”The proctors argue suspending the debate would allow it to be held after the consultation period the USS has opened, would mean members could see the outcome of ongoing negotiations, and “allows more people to reorganise their working diaries to attend such debates.”“It is clear that this is a very important issue for us all to engage in, and as members of congregation I urge you to do so,” the email says.UCU organisers claim “word for word copies” of such arguments have been sent by other departments.The President of Oxford UCU, Garrick Taylor, told Cherwell: “I think rather than expending all this effort on trying to make sure the resolution isn’t heard at a stage where meaningful change can be made to the proposal currently backed by USS, senior management should engage in debate on March 6th in congregation about why it should change its position towards the proposed pension changes and be prepared to have a vote at that time, in order to give staff the best chance of keeping their defined benefit pension.”
Rock and roll staples Little Feat are gearing up for some fun times ahead, as the group has just announced a handful of shows in the Northeast. While members Fred Tackett and Paul Barrere occasionally perform as a duo, this will mark the full band’s first shows in some time, and we couldn’t be more excited.Unfortunately, however, the run doesn’t kick off until September, so there’s plenty of time to build anticipation before the magic. The four-night run will see the band hit shows in Boston, Port Chester, Huntington, and Washington DC, bringing all of their classics to stage for an exciting round of performances.Check out the full schedule below, and head to the band’s website for details. Pre-sale for tickets begins tomorrow at 10 AM, and full on sale for tickets will happen this Friday, March 25th, at 10 AM.Little Feat Tour Dates9/8/16 – Boston, MA – Wilbur Theatre9/9/16 – Port Chester, NY – The Capitol Theatre9/10/16 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount9/12/16 – Washington, DC – Warner TheatrePresales are Wednesday at 10am > Thursday at 10pm.On sale to public Friday at 10am.[Photo via Little Feat FB]
Trey Anastasio Band just announced two brand-new dates for the fall! Today, Trey Anastasio Band announced that they will headline Canada’s Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in Fredericton, New Brunswick on September 15th. The band also announced that they will perform at Thompson’s Point in Portland, Maine, the following day on September 16th. Following these new September dates, the band will continue on to Grace Potter’s Grand Point North Music Festival in Burlington, Vermont, on September 17th.Grace Potter Announces Trey Anastasio Band As Co-Headliner For Grand Point North FestivalThese dates come in addition to the already scheduled performances at The Fillmore in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Delfest in Cumberland, Maryland; Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, Illinois; Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado; Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre in Salt Lake City, Utah; and Big Sky Brewery in Missoula, Montana to close out Trey Anastasio Band’s spring tour, which ends in Montana on June 3rd. The summer will also see the Trey Anastasio Band perform together during High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, California, as a lead-in to 4th of July.Trey Anastasio Announces Two New Symphony Performances This FallTickets for the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival go on-sale today at the festival’s website here. Tickets for the September 16th Thompson’s Point show in Portland, Maine are on pre-sale here right now. The pre-sale ends on Thursday, May 18th, at 5 p.m. (EDT), and will go on sale to the public on Friday, May 19th, at 10 a.m. (EDT) here. You can check out Trey Anastasio Band’s full touring schedule here, which also includes two solo symphony performances by the Phish guitarist toward the end of September; on September 27th, Trey will perform with the Nashville Symphony at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and on September 29th, Trey will perform with the Atlanta Symphony at the Atlanta Symphony Hall.
Literary and cultural theorist Homi K. Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of English and American Literature and Language and director of the Mahindra Humanities Center, has won a Humboldt Research Award for his academic contributions.The honor celebrates Bhabha’s entire body of work in the humanities, and recognizes his “cutting-edge achievements in the future,” the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which is based in Germany, said in an emailed statement.Bhabha will attend an upcoming conference in Germany, speaking at the Center for Literary and Cultural Research in Berlin about his work and philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt.Diana Sorensen, dean of Arts and Humanities and James F. Rothenberg Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature, said Bhabha, who holds an honorary degree from Free University of Berlin, is an academic force who has “coined many turns of phrase and concepts that have charted a way of thinking that help to address many of the concepts of our time.”“There’s practically no essay I will read by a Latin American, French, or American critic that doesn’t engage with Homi’s ideas,” she said. “He has a way of getting at literary and broader world problems with a conceptual acuity that helps people think through similar problems.”Since 2007, Bhabha has sat on the board for the United Nations Education, Cultural, and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) World Report on Cultural Diversity.Beyond his intellectual capacity, Sorensen praised Bhabha as the “ultimate convener.”“He has an idea — perhaps about violence, or the public and the private — and he gets people together to think about it,” she said. “In that sense, he makes the University happen.”
The U.S. is already one step ahead of the game — last December, members of the American Congress presented a bill on the ‘Development and Implementation of Artificial Intelligence’. Its aim is to establish a Federal Advisory Committee for AI. The drafters reasoned that understanding AI “is critical to the economic prosperity and social stability of the United States.”How forward-thinking of them. But they have nothing on the Chinese — the Chinese State Council has stated that it wants China to be the leader in AI by 2025, which implies that they want to knock the U.S. from its pole position. Even the U.K. is eyeing up a lead position. But what about Germany? Ever since the pandemonium of last summer’s election, when the two largest parties frantically pushed for an AI ‘masterplan’ after China’s statement, not much has actually happened.I didn’t expect a change in pace either, though. I think it’s much more important that politicians have the issue on their radar at all, and that they understand the implications of artificial intelligence.Here is where opinions are diametrically opposed. Tesla’s Elon Musk and celebrity physicist Stephen Hawking have branded this technology “our biggest existential threat.” Steve Wozniak has attempted to offer a more balanced opinion, while Mark Zuckerberg has praised AI to the high heavens.Of course, businesses are optimistic about what the future holds for AI, and are already using it for a wide array of applications: from communication, to cognitive searches and predictive analytics, to translation. The next big thing is the autonomous car. The (German) automotive sector, which used to focus on tin and steel, is also undergoing significant changes. Other sectors are following suit. To companies, AI is the game changer that will improve all our lives and revolutionize the economy. The results of our latest study on the working world of 2030 show that the majority of the 3,800 business leaders surveyed already anticipate a close human-machine symbiosis in the coming years. However, the same study also shows a clear split in opinions. Roughly half of the respondents were pessimistic about the effects of AI, while the other half were optimistic.So what do we do now? The most important question concerns the implications that AI will actually have — will it usher in a bright new future or social disorder? The discussion on job losses is already in full swing.Apocalyptic scenarios aren’t the only things we should be thinking about, but at the same time, it is worth reflecting on regulation at this early stage. I think that the AI expert Oren Etzioni has the right attitude. Following the example of Isaac Asimov’s laws of robotics, he suggests three simple rules for artificial intelligence systems so that we are equipped for the worst-case scenarios and can prevent any conceivable damage. He says that AI must be strictly regulated, that AI must be discernable from humans, and that AI cannot arbitrarily handle confidential data. These may seem like superficial rules, but they serve as a very good starting point and basis for discussion.Are these ideas a little too ahead of their time? I don’t think so. If we tackle these issues as early on as possible, then we will be in a much better position to plan the future of artificial intelligence. Isaac Asimov wrote his laws of robotics way back in 1942, and they are still considered exemplary, even today. And if that’s not a good source of motivation, then I don’t know what is.
With just three day’s worth of rehearsal remaining, director Richard Baxter changed his vision for the upcoming Saint Mary’s fall production, “Radium Girls.” Something was simply not working in the last scene, and instead of making minor adjustments, he threw out the ending altogether, Baxter said. “What you see is nothing I set out to direct … So much changes when you get in the [stage] space,” Baxter said. “You’re constantly changing things … That’s what I love about this.” Interpreting the script by award-winning playwright D.W. Gregory, Baxter said he directs a cast of 15 Saint Mary’s students ranging from first-years to seniors along with several of the College’s male professors and two male community members to tell a compelling story of young factory workers who begin a campaign for justice after being sickened by radium-laced paint on the job in 1920’s New Jersey. The play, which will premiere Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Little Theater in the Moreau Center for the Arts, takes place over a period of 20 years with a majority of its focus in the 1920’s during a time when radium was considered a miracle substance believed to cure cancer and other illnesses when in fact the element had the opposite effect, Baxter said. “Directing this play makes me think of two things: It makes me think, ‘How do we apply the ‘Golden Rule,’ how do we really treat each other the way we want to be treated?’ The second is, ‘What kind of radium products do we have now?’” Baxter said. Radium is one of several prevalent themes present in all aspects of the show, including the colors in the costumes, costume designer Melissa Bialko said. “The things that I really tried to visualize were simply the colors of radium and what you’d stereotypically think of radium to be, so it’s sort of hitting the audience over the head, but it’s fun as well,” Bialko said. “There’s a lot of yellows and greens, and then there are supplemental blues and purples and neutral colors.” Baxter and theatre professor Katie Sullivan chose to stage “Radium Girls” after considering several other works. The selection process involved keeping a thematic four-year cycle in mind in order to make sure students coming into the theatre program are exposed to a variety of styles, time periods, playwrights and venues. “As I read [“Radium Girls”], it filled all the criteria that we had set out. We wanted something that would involve as many female actors as we could find, something that wasn’t too technically demanding, something that we think we can costume [and] something we could produce in a small space,” Baxter said. “The big thing is we wanted a good story, something that was compelling and interesting. At the end of that process, we felt this was the best choice. It was very cinematic. There are a lot of short scenes that are tightly woven. It’s a compelling story. It’s about social justice. It has a lot of female characters, the time period works, [and] that’s how we decided to do the play.” Baxter was already familiar with “Radium Girls” because of his personal connections with the playwright through his wife, Baxter said. “D. [W. Gregory] had sent me a script last year to see if I had any interest in it, and I did, but I didn’t have any venue for it,” Baxter said. Senior theatre major and stage manager Molly B. Goodman said she had no knowledge of the play prior to its selection, but her subsequent research led her to also find connections within its context. “I actually have family from New Jersey so I talked to my grandparents that live out there about what was happening, and they remembered people talking about it when they were growing up, so it was interesting to hear that,” Goodman said. Baxter said the show’s success derives from crew members’ extra efforts. “You have to be selfless enough to say what’s better for [the] play, what’s better for the crew, what’s better for the cast, what’s better for the audience, and if you do that then you can really collaborate well,” Baxter said. The play will run Thursday through Sunday, and Gregory will take part in a panel discussion Friday titled, “Radium Girls, Opening the Doors of Justice” about the labor issues explored in the play. The talk, coordinated by the College’s justice education program, will take place at 1 p.m. in Welsh Parlor of Haggar College Center. Contact Emilie Kefalas at [email protected]
Star Files Angela Lansbury May Blithely Cross the Pond Dame Angela Lansbury might play the wacky Madame Arcati in the U.S. once more. According to The Daily Telegraph, the current West End production of Blithe Spirit, starring Lansbury and Jemima Rooper and directed by Michael Blakemore, is eyeing a move to this side of the Atlantic. Rooper says, “We’re hoping to bring it back with her in the U.S…[Lansbury]’s almost 90 and she’s delivering every day.” The Broadway legend won her fifth Tony Award for her performance in the 2009 Broadway revival, also directed by Blakemore. Gary Griffin Joins the Parade Gary Griffin will helm the previously announced one-night-only concert performance of Parade at Avery Fisher Hall. Jason Robert Brown, who took home his first Tony fin 1999 for the show’s score, will serve as music director and conductor. Casting for the February 16, 2015 event will be announced at a later date. Griffin is also set to direct Brown’s latest Broadway-bound show, Honeymoon in Vegas. Wanna Be a Producer? There’s an App For That Nabbing that Tony might be as easy as clicking your mouse. Maxolev Productions, headed by Howard and Janet Kagan, have launched a site to raise funds for the latest project: the upcoming Broadway revival of On the Town. According to The New York Times, the two hope to raise between $1 million and $2 million of their $8.5 million capitalization from the site. Performances are set to begin September 20. Sure beats becoming an investor of some potato salad online. View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Angela Lansbury