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Volume 55, Number 33    May 12 , 2008         

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April 2006 Newsmakers

The Political Tube
A May 6 Contra Costa Times article featured Assistant Professor of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Dina Ibrahim’s insights about how political messages are being sent through such television entertainment programs as WWE Raw and Deal or No Deal. "If that's where the eyeballs are, that's where you have to be. They need to find a way to coax people out of their shells to participate (in the electoral process). In a way, you have to admire their tenacity. It's not classy or elegant, but it can be effective," Ibrahim said. "Like it or not, television is where it's at. In the end, you hope (the offbeat TV gigs) inspire people to get involved and vote, instead of just sitting there giggling and waiting for the next wrestling match."
 
People skills training
On May 5, Australian newspapers The Herald Sun and The Daily Telegraph featured Professor of Psychology David Matsumoto discussing the effects of a reliance on technology in the workplace. "Reading is a lost skill because of the nature of our culture. What we're seeing now is that people have difficulty in talking with strangers, there's a breakdown in face-to-face communications among family and friends,” Matsumoto said. "The basic bedrock of any business, no matter how much technology we have, is that everything is human based. … People skills come naturally to us if we're in the environment where we're interacting on a regular basis."
 
Counting bees
The May 4 Vermont Sunday Magazine featured The Great Sunflower Project, a grassroots bee-counting initiative co-founded by Associate Professor of Biology Gretchen LeBuhn. "Native bee populations are viewed as an insurance policy for healthy ecosystems. We are enlisting regular people to determine where they are doing well, neighborhood by neighborhood," said LeBuhn, who has already enlisted 23,000 gardeners from all 50 states and all Canadian provinces to take part in the project.
 
Working wisely
In a May 3 article in The Guardian, journalist Bill Taylor outlines the criteria for attracting talented leaders within big organizations. Taylor turned to Professor of Management John Sullivan, citing him as an HR guru. Using Sullivan’s HR wisdom: "Stars don’t work for idiots," the article concluded that the most talented performers aren't motivated primarily by money or status.


 

 

 

 

 

 


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