Bendapudi challenges faculty to new “Grand Challenges” initiative Wednesday, Sep 16 2020 

By Victoria Doll — 

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi is challenging faculty to use their research and scholarships to improve local communities through a new initiative called the “Three Grand Challenges.”

These challenges, identified by the Grand Challenges subcommittee, include: empowering local communities, advancing local health and engineering a future economy.

“We will help create communities where everyone has a voice, a choice and the opportunity to thrive,” Bendapudi said

The “Advancing Our Health” initiative seeks to help people live longer, healthier and more resilient lives. The final challenge, “Engineering Our Future Economy,” is aimed at designing a future of unmatched opportunity and incredible possibility.

By having the Grand Challenges subcommittee powered by researchers and experts from many disciplines, Bendapudi is confident that the U of L community can contribute valuable research to overcome these challenges.

“These are big, global problems our U of L community can help solve through multi-disciplinary research and scholarship. This transformative effort will take all of us — our researchers, scholars, innovators and students across every discipline at U of L. It is time for us to organize and move these challenges forward together,” she said.

Bendapudi went on to say that the solutions found to overcome these challenges will aid in creating a brighter future for Louisville, the state of Kentucky and the world beyond.

U of L is currently looking for faculty who desire to contribute to the “Three Grand Challenges” initiative. Interested faculty can fill out the “Join the Challenge” form.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Online advice: Don’t let COVID-19 get you behind Wednesday, Aug 26 2020 

By Maria Dinh —

As a response to COVID-19, the university has offered hybrid, distance and remote courses for the fall 2020 semester. Students are either attending in-person classes a couple times a week, meeting synchronously through Blackboard/Zoom or completing distance ed courses online. Professors have also given students the option to complete their hybrid course 100% online only for those who don’t want to attend class half in-person, half online.

Logging into a remote class in a full household can feel really chaotic. Working in the comfort of home can be unmotivating and distracting. Here is some advice for an online working environment:

Have a Designated Work Area.

Not everyone is blessed with a private home office to do all of their studying. Work on a desk or a kitchen table, hopefully near a good Wi-Fi connection.

It is recommended that students wear headphones with a microphone during a conference so they can focus on the lecture and participate. On Blackboard, there can be an echo during online lecture when the microphone is on. Make sure the microphone setting is muted so others can listen to the professor.

Junior CIS major Tatiana Aliaga-Mendoza had to transition from in-person to remote learning in the Spring of 2020. Aliaga-Mendoza said she keeps the essentials on her desk when she’s in class.

“I always have some water with me, my planner to write down assignments, a notebook since it’s harder to take notes on my laptop, and maybe a snack if I have back to back lectures,” she said.

Plan a Work Schedule.

Maintaining a work schedule is essential to staying on top of things.

Talk with roommates/family members on a work schedule to have quiet times for synchronous lectures on Blackboard or Zoom. Working from home can be distracting so it is important to stick to a focused routine.

Set reminders.

It’s important to maintain schoolwork and remember deadlines for assignments.

Distance ed courses don’t meet a couple times a week like in-person classes do. Distance ed courses are more lenient, but have important dates for assignments and exams. Writing down assignments in a planner or Google Calendar are a great way to stay organized. Download the Blackboard app and Microsoft Outlook app with notifications on for when professors make an announcement.

Review recorded lectures.

On Blackboard, there is a menu bar where recorded lectures are located for students to go back and watch what they might have missed. Some professors use Panopto for recorded lectures.

This program has shortcuts where students can click on the title of the slide and the video jumps on the time bar where the professor talks about the slide. Panopto even has a section for taking notes synchronized to the time of the recording.

 

So is it worth it to attend classes if the option is given?

“I think there is a lot of value to students learning in the classroom setting,” Brian Barnes, a philosophy professor at U of L said. “As a student, I found classroom interactions with faculty and other students to be invaluable for my learning. On the other hand, I don’t believe I should use my platform as a professor to coerce students into showing up when they feel unsafe during a public health emergency. The class interactions are recorded, and I believe that many students are capable of making good decisions about structuring their learning with online content. Again, much is lost in this format, but I do think it’s important that students have an option to learn in an environment where they feel safe.”

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L implements daily Cardinal Self-Check tool Thursday, Aug 20 2020 

By Victoria Doll —

In an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the University of Louisville has launched a new tool called Cardinal Self-Check.

An email from the university administration said  all U of L students, faculty and staff are expected to use the app to check their symptoms every weekday regardless of whether they are physically returning to campus or not.

This is the latest resource implemented by U of L to make the return to campus as safe as possible.

When evaluating oneself using the Cardinal Self-Check tool, the app asks the respondent to report any of the symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19.

After a self-evaluation, users will be given a readiness evaluation to determine if they’re ready to return back to campus. One of four readiness evaluations will be administered: Higher Readiness, Moderate-to-Higher Readiness, Lower-to-Moderate Readiness, and Lower Readiness.

If you use the Cardinal Self-Check tool and suspect you may have contracted COVID-19, you should either stay at home or in your residence hall. Additionally, notify Campus Health, contact a medical provider, and notify professors or supervisors of the situation.

No information put into the self-check tool is shared with the university. It is up to the student, faculty or staff member to assess themselves and make the decision to return to campus or not.

To access the app, simply download it onto any Apple or Android device or follow the instructions on U of L’s Cardinal Self-Check website.

U of L is also providing COVID-19 testing at various campus locations through Aug. 21.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Don’t forget to pack the essentials while traversing campus Saturday, Apr 25 2020 

By Grace Welsh–

Whether commuting or walking from a dorm, backpacks are a fundamental part of students’ daily lives. When spending a day on campus, it’s important to be prepared and keep your bag stocked full of essentials.

To some students, keeping a handy snack on deck is the key to a happy day. Freshman Jordan Reed says, “I always keep a pack of gushers in my backpack in case I get hungry during the day. Gushers are my favorite snack.”

Sophomore Madhav Gampala brings a Cliff bar in his backpack everywhere he goes. “Cliff bars are the perfect snack. They fill you up and give you energy. They don’t take up too much space either,” he says.

Keeping a reusable water bottle on you is an easy way to make sure you’re staying hydrated and saving the planet.

“There are water fountains nearly everywhere on campus and I take pride in being from a city like Louisville with such safe/drinkable water,” says junior Maggie Walters. “Plus you save money and help the environment out. It’s a win-win!”

Other students emphasize the importance of technology. Freshman Peter Hubbart always carries a charger. “I always keep my charger with me because I sometimes forget to charge my laptop the night before and I tend to stay on campus for a while at a time,” Hubbart says. 

Sophomore Alexis Bischoff and freshman Abby Savage can’t leave in the morning without grabbing their headphones. “The days I forget my headphones really stink,” Bischoff says.

“I feel like I can’t think straight when I can’t listen to music,” Savage agrees. “Walking around campus without my headphones feels weird.”

Freshman Victoria Hassel has a more practical view on what’s essential to her school day.

“I always need to make sure I have at least one pencil,” Hassel says. “The first day of classes I somehow forgot one. Think about how embarrassing it is to ask the person beside you to borrow a pencil on syllabus day.”

Similarly, freshman Ignatius Wirasakti makes sure to keep his binder, lined papers, and a campus map. “I keep the map just in case there’s a specific place I need to go to that I’m unfamiliar with,” he says. 

Freshman Marc Ramsignh also uses his backpack to hold practical items like his calendar book. “It helps me keep me organized so I don’t miss any important meetings or deadlines,” Ramsignh said. 

Graphic photo// The Louisville Cardinal

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Battle of the Streaming Services: Which deserves your money? Thursday, Jan 23 2020 

 By Madelynn Bland —

It’s official. Cable and satellite subscriptions are becoming outdated and newer ways to access TV are gaining numbers.

There has been a sharp spike in the popularity of video streaming subscriptions, especially for students. Rather than paying about $100 or more a month for TV subscriptions, everyone is jumping ship to streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.

However, there’s much debate surrounding which streaming service is most worth your money. While there are some people who can afford a subscription to all of them, most people have the tough decision of picking a favorite to use. 

“These services reflect our changing media landscape. Streaming services are perfect for students: they have the agency and access to the media they want, often without commercials, that they desire,” Siobham Smith-Jones, a communications professor at the University of Louisville, said.

The Louisville Cardinal recently ran a Twitter poll to see which streaming service was the current star among students. The favorite: Netflix, followed by Disney+ and Hulu.

Netflix

Netflix made it to the top of the list with 66.1 percent of the votes. Despite being one of the first popular streaming services, Netflix has kept fresh content, nostalgic favorites and award-winning hits on its platform.

The popularity of many of the Netflix originals is enough alone to entice some people.

However, as more and more television brands are introducing their own streaming services, shows and movies are being removed. But never fear, Netflix has produced hits such as “Stranger Things” and “House of Cards.” A few even received Oscar nominations for this year’s Academy Awards. According to the New York Times, 24 of their original movies were on the 2020 ballot like “Marriage Story” and “The Irishman.” 

Disney+

Since its launch in November, Disney+ has quickly become a fan favorite especially for students as much of the content is nostalgic.

Besides childhood favorites, fans of the old animation style get to see old classic movies that have been locked away in the infamous Disney vault.

Also on the platform is all of the TV shows like “Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Hannah Montana” and “That’s So Raven” which have been dearly missed by many college-aged kids. Disney+ is the only streaming service offering access to all of the Star Wars and Marvel movies, including spin-offs such as the popular “The Mandalorian,” which is a huge deal-maker for some people.  

Hulu & Prime Video

Hulu and Prime Video are other good options and may be the most cost-efficient for students. Arguably, Hulu has the best deal for college students.

On their website, the video subscription company is partnering with Spotify to allow students to combine Spotify Premium, Hulu and Showtime for just $4.99 a month. With Hulu, you also get access to award-winning Hulu Originals like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Act.”

Prime Video is another good contender, and is included with all Amazon Prime subscriptions. Therefore, if you have access to a Prime subscription, this streaming service comes at no additional cost. Along with titles like Oscar nominated “Lady Bird,” it also offers award-winning originals like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Late Night.”

Both of these streaming services seem to be the best for budget-savvy students because they are combined with additional services. 

Really, the streaming service chosen is down to individual preferences. What may meet the needs of one person might lack in the eyes of another.

The best research would be to take advantage of the free-trials of these services to truly see what would be the best option. However, Smith-Jones advises to be careful with subscribing to too many. “Just a word of caution: those subscriptions services can all add up.”

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Black Friday advice: Strategy is key when going into battle Thursday, Nov 28 2019 

By Zoe Watkins — 

Thanksgiving will soon be here, and it’s time to gather with family and enjoy the annual festivities. Whether it’s making a hefty dinner, watching TV with the family, or tuning in for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, everything is joyful and peaceful. That is until the clock strikes twelve.

It’s time for the bloodiest battle to begin–Black Friday.

The whole day is utter chaos as crowds of customers squeeze through tiny automatic doors for the last set of cookware. So many people get hurt over everyday items, and in the worst cases, people have been killed getting trampled by crowds. However, if you think the price is right to go against the horde, here are some quick tips to survive Black Friday.

Planning and Precision is Key

Going into the store with no clue whatsoever is like going into battle without any strategy. Before it’s time for the deals to start, make a list of what you want to buy and look where the items are located in the stores. This will save you time that would have been spent searching around the store for what you need. If possible, arrive early to avoid parking wars and maybe get in some early Black Friday sales. Also, if you’re going to shop at more than one store, plan your travel by whose sales start the earliest and find the fastest ways to get there.

Look High, Stake Low

Another key detail is location. A lot of people will be heading to major superstores to get their items which leaves a lot of other places a bit less packed. So while everyone is off at Walmart, find an obscure shopping mall or a small plaza. Besides, maybe your favorite local store is having a better sale than other retailers and might have more items in stock with the smaller crowd.

Travel in Packs

What’s a war without an army? Bring friends with you so snagging deals can be even easier, but also for protection. If you have an item in your cart that someone desperately wants, they will not hesitate to snatch it from you and are willing to fight for it.

Have Some Tricks Up Your Sleeve

No one plays fair when valuable items are being sold at a very cheap cost, so use some of those tactics against them.  Put unappealing things over the items you don’t want someone to see. Some stores will even work with you to get your items safely.

Just Don’t Go at All

At this point, there really is no reason to go to Black Friday and have to deal with all of that chaos unless you really enjoy it. Just wait a couple days for Cyber Monday which sometimes has better deals and some things you couldn’t buy at the store. Also, you get to just sit your pajamas and shop around while eating the leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner.

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

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