Tag Archives: Education

Global Focus

Seems like I’ve been on quite the roll with the Chronicle of Higher Education lately — their assignments always put me in touch with interesting people doing interesting things, so I can hardly complain! This time around, I was sent to the HULT International School of Business in Cambridge, which is a startup school with several campuses around the world. The HULT program isn’t well known locally, but the story was about how it’s found success in a relatively short period of time thanks to the strength of its international focus.

I could definitely tell there was a lot of energy in the building that houses the school, which occupies two floors of the parent company that operates it. There was collaboration throughout the floors in all of the study room, which line the perimeter. I don’t think I’ve ever seen quite as diverse a student body as I saw when I visited that afternoon, either.

Again, if you can get around the paywall, take a read of the full story on the Chronicle’s site.

Here’s a selection of photos from the assignment:

3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --MBA students Kayo Gotanda of Japan, center goes over the details of an upcoming class presentation with her teammates Vinay Kumar of India, left, and Maha Aad of Lebanon at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011. (Kelvin Ma)

3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --MBA students Kayo Gotanda of Japan, center goes over the details of an upcoming class presentation with her teammates Vinay Kumar of India, left, and Maha Aad of Lebanon at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011.


3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --MBA students Maha Aad of Lebanon and Kayo Gotanda of Japan go over the details for a class presentation at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011. (Kelvin Ma)

3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --MBA students Maha Aad of Lebanon and Kayo Gotanda of Japan go over the details for a class presentation at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011.


3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --Masters of Finance student Scott Metzler of the United States tells his classmates about an upcoming event at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011. (Kelvin Ma)

3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --Masters of Finance student Scott Metzler of the United States tells his classmates about an upcoming event at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011.


3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --Masters of Finance students crowd at the front of the classroom to get the details of the day's assignment from Professor of Finance Viktoria Dalko, left, at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011. (Kelvin Ma)

3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --Masters of Finance students crowd at the front of the classroom to get the details of the day's assignment from Professor of Finance Viktoria Dalko, left, at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011.


3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --Facing, from left, masters of finance students Paloma Vega of Peru, Aparna Devanasayanan of India and Nelson Ardila Guevara of Colombia go over the day's assignment with teammates Fernando Autrique of the United States, left, and Ricardo Restrepo of Colombia, right, at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011. (Kelvin Ma)

3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --Facing, from left, masters of finance students Paloma Vega of Peru, Aparna Devanasayanan of India and Nelson Ardila Guevara of Colombia go over the day's assignment with teammates Fernando Autrique of the United States, left, and Ricardo Restrepo of Colombia, right, at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011.


3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --Masters of finance student Hashim Al Nouri of Syria and Saudi Arabia writes on the wall of a study room, which is covered with "IdeaPaint" whiteboard paint, at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011. (Kelvin Ma)

3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --Masters of finance student Hashim Al Nouri of Syria and Saudi Arabia writes on the wall, which is covered with "IdeaPaint" whiteboard paint, of a study room at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011.


3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --Masters of finance student Inma Mora Durán of Spain goes over her case study materials at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011. (Kelvin Ma)

3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --Masters of finance student Inma Mora Durán of Spain goes over her case study materials at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011.


3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --From left, Efosa Lawani of Nigeria, Simon Lukyanchyk, a Belarussian-Canadian, Andy Tsarapkin of Canada, Tin-Cheng Chao of Taiwan, and Alok Mohanty and Sumit Sood of India go over their class case study at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011. (Kelvin Ma)

3/31/11 -- CAMBRIDGE --From left, Efosa Lawani of Nigeria, Simon Lukyanchyk, a Belarussian-Canadian, Andy Tsarapkin of Canada, Tin-Cheng Chao of Taiwan, Alok Mohanty and Sumit Sood of India go over their class case study at the HULT International Business School's campus in Cambridge, Mass., on March 31, 2011.

Improv MBAs

The Chronicle of Higher Education sent me on one of my more fun assignments recently — hang out at the Sloan MIT School of Management’s Improvisational Leadership class. The premise of the class is simple enough, teaching students to interpret and react quickly to the situation in front of them. A lot of that includes reading the subtext of conversations and to properly judge the power dynamic between relationships. The lessons of the class have a lot in common with what I have to do as a photojournalist on a daily basis. Improvising is what I have to do in 99% of my work, because, I am after all, taking pictures of strangers all the time.

The Chronicle’s story goes into much more depth, and you can read at least part of the story on their website (behind a paywall).

But otherwise, here’s an extended take of my time with the class. Much thanks to all the students involved and to instructor Daena Giardella for letting me hang out!

3/16/11 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Claire Lo, facing, and her partner Weisen Li participate in an impromptu warmup exercise during MIT's Sloan School of Management's "Improvisational Leadership" course on Mar. 16, 2011. (Kelvin Ma)

3/16/11 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Claire Lo, facing, and her partner Weisen Li participate in an impromptu warmup exercise during MIT's Sloan School of Management's "Improvisational Leadership" course on Mar. 16, 2011.

3/16/11 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Jaclyn Loo leads her group in a breakout dance session during MIT's Sloan School of Management's "Improvisational Leadership" course on Mar. 16, 2011. (Kelvin Ma)

3/16/11 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Jaclyn Loo leads her group in a breakout dance session during MIT's Sloan School of Management's "Improvisational Leadership" course on Mar. 16, 2011.

3/16/11 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Jeff Feng does the sprinkler dance move as Simone Gammeri tries to keep his composure during MIT's Sloan School of Management's "Improvisational Leadership" course on Mar. 16, 2011. (Kelvin Ma)

3/16/11 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Jeff Feng does the sprinkler dance move as Simone Gammeri tries to keep his composure during MIT's Sloan School of Management's "Improvisational Leadership" course on Mar. 16, 2011.

3/16/11 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Instructor Daena Giardella holds up the chimes she uses to start and stop exercises during MIT's Sloan School of Management's "Improvisational Leadership" course on Mar. 16, 2011. (Kelvin Ma)

3/16/11 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Instructor Daena Giardella holds up the Tibetan chimes she uses to start and stop exercises during MIT's Sloan School of Management's "Improvisational Leadership" course on Mar. 16, 2011.

3/16/11 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Instructor Daena Giardella offers guidance to Shayna Harris and Jorge Guzman on their role play exercise about power during MIT's Sloan School of Management's "Improvisational Leadership" course on Mar. 16, 2011. Harris' character was originally supposed to be in a taller position of power over Guzman, though that position reversed as a result of their interactions. (Kelvin Ma)

3/16/11 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Instructor Daena Giardella offers guidance to Shayna Harris and Jorge Guzman on their role play exercise about power during MIT's Sloan School of Management's "Improvisational Leadership" course on Mar. 16, 2011. Harris' character was originally supposed to be in a taller position of power over Guzman, though that position reversed as a result of their interactions.

3/16/11 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Miro Kazakoff acts like a chicken as he chases Michael Connolly during an exercise to simulate the "pecking order" during MIT's Sloan School of Management's "Improvisational Leadership" course on Mar. 16, 2011. (Kelvin Ma)

3/16/11 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Miro Kazakoff acts like a chicken as he chases Michael Connolly during an exercise to simulate the "pecking order" during MIT's Sloan School of Management's "Improvisational Leadership" course on Mar. 16, 2011.

Financial Times

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently hired me to work on a piece about a family struggling with the financial aid for their children’s college tuition. Given the situation with today’s economy, the piece was an attempt at capturing the circumstances of a family that was in good financial shape until two layoffs, illness and bad timing in general flipped their life upside down.

For anyone who might be a subscriber, here’s the link to the Chronicle’s story: http://chronicle.com/article/When-Life-Gets-in-the-Way-of/126082/

I spent a few days with the Schillinger family of Easton, Mass., focusing particularly on their youngest daughter, Diane. Diane, a freshman at UMass-Amherst, has the furthest to go, as she has just started at college and the financial aid system. My assignment was simply to capture her in her every day life, both back home in Easton during break, as well as on campus back at school.

Here’s an abbreviated take from the assignment.

20110124 -- AMHERST -- Diane Schillinger, a freshman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, sorts through a variety of paperwork, including financial aid forms, in her dorm room on campus on Jan. 14, 2011. Schillinger has been struggling with the complexity of financial aid as her family also deals with financial troubles back home in Easton, Mass. Photo by Kelvin Ma (Kelvin Ma)

20110124 -- AMHERST -- Diane Schillinger, a freshman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, sorts through a variety of paperwork, including financial aid forms, in her dorm room on campus on Jan. 14, 2011. Schillinger has been struggling with the complexity of financial aid as her family also deals with financial troubles back home in Easton, Mass. Photo by Kelvin Ma


20110124 -- AMHERST -- Diane Schillinger, a freshman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, sorts through a variety of paperwork, including financial aid forms, in her dorm room on campus on Jan. 14, 2011. Schillinger has been struggling with the complexity of financial aid as her family also deals with financial troubles back home in Easton, Mass. Photo by Kelvin Ma (Kelvin Ma)

20110124 -- AMHERST -- Diane Schillinger, a freshman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, sorts through a variety of paperwork, including financial aid forms, in her dorm room on campus on Jan. 14, 2011. Schillinger has been struggling with the complexity of financial aid as her family also deals with financial troubles back home in Easton, Mass. Photo by Kelvin Ma


1/10/11 -- EASTON, Mass. -- Mark Schillinger sorts through piles of financial paperwork as he looks for his wife's disability forms at their Easton, Mass., home on Jan. 10, 2011. With two kids in college, Mark, who is currently unemployed from his work as a facilities and building manager, and his wife, Pat, are struggling with the complexities of student financial aid along with their own financial setbacks. (Kelvin Ma)

1/10/11 -- EASTON, Mass. -- Mark Schillinger sorts through piles of financial paperwork as he looks for his wife's disability forms at their Easton, Mass., home on Jan. 10, 2011. With two kids in college, Mark, who is currently unemployed from his work as a facilities and building manager, and his wife, Pat, are struggling with the complexities of student financial aid along with their own financial setbacks.


1/10/11 -- EASTON, Mass. -- Diane Schillinger spends some time with her show horse, Jake, at the Clover Valley Stables in Easton, Mass., on Jan. 10, 2011. Schillinger, who is a freshman biochemistry major at UMass-Amherst, hopes to attend veterinary school after graduating and competes and shows at the amateur level with Jake. (Kelvin Ma)

1/10/11 -- EASTON, Mass. -- Diane Schillinger spends some time with her show horse, Jake, at the Clover Valley Stables in Easton, Mass., on Jan. 10, 2011. Schillinger, who is a freshman biochemistry major at UMass-Amherst, hopes to attend veterinary school after graduating and competes and shows at the amateur level with Jake.


1/10/11 -- EASTON, Mass. -- Diane Schillinger goes over some financial aid information with her father, Mark, at their Easton, Mass., home on Jan. 10, 2011. Diane, a freshman at UMass-Amherst, and her family are dealing with the complexities of student financial aid as her parents workout their own financial hardships with Mark being unemployed and her mother, Pat, just now returning to work. (Kelvin Ma)

1/10/11 -- EASTON, Mass. -- Diane Schillinger goes over some financial aid information with her father, Mark, at their Easton, Mass., home on Jan. 10, 2011. Diane, a freshman at UMass-Amherst, and her family are dealing with the complexities of student financial aid as her parents workout their own financial hardships with Mark being unemployed and her mother, Pat, just now returning to work.


20110124 -- AMHERST -- Diane Schillinger, a freshman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, stands outside the Financial Aid office on campus on Jan. 14, 2011. Schillinger has been struggling with the complexity of financial aid as her family also deals with financial troubles back home in Easton, Mass. Photo by Kelvin Ma (Kelvin Ma)

20110124 -- AMHERST -- Diane Schillinger, a freshman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, stands outside the Financial Aid office on campus on Jan. 14, 2011. Schillinger has been struggling with the complexity of financial aid as her family also deals with financial troubles back home in Easton, Mass. Photo by Kelvin Ma

The story ended up being the cover story and center spread for last week’s Chronicle, as well.

Much thanks to Schillingers for being to generous with their time and for being so open with what is for many families, a very private matter.

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