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News

Wildlife on Campus

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The fact that wild animals live in and around the Babson College campus may come as a surprise to many urban-dwellers or international students who aren’t used to four seasons, trees, or forested areas. The Babson College campus is a great edge habitat for raccoons, squirrels, or other snack-hungry wild animals because it is the boundary of two different habitats: the wooded forest of Wellesley and the human development that makes up our school.

According to “Wildlife in the Suburbs” on the Wellesley government website, wild animals are coming “too close to people and begging for food”.  When people feed wild animals, the creatures lose their fear of human interaction and soon expect handouts from everyone they meet. While playing with these adorable animals, people need to be more careful with it in case they cause legal problems unintentionally. In fact, the town of Wellesley imposes a fine of up to $200 for feeding any wildlife.  

In the past, the town of Wellesley has had problems with encounters between household pets and wild animals.  Animals coming from their forested habitat into the edge habitat of suburbia take advantage of food, trash, or small household pets (yikes!) that have been left outside by accident.  Members of the Woodland dorm community, like myself, agree that there is no shortage of skunks and raccoons playing around near the dumpsters by the Woodland parking lot.  When walking past dumpsters (where they like to hang out), they generally run away when approached.

Here are some suggestions to avoid attracting a raccoon into your dorm at night: Secure trash in raccoon-proof containers, which are easily found around campus.  For the most part, the dumpsters have heavy lids that raccoons cannot open.  Given this, don’t leave the lid open.  Near the Woodland dorms of Babson College, behind Trim, and in many more locations, it could be helpful to put ammonia, bleach, or red pepper on the trash bag in the evening to deter animals at night.  Don’t leave snacks or leftovers on the picnic tables or on the barbecue grill.

Overall, this is a great campus filled with wildlife, but it can quickly become overrun by hungry critters if we’re not careful.  We’re lucky to share such a great space with our abundance of wildlife, but we need to be more careful in the way we are treating them.

Class of 2020 Student Senators

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In the end of September, five students were elected as newest leaders in Babson Student Government Association. They were Yoni Bachar, Shiraz Khan Ghauri, Leo Liu, Nori Horvitz, and Kelly Song. SGA are divided into five sections: Academic, Clubs & Org, Campus Improvement, Ways & Means, and Student Life. Senators will need to take the responsibility under their divisions. They frequently hold meetings, talk about issues on campus and endeavor to solve them. This week, I had an interview with one of the new senators Leo Liu, and let us together take a close look at SGA.

I: Why do you want to be a student senator?

Leo: I think this is the best way to be involved in Babson. Being a Babson student, I always feel obligated to contribute to our school. I also worked in the student government back in high school, so I believe with my ability and experience I can bring more positive impact on campus. In terms of personal reasons, I always see myself as a leader, and being a student senator will bring me self-improvement and let me become a better one.

I: What do you do in SGA?

Leo: I am under the division “Ways& Means”. For example, if school organizations and clubs want to apply for funds to hold events, they need to ask our permission. We also take care of budget, distributing money to clubs as funds.  

I: How does SGA and senators work?

Leo: We have weekly meetings. On Wednesday, all senators must gather together and have a meeting for two hours. We will make a report, talk about issues, and discuss about solutions. As for each section, we also have a meeting every week. Being senator make me very busy, but I think it is totally worth it.

I: What is your relationship with other senators?

Leo: We are very close. We vote to pass policies when we have disagreements, which we always do. We often have internal debates regarding to the issues and solutions, but all of us are so willing to contribute to the school and make it better.

I: Do you get to many authorities a lot?

Leo: Yes, we do. We have the chance to talk to President Healey, Dean Lapp and discuss with them about the school. It is a cool experience and I enjoy it very much.

Five senators for the class of 2020 have been elected. They are all responsible, contributing, and always willing to help. Together with other senators, they will try their best to lead Babson into a better school.

PC: Annie Gao
PC: Annie Gao

Gene Baur talks food system disruption

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

On September 30, Food Sol invited Gene Baur, President and Co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, to speak about the abuses of industrialized factory farming and the errors in America’s current food system.

Farm Sanctuary, founded in 1986, was America’s first shelter for rescued factory farm animals. Their work centers on exposing the cruelties of industrialized factory farming on farm animals. On Wednesday, Baur talked in depth about the “mutilation, confinement, and deprivation of animals of their ability to live as active, social beings they are.” On one slide, he showed a graphic image of a live sheep amidst a stockyard’s decomposing dead pile. Another displayed an image of thousands of male chickens dumped and left to die in a large trash bin behind a major hatchery.

25 years after Farm Sanctuary’s founding, Baur has travelled extensively across the country to educate people about the horrors of industrialized factory farming and address this issue by “speaking truth to people with power” though legislation. However, he says that although people have become substantially more concerned about where their food comes from and genuinely want to make better choices, factory farms continue to shield truth under the guise of humane labels. Often, factories misleadingly plaster the words “cage-free,” “grass-fed,” or “free-range” in their products, but deny people the transparency they need to make healthier, more humane choices.

Baur mentioned key grassroots movements that continue to disrupt and change the current food system for the better. He spoke about Hampton Creek eggless mayonnaise, the increasing number of farmers markets, initiatives to replace lawns with vegetation, and many others successes, but reiterated his belief that nothing beats the power of citizens. Baur encouraged the audience to think about the adage “you are what you eat,” and start questioning whether the current food system aligns with their values.

Babson welcomes new assistant class dean

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Photo courtesy of babsoncollege.edu

Babson students and staff welcome Assistant Dean Heather Miller as the newest addition to the staff at Academic Services. Dean Miller takes responsibility for students with last names A through B, who had been served on an interim basis by Dean Rob Major.

Miller previously served as Director of New Student Programs at Wentworth Institute of Technology. At Wentworth, Miller worked to develop their First Year Seminar, Academic Advising, Early Alert Programming, and New Student Orientation programs, according to an email announcing her hiring.

Miller graduated from Bridgewater State University with a Masters in Public Administration and received a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Georgia.

She says she is excited about her new role at Babson, and hopes to have the opportunity to work individually with students.

“I came to Babson for many reasons, but primarily for the opportunity to work one-on-one with students. In my previous position, that was only a small part of my job, yet it was what I enjoyed the most. I love getting to know students and helping them create goals and a plan to be successful in their time as a student,” Miller said in an email.

Biggest class size in Babson’s history

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In the history of Babson College, the first-year class of 2020 is undoubtedly the biggest cohort that matriculated, with the numbers showing that at 588 students, about 60 more students chose to enroll this year as compared to the previous year.

The acceptance rate, which dropped from 28% to 26% last year, currently stands at 25%–the lowest it has ever been thus affirming that the admissions process has become even more selective. In addition, the yield rate which traditionally stands at 27-28% was higher this year, which means that although the admitted students are academically more competitive and are likely to have other choices among top notch schools, a greater number of the first-years chose to complete their undergraduate degree at Babson.

It is thus upon the Office of Undergraduate Admissions Office to adjust the algorithm used to determine selection and yielding of students because as the Dean of the Undergraduate School, Ian Lapp confirms, “The population growth seen this academic year was unintentional and will not be the class size for future incoming cohorts.”

This year’s large intake does reflect a growing level of interest in Babson and its commitment towards promoting entrepreneurship of all kinds, however, the size of the campus cannot fully support additional students. The population increase has had an impact on the availability of adequate housing on campus with the effect being that several transfer students lacked on-campus housing this year while several rooms in residential houses were subdivided to accommodate more students.

Similarly, despite the warm reception of the new dining services from Chartwells, there has been the tendency of long queues forming during peak hours of the day at both Trim and Reynolds. There has also been limited opportunity to adjust class schedules or take some of the required courses, which prompted the Registrar’s Office to add more sections to certain courses in order to accommodate the increasing numbers. Finding parking spaces in the designated campus areas has become an even greater struggle with students commenting that “I’m trying to find parking or I had to park far away” is currently a valid excuse for being a few minutes late to class.

Nonetheless, Dean Lapp states that there are currently no expansion plans underway for the campus but rather that the school is keen on pursuing alternative means of adjusting to the increased population. As he emphasizes, “This is no crisis just community, with the additional students adding to the intellectual enrichment of the campus.”

Mighty Well, A Year Later

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Just last week Babson College announced its 2017 Babson Entrepreneurial Thought and Action (B.E.T.A) Challenge finalists, which included from the undergraduate school: Womentum (Prabha Dublish ‘18 and Derek Tu ‘18), Vinci (Eagle Wu ‘19) and DetraPel (David Zamarin ‘20, Jacob Heller ‘20, Ali Eldessouky and  Larry Ng ’20). With the recent success of these entrepreneurial finalists, we take a look back at where last year’s BETA finalists currently are, particularly “Mighty Well,” founded by Emily Levy ‘16.

Mighty Well is a growing line of medical accessories that put strength, confidence, and mobility back into the toolkit for those coping with an illness or health setback. These accessories range in products, but what the company excels most in is the PICCPerfect Line Protector, a sleek and fashionable sleeve-like cover to protect insertion sites on the arm from contaminants, and to normalize these insertion sites into everyday settings.

The story behind the founding of Mighty Well traces back to Levy’s sophomore year at Babson College when she was diagnosed with Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease, a disease in which symptoms of lyme disease continue to occur despite use of antibiotics. These symptoms include fatigue, joint/muscle aches, and cognitive dysfunction which requires a PICC line, a long and thin tube inserted into the vein to pump in antibiotics or other medications.

CWEL addresses equal pay equity

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CWEL’s first Disruption Dinner, sponsored by the Center for Women & Wealth at Brown Brothers Harriman, attempts to talk about gender pay equity by sharing six influential women’s career story and advice to 200 plus attendees.

Meg DeMarco, Director of Programs at CWEL, calls the room to attention and introduces Jane Edmonds, VP for Programming and Community Outreach at Babson, who has an impressive background in politics and entrepreneurship. Edmonds delivers an eloquent speech about the other guests and glides over the Equal Pay topic. Edmonds gives a promising anecdote about Kerry Healey’s impressive work ethic and passion for helping the underserved citizens of Massachusetts, especially women fighting for equal pay.

The moderator is Candy O’Terry, Massachusetts Broadcaster of the Year, President & Co-Founder of Boston Women in the Media and Entertainment, 25-year veteran of Magic 106.7, and a member of brand consulting company, Brunner Communications. She starts by beautifully singing Amazing Grace, which is most definitely one of the evening’s highlights. O’Terry manages the panel remarkably like a radio talk show host. She skillfully flows from question to question effortlessly while adding her own experience and answers.

The Panelists’ are Jackie Glenn, Global Chief Diversity Officer at Dell EMC; Nancy Joyce, Founder and CEO of Joyce Advisors; and Evelyn Murphy, Founder and President of The Wage Project. Each of these women reveal extraordinary career paths and valuable life lessons.

Each of these women reveal extraordinary career paths and valuable life lessons.

1. O’Terry (career in Media and Entertainment)

●Success is a conscious decision

●Don’t just show up, stand out

●Wisdom is recognizing a mistake before you make it again

2. Jackie Glenn (career in Health Care and Technology Recruiting)

●Own your difference

●Go above and beyond – sometimes doing so doesn’t pay off, but most of the time it will,and when it does, it will open doors

●Do not be afraid to travel for an opportunity

●Do not be afraid to ask for help

●Think outside the box, go above, below, sideways, and around to solve problems

●Do not give up because mindset is important; if you put down your foot to solve a problem, you will be able to succeed

3. Nancy Joyce (career in Brand Consulting and Entrepreneurship)

●Fostering and building relationships when you don’t need them is just as important as
when you need them

●When someone asks, “how are you,” don’t just say, “I am good.” Share something about
yourself, share a recent accomplishment because that will help you build a relationship
with them

●Learn to advocate for yourself in the workplace because no matter how diligent your supervisor is, he or she will be busy and will not be able to keep track of your accomplishments as well as you can for yourself

●Ask for what you want

●Don’t take everything personally, it’s business

●Research people in your desired career path

●Tips for negotiations: be comfortable with silence, ask for 25% of medium

4. Evelyn Murphy (career in Politics and Non-profits)

●Do not blink at opportunities, take them because they might be game changing

●If women act, then employers will react [in reference to the equal pay gap]

●”We [women] are just as educated and work just as hard [as men]”

●Sometimes, other people see things in you that you cannot see in yourself so use your mentors and people to help you

●The best way to protect yourself and obtain fair compensation is to understand laws and policies about Equal Pay; educate yourself on the topic for your specific company and position

●Attend free salary negotiation workshops

●Pursue your dreams, do something that matters to you

●Know how to translate skills that you learn outside of work into skills that you can use in
the workplace, example is team sports

An important resource for individuals interested in learning more about the Equal Pay Equity is Murphy’s non-profit organization:The Wage Project.

Admissions tighten with centennial class

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As Babson’s centennial class settles in, admissions statistics are on the rise. Applicants to the Class of 2019 faced the most selective admissions process in the school’s 96-year history.

This cycle, applications jumped 21 percent, from 6,199 in 2014 to 7,515 in 2015. The average SAT score of enrolled students rose 24 points, to 1933. The school awarded $8.9 million in grants and scholarships. And, with 54 percent women, the Class of 2019 is Babson’s first ever majority female class.

Of course, acceptance rate—perhaps the most-watched statistic—dropped, from 28 percent to 26 percent. According to U.S. News & World Report, this places Babson among the 100 most selective schools in the nation. Acceptance rates nationwide have been falling in recent years, thanks to increased international competition, growth in the college-aged population, and applicants’ tendency to apply to more schools.

Infographic by Lydia Steson

“There was a huge jump in international applications this year,” Courtney Minden, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, said. “We were drawing more from places like Africa or Southeast Asia.”

Minden also attributes the rise in applications to recent publicity. “There’s a good vibe about Babson all over the world,” Minden said.

Yield rate, the percentage of admitted students who matriculate, has also been trending downwards. This is due in part to Babson’s unique specialization, but also because students now admitted are more academically competitive than ever. They may have their choice among top-tier schools, whereas students ten years ago were likely to choose among more regional schools.

The Office of Undergraduate Admission is tasked with maintaining the school’s standards despite the rise in application volume. The question on every applicant’s mind: what do they look for?

“I think a lot about the conversations that are going to happen at Babson…namely, the conversations that happen in the classroom, that happen in Trim, and that happen in the residence halls,” Minden said. “We’re looking for a diversity of backgrounds.”

Minden says she is “cautiously optimistic” that current trends will continue. Still, she cautions against rampant expectations. “Amongst the students who are appropriate for Babson, we could be the one and only [choice], which by and large we are. But there’s a ceiling there.”

Babson’s first food entrepreneurship class

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A seafood empire owner,restaurant investor, major food distributorand bicycle-fueled food delivery enthusiast sit together on the third floor of Tomasso building. No,this is not the start of a bad joke.This is Friday afternoon at Babson.

One of the eventful Fridays in which Rachel Greenberger, Director of Food Sol–a food industry action tank part of The Lewis Institute–teaches her class on Food Entrepreneurship; the very first class of this subject within Babson’s undergraduate and graduate academic history.

The class took place over three days, September 8th, 9th and 16th, of which certain hours of the class were open to auditors and undergraduate students.

The graduate students were also broken up into similar groups, divvied up among the classroom into sections pertaining to their interest. This proved helpful in creating a representation of the New England food industry itself, of many tight-knit small communities that are separate yet constantly intersecting with one another to share perspective, and of course, the love of food.

And Babson sure loves food. It seemed only fitting that the last day of the Food Entrepreneurship class coincided with the kickoff of Babson’s Alumni Weekend, with a few alumni themselves featuring on the panels, including:
●Ian So (B‘08) Co-Owner & Co-Founder of Chicken & Rice Guys, a food truck, catering and restaurant business that also focuses on giving back to the community.
●Nadia Liu Spellman (B‘04) Owner of Dumpling Daughter, a fast-casual restaurant serving both traditional and trendy Asian dishes in Weston, MA.
●Rob Dalton (M‘14) Co-Founder of 88 Acres, a line of healthy, non-GMO, gluten free, nut free, snacks and granola bars.
●Dana Masterpolo (M’01) Co-Founder & Head Storyteller of Bantam Cider, a modern craft cider made right in Somerville from freshpressed apples.

Shea Anthony (B‘18) attended one of the panel sessions that focused on retailers within the food industry. She said, “I am constantly, and pleasantly, surprised by the amount of resources Babson College offers, and the many career fields and industries it is connected
to. I think people often forget that Babson is not just for the startup, finance, and accounting people but also the fashion, technology, design,
media–and as we can see today–food people as well.”

For those who consider themselves to be possible “food people” or are still perhaps figuring it out, Greenberger encourages them to access those untapped Babson resources and attend Food Sol’s Community Table every Tuesday from 1 – 2 pm in the Blank Center. Food entrepreneurs are invited to speak and discuss what’s going on in today’s food industry with other graduate and undergraduate students, and more often than not, one leaves with not only new pieces of knowledge, but also a solid Boston restaurant recommendation.

Students initiate Alpha Kappa Psi colony

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Photo courtesy of Elaine Zhang

Another business fraternity aims to join the Babson community. A group of students, primarily freshmen and sophomores, are in the process of establishing a Babson branch of international professional fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, also known as AKPsi.

The group first required approval from the Heritage Center, the organization’s headquarters, and from Babson itself. It is currently recognized as a “colony;” that is, a fledgling chapter that must prove it has the membership and capability to be formally installed. Once this occurs, likely in the spring, the chapter may pitch to the Student Government Association to be recognized as an official Babson organization.

“It’s been a long process,” AKPsi President Rada Ilieva (’18) said. “It’s very different than a regular org.”

AKPsi is the oldest and largest business fraternity in the world. Started at New York University in 1904, it has since inducted more than 250,000 students. Previous membership includes Presidents Ronald Regan and Richard Nixon, U.S. senators, and business leaders in every industry.

“The main focus of Alpha Kappa Psi is to provide leadership development, personal and professional training and the fundamental ingredient higher education misses—experience,” the organization’s website claims.

Babson’s colony has expanded rapidly, attracting about 80 colonists in a few months. “We grew really quickly,” Ilieva said. “We’re trying to maintain that brotherhood and have those close relationships, which is why we started in the first place.”

Ilieva says she looks forward to seeing the chapter come into its own. “I’m most excited about seeing things develop and people actually being able to use it for networks and fun.”