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A gap year before Furman

It’s a familiar script that millions of students follow each year: Graduate high school and then immediately start college. But more and more students are embracing the “gap year”—a year of volunteering and working before heading to campus. Elizabeth Campbell, a Furman freshman from Little Rock, Ark., did just that by deferring her admission to Furman for a year and moving to Seville, Spain, as part of a gap year program with the Council on International Educational Exchange.  Read more in Metro.

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Furman women’s golf heating up in fall

Furman women’s golf has gotten back its swagger. The Paladins have won two fall tournaments: the Golfweek Program Challenge on Pawleys Island and the Lady Paladin Invitational at the Furman Golf Dlub, snagging a couple of records in their tournament. The young team then opened October at No. 13 nationally in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and was selected Golfweek College Women’s Team of the Week. The Greenville News published an article on the steady rise of the women’s golf program at Furman, which has traditionally been one of America’s best.

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Kartikeya Singh ’07 marches for climate change policy

Throughout his college career, Kartikeya Singh ’07 marched to the beat of a different drummer. Taking on an Individualized Curriculum Program at Furman, he pursued a major in Ecology and Sustainable Development. Now Singh, founder of the Indian Youth Climate Network, marches for climate change awareness. Just days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit in NYC where about 120 heads of state met Sept. 23, more than 400,000 climate change activists from all walks of life marched in the streets of the Big Apple. Robin Young with National Public Radio’s Here & Now caught up with Singh to ask him about his motivations.

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Can we put a price tag on nature?

Placing a dollar value on the benefits that American society receives from nature is a controversial and complex effort. But as high quality forests and pristine habitat become scarce, it is important to quantify and consider carefully the tradeoffs between development and protection. That is why a team of student and faculty researchers at Furman are trying to determine how local residents value their forests. In an op-ed for The Greenville News, Furman professors Melanie Cozad (economics) and John Quinn (biology) write about the importance of making good environmental decisions and ask for the community’s help in providing answers to some important questions.

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Europe’s Protestant Problem

Much work awaits the leaders of Europe. Weak economies and the euro crisis threaten European prosperity; migrants from outside the EU and job-seekers crossing borders within contribute to immigration worries in nearly every country; and official (Scotland) and unofficial (Catalonia) referenda on national independence could re-ignite the kind of state disintegration that began in the former Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia and now looms over the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium and Italy. In an op-ed for EUSPEAK.EU, a European politics blog, Furman political science professors Jim Guth and Brent Nelsen examined the problems Europe is facing.

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Good review for Furman Theatre production

Lanford Wilson’s “Book of Days” manages to be both a whodunit and a potent commentary on political and religious hypocrisy. The Furman Theatre produced the play this fall, and The Greenville News gave the university production a positive review. Paul Hyde called it “a sharply staged account of this intriguing 1998 drama” and praised both director Jay Oney and the student actors for their efforts.

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Video and police brutality

A friend of 2012 Furman graduate Alyssa Richardson recently posted this quip on Facebook: ‘I’m working on an antidote for the shoot-an-unarmed-black-person epidemic that’s sweeping America.” Though it managed to get dozens of “likes,” the post seemed overly dramatic to Richardson. At least until she realized the “shoot-an-unarmed-black-person epidemic” had found its way into her hometown of Columbia. Richardson, who graduated from Furman with a degree in economics and political science and now attends Harvard Law School, wrote an op-ed for The State newspaper about a recent shooting in Columbia.

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Campus gets vote of approval from Travel + Leisure

What makes a college campus beautiful? According to Travel + Leisure magazine, it’s the “varying combinations of awe-inspiring architecture, landscaping, and surroundings.”  When it came time to choose the 30 “Most Beautiful College Campuses” from among more than 2,600 four-year American colleges, the magazine considered those three key factors as well as architects’ expert opinions. Furman made the list once in the October 2014 issue.

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Memorials and Remembering the Past

In an essay for Time magazine, Furman graduate Claire Greenstein reflects about whether constructing memorials for tragic events is a positive and significant step toward remembrance. She writes: “Remembering can be controversial. For the past 13 years, Americans have gathered at Ground Zero in New York on 9/11. Nothing too scandalous there. But that act became tendentious when we built a memorial—and then, this year, a museum—to recall the tragedy.”  She concludes that “memorials are powerful reminders that the darker chapters of the past mustn’t be repeated.”

Greenstein, who graduated summa cum laude from Furman in 2011 with a degree in Political Science and German, is a Ph.D. student in comparative politics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her senior honors essay at Furman was about the politics of creating the Holocaust memorial in Germany and the memorial for the Roma and Sinti who were murdered in Europe. The Time piece originally appeared on The Weekly Wonk.

Furman President Elizabeth Davis, left, chats with Karen Corn of Greer State Bank at the Women's Forum on Work and Life Balance.

President Davis speaks to Women’s Forum

Don’t try to emulate someone in a situation like you and know thyself. Those were two of the suggestions Furman President Elizabeth Davis told a nearly standing room only group at a Women’s Forum at The Davenport in downtown Greer. The inaugural gathering for women is part of a Work and Life Balance series presented quarterly by Greer State Bank. Davis spoke on her principles for balancing a life that includes her husband, Charles, and their children, Chad and Claire.  Read more in Greer Today.