Born to run, and run

first_imgNearly 80 runners gathered on the steps of the Malkin Athletic Center (MAC) Wednesday afternoon for a celebratory jog along the Charles River with authors and fitness authorities Scott Jurek and Christopher McDougall ’85, in an event coordinated by Harvard On The Move.Jurek is famous for dominating ultramarathons, endurance events that well exceed the traditional marathon distance of 26.2 miles. In 2010, at the 24-Hour World Championships in Brive-la-Gaillarde, Jurek ran 165.7 miles in 24 hours, setting a U.S. record. He is also author of the book “Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness.”McDougall is the author of “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen.” He rekindled his love of running after studying the seemingly superhuman running techniques of the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyons.After the run, the Harvard Book Store hosted a discussion featuring Jurek and McDougall at the Brattle Theatre.Standing outside the MAC earlier, McDougall pointed toward the Yard. “When I was at Harvard, I was in Winthrop House,” he said. “Part of what got me through school was just playing here in the Yard, chucking around a football, just having some playtime. Running’s like that; you just head out and play.”For Jurek, the gathering on National Running Day was an opportunity to celebrate such exercise as a social, community event. “I love to get out and run with other people,” he said. “I’ve run a lot of miles by myself, and people ask me why I come out for group runs. But we love that social aspect. When I’m running with others, I feed off their motivations and stories, how they got into running, and so on. It inspires me and keeps me going.”Obi Okobi, who just graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with an Ed.M., said she came out to jump-start her commitment to running. “Harvard On The Move really is a fantastic entity,” she said. “It proves that the School is really looking to model wellness, not only for undergraduates, but also for members of the greater Boston community.”Jill Puleo, owner of Sugarbird Bakery in Rhode Island — which bakes “ultracookies,” a gluten-free treat for ultramarathoners — drove up just to participate in the event.Proving that running wasn’t just for students was 78-year-old Brookline resident Henry Wolstat. “I’ve been running for about 40 years,” he said. “It keeps me young, it keeps me alive, and I try to run every day — about 25 miles a week.”For Daniel Lieberman, Harvard professor and chair of human evolutionary biology and principal investigator for the Skeletal Bio Lab, the diversity of those attending spoke to the mission of Harvard On The Move. “We have runs and walks every week for people of every ability, speed, and distance. Running is a communal thing. People have been running together for millions of years. It’s just a way for people to get out and get moving.”As the group headed through the Winthrop House Gate toward the Charles, McDougall smiled. “Running’s playtime,” he said. “All the anxiety and the hectic things in your head, they just clear out. And you come back feeling relaxed and ready to tackle the next thing.”last_img read more

Former admin claims discrimination

first_imgDr. G. David Moss, former assistant vice president of academic affairs, filed a lawsuit in federal court in South Bend against the University and Vice President for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann-Harding, in response to alleged discrimination he faced from the administration.  Moss, who now works as an administrator with the South Bend Community School Corp., sued because he was demoted following his condemnation of two incidents of racial discrimination at the University in the spring 2012 term.  The complaint alleges Moss pursued a promotion from his position as assistant vice president of student affairs to associate vice president of student affairs. Subsequently, the complaint asserts Hoffmann-Harding demoted Moss to the post of senior consultant while attempting to arrange his further demotion or termination. Hoffmann-Harding indicated to Moss that she was considering terminating his employment from summer 2012 until August 2013, the complaint claims. Moss supervised the Call to Action movement, an African-American student group, in the spring of 2012 as part of his job duties, the complaint alleges. During this time, the complaint asserts someone or a group of people targeted the group, leaving pieces of fried chicken in the organization’s mailbox on two separate occasions. Moss responded comprehensively and vocally to these racial stereotyping actions on campus, the complaint asserts, and his actions earned significant publicity both on and off campus. His response included supporting the Call to Action movement, calling for investigation of the incidents and planning ways to “address the underlying racism on campus that caused them,” the complaint alleges. Moss sought promotion after his public involvement with the movement, and the complaint alleges Hoffmann-Harding’s subsequent actions in demoting and threatening Moss with termination were motivated by race and in retaliation for Moss’s contributions to the Call to Action student group.  Moss is seeking monetary damages and a judgment that proves the University’s actions were unconstitutional and violated federal employment statutes.  University spokesman Dennis Brown said the University is investigating the complaint. “We are examining the complaint, which we just received, but we’re confident that Mr. Moss was treated fairly during his employment, and we reject the claim that we discriminate,” Brown said. “We also want to make it clear that the incidents that occurred in February 2012 were unacceptable. We have taken them very seriously and – as evidenced by the committee on diversity appointed by [University President] Fr. Jenkins earlier this year – we continue to make every effort to ensure that our campus is welcoming to all.” Brown said the town hall meeting called by the University in response to the discriminatory incidents has been employed as a way to train staff. “The town hall meeting sponsored after the event in 2012 was videotaped, and has been used extensively in training of student affairs staff, including hundreds of residence hall staff and each department within student affairs,” Brown said. “In addition, in collaboration with student leaders and at the suggestion of students, diversity training has been added to freshman orientation and with campus safety officers.” Moss also filed a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). After investigation of his claim, the commission reported that it is “unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violations of the statutes.” Thomas Dixon, Moss’ attorney, did not respond to requests for comment.  Contact Nicole Michels at nmichels@nd.edulast_img read more

Cougars’ Thompson: the one that got away

first_imgSeldom are there opportunities for do-overs in sports.But I would bet that USC wishes it had another chance to recruit Klay Thompson.Thompson now stars as a guard for Washington State, an off-the-map destination for what might be one of the Pac-10’s best players. The sweet-shooting sophomore has emerged as one of the country’s most potent threats, ranking fifth in the NCAA in points per game.USC will have to find a way to contain Thompson tonight when the Trojans play Washington State at the Galen Center, but few teams have had luck corralling him. And as Trojan defenders prepare to lock him down, they’ll also have to consider that they could have been playing alongside him.Thompson’s emergence as a star seemed unlikely just a few years ago when he was playing in USC’s backyard. Throughout his career at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, Thompson was always known for having a great shooting stroke. But questions persisted about how his skills would translate at the next level, even after a standout senior season.Despite having offers from several schools, Thompson was essentially ignored by the Pac-10. Yet Washington State, which under former coach Tony Bennett developed a reputation for overachieving with lightly recruited players, seemed like the perfect fit for the second-generation basketball star (Thompson’s father is Mychal Thompson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft).Less than two years later, Thompson has made plenty of schools regret overlooking him — including USC.“It would have been cool to go to USC or UCLA at the time, but they already had guys recruited at my position, so it was difficult to get an offer from either of the two. I understood the situation,” Thompson told Sports Illustrated this summer.The Trojans looked at Thompson but already had a commitment from Malik Story, a player who began his career as a highly touted prospect but fizzled after a tumultuous senior year. Story never enrolled at USC, instead starting at Indiana and then transferring to Nevada.Former USC coach Tim Floyd tried to explain last year why Thompson slipped through his fingers in favor of a player that never made it to campus. But hey, it’s not his problem anymore.Still, Thompson’s story reveals plenty about the previous administration of Trojan basketball.Floyd had an odd habit of reaching for stars and burning up in the atmosphere when he fell short. He was able to bring in NBA-level talent, but it often created great roster turnover that forced the team to plug leaks on a yearly basis.The influx of stars often came at the expense of players like Thompson who are capable of overachieving. Floyd also often ignored positional needs, instead bringing in a glut of swingmen no matter the team’s landscape.It’s true that elite talent often separates the top-tier teams from the rest in the NCAA. And Floyd deserves credit for bringing in the current players as well as assembling what would have been a stellar recruiting class.But it was Floyd’s pairing with O.J. Mayo and whatever happened subsequently that got USC in hot water with the NCAA. And it wasn’t until this year that, without a star on the team, many of the former role players started to flourish.There should always be room for players like Klay Thompson ­— more coaches just need to realize it.USC’s handling of Thompson also brings into question a NCAA-wide practice: recruiting too early. Surely there was a time when Story looked like a better prospect than Thompson, but there’s little value in making prognostications on players who are still growing.Story committed to USC before his sophomore season, but Floyd took commitments from players so young that they hardly knew where their high school locker was. Plenty of schools race to lock down players as early as possible, but the pledges rarely tend to pan out. Since when are 14-year-olds capable of committing to after-school plans, let alone a college?Schools have to begin making inroads with prospects as early as possible — it’s a reality of the recruiting game. But schools should be aware that their evaluations need to continue into the later years of high school. Some players plateau and others, like Thompson, are late bloomers but show great potential.Perhaps it would have taken a circuitous route for Floyd to get Thompson to USC. But there’s no question how much the Trojans could use him — Thompson has made 44 three-pointers this season, which doubles Dwight Lewis’ team-leading total of 22.There’s nothing USC coach Kevin O’Neill can do about it, but tonight he might wish that USC hadn’t let Thompson be the one that got away.“Tackling Dummy” runs Thursdays. To comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or email Michael at middlehu@usc.edu.last_img read more

THE TRUMP TAX CUTS!

first_imgThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, (TCJA) aka the Trump Tax Cuts, was signed into law in Dec 2017 and brings numerous major changes to existing tax laws.  For sure, many persons and corporations will benefit from lower taxes but some  individuals will definitely be paying increased taxes under the new legislation.  One thing is for sure, the new tax regulations will have some impact on virtually every single individual and corporate taxpayer in the US. The TCJA was a purely political animal and is projected to increase the national debt by up to $2.3 trillion over the next ten years despite the economic growth it is designed to stimulate. This major rewrite of the tax laws was done in under 6 months and was rushed through Congress so that the President could deliver on his promised 2017 Christmas gift!  The law was literally signed into law 3 days before Santa came down the chimney! It’s important that all readers remember that the provisions that relate to individuals will reverse (sunset) after 2025 while the cuts in relation to corporations are permanent.    Predictably,  this piece of legislation had several problems and has probably made tax computation more complex than in previous years  and will not result in a postcard sized return for most as indicated by its proponents. One main feature of the TCJA is the near doubling of the standard deduction which in turn removes the need for many millions of taxpayers to itemize.  This should significantly reduce the amount of resources expended in filing tax returns and the bureaucracy necessary to process the returns. This dramatic increase in the standard deduction was offset by the removal of individual exemptions which taxpayers were previously entitled to for themselves and their dependents.   Another main feature of the law is the reduction in tax rates; from a maximum of 39% down to a maximum of 21% in the case of corporations and from a maximum of 39.6% to 37% for individuals. A 20% qualified business income deduction(QBI) was implemented to harmonize the tax rates of LLCs and other pass through entities with the much lower 21% rate applicable to regular corporations.   The QBI is an immensely complex calculation and requires its own discussion. In subsequent articles,  I will be discussing other aspects of the TCJA as well as other general tax issues. Please send your questions to Ask@CrichtonMullings.comlast_img read more