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In the Headlines

June 2011

Inside Higher Ed (June 20)

Saying More With Less

mission statement t-shirtUniversity of Rochester Provost Ralph W. Kuncl wanted something else in 2009 when he began the process of creating the first universitywide mission statement in Rochester’s almost 160-year history. He wanted something creative that would stick in people’s minds, that they would think about every day at work. What he ended up with in May after a long vetting process was a 10-word statement that he thinks encapsulates everything the university stands for: “Learn, Discover, Heal, Create – And Make the World Ever Better.” It has its own t-shirt now. Kuncl embraces the ambiguity that brevity creates. Because Rochester serves so many roles, he said, no mission statement could ever spell out everything. But terms such as “learn” and “heal” let stakeholders read into the mission the various responsibilities of the university. The ambiguity also stimulates discussion, which is part of the university’s mission.  (Also reported in: Huffington Post)

ABC News (June 20)

Halfway Out: Why Many Stay Closeted in the Workplace

A study released Monday from the University of Rochester, researchers found that 69 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals surveyed are still closeted in some sphere of their life, whether with families, colleagues or their religious community. “What we’re seeing is that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people are quite selective in where they come out. They’re sensitive to some of the costs of coming out in an environment that may not be wholly supportive of their sexual orientation,” says Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester and co-author on the study.  (Also reported in: CNN, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Yahoo! News, MSNBC, Huffington Post, MSN, Newsday,, The Advocate, Los Angeles Times, and others)

Daily Mail (June 3)

Keep your cool: Seeing red makes us faster and stronger, claim scientists

While the burst of energy may also make us stronger, feeling under threat can distract us from the task in hand. Professor [Andrew] Elliot, of the University of Rochester, New York State, said: “Threat also provokes worry, task distraction and self-preoccupation, all of which have been shown to tax mental resources.”  (Also reported in: CBS News, WebMD, U.S. News & World Report, WXXI, MSNBC, Yahoo! News, Times of India, Atlantic Wire, UPI, and others)

The Guardian (June 15)

Geneticists discover technique to tackle mutant DNA

Although the work is at an early stage, the strategy represents a radical new approach to tackling mutations that give rise to an estimated one third of all genetic disorders. “This is a really powerful concept that can be used to try to suppress the tendency of individuals to get certain debilitating, and sometimes fatal genetic diseases,” said Robert Bambara at the University of Rochester Medical Centre, who was not involved in the study. John Karijolich and Yi-Tao Yu at the University of Rochester Medical Centre focused on a type of mutation that causes strands of mRNA to contain premature “halt” signs called stop codons. These order cells to stop making proteins before the job is finished. As a result, affected cells churn out short and incomplete proteins.  (Also reported in: The Telegraph, Yahoo! India, Irish Examiner, Science Daily, Science News, Fox News, China Daily, and others)