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President Obama’s White House photographer breaks down his photojournalism career (video)

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Pete Souza, American photojournalist and former Chief Official White House Photographer for U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan, takes us through his illustrious career. From capturing Reagan’s reaction to Space Shuttle Challenger’s explosion to photographing President Obama’s Cabinet in the situation room during the raid on Bin Laden, Pete breaks down some of his most iconic images. ‘The Way I See It’ is in theaters now and will be broadcasted on MSNBC beginning this Friday, October 16th. See the complete video here.

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‘Super-spreader’ event led to N.J. college’s COVID-19 outbreak, president says

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About 125 COVID-19 cases at Monmouth University have been traced to an off-campus “super-spreader event” that shut down in-person classes and canceled athletics, according to campus officials.

Monmouth had reported a total of 39 confirmed cases as of Sept. 25. Since then, the number has ballooned to 291 cases, including 166 people who tested positive and are still in isolation, president Patrick Leahy wrote Friday in a letter to students.

In addition to the confirmed cases, 206 students at the private college were identified through contract tracing as being at high risk for contracting the virus. They are required to quarantine as a precaution, Leahy wrote.

About 125 of the cases were traced to a gathering about two weeks ago at a private residence, said Tara Peters, the university’s associate vice president for communications. Not all of those people attended the gathering, but they eventually came into contact with someone who did, she said.

Monmouth’s struggle to contain the virus’ spread underscores the logistical challenges that colleges face in relying on students to follow safety protocols when they’re not on campus.

“Moving forward, we will need 100% cooperation from our campus community in order to resume our fall semester as planned,” Leahy wrote.

Monmouth opened the semester with the majority of its courses online, but allowed indoor dining on campus, where students also had access to the gymnasium and pool. It temporarily shut down those facilities at the end of September and announced it would postpone sporting events through at least Wednesday. All courses were shifted online through Oct. 14.

The university also began offering free virus testing for all students and staff with no appointments needed.

Leahy hopes to make a decision soon on whether to reopen facilities and resume athletics and club activities, he wrote.

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Florida State University president tests positive for COVID-19

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Florida State University President John Thrasher tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon, a day after his wife Jean Thrasher received a positive diagnosis, according to an announcement by the university.



John E. Thrasher wearing a suit and tie: FSU president John Thrasher, assists FSU physics professor Dr. Paul Cottle with a demonstration of magnetic induction to students at the Orlando Science School during his yearly visit to encourage them to continue their STEM education, on Thursday, March 12, 2015. Jobs in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) are plentiful and well-paying -- yet in Florida those are fields many students don't pursue long enough to earn a degree. With the help of an FSU physics professor, we've analyzed which school districts -- and local high schools - do the best job getting kids to take math and science courses that put them in the STEM pipeline.


© Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda / Orlando Sentinel/Orlando Sentinel/TNS
FSU president John Thrasher, assists FSU physics professor Dr. Paul Cottle with a demonstration of magnetic induction to students at the Orlando Science School during his yearly visit to encourage them to continue their STEM education, on Thursday, March 12, 2015. Jobs in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) are plentiful and well-paying — yet in Florida those are fields many students don’t pursue long enough to earn a degree. With the help of an FSU physics professor, we’ve analyzed which school districts — and local high schools – do the best job getting kids to take math and science courses that put them in the STEM pipeline.

Jean Thrasher tested positive Monday night after spending time in a hospital and rehabilitation facility in Tallahassee, the statement read.

John Thrasher is tested regularly for the virus, the university said, and he attended a football game on FSU’s campus Saturday while taking “appropriate precautions” after testing negative the day before. Members of his staff who have been in close contact with him tested negative for the coronavirus Tuesday.

FSU is working with public health authorities to conduct contact tracing in the Thrashers’ cases. The couple are self-isolating in their home and closely monitoring their symptoms, the statement said.

In a tweet Tuesday afternoon, John Thrasher said he and his wife were both feeling well, and he plans to work from home while in isolation.

Former FSU football coach Bobby Bowden also tested positive for COVID-19 this week after spending time in a local hospital’s rehabilitation center in late September, the Tallahassee

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US university president who attended mask-free Trump event under fire

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The University of Notre Dame, one of America’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning, is bullish on mask-wearing and social distancing to fight the coronavirus.

Now, its president, the Rev. John Jenkins, is under fire after attending a notorious White House event with President Donald Trump at which both precautions were largely ignored — and testing positive for Covid-19.

Some students called for Jenkins’ resignation but he survived. Jenkins is big on coronavirus safety — back in August, after students returned to class and there seemed to be a spike in Covid cases, he did not hesitate to suspend in-person classes for two weeks.

Jenkins says he is sorry for not wearing a mask at a September 26 ceremony at the Rose Garden at which Trump introduced Amy Coney Barrett, his nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. She is a Notre Dame graduate and law professor.

That event, at which people sat close together and few wore masks, has come under close scrutiny because at least seven who were in attendance have now tested positive for Covid. They include Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, two Republican US senators, the White House press secretary and a Trump campaign advisor.

“I regret my error of judgment in not wearing a mask during the ceremony and by shaking hands with a number of people in the Rose Garden,” Jenkins wrote in a letter to students, faculty and staff at the Indiana university. 

“I failed to lead by example, at a time when I’ve asked everyone else in the Notre Dame community to do so.”

He said he has mild symptoms and would be working from home. The White House has said Barrett tested negative.

Students say they are upset with the university president and see a double standard in his behavior. Around

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The Three Lessons That 2020 Has Taught Every University President

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Being a university president is a demanding, exhausting job at any time, involving service to multiple constituencies with competing – sometimes mutually exclusive – interests. But 2020 will go down as a year that’s been historically hard for university presidents. They’ve been called upon to cope with an unprecedented public health crisis, plunging revenue, frighting budget deficits, campus protests over racial injustices, and a highly polarized political environment surrounding the upcoming national election.

Although most presidents have adroitly steered their institutions through this remarkable confluence of conflicts and challenges, others have not fared as well, coming under intense criticism that ranges from angry campuses and suspicious local communities to votes of no confidence and even several high-profile terminations, retirements or resignations.

Dozens of campus chief executives have recently announced they’ll be retiring from their posts in the upcoming year. And the list of highly prominent presidents who’ve already been forced out of their jobs or indicated they’re stepping down is stunning. Beyond the typical annual churn of campus leaders, this year has seen several unusual and unanticipated departures.

Call the roll. Jerry Falwell, Jr. out at Liberty University. Bruce Harreld suddenly ending his tenure at the University of Iowa. And Jay Golden, stepping down under questionable circumstances after less than one year as President of Wichita State University.

Add to those departures several other well-publicized presidential failures, flip-flops, and fumbles related to the major issues of the day. A vote of no confidence in University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel. Widespread objections to the high-handedness of the University of Missouri’s Mun Choi as he responded to social media complaints over his performance.

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