Levine Communications Office

One of America's Premier Public Relations Firms

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Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Why Historically Black Colleges Are in Serious Trouble

Posted by Levine Communications Office on June 8, 2013

By: Suzi Parker

black student graduate

Historically black colleges and universities are about to have a mess on their hands. Because of a sharp change to a student loan policy, enrollment has dramatically dropped. This is not good for the schools—or hopeful high school graduates.

Founded primarily after the Civil War, these higher institutions served the black community when white colleges didn’t allow them to attend.

Currently, there are 105 historically black colleges and universities in the United States, and these include public and private, two-year and four-year institutions, medical schools and community colleges. They educate about 374,000 students, including white students.

The enrollment is declining at these schools because in 2011, the PLUS loans disqualified borrowers with unpaid debts that had been referred to collection agencies over the past five years.

PLUS loans have long been popular because, unlike many student loans, they have no limit and can cover an array of needs, including tuition, fees, books, and room and board. Parents apply for the loans, some upwards of $50,000, to cover the amount of money needed to bridge financial gaps for their children’s education.

“Historically, loans, fellowships, and scholarships have been critical for students at these colleges,” said Rolonda Watts, a radio personality and alumna of Spelman University in Atlanta. “I got through there [college] with work studies, scholarships and loans.”

Watts’ great, great grandfather was a founder of Bennett College in North Carolina.

Nathan Ober, a student at Villanova University, has done extensive research on the student debt crisis and notes that black students “are the most likely among all racial or ethnic groups to graduate with high debt.”

According to the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, an umbrella organization for black colleges known as NAFEO, 15,000 parents were denied loans in the fall of 2011. Many students were not aware of the denials until they reached campus. Parents can appeal, and many are.

Still, that doesn’t solve the alarming crisis.

A group led by William R. Harvey, president of Hampton University and chairman of the president’s Board of Advisors on HBCU, sent a letter last fall to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The group wrote:

This is having a devastating impact on enrollment at our institutions and our institutions’ ability to serve their students. It is having an even more devastating impact on the students who have worked hard to get to college and have had to cut short their college careers, as well as on their families who have dreamed of and sacrificed for their sons and daughters going to college. And, it is in direct opposition to President Obama’s goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

Fewer students mean higher tuition costs as HBCUs try to make up the financial disparities that, in turn, make it harder for poorer students to attend.

Read the rest of the article at Take Part

Posted in Clients, LCO PR, PR | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Allstar Interns Cecilia Martin & Shavonna White

Posted by Levine Communications Office on February 10, 2012

Allstar Interns Cecilia Martin & Shavonna White

For more information about LCO’s Internship program please contact us at mlasst@LCOonline.com

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What’s For Dinner? Saving Dinner Has An App For That

Posted by Levine Communications Office on February 1, 2011

Ever needed a little guidance around the kitchen?  Maybe you want to “freshen up” your culinary skills?  Well, LCO Client and Dinner Diva Leanne Ely has an app that can help guide you through the wonderful world of cooking.  Check out her free app Saving Dinner with Leanne Ely on iTunes now!

Posted in Business, LCO PR, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Monetization: Showing the “Real” Value of Publicity

Posted by Levine Communications Office on January 12, 2011

LCO recently conducted training to educate our staff about the value of monetization and why it’s a PR best practice.  The term is more commonly used with regard to internet marketing, but in short it means to turn something into money.   In PR that “something ” is the exposure you get for your clients in print, TV and internet media.  Translating your client’s 3 minute TV interview or their 10 page magazine spread into dollars makes a HUGE impact with your clients and shows them exactly what that PR is worth.

We sat down with New Business Intern Gabe Tang to discuss what he took away from the training.  Check out what he has to say about monetization in the video below.

Posted in Business, Clients, LCO PR, PR | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

“Just Say No” Race a Huge Success

Posted by Levine Communications Office on December 8, 2010

The 10th Annual Just Say No To Drugs Race Holiday Classic this past Sunday was a huge success.  Held on the Universal Studios backlot, stars from the world of entertainment came out so support this amazing cause.  Staff and interns from Levine Communications Office also put on their running shoes to lend their support.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

Over 3,000 people attended Sunday’s event including UFC Champion Fighter Tito Ortiz, Jullian Sands (Smallville), and Edin Gali (Mad Men).  Other Other celebrities who attended included Frank Mottek (KNX), Rossi Morreale (Dating in The Dark), Dr. Jon Perlman (Extreme Makeover), Dave Vescio (Gemini Rising), Coldwater Canyon (Country Recording Artists), Lorielle New (Grindhouse), Jennessa Rose (Yogi Bear), Zach Callison (Hannah Montana) and Alex Angarita (Survivor).  Island Records artist MANN performed his hit song “Buzzin’” off his album MANN’s World. Runners were also joined by special guest teams from NBC Universal, Nike, Runners Circle, Girls on the Run, Elite Runners, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and the Walt Disney Group.

The event, led by LCO client and Executive Race Director Ryan Kugler, had a fundraising goal of $200,000.00 this year.  Los Angeles sheriff Lee Baca and Councilman Tom LaBonge honored Ryan, President of Distribution Video and Audio, with a certificate of recognition from the City of Los Angeles.  The Mayor of Burbank, Anja Reinke and the Burbank Chief of Police, Scott LaChasse, also attended to honor Ryan and Team Against Drugs with certificate of recognition from the City of Burbank for his commitment to drug education and prevention.

Doonby (set for release Spring/Summer 2011) star and race contributor, Joe Estevez was on hand to offer some highlights of the race. Check out his CNN iReport Video

They’re still tallying the intake, but it’s not to late to donate and support this important initiative.  Visit  justsaynotodrugsrace.org and visit the DONATE to make your contribution today!

Posted in Clients, Events, PR | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

PR Specialist Named One of the Best Careers for 2011

Posted by Levine Communications Office on December 6, 2010

In an article released today, US News and World Report  listed “Public Relations Specialist” as one of the best careers for 2011.  With a projected growth of 24% (or 66,000 jobs) over the next 8 years, this field has one of the best outlooks and opportunity for advancement. 

It’s also a career where being a “brand” is just as important as the brands you represent.

In the article, Public Relations Society of America 2011 Chair and CEO Gary McCormick states, “You really determine your own career and your own path because you become a subject matter expert in an area, you become a consultant, and the better you are, you individually can move, even if you go into an agency.”

Having a background and training in communications and journalism are some of the avenues that can lead you to a career in Public Relations.  But with this field (or any field for that matter) EXPERIENCE is key.  And if you’re interested in a career in PR and think you have what it takes to become a “brand” in this industry, then apply for the Levine Communications Office Internship Program.

LCO’s intern program is one of the longest running in North America, with over 4,000 graduates. LCO interns have gone on to hold top jobs throughout the entertainment industry, and the program itself has been praised by such prominent names as Joseph Leiberman, Michael Bloomberg, David Geffen, George Bush, John McCain and Bill Clinton.

The LCO internship is not your “fetch coffee” and “make copies” average intern experience.   Here at LCO you’ll get real-world hands-on experience working with our publicists on projects with high-profile, celebrity clients. 

Are you ready to embark on that new career in Public Relations?  Then click here for more details on the LCO Internship Program

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Michael Levine Sits Down with Los Angeles Business Journal

Posted by Levine Communications Office on November 23, 2010

This week, president and founder of Levine Communications Office, Michael Levine, sat down with Joel Russell of the Los Angeles Business Journal.  Michael provided and in-depth look as his start in the business, his rise to PR superstardom and what he really thinks of “celebrity” today.  He also discusses the value of “self-education” and why Bob Dylan is the William Shakespeare of our time.

Read on to hear what else Michael has to say.  Michael Levine: Imaged Focused

Posted in LCO PR, Michael Levine, PR | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

LCO Supports the 10th Annual Say No to Drugs Race Holiday Classic

Posted by Levine Communications Office on November 22, 2010

Please join Levine Communications Office in supporting the

10th Annual Say No to Drugs Race Holiday Classic on December 5, 2010 at the Universal Studios Back Lot

(Benefiting: D.A.R.E, Narconon, and The Boys and Girls Club of America) 

You are welcome to participate in the 5K/10K race, the Pancake Breakfast sponsored by Batter Blasters, OR simply attend to show your support for Say No to Drugs. 

Event Starts: 7:30 am

Pancake Breakfast: 8:00 am 

Universal Studios back lot

100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608.

(Enter Curious George Parking Lot, City Walk) 

Visit the event home page http://www.saynotodrugsrace.org/ and REGISTER TODAY!

SEE YOU THERE!

Posted in Clients, Events | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cleos VS. Cougars

Posted by Levine Communications Office on November 10, 2010

Check out this great blog post for the Huffington Post by LCO client Donna Estes Antebi:

My previous Cleo vs. Cougar blog touched off a firestorm of debate. Who knew? Magazines picked it up and bloggers ran with it. I heard from self-professed cougars who love the moniker and embrace the lifestyle (and all the testosterone-fueled, hard bodies that go with it). I heard from just as many women who hate being called a cougar and were thrilled with “Cleo” as it more accurately represents their relationship dynamic.

Cleo is a word I coined in my upcoming book, The Real Secrets Women Only Whisper. Skip the hieroglyphic records and think movie icon — Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, whose immense power and legendary beauty made her irresistible. A Cleo is a smart, fabulous woman who dominates in her relationships due to a combination of power, accomplishment, beauty, money or age.

Modern day Cleos are everywhere: Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Ellen DeGeneres, Cheryl Tiegs, Sandra Bullock, Arianna Huffington, Halle Berry and Barbara Walters are all Cleos. A Cleo can bring home the bacon and share it with anyone she pleases. A Cleo doesn’t have to prowl for younger men. A Cleo is always desired — at any age. The name Cleo is not intended as a replacement for cougar. In fact, Cleos and cougars are more akin to siblings with different personalities. I even heard from a third faction that protested against both terms, citing that such sexist labels are never applied to men. And I don’t disagree. But since one word can serve as shorthand for an entire phenomenon, it looks like cougars and Cleos are both here to stay — and it’s time we give them the respect they deserve.

Since so much of this controversy is rooted in semantics, it’s important to understand that the word “cougar” came to America pre-loaded with a bad reputation. Cougar is actually a product of Canada. Over a decade ago in Vancouver, being called a cougar was considered the ultimate insult. It referred to a pathetic, lonely (often inebriated) older woman who preyed upon younger men after last call, hoping for a merciful sexual liaison. It’s no wonder that, despite Courteney Cox’s best efforts in her show, Cougar Town, many women still have a visceral reaction at the mention of a cougar.

A decade later, author Valerie Gibson sought to redefine the word in her book Cougar, A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men. Valerie said a cougar “knows exactly what she wants. What she wants in her life is younger men and lots of great sex. What she doesn’t want is children, cohabitation or commitment.” This new-and-improved definition resonated with a nation full of independent women. Then along came hot and hunky cub Ashton Kutcher who turned ageless miracle of nature Demi Moore (who really is a Cleo) into the patron saint of cougars and a new revolution was born.

As I was thinking about Cleos, cougars, and all things in between, I had a serious “aha” moment and I realized it’s time we give these sexy ladies some well deserved props and shift away from the negative stigma that rightfully belongs to “Weeds” (desperate women who sleep with other women’s husbands).

Cougars and Cleos are two different kinds of strong, independent women with one very important thing in common — they are generally not email waving Weeds standing in a Tiger Woods lineup. Cougars are just out for a bit of fun, and if that fun is between two single consenting adults (even if they’re 20 years apart), then why not? Cleos have no desire to be entangled in a compromising tryst with someone else’s baggage-laden husband.

The era of cougars and Cleos isn’t over. In fact, it may have only just begun. So let’s praise the liberated independence of cougars and Cleos. Let them enjoy their steamy sex with hot men, and the new Cougar culture that caters to them, complete with cruises, conventions and websites like TheRealCougarWoman.com, and a whole host of matchmaking sites like CougarLife.com, DateACougar.com, and the cleverly titled DateMrsRobinson.com.

We should celebrate the fact that cougars and Cleos are enjoying their own great lives and aren’t interested in destroying someone else’s marriage and family — which is a good enough reason for the 60 million wives in America to give them the respect they deserve. Cougars and Cleos don’t want your husband. They may want your son, but that’s a blog I’ll share another time.

Follow Donna Estes Antebi on Twitter: www.twitter.com/donnaantebi

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The Inside Scoop on LCO Internships

Posted by Levine Communications Office on November 7, 2010

Michael discuss with intern Natalie Perrota what it takes to survive at LCO.

If you are interested in becoming an LCO intern, please visit the “Internships” tab at the top of our blog!

Posted in LCO PR | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »