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Summer 2008 News Briefs

B-school professor to be interim director of research center at Philadelphia Fed bank

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve bank has selected business professor Dean Croushore to serve as interim director of the bank's data research center, a resource for real-time macroeconomic data, surveys, models and forecasts.

The information presents forecasters, researchers and lawmakers with economic conditions when policymakers make key decisions about interest rates.

"The Federal Reserve's ability to make better monetary policy decisions depends on studying past data and how they have been revised," Croushore said in a news release. "By studying those revisions, we can help policymakers understand how to incorporate data revisions into their decision making."

Croushore has been at the university for five years and came after working for 14 years at the Philadelphia Fed, where he served as vice president and an economist in the bank's research department. He co-wrote an economics textbook with Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

University names interim vice president for university communications

Roberta Oster Sachs, former associate dean for external relations at the T.C. Williams School of Law, has been named interim assistant vice president for university communications.

Oster Sachs, a former news producer for "Dateline NBC" and journalism professor at Tufts University, served as associate dean in the law school for two years. On June 9, she replaced former vice president Dan Kalmanson, who departed abruptly after a campus intruder forced the school into a four-hour lockdown.

At the law school, she managed media and public relations and publications and marketing, and has also taught at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies.

She earned a master's degree from Harvard University and her bachelor's from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. It was not immediately clear whether the university would replace her with someone permanent, or appoint her to the position.

Leland Melvin to serve as leader-in-resident at Jepson School

NASA astronaut and university graduate Leland Melvin has been named leader-in-residence at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies for the 2008-09 academic year.

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In January, Melvin flew aboard the space shuttle Atlantis to the International Space Station and operated the shuttle's robotic arm. Melvin, a 1986 graduate who has worked at NASA for 19 years, will lead discussions, lectures and activities, working with students and collaborating with other faculty.

Melvin holds a master's degree in materials science engineering from the University of Virginia and works as co-manager of NASA's Educator Astronaut Program, advocating for students to pursue careers in science and technology.

Melvin was a standout football player at Richmond and was a student of chemistry professor Bill Myers. The Detroit Lions drafted him in 1986, but an injury while in the Dallas Cowboys' training camp abruptly ended his football career.

School of Continuing Studies garners $1 million for financial aid

The Bernard Osher Foundation has granted $1 million to the university's School of Continuing Studies for need-based scholarships, doubling the amount of scholarship assistance the school can provide to adult students.

The funding from the foundation, based in San Francisco, will allow the school to offer scholarships this fall to non-traditional students with at least a five-year cumulative gap in their educations. The endowed money will begin funding the scholarships in 2009-10.

People age 25 to 50 years old that pursue undergraduate degrees, demonstrate academic promise and financial need are eligible.

"Financing is often the most significant barrier faced by adults returning to school," said Jim Narduzzi, SCS dean, said in a university news release. "This gift will eliminate that barrier for a significant number of students in the metropolitan area"

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