Before the new year gets any older, this reporter wants to give a shout-out to a colleague who just left the higher education beat after a notable four-year run of coverage of American college life.
Jenna Johnson, now on Maryland politics for The Post, produced a memorable array of stories on higher ed from 2009 through 2013. She reported from the center of big events of the past few years — whether national or regional — that touched universities. She kept a voluminous blog for much of that time, Campus Overload.
Jenna’s byline was all over the 2012 University of Virginia leadership crisis and its still-volatile aftermath, the death of U-Va. student Yeardley Love and the subsequent trial of ex-U-Va. student George Huguely V, the Penn State University sex-abuse scandal and trial, university connections to the Boston Marathon bombings, the abrupt jump the University of Maryland made from the Atlantic Coast Conference to the Big Ten (with state university regents apparently violating open-meetings law in the process) and many another breaking news story.
Here are just a few of her enterprise and high-impact stories. Taken together, these pieces help illuminate the amazing mosaic of higher ed.
Aug. 14, 2012: What Teresa Sullivan has learned
Oct. 29, 2012: Sullivan seen as ‘interim’ at U-Va.
July 6, 2013: Dragas: ‘Clearly, I think change was needed’
March 1, 2013: At U- Va., tensions flare over control
Sept. 11, 2013: U-Va. should break some ties with state, panel says
Sept. 22, 2013: Students protest aid plan changes
Jan. 8, 2012: As U-Md. cuts budget, it also builds a mansion
Dec. 11, 2012: Maryland to Big Ten: ‘It’s money versus tradition’
●On the college marketing frenzy:
Sept. 24, 2010: Wonk if you love American U.
Jan. 6, 2012: College lists get more creative, meaningless
April 9, 2011: Universities woo Mom and Dad, too
Jan. 23, 2012: Jersey’s drain is region’s gain
●How technology is changing campus life:
Aug. 5, 2011: For freshmen, Facebook’s the ultimate matchmaker
May 29, 2011: Wikipedia gets a bit of credit in colleges
Jan. 18, 2010: Students sold on rent-a-text
Dec. 4, 2010: At GWU, coed quarters becoming an option for all
Oct. 8, 2010: Howard opens the door (a tad) to overnight guests
Excerpt: Howard University is experimenting this fall with something that many universities did at least a generation ago: allowing undergraduates to stay overnight in each other’s dorm rooms.
To study, of course.
Sept. 20, 2011: Virginia Tech dorm becomes a learning experience
●On alcohol and drugs on campus:
Aug. 29, 2013: The College Drinking Problem
Feb. 24, 2010: Colleges call in the big guns to combat drinking: parents
March 11, 2012: Taming the ‘Animal House’
Nov. 27, 2011: Colleges fear rise of study drugs
●On gay rights at Morgan State
Dec. 25, 2013: Student stands up for gay rights at Morgan State
●On St. Mary’s College of Maryland:
June 4, 2013: Enrollment off, St. Mary’s leader leaving
●On Catholic University’s changes:
Jan. 26, 2011: Turning up the volume
●On “non-traditional” students (and how typical they really are):
Dec. 21, 2011: College, 3 jobs and a toddler
●On the globalization of campuses
Sept. 5, 2011: At U.S. colleges, an influx of foreign students
●On the internship maze
Aug. 30, 2010: Many interns paying a price for unpaid experience
Oct. 22, 2009: Georgetown student advertises for a personal assistant
Excerpt: The successful applicant can expect to work three to seven hours a week and make $10 to $12 an hour, although “on occasion it will be possible to work additional hours and/or receive bonuses at my discretion.” Preference will be given to Georgetown undergraduates, Cooper says in the listing, and the assistant can spread his or her tasks throughout the day.
May 1, 2012: The Georgetown U. clock hand caper
Excerpt: As Georgetown University tour guides lead visitors past Healy Hall, they often point to its iconic clock tower and explain that generations of mischievous students have attempted to steal the clock hands and mail them to the pope. But that hadn’t happened in more than six years.
This week, a hands-free clock face proved that the pranksters are back. ...
Campus police are searching for a 51-inch minute hand and a 38-inch hour hand. A university spokeswoman called the theft “a serious violation of Georgetown’s Student Code of Conduct.”