COLLEGES

Scenes from an eclipse-watching party at Smith College.
Karen Brown / NEPR

Parents with the kids, workers on a lunch break, astronomy buffs getting their fix. Across the region on Monday afternoon, people stared at the sky to see a sun partially obscured by the moon.

Sun Kim at her resturant, Sun Kim Bop, in downtown Springfield
Alden Bourne / NEPR

Two western Massachusetts residents of South Korean descent have been watching as tensions between the United States and North Korea have continued to escalate. 

Suk Massey is a lecturer in east Asian languages and literature at Smith College. She said Friday she's been following the exchanges between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un closely.

"I'm worrying about it but most friends in Korea don't seem to worry about that too much, because they are somehow -- they are used to it," she said.

Even when students receive full scholarships, they sometimes face unforeseen costs and other obstacles that can prevent them from getting the full college experience.

Anthony Jack, a first-generation college student, was given full financial aid at Amherst College when he found himself unable to afford the trip home to Miami during spring break.

“There are some hidden costs to going to college, and the biggest one,” Jack said, laughing, “is the assumption that everyone can afford to leave campus during spring break.

A scene from rehearsals of The Scarlet Professor opera.
Daniel Keller

In 1960, a famous literature professor at Smith College was arrested for having gay pornographic materials in his Northampton, Massachusetts, apartment. Four decades later, that scandal was the basis of a nonfiction book. Now the story is getting a new telling -- an operatic one -- on the very college campus where the original events took place.


Fifteen colleges, including seven in New England, are now offering an easy way for college applicants to figure out how much their education will cost.

It’s a website, and it was the idea of a Wellesley College economist.

He hopes more students will realize that the sticker price of college is not the real price.

Sticker Price Vs. Real Cost

Mike Kelly, head of archives and special collections at Amherst College, reads from the Melville Dewey archive.
Carrie Healy / NEPR

Summer begins next week, and so we'll be kicking off our Summer Fiction series. That's when New England Public Radio reporters interview local authors -- some of which have written so many books they can't remember how many.

Hannah Tran-Trinh is a 2017 graduate of UMass Amherst.
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

Commentator Hannah Tran-Trinh graduated last week from UMass Amherst. She says she learned a lot there, but the best lessons were hard-won.

I grew up in Boston. My friends were quite the colorful bunch, but I never thought twice about the fact that we were a diverse group of kids. I just loved feeling comfortable. Being a part of something I felt I belonged to.

But then I showed up in western Mass. and it was the whitest place I'd ever seen.

Western New England University in Springfield awarded 581 bachelor degrees during its commencement ceremony in 2015.
File Photo / MassLive

Western New England University is looking into statements allegedly posted by a member of the women's lacrosse team calling on President Trump to "build that wall."

Friday was Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, a Mexican holiday celebrating the country's victory in a battle against the French in 1862. In the U.S., it's become a celebration of Mexican American culture.

Dr. Nettie Maria Stevens
Carnegie Institution of Washington / Creative Commons

A pivotal but unheralded scientist is getting a building named after her at Westfield State University on Friday.

More than a hundred years ago, Westfield alum Nettie Stevens was studying beetle chromosomes when she noticed a critical difference between males and females.

"She noticed that one chromosome was smaller than the other, and because of that research, we were able to then apply that to the human genome as well," said Westfield biology professor Jennifer Hanselman.

UMass Amherst denied Kalsang Nangpa's request to carry the Tibetan flag during a special part of the university's commencement ceremony.
Submitted Photo / Daily Hampshire Gazette

Graduation at UMass Amherst is less than two weeks a way. One senior, a public health major from Medford, wants to carry the Tibetan flag in a parade of flags, but the university says no.

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