STEM-Roundtable-300x228Thanks for joining us this week on SmartBlog on Education as we highlighted Q&As with the panelists from our recent STEM Pathways Roundtable event. Read our most recent interview with Kimberly Tobey, executive director of the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs.

Why is the issue of connecting industry and education to enhance STEM education important to you?

As the executive director of the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NAACTEP), it is essential that the association and I work closely with higher education and industry to formulate models for success/completion that take into consideration the non-traditional student.

Additionally, we want to ensure that we are focusing on the ability to leave students in their communities once they become STEM workers and/or classroom teachers. The last thing our communities need is to educate students so they can exit their communities and not impact economic growth in their own areas.…

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Leaders are always judged by others. The higher their profile the bigger the stage, and their words and their actions are magnified by the roles they hold.

X-factors are comprised of many things that work individually — and collectively — to help the leader. These include ambition, creativity, humor and compassion, as well as three more words that begin with “C” — character, courage and confidence. X-factors strengthen the leader’s commitment to doing what’s best for the team and the organization.

The sum of your X-factors attributes give you the foundation to do what you do better than anything else. It also lays a foundation of trust.

Trust is the bedrock upon which you build followership.


John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts.

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badgeSmartBlog on Education’s monthly content award recognizes content written by educators, for educators that inspires readers to engage, innovate and discuss.

SmartBrief Education editors and writers sift through thousands of sources each day, reading a variety of content, including blogs and commentaries written by you and your peers.

In an effort to recognize some of the innovative voices in the field, we’ve asked our team to nominate their favorite content each month from which we’ll choose two winners for the Editor’s Choice Content Award.

Meet this month’s winners:

Learn more about our previous winners.



As more consumers seek out craft beverages and premium drinks, many restaurants and retailers are taking their own beverage programs to the next level in order to set themselves apart. Now you’ll find artisan juice flights, tableside cocktail service, even coffee shops roasting beans to individual customer specifications. And while these unique beverage options certainly earn press and attention, they also speak to overall industry trends like customization and the integration of technology with the dining experience.

Many restaurateurs, for instance, are looking to the premium experience associated with wine — dedicated wine menus, sommeliers, tasting portions, etc. — and translating that experience to beer, craft sodas, etc. At Chicago’s Coppervine, every dish is menued with beer and cocktail pairing suggestions in addition to the wine suggestion, and servers are trained to note how each beverage complements the dish in different ways. Other gastropubs, brewpubs, and high-end restaurants have a certified cicerone (pronounced “sis-uh-rohn”), or beer sommelier, on hand in order to explain flavor notes and help customers choose the right beer pairing.…

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SmartBrief is talking directly with small and medium-sized businesses to discover their journeys, challenges and lessons. Today’s post is from Matt Straz, the founder and CEO of Namely, the HR and payroll platform for the world’s most exciting companies. Connect with Straz and the Namely team on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Are you a small-business owner and would like to share your story? E-mail senior editor James daSilva at jdasilva [at]

View the Small Business series, and sign up for our free e-mail newsletters on small business and entrepreneurialism.

You know when something’s not quite right. Your new employee is the black sheep of the bunch, and you aren’t sure if they might be the wrong fit for your company or it’s just the learning curve.

Employee fit is influenced by both skill and culture. Skill is the easier aspect of these two, because it’s more tangible and you can always train someone to master a skill.…

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