Tag Archives: she’s

She had life-threatening scoliosis. Now, she’s a US Olympian in a new sport.

Eleven years after surgery to correct a 72-degree curve in her spine, Kyra Condie is one of the first U.S. Olympians in the new event of sport climbing.

SALT LAKE CITY — Kyra Condie lay on the operating table as doctors broke her back and put it back together. They worked through an incision running from her neck nearly the length of her back, removing, rotating, realigning and resetting each of 10 vertebrae. Rods were inserted to stabilize the spine while the bones fused together.

Blood, donated to herself two months earlier, flowed back into the 13-year-old’s veins. By the time the more than six hour surgery was done, she was three inches taller, no longer stunted by severe scoliosis.

Cathy Condie had the typical worries of a mother: paralysis, nerve damage, infection.

Kyra never blinked, viewing it as just another obstacle in her way — a tenacity that has allowed her to reach all the way to the Olympic rings.

“She took it on like, I’m going to get through this,” Cathy Condie said. “Don’t tell me much about it, I’m just going to go, like she does with everything.”

Sport climbing will make its Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games in a fusion of strength, stamina and speed.

None of the other 39 athletes climbing the walls at Aomi Urban Sports Park have a story like the 24-year-old Condie’s.

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Like many future professional climbers, Kyra spent her childhood scaling everything in her path.

She was moved from a crib as a baby because she kept climbing out, and if her parents looked away for a second, they’d find her atop something — a cliff, the cover of the playground equipment, door frames, the refrigerator.

Tom and Cathy knew they weren’t going to stop their aggressively independent daughter from climbing, so they taught her how to get back down.

By 11, Kyra started taking climbing more seriously and joined a team at a local gym in St. Paul, Minnesota. She didn’t win competitions right away, but had a work ethic unlike any of the other kids.

But the more she climbed, the more her back hurt.

Kyra rarely complained, so her parents knew something wasn’t right. Even so, they figured the pain was from climbing too hard.

“I felt like an 80-year-old woman complaining about my back all the time,” Kyra said.

Kyra, as she always does, took matters into her own hands, first with a Google search, then by asking someone at her gym to check for scoliosis. That led to a trip to the doctor and X-rays revealing an S-shaped curve in her spine, already arching well over 50 degrees — life-threatening if she didn’t get it fixed.

The first doctor told Kyra climbing may no longer be in her future. A nurse added it wouldn’t be a big deal, that she would have a family some day and climbing wouldn’t be as important.

What they didn’t understand was the determination of the young girl in front of them.

“It didn’t sit well with me, even at that age,” Kyra said.

The Condies went to two more doctors, both of whom said she could be back climbing within four months. They went with the consensus and, not long before her 14th birthday, Kyra underwent surgery to correct a 72-degree curve in her spine.

The first couple of days in the hospital were filled with excruciating pain; doctors couldn’t give her enough pain meds because it was suppressing her breathing.

“It’s supposedly one of the more painful surgeries you can get and I was totally unprepared for how much pain I was going to be in in the hospital,” Kyra said.

Kyra spent four days in the hospital and the pain began to subside after about a week. Strictly following the doctor’s orders, she was climbing again later that year.

The surgery corrected her scoliosis, but it presented a new set of problems on the climbing wall.

Because her spine was fused into place, Kyra was unable to arch her back and had trouble bending sideways — important skills for high-level climbers.

Undeterred, she found new ways to work up the wall, honing her technique and problem solving. Kyra’s method isn’t always the easiest, but it works for her.

“It’s often really helpful to focus on what something can do for you, not what it can take away. She’s done that,” said Meg Coyne, USA Climbing national team manager and assistant coach. “It’s absolutely amazing that she can do what other people can do, often better.”

Kyra willed herself into becoming one of the world’s best sport climbers.

She moved to Salt Lake City in 2019 so she could work with the coaches at USA Climbing and, at 23, became one of the first American women to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

Nothing was going to get in her way, not even major back surgery.

“I was always kind of defiant and didn’t like being told I couldn’t do something,” she said. “Also, kind of the aspect of I was not naturally the best. I wasn’t used to winning but I really wanted to win. That coupled with having something to overcome really stoked my training.”

Tenacity has put Kyra in position to reach for something else: the podium at the Tokyo Olympics.

Britney Spears’ claims she’s not allowed to get pregnant or marry dismissed by conservator

However, just hours after her request to have her dad removed from her conservatorship was rejected, her conservator, Jodi Montgomery, who has been in control of the conservatorship since 2019, has spoken out.

A statement from Montgomery’s lawyer, Lauriann Wright, on behalf of Montgomery read: “As to Britney’s right to marry, that is unaffected by the conservatorship under Probate Code §1900. As to family planning, that is also unaffected by the conservatorship.

“If Britney needs any assistance with either, Ms. Montgomery has and will be there to provide any assistance needed to Britney.”

It went on to add: “Britney’s choice to marry and to start a family have never been impacted by the conservatorship while Ms. Montgomery has been conservator of the person.”

Author: Daniel Bird
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News

Gayle King’s swipe at Oprah Winfrey: ‘All she had to do was sit there and she’s b****ing!’

Oprah’s new AppleTV+ documentary with Prince Harry, entitled The Me You Can’t See, is coming out tomorrow. The programme will see Harry and other celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Glenn Close open up about mental health and the stigma around it. The Duke of Sussex will speak about the trauma of losing his mother Princess Diana and how he has been in therapy for four years now to work through the pain of his past.
This is the second collaboration Harry has done with Oprah now, after his bombshell interview with Meghan Markle earlier this year.

Harry and Meghan have been friends with Oprah for several years, giving her a prime pew at their wedding three years ago.

They are also friends with her CBS colleague Gayle King, who went to Meghan’s baby shower in New York two years ago.

Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King are known to be best friends, but even close friends can get on each other’s nerves if they spend too much time together.

READ MORE: George Clooney denied bold claim about Meghan Markle’s wedding

In a video from 2006, the two TV legends were filmed taking a road trip, where they had to drive for many hours at a time and started to bicker.

Gayle said: “All you had to do was just ride today and listen to my singing, which should have been very pleasurable and enjoyable and relaxing for you.

“I’ve been driving for six hours, all she’s had to do is just sit here and relax and she’s b****ing!”

Oprah hit back that the singing was “why I’m so cranky”.

They had been driving for hours in Arizona and it was around 6pm when they took shots at each other.

Gayle then started to sing: “But we’re healthy, we’re happy and seeing the USA in a Chevrolet, America’s waiting for your call!”

Oprah giggled but warned: “You had better be quiet.

“Because I have to sit here for six hours and take in other people’s energy.”

Gayle said: “She’s just cranky and b****ing and getting old and Oprah nobody cares because we’re all frigging tired.”

That night, after 11 hours in the car, the pair stayed in a motel called the Wigwam Hotel in Holbrook, where the rooms were all shaped like teepees.

The pair dropped all the animosity they were feeling in the car and just laughed together when they saw it.

When asked whether they wanted to fill out a registration car separately or together, Gayle said: “Separately. We’re not a couple, despite what you’ve heard.”

The sweet woman running the motel explained that her father had built all the teepee motel rooms himself 55 years before.

Oprah joked that she wanted her “wigwam” at the other end of the “village” from Gayle.

The woman joked: “That can be arranged.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

Alyssa Milano Claps Back & Throws An F-Bomb After She’s Called A ‘Washed Up Actress’ — Watch

Author: Allison Swan
This post originally appeared on Hollywood Life

Alyssa Milano, 48, posted a video on TikTok Wednesday, in response to a comment from a user saying, “sad how a washed-up actress is still trying to be important.” Alyssa captioned her video: “This ‘washed-up actress’ has something to say.”

The Charmed alum began her video by pointing to the comment, in the upper corner of her screen, and saying, “See these? I get a lot of those. Usually, it comes from people who identify as a different political party than I do.”

She continued, “You see, I identify with the party who believes in equality and equity and opportunity for everyone, and also the party who fights for the most vulnerable and the marginalized communities.”

The best part of the video came when Alyssa clapped back at being called “washed up” and said, “Just because you say something to be hurtful, it doesn’t make it true. I have consistently worked since I was 7 years old, and you can just f— off now and move along.”

Alyssa got her start in showbiz at age 7 when she landed a role of an orphan in the first national tour of the stage play Annie. Shortly after that she landed parts in multiple off-Broadway productions and television commercials.

But, it was her role as Tony Danza‘s daughter on the sitcom Who’s the Boss? that catapulted her to mega-stardom in the early 1980’s. Then came iconic roles on Melrose Place and Charmed, cementing her status as a queen of the small screen.

Alyssa Milano Reacts Washed Up Actress
Alyssa Milano shut down a on-line troll that called her a ‘washed up actress.’ [Shutterstock]

In 2009 she married to CAA agent David Bugliari. They have two children together — daughter Elizabella, 6, and son, Milo, 9.

In recent years Alyssa has become known as much for her activism as her acting. She has been a powerful voice in support of the #MeToo movement and an outspoken opponent of Donald Trump and the Republican party.

Earlier this week she even lent her voice to those taking aim at Caitlyn Jenner over her run for governor of California in a potential 2021 recall election.

The former Keeping Up With The Kardashians star is a lifelong Republican, and Alyssa was quick to point out the irony.  “You are running as a Republican?! Republicans deny your existence and are trying to erase trans youth,” she tweeted.

Candace Cameron Bure Defends Herself With The Help Of Bob Saget From Haters Who Say She’s ‘Fake’

Candace Cameron Bure got personal on past co-star, Bob Saget’s, podcast, and asked her former TV dad if he ever thought her ‘happy, positive’ demeanor meant that she was fake!

Candace Cameron Bure brought in major reinforcements from a former co-star to address fan rumors that her personality isn’t as sincere as it seems. The Hallmark Channel star, 45, chatted with her former TV dad, Bob Saget, on the April 12 episode of the comedian’s podcast Bob Saget’s Here For You, and things quickly got personal. “I’m going to ask you to talk about me for a second,” Candace sweetly said to her previous co-star, 64.

“For those people that think that because I am a happy, positive person, that I must be a fake person, would you say that that’s true or false?” Candace pressed her fellow Full House alum. But the actor didn’t even hesitate with his answer. “You’re the opposite of fake,” Bob told Candace. “And I’m sorry — you’re perky sometimes. What’s wrong with being perky?”

Bob Saget and Candace Cameron Bure in the episode ‘Welcome Home, Baby To Be Named Later’ in Season 5 of ‘Fuller House’ [The Everett Collection].

With such a perfect set-up, Candace hilariously quipped back at Bob, “I just hope the girls stay perky for the rest of their lives,” she said, making a not-so-subtle reference to a certain part of her body. After the two broke out in stitches of laughter, Bob got sentimental about his longtime TV daughter. “It’s hard — life can beat people down,” he shared. “Also, you’re very fortunate. You’ve had a lot of things happen, but you also work really hard,” he said, definitely channeling that TV dad energy.

Bob Saget and Candace Cameron Bure in the episode ‘Misadventures in Babysitting’ from Season 3 of ‘Full House’ in 1990 [The Everett Collection].

Candace was so grateful for Bob’s words, but also shed a bit of light on what prompted the question.  “I only ask that because sometimes you read comments, and most of them, they roll off my back. But when people are annoyed at me that I’m such a happy person…I was like, let someone speak into this that’s known me since I was nine years old,” she said.

Bob Saget and Candace Cameron Bure at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on September 8, 2018 [Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock].

Bob and Candace have known each for years, having worked together over the course of a number of decades dating back to the first season of Full House in 1987, and reuniting on the set of Fuller House in 2016! If anyone knows Candace well, it would definitely be her former TV dad. “You’re a positive person. So if you’re perky, it’s because you’re excited, and/or you’ve had a lot of caffeine. Thats what people should know; there’s nothing fake about you.” Candace couldn’t have appreciated the compliment more! “You’re like speaking my love language right now just hearing you say that,” she told Bob.
Julia Teti
This article originally appeared on Hollywood Life

‘The girl who defies gravity’: Russian skate star Alexandra Trusova reveals she’s big in Japan with best-selling book

Russian figure skating prodigy Alexandra Trusova has thanked her Japanese fans for their love and devotion revealing that her biography has become a bestseller in the land of the rising sun.

The 16-year-old star is in Japan where she is taking part in the World Team Trophy in Figure Skating, and said that the book titled  ‘The girl who defies gravity’ had attracted the attention of Japanese readers, hitting sales records in four different categories including becoming a bestseller in winter sports and children winter sports books.

My dear friends, I am so happy that my book found so many readers. I am particularly happy that my book is a bestseller in Japan – a country which loves figure skating. This is a privilege to me!” Trusova wrote on her social media page.

Trusova produced a bombshell performance at last month’s world championship in Sweden attempting to land a mind-blowing FIVE quads in her free program, a feat which helped her to rise from a low 12th place to a bronze-winning medal position.

The first skater in history to throw a quadruple jump also announced that her official fan club was built up in Japan, a country which worships figure skating.

Last year, the two-time world junior champion Trusova ended her long-term partnership with famed coach Eteri Tutberidze and joined Evgeni Plushenko’s figure skating academy.

The skater has been rumored to have returned to her previous coach, however this information has not been confirmed either by Trusova or Tutberidze.

This article originally appeared on RT Sport News

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Larsa Pippen Proves She’s Loving The Single Life While In A Bikini In The Caribbean

Newly single Larsa Pippen has been going wild with wearing bikinis lately. She’s now rocking a black Chanel two-piece on her St. Thomas getaway.

Between life in Miami and her current vacation to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Larsa Pippen has been serving up some seriously sexy bikini photos lately. The 46-year-old is single again after splitting from her 24-year-old boy toy, Minnesota Timberwolves player Malik Beasley. Larsa is currently vacationing in Magen’s Bay, St. Thomas, and thrilled her Instagram followers with an Apr. 13 post wearing a sexy black Chanel string bikini.

The two piece featured a triangle style top with the intertwined C’s of the Chanel logo on the left side of the garment. The bottoms featured strings that tied over her hips, as Larsa stood on the beach with the aqua Caribbean Sea behind her. Larsa’s incredibly flat and smooth abs were on display, along with her famed hourglass curves.

Larsa wore her hair pulled up into two topknots on either side of her head, as she sported a pair of black sunglasses and a gold chain around her neck. The mother of four then included a slide-right photo that showed off her famed derriere, which was barely covered by the black swimsuit fabric. Chanel’s brand was written out at the top of the bottoms in white lettering.

Larsa Pippen
Larsa Pippen flaunts her famed curves in a unique belted bikini that says ‘salty’ as she hits the beach in Miami on Feb. 27, 2021. Photo credit: MEGA.

Scottie Pippen‘s long-estranged wife is looking good and on the prowl ever since she decided to break off her four month romance with Malik in March. They were first photographed holding hands in a Miami mall in Nov. 2020. But that was news to his wife Montana Yao, who is also the mother of his son Makai. She filed for divorce two weeks later on Dec. 9. Larsa later claimed that she was aware Malik was married, but believed that he was already in the process of “exiting” the union. In the end, there was just too much drama.

As we previously reported EXCLUSIVELY, “Things ran their course between them. No one expected her to marry this guy, she was having fun. But then it started to get complicated and that’s not her thing, so she ended it,” a source close to the reality beauty told us. “There are no hard feelings, they’re cool. But she’s doing her thing in Miami and he’s on the other side of the country and that’s that,” the insider added.

This article originally appeared on Hollywood Life

M. Katherine Banks, Texas A&M’s incoming president, says she’s planning for a campus in “normal mode” this fall

When M. Katherine Banks became the new engineering school dean at Texas A&M University in 2012, an associate dean drove her to the Zachry building, the heart of the university’s engineering program in College Station.

He pulled into the basement-level garage and honked the horn twice — a preventive measure to scare off skunks that infested the aging facility.

Above them, the building reeked of mold. Engineering students not-so-lovingly dubbed it the “Zachry Smell.” Inside the building’s lecture hall, a once-impressive revolving stage, was broken.

Ten years later, the skunks are gone. Banks raised $ 76 million in private donations that helped build a state-of-the-art engineering building that boasts multiple high-tech labs and collaborative meeting spaces.

She commissioned 10 original art pieces, all inspired by science, technology and engineering, for the half a million square foot building that now enrolls more than 21,000 students — nearly twice the number of students from when she started. Many leaders within Texas A&M point to the center as a physical testament to her success running the college, which now enrolls nearly a third of all of Texas A&M’s student body.

“The house that Banks built,” an assistant vice chancellor joked last week during a tour of the facility, causing Banks to cringe.

“I don’t know where that [phrase] came from,” she said modestly.

Banks is not typically one to seek out attention, but starting June 1 she’ll enter the spotlight as the 26th president of Texas’ biggest university, the second woman to ever run the flagship campus.

She takes over as Texas A&M faces multiple challenges, including how to navigate a return to “normal” campus operations after the COVID-19 pandemic upended learning and campus life. She’ll also take the reins of a diversity and inclusion plan meant to increase students and faculty of color after a year where conversations about racial injustice and inequality on campus took center stage.

The Board of Regents last week approved her as the next president of Texas A&M, with a $ 925,000 annual salary over the next five years. Banks ended up negotiating her salary down $ 350,000 less than she was initially offered due to the current economic situation brought by the pandemic.

“If she can do for the rest of the university what she did for engineering, it’s gonna be a hell of a show to watch” said System Chancellor John Sharp, who said he had tried to convince Banks to apply for president six years ago, but she wasn’t ready to leave the engineering school. “She’s a visionary and an executor…[but] at the core of it all, it’s giving opportunities to the students that are here. I think that’s what makes her tick.”

While Texas A&M leaders said Banks has the track record of a proven leader, in an interview with The Texas Tribune, Banks tread so cautiously she was reluctant to even outline her vision for the broader university or discuss goals she has as president.

She declined to weigh in on heated issues that she will certainly have to address in the coming year, like the debate over the Lawrence Sullivan Ross statue. She even stopped short of definitively choosing her favorite piece of art in the Zachry building during a tour.

“I believe it would be presumptive to outline a vision without first meeting with and listening to the many constituents and stakeholders about their challenges, opportunities and ideas,” Banks wrote in response to follow up questions.

Banks said she plans to embark on a listening tour across campus before making concrete plans or setting goals. She admits she has a learning curve ahead when it comes to running other aspects of campus, including student affairs and athletics.

A Daniel Rozin art installation at the Zachry Engineering Education Complex building in Texas A&M University.

A Daniel Rozin art installation at the Zachry Engineering Education Complex building in Texas A&M University.

A more ‘normal’ fall

But Banks is clear that she wants the fall semester at Texas A&M to be something of a return to pre-pandemic life.

“We’re hopeful we will have a full [football] stadium … we don’t have to walk around with masks, we’re hopeful we don’t have social distancing,” Banks said “If we have an emergency situation, we will adjust to that. But right now, and perhaps this is the Aggie optimism, we are planning for a fully operational campus in normal mode.”

Banks said students learn best in the classroom interacting with faculty and other students.

“Without that, they may not…retain the information that we need them to be graduates of this institution,” she said.

But she cautioned it won’t be simply returning to college life as it was in 2019. She anticipates much of the fall will include rebuilding communities — social circles, faculty meetings, student organizations — that waned because they were difficult to maintain remotely.

Banks’ push for a totally in-person fall semester has the support of many students, but faculty are more cautious.

John Stallone, chair of the faculty senate, said while faculty understand the push to return to in-person classes, there is a concern that teaching in person will become a mandate.

“If we have another surge over the summer in COVID, then that’s going to raise some concerns and some worries amongst faculty,” Stallone said. “I hope that the flexibility that we’ve had so far will remain as she takes over.”

Banks said she anticipates the future of higher education will include some kind of hybrid learning, with both remote and in-person instruction. Stallone cautions that often means extra work for faculty.

“You can’t just use your in-person lecture online,” he said. “It’s not just a direct transfer, or an easy transfer in that regard. So you have to do things a little bit differently in order for it to work well, simultaneously.”

Eric Mendoza, a junior who is student body president at Texas A&M, said he thinks a normal fall is also contingent on students getting vaccinated and he’s interested in seeing how the new leadership handles that ahead of the fall semester.

“I think the trickiest part … is trying to convince our student body to want to get vaccinated,” Mendoza said, not because all students are hesitant to get the vaccine, but because they may be less concerned with getting seriously ill or not prioritizing finding an appointment.

Banks said she encourages everyone who can to get the vaccine, but declined to share an opinion of whether she believes vaccines should be required.

Recently, St. Edward’s University, a small, private university in Austin, announced vaccines will be required for the fall semester. Elsewhere, Cornell University and Rutgers University are also among the few universities nationwide mandating the shots. This week, Gov. Greg Abbott[2] said any publicly funded entity cannot require a vaccine for services, which would effectively prevent Texas A&M from mandating the vaccines.

Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks at the Zachry Engineering Education Complex in College Station on March 30…

Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks at the Zachry Engineering Education Complex in College Station on March 30…

Increasing Black student enrollment

Last summer, intense protests broke out on campus over the statue of Sul Ross, a former Texas A&M president and Confederate general.

Banks would not share her personal opinions on the issue, saying Sharp’s decision to keep the statue was final and she supported the initiatives established to improve diversity among students and faculty. A task force was set up to provide recommendations to the university’s Academic Plaza, where the Ross statue is located, and tell “the full story of the university’s history.”

Asked about the university’s plans for diversity outreach, Banks said Texas A&M has done a good job of recruiting Hispanic students, but recognized the Black student population remained low. It currently hovers around 3%, though Black people are 12% of Texas’ overall population.

She stressed the university has a plan to address these disparities, pointing to the initiatives approved by the Board of Regents earlier this year which includes nearly $ 25 million dollars for additional scholarships to recruit more students of color and increased efforts to hire more faculty of color.

While Banks has increased student enrollment within the engineering school, it has not grown equally across all demographics. Black students still make up around 2.5% of all engineering students in fall 2020, compared to 2.7% in 2011[3] before she took over. She has overseen growth in Asian and Hispanic students which make up 13% and 22% of the college’s population today.

Banks said recruiting Black students in engineering is a national challenge and educators need to start introducing students to a possible future in engineering early. She pointed to multiple programs she has launched to introduce K-12 students to engineering, curriculum help for science and math K-12 teachers, and additional programs for current Texas A&M students, including a summer bridge program to help underprepared students get up to speed.

Leaving home for college

Banks came to Texas A&M from Purdue University, where she headed the civil engineering school, and was a professor at Kansas State University before that.

She describes herself as a persistent leader who isn’t afraid to fail.

“I tell the students that often certainly you have to have a basic skill set, you have to work hard, but you have to be persistent,” she said. “So if you fail, then stand back up, dust yourself off and start again, figure out why you haven’t done well and adjust. So I tend to have that characteristic. … And if I want to do something, I’ll do it.”

Indeed, many of the biggest wins and highest profile initiatives over the past few years at Texas A&M have Banks’ fingerprints on them.

She was instrumental in the university winning a lucrative contract with Los Alamos National Laboratory[4] in 2018, beating out the University of Texas System. She submitted the bid after failing to win the Sandia National Laboratory contract two years prior.

She also oversaw the partnership with the Army Futures Command which has made the university’s RELLIS campus its hub for military research and new technology testing as it modernizes the Army, including cutting-edge research in hypersonics and autonomous vehicles.

Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks poses for a portrait outside of the Zachry Engineering Education Complex o…

Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks poses for a portrait outside of the Zachry Engineering Education Complex o…

As dean, Banks set a goal of enrolling 25,000 engineering students by 2025, ignoring skeptics who argued such an aggressive expansion would water down the program’s quality. The school is currently on track to meet that target and the program’s prestige is on the rise.

Just last week, U.S. News and World Report ranked the graduate engineering school 11th in the country and the best in the state for the first time, squeaking by the University of Texas at Austin.

She often refers back to her humble upbringing in Whitesburg, Kentucky as the place where she developed her values which have an emphasis on community and family. It’s also where she learned first hand how insurmountable it can be for young people to pick up and leave for a college education.

“We really didn’t talk about [college],” Banks remembered. ”It certainly wasn’t discussed in high school. … We didn’t really talk about moving away, we did not talk about, ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’”

When she did pack up for Gainesville, Florida, where she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, her grandfather — whom she deeply respected and had a close relationship — was angry that she would leave.

Banks’ father graduated college, but she said the experience of disappointing her grandfather gave her perspective on how many first generation college students struggle with the prospect of leaving home.

It’s one reason why she set up engineering academies across the state where students are accepted to Texas A&M, but take their first two years at one of six partner community colleges. The students are taught by engineering professors at Texas A&M who Banks sends to the local colleges.

“Leaving an area that could be impoverished or a family [where a] student is a first-generation college student is quite daunting to think of, leaving their hometown, their surrounding area, their supportive community,” Banks said. “But if they have one or two years of community college, they develop a cohort [of students] and that cohort comes here together.”

Data shows students in the academies achieve slightly higher grade point averages than engineering students who start at the College Station campus.

Disclosure: Texas A&M University, St. Edward’s University, University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas System have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here[5].


  1. ^ Sign up for The Brief (www.texastribune.org)
  2. ^ Greg Abbott (www.texastribune.org)
  3. ^ compared to 2.7% in 2011 (dars.tamu.edu)
  4. ^ winning a lucrative contract with Los Alamos National Laboratory (www.texastribune.org)
  5. ^ list of them here (www.texastribune.org)

Kate McGee

Larsa Pippen Rocks A Fitted Black Tank Top As She Declares She’s ‘Blessed’ Posing With $200K Ferrari

Larsa Pippen looked so glam as she posted in front of a mansion with her fire red Ferrari after her split from Malik Beasley.

Larsa Pippen[1][2], 46, is back on the market and looking better than ever! The Miami resident[3] rocked low cut tank top and black leather pants as she posed in front of her red Ferrari, costing around $ 200,000. “No, I’m not lucky, I’m blessed!! @prettylittlething,” she captioned the post on Friday, April 9, tagging her go-to fast-fashion brand who provided the outfit. She kept her eyes hidden behind a luxe pair of Chanel sunglasses, finishing her look with a pair of high top Nike Air Jordan’s in a black, white and silver color way.

Larsa was, of course, married to Michael Jordan[4]‘s teammate and friend Scottie Pippen[5] from 1997 until their split in 2015 (legally, they are still married). These days, rare Jordan’s can go for thousands on the market — such as the Dior edition that resold for around $ 20k — but we’re guessing the mom-of-four has a hook-up. She kept her highlighted blonde hair up in her signature half pony tail as she soaked up the sunshine. Larsa didn’t tag a location, but was standing in the driveway of a large mansion — likely in Miami, Florida, where she lives.

The sexy pic is one of many Larsa has posted on the ‘gram since her split[6] from Malik Beasley[7][8], 24. The mom-of-four and the Minnesota Timberwolves player were romantically linked after they were spotted holding hands at a Miami mall last November. The photos were controversial at the time as the NBA player[9] was still married to ex-wife Montana Yao[10], with whom shares one-year-old son named Makai. Montana later filed for divorce[11] on December 8.

For her part, Larsa denied allegations[12] she was involved in Malik and Montana’s split. “They were separated before I ever met him…That’s a fact,” she wrote on social media. Montana rebutted the statement with a post of her own, posting, “This is 100% false. Continue to speak on my name and my relationship and we’re going to have issues. Receipts don’t lie. Let’s not go there. I think you’ve embarrassed yourself enough already.”

Larsa stirred up romance rumors on March 13 when she was spotted[13] with Myles Kronman[14], the founder of Model House Los Angeles, at the trendy W Hotel in the South Beach area of Miami. The brunette man appeared to have a number of tattoos on his arms and test while they enjoyed cocktails — specifically coconut drinks — outdoors. While they could have just been friends, Larsa and Myles did seem to be chatting rather closely!


  1. ^ Larsa (hollywoodlife.com)
  2. ^ Pippen (hollywoodlife.com)
  3. ^ Miami resident (hollywoodlife.com)
  4. ^ Michael Jordan (hollywoodlife.com)
  5. ^ Scottie Pippen (hollywoodlife.com)
  6. ^ since her split (hollywoodlife.com)
  7. ^ Malik (hollywoodlife.com)
  8. ^ Beasley (hollywoodlife.com)
  9. ^ NBA player (hollywoodlife.com)
  10. ^ Montana Yao (hollywoodlife.com)
  11. ^ filed for divorce (hollywoodlife.com)
  12. ^ denied allegations (hollywoodlife.com)
  13. ^ she was spotted (hollywoodlife.com)
  14. ^ Myles Kronman (www.instagram.com)

Cassie Gill

Gwen Stefani Says She’s ‘Looked The Best’ She’s ‘Ever Looked’ Since Falling In Love With Blake Shelton

Gwen Stefani talked about the ‘daunting’ task of recognizing her beauty as she gets older, and revealed that ‘love looks good’ on her.

Gwen Stefani, 51, has opened up about beauty and aging, revealing it was hard to “have to face life” as she got older. Nevertheless, the three-time Grammy Award winner[2] told The Daily Telegraph‘s Stellar that she was feeling great, in a new interview “People talking about my aging is a compliment, I guess. I’m kind of obsessed with how I’m aging, too,” she began. “It’s really hard for everyone to age and have to face life. Especially for females and people who have been in the spotlight it can be daunting, but you tackle it by just trying to be the most beautiful version of yourself inside and out.”[1]


When it comes to beauty, nobody makes her feel as incredible as her fiance Blake Shelton[4], 44, who she got engaged to in October 2020. “Blake is the greatest guy,” she said of her longtime boyfriend. “I look back over the past few years and look at pictures of when I first started kissing Blake, and I look the best I’ve ever looked in my life in those photos. Love must look good on me. I feel like that does show through — it really does.”[3]

Gwen also revealed that she “had no idea who he was,” when she met her fellow The Voice coach on the popular singing reality show in 2014. At the time, Blake was with fellow country artist Miranda Lambert, 37, and Gwen was married to Gavin Rossdale, 55, with whom she shares sons[5] Kingston James McGregor, 14, Zuma Nesta Rock, 12, and Apollo Bowie Flynn, 7. The country crooner recently opened up on The Ride with Kimo & Heather  about his role as a stepfather to Gwen and Gavin’s kids[6].


“There’s definitely nothing easy about it,” he revealed. “I don’t know if it’s as hard, or harder than being a biological parent. I have a stepfather in my life who is one of my heroes. I love my stepfather and he’s like a father to me, so I have a good inspiration in my life on how to do this and the kind of stepdad I want to be.”


  1. ^ Gwen Stefani (hollywoodlife.com)
  2. ^ three-time Grammy Award winner (hollywoodlife.com)
  3. ^ Blake  (hollywoodlife.com)
  4. ^ Shelton (hollywoodlife.com)
  5. ^ with whom she shares sons (hollywoodlife.com)
  6. ^ stepfather to Gwen and Gavin’s kids (hollywoodlife.com)

Emily Selleck