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VUToday: Blair School piano phenom in weekly roundup of VU news stories

by May. 19, 2017, 2:37 PM

University News and Communications publishes VUToday, a compilation of Vanderbilt mentions in the media, each weekday. Here, read a selection of those Vanderbilt news stories for the week of May 15. To subscribe to the daily VUToday newsletter, visit

The Tennessean: How a 22-year-old Vanderbilt graduate became Keb’ Mo’s keyboardist
David Rodgers, a native of Pasadena, California, came to Vanderbilt to major in computer science. Instead, the 22-year-old has just graduated from the university’s Blair School of Music as a piano performance major, with a concentration in jazz. And he’s already landed an incredible job. In just two weeks, Rodgers will head out on a five-month, international concert tour with two of the biggest names in blues: Keb’ Mo’ and Taj Mahal. Rodgers is quoted throughout. The article mentions Ryan Middagh, senior lecturer and director of jazz studies, and Jeff Coffin, adjunct instructor of jazz saxophone, and features a video produced by Vanderbilt Video.

The New York Times: Free tuition? Tennessee could tutor New York
When it comes to enacting free college tuition, New York state could learn a lot from Tennessee’s example. Community college enrollment numbers are up by a third in Tennessee, thanks to its Tennessee Promise program, while the amount that students are having to borrow from the federal government is down. Yet at the same time some of the state’s four-year colleges are facing declining enrollment, as more students use community college as a steppingstone to a four-year degree. William Doyle, associate professor of higher education, is quoted.

Reuters: Trump asked Comey to end investigation of Michael Flynn: source
U.S. President Donald Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to end the agency’s investigation into ties between former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia, according to a source who has seen a memo written by Comey. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law, is quoted.

USA Today: When it comes to marriage, race and ethnicity matter less
Intermarriage is on the rise, a report released Thursday shows. Even with this increase, race continues to play a strong role in the marriage market. Vanderbilt University research published last year showing that 91 percent of nonwhite daters preferred to date a white person is mentioned.

Science World Report: A newly discovered ‘puffy exoplanet’ has a density of a styrofoam
A team of researchers from Lehigh University, Vanderbilt University and Ohio University have discovered a new planet orbiting a star 320 light years from Earth that has the density of Styrofoam. This “puffy planet” outside our solar system may hold opportunities for testing atmospheres that will be useful when assessing future planets for signs of life.

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