Archive for January, 2011

What’s the big deal with all these cupcakes?

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Have you been looking for something different and wonderful in planning for your next special celebration? If you have, and a cake has a place in your planning, then you may wish to consider something more exciting this time. There are many special reasons why you may wish to plan your event around cupcakes, in place of the time-honored tradition of a cake.

Cupcakes are no longer just the cornerstone of bake sales, children’s birthday parties and something to make on a rainy Saturday afternoon with the kids. Specialty cupcake bakeries have sprung up all over the world, and have even found an honored place on television food networks. Catered events, which feature cupcakes as a major and stunning cake display, are always a hit with the guests who are attending. Some of these events are very high-end and extravagant. They cater to clientele from Hollywood, the fashion industry, corporation networks, and every other guest list imaginable.  What has happened to elevate the humble cupcake to these new heights?

In considering cupcakes vs cakes, what distinguishes cupcakes as the more preferred choice? TS-200425251-001

Let’s begin by considering flexibility of display. Unlike a cake, which must be carefully designed, stacked and decorated, cupcakes can be displayed on surfaces built specifically for the occasion. In designing themes, the underlying or surrounding cupcake display structure can be created to astound! Instead of being limited to decorating one or two cakes to communicate the total theme desired, cupcakes and their supporting display structure can dazzle in a way that a cake cannot. This also means easier transport. Large, complicated cakes can often be damaged prior to arrival at the event site.

Cupcakes offer taste variety. Again, we see that cupcakes are more flexible, and can offer many selections for guests. A single cake or two is limited in its variation. Many guests therefore may not be able to enjoy a major theme of the celebration, if they do not find the featured cake enticing. With cupcakes, taste is unlimited. There is something for everyone.

Cupcake designs also, are endless. If you wish to carry out a special theme, many excellent ideas can present themselves within the cupcake display. Special minor themes can be artfully created or each cupcake can stand on its own, and be completely unique from the other cupcakes present. This may be one of the most appealing features of cupcakes. Each guest can select a cupcake which they find most attractive or appealing. This is a very personal and individual touch that most guests will appreciate.

Many of the top culinary schools these days are creating special courses and classes for baking and specialty cupcakes.  The specialty cupcakes stores are taking over the big cities and this fad is not going away.  If you are interested in breaking into the cupcake industry, dont wait!  Locate your nearest culinary school and sign up for classes today!

How much money does the president of your college make?

Monday, January 10th, 2011

The Chronicle of Higher Education has released their latest report regarding the salaries of private college presidents. They have noted a record 30 private college presidents make one million dollars or more per annul for salary. The Chronicle utilized a report of tax documents for a total of 448 colleges around the country to compile their information. They state that TS-86796586most of the salaries were negotiated prior to the 2008 worldwide economic crisis, which threw most private, public and technical colleges into a massive budget crunch. Their survey for the previous year had also cited a record number of million dollar salaries, 23. With many of today’s students, both those fresh out of high school and returning professionals, facing exorbitant tuition hikes, the public tends to wonder why such a large portion of their tuition is being used for the college president’s salary.

What does the president of a private college do during their working hours that is so different from the president of a technical college? The work of a private college president is difficult and multi-faceted, but that is no different than the work of a public or technical college president. Most students who attend technical colleges are looking to further their career, change their career or finish an education that was previously cut short. These students are generally career or family oriented individuals in search of a better life for them and/or their family. They are not fresh out of high school, without the time constraints of a current job or family. They need special attention to work around their current employment and family obligations. Another common factor among technical college students is their financial situations. A large number of students at these types of colleges are attending on grants and with the assistance of financial aid.

There is no reason presidents of colleges should not be paid a decent salary; the salaries should just be on a level with the economy. Special attention does need to be paid to students needs, especially at technical and small colleges; often more attention than that of a more traditional school. This usually means more work for the college president with regards to educational program detail and attendance policies. If this is the case, shouldn’t the salary of the technical college reflect the extra work? Most private colleges board cites the need to attract the “best of the best” as an excuse for their hugely inflated president’s salary standards. Unfortunately, even in today’s economic times, this tune has not changed. Hopefully,  some day in the near future, colleges will realize they need to put more money into their students and not into their heads of state. And hopefully technical and public colleges will benefit from their wisdom and financial acuity.

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Looking to graduate college? Well, maybe not from one of these 10 schools with the lowest college graduation rates…

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

We all know that not everyone who attends college actually graduates from college.  TS-86532936For some reason or another student’s drop out, transfer, take time off, etc. It happens to various students at every college in America, whether it’s a 4-year public university, a private not-for-profit college, community college or career college.

This particular list of the top 10 worst college graduation rates for schools focuses only on the 4-year public and private not-for-profit colleges in America. According to the Washington Monthly’s 2010 rankings, this is how the list unfolded:

*Skipping current #1 – Southern University at New Orleans (LA) – because Hurricane Katrina left the campus in devastation causing the graduation rate to drop drastically from 11% to 5%. Prior to Katrina, SUNO would have ranked at #13 on the list.



Although low college graduation rates are a commonality among schools across America (especially these select 10), they’re not meant to decrease from the credibility of the school. There are several additional factors that aren’t educationally based that can cause a student to dropout. The reasons can be anything from personal, economical, and the like. Who knows, if you’re in the middle of choosing a college, maybe you could help bump up these college graduation percentages by choosing one of these 10 colleges…a distant maybe but a maybe nonetheless.

PF Image - Lowest Graduation Rates

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