The Advocate The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy Thu, 20 Feb 2020 21:06:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Your Ideal Academy Wed, 19 Feb 2020 22:15:44 +0000 When you think of Albuquerque Academy, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Laughing with your friends in the commons? Asking a question in your favorite class? Maybe you imagine your fifth-grade self excitedly grinning as you scan down an acceptance letter, or your parents in the other room, talking in low voices about how – or even if – they can actually afford the tuition. Whether your feelings were of joy or nervousness, whether your memories are pleasant or difficult, each of us brings a set of expectations to our first days at the Academy.

We can absolutely improve inclusion. Moving from diversity – okay, now we have a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds – into making sure that everyone feels like they belong. That’s the next level.”

— Jade Valenzuela '03, Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Through listening to the voices of Academy faculty and students about a wide range of topics, The Advocate got a glimpse into what the Academy is doing well and where it could improve. Not only do these impressions foster a list of advantages and disadvantages, but they also prompt the question: what would the ideal Academy look like for students and faculty?
One consistent answer among several of our interviewees was the hope for improved connection and community integration, via both financial aid and outreach programs. When asked what he would change about the Academy if he could, Brett DePonte ‘25, said, “I would change how the 6th and 7th-grade breaks work… [to] allow both grades to visit each other at the same time for 15 minutes each day of school, instead of different times for each grade level.” This desire for an improved system of outreach seems to go beyond scheduling changes. Aidan Mckinley ‘21 commented, “I know Academy tries to be involved [in the community], but I think we can do more to integrate ourselves into the city and other schools.” After some consideration, Addison Fulton ‘22 said, “We have a reputation for prestige, but it keeps people away from the Academy. So, my ideal of Academy is one with more money funneled towards financial aid and outreach programs so we can have a more diverse school — racially, culturally, and financially.” However, students weren’t the only ones who felt this way. Long-time faculty member, teacher, and mentor Laurie Thomas supported this same idea, saying, “Ultimately, I’d like to see more scholarship funds available across the board for both low and middle-income families, and more connection and communication between the lower school and upper school, as I think there are a lot of untapped opportunities for mentorship and relationships there.”

Despite room for improvement, the Academy is viewed positively by both students and faculty members. When asked what letter grade she would give to the Academy, Jordan Berg ‘26, said, “Definitely an A+. Everyone is just so nice and supportive. Also, the food is really good.” DePonte, a fellow student in the 6-7 division, commented, “I would give the Academy an ‘A’ because my teachers encourage me to try my hardest to excel and [offer] great service to the students. Also, I like how the school encourages students to befriend many other students around the campus.” These glowing opinions aren’t exclusive to younger interviewees, either. When asked which program had affected her the most, Fulton said, “Speech and Debate. It’s given me opportunities other programs haven’t. I get to meet new people, travel, hear new ideas, and express my own.” From football to choir, faculty to cafeteria food, the Academy’s environment truly does allow many students to find a place where they can thrive.

Jade Valenzuela, ’03, Director of Diversity and Inclusion said, We can absolutely improve inclusion. Moving from diversity – okay, now we have a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds – into making sure that everyone feels like they belong. That’s the next level.

In addition, Valenzuela pointed out what Academy has already achieved in terms of community integration, including division-wide Student Diversity Leadership clubs and four multicultural parent councils — African American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American. However, when asked if there were any areas we could improve in, she responded, “Oh, absolutely… For a long time, this school focused on getting diversity, getting the numbers, the demographics. But we still don’t fully represent the community that we’re in, and neither does our faculty.” As she states, there’s a very important difference between the two words in her job description.

Albuquerque Academy has done a wonderful job in giving its students and faculty support networks, opportunities for growth, and a community filled with empathetic, multi-talented people. So, with all this success behind us, let’s now listen to the student and faculty body and work whole-heartedly towards a more diverse, integrated, and, most importantly, inclusive future.

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A New Global Epidemic: Coronavirus Wed, 19 Feb 2020 15:16:17 +0000 Since December 1st, the coronavirus, originating from Wuhan, China, has killed over 1,875 people worldwide and infected around 73,439 people across 29 countries. Additionally, 60 million people in China’s province of Hubei have been placed under lockdown. In response, countries and airlines have imposed travel bans to and from mainland China, stranding foreign citizens. On Feb. 4th, the U.S. government arranged two flights filled with hundreds of Americans quarantined on a cruise ship, to return back to the United States from Japan. While these citizens have been evacuated, they and other evacuees returning from Wuhan have been put under quarantine. However, while President Trump has declared a public health emergency, officials in the US say the risk of infection to the general public is low. At the same time, a cruise ship was stranded in Yokohama, Japan when a passenger on the ship tested positive for the virus, with later confirmation of 542 cases of coronavirus. A separate cruise ship has docked into Cambodia, releasing its passengers into the world.

Source: The Center for Science and Engineering at JHU

Due to the rapid spread of the disease, this new strain of coronavirus has been declared an international health emergency and is receiving special attention. Anxiety has increased worldwide amongst health professionals when researchers from University Hospital LMU in Munich, Germany first discovered that the virus could be transferred through coughing and sneezing. Additionally, a new study published by The Lancet on Jan. 30th has shown that the virus may have emerged from bats, lending more insight into the origins of the disease. Common symptoms of coronavirus are very similar to the flu, including fever and cough that can progress to severe pneumonia and eventually, death. Amidst all the chaos and fear, there is some hope as doctors in Thailand claim to have successfully treated two people infected with the coronavirus, using a mix of antiviral drugs. At the moment, there are 80 clinical trials currently taking place and hopes are high that a cure will be found.

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What’s the Trouble with Iowa? Mon, 10 Feb 2020 21:04:19 +0000
Voice Your Opinion!

Take our reader poll on Democratic Party presidential candidates.

The electoral season is officially in full swing starting with the Iowa caucuses last Monday. Many observers are calling it the messiest and strangest Iowa caucuses ever. Pete Buttigieg barely came out on top with Bernie Sanders just at his heels, followed by Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and finally Amy Klobuchar, and one week later, the results are still not official. Let’s break down what happened in Iowa and what this means for the upcoming New Hampshire primary this Tuesday. First, we need to understand what exactly is a caucus, what is a primary, and what they have to do with the election process.

Joe Biden. Photo by David Lienemann

Primaries and caucuses are the mechanisms for deciding the presidential nominee for each party in November; they serve the same purpose but through different means. Each system determines the number of delegates candidates will have from that state to support them at the nominating conventions in the summer. Primaries are organized by the state and local governments and are the typical “go to the polls and vote” event, where the candidate with the most votes statewide wins, earning the most delegates to the nominating convention.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Photo by Gage Skidmore

On the other hand, the political parties themselves run the caucuses, which are therefore private events. Voters will go to their respective precinct, where they will physically stand in groups associated with each candidate. Voters who stand with candidates who do not earn 15% or more of the caucus-goers must align with another candidate. This process can take up to several hours. Finally, each precinct will report its results to the state party office. These results determine the number of delegates pledged to each candidate for their national convention. At the national convention, held in July for Democrats, these delegates vote to choose the presidential candidate. Whichever candidate has the most delegates from the primaries will become the nominee for their party.

Official Senate Portrait
Senator Amy Klobuchar

The Democratic Party primary process began on Feb.3 and runs to mid-June. The Republican Party is also holding nominating events, but because the President is virtually unopposed, we will not be discussing those elections here. Some states hold caucuses, some hold primaries, and some hold both, it depends on state law. Here in New Mexico, we hold our primaries in mid-June. The exciting part about the primaries is that anything can happen; they are genuinely unpredictable.

Official Senate Portrait
Senator Elizabeth Warren

The Iowa caucus is important because it is first, and offers the country an initial idea about how candidates might do in the primaries. Iowa tried something new this year; they introduced an app into the process for reporting results instead of phoning in the results like usual. The app failed to work properly, causing major confusion and prolonging the process, which, even at this writing, a week later, is not complete. A few hours into Monday’s caucuses, no results had come in, and people were starting to ask questions. The spokeswoman for the Iowa Democratic Party, Mandy McClure, issued a statement saying, “We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results. This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down, and this is not a hack or an intrusion.” This is not entirely accurate though. Questions had been raised earlier in the week about the app. The problem was the app was never tested on a state-wide scale, and not all precinct chairs were informed on how to use it. The system they were using transferred the data from the app into a second system, which then reported the data to the state office. Investigations found that this second system did not end up reporting all of the data. By the end of the night, still, no results had been reported, and eventually, candidates gave up and started delivering their speeches. Lack of official results didn’t stop Mayor Pete Buttigieg from declaring victory, saying, “tonight an impossible goal became an undeniable reality. We don’t know all the results, but we know by the time it’s all said and done, Iowa you have shocked the nation. Because by all indications we are going to New Hampshire victorious. “In the end, he did come out with the most votes, but just barely with 26.2% of votes, with Sanders just behind at 26.1%. Senator Warren came in third with 18%, Biden with 15.8%, and finally Klobuchar with 12.3%.

Official Senate Portrait
Senator Bernie Sanders

Most of the candidates had moved on from Iowa even before 100% of the results had been reported. They are now focusing on the upcoming New Hampshire primaries this Tuesday, Feb. 11 each of them with different plans for their race to victory. Former vice president Joe Biden is looking to New Hampshire for hope saying, “We took a gut punch in Iowa, the whole process took a gut punch. But look, this is not the first time I’ve been knocked down”. Senator Warren, hoping for a boost in a neighboring state, is framing herself as the unifier of the Democratic Party, saying she is the only one who can fight corruption in Washington. Mayor Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar are focusing on climate change, which is one of the biggest issues for voters in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders says he’s the only candidate who can beat Trump and is encouraging people to go vote saying democrats are going need historic turnout to win this one.

After New Hampshire, Nevada holds its caucuses on Feb. 22, followed by South Carolina on Feb. 29. Sixteen states hold nominating events on Super Tuesday, Mar. 3, at which point the democratic nominating picture should be much more clear.

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The Advocate’s Top 10 Music Release for January, 2020 Fri, 07 Feb 2020 20:16:58 +0000 (Funeral by Lil Wayne1) Funeral by Lil Wayne: Released as his thirteenth studio album, Lil Wayne provides his fans with a 24-track album, filled with catchy rhymes and appraised guest appearances such as Big Sean & Jay Rock. He dedicates this album to the memory of the late basketball player, Kobe Bryant.


Manic by Halsey

(2) Manic by Halsey: Halsey enters the new decade with her third exciting studio album. In this album, she dives into her personal feelings and gives listeners a peek into her personal life. She claims that her album is “calm and introspective”.



Circles by Mac Miller(3) Circles by Mac Miller: After his untimely death in 2018 due to a drug overdose, Mac Miller returns to us with his first posthumous studio album. The 12-track album describes his struggles in life, and learning to move past his problems. His family has notified fans that they should expect more releases in the future!



Music to be Murdered by Eminem

(4) Music to be Murdered By by Eminem: Out of the blue, legendary Detroit rapper Eminem released his eleventh studio album, inspired by, and named after a 1958 music album produced by Alfred Hitchcock. Eminem’s album debuted at #1 on Billboard 200, making it Eminem’s tenth #1 album in a row. He dedicated this album to late rap artist, Juice WRLD, who is featured on the #1 song on the album, “Godzilla”.

Rare by Selena Gomez(5) Rare by Selena Gomez: Selena Gomez returns with her third studio album, providing us with new pop songs that will be stuck in our heads for months! Her album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart ending Jan. 16. She says, “it took me four years…to even feel at a good place with this album….I’m relieved.”


High Road by Kesha


(6) High Road by Kesha: Kesha returns with this album after 3 years, introducing new vibes as well as harkening back to her pop roots. This makes her fourth studio album, and she exclaims, “I feel like as a human being, morally, I try to take the high road….So, the irony of the title is why I chose that to be the name of the record.”

Modus Vivendi by 070 Shake(7) Modus Vivendi by 070 Shake: Up and coming artist 070 Shake shows that she has flows, mixing English with Spanish in her songs. Her debut album contains many catchy verses, which definitely packs a punch.



Seeking Thrills by Georgia(8) Seeking Thrills by Georgia: Songwriter Georgia Rose Harriet Barnes, known as Georgia, introduces us to her second debut album. She gives us 13 uniquely  styled tracks that will make you replay the songs again and again.



Bombay Bicycle Club(9) Everything Else Has Gone Wrong by Bombay Bicycle Club: This English indie rock band brings us a new album after five years. The band explains, “This is an album for anyone who’s ever turned to music in a time of crisis, whether personal or political.”



(10) Bonny Light Horseman by Bonny Light Horseman: A folk-styled album, Bonny Light Horseman introduces the listeners to a world filled with revisualized English ballads and nursery rhymes. The trio brings a modern style (or modern sensibility that brings a new twist to folk music.

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Update: US – Iran Conflict Wed, 05 Feb 2020 17:59:58 +0000 It seemed overnight that fears blew up over possible draft letters being sent out to enlist Americans into World War III. A frenzy of online outcry and memes responded to a sudden inflammation of the long-simmering conflict between Iran and the United States, starting on January 3rd. The real conflict was induced by an American missile strike that killed an Iranian war hero, General Qasem Suleimani. The decision for the bombing was a retaliation for the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad, carried out by a Iraqi militia group serving as a proxy for the Iranian government. The Pentagon claimed that Suleimani orchestrated attacks on American service members and diplomats over his many years of service. On January 8th, in retaliation for the assassination, Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi air bases that house U.S. soldiers. The US government initially claimed there were no injuries in the attacks, but later revised that statement, acknowledging that 50 US troops were injured, though none were killed.
This marks another deterioration of relations with Iran. Tensions had been simmering after President Trump withdrew from a nuclear deal with Iran and several other world powers in 2018. America’s withdrawal from the deal follows President Trump’s stringent policy of crippling economic sanctions. In response to this withdrawal, Iran has deliberately violated some terms of the agreement, announcing after the Suleimani assassination that it will no longer have any restrictions on Uranium enrichment and the number of centrifuges built, increasing the possibility of a nuclear armed Iran. President Trump warned that the United States had 52 significant targets if Iran chooses to escalate the conflict further.
The history between the United States and Iran has always been contentious. Starting at the end of World War II, Iran was targeted for its vast oil reserves. In conflict with increasing Arab nationalism, the CIA covertly staged a coup in 1953, bringing the Shah to power and instituting an Iranian government sympathetic to the U.S. Anti-American sentiment boiled over in the Iranian Revolution of 1979, when Ayatollah Khomeini ousted the Shah. Khomeini’s plan was to create an Islamist nationalist state without foreign intervention, which led to the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. In a series of escalations, the U.S. broke all ties with Iran, banned American exports to the country, and set sanctions. These sanctions were lifted under United Nations deal in exchange for the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons in 2015.
In response to the retaliatory bombings, there was internal backlash in Congress. On January 8th, a White House briefing on the reasoning behind the airstrike left many in Congress angry. This led to many hypothetical responses with the House planning to vote to limit Mr. Trump’s war-making authority, and Democrats are moving forward with a measure that would require the cession of all military action in Iran. All of these policies have taken a back seat in lieu of the impeachment trial, and in its wake, tensions seem to have subsided as both sides have expressed their willingness to de-escalate the conflict.

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Academy Alumna Changes the World Tue, 28 Jan 2020 16:31:53 +0000   In 2000, Elizabeth Keller Kistin-Keller graduated from Albuquerque Academy, returning five years later to give a graduation speech and telling the class of 2005 this: “While living in southern Mexico for a few months one summer my host mother Juana Manzano constantly reminded me that: lo más importante no es dónde sino cómo vamos—the most important thing, she said, was not where, but how we go.” Now working at Sandia Labs and married to Mayor Tim Keller, Kistin-Keller remains an active voice in the Albuquerque community. While Kistin-Keller has certainly made her place in our community, how did she get to where she is today? Sitting with me in Flying Star to discuss Albuquerque’s politics as well as her own accomplishments is Dr. Kistin-Keller. 

Kistin-Keller begins by telling me about her life at the Academy. Part of the soccer team, The Advocate writing staff, the Speech and Debate team, and an active participant in the Experiential Education program, she was a busy and engaged member of the Academy community. “I think part of what I really loved when I was a student there was the opportunity to try so many different things,” Kistin-Keller tells me. “It felt like you weren’t limited.” Following her graduation in 2000, Kistin-Keller attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholar, providing her with a four-year merit scholarship, where she earned her B.A. in political science and Latin American studies. Thereafter, she earned her Ph. D at Oxford University in International Development Studies as a Rhodes Scholar. “I had been lucky in high school and in undergrad to have opportunities to be living and working abroad and took advantage of them every time I got them.”

After finishing her schooling, Kistin-Keller worked in South Africa on a global water conflict and cooperation project. One of the important aspects of working on this project, Kistin-Keller tells me, is being able to work with many different types of people. “You may have one lever or a couple of levers that you control, but if you’re actually going to make progress on the issue, you have to be able to build partnerships. You have to be able to bring folks together.” 

Bringing folks together, it seems, is Kistin-Keller’s philosophy whether she is managing her family responsibilities, engaging in politics, working on global projects, or leading projects targeting issues in the local community. As First Lady of Albuquerque, Kistin-Keller certainly plays a role in the political climate of our city. 

I asked her about two of the most pressing concerns in our city: youth education and incarceration. Indeed, when it comes to the youth of Albuquerque, Kistin-Keller focuses on community and collaboration. In response to growing concerns surrounding the state of the Albuquerque education system, she tells me that the key to taking the right steps to solve this problem lies in one word: partners. “I think the city has tried to work really closely with partners from the early childhood education, and we run a couple of the early childhood education centers, so [we] are invested as a service provider ourselves. But all of these programs require really close partnerships with other providers, with APS, with the universities that are around.” 

Image Credit: Lindsay Hartsock ’00

When asked about the issue of the increased juvenile incarceration rates in Albuquerque, (227 per 100,000 in NM as opposed to the average 138 per 100,000 in 2017), Kistin-Keller smiles and begins animatedly telling me about a local organization that is working to help solve this. “One of the groups that I’ve been just totally blown away by is a group called Youth Connect. Lots of them [the staff] grew up here in Albuquerque.” Youth Connect is an organization that works to help youth in the city through enrichment programs geared towards both Academic and Extracurricular success. “What they [Youth Connect] recognized, having done some analysis, is that there was a gap. We had good programming for younger kids and all the way up into middle school, and there was this huge gap between what we were actually doing for folks in high school. We as a city don’t control time during the school day, but one of the things that that the mayor is committed to is working through a city government but through a whole community approach.” That is, the city government is looking to fund educational enrichment programs for all grade levels, with a focus on high schoolers.

Nevertheless, as involved as Kistin-Keller is in the public landscape of Albuquerque, “this city part of my life is just one tiny slice of what I do,” she tells me. Kistin-Keller also maintains her career as a complex systems analyst at Sandia Labs where, among other things, she leads the Strategic Future Program. “Part of my job is helping folks imagine, what the world might look like in 15-20 years in terms of intersections between emerging technologies, changing global dynamics, and changes in institutions, demographics, and politics. How do those pieces fit together to influence how we prepare, how we adapt?” One of her favorite aspects of working at Sandia Labs, she tells me, is “the chance to do work that matters on a global scale.” Her job allows her to work in powerful settings and engage with many different types of people. “It’s dynamic work and I get to work with some just fascinating people both inside and outside of the lab system, which to me is really energizing.”

As she balances her roles as a scientist, the first lady, and a mom to two young kids, she credits a “village of folks who makes it all possible.” “It’s caused both Tim and I to think about what it means to balance professional lives, public service, and parenting,” she tells me, “We’re grateful to do that in the place where we grew up and also extremely grateful to be able to do that with the people who raised us and now get to spend so much time with our kids as well.” Whether in her personal life or in her work life, Kistin-Keller never loses sight of the meaning of community and incorporates this into every aspect of her life.

As we wrap up our conversation, Kistin-Keller leaves me with advice for the Albuquerque youth. “We have the power to do some real work right here, right now, that can make a difference. I think it is important to never lose sight of that and to never get so bogged down with whatever the climate is right now. Let’s not lose sight of what it means to have that real power to change and to help make change.”





















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College Football Playoff Recap Tue, 28 Jan 2020 13:12:24 +0000 After months of battling it out on the football field, two teams, ironically both represented by the same mascot, had their chance to become the 2020 National Champions. In the playoff tournament, four of the strongest teams come head to head, fighting for the national championship title. This year, the Louisiana State Tigers, the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Clemson Tigers, and the Oklahoma Sooners filled up those four spots. Louisiana State Tigers had a very smooth entrance into the final game, elected as the number one seed, ending the regular season as the only undefeated team left. On the other hand, Clemson had a more difficult time making their way into the final match. They were seeded third, which is one of the most difficult positions to come back from as the first seed is put up against the fourth and the second is put up against the third. That meant they had to face Ohio State, one of the frontrunners along with LSU. This game ended in Clemson’s favor, led by Trevor Lawrence, sending them to the final game. Tigers vs Tigers.
Even before the championship game started, LSU was the heavy favorite. During the first quarter, the score was 7-7, no one was dominating the field at that point in the game, with Clemson scoring the first touchdown. However, the rest of the game was dominated by LSU, particularly by quarterback and Heisman Trophy Winner, Joe Burrow. After 3 more touchdowns by LSU in the second quarter, one of which by Burrow the halftime score was 28-17. The rest of the game was no different; LSU scored two more touchdowns in the second half, resulting in a final score of 42-25.

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Impeachment Update Tue, 28 Jan 2020 12:59:37 +0000 On Wednesday, December 18, the House of Representatives, controlled by the Democratic Party, voted to pass two articles of impeachment against President Trump. These articles allege that the President abused his presidential power and obstructed Congress from conducting their investigation. The first charge states that President Trump withheld 391 million dollars of congressionally approved aid from Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into a political rival, a power not given to the president in the Constitution. Democrats argue that the President did this in order to coerce Ukraine to investigate democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. During a phone call on July 25, President Trump encouraged Ukrainian President, Volodymr Zelensky, to start an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, despite no evidence of corrupt activities on either of the Bidens’ parts, and despite the US Intelligence community’s near universal belief that Russia, not Ukraine, poses a threat to US election security. The second charge is based on President Trump’s lack of cooperation with the House’s inquiry by ignoring subpoenas for documents, and blocking testimonies from White House aides. This violates the internal system of checks and balances between the branches of government outlined in the Constitution.

The President and his administration have repeatedly denied these charges, and when the articles were voted upon on December 18, the House voted along party lines. With Republicans opposing impeachment and Democrats in favor of it, the first article, abuse of power, was passed 230 to 197. All Republicans, as well as two Democrats, voted against the charge. The second article passed similarly with 228 Democrats and one Independent voting in favor of the article and 195 Republicans and three Democrats voting against it. With the House voting in favor of both articles, the trial was passed on to the Senate. The impeachment trial began in the Senate on January 16 and has yet to finish.

As according to Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution, the presiding officer of the trial is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts. The prosecution is led by seven house managers chosen for their experience and racial, economic, and geographic diversity. These members are Adam Schiff (D-Ca), Jerry Nadler (D-Ny), Zoe Lofgren (D-Ca), Hakeem Jeffries (D-Ny), Val Demings (D-Fl), Jason Crow (D-Co), Sylvia Garcia (D-Tx). The White House formally announced the defense would be led by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. The counsel team also includes Jay Sekulow, Ken Starr, Alan Dershowitz, Pam Bondi, Jane Raskin, Eric Herchmann, Robert Ray, Patrick Philbin, and Michael Purpura. On January 20, the White House named Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga), Mike Johnson (R-La), Jim Jordan (R-Oh), Debbie Lesko (R-Az), Mark Meadows (R-Nc), John Ratcliffe (R-Tx), Elise Stefanik (R-Ny), and Lee Zeldin (R-Ny) as the eight house Republicans that would serve on the President’s defense team.

January 16th-20th was the beginning of the hearing, during which both the senators were sworn in. Votes were also taken concerning the procedure for the following days of the trial, led by the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. After this process, the Senate adjourned for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day recess. The Senate chamber was modified into a court for the proceedings and the House impeachment managers began their opening presentation on the 22nd. According to the Resolution for Procedure presented by Mitch McConnell, both sides were given 24 hours over three days for their opening statements.

On day one of the opening statements, the Democrats presented evidence from the Trump-Zelensky phone call, President Trump’s own statements, and the House impeachment inquiry testimony. On the second day, the prosecution argued as to how the evidence provided demanded the removal of the President from office. On their last day of opening statements, the Democratic team explained possible responses from the defense and asked for the Senate to call witnesses. While some Republican Senators called the prosecution’s remarks repetitive, Tim Kaine (D-Va) affirmed that this was purposeful, due to the fact that many Senators do not follow the proceedings closely. At the end of the opening statement, Senator Schiff warned that the Trump team, having failed to smear the Bidens using Ukraine, will use this trial to do just that.

On January 25, the presidential defense team began its statements.They argued that there was a lack of direct evidence of wrongdoing, and also asserted that the impeachment inquiry was merely a Democratic tool to steal the 2020 election. Selukow added to this claim by saying that the supposed Ukranian meddling in the 2016 election had given Trump cause to investigate corruption in Ukraine, despite lack of evidence. Purpura presented evidence showing that three witnesses were not aware of Ukraine expressing concern about the withdrawal of the aid until last August. He suggested that Ukraine was unaware of the aid being withheld and as a result there could have been no quid pro quo expressed during the July 25th call. However, Purpura declined to present the testimony of Laura Cooper, who had testified that her office received emails on July 25th from Ukrainian officials asking about the hold.

The Senate recessed on January 26th and returned to complete the defense argument on Monday . Defense lawyers argued that the accusations do not rise to the level of impeachable offenses against a backdrop of new revelations from a forthcoming book by John Bolton. These revelations, which appear to support democrats’ contentions, may lead the necessary four or more republican senators to vote against their party, in support of calling more witnesses, including Bolton. This outcome would be a win for democrats and a blow to the President. Stayed tuned, as The Advocate updates the story.

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Social Media Influencers Mon, 27 Jan 2020 12:58:59 +0000 The majority of corporate marketing was historically advertised through the help of television and newspapers, but over the last decade, advertising has shifted to a more modern platform: social media. The rise of social media has created a subset of celebrities who use their massive audiences to influence users. These influencers use companies such as Instagram and Facebook to promote or recommend merchandise. Influencers promote sales of products and services by using their “personal” relationship with their followers. By using these social media platforms, they can establish a large presence in specific industries, accessing large audiences and giving the influencers the ability to advocate their message across platforms.

But, where did the idea of social media influencers originate from? Marketing companies utilize apps such as Instagram to capitalize on popular posts to reach large audiences. These companies search for relevant social media influencers, contracting with them in exchange for advertising the companies’ products. Social media influencers have created a sense of authority and trust with their followers in their individual marketing spaces. Companies are more vulnerable to losing business if they are not affiliated with any social media influencers, because consumers rely on celebrities and social media stars to share certain products or services.

Kylie Jenner, by Hayu [CC BY(]

One of the most popular social media influencers is Kylie Jenner. Amassing 152 million followers on Instagram, she has become the youngest self-made billionaire ever. The mogul promotes her own makeup products, allowing her to grow substantially more than her rival influencers. Showing off her newest makeup kits, Jenner makes one million dollars per sponsored Instagram post. Another social media influencer who has made his mark from the digital world is Cameron Dallas, having accumulated an enormous fanbase on platforms such as Vine and YouTube. Dallas secured his own TV show on Netflix and has ventured into the music industry with the help of his internet fame and stardom.

Cameron Dallas, Courtesy of Walt Disney TV

The Academy community is unified on the topic of social media influencers. Ben Montoya ‘23 remarks, “I mostly follow athletes and movie/tv stars, often seeing them advertising products to their followers. These posts usually get people to buy the products because they see their favorite influencers using them.” Andrew Harrod ’22 believes that social media influencers “are very rich for how little effort it takes. I used to follow an influencer whose online alias was Filthy Frank. He had an extremely satirical and odd view on life. Along with edgy humor, his videos were unlike anything I’ve ever seen. He is better known as the singer Joji now, but he has impacted my sense of humor greatly.” An anonymous student added, “Social media influencers are people who have a following for the entertainment they produce on the internet. The influencers I follow create a culture of their aspects of life through their videos, music or posts. They impact the community through spreading their beliefs and their background through what they produce.”

Social media influencers are more than just advertising products on different platforms; using their internet presence to spread a message, these influencers inevitably create a loyal fanbase which will support them in the long run.


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“I Would Only Leave For a School I Thought was Special” Mon, 20 Jan 2020 14:26:19 +0000 Shortly after Albuquerque Academy Head of School Andy Watson announced his impending retirement, a vigorous search for a qualified leader to take his place was well underway, led by the Board of Trustees. Once the applicants had been narrowed down to three, the student body, faculty, staff, and parents became involved in the process. A series of question and answer sessions and interviews with the applicants took place on campus, and soon a school-wide debate over who would serve the Albuquerque Academy and its mission the best ensued. Eventually, the Board, taking into account input from the Academy community, decided upon Julianne Puente to be Albuquerque Academy’s new Head of School (HOS).

Ms. Puente, a graduate of Cornell and Columbia Universities, worked at her former high school, Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York, as a teacher, administrator, and soccer coach for 14 years. She left the school after being recruited as the Deputy Headmaster, Dean of Students, and Girl’s Soccer Coach for the King’s Academy, a private school in Mabada-Manja, Jordan that she helped establish in 2009. As both a teacher and administrator, Ms. Puente has strong relationships with many of her students, some of whom she has stayed in touch with 12 years after teaching them. Puente has made “deep friendships” at King’s Academy, and she said, “I would only leave for a school that I thought was really special. And that’s how I felt about Albuquerque Academy.” Ms. Puente has been a fan of the Academy –in particular its mission, its commitment to diversity among students, faculty, and staff, and its unique programs like Experiential Education, Commitment to Service, and the DOT Garden — for over 10 years. She knows the transition will be difficult, but “the thing that is making it palatable is where I’m going.”

I can’t think of a better chance to take than on a kid.”

— Julianne Puente

Pondering her future adjustment to life in Albuquerque, Ms. Puente joked that she might find herself standing on the path that stretches from the lower to the upper campus at seven or eight at night, asking herself, “Where is everybody?” As a faculty member working at a boarding school, Ms. Puente lives at the heart of the King’s Academy, ending her day around students at 10:30 to 11:00 PM, and starting it at 6:00 AM at the gym. Although nostalgic about her students and life in Jordan, Ms. Puente lit up suddenly when she discussed her future as Head of School at the Academy. During the selection process, she felt as though “it was meant to be.” She was warmly received by the community–with students, faculty, and parents sending over 60 letters and dozens of emails–and she felt comfortable “meeting all the wonderful people there.” Now, she is excited to learn the ins and outs of the Academy, or as she calls it, the “Academy Charger language.” The key, she says, to getting to know the students as well as maintaining a role as an administrator, is to “be genuine, to be transparent, and to follow through.”

She stated that, during her second year as the Head of School, she would consider teaching a class in one of the humanities, because of her love for teaching and connecting with students. Ms. Puente said, “I can’t think of a better chance to take than on a kid.” She is committed to getting to know students and hearing their opinions, and although she is not “omnipresent,” she joked, she will be sure to “be methodical about trying to meet with groups of students” as soon as she arrives on campus. At King’s, Ms. Puente has relationships with her students that are beyond surface level. She said, “I know their stories. I know their families. I get to see them at their very best, and perhaps sometimes when they’ve made mistakes.” She plans to form these connections with students at the Academy as well–although she knows it may be challenging due to the large student population–because “when kids know that you genuinely care about them, or love them, really, you can handle any issue.”

Ms. Puente, despite having heard about various topics of discussion at the Academy, is adamant about not entering her role with an agenda. Rather, she is excited, she said, to organize “barbecues or teas or whatever it is that we do at Academy.” Here, she will ask students, parents, and faculty to “give me my marching orders, tell me what we need to do and why. And I might push back a bit and come back to you.” When asked about what she would do to increase school spirit, she gave a variety of examples of ideas she had implemented at Hackley, such as Friday Night games for breast cancer awareness, having a cookout at games, or having the orchestra play pop up concerts in the quad. By the end of the interview, it was apparent that Ms. Puente plans to use her past experiences working with kids in many different aspects, to be a passionate and caring leader for the Academy. She said, “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy or I’m not going to make mistakes, but I feel embraced, ready, and excited to be there.”

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