Scholar Hero is now in Remote Beta! Sign up for a demo at scholarhero.com/beta-signup!

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The reviews are in from out Pittsburgh testers, and they have been stellar! After responding to their feedback and iterating accordingly, we are ready to test Scholar Hero beyond our home base!

To test with us for absolutely free, simply go to scholarhero.com/beta-signup. We will send you to our testing page with a permission code. All we ask in return is a quick survey about our platform after a week of use.

Thanks to everyone for their support, and we hope to keep working hard to get Scholar Hero ready for our wide release!

Lee Ngo
Founder
Scholar Hero

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A Pillar of Education: The University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning

How many feet does it take to inspire a city? John Gabbert Bowman (chancellor at the University of Pittsburgh from 1921 to 1945) had the answer to that question when he commissioned the construction of The Cathedral of Learning. The awe-inducing building that soars over the Pitt campus was completed in 1937 and reaches 535 feet, making it the tallest educational building in the United States. Today, it stands as a testament to higher education but even during construction, it was an idea being built for students by students.

Nowhere to go but up. (Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlwelsh/)

Nowhere to go but up. (Photo Source: jlwelsh http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlwelsh/)

The Cathedral of Learning was a practical solution to the space shortage problem produced by a tremendous swell of student enrollment just after the first World War. Although, such an ambitious answer did not go without its obstacle, primarily money concerns. In response, Pittsburgh proved its resilience: over 97,000 school children contributed their coins to the Cathedral’s construction through a “Buy a Brick” program.

A view from the inside. (Photo Source: Brian Donovan  http://www.flickr.com/photos/58621196@N05/)

A view from the inside. (Photo Source: Brian Donovan http://www.flickr.com/photos/58621196@N05/)

Beyond the towering neoclassical design, the Cathedral is home to the equally impressive nationality rooms. These meticulously designed classrooms represent the varied world cultures that come together at the University of Pittsburgh, all in the pursuit of academic achievement.

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The Austria Room (Photo Source: Brandon Shea http://www.flickr.com/photos/95269083@N00/)

Personally, during my time at the University of Pittsburgh, the heights of the Cathedral of Learning always seemed to make me stand a little taller and aim a little higher. Its presence carries with it a sense of pride and empowerment. It has to be seen to be felt, but fortunately for all Pittsburgh residents, all you need to do is look up.

A beacon of enlightenment. (Photo Source: dano272 http://www.flickr.com/photos/hpdpro/)

A beacon of enlightenment. (Photo Source: dano272 http://www.flickr.com/photos/hpdpro/)

Sources:

http://www.nationalityrooms.pitt.edu/about/cathedral-learning

http://www.phlf.org/2008/06/30/cathedral-of-learning-trumpets-education/

Nathan Repp is a writer for Scholar Hero, Inc.

We’re All Scholars: Broadening the Scope of Our Company

Scholar Heroes Lee and Mike, reporting for duty. (Photo courtesy of http://theworldbelongstothosewhohustle.com)

We we began this journey to be “Scholar Heroes” months before we even called ourselves that. We wanted to improve academia for the better and invent new tools that would change the way we create knowledge forever.

Then the obvious question struck: who exactly are we trying to help?

We limited ourselves to the plight of those who pronounce themselves to be in the academy: graduate students, doctorates, post-doctorates, new faculty, and so forth. We remain convinced that their concerns are paramount to the continued success of knowledge production in our nation and beyond. However, as we engaged with other people in the university environment, we realize that our scope has been far too narrow.

What about the plight of….

University students?

Such attire is permissible if and only if you’re about to launch a multi-billion dollar company. Also, kids, don’t drop out of college.

Many members of our own team express the same concerns that their teaching assistants and professors do: hyper-competition, a lack of collaboration, an absence of support. These problems are exacerbated by other factors such as the size of the school as well as the presumed prestige of the institution in itself, but virtually every student shares these experiences.


High school students?

He aspires to attend Oxford or the Sorbonne, with Harvard as his safety. Also, he’s one of the worst students at his school.

The competition to get into a top university has never been greater, and prospective applicants must ensure that they are able to catch the eyes of these admissions committees. Moreover, even if students do get admitted, several studies show that these many seem to lack the fundamentals necessary to perform adequately

International students?

Source: PhD Comics (www.phdcomics.com)

More and more students now come from abroad to earn that highly coveted United States-accredited degree. These students provide a wonderful opportunity for the international academic community to grow their networks and strengthen their knowledge base. However, typically these students possess impressive skills in one field yet show a dearth in another, leading to a frustrating experience for both students and instructors.

The list of groups that could potentially benefit from Scholar Hero go on, but for now, we’ve decided to build our first product with the interests of these three in mind in addition to our primary group. In other words, we’re looking out for Scholar with a big S, the precocious knowledge seeker who constantly inquires, perpetually distributes, and relentless improves upon their body of knowledge.

Support Scholars. Accelerate Knowledge. Somehow that phrase rings louder than it ever has before.

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