Take a break from the regular news cycle and check out these NationSwell must-reads, which uncover solutions that are moving America forward.
Doctors, sociologists and psychologists utilize longitudinal studies to analyze how we change over time, but their research presents a segmented view of human behavior. A groundbreaking project at New York University, recording everything that happens in 4,000 households over 20 years, will take a more interdisciplinary approach to its data. By the study’s end, we might see, for example, how sleep affects relationships or how genetics dictates what we buy.
As students rush to class, it can be easy to forget who maintains a college’s pristine façade: the gardeners who tend the quad or the chefs who prepare the dining-hall fare. At Georgetown, one student’s friendship with a janitor led him to create a Facebook page featuring profiles of university staff, from window-washers to repairmen. The stories they shared were so popular, students raised thousands of dollars to help out a few of them, including funding a janitor’s dream to open his own jerk-chicken restaurant and buying a cashier a round-trip ticket to his native South Sudan to visit the family he hasn’t seen in 45 years.
For years, Walmart executives looking to bolster the bottom line hacked away at labor costs. The results showed: dirty bathrooms, near-empty shelves and nonexistent customer service depressed sales. How did the retail giant make a turnaround? Last year, they upped wages and invested in training. Sales reversed course and climbed upward, showing that employees are only a monetary drain when they are treated that way.
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