Options News

Founder’s Feature – February Edition


Throughout the academic year, Melinda Giampietro, Options Founder/President, will share some of her favourite things in her monthly Founder’s Feature. Melinda loves reading, data, research, and following academic and adolescent news around the world.

Let Me Feed You: Everyday Recipes Offering the Comfort of Home: A Cookbook, Rosie Daykin has been in my library since it was released and gifted to me in 2019 (Thanks, Margot!). I find I use it most often in the winter. The recipes are simple, flavorful, and perfect for cold winter nights and weekends. I also share some of Rosie’s simple values about fashion (blue striped shirts for the win!) and food (cake is always a good idea!). It’s a Vancouver classic. Some of the recipes I make over and over include Butter’s Granola, Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins (probably the most made muffin in our house), Noodle Chicken Soup, French Lentils and Fennel Salad, Chicken Pie, Sausage Sauce for India, and Chocolate Cherry Cookies. 

February’s Featured Podcast 

I finished Somebody the third week of January. The podcast is narrated by a mother, Shapearl Wells, whose son Courtney was shot outside a Chicago police station. She joins The Justice Institute and launches into her own investigation on her quest for truth in Courtney’s murder. From the Intercept’s website, “Somebody explores the racial disparities and turbulent relationship between law enforcement and citizens in one of America’s largest cities.” It was heartbreaking. It was even more devastating when the news of Tyre Nichol’s murder occurred in Memphis, highlighting another case of police abuse. 

February’s SFU Feature Focus 

I am so excited for SFU to get its new gondola. It reminds me of living in Colorado. Read this article from University Affairs for the latest updates. Did you know SFU is getting a medical school in 2026?  Although its progress has been delayed, it is very exciting for our students interested in medical training and careers.

February’s Writing Focus

As you know, we love to talk and think about writing at Options. Some of our most recent conversations have revolved around the influence of Artificial Intelligence on writing and its implications for university essays. I have been reading from a broad range of sources regarding thoughts, predictions, and implications for our students. Here is the article I’ve found most interesting so far. It’s from the high school English teacher. And here’s another super interesting article from the New York Times.

February’s Fun US Article 

I often pitch a life filled with grace and good humour. This article, “College Admission Year in Preview: A Playlist” is simply good fun. It matches one song to each month of the US admission cycle for grade 11 students. Some of the choices and explanations made me laugh aloud. Two of my favourites: April’s “On the Road Again,” by Willie Nelson to match university visits and June’s “It’s Your Thing,” by The Isley Brothers to match students’ choices of summer plans. 

February’s NEW FEATURE Alert

Starting in March, we will be launching a new social media campaign: Options on Tour. This will focus on campus visits to various institutions by Options’ team members. I’ll be highlighting my tours of Nova Scotian universities last year and to London institutions (UCL, KCL, LSE, SOAS, and Imperial) this January. 

To read more Founder’s Features, check them out under the Options News category.

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