About Allie Shipper

I am a not-so-average college student on a mission to understand the education space - and to revolutionize it. I study nonprofit management at a large research university, and after taking a semester hiatus to work, I returned to campus with fresh ideas of what I demand from my experience. Re-entering the classroom was jarring, and I quickly became disturbed by the wilted passion displayed by students and professors alike. With students focused on memorization and professors teaching courses unrevised since the advent of the internet, I decided to demand answers. I am now on an espresso-fueled quest to raise the bar. I only break from raising hell to refill my soy latte or to take my border collie to the dog park. Talk to me about community building, bourbon, and Detroit hockey.


I’ve been thinking a lot about the law of conservation of energy recently (it’s been a slow week). It goes a little something like this: energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but it can be transformed from one state to another. We choose to expend our personal and professional energy on solutions that result [...]

Recklessness in Educational Grants

The education grant system is a hot-mess. I spent my weekend researching over 250 grant-making organizations and private family foundations. It’s not my business to tell philanthropic individuals how to donate their money or to demand that they narrow their giving constraints. It is a little odd to me that a grant maker has guidelines [...]

Everything is About to Change

It was widely reported yesterday that Inkling signed a contract with McGraw Hill and Pearson publishing companies. Inkling is backed by venture dollars in a big way. Sequoia Capital, the venture capital firm that is the poster child for all things valued by Silicon Valley, invested in Inkling back in late 2009. This is big [...]

Chaos Before the Calm

I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership lately (it could be because I am taking five courses on the subject, but I can’t know for sure). Throughout college I have held leadership positions on every project I have worked on. Frankly, it’s natural for me to make decisions when others sit back and wait – [...]

Creative Destruction in the Classroom

In Econ 101, we all learned about the concept of Schumpeter’s creative destruction. The theory loosely goes like this: in a capitalist society, long-term economic growth is driven by the entry of entrepreneurs in to the market, destroying the strongholds that monopolies can dominate. Monopolies are bad. They are big, fat and sluggish. At first, [...]

It’s Not Me, It’s You

We are students of words: we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation-rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson The evening before another Monday, and I’m already planning my excuse to [...]

Resume Builders

Like every other senior I know, I recently changed my resume for the first time since my mandatory “how to find a job” class taken over three years ago. Let’s take a moment to collectively relish how ridiculous requiring a class pertaining to graduation to be taken in one’s freshman year. Relished. Moving on. I [...]

Law School? Seriously?

This week, my management professor introduced our final project. Twenty-five percent of my grade will rely on my Powerpoint presentation interpretation of “what I want to be when I grow up.” I kid you not, as a senior in a Big 10 research university, weekly therapy sessions have become the norm for classroom discussion (apparently, [...]

Staging for Classroom Success

If you set conditions conducive to the type of environment you want to foster, whether it be a sense of welcoming for home buyers, openness to innovation for employees, or learning for students, each is more likely to go along with you on your journey.

Successful businesses understand this. Consult Google, Zappos or QuickenLoans if you don’t believe me. Better yet – consult their revenues, and choice in wall paint. Eggshell has no room in the corporate world of learning; Why should schools be any different?

Consume During Class Hours, or Be Consumed

As I cursed the ice-laden sidewalk on my way to class today, I was struck by the absurdity of holding class on a day when the rest of the city had shut down. I could not get my caffeine fix at my favorite coffee shop, nor could I withdraw quarters from the bank with which [...]