Advocacy & Education Coordinator

first_imgPhysical Demands * How did you hear about this employment opportunity?Public Job PostingInternal Job PostingAgency ReferralAdvertisement/PublicationPersonal ReferralWebsiteOther * Please describe the attributes that will make you a strongcandidate for this position(Open Ended Question)* What is your Philosophy for serving students?(Open Ended Question)* Provide examples of how you handled difficult situations withthose you have worked with.(Open Ended Question)* Please describe in detail how your background and experiencewould be applicable for this position in a College/Universitysetting(Open Ended Question)* Are you available to work in the evening (6 pm to 10 pm)?YesNo Job TypeRegular * Are you available to work weekends?YesNo Supplemental QuestionsRequired fields are indicated with an asterisk (*). Duties and Responsibilities • Provide survivor-centered and trauma informed crisisintervention, thorough intakes, safety planning, and assessment andfollow-up services to NMHU campus;• Work collaboratively with existing mental/behavioral healthspecialists, law enforcement, and advocacy groups on campus and inthe community;• Develop and promote diverse and inclusive educationalprogramming; specifically bystander intervention, enthusiasticconsent, healthy dating relationships and suicide prevention,etc.;• Ensure ethical boundaries, decision making and advocacy standardsare adhered to;• Be open to feedback and change in response to client and team’sneeds;• Educate clients of campus resources, processes, and theirrights;• Educate clients about the basic processes of legal system andcampus disciplinary process;• File complaints, protective orders, compensation claims forclients, etc.;• Field crisis calls and walk in clients;• Ensure safety/confidentiality of clients;• Be on call for crisis situations;• Provide survivor-centered services to clients individually and ingroups, ensuring autonomy and unconditional support;• Assist clients in exploring various options, and the possibleoutcomes based on their choices;• Provide information regarding available communityresources;• Conduct one on one individual advocacy sessions with clients andmanage case work;• Facilitate group meetings, discussions with project partners,community allies, and campus personnel;• Create and present general or topic specific accurate educationalprograms to the campus community;• Lead trainings for campus programs, residents, and teams ondating and domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking,empowerment, suicide prevention and bystander intervention,etc.;• Schedule and coordinate presentations with campus entities;• Design and revise program literature and materials asneeded;• Facilitate communication/teamwork among staff;• Review and update logs, client files, case review notes andprovide on-going case management;• Attend and participate in staffing and team meetings;• Attend professional development trainings;• Cross train with advocates in other specialty areas;• Provide guidance/training to campus and community partner,volunteers, and students;• Handle related administrative responsibilities;• Record/log all client contact(s) using ADVOCATE system;• Report monthly/quarterly statistics;• Solicit evaluations (pre and post surveys) followingprograms;• Maintain necessary supplies;• Perform professional responsibilities;• Keep abreast of current information topic areas;• Network with federal, state and local agencies, exchangingrelevant information and community activities;• Use social media platforms to promote and create awareness, aswell as other outlets such as radio or newspaper;• Coordinate special program projects;• Oversee student employees;• Maintain regular attendance;• Perform related duties as assigned. Position Summary Work Location/Campus CenterLas Vegas, NM Campus SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS• Must be willing to work evenings, weekends and odd hours asrequired;• Complete NMCADV 40 hour advocacy Certification Training withinsix (6) months of employment;• Must be at least eighteen (18) years of age;• Must be willing to carry University-issued cell phone;Must be willing to work on-call crisis situations and assist campuspolice as needed. Full Time/Part TimeFull Time Minimum Job Requirements KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES• Ability to present detail specific material both orally andvisually;• Knowledge of legal and federal requirements for referralprocedures for reporting violence;• Ability to handle sensitive information and maintain high levelof confidentiality;• Ability to work under highly stressful, crisis orientedsituations;• Skill in training, leading, organizing, advising, planning, andworking independently;• Knowledge in systems of oppression, socio-ecological model ofprevention, and intersectionality;• Ability to incorporate and recognize the need for inclusive,diverse, and equitable services for vulnerable groups;• Knowledge and distinction between Title IX, Clery Act, VAWA,FERPA and HIPPA and other related federal policies; EEO Statement Special Instructions to Applicant Open Date10/09/2020 Pay Rate$38,049 Salary A complete online application must include: 1) Letter ofinterest/cover letter; 2) Resume; 3) Names, telephone numbers andemail address of three (3) Professional references in application;and, 4) Unofficial copies of transcripts. Candidates who areinvited for on-campus interviews will be required to submitofficial transcripts. References will be contacted in conjunctionwith on-campus interview. Upload required materials with onlineapplication. For disabled access or services, call (505) 454-3242or contact Human Resources at [email protected] NMHU IS AN EQUALOPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services, Psychology, Social Work,Health or related field;-2-3 years working in a university/college setting;-Prior experience working as a victim advocate or working in asurvivor-centered, trauma informed service provider agency;-Expertise in gender based violence programming;-Experience working with marginalized populations;o PREFERENCE : 40 hour advocacy state training • Walking• Standing, kneeling, stooping• Eye strain due to computer use• Light lifting up to 25 pounds Quick Linkhttps://nmhu.peopleadmin.com/postings/6135 Working Environment New Mexico Highlands University is an affirmative action, equalopportunity employer, making decisions without regard to race,color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationalorigin, age, veteran status, disability, or any other protectedclass. We are committed to the University values of diversity,accessibility, excellence, and responsiveness.For disabled access or services call 505-454-3242 or [email protected] the link below for more information regarding affirmativeaction and equal opportunity:Equal Employment Opportunity is THE LAW Position Details Preferred Qualifications Posting NumberAS426P Open Until FilledYes Close Date Under the supervision of the Director, provides campus advocacyservices exclusively to clients who have experienced violenceincluding domestic and dating violence, sexual violence, andstalking. Additionally provide services to clients who self-reportor are identified as students of concern who exhibit mental orbehavioral health distress, including but not limited to signs ofdepression, suicidal ideation, or crisis. EDUCATION : Associate’s Degree in Human Services, Psychology,Social Work, Health, or related fieldEXPERIENCE : One (1) year of experience directly related to thespecified duties Special Conditions for Eligibility PositionAdvocacy & Education Coordinator * What is the highest level of education attained?GEDHigh School DiplomaAssociates DegreeBachelors DegreeMasters DegreePHD WORK ENVIRONMENT• Work is performed in a typical interior/office workenvironment.• Outreach education programming can range from classrooms,residential halls, gymnasium, or virtually Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Documents Needed to ApplyRequired DocumentsCover Letter/ Letter of InterestResumeUnofficial Transcripts Conferring Required DegreeList of Three Professional References with Name, Address andE-MailOptional DocumentsLicense/CertificateLetter(s) of Recommendationlast_img read more

AGELESS WISDOM

first_img AGELESS WISDOMBy Jim RedwineWhen Jeanne and Nathan Maudlin as representatives of New Harmony, Indiana’s Working Men’s Institute  that along with the University of Southern Indiana and the New Harmony Kiwanis Club is helping sponsor this year’s New Harmony Fourth of July celebration asked me to speak, my first thought was to research prior speeches. I am a judge after all and precedent is important to me. Jeanne graciously sent me a copy of the excellent book, New Harmony’s Fourth of July Tradition, by Donald Pitzer and Josephine Elliott.The book includes verbatim Fourth of July speeches given by Robert Owen (1826), William Owen (1827) and Frances (Mad Fanny) Wright (1828). Each talk contains observations and advice that address issues that could have been found on the front pages of today’s newspapers or on T.V. news programs. War and peace, racial problems, women’s rights, religious discrimination and freedom of thought and action are exposited clearly.Independence as declared on July 04, 1776 and our country’s often slow and incremental progress toward accomplishing the ideals encapsulated in our Constitution are referenced or implied in each address. As Frances Wright explained, the genius of our Founders was they gave us a government that we could change if we needed and wanted. Mad Fanny was called mad in 1828 because she called for freedom from religion, freedom for enslaved Negroes, equality for women and liberty from wars of aggression for the United States of America and all other countries. As not so mad Fanny might observe today, America has made substantial progress toward these ideals through incremental, democratic, constitutional change. Of course, we still have work to do.In his address on July 04, 1827 William Owen, Robert’s twenty-five year old son, concentrated on the evils of superstition and bloody wars of aggression as egged on by various religions. And William Owen thanked the heroes of July 04, 1776 for fighting for our liberty and freedom of speech:“Are we prepared to exercise the right, as we enjoy the power, secured to us by the heroesof the revolution, of expressing our thoughts openly and sincerely? Are we willing to runthe risks they encountered? Are we ready like them to meet the prejudices of past times, torisk name and reputation in the cause of truth, – in defense of the honest expression of ouropinions?”William both recognized the sacrifices made by our Founders and cautioned of the repercussions should we fail to follow our own Constitution:“Man had been slowly but gradually freeing himself from that thraldom in which he wasso long enslaved, when our ancestors, on that day, the anniversary of which we thismorning celebrate, by one bold step recovered that state of liberty and independence, whichis the birthright of humanity, and gave a death blow, to the unnatural league betweendespotism and superstition, by the adoption of a Constitution, which forever precludes, solong as adhered to, the recurrence of such an unhappy connection.”Robert Owen, whose vision of humanity and equality was the bedrock of the secular commune of New Harmony, 1825-1828 (c), on July 04, 1826 fearlessly stated his view as to the root cause of the world’s evils:“Religion, or Superstition – for all religions have proved themselves to be Superstitions, –by destroying the judgment, irrationalized all the mental faculties of man, and made himthe most abject slave, through the fear of non-entities created solely by his own disorderedimagination.”Owen was a wealthy industrialist who cared about his workers and their families. He put in place many of the better conditions of employment that eventually were adopted by the United States of America, and other countries. Owen fought for women’s equality, freedom from religion and the avoidance of wars of aggression. And along with numerous other idealists such as his own sons, William Maclure of the Working  Men’s Institute fame and Frances Wright, Robert Owen established a legacy that all of us in Posey County should treasure.Gentle Reader, if you wish to help carry on New Harmony’s Fourth of July traditions of celebrating our Independence, the festivities begin the morning of July 04, 2019 at the Atheneum in New Harmony. Peg and I plan to be there and look forward to the reading of the Declaration of Independence by our friend Chuck Minnette as well as a golf cart parade, hot dogs and patriotic music. Hope to see you there. Happy birthday!For more Gavel Gamut articles go to www.jamesmredwine.comOr “Like” us on Facebook at JPegRanchBooks&KnittingFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

The rise of chronic disease

first_imgA three-pronged health challenge is putting the squeeze on already-scarce resources in the developing world, with heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic ailments growing. At the same time, the threat from infectious diseases and neglected tropical diseases demands new attention, the head of the Institute of Medicine said Monday (Nov. 8).Institute President Harvey Fineberg, former provost at Harvard and former dean of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), returned to the School to highlight the growing problem of chronic disease in developing nations. Chronic diseases have often been viewed as a problem of industrialized nations, while infectious diseases — largely conquered in the developed world — are considered the primary health concern in developing countries.In reality, Fineberg said, chronic diseases have always been present in developing nations, but the public’s attention has focused on the threat from infectious diseases such as AIDS. While infectious diseases remain a problem, that doesn’t diminish the concern over chronic diseases, Fineberg said. Further straining scarce health care resources is the new push to reduce the burden of ailments referred to as neglected tropical diseases, mainly parasitic ones such as Chagas disease, which are unfamiliar to people in industrialized nations but which affect as many as a billion people.Fineberg delivered his talk, “The Underappreciated Burden: Chronic Illness in the Developing World,” in conjunction with a reception to highlight a new effort to study chronic disease in Africa. Called the Africa/Harvard School of Public Health Partnership for Cohort Research and Training, or PaCT, the project seeks to begin large cohort studies of 500,000 participants in four African nations — Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, and South Africa — to better understand disease there.Fineberg spoke of the discipline of global health as it has shifted in recent years to encompass the health of all nations regardless of how developed they are. That is a change, he said, from when public health was viewed either as domestic health or international health — largely infectious diseases in resource-poor settings.In recent years, however, the concept of global health has gained support. This is important, he said, because diseases cross national boundaries with ease now.The incidence of heart disease peaked in the United States in the 1960s and has been on the decline since, but its incidence has continued to rise in poorer nations. In some African countries hit hard by AIDS, it is the second-leading cause of death, Fineberg said.“Heart disease is an incredibly severe burden in poor countries of the world,” Fineberg said. “Just because a country has a bigger burden of infectious disease, that doesn’t mean they have a lesser burden of chronic disease.”The problem of chronic diseases appears ready to worsen, Fineberg said, with tobacco use spreading and Western diets heavy in fat and meat growing more popular as incomes rise. That not only will cause an increase in cancer deaths, it is creating an unlikely paradox, where both obesity and starvation remain critical problems around the world.“It’s a real danger we’ll be exporting the worst of our culture along with the best of our culture,” Fineberg said.One neglected area of chronic diseases is mental health conditions, which are not only widespread, but also stigmatized, Fineberg said.All together, these conditions are increasing in nations that have the fewest resources to deal with them. That places a growing burden on individuals and families to care for loved ones afflicted with chronic diseases, Fineberg said.“It is this added burden on those least well equipped to deal with it that I want to emphasize.”last_img read more

Note taking in a clickable age

first_img <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inzPJ4t-Ejs” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/inzPJ4t-Ejs/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> An observer only had to glance around the Radcliffe Gymnasium to understand the tactile nature and evolving techniques of the subject, literally, at hand. Some people tapped away on laptop computers, others used iPads to jot down thoughts. Many fumbled with the small buttons on their smartphones. A determined few resorted to paper and pen, even pencil.The note takers were all part of a daylong symposium aptly titled “Take Note,” and organized by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study earlier this month to explore the art and importance of effective note taking. The conference, the culmination of a four-year effort at Radcliffe to examine the tradition of books and their prospects in a digital age, brought together scholars from a range of disciplines.In her opening remarks, Radcliffe Dean Lizabeth Cohen discussed the importance of notes in her work and how her own style of note taking has evolved throughout her career. A social historian, Cohen called the notes that she finds in archives “a one-way mirror into people and their thoughts, and they help me construct the past.”Like countless scholars, Cohen also relies heavily on the notes she takes during her research to help her shape the ideas and arguments that form the basis of her writing. She said her note taking underwent a transformative shift at the recommendation of a graduate school professor, who encouraged her to write directly in the books she was reading.Through the centuries, note taking has taken various and even unusual forms, explained Peter Burke (center), emeritus professor of history at the University of Cambridge. “Starched shirt cuffs … were a wonderful surface for pencils in their day, and gave rise to that wonderful expression ‘speaking off the cuff,’ ” said Burke, who was viewing the examples on display from the Harvard University Archives during the two-day event.“ ‘A book is a tool,’ he would say. ‘Make it your own. Be in dialogue with what you read,’ ” recalled Cohen. So she took the plunge. Careful to avoid writing in first editions or borrowed books, over time she has amassed both an extensive personal library and an archive “of how, over the years, I have engaged with what I have read.”Through the centuries, note taking has taken various and even unusual forms, explained Peter Burke, emeritus professor of history at the University of Cambridge, who offered the crowd a perspective on the past and future of note taking. While some early scribes used rolls of wax or sheets of paper for their notes, others took advantage of something else altogether. “Starched shirt cuffs … were a wonderful surface for pencils in their day, and gave rise to that wonderful expression ‘speaking off the cuff,’ ” said Burke.The session also raised an important question, one that attendees and panelists agreed lacks a definitive answer. While many participants acknowledged that notes will continue to be an important part of the digital age, they were less in agreement about how private or public those notes should be. In the digital realm, privacy rights are increasingly a concern, yet those with Internet access can blast their random musings into cyberspace for anyone to see. Because of that, the question arises: Should note taking be confined or redefined? If so, how?For its part, Radcliffe embraced the concept that notes should be shared. The event included a vivid online exhibit compiled of note-taking materials from Harvard’s libraries and museums. Visitors to the site were invited to add their own electronic note. The symposium produced a lively Twitter feed, where Radcliffe encouraged participants to share their comments or pictures of the notes they were taking, providing a steady stream of feedback and questions for the panelists.The exhibit included the shorthand notebook of stenographer Amy Hutchins, who used a cryptic system of strokes and squiggles to meticulously capture some of the 1895 correspondence of Harvard President Charles W. Eliot.For instance, a former fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, David Weinberger, tweeted, “Collaborative notetaking via etherpad or GoogleDocs etc. is often a great way to go. Fascinating to participate in, too,” during an afternoon presentation that explored digital annotation tools. The session’s panelists agreed that such high-tech tools remove barriers to sharing information and that collaborative open-source platforms can often result in an enhanced product.“Knowledge,” said Bob Stein, the founder and co-director of the Institute for the Future of the Book, a think tank that tracks the evolution of “intellectual discourse from the printed page to the networked screen,” “is created by groups of people.”But one conference attendee balked at the thought of sharing her thoughts with the public.“I was struck by the request that we send our notes into Radcliffe because my reaction was, ‘You know, my notes are really none of your business. My notes are my private thoughts, my private collaborations.’ Until I am dead, I don’t really need other people looking at them.”The question of public versus private notes dates back hundreds of years to the days when parishioners captured sermons in their small, erasable “table books,” where they jotted down pithy lines, or even an entire address that they would sometimes publish later for wider public consumption, said Tiffany Stern, professor of early modern drama at the University of Oxford.Similarly, many theatergoers, eager to keep pace with the expanding vocabulary of the time (helped along in large part by William Shakespeare, who frequently introduced new words into his works) would also scribble down a new joke or word in their table books while attending a play by the Bard, said Stern. “If you went to plays, you learned a new word and learned it in context. … It was a little present for you. You could go out with a new word and start using it.”A visit to the Bow & Arrow Press at Adams House was yet another stop on the “Take Note” tour. Emily Tordo of Harvard University Archives demonstrates the printing press.As a primer to the symposium, attendees explored various forms of note taking on display in the University’s libraries and museums the previous day. At the Harvard University Archives, librarians and archivists had culled the University’s rich resources to mount a small exhibit of material like College Book No. 1, a long, leather-bound volume containing some of the earliest records for Harvard’s two governing boards, the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers. Inside the book, on a page containing minutes from a Corporation meeting held in 1643, is the first appearance of the Harvard College veritas shield. The exhibit included the shorthand notebook of stenographer Amy Hutchins, who used a cryptic system of strokes and squiggles to meticulously capture some of the 1895 correspondence of Harvard President Charles W. Eliot.Harvard’s Public Services Archivist Barbara Meloni said her favorite item in the collection was the set of typed pages from the archive of political journalist, author, and historian Theodore H. White that recounted his dinner at the White House in 1963. The Harvard graduate recorded the experience in amusing detail and even recalled the antics of the young John Kennedy Jr., who “was shouting ‘monkeyhouse, monkeyhouse,’ as soon as he saw his dad.”“It’s such an intimate look at a particular moment in history,” said Meloni. “It’s history, right there in your hands.”Take Note: The Past and Future of Note-Taking Lectures from the “Take Note” symposium by Peter Burke, Emeritus Professor of Cultural History, University of Cambridge and Lisa Gitelman, Associate Professor of Media and English, New York Universitylast_img read more

A SWIFTer way to build organs

first_imgTwenty people die every day waiting for an organ transplant in the U.S., and while more than 30,000 patients now receive transplants annually, another 113,000 are currently on organ waitlists.Many people see artificially grown human organs as the Holy Grail for resolving the organ shortage, and advances in 3D printing have led to a boom in using that technique to build living tissue constructs in the shape of human organs. However, all 3D-printed human tissues to date lack the cellular density and organ-level functions they need to be used in organ repair and replacement.Now, a new technique called SWIFT (sacrificial writing into functional tissue) created by researchers from Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) overcomes that major hurdle by 3D-printing vascular channels into living matrices composed of stem-cell-derived organ building blocks (OBBs). The technique yields viable, organ-specific tissues with high cell density and function. The research is reported in Science Advances.“This is an entirely new paradigm for tissue fabrication,” said co-first author Mark Skylar-Scott, a research associate at the Wyss Institute. “Rather than trying to 3D-print an entire organ’s worth of cells, SWIFT focuses on only printing the vessels necessary to support a living tissue construct that contains large quantities of OBBs, which may ultimately be used therapeutically to repair and replace human organs with lab-grown versions containing patients’ own cells.”SWIFT involves a two-step process that begins with forming hundreds of thousands of stem-cell-derived aggregates into a dense, living matrix of organ building blocks that contains about 200 million cells per milliliter. Next, a vascular network through which oxygen and other nutrients can be delivered to the cells is embedded within the matrix by writing and removing a sacrificial ink.,“Forming a dense matrix from these OBBs kills two birds with one stone: Not only does it achieve a high cellular density akin to that of human organs, but the matrix’s viscosity also enables printing of a pervasive network of perfusable channels within it to mimic the blood vessels that support human organs,” said co-first author Sébastien Uzel, a research associate at the Wyss Institute and SEAS.The cellular aggregates used in the SWIFT method are derived from adult induced pluripotent stem cells, which are mixed with a tailored extracellular matrix (ECM) solution to make a living matrix that is compacted viacentrifugation. At cold temperatures (zero to 4 degrees Celsius), the dense matrix has the consistency of mayonnaise — soft enough to manipulate without damaging the cells, but thick enough to hold its shape — making it the perfect medium for sacrificial 3D printing. In this technique, a thin nozzle moves through the matrix depositing a strand of gelatin “ink” that pushes cells out of the way without damaging them.This image sequence shows a pervasive, branching network of vascular channels (red) printing within a densely cellular tissue matrix via SWIFT. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard UniversityWhen the cold matrix is heated to 37 degrees, it stiffens to become more solid (like an omelet being cooked), while the gelatin ink melts and can be washed out, leaving behind a network of channels embedded within the tissue construct that can be perfused with oxygenated media to nourish the cells. The researchers were able to vary the diameter of the channels from 400 micrometers to 1 millimeter, and seamlessly connected them to form branching vascular networks within the tissues.Organ-specific tissues that were printed with embedded vascular channels using SWIFT and perfused in this manner remained viable, while tissues grown without these channels experienced cell death in their cores within 12 hours. To see whether the tissues displayed organ-specific functions, the team printed, evacuated, and perfused a branching channel architecture into a matrix consisting of heart-derived cells and flowed media through the channels for more than a week. During that time, the cardiac OBBs fused together to form a more solid cardiac tissue whose contractions became more synchronous and more than 20 times stronger, mimicking key features of a human heart.“Our SWIFT biomanufacturing method is highly effective at creating organ-specific tissues at scale from OBBs ranging from aggregates of primary cells to stem-cell-derived organoids,” said corresponding author Jennifer Lewis, who is a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute as well as the Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at SEAS. “By integrating recent advances from stem-cell researchers with the bioprinting methods developed by my lab, we believe SWIFT will greatly advance the field of organ engineering around the world.”Collaborations are underway with Wyss Institute faculty members Chris Chen at Boston University and Sangeeta Bhatia at MIT to implant these tissues into animal models and explore their host integration, as part of the 3D Organ Engineering Initiative co-led by Lewis and Chen.“The ability to support living human tissues with vascular channels is a huge step toward the goal of creating functional human organs outside of the body,” said Wyss Institute Director Donald Ingber, who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at HMS, the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, and professor of bioengineering at SEAS. “We continue to be impressed by the achievements in Jennifer’s lab, including this research, which ultimately has the potential to dramatically improve both organ engineering and the lifespans of patients whose own organs are failing.”Additional authors of the paper include John Ahrens, a current graduate student at the Wyss Institute and SEAS, as well as former Wyss Institute and SEAS members Lucy Nam, Ryan Truby, and Sarita Damaraju.This research was supported by the Office of Naval Research Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship, the National Institutes of Health, GETTYLAB, and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.last_img read more

Speaker examines economic change in Cuba

first_imgDrawing on the results of 80 interviews from members of the private sector of the workforce in Cuba, Carmelo Mesa-Lago, distinguished service professor emeritus of economics and Latin American studies at the University of Pittsburgh, delivered a lecture Tuesday called “Voices of Change from the Non-State Sector in Cuba” at the Hesburgh Center. The lecture focused on economic changes in Cuba over the past several years. The results of the interviews have already been published in the book “Voces de Cambio en el Sector no Estatal en Cuba,” which Mesa-Lago co-authored. An English version of the book will be available in the fall of 2017.According to Mesa-Lago, the rise of the private sector in Cuba can be attributed to economic reforms made under Raul Castro. While there is some information available on the impact of these reforms, Mesa-Lago and his co-authors wanted to look at the reforms from a new angle.“Although we have substantial information in terms of this non-state sector, we didn’t know what the feelings of the people involved in that sector were,” he said. “We wanted to find out, ‘What do they think about so many important issues that they are dealing with?’”As a result of the research and interviews, Mesa-Lago said this project has been a unique one for him.“I have written a lot of books, and I have never been more involved in a book like this because for the first time I was hearing the Cuban people talking, and that was fascinating for me,” he said.The project is also relevant due to the growing private sector in Cuba, Mesa-Lago said. In 2015, 71 percent of those employed worked in the state sector, which was a decrease from previous years, he said.Mesa-Lago said the interviews were primarily conducted with people who work in non-agricultural production and service cooperatives, usufruct farmers and those who buy and sell private dwellings.The group of people who work in cooperative farms is especially important, according to Mesa-Lago.“It’s a tiny group, but they play an important role because Cuba gives preference to the cooperatives over self-employment because it’s a more advanced socialist form of organization and therefore they have an advantage over self-employment,” he said.Mesa-Lago described the private workforce as “young, male, white, with very high education.”While he said this is not typical of the Cuban population, he was more surprised by the satisfaction of the workers than the lack of a representative population. From the interviews, 80 percent of the workers were satisfied in the non-state sector, and only five percent identified themselves as unsatisfied.“This is very interesting and surprising because they face a lot of problems – regulation, inspections, taxes, etc.,” Mesa-Lago said.The main problems these workers face involves their inputs and state interference, Mesa-Lago said. Since 25 percent of the inputs can only be obtained from a state shop, according to Mesa-Lago, the workers have a lack of options in obtaining their resources.The interviews also revealed that state interference and bureaucracy was a common problem with the private sector, with 27 percent of the interviewees mentioning it as a problem they faced in their business.Aggregating the results of the interviews, Mesa-Lago said people working in the non-state sector want three primary changes — more liberty, less state regulation and interference and more estate incentives and guarantees. These requests signal to Mesa-Lago the desires of the voices in change in the country moving forward.Tags: Carmelo Mesa-Lago, Cuba, Private Sector Employmentlast_img read more

Deng Honored

first_imgUniversity of Georgia food microbiologist Xiangyu Deng’s work in the emerging field of bioinformatics led to his selection as a Creative Research Medal winner for 2017. The medal is one of the prestigious honors bestowed annually by the UGA Research Foundation. Awards are given to outstanding faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students in recognition of excellence in research, scholarly creativity and technology commercialization at UGA.Deng, an assistant professor of food microbiology with the Center for Food Safety (CFS) on the UGA Griffin campus, was recognized for creating a cloud-based software tool that quickly classifies strains of salmonella, one of the most prevalent foodborne pathogens in the United States and worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 million foodborne illnesses and 380 deaths in the U.S. each year can be linked to nontyphoidal salmonella.The SeqSero system identifies serotypes, or distinct strains of salmonella, from infected humans, animals, foods and the environment using whole genome sequencing. This system allows for accurate, fast “fingerprinting” of any salmonella strain and replaces a complicated, time-consuming laboratory protocol. Analysis time using SeqSero takes just minutes — analysis using the old system took days — while adding no extra cost.SeqSero was developed by UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences food science graduate student Shaokang Zhang, under Deng’s direction, and was created with funding from the food industry in collaboration with the CDC’s National Salmonella Reference Laboratory. The CDC’s Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch has adopted SeqSero for its routine processing of salmonella genomes.“Earning the Creative Research Medal is a well-deserved distinction for one of our rising stars in the Center for Food Safety. The impact of Dr. Deng’s creation on public health is enormous,” said Francisco Diez, director of the CFS. “SeqSero has been widely adopted by the CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, multiple state health departments and more than 20 regulatory agencies of European, Asian and North American countries.” Deng compares the SeqSero system to a crime investigation. “For investigation and surveillance purposes, you need to be able to profile your suspects at different levels, from general demographics to fingerprints. If your suspects are salmonella, serotype determination, or serotyping, is the first step of your profiling,” he said. “It’s now possible to do all the profiling with whole genome sequencing, and it saves a lot of time and (steps in) workflow.”In addition to saving time, SeqSero cuts out the need to maintain hundreds of reagents, or substances used for chemical analyses. “This is a highly desirable bioinformatics system and allows for push-button, fast, straightforward and accurate identification of salmonella serotypes from raw data that comes directly off sequencers,” Deng said. “There are more than 2,500 serotypes described for salmonella, and SeqSero focuses primarily on more common serotypes while also being able to ID many rare serotypes.”Salmonella bacteria look alike under a microscope, but can be separated into many serotypes based on two structures on their surface, Deng explained. Serotyping forms the basis of the U.S. and international surveillance systems of salmonella.It took the UGA team a year to develop the highly sophisticated food safety tool that has been publicly available for two years. It is supported by all major internet browsers and mobile devices and can easily be used by novices and bioinformatics experts alike, according to Deng.For more on CFS, visit www.ugacfs.org.last_img read more

Colombian Army Pursues Guerrilla Group

first_imgBy Dialogo October 13, 2011 On October 12, Colombian Army and police units, with the support of the Air Force, were pursuing a group of FARC guerrillas in the country’s northeast, among whom were believed to be around 30 wounded, following a bombardment that left approximately 11 rebels dead, a military source said. “We believe that among the terrorists who are fleeing, there are around 30 wounded as a result of the bombardment of their camp,” located in a rural area of the municipality of Sardinata, in the department of Northern Santander (on the border with Venezuela), the Army source specified. According to the report, the lifeless bodies of 11 guerrillas were found following the bombing, but others may have perished after a landslide in the area. Around 80 rebels belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the main and oldest guerrilla group in the Andean country, were in the camp, the source added. In subsequent clashes, two police officers were wounded and were admitted to medical centers in the city of Cucuta, the capital of Northern Santander. The military offensive took place shortly after seven military personnel died in an ambush by alleged FARC members in a rural area in the country’s southwest, according to Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón. The rebels attacked a military patrol that was taking supplies to other soldiers as the patrol was moving along a rural road in the municipality of Caloto, in the department of Cauca. “They were cruelly attacked with explosives while defenseless,” the minister specified, speaking at an event in the city of Cali, the capital of the department of Valle, next to Cauca. One soldier also died in a rural area of the municipality of Suárez (Cauca) when he was shot by a sniper while patrolling an area near a dam. In recent weeks, as is common during the period before an election, the FARC guerrilla group, with around 8,000 men, has intensified its actions in various regions. Colombian citizens will go to the polls on October 30 to elect departmental governors, municipal mayors, provincial legislators, municipal councilors, and district commissioners.last_img read more

UN Calls to Include Countering Illicit Drug Trade on Development Agenda

first_img Fedotov noted that as developing countries emulate the lifestyles of industrialized nations, drug consumption will probably increase, placing a heavier burden on countries ill equipped to deal with burgeoning drug demand. International support should therefore aim at strengthening the capacity of vulnerable nations to confront that challenge, he said. Fedotov said that with the 2015 deadline approaching to take stock of global progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), there is an increasing recognition that organized crime and illicit drugs impede the attainment of those goals. “Heroin, cocaine and other drugs continue to kill around 200,000 people a year, shattering families and bringing misery to thousands of other people, insecurity and the spread of HIV,” the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, told the General Assembly today, during a special thematic debate on drugs and crime as a threat to development. “At present, only around one quarter of all farmers involved in illicit drug crop cultivation worldwide have access to development assistance – if we are to offer new opportunities and genuine alternatives, this needs to change,” Fedotov said. The Assembly’s debate coincides with the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, observed on 26 June, and was also the forum for Fedotov’s launch of UNODC’s flagship study, the 2012 World Drug Report. In addition, lower overall levels of cultivation and production of opium and coca have been offset by rising levels of synthetic drug production. Highlighting the impact of drug abuse around the world, the head of the United Nations anti-drugs office today said that countering transnational organized crime and illicit drugs must become an integral part of the development agenda. The 2012 World Drug Report finds that although global patterns of illicit drug use, production and health consequences largely remained stable in 2012, opium production had rebounded to previous high levels in Afghanistan, the world’s biggest opium producer. Around 230 million people, or five per cent of the world’s adult population, aged 15 to 64, are estimated to have used an illicit drug at least once in 2010, according to the Report. Problem drug users, mainly heroin- and cocaine-dependent persons, number about 27 million, roughly 0.6 per cent of the world adult population, or 1 in every 200 people. The UNODC chief said that drug-producing and drug-consuming countries alike have a stake in fighting the illicit drug trade, adding that Governments should not forget that illicit drugs also affect health and security globally. By Dialogo June 28, 2012last_img read more

Meteor Passes East Coast, Produces ‘Brilliant’ Light

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York East Coast meteor spotted by security camera in Maryland. (Photo: screenshot from YouTube video.)The brilliant flash of light that hundreds of people on the East Coast spotted in the evening sky Friday was a boulder-size meteor that entered the Earth’s atmosphere around 8 p.m., according to NASA.Bill Cooke, who works for the space agency’s Meteoroid Environments Office, confirmed in an email that the meteor entered over eastern Pennsylvania, producing a “brilliant fireball that was seen by many along the East Coast.”The meteor, which was big enough to produce meteorites, darted southeast out into the Atlantic Ocean, according to Cooke. He noted that if it did produce meteorites, “they fell harmlessly into the Atlantic.”The flying object was classified as a fireball, which is a meteor that “appears to be brighter than the planet Venus, which is the 3rd brightest object in the sky, next to the Sun and Moon,” Cooke said.An object that size “can produce light equivalent to the full moon for a short instant,” Robert Lunsford of the American Meteor Society said on the agency’s website. “The reason for this is the extreme velocity at which these objects strike the atmosphere. Even the slowest meteors are still traveling at 10 miles per SECOND, which is much faster than a speeding bullet.”Meteor Map (NASA Meteoroid Environments Office)Thought fireballs occur every day all over the world, it’s not very often that people actually spot one in the sky, Lunsford said.“It is rare though for an individual to see more than one or two per lifetime as they also occur during the day, on a cloudy night, or over a remote area where no one sees it,” he added.The meteor sighting sent social media sites buzzing and there were more than 500 visual sightings reported to the American Meteor Society.The object was also captured by security cameras, including one in Maryland, which spotted the meteor soaring through the evening sky.The East Coast meteor was not nearly as threatening as the one that darted across Russia in February and injured more than 1,000 people and caused millions of dollars worth of damage.last_img read more