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  • Francine Blume 8:55 pm on May 17, 2020 Permalink  

    Older adults are facing dual public health emergencies 

    By now we all know that adults 60 years and older are at heightened risk of serious, if not fatal, health consequences in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is especially true for those with chronic health conditions and compromised immune systems. As a recent report of the American Red Cross and the American Academy of Nursing reminds us, older adults consistently experience the greatest proportion of casualties as a result of all variety of public emergencies and natural disasters compared to younger age groups.

    In response to worsening COVID-19 conditions, federal and state stay-at-home orders and guidelines will better ensure that older adults avoid those situations that might expose them to this potentially life-threatening viral disease, if you do not how to start, you can look at more info here to be oriented on the special cares they are needing at this time. This has been a necessary protective measure. However, as a result, older adults are now: confined to their homes often without sons and daughters and friends visiting as they normally would have; not able to receive visitors if they reside in long-term care facilities; not attending luncheon and social programs normally offered at senior and community centers; and not functioning as volunteers as they had been in their local communities as part of a busy social life.

    [Our COVID-19 tracker contains the most recent information on Maine cases by county]

    The social distancing edict is really a physical distancing requirement but has, unfortunately, been equated with a social, if not emotional, disconnection mandate in the eyes of too many. The result is that a second pandemic has reared its ugly head — reflected in dramatically increased numbers of older adults living dangerously isolated and lonely lives in the community and in long-term care settings because of the loss of meaningful social contact with loved ones, friends and others.

    Even before the novel coronavirus outbreak, Americans were found to be living more isolated lives than ever before with as many as 43% of adults 60 years of age and older in the U.S. reporting feeling lonely. The negative consequences of isolation and loneliness, especially for older adults, are not to be taken lightly. Living an isolated life has been likened to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It is associated with heightened levels of psychological distress and a greater risk of being abused, neglected and exploited, hospitalized, and falling, and having reduced access to critical health and social support services. Isolated and lonely older adults exhibit significantly higher illness and death rates than the general population. Social isolation among older adults has major cost implications as well. It has been associated with $6.7 billion in additional federal Medicare spending annually.

    During this time of physical distancing, we need to do everything in our power to ensure that a second pandemic, that of widespread isolation and loneliness among our older citizens, does not reach epidemic proportions unaddressed. Physical distancing need not negate our capacity to maintain social and emotional connectedness with those we love and care about. For those older adults with access to the internet, teleconferencing and other forms of remote socializing should be encouraged. This can include using online neighborhood-based applications connecting you with nearby neighbors; co-learning opportunities with students; recording virtual performances and sharing them with others; informal conversations via video chatting; and pre-recorded digital video messages shared by those who can no longer personally visit each other.

    Old-fashioned telephone check-ins and daily chats represent a second line of defense that can be undertaken with virtually all older Mainers. Grocery shopping deliveries, care packages, letters, and notes left at the front door or mailed to older residents represent still another option. Ensuring older adults are aware of essential community services that remain open and available like their local Area Agency on Aging and home-delivered meals programs is critical.

    Additional ideas for maintaining social connectedness with isolated older adults are being offered through a number of well-informed outlets including The Coalition to End Social Isolation & Loneliness and AARP. Sustaining any and all avenues for expressions of caring, concern and social support, especially during times of crisis, such as the one we are now experiencing, is critical for preserving the health, safety, and well-being of older Mainers.

    Lenard W. Kaye is a professor of social work and director of the Center on Aging at the University of Maine. This column reflects his views and expertise and does not speak on behalf of the university. He is a member of the Maine chapter of the national Scholars Strategy Network, which brings together scholars across the country to address public challenges and their policy implications. Members’ columns appear in the BDN every other week.

  • Anna Litman 9:43 pm on February 23, 2017 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Health Studies, ,   

    Health Studies Career Night, February 15 2017 

    Prepared by Alexandra Jones, CAS Career Advising Team Assistant

    Did you miss the Health Studies Career Night, but are still interested in the information provided? Well, although you did miss the opportunity to directly communicate and network with professionals working in what may be your future career field, this blog post may help you.

    The panel, moderated by Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Studies (DHS) Kathleen Holton, and co-hosted by DHS and AU Career Center, consisted of four alumni:

    • Annika Bergstrom, TB Investigator at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Ryan Paquin, Research Scientist at the Center for Communication Science at RTI International
    • Elizabeth Prevou, Clinical Practice Manager at GWU, and
    • Justin Morgan, Research Assistant at the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute.

    Each speaker talked about the most and least favorite aspects of their careers, as well as gave advice to aid students’ future success, which is shared below.

    How do you get your foot in the door?

    There are various ways to go about entering a career in the health field. This information was posted at for longevity and so people that did not attend could peruse online. While Bergstrom simply applied through USA Jobs, this may be difficult as it is a competitive process, in which your resume has to stand out to employers from hundreds of others. Tіnnіtuѕ іѕ аn еаr соndіtіоn іn whісh, thе еаrѕ buzz соnѕtаntlу, causing dіѕсоmfоrt аnd several оthеr hеаlth іѕѕuеѕ fоr thе раtіеntѕ. Tіnnіtuѕ іѕ a general term tо іndісаtе this symptom. Hоwеvеr, tinnitus саn bе саuѕеd duе tо ѕеvеrаl rеаѕоnѕ like ѕіnuѕ соngеѕtіоn, mеdісіnе rеасtіоnѕ аnd ѕtrеѕѕ, to know more about this then visit on this site. Other panelists recommend that students work their networks to obtain a job lead, or get connected to someone from the organization you are interested in. Naturopathic education trains students іn a wide range оf areas tо treat patients holistically. Thіѕ non-invasive industry allows students tо complete various degree programs аnd enter multiple careers. Naturopathic training саn bе obtained аt аn assortment оf holistic healing schools. You can go to site for more information.

    At times, your personality may be enough to get your foot in the door; the issue is displaying your character to employers. Before starting a new job you should talk to Labor Law Compliance Center, and make sure you are not working for less then what you should be. Morgan managed to get an interview with the Urban Institute by calling the institution and talking to an executive. This allowed him to add a personal touch to the application process, which cannot always be included in a resume submission.

    How to be strategic with your internships?

    Panelists recommend that students complete internships and treat each internship as a learning experience and utilize all connections gained.  Internships can also clarify your career goals and preferences. Prevou said, “Knowing what you don’t want to do at times is just as helpful as knowing what you do want to do.” At the same time, all panelists agreed that students should not jeopardize their peace of mind and sleep to work multiple internships at one time just to buff up a resume.

    What skills make students valuable and wanted in the workplace?

    No matter your desired job, all panelists recommended that students obtain basic research skills and knowledge of statistical programs, such as SAS, SPSS and Excel. AU offers courses and access to some of these programs through the Center for Teaching, Research and Learning (CTRL) if you have not learned them already.

    Knowledge of medical terms and anatomy also allows easy communication across job fields. While this may not be stressed in the interview, such knowledge may be necessary to learn on the job – so why not pick it up sooner rather than later?

    Lastly, knowing email etiquette and how to follow-up may be the most beneficial and necessary job skill in any field. Email are often the first form of communication between an employer and employee. Therefore learn how to make your emails sound professional and friendly, but with a hint of your personality.

    Were you prepared for the workplace post-graduation?

    While there will always be a learning curve when entering a new job, panelists stressed that students should not be nervous about it. After all, they did hire you! Still, be ready to put in the necessary effort to grow in your career. Listen, ask questions and do your best.

    Related: How should I rewrite my paper in order to get high mark?


  • Rachel Lindsey 5:08 pm on December 8, 2016 Permalink  

    Should I Go to Law School? Four Questions to Help You Decide 

    Questions to ask yourself

    There are a few important questions you should ask yourself in deciding if law school is the choice for you. Some of them are philosophical, and some are practical. All of them are important, but this fir  imagest one is essential…

    Do I want to be a lawyer?

    Before you decide to attend law school, ask yourself: do I actually want to practice law? That is the core of the profession – representing clients. If the idea of working with clients doesn’t excite you, then this might not be the right career for you.

    Why do I want to go to law school?

    Be honest. There are many reasons people attend law school.  Some have always known this was their path. Some have friends and family telling them they will be a great lawyer. Maybe someone, somewhere, told them, if all else fails, you can always try law school. Whatever your motivation, you should be able to identify it. That’s the only way to decide if law is the right choice for you. Before applying to law school, seriously consider your interest in becoming a personal injury attorney and how that balances with the cost, the employment prospects, and the minimum three-year intensive academic commitment required to graduate.

    REASONS to attend law school include knowing what lawyers do (and wanting to do it) and having a sense of how prepared you are for law school and the practice of law.

    REASONS to keep considering your options include not knowing what else to do after graduation, making your parents happy, thinking it sounds like fun, or planning to figure it out later (when you get to law school, or after graduation).

    Am I in it for the paycheck?

    If you answered the first or second questions with Maybe, I’m not sure, or No, but the salary…, keep reading. Even if you score the job that brings that check you dreamed of, if you don’t love (or even like) the work, you may find you aren’t long for the field, but you might still be paying the loans from that JD.

    Many students are drawn to the legal profession by the promise of future income. But like any career path, your decision needs to include more than the salary prospects. A law degree doesn’t guarantee of a high salary. According to a Washington Post article from April 2015, “nine months after graduation, a little more than half of the class of 2013 had found full-time jobs as lawyers, down from 77% of 2007, according to the most recent data from the American Bar Association and the National Association for Law Placement. Those who did find jobs had starting salaries that were 8% below the 2009 peak, averaging $78,205 in 2013.” In recent years, bar passage rates have also declined creating a challenge for new graduates hoping to begin their legal practice.

    Doing your research will go a long way in helping you manage your salary expectations. Look at the employment statistics and average salary for students from schools you are likely to attend (based on your GPA and LSAT – if you have taken it). Factor the specialty you wish to practice, and the region.

    What do I know about the practice of law (In other words, have I talked to any lawyers)?

    Answering this question requires you to research and talk to actual lawyers.

    Current law students and pre-law advising can help with your law school application, but lawyers – those practicing law every day – are the ones who can help you decide if this is the path for you. They can tell you how muctumblr_m8pdufqi3b1rzwfx8o1_500h their legal education cost, what they actually do on a daily basis, how many hours a week they work, how much they make, and what they like (or don’t) about their careers. You should ask about personal attributes needed to be successful in a legal career and the impact of a legal career on personal lives. If law school still sounds like the right plan for you, you can ask for advice about where to go from here.

    Learning about the practice of law from lawyers (as many as you can, from different practice areas) will spotlight the different career paths in the legal profession, and which might be right for you. You may notice that lawyers with very similar experiences may have very different thoughts on their careers. Ask them why. This is your chance to get a feel for what type of people like what types of legal jobs (e.g. litigation or public interest law), and what that might mean for you. Thinking proactively about your potential place in the legal profession will help you in choosing a law school, finding funding for school, and planning your job search.

    You may not know any lawyers firsthand, or they may all be relatives or family friends. Talk to them, and lots of other lawyers, also. If you don’t know how to begin, making an appointment to see the pre-law advisor in the Career Center is a great start.

    What’s next?

    Now that we’ve talked about the philosophical questions, if law school still sounds like the thing for you, consider meeting with your Career Advisor to discuss the practical considerations of applying for and funding law school.

  • Rachel Lindsey 11:59 pm on November 8, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: admissions, , , , personal statement   

    Five tricks to preparing your Personal Statement, from the Admissions Committee 

    It’s early November, September LSAT scores have arrived, and if you plan to matriculate in the fall of 2017, you are probably deep in the work of law school applications. If you’re like many students, the part of the application you dread most, and may even be avoiding, is the personal statement. This blog offers some guidance to help you through that process.

    Last week, admissions representatives from Berkeley Law, Northwestern Law, USC Gould School of Law, and Texas Law were on campus speaking with AU students about the admissions process, and turned to the topic of Personal Statements. If you weren’t able to join them, here is a taste of what they shared.

    First, the basics. Follow the directions. This includes responding to the exact prompt posed, the page limits, the specific information requested, and any other guidance. Don’t cheat with tiny fonts – admissions committees are wise to that trick. They will use your personal statement to judge your writing skills, for sure. They will also use it to assess your judgment, decision-making, and ability to read and follow specific instructions.

    Now that you have the formatting down, consider the statement itself – what you will share, how you will share it, and what it will tell admissions committees about you. Use this moment to be genuinely introspective and tell a story – your story, in your own words. Think of your life as a path. You don’t want to write about where you are now on the path, or where you plan to go next. Instead, consider your backstory. How did you get where you are now? Avoid starting your statement with a quote – the best stories are in your own words and voice, not someone else’s.

    Give the admissions committee the opportunity to get to know you beyond your LSAT score. Don’t repeat your transcript or your resume in narrative format. Instead, share how you got here from there. Write in more depth about that experience from your resume and why it matters. Explain how it has become part of your story.

    Treat your personal statement as if it is an admission interview. Answer the questions you wish they would ask. Share something new that the admissions committee can’t learn elsewhere in your application. This is your chance to make your case for admission and to communicate what law schools should know about you, but otherwise won’t. writing scrabble

    Avoid answering questions asked elsewhere – for example, if there’s a supplemental question that asks Why Our Law School? don’t use two paragraphs of your personal statement to explain that. Use the optional questions as clues to what is best covered elsewhere. Each part of the application is a chance to enhance the committee’s sense of who you are, and how you will fit into their community of scholars. Use each and every piece you can to your best advantage. And when you have done that, hit Save, and walk away.

  • Felicia Parks 6:17 pm on June 24, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: , , ,   

    Evaluating Your Job Search

    You’ve basked in the glow of your graduation with family and friends. Had a two week vacation with your nine of your closest college buddies. Next, you spent part of the summer working in retail or for a local restaurant. Now, you’re faced with the reality of finding a full-time job within an industry or with an employer where you feel you can make a difference.

    Regardless of the status of the economy, many job seekers will proclaim that finding full-time employment requires a huge investment of their time. Whether you started your search weeks ago or it’s written on your calendar as a “to do” item, be sure to evaluate if you’re spending your time wisely. LinkedIn is a great way to begin networking, online, before you request a face-to-face meeting with a cup of coffee and your business card.

    As always, the advisors within the Career Center are more than happy to assist you with job search techniques, mock interviews, salary negotiations and of course, networking. Learn more through the various resources on our website or by scheduling an appointment with your advisor.

  • Sue Gordon 10:29 pm on April 27, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: , , , ,   

    “Think Critically” by guest blogger, Robert Mack, SIS ’12 of PublicRelay 

    This post is the second in a series on critical thinking and analysis, one of the top skills employers want you to have.   Here, SIS alum Robert Mack tells  how the critical thinking skills he learned here at AU  have been important to his career at PublicRelay.  Robert is currently a Media Analyst and Recruitment Specialist. 

    Think Critically, by Robert Mack

    Analyze; problem solve; synthesize; think critically. To anyone perusing CareerWeb’s listings, these terms quickly become a dime a dozen. Yet these words appear often for good reason – employers need individuals who can come up with simple solutions to massively complicated problems. As evidenced by a recent survey, 93% of employers highly value critical thinking skills – so highly, in fact, that they value critical thinking skills more than an applicant’s undergraduate major.[i] Writing as an AU alum who now works in a recruiting role, I can attest to the fact that critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills are in demand more than ever and that AU is a great place to perfect them.       (More …)

  • Rachel Lindsey 4:22 pm on April 21, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

    More Than the Registration Fee: Reasons to Invest in LSAT Prep 

    There is a lot of conflicting advice out there about the best strategy for taking the LSAT – how long to study, how many times to take the test, and even about how “good” a predictor it is of anything at all. The one thing everyone seems to agree on? The LSAT is not just a test; it’s an investment. And it’s an investment that can significantly impact how much you palsy for law school down the line. One major theme that emerged for hopeful law students who attended The True Cost of Law School: Budgeting Beyond Tuition on April 6: Invest in a quality LSAT prep program.

    Passing the LSAT exams is the first step to a higher level of education. Much the same way as high school students take their PSAT exam before being able to enter college, LSAT is enabling individuals to start pursuing law. Of course, there is a significant difference of difficulty when taking both exams, but the preparation is not so different. LSAT and PSAT exam study guides and books are ever present for those who have decided to further their education.

    You’ve probably heard that law school admission is based on two things: LSAT and GPA. Of the two, many admissions officers will say the LSAT score is their priority in assessing how aid will be distributed. This is also true for merit-based aid. As the number of law school applicants has dropped, schools have begun to compete more actively for the best-qualified applicants – often using merit-based financial aid as incentive to attract those applicants. In this competitive environment, the higher your LSAT score, the better your odds not just for admissions, but also for scholarships. According to Benjamin Leff, professor at American University’s Washington College of Law, a three-point bump on the LSATS can mean the difference in thousands – or tens of thousands – of dollars in financial aid. Consider scholarships in India which is a very good alternative.

    Another reason to commit your time and your money to preparing for the LSAT? It’s an opportunity to spend small (relatively – compared to law school tuition down the line) early in the process and figure out if law school is right for you. Though it’s often debated, research suggests that the LSAT is a key predictor of bar performance. Law schools often claim that your score is the most consistent predictor of how well you will do the first year in law school and on the bar exam. If studying and then sitting for a test like the LSAT isn’t something you’re willing to do, consider how you’ll handle the three or four months of studying you’ll eventually need to commit for preparing to pass the bar and become a practicing attorney.

    For the budget-conscious law school hopeful, investing $1500 or more in an LSAT prep program might seem like a lot to ask. Be creative, and use all of your resources. Above the Law suggests online options like podcasts and videos, which may cost nothing. The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) makes available (for free) Official Prep Materials, including sample questions with explanations, old tests, and videos. There are even free apps you can download to practice exam questions, connect with instructors in a community forum, and more. However, even if your hope is to get your LSAT prep for free, Above the Law still recommends that you invest in real LSAT materials to use for practice. At a minimum, take your LSAT prep seriously. Don’t try to take the test cold, or with only minimal preparation. Look for high quality test prep materials with strong reviews from actual test takers at every price point.

    If you decide to enroll in a commercial preparation course, do your homework – before and during the class. Talk to others who have taken the same course at the same location, ideally with the same instructor. Be skeptical of any course that makes outrageous claims about raising your score. Commit to the program – showing up for the classes is not the same as participating and will not be enough to improve your score. You’ll need to devote significant time outside the classroom to master the material. And lastly, ask about discounts or scholarships. Though not widely advertised, some of the larger prep companies provide discounts to students with demonstrated financial need.

    Most importantly, remember that becoming a lawyer is embarking on a career, not just finding a job. Taking the LSAT is one of the earliest steps in beginning your legal career on solid ground. Take it seriously, and invest your resources accordingly.

  • Anna Litman 9:55 pm on April 11, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: analytical reasoning, , , ,   



    According to the annual survey of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, one of the top skills sought by employers is a combination of critical thinking and analytical reasoning. Our own sample of 162 employers who attended the Job and Internship Fair in March 2016 has confirmed this finding: 89% of them were looking for candidates with this particular skill combination. These employers range from not-for-profits and businesses to government agencies and international organizations in various fields and industries.

    What do the employers mean by “analytical” and “critical thinking” skills? Why are these skills so much in demand? Do you possess these skills? If you do, how would you demonstrate that to your potential employer? What activities would help develop analytical reasoning and critical thinking?

    Find out this and more in my two part blog. (More …)

  • Marie Spaulding 8:55 pm on February 10, 2016 Permalink  

    Skill Series #3: Written Communication 

    writing scrabbleWhy is it important to write well? What does ‘writing well’ mean, anyway? Every day I read resumes, cover letters, personal statements, essays and email and text messages. So do you.

    Have you ever gotten a text that made no sense? Was the verb or subject missing? Maybe you thought that you knew what the person meant to say, but you had to guess.

    Let’s start with some examples….

    • My courses in History and Philosophy taught me strong critical thinking skills.

    Your courses taught you? YOU had nothing to do with amassing these skills? Don’t you think that YOU learned or developed critical thinking skills by taking courses in History and Philosophy?

    • Other responsibilities include progress toward degree meetings every semester.

    What does this mean? Who made progress? And, what did this person do to advance the progress of these meetings?

    • I have developed a valuable database of employer relationships that get results.

    Have you known databases that get results? I have not. I thought that people used databases and the information in databases to get results.

    • My educational experiences and my work experience have allowed me to develop exceptional interpersonal, clerical, analytical and leadership skills.

    Your educational and work experiences gave you the opportunity to develop interpersonal skills – how did that work? Would it be accurate to say that while you pursued your education and gained work experience, YOU strengthened your interpersonal…..skills?

    • I am the daily liaison between coaches and instructor’s.

    Your turn….what is the issue?

    • Young Democrats of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah May, – June 2006

                   Volunteer Champagne Manager

     Have you spotted the typos?

    • I am interested in applying for the position of with you organization.

    Did this person read the sentence out loud? How many problems do you see?

    • One who will make a positive contribution to your college.

    Is this a sentence? Does it include a complete thought OR do you feel something is missing?

    • All of these experiences have shown that children and animals are forever bonded and the stories arising from that relationship inform us how to approach and respect

    Be clear about what and who you are referencing. WHAT RELATIONSHIP is this person talking about? And WHO exactly are we approaching?

    Whether you are writing a resume, an email or an academic essay, writing skills are critical.

    Here are some tips for writing as clearly as possible to convey what you mean to say:

    • Use active tense: Experiences do not teach you. YOU learn skills by engaging in experiences and completing projects.
    • Be specific and include details: As a senior majoring in Anthropology, with a minor in History, I have traveled to WWI battlefields in Belgium and worked with forensic anthropologists to uncover the remains of soldiers who died in the trenches.
    • Use a font that is large enough to see. No one will read your work, no matter how excellent it is, if the person can’t see the text!
    • ALWAYS read what you have written out loud to yourself. That is the only way you will notice if you have left out a word or used the wrong phrase.

    Resources in the Career Center Library:

    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The zero tolerance approach to puncuation, by  Lynne Truss

    On writing well: an informal guide to writing nonfiction, by William Zinsser

    Get to the Point!  by Elizabeth Danziger

    Writing That Works, by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson

  • rsangeorge 9:47 pm on January 19, 2016 Permalink  

    Dealing Effectively with a Temp Agency – and What to Expect 

    Image result for temp hiring“A temp agency – are you kidding me?”  That’s the understandable reaction of many upcoming or new BAs when someone suggests  going to see a temp agency.  But for upcoming graduates or unemployed recent graduates, it may be one of a number of options to consider, especially if some of this applies to you…

    • You are very unclear about the career path you want to pursue, or even the employment sector that most interests you – government? non-profits? private sector? start your own enterprise?
    • You worked your way through school in a retail job, nannying, etc. – and this limited your opportunities to do internships.
    • You are facing financial pressures and need to start earning money asap, but working in a hardware store is not an appealing career path.

    (More …)

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