first_imgDoing well by doing good can be considered the highest purpose of higher education, and Travis Lovett wants to make sure Harvard students know it’s an option that’s open to everybody.“We see public service as the fulfillment of the civic purpose of higher education, and we want to highlight as many pathways as we can for students to engage in this work,” said Lovett, director of the Center for Public Interest Careers, and to that end he, the Harvard Alumni Association, and other University partners have planned the eighth annual Public Interested Conference this Saturday at the Science Center.With a program that includes a keynote address by City Year co-founder Michael Brown ’83, J.D. ’88; a session for alumni led by Archon Fung, Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government at Harvard Kennedy School; and panel discussions and TED-style talks featuring alumni who work in a variety of public service fields, the conference unites students interested in careers in public service with alumni who have already made that choice.The Gazette spoke to two of them who will give talks at Public Interested. While they took very different routes to public service, both describe their current work as a “dream job,” underscoring a message they plan to deliver at the conference — there is no one path to doing good.,David HarrisFor Harris, Ph.D. ’92, that path was long and meandering. It began with his grandfather, a Unitarian minister who preached the imperative to demonstrate faith by improving society. Harris struggled, however, with how to go about that. He ultimately chose to follow his mother’s example and study sociology, but it would take him nine years and stints at three schools to finish his undergraduate degree.During that time Harris held jobs at the Smithsonian Institution’s Research Institute on Immigration and Ethnic Studies and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and those sparked in him an interest in public policy work. When he came to Harvard for graduate school, he continued to work for the commission in a new regional office.“Working with communities around New England, I was committed to the idea that people on the ground should have a say in what goes on,” he said.“Recognize what you care about and use that as your compass,” advises David Harris, Ph.D. ’92.While working on his dissertation, Harris hired on as a fair housing investigator at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he became involved in many significant cases but grew frustrated by internal bureaucracy and politics.He then became the first executive director of the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston, which allowed him to combine his interests in fair housing, civil rights, and community outreach. After 10 years there, he met with Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree about the possibility of joining a new institute at Harvard that Ogletree had created to work on race and justice issues.“It was clear to both of us that it was just a perfect fit. And it has been,” said Harris, who has been the managing director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice since 2006. “It’s given me an ever-larger platform to think about civil rights issues beyond just housing.”Central to Harris’ work is empowering disadvantaged communities to take action at the local level.“We have to find a way to make real this notion of ‘We the People’ such that people in communities so long excluded from membership are involved in determining who we are as a nation and what policies we’re going to implement,” Harris said. “In public interest organizations, we have to recognize when to step back and allow the people in those communities to lead.”Harris is optimistic that this can be achieved because of the alignment among many social movements being led by young people. And he relishes the opportunity to mentor young leaders at Harvard. “It’s the thing that sustains me,” he said.His advice to students, whether they go into public service or any other field, is the same guidance he has given his 19-year-old son: You don’t have to have life all figured out.“Don’t ever think that any decision you make permanently forecloses other possibilities,” he said. “Recognize what you care about and use that as your compass. And if you don’t have it yet, that’s okay. It’ll come. You have to find your own pace.” Meera AtreyaAddressing climate change has been a guiding principle for Meera Atreya ’09 since she was young.Growing up in Ann Arbor, where her father, Arvind Atreya, Ph.D. ’83, taught mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, she was interested in science broadly and sustainability in particular, sometimes donating her allowance to environmental nonprofits.Atreya said “Climate Change: State of Knowledge,” a 1997 report by the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy, opened her eyes to the threat of global warming. While she can’t recall how the government report ended up in her bedroom or exactly when she read it (it was published when she was 10), she will never forget the effect it had on her.“It explained in quite simple terms and diagrams what we were doing to our planet and what we could do to prevent climate change,” she said. “It shook me a little bit. It was like, ‘Hey, we need to wake up to this!’”Meera Atreya ’09 said she will highlight her career path, showing that you don’t have to work for a nonprofit to do public service.Compelled to take action, Atreya started close to home, advocating for more efficient lighting and improved recycling in her high school. At Harvard, she continued to encourage her peers to live more sustainably, serving as a Kirkland House rep for the undergraduate Resource Efficiency Program.Atreya took advantage of every opportunity to explore her fascination with science, enrolling in electives such as “Energy, Technology, and the Environment” and “Atmospheric Chemistry” and concentrating in chemical and physical biology. Outside of class, she did lab research with Professor David Liu and then-graduate student Kevin Esvelt, Ph.D. ’10, now a professor at the MIT Media Lab, ultimately winning a Thomas T. Hoopes Prize for her undergraduate thesis on developing a gene therapy to prevent HIV infection.Buoyed by her research experience at Harvard, Atreya went on to earn her doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned a National Science Foundation fellowship to support her work on biofuels. After several years in academia, she decided to try something different, hopping the pond to take a management consulting job in London. Last summer, as a McKinsey & Company Global Social Responsibility Fellow, she helped drive the firm to become carbon-neutral and commit to purchase 100 percent renewable electricity in all its offices.Atreya recently left McKinsey to join SYSTEMIQ in London, where she is helping implement the Paris climate agreement and the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. Her current project is focused on mitigating plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.Looking back, she credits Esvelt and Liu’s mentorship for raising her ambitions.“It gave me confidence that I could tackle an issue as big as preventing people from getting HIV, or dealing with millions of tons of plastic garbage flowing into the oceans,” she said. “These things are unbelievably complex, but I enjoy that complexity. It’s a pleasure to spend my days being intellectually challenged by a goal that is important, urgent, and completely aligned with my priorities and values.”In her talk at Public Interested, Atreya plans to highlight her own varied work history as proof that you don’t have to work for a nonprofit to do public service.“I absolutely support and encourage pursuing a career in the public service sector, but I want students to know that it’s possible to work toward social good in many different ways,” she said. “If your passion is your central guiding force, then you will find ways to contribute to a better society.”The Public Interested Conference will take place on Saturday. Registration is required for both students and alumni.last_img read more

first_imgRadon is tasteless, odorless and invisible, but the radioactive gas still kills more Americans every year than drunk driving. It is the most common cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and causes about 21,000 deaths a year. Those statistics have left one Athens, Ga., family wondering if radon contributed to the premature death of their 27-year-old daughter. They’re urging other Georgia families to have their homes tested for the gas, which seeps up from the state’s granite bedrock and may reach unsafe levels as it accumulates in the home. “Radon tests are very inexpensive, and it’s no trouble whatsoever,” said Ann Tackett, who lives in Athens and recently lost her daughter. “Just see if your house has radon. If it does, get it fixed.” Tackett’s daughter died in late November after being diagnosed with lung cancer in fall of 2011. She had never smoked. January is National Radon Action month, and the Tacketts and University of Georgia Cooperative Extension home safety and public health educators are asking Georgians to minimize their families’ exposure to the silent killer. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that seeps from the ground as uranium deposits decay. It is always in the ambient air, usually at about 0.4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). At that level, radon is not harmful, but over time the radioactive gas can become concentrated in the air inside homes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers levels of 4 pCi/L or more as high. Of course, the lower the radon level, the better. In the last year of her life, Allison made it her mission to educate the public about the dangers of radon gas and what they can do to keep their families safe. Now her mother has taken over that task, making sure her neighbors have their homes tested and speaking out whenever and wherever she can. “I’m going to try to fill those huge shoes,” said Tackett, who had never heard of the dangers posed by household radon until one of her daughter’s doctors suggested that she have the house tested. While homes in every part of Georgia are at risk for radon infiltration, homes in north Georgia are especially vulnerable. Gwinnett, Cobb, Fulton and DeKalb counties have the highest average indoor radon levels, according to the EPA. The UGA Cooperative Extension Radon Education Program works across the state to bring awareness, but educators target counties n the northern third of Georgia where most of the high radon levels are found, said radon educator Becky Chenhall. This year about 4,400 students and adults participated in radon awareness workshops and presentations.Radon testing is cheap and easy. Families can purchase a kit for $8 from their county Extension office or for $10 online at www.ugaradon.org. Test kits may also be purchased from local retailers. The advantages of purchasing a kit from UGA are that the cost includes the lab analysis and a follow up from a UGA radon educator if your test results are high.Test kit instructions should be followed exactly, but homeowners typically hang the carbon filled test canister in their house for between three to seven days before mailing it to a testing center. The air inside the average home contains about 1.3 pCi/L of radon. Experts recommend mitigation, which involves installing a ventilation system, for any home that has 4 pCi/L or above. Tests revealed the Tacketts were living with a radon level of 3.1 pCi/L in their home. They plan to install a ventilation system that diverts radon from under the house through a vent pipe to the outside air above the roof, thus, preventing radon gas from entering the home. The Tacketts’ story is not unusual, Chenhall said. In the decade since she started doing radon awareness work, she has met several families who didn’t know their homes were unsafe until a loved was diagnosed with lung cancer. When she first started educating people about the risks of radon, people had never heard of the gas. Today, people seem to know that radon poses a risk to their families, but many still put off testing their homes. “I think part of the reason is that you don’t see the effects for so long,” Chenhall said. “It can take at least 12 to 14 years for radon to start causing problems.” Other families are worried they won’t have the money to install the needed the ventilation system if they find that their homes have high levels of radon, she said. “In reality, the improvements are not that expensive given that the device has the potential to save lives, and if you need a radon mitigation system, the first step involves planning and saving,” Chenhall said. In the first three quarters of 2012, the UGA Radon Education Program distributed 1,649 radon test kits. Almost 380 families found unsafe radon levels in their homes, and about half were able to get the problem fixed this year. A video tutorial on how to conduct a radon test can be viewed on the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences Extension’s website at www.ugaradon.org. For more information about radon visit the UGA website at www.ugaradon.org, the EPA website at www.epa.gov/radon/ and watch a video at www.youtube.com/user/UGAGreenWay.last_img read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:Polish energy group Enea SA said on Tuesday it will install up to 30 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity for a local coal mine in which it is a majority shareholder.The solar power plants will generate electricity for the Bogdanka coal mine in the Lublin region of southeastern Poland, with their output to be sold under a power purchase agreement (PPA). Once up and running, the installations will be able to produce around 30,000 MWh of electricity annually. They will cover a total area of 55ha (136 acres).Enea is the majority shareholder in Lubelski Wegiel Bogdanka. Its CEO Miroslaw Kowalik said in a news conference a week ago that the utility will look to keep the size of its installed power capacity but will rather bet on more renewables. According to a Reuters report, the state-run company owns 6.3 GW of power generation assets, of which 443 MW use renewable energy.More: Enea to power Polish coal mine with 30 MW of solar PV Polish energy company Enea to run Bogdanka coal mine with solar powerlast_img read more

first_imgWe received over 365 photos (and nearly 15,400 votes) for our third annual contest! Our winner this year is a bit of tear jerker.After a courageous battle with cancer, Luna has crossed over the rainbow bridge—but not before capturing the hearts of BRO readers everywhere.C-S-6_FIX“Luna was my housemate, bodyguard, companion, running partner, playmate, confidant, and so, so much more,” said owner Cheyenne Swing. “I was one-hundred percent devastated with Luna’s cancer diagnosis in February.”But Cheyenne didn’t let the grief of the diagnosis overwhelm her. Instead she organized a bucket list of Blue Ridge destinations for Luna, allowing her to live out her final days in the most adventurous way possible.C-S-7_FIX“The cancer may have been stronger, but Luna still won the fight,” she said. “She completed her bucket list and was constantly showered in love.”Luna’s humans have decided to honor our second place winner with the Dublin Dog prize package.Rest in peace, Luna.last_img read more

first_imgThe digital evolution continues to advance at a sometimes dizzying pace. New fintechs seem to appear on an almost daily basis. Meanwhile, successful start-ups are joining forces with established companies, expanding their capabilities and potential reach.Consumer behavior is telling companies that they want and need fast, easy and simple solutions to manage their busy lives. 60% of all smartphone owners use mobile banking182% of 18 to 24 year-old smartphone owners use mobile banking141% of U.S. consumers own a voice-activated device (Virtual Assistant)277% of Virtual Assistant owners connect their devices to their smartphone3The result is a rapid growth in consumer choice, offering unprecedented access to products and services, while elevating convenience and simplicity in importance over price, features and benefits. The opportunity for companies, including financial services and insurance firms, is the ability to deliver value like never before. As you develop and implement your digital strategy, consider these three factors.The Connected ConsumerYour members are connected like never before, to the point that a website almost feels like “old-school digital.” Younger members are likely to be “digital natives,” growing up in an environment moving beyond mobile to include voice, wearables, and the Internet of Things – all opening a whole new array of choices.Continually identifying and providing the channels your members prefer is vital. If it’s not easy and convenient for them to do business with you, it doesn’t take much effort to find a competitor that will meet their expectations.Channeling Your Inner DataProviding member-preferred channels is no easy task. Cost, expertise, and risk come into play. But weigh these factors against the value gained through each of touchpoint – data. Data is the ultimate insight engine when it comes to understanding the connected customer.The key is to combine your existing data with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools, and skilled analytics to reveal member trends, behaviors and expectations down to an individual level. These insights allow you to deliver relevant, hyper-personalized offers and experiences that are valuable to the member, unique to your credit union, and differentiated from your competition.Moving at the Speed of DigitalA digital-first, member-focused perspective is a core piece of strategic planning. While credit unions may understand this core objective, what may not be clear is how quickly and successfully the competition is moving. Financial services and insurance companies are forecast to spend $12 billion on AI alone by 20214; Digital disruptors are managing to siphon off 40% of incumbent revenue growth across industries5; andBy 2030, 80% of financial heritage services firms will go out of business, become commoditized or exist but be unable to compete.6The scope and pace of change, along with mounting competitive pressures have created a digital imperative to act more quickly and decisively. It’s not about implementing technology, but rather establishing an organization-wide digital mindset and culture.Learn more here. 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jeffrey Dillon Jeffrey Dillon is the Vice President of Digital Marketing for CUNA Mutual Group, the leading provider of insurance and financial services to credit unions and their members. Contact Jeffrey at … Web: www.cunamutual.com Detailslast_img read more

first_imgJun 8, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Hundreds of domestic geese have died and thousands have been culled in an outbreak of H5N1 influenza in northwestern China, a Chinese official told the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) today.Some 460 domestic geese died in Tacheng city of Xinjiang autonomous region, wrote Jia Youling, the director general of the agriculture ministry’s veterinary bureau in Beijing, who filed the report. He reported that a total of 1,042 geese fell ill and 13,457 were destroyed.The report marks the first known cases of H5N1 in poultry in China since July 2004, but it comes on the heels of an outbreak said to have killed more than 1,000 migratory birds of five different species. Those deaths occurred in another province, Qinghai, south and east of Tacheng.The migratory bird outbreak prompted widespread poultry vaccination and other security measures. Last week Chinese authorities were expressing confidence that there had been no cases among domestic poultry. Diagnostic tests positive for H5N1 came back from the domestic geese yesterday, the Chinese report said.Jia’s report said the source of infection in the new outbreak was under investigation, but under “mode of spread,” it said, “Migratory birds take the virus to geese.” The report also stated, “The index farm is a backyard farm.”Dead geese were found on an individual farm in Tacheng City, according to a report out of Hong Kong cited today by Agence France-Presse (AFP).”Mainland authorities also carried out vaccination immediately at all poultry farms in the nearby areas and the situation had now been brought under control,” said a statement that AFP attributed to Hong Kong authorities.Domestic geese have been a concern in the battle against H5N1 because of their ability to carry the virus without showing symptoms. Likewise, migratory waterfowl have generally been considered carriers of the virus.See also: Chinese report to OIEhttp://www.oie.int/downld/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/HPAI%20in%20China.pdflast_img read more

first_imgSep 9, 2009Harvard survey finds business preparedness gapsOnly one third of businesses responding to a national survey said they could sustain operations if half their employees were absent for 2 weeks because of pandemic H1N1 flu, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health reported today. Though 74% offer sick leave, only 35% of businesses allow paid leave for taking care of sick family members. The report’s lead author advised businesses to start making continuity and disease-prevention plans now.http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/2009-releases/businesses-problems-maintaining-operations-significant-h1n1-flu-outbreak.htmlSep 9 Harvard School of Public Health press releaseAlabama reports rising school absence ratesAlabama’s school absence rates have doubled over the past few weeks, though officials aren’t able to determine how much of the rise is related to novel flu, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Dr Don Williamson, the state’s health officer, said emergency departments are reporting that 20% of patients have flu-like illnesses. He attributes the rise in pandemic flu cases to schools resuming and said the virus has been detected at most of Alabama’s colleges.WHO urges Southeast Asian countries to prepareA World Health Organization (WHO) official speaking to health ministers from 11 Southeast Asian nations today urged the region to prepare for another wave of pandemic flu cases as the northern hemisphere moves closer to its winter season, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. The WHO told the group meeting in Kathmandu that although the virus has yet to take a big toll in Asia, hospitals should prepare for a surge of severe cases.Egypt orders 5 million vaccine dosesEgypt’s health ministry said in a Saudi News Agency report that the country has ordered 5 million doses of the pandemic H1N1 vaccine and expects to receive the first delivery in October, Dow Jones news reported yesterday. The story did not say what company was under contract to produce vaccine for Egypt. According to a Sep 5 update from the WHO’s eastern Mediterranean office, Egypt has confirmed 727 novel H1N1 cases, including 1 death.last_img read more

first_imgTourists may no longer be able to visit a former Vietnamese refugee camp on Galang Island, Batam, Riau Islands because the government has built a hospital for COVID-19 patients on the site.Each month, about 6,000 people usually visit the 80-hectare former refugee camp. Most of them were once camp inmates who had become successful in their new countries.The camp’s field coordinator, Said Adnan, said so far there had not been any official instruction to close the former refugee camp to tourists. However, he said tourists might no longer want to visit the camp since the government constructed a hospital for COVID-19 patients in the area.Read also: ‘They should ask us first’: Locals demur as govt plans infectious diseases hospital”Indonesian military commanders have visited the camp several times, but so far there has not been an order to close the camp to the public. We still have no idea whether there would be a special area designated for the hospital or not, but tourists would certainly be hesitant to visit the camp once the hospital starts operating,” Said told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.The camp was used between 1975 and 1996 to house 250,000 Vietnamese refugees who fled their homeland in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.Read also: Police chief aims to persuade locals over COVID-19 hospital plan in BatamMore than 12 million South Vietnamese fled after the war ended and sought political asylum in countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia, but many were cast ashore on the islands of Indonesia.Initially managed by the United Nations during the refugee crisis, Galang Refugee Camp is now under the management of the Batam Indonesia Free Trade Zone Authority (BP Batam). Said explained that in 2000, BP Batam turned the camp into a humanitarian tourist attraction.”Former Vietnamese refugees visit the site regularly. Each year they came here several times in large groups,” Said said.He said at the end of 2019, about 200 former camp inmates held a reunion on the site. Such reunions have been organized since 2005, attended by hundreds of former refugees each time.”They came here to visit the graves of their parents, families, or friends,” he said. (nal)Topics :last_img read more

first_img First Lady Frances Wolf,  Governor’s Residence,  Holidays,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf today announced opportunities for the public to visit the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg throughout December to view holiday decorations and celebrate the holiday season.The Governor and First Lady will open the Governor’s Residence, located at 2035 North Front Street, for a Holiday Open House from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, December 13, which will be held in conjunction with Historic Harrisburg’s Annual Candlelight House Tour. Santa Claus will be in attendance and performers will include Trust Company A Capella Singers, the Susquehanna Flute Quartet, the Governor’s Horns Brass Quintet, Central Dauphin High School Choir, and pianists Karl Hausman, Anne L. Parmer, Roger J. Levin MD and Jon Abel. Additionally, the Residence will be open from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on December 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16th for holiday tours.Visitors to the Residence throughout the month will have an opportunity to sign holiday cards to send to members of the military, veterans and their families as part of the American Red Cross “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program. Visitors are also encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy, to be collected by members of the United States Marines for the Toys for Tots Program.“The Holidays are a time to celebrate friends and family and remember all that we have to be thankful for,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “This year I am especially thankful for the opportunity to serve Pennsylvanians as Governor, and I hope that many of them will be able to make a visit to the Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg as part of their holiday celebrations this year.”“In addition to the magnificent decorations lent by many of our outstanding volunteer designers, I also encourage visitors to take advantage of this opportunity to give back to our community through Toys for Tots and Holiday Mail for Heroes,” said First Lady Frances Wolf.Visitors to the Residence during this holiday season will also be able to view the current art exhibition entitled, “The Pennsylvania Arts Experience,” which is on display in the State Rooms through the end of February 2016 and features work from over 70 local Pennsylvania artists from the York-based nonprofit organization, The Pennsylvania Arts Experience.The Holiday Open House and tours are free, and reservations are not required. No large bags, purses or totes are permitted, and security measures will be in place. For more information, visit www.residence.pa.gov.# # #Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf Invite Pennsylvanians to Visit the Governor’s Residence this Holiday Season December 02, 2015center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

first_imgMarineEnergy.biz has compiled the top news from tidal and wave energy industry from April 23 – 29, 2018.Atlantis drafts €3.3 billion tidal investment chance for FranceAtlantis Resources has submitted a strategic plan to the French government setting out plans to deliver 1GW of tidal power by 2025 at the Raz Blanchard, located off the Normandy region.The study also determined that Raz Blanchard has one of the best tidal energy resources in the world and after the construction of the first 1GW, the site could be quickly expanded to 2GW by 2027.EU splashes €5 million on wave energy MegaRollerFinnish developer AW-Energy has secured €5 million from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program to develop a power take-off (PTO) unit for 1MW wave energy device.The 3-year MegaRoller project, coordinated by Hydroll, involves the collaboration of 10 partners consisting of companies and research institutes.Atlantis to study Japanese tidal stream Seabased, a Swedish wave energy company, has formed partnership with Infocom Connect to provide renewable energy for commercial projects in Sri Lanka.The first project will power a fish farm with a 1-to-5MW installation, according to Seabased.The agreement goes in line with Sri Lanka’s ambition to gradually increase its renewable energy capacity to become 100% powered by sustainable energy by the year 2050.India invites bids for 150MW floating solar projectsThe Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has launched a tender for the development of 150MW grid-connected floating solar PV power projects in Uttar Pradesh state in northern India.The projects are to be developed on Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis, SECI said. Edinburgh-based renewable energy company Atlantis Resources and Nagasaki University have signed a collaboration agreement for a joint study on ocean renewables using tidal stream.Upon the completion of the joint study, Nagasaki University said it plans to move into the next step to clarify project costs and the cost of energy in Japan.Seabased makes Sri Lanka wave energy deallast_img read more