When a new student gets an article published …

… I celebrate!

I teach. I facilitate growth. I join thousands of my colleagues employed in Florida universities who carry the awesome titles and responsibilities of serving as classroom professors. Our tasks: Help students advance along their great paths.

I am that instructor who jumps for joy, screams and excitedly congratulates each student for achieving what she or he believed was once hard to accomplish. Ask my former students whether I made big deals about their accomplishments that include their acceptance to grad schools, births of babies, winning Grammys and Emmys, achieving University-level band drum major roles and becoming SGA leaders.

Today marked an end zone-like touchdown dance. It was similar to how I danced when my children graduated from anything! Today’s dance happened after class concluded when when a quiet student, Austin, wanted to share something with me. He held up his cell phone and there appeared an digital sports article with his byline and published by The Famuan, the university student newspaper. Yep, I was excited. The best part of this account is that Austin pitched another sports story to the Famuan, and alas, it was not accepted. He didn’t give up. The sports editor liked this young man’s writing and tenacity enough to assign Austin a feature story. It appears below via a link.

Austin accomplished an important goal. He is the same Austin who could not fully complete a mock interview with me just days ago because of his professed “shyness.” Yet, inch by inch, he pushed through “fear” by working smart over the Labor Day weekend. I assigned beats to every student as part of their semester-long focus on assignments. The entire class members were assigned coverage of the university’s first football game, pep rallies and convocation. Some wrote articles with business, entertainment, cultural or political news views in keeping with their beats.

When I queried Austin on how he was able to interview the football coach and produce a good story to fulfill my assignment, Austin told his classmates and me that he began working on the story right away. On game day, he gained sports media access and ran out of the tunnel with the coach. Austin asked his important questions of the coach during their sprint onto the field, juggling his pen and notebook.

He planned. Austin was strategic. He earned favor. He wrote a descriptive, decent article that required some light editing.

I believe Austin’s accomplishment is instructive to all students and teachers. It’s a good example of lessons learned such as:

  • Do something.
  • Do “it” afraid to succeed.
  • In advance of a perceived or real challenging situation, role play to accomplish one’s goal.
  • Take care of one another and work as a team. (Two of Austin’s classmates came to his “rescue” when he got stuck in the role playing exercise).
  • Plan. Find out what needs to be done in advance of the activity.
  • Try.
  • Try again.
  • Share successes and challenges with teachers, students and family. We are on your team and want you to succeed.

I believe that every student is capable of achieving her or his goal (s). Our job as teachers are to cajole, facilitate, mentor, insist and parent students to the finish lines.

Expect me to continue cheering for my students. For some 30 years, I’ve been this energetic about students’ triumphs through highs and lows in higher education.

It never gets old.

Check out Austin’s article (_austindixon):

http://www.thefamuanonline.com/news/view.php/1034280/Famuan-player-of-the-week-Derrick-Maywea

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Omaha community activist and leader (my Dad) honored on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018: Dr. Rod Wead Street Naming

Media Advisory

Omaha Community Leader’s Street Renaming Ceremony:
Dr. Rodney Sam Wead
____________________________________
WHEN: 1:30 p.m., Friday, September 14, 2018
WHERE: 52nd and Ames Avenue (Ceremony may be held one block from official site @52nd and Fowler Avenue in the interest of safety)
WHAT: Omaha City Council President Ben Gray introduced the proclamation and received favorable legislative action for the street renaming in honor of Rodney Wead
WHY: The Omaha native and prolific community leader served with distinction as executive director of the United Methodist Community Centers. He also organized and raised seed monies for the nation’s 17th black-owned bank (near the site of the street renaming), the nation’s first credit union for low-income individuals and the first black owned AM-FM radio station. He has written several books, received several awards and serves as a professor at a St. Louis, Mo. College
WHO: Family, business, community and political leaders will offer congratulatory and reflective remarks
His adult children and fraternity brothers are sponsoring a reception in honor of Dr. Wead
###

Posted in Good news, Omaha, Unsung 1960s Civil Rights Heroes, Volunteer | Leave a comment

Rise above it …

My sister, Melissa, has accomplished great things in her stellar career as a Conceirge for a large, luxury hotel in Chicago. She is among the few African Americans to earn membership in Les Clefs ‘Or (pronounced “lay clay door”), a national association of hotel lobby concierges who have achieved excellence in service to all. There are approximately 10,000 concierges around the world and 4,000 achieved the Les Clefs ‘Or status. You can distinguish Les Clefs ‘Or from other concierges by the crossed gold keys on their lapels.

She has served celebrities, CEO, young and older, the ‘have nots’ and more in her professional and volunteer roles.

She easily speaks to so-called strangers and the most difficult folk are just crying out for her specialized customer service.

Yet, being on stage or speaking in front of an audience of any size, was something Melissa could not imagine doing.

That is, until Monday evening at Chicago’s Annonyance Theater stage.

She debuted with her improv class in a hilarious set. Her husband, Hiram, and I were smiling and laughing and clapping. In our hearts, we were and remain immensely proud.

What put an accent point on her performance was when a fan spotted Melissa in a restaurant right after the show. She, too, debuted on stage that evening in a different troupe. She told my sister that Melissa brought a calming, confident presence on stage. Bravo!

She did it!

Step out of your comfort zones and do something that gives you joy while conquering a “fear.”Your career and personal lives will be better for it.

Congrats, Melissa. You earned your wings. Now fly!

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve

Posted in Career boosts, Fear, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Step right up: Employers cutting experience and education requirements

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Who “Cares” about youth employment and education in Chicago? City Hall and a non-profit

Somewhere between Chicago City Hall and a non-profit on the city’s near west side, a forward-thinking idea was born and 50 youth are reaping its rewards.
One Summer Chicago youth jobs program matched 32,000 opportunities with teens and young adults at 2,000 work sites. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the program is designed to help Chicago’s youth gain experience, mentors and resume strength “for future success.”
He is right.
At the Center For Companies That Care (CTC) work site, 50 youth ages 16 – 21, are learning how to become event planners during a six-week program that pays them to learn the new theory and skills. Through a rigorous and creative curricula that includes daily debriefs, and weekly presentations from different community and corporate speakers, the youth participants gain keen insight on how to plan a large event at Chicago’s Grant Park in 2019.
Marci Koblenz is the founder of CTC, a decade-old nonprofit that partners with companies, schools and now the city of Chicago, to help economically disadvantaged students enter and graduate from college. There is more to CTC that connects to its mission, values and goals. See https://www.companies-that-care.org.
Koblenz had the light bulb moment to start the non-profit when she realized the biggest difference between her upbringing in Ohio and the urban youth of Chicago was their respective zip codes.
“In my zip code … we were expected to go to college and we did,” Koblenz told an audience of high school awardees and high school graduates of her program who were being honored for being accepted to various Midwest and Southern colleges and universities.
“I want you to take off something before you go to college and its the weight that drags you down. That weight that says to you, ‘I am not going to graduate from college,” Koblenz said.
That is why Koblenz, her small staff and working board of directors are motivated to help Chicago’s youth. It is because they know that many of the high schoolers enrolled in the few slots available for pre-college preparedness, would not have a shot at scholarships, internships and mentorships if it were not for CTC.
The summer youth employment program is a first for CTC and a “perfect fit” from Koblenz’s vantage point. It gives the youth a directional path in the vast events management field while paying them to learn the skills needed to plan and execute large public activities like the “5K March to College 2019.” With some 30,000 youth from Chicago high schools and other special guests expected, the CTC annual (except for 2018) March to College event for 2019 is well on its way. The planning portion is what the students have been working on during the program that ends in early August 2018.
I met the students in week four.
Like other pro bono speakers, I shared my niche expertise in event management as I put them through the paces in in a revamped warehouse-like conference room of CTC. As the Community Relations Director for the organizing committee of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and volunteer manager in the NFL’s Super Bowls in Atlanta and President Bill Clinton’s second inaguration, I also brought along ‘show and tell’ items that included an extra Olympic gold medal. (Olympic organizers have to produce multiple first, second and third place medals for athletes in case there is a tie. The so-called overstock is either sold for a modest fee or offered as a freebie to the Olympics organizers).
During my hours-long time on West Van Buren Street in the large room with walls of brick and interactive white boards, I was became impressed with the students’ role playing through two mock press conferences and problem-solving through case studies from the Olympic Games.
The students who are motivated to consider careers in special events planning, management and production, are ready to do so. They caught on quickly as they were learning events operations, marketing, sales, communication, risk management and many more areas.
Hint, hint to the thousands of event supervisors across the nation and world: You have a wonderful group to select from in this cohort of CTC summer youth trained and future event leaders.

(Photograph, clockwise from top: Center For Companies That Care Board Chairman Darrin Greene and his high school mentee at Applus Technologies, Inc., where Greene is the CEO and Country Manager US; Summer Youth program participants during mock press conference; Marci Konlenz. CTC founder. Greene and his mentees brother and mother. I chose to omit names as permission was only provided by Mom for photo usage)

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve

Posted in Chicago, Job sites, Summer Youth Work, Uncategorized, Volunteer | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

No college education? No problem with some jobs that pay over $100K

The headline on this blog is one that goes against everything in my typical college professor-based advice to my mentees who are seeking high paying and fulfilling career employment. In short, I tell them to stay in school and get their college degrees because it will result in big paydays. For the college graduates, I recommend they always include their educational accomplishments on their resumes and CVs.

Yet, I am always open to learning new things about the changing job marketplace, and I am willing to change my beliefs and perspectives when provided with solid evidence and other data.
job ad with no ed required

I came to this new-knowledge after checking out job sites with my
mentees who are looking for meaningful jobs to further their career plans. These mentees range from new college graduates to those with three years and more of professional work experience.

The job pasted in below is from one of my favorite employment websites, “Daybook.” What caught my attention was the public relations position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The applicants do not need to represent a traditional university or college degree to qualify for the job.

Stay with me and study all of the details of this ad. Wade through this job listing until you reach the item in bold: The educational requirement. After that notification, I will tell you why this listing includes the seemingly unique educational requirement.

Position Details
Public Affairs Specialist

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Foreign Agricultural Service

Overview

Open & closing dates

07/19/2018 to 07/25/2018

Salary

$114,590 to $148,967 per year

Summary

This position is located in Public Affairs and Executive Correspondence, Office of the Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). The work of the office is essential to the success of the FAS mission of expanding exports of U.S. agricultural products and promoting world food security. If selected, you would serve as Digital Media Manager. In that role, you would manage and direct the development and implementation of all web content and digital media content related to the work of the public affairs and executive correspondence unit.

Salary Information: First time hires to the Federal government normally start at the lowest rate of the salary range for the grade selected.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

The duties may include, but are not limited to:

Web Development and Management

Develop, recommend, and implement strategies, policies, and procedures to manage the content of the agency’s web-based products.

Ensure that all relevant laws, regulations, and guidelines are incorporated in agency policies and procedures.

Consult with executives and managers to analyze their needs and propose ways to use the web to support their programs, projects and initiatives.

Social Media

Plan, direct, and implement social media strategy, coordinating with stakeholders across the agency.

Liaise with external organizations, including industry cooperators and food assistance implementing partners, to develop joint strategies for sharing information and successes via social media channels.

Plan, manage, and execute social media campaigns.

Data Visualization and Digital Product Development

Remain abreast of latest developments in data visualization and make recommendations to management on the adoption of new tools and methods for graphically displaying statistical data and other information.

Utilize graphic design skills to create infographics, interactive charts and graphs to be used on the agency’s website and via social media channels.

Marketing, Outreach, and Customer Service

Identify opportunities to promote the agency’s web products to all appropriate audiences (citizens, business partners, employees).

Train agency staff to use web and social media products.

Deliver presentations and trainings on digital media best practices and developments to external audiences, both national and international.

Travel Required

Occasional travel – Domestic and foreign travel required.

Supervisory status

No

Promotion Potential

14

Who May Apply

This job is open to…

Permanent USDA agency employees; CTAP/RPL/ICTAP eligibles; reinstatement eligibles; 30% or more disabled veterans; Individuals with Disabilities; former Peace Corps or VISTA volunteers; and those eligible for other Special Hiring Authorities.

Questions? This job is open to 5 groups.

Job family (Series)

1035 Public Affairs

Requirements

Help

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

US Citizenship is required

Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959

Special Conditions:

Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.

Successful completion of a one-year probationary or trial period (if new hire to the Federal service).

Selectee must be able to obtain and maintain a Secret security clearance.

This position may be eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the duty location of the position. Employee participation in telework is at the discretion of the supervisor.

Qualifications

Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including time-in-grade restrictions, specialized experience as defined below, etc.

TIME IN GRADE: Federal employees must meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

FOR THE GS-14 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-13 level) that demonstrates:

Specialized Experiences:

Experience working with current and emerging digital communications strategies and technologies;

Experience planning, organizing, and executing the delivery of information and services via the web and social and digital media channels, including applying principles such as 508 accessibility and plain language requirements for digital media related to public affairs;

Experience developing websites using multiple development languages such as JAVA Scripting, ASP, PHP and HTML and utilizing a broad array of social media platforms (including Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Flickr) to support public affairs and communications efforts;

Experience implementing graphic design skills to create infographics, interactive charts and graphs, and other tools for website and social media channels; and

Experience with written and oral communion methods and techniques related to public affairs communication and delivering presentations and training.

There is no education substitution for this grade level.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Education

This position does not possess an education qualification requirement.

“It (education reference) is likely targeted to veterans who have advanced military education and other experience,” said Erik Winkfield, a public relations manager at Pepco, a D.C. public utility owned by Exelon.

He and his colleagues in the federal government sector often converse about such job ads. Bridget Sherchak, PR Director for Voice of America, has rarely seen such job listings that advertise vague educational requirements. Sherchak was formerly a federal government employee for a major agency and she possesses several years of hiring experience.

Like the job featured atop this blog, there are all types of “education” one may include in their applications such as digital badges, certificates and advanced military training. Go for it, veterans and others who do not fit in the traditional, university-educated categories for work opportunities and have great experiences and knowledge from a wide range of institutions.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve

Posted in How to find great jobs, Job search, Job seekers, Job sites, Resumes, Volunteer | Leave a comment

Time travels: Scorpion delicasies, African beaches and whiny tourists

Photo: Bishop Laurent Mbanda; his wife Chantal Mbanda; very successful businesswoman and me in Rwanda during his installation celebration

When I give myself time to travel to ‘far away’ places around the globe, I rest and observe and learn. It is my time to research and to be at peace.
No matter how hectic it is to operate in other countries via lacking infrastructure and free media offerings, I find the experiences along the Rio Dulce River in central America or rugged bus ride between Musanze and Kigali, Rwanda in Africa, far outweigh my so-called inconveniences. No surprise here: U.S. folk are spoiled and do not fully appreciate how good we have it with modern roads and emergency services.
In other countries, I am not quite as confident about my surroundings, its people and decisions I make to carry on with my day. I love that. Being “off” a bit is refreshing as I am out of the comfort zone and open to hearing and seeing things that I otherwise would not do in my comfortable surroundings known as the United States. I bring those things back home and I wear my life with more knowledge, grace, gratefulness and dignity.
In other countries, I easily meet people. They keep me safe and energized. They are not as rude, abrupt, entitled and whiny as U.S. tourists.
In other countries, I am respected and not under surveillance. In the U.S., I am still followed in retail stores and often questioned by strangers about the most trivial things such as my height, career, knowledge, awards and relationships. Whether in Canada or Bangkok, the interactions are straight-forward and with appreciation for sharing time with an “American.”
In other countries, I am not afraid to risk “safe” things like trying new foods. I love avocado pudding, which was first introduced to me at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. However, scorpion delicacies as enjoyed by the Malaysian folk on a recent airplane trip, are not among my favorite foods.
In other countries, I see truth and dispel all of the general myths that others have of certain geographical areas. In Africa, there are so many natural beauties such as the wisest minds, beautiful beaches, healthy foods, fabulous dwellings and smartest global investments. In Vietnam, there is a country of people who are overcomers. The country has amazing, natural beauty. It’s quite a turnaround from the country once devastated by the too-long Vietnam War.
In other countries, I experience a sincere appreciation for education. In Guanacaste, Costa Rica, the elementary through high school children brave heavy rains and scorching heat as they travel up and down narrow trails to reach one-room school houses that are typically in one room and are naturally cooled. Yet, their zest for learning and even laughter by the littlest ones of my awkward Spanish that they are happy to correct in its context, are the warmest moments in my life.
In this country, I travel with former students, friends and family through their personal journeys. Although, my U.S.-based travels with the aforementioned require my time, listening, some advice and patience, the visits are equally exhilarating and worthy as my airport and boat travel with my passport.
As a humorist, I find the “happy” and laughter in everything including the Malaysian airline flight attendants who warned us just ahead of spraying the airplane that if we “didn’t like it … cover your face.” That was their way of cleaning the air just prior to landing. My dead stop in the middle of a Kowloon, Hong Kong street and being overrun by a dirty looks and grunts from a bunch of natives, was mind-blowing as the Chinese believe in ‘keeping it moving’ along its crowded streets.
All of my travels add joy and interest to my short visit on this planet. For that, I am grateful. Join me.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve

Posted in How to travel wisely, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment