Weber State’s Kate Sorensen Makes School’s All-Decade Track & Field Team

first_img Written by Tags: Kate Sorensen January 21, 2020 /Sports News – Local Weber State’s Kate Sorensen Makes School’s All-Decade Track & Field Team FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailOGDEN, Utah-This week, Weber State’s athletic department has been releasing its all-decade track & field teams and the women’s roster features some Mid-Utah Radio Sports Network flavor.Junior star hurdler Kate Sorensen, a former Gunnison Valley High School standout, made the cut for the all-decade women’s hurdles squad for the Wildcats.Sorensen finished 33rd in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA West prelims in 2018 and qualified for the NCAA Championship meet in 2019, placing 21st overall in the 400-meter hurdles.Sorensen won the 2017 2-A state titles in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles at BYU while starring for the Bulldogs. Brad Jameslast_img read more

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Cardinals v. Brewers game postponed due to coronavirus cases

first_img Written by July 31, 2020 /Sports News – National Cardinals v. Brewers game postponed due to coronavirus cases FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPete Van Vleet/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(MILWAUKEE) — The St. Louis Cardinals have postponed their game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday after two positive coronavirus tests were reported within the Cardinals organization.The league said the game has been rescheduled as part of a traditional doubleheader on Sunday, Aug. 2 at 1:10 p.m. (CT).The two teams were expected to play Friday in Milwaukee at 2:10 p.m. local time.Six of the Major League Baseball’s 30 teams will not be playing Friday because of coronavirus cases. That is 20% of the league.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.center_img Beau Lundlast_img read more

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Political Science, Assistant Professor, Comparative Politics, Tenure Track

first_imgSpecial Instructions to Applicants Department NamePOLITICAL SCIENCE Position TitlePolitical Science, Assistant Professor, Comparative Politics,Tenure Track Position Number Location CodePOLITICAL SCIENCE (02118A) Job CategoryUniversity Faculty The candidate will have a Ph.D. in Political Science at the time ofappointment. Candidates for the position must clearly demonstratethe potential for excellence in research and teaching and have arecord of (or clear potential for) distinguished scholarship,grant-funded research, and student mentorship. Experience workingor conducting research in the specialty area of ComparativePolitics is desirable. The candidate should be willing to supportthe mission of LUC and the goals of a Jesuit CatholicEducation. Minimum Education and/or Work Experience Job TitlePolitical Science, Assistant Professor, Comparative Politics,Tenure Track Number of Vacancies1 Job TypeFull-Time Job Number85TBD Position Details Duties and Responsibilities Organizational LocationPROVOST Open Date11/24/2020 Working ConditionsNonecenter_img Desired Start Date08/09/2021 Physical DemandsNone Applicant DocumentsRequired DocumentsCover Letter/Letter of ApplicationCurriculum VitaeTeaching StatementResearch StatementOther DocumentOptional Documents Supplemental QuestionsRequired fields are indicated with an asterisk (*). Close Date Qualifications Candidates should submit to www.careers.luc.edu (1) a brief letterof interest; (2) a current Curriculum Vitae; (3) a statementoutlining the applicant’s research agenda; (4) a statement onteaching experience; and (5) a statement addressing past and/orpotential contributions to mentoring a diverse student body throughresearch, teaching and other channels and engaging a diversecommunity through scholarship and service. Applicants should alsoarrange for three recommendations from individuals prepared tospeak to their professional qualifications for this position,especially in terms of scholarship, teaching and mentorship, to besubmitted electronically to the above website (letter writers willreceive an electronic prompt from LUC ). Candidates may forwardadditional materials related to teaching excellence and samples ofscholarly publications to:Patrick Boyle, Ph.D., Search Committee ChairDepartment of Political ScienceLoyola University Chicago1032 W. Sheridan RoadChicago, Illinois 60660Review of applications will begin on January 8, 2021 and continueuntil the position is filled.LUC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer with astrong commitment to hiring for our mission and diversifying ourfaculty. The University seeks to increase the diversity of itsprofessoriate, workforce and undergraduate and graduate studentpopulations because broad diversity – including a wide range ofindividuals who contribute to a robust academic environment – iscritical to achieving the University’s mission of excellence ineducation, research, educational access and services in anincreasingly diverse society. Therefore, in holistically accessingthe many qualifications of each applicant, we would factorfavorably an individual’s record of conduct that includesexperience with an array of diverse perspectives, as well as a widevariety of different educational, research or other workactivities. Among other qualifications, we would also factorfavorably experience overcoming or helping others overcome barriersto an academic career or degrees.As a Jesuit Catholic institution of higher education, we seekcandidates who will contribute to our strategic plan to deliver atransformative education in the Jesuit tradition. To learn moreabout LUC’s mission, candidates should consult our website atwww.luc.edu/mission. For information about the university’s focuson transformative education, they should consult our website atwww.luc.edu/transformativeed. Posting Details Is this split and/or fully grant funded?No The candidate will have a Ph.D. in Political Science at the time ofappointment. Candidates for the position must clearly demonstratethe potential for excellence in research and teaching and have arecord of (or clear potential for) distinguished scholarship,grant-funded research, and student mentorship. Experience workingor conducting research in the specialty area of ComparativePolitics is desirable. The candidate should be willing to supportthe mission of LUC and the goals of a Jesuit CatholicEducation. CampusRogers Park-Lake Shore Campus Quick Link for Postinghttps://www.careers.luc.edu/postings/14580 FLSA StatusExempt Open Until FilledYes Position End Date The Department of Political Science in the College of Arts andSciences at Loyola University Chicago ( LUC ) invites applicationsfor a full-time tenure-track position at the rank of AssistantProfessor, for academic year 2021-22. We seek applicants withexpertise in Comparative Politics. Our highest priorities as tofunctional specialization are democratization, ethnic and racialpolicies, political economy, and social movements; our highestregional priorities are Asia and Latin America. The successfulcandidate will be joining a department with more than 20 full-timefaculty members, over 600 majors and 100 minors, and four graduateprograms (BA/MA, MA/JD, MA, and PhD). For more information aboutthe department, please visit its website athttp://www.luc.edu/politicalscience/index.shtmlThis search is part of a University-wide, multi-year hiringinitiative designed to hire outstanding researchers and teacherswho are reflective of our diverse student body and committed tointerdisciplinarity (i.e., working with colleagues across differentsubfields and disciplines) and the pursuit of external grants. Ofspecial interest are candidates who can further the University’sefforts to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion.Successful candidates will be expected to teach an introductorycourse in Comparative Politics, and, according to their expertise,upper division undergraduate and graduate comparative politicscourses, as well as one of the department’s regional politicscourses. They may also develop special topics courses inconversation with the Department Chair and according todepartmental needs. Additionally, they will be expected to supportthe department’s student-related programming and academic advisingaccording to the practices of the department and to serve ondepartmental and university committees as designated by theDepartment Chair. The successful candidate is expected to pursue astrong research program, including the pursuit of externalgrants.The candidate will have a Ph.D. in Political Science at the time ofappointment. Candidates for the position must clearly demonstratethe potential for excellence in research and teaching and have arecord of (or clear potential for) distinguished scholarship,grant-funded research, and student mentorship. Experience workingor conducting research in the specialty area of ComparativePolitics is desirable. The candidate should be willing to supportthe mission of LUC and the goals of a Jesuit CatholicEducation.last_img read more

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Government announces student loan interest rate rises

first_imgStudents in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland will face interest rates on their loans of up to 6.3%, up from the current 6.1% for anyone who started studying after 2012.The change is a consequence of the increase in the retail price index (RPI) for last month to 3.3%, compared to 3.1% for the same month in 2017. The government links the interest rate on student loans to the RPI reading for March each year, plus 3%.However, the hike has seen renewed criticism for the methodology behind calculating the interest rates, and the student loan system more generally.Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Paul Johnson, attacked the government’s use of the RPI on Twitter.Government should not link these interest rates (or anything else) to the RPI – a measure of inflation which is overstated, which has had national statistics status withdrawn, and which is so flawed that the National Statistician has advised it should not be used. https://t.co/cLJ7HSzbfA— Paul Johnson (@PJTheEconomist) April 18, 2018 Oxford SU told Cherwell: “Oxford SU is concerned about the effect that the rising interest rates will have our current, future and past students. Rising interest rates are particularly unmeritocratic as they penalise those who fail to pay off their student loans quickly, and will increase the number of graduates who cannot pay off their debt before the 30 years.“The rising interest rates are especially damaging to our current students, who will pay the higher rate of interest on their student loan whilst they study. Punitive interest rates are yet another consequence of the marketization of HE, and act as a reminder of the need to reverse the current government’s policy.”The National Union of Students (NUS) says that while the rise is small, it adds psychologically to the burden of debt for young people.NUS vice-president Amatey Doku said: “Interest rates at 6.3% represent an increase of 0.2 [percentage points], which, although a seemingly small degree, adds to the huge psychological burden that debt has on many students and graduates.“Absurdly high interest rates are only a small part of student debt problem – which already leaves students from disadvantaged backgrounds with up to £50,000 of debt, most of which is never paid off.“The current funding model continues to represent a poor deal for students, their families, and the taxpayer.”The government initiated a review of post-18 education earlier this year, which is due to conclude early next year. Ministers say the role of interest rates will be considered in the review.A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “This change in interest rate will make no impact on a borrowers’ monthly repayments and very few people are likely to be affected by the increase.“Once the loans are in repayment, only borrowers earning over £45,000 are charged the maximum rate. This ensures that they make a fair contribution to the system.”last_img read more

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June Banner Month For O.C. Beach Tag Sales

first_imgWearing face coverings, people line up at the Music Pier in June to purchase beach tags. By MADDY VITALEIn a season when positive and encouraging trends are desperately needed, beach tag sales in Ocean City seem to be one indicator that people are getting out and spreading out on the seven miles of sand that the resort has to offer.“We just got the June numbers in and they were great, almost doubled June of 2019,” Chief Financial Officer Frank Donato said Wednesday.Beach tag revenue covers the cost of keeping the beaches clean, employing lifeguards, hiring summer police officers, and paying for the city’s share of beach replenishment projects in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.Donato said the increase in revenue is due, in part, to the city extending the pre-season discount through June from $25 for a seasonal tag to $20. The end of the discounted rate is typically the end of May.For June of 2019, the total revenue for tags was $623,000. For this June, it was $1.16 million.“Obviously, this is not apples to appeals. It is from continuing to do the discounted rate at the $20 not $25 through June,” Donato explained.Donato offered a reason why there was a dramatic increase in the beach tag revenue from June of 2019 to this June.“A lot of people held off on buying their season tags in April and May because of not knowing the status of beaches and what the summer would look like,” he said. “As we got into June, people felt more confident to purchase the season tags.”Beachgoers find ample space to separate from strangers on the long beaches.The year-to-date totals for the beach tags this season are $2,710,000, down a little from last year at this time of $2,744,000.“So, we are $34,000 behind last year as of June 30, which is really good news considering the circumstances and the slow start to the season,” Donato said.When it comes to the beaches in Ocean City, which are much longer than those in neighboring towns, sunbathers are seeking to escape from the stresses of the pandemic, the June beach tag sales suggest.On recent weekends, beachgoers appeared to be separating from others through the use of tents, cabanas and choosing spots to lounge on towels at least six feet from others, the recommended space for social distancing.Ocean City officials continue to urge visitors to adhere to Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive orders and follow safety protocols to lessen the spread of the coronavirus, including maintaining six feet of separation between strangers, wearing face coverings, and using hand sanitizer.There are messages played over the loudspeaker on the Boardwalk about safety measures, hand sanitizing stations are installed in the city and on the Boardwalk, and signage details the importance of following social distancing guidelines.The city also gives out face masks to anyone who needs them at the welcome centers in town, on the Route 52 Causeway and at the Music Pier.Beach tags may be purchased at the Roy Gillian Welcome Center, City Hall, the Music Pier, and other locations in town. They may also be bought online on the city’s website at www.ocnj.us/beachtags.An uptick in purchases of the 2020 beach tags came after people saw that the beaches will be open this summer.last_img read more

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Your letters

first_imgThe real weakness in the case of adding folic acid to flour or bread is that it reeks of mass-medication for a problem that may affect a miniscule number of women of childbearing age and their offspring.It has no relevance in medical terms for the male population, children, most young women or women who have reached the menopause. It can disturb the vitamin B balance and enough has already been said about masking B12 deficiency.If the ’Staff of Life’ is to be used as a vehicle that provides for the minority, how long will it be before statins are added for the heart, ibuprofen for rheumatoid arthritis, and aspirin for headaches? Now there’s a thought for a money-saving NHS project covering a huge amount of the population.Seriously, though, if folic acid has to be added, then it should be declared along with the other B vitamins and minerals, which are added to replace those extracted during the milling process to produce an otherwise devitalised white flour. Again, if it is added, then surely it must be at the milling stage, as the process will be too hit and miss with bakers.Finally, for goodness’ (literally) sake, do not include it in wholemeal flour and certainly not organic wholemeal. At least let the purists among us have bread that hasn’t been tampered with.Ray Hill,Sunshine Craft Bakery,Stroud, GloucestershireIf you would like to air your views on this topic or any other talking points of the baking industry, then please write to British Baker or email [email protected]last_img read more

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Fears over financial burden of waste proposals

first_imgGovernment proposals that could see packaging producers pay the full cost of recycling will place a “considerable financial burden” on manufacturers, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has warned.The proposals were part of the new Resources and Waste Strategy which was unveiled yesterday (18 December) by environment secretary Michael Gove.It also includes Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which will see the industry pay higher fees if products are harder to reuse, repair or recycle. The EPR for packaging is expected to raise between £500m and £1bn a year.In response, the FDF raised concerns about the cost associated with these initiatives.“Many of the measures being suggested by Defra will place considerable financial burdens on food and drink manufacturers, and SMEs in particular. The timing of such an announcement also needs to be considered alongside the spectre of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario which still looms large over our industry,” an FDF spokesperson said.“It is important that the government engages closely with the food and drink industry as it begins to consult on these measures, particularly given the work already being done across the supply chain to tackle such issues as food waste and packaging.”Packaging manufacturer Macpac also raised concerns that the strategy places extra burden on plastic converters, but hopes the proposals will bring the UK up to speed with the rest of Europe.“What is certain is that despite all the hard efforts of packaging manufacturers to develop recyclable and biodegradable materials… the waste management infrastructure in the UK lags behind the rest of Europe,” said Macpac sales manager Simon Firth.“There are 388 councils in the UK and around 50 different collection systems, with little uniformity when it comes to waste collection. There is confusion amongst the public when it comes to kerbside collection. Where is the sense in a local authority taking all plastics while another cherry picks?”The government is hoping to address this by simplifying household recycling collections through the introduction of a consistent set of recyclable materials collected from all households and businesses, as well as consistent labelling on packaging so consumers know what can be recycled.This plan was welcomed by director of the Federation of Bakers Gordon Polson as it “gives us the opportunity to encourage all local authorities to collect bread bags and recycle them”. Bread bags are recyclable but are collected alongside carrier bags at supermarkets rather than via a kerbside collection service.last_img read more

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Under the gold and crimson dome

first_img 15Dunsterites Anissa Mak ’13 (left) and Melody Wu ’13 (right) proudly proclaim their House allegiance as meese, their way of denoting the plural form of moose, the symbol of Dunster. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 17A goat is suspended over coals as students play Frisbee and soccer in the Dunster courtyard at the annual goat roast. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 13The Dunster moose leads House members in a high-energy cheer on Housing Day, when freshmen receive their House assignments. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer Located on the banks of the Charles River next to the Weeks Footbridge, Dunster House is distinguished by its gold and crimson dome, which was modeled after the tower of Christ Church at Oxford. Famous Dunster residents have included former Vice President Al Gore and actor Tommy Lee Jones, who were roommates in the late 1960s, as well as comedian and U.S. Sen. Al Franken, novelist Norman Mailer, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Like other Harvard Houses, this one has its traditions, the major being the Dunster House Opera, the “Messiah” sing-a-long at Christmas, and a goat roast in the spring.The opera epitomizes the inclusive, roll-up-your-sleeves-and-pitch-in spirit of the House. It utilizes only undergraduates for its cast, staff, and orchestra. This means that everyone shares multiple roles, with singers assembling sets shortly before they go onstage to deliver their arias. For many members of the cast, it is their first experience with opera. Performances take place in the Dunster dining room, which each night is quickly transformed from a sea of tables and chairs to a stage. This season’s performance was the operetta “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss II.The camaraderie built on the set by producers, singers, and stagehands working side by side extends through the House. Diana Suen ’11 summed that up nicely: “Since my first day at Dunster, when I was smothered with hugs from our House mascot, I have never felt for want of a friendly face. There is nothing that compares to the bonds formed over intense IM games, late nights in the dining hall slaving over problem sets with friends, ice cream study breaks hosted by the Masters and resident tutors, and, yes, even the sometimes-too-cozy intimacy of walk-through rooms. Dunster truly feels like my home away from home.” 24Susan Zhu ’11 gets a congratulatory hug from Dunster House Co-Master Ann Porter at the House diploma ceremony on Commencement day. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 1Dunster House, built in 1930 near the Weeks Footbridge over the Charles River, was named in honor of Henry Dunster, the first president of Harvard College. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 2Diana Suen ’11 and Michael Baskin ’11 confer on a project over lunch in the dining room. In addition to being the place where students eat their meals, the dining room is also a gathering spot for students working or socializing at almost any time of day. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 11In a show of camaraderie, Dunster House Opera Society members raise hands in a group salute before going onstage to perform Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus.” Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 5Garrett Barnard ’13 finds some solitude for studying in the Dunster library on a weeknight. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 9The Dunster House Opera Society rehearses “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss. Allison Ray ’14 looks out from the set while waiting for additional stagehands to arrive. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 21Dunsterite Zoe Morrison ’11, who hails from Hawaii, sports a lei at Commencement’s Morning Exercises. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 16Cherry blossoms frame students dining in the courtyard during the annual goat roast at Dunster House. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 3Dunster plays Leverett in the House volleyball championships. The teams split the first two sets before Leverett took the last one, winning the match. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 25A full moon rises behind the Dunster House tower. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographercenter_img 18Danny Erickson ’14 finds a piece of goat just a little bit chewy. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 14Michael Baskin ’11 of Dunster House gets a hug from the Pforzheimer bear in the Yard on Housing Day. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 6Cast members Jack Ausick ’13 and Stephanie Havens ’14 work on the set prior to the Dunster House Opera Society’s rehearsal of “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 22Tiffany Smalley ’11 receives her diploma from Dunster House Master Roger Porter at the House ceremony during Commencement. Smalley is the first member of the Wampanoag tribe to graduate from Harvard College since Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck received his degree in 1665. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 7Sofia Selowsky ’12 applies makeup to Michael Cherella ‘ 11 before a performance of Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus” by the Dunster House Opera Society. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 20Liora Simozar ’13 (left) and Tess Hellgren ’11 share a laugh while getting tangled up in wind-blown ribbons in the courtyard during festivities at the annual Dunster House goat roast. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 10Music director Matt Aucoin ’12 conducts the orchestra during a rehearsal. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 19Rob Tennyson (left) jousts with Courtney Cronin ’11 in the courtyard at one of many activities taking place during the annual Dunster House goat roast. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 4Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (left) greets students after a Dunster House dinner as House Master Roger Porter (center) looks on. Dinners like this one allow students to meet political and cultural figures in an intimate setting where they can ask questions and share ideas. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 23Dunster House families have their own photo op as they capture graduates receiving diplomas at the House ceremony following Commencement Morning Exercises. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 8Stewart Kramer ’12 puts modesty aside as he irons his pants before going onstage. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 12Framed by a bass player in the orchestra, the Dunster House Opera Society performs Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus” with Ben Nelson ’11 and Bridget Haile ’11 in the lead roles at center stage. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographerlast_img read more

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Drill, Spill, Repeat: Offshore Drilling Threatens North Carolina

first_imgAnother Executive Order leads to yet another hit on the environment as North Carolina becomes a target for offshore oil drilling.The Outer Banks of North Carolina have been free of oil drilling for nearly 30 years, but it is going to be a fight to keep the coast under protection. In late April, President Trump directed the U.S. Dept. of the Interior to review locations for offshore oil and gas exploration. The Executive Order calls for returning hundreds of miles of federal waters in the mid and south Atlantic, that just last year were marked off-limits by the previous administration, back into eligibility for drilling. Moving forward with the process, the administration announced on May 10 that it is beginning the permitting process for seismic testing in the Atlantic waters.Vessel in the process of seismic testing.Photo by World Maritime NewsLoud blasts of compressed air boom through the ocean’s depths from multiple seismic air gun arrays in the process of seismic testing. This technique surveys through the ocean to find oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean floor. According to the Outer Banks Sentinel, critics argue that air blasting process is harmful to marine life, while the Department of Interior counters that it should not have “significant impacts on marine mammal populations.”Drilling deep into more remote waters such as the shores of the mid-Atlantic, increases the risk of spills which, as we learned with the BP crisis, can irreversibly damage the ocean, threaten livelihoods, and destroy habitats. Adding to the potential impact on marine life, carbon pollution to the air gets added to the mix as it is caused from the burning fossil fuels and is the leading cause of climate change and ocean acidification.In an effort to give voice to many who oppose the seismic testing and oil drilling, the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC) headed off for Washington D.C. just after the signing of the Executive Order to deliver a strong message to representatives in Congress: offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration is bad for business. As of today, 125 East Coast municipalities, over 1,200 elected officials and an alliance representing over 41,000 businesses and 500,200 fishing families have publicly opposed seismic airgun blasting.Mark Dodd, a wildlife biologist from Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources, surveying the oil-filled Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.Photo by GA Dept. of Nat. ResourcesImpacting the state economy from the beaches to the Blue Ridge, the addition of oil rigs off the coast would impact countless businesses from commercial fishing to tourism and recreation. Healthy, clean ocean ecosystems are crucial in preserving the nearly 1.4 million jobs and over $95 billion made in gross domestic product each year along the Atlantic coast.“Clean, renewable resources of energy like offshore wind would provide far more jobs than oil drilling,” according to Oceana, an international organization focused solely on ocean advocacy.Bringing in a more optimistic view, David McGowan, executive director of the N.C. Petroleum Council, an industry trade group, says that even under the most favorable conditions, the process – which involves hearings, studies and reviews – would take at least a decade before oil rigs pumped the first barrel.Whether oil rigging off the coast of North Carolina were to happen tomorrow or in 10 years, it’s time to start taking action and letting your elected officials know where you stand on oil rigs becoming a reality. If you would rather not have seafood on your plate from potentially oil polluted waters and don’t wish to take part in a practice that does much more harm than good, say no to offshore drilling. Help preserve our healthy coasts for generations of the future enjoy and take pride in.last_img read more

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Redefine your member service and you’ll redefine your success

first_imgEarlier this year, Saylent had the honor of hosting an educational webinar for over 130 community institutions. The topic of the discussion was “The New Definition of Service.” Afterwards, we received a staggering amount of emails from CEOs, Directors of Marketing, and Business Development professionals all wanting to know more about what this new definition of service entails and how they can put it into practice in their institution.It is clear that credit unions have reached a critical point in our industry where traditional ideas of service are falling dreadfully short. Credit unions are starving for novel ways to attract new loans, grow non-interest income, appeal to new members, and increase the profitability from the overall relationship.But what does that have to do with service? In order to understand why service has changed, it’s important to outline the challenges our industry has faced in recent years. None of these obstacles will come as a surprise, but they need to be brought to the foreground to frame our discussion.Market Disrupters of the Last DecadeThe first and most obvious disruption to our industry was (or still is, depending on your perspective) the “financial crisis.” I promise to spare you from the typical eye-rolling reaction we all have when someone broaches this subject. At this point, everyone is supremely aware of the impact this had on margin compression, regulatory pressures, risk assessments, foreclosures, and the hair-pulling drop in new lending. Let’s just leave it at that.The second source of Monday morning migraines has been the insurmountable task of data aggregation, a.k.a. Big Data. In the last decade we have seen exponential growth in the sheer volume of data available to your credit union through various channels, processors, ancillary databases, external sources, and the list goes on. The challenge isn’t in obtaining the data; it is getting this data into a form that is consistent, comprehensive, and, above all, usable. Credit unions have spent an untold amount of time, money, and resources on just this aspect of our business.Last, but certainly not least, our final party crasher has been the deployment of new channels. Remember that day when you sat down, took a deep breath, and congratulated yourself on successfully implementing your online banking platform? As if to mock your efforts, the skies opened up and along came mobile banking, bill pay, mobile deposit capture, personal financial management (PFM) tools, and person-to-person payments. And just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, we have now officially entered the new era of wearable devices.Pop Quiz TimeThroughout all of these changes and challenges in our industry, what is the one critical component that hasn’t seen much innovation at all? The answer: Your products. Our industry’s entire product offering and approach to the member relationship has been virtually motionless. Worse yet, we have failed to recognize the severe impact this has had on our service.Simply put, credit unions are failing in their service strategies because they are treating “service” as a separate component from the actual products and promotions offered. In fact, the only real member-facing response to the market disrupters mentioned above has been the new channel implementations.Credit unions have been so focused on the channel experience that we have completely overlooked the need for product and program innovation. The result has been our industry’s tendency to take vibrant, 3-dimensional members from all walks of life and life stages, and force them into a very limited, 2-dimensional product set.We Differentiate Ourselves …Just Like Everyone ElseWhen you consider the credit unions and banks in your area, how much real deviation do you see in the various deposit products? We often ask credit unions, “How do you differentiate yourself in your market?” The answers are always the same:“We have been a part of our community for many years. Our staff is friendly and responsive to our members, and we just revamped our branch design.”Ok, that’s fair and commendable, but that’s more of a channel experience. What about the people that never go into a branch or that are unaware of your contribution to the community?“For them, we have a robust OLB solution with a seamless loan origination workflow. Our mobile app has a contemporary design with integrated bill pay and mobile deposit capture.”Again, this is certainly praiseworthy, but it is also the cost of doing business in today’s multichannel environment. In fact, there are only a few major providers for these solutions in our industry so there is a really good chance your online presence bares a strong resemblance to that of your competition.That said, let’s envision a different answer to the question of differentiation:“We believe in rewarding our members for their complete relationship and profitable behaviors. As such, our credit union takes the unique approach of expanding service through our product offering by incorporating member-level loyalty programs. In fact, our programs are customized in a way that provides the best level of service to our distinctive demographics. Regardless of age, income, or stage in life, they find greater personal value in doing many of the things they are accustomed to doing (e.g., higher debit card usage, bill pay, eStatements, high aggregate balances, loans, etc.).”This response would stop anyone dead in their tracks, but unfortunately, it rarely happens. Instead, our industry continues to peddle cookie-cutter products that promote commodity pricing and urge rate shopping. And let’s not forget the “sales culture” so many institutions have struggled to implement through costly CRM solutions. Could some of that struggle stem from asking the frontline staff to cross-sell mundane, look-a-like products that a member can get anywhere?The bottom line is that current product designs do very little to actually support our strategic goals. They fail to encourage and reward profitable behaviors. They do not foster a broadening of the member relationship and new loan growth. Worse still, there is nothing truly exciting to capture people’s attention and attract new members. This is the principal disconnect from service that has led to the growing apathy among credit union members, especially the Millennials.Still Not Convinced That Member Relationship Rewards are the Future?Correct! Because it’s already here!Let’s switch gears for a moment and consider a “day in the life” of your members. They wake, shower, get dressed, and pour their kids some cereal (Kellogg’s Family Rewards). On the way to work they roll into a drive-thru for a large coffee (Dunkin Donuts Perks Rewards or My Starbucks Rewards). Perhaps they need some copy paper and ink cartridges for the office (Staples Rewards). At lunch, they grab a sub (Subway Rewards Card) and stop by the pharmacy (CVS’s ExtraCare). On the way home, they stop and grab a pizza and movie for the family’s movie night (Papa John’s Papa Rewards and RedBox Play Pass).It is glaringly obvious that cultural expectations have changed in practically every aspect of the consumer experience. Rewarding patrons for their profitable behaviors and loyalty has become the norm for the entire marketplace …because it works! With all of this happening around us, why are credit unions so slow to apply this trend to their product suites and, more importantly, the whole relationship with a member?“Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.”-Teddy RooseveltAs mentioned in the beginning, Saylent’s unconventional interpretation of “service” has afforded us a lot of recent attention and momentum for our award-winning Account360 rewards platform. We have made it our mission to bridge the gap between our industry and the rest of the consumer culture. We knew that credit unions needed a platform that was easy to implement, entirely automated, and provided data-driven insights without impacting IT resources. In turn, credit unions would be free to explore novel and pioneering approaches to service and rewarding loyalty.If you are trying to find new momentum in a competitive market or fear attrition from members that are weary of the mundane, then it’s time to show your members that you can provide a level of service that’s current and uniquely tied back to them. It’s time to redefine service so you can redefine success. 86SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Damien Hayes Damien Hayes is the Senior Revenue Consultant at Saylent Technologies,Inc. with over 15 years of experience working with banks and credit unions. Today, Damien puts his energy into working … Web: www.saylent.com Detailslast_img read more

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