First-class delivery

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. First-class deliveryOn 1 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Face-to face training has to remain a vibrant and credible tool to be of anyreal use to the audience. But is it getting the attention to detail itdeserves? Asks Margaret KubicekLesley JacksonIT training manager, DLAThere are 150,000 professional trainers in the UK, but only one in 10 isbelieved to have received any further soft skills training or development afterinitial qualification, according to the latest figures from The TrainingFoundation, an organisation providing skills development for trainingprofessionals. For many organisations, it is still the norm to employ subject matterexperts to run courses. But training budgets are continuing to be squeezed, andorganisations are requiring evidence that their expenditure is paying dividendsin the workplace. We asked readers how organisations can assess and improve theperformance of their trainers. After a course has taken place we don’t do ‘happy sheets’. We send questionnairesout in the first week, do random phone calls to a number of people and floorwalk to visit participants at their desk. It is critical for assessments to bedone by people with knowledge of training and the importance of training withinthe company context and ethos, rather than simply relying on ‘happy sheets’. Until two years ago, when we were looking for new trainers, we would justlook at their technical skills. Now we have completely changed our approach:the technical skills come second. The way we’re training our trainers is quiteradical. What we’re finding, in fact, is that the technical knowledge can betaught more easily than the soft skills. Adrian SnookDirector of corporate development, The Training FoundationAs organisations come under more stress, it is tempting to say, ‘we can’tafford training, so we’ll get one of our experts to deliver it’. When you lookat what makes training effective, research in the US estimates that bodylanguage contributes 55 per cent of effectiveness, and 35 per cent is to dowith voice and manner. The residue is down to content knowledge, yet this isthe area that receives the most scrutiny. As an organisation, you need to decide what standard you are going to setyourself. In the IT training world, the Institute of IT Training runs an accreditationprogramme for internal training departments and external training providers.The IT industry had to grasp this nettle first because it grew very rapidly,but this is a trend that is rolling out into other sectors and rightly so. Karen VelascoTraining and development manager, Centrica ISWe have dedicated trainers with extremely good communication and trainingskills and we team them up with subject matter experts. They work together incompiling material and designing the courses. When it comes to delivery, thetrainer has overall responsibility, but the subject matter expert is there toback them up on the technical side and put across the business view. Gillian InceTraining manager, Claire’s AccessoriesI have attended courses that illustrate, from a business perspective, howdangerous it can be to use an external trainer who you haven’t had any trainerperformance feedback on from others, or without having previously viewed partof their delivery. One in particular was on Excel, led by a typical ‘techie’who knew his material. I was trying to learn the subject matter, but wasactually put off by his delivery. Building rapport is a key soft skill because people buy into people first,and the product second. So from the trainer’s perspective, if you don’t build abridge to them, you’ll never be able to bring them across. Georgina BorthwickTraining and development consultantInvolve your trainers as much as you can in decisions about how the coursesare going to run, and encourage debate between managers and trainers. Involvethem in developing the course and rolling it out so they are not just deliveryagents. Have regular brainstorms about training tactics – better ways ofpromoting yourself and raising your profile without raising the expectations ofthe delegates too much, for example. These kinds of activities will keeptrainers motivated and encourage them to broaden their skills. Alan MortiboysHead of education development, University of Central EnglandI believe the use of emotional intelligence by a trainer can transform asession. Unfortunately, it is still a neglected part of the trainer’srepertoire. The value of the trainer’s subject expertise and his skill in usinga range of methods can be lost if he doesn’t know how to create a positiveemotional climate and how to respond genuinely to a group. I’ve been aparticipant on courses which were a disaster despite the presenter’sunquestionable expertise, because they were not emotionally literate. I amconvinced that this use of emotional intelligence can be learned. FeedbackWhat do you think? If you have an opinion on face-to-face training, write tothe editor. Or if you have a topic you’d like to have discussed on our TalkingPoints page, let us know in no more than 50 words. Write to Stephanie Sparrow,Editor, Training Magazine, by e-mail: stephanie. [email protected] Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

New constraints on the timing of West Antarctic ice sheet retreat in the eastern Amundsen Sea since the Last Glacial Maximum

first_imgGlaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) account for > 35% of the total discharge of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and have thinned and retreated dramatically over the past two decades. Here we present detailed marine geological data and an extensive new radiocarbon dataset from the eastern ASE in order to constrain the retreat of the WAIS since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and assess the significance of these recent changes. Our dating approach, relying mainly on the acid insoluble organic (AIO) fraction, utilises multi-proxy analyses of the sediments to characterise their lithofacies and determine the horizon in each core that would yield the most reliable age for deglaciation. In total, we dated 69 samples and show that deglaciation of the outer shelf was underway before 20,600 calibrated years before present (cal yr BP), reaching the mid-shelf by 13,575 cal yr BP and the inner shelf to within ca. 150 km of the present grounding line by 10,615 cal yr BP. The timing of retreat is broadly consistent with previously published radiocarbon dates on biogenic carbonate from the eastern ASE as well as AIO 14C ages from the western ASE and provides new constraints for ice sheet models. The overall retreat trajectory – slow on the outer shelf, more rapid from the middle to inner shelf – clearly highlights the importance of reverse bedslopes in controlling phases of accelerated groundling line retreat. Despite revealing these broad scale trends, the current dataset does not capture detailed changes in ice flow, such as stillstands during grounding line retreat (i.e., deposition of grounding zone wedges) and possible readvances as depicted in the geomorphological record.last_img read more

Local University Named “Best For Vets”

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Northern Kentucky University is among the best universities in the nation for military veterans, according to The Military Times.The publication’s sixth annual “Best for Vets” list ranks NKU 36th among four-year institutions for the services and support it provides to military veterans and their families. This is the third year NKU has been included in the Military Times rankings, and it is the only institution in Greater Cincinnati to make the list. Also this year, NKU was named a Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the sixth consecutive year and was named a top school in the 2016 Military Advanced Education Guide to Colleges & Universities for the second year.“We have worked hard to establish a culture of trust and connectedness for our veterans and their family members,” said Dave Merriss, assistant director of NKU’s Veterans Resource Station. “We are thankful for the support of our Veterans Advocacy Committee and the University administration of the efforts that have earned us this national reputation.”NKU serves more than 500 veterans, active family members, National Guardsmen, Reservists, and ROTC students. The Veterans Resource Station provides seamless assistance with applications, financial aid, VA education benefits, advising, registration, career services and more.last_img read more

Swing time in Allston

first_imgAllston residents will soon be able to practice their sports swings, as batting cages and a mini-golf course open this Saturday (June 19) at 168 Western Ave., in a former neighborhood garage.The new Harvard Allston Field and Fairway will offer a fun, family-friendly neighborhood recreation option for the summer and fall. Residents can enjoy two batting cages, two golf-swing cages, and an outdoor 18-hole mini-golf course that features a windmill, a traffic light, and well-designed holes to challenge players of all ages. The building’s lounge will be used as a game room. All recreation activities are free and will be open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.The site was host to a temporary ice skating rink last winter. The new use is part of Harvard’s ongoing commitment to strengthen the active stewardship of its properties and improve community vitality in Allston.“Given the success of the ice rink, we wanted to host another community-friendly attraction, as we continue our search for a long-term tenant for this property,” said Katie Lapp, Harvard’s executive vice president. “The Field and Fairway is yet another example of how Harvard is constantly looking for ways to benefit its communities.”The baseball and golf equipment for the Field and Fairway are provided by Harvard University Athletics. The new facility creates an opportunity for aspiring child athletes, community members, and Harvard athletes alike to have fun while honing their baseball and golf skills.Allston residents, Harvard and local officials will celebrate the facility’s opening on Friday (June 18) from 5 to 8 p.m. There will be a raffle and welcoming remarks at 6 p.m.The public hours begin Saturday, on the following schedule: Fridays from 3 to 8 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.last_img read more

Search for Earth’s twin shows promise

first_imgThe quest for a twin Earth is heating up. Using NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, astronomers are beginning to find Earth-sized planets orbiting distant stars. A new analysis of Kepler data shows that about 17 percent of stars have an Earth-sized planet in an orbit closer than Mercury. Because the Milky Way has approximately 100 billion stars, there are at least 17 billion Earth-sized worlds out there.Francois Fressin, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), presented the analysis Monday in a press conference at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Long Beach, Calif. A paper detailing the research has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.Kepler detects planetary candidates using the transit method, watching for a planet to cross its star and create a mini-eclipse that dims the star slightly. The first 16 months of the survey identified approximately 2,400 candidates. Astronomers then asked how many of those signals are real and how many planets were missed by Kepler.By simulating the Kepler survey, Fressin and his colleagues were able to correct both the impurity and the incompleteness of this list of candidates to recover the true occurrence of planets orbiting other stars, down to the size of Earth.“There is a list of astrophysical configurations that can mimic planet signals, but altogether, they can only account for one-tenth of the huge number of Kepler candidates. All the other signals are bona fide planets,” says Fressin.Altogether, the researchers found that 50 percent of stars have a planet of Earth’s size or larger in a close orbit. By adding larger planets, which have been detected in wider orbits up to the orbital distance of the Earth, this number reaches 70 percent.Extrapolating from Kepler’s currently ongoing observations and results from other detection techniques, it looks like practically all sunlike stars have planets.The team then grouped planets into five different sizes. They found that 17 percent of stars have a planet 0.8 to 1.25 times the size of Earth in an orbit of 85 days or less. About one-fourth of stars have a super-Earth (1.25 to 2 times the size of Earth) in an orbit of 150 days or less. (Larger planets can be detected at greater distances more easily.) The same fraction of stars has a mini-Neptune (2 to 4 times Earth) in orbits up to 250 days long.Larger planets are much less common. Only about 3 percent of stars have a large Neptune (4 to 6 times Earth), and only 5 percent of stars have a gas giant (6 to 22 times Earth) in an orbit of 400 days or less.The researchers also asked whether certain sizes of planets are more or less common around certain types of stars. They found that for every planet size except gas giants, the type of star doesn’t matter. Neptunes are found just as frequently around red dwarfs as they are around sunlike stars. The same is true for smaller worlds. This contradicts previous findings.“Earths and super-Earths aren’t picky. We’re finding them in all kinds of neighborhoods,” says co-author Guillermo Torres of the CfA.Planets closer to their stars are easier to find because they transit more frequently. As more data are gathered, planets in larger orbits will come to light. In particular, Kepler’s extended mission should allow it to spot Earth-sized planets at greater distances, including Earth-like orbits in the habitable zone.last_img read more

“Yes” to IT Transformation. Now What?

first_imgThe pace of technology change (and, thus life change) keeps accelerating with every new mobile app, social engagement, cloud vendor, and smart sensor. Analysts predict 30 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020, creating massive amounts of data waiting for someone or some thing to analyze this deluge and create the next big innovation that will fuel another wave of change. And so the cycle goes.I visited with about a dozen customers in Europe this past month and they are all saying, “I get it, but now what do I do?”They know their customers – internal and external – are expecting greater agility and responsiveness from the IT team, and that there’s a world of opportunity for “new IT” to enable their companies to be more relevant in our ever-changing world. They accept it, but with a big lump in their throats, because they have already made huge investments in legacy technology. They need to reconcile the old with the new investments – in a cost–effective, secure way. One answer is to transform to an IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) model. In EMC’s experience, ITaaS can reduce “keep-the-lights-on” costs 20-25% – money that can be redirected to IT innovations that capitalize on the business opportunities made possible in the digital world. The next question our customers ask is “how do I get started on becoming this ‘provider of IT services’?”Blazing Two Paths to IT-as-a-ServiceEMC’s Global Services consulting team is seeing two distinct paths to ITaaS emerging. Some companies take a measured, step-by-step approach. They may start with converged infrastructure or a hybrid cloud, then migrate and optimize applications. Others, ones that are typically led by the CIO or board of directors, take an all-in, more comprehensive approach, attacking infrastructure, applications and operating model changes with a complete transformation project.To help determine which path to take, we developed the IT Transformation Workshop (ITTW) where a company’s business and technology leaders are brought together to strategize and prioritize their cloud journey. Our consulting services experts have conducted more than 150 of these half-day workshops globally, with 90 new requests in Q1 2015 alone.The ITTW builds out a vision of the digital future: how to improve the efficiency and agility of existing IT with hybrid cloud and converged infrastructure (as well as effective ways to migrate workloads to the new model). But while infrastructure and application transformation is necessary, it’s insufficient to derive full value from the “new IT.”People & Process are Key DifferentiatorsWith more than 15,000 cloud and ITaaS transformations under our belt, I can tell you without reservation that the most successful customers know technology and application transformation is foundational but never enough. They purposefully transform their people, processes and operating model to get maximum benefit. Phrases like “culture,” “change management,” and “core values” are part of the dialogue that’s needed to truly transform an IT operation.This is the approach we took in transforming our own IT function recently. We addressed all three elements of IT transformation pictured below. In fact, a key part of our Operating Model Transformation was breaking down our technology-centric silos to build a services-centric IT organization. You can read more here about our IT transformation and how to build a next-gen IT operating model in your business.To sum it up, the world is changing and the impact on businesses and IT in particular is both daunting and exciting. EMC has a proven methodology and market-leading technologies to help customers seize opportunities. I hope my perspective is helpful and if you have any other advice for IT teams looking to transform to the new digital world, I’d love to hear about your experience.last_img read more

Incoming student body president and vice president talk transition, restructuring

first_imgDespite being physically away from campus, incoming Saint Mary’s student body president and vice president juniors Giavanna Paradiso and Kelsey O’Connor have been working with members of the current administration and other student organizations to determine how to best transition student government and prepare for their term during this period of distance learning.The Paradiso-O’Connor administration officially begins their term on May 16, following the graduation of current student body president and vice president Terra Nelson and Olivia Allen. The annual dinner held in late April to signify the transition of power has been canceled as Saint Mary’s has moved to remote learning due to the spread of COVID-19. Nola Wallace | The Observer Giavanna Paradiso, left, and Kelsey O’Connor, right, prioritized empowering student organizations and promoting community in their platform.Paradiso and O’Connor have been working collaboratively with the current student government administration to help create a sense of community remotely.“Terra and Haley Mitchell, the chief of staff, have been involving us in trying to come up with ideas for things we can do for the students remotely,” Paradiso said.Although they have run into some initial problems, O’Connor said they are going to keep making plans with student government.“It’s been difficult to execute these ideas because a lot of places are not open for us to send out anything,” O’Connor said. “We’re trying to think of things that — us, on student government — can do from our homes.”Normally by this time, the executive board would be decided, O’Connor said, but the duo is currently in the process of making changes to the constitution to allow for the creation of a new committee.“We’re trying to make new committees that — throughout the Saint Mary’s community — would be a need for the students,” Paradiso said. “So, we have to get that approved too and it’s very hard doing it virtually. We’re working on restructuring a lot of the structure of student government in and of itself and how it operates — we’re hoping that we can make these new changes as efficiently as possible, but things take time.”Paradiso and O’Connor plan to have executive board applications out within the month to start organizing Domerfest and orientation, they said.“I see our summer trying to figure out what is going to happen with school and how that’s going to affect the freshmen and all the students in general,” Paradiso said. “Just using the summer to adapt to this new way of life, we had a plan to meet with everybody on campus … Obviously, that’s not feasible because we’re not on campus — so we’ve been contacting people, administrators, faculty, students –– just to try to still get the information and input that we need.”Looking toward the upcoming school year, Paradiso said she hopes to use this experience as fuel to make the year a success.“You need to take advantage of every moment that you have on campus because you never know when it’s gonna be your last. And that’s sad, but I mean you just have to be prepared for, I don’t know, apparently, a virus outbreak,” Paradiso said.Paradiso said they are in the process of thinking of alternatives to events that were canceled this semester, such as Junior Moms Weekend and Senior Week.“We’re just thinking of everything right now because right now, there’s just a lot of time to think,” Paradiso said.Tags: Paradiso-O’Connor, SMC SGA, Student governmentlast_img read more

Periodical cicadas

first_imgIn a few weeks, Georgians will have the chance to see a rare natural phenomenon: the emergence of Brood 19, Georgia’s only 13-year cicada. “For 13 years these cicada nymphs have been living below ground, awaiting their day in the sun,” said Nancy Hinkle, an entomologist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Cicadas are flying, plant-sucking insects. Adult cicadas grow as long as two inches with prominent wide-set eyes, short antennae and clear wings held roof-like over their abdomen. Annual cicadas are green with black eyes. Periodical cicada adults, like Brood 19, are a bit more striking with vibrant red eyes and orange veins in their wings.Most cicada species have multiple-year life cycles, usually two to eight years. In most cicada species, adults emerge every summer because the population is not synchronized; these are often called “annual” cicada species. In Georgia, what are called “dog day cicadas” or “July flies” sing in late summer. In contrast, periodical cicada species are synchronized, so that almost all of them mature into adults in the same year. Brood 19Brood 19 is one of several distinct broods that regularly emerge throughout the Southeast. They will arrive in large numbers later this month and into May. Thousands of them per acre are expected in some areas. They die about six weeks after their first flight. Many can come out in a single night. Nymphs emerge when the soil temperature inside their exit tunnels exceeds 64 degrees F. According to UGA’s Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network, soil temperatures at the Watkinsville weather station reached 64 degrees F last year on April 4. These cicadas typically emerge earlier in southern parts of the state. To approximate their arrival anywhere in the state, use the soil temperature calculator at www.georgiaweather.net. Estimating how many cicadas will emerge and where is tough. Habitat destruction is the biggest factor affecting cicada populations. Periodical cicadas survive underground feeding on root systems. Forested areas produce more cicadas. If trees are cut down or concrete poured over forest floors, their food source is diminished, and they don’t survive.“It is always a toss up, if they’ve been there for a long time, there is also a chance for disease to spread amongst them and for predator pressures to exist,” Hinkle said. Raccoons, opossums, skunks and dogs will eat cicadas. Dangerous?Cicadas are harmless to people. They don’t sting or bite. Any injury from an accidental nibble by one would feel like a pinprick and leave no damage. Periodical cicadas are not poisonous, nor are they known to transmit disease.They could cause damage to young trees or shrubs. If too many cicadas feed on the plant or lay eggs in the twigs, limbs may break. “The damage would be very minimal. The use of insecticides is just not justified,” she said. “The cost of the chemicals would outweigh what you might save.”Cicadas are probably best known for their strange and sometimes piercing song, which the males make using special structures called tymbals found on the abdomen. “It is kind of hard to describe the sound; it is a buzzing, humming, singing sound that resonates throughout the forest,” Hinkle said. MetamorphosisSeveral insect species spend a long time getting ready to emerge. Butterflies live as caterpillars for months and only live a week or two with wings. Periodical cicadas have all the other insects beat, Hinkle said. “This is pretty unusual. It is very unique to live underground for 13 years and then all emerge together, mate, lay eggs and repeat the cycle,” she said.In 1960, UGA entomologists Preston Hunter and H.O. Lund wrote the first publication on periodical cicadas in Georgia. Hinkle wants to follow up on their reports and track the insects across the state. Report findings or send photos to [email protected] “We’d like for people to let us know how many they are seeing and which locations are the most populated,” Hinkle said. “We’d love to track these animals when they start emerging.” If you see a periodical cicada in the coming weeks, take a good look. Remember, you won’t have the chance to see another one until 2024.last_img read more

Hike Salem in Virginia’s Blue Ridge

first_img VisitVBR.com | VisitSalemVA.com Explore the region by way of the Roanoke Valley Greenways. More than 30 miles of trails connect Downtown Roanoke, parks, and nearby waterways. These paved and natural surface trails are perfect for a casual walk, run, or bike ride close to town. Stop at Green Hill Park for picnic spots and access to the Roanoke River. At the end of the day, head into the City of Salem for family-friendly patio dining at El Jefe Taqueria or Mac and Bob’s. If you’re looking for craft beer and good times, stop by Olde Salem Brewing Company and Parkway Brewing Company for a taste of the mountains. The Virginia Triple Crown is a must-see while you’re in the area. Hike the Appalachian Trail to Dragon’s Tooth, McAfee Knob, and Tinker Cliffs for three of the most iconic viewpoints in Virginia. They are the perfect spots for a challenging hike with views of the changing leaves. Cover Photo: Hike the Appalachian Trail to Dragon’s Tooth, McAfee Knob, and Tinker Cliffs for three of the most iconic viewpoints in Virginia. Photo by Rochelle Masudal Après Hikecenter_img Discover more trails on foot or bike at Carvins Cove. Known as one of the best mountain biking trail systems in America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital, you’ll find more than 60 miles of trail, ranging in difficulty, to ride. You can also fish or paddle the 600-acre reservoir for a new perspective of the natural reserve. Dining at Mac and Bob’s Take Virginia’s Blue Ridge Stay Safe Pledge when you visit the area to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following social distancing guidelines and wearing a mask when around others. With a location in Downtown Roanoke and the Valley View Mall, Walkabout Outfitters is a one-stop-shop for everything you need out on the trail. Whether you’re looking for something you forgot to pack or need tips on the best hikes in the area, these local outdoor enthusiasts have you covered. Conveniently located near Carvins Cove, Just the Right Gear Bike Shop has you covered for a day in the saddle, including gear, apparel, and advice. After time spent climbing mountains, head underground at Dixie Caverns for views of unique, towering formations. Stop into the antique store and rock shop for a souvenir to remind you of your trip. This fall, visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge to take in the stunning fall colors from the soaring mountain peaks surrounding the Roanoke Valley. This metro mountain destination will keep you busy all day with more than 1,000 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and paddling.last_img read more

14 for ’14: The top stories of the year

first_imgby: Ryan ZilkerJust over one week remains in what is a memorable year in many ways, especially in the world of financial services and, specifically, the credit union movement.In a Dec. 9 webinar, CUES Supplier member CO-OP Financial Services offered “The Top 14 Stories of 2014” – our own estimation of the leading trends and events that influenced the company, our clients and the industry. Any such list is subjective—more art than science. Still, here’s our view of the top 14 in ’14:14. From Omnichannel to Integration.Omnichannel means consistent access across many channels; integration means making many channels work together as one. Omnichannel has given way to industry focus on how those channels should work together in a single, integrated, streamlined way.13. Integration at CO-OP.Talk of integration at CO-OP often starts with Sprig by CO-OP, which began as our online and mobile shared branching platform. It now hosts many features, including mobile banking with the added ability to conduct transactions between accounts at different participating credit unions. continue reading » 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more