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Life expectancy declines among least-educated whites

first_imgLife expectancy among the least-educated white Americans has fallen markedly over the past two decades, according to recent research, including some studies by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) experts. A front-page article in the September 20, 2012 New York Times outlined these disturbing findings and included speculation by researchers as to possible causes—such as higher smoking rates among less-educated white women, rising obesity, and an increase in the number of the least-educated Americans without health insurance.According to the Times, the latest estimates show that white women without a high school diploma lost five years of life between 1990 and 2008; their life expectancy was 73.5 years, compared with 83.9 years for white women with a college degree or more. White men without a high school diploma lost three years of life—fewer than white women—but the gap between their life expectancy and that of men with college degrees or better was larger: 67.5 years vs. 80.4 years.One of the studies cited was led by Jennifer Montez, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Commenting on the latest estimates, Montez told the Times, “Something is going on in the lives of disadvantaged white women that is leading to some really alarming trends in life expectancy.” She said that smoking rates—which have increased among women without a high school diploma—are playing a role. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Labor Café fosters discussion on management

first_imgLast Friday, the Higgins Labor Studies Program hosted Labor Café, an event held multiple times throughout the semester to promote discussion on work-related social justice issues.Daniel Graff, director of the Higgins Labor Studies Program, opened Friday’s Labor Café discussion.“The Higgins Labor Program … is an interdisciplinary unit on campus that sponsors research, teaching and conversation on any aspect of the labor question, which is at the root of every society,” Graff said.This particular discussion was focused on the issue of abusive management, and Charlice Hurst, assistant professor of management in the Mendoza College of Business, served as the discussion’s facilitator.“What I wanted to facilitate today is discussion around the culture of work, especially in the United States and sort of exemplified by what we see in Amazon,” Hurst said.Amazon, Hurst said, was featured in a New York Times article that highlighted business practices that have promoted high levels of burnout among employees and an exceedingly competitive culture that undermines employee well-being and leads to high turnover rates.Hurst said these practices may “disproportionally affect people with family obligations … and negatively impact gender equity within the company. Additionally Hurst highlight the fact that Amazon is the only major tech company in that area that doesn’t have any female executives.While some companies believe that their employees thrive in a highly competitive environment, Hurst said, the emphasis on employees conspiring against one another, forced ranking systems and the idea that “conflict breads motivation and creativity” can create a culture with negative effects.“You hear a lot about the great HR practices of companies like Google and Facebook with paternity leave now, and video games at work, and they give you food, but at the same time, the people who work there are still working 80 hours a week. They’re still living for their jobs to a great extent,” Hurst said.The discussion then shifted to the culture’s effect on the managerial side of businesses.“One of the things we kind of know from the literature is that abuse cascade down,” Hurst said. “If you see abusive supervisors in the warehouse, it’s because of the pressure they’re getting from above them, and the pressure they’re getting. … There is really not much an employee can do to stop abusive supervision because it’s really part of the culture.”The discussion then broadened to the American culture as a whole and its emphasis on the need for hard work, competition and data-backed results to attain success. Colleges and universities were cited as an example.“Our students work, all the time,” Hurst said. “We create this mentality where they come to see it as normal. We pile a lot of work on, and we also expect them to do lots of extracurriculars, and I know in the business school, we have sort of a forced ranking system where they have to get a certain average.”“It’s almost like we’re creating this context to train people in the mindset that will lead them to accept these working conditions without question,” Hurst said.The questioning of the culture then led to a discussion on the topic of passion.“I question how we define passion. … Even in academia, passion is how many hours people put in basically and how many vacations they don’t take,” Hurst said. “If you’re 50 and have kids and an elderly parent to care for, does that mean you still can’t be passionate about your work? So I think we have to redefine how we define passion, and everybody can bring these different gifts to the workplace.”Looking to the future, the discussion then focused on data and data’s place in company management.“Data itself doesn’t tell a story; People tell a story around data,” Hurst said. “We’d like to believe, those of us who study management, that a company that treats its employees well should be able to be competitive … I don’t know why there is this disconnect here; it’s almost like a race to the bottom.”The Higgins Labor Studies Program will host a variety of events this semester, including Lunchtime Labor Research, Advocacy and Policy Series (RAPS) discussions and the next Labor Café, which will take place Feb. 5.Tags: Higgins Labor Studies Program, HR practices, Labor Cafelast_img read more

Saint Mary’s STEM clubs partner with Campus Ministry to raise money for women’s education

first_imgSaint Mary’s Affiliates of the American Chemical Society has partnered with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Physics Club and Campus Ministry to co-sponsor a fundraising campaign with the international organization ME to WE. ME to WE works to provide resources for women in developing countries. Of the campaign’s five pillars of aid — food, water, education, opportunity and health — Saint Mary’s has decided to sponsor women’s education. “Saint Mary’s students believe in our mission to ‘Pay it Forward,’ and this campaign ties into that so well,” senior Heather DiLallo said. “As an all-women’s college, we have to support the development and enrichment of women in developing countries so that equal opportunity can be a reality for us all.”The STEM women participating in the ME to WE campaign said they found it relevant to Saint Mary’s core values to make more STEM positions available to women.“Women in STEM are the minority, so it is important for these women to feel supported, empowered and encouraged by other women,” said Elizabeth Innis, senior SWE president. “It is also incredibly important for STEM women to share this support with those in need. Beyond our own small groups and beyond our families, we belong to a rich, global community of women who need to support each other by whatever means possible.”The ‘We Are Rafikis’ campaign is selling local tribal bracelets to support women’s education in Tanzania. Each bracelet costs $10, and all profits made from the sales goes back to support African women and their education. “These bracelets are so cute and are an inexpensive way for each of us to make a difference,” DiLallo said. “It doesn’t impact most of us if we spend $10, but, for those women, that amount of money could be huge. It could help pay for their schooling or go into a seed fund for a new business idea they have.”This will be the second year Saint Mary’s is participating in the campaign. “I am hopeful that the ME to WE campaign at Saint Mary’s will continue on for several years, and that new service-based opportunities will become available,” Innis said. “There is never a shortage of need, and I am confident that future Belles — and future STEM women — will step [up] and continue to serve the global community.”Kate McMahon, of the class of 2018, and DiLallo decided to launch the campaign when McMahon had a communications class with one of the students who did a project on ME to WE.“When Kate was telling me about it, we both got so excited at what ME to WE was doing and decided to see if we could partner with them,” DiLallo said. “ME to WE has an established ‘We are Rafikis’ campaign and partnership with colleges, so it was a natural fit for us to join that.”The campaign began Feb. 8 and will run through March 8. Payments can be made by cash or check to either the Campus Ministry office in Regina 161 or professor Jennifer Fishovitz in Science Hall 162.There will also be an opportunity to purchase the bracelets in the Student Center Atrium on March 1 during lunch. Tags: me to we, Saint Mary’s Campus Ministry, Society of Women Engineers, We Are Rafikislast_img read more

How to build savings from zero

first_img 50SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr You’ve seen the numbers. They aren’t pretty.A recent Bankrate.com survey of 1,000 adults suggests that 66 million American adults have zero dollars saved for an emergency. That dovetails nicely with a report that came out earlier this year from the Federal Reserve, which looked at the economic well-being of American households. And things are not going so well. About one-third of 5,695 respondents to a 2015 survey revealed they would have trouble dealing with a $400 emergency.Sound familiar? Start building your savings with some of these methods.Start small. That’s advice from Mackey McNeill, founder and president of Mackey Advisors, a wealth management firm in Bellevue, Kentucky.“If you have never saved anything in your life, save $5 a week or $10 a week,” McNeill says, adding: “Pick a number that, regardless of disaster, you can achieve.” continue reading »last_img read more