Winter Mental Health Toolkit, Covid-19 Edition

This winter, the typical mental health concerns have an additional layer of complexity as we navigate through the continued pandemic. In developing the winter toolkit, we collected relevant information for those topics in the context of COVID-19.  There are many gaps in information for some of the topics simply because the research cannot keep up with the changing experiences of the pandemic. However, there are many different coping strategies that we have gathered that may be useful in sustaining our mental wellbeing throughout the pandemic.

General Mental Health Resources

Sleep

Substance Use

Isolation

Eating

Seasonal Affective Disorder

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Stuck at home? Here are some options…

Virtual intramurals (board game tournaments, trivia, the Winter Activity Challenge, and many more) are a great way to do something you love or try something new, and meet other Huskies along the way.

The Recreation Class Pass is back for winter quarter and is free for students! Classes are running now through Mar. 14. Sign up now!

Mystery craft kit: Stop by the HUB between Jan. 19-22 to pick up a free craft kit to take home and make a mystery craft.

Get involved for MLK Week:
 There are many ways to mark the MLK Day holiday, including a community rally and a panel discussion on advancing racial equity.

More options are available on the HUB website:

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Job Opening: Project Manager-Research Assistant

The Hastings Center has a full-time job opportunity and liberal arts majors are strongly encouraged to apply, especially if their academic and/or research experiences at UW might be relevant to this work. Below is a job description as well as the link to apply. You can also fins this job on UW Handshake.

The Hastings Center, a nonprofit that researches social and ethical issues at the intersection of health, science, and technology, seeks applicants for the full-time Project Manager-Research Assistant position to begin Spring/Summer 2021. 

Job Description: The Hastings Center’s Project Manager-Research Assistants support the projects and work of Hastings Research Scholars. PMRAs have the opportunity to engage with all aspects of Hastings scholarship, meet and work with leaders in the field, and develop a deep familiarity with a wide range of ethical and policy issues in health, medicine, and science and technology. Current projects address ethical issues in topics such as genetics, aging, and artificial intelligence, among other areas. The position begins Spring/Summer 2021 (exact start date to be negotiated). PMRAs typically stay in the position for approximately 2 years. 

As project managers, PMRAs coordinate, schedule, and manage records related to Hastings Center research projects and collaborations. PMRAs take notes at internal meetings, track project deadlines and deliverables, and support dissemination of findings. 

As research assistants, PMRAs perform journal screening, web-based literature searches, document retrieval, bibliographic and citation services; take careful notes and prepare detailed summaries of research project meetings with external collaborators; assist with preparation of scholarly publications and presentations; and provide other research support as requested.

The successful candidate will work closely with members of the Research Department, including our Research Scholars, other PMRAs, and our Administrative Assistant. They will also work with the Director of Communications and the Chief Engagement Officer to enhance the impact of Hastings’ research. In addition to the formal duties of the position, PMRAs have opportunities to submit abstracts to conferences and seek publication in journals and The Hastings Center’s Bioethics Forum. 

Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree is required. 

Key Competencies: Excellent oral and written communication skills; excellent organizational skills; great attention to detail; familiarity with the Microsoft Office suite (familiarity with citation management software like Zotero is also useful); ability to manage multiple ongoing tasks; ability to take initiative; and willingness to work creatively and in close collaboration with others. Training in or experience grappling with social or ethical issues in health, science, and technology (for example, campus organizing or classes in public health, biomedical science, philosophy, sociology, health or public policy, science and technology studies) may be helpful but is not required. Candidates must already have the right to work in the U.S. 

Application Components (in PDF format): 

● Letter of application describing your background and interest in the position. In your letter, please describe an idea, class, or project that has energized you. (Two pages maximum.) 

● Resume or CV 

● Writing sample (This may be an essay written for a class or thesis but it need not be graded work. A column or blog post would also suffice.) 

● Names and contact information for two references. Applicants will be notified before references are contacted. 

Apply online here. Applicants will be contacted regarding interviews. 

Application Deadline: Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST. 

For questions relating to this search, please write to 
researchassistants@thehastingscenter.org

The Hastings Center offers health insurance as well as generous vacation, sick leave/personal time, and holidays. The Hastings Center is an equal-opportunity employer, committed to building a diverse staff and creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all employees. Candidates with backgrounds or from groups underrepresented in bioethics are especially encouraged to apply. The Hastings Center is also attentive to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and is enacting safety precautions. Remote work is encouraged until further notice. 

The Hastings Center is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan institution that since 1969 has been a leader in research, education, and policy recommendations on the ethical and social impact of advances in health, science, and technology. We are located in Garrison, New York, 50 miles north of New York City. For more information visit www.thehastingscenter.org

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After the Degree: Career Options for Sociology Majors

Students majoring in sociology have skills that make them ideal candidates for various jobs and career paths. But knowing where to look for jobs and how to prepare yourself for different career paths is not always straightforward.

Thursday, January 28, 2021
3:00pm – 4:00pm (Eastern)

In this webinar, several professionals who majored in sociology will talk about their job search experience and career trajectories. Whether you are graduating in the spring of 2021 or later, this webinar is an excellent opportunity to learn about options available to sociology majors.

Register for the free webinar here. If you have questions, feel free to contact rpa@asanet.org.

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Welcome to the New Year!

Happy new year and welcome back! We’re excited to get in the swing of things again and are here for anything you may need: registering for classes, applying to be a new Sociology major, or answering questions rolling around in the back of your mind.

First up this year on the blog are some possible classes you can take this quarter to learn more about research and enhance your skills while growing your research community.

Seminar for Undergraduate Researchers in STEM

Gen St. 297 D | SLN: 22037 | Thursdays, 4:00-4:50 p.m. | 2 Credits

This course was created to expand students’ community of researchers. It is geared for students about to begin or currently involved in research. More info about the course and how to register is on our Undergraduate Research Seminar website.

Research Exposed! Population Health

Gen St. 391 D | SLN:15106 | Wednesdays, 12:30-1:20 p.m. | 1 Credit

This is a great faculty speaker series geared to provide an understanding of research in various disciplines. For information on the course and speakers is on our RE! course website.

UW Libraries Undergraduate Research Tutorial

In collaboration with the Undergraduate Research Program, the UW Libraries created a Canvas tutorial for undergraduate student researchers that supports student research skills across disciplines. Students can access and complete the tutorial in Canvas. Faculty and instructors can import the whole tutorial or individual modules into their Canvas Course via UW Canvas Commons. For additional information, visit our website.  

Undergraduate Research Leaders Presentations and Panels

In addition, the Undergraduate Research Leaders continue to bring awareness and share their experiences as peer researchers for students. If you’d like to request URLs to come to your courses or advising groups to present or be part of a panel, please complete the URL Request Form.

Posted in Career Development, Classes, Research Opportunities, Resources, Training | Leave a comment

The 2020 Census: Deadlines, Politics, and What May Come Next

Original text written by Kim Eckart for UW News

When planning for the 2020 census was just getting underway, perhaps the most unusual facts about the constitutionally mandated count were that it was to be the first in the era of social media, and the first to be conducted mostly online.

Every decade since 1930, April 1 has been designated Census Day, by which all people are expected to receive a notice to participate. Respondents also use that date to answer questions on the once-a-decade count of who lives in their home as of April 1.

Under normal circumstances, initial counting efforts would have wrapped up by July, and enumerators not only would have several more months to follow up with households that hadn’t responded the first time around, but also to reconcile the data. That would have put the U.S. Census Bureau on track to meet its legal deadline of Dec. 31 for providing the president with an accurate count of each state’s population. Census data is used for a variety of purposes, including determining how much government funding should be allocated to state and local jurisdictions and apportionment allocations for congressional districts.

But in recent years, key political issues emerged that have disrupted the typical course of events. First, the Trump administration asked for a citizenship question to be added to the census, but in 2019 was blocked from doing so by the U.S. Supreme Court. Not long afterward, as the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to upend the traditional door-to-door operations, the Commerce Department asked to have more time — to the end of October, rather than July — to follow up with “nonresponse” households. The department then asked for a series of further deadline modifications throughout the process but, in a last-minute switch, asked to keep the deadline to send the count to the president the same: Dec. 31. Though some congressional delegations raised concerns about the potential for undercounting, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the count to stop on Oct. 15.Sara Curran talked about the census at two events this fall: the UW Libraries’ Constitution Read Aloud event, and as part of the UW Graduate School’s Public Lecture Series, Coexisting with COVID-19. Watch the “Stand Up and Be Counted!” episode here.

That shortened time between the end of the count, and the Dec. 31 deadline of delivering the count to the president, shortchanges data reconciliation processes that ensure an accurate count, explains Sara Curran, director of the Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology at the University of Washington and a professor of international studies, sociology, and of public policy. These data reconciliation processes were statutorily set for four months after the close of enumeration, but now are being given only two and a half months. On Thursday, census officials said data anomalies were likely to jeopardize existing deadlines.

Sara Curran

On Nov. 30, the Supreme Court will take up yet another census issue raised by the Trump administration: whether it can exclude undocumented immigrants from the count it uses to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“For decades the U.S. Census Bureau has prided itself on its civic duty for scientific professionalism and the provision of accurate data for informing local, state and federal governments about the needs of all residents, businesses and communities. Enshrined in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution, the complete enumeration of all persons reflected the framers’ belief in scientific reasoning for effective democratic governance,” Curran said. “However, as with many other aspects of our democratic institutions, the current administration has sowed considerable confusion about census data and raised the specter of distrust in its quality, relevance and accuracy.”

UW News spoke with Curran about the controversy surrounding the 2020 census, and what may come next.

Does the outcome of the recent presidential election have any effect on the census?

It’s not so much the presidential election, but the results of the runoff elections in January that will determine control of the Senate. As with most instances over the last four years, my answer is going to get into some uncharted territory.

Normally, according to Title 2 of the U.S. Code, within one week of the opening of the next session of the Congress after Dec. 31, the president must report to the clerk of the House of Representatives the apportionment population counts for each state and the number of representatives to which each state is entitled. If the Nov. 30 hearing before the Supreme Court yields a decision that supports the administration, and allows for excluding undocumented immigrants in the enumeration, then I expect there will be a major fight in the U.S. Congress.  States where there may be a significant loss in population by eliminating undocumented immigrants, such as California, Florida and Texas, would be on the hook to either lose seats or not gain more seats in the House of Representatives. This loss would also affect over $600 billion in federal funds allocated annually to states according to their apportionment.

What is the logistical – impact of a shorter timeline in getting census results to the president?

The earlier deadline for the census count, originally set for July, allowed for the continued and challenging efforts to count hard-to-reach populations and to conduct the substantial, systematic and thorough data reconciliation processing to ensure that the census does not yield under- or over- counts of any groups of persons. These processes took four months during the 2010 census and were expected to take longer this year, because of the new online and phone-based data collection efforts, the variability of follow-up rates to census nonresponses and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commerce Department claims that 99% of households have been counted. Why is that in question?

That count includes both the count of people or households who self-responded and a count of “nonresponse” people or households whom enumerators reported following up on. For the latter, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross claimed that census enumerators used efficient ways to impute, or estimate, the counts for those persons and households. This imputation approach drew upon other sources of data for a nonresponse address, but it is not yet clear how data reconciliation processes will hash out the variability in imputation rates and the quality of those imputations. This year, Washington state had a pretty high self-response rate at 72.4%. For Puerto Rico more than 64% of the count is imputed, whereas in Minnesota, data is imputed on fewer than 25% of households.

This seems to be a particularly controversial census. But have there been other significant disputes over previous censuses?

The 1920 census was controversial because the country had just experienced dramatic increases in its immigrant population, especially immigrants to the country’s cities. While the actual numbers were validated, they were not used for apportionment purposes during 1920-1930 because of substantial and successful legislative resistance from congressional representatives in rural districts.

During the Second World War, census information was used to relocate Japanese Americans for internment, which also violated the promised confidentiality of the census. Following the war, Congress added statutory language to ensure complete confidentiality of census data. Since then, there has never been a data breach. Other debates in the census have included those around how we count race and ethnicity, which has been politically charged, and with each decade, yielded different ways of categorizing our population.

Additionally, the amount of information collected on the census has been contentious: By 2000, both to cut costs and increase response rates, the long-form version of the census was eliminated, and only a short-form census is used now. The American Community Survey, an annual, nationally represented sample of households, replaced the long form.

For those who worry about the accuracy of the final 2020 census, is there any opportunity to revisit the outcome, or do we wait for 2030?

I’m sure that there will be considerable efforts to advocate for, and support, an accurate final product. Census products are absolutely vital for the conduct of life in the U.S., from private to public to civil society sectors. When it comes to the allocation of federal dollars or the apportionment counts, deciding on which number is the accurate one is probably going to be both adjudicated in the courts and through legislative action. I am often an optimist, and as painful as these political debates and processes might be, I hope this will be a teachable moment and an opportunity for everyone to understand better why we need well-funded, scientifically informed, expert-led federal and state agencies to provide accurate and comprehensive data about the country.

Posted in Sociology in the News | Leave a comment

Story Editor Opportunity

In partnership with the Campus Sustainability Fund, the UW Resilience Lab awards Seed Grants to support resilience- and compassion-building initiatives that foster connection and community. The Komorebi Project is one among the grants selected this year to pursue and fulfill its vision as a UW collective, by and for the community.

Komorebi is a multimedia project that aims to bring the UW community together, by sharing what home is to them and finding home in other areas of their life that they may not have considered before: in their own bodies, in others, or in objects present in their daily lives. Through Komorebi readers can learn from, and find resilience, in our communities. This is a space where contributors can reflect on their own vulnerable experiences and express their emotions through creative formats comfortable to them.

Komorebi is currently looking for dedicated story editors to join their project!
The application details are detailed below. If you have any questions or concerns, the team can be reached at thekomorebiprojectuw@gmail.com.

Posted in Career Development, Clubs/Organizations, Community Involvement, Volunteer Opportunity | Leave a comment

Do Something Meaningful with your Spring Break!

Literacy Arts Alternative Spring Break brings together teams of undergraduates to work remotely with K-12 students across rural and tribal Washington on creative story-telling projects about their communities and their lives during a winter quarter seminar and spring break. Undergrads will learn more about the sites over the course of the weekly seminar and help develop our curriculum for our final spring break project. Applications are open now!

More information available on their website: https://expd.uw.edu/riverways/rural-tribal/literacy-arts/

Want to take a larger role in ASB? Apply as a Team Leader and facilitate your team’s projects!


Applications due Friday Dec 4 at 11:59 PM!  Apply now!

Email us at riverways@uw.edu with any questions!

Posted in Career Development, Community Involvement, Volunteer Opportunity | Leave a comment

Paid Internship Opening! Puget Sound Regional Council Data & Planning Inter

The Puget Sound Regional Council is the regional transportation, growth management and economic development planning agency serving Seattle and the central Puget Sound. PSRC brings together the region’s diverse counties, cities and towns, Native tribes, ports, the state of Washington and civic interests to understand the challenges
facing our region’s future and make plans for the region to continue to succeed.

The PSRC is seeking two Interns to join its Data and Planning Departments to perform a variety of technical tasks and support planning activities under general supervision. Qualified candidates will have excellent analytic and communication skills, as well as a keen interest in advancing a variety of regional planning projects. Individuals from all cultures and communities are encouraged to apply.

To learn more about the internship opportunity and how to apply, visit this webpage: https://www.psrc.org/sites/default/files/2020-11-ja-data-and-planning-intern.pdf

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Interested in Criminology? Consider the University of Maryland Program!

If you’ve found SOC 371 (Criminology), SOC 271 (Social Control and Deviance), or any of the related classes interesting, you might want to look into grad programs in Criminology. The University of Maryland offers both MA and PhD programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice.  The MA program is designed to provide a strong intellectual and quantitative background for those who plan a career in criminology and criminal justice research.  The PhD degree is geared to the training of cutting edge researchers and leading scholars in criminology and criminal justice.  Students with a BA/BS degree may choose to apply for entry either into the MA program or directly into the PhD program. The requirement of the GRE for the Masters program application.

While the admission rate varies each year, the program usually admits approximately 15 new students annually.  Graduate students are supported through fellowships, research and teaching assistantships. For example, the university’s prestigious Flagship Fellowship, awarded to the most competitive applicant(s) each year, includes an academic year stipend of at least $25,000 plus tuition remission and potential for summer funding.  Additionally, externally-funded research projects create research assistantship positions which also provide a stipend and tuition benefits.

For more information, please contact criminologydept@umd.edu or visit University of Maryland’s website https://ccjs.umd.edu/.  

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