Guest Column: It Matters | Kathryn H. Ross: Let’s Talk About Trauma

first_imgOpinion & Columnists Guest Column: It Matters | Kathryn H. Ross: Let’s Talk About Trauma By KATHRYN H. ROSS Published on Friday, January 29, 2021 | 3:30 am 46 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Kathryn H. RossAt the Inauguration on January 20th, I watched along with the rest of the country as youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman recited her stirring poem, “The Hill We Climb.” Between being utterly gobsmacked with admiration for this young woman and mounting feelings of this momentous day, something Gorman said stuck out to me more than anything else: she simply said she was, “descended from slaves.”It was a quick moment in the fullness of her poem. It was a truthful statement—a simple fact. But it was also me. And my family. My black friends and teachers. Coworkers. Colleagues. Every Black American I know—we are all descended from slaves. The horror of slavery is in our collective past and, as such, in our DNA in some way. We carry what our ancestors went through, as all humans do. But some human lines carry more trauma than others.What I mean is this: being a person of color in America, of any color, means you have a background of profound trauma. Now hear me: this is not to say that White Americans do not have trauma. I have dear friends whose grandparents lived in Europe during the Holocaust, who were directly touched and changed by its horrors, who carry the trauma of the World Wars and mass genocide in their DNA. The difference is that the trauma of POC in America comes directly at the hands of America, and as Americans ourselves, it’s hard to face that we essentially grew up in an abusive household. With that said, many of us have more experience with deep-rooted trauma than others whether we know it or not. But this past year has acted as an equalizer in some ways, tossing us all into the deep end at once.Yes, the world saw Covid-19 descend like a trap and the death and disease that’s spread from it is not just an American trauma. But right here in America, we’ve had the pandemic and we’ve watched it disproportionately ravage black and brown people. On top of that, we’ve battled with profound racial unrest. We’ve watched murder and police brutality erupt across our states like a rampant rash. We’ve seen protests and riots and the glaringly different responses to each depending on the color of those doing the protesting or rioting. We’ve had the most tense and, for lack of a more eloquent word, bonkers election any of us have seen in our lifetimes. And the cherry on top of it all? Our Capitol was attacked by our own after months (years, really) of conspiracies, lies, and hate.I say this objectively.These people are born from and of America, and they turned on it in the name of some sick, twisted “justice” that called for a noose and the cross of Christ to be erected in the same hallowed space. It was disgusting. Lives were lost. It was the crescendo of what has felt like an extremely long and heavy-handed episode of The Twilight Zone. But I’m not here to talk about the insurrection. I’m here to talk about Trauma.About a year ago, I wrote a column where I broke down trauma as my therapist explained it to me: “trauma is the response to learning something you thought was true doesn’t match reality.” With this definition in hand, trauma expands far beyond what we normally associate it with: war, death, assault, abuse. Or maybe it’s more apt to say that the definitions of war, death, assault, and abuse are expanded to encompass the moments in life that are objectively less dangerous, but just as emotionally dramatic and harmful: a sudden and messy breakup with a dear friend, estrangement from a family member, the awakening of the double consciousness, loss of an opportunity you hoped for, loss of direction, loss of faith. However you see these events, they serve the same purpose: you learn something about your world you thought was true actually doesn’t match reality.What’s so troubling about this past year is that we’ve had several big “T” traumas alongside smaller traumas and the normal trials of everyday life. What some generations experience in (maybe) a lifetime, we’ve experienced in a single year, and there’s no clear end in sight: Mass death. Loss of normalcy, of routine and structure. What’s scariest of all is that we know this year has affected us and continues to, but we may not know the full extent of the trauma that’s been inflicted—not for many years, and maybe not ever.Oftentimes now I find myself wondering: what coping mechanisms are being formed right now? What crutches are we learning to lean on? Are we responding in healthy ways? Are we talking to each other? Are we crying? Are we letting the dust settle when a silent moment comes, or are we too busy hustling and grinding and distracting ourselves? Have we taken a moment to mourn all that we’ve lost and continue to lose, to just sit and let the reality of what’s happened wash over us, or are we collectively saying, “I’ll process this later,” if we even allow ourselves to process it at all?My therapist has often mentioned The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk to me to remind me that however I perceive trauma, i.e. whether I deal with it, understand it, or even know about it, my body is always affected.Our bodies hold trauma and make it part of ourselves, and it eventually comes out. It manifests in our brain chemicals and the aches in our hands, the anxiety rushing through our veins and the palpitations of our hearts. Like the rings of a tree record time, our bodies record trauma, and so much has been recorded in the last ten months.Note: Recorded, not necessarily processed.Processing takes intentionality while recording—well that’s just a natural response that’s going to happen whether we acknowledge it or not.I say all of this because I can only imagine how we’ve been changed, and I often wonder what we’ll be like after this, God willing.Personally? Maybe I won’t be able to watch the news anymore, at least not for more than a few minutes. Maybe I’ll always fear police officers, regard them with trepidation. Maybe I’ll feel the urge to just sit and cry at random moments. Maybe I won’t sleep well, waking up every night at the same hour to stare at the dark ceiling. Maybe I’ll never feel comfortable in public again, worried about everything from germs to whether or not the person I just locked eyes with is a white supremacist. Maybe my future children will grapple with anxiety that was never their own. Maybe the month of March will forever fill me with dread. Maybe I’ll weep with joy each time I hug someone or say a maskless hello.What about you? How do you think your trauma will show itself? Is it showing already? Have you already changed?At the end of each day, all I know for sure is that my body—all of our bodies—has been imbibed with extensive trauma this year and it will need to be dealt with. It will grow with me and change with me. It will alter my life and the lives around me. There’s no stopping the effects and consequences of the history we’re living through, but there is a choice: to process rather than just record—intentionally, healthfully, and relentlessly.We can choose to talk and cry rather than power through. We can make therapy more accessible and actually go. We can pray and commiserate. We can take moments of silence. We can be gentle with ourselves and slow down. We can rest. But will we?This year is still new and we don’t know what’s ahead, but can I invite you to make the choice to care for yourself? Can I invite you to feel and work through your trauma now so that it doesn’t steamroll you later? Some of us already have experience with trauma. Many of us carry the trauma our ancestors never got to process. But now that we know what we’re facing and what it can do, can we do something about it? For ourselves, our children?I hope we can. I hope we will.Mental Health Resources:Psychology TodayRose City CenterSGV CounselingLAistCrisis Text Line Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena More Cool Stuff Your email address will not be published. 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New STAR-grant professors at UTPB attracted by new programs

first_img Facebook OCA top 2 were ESL students Local NewsEducation New STAR-grant professors at UTPB attracted by new programs Home Local News Education New STAR-grant professors at UTPB attracted by new programs Noel earns award Pinterest Pinterest 1 of 2 Sepehr Arbabi and Mohsin Jamali are the two newest STARs in the University of Texas of the Permian Basin’s engineering universe.UTPB received a $300,000 grant from the UT System to hire Arbabi. He will be associate professor and coordinator of chemical engineering. The university was awarded a $500,000 grant to hire Jamali.The STARs grant for Arbabi and Jamali will be used to set up a research laboratory, purchase equipment and hire undergraduate assistants to support their respective research.Arbabi earned a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Jamali received his doctorate from the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. By admin – March 5, 2018 WhatsApp University of Texas Permian Basin Star professor Sepehr Arbabi in the Drilling fluids lab, Wednesday, February 14, 2018. STARS ProgramIEEEABET Accreditation Mohsin Jamali was recently hired at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin as the professor and coordinator of electrical engineering and mechanical engineering after UTPB received a $500,000 grant from the UT System STARs Program. Both said they were drawn to UTPB by the chance to launch new programs in chemical and electrical engineering.Arbabi, who is from Tehran, Iran, came to the United States after earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering. He planned to return to Iran, but things changed with the Islamic revolution in 1979. His family also came to the United States.He started working for a famous professor at USC, but the professor decided to move to Penn State.Arbabi said the professor asked him to go with him, but he couldn’t. He took a summer course in chemical engineering, got very interested in it and switched majors.“So basically it just happened,” Arbabi said.Mechanical and chemical engineering are two of the oldest forms of engineering.“They take the same kind of core courses up to a point, but chemical engineering uses advanced and applied chemistry to design processes to design material. It has applicability in almost everything from oil and gas to food to pharmaceutical companies,” so it’s a broad field, Arbabi said.He did a year of post-doctoral work and five years at Stanford University in the petroleum engineering department doing research and working with students.Arbabi said he always wanted to go into academia, so the chance to come to UTPB came along at the right time. He added most of his students are working, so they tend to want real examples of how what they’re learning will apply to their jobs.“I tend to, in my lectures, to start with examples and show the applied side of everything that we discuss. We still have to do some theory, but I try to really bring the examples in it so they can ask for ideas,” Arbabi said.The new program and the new building being constructed at the Midland campus near the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center were a couple of the reasons Arbabi was drawn to UPTB.The focus of the chemical engineering program, he said, will be petrochemical engineering because that’s what the region requires.“We’ll bring the petroleum side to chemical engineering, but chemical engineering is very broad, as I mentioned,” Arbabi said.He added that examples of new branches are designer drugs and diagnostics.Currently, Arbabi is teaching one course in heat transfer in mechanical engineering, but is finalizing the curriculum for chemical engineering. Then most likely, he said he will be teaching two chemical engineering courses in the fall.His goals are to spread the word out about the program, attract students and link to local industry through internships and other projects and setting up teaching labs, where experiments will be conducted on what the students have learned. Arbabi also wants to set up a research lab.Jamali, who is from India, had spent much of his career in Michigan and Ohio, but was fascinated with the University of California and UT Systems and wanted to be part of either one.The oldest of nine children, he said he taught all his brothers and sisters and his neighbors, so he said it was natural for him to want to go into the profession.He has received summer faculty research fellowships from the Summer Faculty Research Fellowships from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.Jamali also was a Fulbright-Tampere University of Technology Scholar in 2014-15, giving him a chance to conduct research at the Tampere International Center for Signal Processing at Tampere University of Technology in Finland.He has been involved with curriculum and accreditation processes and will work toward ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accreditation for the electrical engineering program.Jamali also wants to create a chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers at UTPB and bring its distinguished lecture series to Odessa. He was one of the distinguished lecturers with the group and went all over the world giving presentations.Currently, he is busy with courses and setting up laboratories and he is teaching a course in electric circuits. Jamali said he plans to teach three courses in the fall and three in the spring. He said he is impressed with the students he has encountered so far.“They take notes. They ask good questions,” he said.More information Mohsin Jamali was recently hired at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin as the professor and coordinator of electrical engineering and mechanical engineering after UTPB received a $500,000 grant from the UT System STARs Program. 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Cooperative data analytics through a semantic layer

first_imgOn a recent trip to Malaysia, I was able to play basketball with my brother-in-law (my wife is Malaysian). As we began the game, I realized that we were all relying on a single source of truth for the rules of basketball.  Even though we are from very different parts of the globe, we were operating under the same definitions of the rules of basketball. Imagine if we all began playing according to sources of the truth that dictated different ways to play basketball. Maybe my source of truth told me that I don’t need to dribble to play the game. The other team’s source of the truth dictated that they can tackle the other team. This game would end horribly and would probably escalate into a conflict quickly. The same is true for data analytics within the credit union movement today. Different Sources of TruthWithin most credit unions, there are many different sources of truth. Marketing departments have their sources, Accounting has theirs, and Lending has as many sources as types of loans (i.e. credit cards, mortgages, student loans, etc.). Over the course of time, every department begins establishing their own language based on their sources of truth, which are usually centered around a specific source system. For example, the marketing team has an MCIF system, which has an abundance of data regarding households and members’ profiles. The lending department relies on its loan origination system, which displays information found within a member’s loan application. All the while, the contact center relies on their CRM, which houses data collected during calls with members. When there is a need to work together to accomplish a goal, these various departments come to a meeting speaking different languages and using a separate understanding of the rules of the credit union. Like the game of basketball without a common source of truth, the project or initiative often ends horribly.Data AvailabilityIn a previous blog (The Purpose of Analytics), I elaborated on the double-edged sword of data availability and access. As data access continues to get easier, credit unions’ employees are beginning to face “information overload” and are having trouble getting a clear signal in all the noise. This is resulting in many credit unions believing that they are “doing data analytics” when they are simply building disparate data siloes that are full of information but not integrated into one single source of truth.Rogue AnalyticsNo, it is not a new movie coming out of Hollywood (although it might be soon), “Rogue Analytics” is the current state of most credit unions today. There are thousands of “analysts” throughout the credit union movement running around and developing reports that display data in various fashions. Unfortunately, these reports contain very specific rules that are heavily influenced by a source system a department relies on. Establishing Common Rules: The Semantic LayerFor any sports team or credit union, to work together effectively, a common set of rules must be established. This set of rules should not come from the software systems used by credit union employees or from within a department. A common set of business rules must be established in the mold of the credit union movement. This common set of rules does not change when the credit union converts their core processing system, swaps out their mortgage origination system, or purchases the latest online banking platform. The layer that sits on top of the data analytics platform that the credit union uses to integrate all their different source systems is called a semantic layer. A semantic layer produces data in clear business terms that are not specific to a database or department. It is a common set of definitions around data that all departments and teams work from when developing reporting and analytics. Especially when working in teams, the semantic layer provides a common set of rules for everyone to work from. Credit Union IslandsUnfortunately, even if one credit union creates a common language for their analytics internally, they won’t be able to play with other credit unions because they don’t speak the same language or use the same set of rules. To establish a single source of truth that fosters collaboration throughout the credit union movement, we must come together to establish a common language that can be used throughout the entire movement. This will be essential for credit unions to compete with the megabanks and fintech competitors.Cooperative AnalyticsOnce credit unions can establish a single source of the truth for the entire credit union movement, they can truly collaborate effectively. Through a common industry standard data model, an analytics platform can be established that will empower credit unions with a common language to use as they work together to further the credit union movement. 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Nate Wentzlaff Nate Wentzlaff joined OnApproach in 2013 as a Business Analyst and is now currently a Data Analytics Specialist. He builds data visualization apps that help to improve business processes throughout … Web: Detailslast_img read more