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LABORATÓRIO CENTRAL DO MINISTÉRIO DA AGRICULTURA

labcentral

O Laboratório Central é a estrutura da Direcção Nacional de Agricultura e Pecuária, encarregue do Controlo da Qualidade dos Alimentos, Águas e Solos, através de análises Físico-químicas e Microbiológicas.

Funciona nas instalações situadas no Município do Cazenga em Luanda, inauguradas a 14 de Maio de 2012, por sua Excelência Ministro da Agricultura, Engº. Afonso Pedro Canga.

Suas principais atribuições constam do artigo 16.º do Decreto Executivo n.º 179/13 de 30 de Maio.

VALORES

 

A chave para o sucesso são os valores que orientam diariamente o trabalho e o comportamento dos funcionários para com os clientes.

 

  • Obter a confiança dos clientes, demonstrando a todo o momento uma política de trabalho transparente, de responsabilidade, competência, ética e rigor.
  • Actuar diariamente segundo um sentido proactivo. Melhorar incessantemente os serviços, e para isso compromete-se com os clientes, encorajar, valorizar e ministrar formação contínua a toda a equipa de colaboradores.
  • Estar comprometidos com a sociedade mediante projectos sociais que visam melhorar a qualidade de vida em geral daqueles que nos rodeiam.>

 

Missão

  • Auxiliar a verificação e Validar os sistemas de produção e processamento agrário através de inferências analíticas – Vigilância, Certificação e Autenticação.
  • Prestar um serviço de qualidade, de forma a garantir que todos os clientes recebam em tempo útil, um resultado certificado, de confiança e acreditado;
  • Mediante as análises, primar por uma prevenção e por uma saúde alimentar de qualidade, Certificar a qualidade de alimentos, águas e solos, para dar uma melhor resposta à população, no que diz respeito à qualidade dos alimentos que têm á mesa diariamente.

 

Visão

  • Ser uma referência a nível Nacional, no que respeita a Segurança Alimentar, realizando análises de alimentos, águas e solos assim como certificando a importação e exportação de productos de Angola.
  • O Laboratório Central do MINAGRI, alia a competência e a experiência em todas as operações, com o objectivo de prestar um serviço de qualidade certificado pelo Ministério da Agricultura de Angola.

Competências

De acordo com o Decreto Executivo nº. 179/13, de 30 de Maio e o Decreto Presidencial nº 100/14, de 19 de Maio, o Laboratório Central é a estrutura da Direcção Nacional da Agricultura e Pecuária, encarregue de assegurar a análise, o controlo de qualidade e a salubridade de produtos alimentares, agrícolas e pecuários de produção nacional e importados.

Consulte aqui as competências atribuídas ao Laboratório Central do MINAGRI.

Decreto Presidencial nº 100-14 de 9 de Maio Decreto Executivo nº 396-14 de 11 de Dezembro

NOTÍCIAS:
  • O Ministro da Agricultura, Desenvolvimento Rural e Pescas, Afonso Pedro Canga, inaugurou ontem, em Luanda,

  • Um “exército” treinado para impedir que produtos alimentares impróprios para o consumo vão parar à

  • O sector agro-alimentar do país tem merecido alguma atenção nos programas do Executivo, razão pela

  • O Laboratório Central do MINAGRI trabalha diariamente para garantir a Segurança Alimentar dos alimentos consumidos

  •  
    A Direcção-geral da Saúde em Portugal revelou que há um caso de legionella num doente

  •  

     Apenas 2% dos produtos alimentares que entram no país são de má Qualidade, assegura o

  •  

     
     
     
    O sector agro-alimentar do país, tem merecido alguma atenção nos programas do Executivo, razão pela

  •  
    O Director geral do Laboratório Central do MINAGRI, José Correia Cabral, disse em Luanda, que

  •  De 15 a 18 de Outubro de 2015 decorreu a 2ª Edição da AGROANGOLA –


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PARTICIPAÇÃO DO LC NA AGROANGOLA 2015

De 15 a 18 de Outubro de 2015 decorreu a 2ª Edição da AGROANGOLA – Salão Internacional da Agricultura, Pecu…

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PRODUTOS IMPORTADOS SÃO TES…

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LEGIONELLA CHEGA A ANGOLA E …

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A Direcção-geral da Saúde em Portugal revelou que há um caso de legionella num doente em Luanda, Angola, …

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O Director geral do Laboratório Central do MINAGRI, José Correia Cabral, disse em Luanda, que a existênci…

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EXECUTIVO APOSTA NO SECTOR A…

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O sector agro-alimentar do país tem merecido alguma atenção nos programas do Executivo, razão pela qual, no …

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LABORATÓRIO CENTRAL MARCA ACTIVIDADE DO SECTOR AGRÍCOLA

O sector agro-alimentar do país, tem merecido alguma atenção nos programas do Executivo, razão p…

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GARANTIDA A QUALIDADE DOS PR…

21-05-2012

GARANTIDA A QUALIDADE DOS PRODUTOS À MESA

Um "exército" treinado para impedir que produtos alimentares impróprios para o consumo vão parar à…

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NOVO LABORATÓRIO CENTRAL DÁ …

15-05-2012

NOVO LABORATÓRIO CENTRAL DÁ SEGURANÇA ALIMENTAR

O Ministro da Agricultura, Desenvolvimento Rural e Pescas, Afonso Pedro Canga, inaugurou ontem, em Luanda, o…

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«
»

Gestão da Qualidade

logo-ISO9001

Com a pretensão de ser um laboratório de referência, o Laboratório Central do MINAGRI conta com um Sistema Integrado de Gestão da Qualidade baseado em 5 pilares básicos:

  • Certificação ISO 9001:2008. (nº certificado: ES058024-1)
  • MasterLab: O nosso Sistema de Gestão Integral
  • Acreditação ISO 17025:2005 (em processo de acreditação)
  • Registro no IANORQ. (nº registro PFNA/CR/015/13)
  • Equipa técnica altamente qualificada

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Link Úteis

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  • FAO
  • CODEX
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  • Policia Económica
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  • Associação Angolana de Químicos
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  +244 922 791 567
  Av. Deolinda Rodrigues- Estrada de Catete, Km 6
  Luanda – Angola

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    Knowledge is power



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                 Knowledge is Power, but knowledge does not always come with power. Knowledge is "the state of awareness or understanding gained from experience or study…learning specific information about something. This means a person has the resourcefulness to obtain and criticize useful and informative information in order to become well informed citizens who can make intelligent decisions based upon their understanding and awareness of everyday situations. Does this make them powerful? Is a question that creeps into ones mind? Well, power is said to be the ability or capacity to act or perform effectively. Without knowledge, how can this ability to perform effectively, be possible? Indeed, it cannot. This proves that knowledge is very much a necessity to gain Power.
                
    Education is the key to success is one of the sayings that one hears throughout their college life. It is invariably true that every person who is knowledgeable leads a successful life. Education plays an important role in promoting a nations economic growth, as well.
                
    When you look at America's rise to power during the past war era it is easy as well as trivial to attribute it to the abundance of natural resources and surplus number of new inventions. But, really we must consider how those inventions came about and how those natural resources were utilized to a productive end. More importantly than what made America the most powerful country in the world is why it became the most powerful country. It wasn't luck, or coincidence or the fact that they had abundant resources but because they laid a firm foundation for their people by educating them and making them valuable members of the society who could meet the demands of the competing world.
                
    Investment in higher education is worthwhile because how much you spend on it right now definitely will make up for the amount it makes you gain later in life. It is said "When you learn more, you ear
                

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    May 06
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    Community Articles

    Is Knowledge Power?
    6 Comments

    May 6, 2012 – 3:37 am | Permalink |

    by Larry Barnett, Shambhala’s Director of Communications

    Having taken the Sakyong’s suggestion about becoming experts on society and understanding the nature of self, I’ve been immersed in re-reading Western philosophy and exploring the roots of our western conceptions about self and society. Accordingly, the shift towards a materialist view that took place alongside Europe’s Age of Enlightenment has largely defined the way western culture and society developed, and stands in contrast to many of our Shambhala teachings.

    The defining character of the modern age is its relationship to acquiring knowledge: the idea that knowledge is power, specifically power over nature and others. This orientation distinguishes modernity from antiquity’s belief in knowledge as its own reward and wisdom ultimately found “in here” not “out there.”

    Viewing knowledge as power has transformed the natural world. Knowledge of physics, chemistry and mathematics has accelerated quickly since the 17th century, the beginning of the modern era. Accordingly, both planetary ecology and human society have been radically altered in positive and negative ways by transportation, medicine, agriculture, and communications. Warfare and technology walk hand-in-hand, resulting in ever more powerful weapons of mass destruction, literally endangering all life on earth. At the same time, our understanding of the universe extends 14-billion light years into the past, and at the opposite scale ever more fundamental sub-atomic fields and particles continue to reveal themselves.

    Knowledge as power underlies everything about modern civilization. This truth came into sharper focus recently as biotechnology researchers successfully created an airborne and lethally infectious version of a Bird Flu virus for “research” purposes. This event has reignited debate about the use of knowledge, namely is our ability to do something reason enough to do it? In other words, is the power of knowledge worth every risk? Those who answer “no” to this question fear such knowledge will fall into evil hands, but there is a deeper issue at play: saying “no” subverts our conception and attachment to what we moderns call “progress.”

    Confronting our attachment to progress places us face-to-face with the basis of our search for power: power over death. Our fear of death propels us to relentlessly seek knowledge to overcome mortality. Thus we perform Bird Flu experiments to create a deadly virus so that we may learn to defeat it. Though we don’t readily admit it, we are so afraid of death we repeatedly invent and overcome our own methods of destruction. Any objection to “progress” feels to us like surrender, yet the materialism of knowledge as power betrays our innate natural wisdom that all things born must die.

    The modern path of knowledge offers material transformation that undeniably brings pleasure, but little lasting benefit of true wisdom. Our lives, filled as they are with gadgets, gizmos and out-of-season grapes from Chile, cannot ultimately replace the inevitability of death nor the profound sense of peace and comfort that comes with accepting it. The ancients knew this, and understood that not power, but wisdom itself is the perfect fruit of knowledge.

    Long ago I lived next door to an old man, 101 years old. Fred would spend his day sitting in a dark shed splitting wood with a hatchet and a hammer. Fred was deeply spiritual; born in 1868 he’d contemplated knowledge for a long time. One afternoon in 1971, I asked this man born in the age of carriages what he thought about men landing on the moon. “Oh well,” he said in his high-pitched, sing-song voice, “men must have their toys.”

    Perhaps playing with “toys” is just the lingering innocence of modern cultural childhood and Bird Flu experiments merely the result of misunderstanding the truth of knowledge. We may yet grow up, but it better happen fast, for we are not playing with toys, we are playing with fire.

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    Post Tags: basic goodness , Society

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    6 responses to “
    Is Knowledge Power? ”

    1. Jonathan Hanna

      May 6, 2012

      Reply

      Thank you for this wonderful, thought provoking inquiry into the nature, origins, and implications of ‘materialism’ as the Vidyadhara spoke of it. May this inquiry be continued and deepened by all those who wish that Shambhala may flourish within this world!

    2. Robert Paul

      May 7, 2012

      Reply

      Immediate red flags arise when the word ‘materialism’ is used to categorize Western philosophy in the ‘European Age of Enlightenment’. We have been trained to look on this work as representing the enemy, to be vanquished with spiritualism. Rather, the turn that occurred with the Renaissance and then Descartes was a turn away from looking inward–called rationalism–towards looking outwards–called empiricism, hence association with ’empirical knowledge’. Indeed, the author recognized the distinction by labeling antiquity’s belief in knowledge to be found ‘in here’, not ‘out there’.

      Indeed, empiricism has to do with the belief that what we think is the case (knowledge in here) must be tested in the world, and not simply believed. All of our Buddhist philosophy that we have ever learned relied on empirical testing–practice–in order to achieve realization of the truth of what we were told. A rejection of the empirical method is a rejection of meditation practice. This is a problem.

      Further, the author associates modern Western philosophy with ‘knowledge as power’ (and all the bad things that come of that, like war machines–although none of the thousands of good things like, say off the top of my head: prevention of polio and extension of life expectancy from 40 years to 80 years were mentioned.) One of the premises of Buddhist teachings is that we suffer because our thinking–rational thought found ‘in here’–includes the assumption that all we need to do is work hard, follow our desires and we will be happy. Buddhist teachings say that is not the case. The world just doesn’t work that way. Rather, we need to align our thinking to the way the world actually is. Only then can suffering decrease, when our understanding of the world matches the truth of the world and our conduct and view coordinate accordingly, so we don’t keep pushing the rock uphill all day, only to watch it fall back all the time. This is empirical knowledge in its fullest test–changing our minds to accord with actual reality rather than imagined reality. This is truly knowledge as power, which is our goal, not our enemy.

      There is, I conclude after my own review and new view of Western philosophy, not only that there are many important consistencies between Western philosophy and practice–long denigrated by some in our community–and Buddhist philosophy and practice, but there are valuable insights to be gained from the former that assist the latter. Western philosophy forms the core of our culture and society, and we therefore can benefit from understanding how it analyzes, coordinates and integrates with Buddhist philosophy.

      There is a theme in the application of Western society which the author is addressing–the desire to apply knowledge to control our environment. This is the theme that cured polio and extended life, and also causes problems. It is a problem, and needs to be addressed. Yet, that attitude also gave us strip mining (and resources) and oil spills (and the ability to drive to a store instead of bicycle, which is a good thing most days in Halifax). However, the problems and approaches to mastering our environment need to be tempered by wisdom of living as part of our environment, not by rejecting the many positive aspects of knowledge as power, but by integrating them with other kinds of knowledge as power that we gain from lack of clinging and fixation on ego’s own needs that we gain from practice. Don’t toss the baby out with the bathwater.

    3. Larry Barnett

      May 7, 2012

      Reply

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Paul. Clearly you have spent considerable time thinking about this topic. Obviously, there is much more to be said about knowledge, wisdom and power. I write short essays that are not intended to be to be comprehensive, but are intended to stimulate thoughts or feelings.

      Certainly, the western approach to knowledge has produced many benefits, and I did touch on that, briefly, in the article. My greater focus, clearly, is in bringing attention to those ways in which western views tend to objectify the world, including the land, animals and people. Both Hobbes and Locke made significant contributions to this objectified view, separated man (even as it pertained to gender) from nature, and instigated a reductionist approach to the analysis of “reality” that continue to enjoy widespread acceptance.

      That modernity has brought benefits to society is unarguable. At the same time, as you point out, those same benefits create other problems, and attention needs to be paid to that. This theme appears in books such as Neil Postman’s “Technopoly” and in current articles questioning whether technology is bringing us together as society or promoting loneliness and fragmentation.

      That my article stimulated you to comment is terrific, and I appreciate you taking some time to share your thoughts.

    4. Kelly

      May 10, 2012

      Reply

      Nice essay. Can you point me to the actual text or video of the Sakyong encouraging us to ‘become experts on society?’

    5. Martin Fritter

      May 10, 2012

      Reply

      You appear to assume that “Western Philosophy” is one thing and that it all agrees that “knowledge is power” is true and is also good. What about the ongoing critique of modernity, starting, say at a minimum, with Nietzsche? What about Walter Benjamin? What about “The Question Concerning Technology?” What about Stiegler? What about Foucault? What about Freud, for that matter? Goodness, Max Weber? And on and on.

      Personally, I blame Correggio, not Descartes. Or maybe Petrarch.

    6. Susmita Barua

      May 17, 2012

      Reply

      Larry I liked the question with which you started to reflect on ‘knowledge’. I was told once by a guy in a business meeting ‘knowledge is not power’, it is only potential power. Knowledge applied becomes power. Sakyong talks about the power of ruling through wisdom.

      The main weakness of Western Science and Philosophy comes from not knowing or asking what happens after death. How to work with this void before birth and after death. There is this underlying phychological tension or insecurity that comes in modern secular society that has uprooted us from some spiritual support that comes from faith in a fatherly God. So knowledge is very limited to the timebound objective five sensory world, mind matter duality and self-other dichotomy. Also ego has been very overextended with over-reliance on rational discursive thoughts (survival of the fittest) called than gentler intuitive heart’s intelligence.

      Buddhist path to knowledge (jnana-prajna) through Middle way is about closing this gap or dichotomy between subject and object through stilling of formations in the mind-body by making it quiet. Isn’t that wonderful way to gain knowledge and true power that makes you and everyone around you happy and peaceful? I think it is much more sophisticated than any power you can gain in a shifting impermanent world. Peace


    Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

    • The Author: Larry Barnett

      Larry Barnett served in elected office for 12 years on the Sonoma City Council, and was twice selected as Mayor. He is the Director of the Sonoma Shambhala Center and is on the Board of Directors of Northern California Shambhala, also serving as Chair of the Council of Center Directors. His weekly newspaper column can be read at www.barnettweekly.com.

      URL: http://www.barnettweekly.com
      View all entries by Larry Barnett

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    • Description
    • Feelings
    • Evaluation
    • Analysis

      • Team working
      • Decision making
      • Ethical concerns
      • Diversity and difference
      • Management of power and conflict
      • Clinical reasoning
    • Conclusion
    • Bibliography
      • Related

    Introduction

    I have recently completed a unit on facilitating collaboration in professional practice, which formed a part of my Diagnostic Radiography course. During this unit, my tutor introduced the class to the skill of reflective writing and its important role in both formal learning and personal development. In order to have an opportunity to practise this skill, we were each assigned groups tasks. I was part of a group of 10 people whose task it was to promote a governmental campaign aimed at publicising the Allied Health Professions. The campaign in question needed to target three key groups, namely primary school children, year 11 school children and graduates not taking healthcare courses.

    In this essay, I will be reflecting on the experiences that I had as part of the larger group of 10 students, as well as how I found the process of dividing into smaller sub-groups of four people for part of the activities. Underpinning my personal reflections, and providing my essay with a coherent structure, will be Gibbs’ (1988) reflection model as outlined by Cooney (1999). This model describes a process of description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, and conclusion, and, as such, my personal reflection will also be organised under these headings.

     

    Description

    The group work in which I participated took place over the course of a week. The first day was spent in collaborating on a variety of group activities. The participants in these groups were all from different backgrounds and included students taking courses in a variety of healthcare areas including radiography, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, and occupational therapy. Although the students were all from such allied health professional groups, there was a mixture of postgraduates and undergraduates, and the vast majority of the students had not met each other before.

    In order to tackle the task, we decided to separate it into smaller tasks according to the three target audiences involved, dividing ourselves into three smaller groups and working on one target audience per sub-group. At this point, I was part of the group of four people who were responsible for considering the campaign to target graduates not taking healthcare courses. As some group members had responsibilities outside the unit, we decided as a whole that it would be useful to utilise the discussion boards via Blackboard to communicate with other members of the larger group. Our smaller sub-group decided to have meetings at the university during the week in addition to this means of contact.

    The work progressed in this way for most of the week until, on the last day, the groups joined together for one key session in the afternoon. At this time, we worked together to give our presentation for the campaign that we had devised, for which we had a 10-15 minute window. In preparation for this session, our three sub-groups had a meeting in the morning to discuss the presentation and finalise issues such as how the material was going to be presented and who would be acting as our group’s spokespeople. We also made use of this final discussion session to voice whether we agreed or disagreed with several assertions that had been raised through working on the campaign. This session went well in general and was successful. I found that I did participate, but perhaps not to the extent that I would have liked. Overall, I experienced that all of the group members came to know each other on a personal level through working together over the week to complete our tasks.

    Feelings

    Although I was relatively quiet at the start of the session, I became more comfortable as time went on and, by the end of the session, I had begun to contribute my views and ideas to the group discussion. I believe that this initial quietness was a manifestation of my inner feelings of being intimidated by the group. Interestingly, the overall session actually went well and many group members expressed their enthusiasm about the discussion topics. These feelings of intimidation were more acute after the sub-groups reunited as a larger group of 10. I believe that this was because I had become accustomed through the week to working in a small group of only four people, and suddenly becoming part of a much larger group threw my habitual role in the group into uncertainty. I usually experience myself as a very confident person who finds it easy to take charge of situations and engage with activities in a proactive way. However, this was not the case during the aforementioned group session.

    In retrospect, if I had been in a group of people with whom I had felt comfortable then, regardless of the size of the group, I believe that I would have participated fully in the discussion by contributing as many ideas as possible. In this scenario, I would neither have felt anxious about making a mistake nor experienced the self-censorship that came as a consequence of this anxiety.

     

    Evaluation

    Overall, I found that the experience of group work was very useful in that it gave me the opportunity to learn a great deal about the topics being discussed as well as helping to illuminate my weaknesses when working with unfamiliar groups. As Moon (1999) asserts, the importance of experiential learning is that it entails organising and developing learning through reflection on practical situations, such that they can lead to improved action. My experience of the group work has made this developmentally valuable reflection possible.

    The tasks also gave me the opportunity to come into contact with a variety of people from different professional backgrounds, some of whom were older and much more experienced than I. Working in a multi-professional group allowed us to benefit from a number of different perspectives on the task as well as a wide variety of knowledge and experience. This made our presentation much more well-rounded and multi-faceted than it would have been if my group had contained only other radiographers. As the group work progressed, I also began to realise that I was, in fact, more than capable of fulfilling my part in this mixed group and this gradual self-confidence enabled me to overcome the feelings of intimidation that being on unfamiliar territory had initially elicited within me. Towards the end of the session, I began to wish that we could begin the session a second time to allow me to contribute more and be perceived as an active member of the group. Looking back, I would attribute my only regrets regarding the group task to this inability to contribute more, perhaps even to the extent of acting as spokesperson during the presentation itself.

    Initially, I was somewhat sceptical about the idea of the group sessions as I did not appreciate that there was anything valuable to be learned from the collaborative process. However, by the end of the process I had learnt a great deal about the complexities of group work and the way in which people from different professional backgrounds can complement the task by offering a much greater depth of experience. I also increased my knowledge of a number of topics to which I may never have exposed otherwise.

    The group work also revealed that I rarely make a substantial contribution to group discussions or volunteer for leadership roles in group tasks, preferring instead to avoid the limelight and allow another group member to take the lead. My contributions are then made on the basis of topics already raised by others. This weakness does not stem from a lack of intellectual understanding but rather from a lack of confidence in my own ideas, even when these are valid. An awareness of this tendency to pass the buck will inform my future group interactions and, I hope, facilitate my taking a more proactive role in dictating the course of discussions.


    Analysis

    Team working

    According to the Belbin theory of team roles, I would assess myself as naturally occupying the roles of Team Worker, Resource Investigator and Implementer. The reason why I have identified myself as an Implementer is based firstly on the fact that I took on the responsibility for carrying out the task of researching the use of social networks in our campaign and I enjoyed executing this plan, which we had agreed amongst the group as a whole, in a systematic fashion. The title of Resource Investigator also applies to me as I used these social networks as one of a variety of means to search for useful contacts. As the Belbin theory states (2010), a Resource Investigator explores opportunities and makes useful links with internal and external contacts. Also, I received high marks from my peers for the ability to ‘identif(y) sources and other resources to aid team progress’. I believe that the title of Team Worker also applies to me as, even though I felt that I could have contributed more, my peer feedback actually shows that I was perceived by other group members as a good team player. I received high marks for the category of contributing to a collaborative team environment and the comments given on my feedback sheets included ‘active and excellent team member who can be relied upon’ and ‘considerate and pleasant group contributor’. These comments demonstrate that I was seen by others as an important and active member of the team.

    Decision making

    My experience of working in my group was that we developed a good decision-making process which we were able to use to come to a mutually-agreed conclusion on the majority of topics that we discussed. We also set clear boundaries about how the group would operate; for example, the ground rules that we devised on the first day were as follows:

    1. There will be three individual threads for discussion by each sub-group.
    2. On Thursday everyone is to check in to ensure that all work is ready.
    3. The sub-groups will send their PowerPoints to David by 3pm on Thursday so that he can amalgamate the PowerPoints into one presentation.
    4. The whole group is to meet at 11am on Friday in the café outside the library to prepare for the presentation. A room will be arranged.
    5. A poster will be produced for each category.
    6. The sub-groups will arrange amongst themselves which method they wish to use to communicate and prepare for the presentation.
    7. The sub-groups will decide the media which they will use to promote the AHP.

     

    I found these ground rules very useful in giving the group clarity and structure and allowing us to work effectively on common goals. This experience highlighted to me the importance of the ‘forming’ stage as described by Tuckman in his Group Development Model (1965). Although at this stage each team member is keen to be accepted by others, and serious issues are therefore usually avoided, it is a very important stage in team-building. I indeed found this stage to be the time when the group members were getting to know each other, on both a personal and professional level, and forming an idea of how the group would be working together over the forthcoming week. I believe that, without this ‘forming’ stage being completed successfully, we would not have had the basis of understanding that enabled us to progress to the ‘storming’ stage, in which we came up with a number of different ideas, the ‘norming’ stage, when we came to make the mutual decisions about how to write our campaign presentation. This early decision-making process was important as it allowed us all to participate and to feel motivated in working towards the group’s eventual success in producing a good-quality presentation.

    Ethical concerns

    The main ethical concern that I had when embarking on this group work exercise was to ensure that each member of the group, including myself, would be treated with respect and in a polite manner. As stated by Dubrin:

    ‘Showing respect for team members is a general technique for building teamwork’. (2011, pp.487)

    My experience of treating others with respect, for example by asking whether someone has managed to finish their part of the task rather than demanding that it be ready, certainly reinforced this theory as I was marked highly by my peers for facilitating communication and cohesion within the group.

    Diversity and difference

    There was a diverse range of people in the larger group of which I was a part; both males and females, undergraduates and postgraduates of varying ages, and also many different personality characteristics including introverts, extroverts, those who were better at coming up with ideas and those who were better at the organisational side. Rather than causing difficulties, these differences actually meant that our discussions were more varied and interesting, and that our team functioned well through each member playing to their respective strengths. I personally learnt a lot from the group members who were older than me, and felt that I benefitted a great deal from watching the mature way in which they went about resolving conflict to come to a good group consensus. The way in which we all participated in devising the ground rules on the first day created a strong team spirit, an important aspect in the successful management of diversity as Klarsfeld mentions in his recent book (2010).

    Management of power and conflict

    Conflict naturally occurs in most group tasks as a consequence of group members having different values, skills and experience. Indeed, Rahim cites a study carried out in 2005 to assert that:

    ‘a moderate level of substantive conflict is functional, as it stimulates discussion and debate.’ (2010, pp. 122)

    This was also my experience of the group work.  At points throughout the process there was an element of natural disagreement about the direction that our campaign presentation would take and the best way to complete our activities. I found that this motivated other group members to join in more and also lead to interesting discussions that created further good ideas.

    I found that the power balance was fairly equal in our group, despite the range of ages and personalities that were represented. The only issue that arose was that one of the girls in the group attempted to dominate at times by getting others to think in the same way as her. As the other group members were more mature and open to other people’s input, we were able to manage this by steering the discussions down a more collaborative path.

    Clinical reasoning

    From a clinical point of view, this experience will stand me in good stead for the future. In clinical settings health care professionals are most commonly called upon to work in teams that span different areas such as nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy in order to provide the best all-round care for their patients. Radiographers such as myself also work in teams of two most of the time so it is very important to understand how to co-operate with others in a professional setting.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, I found the group work to be a very educational experience concerning the importance of being able to work well in a team. I have been alerted to aspects of my behaviour and personality, particularly with regards to interactions with unfamiliar people, of which I may otherwise have remained unaware. The main aspect that I would like to improve is my confidence, which will enable me to contribute more of my ideas to group work. This will help me at university as well as in my future work as a professional radiographer collaborating with a multi-disciplinary team. Overall, I found Gibbs’ model helpful in focusing on each of the different areas of the experience in order to evaluate my strengths, such as good teamwork and carrying out tasks in a systematic way, as well as areas such as those mentioned above that I would like to improve.


    Bibliography

    Belbin, M., 2010. Management teams: why they succeed or fail. 3rd ed. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

    Cooney, A., 1999. Reflection demystified: answering some common questions. British Journal of Nursing. 8(22), 1530-1534.

    Dubrin, A.J., 2011. Essentials of management. Andover: Cengage Learning.

    Gibbs, G., 1998. Learning by doing: a guide to teaching and learning. London: FEU.

    Klarsfeld, A., 2010. International handbook on diversity management at work: country perspectives on diversity and equality. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

    Rahim, M.A., 2010. Managing conflict in organizations. 4th rev. ed.  Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

    Tuckman, B., 1965. Development sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin. 63, 384-399.

    Word count: 2609.

    Tags: psychology , Reflection Essay

    Category: Essay & Dissertation Samples , Psychology

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    Helping Students to Reflect on their Group Work

    To develop group skills, students need to do more than just complete group tasks. Along the way, it’s important that they reflect on group processes. Reflection can be informal or formal (built into assessment). Students can perform it individually or in groups.

    Students can reflect on both the processes and products of group work. When incorporating reflective activities into group work, it is important that students have the opportunity to apply what they have learnt through their reflections to future tasks to improve their learning. This section outlines a number of ways to build reflection into group tasks and projects.

    Helping students monitor their development and reflect on their performance

    Reflective activities

    To develop effective group skills, students need to practise using their skills and reflect on what worked and did not work. This helps them form generalised principles based on their experience, which then inform their future actions.

    You can use one or more of the following strategies to help your students reflect on their group work skills. Depending on the nature of your group task or project, you might incorporate the listed activities during the task or at its completion. For example, ask students to submit a collaborative reflective report on group processes, or to complete the student exercise below: Planning ahead—What can I do better next time? ).

    Reflective activityWhat is involved in this activity?
    Learning journalsStudents keep a learning journal to track the development of their group skills. For example, after each task or key stage of a project, they reflect in the journal on the things their group is doing well or not so well, and consider what they could do to improve in later stages of the task/project. Learning journals are also an effective way for you to monitor group activity and processes, in particular the relative contributions of group members.
    Checklists

    Checklists help students reflect on their group’s preparation and performance of tasks. For example, students (individually or as a group) can complete checklists to help them reflect on their group contributions , performance in group meetings , performance in a group presentation ; or the process of compiling a group-written report.

    You can use checklists to ensure that students create time for reflection in meetings, so that they come to understand that reflection is integral to group work, and factor it into their future meetings.

    Peer reviewEncouraging students to give each other regular feedback in group meetings helps them practise integrating reflective practices. In peer review, students reflect on their own and others’ performance of group tasks. Reviewing the performance of their peers (strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement) builds students’ understanding of the principles of effective group processes and behaviour.
    Class discussionYou can ask students, once they have reflected on their group’s performance, to share their reflections with the rest of the class: the aspects that they found rewarding or challenging about the experience, and how they think they could improve as a group next time.
    ArticulationProvide opportunities for students to practise articulating aspects of their skills development. Employers and recruitment agencies expect students to understand what is meant by effective group skills and to articulate their experiences and particular strengths.
    Responding to feedbackYou can ask students to indicate action they have taken in response to feedback given to them by you or by peers, to improve their performance in groups.
    Reflective paper

    Students complete and submit a report on group processes to help them reflect on various group processes e.g. how they got to know each other as a group, how they organised group meetings, how they allocated tasks, what processes they used to develop a group presentation etc. See the student handout Steps in writing a collaborative report on group processes .

    This paper can be extended to deal with individual performance, e.g. What were the best aspects of my performance? What were the worst? What did I learn from listening to my peers’ presentations? How can I improve my performance next time? For more information, see Assessing Group Work .

    Student portfolio

    Student portfolios can help students keep track of the development of their group work and other skills, and provide a powerful reflective tool.

    Helping students identify how they can improve

    The following exercise helps students to think about their experiences in groups, about the group’s functioning and about their individual roles and contributions to the group. Importantly, it also helps students to identify how the group might function more effectively next time. Using the prompts, students can reflect individually, then discuss their responses in groups or as a class.

    Student exercise

    Planning ahead—What can I do better next time?

    Last time

    • What I liked most about the group was…
    • What I liked least about the group was…
    • The most effective things about the way the groups worked were…
    • The least effective things about the way the groups worked were…
    • The things I did that helped the group most were…
    • The things I did that helped the group least were…

    Next time

    • The types of people I’d like to work with are…
    • The roles I’d like to play in the group are…
    • The exercises I’d like the group to go through are…
    • The working methods I’d like to use are…
    • The way I’d like us to run our meeting is…

    (Adapted from: G. Gibbs (1994), Learning in Teams: A Student Manual, Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford Centre for Staff, p. 24., p.60)

     

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        • Ideas for Effective Group Work
        • Preparing for Group Work
        • Developing Students Skills
        • Facilitating & Monitoring
        • Helping Students Reflect
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    UNSW Sydney Logo

    Teaching

    Mobile search
    mobile nav menu button

    Helping Students to Reflect on their Group Work

    To develop group skills, students need to do more than just complete group tasks. Along the way, it’s important that they reflect on group processes. Reflection can be informal or formal (built into assessment). Students can perform it individually or in groups.

    Students can reflect on both the processes and products of group work. When incorporating reflective activities into group work, it is important that students have the opportunity to apply what they have learnt through their reflections to future tasks to improve their learning. This section outlines a number of ways to build reflection into group tasks and projects.

    Helping students monitor their development and reflect on their performance

    Reflective activities

    To develop effective group skills, students need to practise using their skills and reflect on what worked and did not work. This helps them form generalised principles based on their experience, which then inform their future actions.

    You can use one or more of the following strategies to help your students reflect on their group work skills. Depending on the nature of your group task or project, you might incorporate the listed activities during the task or at its completion. For example, ask students to submit a collaborative reflective report on group processes, or to complete the student exercise below: Planning ahead—What can I do better next time? ).

    Reflective activityWhat is involved in this activity?
    Learning journalsStudents keep a learning journal to track the development of their group skills. For example, after each task or key stage of a project, they reflect in the journal on the things their group is doing well or not so well, and consider what they could do to improve in later stages of the task/project. Learning journals are also an effective way for you to monitor group activity and processes, in particular the relative contributions of group members.
    Checklists

    Checklists help students reflect on their group’s preparation and performance of tasks. For example, students (individually or as a group) can complete checklists to help them reflect on their group contributions , performance in group meetings , performance in a group presentation ; or the process of compiling a group-written report.

    You can use checklists to ensure that students create time for reflection in meetings, so that they come to understand that reflection is integral to group work, and factor it into their future meetings.

    Peer reviewEncouraging students to give each other regular feedback in group meetings helps them practise integrating reflective practices. In peer review, students reflect on their own and others’ performance of group tasks. Reviewing the performance of their peers (strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement) builds students’ understanding of the principles of effective group processes and behaviour.
    Class discussionYou can ask students, once they have reflected on their group’s performance, to share their reflections with the rest of the class: the aspects that they found rewarding or challenging about the experience, and how they think they could improve as a group next time.
    ArticulationProvide opportunities for students to practise articulating aspects of their skills development. Employers and recruitment agencies expect students to understand what is meant by effective group skills and to articulate their experiences and particular strengths.
    Responding to feedbackYou can ask students to indicate action they have taken in response to feedback given to them by you or by peers, to improve their performance in groups.
    Reflective paper

    Students complete and submit a report on group processes to help them reflect on various group processes e.g. how they got to know each other as a group, how they organised group meetings, how they allocated tasks, what processes they used to develop a group presentation etc. See the student handout Steps in writing a collaborative report on group processes .

    This paper can be extended to deal with individual performance, e.g. What were the best aspects of my performance? What were the worst? What did I learn from listening to my peers’ presentations? How can I improve my performance next time? For more information, see Assessing Group Work .

    Student portfolio

    Student portfolios can help students keep track of the development of their group work and other skills, and provide a powerful reflective tool.

    Helping students identify how they can improve

    The following exercise helps students to think about their experiences in groups, about the group’s functioning and about their individual roles and contributions to the group. Importantly, it also helps students to identify how the group might function more effectively next time. Using the prompts, students can reflect individually, then discuss their responses in groups or as a class.

    Student exercise

    Planning ahead—What can I do better next time?

    Last time

    • What I liked most about the group was…
    • What I liked least about the group was…
    • The most effective things about the way the groups worked were…
    • The least effective things about the way the groups worked were…
    • The things I did that helped the group most were…
    • The things I did that helped the group least were…

    Next time

    • The types of people I’d like to work with are…
    • The roles I’d like to play in the group are…
    • The exercises I’d like the group to go through are…
    • The working methods I’d like to use are…
    • The way I’d like us to run our meeting is…

    (Adapted from: G. Gibbs (1994), Learning in Teams: A Student Manual, Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford Centre for Staff, p. 24., p.60)

     

    Off

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    • Understanding Learning
    • Teaching for learning

      • Active learning spaces
      • Blended and online
      • Brainstorming
      • Case studies
      • Debates
      • Discussion
      • Flipped classroom
      • Group work

        • Ideas for Effective Group Work
        • Preparing for Group Work
        • Developing Students Skills
        • Facilitating & Monitoring
        • Helping Students Reflect
      • Questioning
      • Simulations
      • Teaching diverse groups
    • Assessment
    • Teaching Settings
    • Designing for Learning
    • Evaluating L&T
    • Educational Design

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    Connections Seminar: Peer Instruction in Flipped Classrooms
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    A Unified Modeling Language-Based Design and …

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    A Unified Modeling Language-Based Design and Application for a Library Management Information System

    @inproceedingsZheng2015AUM, title=A Unified Modeling Language-Based Design and Application for a Library Management Information System, author=Jianhu Zheng and Y. Feng and Yun Zhao, year=2015
    • Jianhu Zheng , Y. Feng , Yun Zhao
    • Published 2015
    This paper firstly introduces the main content of the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and proves that it can transmit information among the users, the developers, the designers and the managers efficiently, which improves their collaboration capabilities and greatly increases the degree of industrialization in software development projects. Secondly, a library management system development and design is carried out, based on UML modeling mechanism to analyze a simple library management system. Thirdly, a demand analysis mode of the… CONTINUE READING
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    11 Figures & Tables

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    Topics

    • Unified Modeling Language
    • Management information system
    • Sequence diagram
    • Software engineering
    • Class diagram
    • Software development
    • UML tool
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    Showing 1-9 of 9 references

    i-y i n g. The UML Analysis and Design of the Library Management System for the B/S Model. – China

    • Q L v
    • Management Informationization,
    • 2012
    1 Excerpt

    i-p i n g. UML-Based Modeling and Design of Library Management System

    1 Excerpt

    O t a n i, M.-T. S h i n g. Validating UML StatechartBased Assertions Libraries for Improved Reliability and Assurance

    1 Excerpt

    Z h o u. The Application of Unified Modeling Language for Network Book Sale System Development

    1 Excerpt

    e-c h e n g. Analysis and Modeling on UML Recommender and Purchase System for Book

    1 Excerpt

    i-c h u a n, H u a-n i n L i. Establishment the Analysis Design Model for Books Management System

    1 Excerpt

    n-y i n g. Object-Oriented Unified Modeling Language UML and Its Application

    1 Excerpt

    W a n g. UML and Software Engineering Fundamentals

    1 Excerpt

    Using UML Language to Model the Library Management System

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    UML diagrams for library management system



    12/10/2013



    Suryateja Pericherla



    Categories: Case Studies .



    6 Comments on UML diagrams for library management system

    Library Management System

    Read the following documents/reports to understand the problem statement, requirements and other necessary things related to the Library Management Application: Doc1 , Doc2 , Doc3 , Doc4 , Doc5 , Doc6

    Contents

    • 1 Use case diagram
    • 2 Class diagram
    • 3 Sequence diagram
    • 4 Collaboration diagram
    • 5 Statechart diagram
    • 6 Activity diagram
    • 7 Component diagram
    • 8 Deployment diagram

    Use case diagram

    library management system use case diagram

    Class diagram

    library management system class diagram

    Sequence diagram

    library management system sequence diagram

    Collaboration diagram

    library management system collaboration diagram

    Statechart diagram

    library management system state chart diagram

    Activity diagram

    library management system activity diagram

    Component diagram

    library management system component diagram

    Deployment diagram

    library management system deployment diagram

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    6 Comments

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    Karren Barlow

    Thanks for the examples! I have also found a great Use Case Diagram for Railway Reservation System (UML) through Lucidchart and it is very helpful! Check it out!

    Reply


    prashant sharma

    i don`t found theory about the diagram

    Reply


      Suryateja Pericherla

      You can see theory at the beginning of the page in the documents (Doc1, Doc2, etc.)

      Reply


    srinithi

    kindly provide same for student information system also

    Reply


    tcpwireless

    Thanks, it is very informative

    Reply


    Swe

    Kindly provide examples for package diagram.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply Cancel reply

    UML Concepts


    Introduction to OOAD

    • Analysis and Design
    • Object Oriented Analysis and Design


    Introduction to UML

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    What is class diagram ? Draw class diagram for Library Management System.

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    2016 – 2017 Assignment Question

    Class diagram

    In software engineering, a class diagram in the Unified Modeling Language (UML) is a type of static structure diagram that describes the structure of a system by showing the system’s classes, their attributes, operations (or methods), and the relationships among objects.

    • Classes

    Classes represent an abstraction of entities with common characteristics. Associations represent the relationships between classes.

    • Active Classes

    Active classes initiate and control the flow of activity, while passive classes store data and serve other classes. Illustrate active classes with a thicker border.

    • Visibility

    Use visibility markers to signify who can access the information contained within a class. Private visibility, denoted with a – sign, hides information from anything outside the class partition. Public visibility, denoted with a + sign, allows all other classes to view the marked information. Protected visibility, denoted with a # sign, allows child classes to access information they inherited from a parent class.

    • Associations

    Associations represent static relationships between classes. Place association names above, on, or below the association line. Use a filled arrow to indicate the direction of the relationship.

    • Multiplicity (Cardinality)

    Place multiplicity notations near the ends of an association. 

    • Constraint

    Place constraints inside curly braces {}.

    • Composition and Aggregation

    Composition is a special type of aggregation that denotes a strong ownership between Class A, the whole, and Class B, its part. Illustrate composition with a filled diamond.

    • Generalization

    Generalization is another name for inheritance or an “is a” relationship. 
    Image source https://www.lucidchart.com/pages/class-diagram-for-library-management-system-UML

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    Sociology of Mental Health Research Paper

    Sociology of Mental Health Research Paper

    This sample Sociology of Mental Health Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Like other free research paper examples, it is not a custom research paper . If you need help writing your assignment, please use our custom writing services and buy a paper on any of the sociology research paper topics . This sample research paper on The Sociology of Mental Health features: 6700+ words (22 pages), an outline, in-text citations, and a bibliography with 80 sources.

    Outline

    I. Introduction

    II. The Sociology of Mental Health: A Brief History

    A. The Development of Social Epidemiology of Mental Health and Disorders

    III. The Study of Mental Health in Contemporary Sociology

    A. The Influence of Other Disciplines on the Sociology of Mental Health

    B. Theoretical Perspectives on Mental Health and Disorder in Sociology

    C. Defining a Unique Sociological Approach to Mental Health and Illness

    1. The Stressor Exposure Perspective

    2. The Social Relationships Perspective

    3. The Societal Reaction Perspective

    D. The Influence of Psychological Models on the Sociology of Mental Health and Illness

    E. Methodological Controversies

    1. Measures of Mental Health and Disorder

    2. Measures of Stressor Exposure

    F. The Social Epidemiology of Mental Disorders

    1. Gender

    2. Socioeconomic Status

    3. Race

    4. Marital Status

    IV. Future Directions in the Sociology of Mental Health

    A. Comorbidity

    B. Mental Health Services and Policy

    C. Better Measures of Stress Exposure

    D. Better Measures of Social Resources

    E. The Biological Perspective on Mental Disorders

    I. Introduction

    This research paper describes the history, application, and development in sociology of the study of mental health, illness, and disorders. Mental health, mental illness, social and mental functioning, and its social indicators are a classic theme in the field of sociology. Emile Durkheim’s (1951) Suicide was a landmark study in both sociology and epidemiology, laying out a sociological course of research that remains an intellectual force in contemporary social science (Berkman and Glass 2000). The influence of the sociology of mental health and illness goes well beyond its sociological roots; its major theoretical perspectives interact with major research streams in psychiatry, psychology, anthropology, public health, and medicine (Aneshensel and Phelan 1999; Horwitz and Scheid 1999; Eaton 2001; Gallagher 2002; Cockerham 2005). The sociology of mental health also connects to numerous other fields in sociology, including general medical sociology, the sociology of aging, demography and biodemograpy, statistics, childhood studies, sociology of the life course, deviance, criminology, stratification, and studies of the quality of life.

    Mental health, mental illness, and mental disorder are closely related but distinguishable concepts. Mental health refers to a state of well-being or alternatively, a state of mental normality, free of disorder or illness. Mental illness refers to a persistent state of mental abnormality. The term mental disorder is applied to a specific diagnosis of mental abnormality, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, agoraphobia, mania or substance dependence.

    In this research paper, the term sociology of mental health is used to refer to general theories and research that encompass the causes, development, and consequences of mental disorders and the state or symptoms of mental distress. The term also includes the study of personal and situational resources that preserve or restore the state of mental wellbeing. Sociologists who practice in the field of mental health examine a variety of outcomes and indicators of mental health as well as mental disorders.

    The paper is organized into three sections: (1) a brief historical perspective on the study of mental health and illness in sociology; (2) the current state of research in the field, including its major themes and methodological problems; and (3) the future directions of the field. This research paper has four pervasive themes: (1) the interaction of the sociology of mental health and disorder with psychology, psychiatry, public health, and medicine; (2) the environmental perspective, which is the major contribution of the sociology to the mix of disciplines examining mental health in society; (3) the relationship between the study of mental health and studies of mental disorder; and (4) the emergence of the life course perspective as a dominant theoretical perspective in the sociology of mental health.

    II. The Sociology of Mental Health: A Brief History

    The topic of mental health has a venerable tradition in sociology. Durkheim’s classic work Suicide was translated into English in 1921, and it is still widely cited in the field. Durkheim’s work encouraged interest in the relationship of mental health and disorders with social structure, group membership, geographical location, and other indicators of social integration and organization. One of the most famous early applications of Durkheim’s perspective was Robert Merton’s (1938) work on social structure and anomie. Taken together, Durkheim and Merton introduced the influential idea that social systems can produce “stress” for individuals, who in turn may act in deviant or disordered ways (Cockerham 2005). Also applying Durkheim’s ideas, Faris and Dunham (1939) conducted a study of the distribution of schizophrenia in Chicago. Observing that people with schizophrenia clustered in high poverty areas, they argued that social isolation encouraged the development of symptoms characterizing schizophrenia.

    Although Merton’s and Faris and Dunham’s theories no longer hold sway among contemporary sociologists of mental health, they are significant in their historical impact on the field. The organized field of the sociology of mental health grew out of the larger field of general medical sociology in the late 1930s and 1940s. Interest in mental illness and its causes were heightened by extraordinary events in the mid-twentieth century. The suffering of many ordinary Americans during the Great Depression, the discovery of psychiatric impairments among many World War II draftees, and the traumatic effects of combat on soldiers and civilians were powerful arguments for government support of efforts to mitigate mental illness (Kirk 1999).

    The founding of the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) in 1949 contributed to the development of medical sociology in general. The establishment of the Laboratory of Socio-Environmental Studies at NIMH in 1952 was a critical event in the development of studies of mental health in medical sociology. The sociologist John Clausen, who headed the laboratory, recruited and supported a number of sociologists who became leaders in the field, among them Melvin Kohn, Leonard Pearlin, Erving Goffman, and Morris Rosenberg (Kirk 1999). Using a strategy still dominant in behavioral science approaches to mental disorders, Clausen (1956) recruited social scientists from multiple disciplines as well as sociologists, stating that “the roles to be filled by sociologists within the mental health field call for collaboration with clinicians” (p. 47).

    Throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, NIMH was a major supporter of sociological and psychological research on mental health and illness. According to figures assembled by Kirk (1999), in 1976 more than 50 percent of NIMH research grants were to social, psychological, and behavioral scientists. A smaller proportion of grants were awarded to psychiatrists and physicians (a situation that no longer holds at NIMH).

    A. The Development of Social Epidemiology of Mental Health and Disorders

    Social epidemiology, sometimes labeled psychiatric epidemiology or social psychiatry (Gallagher 2002), is the discovery and documentation of the social and demographic distribution of mental disorders and health. The distribution of mental disorders can be documented via the study of medical records, mental hospital admissions, and surveys of the general population. Surveys in representative community populations, using clinically validated questions that identify and classify mental disorder symptoms by diagnostic categories, are the current tools used to estimate the prevalence of disorders (Cockerham 2005). The diagnostic estimates are then analyzed to determine their distribution by social and demographic group.

    Hollingshead and Redlich (1958) (a sociologist and a psychiatrist) conducted an innovative study of mental disorders in New Haven, Connecticut, in which they compared mental illness inpatients and outpatients to a sample representative of the general community. Although not a study of prevalence the study had wide influence because of their findings that different types of mental disorder were distributed by social class, with more disorders among lower social class groups. The study also found that treatment for mental disorder varied by class. Because Hollingshead and Redlich’s study included only treated cases, however, they could not draw inferences about possible social causes of mental disorders.

    The Midtown Manhattan Study in the 1950s (Srole et al. 1962) investigated the distribution of mental disorders using a random selection household survey design. The interview responses were rated by psychiatrists on the team. The findings from this study continue to shape social epidemiology today. Mental disorders were found to be more prevalent among respondents of lower socioeconomic status. Childhood poverty was linked to psychiatric impairment in adulthood (an early application of the life course perspective on mental health). Those who had mental disorders were less likely to be upwardly mobile. The investigators hypothesized that exposure to childhood and adult stressors played a key role in the distribution of mental disorders as well as mental health (Cockerham 2005). Many of these findings were replicated in a study of Nova Scotia communities (Leighton et al. 1963).

    The environmental perspective on mental health was also advanced by studies led by social psychologists. Americans View Their Mental Health, two nationally representative interview studies conducted in 1956 and 1976 (Veroff, Douvan, and Kulka 1981), examined patterns over time in the contributions of the social environment to both positive and negative mental well-being as well as to patterns of help seeking for those who experienced mental distress.

    A notable advance in the survey technology for measuring the prevalence of mental disorders and their social correlates was the Epidemiological Catchment Area (ECA) project, conducted by NIMH and five universities in the 1980s (Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, Washington University, Duke University, and the University of California at Los Angeles). A multidisciplinary team, including sociologists, psychiatrists, and psychologists developed new diagnosis instruments to detect mental disorders for use in the general population (Robins and Regier 1991). These diagnostic instruments, derived from the third version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSMIII), were coupled with interviews that measured environmental factors, social class, race, ethnicity, stressors, social relationships, and other factors believed to correlate with the risk of developing mental disorders.

    The separate samples for the ECA studies, however, were not representative of the entire population of the United States. In 1990 through 1992, NIMH funded the first national survey of mental disorders in the general U.S. population (n = 8,068), the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS; Kessler and Zhao 1999). The investigators updated the interview diagnostic measures to reflect those recently developed by the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization (Kessler et al. 1994). Along with diagnostic measures of depression, mania, anxiety, substance abuse, phobias, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other mood and psychotic disorders, the NCS interviews included measures of environmental factors, personality, childhood conditions, physical health, and mental health care utilization. NCS investigated the concept of comorbidity, which is defined as the occurrence of more than one type of mental disorder in an individual.

    The NCS has been widely emulated and expanded. A version of the NCS was also conducted in Canada. NIMH also funded a series of replications of the NCS in 2000 to 2003 (Kessler et al. 2005), and the method has been extended to studying mental health and illness in children. The World Health Association is currently coordinating international replications of the NCS ( http://www.hcp.med.harvard.edu/ncs/ ).

    III. The Study of Mental Health in Contemporary Sociology

    As the foregoing brief historical overview shows, the study of mental health in sociology has been influenced by multiple disciplines. It is also host to a number of competing theoretical perspectives. The most widely discussed is the tension among medical, environmental, and societal reaction perspectives on the causes, consequences, and appropriate treatment of mental disorders. As a consequence of the host of influences on the field, there is considerable disagreement over the measurement of basic concepts in research, including how to define mental health and disorders (Kessler and Zhao 1999), environmental factors such as stressors, location, and socioeconomic status (Wheaton 1999); and social consequences such as disability, labeling, and social isolation (Horwitz and Scheid 1999; Pillemer et al. 2000). In addition, there is considerable creative tension between those who concentrate on establishing the incidence and prevalence of mental disorders and those who focus more on the correlates of mental health and mental illness (Mirowsky and Ross 2002, 2004). Finally, there is considerable research on the use of mental health services and on mental health policy.

    A. The Influence of Other Disciplines on the Sociology of Mental Health

    As Clausen (1956) prophetically foresaw, sociologists who specialize in mental health frequently collaborate with those in other disciplines, such as developmental and social psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology, economics (Aneshensel and Phelan 1999; Gallagher 2002), and increasingly biology (Shanahan and Hofer 2005). The National Institutes of Health has encouraged and continues to encourage multidisciplinary approaches to the study of mental illness and disorders. Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists lay claim to the definitions of mental illness and disorder through the continuing revisions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Mental Disorders, currently in its fourth edition (American Psychiatric Association 2000), as well as to measurements of mental distress (Radloff 1977), quality of life (Veroff et al. 1981), and social relationships and support (Cohen, Underwood, and Gottlieb 2000). Sociologists who study mental health compete for federal funds and intellectual prestige with those from other disciplines.

    The presence of sociologists in interdisciplinary efforts to understand the causes, course, and consequences of mental illness and disorders is a positive situation; the influence of the sociology of mental health on other disciplines is tangible. A negative aspect of the interdisciplinary effort is that the sociology of mental health is sometimes viewed as isolated from the general field of sociology (Aneshensel and Phelan 1999). This perception may be exacerbated by the employment of sociologists of mental health (and other medical sociologists) in academic units other than Sociology departments. Members of the Sociology of Mental Health section of the American Sociological Association are employed in medical schools, schools of public health, schools of social work, and departments of human development. When theories of cause and measures of critical outcomes are shared with other disciplines, the question arises: What is the unique contribution of sociology to the study of mental health and illness? The answer to this question is pressing as there are calls for proposals that contribute to “the development, enhancement, and assembly of new data sets from existing data” and for research “that combines diverse levels of analysis” from national research and review bodies (National Institutes of Health 2004) as well as for research that examines the causes of health differences by socioeconomic status and behavioral risk factors across the life course (National Research Council 2004).

    B. Theoretical Perspectives on Mental Health and Disorder in Sociology

    Five major perspectives, and combinations of these perspectives, are used in the contemporary sociology of mental health. The five major perspectives are (1) the medical model, (2) the environmental perspective, (3) the social psychological perspective, (4) societal reaction (or labeling), and (5) the life course perspective. The medical model views mental disorders as diseases and prescribes medical treatment as the appropriate cure. The environmental perspective asserts that factors such as social class, race, ethnicity, gender, urban location, and exposure to stressors may cause and most certainly shape risks for mental disorder. The social psychological perspective contributes insight into the social and relational factors that provide resources for adjusting to environmental stressors and restoring mental health and well-being. The social reaction perspective argues that mental illness emerges from social strain processes that produce deviance. The life course perspective views mental health and mental disorder as resulting from the accumulation of environmental stressors and exposures across the lifetime, in interaction with developmental and personal factors such as family structure, personality, and even genetic endowment. Researchers in the sociology of mental health often combine one or more of these perspectives in their research, with the life course perspective now generally seen as an emerging unifying paradigm (George 1999).

    C. Defining a Unique Sociological Approach to Mental Health and Illness

    Although there is constant interaction between the mental health disciplines, several recent analyses of the state of theory in the sociology of mental health in the late twentieth century indicate the emergence of a distinct sociological approach. Horwitz and Scheid (1999) outlined two major approaches in the study of the sociology of mental health and illness. These two approaches are: (1) the social contexts producing or shaping mental health and disorder and (2) the recognition, treatment, and policy response to mental illness and disorder. In the same volume, Thoits (1999) described three major approaches that uniquely characterize the sociology of mental health: (1) stress exposure (a subset of the social context approach described by Horwitz and Scheid); (2) structural strain theory, which derives from Merton (1938); and (3) societal reaction, or labeling theory. Aneshensel and Phelan (1999) argue that the distinguishing issue in the sociological approach to mental illness is attention to how social stratification produces the unequal distribution of both disorders and mental health.

    Aneshensel and Phelan also argue that a major challenge to the sociological approach to mental disorders is the debate between social causation and social selection explanations for the relationship between mental disorders and social class. The social selection approach hypothesizes that the reason there are more mental disorders in the lower economic class is because those with mental disorders are downwardly mobile economically or are unable to be upwardly mobile. This debate has many implications for interpreting how social stratification is linked to mental disorders and health (e.g., Miech et al. 1999).

    The sociological approach also provides unique insight into the serious social consequences for those who have mental disorders, including socioeconomic success. The sociological approach also contributes research on the social factors that influence how institutions and individuals recognize when someone is mentally ill, how individuals are treated and how that treatment varies by social class, gender, and race, and who is more likely to use mental health care (e.g., Phelan et al. 2000).

    The application of the sociological approach to mental health generates considerable empirical work that focuses on economic and other types of social stratification as determinants of mental health and mental disorder. This work is concentrated in research on stressor exposure, social relationships, and societal reaction to mental disorders.

    1. The Stressor Exposure Perspective

    The social context approach is a set of perspectives; the most well-known and applied outside the field of the sociology of mental health is the stress exposure perspective, which assumes that a combination or accumulation of stressors and difficulties can cause an onset of mental disorder. This perspective (Brown and Harris 1978; Dohrenwend et al. 1978), dominant in sociology, focuses on the level of change or threat posed by external events, and more recently, on the potential for chronic, unresolved stressors to threaten physical and mental health (Wheaton 1999).

    Building on the strong history of social epidemiology in the field, the major assumption of this approach is that differential exposure to stressors by social class or social location is largely determined by social inequalities. In turn, the effects of prolonged stress exposure may perpetuate social inequality through the development of mental illness or disorder in disadvantaged populations (Pearlin et al. 2005). The latter point is more controversial (and in general less well developed theoretically); however the emerging life course or human developmental approach to the accumulation of disadvantage derives in some part from the stress exposure perspective (George 1999). The life course approach assumes that there is an accumulation of the negative effects of differential stressor exposure across life that perpetuates and magnifies inequalities and that many of these processes originate in childhood (e.g., McLeod and Kaiser 2004; McLeod and Nonnemaker 2000). A related stress exposure approach is stress diathesis, which assumes that stress exposure causes disorder only when there is a latent vulnerability (Eaton 2001). The diathesis approach is widely applied in psychiatric research on mental disorders.

    2. The Social Relationships Perspective

    Horwitz and Scheid (1999) add that in addition to stressor exposure, resources to help counter the negative impact of stressor exposure or to avoid stressor exposure also are differentially distributed by social class and location. The major types of social resources that vary by social class are (1) social integration, usually measured as access to meaningful and productive social roles (e.g., Pillemer et al. 2000); (2) social network characteristics (Turner and Turner 1999); (3) family structure (e.g., Turner, Sorenson, and Turner 2000); (4) received and perceived social support (Wethington and Kessler 1986); and (5) coping choices and styles (Pearlin and Schooler 1978; Pearlin et al. 1981). Thoits (1999) has pointed out that this approach, although distinct from the stressor exposure perspective, relies on stress exposure as a mechanism to activate the protective factors.

    3. The Societal Reaction Perspective

    In an overview of the sociology of mental health, Thoits (1999) argued that there is no strong evidence that labeling or other societal reaction processes produce mental illness. However, the societal reaction perspective does provide an insight into social biases against those who display symptoms of mental disorder, which are often viewed as socially deviant. Aneshensel and Phelan (1999) concluded that there is a consensus among sociologists of mental health that mental disorders are objective entities and are not completely a product of social constructions. The strongest evidence for this conclusion is that symptoms of mental disorders are observed in all societies, although there are cultural variations in the ways that such symptoms are described and diagnosed.

    A difficulty with this position for sociologists of mental health is that it implies there is widespread acceptance of the medical model, which can make theoretical interaction with other streams of sociology (e.g., the sociology of deviance) more contentious. Studies of the etiology of mental disorders in the population no longer routinely employ a deviance perspective. The stressor exposure model also applies a variation of the dose-response paradigm widely used in medical research. This acceptance of a variation of the medical model remains controversial and is probably related to the distance perceived between the sociology of mental health and the more mainstream sociology of stratification.

    Yet another tension exists between opposing explanations of what causes social stratification in the distributions of mental disorders. On one side is the belief that routine functioning of society produces some of this stratification, as for example gender differences in the distribution of different types of disorders (Rosenfield 1999). In this view, mental distress and mental disorders can be produced by normal social processes such as gender role socialization. The stress exposure perspective, on the other hand, assumes that abnormal circumstances and events produce mental disorders and distress (Almeida and Kessler 1998). These two views are not necessarily impossible to resolve, but they continue to produce theoretical tensions.

    D. The Influence of Psychological Models on the Sociology of Mental Health and Illness

    Another factor producing distance between the sociology of mental health and the general field of sociology is the influence of social psychological theories on the field. As psychology has incorporated facets of the stress exposure perspective, sociologists of mental health have adopted ideas from social and developmental psychology on social support and relationships, coping, and life course development. An influential psychological perspective, the process of appraisal and coping, was developed by Lazarus and Folkman (1984), updated by Lazarus (1999), and has been further elaborated by Folkman and Moskowitz (2004). This perspective, dominant in the field of psychology, has emphasized how individual differences in perceptions of external stressors affect mental health. The focus of appraisal researchers on emotions as motivation for appraisal suggests commonality with biological research on emotion (Massey 2002). The theory of appraisal has been widely cited by sociologists who examine the impact of events on mental health (e.g.,Wethington and Kessler 1986).

    The life course perspective (Elder 1974), now widely applied in the sociology of mental health (e.g., Wheaton and Clarke 2003; McLeod and Kaiser 2004), traces many of its components to the ecological perspective on human development pioneered by the developmental psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner (1979). The life course perspective theorizes that developmental trajectories, developmental or socially normative timing of the stressor, and the accumulation of stressor exposure and resistance factors shape reaction to stressors (Elder, George, and Shanahan 1996). In the last decade, the life course perspective on stress accumulation has also been applied by psychologists, clinical psychologists, and neuroscientists (e.g., Singer and Ryff 1999; McEwen 2002; Repetti, Taylor, and Seeman 2002). Neuroscientists McEwen and Stellar (1993) have developed the concept of allostatic load which describes physiological mechanisms for the accumulated effects of past adaptation to stressors on health. Allostatic load is currently being adapted by sociologists to use in studies of stressor exposure across the life course and its relationship to mental health and disorder (Shanahan, Hofer and Shanahan 2003; Shanahan and Hofer 2005).

    Sociological and psychological research streams on the relationship between stressor exposure and mental health are converging through collaborative efforts that examine the impact of stressor accumulation along the individual life course (Elder et al. 1996; Singer et al. 1998). A serious problem, however, is that most measures of stressor exposure available to researchers focus on recent exposures rather than the interactions of different types of stressor exposure over the long term; the majority of stressor exposure measures used in research are simple counts or sums of life events occurring over a short period of time (Wheaton 1999). Investigating the relationships between stressors over time and their combined associations with mental health and well-being is an important strategy for examining the impact of stressors over the life course (George 1999).

    E. Methodological Controversies

    Issues of causality and theoretical approach are controversial in the field. Given the complexity and controversies in the sociology of mental health and illness, it is not surprising that one of the critical areas of the field is measurement. The two most disputed areas involve the measurement of outcomes and the measurement of stressor exposure.

    1. Measures of Mental Health and Disorder

    The controversy begins with the outcomes. There is an increasing consensus that positive mental health and wellbeing is not just the absence of mental illness or disorder (Keyes 2002). There is also a controversy over whether dichotomous diagnoses of psychiatric disorder should be a proper outcome for sociological inquiry, in contrast to scales of distress symptoms (Kessler 2002; Mirowsky and Ross 2002).

    Research diagnostic measures of mental disorder are controversial on many dimensions. Wakefield (1999) criticized the diagnostic measures used in the Epidemiological Catchment Area and National Comorbodity Studies for overestimating the prevalence of lifetime mental disorder in the United States. The NCS estimated that one-half of all Americans will suffer from a mental disorder over their lifetime (Kessler et al. 1994). A recent reanalysis of the NCS (Narrow et al. 2002), applying a standard of clinical seriousness based on other questions available in the survey, reduced the lifetime prevalence estimates significantly to 32 percent lifetime prevalence.

    Another issue of controversy is whether a dichotomous outcome measure of disorder, one either has the disorder or not, misses levels of distress or poor social functioning that indicate considerable mental suffering (Kessler 2002; Mirowsky and Ross 2002). Persistent or recurring symptoms of sleeplessness, fatigue, sadness, loneliness, lack of appetite, and loss of interest in things in response to chronic stressors or unexpected life events can be unpleasant and disabling even if the sufferer does not show all of the symptoms of depression required for a diagnosis. The high threshold required for a diagnosis of disorder may understate emotional responses to events in the population at large. Whereas mental disorders may be relatively uncommon, symptoms of distress in response to life events are commonly observed and may indicate the presence of social dysfunction and strain in ways that surveys of mental disorders do not.

    2. Measures of Stressor Exposure

    Measures of stressor exposure are particularly problematic in the sociology of mental health (Wheaton 1999). A complicating factor is that other mental health disciplines enforce higher standards of precision in measurement than does sociology. In addition, the majority of studies using stressor exposure measures do not account for any interaction between combinations of particular types of stressors. Applying the life course perspective model on mental health would ultimately require more sophisticated measures on how stressors combine and interact across time.

    Both the biomedical and sociological streams of research on stress processes share an interest in environmental triggers of distress (Selye 1956). Following Selye, early stress researchers applied Selye’s assumption that all environmental threats activated the same or similar physiological response, using sums of exposures to different types of stressful events (Turner and Wheaton 1995). Almost immediately, sociologists and other social researchers modified this assumption, finding that more explicit and comprehensive measurement of the characteristics of stressors often increased the amount of variance explained in the mental health outcome. These measures included the estimated average “magnitude of change” scores in Social Readjustment Rating Scale (the SRRS: Holmes and Rahe 1967) and the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Interview for Life Events (the PERI; Dohrenwend et al. 1978). Furthermore, it became clear that other characteristics of stressors, such as their type, timing, duration, severity, unexpectedness, controllability and impacts on other aspects of life make significant contributions to the stress response and mental health outcome (e.g., Brown and Harris 1978, 1989; Pearlin and Schooler 1978; Wethington, Brown, and Kessler 1995).

    The stress exposure model is evolving to model the dynamic, continuous adaptation to stressors over time (e.g., Heckhausen and Schulz 1995; Lazarus 1999; Folkman and Moskowitz 2004). Sociologists have developed measures of chronic stress exposure (Pearlin and Schooler 1978) and exposure to stressors and hassles on a daily basis (Almeida, Wethington, and Kessler 2002). Researchers debate the relative reliability and validity of self-report checklist and interview measures of life events that include detailed probes that enable investigators to rate the severity of life events (Wheaton 1999). Most recently, psychologists have contributed to understanding variations in the relationships of different types of stressors (social loss vs. trauma and chronic vs. acute stressor exposure), to immune system function and cortisol activity (e.g., Dickerson and Kemeny 2004; Segerstrom and Miller 2004). Sociologists are now considering the potential for using measures of physiological activity (e.g., cortisol measurement) in their studies (Shanahan et al. 2003).

    Applying the life course perspective to studying mental disorders and health over time has led to concern about the reliability and validity of retrospective measures of stressor exposure (Wethington et al. 1995; Wheaton 1999). Empirical research on memory for life events over a relatively short recall period is reassuring; most severe events can be recalled quite well over a 12-month retrospective period (Kessler and Wethington 1991). Serious concerns remain about longer retrospective recall periods. This concern is partially mitigated by the development of life history calendar methods, visual memory aids that can be used in interviews to enhance memory for life events (Freedman et al. 1988).

    F. The Social Epidemiology of Mental Disorders

    Despite the complexity of measurement, sociologists have pioneered the study of psychiatric sociology, or the epidemiology of mental disorders. The recent advances of measurement in the ECA and NCS studies have produced measures of outcomes that are scientifically accepted across disciplines (Cockerham 2005). These studies have also provided critical data on the use of mental health services by those who suffer from significant disorders and have had a major influence on other fields of study. The major epidemiological research questions have focused around the distribution of mental disorders and illnesses by social factors, including gender, socioeconomic status, marital status, race, and ethnicity. There is some, but more limited work, on factors such as ethnicity, migration, and location.

    1. Gender

    There is dispute whether the overall rate of mental disorders and illnesses differs by gender. The consensus before the publication of national data from the NCS was that men and women did not differ overall in rates of mental disorders; rather, different types of disorders are distributed differently. Women are more likely to report depressed affect and depressive disorders. Men, in turn, are more likely to report alcohol and drug disorders, violent behavior, and other indicators of acting out. Major psychoses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are not distributed unequally by gender. There is now accumulating evidence that women are also more likely to report anxiety disorders (Kessler et al. 1994, 2005), which would mean that women are overall more likely to have mental disorders. Although there is continuing interest among biological and medical scientists to find a biological cause for women’s higher rates of some disorders, particularly depression, among sociologists social cause explanations still hold sway (e.g., Rosenfield 1999).

    2. Socioeconomic Status

    One of the most consistent findings in the epidemiology of mental disorders is that those of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to develop mental disorders (Cockerham 2005; Gallagher 2002). This general finding was confirmed by the NCS (Kessler and Zhao 1999). There is evidence, however, that those of higher statuses are more likely to suffer from affective disorders; the overrepresentation of mental disorders is due to higher rates of schizophrenia and some personality disorders among those of lower socioeconomic status.

    Among sociologists of mental health, social causation theories continue to dominate, but more attention is being given to selection processes, especially the impact of mental disorders on upward economic mobility (e.g., Miech et al. 1999). Researchers who apply the life course perspective often study selection and economic mobility processes directly, most particularly those processes that affect educational attainment in early adulthood (e.g., McLeod and Kaiser 2004).

    3. Race

    There remains considerable controversy in the literature whether members of racial minority groups report higher rates of mental disorder than majority racial groups. Given the relationship of socioeconomic status to mental health and disorders, it is logical to predict that rates of mental disorder in African Americans would be higher than the rates among white Americans because of the average lower socioeconomic status of blacks. Such a pattern would also reflect the additional burden of discrimination and prejudice and the impact such burdens have on mental well-being (Kessler, Mickelson, and Williams 1999).

    The pattern of racial and ethnic differences, however, is more complex. For example, an analysis of risk and persistence of mental disorders among U.S. ethnic groups (Breslau et al. 2005) found that Hispanics reported lower lifetime prevalence of substance use disorders than whites, and that blacks reported lower lifetime prevalence of mood (depression or mania), anxiety, and substance use disorders. However, Hispanics were more likely to report persistent mood disorders (defined as recurrence of a past disorder), and blacks were more likely to report persistent mood and anxiety disorders. Research is needed on the factors that mitigate the impact of stressors on mental health of minority groups. Other researchers call for more attention to how mental disorders are measured and diagnosed in African Americans and other minority groups (e.g., Neighbors et al. 2003).

    4. Marital Status

    Although there is some evidence that pattern of mental distress by marital status may be changing as cohabitation becomes more socially accepted, the consensus still holds that married people are in better mental health and report fewer mental disorders than those who are not currently married. New research (Umberson and Williams 1999) points to the quality of the marital relationship as critical to mental well-being and health; those in unsatisfying or high-conflict marriages report poor mental health. Divorce is associated with poorer mental health over time, particularly among those who did not initiate the divorce.

    Evidence such as that noted above is taken to mean that marriage confers benefits on mental health and may provide some protection against mental illness. Umberson and Williams (1999) note, however, that relatively little research has been done that has pitted the benefits of marriage perspective directly against the alternative social selection perspective that those who have mental disorders are less likely to marry or to remain married. Forthofer et al. (1996) estimated the relationship of age of onset of mental disorder on the probability of subsequent marriage. They found that those who have disorders are less likely to be married and when they marry have a higher risk of divorce. Unfortunately, studies that examine both social causation and social selection perspectives on marital status and mental health remain relatively rare, most likely because of the absence of satisfactory longitudinal data that can be used to address this issue.

    IV. Future Directions in the Sociology of Mental Health

    One of the tensions in the sociology of mental health and illness is the interdisciplinary orientation of the field. Concepts are freely borrowed along the border of sociology and psychiatry/psychology. Much work is applied, or meant to be applied, to issues of importance to social policy, such as the social costs of untreated mental disorders. The life course perspective (Elder et al. 1996) is changing how research is done and how questions are being asked. New directions in the field include (1) a focus on comorbidity and severity of illness and its social impact, (2) the need for a closer connection between epidemiology and research on mental health services and policy, (3) the press to develop better measures of stressor exposure, (4) demand for more sophisticated measures and analyses of social resources, and (5) and the challenge of biological research on the stress process to the sociological study of mental health.

    A. Comorbidity

    The study of comorbidity of mental disorders in people has transformed some aspects of the sociology of mental health. First, the documentation of comorbidity has influenced sociologists in the field to accept that mental illness is an objective reality. Second, it has become clear that those who are comorbid for multiple disorders are severely disabled in many important life roles. Their progress through life resembles the life path of “social selection.” Third, the acceptance that mental disorders are real physical entities, and the evidence for comorbidity are challenges to the environmental perspective on mental disorders. It is likely that those who have mental disorders attract or create stressor exposure (Eaton 2001). Thus, one major direction for sociological research in the future might be an emphasis on mental disorders as predictors, rather than outcomes, of social functioning and processes.

    B. Mental Health Services and Policy

    When reviewing the state of the sociology of mental health, Horwitz and Scheid (1999) observed that research on the social contexts of mental disorder and research on mental health services do not intersect all that much. They believed that this is because the two fields of research operate on different levels of analysis, one at the individual level and the other at the social or institutional level. A challenge for future research is to connect these two levels of analysis. Research on the social epidemiology of mental health and illness can inform organizations at all levels about the costs of untreated mental disorders to organizations and society in general.

    C. Better Measures of Stress Exposure

    As Wheaton (1999) observed, the social stress model requires considerable new development. This research paper has pointed out a number of methodological difficulties in measuring stressor exposure and the lack of fit between the most widely used measures of stressor exposure and the newly emerging life course perspective. Another advance would come through more detailed studies of how stressors are distributed in the population at large. Does the uneven distribution of stressors in the population “explain” the negative mental health outcomes for some groups? More research is needed in this area, ideally from the life course perspective, using longitudinal samples.

    D. Better Measures of Social Resources

    There is also a need for more research on the social distribution of resources that mitigate the impact of environmental challenges and stresses. Reviews of research on social support and social integration (e.g., Berkman and Glass 2000; Cohen et al. 2000; Pillemer et al. 2000) point out deficiencies in current measures of these resources. Do minority groups gain extra protection by asserting their identity and uniqueness? What is the social distribution of protective social resources? Do differences in distribution explain group differences in mental health?

    E. The Biological Perspective on Mental Disorders

    The sociology of mental health is faced with a new challenge from the field of neuroscience. This research tends to be favored by federal funding agencies because of beliefs that neuroscience can lead to the discovery of new cures or therapeutic approaches to mental disorders. Neuroscience and its measurement equipment such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and cortisol sampling have the cachet of basic or “bench” science, while the observational and epidemiological approach of sociology is being portrayed as lower-quality science. However, the rise of neuroscience in research on mental disorders does not necessarily mean that social causes are irrelevant. The power of the new neuroscience of mental disorders is that it assumes there is an interaction between social factors and biological processes (McEwen 2002).

    Yet there are serious impediments to the integration of sociological and biological research. One formidable impediment in sociology is the assumption that the biological perspective would reduce the entire stress process to individual differences in physical response, thus making environmental causation moot. Another impediment is that sociologists do not yet fully appreciate how much the biological approach to stress already incorporates measures of social context and stressors in studying adjustment to stressful events and situations (Singer and Ryff 1999). Sociologists (e.g., Pearlin et al. 1981) have long pointed out that the process of adjusting to stressors is a critical component of sociological and social psychological theories of the stress process (Thoits 1995). Thus, another challenge to sociologists of mental health is to incorporate techniques and measures that will powerfully represent the social context in multidisciplinary studies of mental health and mental disorders.

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    15 Best MBA in Finance for 2017

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    Online MBA in Finance
    The Power of a Finance MBA, the Flexibility of Online Learning

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    CONTENT NAVIGATION

    • National Median Annual Salary  Job Growth For Finance
    • Milestone Map for the Financial Specialist
    • Finance MBA: The Online Experience
    • Types of Online MBA Finance Programs
    • Common Finance Courses in an Online MBA
    • Choosing the Right Business School
    • Finance B-School Accreditation
    • Making a Game Plan for Finance B-School
    • Career Outcomes for Online Finance MBAs
    • Certifications and Licensure for MBA Finance Grads
    • Similar Online MBA Programs
    • Additional Resources

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    Finance can be a rewarding career field, particularly for those who step up to an MBA education. According to PayScale , professionals with an MBA in finance boast high job satisfaction and a 93 percent increase between their starting and mid-career salaries. For some, it may be hard to choose between keeping their current job and going to school for the chance to earn more. An online MBA in finance may be the perfect solution. Read on to learn about online program options, planning for business school, and more.

    National Median Annual Salary  Job Growth For Finance

    The bureau of labor statistics provides the following data about job growth in the Finance industry. As well as the following national median salary data for several different careers in the field of Finance.

    CareerNational Job Growth (2014-2024)National Median Annual Salary (May 2014)
    Financial Manager7%$115,320
    Broker10%$72,070
    Financial Analyst12%$78,260
    Personal Financial Advisor30%$81,060
    Chief Financial Officer-1%$173,320

    Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Note: Chief Financial Officer data represents all Chief Executives and Broker data represents all Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents.

    Milestone Map for the Financial Specialist

    Earning an MBA can be a major achievement in the life of a finance professional – but there are many others. Below is a map that highlights key milestones a Finance MBA might accomplish along the way.

    High school

    Took economics as an elective, was class treasurer

    Bachelor’s degree

    Majored in finance, minored in

    psychology

    Entry-level job

    Crunched numbers as an accountant for an environmental nonprofit



    MBA

    Completed online MBA in finance

    Promotion

    Earned position as finance manager at a wealth management firm

    Promotion

    Became the firm’s Chief Financial Officer


    Finance MBA: The Online Experience

    Online education’s flexibility allows many students to get an MBA without having to sacrifice their jobs or personal lives. Online finance MBA programs often have the same curriculum as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, so students shouldn’t worry that they are trading quality for convenience.

    Students enrolled in online finance MBAs do most of their coursework through web-based learning platforms. This may make finance students who understand the importance of networking nervous, but online programs are designed to give students the full benefits of an MBA education. Live discussions, simulations and projects allow MBA finance students to interact and build relationships with their peers and educators, while asynchronous formats, like discussion forums, let students log into class at their convenience to complete assignments and discuss course materials with classmates.

    Further, some online MBA finance programs require short-term, on-campus residencies. Students can network extensively while getting an introduction to the MBA program, engaging in group projects and taking a few intensive for-credit courses. Connections keep growing through strong social network communities and student organizations.

    Types of Online MBA Finance Programs

    Business schools often offer different types of online MBA programs to fit the various needs and lifestyles of their students. The right program may depend on an individual’s work experience, career goals or available free time, so knowing which type of program to choose can ensure prospective students are successful in earning their finance MBA. Common online program options include executive, part-time and full-time MBAs.

    • Executive (2 years or less)
    • Full-time (2 years)
    • Part-time (4-5 years)

    Aspiring business leaders who have steady careers don’t necessarily want to put their job on hold for two years and risk losing their position to go to school. However, specializing in finance could push them further up the ladder and increase their income. Prospective students in this polarizing position are ideal candidates for an executive online MBA. Executive MBAs are designed to be flexible for mid-career students, but the online factor makes getting an MBA even more convenient. Many professionals travel frequently as part of their jobs, so getting an executive MBA at a traditional, on-campus institution isn’t really an option.

    Students enrolled in online EMBA programs are expected to have substantial professional experience and want to challenge themselves. Their work experience often becomes part of the curriculum, as students share their expertise with one another. EMBAs are typically intensive programs for those who want an increased, in-depth knowledge of business fundamentals, but students can specialize in finance by taking relevant electives.

    People wanting to switch careers or students who have just earned their bachelor’s degree and want to jump straight into their MBA in finance are well-suited for full-time online study. While those who choose a full-time MBA program will likely have to give up a significant amount of work time, full-time programs often set students up with finance-related internships as part of their curriculum. These internships serve as great opportunities for students to gain practical finance experience and make connections with potential employers.

    A part-time online MBA program is ideal for those who already have some work experience and likely want to stay with their company but are still fairly early in their careers. The flexible nature of a part-time online program allows students to continue working while taking classes when it’s convenient. Students also get the opportunity to use their new finance knowledge at work, potentially showing employers that they’re qualified for a higher position in the company. Since it is typically stretched out over four to five years, a part-time online MBA program may not be as intensive or quick-paced as an EMBA or full-time MBA program. However, those who choose to get their MBA in finance through a part-time program should keep in mind that self-motivated students with good time management skills have the most success completing their MBA program while balancing work and personal life.

    Common Finance Courses in an Online MBA

    Finance courses in MBA programs may be represented in the core MBA curriculum or as electives within a finance specialization track. Commonly found courses include:

    Financial Management

    Financial management courses cover the basics of finance as they pertain to management of companies. Students may learn finance theory and how to use spreadsheets to create financial plans.

    Managerial Accounting

    Financial reporting course directed toward those interested in management positions. Focuses on topics such as costing for quality, product costing and cost justifications.

    Financial Risk Management

    Financial risk management courses teach students to use technologies and data to assess and manage various types of financial risks. Students should be prepared to use new software and technology for this course.

    International Financial Management

    International financial management courses introduce students to the study of world financial markets, including the various opportunities and risks that come with investing across national borders. Students may learn about international investment diversification, exchange rates and international capital budgeting.

    Quantitative Methods/Analysis

    Quantitative methods courses build on students’ prior mathematical and statistical modeling skills to aid in decision-making, simulation models and forecasting.

    Choosing the Right Business School

    With so many online MBA programs out there, picking the right business school can be daunting. Here are some things to consider when choosing an online business school:

    • Make sure your school offers the type of program that suits your lifestyle and career goals at a time that works for you.
    • Find out about enrollment requirements, like GPA, work experience or GMAT scores, and make sure you meet them.
    • Is the school accredited? By which organizations?
    • Visit target schools or speak with current students in the program and/or admissions representatives.
    • Visit the schools on your list and talk to current students in the program as well as admissions representatives.
    • Find out what support services are available to online students.
    • Check financial aid options of the program and school.
    • Ensure tuition costs are realistic.

    Finance B-School Accreditation

    Before deciding on an online finance school, it’s important for students to check its accreditation status. Accreditation is an optional, extensive process that evaluates an institution’s or program’s qualifications. Many employers are skeptical of unaccredited institutions and may be less likely to hire finance MBAs who graduate from them. The most prestigious online MBA finance programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). For more details on MBA accreditation, see our main MBA page .

    Making a Game Plan for Finance B-School

    One way students can ensure they are ready for their online MBA in finance is by keeping track of the tasks they need to complete before their MBA program begins. Keeping a timeline or calendar of important dates can help prospective students make sure they feel prepared and don’t miss crucial deadlines. The chart below is an example of how that schedule might look.

    Time Before Program Start Date

    Step 1

    Earn bachelor’s degree

    2 years, 3 months

    Step 2

    Get entry-level finance job

    2 years

    Step 3

    Take GMAT, if necessary

    13 months

    Step 4

    Apply to desired online finance MBA program(s)

    11 months for Round One admissions

    8 months for Round Two admissions

    Step 5

    Complete FAFSA® , apply for and secure financial aid like grants, loans and scholarships

    9 months

    That said, students can begin preparing for an online MBA in finance even before their undergraduate program and can continue preparing throughout their career. Taking classes or participating in activities relevant to finance may give applicants an extra edge when applying to business schools.

    • Get comfortable with Excel. Creating spreadsheets is vital for finance students.
    • Take a business psychology course. Understanding client concerns can be extremely helpful in building and maintaining client relationships as a finance professional.
    • Consider joining a professional organization, like the Association for Financial Professionals or the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors . There are many financial organizations out there, so find one that’s right for you.
    • Consider a job in banking to help build relevant professional experience.

    Career Outcomes for Online Finance MBAs

    An online MBA in finance can help professionals start or further their careers. The following are just a few career options MBA graduates may be interested in pursuing. All of them only require a bachelor’s degree, but according the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these upper-level careers can be highly competitive, and those with advanced credentials are more likely to get them.

    Financial Manager

    Financial managers keep track of a company’s finances, analyze data and give advice on maximizing profits. People can choose to become specific types of finance managers, which requires more specific knowledge of certain areas, like credit, risks and insurance. Financial managers can also advance to become Chief Financial Officers. A bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience in a related field are usually required to become a finance manager. Financial managers may opt to get additional certification as well.

    Broker

    Brokers help their clients make investments based on client needs and how much they are able to invest. Brokers not only advise their clients on their current investments, but on future ones as well. They perform quick financial analysis and are constantly up-to-date on the stock market. Since brokers usually have to build and maintain their client base, they must be personable and have strong communication skills.

    Financial Analyst

    Financial analysts assess investment opportunities for their companies. They can either be buy-side analysts or sell-side analysts. Buy-side financial analysts help companies with a high amount of money create investment strategies, whereas sell-side analysts give advice to agents who sell stocks and bonds. Many financial analysts must be licensed. Optional certification is available as well.

    Personal Financial Advisor

    Personal financial advisors help individuals with their finances by assessing their needs and helping them make informed decisions about investments, insurance and laws. Some personal financial advisors specialize in one area, such as retirement planning or risk management. Starting positions usually require a bachelor’s degree, but getting a master’s increases a person’s chance of attracting new clients and earning a higher position. Additionally, personal financial advisors do need certain certifications to practice.

    Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

    Chief financial officers provide leadership and guidance to various departments in their companies. They are in charge of overseeing financial operations and making sure accounting and finance departments are working efficiently and are in compliance with the law and IRS guidelines.

    Certifications and Licensure for MBA Finance Grads

    Some finance jobs have optional certifications that can help professionals advance in their careers. Others require specific credentials.

    Financial Advising

    • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Certification

      This is an optional certification offered to financial managers and financial analysts through the CFA Institute. Those who wish to gain this credential need at least four years of relevant work experience and must pass three exams.

    • Certified Treasury Professional Credential

      This is another optional certification available to financial advisors. It’s offered through the Association for Financial Professionals. It requires one exam and two years of relevant work experience.

    • Financial Analyst Licensure

      Financial analysts must be licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. This is usually sponsored by employers, so employees don’t need to be licensed before getting hired.

    Financial Planning

    • Personal Financial Advisor Licensure

      Depending on the investments and services they sell, personal financial advisors need to get various combinations of licensure to cover these. Those who choose to sell insurance need to be licensed by state boards.

    • Certified Financial Planner Certification

      This is an optional credential for personal financial advisors offered through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Those who want the credential need a bachelor’s degree and three years of relevant work experience. They also need to pass an exam and adhere to a code of ethics.

    Similar Online MBA Programs

    After reading through this guide, prospective students may wonder in an MBA in finance is right for them. If it sounds interesting but not quite right, check out some similar MBA programs.

    Online MBA
    in Accounting

    Students who are more drawn to the number-crunching aspect of finance should consider getting an MBA in accounting. These programs may focus on financial reporting, taxation and auditing.

    Online MBA
    in Marketing

    Students may decide that they prefer creating, promoting and selling a company’s or product’s image. These students might consider an MBA in marketing.

    Online MBA
    in International Business

    Those who are more interested in global issues and worldwide business relations could be well-suited for an MBA in international business. Often these programs allow students to study abroad.

    Additional Resources

    • Association for Financial Professionals
    • Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance
    • American Finance Association
    • American Bankers Association
    • National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors

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    Best MBA in Finance Degrees
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    Looking for a reliable investment? A background in business administration won’t sour! Check out the 15 Best MBA in Finance degrees today!

    Best MBA in Finance Degrees

    Earning a Master’s of Business Administration is considered to be one of the business world’s highest academic achievements. An MBA is an internationally recognized degree and provides graduates with the critical knowledge and hands-on experience necessary for dealing with the issues of tomorrow. Now, students can earn an MBA with a variety of specific concentrations as well, like marketing and finance.

    What kind of MBA degree should you get?

    With a plethora of business programs out there, it can be difficult to figure out what kind of degree you should get–should you attend online? Or on-campus? Would a one-year or two-year program be best? Should you choose a concentration? Now that you’ve made the decision to earn an MBA, plenty of other decisions will follow. Luckily, we’re here to help!

    If you’re considering taking the dive into earning an MBA, have a look at College Choice’s top online MBA programs . For those already working and looking for a bit more flexibility in earning an advanced degree, an online MBA program is a great idea. If on-campus is more your style, continue on for our ranking of the 15 Best MBA’s in Finance.

    How much money do people make with an MBA in Finance?

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , Financial Managers with a Master of Business Administration can make upwards of $120,000 a year. As you’ll see in the below ranking, many MBA graduates can earn even more–not to mention the impressive sign-on bonuses many companies hand out!

    Of course, salaries will vary depending on your specific career track and if you have a noted area of specialty. Popular companies that hire MBA graduates with a specialization in finance include Amazon, Citi, and Bank of America.

    What can you do with an MBA in Finance?

    More like what can’t you do with an MBA in Finance? Business professionals can enjoy a variety of different careers. An MBA with a specialization in Finance not only provides graduates with the core foundation of business administration, it provides them with highly sought after financial skills.

    An MBA in Finance will give you a leg up for employment in corporate finance, commercial banking, investment banking, financial planning, and much more. High-paying professions include: Chief Financial Officer, Investment Banker, and VP of Corporate Finance. With more companies going global, the demand for those with MBAs in Finance will only increase.

    What are the best MBA in Finance degrees?

    There are so many MBA degrees out there– and, now, more and more are offering specializations in Finance. So, how do you choose the best program? If you’re looking to earn an advanced degree that will open endless doors, these 15 MBAs in Finance will serve you well.

    From MIT and Harvard, to NYU and Cornell, the opportunities at these prestigious schools are endless. The hallmark of these programs is the emphasis on global learning, innovation, and the ultimate desire for students to change the world for the better.

    1

    Stanford University

    College Choice Score: 100

    Average Net Price: $16,695

    School Website

    Stanford University Stanford University Stanford University Stanford University

    Overview

    Stanford University is one of the largest campuses in the United States. Based in sunny Stanford, CA, this private university is a leading research institution. Looking for an MBA in Finance? Join these elite Stanford Business School graduates: Charles Schwab, Phil Knight, and Penny Pritzker.

    Program Features

    Graduates of Stanford’s MBA program are leaders, innovators, and builders. Stanford allows students to personalize their curriculum to suit their specific interests. If you’re interested in specializing in Finance, your courses may include:

    • Financial Accounting
    • Entrepreneurial Finance
    • Strategy Beyond Markets
    • Finance of Retirement and Pensions

    A business education from Stanford is timeless; professors are experienced and prepare students for the toughest economic and social challenges they may face. Students will also get to draw on resources from all of Stanford University’s other schools. From law and medicine, to education and sciences, MBA students can pursue a variety of dual or joint degrees.

    Notables

    Stanford MBA graduates have incredible job prospects and can earn sizable salaries. In fact, mean and median base salaries both surpassed record highs for the MBA Class of 2016. The average? A whopping $140,553 . . . not too bad, right? Technology and finance were the leading industry employers for the Class of 2016.

    2

    Columbia University in the City of New York

    College Choice Score: 99.91

    Average Net Price: $22,973

    School Website

    Columbia University Columbia University Columbia University Columbia University

    Overview

    This private Ivy League is located on the Upper West Side of the most populated city in America: New York. Established in 1754, Columbia University was ranked #5 for National Universities in the 2017 edition of Best Colleges. Known for its incredible business school, Columbia’s Finance Division offers many interesting electives.

    Program Features

    MBA students at Columbia can choose from a variety of different specific tracks. If you’re interested in Finance, here are some courses you may be able to take:

    • Asset Management
    • Real Estate Finance
    • Applied Value Investing

    Columbia’s full-time MBA Program is designed to be completed in two years. The curriculum consists of 18 credits of required core coursework, and a minimum of 42 credits of elective courses. Requirements may differ a bit if you decide to pursue a dual degree program.

    Notables

    Columbia is home to several noteworthy MBA graduates. From Warren Buffett to Henry Kravis, graduates will be in good company. Not to mention the career advantages graduates will have– the Top 10 Employers for the Class of 2016 included Deloitte, Morgan Stanley, and Citi. And the median base salary for 2016 graduates wasn’t too bad either (think: $125,000). The Big Apple just got even sweeter for these grads!

    3

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    College Choice Score: 98.13

    Average Net Price: $21,576

    School Website

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Overview

    This private university based in Cambridge is world-renowned for its cutting-edge science and technology programs. The soul of MIT is research and graduates continue to thrive. In fact, to date, 87 Nobel Prize Laureates have graduated from MIT. While the Institute may be known for science and tech, it also boasts a stellar MBA in Finance Degree.

    Program Features

    Students can pursue an MBA in Finance through the MIT Sloan School of Management. The finance track is intended for both experienced finance professionals and those seeking a career change. Required courses include:

    • Finance Theory
    • Corporate Finance
    • Managerial Finance

    Graduate students will also have to take what is called an “Action Learning” course. Students will gain real-world experience as they work to solve a current business problem, typically with an external client.

    Notables

    MIT Sloan’s finance faculty is distinguished for its groundbreaking research. Students and faculty can collaborate in research efforts through the school’s Finance Research Centers. From the MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering to the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy, graduates can dive in and take their studies outside of the classroom.

    4

    Harvard University

    College Choice Score: 95.51

    Average Net Price: $16,205

    School Website

    harvard university 1 harvard university 1 harvard university 1 harvard university 1

    Overview

    Perhaps the most well-known university in the world, Harvard is the United States’ oldest institution of higher learning. This prestigious Ivy League boasts many honors, including: 47 Nobel Laureates, 32 heads of state and 48 Pulitzer Prize winners. For those looking for a challenging, yet rewarding, MBA in Finance program, look no further than Harvard’s Business School.

    Program Features

    The MBA at Harvard takes full-time students two years to complete. All students take the same courses of study during their first year. It is during their second year that students may choose a specific track to pursue. Those interested in finance can choose from a variety of electives, including:

    • Corporate Financial Operations
    • Entrepreneurial Finance
    • Investing in Emerging Markets
    • Real Estate Private Equity

    All students will also participate in FIELD Foundations which are workshops held in classrooms called “hives.” Students will discover new ways to think, act, and see themselves, ultimately preparing them for the business world.

    Notables

    Every HBS student is assigned to a specific “section.” Each section is made up of approximately 90 students; these students will complete the required curriculum together. Section mates share classes, classroom facilities, and they have their own dedicated faculty. The experience fosters team-building as well as long-lasting friendships.

    5

    New York University

    College Choice Score: 92.19

    Average Net Price: $35,147

    School Website

    New York University New York University New York University New York University

    Overview

    NYU is a private research university based in New York City. The Leonard N. Stern School of Business at NYU offers a rigorous MBA program with a special finance track for those interested. Stern’s MBA in Finance was recently ranked #3 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Graduates will join the ranks of famous alumni including Kenneth Langone and Tom Freston.

    Program Features

    Stern’s Finance department is one of the best and students will enjoy a variety of challenging courses. Sample courses include:

    • International Sales/Emerging Markets
    • Equity and Fixed Income Research
    • Real Estate Finance
    • Asset Management

    The MBA program at Stern is founded on the principle of flexibility. Students can select up to three specializations and choose from over 200 electives. Graduates can also participate in a number of industry immersion and fellowship programs. Full-time MBA students are expected to complete their degree in two years.

    Notables

    Graduates of Stern’s MBA program in 2016 enjoyed an average base salary of over $120,000. The top five employers for the Class of 2016 were: Deloitte Consulting, Citi, Amazon, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Goldman, Sachs & Co.

    6

    University of Chicago

    College Choice Score: 91.71

    Average Net Price: $31,068

    School Website

    University of Chicago University of Chicago University of Chicago University of Chicago

    Overview

    Established in 1890, the University of Chicago is currently ranked third (tied with Yale) among National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. With over 9,000 graduate students, the school produces innovative leaders of tomorrow. The school’s Booth School of Business is among the best and offers a full-time MBA with a special finance track.

    Program Features

    Students of Chicago’s Booth School Finance track will learn both corporate finance and investments. The full-time MBA program consists of 20 classes, plus Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD). With a variety of courses available, samples include:

    • Portfolio Management
    • Financial Markets and Institutions
    • Advanced Investments
    • Financial Instruments

    And these courses are taught by elite professors–they’ve sat on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, and even advised the president and heads of state on all things finance.

    Notables

    University of Chicago MBA students will thrive given the plethora of hands-on learning experiences. From the Clean Tech Lab to the New Venture and Small Enterprise Lab, students can work with real companies to make serious impacts. Graduates of Booth will solve the problems of tomorrow.

    7

    Dartmouth College

    College Choice Score: 91.59

    Average Net Price: $21,177

    School Website

    Dartmouth College Dartmouth College Dartmouth College Dartmouth College

    Overview

    Dartmouth is a private research university and one of 8 prestigious Ivy League schools. Located in Hanover, New Hampshire,Dartmouth is one of just nine universities founded in the United States prior to the American Revolution. The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth is ranked the 8th Best Business School by U.S. News & World Report.

    Program Features

    Tuck’s MBA program is both comprehensive and challenging. All students will participate in The Tuck First-Year Project. Students have worked with clients including PayPal, Under Armour, and Wayfair. If you’re particularly interested in the financial side of business, you may take these classes:

    • Advanced Corporate Finance and Governance
    • Field Studies in Private Equity
    • Structuring Mergers and Acquisitions
    • Venture Capital and Private Equity

    Looking to take things global? TuckGO is an OnSite Global Consulting elective offered to second-year MBA students. Students have completed over 200 projects for 145 clients in 50+ countries.

    Notables

    Tuck graduates are highly sought after. In fact, the top hiring companies for full-time positions for the Class of 2016 included: McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, and Amazon. And for those looking to pursue a finance track, your salary prospects look good. The average base salary for graduates working in finance was over $125,000 in 2016.

    8

    University of Pennsylvania

    College Choice Score: 89.75

    Average Net Price: $22,944

    School Website

    University of Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania

    Overview

    Located in Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League university. The university’s Wharton School of Business is consistently ranked the top business school in the nation, and with good reason. Both Penn faculty and students are passionate about positively impacting the planet through their innovative research efforts and business plans.

    Program Features

    Wharton’s finance track provides students with the tools required to master practical issues in the financial sector. While the MBA core curriculum offers many finance courses, students can additionally take:

    • International Financial Markets
    • Advanced Corporate Finance
    • Urban Fiscal Policy
    • Finance of Buyouts & Acquisitions

    Students can also choose to participate in an independent study. ISP projects are challenging and applications must be approved by the Finance Department.

    Notables

    Wharton students should prepare for an intense, yet rewarding ride in earning their MBA. In fact, the median base salary for Class of 2016 graduates was $125,000. And the highest sign-on bonus reported? A whopping $175,000. Those numbers make even the most rigorous of classes and assignments seem worth it.

    9

    Northwestern University

    College Choice Score: 86.76

    Average Net Price: $29,326

    School Website

    Northwestern University Northwestern University Northwestern University Northwestern University

    Overview

    Founded in 1851, Northwestern is a leading university located in Evanston, Illinois. Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business is ranked #4 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. With elite faculty members including Guggenheim Fellows and MacArthur Fellowship Recipients, students are sure to learn from the best.

    Program Features

    Kellogg offers a few different MBA options. There’s a more accelerated one-year program and a more immersive two-year program. Either track allows students to choose from one of seven majors (or none at all). Those who opt for a major in Finance can expect to take to focus on one of two areas of study:

    • Corporate Finance
    • Capital Markets

    In addition to majors, students can also choose from one of seven pathways. While these pathways aren’t noted on transcripts, they offer students a chance to build expertise in a certain area. One such pathway is available in Venture Capital and Private Equity.

    Notables

    Graduates of Kellogg have a balanced skill set and a vision for change and innovation. Companies that hired graduates from the Class of 2016 included: Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Nike. Thirty-three percent of job acceptances were in the consulting sector, while twenty-two percent were in technology.

    10

    University of California-Berkeley

    College Choice Score: 85.50

    Average Net Price: $17,160

    School Website

    University of California Berkeley University of California Berkeley University of California Berkeley University of California Berkeley

    Overview

    This public research university has been ranked the #1 Public University in the United States. Overlooking the San Francisco Bay, UC Berkeley has 14 schools and colleges – many of which earn top rankings year after year. One of the most noteworthy is UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranked Haas the 7th Best Business School in the nation.

    Program Features

    Full-time MBA students at Haas have the option of focusing their studies on finance. The finance curriculum starts with an Intro to Finance course, and then spans three streams:

    • Corporate Finance
    • Asset Management
    • Entrepreneurial Finance

    Students can also take courses within the school’s Master of Financial Engineering program. The MBA program at Haas prides itself on its innovative approach to business and leadership studies. All students, no matter their area of emphasis, will take a required applied innovation course. Applied innovation programs include Hedge Fund Strategies and Real Estate Investment Analysis.

    Notables

    Haas graduates leave Berkeley with a solid understanding of best practices for changing the technological, global, and human dimensions of business. Alumni now enjoy challenging and fulfilling careers. One is a Senior Strategy Lead at Google, another is a Project Leader at Boston Consulting Group.

    11

    University of California-Los Angeles

    College Choice Score: 80.22

    Average Net Price: $19,950

    School Website

    University of California Los Angele University of California Los Angele University of California Los Angele University of California Los Angele

    Overview

    UCLA is a public research university in the second largest city in the United States: Los Angeles. With nearly 150 graduate degree programs, UCLA is a hub for research and innovation. The UCLA Anderson School of Management is currently ranked the 15th best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

    Program Features

    What makes the UCLA MBA unique? While the first year is made up of a nine-course core curriculum, the second year allows students to really customize their specializations. Anderson offers nine career paths within the MBA, including Finance. Sample electives include:

    • International Political Economy
    • Venture Capital and Private Equity
    • Takeovers, Restructuring, Governance
    • Business and Economy in Emerging Markets

    All students will also have to complete a capstone project. There are a variety of programs in which graduates can fulfill this capstone requirement. From a Business Creation Option to a Student Investment Fund where students will manage a $2 million fund, these hands-on opportunities are integral to success.

    Notables

    UCLA Anderson MBA students in finance have landed roles at prestigious organizations. From Citi and Wells Fargo, to Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley, the options are practically endless for Anderson graduates. In fact, among the top 20 business schools, UCLA Anderson was voted #1 by The Economist for career services.

    12

    University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

    College Choice Score: 78.55

    Average Net Price: $14,236

    School Website

    UniversityofMichiganAnnArbor UniversityofMichiganAnnArbor UniversityofMichiganAnnArbor UniversityofMichiganAnnArbor

    Overview

    The University of Michigan is a public university that offers over 250 degree programs. With students from all 50 states and over 125 countries, the University of Michigan boasts an impressive network of alumni. Thinking of earning an MBA in Finance? Michigan’s Ross School of Business is among the top in the country. In fact, U.S. News’ ranking has it at #11 for 2017.

    Program Features

    The Michigan Ross MBA is a full-time, two-year program that includes a challenging, globally oriented curriculum. While students in their first year will complete core courses, second-year students can completely customize their schedules to fit their career goals. Interested in finance? You may take the following courses:

    • Corporate Strategy
    • Applied Business Statistics
    • Financial Analysis

    Interested in some hands-on experience? Ross is the perfect place for that. Students can participate in managing one of the school’s four Ross student funds: Maize and Blue Fund, Social Venture Fund, Wolverine Venture Fund, or the Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund. Students need not have any experience in finance prior to attending Ross; just a passion and determination to succeed.

    Notables

    If you’re currently in an unrelated field but have always wanted to pursue an MBA, Ross may be the perfect fit for you. In fact, 88% of Ross graduates are career switchers. Graduates of Ross enjoy ample salaries as well. Graduates who accepted careers in the Financial Services sector received, on average, more than $115,000 a year. And over 90% of those grads enjoyed a sizable signing bonus.

    13

    Cornell University

    College Choice Score: 76.53

    Average Net Price: $16,107

    School Website

    Cornell University Cornell University Cornell University Cornell University

    Overview

    Ithaca, New York, is where you’ll find this prestigious Ivy League university. Cornell continues to attract students from every state and more than 120 countries. With 45 affiliated Nobel laureates, Cornell is continually ranked as one of best universities in the world. Interested in earning an MBA in Finance? The SC Johnson School of Business is one of the best in the nation.

    Program Features

    MBA students can opt to take a one-year or two-year program at Cornell. The one-year program is geared towards those who may already have an advanced degree. The two-year program spans 21 months and students can choose up to two concentrations. For those interested in finance, some concentrations include:

    • Corporate Finance
    • Financial Investing
    • Financial Analysis

    All two-year MBA students must choose an immersion learning experience. The Corporate Finance Immersion helps students develop a skill set that focuses on financial analysis, valuation, modeling, and strategic planning. With site visits and a weekly practicum, students will learn how to tackle the most complex issues facing financial leaders today.

    Notables

    The 2016 two-year MBA Employment Report for Cornell’s SC Johnson School of Business is quite impressive. Ninety-four percent of students had job offers within three months of graduating. The average salary for these grads? A cool $121,228. Top employers included Amazon, Bank of America, and Ernst & Young.

    14

    University of Virginia-Main Campus

    College Choice Score: 74.12

    Average Net Price: $30,014

    School Website

    University of Virginia 1 University of Virginia 1 University of Virginia 1 University of Virginia 1

    Overview

    The University of Virginia is a public university that was founded in 1819. The university’s Darden School of Business is one of the best in the country. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranked it among the 15 best in the nation. For those looking for an MBA with a strong financial core, look no further than the University of Virginia.

    Program Features

    Students of Darden can choose from a variety of elective areas. If its finance that you’re interested in, there are plenty of courses to choose from. In fact, Darden faculty even created two finance concentrations to help second-year students develop more tailored course plans. These concentrations are:

    • Asset Management/Sales & Trading
    • Corporate Finance/Investment Banking

    Darden students with a passion for finance can also get involved outside of the classroom. From the Darden Finance Club, to the Darden Private Equity Club, students will quickly develop skills that will attract any employer.

    Notables

    The Darden School of Business is more than just a school in Virginia–it’s impact is global. In fact, the Darden School connects with over 80 countries each year! All students are expected to participate in a global experience whether it’s through a Global Immersion Course or by working on a Global Consulting Project. With this experience, Darden graduates are a hot commodity in the job market.

    15

    Duke University

    College Choice Score: 73.90

    Average Net Price: $15,945

    School Website

    Duke University Duke University Duke University Duke University

    Overview

    Duke University is famous for all sorts of things—the law school, the divinity school, and of course, the basketball team. But don’t let all this prestige distract you from the excellence of its MBA offerings. The Fuqua business school ranks near the top of the class for business nationwide, and you can rightfully expect to see its MBA in Finance on this list.

    Program Features

    With an MBA program that can pair with other Duke graduate programs in Medicine, Nursing, Forestry, and other fields, Duke is one of the masters of cross-displinary and specialized educational tracks. The Finance specialty in the MBA program is no different. Duke students interested in an MBA in Finance can choose from two concentrations:

    • Corporate Finance
    • Investments

    While pursuing an MBA in Finance, Duke students may also earn a Certificate in Finance, awarded to graduates who earn excellent grades in the requisite number of finance-related courses.

    Notables

    The Duke MBA program is structured to make education possible and efficient for busy working professionals. Terms are only six weeks long—but courses meet twice a week for two hours and 15 minutes each meeting. This means that each class meeting can attain breadth and depth, that students’ commute hours will be limited, and that you can complete your degree in as little time as possible.

    FINANCE

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    Degree Finder

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    Scholarship Interview Questions

    Tell Us Something About Yourself

     

    Applicant and interviewers in an interview at the collegeMembers of the scholarship committee have limited information about you prior to the interview. Sometimes they will know nothing at all, and rely on the information they can get while meeting you.

    When introducing yourself, you should not forget why you are there. You are there because you want to get a scholarship. Therefor, you should introduce yourself like someone who needs one, and wants one. What does it mean?

    • Do not talk about expensive hobbies, such as playing tennis, going to dancing classes, traveling around the country.
    • Do not talk about good jobs of your parents, or successful careers of your relatives (if they have them or not isn’t important, just do not talk about them).

    In fact, you should focus on two things in your answer:

    • Your dream to graduate from the college and have a good life one day
    • Your financial situation, one that is not good at the moment, and does not allow you to follow your dream (point one)

    Do not play with the emotions

    Some applicants become emotional in their scholarship interview. After all, it is not easy to talk about personal struggles, or bad financial situation, in front of unknown people. But I would suggest you to keep your composure and focus on facts, and on numbers. Just say you are an ordinary guy who would love to study and become useful for society one day, and follow with the hard facts, describing why you are unable to make it on your own…. No need for tears, at least not at this point :).

    After all, you can mention some hobbies you have, and something about your family, but it all must correlate with the fact that you need a financial support.

     

    Sample answers

    Guy dreaming with the globeMy name is Michaela, I am 19 years old, passionate about medicine, especially neurology. I consider it my personal calling to help to cure people with neurological diseases in my country. In my family, two people have this problem and that is the reason why I am close to this field. I spend my free time learning about the subject and I also try to do non-profit activity in the field, visiting patients with diseases in local hospital. However, I can not pursue my dream without help, because I have little money and my parents are laborers, who can not support my studies.

    I am John, I am from Green River. My family members make their living as farmers, we have big family and all of us have to work in the fields, as we can not afford to hire employees. It is tough…. I ‘d like to live there and help my parents, but at the same time, I dream about graduating and following my dreams. However, I am not able to make it on my own, and that is the reason why I am here, applying for the scholarship.

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    4 Standout College Application Essays on Work, Money and Class

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    Columbia University, which Zöe Sottile plans to attend this year.CreditUniversal Images Group, via Getty Images

    Each year, we issue an open casting call for high school seniors who have dared to address money, work or social class in their college application essays . From the large pile that arrived this spring, these four — about parents, small business, landscapes and the meaning a single object can convey — stood out. The fifth essay in our package appeared on The New York Times’s new Snapchat Discover, and you can view it at this link by pressing the arrow/play button.


    Blaine, Minn.

    Jonathan Ababiy

    Image

    Mr. Ababiy, a student at Blaine High School, plans to attend the University of Minnesota.CreditMatthew Hintz for The New York Times

    ‘The professors’ home was a telescope to how the other (more affluent) half lived’

    At age 6, I remember the light filled openness of the house, how the whir of my mother’s vacuum floated from room to room. At 9, I remember how I used to lounge on the couch and watch Disney cartoons on the sideways refrigerator of a TV implanted in a small cave in the wall. At 12, I remember family photographs of the Spanish countryside hanging in every room. At 14, I remember vacuuming each foot of carpet in the massive house and folding pastel shirts fresh out of the dryer.

    I loved the house. I loved the way the windows soaked the house with light, a sort of bleach against any gloom. I loved how I could always find a book or magazine on any flat surface.

    But the vacuum my mother used wasn’t ours. We never paid for cable. The photographs weren’t of my family. The carpet I vacuumed I only saw once a week, and the pastel shirts I folded I never wore. The house wasn’t mine. My mother was only the cleaning lady, and I helped.

    My mother and father had come as refugees almost twenty years ago from the country of Moldova. My mother worked numerous odd jobs, but once I was born she decided she needed to do something different. She put an ad in the paper advertising house cleaning, and a couple, both professors, answered. They became her first client, and their house became the bedrock of our sustenance. Economic recessions came and went, but my mother returned every Monday, Friday and occasional Sunday.

    She spends her days in teal latex gloves, guiding a blue Hoover vacuum over what seems like miles of carpet. All the mirrors she’s cleaned could probably stack up to be a minor Philip Johnson skyscraper. This isn’t new for her. The vacuums and the gloves might be, but the work isn’t. In Moldova, her family grew gherkins and tomatoes. She spent countless hours kneeling in the dirt, growing her vegetables with the care that professors advise their protégés, with kindness and proactivity. Today, the fruits of her labor have been replaced with the suction of her vacuum.

    The professors’ home was a telescope to how the other (more affluent) half lived. They were rarely ever home, so I saw their remnants: the lightly crinkled New York Times sprawled on the kitchen table, the overturned, half-opened books in their overflowing personal library, the TV consistently left on the National Geographic channel. I took these remnants as a celebrity-endorsed path to prosperity. I began to check out books from the school library and started reading the news religiously.

    Their home was a sanctuary for my dreams. It was there I, as a glasses-wearing computer nerd, read about a mythical place called Silicon Valley in Bloomberg Businessweek magazines. It was there, as a son of immigrants, that I read about a young senator named Barack Obama, the child of an immigrant, aspiring to be the president of the United States. The life that I saw through their home showed me that an immigrant could succeed in America, too. Work could be done with one’s hands and with one’s mind. It impressed on me a sort of social capital that I knew could be used in America. The professors left me the elements to their own success, and all my life I’ve been trying to make my own reaction.

    Ultimately, the suction of the vacuum is what sustains my family. The squeal of her vacuum reminds me why I have the opportunity to drive my squealing car to school. I am where I am today because my mom put an enormous amount of labor into the formula of the American Dream. It’s her blue Hoover vacuums that hold up the framework of my life. Someday, I hope my diploma can hold up the framework of hers.  


    TUCSON

    Caitlin McCormick

    Image

    Ms. McCormick, a student at the Gregory School, plans to attend Barnard College.CreditLaura Segall for The New York Times

    ‘Slowly, my mother’s gingham apron began to look more like metal armor.’

    When it comes to service workers, as a society we completely disregard the manners instilled in us as toddlers.

    For seventeen years, I have awoken to those workers, to clinking silverware rolled in cloth and porcelain plates removed from the oven in preparation for breakfast service. I memorized the geometry of place mats slid on metal trays, coffee cups turned downward, dirtied cloth napkins disposed on dining tables.

    I knew never to wear pajamas outside in the public courtyard, and years of shushing from my mother informed me not to speak loudly in front of a guest room window. I grew up in the swaddled cacophony of morning chatter between tourists, professors, and videographers. I grew up conditioned in excessive politeness, fitted for making small talk with strangers.

    I grew up in a bed and breakfast , in the sticky thickness of the hospitality industry. And for a very long time I hated it.

    I was late to my own fifth birthday party in the park because a guest arrived five hours late without apology. Following a weeklong stay in which someone specially requested her room be cleaned twice a day, not once did she leave a tip for housekeeping. Small-business scammers came for a stop at the inn several times. Guests stained sheets, clogged toilets, locked themselves out of their rooms, and then demanded a discount.

    There exists between service workers and their customers an inherent imbalance of power: We meet sneers with apologies. At the end of their meal, or stay, or drink, we let patrons determine how much effort their server put into their job.

    For most of my life I believed my parents were intense masochists for devoting their existences to the least thankful business I know: the very business that taught me how to discern imbalances of power. Soon I recognized this stem of injustice in all sorts of everyday interactions. I came to understand how latent racism, sexism, classism and ableism structure our society — how tipping was only a synonym for “microaggression.”

    I became passionate. Sometimes enraged. I stumbled upon nonprofits, foundations, and political campaigns. I canvassed for Senate candidates, phone-banked for grass-roots action groups, served as a board member for the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, reviewed grant applications for nonprofits and organized events for the nearby children’s hospital.

    I devoted my time to the raw grit of helping people, and in the process I fell irrevocably in love with a new type of service: public service. At the same time, I worked midnight Black Friday retail shifts and scraped vomit off linoleum. When I brought home my first W-2, I had never seen my parents so proud.

    The truth, I recently learned, was that not all service is created equal. Seeing guests scream at my parents over a late airport taxi still sickens me even as I spend hours a week as a volunteer. But I was taught all work is noble, especially the work we do for others. Slowly, my mother’s gingham apron began to look more like metal armor. I learned how to worship my parents’ gift for attentive listening, easily hearing the things guests were incapable of asking for — not sugar with their tea, but somebody to talk with while they waited for a conference call. I envied their ability to wear the role of self-assured host like a second skin, capable of tolerating any type of cruelty with a smile.

    Most of all, I admired my parents’ continuous trust in humanity to not abuse their help. I realized that learning to serve people looks a lot like learning to trust them.  


    Andover, mass.

    Zöe Sottile

    Image

    Ms. Sottile, a student at Phillips Academy, plans to attend Columbia University.CreditTony Luong for The New York Times

    ‘My Dell hid my privilege and my Mac hid my financial need’

    The most exciting part was the laptop.

    My mom grabbed the thick envelope out of my hands and read off the amenities associated with the Tang Scholarship to Phillips Academy: full tuition for all four years, a free summer trip, $20 a week for me to spend on all the Cheetos and nail polish my heart desired, and finally, a free laptop.

    I had never had a computer of my own before, and to me the prospect symbolized a world of new possibilities. I was the only student from my public middle school I knew to ever go to an elite boarding school, and it felt like being invited into a selective club. My first week at Andover, dazed by its glamour and newness, I fought my way to the financial aid office to pick up the laptop; I sent my mom a photo of me grinning and clutching the cardboard box. Back in my dorm room, I pulled out my prize, a heavy but functional Dell, and marveled at its sleek edges, its astonishing speed.

    But the love story of my laptop came clamoring to a halt. In the library, as I stumbled to negotiate a space to fit in, I watched my friends each pull out a MacBook. Each was paper-thin and seemingly weightless. And mine, heavy enough to hurt my back and constantly sighing like a tired dog, was distinctly out of place. My laptop, which I had thought was my ticket to the elite world of Andover, actually gave me away as the outsider I was.

    For a long time, this was the crux of my Andover experience: always an outsider. When I hung out with wealthier friends, I was disoriented by how different their lives were from mine. While they spent summers in Prague or Paris, I spent mine mining the constellation of thrift stores around New Haven. The gap between full-scholarship and full-pay felt insurmountable.

    But I also felt like an outsider going to meetings for the full-scholarship affinity group. My parents attended college and grew up wealthier than I did, giving me cultural capital many of my full-scholarship friends never had access to. Moreover, I’m white and could afford occasional concert tickets or sparkly earrings. The laptop, carried by all full-scholarship students and coded with hidden meanings, pivoted my friends’ understandings of me. At home, I grew up middle class, then became the privileged prep school girl. But at Andover, suddenly, I was poor. Trying to reconcile these conflicting identities, I realized how complex and mutable class is. My class is connected to my parents’ income, but it’s also rooted in cultural knowledge and objects that are charged with greater meaning.

    Which brings me back to the laptop: in the middle of my senior fall, my exhausted Dell broke and I couldn’t afford another. When I managed to borrow a slim Mac from my school, I felt the walls around me reorient. I hoped that now I wouldn’t have to think about the electric web of privilege and power every time I sent an email. Instead, I felt a new anxiety: I worried when I sat in the magnificent dining hall with my beautiful computer that I had lost an important part of my identity.

    When I started at Andover, these constant dueling tensions felt like a trap: like I would never be comfortable anywhere. (The school sensed it too, and all full-financial aid students now receive MacBooks.) But maybe it’s the opposite of a trap. Maybe I’m culturally ambidextrous, as comfortable introducing a speaker on the stage of Andover’s century-old chapel as getting my nose pierced in a tattoo parlor in New Haven. My hyperawareness of how my Dell hid my privilege and how my Mac hid my financial need pushed me to be aware of what complicated stories were hiding behind my classmates’ seemingly simple facades. I am a full-scholarship student who benefits from cultural, socioeconomic and racial privilege: my story isn’t easy, but it’s still mine.


    Flagstaff, Ariz.

    Tillena Trebon

    Image

    Ms. Trebon, a student at Northland Preparatory Academy, plans to attend the University of Oregon.CreditLaura Segall for The New York Times

    ‘On one side of me, nature is a hobby. On the other, it is a way of life.’

    I live on the edge.

    I live at the place where trees curl into bushes to escape the wind. My home is the slippery place between the suburbs and stone houses and hogans.

    I see the evolution of the telephone poles as I leave the reservation, having traveled with my mom for her work. The telephone poles on the reservation are crooked and tilted with wire clumsily strung between them. As I enter Flagstaff, my home, the poles begin to stand up straight. On one side of me, nature is a hobby. On the other, it is a way of life.

    I live between a suburban land of plenty and a rural land of scarcity, where endless skies and pallid grass merge with apartment complexes and outdoor malls.

    I balance on the edge of drought.

    In the summers, when the rain doesn’t come, my father’s truck kicks dust into the air. A layer of earthy powder settles over the wildflowers and the grass. The stale ground sparks ferocious wildfires. Smoke soars into the air like a flare from a boat lost at sea. Everyone prays for rain. We fear that each drop of water is the last. We fear an invasion of the desert that stretches around Phoenix. We fear a heat that shrivels the trees, turns them to cactuses.

    I exist at the epicenter of political discourse. Fierce liberalism swells against staunch conservatism in the hallways of my high school and on the streets of the downtown.

    When the air is warm, the shops and restaurants open their doors. Professionals in suits mingle with musicians and artists sporting dreadlocks and ripped jeans. Together, they lament the drought, marvel at the brevity of the ski season.

    I live on the edge of an urban and rural existence.

    At my mother’s house, we ride bikes down paved streets. We play catch with the neighbor kids. We wage war with water guns.

    At my father’s house, we haul water. We feed the horses and chickens. We chase the fox away from the chicken coop. We watch deer grazing, not ten yards away. We turn the soil in the garden. When the rain and the soil and the sun and the plants give birth to fruit, we eat it straight from the vines.

    Traditional Navajo weaving and prints of Picasso’s paintings adorn the walls of both homes.

    I straddle the innocence of my youth and the mystery of my adult life. That, too, is a precipice. I know I must leap into adulthood and leave the balancing act of Flagstaff life behind. Still, I belong at the place where opposites merge in a lumpy heap of beautiful contradictions. I crave the experiences only found at the edge. As I dive into adulthood, into college, I hope that I can find a new place that fosters diversity in all its forms, a new edge upon which I can learn to balance.  

    A version of this article appears in print on , on Page B 4 of the New York edition with the headline: Four Essayists Who Stand Out. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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