Eric Lamaze Scores 28th WEF Challenge Cup Career Victory

first_imgMore from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business. Horse Sport Enews Email* SIGN UP We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. Canada’s Eric Lamaze won the $35,000 CSI3* Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 on March 15, taking the top prize for the third time this season in the Thursday weekly feature at the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.Having scored back-to-back wins during weeks two and three riding Chacco Kid, Lamaze earned victory on Thursday, March 15, partnered with Chesney, owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms.Tied with three-time U.S. Olympic medalist McLain Ward for the most WEF Challenge Cup wins at 27 apiece before the event, Lamaze, also a three-time Olympic medalist, now sits alone at the top of the leaderboard with a total of 28 career victories to his credit.The course for the WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 was designed by Michel Vaillancourt, the only person other than Lamaze to win an individual Olympic medal for Canada. Vaillancourt won the individual silver at the 1976 Olympic Games, held in Lamaze’s birthplace of Montreal. Lamaze went on to win the individual gold in addition to team silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics riding Hickstead and claimed the individual bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with Fine Lady 5.A total of 84 entries attempted Vaillancourt’s track with nine jumping clear to qualify for the jump-off. Lamaze and Chesney flew around the shortened jump-off course in a time of 36.59 seconds to take the win over Amber Harte riding Austria 2, who stopped the clock at 37.07 for second place. New York’s Georgina Bloomberg finished third with a clear jump-off effort in a time of 37.50 riding Manodie II H. Canadians filled the next two spots with ten-time Olympian Ian Millar taking fourth riding Dixson and Jennifer Mattell producing the fastest four-fault effort in the jump-off for fifth place aboard Cherokee.While Lamaze has ridden various mounts to victory in the WEF Challenge Cup series, Thursday marked the first time that Chesney made the trip to the winner’s circle. Purchased from Germany’s Marcus Beerbaum, Lamaze took over Chesney’s reins during the 2017 season.“I’ve been riding him for about a year now and have basically tried to make a match with the horse,” explained Lamaze of the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Indoctro x Kannan). “With Rosana du Park’s retirement, Chesney couldn’t have joined my string at a better time. He was always ultra-careful, and he’s a horse that suits me. I love careful horses, and he sure is a catty one! We clicked during the Spruce Meadows Summer Series last year. I really started believing in him after that circuit, and then he jumped really well at the 1.45m and 1.50m level in Europe. I already saw that he was doing it nicely, and we called on him to do something a little more with the WEF class today. He was obviously ready for it!“It always works like that; you question whether you should even put them in the class, and then they end up doing it easily,” laughed Lamaze at the irony. “It was a great course, super-technical. When I walked it, I was thinking the course was a little easy when there were almost 90 starters, but Michel proved me wrong. It was Michel Vaillancourt at his best!”Lamaze will once again tackle a Vaillancourt-designed course in Saturday night’s $132,000 CSI3* Horseware Ireland Grand Prix. He will saddle up Coco Bongo, a 13-year-old Rheinlander gelding (Caretino x Calido) owned by Artisan Farms and his Torrey Pines Stable. In addition to winning a team gold medal for Canada at the 2015 Pan American Games, Lamaze and Coco Bongo jumped double clear to secure Canada’s victory in the $450,000 Longines Nations’ Cup at CSIO5* Ocala, Florida, on February 18.Lamaze then travels to Mexico City for the opening leg of the 2018 Global Champions Tour from March 22 to 25 where he will be a member of the Montreal Diamonds team in the Global Champions League. Then it’s back to Wellington, FL, for the final week of the Winter Equestrian Festival before heading to the beach for Global Champions Tour Miami from April 5 to 7. Tags: Eric Lamaze, WEF, Winter Equestrian Festival, Chesney, Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition!last_img read more

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Erynn Ballard Takes Third in Longines Grand Prix of New York

first_imgMcLain Ward (USA), hailing from Brewster, NY, thrilled a hometown crowd with a flawless triumph in the $382,800 Longines Grand Prix of New York during the final day of the highly-anticipated Longines Masters of New York on Sunday, April 29. Making its long-awaited debut in the heart of the Empire State as the American Grand Slam, the concept of the “Masters”, Founded and operated by Christophe Ameeuw and his team at EEM celebrated its 25th competition with, this year, an event in New York as part of Season III of the Longines Masters Series after events in Paris and Hong Kong earlier in the season.In front of an exhilarated crowd at NYCB LIVE, Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion and three-time U.S. Olympic medalist led a victory gallop that represented the world’s greatest show jumping talent. McLain Ward and Clinta, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare by Clinton x Lord Pezi, were the pair to beat in a star-studded jump-off over courses conceived by Dutch course designer Louis Konickx.The Longines Masters of New York saw top sport throughout four days of competition and Konickx’s tracks rose to the occasion each day. Stopping the short-course clock in a blistering 34.92 seconds, Ward commented on the course designing team, saying, “[Course design] is a real art and I thought it was fantastic for the inaugural event. You have a big crowd, an exciting jump-off, and the course was challenging but it allowed for a few clear rounds and great sport in the jump-off, which is great for the fans.“It’s always nice to win on your home soil in the U.S. and extra special in New York,” continued Ward. “I can remember years ago when I was a young kid, I won a grand prix at [Madison Square] Garden and that was very special because it was the home state and the home city. It was very special again today here.”Erynn Ballard (CAN) was poised to become only the second woman to ever win a Masters Grand Prix along with Pénélope Leprévost of France, who earned a Paris title in 2011, when she went clear from the first position in the order. Setting the pace again in the jump-off, Ballard sat in the lead on a time of 35.89 seconds riding Fantast, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Toulon x Rubens du Ri d’Asse owned by Sagamore Farms.“New York has always been good to me and I would say this is a career best for me from start to finish,” said Ballard after a banner week that also included a win in the $100,000 Longines Speed Challenge on Friday evening. “I had a big win in the Maclay Finals at Madison Square Garden [in 1998] and everyone was saying New York was my place. I think that’s true for this week. I was hoping for two top 10 finishes and I got three podium finishes. There’s not much more you can do than that.”Two-time Olympic silver medalist Peder Fredricson (SWE) was hungry for a win and gave a lesson in speed with Hansson WL, the 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Indra WL x Iowa owned by Måsel AB. He stopped the clock at 35.43 seconds to claim second and bump Ballard to third, but was no match for Ward.“It’s always difficult to beat McLain,” said Fredricson, who is the reigning Longines FEI European Champion. “He is always quick, but I was really happy with my round. My horse jumped fantastic. If I could have done something, maybe I could have turned tighter to the second to last [jump].“As a rider, it’s fantastic to ride here,” continued Fredricson on his time in New York. “You really feel the crowd and also in the prize giving, you get really good contact with the people in the audience. I really enjoyed my time here.”Rounding out the top placings, Olympic team gold medalist Kevin Staut (FRA) took fourth in 36.26 seconds riding Vendom d’Anchat HDC, while Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) was fifth aboard Cristalline in 38.35 seconds.Ward and his winning mount recently joined forces after he added the ride to his already stacked string, which is made up of five grey mares including Clinta along with his World Cup champion HH Azur.“It’s great to see her showing all that I thought she could be,” said Ward of the mare he owns with Sagamore Farms. “I saw her in Aachen last summer and fell in love with her, but it took me seven months to get her. She made a great effort today and it was my day.”A New York native, Ward was complimentary of the Longines Masters of New York and the efforts of its management to introduce unparalleled sport and entertainment to the American market, saying, “They’re really making this an entertainment spectacle, which is phenomenal. It’s something that’s been missing in promoting our sport; making it more exciting to a more diverse audience.”McLain Ward is now the new contender for the Grand Slam Bonus of €1,000,000 for winning three Longines Grand Prix consecutively in New York (Season III), Paris (Season IV), and Hong Kong (Season IV).Christophe Ameeuw, CEO of EEM and Founder of the Longines Masters Series, had dreamt of bringing the Longines Masters to New York since he conceived the idea of a high-performance show jumping series.“On behalf of the entire team at EEM and the Longines Masters Series, we want to thank the riders, our partners, our exhibitors, and most importantly, our fans, for making Season III a successful and historic event,” said Ameeuw. “The past four days have exhibited the world’s top athletes and showcased some of the best performances in show jumping history. Bringing the Longines Masters Series to New York has always been a dream and we’re thrilled to have received such a warm welcome. We look forward to continuing this legacy for years to come.”$382,800 Longines Grand Prix of New York1 CLINTA: 2007 Oldenburg mare by Clinton x Lord PeziMCLAIN WARD (USA), Sagamore Farms: 0/0/34.922 HANSSON WL: 2008 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Indra WL x IowaPEDER FREDRICSON (SWE), Mäsel AB: 0/0/35.433 FANTAST: 2005 BWP gelding by Toulon x Rubens du Ri d’AsseERYNN BALLARD (CAN), Sagamore Farms: 0/0/35.894 VENDOME D’ANCHAT HDC: 2009 Selle Français gelding by Diamant de Semilly x AllegretoKEVIN STAUT (FRA), Haras des Coudrettes: 0/0/36.265 CRISTALLINE: 2008 Bavarian Warmblood mare by Cristallo 1 x Caretello BADRIENNE STERNLICHT (USA), Starlight Farms 1 LLC: 0/0/38.356 S&L SAGE: 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Wandor van de Mispelaere x RadiatorDAVID RAPOSA (USA), S&L Farms: 0/0/39.217 CHALOU: 2009 Oldenburg stallion by Chacco Blue x Baloubet du RouetEMANUELE GAUDIANO (ITA), Equita Kft: 0/4/36.048 CORNWALL BH: 2008 Holsteiner stallion by Con Air x CambridgeAMANDA DERBYSHIRE (GBR), Gochman Sport Horses: 0/4/39.049 CHAVENTYNO: 2006 Oldenburg gelding by Chacco Blue x AventynoTODD MINIKUS (USA), Legacy Stables LLC: 0/4/39.6510 CURIOUS GEORGE: 2009 Rheinlander gelding by Codex One x Dutch CapitolLAURA KRAUT (USA), Old Willow Farms LLC: 0/4/39.8711 CAS 2: 2007 KWPN gelding by Indoctro x Numero UnoHARRIE SMOLDERS (NED), Copernicus Stables LLC:0/8/38.1212 BACARA D’ARCHONFOSSE: 2007 Belgian Warmblood mare by Asca Z x KannanDANIEL BLUMAN (ISR), Daniel Bluman, Kim Douglas, and Alexa Schwitzer: 0/8/39.21With the close of the 2018 Longines Masters of New York, the event and its participants now turn their sights to Season IV and the series kick-off in Paris.Save the dates for Season IV:• Paris: November 29 – December 2, 2018• Hong Kong: February 15 – 17, 2019• New York: April 25 – 28, 2019The Riders Masters Cup Second Season will be back with the second transatlantic duel taking place in Paris on December 1, 2018 and returning to New York April 27, 2019. Tags: Erynn Ballard, Longines Masters of New York, Fantast, Longines Grand Prix of New York, Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! SIGN UP Email* We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business. Horse Sport Enewslast_img read more

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Suspect in fatal shooting of deputy at hotel in Rockford, Illinois, now in custody: Officials

first_imgBloomington IL Police Department(ROCKFORD, Ill.) — The suspect in the fatal shooting of a sheriff’s deputy Thursday at a hotel in Rockford, Illinois, has now been taken into custody after barricading himself in his car following a high-speed chase, Illinois State Police confirmed to ABC News.The suspect, identified as Floyd E. Brown, 39, lost control of his vehicle during the chase and careened off Interstate 55 between Bloomington and Springfield and crashed into a ravine, said Master Sgt. Sam Thomas of the Illinois State Police. He then barricaded himself in his car Thursday afternoon.The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Twitter that the deputy wounded in the shooting had died. Deputy Jacob Keltner was a member of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department and assigned to the U.S. Marshalls Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, the sheriff’s office said.“We regret to inform you that shortly after 3:30 p.m. [Central time] today Deputy Jacob Keltner has passed away,” the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office tweeted.At an afternoon news conference, Trooper Sean Ramsey of the Illinois State Police said Brown had barricaded himself in his car and police had been trying to establish communication with him to convince him to surrender. He said Brown was still armed with at least one gun during the standoff.“We want it to end peacefully,” Ramsey said prior to Brown’s arrest. “You never want to end a life.”The shooting occurred at 9:15 a.m. local time as the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force from the Great Lakes Region was attempting to arrest Brown at an Extended Stay America hotel, officials said. He had several outstanding warrants, including two burglary warrants, a failure to appear warrant and a parole violation, Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea said in a press conference Thursday night.Lt. Kurt Whisenand of the Rockford Police Department said that as task force members approached Brown’s room on the third floor of the hotel, Brown allegedly opened fire. Ramsey added that Brown allegedly shot through the door, hitting the sheriff’s deputy outside in the hallway.Whisenand said Brown is believed to have fired a rifle at the task force members and then fled out a window, leaving a female acquaintance with a bullet wound in the hotel room.Whisenand said no members of the task force fired their weapons, and investigators believe Brown shot the woman in the hotel room.Authorities did not name the female acquaintance but said on Thursday night that she had been treated for non-life-threatening injuries at a local hospital and released. She was not in custody and there were no charges against her, O’Shea said.“It’s a dark day here and certainly his family is in our prayers,” Jack Franks, the McHenry County Board Chairman, told ABC News, referring to Deputy Keltner.Authorities initially said Brown was 45 years old, and that the deputy was a U.S. Marshal.Brown fled the hotel in a Mercury Grand Marquis.His car was spotted headed south on Interstate 55 and police chased him into Logan County, WLS-TV reported. The chase reached speeds of 100 miles per hour and the driver was pointing a gun outside his vehicle window at police pursuing him, ABC station WLS-TV in Chicago reported.Thomas said the car went off the road and into a ravine. It was not immediately clear if Brown was injured.Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite-Ross said on Thursday night that upon learning of Keltner’s death, Brown’s charges had been upgraded to first-degree murder with a mandatory penalty of life in prison. Brown is currently waiting to be transported to Winnebago County.“Jake was a fine young man,” said McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim Thursday night. “We’re truly going to miss him.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Research Coordinator II

first_imgSummaryThe Research Coordinator II will work with investigators in theDepartment of Medicine in the Section of Epidemiology andPopulation Sciences. This position will be working on a nation-wideepidemiology research study of African American Men with ProstateCancer and will work closely with maintaining contact with thestudy participants and communities involved in the research study.Day to day activities of research protocols which includescreening, enrollment, and monitoring of research participants.Ensures accurate data collection, documentation, organization andsafety of research participants. This is a part-timeposition.Job DutiesInterviews, screens and recruits patients for study.Explains process and procedures to educate participantregarding the research study.Collects participant questionnaires.Processes, documents and enters information into adatabase.Collects, processes, ships, and maintains paperwork for bloodand/or biological specimens according to procedures outlined instudy protocol.Maintains records and regulatory documents and records forresearch studies.Corresponds with participants throughout study.Orders supplies and equipment. Minimum QualificationsBachelor’s degree in a related field. Four years of relatedexperience may substitute for degree requirement.One year of relevant experience. Baylor College of Medicine is an Equal Opportunity/AffirmativeAction/Equal Access Employer.6366CA; CHlast_img read more

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Stagecoach exact fare overpayments raise £122,000 for NHS charities

first_imgStagecoach customers across the country have been thanked for their support in making a major donation to the NHS Charities Together coronavirus COVID-19 Appeal.Through overpayments made during the company’s temporary exact fares policy, which was enforced to reduce cash handling in buses, excess funds totalling over £122,000 have been raised and will support the NHS Charities Together Appeal.It includes £26,897 raised in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, and £19,000 raised in Manchester.The money will help NHS charities support NHS staff, volunteers and patients in hospitals, kitting out Wobble Rooms – dedicated staff relaxation areas – as well as electronic tablets for patients to communicate with loved ones and activities for young patients in mental health wards and in the community.“We have been overwhelmed by the support from businesses across the country,” says Ellie Orton, Chief Executive of NHS Charities. “A big thank you to Stagecoach and its passengers for raising such an incredible amount.“Coronavirus COVID-19 is still such a big part of everyone’s life, impacting on our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. All donations will help NHS charities across the UK to support hospitals, ambulance services, community healthcare and social care in people’s recovery from the short- and long-term effects of the virus.”Adds Carla Stockton-Jones, Managing Director for Stagecoach: “We would like to thank our customers for their help in raising such a fantastic amount for this worthy charity.“We’re very proud of the incredible job that all key workers, including our own employees, are continuing to do as part of the national effort and are pleased that this money will be going to support those who have supported many others during these difficult times.“In the past few months, we’ve all had to make changes to the way we live and travel to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. Many people have found it easy and convenient to pay for their journey using contactless or by mobile and we would encourage our customers to continue to do so where possible.”last_img read more

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Rutland Regional announces Housing for Health campaign

first_imgRutland Regional Medical Center,Vermont Business Magazine Rutland Regional Medical Center today announced its Housing for Health fundraising campaign in partnership with the Rutland Housing Authority, and its non-profit affiliate, Housing Initiatives Inc., to raise $150,000 to establish safe, secure and supportive transitional housing in our local region by year-end.Specifically, funds raised will support multifamily bridge housing units at 101 Woodstock Avenue in Rutland to transition individuals and families out of homelessness and, eventually, into permanent housing.The new site will provide nine transitional housing units including one unit for an on-site resident manager to help maintain day-to-day supports and connections to needed health and human services within the community. In addition to Rutland Regional Medical Center, the Homeless Prevention Center, Rutland Mental Health Services, and BROC Community Action have all agreed to partner on this critical project.Rutland Regional is committed to helping develop these much-needed housing options for residents of Rutland County who may face discharge barriers due to lack of safe housing, or a living environment where they can heal. “Homeless individuals are five times more likely than non-homeless individuals to be admitted to the inpatient hospital units and stay in the hospital for up to four days longer. We need to create safe environments for people to get healthy and back on their feet,” stated Kevin Loso, Executive Director at the Rutland Housing Authority. “The project is particularly important, now more than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic has created a sense of urgency for safe and affordable housing options that can accommodate social distancing and help to reduce the spread of the virus in our community.”Last year, Vermont reported that an estimated 1,089 individuals experience homelessness on any given day.“We know that similar partnerships in Vermont are seeing the benefits of high quality transitional and permanent housing, including a reduction of the high costs of healthcare associated with chronic homelessness,” said Rutland Regional President and CEO, Claudio Fort. “The ability to discharge unhoused patients to supportive transitional housing will help to prevent recurring health issues and escalating medical costs.”This fall, Rutland Regional will work to raise funds to support these bridge housing units to help transition individuals and families in our local region out of homelessness.For more information about the Housing for Health campaign, contact the Rutland Health Foundation at 802.747.3634, or go to www.rrmc.org(link is external)Source: Rutland – Rutland Regional Medical Center 10.1.2020last_img read more

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AZRE editor doubles as children’s book author

first_imgErin Davis, associate editor of AZRE: Arizona Commercial Real Estate Magazine, is quick to admit that she has “a slight obsession with Star Wars.”But what a lot of people don’t know about her is that she is also a children’s book author. Davis, the mother of three girls, released her first children’s book, “Stick to it Chick,” on April 4. Here are five questions with the multitalented editor and writer:AZRE: How did you come up with the idea for “Stick To It Chick?”Erin Davis: Growing up, I loved silly stories with lovable characters. One of my favorites series was “George and Martha,” by James Marshall, and all the Sandra Boynton books. Much of my writing for children patterns the goofiness and simplicity from the stories I adored as a child. I’ve always been a visual storyteller and one night at 2 a.m., I woke up with a picture of a small chick attached to a large junkyard magnet and actually laughed out loud thinking about how fun it would be to write a story about a literal chick magnet.AZRE: Who is your target audience for “Stick To It Chick?”ED: Generally, toddler-to-early reader, although I’ve noticed that “Stick To It Chick” has been well received by children in upper grades. When doing school visits, I’ve noticed that fourth- and fifth-graders in particular, enjoy the humor of puns. I also use the book as a creative-writing tool to illustrate what happens when an ordinary character becomes extraordinary. It’s amazing what happens when young thinkers are unleashed to craft their very own character into something unique and special. One time, a student made me extraordinary by turning me into a Chupacabra. Scary! Stick To It Chick protagonist Chick #6. Handcrafted by Sally Hogancamp.AZRE: How does your creative writing background help when you have to write about a commercial real estate issue or business topic?ED: One of the most challenging aspects of my new position with AZRE was how I would be received by experts in the industry. Early on, I asked an AZ Big Media client if she was concerned about me coming in as a newbie to the CRE industry. I loved her reply. “Not at all! If anything, I think it’s better. You will be seeing the industry with fresh eyes and can bring a storytelling aspect that will be refreshing to readers.” I can’t lie — I wanted to jump up and hug her. Since our meeting, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to be encouraged with similar sentiments from others. Going forward, I plan to use both my creative and journalistic backgrounds when approaching CRE content, while continuing to call upon the knowledge and kindness of seasoned veterans.AZRE: How do you hope to impact readers with “Stick To It Chick?”ED: I can’t tell you how many times during the writing, illustrating and publishing process that I threw up my hands and said, “Ugh, I just can’t do this.” Without fail, my good friend Karen would say, “What’s the title of your book Erin?!” In a time when perseverance can feel impossible, my hope is that readers young and old can remember the importance of “stick-to-it-ness” — especially when tied to a dream. There have been many times and situations when I felt like the odd girl out, or frustrated when faced with adversity. But by staying the course, I received benefits beyond my greatest expectations. AZRE: How do you hope to impact readers of AZRE magazine?ED: I’ve always been intrigued by people. Even in my limited time at AZRE, I find people within the CRE industry fascinating. Without sounding too much like a new-age hippie — not that there’s anything wrong with that — my hope is to draw out more of the humanity and unique aspects of this industry. I’d like readers to know more about the minds and hands behind the buildings and businesses. I want readers to receive more than a article, I want them to enjoy a story.  Editor’s note: Erin Davis says the first five AZRE readers to use the hyperlinks above or here to buy her book will also receive a free “Chick Magnet” holiday ornament as a special “thank you.”Stay in the loop with Erin by following her on Twitter as ErinWriting, Facebook as Erin Leigh Davis, and Instagram as ErinWriting!last_img read more

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Thinking with our hands can help find new ways of solving problems

first_imgShare The idea that thinking is done only in the head is a convenient illusion that doesn’t reflect how problems are solved in reality, Professor Gaëlle Vallée-Tourangeau explained. “When you write or draw, the action itself makes you think differently,” she said. “In cognitive psychology you are trained to see the mind as a computer, but we’ve found that people don’t think that way in the real world. If you give them something to interact with they think in a different way.”In a recently-published study in the Acta Psychologica journal, the two academics from the British institution invited 50 participants to try and solve the problem of how to put 17 animals into four pens in such a way that there were an odd number of animals in each one.The participants were split into two groups, with the first group able to build physical models with their hands and the second group tasked with using an electronic tablet and stylus to sketch out an answer. They found that the model-building participants were much more likely to find the solution – which requires designing an overlapping pen configuration – than those with the tablet.“We showed with this study that for some types of problem – regardless of an individual’s cognitive ability – being able to physical interact with tools gave people a fighting chance of solving it,” said Professor Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau. “By contrast, a pen and paper-type method almost guaranteed they wouldn’t be able to. It demonstrates how interacting with the world can really benefit people’s performance.”The cognitive psychology experts have also been working on a new piece of research exploring how maths anxiety – a debilitating emotional reaction to mental arithmetic that can lead sufferers to avoid even simple tasks like splitting a restaurant bill – could potentially be managed through interactivity.The study, now published in the Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications journal, involved asking people to speak a word repeatedly while doing long sums at the same time. It found that the mathematical ability of those asked to do the sums in their heads was more affected than those given number tokens that they could move with their hands.However, the really interesting finding was how a person’s maths anxiety affected the results, Professor Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau said. “We found that for those adding the sums in their head, their maths anxiety score predicted the magnitude of errors made while speaking a word repeatedly. If they’re really maths anxious, the impact will be huge,” he explained. “But in a high interactivity context – when they were moving number tokens – they behaved as if they were not anxious about numbers.“The horrible thing about maths anxiety is that some people cope by completely avoiding maths, which only worsens the problem. That’s what makes these findings really interesting. Trying to understand why the fear factor is eliminated or controlled to a manageable level when using your hands rather than just your head is the question we’re trying to get to the bottom of now.”As well as potentially being of benefit when it comes to teaching, re-examining old ideas of how we think could have numerous practical applications, Professor Gaëlle Vallée-Tourangeau added.”If you look at recruitment, for example, a lot of assessment centres use classical intelligence tests when interviewing candidates. But depending on the type of work they are recruiting for, they may be missing out on the best people for the job.“In business and management, all the models are using the old metaphor of decision making as information processing, which is something I think we need to overcome. We need to redefine how thinking occurs.” Pinterest Share on Facebook Share on Twittercenter_img New research by two cognitive psychology experts from Kingston University London is demonstrating how our decision making is heavily influenced by the world around us. Gaëlle Vallée-Tourangeau, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, and Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau, Professor of Psychology, are challenging the traditional idea that thinking takes place strictly in the head.Have you ever tried to solve a complicated maths problem by using your hands, or shaped a piece of clay without planning it out in your head first? Understanding how we think and make decisions by interacting with the world around us could help businesses find new ways of improving productivity – and even improve people’s chances of getting a job, according to experts from Kingston University London.New research by Gaëlle Vallée-Tourangeau, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, and Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau, Professor of Psychology, is challenging the traditional idea that thinking takes place strictly in the head. Instead, they are seeking to demonstrate how our decision making is heavily influenced by the world around us – and that using tools or objects when problem solving can spark new ways of finding solutions. LinkedIn Emaillast_img read more

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New research reveals how the brain decides to make an effort

first_imgShare LinkedIn Share on Twitter Email Pinterestcenter_img Share on Facebook Treadway’s lab focuses on understanding the molecular and circuit-level mechanisms of psychiatric symptoms related to mood, anxiety and decision-making.“Understanding how the brain works normally when deciding to expend effort provides a way to pinpoint what’s going on in disorders where motivation is reduced, such as depression and schizophrenia,” he says.Previous research had observed three brain regions in decision-making; the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), the anterior insula (aI) and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Studies had pointed to the vmPFC as central to the computation of subjective value during probability decision-making. But prior evidence also suggested that when it comes to decisions about effort expenditure, those subjective value estimates were not computed by the vmPFC but by the other two brain regions.A limitation to previous studies on effort-based choices is that they simultaneously presented the costs and benefits of a choice to experimental subjects.“In the real world, however, we usually have to make decisions based on incomplete information,” says Amanda Arulpragasam, first author of the PNAS paper and a psychology PhD candidate in Treadway’s lab.Arulpragasam designed a study that allowed the researchers to model distinct neural computations for effort and reward. Subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing an effort-based decision-making task where the effort costs and rewards of a choice were presented separately over time.The subjects could choose to make no effort and receive $1, or make some level of physical effort in exchange for monetary rewards of varying magnitude, up to $5.73. The physical effort involved rapid button pressing at varying percentages of each participant’s maximum button pressing rate. Participants were required to press the button using their non-dominant pinkie finger, making the task challenging enough to be unpleasant, although not painful.In the effort-first trials, participants were shown a vertical bar representing the percentage of their maximum button pressing rate that would be required to do the task. They were then shown the size of the reward for performing the task. The reward-first trials presented the information in the opposite order.After receiving both sets of information, participants were prompted to choose the no-effort option or the effort option.The experimental design allowed the researchers to tease apart the effects of recent choices on the formation of value expectations of future decisions.The results revealed a clear role for the vmPFC in encoding an expected reward before all information had been revealed. The data also suggested that the dACC and aI are involved in encoding the difference between what participants were expecting and what they actually got, rather than effort-cost encoding.“Some have argued that decisions about effort have a different neural circuitry than decisions about probability and risk,” Treadway says. “We’ve showed that all three brain regions come into play, just in a different way than was previously known.” From deciding to quit hitting the snooze button and get out of bed in the morning to opting to switch off the TV and prepare for sleep at night, the mind weighs the costs versus benefits of each choice we make. A new study reveals the mechanics of how the brain makes such effortful decisions, calculating whether it is worth expending effort in exchange for potential rewards.The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published the findings by psychologists at Emory University.“We showed that the brain’s ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which was not previously thought to play a key role in effort-based choices, actually appears to be strongly involved in the formation of expectations underlying those choices,” says Emory psychologist Michael Treadway, senior author of the paper.last_img read more

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Study: Racial resentment influences appraisals of President Obama’s economic performance

first_imgLinkedIn New research published in the journal Electoral Studies indicates that racial beliefs can lead some Americans to minimize President Barack Obama’s economic accomplishments.“What interested us most was the idea that people construct their own racial reality and they will align their beliefs to fit within this reality. People tend to minimize or ignore information that is inconsistent with their existing racial beliefs,” said study author Darren W. Davis, a professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame.“Many people were not fair in their evaluations of President Obama. If they were highly racial resentful, they were not willing to evaluate President Obama objectively. Instead, individuals would align their beliefs about President Obama to be consistent with their resentment toward African Americans.” Email Share on Facebook Sharecenter_img The researchers examined data from 1,100 white respondents who participated in the 2012 Cooperative Congressional Election Study. The respondents were asked how much credit or blame the president should receive if the economy improved or worsened.The participants attributed more blame to Obama for a worsening national economy than credit for an improving economy. State governors, on the other hand, were given more credit and less blame than Obama.Partisanship was also found to play a role. Independents and Republicans blamed Obama more than Democrats for a worsening economy and gave him less credit than Democrats for an improving economy.But the researchers also found evidence that racial resentment could override partisan beliefs. Among Democrats and Independents, participants who agreed with statements like “African Americans bring up race only when they need to make an excuse for their failure” tended to give Obama less credit and more blame for the economy.“The average person should take away from our study that people can be held captive by their own political and racial beliefs. We used to think that only one’s party identification was capable of biasing how people process information, but racial prejudice can be just as strong,” Davis told PsyPost.“Instead viewing of politics objectively, people are motivated to maintain consistent beliefs,” Davis explained. “Our findings show that people were more willing to attribute greater responsibility for poor economic conditions to President Obama and attribute less responsibility for improving economic conditions only because doing so was consistent with their resentment toward African Americans. Their racial beliefs did not allow them to see the positive accomplishments of Obama.”“As we see in politics today, there are many questions about the importance of facts and the willingness to put up with certain types intolerant or undemocratic behavior. Our research provides an answer. People will screen-out or minimize information that does not mesh with their racial and partisan belief systems.”“Because of this drive toward racial cognitive consistency, people construct different racial realities. We consider this to be extremely dangerous because race becomes an intractable problem; there are no agreed upon facts and dialogue becomes impossible,” Davis added.The study, “Appraisals of President Obama’s economic performance: Racial resentment and attributional responsibility“, was authored by David C. Wilson and Darren W. Davis. Pinterest Share on Twitterlast_img read more

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