Headlines @ U.Va.
[...] More people today are recognizing complementary roles for spirituality and medicine. Medical schools are adding courses on the topic, and hospitals are making room for programs to benefit staff and patients... [Surgeon Bill Reed, who has long championed a belief in prayer’s healing powers] was the keynote speaker at a recent conference on spirituality and medicine at U.Va. Such invitations would have been unheard of years ago. (Tampa Tribune, Feb. 25)
VIRGINIA POSTS HEALTHY JOB GROWTH/STATE ADDED 84,300 JOBS IN 2005
Virginia enjoyed solid job growth last year, easily topping the national rate and nearly matching its strong performance in 2004. Most of the new jobs were created in the state’s three largest metropolitan areas, including the Richmond region, where employment increased 2.1 percent. “Virginia is in a very strong position,” said William F. Mezger, chief economist for the Virginia Employment Commission, which released the data yesterday. Statewide, the economy added 84,300 jobs, a 2.4 percent advance. Nationally, the number of jobs grew 1.5 percent. In 2004, Virginia created 86,500 jobs, a 2.5 percent advance. Northern Virginia and Charlottesville turned in the strongest growth. ... He attributed Charlottesville’s burgeoning job market to U.Va., its hospital and the employers that support them. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, March 4)
WANT TO STUDY ARABIC? GO EAST, YOUNG MAN
Much has been said in the past five years about the lack of Arabic-speakers in the United States, especially those willing and qualified to work for the federal government. After Sept. 11, America scrambled to find qualified linguists to help fight terrorism. Long overshadowed by the more easily learned Romance languages, Arabic got short shrift at most American colleges and universities. With rare exceptions, of schools such as Georgetown University and Middlebury College in Vermont, which has been recognized for its intensive summer language program, American universities simply did not have advanced Arabic programs or the professors to lead them. Now, because of the job opportunities that Arabic provides, those universities are overrun with students wanting to study Arabic but are unable to accommodate them. But American students have not given up. They are traveling to the Middle East in large numbers to study Arabic. Determined to meet the demands for Arabic-speakers in the current governmental and business job markets, [American students] have migrated eastward by semesters to Arabic schools in the Middle East and North Africa, on year- or summer-long programs ...Georgetown University recently established a branch of its School of Foreign Service in Doha, Qatar. U.Va. forged ties with Jordan’s Yarmouk University, where students can get full academic credit for Arabic courses. Emory University in Atlanta leads an Arabic school in Cairo, and Chicago’s DePaul University announced in July the construction of a sister campus in Jordan. (Baltimore Sun, March 8)
GENTRIFICATION CHANGING FACE OF NEW ATLANTA
In-town living. Live-work-play. Mixed income. The buzzwords of soft-core urbanism are everywhere these days in this eternally optimistic city [Atlanta], used in real estate advertisements and mayoral boasts to lure money from the suburbs and to keep young people from leaving. ...But the city itself, a small splotch of fewer than half a million residents in a galaxy of sprawl, is now attracting the affluent, who are mostly white, in part because they want to avoid gear-grinding commutes that are among the nation’s longest. In that sense, demographers say, the shift is driven by class rather than race. In 1990, the per capita income in the city of Atlanta was below that of the metropolitan area as a whole, but in 2004 it was 28 percent higher, the largest such shift in the country, according to a U.Va. urban planning study. [The research was conducted by Architecture School urban planning professors William Lucy and David Phillips.] (New York Times, March 13)