Columbia, SC, United States

Columbia International University
Columbia, SC, United States

Columbia International University is a Christian institution of higher education located in Columbia, South Carolina. As a biblical university, CIU is a fully accredited institution recognized for its emphasis upon spiritual formation, biblical authority and world evangelization. Through its expanding number of liberal arts programs and its historically strong Bible and ministry programs, CIU seeks to meet the challenges of the 21st century both in the United States and abroad by producing “professional ministers” such as pastors, and "ministering professionals” such as teachers, psychologists and business professionals. CIU achieves this through the practice of “total life training” which engages the head, the heart, and the hands, what they call their "educational triad”: 1) Head – Strive for academic excellence with the Bible at the core of all learning; 2) Heart – Grow in maturity in Christ; 3) Hands – Practice skills related to personal and vocational goals in the community away from the classroom. Wikipedia.

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Violari A.,University of Witwatersrand | Lindsey J.C.,Harvard University | Hughes M.D.,Harvard University | Mujuru H.A.,University of Zimbabwe | And 16 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Nevirapine-based antiretroviral therapy is the predominant (and often the only) regimen available for children in resource-limited settings. Nevirapine resistance after exposure to the drug for prevention of maternal-to-child human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission is common, a problem that has led to the recommendation of ritonavir-boosted lopinavir in such settings. Regardless of whether there has been prior exposure to nevirapine, the performance of nevirapine versus ritonavir-boosted lopinavir in young children has not been rigorously established. METHODS: In a randomized trial conducted in six African countries and India, we compared the initiation of HIV treatment with zidovudine, lamivudine, and either nevirapine or ritonavir-boosted lopinavir in HIV-infected children 2 to 36 months of age who had no prior exposure to nevirapine. The primary end point was virologic failure or discontinuation of treatment by study week 24. RESULTS: A total of 288 children were enrolled; the median percentage of CD4+ T cells was 15%, and the median plasma HIV type 1 (HIV-1) RNA level was 5.7 log 10 copies per milliliter. The percentage of children who reached the primary end point was significantly higher in the nevirapine group than in the ritonavir-boosted lopinavir group (40.8% vs. 19.3%; P<0.001). Among the nevirapine-treated children with virologic failure for whom data on resistance were available, more than half (19 of 32) had resistance at the time of virologic failure. In addition, the time to a protocol-defined toxicity end point was shorter in the nevirapine group (P = 0.04), as was the time to death (P = 0.06). CONCLUSIONS: Outcomes were superior with ritonavir-boosted lopinavir among young children with no prior exposure to nevirapine. Factors that may have contributed to the suboptimal results with nevirapine include elevated viral load at baseline, selection for nevirapine resistance, background regimen of nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors, and the standard ramp-up dosing strategy. The results of this trial present policymakers with difficult choices. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; P1060 number, NCT00307151.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.

Pevzner E.S.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Vandebriel G.,Columbia International University | Lowrance D.W.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Gasana M.,Rwanda Biomedical Center | Finlay A.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
BMC Public Health | Year: 2011

Background: In 2005, Rwanda drafted a national TB/HIV policy and began scaling-up collaborative TB/HIV activities. Prior to the scale-up, we evaluated existing TB/HIV practices, possible barriers to policy and programmatic implementation, and patient treatment outcomes. We then used our evaluation data as a baseline for evaluating the national scale-up of collaborative TB/HIV activities from 2005 through 2009. Methods. Our baseline evaluation included a cross-sectional evaluation of 23/161 TB clinics. We conducted structured interviews with patients and clinic staff and reviewed TB registers and patient records to assess HIV testing practices, provision of HIV care and treatment for people with TB that tested positive for HIV, and patients' TB treatment outcomes. Following our baseline evaluation, we used nationally representative TB/HIV surveillance data to monitor the scale-up of collaborative TB/HIV activities. Results: Of 207 patients interviewed, 76% were offered HIV testing, 99% accepted, and 49% reported positive test results. Of 40 staff interviewed, 68% reported offering HIV testing to 50% of patients. From 2005-2009, scaled-up TB/HIV activities resulted in increased HIV testing of patients with TB (69% to 97%) and provision of cotrimoxazole (15% to 92%) and antiretroviral therapy (13% to 49%) for patients with TB disease and HIV infection (TB/HIV). The risk of death among patients with TB/HIV relative to patients with TB not infected with HIV declined from 2005 (RR = 6.1, 95%CI 2.6, 14.0) to 2007 (RR = 1.8, 95%CI 1.68, 1.94). Conclusions: Our baseline evaluation highlighted that staff and patients were receptive to HIV testing. However, expanded access to testing, care, and treatment was needed based on the proportion of patients with TB having unknown HIV status and the high rate of HIV infection and poorer TB treatment outcomes for patients with TB/HIV. Following our evaluation, scale-up of TB/HIV services resulted in almost all patients with TB knowing their HIV status. Scale-up also resulted in dramatic increases in the uptake of lifesaving HIV care and treatment coinciding with a decline in the risk of death among patients with TB/HIV. © 2011 Pevzner et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Meyer R.,University of Pennsylvania | Broad K.,University of Miami | Orlove B.,Columbia International University | Petrovic N.,Columbia University
Risk Analysis | Year: 2013

This article investigates the use of dynamic laboratory simulations as a tool for studying decisions to prepare for hurricane threats. A prototype web-based simulation named Stormview is described that allows individuals to experience the approach of a hurricane in a computer-based environment. In Stormview participants can gather storm information through various media, hear the opinions of neighbors, and indicate intentions to take protective action. We illustrate how the ability to exert experimental control over the information viewed by participants can be used to provide insights into decision making that would be difficult to gain from field studies, such as how preparedness decisions are affected by the nature of news coverage of prior storms, how a storm's movement is depicted in graphics, and the content of word-of-mouth communications. Data from an initial application involving a sample of Florida residents reveal a number of unexpected findings about hurricane risk response. Participants who viewed forecast graphics, which contained track lines depicting the most likely path of the storm, for example, had higher levels of preparation than those who saw graphics that showed only uncertainty cones-even among those living far from the predicted center path. Similarly, the participants who were most likely to express worry about an approaching storm and fastest to undertake preparatory action were those who, ironically, had never experienced one. Finally, external validity is evidenced by a close rank-order correspondence between patterns of information use revealed in the lab and that found in previous cross-sectional field studies. © 2012 Society for Risk Analysis.

Siraj A.S.,University of Denver | Santos-Vega M.,University of Michigan | Bouma M.J.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Yadeta D.,Oromia Regional Health Bureau | And 3 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

The impact of global warming on insect-borne diseases and on highland malaria in particular remains controversial. Temperature is known to influence transmission intensity through its effects on the population growth of the mosquito vector and on pathogen development within the vector. Spatiotemporal data at a regional scale in highlands of Colombia and Ethiopia supplied an opportunity to examine how the spatial distribution of the disease changes with the interannual variability of temperature. We provide evidence for an increase in the altitude of malaria distribution in warmer years, which implies that climate change will, without mitigation, result in an increase of the malaria burden in the densely populated highlands of Africa and South America.

Verkuijl S.,Columbia International University | Middelkoop K.,Desmond Tutu Center | Middelkoop K.,University of Cape Town
Clinical Infectious Diseases | Year: 2016

Healthcare workers (HCWs) in low- and middle-income countries with high tuberculosis prevalence are at increased risk of tuberculosis infection; however, tuberculosis infection control (TBIC) measures are often poorly implemented. The World Health Organization recommends 4 levels of TBIC: managerial (establishment and oversight of TBIC policies), administrative controls (reducing HCWs' exposure to tuberculosis), environmental controls (reducing the concentration of infectious respiratory aerosols in the air), and personal respiratory protection. This article will discuss each of these levels of TBIC, and review the available data on the implementation of each in sub-Saharan African countries. In addition, we review the attitudes and motivation of HCWs regarding TBIC measures, and the impact of stigma on infection control practices and implementation. After summarizing the challenges facing effective TBIC implementation, we will discuss possible solutions and recommendations. Last, we present a case study of how a clinic effectively addressed some of the challenges of TBIC implementation. © 2016 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.

Wood S.L.R.,Columbia International University | Rhemtulla J.M.,University of British Columbia | Coomes O.T.,McGill University
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2016

Farmers are under ever growing pressure to increase productivity to meet both food and fibre needs, as well as rising household economic demands. In many shifting cultivation systems, farmers are taking advantage of restorative forest fallow periods to plant commercially-oriented orchards to increase output. While there is an economic benefit to this intensification pathway, we ask: what are the trade-offs in ecosystem services with planting low diversity orchards? We compare the capacity of native forest fallows vs. planted umarí orchards (. Poraquieba sericea) to provide critical regulating services (soil fertility regeneration, woody biomass accumulation), provisioning services (commercial fruit production, timber, charcoal, wild fruits and handicraft materials production), and tree biodiversity in lowland forests of Peru. In addition, we estimate their potential contribution to farmer livelihoods to better understand the economic incentives behind orchard planting. Orchards were found to provide similar or higher levels of both regulating and provisioning services than forest fallows, apart from harvestable timber. Although biodiversity was lower under orchards, tree diversity and composition recovered fully in subsequent fallow rotations. Potential revenues from orchard planting were greater than from fallows, however they were small compared to median incomes suggesting that the motivation to plant orchards is income diversification. Together these results highlight that orchard fallows may be an ecologically and economically viable pathway for intensification. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Blavatskyy P.,University of Zürich | Pogrebna G.,Columbia International University
Theory and Decision | Year: 2010

In the television show Deal or No Deal, a contestant is endowed with a sealed box containing a monetary prize between one cent and half a million euros. In the course of the show, the contestant is offered to exchange her box for another sealed box with the same distribution of possible monetary prizes inside. This offers a unique natural experiment for studying endowment effects under high monetary incentives. We find evidence of only a weak endowment effect when contestants exchange their box for another box with the same distribution of possible prizes. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Shaman J.,Columbia University | Jeon C.Y.,Columbia International University | Giovannucci E.,Boston University | Lipsitch M.,Boston Dynamics
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Seasonal variation in serum concentration of the vitamin D metabolite 25(OH) vitamin D [25(OH)D], which contributes to host immune function, has been hypothesized to be the underlying source of observed influenza seasonality in temperate regions. The objective of this study was to determine whether observed 25(OH)D levels could be used to simulate observed influenza infection rates. Data of mean and variance in 25(OH)D serum levels by month were obtained from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and used to parameterize an individual-based model of influenza transmission dynamics in two regions of the United States. Simulations were compared with observed daily influenza excess mortality data. Best-fitting simulations could reproduce the observed seasonal cycle of influenza; however, these best-fit simulations were shown to be highly sensitive to stochastic processes within the model and were unable consistently to reproduce observed seasonal patterns. In this respect the simulations with the vitamin D forced model were inferior to similar modeling efforts using absolute humidity and the school calendar as seasonal forcing variables. These model results indicate it is unlikely that seasonal variations in vitamin D levels principally determine the seasonality of influenza in temperate regions. © 2011 Shaman et al.

Parhi P.,Columbia University | Giannini A.,Columbia University | Gentine P.,Columbia University | Lall U.,Columbia International University
Journal of Climate | Year: 2016

The evolution of El Niño can be separated into two phases-namely, growth and mature-depending on whether the regional sea surface temperature has adjusted to the tropospheric warming in the remote tropics (tropical regions away from the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean). The western Sahel's main rainy season (July-September) is shown to be affected by the growth phase of El Niño through (i) a lack of neighboring NorthAtlantic sea surfacewarming, (ii) an absence of an atmospheric column water vapor anomaly over the North Atlantic and western Sahel, and (iii) higher atmospheric vertical stability over the western Sahel, resulting in the suppression of mean seasonal rainfall as well as number of wet days. In contrast, the short rainy season (October-December) of tropical eastern Africa is impacted by the mature phase of El Niño through (i) neighboring Indian Ocean sea surface warming, (ii) positive column water vapor anomalies over the Indian Ocean and tropical eastern Africa, and (iii) higher atmospheric vertical instability over tropical eastern Africa, leading to an increase in the mean seasonal rainfall aswell as in the number ofwet days.While themodulation of the frequency of wet days and seasonalmean accumulation is statistically significant, daily rainfall intensity (for days with rainfall > 1 mm day-1), whether mean, median, or extreme, does not show a significant response in either region. Hence, the variability in seasonal mean rainfall that can be attributed to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon in both regions is likely due to changes in the frequency of rainfall. © 2016 American Meteorological Society.

News Article | February 22, 2017

Receive press releases from The Cason Group: By Email Columbia, SC, February 22, 2017 --( Evans has been with The Cason Group since 2006, most recently as Director of Operations. Evans, a Columbia International University graduate, oversees all internal departments. The Cason Group serves insurance agents and brokers throughout the Southeast in meeting the medical and financial services insurance needs of its clients. Over the last 25 years, The Cason Group has grown to 70+ employees with offices in Columbia, Charleston and Greenville, S.C.; Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn., Kansas City, Mo., and Atlanta, Ga. Columbia, SC, February 22, 2017 --( )-- The Cason Group is pleased to announce that Ryan Evans has been named Vice President of Operations, effective immediately. Evans directs The Cason Group’s sales and marketing operations.Evans has been with The Cason Group since 2006, most recently as Director of Operations. Evans, a Columbia International University graduate, oversees all internal departments.The Cason Group serves insurance agents and brokers throughout the Southeast in meeting the medical and financial services insurance needs of its clients. Over the last 25 years, The Cason Group has grown to 70+ employees with offices in Columbia, Charleston and Greenville, S.C.; Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn., Kansas City, Mo., and Atlanta, Ga. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from The Cason Group

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