News Article | May 12, 2017
ERISA Consulting Team Focuses on Regulatory Landscape and New Opportunities for Savings Plan Industry -- Ascensus, the nation's largest independent retirement and college savings services provider, has appointed Barbara Van Zomeren senior vice president of the firm's Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) support team.Ascensus' ERISA team is among the largest in the nation and monitors all legislation and regulatory pronouncements affecting retirement, health savings, and college savings plans, ensuring that any applicable updates or changes are reflected in the firm's products and services. The department also serves as Ascensus' liaison to the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, and key congressional offices and committees.Ms. Van Zomeren will oversee all ERISA support services for financial organizations, plan sponsor clients, and financial advisors, including legal consulting, development of software products, plan document compliance, and training sessions. She joined Ascensus as an attorney in 1999 and is a member of the Minnesota Bar Association and the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries. Ms. Van Zomeren received her Juris Doctorate from Hamline University School of Law, a Master of Business Administration from St. Thomas University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Agricultural Business Management from the University of Minnesota.Developments surrounding the DOL's proposed fiduciary rule and how it stands to impact Ascensus' retirement plan offerings continue to be a focus for Ms. Van Zomeren and her team. They are also assisting several states in their efforts to implement auto-IRA programs for private sector employers and their workers. As Ascensus looks to build public awareness for the benefits of health savings accounts in a rapidly changing healthcare environment, the ERISA team has partnered with a leading industry association and is leveraging the firm's training specialists to design a new health savings account professional designation—Certified Health Savings Professional (CHSP)."In today's regulatory landscape, our clients and partners rely on Ascensus' expertise to help them offer compliant, best-in-class savings solutions," states Shannon Kelly, Ascensus' president of retirement. "With Barb's leadership, our ERISA team will continue to deliver consultation that our clients can count on to adapt to industry changes and pursue new opportunities."Ascensus is the largest independent retirement and college savings services provider in the United States, helping over 7 million Americans save for the future. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm partners with financial institutions to offer tailored solutions that meet the needs of financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus specializes in recordkeeping, administrative, and program management services, supporting over 47,000 retirement plans, over 4 million 529 college savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.5 million IRAs and health savings accounts and is home to one of the largest ERISA consulting teams in the country. For more information about Ascensus, visit https://www2.ascensus.com/ View career opportunitiesat careers.ascensus.com or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.
News Article | April 17, 2017
Doreen Turner Inkeles, InkelesLaw, P.A., has joined The Expert Network©, an invitation-only service for distinguished professionals. Ms. Inkeles has been chosen as a Distinguished Lawyer™ based on peer reviews and ratings, dozens of recognitions, and accomplishments achieved throughout her career. Ms. Inkeles outshines others in her field due to her extensive educational background, numerous awards and recognitions, and career longevity. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in 1985 from Emory University and her Juris Doctor with Honors in 1992 from St. Thomas University School of Law where she served on Law Review. Ms. Inkeles has an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell® and is a nationally recognized specialist in family law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. With over 20 years dedicated to law, Ms. Inkeles brings a wealth of knowledge to her industry and in particular to her area of specialization, Family Law. When asked why she decided to pursue a career in law, Ms. Inkeles said: "Law emerged as the logical choice: it has enabled me to hone and sharpen my innate skill set, while at the same time helping people navigate through some of the most challenging and frustrating times of their lives." Ms. Inkeles's practice delves into all areas of family law, including Prenuptial Agreements, Divorce, Child Custody, Alimony, Child Support, Paternity, Relocation, and Appeals. From 1994 to 2008, she built her reputation in solo practice handling complex family law litigation and appeals, serving and consulting as an expert for other lawyers in the community, as well as handling cases involving indigent parents under investigation by the Department of Children & Families. In 2008, she accepted a position at a boutique firm where her success culminated in a partnership in 2010. With the sad death of her law partner in 2016, Ms. Inkeles opened InkelesLaw, P.A. where she continues to devote herself to the unique and complicated challenges of family law. As a thought-leader in her field, Ms. Inkeles is dedicated to understanding each client’s individual familial and financial circumstances and bridges the complexity of the legal system with the very real issues her clients face. She notes: "For the average person, the court system is a very unnatural and frightening place to be. That’s where my expertise becomes so useful and rewarding. I try to get people out of that system as efficiently as possible, while ensuring that they know they have a staunch advocate by their side. Trial should always be a last resort, but I am very comfortable in the courtroom and am not afraid to take the other side to the mat when necessary." Aside from being a skilled litigator and tireless advocate for her clients, Ms. Inkeles uses her decades of experience to improve the legal profession through mentoring young lawyers and serving on Bar Committees that have played an essential role in shaping Florida legislation. She has written for The Florida Bar Journal and has produced a body of work for other legal professional publications. The Expert Network© has written this news release with approval and/or contributions from Doreen Turner Inkeles. The Expert Network© is an invitation-only reputation management service that is dedicated to helping professionals stand out, network, and gain a competitive edge. The Expert Network© selects a limited number of professionals based on their individual recognitions and history of personal excellence.
News Article | May 2, 2017
-- Investors' Security Trust is pleased to announce the hire of Tony Rodriguez and Derek Johnson. Rodriguez has been appointed the Director of Business Development, where he is responsible for developing new client relationships by providing trust and investment management services, IRA rollovers and charitable giving strategies. Johnson joins the team as the Vice President, Portfolio Manager for the company, where he is responsible for overseeing the development and management of investment portfolios, facilitating the design of appropriate asset allocations based on the clients' individual goals, concerns, financial profile and investment needs.Rodriguez brings more than 30 years of wealth management expertise to the Investors' Security Trust team. Prior to joining the company, Rodriguez served as senior managing director for Foundation Source, providing expertise in private foundation administration and compliance to individuals, advisors, trust companies and estate planning professionals. He has also held various senior level positions with large financial institutions providing personal trust and other wealth management services to high net worth individuals, families and institutions. Rodriguez holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from St. Thomas University in Miami. He has served as a member of the Greater Collier County and Greater Dade County Estate Planning Councils; National Planned Giving Council; and board of directors of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. He is a member of the Literacy Volunteers of Collier County and a number of other charitable and professional organizations in Florida.Johnson joined Investors' Security Trust with over 20 years of broad experience managing globally diversified multi asset-class portfolios for high net worth families and charitable organizations. Prior to joining the company, he worked as a trust portfolio manager for several large financial institutions in Florida. Johnson has a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Financial Planning from the University of Miami and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He has published over 40 abstracts for CFA Digest and CFA Quarterly Selections, and is a member of the CFA Institute and the Fort Myers Toastmasters Club.Based in Fort Myers since 2004, Investors' Security Trust is an independent, locally owned wealth management company that delivers strategies designed to grow, preserve and transfer wealth to individuals, families, non-profit organizations, foundations and endowments. Services range from trust administration, estate settlement to personalized investment portfolio management. Investors' Security Trust works closely with outside advisors including attorneys, tax professionals and banking institutions to provide a full-range of trustee services and tailors investment solutions to meet the specific needs of clients. For more information, visit www.AllAboutTrust.com or call 239-267-6655.
News Article | May 2, 2017
In addition to continuing his lead role on sponsorships and events, Storin is taking on additional duties in his new role for WANADA, including oversight of the advertising creative and media planning and placement for the Washington Auto Show. Storin has more than 30 years of sales and marketing experience and is known in the industry for creating partnerships that provide a high level of benefits for all parties. Prior to joining the Washington Auto Show Storin lead a sponsorship marketing agency Storin and Associations. He has also worked for television and media companies including Comcast, CMT and Discovery Networks. Storin is a graduate of St. Thomas University with a degree in Sports Administration. Storin, a resident of Severna Park, MD, has two sons and enjoys spending time with them in the outdoors and on the water in his spare time. The Washington Auto show is the largest public show in Washington, D.C. The show, in existence for almost 100 years, is held in the Walter E. Washington Convention, located at 801 Mount Vernon Place, Washington, D.C. The show attracts visitors from the District, Virginia and Maryland, as well as legislators and regulators from Washington and around the world. The Show opens to the public on January 26, 2018. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/wanada-and-the-washington-auto-show-names-bob-storin-vice-president-of-marketing-300449465.html
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 5.08K | Year: 2015
This project will build upon the infrastructure of Zooniverse.org to create authentic research experiences for introductory astronomy students. Education research indicates that including authentic research in science classes improves attitudes towards science and scientists in a diverse cross-section of students. The curriculum materials will be tested and refined at a broad spectrum of institutional settings before dissemination.
Introductory astronomy generally provides students little insight into the realities of being a scientist. This project will address this deficiency by introducing an authentic research experience for students into the astronomy for non-majors curriculum. It will utilize the classification and meta-data exploration capabilities of the Zooniverse platform. The proposed course curriculum will support students in building foundational research skills and practices through a series of in-class activities and a semester-long group research project. These activities will employ a state-of-the-art online platform to explore data collection, manipulation, and interpretation within the core topics in the curriculum. The project team will assess student learning and attitudinal gains through traditional in-class testing and conceptual questioning that is embedded within the Zooniverse online environment, as well as student interviews. This includes assessing the impact of the research experience on students understanding of the nature of science, conceptual astronomy learning gains (e.g. the Zooniverse Astronomical Concept Survey, Prather et al, 2013), and interest in pursuing a STEM major. The team will also assess the impact of different implementations of the online platform as well as the ease of implementation of the new curricular materials in a variety of institutional settings, course structures, and content focus. They will use the insight gained to develop the most effective curricular and training materials. All curricular materials, instructional guides, online Zooniverse tools, and underlying code will be widely disseminated.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 40.58K | Year: 2015
Studies have for a long time documented the need to introduce computational physics into the undergraduate curriculum. The future workforce needs to be computationally competent-in thinking as well as in skills and practice. This project is a response to the need and proposes exploration into a new change model using a research-based Framework. The Framework - a structure and a research strategy for introducing computation into undergraduate physics was born in 2006 and developed by the Partnership for Integration of Computation into Undergraduate Physics (PICUP).
The purpose of this collaborative research exploration is to design and test an adaptation of the Framework that is effective and sustainable and that can be scaled up by replication. It is a proof of concept study centered on this projects attempt at significant curricular reform through faculty development starting at the grass roots. The research-based PICUP Framework is used in a local approach at a sectional meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) followed by extensive collaborative development work among participating faculty. Research-based faculty development is implemented at regional sites and is scaled up by replication in any of the 47 AAPT sections. Central to the evaluation plan is assessing how this novel approach helps a computational community to develop. An experienced evaluator is developing metrics to measure progress.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 138.75K | Year: 2014
1336062 / 1336165 / 1336604
Urbanization has resulted in many aquatic ecosystems becoming impacted by effluent discharges from wastewater treatment plants. In recent years, treated wastewater effluent has been identified as a pathway for endocrine active compounds, including hormones and pharmaceuticals, to enter aquatic ecosystem with adverse effects for the health of exposed fish populations. Despite these dramatic alterations to pre-industrial conditions, effluent dominated systems sustain many fish species and are used by the human population for recreation. Updates to the wastewater infrastructure supplying these urban aquatic ecosystems cannot accomplish restoration to pristine condition, and instead need to strive for the greatest cost-benefit of the infrastructure investment. This project explores the idea that large-scale wastewater infrastructure improvements will reduce overall endocrine active compound concentrations in an effluent dominated urban aquatic ecosystem and, thus, will enhance the sustainability of fish populations despite continued presence and inputs of these compounds. A case study will examine the efficacy of upgrading two major wastewater treatment plants in the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area to disinfection (Ultraviolet (UV); chlorination/dechlorination). This aquatic ecosystem has been the focus of intense biological and chemical study for several years and provides a unique opportunity to assess (i) how two approaches to effluent disinfection will reduce endocrine active compound loads in the final effluent; (ii) how estrogenicity, a measure of the total biological activity in the system, is affected by the upgrades to two treatment plants contributing roughly 50% of all effluent in the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area; (iii) how the two treatment technologies (UV vs. chlorination/dechlorination) compare in their efficacy of removing endocrine active compounds from the final treated effluent; and (iv) how adverse biological effects in exposed fish will be mitigated.
This project will address an understudied area in the environmental sciences that has a direct impact on the majority of our population, which resides in urban areas with effluent dominated ecosystems. The ability to study the effects of two disinfection technologies side-by-side in two size-matched urban wastewater treatment plants will provide efficacy information to wastewater treatment plant engineers and will help guide investment into future infrastructure upgrades. Urban ecosystems will benefit from a better understanding of how technology can help to reduce the environmental loads of endocrine active compounds and provide for sustainable fish populations.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 22.00K | Year: 2015
This unique, high-risk, multidisciplinary study will bridge microbial ecology, environmental genomics, archaeology and urban ecology. The investigators posit that studies of soil microbial communities will reveal new insights into the activities of past civilizations, particularly at sites that have undergone repeated urbanization. Samples will be collected from soil profiles at an archaeological site in Turkey (Tel Tayinat) and Israel (Tel Gezer). DNA sequences will be recovered from soils and used to profile the microbial communities, and correlate them with other geological measurements. A model will be formulated using the multiple lines of evidence generated from this experimental regime, and informed by previous excavations and interpretations of the cultural history of the two sites. The research involves international collaborative work with colleagues in Australia and Canada, and at sample sites in Turkey and Israel. The project will also involve hands-on, process-oriented, guided inquiry learning field trips for undergraduate and high school students to archaeological sites in Montana and Wyoming. The project will broaden participation in science by supporting the involvement of an a faculty member at a Hispanic American-serving institution.
Soil microorganisms provide a potentially tractable system to investigate repeated urbanization events. These communities, or microbiomes could provide new insight into the processes that shape and modify urban landscapes across time scales. This team hypothesizes that natural and anthropogenic processes localized at tells (archaeological mounds created by human occupation and abandonment) have produced measurable signatures from microbiomes, and that these microbiosignatures can be correlated to human impacts as reflected in urbanization and land use dynamics. Two Middle Eastern tells representing a gradient of duration of abandonment (4000 to 40 years) will be studied with two objectives in mind: i) characterization of each tell using compound-specific isotopic, biogeochemical, stoichiometric, and archaeological approaches in combination with novel biosignature/-omics approaches providing a description of the legacy of human occupation and use and ii) parameterization of a process-based model capable of defining the complex evolution of microbiosignatures to help predict human disturbance effects. The novel approach of this project addresses these questions: i) What secondary metabolite inventory is resident in tell soils that is not found in non-urbanized soils? ii) How does this inventory reflect the complex urbanization history of tells? iii) How can Hardins Law of Human Ecology help frame the mass and energy balance dimensions of urban tells? Hardins law states that total human impact on the ecosphere (here, each tell) is the product of the population and per capita impacts. The outcome will be the ability to define human carrying capacity (in terms of the occupation of each tell) which include the ecological footprint and boundary extent of each tell to that area of land provisioning ecological goods and services. The cross disciplinary team includes biologists, archaeologists, microbial ecologists, and a soil scientist and relies upon the integration of expertise across a broad range of disciplines to frame the question of urbanization impact in a novel historical, biological, and environmental context. The resulting product will be a microbiome-based protocol for understanding historical human impact in urbanization settings. This will transform our capabilities of predicting current and future environmental consequences of urbanization. The team will naturally impact a broad range of research communities as well as K-12 education through a summer workshop utilizing process-oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL) techniques and archaeological sites in the Greater Yellowstone Area.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: COMPUTATIONAL MATHEMATICS | Award Amount: 190.49K | Year: 2014
From microscopic DNA to massive solar flares, string-like objects are replete in nature at every scale. These objects can be entangled and transition between different types of knots. Sometimes nature needs to eliminate this knotting, such as when enzymes called type II topoisomerases cut and reattach strands of DNA to release interlinking during replication. These type II topoisomerases are targets for some chemotherapy drugs, as well as the antibiotic Cipro which is used to treat anthrax poisoning. At other times, knotting is created for a purpose, such as in the folding of some proteins into their functional knotted native state. While the exact function of the knotting in these proteins is unknown, determining the function could make it possible to manipulate proteins or design new proteins for medical applications. At still other times, changes in knotting are the product of natural deterioration. For example, as sub-atomic glueball particles decay through their lifetimes, they change between different types of knots. Indeed, knotting in nature is a dynamic process and the transitions between different types of knots reveal properties of the physical systems. In this project, the PI, a multi-disciplinary group of collaborators, and undergraduate students study knotting transitions for topoisomerase II, proteins, and glueballs to gain insights into the role of knotting in these systems. This project has broad educational objectives. Several undergraduate students will be supported directly by the grant. They will be trained by the PI and contribute to the projects, gaining both content knowledge and experience in the research process. The students will participate in professional meetings and disseminate their findings in talks and posters. These research experiences are essential in training the next generation of science and mathematics educators, researchers, and practitioners. To reach a wide-audience, the PI will continue to be active in giving presentations to students, non-specialists, and multi-disciplinary audiences. The results will be published in mathematics and science journals. The PI will organize interdisciplinary conference sessions to bring together scientists from traditionally disparate fields and create new interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers across the world. In addition, the research results, data, and software generated as a part of this grant will be made publicly available via the world wide web.
While the mathematical study of knotting has focused traditionally on closed loops, much of the knotting in nature occurs in objects with free ends (i.e. open chains). This project will establish a firm understanding of open knotted structures, including knotted substructures within open chains and closed loops. This knowledge will be applied to classify the knotting in proteins and the data will be made publicly available. Relationships between knotting, geometric structure, and the amino acid sequence in knotted proteins will be determined to establish the function of the knotting in knotted proteins. Modeling knotting transitions due to the action of type II topoisomerases will lead to a better understanding of their effectiveness in untangling DNA strands. A similar analysis will be used to determine how subatomic glueballs decay through knotting. Together, these projects will reveal fundamental insights into knotting in nature. More specifically, the main objectives of this grant are to 1) decompose complicated knots into their essential elements, 2) reveal the function of knotting in knotted proteins, 3) determine where type II topoisomerases perform their cutting and reattaching action, and 4) understand the decaying process in glueballs. A combination of new and established models and computer applications will be used to analyze these physical systems. In addition to the scientific goals, this project has broad educational objectives. Several undergraduate students will be supported directly by the grant. They will be trained by the PI and contribute to the projects, gaining both content knowledge and experience in the research process. The students will participate in professional meetings and disseminate their findings in talks and posters. These research experiences are essential in training the next generation of science and mathematics educators, researchers, and practitioners. To reach a wide-audience, the PI will continue to be active in giving presentations to students, non-specialists, and multi-disciplinary audiences. The results will be published in mathematics and science journals. The PI will organize interdisciplinary conference sessions to bring together scientists from traditionally disparate fields and create new interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers across the world. In addition, the research results, data, and software generated as a part of this grant will be made publicly available via the world wide web.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 78.34K | Year: 2015
This collaboration among five diverse institutions will build and nurture a community of faculty committed to integrating computation in undergraduate physics courses. Although computational methods are important in physics research, they are scarce in the undergraduate physics curriculum. This project will address this need through faculty development workshops, a post-workshop support system, and a community building research project.
This project will focus on developing transportable, adaptable, and sustainable methods for infusing an instructional strategy into the undergraduate physics curriculum. It will place computer-based, algorithmic problem solving in a position that is coequal to traditional mathematical and experimental methods. Participants will develop computational exercises to be integrated into their physics courses at the workshops, and later will receive support to ensure that the integration of their developed materials into their courses is successful. Faculty ownership will be emphasized in the participants development activities and is essential for transportability and sustainability. The project will conduct a thorough research study of the effectiveness of the community building approach, as well as the degree to which integration of computation into undergraduate physics courses has increased. It will serve as a case-study informing the literature on change in higher education practices. This research component and its dissemination plan will ensure that the community will continue to grow not only in membership, but also in the large-scale assessment and implementation of best practices. When the computational materials developed are used in physics classrooms, STEM student learning across the country will be enhanced.