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Ellen writes feature articles for online content providers like the ones below, including Monster, USA Today, Scientific American, and TechRepublic. She is also a writer of website content, marketing copy, speeches, technical documentation, and pretty much any other kind of content development. Ellen's unique combination of creative, technical and business experience makes her quick to learn, efficiently productive, and valuable as a resource.

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Careers that Promote Positive Change in Africa

Helping the struggling peoples of Africa can be done through donating money, food, educational supplies, medicine, or even time as a volunteer. A greater impact can be made, however, by choosing a career that empowers positive change over time and brings with it resources that otherwise might not be accessible. The following are a few of the many careers related to international development in Africa that have the power to improve the quality of life of those who do without.

Humanitarian Assistance

  • Relief workers assist families with basic food, supplies, housing, and emergency relief services. They collect, prepare, and distribute supplies, and build or help make arrangements for housing. Their roles may include providing medical assistance, administering life-saving vaccines, and helping with resettlement.

  • Social workers provide emotional support for individuals and families in crisis due to situations like poverty, violence, and illness, give them tools to cope, and connect them with programs that can give them the material and mental health assistance they need.

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Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on SocioLingo External link

Smart Ways to Use Google Docs for Better Online Group Learning

Advancements in online collaboration are rapidly changing the way in which we learn, and Google is pioneering the field with Google Docs External link. The development team continually adds new features and enhancements to the free online productivity suite, similar to Microsoft Office, which now includes applications for creating and editing text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and forms. Students and teachers are leading the parade of enthusiastic users, finding innovative ways to enhance education using Google Docs.

Cool Tools

Whether they are sharing a presentation for class, tracking the progress of a group project, brainstorming ideas, or giving / receiving assistance with homework, Google Docs allows students and teachers to:

  • Store, share, and work together on files using their computer or smart phone from any location. All it takes is Internet access and a free Google account
  • Upload files from a desktop and share them by sending email invites to collaborators

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Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on Schoox External link

Book Review: The Writer’s Essential Tackle Box

For the past year I was looking for a shortcut. Like most unpublished writers, I’d been determined to bypass the hoop-jumping and “get discovered” by a publishing house. I’d heard too many sagas of publishing woes, and didn’t want to end up as dejected as a cheap paperback cover.

My friend went the self-publishing External link route with modest success, and I wondered if I was being stubborn by not following in his footsteps, but it had long been my goal to be published the traditional way. That being said, I was not averse to skipping blithely past all those writers drooping in line outside publishers’ front doors. There had to be a back door, and I was going to find it. Apparently I didn’t think the rules applied to me – but I didn’t realize I had this in common with most writers newly seeking publication until I read The Writer’s Essential Tackle Box: Getting a Hook on the Publishing Industry by Lynn Price.

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Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post for World's Strongest Librarian External link

How to Make Decent Money Working in the Non-Profit Sector

Do you wish you could walk away from your dollar-driven job and do something meaningful instead? Are you happiest when making a difference, but concerned about how you'd pay the bills if you worked for a non-profit? Well, working for charities doesn't always mean working for charity. In fact, there are many organizations that are run just like companies, and pay reasonable salaries.

The biggest difference between for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations, other than the bottom line, is where the money comes from. Fundraising for contributions from individuals and corporations is a primary means of bringing in money for non-profits, but many also rely on government and private grants. Funds awarded as a grant are usually intended for specific uses such as the purchase of technology, the construction of a building, marketing, or paid positions for staff.

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Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on Young Money External link

Why 2011 is the Year to Get a Nonprofit Job

If you’ve been considering working in the nonprofit sector but worried that you might not be able to find a job that would pay the bills, now’s the time to take a more serious look.

Here are 5 reasons why this year is a good year to start “lifting as you climb” in your career:

  1. More jobs - According to the Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey 2010 External link published by the human resources consulting firm Nonprofit HR Solutions, hiring trends are on the upswing. Approximately 43% of the 500 surveyed organizations expected to create new full-time positions in response to a rise in demand for their services. Most of these were larger employers.
  2. More in need - The recession has created a huge increase in demand on nonprofits as they seek to serve a population of people who hadn’t needed assistance before, in addition to those they have typically served in the past. This need is not expected to wane, since aging baby boomers are likely to seek assistance in coming years. Additional aid is being granted to these organizations to help them meet the demand, and that means they are able to hire where they couldn’t in 2009 or 2010.

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Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on PhilanthroPost External link

Making More of a Difference: Choosing Careers with Big Positive Impact

Having a heart for positive change can lead us to make unconventional career choices. Choosing generosity over making money seems contrary to the basic tenets of capitalism, and at times may feel like we’re shooting ourselves in the foot. But there’s a generation of baby boomers that is transforming the landscape of business with their passion for giving back, and inspiring many of us to rethink why we work. In the past, a stable bee-line to a life of luxury was the American dream, but now more and more of us want to be part of seeing things change in big ways.

Big Picture Motivations

The four most common motives that compel us to seek careers that inspire extensive social betterment include:

  • Visionary Enthusiasm – Found in those who possess a grand plan for the potential of humanity, and seek followers to put it into action
  • Alarmist Angst – A heightened awareness to potential risks and terrible consequences, and the dire need to yell, “The house is on fire – we must do something immediately or everything will fall apart!”
  • Grassroots Generosity – A wide open caring for the plight of people, creatures and the planet, a passion for community, and the belief that change starts at home
  • Cool, Calm, and Collective – A quiet understanding of a larger, unified purpose and responsibility that inspires subtle but influential changes through innovation, mentorship, dialogue, and partnership

Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on Career Bright External link
The Sick Person’s Guide to Surviving Holiday Hooplah

No matter how important the holidays are to you, it’s hard not to feel heightened emotions during the season. In response to a welling of holiday spirit among our family, friends, community and world, caring becomes the focus of our energies, and our hearts open wider as we take time to connect with and honor the people that mean the most to us. At the same time, we may be reminded of painful relationships, those we’ve lost, or financial hardship. 

Being sick can magnify these feelings even more as we compare the quality of our lives to those of others, or struggle to keep up with the holiday pace.

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Written for the Pituitary Network Association External link's monthly newsletter

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