Tag Archives: freelance writer

Genealogy: Tips for Planning a Family History Road Trip

Genealogy TravelI love to travel, and was excited when I had the opportunity to write an article on summer genealogy road trips for Family Tree Magazine’s July/August 2014 issue.

For the article, I interviewed staff at top destinations for genealogists around the country, including the Family History Library (FHL), the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Library, Allen County Public Library (ACPL) Genealogy Center, and Ellis Island.

Here are a few things I learned from these professionals about making and planning for a genealogy road trip:

1. Every trip may be different. Especially at genealogy libraries, every trip you make there could be different. Libraries are constantly acquiring new materials and family histories, so even if you didn’t have much luck the last time you visited, something new and relevant to your family history research could have arrived the next year. So, it pays to check back with the library every once in a while.

2. Do your homework before you go. To take the best advantage of resources accessible on-site only, do some research before you go. Search the library’s online catalog so you know what books or microfilm you want to (and can) access. Browse or search any available online databases. Some repositories may store records in off-site storage facilities, so if there’s something specific you want to see, find out how you can request to access to those materials when you’re there (or before you go).

3. Call ahead. Historic sites, libraries, and archives may change their hours of operation (or may be under renovation, which causes access issues to certain records) due to holidays or during their busy or slow seasons. Call ahead to confirm the hours posted on their website are still correct. And while you’re calling, ask if any large groups are scheduled to be at the center during the dates you’re planning to visit. If so, you may want to consider shifting your trip dates to avoid the crowds and maximize your time there.

For more details and specific tips on visiting the FHL, NEHGS Library, ACPL Genealogy Center, and Ellis Island (such as collections you can access, how to get there, and other genealogy and history sites to visit while you’re there), see my article in the Family Tree Magazine July/August 2014 issue.

Also, check out the Family Tree Magazine May 2014 podcast (starting at 7:30) to listen to an interview I gave about this article and genealogy road trip tips.


About Dana’s Creative Services

Dana’s Creative Services is a writing and editing services company that helps businesses communicate better with their target audiences. Dana McCullough, owner of Dana’s Creative Services, writes and edits copy for brochures, newsletters, websites, blogs, magazines, and books. Her clients include universities, nonprofit organizations, magazine publishers, and book publishers nationwide. Dana has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and frequently writes and edits copy on higher education, genealogy/family history, health, and business topics.

 

Exploring Health Care Degrees

Higher Education CommunicationsHealth care careers today involve not only patient care, but administration, technology development, research, and more. And college graduates with majors in health care-related fields are in high demand.

At the University of the Sciences (USciences) in Pennsylvania, for example, 94 percent of graduates seeking jobs are employed within six months of graduation, and students in some areas (such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and pharmacy) are averaging two job offers upon graduation, according to Shawn P. Curtin, interim associate vice president for enrollment management at USciences.

With jobs in health care ranging from nursing and dietetics to medicine and athletic training, there are plenty of options for high school students (or adults going back to school) to find a career that matches their interests.

In the latest My College Guide Junior Edition, my article on health care degrees explores some of these career options, provides advice for choosing a college, and offers tips for things students can do in high school to prepare for majoring in a health care field.

See more of my writing on higher education topics.

Impressive Iowa Businesses

Newsletter writingEach time I write newsletter articles for Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS), I am constantly impressed by the work being done at Iowa companies and by CIRAS.

In the latest issue, I had the opportunity to talk with a door and lock company that continues to grow after more than 100 years in business, a deicing product company that’s working on a revolutionary product, three companies that are improving their online presence after attending an internet marketing boot camp, and Lean business leaders who have created an organization to support each other in developing and implementing Lean processes and practices.

Check out the amazing work by CIRAS and Iowa companies in the recently published winter edition of CIRAS News. (See my articles on the cover and on pages 4, 7, 12 and 13).

Web Browser Plug-ins to Help Protect Your Privacy Online

Magazine Writing SampleDid you know that hundreds of advertising, marketing, and other companies may be tracking your every online move? These can be beneficial when advertisers show you ads customized specifically to you, but it can be creepy, too.

While researching information for an online privacy web course and quick guide for Family Tree Magazine, I came across several resources that can help show you who’s tracking you, as well as tools to block organizations from tracking your online movements. I was surprised to find that 114 companies were tracking my online surfing, and began using one of the tools I learned about to block some of the trackers.

Check out my “Web Browser Plug-ins for Privacy” quick guide in Family Tree Magazine‘s January/February 2014 issue for information on several tools to help you retain some of your online surfing privacy.

 

 

 

What’s New With This Year’s FAFSA and Financial Aid

My College GuideFor a recent higher education blog post on My College Guide, I had the pleasure of interviewing financial aid and admissions professionals at several universities, including Carthage College, The University of Tulsa, Agnes Scott College, and Indiana Tech. These professionals provided some great advice about changes to this year’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and applying for financial aid.

Filing the FAFSA as early as possible, since aid is often awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, is one of the most important tips these professionals provided. In addition, the FAFSA form has made some changes to parent information required and Congress has changed how federal student loan interest rates are set. Learn more about what’s new with the 2014-15 FAFSA and financial aid in my recent post.

Celebrating Dana’s Creative Services’ First Anniversary

Work Anniversary CupcakeOne year ago today I took a leap of faith, quit my day job, and started freelancing full-time. As a person who is an innate planner, I wondered how I would handle not always knowing which project was coming up next. My one-year experiment has turned out better than I ever imagined.

I am grateful for all the wonderful new clients I have met and all the clients I have worked with on projects ranging from magazine articles, newsletters, higher education blogs, higher education website content, higher education marketing materials, and a nonfiction book.

Thank you to my clients for making the past year great. I look forward to continuing to serve you in the coming year, as well as developing new relationships with new higher education communication and magazine and book publishing clients.

Image credit: Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pet Therapy Helps College Students Relieve Stress

beagleDuring my time as a recruitment marketing manager at Mount Mary University, I was intrigued by the animal-assisted therapy (also sometimes called pet therapy) students got to experience each semester, usually right before final exams.

Pet therapy has become a popular stress relieving activity that higher education institutions offer to students. Just this fall, I’ve seen many universities, including Mount Mary, Marquette University, Colorado State University, Indiana University-Bloomington, and more, tweet about their pet therapy events on campus.

When asked about the popularity of pet therapy on college campuses, Sarah DeLone, education program director at the Monroe County Humane Association in Indiana, says VIPaws (the local therapy dog group in her area) has been making more visits to Indiana University-Bloomington this year than they have in the past. In fact, they were on the campus four times this fall.

You can see more about the Indiana University-Bloomington animal-assisted therapy events (including photos from the events) in my recent My College Guide blog post. For more information on pet therapy, DeLone recommends checking out the Pet Partners website.

New University Research Findings on Causes of Autism in Children

Brain, Child magazineAutism is a disorder that affects 1 in 88 children in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But unfortunately, not a lot is known about what causes autism. That’s where university researchers come in. Three new university research studies are shedding light on possible causes of autism.

Read my article about the researchers’ findings on possible causes of autism in the Nutshell column of Brain, Child magazine‘s Winter 2014 issue.

Minimally Invasive Treatments for Varicose Veins

wiswoman_dec2013For women and men with bulging or unsightly varicose veins, their condition is not merely cosmetic. It’s the result of a medical condition that could lead to serious medical issues. The good news for varicose vein sufferers is that the old ways of treating vein problems, which required hospitalization and weeks of recuperation, have now been replaced by minimally invasive procedures that often can be done on an outpatient basis with a day or less recovery time.

“Symptoms can start and happen slowly over time, so many people don’t realize they have as many symptoms for varicose veins as they do,” says Dr. Eric Hohenwalter, interventional radiologist and co-director of the Comprehensive Vein Clinic at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Learn about how common varicose veins are, who is at the most risk, what symptoms to look for, and what minimally invasive treatments are available at three Milwaukee-area veins clinics (Lumiére Laser and Vein Center, the Comprehensive Vein Clinic at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, and Vena – The Varicose Vein Institute) in this month’s Wisconsin Woman magazine (pages 7-9).

Developing a Lean Business Culture

ciras-fall2013Throughout the past few months, I have had the opportunity to write about Lean processes and Lean culture development for Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) newsletter. In an article that appears in the Fall 2013 CIRAS News, I spoke with Lean coordinators at three Iowa companies: ALMACO, Pella Corporation and Stellar Industries.

These companies have been on their Lean journeys for various lengths of time, but the commitment to the Lean process and culture remains important to each company’s operations. I think Gina Singer, one of Pella’s continuous improvement managers, summed up the Lean experience well: “In a sustained Lean journey, continuous improvement is driven by everyone, every day.”

For the full article on how CIRAS is helping these three Iowa companies develop and sustain Lean cultures, see the Fall 2013 CIRAS News (PDF, page 8).