Follow by Email

Saturday, June 9, 2018

MVAS Apollo Rendezvous

Lots of telescopes were don display.
I celebrated the Miami Valley Astronomical Society’s 100th Anniversary and 48th year of its Apollo Rendezvous today. It was a full day of astronomy, with speakers, workshops, vendors, raffles , door prizes and best of all fellow amateur astronomers. The daytime session was held at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. 

My favorite spear was Dale Partin, who has a Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University. Until his partial retirement, he worked in advanced research in the auto industry. He has over 80 scientific publications and 38 patents, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of Sigma Xi, the American Scientific Affiliation and the Warren Astronomical Society in Michigan. He is an amateur astronomer and teaches astronomy at Macomb Community College in Michigan. His presentation was about "Colonizing Mars," which he said we are on the threshold of having become become reality. He told us about the many challenges to be dealt with to live on Mars, such as living in reduced gravity, cosmic rays, growing food on Mars, energy sources, etc. And longer term, he said that engineering a Homo Martian species and terraforming Mars are on the table. 

Friday, June 8, 2018

My contribution to the practice of public affairs

I was honored to be among less than two dozen selected nationwide for the new Master Public Information Officer Program, taught at FEMA's Emergency Management Institute in Maryland. I completed the three-course series last year.

One of the program's requirements was that I had to design, develop and implement a research project to contribute to the public information body of knowledge. I was just informed that the paper I wrote, "Advances in getting the right messages to the right people at the right time," is now part of the permanent collection of the library at EMI.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Dayton Police Department Citizens Academy

I think I hit the perp!
The Dayton Police Department holds a Citizens Police Academy twice a year for Dayton-area residents interested in learning about the police department and I was accepted into a class of 22.

The 12-week course included a K-9 demonstration, presentations from homicide and drugs/vice detectives, a lecture from the police chief, shooting on the department's indoor range, and participating in mock scenarios including traffic stops, evidence collection, and building searches.

The classes were very hands-on, and other lessons cover specialized training and practicing problem-solving skills that officers use to resolve conflicts they see in the line of duty. We were also scheduled to go on a ride-along with an officer on patrol. 
Chris Pawelski ran the course.
Working on a mock traffic stop.

The course ended with a graduation ceremony attended by Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl and other top-ranking Dayton PD officers at the Good Will-Easter Seals campus in Dayton. A certificate of completion was awarded.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Spreading the news

I had an enthusiastic audience of public affairs officers. 
I was honored to be asked to present at the Rocky Mountain Region/Colorado Wing annual conference in Colorado Springs.

The RMR PAO posted this on CAP's PA Facebook Group page:

Just want to give a BIG shout out to Lt Col Steven Solomon, National Public Affairs Manager, for taking the time on his dime to fly out to Colorado to present a session at the Rocky Mountain Region/Colorado Wing Conference in Colorado Springs 27-29APR18. His session on "IC and PIO Interaction with the Media During Missions" was well received and has already had an impact. COWG has a USAF Ops Eval this summer and Lt Col Solomon's words of wisdom ("as wise as Solomon") will indubitably help to guide the actions of the assigned PIO.

And this from my Region commander:

We are very fortunate to have such an amazing public affairs professional working with us.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Finally completed Poynter Institute course!

It took me longer to complete than I had wanted, what with so many deployments all over the country last year, but I've finally finished - I've got my "Ethics, Plagiarism and Copyright Certificate" from the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. Poynter is a non-profit school for journalism located in St. Petersburg, Florida. The school is the owner of the Tampa Bay Times newspaper.

The course covered:

  • Avoiding Plagiarism and Fabrication: The course is to educate journalists, authors, editors, news producers, students, educators and news consumers about what plagiarism and fabrication are, why they are so toxic and how to avoid them.
  • Plagiarism in the 21st Century: This video replay examines the definition of plagiarism among today's digital content creators.
  • Copyright Law and Fair Use for Journalists: This course is intended to help online content publishers, social media participants and website publishers understand the fair use doctrine and copyright law.
  • Ethics of Journalism: This course is designed to give techniques and tools needed to confront complex and complicated ethical issues, make difficult decisions and support those decisions with clear and rational thought.

Monday, April 30, 2018

I'm now certified to instruct in Ohio

FEMA prohibits its employees from instructing FEMA courses.

The specific regulation states: "If you are a FEMA Disaster Assistance Employee you may not contract with FEMA to instruct." 

And individual states, including Ohio where I live, don't allow FEMA employees to be paid for instructing. 

In Ohio, the rule is: "Federal Employees - Not eligible for additional instructor compensation whether full or part time."

Since I retired from FEMA last November these rules doesn’t apply to me anymore. 

So, I am now a certified Ohio Emergency Management Agency instructor!

According to Ohio EMA, "The Certified Instructor Program is designed to encourage qualified individuals to become vetted instructors. In addition to receiving the title of an Ohio EMA Certified Instructor, it is an excellent testament to being a knowledgeable professional in the field of Emergency Management. Obtaining this status is an exceptional addition to a resume and you will have an opportunity to work with professionals from around the State of Ohio."

Since the inception of the current certification for instructors in October 2013 Ohio EMA now has 174 instructors certified in 46 courses. 

I'm certified to instruct three FEMA courses: Public Information Officer Awareness, Basic Public Information Officer, and Joint Information Center.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Sharing lessons learned with others

I was honored to have been invited to speak yesterday before the Dayton Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America over at the Salvation Army's beautiful facility. I presented an in-person version of "13 Things I Learned Working as a Media Relations Specialist for FEMA," which is the title of an article I wrote that was printed by the National Information Officers Association monthly publication. Imagine, people paid to hear me speak! I think it went well, they asked me questions long after the program was supposed to end!