Wednesday, December 23, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Firefighter

When responding to an emergency, firefighters do tasks assigned by a superior officer. They might be responsible for connecting hoses to hydrants, operating pumps to power the hoses, climbing ladders, or using tools to break through debris. Other firefighters might be responsible for providing medical attention. Most calls firefighters respond to are medical, not fire, emergencies. Firefighters’ duties may change several times while they are at the scene of an emergency. In some cases, they might remain at disaster scenes for days, rescuing trapped survivors and assisting with medical treatment. Firefighters may specialize in responding to forest fires or hazardous materials incidents. Entry-level firefighters receive several weeks of training at fire academies run by the department or by the state. Through classroom instruction and practical training, recruits study fire-fighting and fire-prevention techniques, local building codes, and emergency medical procedures. They also learn how to fight fires with standard equipment, including axes, chain saws, fire extinguishers, and ladders.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Financial Manager

Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization. Since computer software makes some of those tasks more accessible to non-experts, but they now do more data analysis and advise senior managers on ideas to maximize profits. They often work on teams, acting as business advisors to top executives. Financial managers also do tasks that are specific to their organization or industry. For example, government financial managers must be experts on government appropriations and budgeting processes, and healthcare financial managers must know about issues in healthcare finance. Moreover, financial managers must be aware of special tax laws and regulations that affect their industry.

Monday, December 21, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Veterinarian

Veterinarians care for the health of animals. They diagnose, treat, or research medical conditions and diseases of pets, livestock, and animals in zoos, racetracks, and laboratories. Veterinarians must complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M. or V.M.D.) degree at an accredited college of veterinary medicine. There are currently 28 colleges with accredited programs. A veterinary medicine program generally takes 4 years to complete and includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical components.

Friday, December 18, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Marine Biologist

The field of marine biology -- the study of marine organisms, their behaviors, and their interactions with the environment -- is considered one of the most all-encompassing fields of oceanography. To understand marine organisms and their behaviors completely, marine biologists must have a basic understanding of other aspects or "disciplines" of oceanography, such as chemical oceanography, physical oceanography, and geological oceanography. Therefore, marine biologists and biological oceanographers study these other fields throughout their careers, enabling them to take a "big picture" approach to doing research.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Human Resources Specialist

Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They also may handle human resources work in a variety of other areas, such as employee relations, payroll and benefits, and training. Many specialists are trained in all human resources disciplines and do tasks throughout all areas of the department. In addition to recruiting and placing workers, these specialists help guide employees through all human resources procedures and answer questions about policies. They often administer benefits, process payroll, and handle any associated questions or problems. They also ensure that all human resources functions comply with federal, state, and local regulations. Most positions require a bachelor’s degree. When hiring a human resources generalist, for example, most employers prefer applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business, or a related field.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Salesperson

If you thought a career in sales translated into a life of selling shoes and knocking on doors, think again. While being motivated, outgoing and willing to roll up your sleeves are critical to success in the profession, sales jobs span nearly every industry, from agribusiness and pharmaceuticals, to telecommunications and property management. Typical college majors are related to marketing and business.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Financial Analyst

Financial analysts evaluate investment opportunities. They work in banks, pension funds, mutual funds, securities firms, insurance companies, and other businesses. They are also called securities analysts and investment analysts. Financial analysts can be divided into two categories: buy side analysts and sell side analysts. Buy side analysts develop investment strategies for companies that have a lot of money to invest. These companies, called institutional investors, include mutual funds, hedge funds, insurance companies, independent money managers, and nonprofit organizations with large endowments, such as some universities. Sell side analysts advise financial services sales agents who sell stocks, bonds, and other investments. Some analysts work for the business media and are impartial, falling into neither the buy side nor the sell side. Financial analysts generally focus on trends affecting a specific industry, geographical region, or type of product. For example, an analyst may focus on a subject area such as the energy industry, a world region such as Eastern Europe, or the foreign exchange market. They must understand how new regulations, policies, and political and economic trends may affect investments.

Monday, December 14, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Special Effects Technician

Special effects technicians are primarily employed by the motion picture and video industries. The term 'special effects technician' can refer to a broad range of positions in both the production and post-production stages. Technicians may have specialized knowledge in one or more areas, including animation, effects make-up, lighting design and audio engineering.

Friday, December 11, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Line Cook

Large restaurants and food service establishments tend to have varied menus and large kitchen staffs. Teams of restaurant cooks, sometimes called assistant or line cooks, work at assigned stations equipped with the necessary types of stoves, grills, pans, and ingredients. Professional culinary institutes, industry associations, and trade unions sponsor formal apprenticeship programs for cooks, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor. Typical apprenticeships last 2 years and combine technical training and work experience. The American Culinary Federation accredits more than 200 formal academic training programs and sponsors apprenticeship programs around the country. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Congressional App Challenge


December 8, 2015

Dear Principal:

I am writing to invite all high school students from the Seventh Congressional District of Maryland to participate in the second annual Congressional App Challenge.

Established by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, this competition is a nationwide event intended to engage students’ creativity and encourage their participation in STEM fields. This competition allows students to compete with peers in their own district by creating and exhibiting their software application, or “app”, for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice.

Students may compete as individuals or in teams of up to four. Students entering the competition must submit their app’s source code online by midnight on January 15, 2016 EST, as well as provide a video demo explaining their app and what they learned through this competition process.

Eligible competition participants must be high school students who reside in the Seventh Congressional District of Maryland or high school students who attend a high school located in the Seventh Congressional District of Maryland. Individuals submitting on behalf of teams must meet the eligibility requirements for individual contestants. In addition, participants must be at least 13 years old as of November 9, 2015. Participants may compete individually or in teams of up to 4 students. If students attend a high school outside of their home congressional district, they may compete in either their home district or their school district.
If students participate as a team, 2 members of the team must be from the same district. Finally, a student may only submit one application, either as an individual or as part of a team. Students may only submit an app in one district.

Students can learn about the Congressional App Challenge by visiting Students can register to participate in the Congressional App Challenge by visiting my Congressional App Challenge website and completing the entry form. After completing the entry form, students must visit my website to complete your competition registration, submit your app and submit a demonstration video. From November 9, 2015 to January 15, 2016 students entering the competition must provide a demonstration video explaining their app and what they learned through this competition process.

I have enclosed the Congressional App Challenge Contest Guidelines, a list of STEM Resources for Students & Teachers and a Congressional App Challenge flyer. Students must adhere to the rules of the competition.

The apps will be judged by a panel of local judges who work within the academic, software and entrepreneurial fields. The app of the winning student or team in each participating congressional district will be featured on the U.S. House of Representatives’ website ( and displayed in a U.S. Capitol exhibit.

For additional details, please visit

I hope your students will participate in this exciting competition. Should you have any questions, please contact my Special Assistant, Ms. Philisha Lane, in my Baltimore District Office at (410) 685-9199.  


Elijah E. Cummings
Member of Congress

Ms. Philisha K. LaneSpecial Projects and Constituent Resources Manager
Office of Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (MD-07)
1010 Park Avenue, Suite 105
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Phone: (410) 685-9199
Fax: (410) 685-9399

Flyer and Guidelines
Full Rules

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Elementary Educator

How have your opinions about school been shaped by an experience - either positive or negative - that you had with a teacher in elementary school? In either case, our future is largely dependent upon how teachers prepare and inspire children in the primary school years for the road ahead. Elementary educators need to be very patient and organized, and have a passion for their career. Like all fields, education undergoes changes from time to time, and effective teachers need to be prepared to grow with the industry. You will be required to obtain a bachelor's degree in elementary education, and renewing your license will also require professional development.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Hospitality Manager

If there’s one rule of thumb that should apply to the work force, it’s this: Pleasant jobs call for pleasant people. And as of late, one industry needs friendly folks more than ever. A Hotel general manager's Responsibilities include Directing everything involved in the operation and financial result of the property; creating standards for personnel administration and performance, service to patrons, room rates, advertising, publicity and food selection. Becoming a hospitality manager usually requires at least a two-year associates degree.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Executive Chef

Executive chefs, head cooks, and chefs de cuisine are primarily responsible for overseeing the operation of a kitchen. They coordinate the work of sous chefs and other cooks, who prepare most of the meals. Executive chefs also have many duties beyond the kitchen. They design the menu, review food and beverage purchases, and often train employees. Some executive chefs are primarily occupied by administrative tasks and spend little time in the kitchen. A growing number of chefs and head cooks receive formal training at community colleges, technical schools, culinary arts schools, and 2-year or 4-year institutions. Students in culinary programs spend most of their time in kitchens practicing their cooking skills. These programs cover all aspects of kitchen work, including menu planning, food sanitation procedures, and purchasing and inventory methods. Most formal training programs also require students to get experience in a commercial kitchen through an internship, apprenticeship, or out-placement program.

Monday, December 7, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: College Admission Counselor

Jacques Steinberg of the New York Times once described admissions counseling like this: "You travel, you do public speaking, you do one-on-one counseling, you plan events, and you sit by yourself and read for hours on end." Being an entry-level admissions counselor requires many tasks, all aimed at one goal: to recruit and select the most appropriate students for your institution. Admissions counselors work as members of a team, and use knowledge of sales, customer service, sociology, psychology, and even grief counseling at times. The level of responsibility increases with one's experience and education.

Friday, December 4, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Industrial Designer

Industrial designers develop the concepts for manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and toys. They combine art, business, and engineering to make products that people use every day. Industrial designers focus on the user experience in creating style and function for a particular gadget or appliance. A bachelor’s degree in industrial design, architecture, or engineering is usually required for entry-level industrial design jobs. Most design programs include the courses that industrial designers need in design: sketching, computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), industrial materials and processes, and manufacturing methods.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Radiologic Technologist

Healthcare professionals use many types of diagnostic equipment to diagnose patients. Radiologic technologists specialize in x-ray, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment. They may be called CT technicians or MRI technicians, depending on the equipment they work with. Technologists may be certified in multiple specialties. There are formal training programs in radiography that lead to a certificate, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree. Associate’s degree programs are the most common. Certificate programs typically last 6 to 12 months. Typical programs include both classroom training and clinical training. Coursework includes anatomy, pathology, patient care, radiation physics and protection, and image evaluation.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Attorney

How comfortable are you with reading? How persuasive can you be in written and spoken form? How is your attention to detail? Successful attorneys are able to perfectly craft their legal arguments in order to best represent their clients, and must stay well informed of all related current and previously decided court cases in order to do so. Many attorneys don't actually work in the courtroom like we see in primetime dramas, but the occupation can be very gratifying if you choose a legal specialization that is meaningful for you. Becoming a lawyer requires a three-year law degree beyond your four-year college degree.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

#PHSfit Career of the Day: Broadcast Talent

Every time you watch the news or listen to the radio, you are absorbing the work of many individuals, but the most visible members of that team are the on-air talent. These professionals typically have degrees in journalism or communications, and have worked several years behind the sound board or camera, and/or worked on-air for several years in a remote geographic area that does not have as large a market share - or viewing or listening base - as major metropolitan areas.