Masking the résumé: Saad Mahmoud needs to ignore his friends ["Taking the Plunge," by Jennifer Mathieu, June 19]. Allegedly they told him that with his educational background, few would hire him, saying that "Because he's so overqualified, they know he'd take off as soon as the economy takes off again."
Many years ago I had the same problem, so I just "left out" the degree that overqualified me. I figured (correctly) that while some employers may verify what is on the résumé, not one checks for what is not on the résumé. And if you get a job, are discovered and then fired (for doing too good a job?), you're no worse off than you were before, right?
Employers are naive if they think Rice grads make worse employees than most of those who pass through their doors. Besides, eating and paying bills are excellent reasons not to "take off" as soon as the economy recovers. If employees are given the chance to advance based on their performance, why would they want to take off, anyway?
Search start: I loved your article. Unfortunately, I fall in the same bracket as many of these students. I am a senior at St. Thomas, and my biggest fear is what many of these students are going through: graduating and not finding anything out there in my field.
Thanks for the reminder of how important it is to begin the job search ASAP. I was planning to wait until my last semester, but after reading this, I think I will begin my search now.
Thanks again, and keep up the good work.
Finding the Cure
Third Ward advocate: Contrary to the perspective posited in your column [The Insider, by Tim Fleck, June 19], I am not opposed to the expansion of the federally qualified health center network in Houston. I am very supportive of any effort to improve and expand access to health care in medically underserved areas. I am troubled, though, by the convoluted forces driving the current initiative to convert Riverside health center into an FQHC.
As a public health professional, I will always advocate for preventive health services. I am also an advocate for the residents of the Third Ward and believe they ought to participate in the health facility decisions that serve them. One other point I would like to clear up: I recommend the consolidation of health centers to five; I did not specify a health center.
Regarding the remarks of Katie Caldwell, preventive care, the crux of public health, is working in Houston. Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city, ranks eighth in AIDS cases and 12th in tuberculosis. While our ability to statistically prove good immunization rates has been lacking (we have a new system in place to improve documentation), we have had little or no vaccine-preventable disease in Houston since the early 1990s. These successes are accomplished through good public health programs.
Primary-care organizations treat one patient at a time; public health utilizes interventions and strategies that prevent illness in whole communities. The Third Ward needs preventive services as well as primary care.
M. desVignes-Kendrick, MD, MPH
Director, Houston Health and Human Services Department
Restore hepatitis funds: Good for you for doing this article. Health director Mary Kendrick is not only incompetent, she has lost every cent the city was getting from the state and feds for hepatitis C education, testing and awareness. Like it or not, City Councilmember Shelley Sekula-Gibbs is the city's true top doc.
Those of us in the Hepatitis C Movement for Awareness cannot work with Kendrick and are counting the days until she leaves office. I think all four major mayoral candidates would get rid of her. I have spoken to three.
Speaking of preventive care, can you believe a health director could lose every single cent to test for a disease that is now four times more prevalent than HIV?
Proud Mary's got to go!
Ed Wendt, Texas coordinator
Hepatitis C Movement for Awareness
Feed the cats: I'd just like to inform the people at Green Meadow apartments (including the Texas City cop there) that Dorothy Rhoden is not the one doing something wrong, and doesn't deserve to be reprimanded ["Catfight," by Wendy Grossman, June 19].
Instead of chastising her, why don't you try to do something about people abandoning their pets in that area? Those cats didn't ask to be homeless; a human decided that for them.
If the people at that complex are afraid to let their children out to play because of cats, they're not smart enough to be parents. I think murderers, kidnappers and rapists are a bit more threatening than a wary feline.
Go ahead, stop letting Dorothy feed them. I hope the sound of cats growling and screaming in an echoing Dumpster doesn't disturb your sleep. And what a surprise, a cop not clever enough to catch real criminals, so he makes up laws and arrests a respectable citizen.
Sara Jo Dunstan
Cats are the threat: "Catfight" is an all-too-familiar story of misguided animal lovers who are ignorant of the extreme harm that feral and released wild species can do to native wildlife. This story also exhibits the holier-than-thou attitude of such animal lovers who feel that others' private property rights are immaterial to their "save the cats" (or whatever) mission.
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Worst-case example: Just north of Texas City is an Attwater's prairie chicken reserve owned by the Nature Conservancy. This is an extremely endangered species of ground-dwelling bird.
Now, take a guess: What is, worldwide, the certain victim of feral cats everywhere? Right, ground-dwelling birds. Feral cats in this area have pretty much driven local cottontail rabbits to extinction. I rather like to see cottontail rabbits in the area's undeveloped fields. Cottontail rabbits also habituate well, as did the two pair in my two-acre yard before the stray cats killed them.
The subjects of the article have, in my opinion, trespassed and willfully endangered native wildlife. Feral cats within ten miles of the Attwater refuge should be exterminated immediately, and anyone harboring them in the area should be charged with federal crimes relating to the reckless endangerment of threatened or endangered species.