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There are a lot of different online degree programs available today, ranging from associate level degrees to master’s degrees and beyond. For example, you can get a degree in everything from graphic design and web development, to marketing, engineering, healthcare administration, and just about everything in between from schools like the University of South Dakota online.

Despite all of these options and the growing popularity of accredited online degree programs, however, are they really valuable? To learn more about what employers really think about these degrees, keep reading.

What the Results of a Study Revealed

A study called “The Market Value of Online Degrees as a Credible Credential” was released in 2013, and it revealed quite a bit about how employers today view online degree programs, and whether or not they take these programs seriously enough to actually hire employees with these qualifications.

Ultimately, the study concluded that some employers typically will perceive a college education in a traditional classroom environment as being more valuable and credible when compared to the same programs taught in an online environment. In other words, if you have the same type of education from an online school as another employee who got the education in a traditional classroom, the employer may prefer the other candidate over you.

However, not all employers have such dated perceptions of online education. The study also revealed that any employer’s overall attitude regarding online degrees will be more positive if that employer has had direct experience with the world of online education. In other words, if an employer has worked with someone who has gotten an online education, or they have pursued an online education themselves, they won’t view these degrees any differently from traditional degrees.

Accreditation Makes a Difference

Schools that are accredited, whether they operate online or in a physical environment, are going to always appear more valuable and are always going to have a stronger reputation than schools that are not accredited. This is because they have gone through the difficult process of receiving accreditation, which proves that their programs have the content necessary to fully prepare workers for the challenges that lie ahead in a particular career.

Choose Your School Wisely

Because there are a lot of online schools and online courses available that are not accredited and do not carry much weight, it is important to really do your research into whether or not a program is accredited prior to enrolling. This will ensure that you are paying for the best education and that your time and effort will be worthwhile. If you want to impress an employer, you can certainly attend an online school and get an online degree, but it will need to be from a school that has proven itself.

Employers today are a lot more willing than they ever were before to hire an employee who has a degree from an accredited university or college. Therefore, if you are planning on getting an online education, pursuing the right program from a reputable school is the key to getting hired.

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Every year as summer comes around, a huge number of girls have to face their body insecurities. Yes, summer is bikini season, and thanks to the media’s version of ‘the perfect body’ that we’re fed regularly, and articles on how to get the perfect ‘bikini body’ which are more and more common as the summer months draw in, there is often unnecessary and unwanted pressure to lose weight, tone up, and achieve often unrealistic results which are showcased by photo-shopped models. The thing is, whatever your shape or size, you deserve to feel confident and beautiful on the beach this summer. How do you get a bikini body? It’s simple – just put a bikini on your body.

Choosing Your Bikini

The great thing about bikinis and swimwear is that they’re available in all different shapes, sizes, colors and styles. If you want to bare all and get a maximum tan then there are string bikinis, whereas on the other hand, if you’ll feel more confident covered up a little more, you could opt for a gorgeous plus size tankini or even a full swimsuit. When choosing your swimwear for the beach this summer, the main thing is to opt for a style that isn’t just something that you like, but is also well suited for your body shape and emphasizes your best assets. When you find the right swimsuit, it will make you look amazing, filling you with confidence.

Knowing Your Body Type

In order to make sure that you choose a swimsuit or bikini which really shows you off and flatters your figure, it’s important to know your own body type and understand the type of style which will be best for you. Too often, girls make the mistake of choosing a bikini or one-piece just because it’s the most ‘in’ style at the moment, even if it is unflattering and ends up making them notice the parts of their body that they’re the most insecure about more. When you know and understand your own body type, you’ll be able to make better, more informed decisions when it comes to choosing swimwear and there’ll be less chance of you making any mistakes with your choices. At the end of the day, a swimsuit or bikini which fits you well and is designed for your body shape will always look better than a bikini which is the latest fashion trend, but is unflattering on you personally.

Plus-Sized Swimwear

Plus-sized girls always tend to be a little more conscious about wearing a bikini than most. This is no surprise, given the negativity that tends to surround plus sized ladies in the media. However, recently, body positivity has become more and more of a common theme. An increasing number of swimwear designers are coming up with designs, such as high waist bikinis, skirted swimsuits, and tummy control one-pieces that are all designed to give plus-sized ladies the confidence that they need when on the beach or by the pool. When you are plus-sized it is all about embracing your curves, and accentuating them as best you can. Choosing a swimsuit with a design that cinches in at the waist, for example, will instantly give you a gorgeous hourglass figure.

Apple-Shaped

The ‘Apple’ shape is one that the majority of women tend to have. Women tend to naturally carry a little extra weight around their middle, especially if they have had a baby. Of course, if you’re healthy, there’s nothing wrong with this, but when you look at models with washboard abs, it can be easy to feel flawed and not confident enough to wear a bikini. Thankfully, there are many different bikini and swimsuit styles that you can try in order to accentuate your best assets and cover up the parts of your body that you’re less confident about. Go for a high-waist bikini, a cut-out one-piece, or even try pairing plan bikini bottoms with an interesting, patterned bikini top to draw the eyes upwards.

Pear-Shaped

If you carry most of your weight around your hips, your body shape is known as ‘Pear shaped’. Women with this body shape can often feel a little out of proportion, especially as their hips and thighs are usually wider than their chest. When choosing a bikini, you should go for one which draws attention away from your hips and upwards, balancing out your body proportion. Push-up, underwired bikinis are a great choice, and bikini bottoms with ties at the side can ensure that you don’t end up with straps that dig in.

No matter your shape or size, you have every right to feel confident and beautiful on the beach!

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011915BEAUTY
As SoZo Hair enters their 16th year in business, Karen Welch, owner and creative director of the salon, is excited to further serve the West Chester community through their newly restored building. SoZo Hair by Bajon Salon, formally known as Bajon Salon, added Sozo to the name to more closely identify with the name of their private line, SoZo Heavenly Haircare.

 

“SoZo is an ancient Greek Biblical word meaning to save, heal, protect and make whole,” says Welch. “Our product line does these things for the hair, but we also apply this concept to our new building, our business and life in general – with God’s grace.”

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The name “SoZo Hair” was chosen in 2007 by Karen’s husband, Mark Welch, co-owner and director of operations at the salon. “Mark is a chemical engineer by training, but when he ended up in the salon industry with me, it didn’t take him long to ‘get on’ the product details and decide to go with a private line,” says Welch.

 

However, the name was “re-launched” upon moving to their newly renovated building, adding SoZo to the salon name – and a SoZo concept salon was born.

 

SoZo Salon is a full-service salon and day spa offering services in hair, skin and nails. They offer full lines of SoZo haircare, Bioelements skincare and Creative Nail Designs nail products.

 

“We take pride in our services and aim to make every client feel special,” says Welch. “We offer outstanding customer service with high quality services and products, along with helping children in need. We do an average of one fundraiser a year, whether it be for Children’s Hospital, Kids cancer research, Kids of Kenya, Arlie Boggs Elementary in Appalacia or so on. We plan to do one this summer for The Boys and Girls Club locally.”

 

As for the products, they have definitely proven themselves. “The best part is that for every bottle of shampoo or conditioner we sell, we donate a bottle of shampoo or body wash to children in need,” says Welch. “We’ve wanted to do this for a long time and it finally came to fruition this past summer!”

 

“We have also updated our packaging and formulas,” Welch continues, “the next step is to take SoZo products to other salons and continue the donations to children, locally and afar.”

 

Looking forward, Welch hopes to have a gallery of designers and technicians all “rocking” the building with talent. “With the trend in the industry being ‘booth rental’, we’re adding a blend of booth renters to our existing commission team,” says Welch. “This joint team will also hopefully participate in taking SoZo products education on the road to hair shows and salons across the country.”

 

SoZo Hair’s newly restored area is located on the corner of Cincinnati-Dayton and West Chester Rds. At 9069 Cin-Day Rd. in Ole West Chester. “This is one half mile up West Chester Rd. from our old location,” says Welch. “We’re so excited to be right in the heart of the olde and the new.”

 

To learn more about SoZo Hair, visit www.sozohair.net, “like” the SoZo Hair by Bajon Salon’s Facebook page or call (513) 874-9999.

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011915FEATUREAnita Altman of the UJA-Federation of New York in Manhattan wanted to create a national ReelAbilities Film Festival to help raise awareness of the common humanity and value of each person, regardless of his or her disability. That’s when she founded the ReelAbilities Film Festival.

The idea for a film festival was developed when Altman saw a film called “Praying with Lior” about a young man who has Down syndrome and how he prepared for a bar mitzvah. From there, she wanted the film festival to highlight moves that impact change while helping to expand and transform programming for people with disabilities.

The ReelAbilities Film Festival was founded in 2007 in New York City. Since then, the film festival has spread to 12 U.S. cities, including Cincinnati. In fact, Cincinnati’s ReelAbilities Film Festival launched in 2013 as the first city outside of New York to host the event. Today, it hosts the second largest festival nationwide, behind only New York.

In 2014, the festival’s national headquarters moved to the Queen City. It’s managed by the nonprofit Living Arrangements for Developmentally Disabled (LADD), Inc. For those who have never attended the film festival, all of the films screened during the event share the stories, lives and art of people who have disabilities.

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According to Festival Co-Chair and Accommodation Committee Chair Kara Ayers, PhD., the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival expects thousands of people to participate in the eight-day event that runs from February 27 to March 7. Presented by Macy’s, the region’s largest film festival includes a Premier Weekend Corporate Awards Luncheon, Red Carpet Gala and Gala Afterparty as well as more than 30 film screenings, speaking and other events for VIPs. “Each of our film screening events is hosted by and will benefit a local nonprofit organization whose work enriches the lives of people with disabilities,” says Ayers.

 

At this year’s Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival, Oscar and Golden Globe Award Winning Actress Marlee Matlin will be the keynote speaker at the Corporate Awards Luncheon. Also in attendance will be respected actors Danny Woodburn, Daryl Chill Mitchell and Kurt Yaeger in addition to Richard Bernstein, the country’s first state Supreme Court Justice who is blind. Project Runway’s Justin LeBlanc and internationally acclaimed photographer Rick Guidotti of Positive Exposure will also be at the film festival as well as many who are featured in or part of the films will attend the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival.

Now that the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival is entering its third year, the event has grown more than four times in size, according to Ayers. “We have accomplished this because of how our entire region has supported our cause,” Ayers adds. “We have succeeded at bringing together government, academia, the business and arts community as well as social service to celebrate our region’s diversity and our shared humanity.”

The mission and message is resonating within the business community, too, says Ayers. “The region’s top employers are recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion in recruiting and retaining strong workforces,” she adds.

In addition to these accomplishments, the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival is bringing nationally- and internationally-recognized Hollywood stars who want to come to Cincinnati and participate in the festivities. The national festival has grown so much this year that there were more than 500 films submitted from across the world to be juried for awards.

The Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival will be held in several locations throughout the Cincinnati area. “Our Premier Weekend Corporate Awards Luncheon and Red Carpet Gala will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown,” says Ayers. “We will be holding film screenings at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Kenwood and Esquire Theatres, Cincinnati Museum Center, Great American Ball Park, Taylor High School and the Contemporary Arts Center.”

VIP guests are also invited to participate in a variety of speaking and other engagements that will take place throughout the city.

To see a list of nonprofit agencies benefiting from the film festival, click here. To learn more about the ReelAbilties Film Festival, visit the website at www.cincyra.org. Here you can learn more about the events, watch Film Festival trailers, register to volunteer and purchase tickets. You can also follow along on Facebook Twitter and join in the conversation using the hashtag #DifferentLikeYou.

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