CANYON CITY - Ana Burgess is making a positive impact in her field of industrial and organizational psychology through a 21st century medium - electronic books.
After publishing her first ebook in March, "Tasks of the Industrial and Organizational Psychologist" (Tarea del Psicologo Organizacional y del Trabajo), she's now delving into another important subject aimed at helping people in her native Argentina who've been greatly affected by the recent recession.
The opportunity to write her first e-book came as she was teaching an online Spanish psychology class from her home in Canyon City.
E-book publishers from Psicom Editores of Colombia asked her to write a book about her field, as there currently aren't many available on the market, she said.
In Argentina, businesses receive a tax break for employing industrial and organizational psychologists to better their workforce and increase the effectiveness of their organization.
"Companies have a moral obligation to build the skills of the workers," she said.
Burgess noted that psychologists help businesses match employees to jobs within their company according to the workers' competence level. They also strive to increase workers' leadership and communication skills as well as customer relations, designing training programs for the business managers to follow.
"In a recession, businesses want to keep customers, and want to increase the good relationship with the customer," she said. The psychologist helps "measure in the people this capacity" to provide customer relationship skills.
Burgess said the publishing process is the same as it would be for a hardback book.
Her new project, which focuses on how to find and maintain a job, will be also be published by Psicom Editores.
Burgess' road to living in the United States began with a spark.
She visited her cousin in San Francisco in 1999 for the New Year's Eve fireworks display. Several days later she met her future husband Ronald at hot springs north of the Bay Area. They married in Oregon City in 2001.
The couple moved to Canyon City after visiting the area while Ronald worked on contract for Oregon Telephone Corporation supervising fiber optics installation. Ana said they both loved the scenery and made the move here from Lake Oswego when the company offered him a permanent job.
Both have grown children. She enjoys gardening and making crafts, especially mosaic stepping stones, birdhouses and light-switch covers. She also recently hosted the chaperone for some visiting exchange students from Spain.
She discovered her talent for writing when she was a teen; however, her mother encouraged her to consider other occupations.
"My mother said no because 'to be a writer, you need a rich husband to publish your book,'" Burgess said with a smile.
Her second choice was psychology and her father approved, but asked her to enter the field of industrial and organizational psychology rather than clinical.
She respected her father's advice and received a psychology degree at age 22.
After working as a psychologist for several years, she wrote her first book, "Carlos Evans, My Father."
He died in 1982.
"I felt it was my obligation," she said. "He was a fighter for democracy."
He was appointed by Eva Peron - Evita - to be a candidate and was elected governor of Mendoza Province in 1952, she said. He later became president of the national congress.
"If Argentina has a democracy, it is because of a person like him who always fights and fights - without guns - to reach a democratic country," Burgess said.
She also noted that "he was democratic in the family," allowing her to choose her own occupation.
Following the field of psychology her father recommended has brought her happiness, she said.
"It is a field that has given me a lot of satisfaction and has helped me in my own individual development," she said. "If I choose again, I would choose again the same."
For her next project, a Spanish ebook written to help job seekers, she is studying materials and books at the Oregon Employment Department in Canyon City.
She notes that the recession in Argentina has resulted in long-term unemployment for many people and has contributed to a suicide rate which is higher than surrounding countries in South America.
She aspires to give hope to those who are Spanish-speaking and unemployed.
"The secret is not having a lot of talent, but it's how you use the talents that you have."