Congratulations to Physical Therapy on Reaffirmation of Accreditation!
The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) recently reaffirmed the accreditation status of the Physical Therapy Department's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. The reaccreditation extends through June 30, 2021.
"Accreditation is a voluntary process," noted Rebecca K. Wojcik, PT, Ed.D., GCS, Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy in the College of Health and Human Services at GSU.
"We engage in this process to affirm the high quality of education we provide to students. We're very pleased that the program has been recognized for its compliance with the CAPTE's evaluative criteria for the accreditation of education programs for the preparation of physical therapists," Dr. Wojcik said.
The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education may be reached at 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314, email@example.com, (703) 684-2782 or (703) 706-3245.
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CHHS Celebrates Doctoral Hooding
of 44 Nursing, OT, and PT Students
Hats off to the 44 students from the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) who recently participated in the College's second Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.
Doctor of Occupational Therapy—DrOT
Caren M. Schranz is the first DrOT degree recipient in the College. Schranz is an adjunct Occupational Therapy instructor for CHHS.
Doctor of Nursing Practice—DNP
- Carol Alexander
- Colleen Andreoni
- Pam Cooper
- Marie Hansel
- Marlyn D. Hirsch-Alderson
- Barbara Johnson
- Ann Miller
- Anne Morgan
- Brenda Rocha
- Jacquelyn Whitten
Doctor of Physical Therapy—DPT
- Agnieszka Adamczyk
- Amy D. Bender
- Todd P. Boyer
- Bernt A. Carlson
- Brennon C. Deike
- Lauren E. Ditteon
- Stefanie M. Dominguez
- Jessica L. George
- Kelly M. Ghiotto
- Nicole M. Gogolew
- Alexander Sangmo Han
- Sara A. Hennessy
- Matthew Robert Kelling
- Tevis J. Kirkling
- Linda Lai
- Beth A. Landers
- Danya L. Lev
- Taryn E. Lewis
- Jennifer Eileen Lukow
- Lauren T. Mansell
- Janee S. Mohan
- Olubunmi O. Olowe
- Idris A. Omosanya
- Barbara M. Papciak
- Steven E. Reiter
- Tim Schultz
- Halidu G. Shokunbi
- Sarunas Skadas
- Christina L. Werner
Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy—
- Teodoro C. Cirujales
- Jay Johnson
- Sharon Nash-Gunn
- Wendy S. Reils
Commitment to Educational Access
The doctorates in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Nursing Practice elevate graduates to new levels of expertise and qualifications in their respective fields. The professional doctorate focuses primarily on the knowledge graduates need for advanced or entry-level practice.
"The degree candidates for DPT, DrOT and DNP reflect GSU's commitment to educational access and our belief that we as an institution must provide our constituents the opportunities to achieve in the professional practice world," noted Linda F. Samson, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services.
One year ago, a total of 20 doctoral graduates from CHHS—two Doctor of Nursing Practice students and 18 Doctor of Physical Therapy students—participated in the University's historic, first-ever Hooding Ceremony.
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CHHS Dean Praised for "Tremendous Contributions" to University
In a February memo to the University community, GSU Provost and VP for Academic Affairs Terry Allison, Ph.D., praised CHHS Dean Linda F. Samson, Ph.D., for the work she did while serving as Interim Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies.
In the memo, Dr. Allison stated that he appreciated Dean Samson's "tremendous contributions and find it amazing what she was able to achieve in OSPR (Office of Sponsored Programs and Research) while managing exceptional growth in her college and contributing nationally to her profession."
GSU President Elaine P. Maimon noted that "Dean Samson oversaw a phenomenal growth in federal funding and put into place a framework on which to build a sustained campus effort to continue to increase grant funding."
Professor James "Chip" Coldren has been named as Acting Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research.
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Social Work Addresses Global Tragedy of Human Trafficking
More than 150 students, field instructors, social workers, and members of the community attended a free conference, Stop Human Trafficking: Implications for Social Work Practice, on March 4 at GSU. The event was hosted by the Illinois Social Work Field Directors' Network and held at two locations: GSU and the DePaul Center.
Coordinating the conference at GSU was Jo Anne Smith, MSW, LCSW, Director of Field Education in the Department of Social Work, College of Health and Human Services.
In her introduction to the day's events, Smith noted that the Social Work curriculum at GSU is "dedicated to the idea that the citizens of our communities — those who are vulnerable and marginalized — deserve the care and dignity they need to live full and fulfilling lives. ... This [human trafficking] is everyone's problem and everyone's responsibility to solve."
Serving as moderator for the conference was Jesse Munoz, Assistant Dean of Student Relations, Director of Field Placement, Graduate School of Social Work, Dominican University in River Forest. Conference participants included: Lisa Fedina, MSW, Coordinator of the Rescue and Restore Project of the Illinois Department of Human Services; Ellyce Dalberg of the Salvation Army's STOP-IT program; Brenda Myers-Powell of the Cook County Sheriff's Women's Justice Program and the Dreamcatcher Foundation; and Frank Massolini of the Salvation Army's Promise (Partnership to Rescue Our Minors from Sexual Exploitation) Program. An afternoon presentation on human trafficking in South India was conducted by Ashley Brooks, MA, and Rob Brooks, JD. Five hours of CEUs were offered for all licensed social workers in attendance.
According to the United Nation's Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, an estimated 2.5 million people are in forced labor (including sexual exploitation) at any given time as a result of trafficking. Under the legal definition of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, trafficking victims in the U.S. can be divided into three populations:
- Minors (under age 18) involved in commercial sex;
- Adults age 18 and over involved in commercial sex via force, fraud, or coercion;
- Children and adults forced to perform labor and/or services in conditions of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery, via force, fraud, or coercion.
The presentation by Brenda Myers-Powell was particularly riveting, as the 53-year-old woman discussed the 25 years she spent as a prostitute in Chicago.
Today Myers-Powell is a member of the Cook County Sheriff's Department's prostitution intervention team, and is a co-founder of the Dreamcatcher Foundation. A not-for-profit organization, since 2007 the Dreamcatcher Foundation has focused on improving the lives of Chicago's most disadvantaged and disenfranchised young women, ages 12-25, through education, empowerment, and prevention of sexual exploitation.
"We have to address the demand side of this problem, too," Myers-Powell noted in her presentation. "We have to teach young men and boys that buying sex from women and girls is violence against women."
Individuals who know that someone is a victim of human trafficking should call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center 24-hour Hotline at 1-888-3737-888.
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Addictions Studies Alumna Earns Spot in Competitive Grad Program
Timaka Wallace, a 2008 graduate of GSU's Master of Health Science in Addictions Studies degree program, is headed to Boston after being accepted into Massachusetts General Hospital's two-year Nurse Practitioner Program with a double focus in psychiatric mental health and addictions.
Wallace was one of only 96 applicants to be accepted from a total pool of 1,015 applicants for this competitive program.
"I am so grateful for this opportunity," Wallace said. "The College of Health and Human Services' Addictions Studies program was my platform, helping me find my purpose," she said.
"Professors Mark Sanders, Jim Golding, Peter Palanca, Dave O'Donnell and Dr. Gregory Blevins fueled me with their inspiration for the addictions studies field, and supported my interest in serving the most vulnerable populations," Wallace said. "GSU has had a vital impact on this new journey I'm taking."
A product of Chicago's South Side housing projects, Wallace beat the odds and became the first college graduate in her family.
Stay tuned for more news of Wallace's achievements.
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CHHS Honors Outstanding Students, Preceptors, Field Instructors
Fourteen students and eight supervisors, preceptors, and field instructors were honored recently when the College of Health and Human Services hosted its 2011 Recognition Night in the Hall of Governors at GSU.
Outstanding, Award-Winning Students
As master of ceremonies for the evening, Communication Disorders Associate Professor Catherine Balthazar, Ph.D., stated
"Some of these students are recognized for their academic accomplishments, some for service, some for demonstrating growth; but all of them are truly multidimensional people who make our college proud."
Addictions Studies and Behavioral Health
- Undergraduate: Jillian Gray (Community Health)
- Graduate: Jasmine Williams
- Undergraduate: Melissa Daniels
- Graduate: Yesenia Esparza
- Undergraduate: Kwame Adjapong
- Graduate: Angela Davis
- Undergraduate: Rachel Bulthuis
- Graduate: Eva Blicharski
- Doctoral: Alisa Murchek
Occupational Therapy (OT)
Caren Schranz (left), named Outstanding Doctoral Student, is also the Department of Occupational Therapy's very first Doctor of Occupational Therapy graduate. Caren receives congratulations from (right) Beth Cada, Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy.
- Graduate: Melissa Sparr
- Doctoral: Caren Schranz
Physical Therapy (PT)
- Undergraduate: Cynthia King-Meyers
- Graduate: Stan W. McLaurin
Supervisors, Preceptors, and Field Instructors
Also honored were eight "extraordinary people who have volunteered their time and expertise in the service of giving our students strong field experiences," Dr. Balthazar said.
"Our professions, and this college, rely upon supervisors, preceptors, and field instructors to provide high quality practical experiences. Those we honor tonight have proven to be true mentors, who are skilled not just in their professional areas of practice, but also in the nurturing of new professionals," she said.
CHHS Dean Linda Samson, Ph.D., presented the awards to the individuals honored for their extraordinary achievement as supervisors, preceptors, and field instructors:
- Addictions Studies & Behavioral Health: Levi Aliposa, Assistant Program Director of Thresholds Rowan Trees, Chicago
- Communication Disorders: Akilia D. McCain, Owner, Phoenix Therapy Services, Chicago
- Health Administration: Kenneth Williams, Director of Marketing, Aunt Martha's Health Network
- Nursing: Eileen Devlin, Director for the Center of Nursing Education at Mercy Hospital, Chicago
- Occupational Therapy: Rebecca Kvasnicka, OT Education Coordinator for Riverside Health Care and Medical Center, Kankakee
- Physical Therapy: William Curtis, Owner, Physical Therapy and Spine Institute, Tinley Park
- Social Work: Laura Von Borstel, District 130 Social Worker; and Bryan Echols, Executive Director of MAGIC, Inc. (Metropolitan Area Group for Igniting Civilization), Chicago.
Kenneth Williams, Director of Marketing for Aunt Martha's Health Network, receives an award for Outstanding Preceptor from CHHS Dean Linda Samson. Williams is also a graduate of GSU's Master of Health Administration Program.
In her closing remarks, Dr. Balthazar quoted Mohandas Gandhi who said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."
Dr. Balthazar added, "We can see that the people we honor tonight have found themselves by choosing a life of service. It is the hallmark of our college and this university to have such commitment to the greater good."
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Nursing Now Offers New MSN Education Tracks
In response to the increasing complexity of today's healthcare environment and the growing need for advanced nursing education, the Nursing Department now offers four new tracks in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program.
"It's been our institutional commitment to advancing educational attainment for nurses, because we believe that greater knowledge leads to improved patient outcomes," noted CHHS Dean Linda Samson, Ph.D., RN, BC; NEA, BC.
The four additional tracks include:
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Students enrolled in this track will gain advanced skills in pharmacology, pathophysiology and health assessment, as well as a wealth of supervised classroom and clinical experiences in all aspects of primary care. Graduates will play a key role in providing primary health care services for the estimated 1.8 million new individuals in Illinois who will need access to medical care, under the new healthcare reform act.
Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate
The Department of Nursing offers a certificate to prepare nurses who have already attained a master's or doctoral degree in a clinical nursing speciality and who aspire to work as a Family Nurse Practitioner in an advanced practice setting.
At the fascinating crossroads of law and medicine, forensic nursing students will receive Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) training, as well as advanced training in risk management, patient safety, and nursing law.
Under healthcare reform, nurse informaticians will be required to understand and interact with the new information systems that hospitals and healthcare organizations will require.
For more information on any of the new MSN tracks, e-mail Linda McCann at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Nursing Interim Chair Selected as Sigma Theta Tau Candidate
Nancy MacMullen, Ph.D., RNC-HROB, APN/CNS, CNE, Interim Chair of the Nursing Department in the College of Health and Human Services, has been selected as a candidate for the position of Region 5 Coordinator of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI).
The only international nursing honor society, STII is a global community of nurse leaders with members who belong to 469 chapters and who live in 86 countries. Through this network, members use knowledge, scholarship, service, and learning to improve the health of the world's people.
The STTI election will be held November 1, 2011, during the 41st Sigma Theta Tau International Biennial Convention in Grapevine, Texas.
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Phi Alpha National Honor Society
Holds 2011 Induction Ceremony
The Social Work Department recently hosted the 2011 Induction Ceremony for the GSU Chapter of Phi Alpha National Honor Society.
The GSU chapter of Phi Alpha — the National Honor Society for Social Work students — is Omicron Beta. The purpose of the Phi Alpha Honor society is to provide a closer bond among students of social work and to promote humanitarian goals and ideals. Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work.
The motto of Phi Alpha is "Through Knowledge — the Challenge to Serve."
Officers of the Omicron Beta Chapter of Phi Alpha currently include: Cynthia King-Myers, President; Tonyia Kelley, Vice President; Yvette Smith-Walker, Secretary; and Tamara Lewis, Treasurer. New officer elections are forthcoming. Maristela Zell, Ph.D., LCSW, Associate Professor in the Social Work Department, serves as faculty representative for the GSU chapter of Phi Alpha.
Newly-inducted members of the Phi Alpha National Honor Society include:
- Kaitlin Aldworth
- Aurora Basha
- Gail D. Bonds-Carpenter
- Monica Clanton
- Sarah Cullina
- Sarah Duncan
- Emma Eaton
- Rue Farcas
- Sherri Funk
- Stephanie Gibson
- Marla Golden Kolovitz
- Donna R. Gordon
- Dora Harris
- Amber Keipe
- Nina R. Lee
- Russhà Maclin-Harris
- Catrice Moore
- Stephanie Perry
- Ashley Pitchford
- Stephanie Pulice
- Colleen Quinn
- Jeanna Robinson
- Jonika Pamela Ross
- Juanita Sanders
- Tonnickie Singleton
- Ellen M. Surprenant.
Addressing the new inductees, Gerri Outlaw, Ed.D., chair of GSU's Social Work Department, said, "I hope you are aware of how important you're seen. You are the top academic students, the cream of the crop," she said.
"The emphasis in Phi Alpha, of course, is on academic excellence. But more important than that is the continuous civic engagement and service you provide. I hope that you will continue to be the fine and exemplary social workers that you are right now."
'You're Here to Change the World'
Serving as featured speaker for the Induction Ceremony was Fernando Rayas, a BSW alumnus from GSU who went on to receive his MSW from Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Rayas currently serves as a community organizer for Gamaliel of Metro Chicago (GMC), an affiliate of the Gamaliel Foundation, a nationally recognized network of grassroots community organizations working in the areas of youth issues, immigration reform, health care, access to transportation, workforce development and education. Rayas has been working with Jerry Kellman, who served as President Barack Obama's mentor in Gamaliel during the 1980s.
"It's an honor to be back here at my alma mater," Rayas noted. "I appreciate the background in policy that I learned through my social work studies. As a social worker, you have to understand policy and systemic change, as well as people and personal interaction. The macro and micro come together," he said.
"As a community organizer, I work with individuals in their leadership development and empowerment. I help these individuals realize that they can make a difference in solving the challenges of their communities.
"The correct answer to why you do what you do as a social worker is because you want to change the world. As a social worker, you are not here to be famous, or popular, or to become wealthy. You're here to change the world," Rayas said.
For more information about Phi Alpha, please visit its website at www.phialpha.org, contact Dr. Maristela Zell at 708.235.2235, or fill out a Phi Alpha Omicron Beta Chapter Request for Initiation form, and return it to Governors State University, c/o Dr. Maristela Zell, Social Work Department, 1 University Parkway, University Park, 60484.
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Occupational Therapy Students Celebrate OT Month
First year Occupational Therapy (OT) students exhibited student pride — as well as pride in their profession — when they hosted a fair in celebration of Occupational Therapy.
The students, all members of the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA), set up a variety of colorful, informational, and interactive displays in the Cafeteria Annex. Occupational Therapy students were on hand to answer the most frequently asked question: What does an Occupational Therapist do?
Representing GSU at the National Conference of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in Philadelphia in April were (pictured, left and right) Russ Thompson, Vice President of SOTA, and Ashleigh Goetz, President of GSU's SOTA.
While networking at the conference in Philadelphia, Goetz and Thompson discovered that their GSU Occupational Therapy faculty members are widely known, respected, and held in very high regard across the Occupational Therapy profession.
Next year's national conference will be held in Indianapolis; Goetz is hoping to see a large contingent of GSU students in attendance.
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PTSA Sponsors Successful, First-Ever Run 4 Rehab Fundraiser
The weather may have been a bit cool and cloudy, but that didn't keep approximately 80 individuals from participating recently in the first-ever Run 4 Rehab, a 5K (3.1 mile) run and 2-mile walk sponsored May 7 by the Physical Therapy Student Association (PTSA) of Governors State University.
The Run for Rehab served as a benefit to raise funds for the Miami-Marquette Challenge, a national competition between physical therapy schools to collect and distribute money for physical therapy research grants around the country; additional funds were to go to the PTSA.
According to event director Andy Jellema, first-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) student at GSU, a final tally is not yet complete, but he estimates that at least $400 was raised by the event.
Participants all received an event T-shirt, a "goody bag," and were treated to refreshments at the conclusion of their run/walk.
Awards were given to the overall male and female finishers, as well as the top three finishers in each age group. Click here for complete race results.
The PTSA plans an even bigger event next year.
Pictured above right are Joyce Sligar, University Lecturer in the PT Department and Faculty Advisor to the PTSA, and DPT student Andy Jellema, event director. At left, several GSU Doctor of Physical Therapy (PT) students, as well as faculty members, volunteered or participated in the Run 4 Rehab, including (left to right) students Diana Biehl, Christie Ader, and Rose Porod; Associate Professor of PT, Dr. Dale Schuit, and students Randi Elliott, Tina Oria, and Ashley Kayes.
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Social Work Students Out in Full Force for Advocacy Day 2011
Social Work students from the College of Health and Human Services came out in full force to support Social Work Advocacy Day in Springfield this past March.
GSU tied for first place with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the most number of students participating in the day's events; both schools had 119 students in attendance. The second highest attendance (92 students) came from the University of Illinois at Chicago, followed by Illinois State University, with 87 students in attendance.
A total of 17 social work programs from across the state were represented in Springfield for Social Work Advocacy Day, culminating in a record number of close to 900 social workers and social work students participating in this year's event.
Coordinating the event with members and officers of the GSU Social Work Student Organization was Phyllis West, Ph.D., MPH, MSW, Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work. Accompanying West were colleagues Lorri Glass, Ph.D., LCSW, ACSW, Assistant Professor in the Social Work Department, and Asabi Yakini, Ph.D, a lecturer in the Social Work Department.
Amazing School Spirit
Commenting on the day's events, Dr. West noted that, "in addition to learning about urgent financial matters impacting human service organizations, throughout the day students demonstrated an amazing school spirit and a desire to learn more about policy."
First year Bachelor of Social Work student Jennifer Goudreau, of Bradley, said she had been to Springfield before on field trips, but had never had such an "enriching, hands-on experience" in observing government at work." Goudreau had the opportunity to sit in on a State Government Administration Committee meeting, at which State Representative Lisa Dugan was serving as vice-chairperson. "It was great to be in the middle of it all," Goudreau said.
The top issue of concern for the students was the financial budget, Goudreau noted. "Social services — things like mental health and domestic violence centers — you don't realize how important these programs are until you need them," she said. "We realize that cuts have to come from somewhere, but I'm hoping they can find somewhere else to cut."
According to the Executive Director of the Illinois Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Joel L. Rubin, MSW, CAE, writing on the NASW-IL website: "Our large numbers could not have come at a more important time: serious issues of budget cuts to human services ... are a significant area of focus, in addition to implementation of healthcare reform in Illinois and Medicaid reform in the state."
Thanks were extended to Sheree Sanderson, Director of Student Engagement and College Relations at GSU, who provided support services for the trip, and helped secure a second bus needed to transport the large GSU contingent.
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Students Conduct Project: We Care for Military Families in Need
Some Social Work students from Social Welfare Policy II class, led by Associate Professor of Social Work Dr. Adelle Sanders, DPA, MSW, took the College of Health and Human Services' mission ("Make Someone's Life Better") to heart recently when they conducted a fundraising initiative to support military families and veterans.
The students behind Project: We Care include Monica Clanton, Judy Marion, and Juanita Sanders. According to Clanton, the project was "in response to First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden's "Joining Forces" campaign to help active duty military families facing a long list of unique challenges.
"We decided to extend our project to include military veterans," Clanton noted. "We wanted to thank these individuals for their commitment and service."
According to Clanton, the students sought donations of gift certificates, grocery cards, store gift cards and gas cards from local businesses. They also received donations of baked goods for their two-day bake sale held on campus. Food 4 Less in Chicago Heights was an extremely generous contributor to Project: We Care, as were Jewel Food Stores in Chicago Heights and Angelica's Bakery in Hazel Crest. The Chicago Heights Vet Center contributed giveaways for the families, and Project: We Care also received a great deal of support from Keith White, Coordinator for Veterans and Military Personnal at GSU.
The recipients of the students' fundraising efforts include: a soldier deployed in Afghanistan with five children whose wife was recently laid off; a reservist with two children at risk of becoming homeless; a 35-year-old unemployed Desert Storm veteran with five children, and an unemployed 41-year-old disabled Desert Storm veteran with two children, among others.
Proceeds raised from this initiative were turned over at the University's Military Appreciation Day Celebration in the Hall of Governors on May 27. Military Appreciation Day was spearheaded by Vanessa Newby, Director of Student Life and Development.
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Congratulations to Spring 2011
Dean's List Students!
CHHS recognized 218 undergraduate students who made the Spring 2011 Dean's List.
"I'd like to congratulate each and every one of our undergraduate students," said Linda Samson, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Health and Human Services. "Our students have shown a great deal of commitment to their course of study. They are poised to fulfill the mission of our College, which is to 'Make Someone's Life Better.'"
Dean's List honors come only to undergraduate students who earn a minimum of 3.70 grade point average or higher during the trimester and take at least six credit hours during the term.
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DPT Students Provide Free Scoliosis Screenings for Children
Seven GSU Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students paid a recent visit to St. Benedict's School in Blue Island where they screened approximately 40 children (6th through 8th grade) for scoliosis.
Joyce Sligar, PT, MBA, MA, University Lecturer in the Physical Therapy Department, and Robin Washington, PT, Ph.D., CRC, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, accompanied the DPT students, who included: Takara Ebbin, Victor Ferenzi, Brianna Lynch, Andrea Myles, Kristin Rauch, Amanda Schlitt, and Kali Smith.
Scoliosis occurs when the spine features one or more sideward curves, in addition to the normal forward and backward curves; sometimes the spine is also rotated, causing the ribs to protrude on one side. In addition to cerebral palsy, fractures, and bone diseases, other causes of scoliosis include unequal leg length, abnormal postural habits, and injury to the spine.
It's important that children be screened for this disorder, since it can progress to the point of pain, spinal damage, and interference with breathing. If caught early, various interventions such as posture training, exercise under a physical therapist's supervision, spinal bracing, or surgery may be needed to prevent further progression of the abnormal posture.
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CDIS Senior Awarded Research Grant
Aj'a D. Johnson, a senior in the Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) Program in Communication Disorders and a participant in the University's Honors Program, was awarded a $250 Student Research Grant grant from the Honors Council of the Illinois Region.
Since September, Johnson has been working with Jennifer Armstrong, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor of Communication Disorders, on a research grant related to literacy assessment. "I am studying the emergent literacy information in preschool classrooms, and comparing classrooms that use a literacy assessment to those that do not," Johnson said.
"I am extremely proud of this student and her commitment to not only the completion of this project, but to the process of learning more about the need for emergent literacy activity in the preschool environment," said Dr. Armstrong.
"This project has grown from a review of current literature related to the topic, to exploratory qualitative research that will include the use of surveys, focus groups, and interviews. Aj'a will make a great addition to our graduate program in the fall."
According to Johnson, "the most challenging part of the project has been the whole design aspect — figuring out how to design a study that is feasible and valid.
"Being an undergraduate student," Johnson continued. "I have not had much experience with research projects. I received a great deal of support from Dr. Armstrong and Assistant Professor Dr. Tywanda Jiles in the Department of Early Childhood Education. It's been extremely interesting having the opportunity to learn firsthand what goes into the development and execution of a research project."
Johnson plans on completing the research project and beginning GSU's Master of Health Science (MHS) in Communication Disorders program this August. She is also serving as the incoming president of the GSU student chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association.
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OT Student Coordinates Blood Drive
Thanks to GSU Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) student Kimberly Land for coordinating a much-needed Blood Drive in February here at GSU.
A total of 25 individuals attempted to donate; 20 donors were accepted. According to the Heartland Blood Centers — the recipients of the donations — 20 donors is considered a successful blood drive.
Congratulations, Kimberly, and thank you GSU!
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Addictions Studies Students Advocate in Springfield
Graduate and undergraduate students from Addictions Studies 525, Clinical Approaches to Addictions Treatment, extended their learning beyond the classroom this spring by participating in the Second Annual Advocacy Day sponsored by CORE-Illinois, in cooperation with the Illinois
Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association, Inc. (IAODAPCA)
After accompanying their instructor, James Golding, MSW, MHS, CRADC, CCJP, MAC, to the three-day IAODAPCA conference held in March in Itasca, the students decided as a group to travel by bus to Springfield in order to advocate against state budget cutbacks to funding for addictions treatment and prevention services in Illinois.
The students (and one alumna) who journeyed to Springfield with Golding include:
- Geniece Davis, Addictions Studies
- Lisa Dorr, Addictions Studies
- Susie Edwards, Interdisciplinary Studies
- Kimberly Heath, Psychology
- Monique Hopkins, Addictions Studies
- Jerrold Kershaw, Non-Degree Seeking Student
- Herliscia Roberts, Addictions Studies
- Ashley Thomas, Addictions Studies
- Timaka Wallace, Communication and Training
- Jackie Wilds, Addictions Studies
- Natasha Williams, Social Work
- Beth Hawkins, Alumna (Addictions Studies)
According to Golding, the students had an opportunity to meet with two senators, to whom they proposed an idea for obtaining additional revenue for addictions treatment and prevention services. Their idea? Take one percent of what the state earns from gambling, which, as Golding points out, is an addiction, as well. Use the one percent for prevention, since the state has cut the budget for prevention to zero.
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Social Work Classes Create Bridge to Community
Members of the community had an opportunity to participate in two highly informative and interactive events earlier this year, hosted by Asabi S. Yakini, Ph.D., LCSW, a lecturer in the Department of Social Work.
As part of Dr. Yakini's Social Work 335 — Diversity and Social Justice —class, nearly 100 people attended "An Evening with African American Researchers" in February in the Hall of Honors at GSU.
Discussing their experiences and challenges as researchers were Lorri Glass, Ph.D., LCSW, ACSW, Assistant Professor of Social Work at GSU; E. Jean Johnson, Ph.D., at GSU, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Counseling; Phyllis West, Ph.D., MPH, MSW, Assistant Professor of Social Work at GSU; and Yolanda Green-Rodgers, MSW, from the Department of Children and Family Services in Champaign-Urbana. A question and answer session followed the researchers' presentations.
Dr. Yakini's Social Work 320 — Introduction to Social Work — class presented a three-hour "Grant Writing and Community Development Forum" on June 15 in Engbretson Hall. Nearly 65 individuals attended this event.
Serving as panelists were:
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(Editor's Note: Hantack Happenings is a new feature of the E-Pulse newsletter, highlighting the activities and achievements of the College of Health and Human Services' Grants Office.)
On your way to campus, some of you may have noticed the white frame house near the red barn across the street from Tony Tasset’s sculpture, Paul. Originally the home of a family named Hantack, this building has housed the College of Health and Human Services’ (CHHS) Grants Office since 2007.
This building is the center of activity for two of CHHS’ grant projects:
The purpose of the first grant is to put unemployed, dislocated, and underemployed individuals to work by providing training and establishing career ladders in the health professions.
The purpose of the second grant is to build research infrastructure within CHHS. Much has been accomplished on both projects over the last six months.
Health Care Jobs for Chicago Southland
The Health Care Jobs for Chicago Southland Program (HCJ) welcomed a new job developer, LaKia Colquitt, in February. Formerly with the South Suburban Council in Hazel Crest, LaKia comes to the project with experience in community organization, community outreach, and job development.
On the HCJ project, LaKia’s role is to build and maintain relationships with local health care providers to facilitate the placement and hiring of individuals who complete the training programs offered by the project’s partners. LaKia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW) from GSU.
On February 24-25, the HCJ project, in conjunction with one of the project’s partners, the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Metro Chicago, offered a free Employment Boot Camp and Career Fair with priority for employment given to HCJ participants. This event offered seminars on best practices for today’s job hunting that included use of social media, behavioral interviewing, resume/cover letter writing, family finances and credit repair.
Featured guest speaker at the career event's opening night was State Senator Toi Hutchison (40th District). In photo at left, Senator Hutchison speaks with Career Fair organizer Shari Lewis, Assistant HCJ Project Director/Case Manager Coordinator, and Robert Bliese, HCJ Project Director.
Senator Hutchison addressed the need for an educated workforce that would be ready to jump on opportunities made available to them.
"This recession may feel bottomless, but we're going to get out of this," she said. "Will you be ready? I'm doing everything possible to open doors as wide as possible and advocate for you the best I can," Senator Hutchison told the audience.
In addition to the seminars, participants received one-on-one help with interviewing techniques, critiquing of resumes and setting up job hunt appropriate email and social networking accounts. Participants who attended the boot camp activities were given exclusive access to employers during the first half of the job fair on the following day.
Some of the healthcare employers attending the event were Aunt Martha’s Health Centers, Access Family Health Society, Advocate Health Systems, Franciscan Community Care, Franciscan-St. James Hospital, Bright Star Health Care and Alverno Clinical Laboratories. Several participants were hired by employers at the job fair.
In the News!
The Healthcare Jobs for Chicago Southland Program was recently in the news. A full-length feature in the Chicago Sun-Times can be accessed here.
R is for Research at Hantack House
Angela Davis, a graduate assistant based at Hantack House and supported by the HDR grant, was one of two students to receive this year's Outstanding Graduate Student Award from GSU's Department of Health Administration. Congratulations to Angela!
With Angela's graduation this June, we welcomed a new graduate assistant into the fold. Jasmine Jackson, also a graduate student in Health Administration, started working on the HDR project in May, 2011.
Jackson holds a bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She will receive her Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree from GSU in the fall.
Three research-related workshops were held this spring, all funded by HDR. In February, a workshop on the Analysis of Large Data Sets was presented by Dr. Richard T. Campbell, Professor of Biostatistics and Sociology, Institute for Health Research and Policy and School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Illinois at Chicago.
In March, a workshop on Qualitative Research was presented by Dr. Lisa Sharp, Assistant Professor of Psychology in Medicine, Health Promotion Research, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Most recently, Dr. Young Ik Cho, Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Public Health, Division of Health Policy and Administration and Research Associate Professor in the Survey Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Chicago, presented a workshop on Survey Research.
Finally, grants staff members supported CHHS Dean Linda Samson in applying for two comprehensive, multimillion dollar grants designed to build on the success of the HDR grant. Both grants involve continuing CHHS’ partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago and both focus on extending GSU's health disparity research.
The first is an Exploratory Center of Excellence Grant submitted to National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities; the second focuses on cancer research and training and was submitted to the National Cancer Institute.
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