Wheeling Jesuit University Receives Grant to Aid Hands on Learning

A recent collaboration between Wheeling Jesuit University and the University’s Bishop Hodges Library has resulted in funding from the Appalachian College Association (ACA) that will purchase LEGOS that will benefit grade school students that the university serves. This funding was thanks to two English majors at the university that wanted to expand the school’s curriculum resource center. The two began the work of writing the grant which they note as being difficult but also providing a valuable learning opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom.

The funding will “allow the library staff to purchase LEGOs and other materials that allow Wheeling Jesuit students, particularly those studying to be teachers, to develop hands-on learning programs that can be used in the classroom.” The LEGOs will serve as a learning tool by which children can “be more self-sufficient in their intellectual growth” and will help educators “develop fresh, innovative ways to incorporate hands-on learning into teaching.” This collaboration which resulted in the funding shows how WJU is committed to expanding their resources across academic disciplines.

To read more about this collaboration, visit WJU news.

Advertisements

Avila University Receives Grant to Begin Sustainability Initiatives

Avila University is following the call of Pope Francis given in Laudato Si to “care for our common home.” Avila recently implemented a campus-wide recycling initiative that stemmed from a desire to be a campus of change makers. Avila ministry screened the Leonardo DiCaprio documentary “Before the Flood” in 2016, which was followed by a hundred signatures asking for a formal initiative to combat climate change. An Avila sustainability committee was soon formed and they received a grant from the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) to purchase recycling bins and distribute them across campus.

Julie Cowley, assistant director of university ministry, notes that “We will be successful with education on the subject of climate change and what can be done to combat it. Our culture is shifting, and at Avila, it is no different. We want to be an extraordinary and a sustainable university.”

For more information on Avila’s recent initiatives, visit Avila news.

St. Edward’s Alumni Starts Nonprofit within Years of Graduation

Alumni from St. Edward’s University are living the university mission of compassion and service far beyond graduation. Chelsea Elliot ’12, started a “nonprofit to screen kids for the preventable vision and hearing ailments that had taken the sight in her left eye and the hearing in her right ear.” Elliot has grown her nonprofit, called The Half Helen Foundation, by acquiring “five cutting-edge Spot vision screeners that can take 23 eye measurements in a matter of seconds.” Since the founding of the nonprofit, Elliot has screened more than 35,000 children and developed a treatment-tracking app thanks to a $100,000 grant from the St. David’s Foundation.

Elliot’s work was also recognized in 2015 when she was featured as a CNN hero, a “program that honors individuals who make extraordinary contributions in the lives of others. Elliot notes that she “surrounds herself with people who believe in her cause as much as she does and bring skills and ideas that complement her own” which has led to the success of the nonprofit.

To read more about The Half Helen foundation, visit St. Edward’s news.

Stonehill College Students Use Music to Help Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Patients

Students from Stonehill College are partnering with innovative programs to help those dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. 16 Stonehill students volunteer at Soundtrack of Life, which is a habilitation program for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Students receive “four hours of training from the medical staff on how to work with patients with diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, which destroy memory and other mental functions.”

Volunteers have the ability to work with patients and staff to create custom playlists for each patient. As patients listen to music for thirty minutes to an hour, students record any behavioral changes they notice. They have found that music has such a positive impact on patients, including a more positive mood and better communication skills. Lisa Redpath, associate professor of music, notes how “we’re giving the patient the opportunity and ability to tap into the brain’s elasticity, through musical memories, to recall things. Which is a gift.”

To read more about Stonehill’s unique partnership, visit Stonehill news.

Santa Clara University Seeks to Change the Food and Agriculture Business

Students and faculty from Santa Clara University are pioneering a new initiative called “No produce Left Behind,” which seeks to change how the food and agriculture business is operated. This project began by students visit numerous California farms and learning about the system as a whole, “their goal was to identify the potential of salvaging wasted fresh vegetable and fruit produce and diverting it to local food banks that need it.” Because the market standard for fresh produce is so strict and rigid, produce that does not meet the standards is left in the field to rot and then is tilled back into the soil of used a low-value animal feed. As students visited different farms, they documented by plot the amount of food wasted. This is a long complicated process that takes into account a variety of stakeholders.

One of the main hurdles of the “No Produce Left Behind” project is that “the system right now doesn’t pay for what’s left to go to the food banks. Growers would need to cover their costs in order to harvest and pack food destined for food banks.” The Food and Agribusiness Institute is taking the first step to change the system in order for food banks to receive the fresh foods they desire. This is one of many steps that will hopefully lead to a more just and sustainable food and agriculture system that seeks to serve.

To read more about the work done by Santa Clara University, visit the Santa Clara Magazine.

DeSales Service-Learning Benefits All

Incorporating service and learning into coursework is always a beneficial experience and one that students take advantage of. DeSales University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is ensuring that students get the most out of their education by incorporating this service-learning method into their courses. The DeSales Doctor of Physical Therapy program has a Pediatric Physical Therapy Clinic where students provide services free of charge for six weeks.

Students are given the opportunity to put what they are learning in the classroom into practice while helping those that would not normally be able to afford the services they are offering. The students are under the mentorship of a professor and are given feedback on each of their client appointments. One student noted that “We are used to sitting in the classroom all day and learning about these conditions and diagnoses. On top of that, knowing that we’re helping out kids that really need therapy, it’s just an indescribable feeling.”

To read more about DeSales program, visit DeSales news.