University of Detroit Mercy creates Wheelchair Escalator

University of Detroit Mercy has partnered with the John Dingell Veterans Hospital in downtown Detroit to design and build the prototype of a powered platform lift called the Wheelchair Escalator. Both professors and students at the engineering and nursing schools are designing the product in order “to safely transfer a person in a wheelchair up a three to ten step staircase, moving vertically and horizontally, mirroring the action of an escalator.”

Detroit Mercy values collaborative learning that is centered on problem solving. Detroit Mercy’s “collaborative, cross-discipline technical approach to solving problems provides a unique learning experience for students that other institutions cannot rival.” Programs such as this allow students to see their work come to life by adding a dimension to their studies that is often difficult to find. They are able to apply concepts learned in the class room to directly improve the quality of someone’s life.

To hear more about this partnership and initiative, visit Detroit Mercy news.

University of Detroit Mercy receives Grant to Advance Counseling Program

University of Detroit Mercy has recently received a nearly $1 million grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. This four-year grant will offer university counseling students the opportunity to implement the Counseling Underserved Populations (CUSP) Project, “which offers specialized, enhanced training to master’s level counseling students with an emphasis on integrated health, trauma, poverty, and court-involvement.”

Nancy Calleja, program director and chair of Detroit Mercy’s counseling program, stated “this most recent funding further cements Detroit Mercy’s pivotal role as an essential partner in nationwide efforts to effectively prepare highly-skilled clinicians to work with those in greatest need.” The implementation of this grant fits with university mission of serving the most vulnerable in the local Detroit community.

To read more of this story, visit University of Detroit Mercy news.

Courageous Voices: Heeding the Call to Community

At the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), faculty-mentored community clinics set an example for students to respond to the needs of the community by active participation. UDM runs 17 community clinics (including law, dentistry, and counseling), making these services accessible to those who are unable to afford them. The Law School is one of the few programs in the country that require students to work in the clinic, directly carrying out the school’s mission of experiential learning and service to others.  In 2013-2014, the dental clinic provided 67,395 patient visits, including partnering with the Society of St. Vincent DePaul to run a free dental clinic, and providing services to underserved populations such as children in the foster care system and veteran.  The counseling clinic provides no-cost services to the community, including personal counseling, family and child counseling, addictions counseling, court ordered counseling, career counseling and group counseling.  In all of these clinics, students work directly with those marginalized by poverty, gaining a lifelong appreciation of the importance of ministering to those in your own community.

Over the next few weeks, we will continue to release short stories about the courageous voices of our member colleges and universities.  Stay tuned to hear about how students, faculty, and staff are responding to Pope Francis’s call to social justice and a culture of encounter.  If you are still curious about how Catholic colleges and universities are promoting social justice on campus, read the original blog post on the Courageous Voices series, or check out ACCU’s inventory of promising practices, which includes many examples of our members engaging with Catholic Social Teaching.