Thursday, November 17, 2011

Interactive exercise assists HSA students in career preparation

Health Services Administration students at OU-C are gaining practical insights into what a typical day might be like in the health-care profession through “Friday Night at the ER,” a board game that allows the students to engage in a tabletop exercise that replicate a hectic, yet routine night at a hospital.

“This is an exercise that simulates the chaotic reality of a hospital setting, including unexpected incidents, an unequal flow of patients and staff and the necessity to make decisions in a hurried situation,” explained Susan Shea, the HSA adjunct faculty member who teaches the class, Acute Administration of Health Care Facilities. “The design of the exercise is to get the participants to practice teamwork and use critical thinking to quickly address difficult scenarios.

The simulation forces the students to make decisions based on less-than-perfect, but realistic, circumstances.

“Unexpected things happen in real-life health care settings, and the students have an opportunity to see the ramifications of their decisions in these scenarios. The game requires them to make decisions regarding the flow of patients as they arrive and move throughout the facility. The students are also faced with hurdles such as running out of beds, staff members’ shifts ending in the middle of a crisis or individuals calling in sick,” Shea explained.

The exercise allows students to apply what they learn in the classroom to a relevant situation and complements their classroom learning experience.

“It helps to see how busy a hospital setting is and how difficult it is to manage its operations in real time,” HSA student Kimberly Bowers said. “From this, we learned to work together and make accommodations to changing situations. It was a chance to use different ideas and see how they work. I feel that we got a lot of valuable experience from it.”

Fellow HSA student Aaron Puckett said, “It was very realistic and it puts you in situations where you wonder if you have enough people to take care of the patients. I was able to learn how departments react with one another to take care of patients.”

Furthermore, students participating in this hands-on learning exercise can take what they learned and apply it to their future careers.

“This exercise puts together various dynamics that may occur on the job so students are prepared to make quick decisions,” Shea said. “They need to be able to react to changing situations and combine areas such as patient care, customer relations and dealing with family members at a stressful time. This is all designed to offer students the best possible career preparation and to provide them with the traits that employers seek in new hires.”

Importance of educational partnership stressed during Scholarship Breakfast

The impact a college education makes on the lives of both the students and their supporters was the key theme during the recent Recipients and Donors Scholarship Breakfast in the Stevenson Center Learning Center.

The annual event allows the campus to acknowledge the outstanding students who have earned competitive scholarships through hard work and academic achievements, as well as the donors whose generosity made the scholarship opportunities possible.

Marvin Jones, the president and CEO of the Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce and an OU-C alumnus, was the keynote speaker at the event.

During his talk, Jones reflected on his experiences as a first-generation student at OU-C, and the sacrifices his parents made to help him pay for his college education. After graduating college, Jones began his career in journalism at the Chillicothe Gazette, where he began as a sportswriter and worked his way up to editor/publisher.

While addressing the scholarship-recipients, Jones challenged them to make the most of their college opportunity.

“You have an obligation to make these people [donors] proud,” Jones said. “This will mean even more when you look back 15 to 20 years from now and see how these people helped make your dreams possible.”

OU-C Dean Martin Tuck also spoke at the event and noted how the donors and students are working together toward and about the benefits of a college education.

“Education requires teamwork, and that is especially evident today as we salute the donors who make scholarships available and the student-recipients who have worked hard to earn these scholarships and who are applying themselves every day in the classroom,” Tuck said. “The purpose of today’s event can be summed up in two words: ‘Thank you.’ To the donors, we are grateful that, through your generosity, some of the financial barriers that stand between the students and their ambitions have been removed. To the students, we appreciate that you are pursuing your educational goals on our campus.”

“Attending college offers much more than the pursuit of a degree. Rather, a college education opens the doors of opportunity and promise. The experience allows for students to experience new horizons and discover new frontiers.”

In closing his remarks, the dean captured the spirit of the occasion with a future-oriented message to students.

“I would now like to recommend two other words to the student scholarship-recipients that truly capture the spirit of the Chillicothe Campus. And, those words are ‘pay forward.’ Use the talents and insights you develop during your college careers to help others,” Dean Tuck said. “You are following in the footsteps of countless former OU-C students who have gone before you and who have used their education to contribute to their professions and their communities. In this way, you continue the legacy of this event, this campus and this community.”

Love of the game motivates OU-C men’s basketball Coach Rick Uhrig

OU-C men’s basketball Coach Rick Uhrig is successfully making the transition from the high school hardwoods to the college game early in his first season at the Chillicothe Campus.

“There are actually a lot of similarities. The players are in the same general age group, just at a higher range of that age group in college. In both high school and at OU-C, the players are motivated by a love of the game. They are here because they want to play basketball,” Uhrig said.

He was previously boys’ basketball coach at Huntington High School for 10 years compiling a record of 137 wins and 80 losses. His teams won one Scioto Valley Conference championship, three sectional titles and were district runners-up twice. Uhrig earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Rio Grande and a master’s degree from Marygrove College.

“In both high school and on the college level, the players are still learning the game, and it takes a tremendous amount of work and dedication on their part” Uhrig said. “The competition level at OU-C is higher, but you still have the opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie and fellowship that is found in team sports on any level. And, as a coach, I have the same vision of using basketball to help the players become productive citizens.”

The same love of the game that motivates his players continues to drive the coach.

“I really enjoy all aspects of coaching,” Uhrig said. “I derive a lot of satisfaction from teaching the players. It is very rewarding to spend a week in practice, and then see the execution come together in games. Also, I enjoy the coaching fraternity. During games, we are competitive, but we are the best of friends afterwards.”

The Chillicothe Campus men’s basketball program, as well as the entire campus athletics program, allows students to pursue their interests and passions as well as their college degrees.

“This is a high level of basketball and it allows for students to play competitively for four more years after high school,” Uhrig said. “It it adds tremendously to their overall college experience for our players. Our program also revolves around academics. The players are here to earn their education and this is intended to support that goal.”

The Chillicothe Campus has a robust athletics program and fields women’s teams in volleyball, basketball, softball and tennis; and men’s teams in basketball, golf, baseball and tennis. The Hilltoppers compete against similar campuses in the Ohio Regional Campus Conference.

“Basketball can add to the college experience not only for our players, but for students, faculty and staff members across campus,” Uhrig said. “This is a great way for campus members to come together and support student-athletes while becoming more engaged in their college experience in a very exciting and entertaining way.”

The OU-C men’s and women’s teams will have their next home game on Nov. 23 vs. the Lancaster campus. The women’s game tips off at 5:30 p.m. in the Shoemaker Center and the men’s game will follow.

Collaboratory approach fosters engaged learning, Michael Lafreniere stresses during presentation

OU-C faculty member Michael Lafreniere discussed the melding of technology and proven classroom methods in a way to develop a more interactive and engaging classroom experience during a recent Faculty Showcase talk at Alden Library on the university’s Athens campus. The showcase series highlights initiatives by innovative educators throughout the Ohio University system.

Lafreniere’s talk, “Creation of a Collaboratory: An Active, Engaging and Effective Learning Environment,” was based on a project he has undertaken as the result of an 1804 Grant he was awarded from the Ohio University Foundation. Lafreniere, an assistant professor, teaches environmental engineering and mathematics courses.

“With the collaboratory approach, we are able to use technology to engage students so that they can more fully participate in the learning process,” Lafreniere explained to approximately 40 individuals in attendance in person and online. “We have, in effect, taken the ‘chalkboard approach’ whereby students display their work and have found ways for teachers to share information with students in a way that the learners are more engaged.”

As Lafreniere noted, the spirit of engaged, participative learning remains intact and is actually heightened, with technology woven into the equation.

“Over time, chalkboards have given way to silicon computer tablets,” he said.

The collaboratory approach is adaptable to various situations and circumstances. As Lafreniere explained, the approach is adaptable to a variety of academic disciplines, is applicable to traditional classroom or online classes and can be implemented on a limited budget.

“It also emphasizes attributes such as problem-solving skills and teamwork,” he said.

Using the computer program DyKnow the instructor is able to integrate various technologies and learning experiences into the curriculum. Students in Lafreniere’s classes at OU-C use two computer monitors at their seats, minimizing note taking and allowing them to participate in class discussions and also conduct online research resources relevant to the discussion.

A key feature of the collaborator approach is the student-focused approach that allows the teacher to speak with students and not just at them.

The instructor receives real-time feedback from students. For example, the teacher can poll students for their feedback. Students can also respond regarding their level of comprehension at any time, allowing the faculty member to adjust the classroom discussion accordingly.

Besides the Faculty Showcase presentation, Lafreniere has given several talks regarding the collaboratory initiative, with other presentations on the horizons. Among the presentations at professional and academic meetings are:

• AURCO 2011 at Wright State Lake Campus (April 2011)
• GeoGebra Midwest Regional Conference at Miami University (June 2011)
• CAT Research Symposium at Ohio University (September 2011)
• STEMtech 2011 at Indianapolis, IN (October 2011)
• OhioCTM 2011 at Toledo, OH (October 2011)
• Teaching with Technology Workshop at Ohio University-Chillicothe (October 2011)
• OU Faculty Showcase at Ohio University in Athens, OH (November 2011)
• OATYC 2011 at Rhodes State College in Lima, OH (November 2011)
• AMATYC 2011 at Austin, TX (November 2011)

More information about Lafreniere’s project is available online at

‘The process’ art show features work of graduating student Kimberly Roush

The current student art show in the Stevenson Center gallery features the work of Kimberly Roush, who is completing her studies for a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies during fall quarter. The exhibition will remain in place through mid-December.

“The title of my show is called ‘The process.’ Once I look back I realize a lot of what I do has been a process,” Roush explained. “This might sound generic, but it’s a simple way for me to look at it. I felt it was also appropriate because my life, as well as my work has been a process up to this point. Trying to figure out a career has been a huge process, but I've always known the arts had to be a part of it in some way. And now, with my education, I feel that I can finally achieve that.”

Media that were used include pen, prisma color markers, oil pastels, vellum, watercolor paper and some pieces are on canvas and wood.

As for her inspiration, Roush noted, “A lot of things inspired me, and it’s hard to describe just one. For this work I was inspired by my professor Margaret McAdams, and other students in my drawing classes who gave me lots of ideas of the possibilities of what to do with these shapes. Also I have to credit Margaret for exposing me to vellum paper! I love to work on this surface after she introduced it in class. I've always doodled these lines on my notes and such, for as long as I can remember.”

In her artist statement, Roush states, “The majority of this work [especially the ink and vellum drawings] for me is about self-reflection—you may not be able to see it visually, but it’s in the process. A lot of thinking and reflecting was spent working on these drawings. When I sit down to make art the process becomes a form of meditation and therapy. The actual work itself is non-representational; however they fit together creating something personal but still not representing any specific ideas. Often I would get very tired drawing the same thing over and over, but I would have another idea, and kept working. Now that I have looked over this work it’s interesting how some lines are more refined while others are more sporadic and messy—it just makes me wonder what was going on that day. Some pieces seem to be stronger than others, but as a whole they really fit together and become something I never expected them to be or had anticipated.

Roush, who graduated from Huntington High School, plans to attend graduate school.

OU-C art students visit Columbus sites

OU-C arts students Lisa Moore, Ashley McAfee, Sarah Strausbaugh and Kim Roush recently accompanied Art Professors Margaret McAdams and Dennis Deane to the Columbus College of Art and Design and Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts. They heard the environmentally activist artist Alexis Rockman's presentation about his phenomenal paintings.

Learning Center expanding hours during finals week

The Learning Center, located in the Quinn Library, has expanded hours for fall quarter finals week. From Nov. 15-18, the center will continue with normal business hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Friday. On Nov. 21 and Nov. 22, the center will be open from noon to 5 p.m.

“We hope this meets the growing needs of our students and helps folks wrap up their quarters successfully. Although both the Math and Writing Centers welcome walk-ins, those students seeking writing assistance are strongly encouraged to make appointments,” Learning Center Coordinator Deb Nickles said.