Spring has really popped on our Elkins Park campus with cherry, pear and other colorful trees and shrubs coming into full bloom. It’s a great time for both students and faculty as they start to think about commencement and the end of the academic year. It remains a very busy time on campus as well with students preparing for finals, construction and renovation projects moving closer to completion and ultimately prepping for the beginning of the University’s subsequent projects. Additionally, searches are in full swing for both of the University’s Osborne College of Audiology and Pennsylvania College of Optometry deans. We are hopeful these will be completed by summer’s end.
The American Academy of Audiology’s (AAA) annual meeting – AudiologyNOW! – was last week. The University’s Osborne College of Audiology (OCA) was well represented at the conference with several presentations and posters from Drs. Aravamudhan, Bondurant, Bray, Lindley, Myers, Owen, Rajan, Sedunov and Sundar. OCA also held an open house and alumni reunion during the conference, which was well attended by alumni, faculty, students, college advisory board members and friends. During the festivities, Drs. Aravamudhan and Sundar awarded the certificates of completion for the first China cohort in Advanced Studies Cochlear Implant Program organized in collaboration with AIER China, to Dr. Qi Liang. The annual Audiology Alumni Association Award was also presented to Dr. Sherman Lord.
Congratulations are in order for Dr. Barbara Schwartz-Bechet associate dean of the University’s College of Education and Rehabilitation on her selection at the US Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar (Alumni TIES) entitled “Education for All: Inclusion and Access as Pathways to Peace.” Sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State, this seminar will convene thirty innovative alumni of US government-sponsored exchange programs in education and conflict resolution fields from across the country. Alumni participants will join subject matter experts and government officials to share best practices and challenges related to inclusive and accessible education systems. It will also introduce participants to continuing education challenges while examining innovative technological and practical advances in the field. Participants will address barriers to education for marginalized groups based on gender, disability, ethnic/racial background, religion, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status, as well as ways in which inclusive education practices can intersect with local and global development and stability. We look forward to hearing what Dr. Schwartz-Bechet brings back to campus after attending this very timely and interesting seminar.
Recently, a team of speakers across the University’s programs brought their expertise in Interprofessional Education (IPE) to the Green Tree School and Services. Located just a few short miles from campus, Green Tree is a non-profit agency that provides education, therapeutic and clinical support to individuals ranging from age five to twenty-one years old with autism spectrum disorder and severe emotional disabilities. The presentation highlighted the value of patient-centered, team-based care provided by the University’s various disciplines. Approximately 100 Green Tree staff attended this well planned event. Special thanks to Drs. Casser, Shoge, Appel, Silverman, Gregory, Schwartz-Bechet, Ms. Lueders and Mr. Knight for participating in this important event.
The primary care clinical facility is nearing completion at The Eye Institute, and we’re extremely excited about this addition to the University. Additionally, the renovation on our Clinical Procedures Lab is in the end stages as well – furniture is ready to be installed. The equipment is scheduled to be delivered soon with the intent that our students will start using the lab sometime in early May.
I wanted to take the opportunity if you are on campus to remind everyone to check out the wonderful artwork at the Hafter Center - produced by our very own Salus Community. It’s really neat to see all of the talent we have on campus as well as to be able to display and celebrate it in such a nice environment. Special thanks to all of the University’s artists and our resident curator, Elynne Rosenfeld, for bringing this creativity to campus.
Finally, with all that’s going on in the world it’s very easy to get distracted by watching the news and reading the paper. I wanted to take this time to remind anyone who’s reading this message that there is MUCH to be thankful for and MUCH to be optimistic about as we live through these interesting times. The fact that you have chosen to work in an environment that revolves around helping people improve their lives and achieving your desired success, whether it be in direct patient care or completing a difficult semester, puts a positive spin on everything we do. I want you to be proud of your accomplishments and even prouder that you’ve chosen professions placing others above yourselves. The world is a better place because of the work you do and the people you help. Don’t get distracted by all of the “noise” around us.
Have a wonderful holiday. Be safe, have fun and keep your eye on your goals.