Dec 232014
 
Megan Inman

Megan Inman

Megan Inman, librarian liaison for Laupus Library the is co-editor of the newly published book, Curriculum-Based Library Instruction: From Cultivating Faculty Relationships to Assessment. The book highlights the movement of instruction beyond one-shot sessions, specifically focusing on situations where academic librarians have developed curriculum based sessions and/or become involved in curriculum committees.

This volume describes and provides examples of librarians’ varied roles in the curriculum of education programs. These roles include semester long or multi-session instructor, web-based course designer, problem-based learning facilitator, and member of a curriculum committee.

In addition to describing the roles that librarians have in supporting curriculum, the book describes how to carry out those roles with sections devoted to adult learning theory, teaching methods, developing learning objectives, and working with faculty to develop curriculum. Examples of library sessions devoted to information literacy, evidence based practice, information literacy, and biomedical informatics are included.

 

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Dec 162014
 

flu4583-1Recent news about the emergence of a mutated flu virus should serve as a wakeup call to those who haven’t gotten a flu vaccination this year, according to Dr. Paul Cook, infectious diseases specialist at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. And despite speculation that the current vaccine may not protect against this new virus, he says those who have gotten vaccinated already shouldn’t worry that it was for naught.

The Centers for Disease Control recently reported that over half of the H3N2, or Influenza A, virus samples they’ve tested thus far this season were found to be antigenetically different – or “drifted” – from the virus used in this year’s vaccine. Because this H3 virus seems to be dominating the current flu scene, the CDC is predicting a heavier flu season, with more hospitalizations and deaths than in past years.

“This happens all the time with influenza viruses; it’s nothing new,” says Cook. “The mutated virus was recognized back in the spring, but by then this year’s vaccine had already been developed and was being manufactured. Next year’s vaccine will take the mutated H3N2 into effect.”

But even with the prospect of lower protection rates, Cook says vaccination is still the best protection against the flu, and especially important for those at high risk for serious complications from it, like pregnant women, the elderly and people whose immune systems are compromised due to HIV or cancer.

“The current vaccine still covers H1N1 effectively, as well as influenza B, and those viruses are still out there,” he said. “We think it may even be providing some immunity against the mutated virus. Besides, the vaccine itself is pretty innocuous.”

Cook urges people to visit the doctor early if they begin experiencing symptoms like fever, sore throat, cough or body aches. And he echoes the CDC’s recommendation for primary care providers to be vigilant about prescribing antiviral medications like Tamiflu and Relenza as soon as flu is suspected. These medications can lessen the duration and severity of the illness when started within 48 hours of symptom onset.

Dec 052014
 

Anne DickersonAs 10,000 baby boomers per day enter the over-65 age bracket, the concern for older drivers’ safety and independence is greater now than ever. Adults 65 and older make up more than 16 percent of all licensed drivers nationwide, and it’s estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will be 70 or older by 2040.

The American Occupational Therapy Association works with several other organizations to raise awareness about the safety of older drivers through their Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, held annually during the first week of December.

In conjunction with this week, the association has created a series of educational podcasts that focus on empowering older drivers and their families. Dr. Anne Dickerson, professor in ECU’s Department of Occupational Therapy, was interviewed for one of the podcasts, which deals with driving fitness evaluations – ranging from self-assessments to comprehensive driving evaluations from an occupational therapy driving rehabilitation specialist.

“Most older adults are safe to drive,” Dickerson said. “But this is all about promoting conversations.” Dickerson added that ECU is exploring ways of providing services that would facilitate older people going back to driving after recovering from heart attacks or strokes, for example.

“Just as we plan for our financial futures, we need to plan for our transportation futures as we age,” says Elin Schold Davis, project coordinator of AOTA’s Older Driver Safety Initiative. “Respecting the physical, cognitive, and sensory changes that come with age may require adjustments in driving patterns, vehicle equipment, or a skills refresher, but do not have to mean giving up the keys and living in isolation without access to transportation.”

The podcasts can be found at http://www.aota.org/Conference-Events/Older-Driver-Safety-Awareness-Week.aspx.

Dec 022014
 

Paws for Study Break pic 1

As medical students near the end of the semester, the stress of finishing assignments and taking final exams mounts. Students welcome brief periods of relaxation during busy days of studying… and more studying. Students enjoyed spending time with Canopy the therapy dog during Paws for Study Breaks held on October 27 and November 13. Research indicates that interaction with therapy dogs can temporarily affect the release of various neurotransmitters in the brain; levels of oxytocin and dopamine are increased, while cortisol levels are decreased.

 Canopy is a 7-year-old hound mix. She is from Louisiana, where she was obtained from a rescue. She’s been a registered therapy dog for just over 2 years. She is also registered as a READ dog which means that she often travels into public schools to help students strengthen their reading skills by allowing students to read to her.Paws for Study Break pic 3

 Her handler, Amy, is a doctoral student in psychology, working on her dissertation on the stress reducing benefits of interacting with therapy dogs. As a therapy dog-handler team, Amy and Canopy visit hospitals, libraries, nursing homes, and schools. They even created a therapy dog program at Kennedy-King College in Chicago in 2013.Paws for Study Break pic 2

The study breaks were sponsored by the Office of Student Development and Academic Counseling along with Pet Partners International.

Nov 252014
 
Beta Nu is one of only two chapters globally to have earned 11 Chapter Key Awards.

Beta Nu is one of only two chapters globally to have earned 11 Chapter Key Awards.

Like a traditional honor society, Beta Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing requires incoming members to meet certain academic and professional achievement requirements. But the organization, which celebrated its 40th anniversary with a banquet Nov. 13, does much more than recognize scholarly excellence.

The group is one of only two of Sigma Theta Tau’s 500 global chapters to have earned 11 Chapter Key Awards. Sigma Theta Tau bestows the honor on chapters that successfully recruit and retain members, generate publicity and programming, support scholarly activities, provide leadership development and foster international collaboration.

Beta Nu chapter is housed in the ECU College of Nursing and has more than 500 active members — including undergraduate students, graduate students and nurse leaders who work to advance the profession through scholarship, leadership and a variety of service projects.

“Beta Nu has been the most influential nursing organization in my career,” said College of Nursing Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown. “It allowed me to engage with nurse leaders nationally and internationally and refine my own personal leadership skills.”

Brown, a past president, said that providing leadership opportunities for career growth is one of Beta Nu’s greatest contributions. Several of the College of Nursing’s senior faculty members were founding or early members, and ECU’s Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences Dr. Phyllis Horns was a charter member.

Former President Dr. Lou Everett explained that Beta Nu consistently sends students and faculty to research and leadership academies organized through Sigma Theta Tau and its partners. Over the past 40 years, she said, members have served in numerous official capacities at regional and national levels.

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Krupa speaks as part of a panel of past presidents at Beta Nu’s 40th anniversary banquet Nov. 13.

“It was truly through Beta Nu Chapter that many of our faculty began to see the contributions that the College of Nursing made to a global society and the world at large,” said Everett, the college’s assistant to the dean for the undergraduate program. “We became mentors to other chapters in our state and continued more involvement on an international level by serving on the ballot for various positions.”

Many members routinely attend Sigma Theta Tau’s biennial convention, where they can network with 2,000 other attendees, hear plenary speakers and present their work through oral and poster presentations.

“You meet the people who write the textbooks and research articles,” past Beta Nu president and an ECU clinical assistant professor of nursing, said of the conference. “You’re kind of in awe that you’re in the presence of all these people who are so important in the profession. You bring back that enthusiasm and you share that with a few other people who get excited and want to get involved.”

Beta Nu also stands out for its record of giving back to the profession. It provides grants to support members’ research, and has given $11,000 in student scholarships since 2005. The organization also co-sponsors Collaborative Nursing Research Day, a joint venture between Beta Nu, the ECU College of Nursing, Vidant Medical Center and the Eastern Area Health Education Consortium. The event provides a venue for continuing education and gives nurses an opportunity to showcase their research and creative projects.

The community at large is another beneficiary of Beta Nu’s outreach. Scout Out Nursing Day, held biannually at the College of Nursing, has introduced more than 500 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to the profession since its inception in 2007.

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Current Beta Nu president Roberson, left, with charter member Horns at the anniversary banquet.

Asked what Beta Nu’s future holds, President Dr. Donna Roberson said the group is working to be member focused, with a global perspective. This direction matches that of Beta Nu’s parent organization, which has 135,000 members in 85 countries. Sigma Theta Tau’s president, Hester Klopper of South Africa, has issued a call for chapters to “serve locally, transform regionally, lead globally.”

“I see us having a wider base of influence beyond our community and having an international impact,” said Roberson, an associate professor of nursing.

Existing international projects include providing nursing student scholarships and mentorship to the Faculty of Nursing Science of the Episcopal University of Haiti. Beta Nu also makes donations to a clean water initiative that has provided water filters to more than 70 families in Guatemala since 2008.

At the group’s 40th anniversary banquet, a panel of past presidents shared Beta Nu memories, including Everett, Krupa, Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr. Pam Reis, and Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing Dr. Gina Woody. Reis highlighted the many opportunities for mentorship that the organization provides.

“I was thinking about when I was inducted in 1991… I never realized I would become president, but I had such wonderful mentors,” Reis said. “You all have meant the world to me.”

Woody reflected on Beta Nu’s impact and succinctly summed up the group’s sentiments.

“I feel as if Beta Nu has provided numerous opportunities for our students as well as members and the community,” she said. “I think we should be very proud of our chapter.”