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OSU-Tulsa News

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Camp offers support for people with aphasia

Graduate researcher Jennifer Geilfuss works with Laurie Van Dyke at the Cowboy Aphasia Camp.At age 35, Laurie Van Dyke suffered a stroke that damaged the left side of her brain and left her with a communication disorder known as aphasia.

Aphasia, an impairment of the ability to use or comprehend words, is usually acquired as the result of a stroke or brain injury, according to Karen Copeland, speech-language pathologist and lecturer in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Oklahoma State University – Tulsa, who is leading the first Cowboy Aphasia Camp at OSU-Tulsa this week.

The Cowboy Aphasia Camp pairs people with aphasia with graduate clinicians studying communication disorders for one-on-one therapy sessions. These sessions are devoted to working on specific communication skills and utilize flash cards, computer software, iPad apps and word games.

“The goal is to stimulate language abilities and offer ideas on how to continue the work at home,” said Copeland. “This also provides invaluable experience for our students because this is the first time that they have had the opportunity to work with people with aphasia.”

The program also includes other activities that stimulate the mind and body, including yoga and workout sessions, painting and arts sessions, and working with therapeutic animals. The group will also watch the movie “Aphasia” staring Carl McIntyre, an actor who acquired aphasia at age 44 after suffering a stroke, on Friday at 9 a.m. in North Hall 150.

The initial group of campers range in age from mid-30s to late-70s. Copeland says that she hopes to expand the program and offer additional camps for people with aphasia in the future.

OSU-Tulsa Researchers Receive Outstanding Paper Award at AAFCS Conference

MertenDr. Michael J. Merten, OSU-Tulsa associate professor of Human Development and Family Science, and Amanda Williams, OSU-Tulsa graduate student, recently received the Outstanding Paper Award for 2011 at the 103rd Annual Conference of the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) in Indianapolis.

Merten and Williams presented "iFamily: Internet and Social Media Technology in the Family Context," with data collected from the Pew Internet & American Life Project's Networked Families. The paper examined the results of two studies examining the impact of social media sites on families. The results of the first study suggested that social media technology has the potential to strengthen family bonds. However, the second study suggested that when adolescents were exposed to a greater number of online activities and parents spent more time using the Internet at work, teenagers were at risk for contact from strangers and cyberbullying. 

The award highlights original research with the potential to make a lasting contribution to the field of family and consumer sciences. Twenty-six papers were published by the journal in 2011.

The award was presented by Dr. Sharon DeVaney, editor of the Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal. The journal publishes original research in all areas of family and consumer sciences. AAFCS provides leadership and support to family and consumer science professionals in education, research, business, and not-for-profit organizations.

TPS to host Schools Uniting Communities Conference at OSU-Tulsa

Tulsa Public Schools, in conjunction with a grant from the AEP Foundation, will present the Schools Uniting Communities Conference at OSU-Tulsa on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 300 people are expected to attend the conference in an effort to provide information about how community schools can make a difference in the lives of children.

Community schools play a central role in helping families and students to overcome significant barriers to student achievement by addressing the needs of the "whole" child. Partnerships are formed that involve the entire community, with families, civic organizations, donors and social service providers acting in concert to address the academic, emotional, physical and social needs of children.

The keynote speaker at Schools Uniting Communities will be Dr. Pedro Noguera. An award-winning educator, author and activist, Noguera is an important voice in education today. He is a professor at the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University, co-director of the Institute for the Study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings and director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education.

The conference is free to attend and includes a luncheon featuring Theresa Kiger, principal of Roy Clark Elementary School, a 2011 National Community School of the Year. Those wishing to attend can register at the door or in advance at the Tulsa Public Schools website.

Value your college experience

Value your college experience Tulsa World adCollege is more than classes and exams. Your education at OSU in Tulsa will help you develop communication, interpersonal and leadership skills employers want. OSU-Tulsa offers a well-rounded college experience, where you make lifelong friends, achieve your goals and add value to your education.

Now enrolling for Fall 2012. Classes begin Aug. 20.

Watch a video of OSU-Tulsa graduates who share their tips on how to get the most of your college experience.