JanelleChiasera lowresChiasera named to ASCLS BoardJanelle Chiasera, Ph.D., chair of the UAB Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, has been named American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science Region III director. The appointment is a Board of Director position for ASCLS whose mission is “to make a positive impact in health care through leadership.”

“It is not only exciting to have been elected to this board, but it is an incredible honor to have been nominated for this position by my peers,” said Chiasera. “Knowing that my professional peers trust me to represent their views to the national board is an honor and a responsibility I am excited to fulfill.”

Playground 01A University of Alabama at Birmingham study, conducted by students in the Department of Occupational Therapy, investigating the quality of park play spaces between affluent and non-affluent communities has been published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The study, titled “Disparities in Quality of Park Play Spaces between Two Cities with Diverse Income and Race/Ethnicity Composition: A Pilot Study,” found “significant disparity in Play Value in parks” between the two communities.

“The children that were actively using the Mountain Brook play spaces appeared to have all needs available such as clean restrooms, accessibility to play structures and spaces and cleared walking surfaces,” said Amy Maher, OTS. “There was also a noticeable sense of safety as police or maintenance was present while the children engaged with other children in their play environments.”

Maher, along with fellow students Emily Rose, Kristina C. Gregory and Megan Cotton, studied six parks in Mountain Brook, Alabama and five parks in Irondale, Alabama. According to the most recent United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS), the median annual income for Mountain Brook ($131,281) is more than double that of Irondale ($50,157) which is below the U.S. average.

PT Students Graham 01DPT students teach Dr. Graham the "Cup Song"Every year, the 2nd year students in the UAB Doctorate of Physical Therapy program are required to study Principles of Teaching and Learning in PT 761. And every year, their professor, Cecilia Graham, Ph.D., the Department of Physical Therapy's Bergman/Pinkston Endowed Professor, requires them to teach her a new skill following the Memletics Learning Styles inventory: Social, Visual, Aural, Logical, Verbal, Physical and Solitary.

This year, the Class of 2016 chose to teach Graham how to perform the "Cup Song" - originally by Anna Kendrick in the movie "Pitch Perfect."

See an edited video version of the UAB learning sessions here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_1DNOS2R7A

"This is a great exercise because it makes learning more realistic because teaching in front of a group is like working with patients. The students will learn so much more than if we were just sitting around talking about the various teaching methods and principles," said Graham.

Ashley Haynes MS Top Scholar webAshley Haynes, 2015-16 MS Top ScholarAshley Haynes, a junior in the UAB School of Health Professions Biomedical Sciences Program, is one of only 10 students in the U.S. named a 2015 Top Scholar by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“We are delighted that Ashley, one of our own students has been chosen as a 2015 National MS Society Top Scholar,” said  Ted Bertrand, Ph.D. and  interim director, UAB Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences Program. “I think we all have something to learn from this emerging young leader about how to face adversity with grace and professionalism. We are proud of Ashley and her accomplishments.”

For the 2015-2016 academic year, the National MS Society awarded 595 new scholarships. Their Top Scholars are the highest scoring applicants based on academic performance, leadership and participation in school and community, outside recommendations, work experience, education and career aspirations. Scholars are also scored on a personal essay about the impact of MS in their lives.

“When you grow up with two immediate family members – my mother and grandmother – with MS and you physically witness what this disease can do, you develop a different perspective on life,” said Haynes, who is a member of the UAB School of Health ProfessionsHonor’s Program. “I remember growing up and seeing them fine one day, and then the next unable to move their legs – then the following week they would be walking again.”

READ MORE: see Haynes full Q&A here

Remo George PhDRemo George, Ph.D.
ABSNM Certification
Remo George, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Nuclear Medicine Technology program, is the first among his peers to earn certification from the American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine. His motivation however, was not the certificate, but rather his incoming students.

“As a faculty member of the first program in the U.S. to rise to a Master’s entry-level status I felt this was a great opportunity to highlight another way our students can set themselves apart from the rest of their field,” said George. “This certification is not required to be an NMT, but our students should know that certification is important to the field and it will open more doors for them upon graduation.”

Midge Ray, Ph.D.Midge Ray, Ph.D., assistant dean for Undergraduate Honors and ResearchMidge Ray, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Health Services Administration, has been named assistant dean for Undergraduate Honors and Research in the School of Health Professions. Ray, an instructor in the Health Informatics and Health Administration programs, has authored more than 40 publications in peer reviewed journals and co-authored two manuscripts that received Distinguished Paper Awards from the American Medical Informatics Association.

Ray says her priorities for the program include increasing the School’s number of honors students and providing those students with flexible and robust experiences that enhance their college experience. Ray also plans to increase SHP’s engagement with the UAB Honors College by offering a healthcare-focused honors seminar in fall 2016

“We have always had excellent students in the School of Health Professions and I see this as an opportunity for us to provide learning moments for those students who are intellectually curious and highly motivated,” said Ray, who is also the UAB Faculty Coordinator for the implementation of UAB Faculty Profiles.

Adrianne SmileyAdrianne Smiley, AOTA Emerging LeaderAdrianne Smiley, a 2nd year student in the UAB Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program, is the first UAB student to be accepted to the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Emerging Leaders Development Program.

“I am enthusiastic about opportunities to shadow and work with AOTA's national officers on projects that focus on prioritized strategies, such as diversity and advocacy, in efforts to achieve goals outlined in our profession's Centennial Vision,” said Smiley.

In her application essay, Smiley said she was eager to serve the occupational therapy profession and wishes to be actively involved and lead initiatives that contribute to the profession's effort to be a recognized as a powerful, widely recognized, and science-driven profession. She emphasized her experiences in leadership roles within the Birmingham community and even identified areas where she believes she can grow as a leader to best serve the profession.

Miranda Ward parentsMiranda Ward with her parentsMiranda Ward, a third-semester student with a 4.0 GPA in the nationally ranked UAB Physician Assistant program, recently received the Miss America academic award for the state of Alabama. The honor, based on GPA and course difficulty, is given annually to the top scholar in the Miss Alabama competition.

As with many success stories though, Ward’s great accomplishments in life did not come easy. There is a back story. And it is a story that most people would not tell.

“I struggled with an eating disorder starting early in my teen years which continued through my first year of college,” said Ward, who won the Miss Marshall County pageant to qualify for Miss Alabama. “My turning point was one morning when I looked in the mirror and could see the bruises around my mouth from vigorous purging the night before. That’s when it clicked with me that I was killing myself.”

Barstow BethBeth Barstow, Ph.D., OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTAElizabeth (Beth) Barstow, Ph.D., OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA, received the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Roster of Fellows Award at the recent AOTA Conference and Expo in Nashville. Barstow, an associate professor in the UAB Department of Occupational Therapy, is the fourth faculty member of the OT faculty to earn the honor - that means one-third of the UAB OT faculty are FAOTA.

“Low Vision is a relatively young practice area and Beth has played a significant role in transforming the profession to the primary provider arena so I am thrilled to see her recognized,” said Mary Warren, Ph.D., OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA, director of the UAB Low Vision Rehabilitation Graduate Certificate program. “What strikes you immediately, is Beth’s passion for low vision rehabilitation and her desire to promote occupational therapy in the low vision field.”

“First, this honor reflects the fact that others recognize the need to improve and expand services for those with vision impairment which means this can serve as an impetus for further advancement and change,” said Barstow who has taught low vision classes at UAB since 2002. “Second, it is an honor to be recognized by your peers and it shows that my service and work is valued within the occupational therapy profession.”