District Leadership Fellows Use Mursion Simulation to Develop Motivational Interviewing Skills

“Motivational interviewing is really about active listening, and we can catch and understand so much more if we actively listen. This is a collaborative style of communication.” – Dr. Eric G. Bing

Khechara Bradford using the Mursion simulation to practice a difficult coaching conversation.
Khechara Bradford using the Mursion simulation to practice a difficult coaching conversation.

At the November 6 meeting of the SMU District Leadership Fellows, four cohort members had the opportunity to build their motivational interviewing skills by participating in a counseling simulation developed by Mursion. Khechara Bradford (Chief Academic Officer, Spring ISD), Dr. Gerald Hudson (Superintendent, Cedar Hill ISD), Dr. Deidre Parish (Superintendent, Darrouzett ISD), and Justin Risner (Superintendent, Central ISD) each conducted a short interview with “Linda,” a simulated school administrator who is dealing with work and family issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Mursion is a mixed-reality simulation environment that uses virtual avatars to help train leaders, counselors, coaches, and others to become more effective in difficult interpersonal situations. Researchers at the Simmons School of Education and Human Development use the simulator to support teacher practice, offering pre-service and in-service teachers the opportunity to learn new skills and to craft their practice without placing “real” students at risk during the learning process. In addition, the simulator has been used to teach motivational interviewing techniques to SMU undergraduates and graduate students in health and counseling classes. 

To learn more about Institute for Leadership Impact programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

Applications for Pandemics Course at SMU Now Open

In light of the era-defining COVID-19 pandemic, SMU epidemiologist Dr. Eric G. Bing has created a new undergraduate course focused solely on international diseases and how we can combat them. Pandemics! The Science of Disease Spread, Prevention, and Control (APSM/ANTH/MNO 4344), which kicks off in Spring 2021, will give SMU students the basic tools they need to understand the many factors that drive disease spread and how local and global communities can combat it.  

The interdisciplinary course will offer an interactive, participatory overview of epidemiological principles, using real-world infectious and social pandemics as a backdrop. Through a series of case studies, guest speakers, discussions, and live debates, students will study pandemics, evaluate epidemiological research, and develop evidence-based pandemic response strategies.  

To understand and combat pandemics, epidemiologists think outside the box, using insights from diverse academic disciplines. Therefore, students from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply, and no background in health is required. The course is a capstone for the Health & Society major.  

Participation in the course is by instructor consent only; submit an application to join the course here or learn more on the course flyer.

To learn more about Institute for Leadership Impact programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

District Leadership Fellows Collaborate on Logic Models, Motivational Interviewing

“Once we have our ‘why,’ why we do what we do, that’ll help us stay focused on our goal.” – Dr. James Randle

District Leader Dr. Janet Gladu and colleagues discuss their Impact Models in a breakout session. Dylan de Muth from the Institute provides assistance.
District Leader Dr. Janet Gladu and colleagues discuss their Impact Models in a breakout session. Dylan de Muth from the Institute provides assistance.

One month into their fellowship at the Institute for Leadership Impact, a cohort of school leaders from four U.S. states are developing Impact Models to tackle a challenge in their districts. On October 9th, the cohort came together on Zoom to discuss the components of their models and improve their coaching skills. Program facilitator Dr. James Randle led the meeting. 

In breakout sessions, triads of Fellows took turns interviewing each other about their models using the OARS (Open-ended questions, Affirmations, Reflections, Summarizing) approach used by coaches who practice motivational interviewing. The breakout sessions offered Fellows an opportunity to discover ways they could improve their model drafts and to provide and receive feedback on their coaching skills.  Institute team members Khris Beeson, Megan Brown, Kaitlyn Contreras-Castro, Dylan De Muth, and Price Morgan assisted in the breakout sessions.  

About the District Leadership Fellows program 

Since 2016, the SMU District Leadership Fellows program has brought school leaders together in year-long cohorts to build their leadership skills and collaborate on district improvement projects. Initially focused on school leaders from rural Texas, the program went online and expanded to Arkansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma for the 2020-2021 cohort year. 

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

The Institute’s 2019-2020 Media Highlights

During the 2019-2020 academic year and the following summer, SMU Institute for Leadership Impact projects, researchers, and students were featured many times in local and national media reporting.

Though it was punctuated by a pandemic that pushed the Institute for Leadership Impact to reorient much of its programming, the 2019-2020 academic year and the following summer offered the Institute’s projects, researchers, and students many opportunities for media exposure, particularly in the area of health leadership development research. Highlights included…

Leading on COVID-19

With the rise of COVID-19, Institute Director Eric G. Bing – a trained physician and epidemiologist – was called upon to participate in several media interviews about the spread of the virus and about mitigation strategies. Over the spring, Bing made several national appearances on CBS News, in which he recommended wearing face coverings and ramping up testing. He was later interviewed by the Dallas Observer for articles on the importance of face coverings and taking a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

Additional information and guidance on COVID-19 is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Innovating for Medical Leadership Development

As the Institute’s research in virtual reality surgery simulation expanded, many local and regional publications took interest in the project. Before the end of 2019, publications including D Magazine, KERA News, WFAA ABC 8, Park Cities People, and The Dallas Morning News had published stories that focused on or mentioned the Institute’s virtual reality work. Project team members anticipate continued media attention as the project enters a new phase focused on postpartum hemorrhage treatment.

Training Future Public Health Leaders

When COVID-19 forced SMU to make classes virtual in March, Bing restructured his Creating Impact in Global & Public Health course to use the developing pandemic as a real-time example. The course traditionally culminates in the Battle to Save Lives case competition, which was reoriented to focus on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 on college campuses. Two student teams from the class applied for RevTech Ventures grants to implement their solutions, and NTX Inno reported that both teams won grants.

Selected Student and Alumni Spotlights

Khris Beeson ‘20, who took Creating Impact in Global & Public Health in 2020 and became a Global Health Intern at the Center for Global Health Impact after graduating, was featured in a July 2020 Dallas Morning News piece about her collaboration with Bing.

Kaitlyn Contreras-Castro ‘20, who has served as a research assistant at the Institute since 2018 and has taken Creating Impact in Global & Public Health, was featured by SMU in Fall 2019.

Dominique Earland ‘17, who took Creating Impact in Global & Public Health during her time at SMU, is now pursuing a medical degree at the University of Minnesota. In March 2020, Earland was interviewed by Phi Beta Kappa about her path to medical school.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

2020-2021 District Leadership Fellows Cohort Convenes

Twenty-one district leaders from Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas have kicked off the 2020-2021 District Leadership Fellows cohort with an online meeting.

The SMU District Leadership Fellows program is continuing to grow to serve education leaders.  This year we welcome leaders from all regions of Texas, and from the surrounding states.  Along with superintendents, we are also very happy to welcome executive district leaders who report directly to superintendents.  We are excited to be working with, and learning from, the 2020-2021 cohort.

As each school district has changed and adapted to life with Covid-19, so too has the District Leadership Fellows program.  We were very excited to engage online with the new cohort, and to utilize all the tools at our disposal to ensure the cohort develop additional leadership competencies, as well as participate in the key cohort component of networking with a diverse group of peers.

The 2020-2021 Fellows include Mr. Henry Anderson (Marvell-Elaine School District), Dr. David Belding (Aubrey ISD), Mr. Ritchie Bowling (Maypearl ISD), Ms. Khechara Bradford (Spring ISD), Mr. Brett Bunch (Newport Special School District), Dr. Janet Gladu (San Jon Municipal Schools), Dr. Gerald Hudson (Cedar Hill ISD), Ms. Malinda Lindsey (Kennard ISD), Mr. Greg London (Bryson ISD), Dr. Brian Nichols (Canton ISD), Dr. Deidre Parish (Darrouzett ISD), Mr. Albert Peña (San Perlita ISD), Ms. Sherry Phillips (Danbury ISD), Mrs. Amanda Rather (Lonoke Public School District), Mr. Steve Reynolds (Adrian ISD), Dr. Paula Richardson (Tekoa Charter School Inc.), Mr. Justin Risner (Central ISD), Mr. James Sanders (Scurry-Rosser ISD), Mr. David Sullivan (Anadarko Public Schools), Dr. John Tackett (Lonoke Public School District) and Mr. James Wright II (Mount Calm ISD).

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

Experts: Face Coverings Key to Combating Pandemic in Dallas

As transmission of SARS-CoV-2 continues in the Dallas region, experts say that face coverings worn over the nose and mouth are an essential tool for keeping the virus at bay. 

Face mask

Several months into the coronavirus pandemic, local public health experts continue to emphasize that Dallasites can help save lives by wearing a face covering in public areas. In an interview with the Dallas Observer, SMU Center for Global Health Impact Director Dr. Eric G. Bing joined three other North Texas physicians in encouraging people to wear face coverings. Bing acknowledged that wearing a face covering may feel awkward, but emphasized that it is a small sacrifice to protect the Dallas community.  

Southern Methodist University has also emphasized the importance of face coverings as part of their Mustang Strong campus health strategy. At SMU, face coverings are required in all public indoor spaces and in other situations when six feet of social distancing is not possible. This strategy was designed to be consistent with the latest public health guidance from Dallas County, which mandates face coverings for county employees and most members of the general public when they are in public spaces or workplaces that preclude six feet of social distancing from others.  

Additional information and guidance on COVID-19 is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. 

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual, and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

 

Institute for Leadership Impact and Center for Global Health Impact Release Joint 2019-2020 Report

The Institute for Leadership Impact and the Center for Global Health Impact, both headquartered at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, have released a joint impact report for the 2019-2020 academic year.

The report focuses on how the two programs are helping to build better leaders in health, education, and other fields. Topics covered in the report include:

  • Ongoing virtual reality surgical simulation research
  • Ongoing meditation research
  • Global & public health training at SMU
  • The Battle to Save Lives public health case competition
  • Consulting on COVID-19 mitigation
  • The District Leadership Fellows program
  • Local and national media appearances
  • Future projects and growth prospects

Read the new report here and read the previous reports of the the Institute here, and Center here.

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual, and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

Superintendents Complete 2019-2020 District Leadership Fellows Program

The 2019-2020 cohort of the District Leadership Fellows wrapped up the year with an online meeting.  The superintendents have been reflecting on the past year as they lead their districts through challenging times.    

2019-2020 District Leadership Fellows cohort

Reflecting on the past year, Dr. Darin Jolly of North Hopkins ISD said: “My big takeaway right now is the communication strategies that I’ve learned. I’ve just really been able to develop a lot better communication with my team than I had in the past. And that’s been very rewarding and very helpful.”

Dr. Jolly continued “I’m so thankful that my whole model is around community leadership. That has been so monumental during this COVID time. Our district ended up taking the lead for the entire county based on the structure developed in my impact model.”

The cohort appreciated the opportunities provided by the program for them to step away from campus and interact with their peers.  Mr. Kermit Ward of Clarksville ISD said “What you’ve given is the gift of time. Pulling me off campus and really letting me sit down and listen to what other superintendents in districts demographically similar to mine have done has been impactful.”

Dr. Josie Hernandez-Gutierrez, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at Waco ISD and District Leadership Fellows facilitator said “This program has nurtured the leader within me, especially in times like today, when we need to lead in the midst of crisis and uncertainty.  The executive leadership development provided at the Institute for Leadership Impact focuses on more than just the knowledge and skills; through reflective coaching and listening, we learn to develop our own adaptive leadership abilities.  It is the adaptive work that separates those who can serve others effectively in times like today with impactful outcomes.”

The District Leadership Fellows program is adapting for next year and will specifically focus the work of the cohort around addressing the ramifications of COVID-19 on schools while maintaining a focus on the core fundamentals of strategy, execution and utilizing strengths.

Applications for the 2020-2021 cohort are now open.  Superintendents and executive district leaders who report directly to superintendents are invited to apply.  Applications close July 31, 2020.

More information on the District Leadership Fellows program is available on our blog, website, and flyer.  Please email any questions to leadershipimpact@smu.edu.

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual, and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

 

SMU Epidemiologist Discusses Challenges for Reopening on CBS

[The coronavirus] doesn’t care about politics. It only understands its biology. If we don’t begin to think like the virus, people will die.

 

In interviews that aired nationally on April 29 and May 7, and May 28 Dr. Eric G. Bing spoke with CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca about Texas’ response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and about public health challenges faced by reopening communities across the United States.

Bing, a physician and epidemiologist who teaches public health at Southern Methodist University, observed in his April 29 interview on CBS This Morning that “it’s important to have more tests so we know the rate of infection, so we have a good baseline. Without that baseline, we’re kind of shooting in the dark.” Noting that Texas’ rates of testing at the time of the interview were too low for public health experts to have a good idea of how many people in the state were infected, Bing cautioned that Texas leaders need to begin thinking more about the way the virus spreads if they hope to minimize COVID-19 deaths.

In his second CBS This Morning interview on May 7, Bing pointed out that the rate of new confirmed COVID-19 cases was rising as Texas began to allow certain kinds of businesses to reopen. “The land mines are planted,” he said, “and as we begin to walk around, we’re gonna step on them.” Bing went on to express concerns that Americans are no longer adhering to social distancing guidelines as well, and that this will likely contribute to an even faster spread of the virus as formal restrictions are lifted.

As part of a May 28 segment on CBS Evening News, Bing highlighted the critical importance of wearing masks as communities and states continue to pursue reopening measures, comparing wearing a mask to wearing a seat belt: “You don’t put your seat belt on when you’re six feet from the other car, you put your seat belt on when you get in the car. . . . The same thing goes for the masks.”

Additional information and guidance on COVID-19 is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual, and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

 

SMU Researchers Create Low-cost Virtual Reality Training to Improve Care during Labor and Delivery

SMU researchers receive funding from Wellcome Trust to develop low cost virtual reality training to help improve skills to surgically manage postpartum hemorrhage.  Such training may not only reduce time and cost to train providers but reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission by reducing face-to-face interactions during surgical training.

 

COVID-19 has created complex challenges and opportunities in teaching and learning, including how medical providers are trained to perform complex medical procedures.  An international team of researchers from King’s College London, Southern Methodist University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the University of Zambia is developing techniques to train surgeons using low cost eLearning tools and Virtual Reality which can help improve the acquisition of knowledge and skills without patient contact.1,2

The multidisciplinary team has been awarded a Wellcome Trust research grant to build and field test a virtual reality training platform for the surgical management of postpartum hemorrhage.  The team at SMU is led by Dr. Eric G. Bing, Professor of Global Health in the Departments of Applied Physiology & Wellness and Anthropology and Dr. Anthony Cuevas, Assistant Dean for Technology & Innovation and Clinical Professor in the Department of Teaching & Learning.

Researchers from SMU and UNC Chapel Hill developing a VR simulation.
Researchers from SMU and UNC Chapel Hill developing a VR simulation.

Surgery is one of the most crucial domains of global medicine, yet most low- and middle-income countries have stark deficits in both the absolute numbers of surgeons and their level of expertise to perform complex surgical procedures. Of the many types of emergency surgical interventions, some of the most crucial and complex are those required to manage obstetrical hemorrhage, the world’s most common cause of maternal death. Funding from the Wellcome Trust will enable researchers to build and field test the first general affordable obstetrical virtual reality simulator training platform for the surgical management of obstetrical hemorrhage. The innovative training platform, once built, will integrate the latest advances in virtual reality technology with traditional hands-on training and can be easily and affordably delivered within low and middle-income contexts. The application of an enhanced learning platform will rapidly build surgical capacity and capability for complex surgical procedures, some of which are life-saving, and increase access to a level of care that is very difficult for most women residing in these environments to obtain.

This research will build upon a low-cost Virtual Reality Surgery Simulator developed by many members of the current team.

Create Impact in Your Organization

The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual, and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

  1. Bing, E. G. et al. Using Low-Cost Virtual Reality Simulation to Build Surgical Capacity for Cervical Cancer Treatment. J. Glob. Oncol. 1–7 (2019) doi:10.1200/JGO.18.00263.
  2. Parham, G. et al. Creating a low-cost virtual reality surgical simulation to increase surgical oncology capacity and capability. ecancermedicalscience 13, (2019).