Researchers Begin Phase II of Meditation Study

Innovative research on meditation and mindfulness continues at SMU

Lead by Dr. Eric G. Bing, professor of global health in the Department of Applied Physiology & Wellness in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development and in the Department of Anthropology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciencesa team of researchers from the Institute for Leadership Impact is conducting innovative research on meditation and mindfulness.   

Meditation study flyer

Students from SMU and eighteen other universities participated in the first phase of the study which investigated the use of meditation as a tool for reducing college students’ stress during the coronavirus pandemic.  The study examined the effectiveness of motivational coaching as a strategy for improving formation of meditation habits and increasing the effects of meditation on participants’ well-being.  Dr. Wen Huang, a Postdoctoral fellow in the Simmons School of Education & Human Development, and Megan Brown, a graduate student in the Department of Anthropologyare leading the analysis of data from this phase of the study.   

Recruitment for the second phase of the study is underway, and SMU undergraduate and graduate students currently in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are invited to sign up.  Phase II will focus on different methods for building a meditation habit.  Participants will learn to meditate daily using an app, meditating for 9-20 minute a day for one month from the convenience of their own home.  For more information on enrolling in the study, contact Kaitlyn Contreras at kcontreras@smu.edu  

To learn more about Institute for Leadership Impact 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.

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).

 

COVID-19 Mindfulness Meditation Study

Mental health is an important factor during and after a global pandemic.

Meditation Study Flyer

SMU Engaged Learning scholar and Institute for Leadership Impact Research Assistant Kaitlyn Contreras Castro is studying meditation and meditation coaching for her Engaged Learning project.

Meditation is a relaxation technique that has been shown to aid well-being if practiced regularly. College students experience high levels of stress, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic and recession. An obstacle to committing to meditative practices is the difficulty in committing time and attention to acquire effective mindfulness skills. The purpose of this investigation is to determine if mobile mindfulness applications are associated with stress reduction if enhanced with brief weekly electronic meditation coaching and if any benefits are maintained over time. This research is especially important during a global pandemic which brings increased external stress factors to students.

Kaitlyn is working with Dr. Eric G. Bing, Institute for Leadership Impact Director and professor of global health in the Department of Applied Physiology & Wellness in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development and in the Department of Anthropology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and Claire Trotter, Ph.D. student in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness.  Enrollment in this study has now ended.

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.

 

Impact Report Highlights Leadership Training in 2018-2019

The 2018-2019 Impact Report from the Institute for Leadership Impact highlights leadership training in education and health including the District Leadership Fellows, Rural Superintendent Leadership Symposium, Virtual Reality surgical mentoring and research, and Creating Impact in Global & Public Health class.

Institute for Leadership Impact 2018-2019 Report

During the 2018-2019 academic year, the Institute reached new heights by training over one hundred leaders, hosting several leadership workshops, conducting innovative research, and debuting a host of new programs to create impact in the region, nation, and world. The leaders who participated in Institute programs are diverse: students and seasoned professionals, leaders in health and education, and more. The programs are presented in various settings, on and off the SMU campus, from rural communities in Texas to urban settings in Africa. Our training programs – and the leaders who participate in them – will have ripple effects that last far into the future.

Education was a major focus of leadership training and included convening the second cohort of District Leadership Fellows.  This program provides rural school district leaders with the tools and peer support they need to respond to their unique challenges more effectively. Participants work together to create meaningful change in their districts.

In May 2019, the Institute hosted the first annual Rural Superintendent Leadership Symposium on the SMU campus. The symposium focused on the challenges faced by superintendents of rural school districts and the strategic steps that the District Leadership Fellows are taking to address them. In attendance were school leaders from across the North Texas region, Simmons education policy students, and other community members.

Health was another key area for leadership training as mentoring and research continued on the Virtual Reality Surgery Simulator.  This project aims to reduce the time and cost required to train surgeons in lower-income countries by using virtual reality surgical simulation training in conjunction with remote real-time supervision of surgical trainees.  The project, which uses a simulated operating room environment, runs on affordable off-the-shelf gaming equipment and is designed to help surgical trainees develop their knowledge of complicated surgical procedures.

SMU students enrolled in Dr. Bing’s Creating Impact in Global & Public Health course had the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and work in teams to help community organizations develop strategies to address complex public health challenges. In addition to learning best practices for strategy and effective implementation, students received team coaching from leaders across the health system.

A full version of the 2018-2019 Institute for Leadership Impact Report is available for download 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.

 

Wired for Good | Lifesaving VR

A major Institute for Leadership Impact project was featured in an episode of SMU’s new web series, Wired for Good. The Virtual Reality Surgery Simulator (VRSS) project is featured alongside SMU’s digital initiatives in bionics and criminal justice.

The VRSS project is an international initiative designed to increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of training surgeons in lower-income settings. To develop the simulator, SMU researchers from Simmons & Guildhall have partnered with an interdisciplinary team from King’s College London, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Zambia.

Explore the VRSS Project in more depth, and check out the full range of featured innovative projects at SMU.