More women die of cervical cancer in Zambia than from any other disease. Why? Because not enough numbers of trained surgeons are available to help. But two SMU Simmons professors, Dr. Eric Bing and Dr. Tony Cuevas, believe virtual reality can train much needed surgeons.
Bing, professor of global health, and Cuevas, clinical professor and director of instructional design, have been piloting surgery techniques with novice surgeons using virtual reality.
The technology they use is for in-home computer gaming and costs less than $1,000 per training station.
They have paired up with two other researchers, Dr. Groesbeck Parham, a professor of gynecologic oncology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and head of the CIDRZ Cervical Cancer Prevention Program in Lusaka, Zambia. And Dr. Richard Sullivan, professor and director of the Institute of Cancer Policy and Co-Director of Conflict and Health Research Group at the Kings College in London, England. Read more in D Healthcare. Also see Dallas Innovates.
In a Chronicle of Higher Education article on the trend of shorter terms for presidents at colleges and universities, Associate Professor Michael Harris reflects on his research looking at college presidents turnover between 1988 and 2016.
He believes there is less reluctance to make quick changes at the top because there is an increase of corporate power brokers on boards, system offices, and in legislatures. A resulting consequence of short terms is that underlying causes don’t get examined. Read more.
Kiersten Ferguson, clinical associate professor in higher education, collaborates with a team of scholars to examine misconceptions of bias response teams at 19 universities around the country. In their opinion piece for Inside Higher Ed, they argue that the truth about these teams is more complex than what headlines claim. See excerpt here.
In looking at current discussions to relieve African-American student loan debt, The Washington Post reported on debt relief at Morehouse College issued by donor Robert F. Smith.
Dominique Baker, assistant professor of education policy and leadership in Simmons, comments on the need for stronger fixes. She notes problems with the complicated repayment system and labor market discrimination impacting African-Americans. Read more.
Baker’s research focuses on the way that education policy affects the access and success of underrepresented students in higher education. She primarily investigates student financial aid, affirmative action, and policies that influence the ability to create an inclusive and equitable campus climate.
Peter Weyand, Glenn Simmons Endowed Professor and director of the Locomotor Performance Lab, spoke to Connecticut Public Radio’s Where We Live. Weyand is one of the foremost investigators of human speed. His interview on the science of running can be found here.
Professor Peter Weyand, director of the Locomotor Performance Laboratory in Simmons, is featured in a Wired video and article, What’s the Fastest 100 Meter Dash a Human Can Run? The premise that reporter Robbie Gonzalez examines is if it is humanly possible to run the 100 meter dash in nine seconds flat. Usain Bolt, the fastest human, runs the 100 meter dash in 9.58 seconds. A visit with Weyand in the lab determines the answer. Click here for the video and article.
Professor Leanne Ketterlin Geller, Texas Instruments Endowed Chair in Education and director of Research in Mathematics Education, has been tapped to participate in CADRE, a National Science Foudation funded steering committee to broaden participation in preK- 12 STEM education.
Part of her contribution includes co-writing briefs based on NSF supported research that underscores steps educators can take to improve STEM.
She is featured in a video about this work, produced by CADRE K-12.
Assistant Professor Alexandra Pavlakis was interviewed for Vialogues, a video platform designed for Q&A’s, at Columbia Teachers College. The highlighted research was an article published in Teachers College Record, Contextualizing the Impacts of Homelessness on Academic Growth.
She also looks at local implementation of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento), which aims to reduce barriers to school success for students experiencing homelessness. She believes scholars often overlook this implementation but may play an important role in explaining inconsistencies between single-site studies.
Dr. Sarah Feuerbacher, director of Simmons’ Center for Family Counseling, helped Prosper residents organize a town hall after two people killed themselves during a 24 hour period. Her concern hit close to home since of one of them was her neighbor.
According to comments she made to NBC5, she said, “We need to be able to learn, we need to be able to do something for the families who are hurting right now and to help those who are hurting out there.”
Feuerbacher asked student interns to participate and provide counseling services to attendees who requested assistance.
Professor Eric Bing traveled to the World Cancer Congress in Kuala Lumpur to present how virtual reality for surgical training can positively impact health care in underdeveloped countries.
By discussing the Virtual Reality Surgery Simulator, which is a project created by SMU’s Simmons School and Guildhall, Bing shows that the technology reduces costs and is easily accessible. This is particularly important for locations with poor access to training facilities and staff.
For his video interview with ecancer.org, click here.