Occupational Therapy NEWS

OT student doing research with child


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OT News

University Communications posted a wonderful video that highlights the inspiring journey of UW-Madison graduate student Ted Elias and his family. Ten years ago, the life of the Elias family was tragically altered when Ted’s wife, Tabea, was struck by a car while holding her infant daughter. Although the baby was not seriously injured, Tabea suffered a traumatic brain injury and was left in a coma. But they've come farther than anyone could have expected, and today Ted is pursuing a master's degree in occupational therapy.
UW-Madison’s Kristen Pickett is looking for about a dozen individuals who have Parkinson’s disease to take part in a free program that will examine the benefits of Tango dancing. Pickett explains that exercise has been shown to benefit individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Specifically, gait (walking), disease severity and quality of life have all shown improvement following controlled exercise studies.
The work of UW-Madison’s Kristen Pickett is highlighted in the latest newsletter put out by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. The article is headlined, “The Parkinson’s Brain on Exercise,” and notes how it’s already known from many studies that physical exercise can help people who live with Parkinson’s disease (PD). “But we really don’t know what exercise is doing to the brain,” Pickett says in the report. And if we can find ways to understand this better, she says, it may be possible to design and prescribe specific exercise regimens for people with PD.
In an effort to help faculty and students implement innovative projects designed to bolster teaching and learning, UW-Madison’s School of Education recently awarded a dozen Replicable Instructional Technology Infusion (RITI) grants. “The ways in which people thought about infusing technology were really interesting, often innovative and sometimes crossed departmental boundaries,” says Dan Jacobsohn, the chief information officer for the School of Education and the person who launched the RITI grant program this fall.
UW-Madison’s Brittany Travers is a co-author of a recent paper examining why individuals with autism spectrum disorder struggle with decision making. The report, which appears in the journal Autism Research, notes that “decision making plays a key role in daily function, but little is known regarding how individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) make decisions.”
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has received a landmark gift of $100 million from John and Tashia Morgridge, representing the largest single contribution from individual donors in the history of the institution. A 1955 graduate of the School of Education, Tashia Frankfurth Morgridge has maintained close ties with the school, serving on its board of visitors and, with her husband, sponsoring scholarships to support students preparing to become teachers. A retired special education teacher, she has been a volunteer teacher for students with learning disabilities.
After nearly a decade leading UW-Madison’s School of Education, Dean Julie Underwood announced today that she is stepping aside from her post in August 2015 to return to the faculty. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as dean of the School of Education for 10 years,” says Underwood. “I intend to remain active in UW life and continue working as a member of the faculty.” She has been dean since August 2005, with a short break in those duties from January to July 2009, when she served as UW-Madison’s interim provost.
UW-Madison’s Occupational Therapy Program is helping host a Community Inclusion Dining Event at a local Culver’s restaurant on Monday, Nov. 17.
UW-Madison’s Dorothy Farrar-Edwards was selected as one of five Faculty Fellows for the Committee on Institutional Cooperation’s Academic Leadership Program. The first leadership forum of the 2014-15 academic year was held last week at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
The latest edition of the Occupational Therapy program’s annual alumni publication, “OT Matters,” is now available online.
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