Misericordia Today Extended

Misericordia University
will arm a component of the Department of Campus Safety

President Dr. Thomas J. Botzman

Former law enforcement officials who are experienced and qualified

will provide an armed presence on campus

The Misericordia University Board of Trustees approved a resolution at its February board meeting that enables the university to arm certain campus safety personnel so they are more effectively equipped to react as first responders and collaborate with regional law enforcement in the event of a serious violent incident on campus.

The university reviews methods to improve safety on campus on a regular basis, and recently set into motion a process to consider adding an armed component to the Department of Campus Safety in April 2016. This process was a result of several factors, including an analysis of current emergency response plans and concerns expressed to Misericordia University President Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D.

The Department of Campus Safety compiled a comprehensive feasibility study and submitted a proposal to achieve this goal, while preserving the historical values of the institution. Over several months, a cooperative team, which included representatives from Student Life, Faculty Senate, Staff Council and others, conducted informational meetings on campus with students, faculty and staff to gather their input and answer any questions.

Members of the board of trustees received initial feedback from the proposal at their board meeting in June. In response, the board requested that dialogue continue and additional feedback be gathered. Additional meetings were held in November, and campus community members were asked to post comments and questions online.

“We will continue to treat our campus community and visitors with utmost respect,’’ Dr. Botzman said after the board approved the resolution. “The goal is to establish an option to be utilized only in rare situations where it is absolutely necessary for the preservation of life, and to mitigate the advance of an active shooter situation or violent person using deadly force on campus.

“Campus Safety will also continue to enhance other processes that include emergency alert systems, campus-wide incident training, video surveillance, and other methods that protect both people and property. This campus must always be a safe place that fosters a culture where all are welcome,’’ the president added.

The approved resolution enables the university to have a designated number of campus safety personnel working in an armed capacity. The officers who will carry firearms all are retired law enforcement officers with Lethal Weapons Training Act 235 with weapons certification, and Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers Act 120 certification (or equivalent state and federal training). They also are allowed to carry weapons based on the federal Retired Law Enforcement Officers Identification Act of 2004. In addition to established training and qualification levels, each officer selected is required to be an established member of the campus community familiar with the values of the university and the sprawling campus in Dallas Borough and Dallas Township.

Campus safety officers will not have arrest powers, but will now be better equipped to take immediate action during the critical initial moments of an event rather than solely relying on police response. Dallas Township and Dallas Borough police departments supported the initiative and presented the university with endorsement letters.

“The opportunity to add a supplemental resource to area emergency responders consisting of highly trained, experienced armed security personnel, who are intimately familiar with our campus, is a beneficial and strategic advantage in the event of a violent incident,’’ said Robert Zavada, director of Campus Safety.

The university provides campus security 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It employs 16 full-time campus safety officers and 27 overall. Of those, 21 have some level of previous law enforcement-related experience. Currently, six campus safety officers are retired municipal police officers, five are retired state troopers, and one is a retired special agent with the FBI – this group has a range of 20 to 38 years of experience. All officers are required to maintain Act 235 certification or equivalent training.

To supplement safety initiatives, the university also provides members of the campus community with MU Alert, a system that provides rapid transmission of information by text and email, and a public address system with high-powered speakers that can engage emergency sirens or emergency messages when needed. Additionally, MU tip provides technology to share information quickly and anonymously with campus safety; surveillance cameras are installed throughout campus; emergency telephones are available in strategic locations throughout campus, and much more.

Campus safety will continue to collaborate with the Dallas Township and Dallas Borough police departments and other law enforcement agencies. The action by the Board of Trustees will enhance an already safe campus by providing additional security. The decision to arm a component of the Department of Campus Safety was based on careful analysis of many factors, and was not made directly in reaction to any incidents on campus or in neighboring communities. The process to implement an armed component began immediately after the board approved the resolution.

Medical Director gets Lifetime Achievement Award

Misericordia University medical director receives

first-ever ASPEN Lifetime Achievement Award

Stanley J. Dudrick

Stanley J. Dudrick, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.S.P.E.N., the Robert S. Anderson Endowed chair and medical director of the physician assistant program at Misericordia University, was awarded the first-ever American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) Lifetime Achievement Award during Clinical Nutrition Week at the ASPEN Lifetime Achievement Award & Gala in Orlando, Florida, February.

Known as the “Father of Parenteral Nutrition’’ in the medical field, Dr. Dudrick has been credited with one of the three most important advancements in surgery during the past century along with open heart surgery and organ transplantation. The Nanticoke native’s pioneering research at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, from 1961-66 led to the development of the central venous feeding technique known as intravenous hyperalimentation or total parenteral nutrition (TPN).

His technique allows people who cannot eat to receive nourishment through a tube that bypasses their intestines. The technique is widely used to this day to prevent malnutrition in patients of all ages who are unable to obtain proper nutrition by standard means.

“On behalf of the Misericordia University community, I want to congratulate Dr. Stanley Dudrick on receiving the well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award from ASPEN,’’ Misericordia University President Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., said. Dr. Dudrick brings world-class medical knowledge and experience to our campus for the benefit of our students. His remarkable innovations in health care and nutrition are matched by his caring nature and engaging personality.

“He is a mentor and forms positive professional relationships with our students. He makes each feel they are valued and motivated to achieve careers of significance and to improve the health and wellbeing of the patients they treat,’’ Dr. Botzman added.

Founded in 1976, ASPEN works to improve patient care by advancing the science and practice of clinical nutrition and metabolism. It is an interdisciplinary organization whose members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition. With more than 6,500 members from around the world, ASPEN is a community of dietitians, nurses, pharmacists, scientists, students, and other health professionals from every facet of nutrition support clinical practice, research and education, according to ASPEN (aspen.org).

The American College of Surgeons credits Dr. Dudrick with saving millions of lives through the development of TPN. In 2015, the American College of Surgeons honored Dr. Dudrick by including him in the series of biographical videos, “Heroes in Surgery: Our Legacy. During his illustrious career, Dr. Dudrick has received more than 120 honors and awards. The International Society of Small Bowel Transplantation named him a “Living Legend in 2016.

Throughout his more than 50-year career in medicine, Dr. Dudrick has trained tens of thousands of medical students, thousands of surgeons, helped establish The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Texas, and has become internationally recognized as an expert in fistula surgery, complex re-operative surgery, intestinal failure, surgical metabolism and nutrition, and much more.

Dr. Dudrick graduated cum laude with his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster. The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine conferred his medical degree.

In addition to Misericordia University, Dr. Dudrick is chair emeritus in the Department of Surgery and director emeritus of Program in Surgery at Saint Mary’s Hospital, a Yale University-affiliated teaching hospital. He also holds an appointment as professor emeritus of surgery in the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Dudrick also is a professor of surgery at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Scranton.

SLP in France

Misericordia University SLP faculty-student research team presents studies at conference in Paris, France

SLP Students in France

A student-faculty research team in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at Misericordia University presented scientific research studies at the Society for Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy Biennial Meeting in Paris, France, during the fall semester.

Hosted by Paris Descartes University’s Institute of Neuroscience and Cognition, the speech-language pathology research team consisted of mentors Glen Tellis, Ph.D., C.C.C.-S.L.P., professor and chair, and Cari Tellis, Ph.D., C.C.C.-S.L.P., associate professor; students Cara Imbalzano, Roaring Brook Township; D’manda Price, Paterson, N.J., and Danielle Spagnuolo, Wyoming, and recent graduates Erin Roberts, C.F.-S.L.P., Perkiomenville, and Tia Spagnuolo, C.F.-S.L.P., Wyoming.

The team’s research topics, “Using fNIRS to Compare Hemoglobin Concentration Changes in Typically-Fluent-Speakers and Persons-Who-Stutter,’’ “Using fNIRS to Measure Cerebral Hemoglobin Concentration Changes of Typically-Fluent-Speakers Using Delayed Auditory Feedback,’’ “Use of fNIRS in Assessing Motor Learning and Voice,’’ and “Using fNIRS to Assess Brain Changes as a Result of Voice Therapy,’’ utilized the innovative technology, Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy or fNIRS.

The diffuse optical technique of fNIRS uses a light source in a safe region of the electromagnetic spectrum to measure hemoglobin concentration changes in real time at the surface of the brain. These changes alert investigators to areas of the brain with increased activation and deactivation related to a specific task.

In the first study, researchers found increased oxygenated hemoglobin concentration levels in the right and left hemispheres of the brain for persons-who-stutter when the test subjects read out loud or conducted free speech when compared to typically-fluent-speakers

The “Using fNIRS to Measure Cerebral Hemoglobin Concentration Changes of Typically-Fluent-Speakers Using Delayed Auditory Feedback’’ study discovered baseline data that allows for a better understanding of the hemoglobin concentration levels in typically-fluent-speakers. The information allows scientists to compare it to data for people-who-stutter.

Bachelor of Science in Statistics

Misericordia University introducing only B.S. degree program in statistics in Luz-Lack counties

Jay Stine

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Misericordia University is introducing a Bachelor of Science degree program and minor in statistics beginning with the fall 2017 semester in response to rapid advances in technology, the growing reliance on quantitative research, and demand in the marketplace.

The Misericordia University statistics program – the only four-year degree program available in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties – provides training in contemporary statistical techniques, as well as theoretical background. By way of electives, the academic program can be tailored to lead students to a wide variety of career choices in business, industry, government or graduate school. Statistics majors will be required to take core classes and specially designed courses in mathematics, computer science and statistics

Statistics – the science of learning from data – requires 53 credits of statistics classes in the mathematics-based program. It consists of 38 credits of specifically required courses and a minimum of 15 credits of elective courses in statistics.

The curriculum for the 18-credit minor in statistics is designed so students can tailor their minor sequence to their particular areas of interest or discipline. Students are required to take nine credits of required courses, plus at least nine credits of elective courses in statistics.

Professional statisticians use statistical methods to collect and analyze data to help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, health care and many other fields. They work in the fields of business and industry, biostatistics, computer science, education, finance, marketing, psychology, sports, government, health care, research and development, and any other field that requires the collection and analysis of data, according to the 2016-17 U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.

“We’re entering an era of tremendous growth in the profession of statistics,’’ said American Statistical Association President David R. Morganstein, who compared the boom in the field to the 1970s demand for computing professionals. “We’re seeing similar trajectory in statistics. Advances in computing, technology and Big Data continue to raise the demand for statisticians.’’

The job outlook for statisticians is robust, according to several jobs reports as they attribute growth from the more widespread use of statistical analysis in making informed business and health care decisions. The National Center for Education Statistics and the Education Advisory Board recently noted that statistics is the fastest growing STEM degree. LinkedIn, the popular career website, reported in January 2016 that statistician ranked second among the 25 most in-demand job skills in 2014.

Furthermore, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for statisticians will increase 34 percent by 2024, much faster than the average for other occupations.

“A bachelor’s degree in statistics should be of interest and benefit to students who are seeking career-oriented majors,’’ said Jay Stine, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Misericordia University. “The job market for statisticians is currently very favorable and salaries for statisticians are highly attractive.’’

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