Viewing the construction site for the doctor of physical therapy program was a bit like having X-ray vision. The rooms on the second floor of College Park Center at 1529 Brown St. are currently separated only by metal rods that stretch from ceiling to ground, giving the whole floor a skeletal effect.
The Ohio Board of Regents approved UD’s newest doctoral program May 18. Its first students will start classes just three months later, on Aug. 21. Workers are hustling “to take the big, wide-open space that used to belong to NCR and fit it to the needs of the program,” according to Cathy Ford of facilities planning and construction management.
Major electrical and mechanical work has already been accomplished. When the first physical therapy students arrive, they will find a fully renovated floor with classrooms, labs, faculty offices, tutorial rooms, locker rooms, a conference room, a reception area, a break room and a resource room.
Future students can look forward to wireless Internet access, an anatomy lab and a fitness assessment area. With a transparent view of the sprawling physical therapy lab, it’s easy to imagine it packed with walking aids and bars, patients, instructors and the future physical therapists that Dayton hospitals so desperately need.
Hope Daniels wants to be able to feed herself, a simple task for most 5-year-olds. Hope, though, has to work hard to accomplish every daily task she faces. She was born with arthrogryposis, multiple joint contractures which severely limit her mobility but not her determination.
In order to feed herself — something she very much wants to do — Hope needed an assistive eating device to bend where her elbows cannot, to lift what her fingers cannot grasp.
Students in the School of Engineering designed that device for her, and Hope and her family aren’t the only ones to benefit.
This project and others like it broaden the students’ understanding of what engineers can accomplish and how interdisciplinary collaboration can result in the best product. By introducing students to engineering as service, the School is making an investment in the students’ education and in the community.
In 2004, the School took on a design challenge that raised the profile of engineering service projects.
Kevin Hallinan, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, received a call from nurse Pam Cooper. She had a 4-year-old patient, Kailen Carpenter, with arthrogryposis. When he was born, doctors told his mother he’d never walk or move. But no one told Kailen. Despite the fact his elbows and knees are fused, today not only can he walk, he’s taken up ballet and is thinking about soccer. He’s always giving hugs and high-fives.
But there are things Kailen can’t do. There was no way for Kailen to be able to feed himself without help, so Cooper made the call.
Hallinan took the request to the Design and Manufacturing Clinic and its coordinator, Phil Doepker. The clinic provides
upper-level students the opportunity to solve actual engineering problems through original analysis and design.
Since the clinic began in 1996, interdisciplinary student teams have completed more than 350 projects for 70 clients.
“We want students to work in teams in a fashion similar to 9industry,” Doepker said.
Projects usually are funded by a company, but a grant from the White Oak Foundation allows the clinic to fund service projects at no cost to the client. (See “Footing the bill,” Page 10.)
“This project was just so much different than the others,” said Karlee Kleinhenz ’05, one of six students who worked on Kailen’s assistive eating device. “The service aspect was more along the lines of what I wanted to do.”
Design clinic students are responsible for leading their own projects, including defining their design problem and requirements. After researching assistive eating devices and arthrogryposis, they decided the device must be used for food acquisition, transfer and delivery, must accommodate
Kailen’s physical capabilities and limitations, must be easily repairable and must grow with him.
“He was always very, very excited to try whatever we brought,” said Dan Horwitz ’05. “The first spoon we brought he had a hard time using, but he was still so excited by the ability to eat even though it was just pudding.”
Kailen, who also has cerebral palsy, presented other challenges for the team. During regular Friday visits to Children’s Medical Center during two semesters, the students adapted their engineering communication skills to talk with him and his caregivers.
“The fact that he was a 4-year-old who couldn’t speak well seemed like a challenge, but he ended up showing us the way to our final design,” said Taylor Aronhalt ’06.
In December, the students presented their two final devices, one mechanical and one electro-mechanical. Though both devices work, the mechanical device worked best for Kailen — because he had helped design it.
During an earlier testing session, Kailen used a prototype in ways the students had never intended. Students wanted to see if he could manuever an L-shaped spoon made with PVC pipe. Instead of holding it in the air, Kailen balanced the elbow on the table and used it as a pivot point. The elbow slid too much, so students looked around the physical therapy room for a solution. They found the lid to a Barrel of Monkeys game and placed the elbow on the lid.
The final device consists of an arm made from PVC pipe attached to a base with a universal joint. Different eating utensils can be inserted into the arm. By using a joystick-like handle, Kailen is able to manipulate the arm to scoop up food and then move it to his mouth.
Though Kailen liked the device because he could use it, he also loved that the base had been constructed using a Thomas the Tank Engine figure — his favorite character.
“This team did one of the best jobs designing and building a device that could be used almost immediately,” Doepker said.
Kailen now uses his eating device at home for about half his meals. He is learning how to use the device for different foods in physical therapy sessions.
“These students really got involved,” Kailen’s mother, Keyawna Carpenter, said. “They could have just seen this as homework. It’s a wonderful thing to see him do things like other kids.
“He said it makes him feel like a big boy.”
Last winter, the Dayton Daily News ran a story on the students’ work with Kailen. This publicity opened the door for more projects as well as the opportunity to integrate service at many levels of the engineering curriculum.
Hope Daniels’ grandmother read the story and called the University to find out if her granddaughter could be helped.
Doepker, inspired by the mission of the clinic and the Kailen project, said yes. Doepker included the new project in his senior-level conceptual design class.
He and Hallinan also saw in the project a natural fit for an interdisciplinary section of Hallinan’s Engineering 101 course.
This spring, Hallinan’s students worked in teams similar to the Design and Manufacturing Clinic to design prototypes of assistive eating devices. He wanted the students to understand that the design process is about learning and testing and that engineering can help others.
“The faculty and senior students were amazed at how well they’ve done,” he said. “They are very creative and very intuitive.”
The students watched a video of Hope to become familiar with her physical limitations. She can’t bend her elbows, but she does have limited wrist and finger movement.
The teams’ devices were built using a variety of supplies, often including things found lying around the labs, such as duct tape, tennis balls, PVC pipe, plywood and an erector set.
During testing with Hope, the colorful erector set proved to be the most useful.
“I like this one. It’s easy,” she said.
To use the device, Hope pushes a horizontal-moving arm connected to a spatula, which pushes the food toward the fork. She then uses both hands to grasp a tennis ball, suspended by a string, which activates an arm, raising the fork to her mouth.
During testing, sometimes she’d only get one or two Cheerios on the fork, and sometimes they’d fall off on the way up. But sometimes she succeeded in getting a whole forkful.
She kept asking for more Cheerios, happy to be able to feed herself for the first time.
Hope’s family was pleased with the first-year students’ work.
“They get an A in my book,” Hope’s father, Zach Zinkiewicz, said.
Though the student team did not have enough time during the five-week unit to turn their prototype into a product, Hallinan and Aronhalt — who assisted the students — finished the project and delivered it to Hope in May.
The senior team from the Design and Manufacturing Clinic is also working on an electro-mechanical eating device, which could be completed by the end of the fall 2006 semester.
While the engineering school has a variety of service options for students, Hallinan and Doepker would like to see service become more integrated, especially in the first two years.
“For first-year students, service projects like this allow them to get their hands on design from their very first semester in school,” Doepker said.
The Hope project can be a model of projects to come, Hallinan said. He plans to run service modules in fall 2006 and support faculty training. He sees how student work on service projects allows them to realize that their engineering skills can benefit their community.
“We were able to help someone else, and we got to watch her face light up,” said Lindsay Martin who, after working on Hope’s device, chose a major that will allow her to pursue similar projects.
Such projects can also alter career paths. Aronhalt went from a student team member on the Kailen project to a senior assistant with the Hope project to choosing a graduate school based on addressing community needs.
In the fall, Aronhalt will begin graduate studies in biomedical engineering at the University of Cincinnati.
“Originally, I was interested in mechanical engineering, but watching Kailen use our device and seeing that I could help
benefit someone’s life opened my eyes and made me want to follow a similar career path,” he said.
Ultimately Aronhalt hopes to apply his knowledge of mechanical engineering to the medical field.
“This type of engineering is rewarding,” he said. “Cars, boats — they are just toys to me compared to something like this.”
EACH DECISION A MORAL ACT
Engineering students are learning to converse in the language of ethics because engineering design problems are ethical problems.
“As Thomas Aquinas notes, every human act that involves deliberation is a moral act,” said Brad Kallenberg, associate professor of religious studies.
In his Christian Ethics and Engineering course, he presents his students with real-life engineering problems and asks them to look beyond the technical skills required to solve them.
“Today’s engineers are often guilty of intentionally donning blinders during the design process for the sake of maintaining the sharp focus required to tackle technical aspects of a problem,” he said.
The goal of the course is to teach engineers to instead approach design problems with eyes alert to cues that might come from non-engineering fields, he said.
During the design process, “we try to get them to take a step back and see things in other contexts — environmental, economical, political, religious, social, international,” he said.
This spring, his students collaborated with teams from the Design and Manufacturing Clinic to encourage ethical reflection on the groups’ projects, especially during the brainstorming phase of the design.
One team developed an assistive eating device for 5-year-old Hope Daniels. The other team designed a product to aid employees of a local company who have to lift heavy items out of deep shipping crates.
Andrew Hurst, a sophomore civil engineering major and one of Kallenberg’s students, worked with the team on the box project and encouraged them to consider the non-technical aspects of their design.
“This box project had clear economic parameters, both for the company and the workers,” he said. “In terms of the safety of the users of the box, medical issues had to be considered.
“This course helps give a sense of purpose to engineering jobs and emphasizes that technical knowledge is just one small aspect of the overall field of engineering.”
Kallenberg challenged the students working on the assistive eating device to consider not just the ethical implications of their project but the state of the engineering field.
“Few if any engineering firms are spending money to develop [assistive eating devices]. This project is self-evidently a good thing. Why aren’t pro bono projects normative in the industry?” he asked.
We need a bigger chapel.
That was the second most common remark heard during Reunion Weekend 2006 as families squeezed in and out of the Immaculate Conception Chapel. They sat, stood three deep, filed up the staircase and packed the balcony Saturday during the Mass and wedding vow renewal ceremony celebrated by Father James L. Heft, S.M. Wives clutched red roses as nearly 300 couples professed their love and re-commitment to one another, including slot machines Fred “56 and Helen Sills (pictured).
More than 2,100 alumni and guests made this year”s Reunion Weekend the largest ever, and the most successful; alumni in the 10 reunion years pledged $1,572,423 in gifts to UD.
And the weekend”s most common remark? It was overheard under the big tent during the Saturday night Porch Party, at the Golden Flyer induction ceremony, during RecPlex tours and throughout the campus as alumni shared stories new and old: It”s great to be back at UD.
Flood, fire, bird flu and cyberterrorism are no problem for Barbara Frederiksen, who put her disaster preparation plan through the ultimate test — the washing machine.
She can attest that a flash drive containing all the encrypted information needed to reconstitute her law office came through swimmingly.
Frederiksen, senior managing consultant with Johnson-Laird in Portland, Ore., gave the keynote talk “Hurricanes and Bird Flu: How Can You Run a Business Without Employees Coming to Work?” last Friday during the UD School of Law‘s 16th annual seminar of significant developments in computer and cyberspace law.
Among her disaster preparation suggestions:
-update your contingency plan and distribute it to your employees
-fill a red emergency box with plans, instructions, maps, insurance documents, flashlight and walkie talkies
-give satellite pagers to key people
-create a disaster e-mail account with a Web-based company like Hotmail, share the login and password with all employees, and use it as a central communications bulletin board during emergencies.
At first glance, it looked like a fisherman’s net hung from the wall and cascaded onto the floor of ArtStreet Studio D Gallery. The light-colored weaving holding glass balls and colored stones was, in fact, “Sentimentality” by Larissa Raddell ’03, one of 21 alumni artists with works on display through the end of Reunion Weekend, June 9-11.
The first UD Alumni Art Exhibit features paintings, photographs, sculptures, pottery and textiles from artists representing the classes of 1950 to 2003. Featured work, on display since May 15, includes the painting “where happiness lives” by Jillian Warne Corron ’02, which draws in the viewer with its contrasting green and red streaks. A closer look shows that this painting actually uses both real leaves and paint in the artwork.
Other alumni displaying their work include Ashley Cecil ’03 (“UD Chapel”), David Chesar ’97, Tom Connair ’50, Danielle Dumont ’96, Joel Michael ’96, Mike Harper ’92, Meg Tye Kenney ’88, Janet Olney Lasley ’89, Aloys B. Lochtefeld ’63, Gerald J. Lochtefeld ’64, Ellen Loeffler-Kalinoski ’81, Julie Van Leeuwen Lonneman ’76, William Ian Lorson ’97, Alison Macke Siefker ’03, Robert Stanley ’64, Walter Strubczewski ’54, Cat Scott ’03, Kate Weigand Wagner ’96 and Christopher T. Wood ’01. Look for 2007 exhibit submission information in late winter on the alumni Web site.
The students may be gone, but campus is still hopping with construction literally around every corner. See what’s new, including windows for Marycrest Residence Complex, a roof for Chaminade Hall, walls for Kettering Labs and the old post office turned new heritage center. (Photos by Larry Burgess.)
The hubbub and action that surrounds the old campus post office every work day is hard to miss. The building’s appearance has changed considerably in the last few weeks and is set to change even more before the summer is over.
One rainy day in May, I braved the mud to have a firsthand look. What used to be a quiet, humble and tiny building is now a crowded workshop full of lumber, tools, tables and workers.
These workers, even through rain and mud, are completing a full renovation to transform the building into a campus heritage center.
The building’s doors are gone, providing a full view of the interior that shows how roomy the old post office really is. It should fit a good number of people inside to share memories and stories of UD.
I talked with Mike Lyons of Kendell Construction as he directed his fellow workers. He said that the construction company will provide all new mechanicals, electrical work, heating, an exterior paved patio and a completely refinished inside.
Quite a lot of work for such a little building.
The Memorial Day spirit sprayed from the hoses of the UD grounds department as they watered not the UD grounds, but the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park on this sunny Wednesday.
This was the first time UD has helped with cleanup at the park, located between Patterson Avenue and the Great Miami River. Twelve volunteers watered, mulched and trimmed back tree limbs at the park, which includes a memorial plaque listing 402 names of Vietnam veterans from the Miami Valley. Chuck Shelley of UD grounds department, as well as park board member, suggested the service project.
The president of the park board, Mark Kucharski, said that he is “looking ahead to build a long relationship with the UD organization, hoping that they continue to help with the cleanup project annually.”
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is preparing for the Memorial Day service on Monday at 11 a.m., during which a tomb of Vietnam memorabilia will be buried at the POW MIA tree.
Two UD students, T.J. Graham and Zachary Fogle, also worked on the cleanup. Although they usually work at the Arena, they said that they enjoyed this work, especially on such a beautiful day.
Paraphrasing George Washington, Kucharski said, “The willingness with which young people will serve their nation is in proportion to how the veterans of the previous generation were treated.”
Mary, how does your garden grow?
Bright and colorful, thanks to last weekend’s volunteer crew.
Twelve gardeners, coordinated by Pat Detzel, got their hands dirty Saturday planting annuals and perennials, many of which the volunteers dug from their own gardens. The forget-me-nots are currently nodding their delicate blue heads at passers-by, with the yellow clusters of stonecrop and bold, tall zinnias set for exhibition later this summer. The Mary Garden is located in the courtyard between St. Mary Hall and the Immaculate Conception Chapel.
Eight UD students doubled as actors with the campus as their stage last Thursday. USA Funds, an education loan lender, selected UD as one of four universities nationwide to highlight in its financial aid commercial.
The students and commercial crew gathered at locations such as the library lawn and the courtyard by St. Joseph Hall to film the commercial. Makeup artists prepped students before their shots and choreographers directed students’ interactions during the scenes.
The students chatted for the camera and walked about campus while toting textbooks and computers as a videographer and still photographer captured the action. The commercial’s producer and director, Todd Gould, said that this was the first USA Funds commercial shot at UD.