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Shekhar Garde avatar

Shekhar Garde

Dean, School of Engineering & Elaine S. and Jack S. Parker Professor, Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Marlene Schwartz, Ph.D. avatar

Marlene Schwartz, Ph.D.

Director, Rudd Center for Obesity & Food Policy (Principal Investigator); Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies
University of Connecticut
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Jodi Caldwell

Executive Director, Counseling Center
Georgia Southern University

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Read expert insights on a wide variety of topics and current events.

The Importance of Recruiting a Diverse Teacher Workforce: Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment for Students

A diverse teacher workforce is crucial for creating an inclusive learning environment for students. It brings a unique range of perspectives into the classroom, which enriches the learning experience for all students and teachers. Gary T. Henry is dean of the University of Delaware’s College of Education and Human Development and professor in the School of Education and the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration. He is able to lend his expertise on this topic thoroughly. One of the key benefits of a diverse teacher workforce is the ability to connect with students from various backgrounds on a deeper level. Students feel represented and understood when they see teachers who look like them and come from similar backgrounds. This sense of connection can significantly impact their engagement and motivation to learn. As dean of the education department, Henry can discuss impacts teacher diversity can have on both students and the greater student environment. He can be reached by clicking on his profile. 

Gary T. Henry
1 min. read

Baylor Fashion Forecasting Expert: The Business and Power of Color

2023 Color of the Year Viva Magenta Every December for 20 years, the global color management company Pantone reveals its Color of the Year for the upcoming year. For 2023, Pantone has chosen a color that “vibrates with vim and vigor”: Viva Magenta. More than just a pretty color for fashion, Viva Magenta 18-1750 is the result of years of research into trends in technology, entertainment and fashion. But what does the Color of the Year mean to the average consumer? According to Baylor University fashion forecasting expert Lorynn R. Divita, Ph.D., retailers with this information can offer products that will resonate with their customers. “Color is the most important factor in whether someone is going consider a purchase,” Divita said. However, “Retailers have to get it right.” Pantone collaborated with diverse group of industry leaders such as Motorola, Lenovo, Spoonflower fabrics and Artechouse Studio to ensure they correctly identified emerging consumer tastes by making connections beyond the boundaries of fashion. “Fashion change happens because people demand novelty,” Divita said, “and retailers want to make people happy.” Using color forecasting is a low-risk way for retailers to provide that novelty. Unlike changes in skirt lengths or pant styles, color is a trend available to everyone. “You can choose how you do it. It is through a garment? Is it through an accessory? Color will translate to multiple categories. So, everybody can participate in a way that feels comfortable to them,” Divita said. Color Forecasting is typically a reliable way to predict trends, but it isn’t always sure thing. Consumers won’t purchase something they fundamentally don’t like. To be successful, color forecasters must be mindful of that. Divita points to the words of cultural reporter and author Virginia Postrel on the two criteria needed for a trend to takeoff: “Do I like that?” and “Am I like that?” If the answer to both questions is yes, the trend is more likely take off. If not, retailers will be stuck with warehouses full of unsold merchandise. Pantone began in 1963 as a color matching standard for the printing industry offering uniformity of color throughout the design and manufacturing process. The numbers behind each color are a recipe for creating an exact match. According to the Pantone website, “Pantone’s color language supports all color conscious industries; textiles, apparel, beauty, interiors, architectural and industrial design, encompassing over 10,000 color standards across multiple materials including printing, textiles, plastics, pigments, and coatings.” Using this industry knowledge, the company branched out into color forecasting in 1999 with its first color of the year, Cerulean. Today, the Pantone Color of the Year is an eagerly anticipated announcement for the fashion forward. Only time will tell if Viva Magenta will be embraced or become footnote in pop culture history. Until then, be on the lookout at your favorite stores for the next big thing. If you are looking for the correct Pantone Baylor colors, they are Baylor Green 3435 and University Gold 1235.

Lorynn Divita, Ph.D.
2 min. read
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Managing Menopause: Mind-Body Solutions for Hot Flashes, Sleep and Well-Being

In recognition of World Menopause Day, Baylor psychologist shares research on hypnotherapy's beneficial effects in relieving hot flashes (Image credit: Rana Hamid via Getty Images) The natural aging process of perimenopause and menopause can create a wide range of symptoms for women, with hot flashes and poor sleep being the most frequently reported – and most disruptive – symptoms. World Menopause Day is recognized on Oct. 18, and one Baylor University researcher has been on a 20-year mission to identify safe and effective options to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help women find relief from hot flashes and improve sleep and well-being during the menopause transition. Gary Elkins, Ph.D., professor of psychology and neuroscience and director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory at Baylor University, is among the nation’s leading researchers on hypnotherapy and mind-body approaches, including continued funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to evaluate the efficacy of a self-hypnosis intervention to reduce hot flashes and improve sleep, as well as other outcomes. “It is important to recognize that hot flashes are a natural part of menopause,” Elkins said. “They are not caused by stress or personality but are due to the decline in estrogen that occurs naturally with aging.” Perimenopause (the hormonal transition leading up to menopause) and menopause (the cessation of menstrual cycles) is the natural aging process marked by the decline in the reproductive hormone estrogen and progesterone in women and can last anywhere from seven to 20 years. Menopause usually begins around age 52 or can result from breast cancer treatment or hysterectomies. Although HRT remains the most effective treatment for hot flashes, it is not appropriate for everyone. A major NIH study found that HRT led to an increased risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease in some post-menopausal women and breast cancer survivors. Elkins’ research is aimed at giving women choices for their own healthcare, including alternatives such as hypnotherapy. “While hypnotherapy is not widely understood by many people, it can regulate hot flashes and improve sleep by managing how temperatures are perceived and regulated in the brain,” Elkins said. “Hypnotherapy is a mind-body therapy, similar to mindfulness and guided imagery, that involves the focus of attention, a relaxed state and therapeutic suggestions.” Elkins’ research on hot flashes and sleep and hypnotherapy has been clinically shown to reduce hot flashes by up to 80%, more effective than any other hot flash management tool available, with the exception of HRT. He also has found that hypnotherapy, as a mind-body intervention, can reduce hot flashes to a degree comparable to HRT, improve sleep quality by over 50% and reduce anxiety while increasing well-being. “Hypnotherapy involves daily practice of 15-minute hypnotic relaxation sessions that teach your brain to adapt to your body’s changing hormone level. Mental images for coolness and control are used to empower women to take control of the two most troublesome menopause symptoms – hot flashes and sleep,” Elkins said. Elkins offers the following suggestions for women to empower them and help them find relief from hot flashes, anxiety and interrupted sleep. Remember that hot flashes are a normal part of the perimenopausal/menopausal transition, and the effects a woman experiences are real. Talk to your doctor about options that may work for you. Everyone is an individual, and it is important to find what works best for you. A combined approach of mind-body hypnosis therapy along with low-dose medications can be helpful for some women. It can be helpful to keep a daily diary of your hot flashes to monitor them. Get good sleep. Poor sleep and night sweats can make hot flashes worse. Be knowledgeable about things that have not been shown to work, such as fans, cold packs and certain herbs. Seek support from family and friends. Elkins has developed the Evia from Mindset Health App to give women easy access to hypnotherapy for hot flashes. The app comes with a free trial that delivers evidence-based hypnotherapy intervention for women during the menopause transition and beyond.

Gary Elkins, Ph.D.
3 min. read

Tales of Christmas Past: Preserving Your Family History During the Holidays

Baylor’s Institute for Oral History shares seven simple best practices to get the conversation started (Credit: FG Trade Latin/Getty Images Collection E+) During past family Christmas gatherings, many of us remember when older relatives regaled everyone with tales about their fascinating life stories, firsthand experiences as an eyewitness to history or simply sharing how favorite family traditions started. So how do you preserve those precious family memories during the holidays? Baylor University oral historians Stephen Sloan and Adrienne Cain Darough have recorded and preserved the oral history memoirs of thousands of individuals through their work with Baylor’s renowned Institute for Oral History, home of the national Oral History Association. Together, the historians share seven simple best practices to help family members begin oral history conversations that enrich recollections of the past and capture your family memories. “The holiday season brings about the opportunity to spend time with family members, especially those you may not be able to see on a frequent basis,” Cain Darough said. “This presents the perfect opportunity to conduct oral histories to capture the stories and experiences of your family and loved ones, to learn more about them, the history of your family, traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation and more.” Seven best practices for preserving your family’s oral history 1. Ask first! Make sure your family member wants their story to be documented or recorded. That is the first – and most important – question to ask, said Adrienne Cain Darough, M.L.S., assistant director and senior lecturer with the Institute for Oral History. Ask first. “Many oral historians have run into the spot where someone says, ‘Oh, my grandpa would be great for that topic,’ and you get there and it's, ‘Grandpa does not want to talk to you.’ So first, make sure they want their story recorded,” she said. 2. Determine the type of recording equipment you want to use. Decide if you want to record your interview with an audio recorder or use a video recording device. It all depends on your needs and comfort level with the technology. For family members who are unable to travel this holiday season, you can include them by capturing their stories using a remote recording platform like Zoom, which became a vital tool for oral historians when COVID struck in 2020. Helpful resources from Baylor’s Institute for Oral History include: How to choose the right digital recorder Oral History at a Distance webinar on the dynamics of conducting remote oral history interviews Remote Interviewing Resources guide (Oral History Association) 3. Research your family member’s life and their timeline to help you formulate your questions. Recording a family member’s oral history is more than just putting down a recorder in front of them and saying, “Talk.” If you’re recording an oral history over Christmas with a family member, are there specific things that you want to know that are related to the holiday? For example, what was Christmas morning like for them as a child? How did your favorite family traditions start? What is their favorite holiday dish? (Maybe they could even share the recipe. “You can finally learn why Nana’s banana pudding doesn’t even have bananas in it,” Cain Darough said.) “Doing your research to try to form those questions will help you get around the reluctance to talk sometimes,” Cain Darough added. “The favorite thing that I love to hear is, ‘Oh, I don't have much to say,’ or ‘I'm not that important.’ And then you sit down with them, and you listen to their stories, and your mind is just blown by the things that they've seen and experienced.” 4. Start with the basics: “Where are you from?” When Baylor oral historians conduct an interview, they generally begin with some life history of the subject, providing important context for historians. “Ask questions early on that are easy for them to answer: a little bit of the backstory, a little bit of where they're from, where they grew up,” said Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Oral History, executive director of Oral History Association and professor of history at Baylor. “I want to understand the lens through which they experienced events, and the only way I can do that is, who was this? What was formative in their life growing up? Who spoke into who they were? What did they learn? Where did they go? What did they do? Those are the sorts of things that I would be exploring early in the interview.” One of the questions Cain Darough enjoys asking is, “What did you want to be when you grew up?” “You want to give them something that's very easy and comfortable to talk about,” Cain Darough said. “What was your favorite subject in school, just to see if that was something that continued on in their life. If there's a certain hobby or something that you know that they're affiliated with, when did you learn about that? Tell me more. What's your interest with this? And then they'll get to talking.” 5. Ask open-ended questions – without making any assumptions. With oral history, it is important that you don’t go into the interview with a specific agenda or try to lead anyone to a certain conclusion. “We can do this very subtly by assuming information, but you can't assume anything about their experience with the topic,’” Sloan said. “If we assume information, it could be very far from how they encountered whatever event that may have been. Allow them to relate the ways in which they lived these experiences.” 6. Listen closely. Listening is an important facet of gathering oral history. But historians say you are not only listening for what they're saying, you're also listening for what they're not saying. “Are there things that are being skipped around?” Cain Darough said. “For example, sometimes when you're talking to veterans about their combat experience, it may be the first time that they're reliving or retelling these stories. They need time, and you just have to be prepared for that.” 7. Be patient. It might take your subject some time to warm up to the conversation. “If you're talking to someone who is 80, 90 or even 100, that's a lot of memories that they have to go through, so patience is important,” Cain Darough said.

Stephen  Sloan, B.B.A., M.A., PhD.
5 min. read

Reflection, Recognition and Expression: The Science of Cultivating Gratitude

Baylor positive psychology researchers offer three ways to increase gratitude and empathy Credit: Marina Demidiuk / iStock / Getty Images Plus Gratitude research delves into the science surrounding human emotions and the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of actively expressing gratefulness. Leading Baylor University positive psychology researchers Sarah Schnitker, Ph.D., and Jo-Ann Tsang, Ph.D., who specialize in the study of gratitude, have identified three science-based mechanisms that can cultivate gratitude and improve empathy. This work is especially timely during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Through the examination of previous studies and the broader literature on the process and benefits of gratitude, the associate professors of psychology and neuroscience have discovered that some previous understandings of gratitude may not tell the whole story. By engaging gratitude in a way that benefits the whole community, the researchers identified ways to engage in gratitude that move the emotions of gratitude beyond a fleeting feeling and become virtuous through helping others. “Gratitude does seem to increase well-being, but not all the time,” Schnitker said. “It sometimes decreases depression and anxiety symptoms, but not always. It makes you more generous, more kind, more caring, but again, not always,” Schnitker said. “[That’s why] we’ve been looking at how to cultivate gratitude in such a way as to really impact flourishing. Not just individual well-being, but also the well-being of other people around them.” Deep reflection Through intentional deep reflection of what we are grateful for, we can move past the cycle of “hedonic adaption” – a theory that proposes people will quickly return to a baseline level of happiness, despite the effects of major positive or negative life events – and into a positive emotional state of gratitude. “You have to pay attention and be intentional about reflecting,” Schnitker said. “Part of the reason is that, like a hedonic treadmill, we get used to our current state; it becomes part of the background, and it no longer benefits our well-being.” Schnitker describes intentionally recognizing who and what you are grateful for as a tool that leads to feelings of greater happiness and connection. “What we find is that by incorporating practices that engage deep reflection – that are structured and effortful – it will lead to higher levels of life satisfaction and gratitude,” she said. Recognizing a giver When you recognize the person for whom you are grateful, you begin to move from feeling thankful for that person to feeling thankful to that person. Schnitker suggests writing gratitude letters to acknowledge those for whom we feel grateful. “Go beyond being thankful and think about the giver; whether that is God or someone else in your life, take the time to deeply consider them,” Schnitker said. “The suggestion of writing a letter over a list is effective in that you are addressing it to someone outside of yourself, and it can build deeper connections.” Jenae Nelson, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research associate in Schnitker’s Science of Virtues Lab at Baylor, has found that expressions of gratitude through letter writing towards an entity increased empathy and transcendent indebtedness in participants significantly more than writing a gratitude list. Participants who felt transcendent indebtedness, or a desire to pay it forward, were much more generous in charitable donations than those who just felt gratitude during the experiment. “This is compelling evidence that gratitude has to work in harmony with other prosocial emotions such as indebtedness and empathy to promote generosity, which are only activated when someone thinks about a person to whom they are grateful,” said Nelson. Outward expression The act of outwardly expressing thankfulness to the giver, whether that is a human, nature or God, can transform it from a temporary feeling into virtuous gratitude. It is the intentional effort of action that contributes to the flourishing of other people. “So many of the studies will have people just write a letter and not necessarily send it,” Schnitker said. “Writing the thank-you note and sending it – either electronically or in the mail – may enhance the impact of the gratitude practice. Expressing gratitude is a natural response and can compound its benefits because both the recipient and giver of thanks can experience an increase in positive emotions.” Essentially, you might not be able to thank the person directly, but expressing your gratitude outwardly could lead to expansive generosity. Research suggests that people treasure feeling thanked. It boosts their own well-being, especially in Western societies and the cultural context of the United States. "So have the courage to reach out and thank them," Schnitker said. Gratitude expressed with these components and mechanisms promotes well-being for both self and those around you. “We find that when people feel that genuine gratitude, not only do they want to pay it back, but they also want to pay it forward,” Schnitker said.

Sarah A. Schnitker, Ph.D.
4 min. read

Coping with Grief During the Holiday Season

Baylor experts suggest three strategies to help cope with grief during the holidays (Image Credit: D-Keine/Getty Images) The holidays are typically a time of joy and celebration for most people, but this time of year can be very different for grieving people. The death of a loved one can be especially hard during the holidays as they are full of memories, traditions, and sensations associated with the holidays – all reminders that this year is different, and someone is no longer here. What can someone in the midst of grief do to make this time more positive and step toward emotional healing? William (Bill) G. Hoy, D.Min, FT., clinical professor and associate director of Medical Humanities, and Candi Cann, Ph.D., associate professor of religion in the Honors College at Baylor, suggest three strategies for grieving people to cope with their loss during the holidays. “Holidays are also hard in grief because they are built around relationships,” Hoy said. “Family gatherings cannot ever be the same, and, of course, memories of bad relationships cause us to realize the past cannot be changed.” Acknowledge your pain The first step is to admit the pain of grieving. “Saying goodbye to a loved one is no easy task, and, undoubtedly, it feels different than you could ever have expected,” said Hoy. Cann pointed out that some deaths bring about complicated grief if the loss is from a difficult relationship. “It is okay to feel relief in addition to grief and it is important to validate all of your feelings – it’s a complicated grief because it was a complicated relationship.” Hoy said that culturally people tend to try to get around the pain without facing it, which only makes it harder later on. “There is an empty chair at the table on this special occasion. The grief following a death assault at every turn with the reality that they will not be returning to the table. Because holiday grief is so painful, there is no need to try to escape the pain this holiday season.” Take care of yourself Self-care is vital during this time, said Cann. She encourages grieving people to stay active, eat healthy, go outside to be in nature and get enough sleep. “It’s totally normal to need more sleep when you're depressed and grieving, you just have to be gracious with yourself about that,” she said. Hoy added, “Remember that grief is very tiring and - even under the best of circumstances - holidays are very taxing.” Give yourself permission to turn down invitations or leave parties early. In addition to taking care of your physical health, Cann recommends staying engaged in your community or church. “Being in community with others is very beneficial for your mental health.” At the same time, be honest with yourself about what you want to do and only accept invitations or participate in activities that you feel you can handle, said Hoy. Evaluate traditions and embrace memories When the holidays arrive, many people want to change everything about the holidays to avoid the sad feelings, said Hoy. Both he and Cann suggest evaluating family traditions, choosing those traditions that are most important to continue and including the dead through new traditions. “Don't forget to embrace your memories of past holidays and special events as you face this season,” Hoy said. “We cannot have things like they were, but we can hold in our hearts the memories of days gone by. You may want to light a special candle or purchase a special holiday decoration and hang it in your loved one's memory.” “A lot of people feel like when that person is gone, the love is gone too, but the love is still there,” Cann said. “You wouldn't feel the grief or the big hole that you now have if you didn't have all of this love in the first place.” She suggests embracing their presence by including a place at the table for Christmas dinner, making their favorite recipe or many other ways to continue the bonds and positively remember the dead in your life. By doing these things, “you're including them in your conversation, and you're making space for that person, both literally and symbolically.” How to support someone who is grieving Being supportive of someone grieving requires patience and vulnerability. “Engage with the person and ask how you can best support them,” Cann said. “And let them know that you are thinking about them during this time.” “A lot of people don't want to bring it up because they don't want to make people sad at a joyful time,” Cann said. “But the point is, they already are sad, so bringing it up allows them to express it” and feel accepted in their pain. Hoy said to remember that there is no set timeline for an individual grief journey. It is also important to remember that not all grief is related to death. There are many types of loss that people experience such as divorce or disease. We can’t decide or predict what defines another person's grief, but we can offer love and support. Approaching the holidays when experiencing grief over the death of someone or a deep loss may be painful at first, but using these strategies can help us face the future by celebrating with gratitude what we had in the past.

Candi Cann, Ph.D.
4 min. read

Tips for traversing the time between jobs

The gap between jobs is a time of not only financial woes but also an associated mental toll that can be just as difficult to manage. University of Delaware career expert Jill Gugino Panté offers tips for navigating the rough waters of unemployment. Gugino Panté, director of the Lerner Career Services Center at UD, has years of experience in HR and helps folks from ages 18 to 80 find jobs and level up their careers. She provided the following advice that journalists can pull for stories about careers and the job market: It's normal to feel hopeless and helpless. These are the two common words I constantly hear from job seekers. Searching for a job, especially when you don’t have a job, can be a black hole of nothing and everything. "Nothing" because you don’t hear back from applications you’ve submitted and the silence can diminish your confidence. And "everything" because of the range of emotions you feel on a daily basis. Stay busy. Staying busy is not just applying to jobs, but it’s keeping your brain, body and mental health positively active. You can only apply to so many jobs on your computer. After that, most people sit and wait. NEVER SIT AND WAIT in a job search! Even the smallest thing will provide a sense of accomplishment. Send out emails to arrange connection phone calls. Attend local networking events, volunteer and give back. Clean out your closet and donate clothes. Organize your search in a spreadsheet, add reminders to your calendar. Keep yourself moving and check off one thing on your list a day.  Find support among peers. There are millions of groups out there on social media. Find a job seeking support group in your industry where you can get advice and even a pep talk if you need one. Friends and family are fine, but not everyone has this and sometimes friends and families don’t understand what you’re going through. Having multiple support groups can provide consistency. Put your job search on blast. I have so many stories of people finding a job because they posted on social media or struck up a conversation with a stranger in a store. Unless you have a specific reason for keeping your job search a secret, shout it out to the world! Data shows that it’s the people on the periphery of your network (meaning 2nd and 3rd connections) who have the most effect on your professional development. So reaching out on LinkedIn, talking to a stranger, attending a networking event you wouldn’t otherwise go to can have a significant impact on your job search. Members of the media interested in speaking with Gugino Panté can reach her directly – visit her profile and click the "contact button." Or, feel free to reach out to our media relations department.

Jill Panté
2 min. read

Aston University establishes Design Factory Birmingham as a global innovation hub for Midlands

• Birmingham becomes the latest city to join a global network of design and digital consultancies • Based at Aston University, expertise in areas such as 3D printing will be shared to boost the local economy • It will include a space named after the late Dame Margaret Weston, former director of the Science Museum. Birmingham has become the latest city to join a global network of design and digital consultancies set up to solve real world challenges through effective problem-solving. Design Factory Birmingham will be based at Aston University, one of just two hubs in the UK outside of London. The city officially joined the Design Factory Global Network on Wednesday 14 February and as a result Aston University will open the doors to its state-of-the-art facilities to other organisations. Shared understanding and common ways of working enable Design Factories in the network to collaborate efficiently across cultures, time zones and organisational boundaries fostering radical innovations. Businesses, industry partners, entrepreneurs, staff and students will be able to collaborate on projects that will involve technologies such as 3D printers and design software. The University will be sharing its expertise in artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, data science and web, app and graphic design to boost the local economy. Currently there are 39 innovation hubs in 25 countries across five continents based in universities and research organisations. The Design Factory will include a space named after the late Dame Margaret Weston, former director of the Science Museum. Dame Margaret had studied electrical engineering at one of Aston University’s predecessor institutions and went on to be the first woman appointed to lead a national museum. She left a generous gift to Aston University in her will, which will be commemorated in the Birmingham Design Factory in honour of her engineering background. (l-r) Felipe Gárate, Professor Aleks Subic, Professor Stephen Garrett The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University, Professor Aleks Subic said: “The Design Factory Birmingham is another key milestone in our ambition to be a leader in science, technology, and innovation, driving socio-economic transformation in our city and region. It is important to the Midlands because it will make a direct contribution to innovation led growth in partnership with industry and businesses. However, this is not only a local launch but also a global launch as Design Factory Birmingham is a global innovation hub, and an integral part of the Design Factory Global Network involving 39 innovation hubs around the world.” The head of the Design Factory Global Network Felipe Gárate from Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland attended the official launch in Birmingham. He said: “I am delighted to welcome Aston University as our latest member. “We are on a mission to create change in the world of learning and research through passion-based culture and effective problem-solving. “Shared understanding and common ways of working enable Design Factories in the network to collaborate efficiently across cultures, time zones and organisational boundaries fostering radical innovations.” The launch event was used to showcase design projects that are already running and companies attending were given the chance to meet placement students who could boost their existing expertise. Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Professor Tony Clarke said “This unique space on campus will bring together multi-disciplinary teams of hands-on innovators, collaborative thinkers and creators. “We will be delivering a wide range of services including software application development, product design, creating protypes using a variety of technologies including laser and water cutting, digital and design training courses, and helping companies obtain innovation grants for projects.” As a member of the global network the Birmingham Design Factory at Aston University will participate in two global design challenges - one run by McDonalds and the other run by the Ford Motor Company. ENDS Notes to Editors There are 39 Design Factory hubs around the world https://dfgn.org/ In the UK there are three; London, Birmingham and Manchester. About Aston University For over a century, Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally. Aston University’s history has been intertwined with the history of Birmingham, a remarkable city that once was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world. Born out of the First Industrial Revolution, Aston University has a proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875, the first UK College of Technology in 1951, gaining university status by Royal Charter in 1966, and becoming The Guardian University of the Year in 2020. Building on our outstanding past, we are now defining our place and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and beyond) within a rapidly changing world. For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7825 342091 or email: n.jones6@aston.ac.uk

4 min. read

ChristianaCare Opens Three New School-Based Health Centers in Delaware Elementary Schools

To address health concerns when they are at their earliest, most preventable stages, ChristianaCare has opened three new school-based health centers in Delaware elementary schools: Brookside Elementary School in Newark – part of the Christina School District. Silver Lake Elementary School in Middletown – part of the Appoquinimink School District. Richardson Park Elementary School in Wilmington – part of the Red Clay School District. “At ChristianaCare, we recognize that early intervention is vital in order to address the comprehensive health needs of adolescents in our community,” said Erin Booker, chief bio-psycho-social officer at ChristianaCare. “Childhood trauma hurts the ability of children to learn and increases their risk of chronic disease and mental health issues. Through the opening of these three new school-based health centers, these children now have convenient access to medical services, behavioral health services and wraparound social care. These centers can improve their health and education and set them on a lifelong path of wellness.” These new elementary school Wellness Centers are a partnership between ChristianaCare, the Delaware School-Based Health Alliance, the schools and school districts, supported by New Castle County government with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. With the latest additions, ChristianaCare now operates school-based health centers in seven elementary schools and 19 high schools and middle schools. Each ChristianaCare school-based health center includes a health care team of medical, mental health, community health and nutrition experts. The health centers also provide a host of services by appointment during the school day. A parent or guardian must provide a signed permission form prior to a student’s first visit to a health center. Priscilla Michelle Mpasi, M.D., FAAP speaks at the ribbon-cutting at Richardson Park Elementary School.  “At ChristianaCare, we serve together, guided by our values of love and excellence, and that mission of service is why we are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the community,” said Priscilla Michelle Mpasi, M.D., FAAP, assistant medical director for the Clinically Integrated Network and Delaware Medicaid Partners. “School-based health centers are the connection of whole-child health and education. As we all know, early intervention is the key to wellness. Children can learn better when they are happy and healthy and know they have a safe place to go when they need care.” At no cost to the students, and located within each elementary school, the three school-based health centers also alleviate the need for parents and students to find transportation to address their health care needs. “Ensuring that our students are prepared to learn is crucial, but it can be challenging when they are dealing with various obstacles,” said Dan Shelton, Ed.D., superintendent of Christina School District. “That’s why our collaboration with ChristianaCare and New Castle County presents an incredible opportunity to bring essential services directly to our school. By establishing an in-school wellness center at Brookside Elementary School, we are thrilled to provide our students with the support they need to be fully prepared and eager to learn.” “Empowering our future starts with nurturing the health and well-being of our youngest minds,” said Dorrell Green, Ed.D., superintendent of the Red Clay Consolidated School District, which oversees the new school-based health center at Richardson Park. “Elementary school-based health centers play a pivotal role in fostering a thriving community by providing accessible, comprehensive healthcare, ensuring every child has the opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed.” “We are so grateful to open the first school-based health center at an elementary school in Appoquinimink School District,” said Matt Burrows, superintendent of the Appoquinimink School District. “This wouldn’t be possible without the partnership of New Castle County Government and the Delaware School-Based Health Alliance. The services provided by school-based health centers span a large array of care – including physicals, vaccinations, mental health, and more. As fast as our community is growing here in the MOT area, we know access to health care can be a challenge for many of our families. Having these services inside one of our elementary schools will be incredibly helpful for our families. The services that are being provided by ChristianaCare are invaluable for our students and their families.”

Erin Booker, LPC
3 min. read