William and Mary Digest April 10

Staff writer

Center for Balance and Aging Studies aims to reduce injuries among elderly

An accidental fall is often the first step in the physical decline of an older person, particularly if the fall results in serious injury.

But Mike Deschenes and Evie Burnet, faculty members of the College of William and Mary’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, believe evaluation and intervention can help keep older people on their feet.

“The statistics are daunting,” Deschenes said. “When you have that first fall, the next fall is almost certain. The odds of another fall increase exponentially after each fall. And before you know it, you’re at the funeral home.”

Deschenes and Burnet are working with a new initiative known as CBAS — the Center for Balance and Aging Studies. CBAS is conducting a set of analysis and intervention sessions at Williamsburg Landing, a Life Plan Community for those 62 and older.

“We try to identify people who are at high risk for falls so we can intervene now before they have that first fall,” Deschenes explained.

CBAS is an ongoing initiative that arose out of discussions between college and Williamsburg Landing representatives

“Williamsburg Landing staff were very receptive to this partnership with William and Mary focusing on fall prevention for our residents,” Landing President Greg Storer said.

W&M to establish Studio for Teaching and Learning Innovation

William and Mary will establish a Studio for Teaching and Learning Innovation at the start of the 2019-2020 academic year.

An advisory team has submitted its final report with recommendations to Provost Michael R. Halleran who is preparing to set up the center’s initial structure.

“We’re a university that is very proud of our commitment to teaching and our students’ learning,” Halleran said. “Establishing this studio will allow us to pull together the good ideas, the energy, around what is the fundamental activity of our university, which is teaching students in the rich variety of fields that comprise the liberal arts and sciences.”

The initiative is championed by William and Mary President Katherine A. Rowe, who said faculty members have expressed a strong desire to break through disciplinary silos, adopt appropriate new technologies and more strongly unite with colleagues across the campus and schools to advance teaching excellence.

Law School receives award as No. 1 “Military Friendly” graduate school

William and Mary Law School Dean Davison M. Douglas accepted an award on Wednesday in recognition of the school’s designation as the No. 1 “Military Friendly” graduate school in the country.

Brian Hucik, national program manager for the “Military Friendly” rankings, presented the award to Douglas during a reception in the school’s Hixon Center attended by students, faculty, staff and invited guests from the Virginia Department of Veterans Services.

Hucik said that the rankings recognize schools’ “commitment, effort and success in creating a sustainable and meaningful opportunity for the military community.”

The VIQTORY company has sponsored the rankings since 2004. It determines the ranking based on an assessment of public data available for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses from schools that complete the company’s annual survey.

Douglas said the recognition seemed especially fitting for William and Mary’s law school since it can trace its students’ military service back to the time of the Revolutionary War.

Diversity officer makes strides toward diversifying faculty

Fanchon Glover, the university’s chief diversity officer, invited 10 scholars from across the country to visit the campus on an all-expenses-paid visit as part of William and Mary’s recruitment effort for diversifying faculty.

Last fall, Glover attended the annual Southern Region Education Board Doctoral Scholars recruitment fair in Northern Virginia, where about 1,500 minority scholars gathered. She distributed a questionnaire asking whether those present would be interested in attending a William and Mary program to prepare future faculty.

From those who applied for the inaugural program, named IGNITE, the first cohort of 10 scholars were selected to attend the March 24-26 event.

“IGNITE’s mission is to introduce William and Mary to scholars who will soon be entering the professoriate,” she said. “The program was designed to offer workshops led by our faculty, provide an opportunity to network with faculty, staff, and students and give a job talk on their research. This is really a grow-the-faculty pipeline for scholars of color. It doesn’t happen overnight. We’re investing in the future of higher education.”

During their stay, the selectees heard from keynote speaker Bob Belle, a senior consultant for the Southern Region Education Board.

They then participated in a “life values inventory”, a workshop on job searching and a “road to tenure” workshop featuring many faculty members.

Items used are from William and Mary news releases.

Martin can be reached at (757)-243-3685, by email at sararose.martin@vagazette.com or on Twitter at @SaraRoseMartin.

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