14 posts categorized "e-Learning"


USciences Launches Free Open, Online Courses on iTunes U

ItunesuPeople of all ages and backgrounds across the world are one click away from experiencing a free education from University of the Sciences. That’s because the University recently launched two open, online courses on iTunes to allow individuals to explore the interdisciplinary teaching styles of some of its professors.

“These open, online courses are a tremendous opportunity for universities, like USciences, to draw attention to our high-quality curriculum and outstanding faculty,” said Mark H. Nestor, PhD, associate provost and chief information officer of academic affairs. “This type of forum also allows us to project our brand globally."

Available through a free app in the iTunes Store, iTunes U provides access to thousands of courses prepared by instructors worldwide, including the USciences courses which cover the topics of AIDS and the history of time. These courses are openly available to the public and are made up of several modules, or “lectures.” While enrollment for these online courses is not required, an iTunes account is needed to access them.

Dr. Murphy

Although the concept of the AIDS course was initially developed by Kevin Murphy, PhD, chair of the Department of Humanities; it was further enhanced by including a total of 33 lectures from an interdisciplinary team of USciences faculty. Michelle Ramirez, PhD, MPH, associate professor of anthropology; Samuel Talcott, PhD, assistant professor of philosophy; and Margaret A. Reinhart, director of the Medical Laboratory Science Program, each contributed lectures to this well-rounded course.

“By providing lectures from the medical science, anthropologic, and philosophic perspectives, participants of this course will be able to gather four different and pertinent angles to this international problem,” said Dr. Murphy. “Our course covers topics ranging from the cellular and medical dimensions of AIDS to the gender and ethical elements of the disease.”

Dr. Robson

Similarly, the second USciences course offered on iTunes aims to introduce students to the complex, mysterious, and often elusive nature of time. Spearheaded by history professor, Roy Robson, PhD, students who participate in this course will have the opportunity explore time through a multidisciplinary, historical, and multicultural approach covering diverse fields such as physics, medicine, psychology, sociology, religion, art, and philosophy.

“Although this free service provides self-paced courses without assessment or acknowledgement of completion, it has the potential to encourage students to continue their educations at USciences,” said Dr. Murphy.

Andrew Esposito, instructional designer in the Office of Academic Technology at USciences, developed and produced these courses on iTunes. To access USciences’ free courses via iTunes U, visit http://bit.ly/1kzQvTz.

Click here to listen to KYW Newsradio's June 18 segment regarding USciences' open, online courses.


The Biggest Mistakes Transfer Students Make

Viggiani_aimeeChoosing which college to attend is a huge decision for students. Whether they’ve earned their associate’s degrees from community colleges and ready to move on to earn their bachelor’s degrees, or currently enrolled in four-year schools that aren’t the right fit, one-third of all students transfer at least once before earning a degree.

Aimee Viggiani, associate director of transfer admissions, was recently featured in two articles which provide helpful tips for transfer students. She said, "All too often, students wait until too late in their college careers to ask why a certain class didn't transfer. Even if you don't need the credit right away, you may need it in the future. So ask transfer credit questions as soon as possible."


Dean of Mayes College Weighs In on Affordable Care Act

APeterson_250x350Andrew Peterson PharmD, PhD, John Wyeth Dean of Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy, recently published an article titled, "Healthcare Exchanges Open for Business" in the Star Life Sciences Medical Monitor.

As of Oct 1, 2013, many U.S. citizens will be able to purchase health insurance through an online marketplace called the Healthcare Exchange. Purchasing insurance through this mechanism is not available to employees who choose to receive insurance through their employer, or citizens who receive Medicare or Medicaid. 

Click here to read the entire article...

As of today, Oct 1st, 2013, many US citizens will be able to purchase health insurance through an online marketplace called the Healthcare Exchange. Purchasing insurance through this mechanism is not available to employees who choose to receive insurance through their employer, or citizens who receive Medicare or Medicaid. - See more at: http://www.starlifebrands.com/healthcare-exchanges-open-for-business/#sthash.6jehUNdO.dpuf


USciences PT Professor Featured in Prevention Magazine

Thielman_0If your back aches after a long commute or you get a stiff neck from working at the computer, bad posture may be to blame. “Unfortunately, people ignore proper posture until they have some pain,” says Dr. Gregory Thielman, an associate professor of physical therapy at University of the Sciences.

Click here to continue reading the entire article...


Learning and Living the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in Real Time

This fall, masters and doctoral students in the Department of Health Policy and Public Health at University of the Sciences are examining the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) as it evolves in real time.

MetrauxIn the seminar course led by Steve Metraux, PhD, associate professor of health policy and public health, graduate students meet weekly to discuss topics such as the politics that led to the passage of the ACA, how the ACA fits into the history of healthcare reform in the United States, the legal and constitutional aspects of the ACA, and the nuts and bolts of the ACA.

A range of experts, both from the USciences faculty and from the greater Philadelphia region will join the seminar to lead discussions and explain how the ACA impacts particular facets of health and health care.

But beyond that, the seminar will seek to capture history-in-the-making by following the day-to-day events related to the ACA as its key component, the insurance exchanges, start their open enrollment.

Issa_Portrait“Watching the biggest health policy story in years unfold week by week adds a new dimension of excitement to studying policy,” said Dr. Metraux. “This seminar seeks to provide students with the tools not only to understand how we got here, but also to assess how such policy might likely unfold.”

Amalia M. Issa, PhD, professor and chair of health policy and public health, added, “Our students are going to be on the front lines of healthcare delivery and shaping policy. They need to have an understanding of the Act, apply their critical thinking skills to the issues, and evaluate the impact of the ACA on addressing current and future problems in health systems.”


PCP Student: High Tech Tools for Medication Adherence

Anita Pothen is currently a 6th year pharmacy student at the University of the Sciences-Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. In addition to her interests in medication adherence and writing, Anita's pharmacy-related experiences include working in retail, hospital and government agency settings. - See more at: http://www.starlifebrands.com/author/apothen/#sthash.qLh4jlSX.d

Anita Pothen PharmD'14, published an article in Star Life Sciences Medical Monitor on Sept. 18, 2013, titled, "High Tech Tools for Medication Adherence."

Medication adherence is a topic of interest for healthcare providers, caregivers, and payers — and, of course, patients. Practitioners work hard to select optimal drug therapy for their patients, but they don’t always see the expected clinical improvements.

Click here to read the full article...

Medication adherence is a topic of interest for healthcare providers, caregivers, and payers—and, of course, patients. Practitioners work hard to select optimal drug therapy for their patients, but they don’t always see the expected clinical improvements. This inefficacy in treatment often stems from patients’ inability - See more at: http://www.starlifebrands.com/author/apothen/#sthash.qLh4jlSX.dpuf


USciences Student Discovers the True Meaning of Happiness

Michael Gredzik MB’13,  DPT’17, has been fortunate in life to live in two culturally and economically developed countries, Poland and the United States. In this blog entry, he shares his experience traveling to Jamaica on a mission trip.

Through traveling back and forth from Poland and the United States, I have met so many interesting and wonderful people.  These interactions inspired me to become more self-aware of different cultures, lifestyles, and beliefs. During my second year at USciences, I became interested in learning the true meaning of happiness. I began researching documentaries on YouTube regarding different ways of life.

After listening to my Microbiology Professor Dr. James Johnson speak about the earthquake in Haiti and watching the short movies, I realized that I wanted to discover the intrinsic motivation that drove people to volunteer in third world countries. Instead of continuing to watch these movies, I wanted to get a firsthand account by volunteering.

Unsure of how to go about volunteering, I decided to seek advice from my friends, especially Father Jim McGuin of Saint Agatha and James Parish on University of Pennsylvania. During one of our many discussions, he recommended that I look into the Missionaries of the Poor. As I looked over the webpage, I became more and more excited with the idea of helping others.  I decided to contact Brother Rodger, who is in charge of the volunteers, to get further information regarding their organizational mission. Once I was cleared to volunteer, I began to plan my journey to Jamaica. I quickly took on two jobs, one at a country club and the other at a local church, to generate enough funds to financially support my trip.

When I first landed in Kingston, Jamaica, my nerves got the best of me because I was so scared of the unknown. I was traveling alone to a third world country not knowing what to expect. Once the Brothers picked up from the airport, I began feeling relaxed and calm. As I was getting settled in at the visitor’s center, I began to wonder what was in store for me tomorrow. I woke up bright and early at 6 a.m., ready to get my day started. The first day was a little overwhelming trying to get adjusted to my surrounding environment since I was accustomed to more comfortable lifestyle. As the day went on, I became more open and willing to interact with people. On a daily basis my responsibilities included shaving the beards of the male residents, working with AIDS residents, building relationships with physically and mentally challenge people, discussing life experiences with the elderly, and dressing up the children residents for Sunday mass.

Throughout the week of service, I encountered so many people from all walks of life, including people from Uganda, Kenya, the Philippines, India, Canada, Alabama, Louisiana, Poland, and Dominican Republic. I also met Syrian Refugees, who were taken in by the Brothers at a request by an individual representing the United Nations. Meeting these individuals reemphasized my passion for helping others.

I was able to experience so many inspiring and impactful moments, but the one that stands out the most took place on the fifth day of my stay. I was in a residence’s home that was primary for men with physical and mental disabilities. I was in charge of changing the bedcovers, disinfecting the mattresses, and feeding the men who were unable to feed themselves. While I was feeding the men, I realized that I shouldn’t take people for granted because they resembled someone I knew. Furthermore, I came to the conclusion that the simple pleasures in life make me happy, such as my family, friends, education, and musical pursuits.

I envision returning next year but this time for two weeks. As of now, I will be once again traveling alone; however, it would be nice for some of my peers from USciences to join me on this amazing adventure.  It would be cool to have someone who is more technologically advanced than I to digitally document the experience while at the same time helping others. 

If you would like to hear more about my journey and join me next year, contact me at mgredzik@mail.usciences.edu.

Health Tip: Skinny, Fat, Old, Young: All at Risk for High Cholesterol

image from www.gradschool.usciences.eduTo attract customers, restaurant chains have been rolling out budget deals, offering $5 pizzas, $3 meals — even $1 sandwiches. But while these new offerings are light on its customers’ wallets, they hit them where it hurts in terms of calories, fat, and sodium content.

Unfortunately, some of most common patrons of these restaurants are college students looking to get the best bang for their buck. In observance of National Cholesterol Education Month, Karin Richards, interim chair of the Department of Kinesiology and program director of health sciences at University of Sciences, addresses important heart-healthy tips to help college students avoid serious health conditions down the road.

 “Nobody can eat anything they want and stay heart-healthy because all body types are at risk for high cholesterol,” said Richards. “While overweight people are more likely to have high cholesterol, thin people should also have their cholesterol checked regularly because people who don’t gain weight easily are less aware of how much fat they actually consume.”

  1. Check your family tree. Familial hypercholesterolemia is a disorder of high LDL, or bad, cholesterol that is passed down through families, which means it is inherited. Because the condition begins at birth and can cause heart attacks at an early age, it is vital for young adults to be in tune with their families’ health backgrounds.
  2. Moderation is key. While fried and fast foods do not have to be completely eliminated from diets; they should be consumed sporadically rather than every day.
  3. Substitute foods. Because egg yolk boasts high cholesterol, opt for egg whites instead. The same concept can be applied when choosing snacks, go for air popped popcorn over potato chips. There’s a healthy alternative to every meal.
  4. Get moving. Too many people focus on their diets, and neglect exercise. Aim to “move” for 30 minutes each day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away in a parking lot, or jogging, walking, biking, and rollerblading as means of transportation. 
  5. Get screened. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the level of bad cholesterol among young adults ranges from 7 percent to 26 percent; however, the screening rate among this age group is less than 50 percent.

Richards said University of the Sciences students are offered free cholesterol and body composition screenings through its Department of Kinesiology. If abnormal results are recorded, students are encouraged to visit their primary care providers for further examination.

“Sometimes it takes eye-opening results for young adults to see that they are not invincible to potentially fatal health conditions, like heart disease. It’s never too late to start the transformation to a healthy lifestyle,” said Richards.

Richards obtained a Master of Science in sport management from Slippery Rock University, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in health policy at USciences. She is nationally certified as a wellness practitioner and wellness program coordinator by the National Wellness Institute, National Strength and Conditioning Association, and American College of Sports Medicine.


Medication Adherence—There’s An App For That Too!

Medication adherence has been a topic of interest for health care providers, caregivers and third-party providers alike. While practitioners work hard to select optimal drug therapy for their patients, clinical improvements may not always result as expected. This inefficacy in treatment often stems from the inability of patients to adhere to the treatment regimens set forth by providers. While many patients struggle to adhere to their  regimens for a number of reasons, technology-centered initiatives like the MediSafe© Project are taking advantage of the utility of smart phone applications to steer consumers towards better adherence. MediSafe® allows patients to scan drug barcodes, add directions and set alerts so that they are reminded to take them in a timely manner. If patients still fail to take their medication on time, the app can be synced to a loved one or caregiver so that they are alerted that the patient did not follow the regimen as indicated. iPharmacy© is another app available at no cost that offers additional features along with medication reminders.  Some of these tools include a pill identifier, access to information pertaining to drug recalls and a pharmacy locator.

So what if the patient is not particularly keen on the idea of using a smart phone? After all, widespread popularity with smart phones lies predominantly with younger generations. While MediSafe© in particular is working towards improving accessibility by implementing low-tech solutions, there are additional options already in place. EMMA®, (Electronic Medication Management System) is an in-house, FDA-approved comprehensive management system for patients with complex medication regimens. EMMA® houses blister cards of medications that are inserted into the machine like compact discs and can be remotely controlled by pharmacists. The system collects more accurate adherence information, which pharmacists and physicians can access. Though this technology provides considerable accuracy in adherence measurement, it is not a guarantee that all patients will be eligible for coverage and thus may not be able to afford the machine.

While all these approaches differ in one way or another, there is a common theme—improvement in adherence by means of a more involved and integrative strategy that aims to bridge the gap between practitioner initiatives and patient implementation. While finances and the adaptation of the senior population to advances in technology remain as limitations, there is a great deal of progress, such as NCPIE’s National Action Plan that paves the way for better adherence and ultimately, better health outcomes.

Anita Pothen

Pharm.D Candidate 2014


Google Apps for Education at USciences

The University of the Sciences has "Gone Google". Google Apps for Education gives all faculty, students and staff a state-of-the-art communication and collaboration platform. Google Apps is not a learning management system (LMS) like Angel or Blackboard -- it supplements our existing e-learning and online administrative tools. For example, we now have the ability to easily share and collaboratively edit documents online that are compatible with Word, Excel and PowerPoint. No more trading large email attachments and loosing track of who has the latest revision. Faculty can share large documents and data files with collaborators all over the world without clogging up email in-boxes. We can also create unlimited “wiki” websites (Sites in Google parlance) and stream videos from our own private UScience branded YouTube-like site.

Acceptance by users has been very encouraging. In the month of September we’ve had almost 1,200 unique visitors visiting 2,952 times resulting in over 13,000 page views. Faculty, staff and students have created over 300 sites to help committees, departments, courses and programs collaborate without the constraints of Angel or the Campus Portal.  Popular use cases include building personal profiles, project management wikis, forms, surveys, and student e-portfolios and group project sites.

USciences faculty, staff and students can logon at http://start.online.usp.edu and find video tutorials and answers to frequently asked questions.
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