Campus Update

Thu Sep 18, 2014

Mallory Bower presentingSeveral members of the Career Services Office in the Compass have presented papers at conferences. Mallory Bower, pictured far right, associate director, presented “Ignite Talk—Do Stuff, Be Awesome: Fighting Passion Paralysis” and “‘Tribes’ and Tribulations of Building Professional Networks” at the NASPA Region II Conference of student affairs administrators, held in Atlantic City in June. Jackie Wallace, assistant director, and Christy Huynh, associate director, presented “Strengths-Based Career Counseling” at the SUNY Career Development Organization annual conference, also in June, in Lake George. At the same conference, Bower presented “Linking-In Without Logging On” and “Using Twitter to Maximize Professional Connections,” and Gary Morris, director, presented “First Destination Outcomes.” (See related story.)

Richard CocksRichard Cocks, pictured, of the philosophy department is the author of “Mind, Meditation, and the Limits of Consciousness” in the webzine People of Shambhala. The article discusses Frederick Myers’ notion of the spectrum of consciousness and combines it with Maslow’s notion of self-actualization to propose the possibility of accessing aspects of consciousness that fall outside the merely utilitarian and that tap more interesting aspects of human potential, such as those employed in Mozart’s creativity or a savant’s unusual abilities. Cocks notes that meditation and hypnosis seem to be ways of tapping this potential.

“Empirical Period-Color and Amplitude-Color Relations for Classical Cepheids and RR Lyrae Variables” by Anupam Bhardwaj (Delhi University), Shashi Kanbur (SUNY Oswego), Harinder P. Singh (Delhi University) and C. Ngeow (National Central University, Taiwan) has been accepted for publication in a leading astrophysics peer-reviewed journal—Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Main Journal published by Oxford University Press. Kanbur, professor of physics, is currently guiding Bhardwaj on his doctoral work at Delhi University. The paper provides strong empirical evidence in support of a theory of period-color relations in Cepheids and RR Lyraes that Kanbur started to develop in 1993. “One of the predictions of that theory has been borne out by the observations studied in this paper,” Kanbur explained. Also, the Astronomical Journal, another leading peer-reviewed journal in astrophysics, has accepted for publication “Large Magellanic Cloud Near Infrared Synoptic Survey I: Cepheid Variables and the Calibration of the Leavitt Law” by Lucas Macri (Texas A&M), Ngeow, Kanbur, and Salma Mahzooni and Michael Smitka (both of Texas A&M). The data set described in this paper was obtained using startup funds that Kanbur received when he came to SUNY Oswego. “It is going to become a seminal dataset in this field,” he said. Both papers are products of the Indo-U.S. Joint Center for the Analysis of Variable Star Data.

John F. Lalande II of the modern languages and literatures department accepted an invitation to teach two German summer language courses at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. While in Austria, he also continued research on the resistance offered by Austrian Catholics to Nazi oppression.


In Memoriam

Lawrence (Larry) Perras, 60, senior business adviser in the college’s Small Business Development Center in the Office of Business and Community Relations, died Sept. 11.



Thu Sep 18, 2014
New turf field, stadium under construction near Romney

Student-athletes and the college’s athletics department are looking forward to all of the opportunities and benefits that a new turf field and stadium will bring starting next summer.

Artistic rendering of how turf fields will lookThe department announced today (Sept. 24) the construction of an NCAA-compliant 225-by-360-foot all-weather synthetic turf field along with a press box, bleachers and full stadium lighting to be completed by the summer of 2015.

“Having a turf facility for our athletics program will be an invaluable resource,” said Director of Athletics Sue Viscomi. “Given the weather challenges, having a synthetic surface with lights affords us much more flexibility with both practices and games. It will provide our student-athletes the opportunity to compete on equal footing with our opponents.”

The $2.37 million turf facility will be located between the two game fields for soccer and softball, across Sheldon Avenue from Romney Field House.

Appel Osborne Landscape Architecture consulted for the project while Robert H. Law Inc. was awarded the bid and began preparations to the site earlier this month. The college’s Office of Major Projects is overseeing the project with Bob Lloyd as project manager.

On the turf, lines for soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse and field hockey will be permanently inlaid on the playing surface. The center logo will be Oswego State athletics’ word mark, which will stretch from just above one lacrosse offensive zone to the other. 

Across from the bleachers, on the opposite side of the facility, will be a brand-new 16-foot LED scoreboard with a color electronic message display. Spread out on each side of the scoreboard will be two lighting structures, which will be mirrored on the bleacher side as well.

The improvements will dramatically increase opportunities to widen the visibility of field sports at Oswego State, accommodating more fans at events and media to broadcast games.

The turf stadium will have permanent bleachers that will be built to accommodate 1,000 fans. At the top of the seating area will be a 10-by-48-foot press box that will host statisticians and the public address announcer along with local and student media groups. A camera deck atop the press box will allow for games to be broadcasted to multiple platforms, including Internet streaming.

“It will be good exposure for many of our outdoor sports as the stadium press box comes with the infrastructure to produce live video and radio for their games,” said Sport Information Director Mike Bielak. “These teams will now gain the quality student-run broadcasts that our indoor teams and their fans have grown accustomed to.”


PHOTO CAPTIONS: The vision—A rendering by Appel Osborne Landscape Architecture of Oswego State’s planned turf field.

Construction begins of future turf fieldWork begins—Excavations were under way last week for construction of an all-weather synthetic turf field along with press box, bleachers and full stadium lighting across Sheldon Avenue from Romney Field House at the college’s athletic complex south of Route 104.



Tue Sep 09, 2014
Oswego advances in U.S. News rankings, repeats other honors

U.S. News Media Group counts SUNY Oswego among the top 15 public regional universities in the North for 2015 in rankings released Sept. 9. The college advanced 13 places—to No. 56—on the overall list of regional universities in the North, the majority of which are private.

Oswego is No. 14 on the U.S. News accounting of the best public institutions in the Northern region this year, up from No. 16 last year.

Last month, Washington Monthly recognized Oswego in the top 100 master’s-level institutions nationally. Washington Monthly looks at “contribution to the public good,” and Oswego does well there due in part to a strong record in civic engagement and success in sending students on to doctoral programs.

The magazine puts SUNY Oswego in the top 50 public master’s-level institutions nationwide and at No. 95 among all 684 master’s-level colleges and universities, public and private, that the magazine ranked.

Meanwhile, Princeton Review in August again included Oswego among best Northeastern colleges. Oswego is one of 226 colleges that company chose for the “Best in the Northeast” section of its website feature “2015 Best Colleges: Region by Region.” Regional “best” colleges make up the top 25 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges.

“From hundreds of institutions we considered in each region, we selected these schools primarily for their excellent academic programs,” said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher at The Princeton Review. “Secondarily, we took into account what students attending the schools reported to us about their campus experiences.”

More from U.S. News

Oswego tied for No. 56 among regional universities in the North with Chatham, Mercyhurst and St. Francis universities, all in Pennsylvania.

U.S. News also selected Oswego for its “A-Plus Schools for B Students” list, as it has in recent years. The A-plus list in New York includes such schools as Syracuse University, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY’s centers at Albany, Buffalo and Stony Brook, and Ithaca and Nazareth colleges.

The media group’s “America’s Best Colleges” guide ranks nearly 1,400 colleges nationwide, compared on a set of performance indicators.

The weighted criteria for ranking are: peer assessment, 22.5 percent; graduation and retention rates, 22.5 percent; faculty resources, 20 percent; student selectivity, 12.5 percent; financial resources, 10 percent; the difference between predicted and actual graduation rates, 7.5 percent; and alumni giving, 5 percent.

Oswego’s statistics held steady year to year, with the most notable improvement in peer assessment, an area where Oswego has always performed well but did better than ever this year. Oswego’s peer assessment of 3.0 was equal to or better than 76 institutions listed as top 100 regional universities in the North.

U.S. News rankings favor private institutions. Only 12 of the top 50 regional universities in the North (and only 1 of the top 10) are public. Washington Monthly’s national rankings, using different criteria, are uniformly half public, half private.



Tue Sep 09, 2014

Since Aug. 25, University Police have investigated several cases of theft, vandalism, trespass and disorderly conduct and made 16 arrests.


Misdemeanors

An 18-year-old Onondaga Hall resident was charged with second-degree criminal trespass and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors, and second-degree harassment, a violation. Police said that he entered the rooms of female residents uninvited before 5 a.m. and fondled a woman’s foot. Earlier, police said, they had escorted him to his own room after he was kicked off the D bus.

A 16-year-old Waterbury Hall resident was charged with second-degree obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors. Police were called to investigate reports of the boy running around the second floor of Waterbury Hall in his underwear and entering other students’ rooms uninvited around 11 p.m. Police said he resisted arrest and repeatedly called officers foul names. While in custody, they said, he threw papers all over the room and urinated on the handcuffs.


Motor vehicle misdemeanors

A 19-year-old Cayuga Hall resident was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and right of way violation. Police said his vehicle brushed against a woman who was walking in the crosswalk on Seneca Circle. The driver told officers he slowed down but left the scene because he didn’t think he had hit her.

An 18-year-old North Chili man was charged with reckless driving. 

Police charged a 37-year-old man with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and speeding, an infraction. They charged three men with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and infractions: a 23-year-old commuter student and two 25-year-old Oswego men.

A 51-year-old Clay woman was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration.


Violations

Officers charged two Onondaga Hall teenage residents with disorderly conduct. As officers were driving by on Washington Boulevard, they said they saw the two fighting.

Police charged four with possession of marijuana: a 19-year-old Onondaga Hall resident, two 18-year-old Seneca Hall residents and a 17-year-old New City boy who was also charged with having another’s license in his possession.

A 40-year-old Minetto man was charged with a vehicle equipment violation. When officers ran his license, they discovered he had a warrant out for his arrest from Buffalo. They detained him at the University Police station until officers from Buffalo could pick him up.



Mon Sep 08, 2014
Oswego ROI, MyDegree poised to raise graduation rates

The college’s efforts to help students graduate in four years or less have received a boost from the homegrown MyDegree module on the SUNY Oswego mobile app.



Mon Sep 08, 2014

“Shards” is a “beautiful recording of the piano music of Jonathan Pieslak, played with extraordinary rhythmic clarity and expression by the pianist Robert Auler,” wrote the New York Times of the Oswego music professor’s latest album in a brief review Aug. 29. Related story.

Biological sciences faculty member Poongodi Geetha-Loganathan is the author of an article in August in the Journal of Biological Chemistry titled “Avian Facial Morphogenesis Is Regulated by JNK/PCP Wingless-Related (WNT) Signaling.” The article deals with protein signaling that directs the morphogenesis—shaping in-embryo—of facial characteristics such as notches in the upper beak (the bird equivalent of cleft lip), using a targeted approach in chicken embryos. Co-authors are Suresh Nimmagadda, Katherine Fu and Joy M. Richman. The research arose from Geetha-Loganathan’s and Nimmagadda’s post-doctoral work under Richman at the University of British Columbia.

Shashi Kanbur, professor of physics, was a co-author of a presentation at the recent Asia Pacific regional meeting of the International Astronomical Union in Korea. It was titled “U-SmART: Small Aperture Robotic Telescopes for Universities.” Ranjan Gupta of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in India made the presentation. Other contributors were Lucas Macri, H.P. Singh and A. Schrimpf. The paper will appear in the meeting’s proceedings. It is one of the results of the Indo-U.S. Joint Center for the Analysis of Variable Star Data.

Among new visiting scholars in the School of Business are: Licai Lei, Xinru Liang and Jiashun Liu. Lei is an associate professor of business at Xiangtan University, who will be in Oswego until February. She is sponsored by Ding Zhang of the business faculty and will pursue research on the impact of decision-makers’ behaviors on construction projects based on behavioral decision theory. Liang, an associate professor in the School of Economics and Management at Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, will be visiting to next August 2015. She is sponsored by Tom Ingram of the business faculty. Her research centers on shame and guilt and their different roles in affective organizational commitment. Liu is an associate professor of human resources management from Wuhan University of Technology. He is also here to next August and sponsored by Zhang. His research will focus on the relevance of traffic systems to the formation and evolution of metropolises.

Violinist Jon Shallit of the music department will pair with pianist Howard Spindler in a Focus on Faculty concert that seeks to evoke the meaning of the Romantic Period in music at 3 p.m. Sunday in Sheldon Hall’s ballroom. Shallit and Spindler intend to speak about each selection and play in a style that faithfully supports their goal to demonstrate “the ethic and sentiment of the period.” Spindler teaches in the Eastman Community Music School of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. The pair will offer selections from Edvard Grieg’s Sonata in F Major for Violin and Piano, Opus 8; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Melodie for Violin and Piano, Opus 42 No. 3; Sonata for Violin and Piano, Opus 105, by Robert Schumann; Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major, Opus 100, by Johannes Brahms; and Cesar Franck’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major.

Amy Shore, who has directed the cinema and screen studies program in the English department since 2005, has been named the new coordinator of Research and Individual Student Experiences (RISE). The program encourages and facilitates scholarly and creative activities aimed at enhancing the educational experience of students. She will also oversee the Student Travel Grant Program for students to present research results at scholarly conferences. Shore holds a doctorate in cinema studies from New York University and did her undergraduate work in Spanish literature at the University of Delaware.

Karen SimeKaren Sime, pictured, of the biological sciences faculty delivered a presentation at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Sacramento, California, in August. The poster, “Oviposition Patterns and Parasitism of the Bog Buckmoth, a Rare Inhabitant of New York Peatlands,” was co-authored by biological sciences faculty member Eric Hellquist. In addition, Sime published a paper, “A Comparison of Two Parasitoids (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) of the Vine Mealybug: Rapid, Non-discriminatory Oviposition Is Favored When Ants Tend the Host,” in the August issue of Environmental Entomology, with second author Kent Daane of the University of California at Berkeley.


In Memoriam

Ronald Engel, 78, of Oswego, an emeritus associate professor of biology and the second director of the college’s Rice Creek Biological Field Station, died Sept. 6 while visiting his daughter in Columbia, S.C.



Fri Sep 05, 2014
Informatics, engineering to benefit from SUNY grants

The college will work toward a new master’s program in biomedical and health informatics in computer science and continue to advance its engineering programs with the help of two SUNY High Needs Grants.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced awards for SUNY’s workforce development programs at 37 colleges and universities, including $85,800 toward Oswego’s planned interdisciplinary graduate degree in informatics and a $62,600 continuation award for engineering.

Isabelle BichindaritzIsabelle Bichindaritz of the computer science faculty, in her third year developing the new master’s degree program, said Central New York hospitals and economic development organizations have supported Oswego’s effort, certifying there is need for a recruitment pipeline for workers skilled in health information technology and integration of health systems.

“This is an era of federal government incentives for all health care providers and institutions to use electronic health records in a meaningful way,” Bichindaritz said. “It fosters the need to have programs to analyze this data, help maintain its privacy and integrate the software systems and databases. These workforce needs are not only local and regional, but national and international.”

Letters of support for Oswego’s graduate program in biomedical and health informatics have come from representatives of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, SUNY Upstate Medical University and CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity in Syracuse, among others.

Online delivery

Integral to the grant application and program development is an option for the degree program’s all-online course delivery—including virtual labs and software accessibility—as well as a more traditional in-person program at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center in Syracuse and on the main campus. Busy health care professionals also could fashion a hybrid online/in-person program.

The grant will help hire faculty and staff and purchase hardware, software and equipment to provide intelligent solutions for such tasks as testing potential health care treatment paths suggested by analysis of patient data or integrating portable devices data in clinical workflows.

The Division of Graduate Studies currently offers graduate certificate programs in health information technology and integrated health systems. Once the proposed master’s degree program obtains final campus and SUNY approval, it would offer courses across disciplines in biomedical information systems, quality assurance informatics, data analytics, intelligent systems and numerous others.

“Woven throughout all our courses, there is an important focus on security, privacy and compliance with health care regulations,” said Bichindaritz, who directs the two certificate programs.

SUNY High Needs Grants target rapidly growing fields such as engineering, renewable clean energy, health care, public health, biomedical-technical, information technology and business and finance.

The $63,600 for engineering is for the second year of a three-year $183,800 High Needs Grant to continue development of Oswego’s software and electrical and computer engineering programs. Work goes on for such projects as the Wireless Solutions Lab, a teaching and research lab at SUNY Oswego that will link faculty-mentored student projects to the new Center for Innovation in Wireless Technology in Syracuse.

PHOTO CAPTION: Data flow—A chart showing how informatics can enhance the flow of vital information in health care frames a discussion between human-computer interaction graduate student Chris Green (left) and computer science faculty member Isabelle Bichindaritz, who recently learned that a SUNY High Needs Grant will help her continue to develop a proposed master’s degree program in biomedical and health informatics.

Related videos:

Health Informatics: Advancing Technology in the Healthcare Industry

Integrated Health Systems certificate addresses local need for professionals in health care technology

Health Information Technology graduate certificate aims to improve health care



Fri Sep 05, 2014
Oswego sponsors scholarly journal for undergraduates

Kestutis Bendinskas of the chemistry department recently rose to editor of the American Journal of Undergraduate Research, a peer-reviewed, open-source publication for student scholarly and creative work in a wide variety of fields.

Provost Lorrie Clemo accepted the role of first sponsor of the multinational journal on SUNY Oswego’s behalf.

Bendinskas succeeded the late Cliff Chancey of the University of Northern Iowa, who established the journal in 2002.

“I have been with them for eight years as a subject editor,” Bendinskas said. “This is a distinct honor and a nice fit for SUNY Oswego, which prides itself on encouraging undergraduate research and providing opportunities and resources for it.”

Joining Bendinskas on the independent journal’s production team are Anthony Contento of biological sciences as assistant editor, Rose Throop of publications as art and copy editor and Daniel Laird of Campus Technology Services as webmaster for the journal’s site, ajuronline.org.

The editorial board includes several faculty members from SUNY Oswego: biological sciences faculty David Dunn in physiology, Poongodi Geetha-Loganathan in developmental biology and Peter Newell in microbiology; Lisa Seppi, who specializes in art history; Steven Skubis in meteorology; and as an honorary board member, Clemo.

Other board members hail from Emory, Delaware, Elon, Northern Iowa, Northern Michigan and several other colleges and universities around the nation and the world.

Articles for the August issue came from undergraduates and their mentors at SUNY Oswego, the universities of Arizona and Baylor, Penn State, St. Michael’s College and Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores’ in Monterrey, Mexico.

Bendinskas said one goal is to encourage more submissions from undergraduates and faculty mentors at institutions worldwide. The Council on Undergraduate Research and the national headquarters of Sigma Xi international honor society for science and engineering are working with AJUR’s board to accomplish this, he said.

Issues and archives of the American Journal of Undergraduate Research are available on ajuronline.org.



Fri Sep 05, 2014
Pre-med senior Mary DaCosta relishes research in Brazil, Albany

In this issue’s Spotlight, meet senior biology major Mary DaCosta, whose summers in the college’s Global Laboratory and in an internship have launched her into biomedical research en route to a planned career as a physician.

Mary DaCostaQ. Where were you born and raised?
A.
I was born in Ghana. I came to America when I was 3 years old. Most of my childhood has been in Syracuse, and I still live there. I went to Nottingham High School.

Q. Why did you choose SUNY Oswego?
A.
I visited Oswego a few times for events, like the HOBY leadership program, and my high school saw a musical here. I felt really comfortable with Oswego and I liked the environment. I also knew some teachers who went here and they spoke very highly of Oswego. I was able to get really good financial aid here.

Q. When and why did you decide on biology for a major?
A.
In high school I liked studying science and art. I wanted to become a physician, so I am pre-med, but I haven’t decided exactly what specialty I would want to do. I have done some job shadowing. Right now it would probably be primary care or maybe general surgery. I’m doing an internship this semester at Oswego Hospital, and I hope I get to explore a lot more of the different specialties.

Q. What was your Global Laboratory experience like?
A.
I did Global Laboratory in Brazil in summer 2013. I did research in the immunology/pharmacology lab at the Federal University of Paraiba. The first month, I basically learned new techniques and learned about everyone’s projects, then I began my experiments with plant treatments. The two plants are found in Brazil and they are used in traditional herbal medicine in asthma treatment, and they have found them effective. What I jumped into was research with the plants on acute respiratory distress syndrome. It was my first research and it was abroad, so I got a really well-rounded experience.

Q. What non-laboratory experience made an impression on you in Brazil?
A.
Everybody was so nice there and really helpful. They were eager to take us places in their country. I liked the different beaches—we went to Jacare and it was really beautiful, and we saw the sunset. There was a man on a boat playing saxophone, and he came on the dock and kept playing sax to us. It was just really peaceful. One thing I like about the Brazilian students is they are really relaxed—they study hard, but they’re really relaxed.

Q. What has been your favorite course?
A.
Every course has its benefits. I never had any interest in studying plants until I took a “Plants and Society” class. I was just intrigued with all the things that plants can do and how they interact with their environment.  That changed my perspective and really helped me to understand how plants are beneficial. Two classes, microbiology and molecular biology, have really challenged me. I’m already utilizing them in classes I’m taking now, and in the research I did this past summer. I worked at a pharmacy lab at Albany School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, testing a plant’s effects on coagulation.  I’m grateful I took those difficult classes.

Q. What other involvements do you have on campus?
A.
I used to be treasurer of BASIC (Brothers and Sisters in Christ). Also the Multiethnic Christ Fellowship—I used to be vice president and now I’m treasurer. I also do CSTEP (Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program). I was the student representative and an ambassador at the Sagamore conference. The next year, I did a presentation for my research at Sagamore. We also started up CSTEP Health Connections last year, which is a networking support group for pre-med, pre-health. I did SAVAC when I first got here.

Q. What do you think of the faculty here?
A.
Overall, everyone has been really helpful to me and they have guided me or given me good advice, and I can always go to them as a resource. They are not closed off; you can reach out to them. Cleane Medeiros (CSTEP program director and adjunct in biological sciences) is the best. She’s awesome. She’s the most encouraging person, and I’m grateful I met her.

Q. What do you like to do when you are not in class or the lab?
A.
I doodle a lot. I’m not really an artist, but I like to do little drawings. I also have kind of an obsession with this K-pop group, Got7. My friends and I started a dance. This group has its own dance in “A” and “Girls, Girls, Girls.” Hopefully by the end of this semester we can get the dance together. I was not even a fan of Korean pop, but my friends showed it to me, and now I’m into it. (Laughs.)

Q. What are your plans after graduation in May?
A.
I’m going to take a year off. I’m going to apply to medical schools around June, and I am going to take my MCAT next week. I’m going to visit Ghana during my year off for 3 months or so. That’s where most of my family is.

Q. What can you tell us about your family?
A.
My brother, John, is in his junior year at Nottingham. My Mom, Gifty Fosu, works as a seamstress, and she’s a supervisor at Decor Window Fashions. She also has a store, Gifty’s Home Creation in Syracuse. She has different kinds of African cloth—if people come in and want clothes in the traditional style or new fashions, she can sew that.



Thu Sep 04, 2014
Stress-reducing mobile app to blossom from NSF grant

Karen Wolford of the psychology department recently won a $50,000 National Science Foundation I-Corps grant to assist development of a mobile app to help people with anxiety disorders.

Karen Wolford of the psychology department and graduate student Arthur Delsing discuss app developmentFirst offered in 2011, I-Corps grants seek to help entrepreneurs—such as human-computer interaction graduate student Arthur Delsing, a former student and now a colleague of Wolford’s—bring technological innovations such as the stress-reduction app to market.

“This has really offered a unique opportunity for us,” Wolford said. “The I-Corps grant application process moves quickly—ours was 45 days to approval.”

Three years ago, Delsing was in the first group of undergraduate military veterans to train in trauma research in a program at SUNY Oswego. Wolford and former psychology department faculty member Brooks Gump, now a professor of public health at Syracuse University, received a $226,000 NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates grant to establish the training program.

Delsing, a Navy veteran dealing with chronic pain from a non-combat injury during service at Norfolk, participated in the program. Last year, he earned his undergraduate degree in psychology with a minor in business from SUNY Oswego. He suggested an alternative to the program’s current online delivery method, which is the Angel learning management system.

“That first year, when we had talked about the training going online, I had suggested the idea of the app,” Delsing said. “But at that time, the grant we had did not offer funding for it.”

Meditation and more

The new grant, titled “Self-Adherence and Self-Motivated Training for Dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress: A Smartphone Solution,” will assist the design of a mobile phone app to provide veterans—or anyone suffering from anxiety—feedback and encouragement for taking affirmative steps to reduce stress.

Based on mindfulness-based stress reduction research—using meditation to create a present-centered awareness to help anxiety sufferers stay focused and calm—the app will benefit from the expertise of Wolford, Gump and SU’s Dessa Bergen-Cico.

Additionally, the I-Corps grant requires mentorship by established business people, and SUNY Oswego alumnus and software developer Dan Bernard, creative director of Stovepipe Interactive in Chicago, will help fill that role.

Business guidance also has come from Pamela Caraccioli, deputy to the president for external partnerships and economic development.

“The President’s Office is assisting Arthur with making introductions to regional economic development experts,” Caraccioli said. “President Stanley supports business and research activity through our faculty. We are simply trying to help him identify next steps.”

Delsing said he is in the process of forming a limited liability company (LLC), and plans to have a partial working model of the app by mid-October. After testing the model for usability, he said, a deployable app should be ready by mid-December. The plan is to offer the app as a free download. The first week of the four-week program also would be free, with additional weeks available for purchase.

There is competition in this arena, Wolford and Delsing said. For example, the Veterans Administration has released its own app utilizing mindfulness-based stress reduction. The key to attracting therapists and their clients will be individualization designed to help users stick with the program.

“There are extras that we hope will make our app more effective,” Wolford said. “We are taking a proven cognitive training method and making it individualized.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Reducing stress—Karen Wolford (left) of the psychology department, and graduate student Arthur Delsing talk about the stress-reducing mobile app they are helping develop with the assistance of a National Science Foundation I-Corps grant. They hope to market the app to therapists and their clients for interactive help dealing with anxiety.



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