Tuesday, April 30, 2019

College Holds Employee Recognition, Marks 70th Year

Salt Lake Community College recently held its annual Employee Recognition Celebration, also marking the 70th anniversary of the college's existence. These are a few photo highlights (more can be found by clicking here) from that event at the Jordan Campus. For a link to a Q&A feature with Gordon Frisbey, who was honored for working at SLCC 40 years, click here.

Jordan Campus Opens New Healing Arts Lab

Visitors to the new Healing Arts Lab learn about the labor and delivery room.

It’s a typical day in the labor and delivery world, as a team of nurses checks on their patient in active labor.  “Victoria” seems to be resting comfortably, when she opens her eyes and tells everyone that her water just broke. Monitors in the room erupt in alarms as the fetal heart rate drops and the routine goes from simple to complex while the group works to change her position to bring the heart rate back into a safe range.  This is one of the many simulated scenarios that nursing students may experience in the new Healing Arts Lab at Salt Lake Community College’s Jordan Campus.

A nursing student checks out a sim-mannequin in the pediatric room.

The School of Health Sciences recently held an open house to welcome its new dean, Erica Wight, and celebrate the grand opening of the Healing Arts Lab.  The college community, PAC members and donors toured the new facilities to see firsthand the types of training students receive, beginning with basic medication administration and skills in nursing fundamentals to advanced delivery of IV meds and caring for patients with critical care needs, including intubation and ventilation.  Attendees witnessed and took part in a birthing simulation hosted by one of the advanced sim-mannequins named Victoria, where they had the opportunity to deliver the baby, assess vitals and track APGAR scoring as well as attend to the new mother and her needs.

A nursing instructor observes a student helping a sim-mannequin breathe.

Construction began on the new lab in spring, 2018, and students were able to utilize the new facilities and updated equipment when spring semester started this year.  The Healing Arts Lab provides students with the opportunity to encounter realistic situations created by faculty and instructors that challenges them to apply the critical thinking skills and assessments learned during the semester.  This simulation experience will prepare students to be at their very best as they enter clinical settings and begin their careers in nursing.  Future plans include multiple programs within Health Sciences collaborating to create and work through simulated scenarios, as well as IPE (Inter Professional Education) opportunities.

One of the new rooms at the Healing Arts Lab.

An instructor and student work to revive a sim-mannequin.

New School of Health Sciences Dean Erica Wight

Monday, April 29, 2019

Thayne Center Recognizes Honorees

The Thayne Center for Service & Learning at Salt Lake Community College held its annual celebration that honors individuals and groups for their service in communities throughout Utah.

The Thayne Center is dedicated to empowering SLCC students and faculty "to realize they have the knowledge and skills to affect positive change in their community." The Center helps establish capacity-building relationships with community organizations, facilitates service-learning development opportunities for faculty and coordinates service leadership programs for students who are out to "change the world."

Thayne Center programs include Alternative Spring Break, Community Work-Study, Bruin Pantry, Americorps Education Awards, Civically Engaged Scholars, Community Engagement Leave, Service Learning, SLCC Community Gardens, Student Leaders in Civic Engagement and Community Partners

This year's honorees are as follows:

Committed Community Partner: United Way

United Way's Stephanie Rokich accepts an award from Dr. Chuck Lepper (left) and Curtis Larsen.

Community Engaged Faculty Member: Daniel Poole

Daniel Poole addresses the audience.

Sustainability Presidential Award: TRIO STEM

TRIO STEM interim program manager Tanasia Ri Valdez talks about her group's sustainability efforts.

Community Engaged Student Leader: Rachel Butterfield

Rachel Butterfield with Curtis Larsen (left) and Dr. Chuck Lepper.

Engaged Club: Pre-Medical Professions Club

Members of the Pre-Medical Professions Club accept their award.

Community Engaged Staff Member: Peter Moosman

Peter Moosman shares a lighter moment with the audience.

Community Engaged Alumni: Emily Jessop

Emily Jessop (foreground) and her mother during the annual Thayne Center celebration.

This year's group of Civically Engaged Scholars.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Birth of a Flute: More than a Class for Making Instruments by Hand

Matt Valdez plays a flute he made in Oscar Anderson's Birth of a Flute class.

The cacophony of saws, drill presses and the deafening drone of a thickness planer quiets, and the mesmerizing notes of Matt Valdez’s flute playing echo throughout the big room with high ceilings and natural light pouring into Oscar Anderson’s Birth of a Flute class. Instantly the atmosphere in the space changes – about 16 busy people suddenly are still, quiet, transformed by the soothing sound, the sense of calm.

Valdez, 22, started with just a piece of blonde-colored wood. Over many hours he used multiple tools, his imagination, decorative inlay and a blue leather strap to fashion the flute from scratch. When he is finished playing, there is a pause of people finishing a sedative thought or relishing a feeling they found wherever it is they went in their heads while Valdez played before everyone applauds.

Oscar Anderson helps a student in his Birth of a Flute class.

On a sunny spring morning in April, Valdez played for Salt Lake Community College President Deneece Huftalin, invited to visit the class and accept the gift of a flute made by Anderson, who encouraged her to play. After about a minute of instruction, Huftalin blew into her new flute, adorned with a hand-carved Bruin bear. Anderson, who has been teaching young students and retirees how to make flutes for five years, immediately recognized Huftalin’s excitement when she finished.

“At times I wish I had a camera,” Anderson says. “To see them play the flute for the first time, the flute that they made, the reaction is, man, just amazing. That’s the one thing I like, to see students find something they enjoy that is rewarding for them. It’s well worth it for me.”

Birth of a Flute instructor Oscar Anderson looks on as SLCC President Deneece G. Huftalin reacts after playing for the first time a flute he made for her.

The draw to Anderson’s class, which counts for three credits as a general education fine arts requirement, is similar for Valdez as it is the other students in the room. They love working with their hands, taking a piece of walnut, maple, poplar, cherry or other variety from about 20 different kinds of wood and making it into a musical instrument – and then actually playing what often ends up looking more like a work of art. Students are required to make, tune and play the flutes.

Laurie Maxfield’s own sons made fun of him when he started the class. Now, however, they and others in his family clamor for the flutes he gives away, but only to people “who genuinely, sincerely want one,” he says. Whether the style of flute playing Valdez displayed is for humans or even animals, the effect is generally the same – prevailing peacefulness.

Laurie Maxfield and some of the flutes (foreground) he has made.

Marsha McBride is one of many senior citizens who take the opportunity to audit Anderson’s class, which means they take it for free and do not receive a grade. This is McBride’s fourth year taking the class each semester. While she uses her guitar skills to play for older residents at a memory care facility “to help them remember,” she plays the flute for patients in a hospital setting to help calm them down. “I love the sound,” she says about the flute. “I play just about every day.” On a sleepless night, she’ll wake up, play the flute and note how it even lulls her dogs – and her – to sleep. She also raises goats, and when she takes them to a fair, where they get stressed in an unfamiliar environment, her flute playing puts them at ease.

Marsha McBride plays for fellow students and SLCC President Deneece G. Huftalin.

Perhaps most striking about what happens to the flutes made in Anderson’s class, or where they’re played and for whom or what, comes from student John Baker, who has audited the course for the past three years. For Baker, it all started because he liked the sound of the flute, had time on his hands as a retired auto mechanic, and decided it would be fun to actually make flutes. Baker, who served stateside as a tank mechanic during the Vietnam War, has made more than 100 flutes – and most of them he gives away to veterans with PTSD. “They learn how to play,” Baker says. “It’s really relaxing when you play. It just kind of changes their mindset, gets them thinking so they don’t commit suicide. I like that, so, I just keep making them and giving them away.”

John Baker works on his latest creation in the Birth of a Flute class.

Birth of a Flute class is as much therapy for Anderson’s students, the recipients of flutes as gifts and for the people who either play them or hear them as it is for him to teach the course, which he offers twice a day and into the evening on Tuesdays and Thursdays. “When the second class ends on Thursday,” he says, “I can hardly wait for next Tuesday.”