Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dream of late Foundation patron Mildred Frank becomes her legacy

Larry Frank stood before more than 120 Daytona State College nursing students on a recent fall afternoon and said his mother would be proud. 

Larry Frank
Though the late Mildred Frank, a longtime Daytona State Foundation patron, was unable to see for much of her life, she never lost her vision of what could be. Keenly aware of how the legally blind must endure misconceptions about their disability, she made it her life’s mission to be an advocate for the visually impaired.

Among her many accomplishments was a training manual she authored for health care workers and caregivers of visually impaired people entitled “The Vision Aide Manual.” Mrs. Frank continued to revise and update the manual with new ideas until the day before she passed away last year at age 92. But on this autumn day in Bergengren Hall on the Daytona Beach Campus, her presence was felt by her son and many of the students who were using the manual as part of a new seminar called Assisting Persons with Limited Vision offered by Daytona State’s College of Nursing and Institute for Health Services.

“Today is a big deal for my mom,” Larry Frank told the students. “I believe her presence is here today to see 120 upcoming professionals have access to the information in her manual. It is also a big deal to the thousands of people whose paths you will cross during your professional careers and have the opportunity to make their lives a little better, and for their lives to have a little more dignity, and for them to have an opportunity to be a little less dependent on others and to do more for themselves.”

Born with low vision which progressed to the point where she was totally blind by adulthood, Mrs. Frank devoted her life to being an advocate for the visually impaired. She testified before state, national and international governmental and health organizations on how to better serve the visually impaired. She also started the first Low Vision Support Group in Daytona Beach, and spearheaded the Vision Aide Program through Home Instead of Senior Care of Volusia County. She wrote a monthly column for an international publication devoted to caring for the visually impaired and authored two books in addition to her vision aide manual – “Seeing with the Brain” and “Blindness Defeated, Nutrition and Coping Skills.”

The seminar conducted this semester was organized by Dr. Jane Rosati, assistant chair of Daytona State’s Associate Degree Nursing program, and Paula Morton, coordinator for the college’s Institute for Health Services. It is offered as a continuing education for health professionals seminar and also is incorporated into the nursing program curriculum.

“The class focuses not only on teaching students the behavioral sensitivities they should practice when working with the visually impaired, it also takes a comprehensive look at how to help people cope with all stages of vision loss,” Morton said. “Mildred’s book offers practical guides for living with limited or no vision and is intended to make everyday tasks less stressful and more productive.”  

Twelve years ago, the Frank family started the Mildred Frank Low Vision Fund through the Daytona State Foundation. Donations are used to support classes for caregivers of visually impaired people who use Mrs. Frank’s book as an instructional guide. For information on how to donate to the fund, please contact the Foundation at 386-506-4506, email Foundation@daytonastate.edu.

The book is available online at Amazon.com.

ROV building lab brings STEM skills into focus

Nathan Omland, left, and Gerrard Minnis get ready to test
their ROV.
Students in Dr. Debra Woodall’s Introduction to Oceanography course (OCE1001) plunged into Daytona State’s Institute of Marine and Environmental Studies programs recently by designing and building the perfect, well, crab trap.
Woodall’s first remotely operated vehicle building lab is a study in ocean engineering and environmental sampling. It calls for students to design, build and test a small ROV that will collect underwater samples - in this case, objects representing crabs and filter feeders - which were placed at the bottom of pools during labs that took place on the Daytona Beach Campus and at the Edgewater and DeLand YMCAs.
The exercise is Woodall’s attempt to enhance the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) component of her class. 
From left, Sandra Comte, Mandy Ridley, Marquetta Counts
and Latrice Kinsler show off their sub-surface explorer.
“The lab went far beyond anything I could have imagined,” she said. “The students were enthused and engaged beyond my expectations, and they went away surprised at just how successful they were, with many expressing a new sense of accomplishment and excitement.”
Students were first introduced to the fundamentals of underwater ROVs and how they are used to collect and analyze sub-surface species. Then, they were left to their own imaginations to build working models using kit materials provided by the Marine AdvancedTechnology Education Center (MATE) headquartered in Montery, CA.
Woodall said the ROV building lab will become a permanent part of the Introduction to Oceanography course, which is required for a variety of the institute’s degree offerings, including the Associate of Science in Environmental Science Technology degree and associate of arts/university transfer advising tracks in Marine Science and Marine Biology. 
Students enrolled in Daytona State’s Bachelor of Science in Secondary Earth/Space Science Education degree program also are required to take the Introduction to Oceanography course. “The goal here is to encourage these future teachers to engage their students with this method,” Woodall said. “Many students underestimate their abilities. This experience offers those who will become teachers in particular evidence of how providing students such a challenge can help them realize their true capabilities and build their confidence.”
Daytona State has formal articulation agreements with Florida Atlantic University, Stetson University and the University of Central Florida that allow students to seamlessly transfer to upper division programs following completion of a variety of the institute’s university transfer advising tracks.

College looks to sustainable energy future with PRISM grant

Jim Cox
A PRISM grant by the National Science Foundation is helping Daytona State College develop new credit and non-credit curriculum related to renewable energy. It also is funding the development of solar energy systems at the Advanced Technology College that can serve as models for a sustainable energy future.

Through the Renewable Energy Institute established last year at the ATC - the first of the three-year, $115,000-plus grant - the college will offer two four-day courses beginning in January through its Center for Business & Industry.

The first, Introduction to Solar Thermal (Hot-Water) Systems, takes place Jan. 3 – 6 from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. It will be followed by an Introduction to solar PV Installation course Jan. 10 – 13, also from 8: 30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (More information can be found here.)

Ground-mounted solar panel under construction.
“Our primary goal is to create awareness about sustainable energy,” said Jim Cox, who teaches computer science and electronics at the ATC and is helping to build three grant-funded solar energy grids there. “Our non-credit courses are designed for industry professionals who want to learn more about the renewable energy technologies already commercially available. We also will develop a renewable energy component that will feed into our electronics engineering program curriculum.”

The solar energy systems being installed at the ATC will serve as laboratory models. Each consists of 16 ground-mounted solar panels. Two of the systems are being tied to the facility’s utility grid and each will power its own electronics lab. “We will be able to monitor how much energy we actually have and how much of the power for these two labs is actually being supported by the solar systems,” Cox said. “The third power station will be a standalone available to the general public for charging electric vehicles.”
Installation is expected to be completed in January.

Notables. . .

More than two dozen Daytona State College School of Education students recently helped set up and manage Holly Hill School’s Fall Carnival fundraiser.
As part of their coursework, the Bachelor of Science in Education students must visit the K-8 school daily to tutor children in the Holly Hill Extended Day program.  These pre-service teachers were involved in planning and set-up for the fall carnival event, as well as participating in the action with parents, teachers and Holly Hill students. The annual fundraising event is sponsored by the school’s PTA.
The Holly Hill K-8 grade school has been designated a Professional Development School with Daytona State College’s School of Education.  Holly Hill is Volusia County’s first K-8 school, opening in August 2011.  

“This was a great learning experience for our junior and senior education majors," said Daytona State’s Dr. Joy Lewis, the School of Education professor who supervises the student interns. “We will continue working with the local school on professional development, grant writing, readying practicums, tutoring, mentoring, school improvement and reform."

She added, “All the faculty members in our department have worked in middle and elementary schools as teachers and administrators, and have been very helpful already to the school. A great partnership has begun!”

Dr. Michelle Thompson
English faculty Dr. Michelle Thompson, writing under her pen name Michelle Donice, has published her first novel entitled “The Other Side of Through,” published by Plenary Publishing.

The fiction work, according to the author’s website, centers around Jessie Winters, a woman who has it all: the perfect house, a loving husband, an adorable little girl, a career and all of the outer trappings that signify a rich and blessed life. But underneath it all, something she can’t quite identify is missing. A chance encounter leads to an extramarital affair that ultimately forces Jessie to confront her past and find the courage to move beyond her artificial life into a world where she lives on her own terms.The book is available at Amazon.com.