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Brooke Slavens and Roger Smith Net Over One Million In Research Funds

Brooke Slavens
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Brooke Slavens (OST) received a $330,000 grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), U.S. Department of Education to investigate "Advanced Mobility Modeling to Improve Function and Longer Term Transitional Care of Children with Orthopedic Disabilities." Among the children who will be in the study, and can potentially be helped, are those with severe cerebral palsy, myelomeningocele, spinal cord injury, osteogenesis imperfecta and pes planovalgus.

Roger Smith
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Her work is part of a larger grant awarded to the R2D2 Center for its work with the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on technologies for children with orthopedic disabilities. Roger O. Smith (OST) takes over another part of the grant devoted to training and dissemination activities for people in the disability research field, including scientists, service providers and consumers. The award amount for that phase is $195,000.

In addition, Dr. Smith and his colleagues in the R2D2 Center received another $600,000 grant from the NIDRR to support their development of a web-based assessment and smart phone-based, on-demand resource "app" to assist people with disabilities and building users to identify building accessibility and potential barriers in public buildings.

Bob Simi Now Chairs CHS's Advisory Board

Bob Simi (R) with Brad Hopgood, a former Messmer High School student (and soon-to-be UWM College of Engineering graduate), whom he has mentored.
Bob Simi (R) with Brad Hopgood, a former Messmer High School student (and soon-to-be UWM College of Engineering graduate), whom he has mentored.
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The College of Health Sciences Advisory Board met on November 18 with its new chairperson, Mr. Bob Simi, and several new members.

Mr. Simi is director of business development for CG Schmidt, a construction management and general contracting firm. In that role he is responsible for educational and community sales and marketing activity.

Bob, a two-term board member, brings to the College an impressive and varied background. He is a graduate of U.S. Naval Academy and served for eight years on active duty as an officer in the U.S Marine Corps and during the first Gulf War. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

He has a master's degree in public administration from UW-Madison's LaFollette School of Public Administration. He has worked at all levels of government, including the U.S. Congress, Wisconsin State Senate, City of Janesville and Village of Elm Grove. He also was a visiting instructor at UWM's School of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Simi commented, "The board (and I) are very excited about the future of the CHS. We are impressed with the progress and the results of the faculty and staff's strategic planning initiative. The entire process has really energized the advisory board. We stand with you and hope to be actively involved in moving the strategic plan forward."

The Advisory Board provides consultation, recommendations and advice to the Dean regarding academic programs, student scholarships, funding and mission/vision.

The members are also ambassadors for UWM and the College in the community. They serve for three years and meet at least three times a year. Membership is drawn from the health care industry, educational institutions, government, business and commerce.

New Board members this year are Kathryn Kuhn, vice president of government and community relations, Medical College of Wisconsin, Karla Perez, group vice president and vice president for Acute Care Services, Universal Health Services (UHS)-Western Region, Las Vegas, and Lynn Streeter, executive director of planning, Columbia St. Mary's- Heritage Center.

Dr. Rhyner Edits a New Book

Paula Rhyner
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CSD Professor Paula Rhyner's published research on language assessment and intervention, and her interest in emergent literacy, led her to collaborate with other notable researchers in child language to create the book, Emergent Literacy and Language Development: Promoting Learning in Early Childhood, published in July 2009 by Guilford Press.

The book, edited by Rhyner, with a co-authored chapter by UWM alumnae Eileen K. Haebig and Kaycee M. West, is intended for speech-language pathologists, reading specialists, early childhood educators and childcare providers who serve children from birth through six years of age.

Book cover for Emergent Literacy and Language Development: Promoting Learning in Early Childhood
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The book examines the connection between emergent literacy and language development and the influence on children's later success in literacy and school achievement. Approaches to assessment and intervention are described, with case studies demonstrating the application of research and theory to practice with young children. The intent is to help specialists achieve greater effectiveness within early childhood educational settings.

Students and Faculty to Share Research Findings on Friday, December 3

The College of Health Sciences (CHS) will hold its Fall Research Symposium on December 3rd at the UWM Union. Over 250 faculty, staff and students are expected to be on hand for the full day of programming with a keynote speech, poster displays of student and faculty research projects and selected oral presentations which will be judged. The keynote address will be by Jeffrey Kleim, Ph.D. Department of Neuroscience, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, on "Neural Plasticity: Foundation for Neurorehabilitation."

More information

International StoryCHS International Web Page Now Open

Take a look at the wonderful additions to the CHS Web site related to the work done at the College that is international in scope. While UWM and CHS have always participated in activities well beyond Milwaukee and the U.S., there is a renewed commitment to foster learning, research and collaborations beyond our borders. We are embracing an image of a globally-engaged university and College.

In that vein, we are introducing on the CHS Web site a new "International" button that has "International News" with stories about faculty, staff and students who are traveling, studying, name it. Check it out at and look for the small globe icon that will be used throughout the Web site to identify anything international in nature.

A CHS Alumn Shares a Favorite Memory

CHS alum Coleen Marshall
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Coleen Marshall (B.S., CLS, 1966) recalls a story from her time as student at the College. "On the first day of my internship, the whole medical technology class met in Lapham Hall. We were told that we were going to learn how to be phlebotomists. We were paired off, but my partner was unable to get any blood from my arm. One of the instructors, who had a reputation for getting blood out of a turnip, took over. I proved to be quite a challenge, but she was able to get the blood. Despite all that, it's a favorite memory because that day I met a classmate who has become one of my best friends."

Scholarships: The Gift that Keeps on Giving!

Scholarship recipient Heather Schmitt, Dr. Amrani, Terry Amrani.
From L to R: Heather Schmitt, Dr. Amrani, Terry Amrani.
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CHS graduate student in biomedical sciences, Heather Schmitt, is the 2010 recipient of the Molly Yeffeth Krain and Irwin Amrani Memorial Scholarship.

At a recent UWM Scholarship Reception, held November 11th, she had a chance to meet and speak with "her" scholarship donors, Dr. David Amrani and Mrs. Terry Amrani.

Heather was one of nine student speakers selected to thank donors for their support. In speaking about the importance of her scholarship, she said, "This scholarship has given me a hand up in reaching my educational goals, as well as in developing into a well-rounded member of the community. It has allowed me more time to study and to get involved in volunteer opportunities, such as serving at St. Joseph's Hospital, which otherwise may not have been possible."

Heather makes a good point. Every dollar given to a scholarship has a great return on investment. The return comes in the form of more highly-trained, compassionate health care professionals ready to serve the community.

Please consider supporting the College of Health Sciences scholarships with a gift today. Making your gift is easy. Follow the link: and offer your tax deductible gift to the UWM Foundation. On the donation page, click on the "Gift Designation" drop down box and select Health Sciences. In the next field, "Additional Designation Instructions," type in Scholarship.

If you have questions, contact Joe Maddalena, Development Director at or 414-229-6247. Thank you!

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Volume 1, Issue 6
December 1, 2010

Important Dates

GOLD Award Submission Deadline

Wednesday, December 1

The GOLD (Graduate of the Last Decade) Award recognizes graduates who have achieved success in their field bringing credit to themselves and UWM. Recipients are honored at the UWMAA Awards Reception held in May. Heidi Plach (OST) was a 2010 GOLD Award winner.
Nomination Form

CHS Winter Research Symposium

Friday, December 3
9:45 am - 3:00 pm
UWM Union-Wisconsin Room

To register, contact Bev Gehring at or 414-229-5663
See story below

Last Day of Semester Classes

December 14

Study Day

December 15

Final Exams

December 16 - 23

Two to Assist in Searching For a New Dean of the School of Public Health

Ron Cisler (CUPH) and Cheri Dziekan Chapman (Ext. Rel.) have been named to the UWM search and screen committee to select the first Dean of the new School of Public Health.

Chronicle Archives

Volume 1, Issue 1
Volume 1, Issue 2
Volume 1, Issue 3
Volume 1, Issue 4
Volume 1, Issue 5

The CHS Chronicle is distributed bi-weekly to all CHS faculty and staff and other friends.
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