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Fort Pierce, FL, United States

Brager A.J.,Morehouse School of Medicine | Hammer S.B.,Indian River State College
Physiology and Behavior | Year: 2012

Introduction: Alcohol dependence in aging populations is seen as a public health concern, most recently because of the significant proportion of heavy drinking among "Baby Boomers." Basic animal research on the effects of aging on physiological and behavioral regulation of ethanol (EtOH) intake is sparse, since most of this research is limited to younger models of alcoholism. Here, EtOH drinking and preference were measured in groups of aged Syrian hamsters. Further, because voluntary exercise (wheel-running) is a rewarding substitute for EtOH in young adult hamsters, the potential for such reward substitution was also assessed. Methods: Aged (24 month-old) male hamsters were subjected to a three-stage regimen of free-choice EtOH (20% v/v) or water and unlocked or locked running wheels to investigate the modulatory effects of voluntary wheel running on EtOH intake and preference. Levels of fluid intake and activity were recorded daily across 60 days of experimentation. Results: Prior towheel running, levels of EtOH intake were significantly less than levels of water intake, resulting in a low preference for EtOH (30%). Hamsters with access to an unlocked running wheel had decreased EtOH intake and preference compared with hamsters with access to a locked running wheel. These group differences in EtOH intake and preference were sustained for up to 10 days after running wheels were re-locked. Discussion: These results extend upon those of our previous work in young adult hamsters, indicating that aging dampens EtOH intake and preference. Voluntary wheel running further limited EtOH intake, suggesting that exercise could offer a practical approach for managing late-life alcoholism. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Marcus E.N.,University of Miami | Marcus E.N.,Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center | Drummond D.,Indian River State College | Dietz N.,Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center | Dietz N.,University of Miami
Journal of Cancer Education | Year: 2012

Research suggests that communication of mammogram results is flawed for many low-income ethnic minority women. This study conducted four focus groups with low-income inner-city minority women (n=34). The goals of our project were: (1) to elucidate women's experiences learning of their result; (2) to elicit their preferences as to how this communication could be improved; and (3) to gather information to help inform the development of a new tool for communicating mammogram results. Salient themes included dissatisfaction with result communication; difficulty elucidating the meaning of a typical results notification letter; a preference for direct verbal communication of results and for print materials that included pictures, testimonials, and an action plan including a hotline to call with questions; and a strong interest in advance education about the likelihood of having to return for additional follow up. Video and other programs to inform patients before the test about what happens after may improve patient satisfaction and enhance women's understanding of their personal result and follow up plan. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011.

Anderson B.,Indian River State College
International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments | Year: 2014

This current study examines the need for operational definitions of the concept of interaction in distance education studies. It is proposed that a discourse analysis of linguistic features conversation noted as being representative of interaction can be used to operationalize interaction in synchronous CMC. This study goes on compare two different registers: an internet chat register, and a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game register to explore the theoretical claim that such virtual world environments have higher levels of interaction. Overall findings exhibit that MMORPGs have higher amount of linguistic features characteristic of interaction. Evidence points to MMORPGs being more interactive and also supportive of collaborative interaction. Copyright © 2014, IGI Global.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 69.96K | Year: 2010

The increased interest in nuclear energy combined with a nuclear workforce that is close to retirement has created a timely and critical need to educate a 21st century nuclear energy workforce at all employment levels. Specifically, over the next two decades a need is projected for more than 41,000 trained technicians in the nuclear industry. Current educational programs are not scaled to meet the forecast need.
The purpose of this planning project is to develop the infrastructure for a National Center for Nuclear Energy Education and Training (NCNEET). The goal of the NCNEET is to make sure the demand for skilled nuclear technicians is met in a unified, systematic way. The main goals of the planning project are:
1. Identify and enlist faculty and representatives from businesses, the nuclear energy industry, nuclear agencies, and organizations to provide intellectual leadership for the centers various activities.
2. Study the specific technician needs of the nuclear power industry in the different regions of the country and establish educational strategies, priorities and timelines.
3. Build a coalition of colleges with established nuclear technician education facilities, infrastructure, and faculties.
4. Identify the specific discipline of focus for each partner college and their needs in the effort to scale up to become a center for education.
5. Develop a comprehensive plan showing an understanding of the workforce needs and the ability and readiness of NCNEET to meet these needs.

NCNEET is directed by Indian River State College in conjunction with Miami Dade College, Linn State Technical College, and Salem Community College. These institutions have been involved in nuclear technician education for almost 30 years and have been recognized nationally for their excellent programs.

By building a network of dynamic educational programs capable of scaling up to meet the energy industrys workforce needs, the NCNEET reduces the risk associated with serious shortages of technicians. In addition, the existence of the NCNEET can accelerate the implementation of new nuclear facilities. The project encourages participation by members of groups under-represented in the nuclear industry, especially women and members of ethnic minorities.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: ADVANCED TECH EDUCATION PROG | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2013

This project is establishing a regional laser and fiber optic (LFO) technology center to serve states in the southeastern United States: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, and North Carolina. It is working with a network of 10 colleges and more than 250 companies that are participating in this regional center. Goals are 1. Continue study of the specific technician needs of the laser and fiber optic industry in the southeast region and establish education programs and strategies, priorities and timelines to satisfy these needs. 2. Better define the specific area of focus for each partner college and create education programs with the college. 3. Expand the coalition of partner colleges with LFO education programs to meet industry needs. 4. Enlist faculty and industry representatives to provide advice and direction for the Centers activities. 5. Create an outreach education program for middle and high school science teachers, counselors and administrators that focuses on LFO topics in order to provide a pathway into the college LFO programs. 6. Recruit and assist returning veterans and minorities to enter LFO programs in the southeast U.S.

The college (IRSC) has been a partner of OP-TEC, the NSF/ATE National Center for Optics and Photonics Education and has a large program. During this collaboration with OP-TEC, IRSC authored educational modules in the areas of optical imaging and solar energy technology. IRSC is also closely collaborating with Corning Fiber Optical Systems for training on the latest fiber optic technologies. Employers prefer hiring local talent because of the high turnover rate they have experienced with technicians hired from out of state. This project is working to establish additional LFO education opportunities at other colleges in the region located close to employers.

Intellectual Merit: Lasers and fiber optics technologies are advanced technologies enabling complex, sophisticated, and very expensive instrumentation used in the biomedical field, life sciences, remote sensing, and information technology. The United States commands global leadership in these technologies, producing high-wage jobs in the U.S. There is an urgent need to increase the number of LFO technicians to satisfy the high demand, maintain our world leadership, and create more high-paying jobs. The principal partner colleges have a proven record of operating successful LFO programs. The PIs are experienced in the field in establishing programs, working with business and industry, and developing networks of industry and college contacts.

Broader Impact: The Center is collaborating with the National Center, OP-TEC, to coordinate and contribute to regional and national needs in LFO. LFO technicians starting salaries are well above the national average, thereby elevating the graduates economic status. The partnerships created by the educator and employer networks are having a beneficial and lasting effect not only to the local region but to the entire nation. In addition, the PI, as member of the advisory board of the Gender Equity Cooperative, is organizing events aimed at attracting more women and minorities into this program. Participating in the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program and enrolling cohorts of veterans in LFO and Photonics program can further assist returning veterans. These continuing initiatives are being duplicated at partner colleges.

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