Category Archives: Spotlight

The Therapy Review

What is new and exciting?

Physical Therapy Review

P.I.T. has begun construction of the second physical therapist assistant program laboratory. The new lab will provide additional room for course instruction, allow students open-lab time for practicing skills, and provide increased space for skills testing.

The lab furniture and equipment for the new laboratory was purchased in March and will be ready for delivery in May.

A new and improved PTA Program Student Handbook has been developed. The revision will be distributed to students at the start of the first semester, in the technical phase of instruction. New program goals and policies will be outlined in detail.

The search has begun for a third full time dedicated faculty member for the program. The faculty and administration are seeking an experienced clinician and educator to round out the core faculty. PTAs have been encouraged to apply!

 

Reminders

Please continue to monitor your College email box. This is the means by which P.I.T. will contact you with important information. Why? Your designated email from the college is more secure and therefore less likely to contain or allow the infiltration of computer viruses. So, if you are unable to log into your account, please notify the college’s information technology department for assistance, from the home email address you provided upon admission, and send the message to: webmaster@pit.edu

Your academic advisor is determined by your cohort section. Those in Cohort Section F should contact Dr. LaVonne Couch at lcouch@pit.edu and those in Cohort Section G should contact Mr. Chuck Hewlings at mailto:chewlings@pit.edu. If you are uncertain, please email either instructor for clarification.

The PTA Program has its own email address. If you have friends, family or employers who have questions about the program, please refer them to PTAProgram@pit.edu and a faculty member will respond.

Clinical observation forms need to be completed and returned to the program manager by April 30, 2014. PTA student candidates must complete twenty (20) hours of observation at the minimum of at least two (2) different physical therapy sites and submit the completed and signed observation form to the PTA Program Manager.

 

PTA Program update

On February 12-14, 2014, PIT hosted an on-site reviewer from CAPTE. The reviewer was able to meet with the PTA Program faculty, members of the program advisory board, licensed clinicians who have contracted with P.I.T. to be clinical instructors, and the leaders and administrators of the college.

P.I.T. received the summary report from the onsite reviewer in late February and completed, and returned, the institutional response to the report, and all requested documents, on the first day of Spring!

CAPTE will meet from April 25-30, 2014 to review all new and renewing physical therapist and physical therapist assistant programs from across the nation which are scheduled for their Spring meeting. A full list of programs to be reviewed can be obtained from the CAPTE website at http://www.capteonline.org/uploadedFiles/CAPTEorg/About_CAPTE/Calendar/Onsite_Visits/CAPTE_CalendarOnsiteVisits.pdf

The P.I.T. accreditation status statement has been upgraded and remains the mandatory minimum language required by CAPTE until a candidacy decision has been received (in late-April 2014):

Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-3245; accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.
Pennsylvania Institute of Technology is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist assistant education program from CAPTE. The program has submitted an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the technical phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in technical courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

 

The Process for Program Accreditation (reprinted from the July 2013 edition of the Therapy Review)

There are many steps involved in the process of obtaining CAPTE accreditation.

Submitting an application for candidacy (AFC) is just one step in the process of accreditation. Some of the most important steps include:

  • the hiring of a Program Director,
  • preparation of the curriculum,
  • hiring an Academic Clinical Coordinator of Education (ACCE),
  • obtaining and contracting with clinical sites,
  • preparation of and the submission of the AFC,
  • awaiting CAPTE determination of the quality of the AFC,
  • the modification of the AFC as requested by CAPTE,
  • an on-site visit by a CAPTE reviewer,
  • CAPTE reviewing report and granting candidacy status,
  • starting the technical portion of the program,
  • continued preparation of the self-study report to CAPTE,
  • students completing final clinical education courses,
  • another on-site visit,
  • the CAPTE decision of accreditation at their Spring meeting, and finally,
  • Graduation!

 

The faculty is working in conjunction with the Commission, our advisory board and clinical sites and instructors and a qualified consultant to ensure a viable program for many years to come!

Reviews of the New iOs

Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 7, was released to the public in September 2013. Millions of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch 5th generation users have since updated their devices to it. On the other hand, many others are hesitant for more than one reason. If you are considering updating your iDevice or purchasing the brand new iPhone 5S or 5C, iOS reviews can help you to decide.

application development career ios 7There are certain great new features included in iOS 7. The operating system is also thought of as being fresh as Apple has finally departed from its customary look for iOS that includes three dimensional, shadowy apps that first debuted along with the first generation iPhone in 2007. There is a flat metro appearance to iOS 7 that, as any recent iOS reviews will tell you, essentially gives the iPhone a complete overhaul.

Apps are now automatically updated instead of having the user click on the App Store app or connect their device to iTunes via their computer and to download updates. The design that includes a flat appearance is one that is welcome by many iOS reviews, especially as it gives a brand new feel to the user interface. There is a good selection of new backgrounds that you can choose and the apps are almost transparent against it. Colors are also much more vibrant.

All iOS reviews will reveal that one of the best new features is the Control Center which allows you quick and convenient access to your most frequently used settings. A simple swipe up from the bottom of the screen will bring up quick access tools such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode, music controls, brightness and more. There is even a flashlight tool included within this feature that basically renders the numerous flashlight apps on the App Store unnecessary.

iOS reviews also reveal that there is a great new feature found within the Notification Center along with new email, weather, to do list, etc. It is known as the “Today” panel and it shows what you have planned or scheduled for the day. It is necessary to scroll so that you can see everything that is on your schedule for any particular day, since the change doesn’t show everything in a single screen.application developers ios7

Safari has been updated as well, which is a very welcome change. You can now browse the Internet in a way that is more flexible and convenient. It also appears more like it does with Safari on the Mac with cover flow. There is no limit to how many web pages can be stored there, and to close it you simply need to swipe toward the side of the screen.

AirDrop has been featured on the Mac and now appears in iOS 7. It is a feature that iOS reviews have particularly discussed in detail and allows you to share files such as photos, video or documents with a simple tap. It searches for other iOS 7 users by way of a local ad hoc network.

One of the less covered new features iOS 7 reviews discuss is iTunes Radio. This is a great new feature that will undoubtedly be welcome by anyone who prefers to not load music onto their phone and opts to stream it instead. It is similar to apps such as Pandora and iHeartRadio and will create personalized radio stations based on the music that you enjoy.

Siri has been vastly improved in iOS 7. It works much more quickly and efficiently, much to the delight of Apple device users. A male voice has also been added as an alternative to the standard female voice.

To learn more, stop by and visit our site and learn more about a career in Computer Science.

Decades After Henrietta Lacks’ Death, Family Gets A Say On Her Cells

A modest sharecropper of the 1950s, medical “pioneer” Henrietta Lacks’ contributions to medical science have been undying, literally, for more than 60 years – even though Lacks herself never knew of them and succumbed to cervical cancer just months after her January 1951 diagnosis, on October 4, 1951. She was just 31 years old.

How the HeLa cells came to be

allied health programs study resourceDuring treatments for the cancer at Johns Hopkins, two samples of her cervix were removed, one healthy and one cancerous – without her knowledge or permission, as was customary at the time. These were given to Dr. George Otto Gey, and would ultimately become what is now known as the HeLa immortal cell line.

Gey isolated a single cell from the samples, multiplied it, and started a cell line. This cell line, unlike others seen before it, did not die after a few divisions but remained alive. Put into mass production, the line has been used for innumerable studies and research on subjects as wide-ranging as lactose intolerance and invitro fertilization, radiation effects, and gene mapping, and to develop drugs for diseases like Parkinson’s disease, leukemia, influenza, herpes, and even Jonas Salk’s famous and life-saving polio vaccine. Experts estimate that literally billions of her cells exist everywhere “in small vials on ice,” with some 20 tons’ worth grown to date. Approximately 11,000 patents involving the cells exist.

No recognition, no say

Lacks’ family has never had a say in how the cells were used. In fact, they didn’t even know Henrietta’s cells had been removed and developed into the HeLa line until the 1970s.

Recognition, but still no say

Recognition slowly began to trickle in. In 1996, Henrietta Lacks’ family was recognized for her contributions to health research and medicine by the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, the State of Georgia, and the mayor of Atlanta. In 2011, Morgan State University gave Henrietta a posthumous honorary degree. In Atlanta, October 11 has subsequently been named as “Henrietta Lacks Day.”

Still, people have continued to get rich from HeLa line research, and the Lacks family had no means by which to fight for financial compensation, recognition, and most importantly, their privacy and a say in how her cells are used. Now, that’s changed somewhat.

A breach of privacy

There had been no privacy guidelines in place when Lacks’ cells were taken, although Lacks’ identity did indeed remain unknown by most for years. However, her cells were commercialized, with laboratories grappling to sequence their DNA. Last March, the HeLa genome was sequenced and the results published on the Internet. An invasion of privacy – and the Lacks family had (yet again) neither been consulted nor given permission before they were released.

Technically, no laws had been broken, but serious privacy concerns for Henrietta’s descendants were paramount: People can be identified from DNA results alone, even when those DNA results are “anonymous,” and private medical details, such as a propensity to develop diseases like Alzheimer’s, can also be gleaned from the information.

An agreement reached

The German scientists apologized and quickly removed the sequence from The Internet, but the NIH stepped in and set up a committee that would include the Lacks family. The goal was to figure out how to provide HeLa genome information without violating the Lacks family’s privacy.

Data to be provided on a case-by-case basis

Now, the DNA sequence will be strictly guarded. Scientists must apply to obtain sequence access, and requests for access will be reviewed by a group at NIH that includes Director Dr. Francis Collins and two Lacks family members before requests are granted.

To learn more about Henrietta Lacks, the P.I.T. Library has the 2010 book: “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” available for your use.

Hacker Patrol: What Is Anonymous’ Message and What Can Computer Forensics Reveal

For nearly a decade, the hack-tivist group Anonymous has been grabbing media attention with their high-profile digital attacks, but what does Anonymous truly stand for? The answer is more complex than it may seem.

hackers anonymousBecause Anonymous has no command structure or official membership, it’s hard to differentiate between causes supporting the group as a whole and causes supported by various members. After their formation in 2004, the group finally rose to prominence in early 2008 with a series of attacks on Scientology, but after that point their precise objectives become murky. Regardless of their specific agenda, Anonymous’ actions generally condemn internet censorship, and most of their internet attacks target organizations and businesses that they believe practice censorship or enable abuses of civil rights. While hack-tivism is the main motivation for people who claim allegiance to Anonymous, another subset claims to be “doing it for the lulz,” simply enjoying the ability to create chaos.

Its lack of a formal structure makes Anonymous difficult to track or prosecute for their crimes, which have cost businesses millions of dollars and compromised the security of multiple nations. Their main method of attack–DDoS, or Distributed Denial of Service–is notoriously difficult to track and Anonymous is known for taking extra precautions to protect the identities of those involved, but in the standoff between computer hackers and computer forensics, computer forensics is gaining ground.

The evidence in the most recent high-profile case (an attack by Anonymous against internet commerce giant PayPal) was gathered from IRC (Internet Relay Chat) logs, where members discussed possible targets and bragged about past accomplishments. Forensic investigators stated that the members of the group had gotten complacent, believing that they wouldn’t be caught, and because of this they made a number of critical errors.

Once the culprits had been identified through IRC logs and their patterns of internet activity, police confiscated their computers. With computer forensics, they were able to find hacking software on at least one member’s computer, and a digital trail that proved sufficient to deliver multiple convictions.

The battle between computer hackers and computer forensics wages on, and one of Anonymous’ main defenses is others understanding and spreading information about the technology used to track them, forcing forensic scientists to constantly develop new software and techniques. A shortage of computer forensic specialists makes this task particularly challenging, but luckily, it’s one of the fastest-growing fields in the nation, and specialists are always in demand.

If the battle between computer hackers and computer forensics is one that you find fascinating, check out P.I.T’s  Cybersecurity degree program. Our curriculum addresses the ever-growing need to protect private data and vital infrastructure from attack, damage and exploitation in an increasingly networked and computerized society. This may be the field for you.

Pennsylvania Institute of Technology Faculty Head to Chester County Technical College High School in Downingtown

chester county technical collegeOn May 2nd, the faculty from the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology traveled to the Chester County Technical College High School in Downingtown to meet with the instructors and staff from this unique educational institution to explore curricula similarities enabling students to transfer to P.I.T. with advanced standing. Graduates from the Technical College High School are granted up to fifteen college credits for specific courses taken at the high school.

P.I.T. instructors have made subsequent visits to the high school for the purpose of meeting with students to customize college plans. During one of those visits, Professor Ray Altieri captivated the cosmetology students with discussions of the business side of running and marketing their own shops.

PIT Transfer Fair: How Do You Get Your Ticket Punched?

How often do you think about transferring?  We transfer from the train to the subway, we transfer money from savings to checking, and some of us transfer our affections as often as we change our under-roos!   In a few weeks, the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology will host a Transfer Fair on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  This, my friends, is something you definitely need to consider if you are planning on pursuing your bachelor’s degree!

Over the past year, I have seen students transfer to Temple University, Penn State, Neumann, Peirce College, Holy Family University and many, many other schools.  It is a daunting and scary prospect to go from the nice small comfortable pond at PIT and then launch yourself into the big ocean of a university setting.  Some students easily float along at their new school while others flounder and flail (bonus points for alliteration?)!  What makes the difference?  Not to sound like a teacher, but the one thing that will make you successful at a four-year university is doing your homework (insert collective eye roll).

What degree do you want to earn?  That’s the easy question.  Most of you should have a fairly good idea at this point, but what other issues are important to you?  Here are some of the questions to consider:

  • Are you working towards a scholarship?
  • Do you want to live on campus?
  • Are you ready to make your stage debut in theater or the performing arts?
  • What kind of campus culture do you feel comfortable joining?  Do you want to party hearty or hit the books hard?
  • Are you interested in joining a fraternity or sorority?
  • Do you want to get experience by doing an internship?
  • Do you want to attend a school that is known for its extracurricular sports or do you want to stay far away from football?

If you are planning on your four-year degree or even just wondering if you should consider it, you should attend the PIT TRANSFER FAIR on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m..  We will be hosting admissions representatives from four-year colleges and universities from the tri-state area (and beyond) who can answer the aforementioned questions as well as any others that are rolling around your brain as you play World of Warcraft!  Additionally, PIT’s counselors and PIT’s College Transfer advisor Adina Tayar will be on hand to assist you with any questions you may have.  A financial aid expert will also be there to help you understand how to pay for continuing your education.

Lastly and for some—most importantly—there will be snacks.  So if you are hungry for knowledge and hungry for carbs, you should definitely make a plan to attend.  All you need to bring is an open mind and a willingness to pursue your dreams.  If you have class at this time, please check with your instructor first!

If you cannot make it to the Transfer Fair but would like more information about transferring, please contact Adina Tayar, PIT’s College Transfer Coordinator, at atayar@pit.edu or 610-892-1511.

PTA at PIT

A few months ago, I found out that PIT will be offering a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Associate Degree.  This program will be a 5-semester, full-time program that will allow students to pursue one of the fasting growing jobs in the United States.  I wanted to write about it because I have been intimately involved in physical therapy for my entire adult life!

A million years ago, or 25 if you want to be specific, I was a fresh-faced, eager young student at the University of Delaware.  I lived in what was called North Campus which was accessible by either a 2 mile walk around a mountain (or for what passes as a mountain in Delaware) or trotting up and down four sets of steep concrete steps that make PIT’s  steps look like a senior citizen ramble at the mall.  One night, coming home from the….uh….library…, I fell down the aforementioned steps resulting in my first experience with physical therapy.  This is what I remember most …it hurt like crazy and then it helped.  The physical therapists and physical therapy assistants were a combination of Mr. T (I pity the fool!) and Mr. Rogers (Won’t you be my neighbor?).  They pushed me and cajoled me and finally, I didn’t need crutches, a cane or a knee brace.

Over the past two decades, I have managed to wreck my other knee quite successfully (In a series of misguided adventures, I thought I could dance, ski and play softball).  Through these injuries, I learned that surgeries hurt and physical therapy can drain your energy, but more importantly, I learned that physical therapy will fix you like no medicine can.  Last summer, I had terrible shoulder pains and once again, I ended up in physical therapy—this time for painter’s shoulder (or as I like to call it—too much writing on the whiteboard shoulder).  After 8 glorious weeks of torture and torment, I was back to my usual self (not new, mind you….I’m an older model!).  However—believe it or not, there are tons of people way older than me!

The Baby Boomer generation (born 1945 to 1964) is aging quickly and the need for physical therapy assistants is quite literally booming!  From bad hips to replacement knees to the occasional compressed spinal disk, the medical community is turning more and more often towards physical therapy to help patients recuperate and get back on their feet. If you are someone who wants to move around on the job, enjoys interacting with people, and more importantly, enjoys the idea of transforming someone from dependent to independent, this is the job for you.  I would have endured at least three more surgeries if not for physical therapy, so I am a huge advocate for this field because scars are just not that cute!

If you would like more information about the Physical Therapist Assistant Associate Degree, please contact the admissions department at the Media Campus:  610-892-1500.

 

Habitat for Humanity: Gonna Make You Sweat!

You get up super early on a Saturday morning, pack a bag lunch and head out into the crystal clear morning of a summer day.  You are not heading to the shore or Six Flags; instead, you are going to spend the day working hard, sweating, getting stinky and ultimately adding an important line to your resume.  Every semester Suzanne Stewart, Program Manager for Architecture and Civil Engineering, takes a group of enthusiastic PIT students to a Habitat for Humanity building site.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that was started in 1976 to build and rehab simple, reasonably priced homes.  Over the past 35 years, they have built or rehabbed 400,000 homes for 2 million people around the world.  People who move into these homes don’t get them for free.  They pay a monthly mortgage (which helps Habitat for Humanity build more homes) and invest hundreds of hours of their own labor (sweat equity).  (habitatforhumanity.org)

The volunteers who build these houses come from all walks of life with a variety of skill sets.  As Suzanne Stewart repeatedly reminds me, a volunteer can have zero construction skills and still be a valuable contributor (apparently she remembers the tragic dry-wall incident involving my picture-hanging skills!).

The students who participate in this program learn hands-on construction skills the correct way.  Habitat for Humanity has only one expectation:  perfect construction.  On July 16, 2011, Denis Usov, Maria Clark, Sam Dix and his brother Bryant worked on a Habitat for Humanity house in Wilmington, Delaware.  The house was being rehabbed for a mother and her wheelchair-bound child.   The students had the opportunity to see the construction of an ADA compliant house including the drive-in shower!

Last fall, our volunteers, Bobby Dixon ad Steve Kawaleski worked on the framing of a second floor and installed floor trusses and beams. While the spring semester group (Rudisha Beattie, Steve Chapman, Ellis Gibbs, Cassandra Coleman, and Ryan McLain) worked on siding and veneers, flooring, insulation, painting and trim.

For the students who participate in this activity, it is definitely a resume builder.  Habitat for Humanity is a nationally recognized organization with a reputation for excellence.  However, at the end of the day, when your sweat is sweating, your face is smudged with dirt and paint and your muscles ache, the true value of the day is measured by the gleeful faces of the homeowners who will one day live in their own home for the first time in their lives.

 

Welcome, Adina Tayar

Please welcome Adina Tayar as our new Director of Career Placement and College Transfer here at the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology!

Ms. Tayar is a true career services professional and comes to us with six years of experience in career advising, internship coordination and job placement, as well as a proven track record in leadership and supervision.  Her expertise in providing career services spans fields such as liberal arts, the sciences, engineering and business, including work with international students.  In her last position at the Urban Affairs Coalition Adina coordinated career fairs, hosted employers on campus, and sought out new employers to assist in finding career opportunities for students.  She is a savvy networker and spokesperson, and enjoys connecting people with opportunities. Adina can be reached at 610 892 1511 and via email at atayar@pit.edu.

Please be sure to stop into Adina’s office located on the 1st level of the Media Campus Building (across from the Academic Records Office and next to Cheryl Javer’s Office) to say “Hi!” and welcome her aboard.  We are pleased to have her join our exciting and dynamic team of professionals here at P.I.T.

Welcome, Georgette Hall-Peterson!

Please welcome Georgette Hall-Peterson as our new Academic Support and Retention Counselor here at the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology (Center City Campus!)

Ms. Hall-Peterson is a certified counselor and has extensive experience in motivating, assisting and instructing individuals who are seeking to improve their quality of life by furthering their education.  With her experience in academic counseling, she has worked with young people of diverse backgrounds and has advised and coached them in an attempt to navigate the educational process.  This begins with making the transition to college, choosing a major, learning how to study as well as financing the student’s education.  Ms. Hall-Peterson has a strong commitment to ensuring academic excellence and success for her students.  We rest assured that her experience, skills, education, and positive attitude will make her a true success in this counseling position.

Please be sure to stop into Georgette’s Office in the Curtis Center (Center City Campus) to say “Hi!” and welcome her aboard.  We are pleased to have her join our exciting and dynamic team of professionals here at P.I.T.