Featured photo: From left, Nicole Long, Taylor McNairy, Hanna Hargrove and Abby Woods
UT Southern students studying to teach special education developed the FIRE (Fostering Inclusion through Resource Efforts) resource fair, which will be held in March, based on research into the lack of disability resources in Giles County. Through their research, students found 17 percent of the Giles County population has a disability, yet there are minimal, if any, services available.
As future educators, their role in the community is to teach students and engage with their families to help them connect with the community. While the students can’t control the location of equipment retailers or specialized medical centers, they knew they could help create resources such as transportation networks or online resources such as advocates and support groups. Thus, they created the idea to host a resource fair for disability services on the campus in an effort to help eliminate barriers to receiving services.
Ingram Scholars Program Begins
UT Southern convened students for the inaugural year of the Ingram Scholars program.
The one-year scholar program is open to students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a minimum of 25 ACT score. The students selected receive a scholarship totaling $2,500. It is open to students from the counties of Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Moore, Perry and Wayne.
Throughout the year, the selected scholars will meet with city and county leaders to get a thorough understanding of the problems faced by each of these counties. In addition, the scholars will meet with state legislators in Nashville to get a first-hand look at the legislative process. The scholars will be expected to identify needs in their home counties, propose research-based solutions, implement the solutions and then assess the impact.
Nursing Students Look Out for Children’s Health
All Tennessee students in the second, fourth, sixth and eighth grades are screened for basic health factors such as vision, hearing, blood pressure, height and weight. The wide-scale screening engages community groups, faculty and students at UT Southern’s Jeanette M. Travis School of Nursing and Health Sciences.
Gennifer Baker, assistant professor of nursing, says a school visit consists of nursing students checking an average of 150 to 200 students, introducing nursing students to skills in bedside manner, quieting large and small groups of children, tuning out distractions and communicating vital health information and directions to many different patients.
Mattie Ray Beckman, a UTS junior nursing student, says, “Knowing that our assessments affected a child’s life during our first semester gives me hope for our future as nurses. The impact we had on these children’s lives will stay with me forever, giving me the motivation to strive in this career.”