#18 Program Offers Spinal Cord Injury Survivors New Opportunities

Every summer, spinal cord injury survivors from across the country gather at Stony Brook University for two weeks of intensive rehab and camaraderie through a program run by Empower SCIa nonprofit organization that helps individuals develop skills that foster independence.

The program was founded in 2012 by three New England therapists who were troubled by ever-shortening rehab stays for spinal cord injury patients.

Therapists work with Ethan Callihan to practice transferring in and out of a wheelchair at Empower SCI.

Although Empower SCI program participants pay a fee, fundraising and a team of more than 50 volunteers help defray some of the costs.

Students in the School of Health Technology and Management were eager for hands-on experiences, so along with several faculty they assisted Empower SCI staff. What’s more, residence halls provided ample space for participants and live-in volunteers.

“A lot of our patients have had their injuries in the water, so there’s an element of facing old fears and overcoming the past,” said Tiffany Moy ’19, a graduate student in occupational therapy who volunteered at this summer’s Empower SCI. “They feel so excited because it’s something they never thought they could do again.”

Read more: https://news.stonybrook.edu/featuredpost/program-offers-spinal-cord-injury-survivors-new-opportunities/

#17 SBU Professors Host Computer Science Summer Workshop

Every Monday from July 9 through July 30, Professors Aruna and Niranjan Balasubramanian, from the Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, held a machine learning workshop for children at Comsewogue Public Library.

Nine students participated in the workshop that was open to children entering grades six through twelve.

A group of participating students with the professors

Guided by the professors, students learned about the inner workings of computer science through hands-on activities. They worked with software on computers that helped them understand Optical Character Recognition, digital creation, and various other computer-related tools.

“The reason I wanted to introduce computer science to local children is because I think it is critical to engage with the community, let the members of the community know what Computer Science is about, and get students interested in computer science from an early age,” said Professor Aruna.

For their last session, students created a “chatbot” that took the form of a digitally-created owl. They successfully met the challenge of programming the owl to respond to certain questions by strategically developing and organizing key words in the software.

Aruna is an assistant professor and Niranjan is a research assistant professor. Both joined the Department of Computer Science at Stony Brook in Spring 2015.

Read more: https://news.stonybrook.edu/stony-brook-matters/alumni/sbu-professors-host-computer-science-summer-workshop/



#16 New Endowed Position Strengthens Stony Brook’s Jazz Chops

Manuel — an accomplished trumpeter who earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in performance from Stony Brook University two years ago — is the president and founder of the Jazz Loft, a unique museum and performance space in downtown Stony Brook that has already become a home away from home for the University’s student jazz combos and big band.

Now, Manuel is joining the University as an Artist in Residence — a position created through an anonymous gift — and his new colleague, Professor of Jazz Studies Ray Anderson, couldn’t be happier.

40 Under Forty honoree Tom Manuel ’16 is joining Stony Brook’s Department of Music as Artist in Residence.

For Perry Goldstein, chair of the Department of Music in Stony Brook’s College of Arts and Sciences, Manuel’s scholarship — developed through his years of performing, teaching music in Long Island schools, and building the Jazz Loft’s collection — makes him an ideal figure to complement Anderson’s achievements as a performer.

“Long Island is a very important place – Stony Brook especially – for jazz education in America,” Manuel said. “The first not-for-profit organization for jazz, the International Art of Jazz, was started here in Stony Brook; the first concerts were held on the campus of Stony Brook University.”

And, while Manuel’s early activities as Artist in Residence will include teaching jazz history classes and trumpet lessons and supervising small ensembles, he envisions innovations that will add to Suffolk County’s proud jazz history.

With the resources of the Jazz Loft and the breadth of education that Manuel aims to offer, jazz at Stony Brook will become more accessible to a wider array of students.

Read more: https://news.stonybrook.edu/facultystaff/new-endowed-position-strengthens-stony-brooks-jazz-chops/