The long, hot months between graduation in mid-May and the return of students for the fall semester in late August mark a quiet, peaceful time on the California State University, Northridge campus. Many students and faculty keep busy with summer session courses, and even more students take advantage of the summer months to focus on work and internships. For hundreds of CSUN faculty, staff and the students they mentor, summer is a much-anticipated period of creativity, experience and life-changing adventures. The following are just a few examples of “what CSUN did this summer.”
Virtual Reality for Nursing Students
Department of Nursing and Department of Art
Offering virtual reality (VR) tools to nursing students means they can practice a variety of health care scenarios that meld imagination and experience to make new discoveries. As part of a larger project to incorporate VR into clinical nursing education, CSUN assistant professor of nursing Laurie Gelardi engaged art, computer science and graphic design students this summer to design a VR program for nursing students to practice patient assessments.
The final product will allow students to use VR goggles to interact with a virtual patient. Gelardi, along with Department of Nursing chair Rebekah Child and assistant professor of art Caleb Owens, worked with students to begin the project over the summer. Their first step was to create an application to practice respiratory and physical assessment.
In the works: This fall, the group plans to add more apps that will allow students to use VR to practice complete physical exams and other nursing procedures and skills.
“Without VR, student practices are limited to what a patient may actually present at a given time,” Gelardi noted. “Bringing VR into the teaching process means students can increase their level of proficiency, follow their curiosity using the app, try out new combinations of problems and issues, and enter the profession with greater confidence and understanding of what may come.”
Sharing Fashion Design Expertise in China
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
Left: In June 2018, CSUN lecturer Shirley Warren teaches a fashion design class at Soochow University in China, for students who are part of the first cohort of a joint program between CSUN and Soochow. Photo courtesy of Soochow University.
In recent months, several professors in CSUN’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences engaged with students in China for short-term exchange activities that have helped establish ongoing international collaborations. In early June, apparel design and merchandising lecturer Shirley Warren was invited to serve as a judge for the Student Fashion Show at Xi’an Polytechnic University in Xi’an, China. The panel of judges also included renowned Chinese and international artists and designers. Warren’s CSUN colleagues Uma Krishnan and Marine Boyadzhyan taught workshops in research methods and fashion design at the university as well.
In addition to Xi’an Polytechnic, Warren and FCS Department Chair Yi Tom Cai taught two fashion design classes at Soochow University in China, for students who are part of the first cohort of a joint program between CSUN and Soochow.
Bringing CSUN's Expertise on Childhood Obesity to Armenia
Thousands of miles away, Annette Besnilian — executive director of CSUN’s Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics — taught a public health seminar, “Childhood Obesity: A Pandemic Health Crisis,” at the Turpanjian School of Public Health of the American University of Armenia.
Olivia Herstein/CSUN Today