Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Debate on Students Earning an Undergraduate Education in Three Years

Here are two articles for your review about the debate on students earning an undergraduate education in three years. In the Strategic Plan for 2010-2020 our first goal is to "place student success at the center," which means "offering superior services to students through a model that allows a one-stop approach (real and virtual) to meet students’ needs." The following articles bring to question if there are new ways of doing this.

The Three-Year Solution, by Lamar Alexander
What is College for Anyway?, by Debra Rosenberg

The articles were originally published in the October 26th, 2009, Newsweek.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A New Vision for Research

The Office of the Provost was pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Lynda Bonewald, Lee M. and William Lefkowitz Professor of Oral Biology and Director of UMKC’s Bone Biology Research Program, as Interim Vice Chancellor for Research on October 15, 2009 . In her new position, which is an outcome of the strategic planning process, she oversees UMKC’s Office of Research and the research and economic development initiatives. Dr. Bonewald agreed to introduce herself for this week’s blog post.

Little did I think that I would be the one to fill the position recommended by the Life Sciences Task Force in 2003 when I first read the report. The position was described as “An able scientific leader…. given the authority and the responsibility to build life sciences at UMKC”. That is a tall order, but as Vice Chancellor for Research (Interim), a position created by the UMKC strategic planning process, I am creating objectives with the help of other leaders in our community to move life and health sciences at UMKC forward. These objectives include ‘achieving world-class programs’, obtaining the resources to do so, and ‘to work together with partners within the University and in the greater Kansas City area’.

With regards to my educational background, I received a BS in Biology from the University of Texas in 1973. I graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1984 with a PhD in Immunology/Microbiology. My postdoctoral fellowship at the VA Hospital in Charleston, SC in hematology was under the mentorship of Makio Ogawa, a world-renowned hematologist. I was recruited to the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas as an Assistant Professor in 1986 in the Endocrinology Division directed by Dr. Gregory Mundy, an internationally known Bone Biologist. In 2001, I was recruited to UMKC School of Dentistry Dept. of Oral Biology to establish a Mineralized Tissue Research Program. When I arrived, I was a full professor with two R01s and a program project. In 2005, I became a University of Missouri Curator’s Professor and in 2009, I established and became Director of the UMKC Center of Excellence in the Study of Dental and Musculoskeletal Tissues, a multi- and interdisciplinary center.

UMKC has considerable potential to become a leader in Life and Health Sciences. I am excited about growing and expanding this potential. I know many creative, productive scientists, strong, yet fair administrators, and many truly exceptional and dedicated support staff. Chancellor Morton and Executive Vice Chancellor Hackett provide committed, stable, and experienced leadership to UMKC. To become competitive with regards to funding and other types of awards, it is necessary for our Life and Health Sciences Schools to collaborate and work together. My goal is to create and provide a stimulating, supportive environment so that our dedicated, passionate scientists can be productive and successful by accomplishing their goals of discovery while training the next generation of dedicated scientists.

-Lynda F. Bonewald, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Research Interim, Curator's Professor Lee M and William Lefkowitz Professor Director, Bone Biology Research Program Director, UMKC Center of Excellence in Mineralized Tissues, Univ. of Missouri at Kansas City School of Dentistry, Dept. of Oral Biology

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Every 9 and a Half Minutes, Someone in the U.S. is Infected with HIV

December 1st is World AIDS Day - a day that was established by the World Health Organization in 1988 - that was 21 years ago! Last evening I was talking with my husband about how much progress has been made in the treatment of HIV and AIDS in this country. We are both 'front line' health care providers who have seen HIV disease transform from one of certain death with much pain and suffering to a disease that is manageable for many years. Our patients can now live long, healthy and productive lives - thanks to the availabilty of excellent antiretroviral treatment. However, not everyone has the luxury of seeing their patients with HIV do so well. In developing countries and in areas with limited resources, many people are still dying and suffering from this disease.

We may have made a lot of strides in HIV treatment, but we are losing the battle when it comes to HIV prevention. Today there are 33 million people in the world living with HIV, over a million are Americans. Did you know that every 9 and a half minutes someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV? There is a lot of work to be done if we are to end the HIV epedemic. Many barriers and challenges to HIV prevention persist - ignorance, stigma, and discrimination - just to name a few. I ask you on this World AIDS Day to be a part of the solution - talk to your friends, families and colleagues. Pass on the message that the time has come to intensify our efforts to stop the HIV epedemic. Let everyone know that, in this country, every 9.5 minutes, someone is infected with HIV.

-Written by Maithe Enriquez, PhD, RN, ANP is Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at UMKC and Nurse Practitioner at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City.