PTA students at NEIT rallying for Wounded Warrior Project on 9/11

Students training in the Physical Therapist Assistant, or PTA, program at the New England Institute of Technology are remembering veterans by raising funds for the Wounded Warrior Project on Patriots Day.

“PTA’s for Patriots” is presenting the “Red, White and You Fitness Challenge,” a community service project set for Sept. 11 on the East Greenwich campus.

The goal of the event is not only to raise money and get people moving, but also to honor veterans who served the country post-9/11.

“As the date gets further and further away from September 11, 2001, we’ve come far from really giving it the remembrance that it deserves, and I think this year needs to be a year where we reignite that meaning,” said Carissa Melicharek, who spearheaded the event with fellow student and Navy vet, Heather Kinne. “It’s not just one moment of silence. We’re really discussing what that day meant for us as Americans, especially with all of the political turmoil and controversy going on now. It’s a huge day to bring it all back together as Americans in general.”

A group of 14 students is calling on participants to perform five exercises to see how many repetitions they can perform in 60 seconds. It’s a nod to the physical training aspect soldiers endure while in boot camp.

“Heather said when you’re training in boot camp, you have to do these fitness challenges and usually it’s timed within 60 seconds,” Melicharek said. “It’s a challenge, but it’s also fun and competitive. We thought it would create a good atmosphere by getting people involved in movement in general because that is our expertise as PTAs — we’re movement professionals.”

Since Melicharek said the PTA program is the education of choice for many veterans at NEIT, they are passionate about giving back to soldiers who fought and continue to fight to protect America’s freedom, especially on one of the most significant days in American history.

“We have so many veterans that decide to use our program at New England Tech. We also have a lot of family members who have served. My brother was an EOD tech for a few years. He did a few tours, and Heather is a veteran,” Melicharek said. “We thought it would be really appropriate to finally do something that would benefit the Wounded Warriors.”

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JWU’s PA Program Achieves 100% Pass Rate

For the second year in a row, 100% of JWU’s graduating class of physician assistants have passed the board certification exam administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. All 24 Class of 2017 students passed on the first try.

“This is truly a remarkable achievement,” notes George Bottomley, DVM, PA-C, dean of JWU’s College of Health & Wellness and founding director of JWU’s physician assistant studies program. “We set the bar high when we first selected students for the inaugural class that began in 2014. All 23 students graduated on time and achieved a 100% pass rate of the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). Our second class has followed suit by doing the same.”

Of the 24 physician assistant students who graduated this May, 10 have accepted positions in Rhode Island.

“Our second class of physician assistants all came through — as we expected them to — and it is another validation of how good the program is that we’ve put together here,” notes Rebecca Lovell Scott, PhD, PA-C, the PA program’s director.

At the 2016 White Coat Ceremony marking the Class of 2017’s official transition from the classroom to the clinic, Vice Chancellor Tom Dwyer charged them with making the 100% pass rate an annual JWU tradition. Congratulations to all 24 new alumni for making good on his request.

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Replica of ancient cave will transport visitors to China’s Silk Road

For ten days this fall, Bryant University will use virtual reality and painstakingly reconstructed replicas to bring an ancient Chinese cave and its artistic treasures to campus.

Dunhuang: An Oasis for East-West Cultural, Commercial, and Religious Exchanges Along the Ancient Silk Road  opens Sept. 27 in the George E. Bello Center for Information and Technology. Bryant is the first academic institution in the United States to host this interactive exhibition.

The centerpiece is a replica of Cave 285 of the Mogao Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Gansu Province, China. This visually rich 6th-century cave is known for its exceptional collection of Buddhist artworks.

Through Oct. 6, guided tours will take visitors through the exhibition — a panoramic projection of the cave site — and into the reconstructed cave, an experience that will incorporate virtual reality. Events related to the exhibition include a series of seminars focusing on arts, culture, history, and religions represented in these caves.

Details about tour reservations and the complete calendar of events are forthcoming from the U.S.-China Institute at Bryant University.

Dunhuang was a melting pot of cultures and religions between the the 4th and 14th centuries. Travelers to Dunhuang dug caves into the nearby cliff faces, then decorated the caves with art in the hope of ensuring safety and success along the Silk Road. The result: The Mogao Caves house one of the world’s most extensive sites of Buddhist murals, statues, manuscripts, as well as art from Islamic and Greek cultures.

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Brown statement on proposed agreement with the Pokanoket

Brown University issued this statement on Thursday, Aug. 31, regarding a proposed path toward an agreement to resolve concerns of Pokanokets encamped on University-owned land in Bristol, R.I.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — On Wednesday, Aug. 30, Brown University proposed a path forward toward an agreement with the Pokanoket tribe, which established an encampment on Brown-owned property in Bristol, R.I., on Sunday, Aug. 20. On Thursday, Aug. 31, the Pokanokets refused the proposed path forward.

Brown issued the following statement at approximately 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31. Previous Brown statements related to the encampment can be viewed here.

Brown Statement on Proposed Path Forward with the Pokanoket

Brown University is committed to a respectful process that resolves the Pokanoket encampment and addresses the future stewardship, conservation, preservation and sustainable access to the Haffenreffer / Mt. Hope property in Bristol, Rhode Island. Toward this end, the University has proposed a plan that respects the interests of the Pokanokets, as well as the interests of the multiple Native peoples with historical connections to Brown’s property.

The University is deeply concerned and saddened that this plan — as well as all efforts and entreaties to work toward an inclusive resolution — has been refused by the Pokanoket, based on their contention that other Native tribes do not have a legitimate interest in or a connection with this land.

The Pokanokets established their encampment on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017. Representatives from Brown met with the Pokanoket leadership on Tuesday, Aug. 22, and were presented with documents that demanded that the University grant them exclusive ownership of the Brown-owned Mt. Hope property. These documents had not been previously sent to Brown, and the Pokanokets have acknowledged publicly that Brown had no previous knowledge of their efforts to work with the State of Rhode Island to secure title to the land. Brown has record title to and ownership of the land, which was donated to the University by the Haffenreffer family beginning in the 1950s. It houses a museum, research center and nature preserve.

The University met again with the Pokanoket leaders on Aug. 28 to better understand their concerns. On Aug. 30, the University presented the Pokanokets with a “Path Forward Principles and Parameters” document. It outlines a proposed process to develop and implement a plan for the Brown property in Bristol that ensures conservation, preservation and sustainable access to Native tribes with ties to the property.

Key aspects of the plan include the following:

  • “a consultative process … that respects the historical interests of the various Native peoples related to this land”;
  • “conservation and preservation of, and sustainable access to, the historically significant and sacred sites on the property in a manner that is beneficial and respectful to the Native peoples that are related to this land, to the University, and to other stakeholders”;
  • “consultation and engagement with all Native peoples with an interest and stake in the past, present and future of the Bristol property,” consistent with principles of open access to Native peoples;
  • “a thorough cultural and environmental resource survey, including oral history, geographical information, and archeological and historical research, of the Bristol property;”
  • development of “consensus recommendations for the future of the property”;
  • Brown’s commitment to provide funding and staff to carry out the process; and
  • an end to the encampment to initiate this process.

Brown is disappointed that the Pokanokets (responding through legal counsel) have asserted that they are not concerned about the claims of other tribes to the land, and that such claims are “totally wrong.” The encamped Pokanokets have proposed another meeting to take place soon, and Brown is committed to further discussions with the hope of reaching agreement about a stewardship approach that is inclusive of the Native peoples that have a historical connection to the Bristol property.

Unfortunately, the modern Pokanoket group refuses to recognize the connection of the other peoples to the land, and that is something Brown does not find ethical or acceptable as owners and stewards of the Bristol property.

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