FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 14, 2002
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
EDITOR'S NOTE: EMU will be sending you interesting story leads on a regular basis. For further information, contact either Ward Mullens or the indicated EMU expert. Go to the public information site at www.emich.edu for more tips and story ideas.
EMU MUSIC THERAPISTS BREAK THROUGH THE BARRIERS OF TRADITIONAL THERAPIES
When Edan Kutella was barely 24 hours old, her parents heard two terms that
would become lifelong companions, Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome and Music Therapy.
A geneticist used Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome to explain the Down Syndrome-like
condition affecting Edan, and told them Edan would be very sociable, be drawn
to water and learn best through music therapy.
"All I could think was, 'You don't know my daughter, and what she'll be
like in the years ahead,' but the words music therapy stuck," says Edan's
mother, Trina Kutella.
Within the first hour of Edan's first music therapy consultation with a music
therapist from Eastern Michigan University, the Kutellas saw Edan "begin
to emerge," said Kutella. "More than any other medium, music bridges
the gap between Edan's world and our world."
Today, many parents with special needs babies are learning how music therapy
can help their children thanks to music therapy professor Michael G. McGuire,
his staff and hundreds of practicing alumni. In the middle of a year-long celebration
of the program's 25th anniversary, McGuire stops to reflect on the success of
the program: "Every music therapist has stories like the Kutellas to share.
It's a gratifying field."
Contact: Michael G. McGuire, director, music therapy
Phone: 734.487.0292, Email: Michael.McGuire@emich.edu
Hours Available: 11 a.m. to noon, M-TH
EMU OFFERS COURSE TO TRAIN OFFICIAL WEATHER SPOTTERS
"We save lives and property," said EMU's Carl Ojala, professor of
geography. Over the years, Ojala has trained more than 300 weather spotters
through the free, severe weather 2002 SKYWARN Spotter Training courses in Washtenaw
County. The first course this year is
scheduled March 6 at Saline Middle School, Saline, Mich.
Ojala trains participants in severe weather identification and reporting procedures.
Upon course completion, participants are issued identification codes that qualify
them to be weather spotters in Washtenaw County. They report any severe weather
conditions in the area such as tornados, hail, lightning, or flash floods.
"Radar only identifies conditions under which it's possible for a tornado
to develop," said Ojala. "Spotters are the eyes or ground troops for
radar people. These people know what they're talking about."
Contact: Carl Ojala, EMU professor of geography
Phone: 734.487.7586 (office),
Hours Available: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., M-F
EMU PROFESSOR STUDIES BISHOP SHEEN'S TV SUCCESS
"He was a great intellect, didn't ask for money and avoided preaching
a Catholic dogma,"
said Mary Ann Watson, EMU's professor of telecommunications and film. In the 1950s, Bishop
Fulton J. Sheen gained a wide following through appearances on his television program, 'Life is
It was low-key, moderate in its doctrine and based on human-interest topics,
parenthood and honesty, which appealed to many people, she explained.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Bishop Sheen
s television debut.
Watson said his impact was so widespread that EMU
s Michigan Professor
of the Year, Bernard O
Connor, was inspired to become a priest; and actor
Martin Sheen, a devote Catholic, personally asked the bishop
to adopt the Sheen name.
Watson, who chairs the Editorial Board of Television Quarterly, the official
journal of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, has researched
the impact of Bishop Sheen
s television career and has written a history
of television, Defining Visions: Television and the American Experience
Contact: Mary Ann Watson, professor of telecommunications and film
Phone: 734.487.0064 (office), 734.665.9417 (home)
Hours Available: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. MWF (office)
5 p.m. to 9 p.m. M-F (home)
EXERCISES HELP MINIMIZE EFFECTS OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Tremors, rigidity, slow movements, balance and gait disturbances are symptoms
of Parkinson's disease. EMU's Shel Levine, assistant professor of clinical exercise
physiology and coordinator of the exercise science program, said exercise can
tone muscles and help prevent the disease from getting worse.
"Many people with Parkinson's disease complain they don't have the strength
to get out of a chair," said Levine. "These exercises are important
to improving their quality of life."
The disease, which affects more than one million Americans, is a chronic progressive
degeneration of nerve cells that produce dopamine, a chemical that helps the
brain control movement and balance.
Levine has master's degrees in health administration and exercise physiology.
His bachelor's degree is in pharmacology and he is certified by the American
College of Sports Medicine as a preventive and rehabilitative exercise specialist.
Contact: Shel Levine, assistant professor of clinical exercise physiology
and coordinator of the exercise science program
Phone: 734.487.7120, ext. 2713
Hours Available: 9 a.m. to noon, M, W
# # #