FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 14, 2002
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
Ward.Mullens@emich.edu
734.487.4400



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
Worth Living.'

It was low-key, moderate in its doctrine and based on human-interest topics, such as
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…s permission 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 Since 1945.À

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

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