23 Apr

WVU Tech Nursing Alumna Lt. Erica Hanshew was featured in a top story for military news outlet U.S. Air Forces Central Command regarding her work with the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. The article shares how the Squadron is critical for the service members and Coalition forces around Afghanistan. Read the full story from the U.S. Air Forces Central Command below.

US Air Force 1st Lt Erica Hanshew

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Erica Hanshew, Lt. Col. Barb Marshall and Tech. Sgt. Troy Baker of the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, look at the medical info for a patient about to be loaded at Herat, Afghanistan, April 3, 2014. The three are part of a team deployed to Bagram from the West Virginia Air National Guard.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Gary J. Rihn/Released)

Air Evac mission critical for patients in Afghanistan
by Senior Master Sgt. Gary J. Rihn

4/13/2014 – BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan —When Service members and Coalition forces around Afghanistan get injured or fall ill, they sometimes require air transport to a higher level of medical care than is available at their location.

That’s when they rely on the men and women of the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron out of Bagram Airfield to transport them.

“We’re here when they get hurt, we offer a smiling face, we provide them comfort, we get them safely to a higher level of care and ultimately get them home,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Erica Hanshew, an Intensive Care nurse deployed from the West Virginia Air National Guard’s 167th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at the 130th Airlift Wing. Hanshew began her military career as an Army medic before becoming a nurse and transferring to the Air Force.

A typical AE team consists of five personnel: two nurses and three medical technicians. The medical technicians are certified to provide care up to an intensive Care level. The nurses assess vitals and consult with the medical personnel that provided initial care, establishing baselines while on the ground, and then monitor for changes during the flight, adjusting care and administering medications as needed for routine, urgent and priority patients that need to be transported in a certain amount of time.

Oftentimes this means that missions are changed at the last minute to divert to a patient needing more immediate transport.

“Sometimes the mission doesn’t go the way we originally expected, so we make adjustments and do what we need to do to take care of our patients,” said Maj. Jacob Lin, a Critical Care Air Transport Team physician deployed from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

To transport the patients, the team loads airworthy medical equipment and configures a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. They outfit it with a system to support patient litters, and then load frequency converters, oxygen, respirators, monitors, medications, bandages and patient comfort items allowing them to perform a wide range of critical intervention in-flight.

“Basically, if you can ask ‘What if?’, we bring something to cover it so that we can interdict that problem in flight,” said Capt. Jason Melvin, a Critical Care Air Transport Team nurse deployed from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

The CCATT works in concert with the Aeromedical Evacuation team, supporting the more critically injured patients. Many times those patients are intubated or on respirators, requiring the skills of a specialized respiratory therapist, who manages the respirator and monitors blood gas levels. The CCATT team members undergo rigorous training, followed by a training period at the University of Cincinnati hospital where they undergo intensive and simulated scenarios to validate their skills and are judged by their peers. They also undergo recertification every two years or before every deployment.

“They ultimately decide if you’re good enough to go out on missions and treat our heroes,” said Melvin.

Lt. Col. Barb Marshall is a flight nurse who heads an AE team. She came into the Air Force as a nurse, and then returned to school to become a nurse practitioner. She is currently working at the Veterans Administration hospital in Huntington, W. Va., when not actively engaged with the West Virginia Air Guard.

“Taking care of the ill and wounded warriors is priority #1 here. These guys and gals are so concerned about their buddies; they don’t want to give up the fight. It’s all about perspective; they’re out in the battles together,” said Marshall.

The teams spend a lot of time preparing and training, knowing that every mission can be critical to saving lives. If the AE team can get to a patient and transport them back to Craig Joint Theater Hospital at Bagram, those patients have a 99.5% survival rate.

“When you’re sick or hurt, all you want to do is get home. The men and women on the ground know that we can get them out, and that helps a lot,” said Tech. Sgt. Troy Baker, a medical technician from the 167th AES on his fourth deployment.

In addition to service members, the AE teams are sometimes called upon to provide transport to others as well. They recently evacuated a media reporter in Afghanistan to cover their national elections who was shot by an Afghan police officer. They were able to return her to a higher level care hospital, then ultimately to Germany where she was able to be returned to her home country for continuing care.

They also were able to coordinate with the 379th Blood Support Detachment and the 774th EAS for transport to provide emergency blood supplies to Forward Operating Base Shank on Election Day. Shank had exhausted their supply, so called on the AE team to provide relief in the form of a much needed blood supply, which directly resulted in saving the lives of three Afghan civilians who were critically wounded in an attack while voting.

Source: U.S. Air Forces Central Command

23 Apr

WVU Tech alumna Tristan Martin was recognized last week by the CAMC Health System as a DAISY Awardee, an honor for nurses that exemplify clinical skill and compassion.


In the photo: L-R, Ron Moore, CNO; Kristen Bowles, Labor and Delivery, Women and Children’s; Barbara Knapp, 4 South Memorial; Tracy McDonald, 7 South General; and Tristan Martin, STICU General. Winners not pictured: Natalie Goodyear, Labor and Delivery, Women and Children’s; and Sarah Vasquez, 5 West Memorial.

SOURCE: CAMC Health Systems

21 Apr

WVU Tech Students Observe Passover Seder

Zachary | April 21st, 2014

On Monday, April 14, nearly 30 WVU Tech students, faculty and staff met with WVU Tech student Dan Eisenberg and his family to observe a Passover Seder in the Vining Library.

A Jewish ritual feast, the Seder signifies the beginning of Passover and retells the story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt. The feast was both a sacred observance for the Eisenberg family and a learning opportunity for students in WVU Tech’s World Religions sociology course.

The evening course is taught by WVU Tech sociology professor, Dr. Janis Rezek, and features weekly guest speakers and subject experts on religions such as Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Bahaism, and Christianity. The class has observed a variety of religious rites over the years, including a Ramadan fast-breaking ceremony and a Native American beading ritual. Monday’s Passover Seder was a first for the group.

“My hope for the class is that they realize the importance of respecting all diversity, including religious diversity,” said Dr. Rezek. “The Passover Seder was a unique opportunity for students to experience a religious ritual and sacred event firsthand. We’re grateful to Daniel and his family for allowing us to share in this wonderful experience.”

As members of a sect within Messianic Judaism, the Eisenberg’s Passover Seder incorporated elements of both Judaism and Christianity, demonstrating the diversity that occurs even within a particular religion. Led by Dan’s father, the Seder featured traditional foods eaten from a Seder plate, readings from a specially prepared Seder text and a meal of lamb, chicken, vegetables and matza.

For Eisenberg, sharing the feast with his fellow students was a positive experience.

“It went very well, and the students and staff that attended were interested and engaged,” he said. “I want to thank the World Religions class, Dr. Rezek, WVU Tech and WVU Tech Dining Services for inviting us to share the Passover Seder. It was a very memorable experience for me and my family.”

17 Apr

Dean of Students, SGA Honor Golden Bears

Zachary | April 17th, 2014

On Wednesday, April 16, the WVU Tech Student Government Association (SGA) and the office of Student Affairs teamed up to honor members of the Golden Bear community at the second-annual Dean of Students and SGA Awards.

The awards recognize members of the WVU Tech community for their active participation in campus life and their contributions to the overall well-being of WVU Tech.

“I am finishing my fifth year as the Dean of Students at WVU Tech, and I am thrilled by the improvement in the quality of campus life that has occurred during that time,” said WVU Tech Dean of Students Richard Carpinelli. “I am equally thrilled that we can come together tonight to honor some of the best and brightest on our campus.”

WVU Tech students Rami Shamout, Chedli Ben-Hassine and Angel Thompson were each honored with the Dean of Students Outstanding Student Leader award for their participation in student organizations and positive influence on the student body.

The WVU Tech chapter of the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority and the WVU Tech chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) were awarded Dean of Students Outstanding Student Organization awards for their contributions to the campus community.

The SGA also recognized WVU Tech employees who have made a significant impact on students. WVU Tech Resident Director Emily Sands was awarded the Outstanding Student Organization Advisor award and Cantrell Miller, Director of Career Services, received the Outstanding Golden Bear award.

“The ceremony is a great opportunity to provide recognition to those outstanding individuals who have given time and demonstrated leadership to the student body,” said SGA President Amy Haddix.

The reception also featured the announcement of SGA election winners. Amy Haddix was re-elected SGA President; Rob Leibel SGA Vice President; and Joel Kauakau, Sydnie Gray, Tavon Johnson, John Swain, Janet Cunningham and Angel Thompson SGA Senators.

Congratulations to all of the honorees. Your dedication and leadership are the reason we truly have such infinite possibilities at WVU Tech.

16 Apr

WVU Tech Students Paddle into Spring

Zachary | April 16th, 2014

Last weekend, WVU Tech students paddled their way into spring as they took on world-class whitewater rapids in West Virginia’s New River Gorge on Saturday, April 12.

Hosted by the Student Activities Board (SAB) and guided by West Virginia Adventures Whitewater Rafting, 22 students suited up and took to the river as they made their way towards the iconic New River Gorge Bridge.

Along the way, guides shared information about historical sites along the river’s banks and students took breaks from paddling to swim in the calmer sections of the river.

“The guides made the experience ten times better,” said WVU Tech student and first-time rafter, Sydney Schaeffer. “They told us everything we needed to know to be safe and to have a good time. It was a complete adrenaline rush and the weather was perfect.”

The event was one of the outdoor trips SAB plans each fall and spring semester. The group setting allows students to experience recreational activities they may not otherwise consider.

“These trips bring students together to try new things and discover the natural beauty West Virginia is known for,” said WVU Tech Resident Director, Emily Sands.

Though the trip is over, and the semester is winding down, the SAB still has a few springtime activities planned.

The Spring Fling kicks off on Tuesday, April 22 from 4 – 7 p.m. on the green space between Maclin and Ratliff residence halls. That same evening, the SAB will be showing The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug for Movie and Munchies at 8 p.m.

For more information and photos from the rafting trip, check out SAB’s Facebook and Twitter.

[Photos by West Virginia Adventures]

15 Apr

Student Ambassadors, True Golden Bears

Zachary | April 15th, 2014

Student ambassadors are a rare breed – on top of balancing school, work and life, they take extra time to show interested students what being a Golden Bear has to offer, and their efforts are invaluable to securing the future of WVU Tech.

Student ambassadors meet with prospective students, offering private tours and working with large groups during campus visits or open house events such as Blue and Gold Day. They interact with future students and their families to provide a firsthand view of student life.

“Being a Student Ambassador is great way to represent WVU Tech. You are the first person future students meet, and the best person to answer questions about our academic programs, living on campus, student activities and being a golden bear,” said WVU Tech Admissions Counselor, Alaina Moore.

WVU Tech currently has 15 student ambassadors.

“That so many of our students want to serve as campus ambassadors speaks so highly of the tight-knit, caring community that exists at WVU Tech,” said Dean of Students Richard Carpinelli.

In addition to their ambassadorial duties, WVU Tech’s current ambassadors are involved in student and Greek organizations, play varsity athletics, serve as resident assistants, work at WVU Tech Dining Services, tutor students at the Student Success Center, contribute to the Tech Collegian school newspaper and participate in the Student Government Association.

“Our ambassadors represent WVU Tech in a positive and professional manner, and I know with their leadership and dedication that this program will become even stronger in the years to come,” said Moore.

Admissions is currently interviewing for next year’s student ambassadors. Students who are interested in becoming an ambassador can contact Moore directly or call Admissions at 304-442-3146.

WVU Tech Student Ambassadors:

Adric Armstrong-Smith – Aerospace Engineering
Angelica Harrah – Information Systems
Breigh Renner – Chemical Engineering
Chedli Ben Hassine – Business Management
Craig Mitchell – Biology
Deonte’ Hill – Aerospace Engineering
Felipe Sozinho – Electrical Engineering
Jackie Galloway – Computer Engineering
Janet Cunningham – Biology
Jennifer Lyons – Electrical Engineering
Jon Ball – Mechanical Engineering
Robert Leibel – Undecided
Scotty Stone – History and Government
Sebastian Cousin – Mechanical Engineering
Sydney Schaeffer – Business Management

14 Apr

In early April, West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) student W. Blake Engels traveled to Bridgeport, Connecticut to showcase his research at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference at the University of Bridgeport. He didn’t come home empty-handed.

A mechanical engineering student at WVU Tech, Engels won third place in the undergraduate student paper competition for his paper, “Principal and Preliminary Calculation of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion,” a study on an energy production method known as Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC).

“OTEC is a renewable energy source that does not involve the use of fossil fuels,” said Engels. “Essentially, it works by employing an ocean’s natural thermal reservoir to produce work.”

The paper was written as part of an Applied Thermodynamics course taught by WVU Tech professor Dr. Farshid Zabihian last fall. Dr. Zabihian’s courses require students to complete a research project, and the professor encourages students to showcase those projects whenever possible.

“Dr. Zabihian is good about pushing his students to conduct research and attend engineering conferences. He encouraged me to go to this conference and it was a great experience,” Engels said. “Through his influence, students feel empowered to share their work.”

Of the 230 research papers submitted to the conference, WVU Tech students provided 13 papers on topics ranging from small-scale water turbines and natural gas compressor efficiency to electric motorcycles and spaceflight design. WVU Tech papers received two nominations, including Engels’ third-place finish.

For Engels, the trip north was worth the chance to represent WVU Tech and meet with other engineering students.

“For me, this was a great accomplishment. Engineering school is consistently difficult and challenging. If you keep your eye on the ball and work hard, success will be a side effect,” he said.

Engels plans to continue his research on OTEC and is considering summer research projects to take on as he prepares to enter his senior year at WVU Tech.

10 Apr

The WVU Tech International Student Organization (ISO) will bring the campus community together to share meals from around the world as they host the annual ISO dinner on Thursday, April 17 from 4 – 6 p.m. in the Bears Den.

The event will feature 13 dishes from nine different countries. Students will prepare the meals themselves, introducing dishes such as Brazilian pao de queijo (cheese rolls), Scottish shortbread, Spanish paella, Australian Anzac biscuits, Venezuelan arepa (flat bread) or Virgin Island pea soup. The ISO will also ornament the Bears Den in international decorations and attendees can win prizes by participating in trivia and other activities.

ISO President Joe Jackson said the popular event is an experience both new and nostalgic.

“It reminds international students of the dishes they are familiar with in their home country and it provides a unique taste of different cultures for students who attend the dinner. It’s a big fan favorite and allows students to share a little bit of home,” he said.

In previous years, the ISO hosted the meal in the WVU Tech Ballroom. Bringing the event to the Bears Den will give the group an opportunity to serve more students.

“We hope that by putting on the dinner, students, faculty and staff will be able to have a more global experience,” said WVU Tech Resident Director Michael Sheldon. “It’s one of my favorite events and brings out a lot of students to experience foods and cultures they may not have heard of before.”

The dinner is just one part of International Student Week at WVU Tech. The ISO will team up with the Student Activities Board to show the French film “Amelie” on Tuesday evening and the organization is working on other events throughout the week.

WVU Tech fosters an inclusive, diverse campus and its student body represents more than 20 countries.

9 Apr

Golden Bears Dress for Success

Zachary | April 9th, 2014

On Monday, April 14, WVU Tech students, faculty and staff will show attendees what – and what not – to wear to job interviews in the 2014 Dress for Success Fashion Show.

Student models will receive support from staff mentors in pulling clothing from their own wardrobes to demonstrate appropriate interview attire. Faculty and staff participants will show off “what not to wear” for an interesting and humorous twist to the event.

“We think this event will be a fun and entertaining way to demonstrate some of the “dos and don’ts” of how to dress for success and make a positive impression on future employers,” said WVU Tech Dean of Students Richard Carpinelli.

The show is part of WVU Tech’s effort to provide professional development opportunities that prepare students for the transition into the workforce.

“First impressions are everything,” said WVU Tech criminal justice major, Dan Eisenberg. “If a student can have the means to walk into an interview and make a positive first impression before they open their mouths, that’s powerful.”

Janet Cunningham, a third-year biology major at WVU Tech, has attended a number of professional development events on campus and said the fashion show is a welcome addition.

“This semester, students have had the opportunity to learn about business etiquette and what to expect from a job interview. Learning how to dress the part is just another piece of the puzzle,” she said.

The show kicks off Monday, April 14 at 12:00 p.m. in the Bears Den. Radio personality Morgan Robinson of Electric 102.7’s morning show will serve as emcee.

Dress for Success Fashion Show Participants:

Dean Richard Carpinelli
Paul Rakes
Barb Douglas
Sam Gardner
Matt Williamson
Ranjith Munasinghe
Dean Zeljko Torbica
Stephanie Kot
Ashley Ziegle

Haley Pauley
Dan Eisenberg
Jenn Lyons
Chedli Ben Hassine
Deonte Hill
Sydney Shaffer
Janet Cunningham
Rob Leibel
Amy Haddix

9 Apr

WVU Tech students are participating in a Habitat for Humanity Shack-a-Thon, a week-long fundraising event that exposes students to some of the realities of housing insecurity.

Organized by WVU Tech resident assistants, Zach Carnahan and Dan Eisenberg, Shack-a-Thon is designed to raise cash donations for Habitat for Humanity and increase awareness around homelessness and housing insecurity among students as they spend a week with only some plywood or cardboard between them and the elements.

“In the United States, it is estimated that 48.5 million people are living in poverty and are struggling to find stable housing,” said Carnahan. “We just want to do our part to try to help these people.”

Participating organizations were given eight hours to build their shelters using only scrap wood, cardboard and tarps. Students are allowed no electricity during the event – although there are a few battery-powered radios – and shelters are manned around the clock.

“Of course we’re having some fun during the day or in between classes, but at night, or when it rains, it gets pretty real,” said WVU Tech freshman Robert “Ranger” Patterson. “Having to deal with this every day would be devastating.”

Other groups are chipping in, and local response has been positive. The WVU Tech theatre department donated old set materials that Phi Kappa Tau used to make their shack. A local family stopped by with cookies and spent time speaking with participating students.

Nearly 40 students from Phi Kappa Tau, Sigma Pi, WVU Tech men’s soccer and the WVU Tech wrestling team have participated in the event.

“Since we’re a small school, we thought it might be tough to get organizations to come out and participate. But so far, we’ve had a lot of students committed to the project,” said Eisenberg.

The event raised $40 in its first two days and students will be accepting donations until the closing ceremony on Friday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m.

Check out photos from Shack-a-Thon on the WVU Tech Flickr page.

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