Alumni e-News

September 2010

The Newsletter for RU Alumni & Friends

RU Partners with Carilion, Jefferson College of Health Sciences
for Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Radford University, Carilion Clinic and the Jefferson College of Health Sciences have announced that RU will base its new Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program on the campus of the Jefferson College in downtown Roanoke. The DPT program, considered one of the most sought-after graduate programs in the health sciences, is expected to begin training its first cohort of students in June 2011.

“This collaboration with Carilion Clinic and the Jefferson College of Health Sciences will enable Radford University to address a critical need in southwest and southside Virginia and an important need in American healthcare,” said Radford University President Penelope W. Kyle. “We are excited about this partnership and we are very pleased to play a larger role in a very significant health professions center.”

Radford University’s Waldron College of Health and Human Services is home to three of the new graduate programs in the clinical healthcare fields that Radford University has established over the past several years. The university’s new Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) enrolled its charter class in Fall 2010. The college also launched a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program last Fall.

Radford University, Jefferson College and Carilion Clinic have a long history of working together in health professions education, and the new collaboration will set the stage for future opportunities to collaborate. This new partnership will enable Radford to share space, services and resources, and position RU’s growing academic portfolio in the health sciences in the midst of a rapidly developing regional healthcare center.

“This collaboration further enhances the growing health professions and medical education establishment in the Roanoke Valley, as well as creates another important link with the New River Valley,” said Carilion Clinic Chief Operating Officer Nancy Howell Agee. “It will also be a catalyst for future joint ventures, and we look forward to exploring those possibilities.”

Private support has played an important role in Radford University’s ability to establish the new program, according to Kyle. A $500,000 gift from Medical Facilities of America played a critical role in the initiative, and Pennsylvania-based Genesis Rehab also provided $100,000 in financial support.

"Medical Facilities of America is a Roanoke-based operator of skilled nursing facilities in Virginia and North Carolina, with significant presence in the Roanoke Valley,” said William Fralin, CEO and President of Medical Facilities of America. “MFA's mission is to provide intensive rehabilitation services on an inpatient basis. We are proud of our part in this effort to provide the Commonwealth with additional highly skilled professionals in the field."

Physical therapists design and implement clinical services that restore function, regain movement, alleviate pain, and prevent injury. Electrical, thermal, and mechanical devices are often used in conjunction with specific motion or traction to facilitate recovery. They work closely with other healthcare professionals including physicians, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, social workers, educators, nutritionists, and nurses to enhance the quality of life.

Experts predict demand for physical therapists will grow substantially in the years ahead for a variety of reasons. The U.S. Administration on Aging has projected a 20% increase in the population over the age of 65 – or approximately 70 million elderly citizens by 2030. The nation’s growing geriatric population will need professional care to restore function, regain movement, prevent injury, and alleviate aging-associated discomfort. In southwest Virginia, about 18% of the population is 65 or older, which makes the region one of the “oldest” in the Commonwealth. Sports-related injuries, automobile accidents, and military trauma are other factors behind the need for more and better-trained physical therapists.

“The academic home for this program will remain on the campus of Radford University,” said Kyle. “However, the opportunity to locate this program in close proximity to the Jefferson College, Carilion Clinic, and the Virginia Tech-Carilion School of Medicine makes a lot of sense for Radford University and for southwest and southside Virginia.”

Basing the program in Roanoke will provide a more convenient location for the healthcare professionals expected to enroll in the program because this location enables students to access more caseloads and work with patients in the Carilion Clinic’s hospital system. It will also foster intellectual exchange with Carilion physicians, scientists, and teachers involved with their hospitals, in the Jefferson College, and in the Virginia Tech-Carilion School of Medicine. It will also help relieve pressing academic space shortages on the Radford University campus.

As part of the agreement, Radford will lease approximately 7,900 square feet of space on the Jefferson College of Health Sciences campus, including classrooms and labs, offices, student lounge and lockers, conference areas and other spaces.

The majority of the 25 students expected to enter the program each year will enter with a baccalaureate degree concentrating in the basic sciences, according to Dr. Raymond Linville, dean of the Waldron College of Health and Human Services. At full enrollment, the program will enroll 75 students. The DPT program will require 36 months of concentrated study, the curriculum will include 120 credit hours, and the program will emphasize an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach towards healthcare.

The DPT, as compared to the Ph.D., is a practice-oriented doctoral program that educates practitioners as opposed to teachers and researchers. The DPT degree programs are practitioner/scholar models with an emphasis on clinical education and the application of research to clinical practice. RU’s DPT degree is designed specifically for students interested in a professional career within rehabilitation settings and institutions where clinical supervision, as well as the direct application of therapy and assessments, is mandated by licensure regulations.


Radford University Board of Visitors Selects New Rector, Vice Rector

The Radford University Board of Visitors.
Seated, left to right, are Cora S. Salzberg, Stephen A. Musselwhite (rector), and Mark R. Pace (vice rector); middle row standing, left to right, are Wendy S. Tepper, Kay K. Jordan (faculty representative), Walter F. Rugaber, Stephan Q. Cassaday, Milton C. Johns, and Nancy H. Agee; third row standing, left to right, are Randi L. Randall (student representative), Thomas E. Fraim, Nancy E. Artis, J. Brandon Bell, and Linda K. Whitley-Taylor. Not pictured are Matthew B. Crisp, Darius A. Johnson, and Ronald R. Wesley.

The Radford University Board of Visitors met September 15-17, 2010.

Actions taken by the board:

  • Elected Stephen A. Musselwhite of Vinton, Va., president of Musselwhite and Associates, Inc., and Wolf Creek Associates, Inc., as rector of the Board of Visitors and Mark Pace, of Roanoke, Va., president of E. C. Pace Company, Inc., as vice rector. Read More.
  • Approved the university’s projected operating revenue budget of $166.3 million and a projected expenditures budget of $157,177,832 for FY 2010-2011. A portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus funding) will be carried forward to FY 2011-12 from this year’s revenue budget to help buffer losses in state general fund support totaling more than $16 million.
  • Approved a revision to the Radford University Procedures Governing Intellectual Property (IP) Transfers to ensure “best practices” that provides faculty with improved guidance and greater clarity on processes for protecting IP.
  • Approved a motion to change the name of Powell Hall, a portion of an academic building in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and rename the entire building Porterfield Hall. The two building components were originally designed as a single building with supporting functions and sequential room numbering.

President Penelope W. Kyle reported:

  • May Centennial commencement attracted 10,000 guests amidst “sea of red.”
  • The Governor’s Schools in the Humanities and in the Visual and Performing Arts were conducted and hosted by RU this summer and were a terrific success. These Governor’s Schools are scheduled to continue for the next two years on the Radford University campus.
  • RU Dining Services one of five Virginia universities awarded “Virginia Green” status by Department of Environmental Quality.
  • Radford continues rise in U.S. News and World Report “Best Colleges” rankings.
  • Doctorate in Nursing Practice program successfully launched Fall 2010.
  • DPT Program to be based in Roanoke with Carilion Clinic and the Jefferson College Health Sciences.
  • RU student-athletes are earning honors on the court and field and in the classroom.
  • Discussed Virginia Business Higher Education Council actions in support of higher education.
  • Discussed Virginia Grow by Degrees Program and encouraged board members to actively support the initiative.
  • Capital construction and renovation update:
  • Jefferson and Madison residence halls are well under way with renovation and scheduled to open in Fall 2011.
  • College of Business and Economics building under construction; slated for opening Fall 2012.
  • Fitness and Wellness Center building committee meets next week to determine site selection for new building.
  • College of Science Dean Orion Rogers and faculty building committee members have conducted site visits at other universities and are well underway in design and conception.

Additional information presented to the board:

  • Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joe Scartelli and Vice President for Finance and Administration Richard Alvarez presented a seven-year strategic financial outlook for the university.
  • Official census reports 9,007 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled for the 2010-2011 academic year, with new student enrollment surpassing last year’s enrollment by 24 percent.
  • Vice President for Student Affairs Mark Shanley reported a successful fall move-in and opening experience, described RU’s leadership role with the number of student-athletes on the Big South Conference “Presidential Honor Roll,” and announced the creation of a campus-wide “think-tank” program on the future of student affairs.
  • Received a report on the status of the university’s search for a Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Search firm Archer-Martin Associates was hired to assist in the university search and the committee is expected to conclude the search in March 2010.
  • SGA President Randi-Lyn Randall discussed student perspectives on campus issues such as parking, campus services and campus programming.
  • Faculty Senate President Kay Jordan described a very positive climate on campus, expressed concern about faculty salary parity issues with peer institutions, and discussed strategic planning, internal governance and SACS re-accreditation.
  • Vice President for Advancement Cathy Greenberg reported that the university received more than $3 million in private support during the July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010 fiscal year, exceeding the goal by 22%.
  • The next meeting date was scheduled for November 11 and 12, 2010, at Radford University.

RU Moves Up in Annual U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Radford University continues its rise in the U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings. Moving from 51st in 2005 to 38th in 2011 among public and private universities in its category, RU has also been named one of the top 20 public regional universities in the south for the seventh straight year, moving from 15th last year to 14th this year in the rankings.

We’re pleased that Radford University continues to receive recognition as one of the top universities in our region and in the nation,” said Radford University President Penelope W. Kyle. “Our faculty, staff, and students have been working diligently, and we are delighted that their efforts have been recognized once again this year. This year’s ranking provides yet another measure of the quality of Radford University,” said Kyle. “We are very proud of who we are and what we do.”

Radford University Recognized for African-American Student Graduation Rate

Radford University has been recognized for having one of the smallest gaps between the graduation rates of African-American and white students of all public colleges and universities in the nation.

A report released by The Education Trust has determined that Radford University ranks 19th overall in the nation, with about 60 percent of its African-American students and 58 percent of its white students graduating within the federally-described six-year graduation time-frame.

The study determined that the nation’s average graduation rate for black students lags about 20 percent behind the average graduation rate for white students.

“I think this study validates our ongoing efforts to provide all of our students with a welcoming and productive campus environment,” said President Penelope W. Kyle. “From personalized instructional experiences to student life, we work hard to offer the kinds of programs and opportunities that promote student success and achievement. We’re very pleased to see these results.”

The Education Trust study examined 293 public and 163 private four-year colleges and universities. The graduation rates in the study were compiled from federal data and represented three-year averages taken from 2006-2008. Historically Black Colleges and Universities and for-profit institutions were excluded from the study, which was entitled “Big Gaps, Small Gaps: Some Colleges and Universities Do Better Than Others in Graduating African-American Students.

Other Virginia schools identified in the study as having one of the smallest gaps in the nation were Old Dominion University, George Mason University and Christopher Newport University.

The Education Trust is a Washington, D.C. based organization that works to create educational achievement for all students from kindergarten through college.

Radford University Welcomes First Doctorate of Nursing Practice Students

A new type of nursing student set foot on the campus of Radford University this week—one of the few times they will do so.

On Thursday, Sept. 2, Radford University welcomed its inaugural class of Doctorate of Nursing Practice students for their day-long orientation. The program is the first of its kind in the Commonwealth of Virginia to be offered in an online distance-learning format and to be offered to both post-baccalaureate and post-master's degree nursing students.

The program will prepare individuals who already hold bachelor’s degrees and/or master’s degrees in nursing as advanced practice nurses. The students will complete their clinical rotations in their home regions to allow them to keep caring for their patients.

Radford University President Penelope W. Kyle congratulated the class on their historical role at the university and commended them for rising to meet the growing medical needs of society.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts about 233,000 additional jobs will open for registered nurses each year through 2016, on top of about 2.5 million existing positions.

“The need for well-educated nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists is high, especially in rural areas” said Kim Carter, director of the university’s School of Nursing. “We are not only providing these students with a high-quality education, but we are producing healthcare providers for patients who need them the most.”

The DNP degree is one of three doctoral programs at RU. It joins the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree in counseling psychology, which admitted its first class of students in the fall of 2008, and the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.


South African Radford University Graduate Student Awarded
International Peace Scholarship

Oratile MalapileFor the second consecutive year, a Radford University graduate student has received the P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship. Oratile Malapile, a married mother of three pursuing her master’s degree in corporate and professional communication, is the 2010-2011 recipient.

“I feel blessed," said Malapile. "The scholarship came at the right time.”

Established in 1949, the P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship (IPS) Fund provides $10,000 scholarships each year for international female full-time students to pursue their graduate study in the United States and Canada. To date, P.E.O. has awarded more than $25 million in IPS opportunities.

“I feel privileged to be awarded this scholarship, particularly being the second person from RU," said Malapile. Last year’s recipient, Anthonia Anamege of Nigeria, was also a student in the corporate and professional communication program.

Having back-to-back IPS awards means the academic reputation of Radford’s graduate programs is not only growing at home, but also gaining international attention and attracting high caliber talent, said Adrien DeLoach, director of the RU Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

“Two students from the same institution achieving the same honor, but originally from two different nations, says that the common denominator is the institution which they attend,” said DeLoach. “I think that is a direct correlation to the faculty and the level of excellence they expect from the graduate students here at Radford.”

Malapile credits instructors William Kennan, Lynn Zoch, and Kristin Froemling for having a positive impact on her throughout her studies. Her long term goal is to start a communication consulting company, with a short term plan of serving as a consultant with several organizations in South Africa.


Teamwork, Experience and Planning Create Successful Move-in

Radford University students learn a lot about teamwork during their time on campus and it starts early. If they took a moment to look around during RU’s Fall “move-in” on Friday, August 27, they saw examples everywhere.

Members from throughout the RU community came together to make the “move-in” go as smoothly as possible. Residential Life staff wearing red Radford University polo shirts worked the check-in tables as members of Greek organizations and athletic teams volunteered to help families tote everything from flat screen TV’s to cases of granola bars into residence hall rooms. Dining services staff kept “hydration stations” stocked with plenty of cold water as the bright summer sun beat down on the crowds.

By the time classes began on Monday at 8 a.m., around 3,000 students had been checked-in, moved-in, and settled-in.

“Everything seemed to happen according to plan,” noted RU’s new Vice President for Student Affairs Mark Shanley, who reported for duty this August and has participated in dozens of similar events on other campuses. "What struck me in particular was the friendly assistance provided by faculty and staff across the campus - from facilities, campus police, dining, student affairs, and other folks. The two wheel trollies provided to the families were a huge hit with parents! As an informed participant/observer, I would give the campus an 'A+'."

Whether providing beverages and hot dogs to thirsty and hungry families, offering “car-to-door” transportation services via a RU golf cart, or taking care of a last-minute door-lock issue, faculty, staff, and administration were on hand to do whatever was necessary.

Everybody works move-in day,” said Facilities Management and Operations Director Jorge Coartney, who estimated that 160-170 people from his group and Planning and Construction teamed up on the effort. Plumbers, electricians and carpenters are engaged, as are about a dozen others who volunteer to cruise campus in utility vehicles solving every problem they encounter.

Parents and students all seemed pleased with the process. Wrote one grateful Mom in a Facebook post on the university’s site: “Moved our son back yesterday. It was the best move-in we have ever done. We want to thank all those at Radford U that helped us.”

Among the many golf carts zipping around campus was one with a driver clad in red, smiling brightly and calling out a cheerful hello to everyone she passed. RU President Penny Kyle and her daughter Patricia Lee were out helping students and parents transport their belongings from their cars to their new homes in the residence halls.

“As president, this is one of my favorite days of the year,” said Kyle. “I love watching our campus return to life. However, as a mother who has moved two children to college, I also understand how hectic and exhausting it can be. I hope we were able to make that process a little easier for some of those families today.”

If student reactions are any indication of Kyle’s goal, mission accomplished. “I am so excited!” exclaimed one new freshman as she completed check-in. “Everything here has been great so far.”

For even more pictures from move-in day, see our gallery on Facebook.