Funding faculty innovation during good times and hard times

In December, a call for proposals went out to all Lone Star faculty announcing the establishment of the Chancellor's Faculty Technology Innovation Grant (CFTIG). The purpose of this grant is to support pioneering faculty in the development, deployment or implementation of new and emerging technologies into teaching and learning to increase student success. 17 grant proposals were submitted by the various colleges for a total requested amount of $624,082. As exciting as the proposals were in and of themselves, even more so was the collaboration not only between interdisciplinary teams at a single college, but also between faculty members at different colleges. Proposals were due in late January and a committee of both internal and external reviewers evaluated the submissions and recommended three proposals for funding. These finalists then presented their proposals to the committee and all three were selected for funding. Congratulations to all! Here's a brief description of each proposal:

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High Fidelity Simulation: Pathway to Success, Access & Effectiveness Marguerite Tamasy PhD, RN, ACNS, BC (LSC-North Harris) Marinela Castaño MSN, RN (LSC-North Harris)

Whether working on a floor in a hospital, or taking vital signs in a pediatric ICU, every nurse dreads hearing “code” sounded, indicating that some child is in acute distress. In order to prepare for those emergencies, High Fidelity Simulation is a teaching tool that brings such situations to life in a controlled environment. SIM BABY technology in this proposal recreates a host of clinical scenarios that the student, with guidance from senior faculty, must respond to. In fact, research studies suggest that the pedagogy of teaching through simulation is producing better nurses and safer hospital environments. We believe that the dynamics of the nursing profession and the values shared by all of our nursing faculty will lead toward what the authors have proposed, a SIM Center of Excellence, giving even greater access to our students.

Thin Client Virtualization of Desktops
Kim Hubbard, Professor Computer Information Technology (LSC-CyFair) Margaretha Johnson, Professor Computer Information Technology (LSC-Kingwood)

The term "thin client," coined in 1993 by Tim Negris of Oracle, has been defined by HP as... "computing devices that function as an access device on a network" and which "connect over a network to a server where the bulk of the processing takes place." The user has no hard drive and applications are run on the server, not the server technology. In fact, the savings are such that greater resources can be acquired to keep faculty and, consequently, students, on top of current IT trends. This was discovered in a big way by Scottsdale Community College whose savings topped $250K per year. Finally, this technology is poised to become the education IT solution of choice for campuses across the country. This proposal provides LSCS the opportunity to adopt this technology and remain a leader in technology usage.

ITOUCH: Innovative use of Technology at the bedside to improve nursing OUtcomes through the use of handheld technology in Clinical and Hospital settings Licia Clowtis, Professor Associate Degree Nursing (LSC-Montgomery) Gordon Carruth, Professor Computer Information Technology (LSC-Montgomery)

What do Yale, the University of Tennessee, UVA, UT-Austin and Washington State University have in common? The nursing programs at these institutions now require their students to use personal digital assistants (PDAs) as reference tools. Our students’ matriculation through the nursing programs at LSCS certainly requires that, but as this proposal recognizes, the greatest benefit resides in the use of PDAs in the clinical portion of the program. Using video technology to capture the students performing skills correctly in the lab, placing the videos on the students’ personal iTOUCH for viewing at the bedside will increase self-efficacy as they receive the reinforcement of the correct procedure as well as a reminder that they have mastered the skill. The iterations of skills that a nurse must review to gain this mastery can be virtually limitless through this technology; of special import are reinforcements in patient care, drug-drug interactions, medical complications, and on and on. Perhaps however the greatest benefit (aside from the object of all nursing care: better patient care) will be the personal satisfaction of the individual student as s/he pursues their profession and the increased retention of these students.

Front row, Left to Right: Marguerite Tamasy, Marinela Castano, Kim Hubbard, John O’Malley, Licia Clowtis, Gordon Carruth
Back row, Left to Right: Butch Juelg, Marian Burkhart, Mario Berry, Shah Ardalan, Oscar Ramos