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GW’s Dino Discoverer


Impact

GREAT MOMENTUM

THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY A MAKING HISTORY PUBLICATION

Dear GW community, Having worked on college campuses my entire career, seeing students and faculty work together throughout the ­ ­semester, both in and outside the classroom, makes you understand and appreciate the life of the university. Meeting many of the 2,000-plus GW graduates back on campus for Alumni Weekend this September brings into focus our great legacy with the shared recognition of the forward momentum experienced since the launch of the Making History Campaign. At the George Washington University, this progress is more than just the $800 million that has been raised toward our $1 billion goal; it is the active change we witness every day in the classroom, on the field, in the lab, and in our community. As GW ramps up for another year of student experiences and discovery through teaching and research, we are reminded that these opportunities are possible because of the passion and dedication of donors like you. Your generous support has changed lives and increased the global stature of the university. As we take stock of the accomplishments of the past several months, we sharpen our focus on why we are all here: to prepare students and support faculty with the tools and the means to better understand and serve the world. Within the pages of your winter issue of Impact, you will learn about the incredible achievements of Ronald Weintraub Professor of Biology James M. Clark (pg. 10), whose research across four continents has resulted in the discovery of new species of dinosaurs and ­other extinct land vertebrates. You will also meet Maen Hammad, ESIA ‘17 (pg. 4)—a global ­advocate for peace, understanding, and acceptance—who is pursuing his dream thanks to a GW donor-funded graduate fellowship. We are also excited for new gifts that hold promise for great things to come: gifts establishing new endowed faculty positions, bolstering student entrepreneur mentorship, and transforming teaching, learning, and scholarship through civic engagement. Please join us in celebrating these achievements and building on our momentum as we continue to move forward. Thank you for your partnership and commitment to GW. Together, we are Making History. GW

EDITOR: W. Gray Turner, MPS ’11 PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY: Steven Knapp VICE PRESIDENT FOR DEVELOPMENT AND ALUMNI RELATIONS AND SECRETARY OF THE UNIVERSITY: Aristide J. Collins Jr. INTERIM SENIOR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS: Matthew Lindsay, MBA ’07 PHOTOGRAPHERS: William Atkins Dave Scavone DESIGN: Michelle Wandres Impact is published by the Division of Development and Alumni Relations, The George Washington University, 2033 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20052. Please send change-of-address notices to us online at alumni.gwu.edu/update, via email to alumrecs@gwu.edu, or by post to Alumni Records, 2033 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20052. Opinions expressed in these pages are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect official positions of the university. The George Washington University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. Cover image: Portia Sloan

Warmest personal regards,

Aristide J. Collins Jr. Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations and Secretary of the University The George Washington University

Impact | WINTER 2015

Do you have questions, comments, or suggestions? Contact us at gwimpact@gwu.edu.


WINTER 2015

CONTENTS FEATURES

10 COVER STORY:

JURASSIC CLARK

16 CRITICAL CONDITIONING DEPARTMENTS

2 NEWS 4 CAMPAIGN PILLARS Support Students Enhance Academics Break New Ground

22 RAISE HIGH FIVE 24 EVENTS ROUNDUP


NEWS

ENDOWED POSITIONS FURTHER ENHANCE GW ACADEMICS A new endowed faculty position was established and three others were installed at GW this fall. In addition to helping develop an Israel Studies program, a grant from The Morningstar Foundation established the Max Ticktin Professorship of Israel Studies. Gifts such as this further the university’s efforts to enhance academics by recruiting top faculty through endowed professorships, illustrated by this fall’s installations: n Ahmed Louri David and Marilyn Karlgaard Professor, School of Engineering and Applied Science n James B. Wade Avram S. Tucker Professor in Strategy and Leadership, School of Business n Patricia S. Latham, CERT ’04, EdD ’15 Frank N. Miller, M.D., Distinguished Teaching Professor, School of Medicine and Health Sciences

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Read more about these faculty positions at go.gwu.edu/W15Professorships.

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MAKING HISTORY CAMPAIGN HITS MILESTONE Donors have given more than $800 million to support students, enhance academics, and break new ground as part of Making History: The Campaign for GW, President Steven Knapp announced at the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards

on September 24. President Knapp noted than more than 58,000 donors have given to Learn more about the campaign, which Making History: The has now achieved Campaign for GW and more than 80% of its track its progress by visiting campaign.gwu.edu. $1 billion goal.

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CENTER RENAMED TO HONOR PROFESSOR’S SUPPORT GW President Steven Knapp announced a special leadership gift to GW’s Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service at GW’s annual Freshman Day of Service and Convocation on September 12. The gift from Professor Emeritus Honey Nashman and her husband, Alvin E. Nashman, Professor Emeritus Honey Nashman addresses the Class of 2019 at will support the center as it this year’s Freshman Day of Service and Convocation. expands efforts to promote active citizenship and enhance teaching, learning, and Read more about this important gift, Dr. scholarship through civic engagement. In recognition of the Nashman, and the center gift, the center was renamed the Honey W. Nashman Center renamed in her honor at for Civic Engagement and Public Service. go.gwu.edu/W15Nashman.

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æ Visit gwimpact.org for more Impact news and stories.

TRIO OF NEW LEADERS TAKE THE REINS Members of the Class of 1965 (pictured) celebrated their 50th reunion and a Reunion Challenge victory during this year’s Alumni Weekend.

CLASS OF ’65 TAKES TOP SPOT IN REUNION CHALLENGE

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Check out more highlights from GW Alumni Weekend 2015 at go.gwu. edu/ImpactAW15.

Celebrating its 50th reunion year, the Class of 1965 outpaced 11 other classes celebrating milestone reunions at this year’s Alumni Weekend in response to an anonymous reunion donor’s challenge. The Class of ’65 unlocked a $25,000 gift in honor of their class from the donor by having the highest alumni giving participation of any reunion class.

GIFT EXPANDS ENTREPRENEURSHIP MENTOR PROGRAM creating social entrepreneurship The GW Entrepreneurs Round and business ventures. By Table (GWERT) Mentor Program participating in the program, is expanding its programming students will be matched thanks to a generous Learn more about with mentors who will gift from Andrew the GWERT guide them through the Perlman, BBA ’00. ­Mentor Program and progression of turning The program will now how you can get ­involved at go.gwu. their inspired ideas into support GW students edu/GWERT. viable concepts. in the early stages of

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The newly expanded GWERT Mentor Program kicked off with a special “100 Mentor Match-up” on October 8.

Ambassador Reuben E. Brigety II began his leadership as the new dean of GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs on October 1, the same day renowned artist Sanjit Sethi became the inaugural director of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. They join Dean Pamela Jeffries as the newest heads of schools at GW. Dean Jeffries, a nationally recognized innovator and educator, became the second dean of the GW School of Nursing on April 6.

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Learn more about these new GW leaders at go.gwu.edu/W15Leaders.

OKINAWA COLLECTION OPENS AT GELMAN LIBRARY A ribboncutting ceremony The Okinawa Collection, on June 2 comprised of both primary and secondary materials, is housed in opened the GW’s Gelman Library. Okinawa Collection, one of the largest collections of materials outside of Japan focusing on the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa, at the Global Resources Center in GW’s Gelman Library. The collection is made possible thanks to a memorandum of understanding between GW and the government of Okinawa, which has agreed to fund the ongoing development of the collection as well as a part-time Japanese Get the complete language research story at go.gwu. librarian. edu/W15Okinawa.

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MAKING HISTORY: THE CAMPAIGN FOR GW

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SUPPORT STUDENTS

CAMPAIGN PILLARS

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PHOTO: MITCHELL LAYTON

GW graduate student Maen Hammad spent seven months in Palestine last year interning at an NGO, filming a documentary, and teaching children and adolescents to express themselves through skateboarding instead of violence. Now, thanks to a donor-funded graduate fellowship, Maen is studying international affairs at the Elliott School and preparing to make a difference on an even larger scale. Read his story at go.gwu.edu/ MaenHammad.

A nonviolent MECHANISM TO LIVE MORE NORMAL LIVES.”

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ENHANCE ACADEMICS

CAMPAIGN PILLARS

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PHOTO: ROB STEWART

The music JUST GOES AND GOES.”

From the driving percussion of go-go to the stripped down sounds of punk rock—and every note, beat, and hip swing in between—the history of D.C. music is being chronicled at a new archive at GW’s Gelman Library. Thanks to the leadership and philanthropic support of music professor Kip Lornell, the D.C. Vernacular Music Archive offers students and researchers the opportunity to study the underlying context and history behind the local music scene. Take your backstage pass and “go-go” to go.gwu.edu/HearInDC to see the full set list.

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BREAK NEW GROUND

CAMPAIGN PILLARS

This IS YOUR BRAIN

Computer graphic of a vertical (coronal) slice through the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient (at right) compared with a normal brain (at left). The Alzheimer’s disease brain is considerably shrunken, due to the degeneration and death of nerve cells. Apart from a decrease in brain volume, the surface of the brain is often more deeply folded.

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COMPUTER GENERATED IMAGE: ALFRED PASIEKA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

This

IS YOUR BRAIN WITH ALZHEIMER’S

ANY QUESTIONS? In short: Yes, there are still many questions regarding neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and autism to which we don’t yet know the answers—but GW chemistry professor Peter Nemes may hold the key to finding those solutions. With the help of a recent grant, Dr. Nemes is aiming to create a new system that could transform modern neuroscience and answer the questions plaguing our minds. Learn more about his groundbreaking research at go.gwu.edu/NemesMinds.

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OR TIA

SLO AN

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Guanlong wucaii discovered by Jim Clark and his team.


by

W. Gray Turner

They are on our bed sheets and lunchboxes, in our toy chests and movie theaters. They cap­ ture our imaginations, delighting and terrifying us, and for GW’s James M. Clark, the Ronald B. Weintraub Professor of ­Biology Systematics, dinosaurs provide a glimpse into the evolutionary journey that life has made over ­millions of years.

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im Clark treks across the desert for weeks at a time. Slowly, methodically, he makes his way over the rocky terrain that was once a lush area home to a myriad of prehistoric wildlife long since gone. Not many people will say they love the desert, but not many people are paleontologists and evolutionary biologists like Professor Clark. Hidden among the thick sequences of rocks are pieces to an evolutionary ­puzzle, and the barren expanse offers the perfect backdrop for the GW professor’s search. “Sometimes you are only able to see the tiniest bit of bone in the rocks, but you have to be able to see the rocks clearly; you can’t have any plants covering them,” says Clark, who is the Ronald B. Weintraub Professor of Biology Systematics at GW. “Many of the best fossil beds are in the desert, and I just really, really enjoy digging there. I love it out there.” After more than 30 years, Professor Clark still gets excited about being in the field. Each expedition ­ brings new expectations about what discoveries might be made. Some sites yield finds every day or two, but ­others he will search for weeks at a time without any results. “When you’re looking for fossils out there, you put your lunch in your bag and grab your water and you head out and you just walk all day long,” he says. “You walk for miles and miles and miles, and you can go days without seeing anything. But then every once in a while you see little pieces of bone coming out of the rock and you dig in and it gets very exciting. It’s an incredible ­experience.” Over the years, those little pieces of bone have yielded big finds for Professor Clark—he has discovered nearly 40 different species of extinct land vertebrates (tetrapods) from the Age of Dinosaurs. These discoveries have spanned four continents and include dinosaurs, turtles, ancient reptiles, and mammal-like ­creatures, but recently Professor Clark and his team have focused their search on the time period where they expect to find the dinosaurs that gave rise to birds. A paleontological theory for decades, the connection between dinosaurs and birds wasn’t fully realized until fossil beds of theropod dinosaurs (including ­tyrannosaurs and velociraptors) with feathers were discovered in the last 20 years. “These theropod dinosaurs are just what you would expect for the ancestors of birds,” Professor Clark says. “There were all different kinds of feathers, and that was just a huge leap in our knowledge about those things.” The connection was clear, but the thousands of ­little evolutionary steps from dinosaurs to birds as we know them today largely remain a mystery. Each new fossil find, however, brings with it the possibility of new ­understanding.

J

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James M. Clark, the Ronald B. Weintraub Associate Professor of Biology Systematics, on an expedition.

“We know that birds evolved from dinosaurs, but exactly where they fit in as part of the larger evolutionary picture is a big question,” Professor Clark says. “How these theropod dinosaurs evolved right before they became birds is a really interesting question, so we target the fossil beds of that age with the hope that new discoveries will shed some light on that. “We are looking for patterns of evolution, looking at the fossil records and asking, ‘What were the changes and at what point did these changes take place?’ Everything that’s distinctive about birds you go back to the fossil records and try to zero in on where that occurred. Everything evolved, every species has a history, and we’re just trying to get a better understanding of that history.” Professor Clark’s own history with fossils dates back to his days as a middle-schooler in Southern California. On weekends, he participated in a program at the Natural History Museum of L.A. County that allowed him to take classes from the museum’s curators and even volunteer with the museum lab’s fossil preparer.


“How these theropod dinosaurs

evolved right before they became birds is a really interesting question, so we target the fossil beds of that age with the hope that new discoveries will shed some light on that.”

Fieldwork Tech Once fossils are found, the techniques used to remove them from the rocks they’ve called home for the past few ART: R.S. LI

million years can be fairly sophisticated—acids, mechanical extraction, and density separation via liquids are just some of the methods employed—but locating the fossils is surprisingly low tech. Yes, there are satellite images and GPS and even ground-penetrating radar, but nobody uses that with any regularity, says Professor Clark. “It’s all about getting your feet out in the field and looking at as much rock as you can.” Like so many things, sometimes the simplest way is the best one.

Sketch of Yinlong downsi skull discovered on one of Professor Jim Clark’s expeditions to Xinjiang, China.

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Dimorphodon Weintraubi In February of 1998, the foot fossil of a newly discovered species of pterosaur,

“I was, and still am, so grateful to hold this position,” Professor Clark says,

a group of winged reptiles closely related to dinosaurs, graced the cover

“and I felt this was a way for me to pay tribute to the impact Robert L. Weintraub

of Nature magazine. The foot—whose structure contradicted a previous

has had on our department and the generosity and foresight he and his wife

reconstruction of pterosaurs—belonged to a set of fossils discovered by

demonstrated in establishing this wonderful faculty position.”

Professor Clark which he named named for Robert L. Weintraub.

“For me, hanging out with curators who were paid to go out and collect fossils and study them and explain them to the public, to just see that career existed, was a big deal,” he says. “That’s definitely when the seed of becoming a paleontologist was planted.” The summer after his first year at California State University, Long Beach, Professor Clark got his first taste of being out in the field when a professor (a vertebrate paleontologist) invited him to participate in that season’s fieldwork. Professor Clark spent that summer on expedition in Colorado and was part of discovering a dinosaur fossil site that would become well-known among paleontologists. “That was a really great opportunity, and it really reinforced my interest in paleon­tology,” he says. Every summer after that, Professor Clark returned with his professor, George Callison, to continue digging at the same site, even after transferring to UC Berkeley, the top paleontology program in the western U.S., where he earned bachelors’ and masters’ degrees. After completing his PhD in anatomy at the University of Chicago, Professor Clark travelled first to UC Davis to learn molecular evolutionary techniques, then back east to work for the National Museum of Natural History in

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Washington, D.C., before joining the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where he took part in a series of extremely ­successful and widely publicized expeditions to Mongolia. A few years later, he was drawn back to the nation’s capital by a ­position on GW’s faculty: the Ronald B. Weintraub Professorship of ­Biology Systematics. “It’s been 21 years, and I’m part of the old guard here at GW now,” he says with a smile. “I’ve served as the Weintraub Professor since the beginning.” The Ronald B. Weintraub Professorship is one of five biology faculty positions endowed in GW’s ­Columbian College of Arts and S ­ ciences by the late Robert L. Weintraub, BS ’31, MA ’33, PhD ’38, and his wife, Frances Weintraub, MA ’33. A biochemist and plant physiologist, Dr. Weintraub was a long-time member of GW’s faculty and chair of the biology department who was awarded the status of Professor Emeritus of Botany upon his retirement in 1977. Each of the endowed faculty p ­ osi­tions established by the Weintraub Professorship Fund is named in honor of a member of the Weintraub family or an ­influential person in their lives. The ­Ronald B. Weintraub professorship is named for Robert Weintraub’s father. “The Ronald B. Weintraub Professorship of Bio­logy Systematics is definitely what brought me to GW,” Professor Clark says. “It’s a great, research-oriented position that provided me ­ the ­flexibility to conduct more fieldwork that’s really essential to our research. All the Weintraub professorships are very desirable positions, and we’ve been able to attract some really talented researchers to our faculty.” The flexibility to conduct more field research provided


Rendering of Limusaurus inextricabilis

by the Weintraub Professorship has allowed Professor Clark to attract some of the best and brightest young paleontologists to his lab at GW over the years, too. “When grad students are looking for a place to go, having new fossils for them to study is something that gives you an advantage over other grad programs,” he says. “I think the point for us as professors is to provide students with the opportunity to do some truly interesting and meaningful research and help guide them the best we can.” Professor Clark’s expertise and fieldwork is what brought PhD candidate Josef Stiegler to GW in 2010. Josef has spent the last five years working with Professor Clark, participating in expeditions to Utah, Inner Mongolia, and Xin­jiang, China. His dissertation focuses on the Limusaurus inextricabilis, a dinosaur discovered by one of Professor Clark’s e ­ xpeditions in Xinjiang. Josef says he and Professor Clark have worked closely together on the dissertation, but that his graduate advisor also provides his students with the freedom to follow their own research interests. “My research is moving in the direction of understanding the relationship between the ­evolution of dinosaurs and the sometimes radical environmental changes during the Mesozoic Era,” Josef says. “This is not an area that Jim’s research has been focused on, but he has encouraged me to pursue it.” Jonah Choiniere, PhD ’10, one of Professor Clark’s former students, remembers the gener­osity with which Professor Clark treated him, serving as a mentor, collaborator, and friend. “Jim opened the door to fantastic research opportunities for me in China, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and across the world as a visiting scholar at paleontological collections,” says Dr. Choiniere, who is now the senior researcher in Dinosaur Paleontology at the Evolutionary Studies Institute of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. “Together with his wife, Cathy Forster, who is also a GW faculty member, Professor Clark set me firmly on the path that led to my career as a dinosaur researcher.” Recognizing the impact that being able to conduct fieldwork as an under­graduate had on his own career, Professor Clark has strived to provide his graduate students with similar experiences by giving them the tools and opportunities to make their own marks in the field. “Working with grad students is a big part of my job, and that’s why I’ve ­developed some of the projects I have,” he says. “My job as a professor is to train these students and to provide them the chance to do great work of their own.” Although he sees his role as teacher and mentor as an important one, Professor Clark isn’t passing the torch altogether—there are still questions he hopes to answer. “There are a lot of fossils that have yet to be discovered,” he says. “There’s a lot that we can still learn out there.” GW

“When

grad students are looking for a place to go, having new fossils for them to study is something that gives you an advantage over other grad programs.”

GE: IMA

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C R I C o n d i T i o n i n g I C A L by W. Gray Turner

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“NURSE, JOE NEEDS HELP, HE STOPPED TALKING.” A NURSE QUICKLY BUT CALMLY APPROACHES, AND ASSESSES THE SITUATION. JOE ISN’T BREATHING AND HIS HEART RATE HAS FLATLINED. HE’S CRASHING— SUFFERING CARDIAC ARREST—AND THE NURSE SPRINGS INTO ACTION. “CODE BLUE, BED THREE,” COMES THE CALL OVER THE LOUDSPEAKER. THREE MORE NURSES SWIFTLY CONVERGE ON THE BED AND THE FOUR BEGIN WORKING IN UNISON: ONE STARTS CHEST COMPRESSIONS WHILE A SECOND VENTILATES, A THIRD PREPS THE CRASH CART AT THE BEDSIDE, WHILE THE FOURTH WALKS THE PATIENT’S VISITOR AWAY AND COMFORTS HIM. THE STEADY RHYTHM OF THE CHEST COMPRESSIONS CONTINUE—8—9—10—11—12— BUT JOE’S HEART IS STILL UNRESPONSIVE. THE DEFIBRILLATOR’S ELECTRODES ARE ATTACHED TO HIS CHEST. “CLEAR?” “CLEAR,” THE OTHER TWO NURSES ACKNOWLEDGE. VOLTS OF ELECTRICITY SURGE THROUGH JOE’S BODY, TRYING TO RESTART HIS HEART.

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CPR is administered to Joe after he “crashes.”

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oe is not your standard patient. He blinks, he breathes, he goes into cardiac arrest, but he’s not human. Joe is a special simulated (manikin) ­patient utilized to train students in the George Washington University School of Nursing (SON). “You can do everything with these manikins,” says Ashley Shrader, who graduates from SON this December. “Inserting a Foley catheter, suctioning a trach tube, cleaning wounds—these are sterile procedures with a lot of thought to every step, and we do everything the way we would with a normal patient. That’s the kind of training experience you don’t normally get.” SON students work with Joe and other manikins like him throughout their GW education as part of the school’s Clinical Skills and Simulation Laboratories (Sim Labs). Located in the School of Nursing’s facilities on GW’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus, the Sim Labs are sophisticated learning environments that are an integral part of nursing students’ experience

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at GW. With the opening of the third Sim Lab in October, there is now over 10,000 square feet of lab space, more than 40 mock hospital bed stations and exam areas, a home health studio apartment, two private rooms, and birthing and pediatrics simulation, all of which allow GW nurses-in-training to experience life in a hospital long before their first clinical (real world) experience. The GW School of Nursing BLAST (Fundamental Basic Learning and Skills Training) model first introduces students to concepts and skills they will need for clinicals. As students become more advanced, they participate in BLAST sessions for more specialized care situations, including obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, community health, and psychiatric care. A “virtual hospital” experience serves as the capstone for their simulated learning. “I’ve spoken with other nursing students, and I don’t know of any other nursing schools with a virtual hospital setup that mimics an actual hospital the way ours does,” Ashley says. “I think it will definitely make us better prepared than our peers when we go out into real-life situations.” Equipped with functioning medical equipment—including IV pumps, EKG monitors, and medication, crash, and isolation carts to add to the reality of the learning space—each lab can be set up as a “virtual hospital” in which SON students synthe­ size classroom knowledge with clinical skills and experience before transitioning into professional practice.


Two SON students tend to a high-fidelity manikin simulating a tracheotomy patient.

“The Simulation Labs strive to achieve not only the environmental realism of a real hospital, but also the psychological,” says Dr. Patty Davis, director of the ­Clinical Skills and Simulation Laboratories. “Students feel the stress and pressure of tending patients’ needs in the moment while still ensuring that they follow all the steps they’ve been taught.” Patients like Joe are an essential part of that process. Joe is one of the more than 30 simulated (manikin) patients that range in age from infant to elderly adult. Each one has its own name, personal history, and a full spectrum of lifelike features and responsiveness. The most lifelike (or “high-fidelity”) manikins have pulses, voices, blinking eyes, and have physiologically accurate responses (like spurting blood) to the care provided by students. “If you watch, you’ll see that his chest rises and falls,” says Dr. Davis, indicating a high-fidelity manikin occupying one of the beds. “The students can feel all his pulses—they can listen to his heart, his lungs, and his bowel sounds—just as they can on a real person. You can see that he’s blinking, and we can even make him talk.” Simulation operations technicians (sim ops) provide the voices of these high-fidelity manikin patients, asking questions, communicating symptoms, and even expressing pain and discomfort through grunts, moans, or whimpers. Sim ops work in conjunction with SON clinical faculty throughout each simulation in onsite control rooms,

Students go through the same procedures and use the same sterile materials that they would in a real-world environment.

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“We are able to put all of our students in a position to handle something that may be low incidence but high risk in a safe but very realistic learning environment.” — School of Nursing Dean Pam Jeffries

making use of touch panels to interact with students as “patients” and monitor the care being administered. Located behind one-way mirrors, these control rooms allow faculty to direct and evaluate student performance without being physically at the bedside. Following each simulation, students participate in a debriefing session to reflect on that day’s experiences. They discuss what worked well, what they would do differently, and how they worked together as a team.

“The debrief is really an essential part of the simulation experience,” says Dr. Davis. “We want our nurses to be able to vocalize their questions or concerns and talk about their own capabilities. That type of communication is going to be important when they are working real shifts with other nurses and doctors.” Simulation lab training has proven so effective that a comprehensive study ­conducted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) recently concluded that simulation experience can substitute much of a nursing student’s regularly required clinical hours (manda­tory time spent shadowing nurses in hospitals or other clinical settings).

Best in CLASS The GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences opened its own simulation space on GW’s Foggy Bottom Campus in March of 2014. The new Clinical Learning and Simulation Skills (CLASS) Center provides one of the most innovative educational environments

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Learn more about School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ CLASS Center by visiting smhs.gwu.edu/class.

in the nation. In addition to manikins, the CLASS Center incorporates standardized patients— carefully trained professionals who play the part of patients suffering from any number of medical

maladies—and enables realistic scenarios for real-time training, with features like virtual reality and mock operating rooms to offer hands-on practice. While it was designed primarily to educate medical students, its cutting-edge technology makes it an ideal setting to teach students from almost any discipline within the GW community. 20 Impact | WINTER 2015

A simulated operating room suite in the GW SMHS CLASS Center.


Clinical faculty can observe simulations from the control rooms, allowing students to be on the floor independently.

The Cost of Care

Simulation labs, unlike hospitals, provide a learning environment without “These Clinical Simulation and Skills Labs provide flexibility, adaptability, and a safe, non-threatening environment for limitations. Hospitals have regulations that restrict what students can do on our students to learn how to provide quality care,” says SON Dean Pam Jeffries. “But these are high-cost items, and clinical units, and much of the clinical philanthropy plays a critical role in ensuring their continued success.” unit experience is random. If a patient High-fidelity manikins have a lifespan of three to five years and can cost up to $80,000 apiece. Even lower fidelity never comes in with a particular ailmodels with less interactive functionality but equally important training value can cost as much as $20,000. ment, then the student may not receive that hands-on training. Not so with the Nursing students also work with the same sterile materials—IV tubing, dressings, fluids—that they would in realSim Labs. life situations, a cost that adds up but is important to their learning experience. “If I want all our students to have “We want them to do everything the right way each and every time,” Dr. Davis says. “Building muscle memory from experience with a heart attack, I can set that routine is essential; we want them to be conditioned to always take the right steps no matter what is going on. that up,” says GW School of Nursing Dean Pam Jeffries, a longtime advoPart of that is ensuring that they have the proper materials to work with.” cate for using simulations to bridge classroom learning and real-life clinical experience. “We are able to put all of our students in a position to handle someSON students come away from their Sim Lab experi­ thing that may be low incidence but high risk in a safe but very realistic learning ences more confident in their skills and regularly request environment.” more simulation time, a clear sign of the programs benSim Labs can replicate almost any e ­ nviron­ment practicing nurses will encounefits. Dr. Davis says that plans to expand the capabilities ter—a clinic, a hospital, even a home environment setting—providing students of the Sim Labs—including adding embedded actors with a wide range of experience in different situations. and becoming a trial ground for nursing education—will Dean Jeffries says one of the biggest fears of a new nurse is not knowing make the GW School of Nursing a center for simulation how to respond to a situation, but the Sim Labs enable GW’s nursing students excellence. to operate as they would once they enter the professional field. Sometimes that “With this kind of safe environment we can conduct means operating alone, an experience that students don’t get during clinicals. new teaching models that hospitals or clinics can’t “The Sim Lab gave me my first opportunity to be totally independent with because we don’t have the same barriers,” Dr. Davis says. the care I was giving,” says Jihyun Do, SON ’15. “I was a little nervous, but I feel “Most importantly, we are training compassionate nurses totally confident now that I’ve had that experience of making my own decisions.” who enter the field better prepared than ever before.” GW MAKING HISTORY: THE CAMPAIGN FOR GW

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RAISE high

FIVE Each year, members of the GW community

“A flourishing Biomedical Engineering department will serve as a vibrant hub for interdisciplinary research and education.” —David Dolling, Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science

Department of Biomedical Engineering

go.gwu.edu/BME Launched last fall, the Department of Biomedical Engineering brings together students and faculty to investigate the country’s most pressing health care problems. A gift to the department supports efforts that include cardioversion therapy, improving surgical outcomes and cancer detection rates, and developing medical diag­ nostic devices for more timely, personalized health care.

support the programs, funds, and initiatives that help our students reach their full potential and make the George Washington University one of the finest universities in the country. Here are five of our favorites that you might not know about yet: 22 Impact | WINTER 2015

GW VALOR

go.gwu.edu/GWVALOR GW VALOR is the comprehensive, collaborative, and unified effort to ensure that active-duty military, veterans, and their families who are students at GW receive the ­highest-caliber services. Gifts to GW VALOR support scholarships, learning stipends, and career services— designed specifically for GW students who are activeduty military and veterans.

“We want GW to be the ­university of choice for veterans, military members, and their families.” —Vice Admiral (retired) Mel Williams Jr., Associate Provost for Military and Veterans Initiatives


æ Interested in learning more or supporting one of these programs? Contact us at gwimpact@gwu.edu today.

The Colonial Health Center is key to GW student wellness on campus.

“I know that when I go to the Colonial Health Center I’ll get the help I need as quickly as possible by a team that really cares about my wellbeing. Your support keeps that process affordable.”

Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC) Alumni Book Stipend

“The MSSC Book Stipend is a tangible way to reward deserving students, some of whom may be the first in their families to attend college and are in particular need of a financial boost.” — Ming J. Lowe, JD ’98

go.gwu.edu/CHC The Colonial Health center is a new, modern wellness hub, which offers a central location for GW students to obtain medical, counseling, prevention, and health promotion services on campus. Your support will help to provide GW students with the health resources necessary for their immediate and long-term wellness and success.

Antibiotic resistant E. Coli and other bacteria are serious health threats.

VEEDUNN

go.gwu.edu/MSSCBooks The price of college textbooks has risen 82 percent over the last 10 years, creating a serious financial challenge for many students. The MSSC Alumni Book Stipend helps to ensure that multicultural students have the textbooks and supplies they need to take full advantage of a GW education and succeed at GW and beyond.

—Cole Ettingoff, CCAS ’18

Colonial Health Center

Antibiotic Resistance Action Center (ARAC)

go.gwu.edu/ARAC Antibiotics are the cornerstones of modern medicine, but their days of protecting us from deadly bacteria will come to an end if needless overuse is not stopped. ARAC was launched at GW this summer to reduce antibiotic resistance worldwide by encouraging good stewardship practices in humans and animals. Gifts designated to ARAC support cutting-edge research and strategic communications to curb the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

“No other academic organization in the United States is pairing original research with sophisticated communication strategies to create and advance new and effective solutions to antibiotic resistance, a growing global concern with tremendous implications.” — Professor Lance Price, Director of ARAC, Milken Institute School of Public Health

MAKING HISTORY: THE CAMPAIGN FOR GW

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EVENTS ROUNDUP

Summer Send-Offs Alumni and parents hosted GW Summer Send-Offs for new Colonials in cities throughout the world.

Rodham Institute Summit Chelsea Clinton (center) was a keynote speaker at the third annual Rodham Institute Summit on Oct. 10.

Jenny McKean Moore Series Russian-born author Kseniya Melnik read and discussed material from her short story collection Snow in May on Sept. 24.

24 Impact | WINTER 2015


æ To view more photos, watch videos, or read more about these events and the philanthropy behind them, visit go.gwu.edu/ImpactEventsW15.

100 Years of Remembrance Shant Mardirossian, P’17, (pictured) underwrote an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the American response to the Armenian genocide.

Leadership Loyal Reception Members of GW Loyal and the Luther Rice Society were recognized at a special reception during Alumni Weekend 2015.

First Night at Mount Vernon The Class of 2019 gathered for the annual “First Night” event at the historic Mount Vernon Estate.

MAKING HISTORY: THE CAMPAIGN FOR GW

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The Division of Development and Alumni Relations 2033 K Street, NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20052

CRITICAL CONDITIONING Read how GW School of Nursing students are working with cutting-edge technology that provides realworld, care-giving experience in the classroom.

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Impact, Winter 2015  

Winter 2015 issue of Impact, the George Washington University's philanthropy publication

Impact, Winter 2015  

Winter 2015 issue of Impact, the George Washington University's philanthropy publication

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