Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Veterans Affairs: Policies or Politics?

In this project I will research the Veteran Affairs system. I will report on what their established policies and procedures are and how the system operates and serves. Additionally, I will read first-person accounts on peoples’ experiences with the VA system in addition to interviews I plan to set up. These first-person accounts will be informative beyond the stated policies and procedures the VA system has established. I will determine whether the VA system is heavily policy based or if it is driven by politics. Using this information I will analyze what kind of care veterans are receiving. I want to prove the importance of quality care for our veterans, by incorporating multiple disciplines.  

I will be constructing a website in which people can learn about the VA system and learn about what I conclude from my research. Additionally, if I am permitted to record my interviews with the veterans, physicians, and/or relevant personnel, those videos will be on the website. The purpose of the website is to be interactive and informative, simultaneously.

Depending on my findings, I plan to reiterate or teach the importance of interdisciplinarity in the VA system. It is important that veterans are looked at as a whole and given every aspect of care they deserve.

The fields I plan to draw from include: psychology, sociology, economics, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. They all contribute significantly. Psychology is an extremely important field for the VA system. Many veterans suffer from mental illnesses such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, commonly referred to as PTSD. Additionally, sociology helps us see how veterans fit into society and how society engages with and impacts veterans. Economics is very important in helping us see how the VA system is funded and what drives the financial contributions to veterans’ benefits. Occupational therapy is a field that I feel is very important to have integrated in veterans’ lives. Occupational therapists help people who are ill, injured, or disabled in regaining their ability to complete daily activities. Whereas physical therapy is essential for some veterans, such as helping wounded warriors recover from injuries, both acute and chronic.

Below is my anticipated timeline for various tasks that I feel are necessary to be successful in completing my project.

Begin researching VA system policy and procedures
Schedule interviews with veterans (physicians/staff as well, if possible)
Search for first-person accounts of experiences with VA system; look for news articles; begin literature search; brainstorm general outline and structure of website
Continue literature search; read articles, take notes, and work on chart; begin constructing website
Conduct scheduled interviews if not already done prior to this week; look into administering an anonymous survey at a VA center
Start piecing paper together; work on website
Work on paper; work on website
Revise paper and website for final review
Submit draft of completed paper; continue to revise paper; start screencast; finish website
Project and presentation due
Art therapy
is best described as a mental health profession where children will explore art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings. What I will be sharing with you is how the children I work with will have the opportunities to reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem. I am always eager to learn more, grow from, and excel. (AATA)

My personal qualities combined with my diverse experience through Interdisciplinary Studies will contribute to The Hunter School's success. I have had the opportunity through my education and time studying Interdisciplinary Studies to acquire a diverse outlook on many disciplines and am able to acknowledge biases of myself and others. I will be showcasing my work in Expressive Arts with a curriculum I have been working on with the inclusion of my multidisciplinarian background. I will be able to continuously work on this curriculum and cross reference it with my experiences at the Hunter School. As well as sharing my curriculum I will be creating an interactive website that will allow viewers to see that the student's will not only be able to create art work, they will acquire knowledge, history, and skills of their own. Through an expressive arts experience we will focus on the process, resulting to a more mindful experience.

My goal in becoming a part of the Hunter School team is to share my knowledge of the Arts, Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies disciplines through their Energetic Mindfulness Approach
To explain further; I will be utilizing my knowledge of art education, studio art, art history, and expressive arts to create appropriate lessons for the children. With Psychology, I have had the opportunities to study the mental functions and behaviors of children.  As well as gaining experience in creating and pursuing experiments on the effects of emotions and memory, this will allow me to have a focus in my lesson plans that will be a big part in the process the students will be experiencing. With Early Childhood Studies, I will be able to take my many experiences and time spent in other settings, with other curriculum's and other educators. With this I will be able to know the appropriateness of my lesson and how it will be accepted in the Department of Education. 

Here is a link of a short clip of an Andy Warhol inspired PopART lesson. The video is just a piece of the work that we do! Myself as well as the woman who is an amazing influence in my life now, we'll call her Julin, are working on creating more, and more developed ones for the website! 

Children's work displayed in school 
Through this CAPSTONE project I will be able to show how I have become an critical pluralist. For those who may be reading this and have not had the opportunity to study Interdisciplinary Studies, critical pluralist's believe that other judgments are well-reasoned  and that knowledge can be objective. This is an important accomplishment because being able to understand the nature of knowledge and how you may determine the truth. Being a critical pluralist can also be described as being in a sophisticated epistemic position; this is explained as seeing multiple and conflicting perspectives as pieces of understandings of the subject. 

To take this another step further my CAPSTONE will be able to share with the viewer how I have interrogated the perspectives, as well as thinking critically about the disciplinary insights. The three critical attitudes I will be able to reflect on are, awareness of the limitations of expertise; the more time spent researching and studying the disciplines I am working with, the greater my awareness of any limitations. Self awareness; being aware of other biases as well as my own, and lastly Intellectual courage; taking the courage to challenge my own beliefs and the worldview as well as being able to disagree with friends, family, and other spectacles. You will also see that I will be working with the Broad Model Approach to my integration. You will see this through my reflections on the instrumentalist focus on problem solving and at the same time being useful for engaging in critical interdisciplinarity.
"secret garden" Day 1 of my own studio time

PHEW! Now that we got through that, below is an overview of my timeline! As many of you know things pop-up and change, but I will be working on this daily because it is going to be something that I use everyday!

"figures" my own studio time
My timeline with this is Sunday through Sunday, including my time where I will be working at the Hunter School working with my curriculum and documenting my time as well as preparing for the interactive website. The weekend will require for me to gather my notes and continuously work on the curriculum and website with a colleague who has experience in web-design. As I continue my exploration the specific dates that I will be showcasing my journey include:
·         Tuesday March 24, where I will be referencing back to this blog and explore how the first four steps of the Broad Model will affect my plans.

·         Tuesday March 31, I will begin my Literature Search.  I will be Creating a chart with listed disciplines, authors, focus of insight, and evaluation of insight
·         Tuesday April 7, I will read 2 more articles, take notes, and fill in chart more.
·         Thursday April 9- Thursday April 30 I will be working on my project in any area that needs focus.
·         Tuesday, May 5, Bring draft of completed project paper to class.
·         Thursday, May 7, Finish paper revisions and start screencast.
·         Final Exam is Tuesday, May 12 from 5-6:15pm

·         Post a screencast of my full project PPT and a copy of my full project paper in a single post.  **I will give a 5 minute version of your PPT at our exam.  

Something To Chew On : A Critical Perspective on the Layout of Prospect Dining Hall in Relation to Consumer Psychology, based off “The Optimal Foraging Theory” and it’s Relativity to the Nutritional Wellness of the Student Body at Plymouth State University.

I will be applying the optimal foraging theory to human consumers, specifically the one’s here at Plymouth State University. Through this, I will also be connecting consumer psychology to the nutritional choices in which patrons of Prospect dining hall make. This project will be executed by means of a critical approach, implying that the layout of the cafeteria and the food choices offered at specific geographical points of interest, financially benefit Sodexo and harm the nutritional well-being of the student body. What I mean by this is consideration of Sodexo, and where they market the more affordable and less nutritious options in a certain place so consumers are more apt to eat those options compared to higher priced, or more nutritious options that are harder to get to.         

I want to conduct a plate survey that will tell me a lot about what consumers are eating. I also will compare and contract other cafeteria set ups, through Sodexo and other establishments to decipher whether or not they are more nutritionally beneficial for the consumer. Many of my research will be observational and it will be conducted in the dining hall. I will note what students consume and why. I will also be conducting interviews with staff members of Sodexo to obtain their knowledge on food preference of students and what they see. A paper demonstrating my results from my observation and research sources should suffice for a written portion to this project, and I will also be proposing a new layout for the dining hall that will be nutritionally beneficial for consumers.

This capstone involves the well-being of stake holders in the Plymouth State University community. These stakeholders include the consumers that frequent Prospect Dining hall, those who work at the dining hall, and also Sodexo as a corporation. Since I am part of the student body, this applies to not only myself as a consumer, but also my fellow classmates. This project also uses a trans-disciplinary approach, connecting and crossing bridges between academic and non-academic participants. I will be consulting between, nutritionists, anthropologists, corporate employees, consumers, and holistic health advisers.
The fields in which I will use to conduct this project include:
·         Anthropology
·         Psychology
·         Economics
·         Nutrition Science
Anthropology offers me a foundation in the culture and habits of consumers in a social setting and also supplies the basis of understandings for the Optimal Foraging Theory. I must use Psychology to support my research in consumer choices and why people choose what they choose based on a sensory experience. Nutrition science is necessary to connect with what patrons actually consume and the result of their choices and what it does to their well-being and health. Economics will be applied to show reason of Sodexo’s financial choices in what they purchase, the amount they purchase it in, and why they display food options in the specific ways.

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4
-Begin literature search
-Choose variables for observation
-Consult with Sodexo for approval
-Begin observation, Project in action
Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4
-Interview with Holistic Health Adviser
-Interview with Sodexo Nutritionist
-Complete Literature Search

-Continue observation
-Plate Survey, Project in action

-Begin new layout for the cafeteria
-Consult with Kate Donahue (Anthropologist)
-Begin project Paper draft

-Continue Research, Project in action
-Complete project paper
Week 1

Week 2
-Start work on Screen cast
-Complete Screen cast
-Start PPT

-Revise Paper and PPT
-Present final product

 Photo Sources:

Developmental Delays & Therapy: Autism

For my project, I plan to create a therapy program from a child with autism. I intend to take multiple different types of therapy and create one cohesive program for a child who has been diagnosed with autism. It would include a therapy program that the child would go through at the therapy center and a program that they would use at home with parents helping them.

I will be producing a therapy program that can be used with the therapists and a therapy program that someone can use at home with their child. I want to be able to create something that will show a cohesive version of therapy for an autistic child. I want to create a website for autism and the signs and symptoms of it and their options if they suspect their child is suffering from autism. I would also post the at-home therapy program on the website for parents.

When it comes to interdisciplinarity, there are many theories that come into play. My project will use the perspective taking theory and the common ground theory. The perspective taking theory helps me look at the different disciplines involved in creating this program and their individual viewpoints on the issue. I will be looking at the different perspectives from each individual discipline and creating one integrative therapy program for autistic children. The common ground theory is taking all the different conflicting issues and getting them onto common ground with one another. I have to take the opinions and therapies from each of the disciplines and analyze what is best for the child. This may not be in agreement with each discipline, but I need them to be in agreement and on common ground about the program.

In my project, I am including many different disciplines. I will take therapy exercises and programs from physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology therapy, and psychological therapy. With physical therapy, it will provide me with the physical aspect of the program. Children with autism are developmentally delayed and physical therapists can help children reach motor development milestones that are not occurring when they should. The physical therapist can also help children with physical problems, such as breathing control issues. Occupational therapy studies human growth and development, with a focus on the way a person interacts with the environment and objects in their environment on a daily basis. The portion of the program from the occupational therapy will focus on goals based on social interactions, behaviors, and classroom performance. Occupational therapists form a team with the parents and teachers to achieve these goals. Speech-language pathologists assess the severity of the speech problems and create a program that will benefit the child as much as possible. They use electronic “talkers” if the situation calls for it, they teach signing or typing, and show the child how to use picture boards to express feelings, such as sad or hungry. Speech-language pathologists play a huge role in the therapy program. Psychologists focus on behavioral therapy and/or medication as a treatment for autism. They will use behavioral therapy before medication is ever considered because there is no medication that specifically targets autism. Psychologists/Psychiatrists will prescribe medication only when there is extreme hyperactivity or seizures. This aspect of treatment will broaden the program and include more cognitive training.


March 23, 2015
Have at least half of my sources found

March 26, 2015
Find advisor for project

March 30, 2015
Have the rest of my sources found
April 3, 2015
Come up with questions to ask my advisor about project

April 6, 2015
Contact advisor with questions and advice about my program
April 16, 2015
Have first draft of program done
Start working on website
April 22, 2015
Contact advisor about program and make corrections

April 27, 2015
Have first draft of paper done

April 30, 2015
Have paper edited by Writing Center and make corrections
May 4, 2015
Have screencast script all planned out

May 5, 2015
Complete second draft for project paper and bring to class
May 7, 2015
Work on screencast
Finish up website
May 12, 2015
Present PowerPoint to class

Do you believe that this is a project that will benefit someone the way I want it to? Do you think that this will reach my target audience? Do you have any suggestions for my project or timeline?