Evidence of success

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Is the way you practice based on sound research, or is it just the way it’salways been done? Nurses are increasingly expected to keep abreast of currentresearch, by Greta Thornbory The fact that you are reading this article indicates that you are interestedin improving practice and care, which is what continuing professionaldevelopment is all about. However, occupational health practice, by its very nature, is often isolatedfrom other healthcare practice. So how do OH practitioners know that what theyare doing is the right thing? How do they keep up to date with the latestpractice? And how do they know what they are doing is the most efficient andeffective way to practice? What is evidence-based practice? This article aims to explore and discuss what ‘evidence-based practice’really means, how it fits into clinical effectiveness and the steps that areneeded in order to ensure that OH nursing practice is evidence based. Althoughthere has been a move towards evidence-based practice. It does have itslimitations. Pearson, cited by Johnson and Griffiths1, cautions that it is nota cure for all nursing ills and McKenna et al2 demolishes some of the mythssurrounding the concept. Today’s nurses are expected to care for their patients, identify theiractual and potential problems, and develop research-based strategies “toprevent, ameliorate and comfort” so says Dicenso et al3. They go on to say that nurses are also expected to take on worktraditionally done by doctors and to be highly educated empatheticcommunicators. They need to be critical thinkers and keep abreast of importantresearch findings. Traditionally, nursing has been derived from knowledge basedon anecdote and tradition1. Think back to your own training – why did you dowhat you did? Was it because sister or staff nurse told you to – and why didthey do it? There have been some classic examples of ‘habit-based practice’such as salt in the bath. The evidence-based healthcare movement has developed rapidly over the past10 years4 and is thought to have originated in Canada as “…theconscientious, explicit and judicial use of current evidence in makingdecisions about the care of individual patients”. Such a definition does not necessarily suit OH nursing because manypractitioners do not have individual patients – but rather clients – and it maybe populations of employees on which decisions about care are being made.However, Dicenso et al3 say that research utilisation has been defined as the useof research findings in all aspects of work as a nurse and they believe thatthis is the same as the definition for evidence-based nursing. But is all this known under another name and as part of ‘clinicaleffectiveness’ defined by the RCN5 as “doing the right thing in the rightway at the right time for the right patient”? The RCN goes on to say thatclinical effectiveness, of which evidence-based practice is part, is aboutmaking sure that you offer the best care possible for an individual patient orfor a population. Fennessy6 says that the concepts of evidence-based practiceand evaluation, or clinical audit, are brought together into a coherent modelfor improving clinical practice and as such form the parts of clinicaleffectiveness. The steps for clinical effectiveness and evidence-based practice require anenquiring mind, and an ability to look at and criticise one’s practice. Recent questions about health assessment that have been asked on one of theOH Websites indicate that nurses still cannot justify why they are undertakingcertain screening procedures for pre-employment health assessment. Further questioning by expert practitioners indicates that they have notconsidered the evidence base for their practice and cannot give an explanation fortheir actions; rather their practice is based on habit. If occupational healthnurses are to move forward with clinical effectiveness and evidence-basedpractice perhaps this is one area with which to start. The first steps requirelooking at practice and developing a questioning attitude to day-to-daypractice5. Information gathering The next step is to gather the ‘evidence’, to search for and gather relevantinformation and to look for the best available knowledge5,6. The problem hereis in deciding which evidence is ‘good’ and how to go about finding it in thefirst place. According to Evans and Pearson7 the demand for evidence to support practiceis growing, but finding the best evidence is becoming increasingly difficult.They go on to say that the need for evidence on which to base care is growingas a result of many factors such as: – the expectation of high quality services – the demand for redress and compensation – the existence of many new technologies, procedures and products OH practitioners are answerable to both employers and employees who allexpect a high quality of service. This is especially so because they are payingfor the OH service. OH practitioners must therefore be able to justify theiractions and give explanations for them. Pre-employment health assessment is an example of OH nursing practice thatneeds to be evidence based. What screening is actually undertaken during healthassessments and why? Does research indicate that one-off screening tests, suchas blood pressure measurements and urinalysis, are effective indicators of aperson’s health status and fitness to work? Despite much research into the best ways to measure blood pressure thereremains considerable controversy8. Urinalysis may detect early signs of disease,but research undertaken in 1992 showed that only 0.9 per cent of a sample wereundiagnosed diabetics9. Research-based evidence is available and it is apractitioner’s duty to ensure that he or she finds it, reads it and acts uponit, as nurses are personally accountable for their practice10. These examples are only the tip of the iceberg and a thorough search ofnursing literature is necessary to ensure that all aspects of any topic areexplored. Information is available in a variety of forms and it is important to beclear about what you want to know or find out and to be aware of how to accessall forms of information. With the advance of technology and the Internet, moreand more resources are available and searching for information can be fun ratherthan a chore. Types of evidence There are a number of different types of evidence: – Primary research – Systematic reviews – Meta-analysis – Clinical guidelines – Textbooks – Expert opinion Each has its own place and significance in evidence-based practice and thefirst four will be discussed, highlighting their relevance to OH nursingpractice. A thorough literature search is necessary to identify what evidenceis available. Primary research Primary research is usually published in professional journals. The bestevidence comes from ‘randomised controlled trials’ and results from suchresearch are ranked highly11. However, such research is not always ethicallypossible with regard to nursing practice1. Finding best evidence is becoming increasingly difficult7 and it is notenough just to find relevant research, the work needs to be closely examined toassess and decide on its quality and worth. This is where ‘critical appraisal’skills are needed. Critical appraisal means checking that research was doneproperly, that the method was suitable and that its findings are relevant toyour area of practice. It is worthwhile looking for a course to help withdeveloping these skills. Further information is given at the end of thearticle. Systematic reviews To make life easier for evidence-based practice and to find a way around thevast quantity of research, a system called ‘systematic review’ has beendeveloped. Evans and Pearson7 describe systematic reviews as the ‘gatekeepers’ ofnursing knowledge and argue that they represent the ‘gold standard’ in researchsummaries. Along with Johnson and Griffith1 they found that most researchregarded as credible in the healthcare sector depend on randomised controltrials and agree that such methods do not do justice to nursing research. Their paper discusses the issues that need to be considered and addressedfor more appropriate systematic reviews of nursing research. They also say theaim of a systematic review is to provide reliable summaries of past researchand this is exactly what OH practitioners need. Magarey4 defines a systematic review as “the application of scientificstrategies that limit bias to the systematic assembly, critical appraisal andsynthesis of all relevant studies on a specific topic”. In other words itdoes the work for you. It is worth reading more about this topic and thereferences given in this article are available free online to RCN members.Systematic reviews can be found on a number of databases and in specialistjournals (see the list at the end of this article). It is also worth looking atsome reviews to get a clear idea of how they work and what they say. Meta-analysis Briefly, meta-analysis is a process of pooling together a number of, oftenconflicting, small research studies on the same topic to give one overallpicture. It is necessary to be cautious about the results of this process, andto understand it properly, before accepting the results on which to base or makechanges to practice. Clinical guidelines Clinical guidelines are developed by professional organisations, such as theroyal colleges or at local levels by large healthcare providers. In OH they mayhave been developed by specific companies with large OH services. They shouldbe based on up-to-date and suitably appraised evidence and give guidelines forpractice and management, helping to set an overall standard. Clinicalguidelines are being developed on a number of topics at a national level and itis worth looking at an example for OH practice, such as the UK Guidance on BestPractice in Vaccination Administration12, available from the RCN. Don’t forgetthat guidelines should be: – Based on valid and reliable research – Prepared by a multi-disciplinary panel – Not past their use by date5 Implementation It has been said, anecdotally, that to go from research to a change inpractice takes 10 years. To ensure that your practice is evidence based takestime and a questioning mind. Nurses may not have the time or resources toundertake searches or read research, reviews or guidelines. They may feelthreatened or anxious about making changes. But some will want to make changesto practice for the benefit of their clients and the organisation they work for.Changes can be made if they are handled carefully and evidence of the benefitscan be shown. Working with a committed team helps, but if you work on your own it may takemore courage. Discussing this with a respected colleague, even in anotherorganisation, may help. The RCN5 suggests the following key points forintroducing change: – Decide on priorities for change – Don’t take on too much – Be realistic – Don’t try and do it on your own – Involve your colleagues – Remember, change can be difficult – Don’t expect things to change over night – And don’t forget to build in some evaluation, or clinical audit. References 1. Johnson M, Griffiths R (2001) Developing evidence-based clinicians.International Journal of Nursing Practice 7: 109-118 2. McKenna H, Cutliffe J, McKenna P (2000) Evidence based practice:Demolishing some myths. Nursing Standard 5 January, 14(16): 39-42. 3. Dicenso A et al (2000) Introduction to evidence basednursing.www.cebm.utoronto.ca 2002. 4. Magarey J M (2001) Elements of systematic review. International Journalof Nursing Practice 7:376-382. 5. Royal College of Nursing (1999) Doing the right thing; clinicaleffectiveness for nurses. London: RCN. 6. Fennessy G (1999) What’s the evidence? Clinical effectiveness. NursingUpdate Unit 87, Nursing Standard Nov 11, 3(8). 7. Evans D, Pearson A (2001) Systematic Reviews: gatekeepers of nursingknowledge. Journal of Clinical Nursing 10: 593-599. 8. Beever M (1998) On the way up: hypertension. Nursing Update Unit 80, Nursing Standard 18 March, vol 12(26). 9. Worral G, Moulton N (1992) The ratio of diagnosed to undiagnoseddiabetics in patients 40 yrs and older. Canadian Journal of Public Health83(5): 379-381. 10. UKCC (1992) The Scope of Professional Practice. London: UKCC. 11. Belsey J, Snell T (1997) What is Evidence-Based Medicine? HaywardMedical Communications Ltd. 12. Driver C et al (2001) UK Guidance on Best Practice in VaccinationAdministration, Shire Hall Communications. Critical Appraisal11  Critical appraisal is the method ofassessing and interpreting the evidence by systematically considering itsvalidity, results and relevance to the area of work being considered.Questions to ask – Do you know why you do what you do?– Can you give an explanation as to why you are doing it?– Are you up to date or is your practice based on habit?Sources of  information for evidence-based practiceJournalswww.nursing-standard.co.ukRegister and you can access Nursing Standard’s archive and download researcharticles and CPD articles from all the RCN journalswww.personneltoday.comThe site for Occupational Health journalwww.freemedicaljournals.comThis site concentrates primarily on medical journals but it isgood for some specialist information. Beware, as some of the journals are onlyfree for a trial period after which you will need to subscribewww.nursingtimes.co.ukwww.heapro.oupjournals.orgThis is the site for Health Promotion International with leads to HealthEducation Research and many other relevant journalswww.nursing-libraries.org.ukA new site aimed at nurses in Wales but will be expanding to cover the rest ofthe UK. This site outlines where nurses can access libraries and whichfacilities are availablehttp://omni.ac.uk/An extremely useful site which provides a gateway to biomedical resources. Itincludes some free access to Medline and other databaseswww.nursingnet.org/American site with links to electronic journals and someinteractive featureswww.jr.ox.uk/bandolier/For research systematic reviewswww.cochrane.hcn.netFor research on systematic reviews -the gold standard!Nursing and health information siteswww.rcn.org.ukIf you are an RCN member you can register, log on and download several journals(www.blackwell-synergy.com) as well as join BNI (British Nursing Index), whichgives you access to search facilities www.nmap.ac.ukAn extremely informative site containing a lot of information relevant tonursing practice including lots of links to other useful siteswww.nelh.nhs.ukPart of the Government’s information for health strategy. This site is stillbeing developed but is worth visiting. A series of branch libraries is beingdeveloped; the first includes Primary Care Groups and Mental Healthwww.man.ac.uk/rcnLinked to the RCN Research and Development Co-ordination Centre at ManchesterUniversity. This website enables you to search according to geographicareawww.shef.ac.uk/~nhcon/nuuk.htmAn extremely informative site containing a lot of informationrelevant to nursing practice including links to other useful siteswww.healthcentre.org.uk/hc/default.htmThis site acts as a signposting service, providing information for patients andcarers as well as a separate staff room for healthcare professionalswww.healthgate.comA useful site providing information for patients, carers and health careworkers. Includes separate healthcare centres for women’s health,men’s health, mental health, alternative health, etc. Also includes detailed research facilitieswww.ukcc.org.ukwww.enb.org.ukwww.had-online.org.uk  (replaces HEA)www.health-news.co.ukVery useful site for up-to-date health care news of all sortswww.who.dkWorld Health Organisation Europewww.icn.chInternational Council of NursesOccupational health siteswww.jiscmail.ac.ukThis site allows you to join the mailing list for OH professionals – go tomedicine and health and then scroll down to occupational health – click on andjoin up. NB – there are other specialties on this site – go to healthand pick your own topic areaCritical appraisal course informationwww.phru.org.ukOxford Critical Appraisal Programme Old Road, Headington, Oxford,OX3 7LF 01865 226968Government siteswww.statistics.gov.ukA site for all the statistics you wantwww.hse.gov.ukwww.hsebooks.co.ukwww.doh.gov.ukwww.cdc.govAmerican communicable diseases centre www.eoc.org.ukThe site of the Equal Opportunities Commission Related posts:No related photos. Evidence of successOn 1 Mar 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

San Juan picked to win Region 12

first_img Written by August 7, 2019 /Sports News – Local San Juan picked to win Region 12 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailRICHFIELD, Utah-The 3A Region 12 football media day was held Tuesday at the Snow College Richfield Campus and the region coaches picked San Juan to finish at the top this year.Following the Broncos in the preseason region rankings as voted on by the coaches is the Grand County Red Devils, Richfield came in third, followed by Emery and Carbon with South Sevier rounding out the six teams in the region.Coaches and players from five of the six teams in Region 12 participated in the media day to preview the upcoming 2019 season. Grand’s coaching staff had conflicts and as a result they were not able to participate this year.The Richfield Wildcats started the media day off with coach Jason Hitchens and players: Brittyn Riddle, Wyatt Blackner, Lex Leany, Kasey Giddings and Gavin Brown. Richfield begins the season Friday, August 16 at home against Providence Hall and the kick off region play on September 20 at Carbon.Emery was the second team featured with assistant coach Chris Justice and players: Szion Gibson, Teagan Christman, Seth Justice and Jaymes Bowman. The Spartans begin the season Friday, August 16 at home vs. Millard and start region play on September 20 at Grand County.The Carbon Dinos were the third team featured with coach Josh Huntsman and players: Jaylon Dennis, Tyler Wright, Ryker Larsen, Ridic Migliori and Brandon August. Carbon will play at American Leadership Academy Friday, August 16 to begin the season and start region play by hosting Richfield on September 20.The region favorite San Juan Broncos were the fourth team featured with coach Barkley Christensen and players: Shaw Nielson, Ryan Imlay, Randall Flavel, Kian Conway, Porter Ivins and Tyson Billsie. San Juan kicks off the season with a game at Delta on Friday, August 16 and will start region play September 20 at South Sevier.The final team featured at the Region 12 media day was the South Sevier Rams with coach John Ramage and players: Tracen Winkel, Bo Louder, Brody Carter, Cooper Hessey and Connor Peterson. South Sevier begins the 2019 season with a county rivalry game at home against North Sevier Friday, August 16. They begin region play September 20 at home vs. San Juan. Tags: Carbon Dinos/Emery Spartans/Grand County Red Devils/Region 12/Region 12 Football Media Day/Richfield Wildcats/San Juan Broncos/South Sevier Rams Robert Lovelllast_img read more

Police Warn of Bill Collector Scam in Ocean City

first_imgThe Ocean City Police Department has received reports of attempted fraud targeting local businesses in Ocean City over the past few weeks.The fraud involves a person calling a business and identifying herself as an Electric Company representative attempting to collect on overdue bills. The caller gives a return phone number and extension for the business to call back.The initial call is usually made by a female. She tells the business to call back and speak with a named representative. If the business calls back, the phone will be answered. The business will be told they have one hour to make a cash payment by phone either with a prepaid money card or PayPal account. If the payment is not made the electric will be turned off, according to the scam.To date, the Ocean City Police Department has received a few reported incidents. One business did make a payment based on the information provided by the caller. This has been occurring in other surrounding communities and also in Ocean City since early summer 2014.If any local business owners receive a call of this nature, they should disregard the caller and contact the police department to report the incident. Do not give out any confidential information to a person on the phone. Do not send money to any unverified person or address before contacting the Ocean City Police Department at (609) 399-9111.— News release from the Ocean City Police Department Ocean City Police Departmentlast_img read more

The fall and rise of Greggs’ share price

first_imgGreggs’ share price saw a 6% year-on-year rise yesterday following the government’s decision to make a U-turn over the pasty tax.The high street retail bakery chain’s share price peaked at a high of 506.50p during early morning trading on Tuesday (29 May) at 8.16am, following the news that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, had decided to scrap plans to add 20% VAT to hot takeaway bakery products served straight from the oven.Greggs’ shares dropped by 4% to 528p on Wednesday 21 March when Osborne first outlined the now-scrapped VAT rules in the Budget, decreasing the company’s overall value by £20m. The company’s share price has fallen 14.5% overall in the past three months.The firm had warned that, with savoury sales representing over a third of its turnover, implementation of the tax could have had a material impact on its sales and profit.Greggs published an interim management statement on 16 May, ahead of its annual general meeting, reporting a 4.3% increase in total sales in the first 19 weeks of its new financial year. But the company additionally revealed its like-for-like sales (LFLs) suffered – dipping by 1.8%.British Baker will be reporting on the pasty tax U-turn in the next issue of the magazine, published on Friday 1 June.last_img read more

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Keller Williams To Headline Adirondack Independence Fest

first_imgPigeons Playing Ping Pong will play two sets when they headline the Adirondack Independence Music Festival on September 1st and 2nd. Keller Williams and Pink Talking Fish are also on the top of the bill for the gathering, which is slated to take place at the Charles R. Wood Festival Commons in Lake George, NY.Other artists on the bill include Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime, Jen Durkin & The Business, Lucid (x2), Lespecial, Formula 5, Swift Technique, and many more. The festival has also revealed that a “big headliner” will be announced in late July.Additionally, Adirondack Independence Music Festival will host a late-night show with Gratefully Yours and Goose at the nearby King Neptune’s Pub. Admission will be free for those who already have a festival wristband.Tickets for the Adirondack Independence Music Festival are currently on sale.last_img read more

ASCAP ‘I Create Music’ Expo Explores Where Great Songs Come From [Photo]

first_imgLoad remaining images A song performed live is a song at the end of its life cycle. It’s a fully formed idea that’s been recorded, rehearsed, and likely rehashed over and over and over again until it either becomes a permanent part of an artist’s live catalog or is discarded in favor of another. And while some performers may take some time aside to explain the origin story behind a given song, you won’t likely get the full “birds and bees” breakdown in the middle of a concert.You will, however, find that story told and retold in countless different ways at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ (ASCAP) I Create Music Expo. This year’s 13th-annual edition, hosted at the Loews Hotel in Hollywood, amounted to three days of wide-ranging panels, in-depth seminars, one-on-one sessions, and promotional booths, with hitmakers and aspiring singer-songwriters, executives, A&R people, lawyers, and lyricists all co-mingling as convention-goers are wont to do. And while much of the ASCAP Expo boiled down to business—how to market and make money off music—there would be no business without the songs themselves.“I feel like we all got into music because we want to enjoy our lives and have a good time making this thing that’s magic,” said Stefan Johnson, who produced Zedd’s smash hit “The Middle,” during the Mix It Up: Hit Producers Talking Tracks panel.There is no one right way to make that magic. Every producer, songwriter, and artist has her or his own process. There are, however, some relative truths that can become worthwhile rules of thumb. For one, the origin of a song matters. You can hunker down and force out a song, but for J Kash, who’s written for pop stars like Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez, he believes “that good songs do come from inspiration, so it has to sound inspired.”“The point is to chase inspiration and to chase thought,” David Garcia, a noted hitmaker in Nashville, said during the opening panel entitled We Create Music. “You can have a really well-written song, but if at the end of the day, you press play and you sing it back and you don’t feel anything, what’s the point?”And just because an existing song made you emotional, it doesn’t mean you should try to replicate it in your own work. There is a danger in chasing trends, one that was expressed perfectly by Canadian-born producer Greg Wells, who was himself channeling a tweet from Kanye West. “A hit song, that’s a term that applies to something that’s already happened,” Wells said. “The fact that you know it’s a hit means it already was a hit.”That doesn’t mean, though, that a song idea, even if it’s subpar or derivative, deserves to be dumped. Being a hoarder of one’s own creations can pay dividends down the line, with bits and pieces of old songs being subsumed into new ones. For Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, a song is often the result of “organ harvesting,” which she described during a panel with 19-year-old King Princess as, essentially, taking parts from old ideas and repurposing them as new ones.“I think the point for me is just to be generative as much as possible because you just, you never know when you’re gonna need that bridge or you never know what something is going to end up becoming,” she said.As helpful as that piecemeal process can be, great music doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, complexity, whether pertaining to the structure of the song itself or the equipment with which it’s produced, can be the downfall of a piece of music. “When you talk about writing a song, basic wins,” Garcia said. “The best version of the simplest idea.”Meghan Trainor, who first came to the ASCAP EXPO in 2010 as an aspiring teenaged singer-songwriter at the behest of her family, echoed this idea, noting, “When I’m writing a song, I think simple is better. … Don’t stress over it over and over again.”If there is one thing in a song to stress over, though, it’s the chorus. To hear the experts at ASCAP tell it, nailing that part of a song can make the rest of the process a veritable breeze. “If you have an amazing chorus, we’re halfway down the field,” Johnson said.Writing good songs and turning those into great music can be quick and easy, long and grinding, fun and frustrating, and everything in between. What’s most important for any artist is, as Johnson put it, to “just stick through, persevere, give it all, trust your gut.”Bringing that music fully formed to a live audience can and often does feed directly back into the songwriting process. That’s what makes a song part of a life cycle instead of a dead end on its own. “Performing live made my musicianship better,” Trainor insisted.But for all the instruments and resources that are often required to flesh out a single thought into a magical musical experience, none of it is possible without people who can stomach the exhilarating and exhausting whims of an entertainment industry and still fill our ears with incredible art. “It’s a crazy job for crazy people,” St. Vincent said. “Probably none of us are in this room because we’re totally sane and there’s nothing broken inside of us. There’s a cavernous hole and we want to fill it.”As unfortunate as that insanity may be in its own right, its byproducts (i.e. songs) are as much the reasons for an eye-opening experience like the ASCAP Expo as for the widespread love of music that makes its performance such a precious, valuable and worthwhile commodity the world over.You can check out a gallery of photos, which were provided by ASCAP, below.Photos: ASCAP Expo | Loews Hotel | Hollywood, CA | 5/7-9/2018 last_img read more

Last dance, last chance

first_img The Spice Girls of Henry VIII Sickler first saw the show in New York in the ’90s on a work outing. At the time, he was living in the Boston area, and so when he discovered that it had opened in Cambridge, he was overjoyed.  “The visceral experience of not just seeing the show or hearing music and being able to dance, but just that sensory overload of music that was really a huge part of my childhood, plus this incredible story. Plus the people and the heat and the sweat and the glitter. It really struck a chord with me,” he says.For others, like Marissa Rae Roberts, it illuminated a path to a new career. Roberts was a graduate student in 2011, pursuing her M.F.A. in musical theater at the Boston Conservatory, when she auditioned for “The Donkey Show” and was cast as Disco Girl. She would eventually move on to the role of Mr. Oberon and then served a summer stint as associate resident director.“I remember giving notes to our DJ,” says Roberts, who left in 2018. “It has to be exciting. You’re changing it up, and it gets more insane, and then all of a sudden you have this big climactic audience. You’re making love to the audience,” she says.Roberts now leads her own ToUch Events, which creates theatrical events for organizations. Although she had begun working on ToUch before joining “The Donkey Show,” she calls the experience “a launch pad for creative endeavors.”“I learned so much,” she says. “Everything from storytelling, managing a company, how to be a director and speak as a director confidently.” The lessons, she says, included those that have enabled her to run her own business. Not only “to think outside of the box,” she says, but also “to creatively utilize theater in a business model.”Perhaps the most important thing she learned from Paulus involves priorities. “The focus is all about the audience,” says Roberts. “Not about crafting that perfect performance.”That audience connection will be sure to make these last performances exciting, if bittersweet. Sickler, who left “The Donkey Show” when he moved to New Hampshire in 2017, already has his tickets for the closing night. “I’m telling everybody,” he says. “Go now. This is your last chance.” The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Musical bound for A.R.T. recasts the six wives as girl-power pop stars center_img The mirrored ball will make its last glittering rotations to disco anthems by the likes of Donna Summer and Earth, Wind & Fire, and with that the era of “The Donkey Show” will end. The groundbreaking reinterpretation of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as a Studio 54-like fantasy will have its last dance at the American Repertory Theater’s (A.R.T.) Oberon on Sept. 7, nearly 10 years after its official opening on Sept. 9, 2009.With such a long run, the interactive production, which encourages audience members to drink and dance as part of the beat-heavy dream, has come to feel like a Saturday night staple. For the estimated 150,000-plus audience members who have attended one of its 885 performances — a group that includes many repeat “super fans” — it may be hard to remember when the show, an updating of Shakespeare’s tale of romantic illusion (and confusion) in a nightclub setting, was new.“‘The Donkey Show’ was the first show of my first season as artistic director,” recalls Diane Paulus ’88, the A.R.T.’s Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director, in an email interview. The show, which had already run for six years off-Broadway and toured globally, was first staged at Oberon in Cambridge on Aug. 21, 2009. Featuring scenic design by Scott Pask, costume design by David C. Woolard, lighting design by Evan Morris, and sound design by David Remedios, the production was initially scheduled to run only through October.  Responding to both critical acclaim and popular demand, the A.R.T. announced two months later that the show’s run would be open-ended. It has played nearly every Saturday night since.“I felt it offered a galvanizing way to express A.R.T.’s mission to expand the boundaries of theater,” says Paulus.Originally presented as part of a semester-long “Shakespeare Exploded” festival, along with “Sleep No More” and “Best of Both Worlds” (reimaginings of “Macbeth” and “The Winter’s Tale,” respectively), “The Donkey Show” and the two other productions expanded the way audiences took in the work of the Bard.,“There’s always been theater that has been connected to the audience and put the audience in different relationships, but that was when it really caught the public imagination,” recalls Allegra Libonati, who served as Paulus’ assistant director, helping to transfer the New York production to Cambridge, and also worked on “Sleep No More,” an adaptation of a British production. Although the productions differed greatly — “Sleep No More” had audiences wandering through the abandoned Old Lincoln School in Brookline — together they came to define immersive theater for a new generation. “Both of those shows are such game changers, in their own right,” says Libonati. Now a theater director in Las Vegas, she recalls their “new focus on transforming the audience experience.”What audiences experienced might have been new. However, says Paulus, it was always rooted in the material. “The immersive staging of the show draws inspiration from the ‘groundlings’ at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre — an audience experience that, in my imagination, is closer to the mosh pits of modern-day rock concerts than the way you traditionally experience Shakespeare today,” says Paulus. “There has been a definite trend in the field of an increased audience demand for immersive theater, and the popularity of ‘The Donkey Show’ speaks to that desire.”The show’s audience agrees. “I’ve always been a huge fan of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ It’s my favorite Shakespeare comedy,” recalls Mark Sickler, who went from being an enthusiastic repeat audience member to working as an usher, ultimately becoming a VIP usher, catering to group attendees. “I felt [‘The Donkey Show’] offered a galvanizing way to express A.R.T.’s mission to expand the boundaries of theater.” — Diane Paulus Relatedlast_img read more

Harvard Innovation Labs opens applications for startup accelerator

first_imgThe Harvard Innovation Labs announced this week that applications are open for Launch Lab X GEO, a virtual accelerator designed to help Harvard alumni-led ventures grow from pre-seed-stage startups to sustainable, disruptive businesses with real-world impact. “Since introducing Launch Lab X in 2018, we’ve seen how bringing together alumni-led ventures from diverse industries creates an incredibly vibrant and supportive community that elevates every member of the cohort,” said Matt Segneri, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Executive Director of the Harvard Innovation Labs. “In planning the 2020–2021 Launch Lab X program, we wanted to make our alumni accelerator available to even more high-potential ventures from around the world, and design programming that would foster strong relationships in a virtual environment.”  Launch Lab X GEO is for Harvard alumni-led founders of for-profit and non-profit ventures across a wide range of industries. Ventures accepted into the Launch Lab X GEO will participate in a nine-month virtual accelerator that is based on four central pillars: Knowledge sharing — From designing a product roadmap to scaling culture, the Harvard Innovation Labs will connect Launch Lab X GEO venture teams with world-class advisors. Founder talks — Launch Lab X GEO venture teams will learn from leaders with incredible entrepreneurial stories. These talks will feature founders from a wide range of industries and backgrounds who have built and scaled successful startups. Alumni circles — Led by later-stage entrepreneurs and leaders within the i-lab, these lightly facilitated, informal conversations allow founders to share their entrepreneurial challenges openly. Pitch sessions — During these sessions, venture teams learn how to pitch with precision and heart, in front of a diverse group of accomplished founders and investors. In the spring of 2021, select Launch Lab X GEO ventures will present their work in the 10th Annual Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge Awards Ceremony, where winners will be awarded $100,000 in Bertarelli Foundation Prizes. “What sets the Launch Lab X accelerator apart is its focus on customization,” said Thara Pillai, director of alumni programs and engagement at the Harvard Innovation Labs. “Launch Lab X’s adaptive, milestone-based approach meets each venture where they are, and guides them through de-risking their business models, validating their value propositions, and building strong relationships with their customers, global alumni, and especially one another.”  Applications for Launch Lab X GEO are open through July 27. Information sessions will be held on July 7 and July 15. To learn more, visit innovationlabs.harvard.edu/launch-lab-x.  Read Full Storylast_img read more

Student senate votes to increase club funding

first_imgAfter struggling for weeks to reach a compromise, the student senate passed a resolution Monday evening to increase funding for student clubs and organizations by approximately $30,000. The new resolution will cut three percent of the budget for Student Union organizations — including the class councils and the Student Union Board — and reallocate it to other student clubs.Student body president Gates McGavick and vice president Corey Gayheart, both seniors who promised to increase club funding during their campaign last year, were instrumental in pushing the resolution through the senate.“This is a really important day for clubs and student organizations,” McGavick said in a comment after the meeting. “We reached a compromise that worked for everyone, and I know I can speak for Corey in saying that we’re really happy to deliver on a campaign promise of ours to give clubs more money.”The student senate has been discussing the issue of club funding for over a month. Many student leaders have argued in previous meetings that student organizations are strapped for funds.Diversity chair, senior Alyssa Ngo, previously told the senate that diversity clubs, such as the Asian American Association, are struggling financially. Ngo argued that increased club funding would help support these clubs’ diversity initiatives on campus.Six weeks prior, the senate voted on — and rejected — the same resolution. McGavick and Gayheart negotiated for weeks with the resolution’s opponents and reached a final agreement for Monday’s meeting.Opponents originally had two main concerns: financial transparency and budget cuts. McGavick and Gayheart developed two new resolutions to resolve these concerns.The first resolution addressed the financial transparency of the Club Coordination Council (CCC), the student organization responsible for allocating annual funding to student clubs. The CCC oversees a budget of about $340,000, which it distributes between the more than 400 student organizations on campus, according to CCC sophomore vice-president elect Patrick Harris.Senators, notably the representative from Welsh Family Hall, junior Lindsay McCray, originally opposed the funding reallocation because they thought that the CCC lacked financial transparency.McCray, along with Gayheart and CCC president, senior Samantha Scaglione, co-authored a resolution to increase the CCC’s transparency, which passed unanimously during Monday’s meeting. “CCC took that [feedback] to heart … And we decided that we want to be more transparent directly to the senate,” Harris said.Although student government leaders easily resolved the concerns about the CCC’s transparency, they clashed over the second legislative compromise, which addressed the concerns of Student Union representatives.Student Union leaders had previously opposed the reallocation because they worried that the budget cuts could jeopardize their mission. In response, they crafted a resolution that revised the budgetary process.The Financial Management Board, which has nine voting members — including all four class council treasurers — votes on the budgets for student clubs. The FMB could traditionally pass this budget with a simple majority of five voting members.Class council presidents were worried that their voices could be ignored by a simple majority vote, so they proposed an amendment requiring that the budget pass with a two-thirds majority.“[The amendment] ensures that the three percent that gets transferred over will be more equitable, with more people being on board,” Michael Conlon, president of the Senior Class Council, said.But other student government leaders were skeptical of this change, which would empower the four class council leaders to veto a budget they dislike. Critics argued that this change could potentially allow class council leaders to derail the budgetary process.“The system as it currently stands is not broken. … Why would we change something that’s not broken to implement something that could go wrong?” Harris said.McGavick and Gayheart, however, dismissed these concerns.“This is a very minor procedural edit. … It’s what is the missing piece in the opportunity that we all have to give clubs thousands of more dollars,” McGavick said.Ultimately, the second resolution passed, causing Student Union leaders to fully support the budget reallocation. The increased club funding marks a major legislative victory for McGavick and Gayheart, whose term ends on April 1.“Never doubt your ability to impact someone’s experience here,” Gayheart said.Tags: Club Coordination Council, club funding, Notre Dame Student Senate, Senatelast_img read more

Tinker Cliffs

first_imgPhoto courtesy of staff at Wilderness AdventureAppalachia Outposts: Tinker CliffsVirginia has a wide assortment of backyard activities. From climbing to caving and everything in between, keeping busy outside in Virginia is not a hard thing to do. So with a little time off, and a thirst for adventure, a small group of friends and myself got in the vehicle, took a short ride, and checked out one of the many scenic branches of the Appalachian Trail: Tinker Cliffs.Hiking Tinker CliffsPhoto courtesy of staff at Wilderness AdventureLocated in Catawba (near Daleville) and off of Virginia 779, the Andy Layne Trail head is located right off the road. Starting the scenic 2.8-mile hike to the top is a couple of creek crossings, open cow pastures (watch your step!), and many well-maintained trails. The trails are all in good conditions as you push further on, but the grade quickly becomes steeper. And at times, you question to yourself, “Why am I climbing this mountain?”Tinker Cliffs SummitPhoto courtesy of staff at Wilderness AdventureThe answer soon becomes clear as you reach the summit. The glorious views provided by Tinker Cliffs will take your breath away, make you appreciate hiking, and will simply amaze you. 1,700 feet above ground level gives you a bird’s eye view as you navigate across the cliffs and have a good time, definitely a must-do Virginia backyard activity.Go, get out and explore, and most of all, have a good time with it.-BradView Larger Maplast_img read more