SUPPORT FOR INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

To the University of Utah Community,

The University of Utah strongly supports the international members of our community and values their many contributions to this campus. The continued ability to attract and support outstanding students and the highest quality faculty and staff from around the world is critical to excellence in teaching, research, and community engagement.

This past week, as most of you are well aware, President Trump signed an executive order that suspends entry into the United States for various categories of travelers. The current order affects immigrant and non-immigrant status holders from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

On Friday, Jan. 27, in anticipation of the president signing the executive order, a message of support and resources was sent to all international scholars and students at the U. The Office of General Counsel also reached out to employees affected by the travel ban.

We are obviously concerned about the impact this order may have on the ability of foreign nationals, and those with dual citizenship to obtain visas and enter the U.S. The university is advising immigrant and non-immigrant students, faculty, and staff from these seven countries who are currently inside the U.S. to postpone international travel for the time being. If you are currently outside of the U.S. and wish to re-enter, please contact International Student and Scholar Services as soon as possible at 801-581-8876. Additionally, because other countries may be added to the current list of seven countries, we also recommend that non-U.S. citizens who may be affected by the executive order refrain from non-urgent travel.

Please know that the university is working to monitor and interpret the latest developments to understand how we can best provide guidance and support to our international community in the coming days and weeks. If you have visa issues or questions concerning travel outside of the United States, please contact International Student and Scholar Services or visit the website for updated information.

Resources available to the U community:

International Student and Scholar Services: internationalcenter.utah.edu
University Counseling Center: counselingcenter.utah.edu
Women’s Resource Center: womenscenter.utah.edu
Center for Ethnic Student Affairs: diversity.utah.edu/centers/cesa
American Immigration Lawyers Association Immigration Lawyer Referral Service: ailalawyer.com
(provides referrals to immigration attorneys across the U.S.)
College of Law: law.utah.edu/pro-bono-initiative/free-legal-clinics


Ruth V. Watkins
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


Michael L. Hardman
Chief Global Officer

HUMANS OF THE U: NICOLE SHAW

“On the first day of my master of social work program I heard about a study abroad trip to Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana, during spring break 2016. I am interested in pairing my mental health experience with working internationally so I applied immediately and got in.

The U helped Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology set up a social work program several years ago. Our project was to conduct focus groups to find out how the program is going and how it could be improved.

After our focus group, students asked us about our lives. They use American and British textbooks and one student asked me why there was a chapter devoted to managing stress. She explained to me that the concept of stress as we understand it — they don’t experience that in Ghana because they live in the here and now. She also brought up anxiety and depression, which are described in the textbooks, and asked why this is such a problem. I told her we have so many expectations that we feel we can’t meet. She said, ‘Why not? Why can’t you just accept and love where you’re at right now?’ What she said really stuck with me.”

— Nicole Shaw, social work graduate student

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HUMANS OF NEW YORK

By Annalisa Purser, communications specialist, University Marketing and Communications

Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton will speak at the University of Utah on March 9 at 12 p.m. at Kingsbury Hall. The Humans of New York (HONY) project features portraits and stories of people from the streets of New York and has garnered more than 25 million followers on social media. Stanton’s 2015 book “Humans of New York: Stories” is a compilation of these portraits and is a No. 1 New York Times bestseller.

Tickets will be free and available to U students starting Feb. 1 at the Kingsbury Hall box office. A valid student ID is required. Availability will expand to faculty, staff and the general public on Feb. 8 at the box office and online. There is a limit of two tickets per person.

Stanton’s visit to the U is sponsored by the U’s MUSE Project (My U Signature Experience), a presidential initiative that works to enrich undergraduate education across the university, and this visit highlights the MUSE Project’s theme year on optimism.

“Stanton understands his work as fundamentally optimistic — a means of building community through the art of photography and through listening to people tell their stories,” said Mark Matheson, director of the MUSE Project and English professor. “We admire the democratic inclusiveness of his project, which is based on the truth that every human being has a compelling personal narrative.”

Stanton began Humans of New York with a goal to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers on the street and has expanded it to include stories of people across the globe. Additionally, HONY has successfully raised millions of dollars for individuals and organizations. In 2013, Stanton was included in Time magazine’s “30 People Under 30 Changing the World.” He was an ABC News “Person of the Week” and was invited to photograph former President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

Through a grant from the O.C. Tanner Company, MUSE has provided 400 copies of “Humans of New York: Stories” to U students and other members of the university community. The book is being used by several professors this semester as part of their course curricula, and MUSE will host student-led discussion groups that will explore Stanton’s work.

“There is something intrinsically optimistic in the process of education itself,” said Matheson. “We believe that every U student brings to our campus a unique constellation of gifts, and our charge is to help all of them develop their personal talents and capacities. We do this by building a culture of individual mentoring across campus and connecting students with inspiring people like Brandon Stanton.”

In addition to the keynote event, the MUSE Project’s theme year on optimism includes a series of Lunchtime Lectures held on the first Thursday of each month. These events feature university professors who discuss their work and how it relates to the theme. More information is available online.

“We hope that through studying Stanton’s work and attending his keynote, U of U students will get a richer sense of individual human experience and of the common ground on which we can build together,” said Matheson. “Stanton is a young man who has actively pursued his own promising idea, and we hope his example will inspire our students to imagine what’s possible for them in their own education and early professional lives.”

SUPER BOWL WARM-UP

By Bill Keshlear, communications specialist, College of Health

Beyond the countless statistics that coaches of the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons will analyze in the run-up to Sunday’s Super Bowl – such as yards per pass attempt, field position after kickoffs, red-zone scoring efficiency and generic tendencies of their opponent – is one that could threaten the future of professional football as the No. 1 spectator sport in the United States: The number of possibly debilitating concussions the game produces.

PHOTO CREDIT: University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

After one player sustained two concussions, graduate student Jason Mihalik (left), Kevin Guskiewicz and the football staff used video from the studies to help the player correct his blocking technique, which prevented a third concussion after a big hit against rival N. C. State University.

The National Football League reported that players suffered 271 concussions during 234 games of the 2015 season.

That’s just the tip of an iceberg. From 2001 through 2005, children and youth 5 through 18 years of age who were diagnosed as suffering sport-related concussion accounted for 135,000 visits to emergency rooms in the United States. Many of those kids were deeply influenced by elite athletes and their style of play.

A lecture and panel discussion sponsored by the College of Health will examine sport-related concussion 9 a.m. Friday at S.J. Quinney College of Law’s Moot Courtroom. Panelists include a prominent researcher and former National Football League adviser, the University of Utah’s athletic director, its physician for all athletic teams, the football team’s head athletic trainer, a University of Utah researcher administering a Pac-12 Conference brain-imaging grant and a medical spotter for the Big-10 Conference.

Is it a legitimate concern for fans and parents or media-driven paranoia? Given what we know about the injury, should children even play vigorous sport in which contact is inevitable? What about head-injury risk associated with non-contact sport such as competitive bicycling or skiing?

“I am totally, 100 percent against eliminating contact sport for kids. We need to look for ways to minimize the risk of injury and keep kids active in sport,” said Kevin Guskiewicz, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a prominent researcher in sport-related concussion and former adviser to the National Football League on sport-related concussion.

PHOTO CREDIT: (Photos ©2015 Kevin Seifert Photography | kevin@kevinseifertphotography.com | 919-208-9458)

Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz

Guskiewicz will speak at the Friday event.

He believes football, in particular, is as safe as it has ever been because of rules changes, better equipment and general awareness of concussion. Guskiewicz is a big believer in sport as a way to develop individual character and increase childhood physical activity while reducing rates of obesity and diabetes.

Over the past 20 years, his research has focused on sport-related concussion, specifically its effect on balance and neuropsychological function in high school and collegiate athletes. It helped persuade the NFL to adopt rule changes that led to a decrease in concussion during kick-offs — one of football’s most dangerous plays. He has been a member of the NFL’s powerful advisory Head, Neck and Spine Committee.

Guskiewicz was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, a “Genius Grant,” for his innovative work. For example, his research team and the North Carolina football program pioneered the use of helmet sensors that monitor the amount, direction and magnitude of impacts. Data from the sensors can be used to change rules and modify style of play.

He and his colleagues used the fellowship’s stipend to improve safety in high school sport and identify and treat serious head injury in the U.S. military.

Guskiewicz has been outspoken as a national leader in sport-related concussion. The title of Friday’s discussion, “The State of Sport Concussion: Legitimate Concern vs. Paranoia,” highlights possible conflicts between neurological research, the nation’s richest and possibly most powerful spectator sport and a ratings-driven news media.

One emerging but inconclusive line of research examines repetitive jolts to the head that don’t quite meet the diagnosis for concussion, so-called sub-concussive hits. It has enormous implications for football because unavoidable helmet-to-helmet contact occurs on every play during a game and in practice drills. In response to this research Guskiewicz said, “Well, let’s figure it out. Where’s the evidence to support this notion or theory.”

Photo credit: Courtesy of University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

WOMEN’S BBALL BLACKOUT GAME

Utah Women’s Basketball is offering all University of Utah faculty and staff members up to six free general admission tickets to their Blackout home game on Friday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. as they host Pac-12 rival Washington. Faculty and staff may claim their free tickets at the Jon M. Huntsman Center main ticket office gate by presenting their University of Utah UCard.

Friday night games are loaded with family fun, including tons of kid-friendly activities happening along the concourse starting one hour before tipoff. Activates include face-painting, a balloon artist, poster-making, bracelet-making, temporary tattoos, a photo booth, cornhole and more.

The program continues to rise and grow under the direction of Head Coach Lynne Roberts, who is in her second season here at the U. The doors will open at 7 p.m., with the first 1,000 fans in attendance receiving a free black replica jersey T-shirt.

“I would like to sincerely thank those of you who influence and interact with our student-athletes every day in the classroom and around campus,” Roberts said. “You all play such a large role in our player’s education and it’s important to our program that we recognize you and that you know how much we appreciate all that you do.”

The Pac-12 Conference is the best in the nation with five teams in the top 25 and two others receiving votes. The Utah Women’s Basketball Team has a fast-tempo, aggressive and exciting style of play everyone enjoys. The Utes opened the 2016-17 with the program’s best start in 16 years with an undefeated mark of 11-0 before beginning Pac-12 Conference action.

Utah returned four of its five starters last season with junior forward Emily Potter headlining the squad, who was a Pac-12 All-Conference Team selection by the coaches and the media last season. Potter joined an elite club scoring her 1,000th career points just 11 games into her junior season.

“I feel really honored to be a part of this group of players who have reached 1,000 points. A huge part of this is that my coaches and teammates trust me and keep giving me the ball to be able to score.”

For more information, visit UtahUtes.com or call 801-581-UTIX.

AT YOUR SERVICE

By Annalisa Purser, communications specialist, University Marketing and Communications

The University of Utah is dedicated to helping students succeed by providing resources to assist them in all aspects of their lives. The University Counseling Center is one such service and offers confidential counseling and support to students (and staff and faculty) to help them manage the complexities of life while also attending or working at the university. We sat down with Susan Chamberlain, licensed staff psychologist and outreach coordinator for the center, to learn more.

The Counseling Center is located in Room 426 of the Student Services Building. To make an appointment, drop by or call 801-581-6826.

Q: How do people know if they should seek counseling?

When most of us start college, we have all of these hopes for how it will be. We look forward to meeting new people, learning new things and becoming the awesome people we know we can be. College can definitely be amazing, but most of us also face struggles that we never imagined. Even the most prepared students can run into unexpected problems or can struggle with old issues in new ways. These problems can lead to all sorts of difficulties: Emotional, interpersonal, behavioral, academic, physical or spiritual. When these difficulties feel like too much to handle, the University of Utah Counseling Center is there to help.

Sometimes we think our problems aren’t “bad enough” to come in for therapy — we may compare our problems to what we imagine others are experiencing and decide that we are not worthy of help. But doing some preventive care at the earlier stages of symptoms can accelerate the healing process and help you to reach your goals.

Q: What types of services does the Counseling Center offer?

The Counseling Center provides confidential mental health services for students through individual, couples and group counseling, as well as other services, such as psychiatry and the Mindfulness Clinic.

Individual therapy means that you meet one-on-one with a therapist and collaborate to set goals.

Couples counseling involves intimate partners who may be experiencing conflict in their relationship. Only one member of the partnership needs to be a student, and they do not need to be married. These services are available to all intimate partnerships, including heterosexual, polyamourous, same-sex, etc.

Group counseling describes a setting in which several people (typically four to eight) meet together for therapy. These groups are led by one or two facilitators (therapists from the center), and the groups vary depending on the topic and/or the population involved. For example, we have groups for students in graduate school, a group for people who identify as LGBTQ and a group for people who struggle with perfectionism. There are a number of different therapy groups, as well as a support group for people who are grieving the death of a loved one and another support group for people who have questions about faith, belief and spirituality. A full list of the groups that we offer is available on our website. You don’t need a referral to attend, but you may need to first meet with the group’s facilitator in order to find out if the group is a good fit.

Q: Who can use the Counseling Center?

Any graduate student, or any undergraduate student enrolled in six or more credit hours can participate in any of our programs, including individual, couples or group therapy and psychiatry. Any enrolled student or staff member can participate in our Mindfulness Clinic services, such as drop-in meditations and our Feel Better Now workshops, regardless of credit hours. All students and staff are also welcome in our support groups: Sharing and Caring (a group for people who have experienced the death of a loved one) and Faith + Doubt (a support group for people with questions related to their spirituality). The Mindfulness Clinic and our support groups are free — you just need to register for them online.

Part of our mission statement is to “advocate a philosophy of acceptance, compassion and support for those we serve. . . We aspire to respect cultural, individual and role differences as we continually work toward creating a safe and affirming climate for individuals of all ages, cultures, ethnicities, genders, gender identities, languages, mental and physical abilities, national origins, races, religions, sexual orientations, sizes and socioeconomic statuses.” We hope that all students, no matter their intersecting identities, will feel welcomed and supported at the Counseling Center.

Q: Who provides the counseling services?

Our permanent clinical staff consists of licensed psychologists and social workers. We also have advanced graduate students in social work and psychology who, under the supervision of licensed clinicians, provide individual, couples and group counseling. As a nationally accredited training site, we take training very seriously and are grateful for the hard work of our trainees.

Q: How much does it cost to use the center?

Costs vary depending on the service being used. The center does not accept insurance, which helps to keep costs down. If finances are tight, and you can’t afford our fees, talk to your counselor, and we can make arrangements. Below is a chart with our services listed, along with their fees:

ServiceCostFrequency

Intake Session Free
Individual Sessions $12 12 sessions/year
Couples Sessions $30 12 sessions/year
Group Therapy Sessions $5 Unlimited sessions
Support Groups Free Unlimited sessions; register online
Feel Better Now! Workshop Free Register online; attend as many as you like
Drop-In Meditation Free Just show up
Psychiatric Evaluation $75
Med Checks $12
Referral Services Free

Q: How many times can a person visit the center?

The number of sessions you can attend varies depending on the service you use. As students, you have 12 sessions of individual or couples therapy per year, but group sessions are unlimited. Please keep in mind that if you are seeking therapy, you must choose either individual, group or couples counseling because we are not currently able to support multiple modalities for one client.

Q: Will what I say be kept confidential?

Our counselors are all bound by the rule of confidentiality. This means that, for the most part, what you say in session will be kept confidential. Our professional counselors, along with those in the Women’s Resource Center, are not mandated to report anything to the Office of the Dean of Students (for example, a reported assault).

However, there are some legal exceptions to this rule which would require reporting. Some of these exceptions include:

  1. An imminent threat of danger to self or others.
  2. Reported abuse, neglect or exploitation of a child or dependent adult.
  3. An unreported diagnosis of certain communicable diseases.
  4. A court-order.

There are other exceptions to the rule, so if you have any questions be sure to ask about the limits of confidentiality when you meet with a therapist.

Q: How long does a student have to wait to see a counselor? What if someone needs to see a counselor sooner?

In order to access our counseling services, you would first meet with one of our intake therapists for  about 30 to 40 minutes. During this appointment, an intake counselor will find out what your needs and goals are for therapy, and then they will make recommendations based on what you discuss. To schedule an intake appointment, you can call us at 801-581-6826 or stop by our office in room 426 of the Student Services Building. We work very hard to get clients scheduled as quickly as possible. There is also a counselor available during business hours for students experiencing a mental health emergency.

Q: What can students do to practice good mental health throughout the year?

Maintaining good mental health requires some intentional practice, just like physical health.  With this in mind, we started a Mindfulness Clinic several years ago. Mindfulness is kind of a buzzword in mental health circles. One definition that we like comes from Jon Kabat-Zinn, who stated that “mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” Research shows that mindfulness can decrease anxiety and depression and increase feelings of peace and well-being.

One service our Mindfulness Clinic currently offers is free drop-in meditation sessions. You don’t need to register: Just come by Room 334 of the Student Services Building on Mondays at 12:30 p.m.

Our clinic also offers free workshops called “Feel Better Now: Skills for Managing Anxiety and Sadness.” These workshops teach practical skills to aid in increasing focus, managing anxiety and decreasing sadness. Any Mindfulness Clinic service is open to students, faculty and staff, and you don’t need to be a client of the Counseling Center to register.

Q: What happens when I graduate?

If you have ongoing needs for care after you graduate, we will help you to find treatment resources as best we can. Such help may include providing referrals to services in the community or helping you to navigate your insurance’s website to find a provider. When the time comes for you to leave the U, we want you to feel empowered to seek out and access the treatment that you need, and we will be here to help you to do that.

WORLD PREMIERES WITH UTAH BALLET

By Molly Powers, marketing and communications coordinator, College of Fine Arts

Visiting Guest Artists Gabrielle Lamb and Katie Scherman, both honored with Princess Grace Awards for Dance and Choreography, will premiere new works with the Utah Ballet dancers at the University of Utah. Additionally, two premieres from faculty members Jennifer Weber and Melissa Bobick, as well as reimagined and restaged excerpts from Marius Petipa’s masterwork, “Raymonda” will be showcased on the program Feb. 2-4, 2017, at the Marriott Dance Center.

The classic and contemporary mix performance will highlight the broad range of ballet, from “Raymonda,” originally choreographed in 1898 to contemporary ballet works created in 2017.  The program promises to delight, entertain and inspire with five unique approaches to the art of ballet.

New York City-based Lamb redefines the essentials of ballet technique – precision flow, and the defiance of gravity – as she searches for new intersections of the organic and the surprising. She will premiere her new work entitled “Springload.” Lamb, who began choreographing in 2005, has won the National Choreographic Competition of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2009 and 2013, first prizes in Milwaukee Ballet’s Genesis International Choreographic Competition and Western Michigan University’s National Choreographic Competition.  She was named winner of the Banff Centre’s 2014-15 Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award and in 2014 she was honored with a New York City Center choreography fellowship.

Katie Scherman’s new work for Utah Ballet is entitled “it’s about time.” Scherman describes her work as coming from a place of curiosity, using vulnerability as a gateway for movement inspiration. A California native, she has performed with Houston Ballet II, The Washington Ballet Studio Company, Trey McIntyre, Hubbard Street 2, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Central California Ballet, Terpsicorps Dance Theatre and BodyVox to name a few. She graduated from Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet/Dominican University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and received her Master of Fine Arts in dance from the University of Oregon.

“Legacy,” a new work by visiting assistant professor Bobick, uses a fusion of the classical ballet vernacular and narrative storytelling to acknowledge the efforts of the women who have come before us, so that we might recognize and honor their sacrifices and therein find our inspiration to continue their legacy.

Weber brings to the stage “Tethered,” a new work focused on the concept of “difference,” which all too often can lead to violence and chaos throughout the world. Her work embraces the other side of the spectrum – focusing on the richness that difference can bring to us all. Her choreography is an abstraction of the acknowledgement, honoring and acceptance of difference and diversity on all levels and the true celebration that can be found using this approach.

Excerpts from Petipa’s masterwork “Raymonda” have been restaged by faculty member James Ady for the performance. Reimagined from the original choreography from 1898 set to Alexander Glazunov’s expansive score, the University of Utah dancers bring history to life before our eyes. Originally performed at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg with a Moscow premiere at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1900, the work is currently performed by numerous ballet companies around the globe.

Tickets are available at tickets.utah.edu, 801-581-7100 or at the door 30 minutes prior to curtain. For more information, please visit dance.utah.edu.

HOW DO I PAY FOR SCHOOL?

By Hilerie Harris, marketing and communications coordinator, Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid

Spring semester has started, and you may be thinking about how to pay for next school year. There are many options to help you pay for school, such as grants, loans, scholarships and work study. Check out our following guide on how to pay for school:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by the Feb. 1 Priority Date to be considered for all aid options, including need-based scholarships, work-study and grants. Students can also qualify for federal student loans through the FAFSA. Even if you do not meet the financial aid priority date, you can potentially qualify for Federal Pell Grants and be offered loans.

The FAFSA is now available Oct. 1 of every year and will use tax information from two years prior. The 2017-18 FAFSA requires 2015 tax information.

Campus Scholarships

Spring semester is when scholarship applications open around campus. Check the department of your major or offices, such as the Alumni Association for an application. Deadlines and procedures will vary with each department. To begin your search, visit our website for a list of campus scholarship resources.

External Scholarships

Students can also search online to find additional scholarships. The University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid maintains an extensive list of online scholarship resources that includes search sites and scholarship postings.

There are a variety of scholarships available online, such as merit, community service, essay, video and much more. Deadlines and requirements will vary, so check the posting carefully.

Employment

Many University of Utah students work to pay for their education. One option is the Federal Work Study program. Students must qualify for a work study award through the FAFSA. Funding is limited, and it is advisable to complete the FAFSA and your financial aid file by the Feb. 1 Priority Date.

Students can also work in non-work study jobs on campus. Visit the University of Utah Human Resources website for a list of student jobs and apply using the online application system. One of the benefits of working on campus is flexibility — employers are able to work with your school schedule.

If you are interested in working off campus, Career Services is a good place to start. Career Services has a list of resources available for different kinds of employment, including internships.

If you have any questions about paying for school or need a little extra guidance, counselors in the University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid can help. Visit financialaid.utah.edu or call 801-581-6211 for more information.

Glossary/terminology

  • Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID)
    The FSA ID is the user name and password that gives students access to Federal Student Aid’s websites (FAFSA, student loans) and serves as your legal signature.
  • Scholarships
    Scholarships are funds that are typically awarded on merit and are not paid back.
  • Grants
    Grants are funds students do not pay back and are based on financial need. The University of Utah awards federal, state and institutional grants to undergraduate students. To receive a grant, students must complete the FAFSA and qualify for financial need.
  • Loans
    Student loans are a type of award that need to be paid back with interest. Currently, the interest rate for these loans is 3.76 percent. The interest rate typically changes every year, and an updated interest rate will be posted on July 1 of ever year. Students start paying the loans six months after graduating or leaving school. The loans typically awarded are unsubsided and subsidized loans. There are other loan options available. For more information, visit with a University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid counselor.
    • Subsidized Loans: Loans that do not accumulate interest while the student is in school. These loans are for undergraduate students only.
    • Unsubsidized Loans: Loans accumulate interest while the student is in school.
  • Master Promissory Note (MPN)
    Students will electronically sign an MPN when they take out a federal student loan for the first time. This agreement states you will pay back the loan.

AIDING INFANTS AT RISK FOR HEARING LOSS

By Brooke Adams, communications specialist, University Marketing and Communications

A Utah law has led to increased early identification of infants with hearing loss due to a congenital infection, according to a new study by University of Utah and Utah Department of Health researchers.

The study, published today in Pediatrics, is the first to assess how implementation of a state-wide screening can pick up hearing loss in infants due to congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV). Utah, which has the nation’s highest birth rate, was the first state to mandate CMV screening for infants who fail newborn hearing tests. The Utah law is proving a model for other states.

 “Our study demonstrates that policy changes such as the one in Utah that required CMV testing after failed newborn hearing screening can improve the identification of infants with hearing loss, even those without congenital CMV,” said Marissa Diener, lead author and associate professor at the University of Utah’s Department of Family and Consumer Studies. “This is important because timely identification of hearing loss can enable earlier intervention, which is linked to better language outcomes for children.”

The Utah legislation also provided funds for educational campaigns surrounding congenital CMV, which is important given its prevalence, Diener said.

“Although congenital Zika infection is less prevalent in the U. S. than CMV, many people have heard of the Zika virus but fewer are familiar with cytomegalovirus,” Diener said.

Cytomegalovirus is the most common congenital infection, affecting about 1 in 150 children or 30,000 newborns in the U.S. each year. In Utah that equates to roughly one baby born per day.

An infant born with the infection often shows no symptoms or signs; most of those infants do not experience any long-term effects. But the virus can potentially damage the brain, eyes and inner ear. It is estimated that 6 percent to 30 percent of hearing loss in children may be due to congenital CMV, making it the leading non-genetic cause of hearing loss in the United States.

In 2013, Utah became the first state to enact a public health initiative requiring CMV education and testing. The Utah Department of Health was tasked with creating a program about birth defects associated with and ways to prevent congenital CMV. (For more information about the program, please visit health.utah.gov/cmv.)

“CMV is transmitted through body fluids. Washing your hands often, especially after wiping a young child’s nose, mouth or tears or changing diapers is important, said Stephanie Browning McVicar, co-author and director of the Cytomegalovirus Public Health Initiative at the Utah Department of Health. “What is also essential, though, is not sharing food, drink or utensils, particularly with young children, while pregnant.”

The bill also requires all infants who fail two hearing screens to be tested for CMV within three weeks of birth unless a parent declines the test.

By using that time frame, health providers are able to distinguish between congenital CMV and CMV acquired after birth, which is rarely associated with health problems. The screening parameters also are designed to identify infants who do not have any symptoms but are most at risk for hearing loss.

The researchers used Utah Department of Health and Vital Records data to assess whether 509 asymptomatic infants who failed hearing tests between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2015 underwent CMV screening and the results of that screening.

They found that 62 percent of these infants were tested for CMV and three-quarters were screened within the three-week time frame. Fourteen of those infants were CMV positive and six had hearing loss. Of the infants who were tested more than 21 days after birth, seven were CMV positive and three had hearing loss.

The researchers conclude that because these infants had no signs of infection, it is “highly likely” they would not have been diagnosed later as having congenitally acquired CMV. Identification of CMV-positive infants increased opportunities to watch their health more closely and intervene, when needed, more quickly. They also found more infants received timely diagnostic hearing tests after the law took effect.

“This result has major implications for all children who fail their newborn hearing screening since speech and language outcomes depend upon early hearing loss diagnosis,” said Albert Park, co-author and chief of the U’s pediatric otolaryngology division. “CMV infected infants with hearing loss may benefit from antiviral therapy. This question will hopefully be addressed in an upcoming NIH funded clinical trial that our group will be conducting to compare hearing, speech and language outcomes in CMV infected infants.”

The researchers suggest, based on their analysis of the data, that screening compliance could be increased by focusing educational and outreach efforts on certain groups who were less likely to get their infants screened for congenital CMV: less educated mothers, babies not born in a hospital and infants who received hearing tests later than 14 days after birth.

Other co-authors of the study include Cathleen D. Zick, professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Studies at the University of Utah, and Jill Boettger, CMV data coordinator at the Utah Department of Health.

The full study can be found here.

CAREER FAIR

By Sara Jarman, recruiting coordinator, Career Services

University of Utah Career Services is excited to announce the spring 2017 career fairs. The All-Campus Career Fair will take place on Thursday, Feb. 2, and the STEM Career Fair will be on Tuesday, Feb. 7. Join us in the Union Ballroom between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to meet more than 100 employers.

Learn how to make the most of the career fairs:

DOWNLOAD THE APP

One of the most helpful things you can do to prepare for the career fairs is to research the companies ahead of time. Knowing your facts will give you a leg up in your conversations with recruiters and will let you make the most of your time at the fair. Utah Career Fair Plus is our free app that provides a detailed (and filterable) employer list, a map of the employers in the Union Ballroom, and the ability to flag your favorite employers and store notes about your conversations. You can find Utah Career Fair Plus in Google Play or the App Store.

RESUME REVIEWS

You want your resume to stand out (in a good way) among the stacks that recruiters take away from the fairs. Career Services is offering three full days of walk-in resume reviews so that you can be sure yours is top notch. Bring your most current resume to Room 350 in the Student Services Building or the Catmull Gallery in the Warnock Engineering Building on Monday, Jan. 30, Wednesday, Feb. 1 or Monday, Feb. 6 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

SKIP THE LINES

Nobody likes waiting in a long line to check in to the Career Fair. Skip the lines this year and pre-register. Pre-registration will be available at Career Services (Student Services Building, Room 350) on Wednesday, Feb. 1 and Monday, Feb. 6. All you need to do is type in your University of Utah ID(uNID), and your nametag will print. Just be sure to bring your nametag to the fair.

INTERNSHIPS

The career fairs are not only for students getting ready to graduate (although there are plenty of positions for those students, too). Many of the employers at the fairs will be offering summer and fall internships for a variety of majors. Just look for the employers wearing the “Ask Me About Internships” buttons.

INTERVIEWS

While the career fairs are a great place to learn about various employers and network with recruiters, did you know that many of the employers scheduled interviews for students right on the spot? During the fall 2016 semester, more than 225 students were interviewed in conjunction with the career fairs. For many of those employers, that was the only time they conducted on-campus interviews during the semester.

HEADSHOTS

It only takes one-tenth of a second for someone to draw conclusions about you based on your photo. Make the most of your LinkedIn profile with a free professional headshot (a service that usually ranges from $100 to $250). Meet our photographer on the Union Ballroom stage between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to take advantage of this service.

EXPLORE

Because it’s never too early to start networking and weighing your future employment options, freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to attend the career fairs. Even if you haven’t settled on a major, come and meet employers and learn about the majors associated with their careers. When you are ready to start looking for an internship or career, you’ll have a great network of employers to look to.