University leaders celebrate the work of 1U4U research teams

The University of Utah’s “One U” mantra has become a campus shortcut for collaboration and inclusiveness. But over the past 18 months, 1U4U professors have lived and breathed the slogan.

Selected in January 2020, 33 inter-campus teams of academics, researchers, artists and teachers have developed and implemented interdisciplinary projects integrating both the fields of study of health and business sciences. academic:

  • Two projects, one at the School of Medicine, the other at the School of Cultural and Social Transformation, have developed pipelines to increase student diversity in graduate programs.
  • Another group created a timely virtual reality anatomy curriculum for nursing, medical, and dental students at a time when most college courses were conducted online.
  • A team from Architecture + Planning and the School of Medicine has launched a new graduate program using human-centered design concepts to help healthcare teams make clinical decisions.
  • Another project organized by the School of Music brought together visual and musical artists to interpret and express science on climate change.
  • Another team created a university network to study and teach gender-based violence.

Building cross-campus teams and fostering interdisciplinary teamwork has been the impetus for the 1U4U initiative, said Dan Reed, senior vice president of academic affairs. But supporting projects that could lead to larger research grants and have a lasting impact on the community as a whole was equally important.

“We wanted this project to catalyze collaboration and be a bridge to new opportunities,” he said. “These projects represent the best of the One U philosophy. We hope their impact will continue for years to come. “

Ana Atunes, assistant professor at the School for Cultural and Social Transformation, developed a 16-week culturally appropriate sex education program for refugees, immigrants and native people in Utah, in areas where residents teach. from the School of Medicine. Atunes says the students at U and the kids at the community center were eager to learn. During the last three three semesters, 9 medical residents have taught 45 young people from the community. Sex education classes will continue at a community center in Millcreek and the community-focused class will continue to be taught in the Gender Studies Division.

“Our partnership with the Faculty of Medicine continues; the inhabitants are still arriving; and young people in the community still want to have healthy, age-appropriate conversations about maturation and sex education, ”Atunes said. “This project illustrates the vision of the One U initiative.

Elaine Clark, professor of educational psychology, worked with a team that organized a virtual conference with the Brain Injury Alliance of Utah which drew 600 participants from as far away as Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming. Clark said the 1U4U project reconnected her to her colleagues and brought her back to her research roots, after serving as Acting Dean at the College of Education. She says parts of the project will live on thanks to connections made in the Jordan School District in Salt Lake County and as far away as the Oregon Brain Injury Research Center.

“It’s been expansive, both within the state and beyond our borders,” Clark said. “It was quite fun.”

Each of the projects received seed grants of $ 15,000 or $ 30,000, totaling nearly $ 900,000 in block funding. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, which required moving online classes and limiting access to laboratories for much of the research study period, most teams were able to complete their projects. Many teams have had their work published. One is looking for a patent. Another resulted in a long-term artist-in-residence installation, “Cairns. The Architecture and Bioinformatics design team submitted a proposal for a $ 10 million Workforce Development Grant.

“One of the things that is so satisfying about this initiative is the subsequent proposals and documents that follow these initial projects,” said Mike Good, senior vice president for health sciences. “These groups will continue to push us, to move the university forward.”

The 1U4U teams released their final reports and were honored at a symposium on September 24. Learn more about the projects here.

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