join the conversation

join the conversation

Monday, March 31, 2014

Wright Named Outstanding Sophomore

A big congratulation goes out to Ashland University Sophomore Madison Wright. The Ashland Chapter of the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society has just named Madison the Outstanding Sophomore of the year. Madison is a triple major in Public Relations, Strategic, and Health and Risk Communication and also minors in History. The sophomore is in the Ashbrook Scholars Program at Ashland and is also a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America.

After winning the award Wright began to work with Dr. Vickie VanDresar and LeeAnn Larson on submitting her application to the national outstanding sophomore competition. “I am honored to be the one chosen to compete in nationals for Ashland University and the recognition of the work I have completed thus far has motivated me to continue putting all of the time I have into the University,” said Wright on her award.
As for all those who have helped her along the way Madison said “my main supporters have been my parents and professors who have pushed me to maximize my potential and drive. Without the professors giving me their time and believing in me, I would not have been aware of half the activities I am in.”

On behalf of all of us here in the Department of Communication Studies at Ashland University congratulations Madison on this great achievement, and best of luck in the national competition. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Concussions Causing Serious Concerns

by Halee Heironimus

Would you believe that sports are the third leading cause of concussions?  Believe it, because over the past three years, concussions have reached a more serious level that could consequently affect the future of sports.

Coaches and officials are beginning to experience the challenges that concussions bring to sports. Head football coach Lee Owens expressed his concern for football.

“The future of the game is in danger because of head injuries,” he said.

On Monday, March 24, Secretary of the Sport Communication Club Megan Salatino held a forum regarding concussions. Students and faculty gathered in the Student Center Auditorium to receive information and get their questions answered from six panelists: Owens, Mark Hamilton, Dariela Rodriguez, Melissa Snyder, Dennis Gruber and Mike Millward.

Questions included the myths, treatments, and studies of concussions over the years. The myth concerning how concussions happen is well-known; one has to be hit in the head to be concussed. That’s proven not always true, though; concussions can also occur by a severe jolt of the body.  

Another myth about treatments is that people shouldn't rest, that they should awake every four hours.  Panelists disagreed with that myth. It’s suggested that one must rest in a dark room for at least 24 hours with no phone, television or exciting music. Any activity that raises one’s blood pressure and heart rate raises symptoms.

Rodriguez, an assistant professor of Communication Studies, compared concussion symptoms as a “grey area” because every individual’s reaction is different.

One certainty, though, is the signs of concussions: dizziness, nausea, headache and the biggest sign, emotion instability.

Millward and Gruber, Director of Athletic Training, stated the impact concussions have on emotions.
“Players will say ‘My headache is gone, but I don’t feel like myself,’” Millward said.
Dr. Gruber said, “Emotion is the last sign to resolve.”

So how many concussions are too many? When is it time to quit? Again, it’s individualized, depending on the severity and recovery.

Panelists’ stated that each concussion you have, you are more likely to have a second one. Concussions tend to get worse after the first, and symptoms last longer. Multiple concussions, or even one severe, cause the brain to deteriorate, resulting long-term consequences such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, hearing loss, behavioral issues and even death.

Thankfully, the awareness of the severity with concussions has spread over the past few years. People are beginning to realize the long-term consequences and taking “the bell was rung” more seriously. For Ashland University, staff members conduct computer testing, also known as a neurocognitive test, a balance test, an impact test and a question test on all athletes.

“We now have a better understanding of what we need to do on our end,” said Gruber.

As for Coach Owens, he’s struggling with the progress. He reflected on how the game has changed over the last two to three years in order to prevent injuries, including limited contact during practice.

“It feels like we’re taking the physical part of the game away,” he said, “But if we don’t be proactive, we will lose the game completely.”

Millward compares the progress from a different perspective.

“It’s like warriors went to battle and got betrayed for what they went to battle for,” he said.

When it comes to concussions, many factors come into play. One thing is for certain, though, and that’s to take care of head injuries right away.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Scary Scene on Dallas Ice

Daniel Greenway

Monday night at a National Hockey League game between the Dallas Stars and the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets, a scary scene unfolded as the Stars’ center, Rich Peverley, collapsed on the Dallas bench. Peverley collapsed due to a reported heart problem; he had surgery prior to this season for an irregular heart beat ESPN Dallas reported. The game was postponed as neither team felt like finishing it, at the time of Peverley’s collapse the Stars trailed the Blue Jackets 1-0 early in the first period. Peverley was conscious as he was taken off the bench and rushed to a local hospital; Dr. Gil Salazar stated that they treated Peverley for a “cardiac event” using chest compressions and a defibrillator to bring rhythm back to his heart was successful (ESPN Dallas). 

The scene in Dallas is a perfect example of risk communication at its finest. The Dallas Stars play in an arena (American Airlines Arena) where a defibrillator is mandatory. Having quick access to the defibrillator as well as a swift action by the team and staff saved precious seconds that are critical in these situations. Understanding risk communication and how to create a crisis plan is crucial in these life-threatening situations. The sports industry is always looking for educated and experienced individuals who understand risk and crisis communication principles.

Ashland University’s programs in health and risk communication as well as sport communication look at events such as this to educate their students. Anyone who is interested in the Sport or Health career fields can find their calling at Ashland University, gain valuable real world experience and learn from events such as this in Dallas and apply them in a positive learning environment.