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Employee Newsletter November 21, 2005 : Vol. 30, No. 7

In the news

MUSIC THERAPY: Time magazine reported Nov. 14 how music therapy can aid care of victims of Alzheimer's disease. Alicia Clair, director of music education and therapy at KU told Time that transitions – from day to evening or from one room to another – are a big challenge for sufferers and noted that music therapists help choose familiar songs – such as "Home on the Range" – to calm the agitation. Or people can do a little singing or whistling on their own. "If you can't think of what to do, sit and read to your loved one," Clair said. "And if you read poetry, it's almost like singing." The world's first music therapy program was created at KU in 1947 and is now a widely accepted practice that relies on musical stimuli, musical activity and client-therapist interaction in musical contexts to pursue therapeutic mental and physical health goals.

GETTING HEATED: Fitness Business Pro magazine reported about the effect rising natural gas prices could have on health clubs and notably student recreation centers. KU is saving money on its gas bill by maintaining a central boiler plant rather than having individual boilers in every building, said Doug Riat, director of Facilities Operations. KU uses natural gas as its primary fuel for its central steam plant that distributes heat to campus buildings, including the Student Recreation Fitness Center, via an underground steam tunnel system. "Thus, the maintenance and operation costs are cheaper and based on the volume of natural gas used at the central plant, we get a little better rate on natural gas than if each building was considered as an individual gas customer," Riat said. Mary Chappell, director of Recreation Services, noted how important it is to have budget reserves that can be redistributed to handle increased energy costs without causing service disruptions.

CREATING COURAGE: The December issue of Men's Journal examines what makes some men more courageous than others in the article "The Face of Courage." "In the last few years there's been as much published on courage as there was in the 20 years prior," Shane Lopez, associate professor of counseling pyschology at KU, told the magazine. Inducing and measuring courage in a laboratory setting is extremely difficult, unlike creating conditions for fear. "We're going to have to be very creative to see what's lighting up in the brain," Lopez said.

Copyright 2005, an official employee publication from the Office of University Relations.


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