One of the greatest health care challenges facing our country today is how to care for the more than 350,000 Americans living with multiple sclerosis (MS). A chronic disease of the central nervous system, MS has a variety of symptoms, including blurred vision and physical coordination problems. The disease typically appears in people between the ages of 15 and 50, affecting women more than men—the cause and cure are not known. “Approximately 200 new cases of MS are diagnosed weekly,” says William Pollard, dean of the College of Human Services and Health Professions. “MS patients need appropriate health care, support, and accurate information for coping with this complex chronic condition.”
      Although MS patients are generally under the care of a neurologist, many rely on social workers to coordinate their primary care. School of Social Work graduate Jennifer Corn Carter ’73, G’75, who has MS, is devoted to helping others learn how to care for persons with the disease. In 1999, she sponsored a one-day symposium at SU to help social work students and practitioners develop an awareness and understanding of the day-to-day medical, social, economic, and emotional challenges of living with MS. The symposium featured nationally prominent speakers and workshops on such topics as the science of chronic neurological diseases; current MS research; new strategies for living with MS; legal issues and advocacy; alternative therapeutic options; navigating the health insurance and health care systems; using tai chi as a way to improve balance and flexibility; and emerging careers for social workers in health care. “Social workers need to learn how to manage problems associated with MS in order to address the issues of quality care and patients’ rights advocacy,” Carter says. “They must gain expert knowledge of health care systems and health-related social problems as they pertain to those of us living with MS.”
      Carter also established the Jennifer Corn Carter Endowed Graduate Scholarship to give social work students interested in working with MS patients an opportunity to work in supervised field placements specializing in the needs of people with MS or other neurological disorders. Kaylyn Makins, the first scholarship recipient, works at the local MS society chapter, which serves more than 1,700 people with MS in a 13-county area. “It’s important for social workers to understand the unique challenges of living with MS because this devastating disease usually strikes people around the age when they’re beginning families and careers,” she says. “I’ve learned how to be more sensitive to their day-to-day needs, particularly the issue of accessibility.”
      Pollard says that as a result of Carter’s generosity and special insight, social workers trained as clinical MS specialists will be effective advocates for quality care in hospitals, extended care and nursing facilities, and at home. “Our graduates will be in the forefront of finding new ways to improve the quality of life for people living with MS while neuroscientists search for a cause and cure,” he says.
                                                                                                                                                          —CHRISTINE YACKEL



steve sartori photo
Drama students perform as pirates in
Peter Pan.
Twenty drama students were flying high on excitement last semester as opening night of Peter Pan approached. They were the fortunate few chosen to be part of a unique collaboration that for the first time blended the creative forces of the Department of Drama and Syracuse Stage into one main stage theater production. “Peter Pan was a wonderful way to bridge the gap between the two halves of the theater complex,” says Robert Moss, artistic director of Syracuse Stage. “The students are a natural asset and brought exuberance and freshness to the show.”
      During the fall semester, the student cast of lost boys, pirates, and Indians of Peter Pan’s magical Neverland attended a workshop course taught by drama professor Anthony Salatino, a choreographer and director who prepared them for the show’s rigorous dance and musical numbers. “We were allowed to play with ideas and be part of the creative process,” says Patrick Garrigan ’01, who played the lost boy Slightly. “We were a bit nervous when the professional actors arrived, but soon gained confidence because we were so well-trained.”
      Normally only a few drama students are cast each season in small supporting roles in Syracuse Stage productions because the number of non-union actors allowed to work with Actors Equity union members is restricted. “Using a University Resident Theater Association contract allowed us to employ four Equity actors along with students,” says James Clark, producing director of Syracuse Stage and drama department chair. “The only restriction was that Peter Pan couldn’t be part of the Syracuse Stage subscription series"
      By combining resources with Syracuse Stage, the drama department was able to mount a lavish musical that was designed by technical theater professionals and built in the main stage shops. “We wanted this production to be of the highest quality,” Moss says. “We even used the same crew that flew Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan on Broadway.”
      Moss and Clark agree that the students had an incredible learning experience. By working alongside professionals, they had an opportunity to grow as actors, make important theater contacts, and test their creative skills and craft. “Our first collaboration with Syracuse Stage was so successful,” Clark says, “we’re already imagining ways to combine forces in the future.”
                                                                                                                                                    —CHRISTINE YACKEL

Back to page 1
Back to page 2
Back to page 3
Back to page 4
Back to page 5
Back to page 6
Back to page 7

Main Home Page Contents Chancellor's Message Opening Remarks
InBasket Shared Rewards Synergetic Strength A World Away
In Loving Memory Quad Angles University Place Student Center
Staff Circle Faculty Focus Alumni News/Notes Cover To Cover
View From The Hill

820 Comstock Ave., Rm. 308
Syracuse, NY 13244-5040