Professor Receives a Grant to Expand Prosthetic Program

A Mercer On Mission project that provides low-cost prosthetics to amputees in developing countries has received a boost from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance. The Alliance awarded Dr. Ha Van Vo, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, with a Sustainable Vision Grant of $37,275 to help him perfect his design and set up a prosthetic lab and clinic in Vietnam.

Dr. Vo invented a low-cost prosthetic that could be fitted without full customization – which makes it an affordable alternative to those in developing nations who must often go without. Last summer, Dr. Vo and Dr. Ramachandran Radharamanan, a professor in the School of Engineering, led a Mercer On Mission team to work with Vietnamese amputees living in and around Ho Chi Minh City. In all, the team fitted 35 prosthetics and cast 27 people for later fittings.

The program is slated for three years, and this year Dr. Vo hopes to expand the program in Vietnam, and then to India and Thailand in later years. The grant will help those efforts and will be used for working on the design of other parts of the prostheses, including the knee, pylon, ankle and foot. The funding will also help establish a prosthetic lab and clinic in Vietnam. Dr. Vo is working with Vietnamese doctors, hospitals, clinics and government agencies to find a suitable location for it. 

Because the project is addressing a worldwide problem, it has garnered national and international attention, including praise from the Clinton Global Initiative. The problem of amputees who must go without prosthetics is particularly acute in Vietnam. More than 2,000 Vietnamese are injured each year by land mines and unexploded bombs left during the Vietnam War. An estimated 100,000 amputees live in Vietnam today, and there are more than 18 million amputees around the world, with more than 80 percent of those living in developing countries.

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March 2010    

Men to Host Belmont While Women Host UNF in Conference Tournament Openers

After months of anticipation and with some of the closest races in college basketball this season, the Mercer men’s and women’s basketball teams learned late Saturday whom they will play in the opening round (quarter-finals) of the Atlantic Sun Conference Championships. The two Mercer teams, for the first time ever, will play in their home facility in the conference tournament as the University Center will be the venue for the championships for the first time. [more]

Law Moot Court Team Sweeps National Advocacy Competition

CHARLESTON, S.C. – A moot court team at the Walter F. George School of Law swept the Charleston School of Law “National Moot Court Competition" last month, winning the coveted team championship and both “Best Respondent’s Brief” and “Best Oralist.” In the closing rounds, the team, comprised of third-year law students Falen Cox and Emily Macheski-Preston, defeated law school teams from the University of Florida (quarterfinals), DePaul University (semifinals) and Florida Coastal (finals). [more]

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing Working to Help Churches Assist the Dying

Through a grant from Mercer’s AIM program, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing has begun an initiative to educate members of Atlanta-area churches to help others as they face death. The project offers free support from Mercer faculty volunteers with the College of Nursing, as well as School of Medicine and College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, who provide training for church lay health advisers, or Mercer Care Partners, in palliative care. [more]

Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Author to Speak at Mercer Today

Douglas Blackmon, author of the Pulitzer-Prize-winning book Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, will give a lecture at Mercer tonight at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Science and Engineering Building. The lecture, titled “A Persistent Past: Reckoning with a Troubled Racial History in the Age of Obama,” is free and open to the public. [more]

Author and Holocaust Survivor to Speak at Mercer University on Tuesday

Holocaust survivor and author Fred Gross will speak on the Atlanta campus on Tuesday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Swilley Library. Gross is the author of One Step Ahead of Hitler: a Jewish Child’s Journey through France, a memoir from Mercer University Press that traces his rediscovery of the story of his family’s flight from the Nazis when he was a small boy. He will also be available to sign copies of the book. The event is free and open to the public. [more]

McAfee School of Theology Receives $250,000 Gift

The James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology recently received a $250,000 gift from Atlanta’s United Baptist Church, which held its last service on Jan. 17 and gave a portion of its trust to the School. [more]

FBI General Counsel to Deliver 2010 Law Day Address at Mercer Law School

Valerie Caproni, general counsel for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at Mercer Law School’s 2010 Law Day luncheon on March 12. [more]

CNBC Analyst Insana to Speak at Mercer’s Executive Forum

CNBC senior analyst and commentator Ron Insana will address Mercer University’s Executive Forum on March 23. Insana will give a lunch presentation at the Capital City Club, 7 Harris St., Atlanta, at noon and a dinner presentation at 6:30 p.m. in Macon at the University Center. [more]

Student Newspaper Wins Georgia College Press Association Awards

ATHENS – Mercer’s student newspaper, The Cluster, recently won several awards at the Georgia College Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest, including first place awards in the categories “Best Campus Community Service - Sports” and “Improvement.” The awards were announced at the association’s Better Newspaper Conference, which was held Feb. 5-6 in Athens. [more]

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