Innovation in Aging

Technology literacy solution wins 2021 WiSys Innovation in Aging student idea competition

Green Bay, Wis.—University of Wisconsin-Green Bay student Cheri Branham’s plan to increase technology literacy among aging populations took first place in the WiSys Innovation in Aging student idea competition on Feb. 25.

The annual student idea competition challenges UW-Green Bay students to create innovative solutions to combat hardships and improve quality of life for an aging public. The competition gives students an opportunity to grow idea development, collaboration and public presentation skills.

“Congratulations to Cheri Branham for the excellent presentation during WiSys Innovation in Aging,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “Every year, we are excited to partner with the leaders at UW-Green Bay to showcase the University’s many innovative students. Yet again, the students did a great job applying their education to an important real-world problem affecting our state. Cheri and the other students are shining examples of why the UW System’s regional campuses are collectively among the most innovative in the country.”

First Place:

Cheri Branham
Cheri Branham

Branham, who won a $1,000 prize, documenting shortfalls in technology literacy among older adults, their dependency on technology and the potential to improve their quality of life through greater adoption of more technology.

Branham’s solution is to provide one-to-one assistance to older adults by making connections to young people as trainers and facilitators.

The Social Work major from Green Bay, Wis. who will graduate in May 2021, said what motivated her to enter was seeing so many flaws in the system the past year of her grandmother’s life.

“She passed away in November, so I decided to address some of the challenges, Branham said. “I originally wanted to do policy change, but decided to do something I could do immediately. In the future I plan to work with pregnant women who struggle with substance abuse and are in the Department of Corrections. There’s also a lack of programming for this population so I hope to address it in my future!”

Second Place:

A team of students—Jordan Cioni, Andrew Akin, Elly Purdy and Andy Weigel—took second place in the competition with their innovation “Choppa.” Working with recent alum Katelyn Desrochers as their advisor on the project, the team developed “Choppa” as an easy-to-use cutting board device designed for people affected by arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome or other physical limitations.

The solution won the team—which represented the UW-Green Bay Engineering Club—a $750 prize, along with a $100 award for participating as a student organization.

Third Place: 

Team C.A.L.M.—made up of UW-Green Business Administration students Cassie Bougie, Anna Eaton, Lisa Joiner and Megan Bonikowski—took third place and a $500 prize for their solution to address the negative effects of colored beverages on the mouths of older adults. The team developed a dual-ended color resistant product called “ColorStop” to protect lips and teeth from beverages such as red wine and coffee. The solution won the team a $500 prize.

To view the students’ presentations or the entire event, including a keynote by Devon Christianson, the director of Aging and Disability Resource Center of Brown County, visit wisys.org/aging or on the WiSys YouTube Channel.

WiSys Innovation in Aging is a partnership between WiSys, the UW-Green Bay College of Health, Education and Social Welfare and the UW-Green Bay Gerontology Center.

Props to the IiA Competition planning committee members who worked hard on this initiative and the competition’s first-ever virtual IiA event.  Planning members are:
Katie Turkiewicz
Brad Ricker (WiSys)
Mike Zorn
Doreen Higgins
Stephanie Rhee
Dean Von Dras
Sue Craver
Jamie Schramm
Susan Gallagher-Lepak
Ryan Kauth
Denny Christoff (student)
Rita Ebbott (student)
Adhira Sunkara (WiSys)
Organizers would also like to recognize the judges: Brian Walsh, Mary Bouchee, Liza Steffek, Dr. Jim Warpinski and Matt Geimer.

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.

VIDEO LINKS:

FULL https://youtu.be/LaGHniAiM_4

Tech Literacy: https://youtu.be/kErj9Qi8VkU

ColorStop: https://youtu.be/-czzRDCqEBI

Choppa: https://youtu.be/IiX1h8s0pN0

Keynote: https://youtu.be/P3QaVXOOZhw

Press Release by Craig Sauer, WiSys

##end##

Smart hearing aid idea wins WiSys Innovation in Aging student competition

An idea for a hearing aid that can sense your pulse and call 911 if you have a health emergency won the WiSys Innovation in Aging student competition on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. The annual student idea competition challenges University of Wisconsin-Green Bay students to create innovative solutions to combat hardships and improve quality of life for aging populations.

UW-Green Bay students Denny Christoff, Logan Holbrook, James Kaat, Joshua Mendez and Katelyn Desrochers presented the winning solution that the team named “G-Pods.” The students will split a $1,000 prize.

Team “KeepNTouch,” made up of Jada Taylor, Hannah Bunde, Maria Piotrowski, Maria Arunkumar and Katelyn Wiegel, won second place for a solution to combat loneliness and social isolation.

The team’s “KeepNTouch” idea is a simple social media application that allows the aging population to connect and “keep in touch” with their family and friends.

The group will split a $500 prize.

“Get-a-Grip,” an idea for a small hand-held device that allows those with diminished hand strength to grip everyday items such as brooms and cooking utensils more comfortably, took third place in the competition.

Jenna Bares, Isabel Taubel, Montana Fallin and Kenzie Carlson presented the idea and will split a $250 prize.

Overall, nine student teams competed. In the weeks leading up to the event, each team  received mentoring from UW-Green Bay faculty and community members.

Innovation in Aging is a partnership between WiSys, the UW-Green Bay College of Health, Education and Social Welfare and the UW-Green Bay Gerontology Center.

This story is provided by WiSys—a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Innovation in Aging Competition 2020

– Photos by Liesl Sigourney, Marketing and University Communication

Dean Gallagher-Lepak in the spotlight with Innovation in Aging column

See Dean Gallagher-Lepak’s article in Tuesday’s Green Bay Press Gazette that connects the dots about innovation in our area and UW-Green Bay’s contribution to a pipeline of innovators and entrepreneurs. Friday’s (Feb. 23, 2018, 1 to 4 p.m.) Innovation in Aging Student Idea Competition is highlighted as giving students experience with innovative thinking and idea development skills. The competition is sponsored by UW-Green Bay’s College of Health, Education and Social Welfare, WiSys Technology Foundation and the UWGB Gerontology Center.

Startup Week Green Bay kicks off Nov. 6

Startup Week Green Bay kicks off at UW-Green Bay on Monday, Nov. 6 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Wood Hall 117. “Learn from an Entrepreneur: from Aerospace to Innovations for Aging & Health” is the event theme. Two-time Wisconsin Business Plan Contest finalist, entrepreneur and founder of VibeTech, Jeff Leismer Ph.D, will discuss his NASA spin-off company and its products that improve physical functioning in older adults. Attendees will also learn about the Innovation in Aging student idea competition where UWGB students will design ideas to improve the quality of life for an aging population and compete for up to $500. The event is sponsored by the College of Health, Education and Social Welfare; WiSys; UWGB C.E.O. (Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization); and UWGB Gerontology Center. The event is free, pizza will be served and the greater UWGB community is invited.

Innovation in Aging kicks off innovation sprint events

The campus community is invited to kick off the Innovation in Aging innovation sprint events by attending a presentation by engineer, entrepreneur and UW-Sheboygan adjunct faculty member, Jeff Leismer (PhD) of VibeTech on Monday, Nov. 6 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Wood Hall 117. Leismer will be speaking about his experience developing healthcare products with inspiration from what he learned about weightlessness at NASA. No RSVP needed. Free pizza will be available. Sponsored by the College of Health, Education, and Social Welfare; WiSys; UWGB C.E.O. (Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization); and UWGB Gerontology Center. For more information on Innovation in Aging, please go to its Facebook group.

Reminder: Friday’s Gerontology program looks at issues for LGBT elders

Stacie Christian, the University’s interim diversity director who teaches in Human Development and was previously executive director of nursing homes in Green Bay and Kewaunee and director of outpatient services for the Bellin Health Psychiatric Center, is the featured speaker this Friday (Nov. 1) at the Gerontology Brown Bag. Her presentation in the Union’s Christie Theatre will run from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In collaboration with the LGBTQ Resource Center, the Gerontology Center is screening the “Gen Silent” video that addresses LGBT elders who have lived closeted lives and experience conflict as they need nursing home assistance. Admission is free and open to all

Next Gerontology program looks at LGBTQ issues for older Americans

The Gerontology Center and the LGBTQ Resource Center are providing the opportunity for discussion of the “Gen Silent” video that is being used to enhance the classroom experience and understanding of the issues experienced by older people who are LGBT. The discussion highlights LGBT elders who have lived closeted lives, and who now experience conflict as they need nursing home assistance. Says Prof. Dean VonDras of Human Development, “Come join us in this discussion led by Gerontology Center member Stacie Christian, interim diversity director for the American Intercultural Center and the LGBT Resource Center, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1 in the Christie Theatre.” The UW-Green Bay Gerontology Center brown-bag discussions are intended to provide opportunities for students, faculty, and others in the community interested in gerontology to exchange ideas and information. Everyone is welcomed to attend!

On Friday, gerontology talk focuses on nursing homes

Here’s a reminder that the UW-Green Bay Gerontology Center will host a Brown-Bag presentation by Assistant Prof. Brenda Tyczkowski of Nursing on the topic “Factors in nursing home placement” this Friday (Oct. 18) from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in MAC-201 (The Gathering Room). All are welcome to attend. See our previous release.
 

Nursing’s Tyczkowski to present Gerontology Brown-Bag on nursing homes


The UW-Green Bay Gerontology Center will host a Brown-Bag presentation by Brenda Tyczkowski of the Professional Program in Nursing on the topic “Factors in nursing home placement” next Friday (Oct. 18) from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in MAC-201 (The Gathering Room). Tyczkowski holds a doctorate in nursing practice and directs the Health Information Management and Technology (HIMT) program. The Gerontology Center brown-bag discussions are intended to provide opportunities for students, faculty, and others in the community interested in gerontology to exchange ideas and information. All are welcome to attend.

Social Work’s Higgins among Oct. 26 presenters on ‘Elder Abuse’

The UW-Green Bay Gerontology Center continues its ongoing community Brown-Bag Series with a program from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. next Friday (Oct. 26) in MAC-201 (The Gathering Room). Prof. Doreen Higgins (Social Work) and Devon Christianson, director of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Brown County, will present “Elder Abuse: A Delicate Balance.” The interactive presentation will touch upon various facets of elder abuse with special attention to elder abuse in Brown County. Human Development Prof. Dean VonDras, organizer of the series, says the brown bags are intended to be informal and provide opportunities for students, faculty, and others in the community interested in gerontology to exchange ideas and information.