A New Center at Stevens Supports a Comprehensive, Holistic Approach to Student Wellness

The 7,200 square-foot facility places the university’s student health services, counseling and psychological services and disability services in one area for the first time in modern Stevens history. 

In her remarks, Marybeth Murphy, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs, explained that placing all three support services in one location was the culmination of a years-long effort to create a truly student-centric facility.

“We want students to walk into this beautiful, state of the art building knowing that there will be privacy and that they can receive holistic and integrated wellness support and guidance all in one place. “

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Promoting student health and wellness under one roof

The new center is housed in the renovated Pond House, a two-story brick building named in honor of Francis Jones Pond, a notable chemistry professor who taught at Stevens in the early 20th century. 

The new center creates a one-stop wellness center for students, providing health services on the first floor; counseling and psychological services (CAPS) and disability support services on the second floor; and wellness education programs and services in the lower level. 

The building was modernized to meet current accessibility standards and features a ramp and elevator. In addition, the new space addresses a critical need by the Office of Disability Services to provide a space for proctoring exams for students who need testing accommodations.

“Our ability to proctor exams for students has been vastly improved. The disability services area includes a dedicated space with divided consoles so that students who need testing accommodations can take exams right in the wellness center,” explained Sara Klein, assistant vice president for student affairs.

One of the most significant enhancements is having a dedicated space in which to provide wellness education workshops and training sessions, said Klein.

“Besides having a truly modern, updated facility, the newest addition to our wellness offerings in the center is the ability to accommodate a wellness educator, who was hired in November, and a dedicated space where we can offer wellness education and health promotion. That’s something we haven’t had the ability to offer in our prior locations,” she said.

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Stevens Institute of Technology - Student Wellness Center Opening

Yesterday was the Grand Opening of Stevens Institute of Technology’s Student Wellness Center, where MAD recently completed construction. The design work added an elevator, new stairs, and ADA accessibility to the building in addition to providing clinical exam rooms, counseling rooms, and supplementary administrative facilities. We are very excited to have seen this project come to fruition and wish its users all the best with their new Wellness Center!

Yesterday was the Grand Opening of Stevens Institute of Technology’s Student Wellness Center, where MAD recently completed construction. The design work added an elevator, new stairs, and ADA accessibility to the building in addition to providing clinical exam rooms, counseling rooms, and supplementary administrative facilities. We are very excited to have seen this project come to fruition and wish its users all the best with their new Wellness Center!

Inside RLab, a Place to Create Virtual New Realities

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I reached out and touched a human cadaver yesterday, using a scalpel to dissect a deltoid muscle. I might have been more squeamish about the experience, but this was not a human body of the deceased kind. It was a corpse created in virtual reality, viewed through a VR headset. Yet it was vividly real.

“It’s intended to replace cadaver dissection, because that’s kind of expensive,” explained Sam Seidenberg, a software engineer for Medivis, a Brooklyn-based company developing an educational product called Anatomy X. “You still get the same three-dimensional exploration without having to deal with an actual human cadaver.”

Seidenberg and his company were among 30 exhibitors demonstrating their projects at the launching of RLab, the first city-funded lab in the U.S. dedicated to virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR). When completed next year, the lab will house 16,500 sq. ft. of co-working labs, classrooms and studios in a former manufacturing building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

At the launch event, hundreds of visitors tried on headsets to get a sense of things to come, inspiring many waving arms and swiveling heads as they explored virtual worlds ranging from construction sites to medieval sword fights.

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In a nearby space, a dancer/technologist spun about in acrobatic patterns, her body fitted with motion-capture sensors to enable a computer to record a 3D rendering of her movements. The exhibit was the work of an NYU class that seems to represent the kind of cross-disciplinary creativity and community that’s expected to thrive at RLab. The class brings together both engineering and art students, who learn motion-capture techniques, graphics rendering, and the conceptual development to create stories in VR, said class’s instructor, Todd Bryant.

If the new lab is a success, it will have many beaming parents. It represents a $6.5 million investment by the New York City Economic Development Corp. (NYCEDC) and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), and will be administered by Brooklyn’s NYU Tandon School of Engineering, with a participating consortium including Columbia University, CUNY and The New School.

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New York City Opens a City-Funded AR/VR Lab In Brooklyn’s Navy Yard

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New York City wants to make an old naval yard in Brooklyn a hotbed for virtual reality and augmented reality.

City officials, professors and entrepreneurs on Thursday gathered in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard for the opening of RLab, a 16,000-square-foot center that will house AR and VR startups while also providing research, education and training for New Yorkers working with the emerging technologies.

To jumpstart the project, the New York City Economic Development Corp. (NYCEDC) and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment are investing $5.6 million into RLab, which they say is the first city-funded AR/VR facility in the U.S. The initiative is part of a joint collaboration with several universities including Columbia University, City University of New York, The New School and New York University. The center will also be home to the venture capital firm Super Ventures, which will support startups through investments and guidance.

According to Karen Bhatia, vice president of tech at NYCEDC, the city had studied why VR and AR growth hadn’t yet taken off in New York, and through interviews with various stakeholders, all the “main parts” of the industry were in the city—the technologies, researchers, creators, academics, financiers—but it was fragmented.

“We saw an opportunity here if we created a physical space, a lab, where they could all come together and be housed under the same roof but simultaneously have a space where they could experiment,” she said. “It could catalyze further development of VR and AR technologies here in New York City.”

Along with the city’s investment, Bhatia said officials are also seeking private investments for RLab. And between public-private partnerships and various revenue sources, she said the center could be self-sufficient within three years. Another initiative within RLab will be to build a relationship with a similar lab in London, which could include collaborations and visits between the two.

So why the Navy Yard? Along with the growing area of innovation in that part of Brooklyn, the space lends itself to helping AR and VR, which often requires high ceilings and wide, open spaces. For example, on one end of RLab, developers are raising the ceiling in order to make room for a motion-capture studio.

The space won’t be just specifically about media and advertising. Rather, officials hope to attract both large and small businesses across a variety of industries. For example, one startup giving demos of their technology on Wednesday created a mixed-reality tool for studying the human body using Magic Leap and Microsoft HoloLens headsets that allows users to walk around a digital skeleton and examine different systems.

The lab will be initially led by Justin Hendrix, executive director of the NYC Media Lab, which is another city initiative that collaborates with media companies, brands and others to experiment with emerging technologies. Along with working directly with AR and VR companies, RLab will collaborate with city schools and other parts of the community to better educate the students interested in pursuing careers in VR and AR. Over the next decade, officials project RLab will help create more than 750 jobs.

“What has changed over the past few months and what’s incredible right now is just the pace at which people are able to prototype,” Hendrix said of the growth of AR and VR. “And that to me is the sign of a coming boom in applications.”

Originally published on AdWeek.