UTEP news in brief: VR research, ‘Thank You for 30’ campaign wins CASE award, Miner Melt

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UTEP news in brief: VR research, ‘Thank You for 30’ campaign wins CASE award, Miner Melt

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Marisol Chavez, Contributor

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UTEP research conducts VR stress study

 

Hector Olvera, Ph.D., director of research at the UTEP School of Nursing, is using virtual reality (VR) to launch a new research program at The University of Texas at El Paso to understand how natural environments affect health and well-being, a UTEP news release read. 

 

Currently, the team is conducting a pilot study on the effects of natural environments on stress in 120 men. The study examines how exposure to natural environments via VR might help reduce stress levels among men. Specifically, the study looks at the effect of exposure to green space (park) or brown space (desert) via virtual reality on stress reduction, according to the release. 

 

Since June 2019, more than 80 men have participated in the study, which also involves a health assessment and social stress test. Using a VR headset, participants are exposed to a 3D immersive video of either Memorial Park, the Sunland Park desert or a university office setting. Levels of the hormone cortisol in participants’ saliva are measured throughout the experience to indicate rising and falling stress levels, the release said. 

 

The call to participate in the study is still open. Among the eligibility requirements are being between 18-30 years of age, a fluent english speaker, a non-smoker, and a non-drug user. Participants will receive a free health screening and up to $40 in cash. 

 

For more information call (915) 747 8324 or email nresearch@utep.edu

 

 

UTEP wins award for ‘Thank You for 30’ campaign

 

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), a global association for professionals in advancement, recently recognized The University of Texas at El Paso with a gold-level Circle of Excellence Award for the “Thank You for 30” campaign case statement, a UTEP news release read.

 

UTEP’s fundraising division, Asset Management and Development (AMD), launched the campaign in November 2018, a few months after University President Diana Natalicio announced her plans to retire after more than 30 years at the helm, the release read.

 

The goal of the “Thank You for 30” campaign was to celebrate the tenure of UTEP’s longest serving president and to give alumni, friends, faculty and staff the opportunity to express their appreciation for President Natalicio and her commitment to access and excellence at the University. According to the release, financial contributions from the campaign will allow UTEP to sustain and enhance its efforts to promote student success through scholarships and programs.

 

“The gold-level award from CASE is a particularly special award for UTEP,” said Ben Gonzalez, vice president for asset management and development, in the release. “It punctuates not only our fundraising efforts for the campaign but also the close-knit and dedicated qualities of this UTEP community. So many of us have thrived under Dr. Natalicio’s leadership, and I think the result of this campaign speaks volumes to her success as UTEP’s President.”

 

Each year, CASE’s prestigious Circle of Excellence Awards recognize the industry’s most innovative, inspiring and creative ideas in institutional advancement. The gold-level award acknowledges superior and impactful accomplishments that demonstrate the highest level of professionalism and deliver exceptional results.

 

 

Incoming freshmen invited to UTEP’s Miner Melt

 

The UTEP Office of Admissions and Recruitment and the Recreational Sports Department are inviting incoming freshmen to experience a day in UTEP’s Student Recreation Center at the annual Miner Melt event, a UTEP news release read.

 

All incoming freshmen who have been admitted for the summer or fall 2019 semesters can join the event from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 13 at the Student Recreation Center, 3450 Sun Bowl Drive.

 

Students will be able to swim in the University’s indoor pools, play basketball or relax in the gaming lounge.

 

To register, log on to www.utep.edu/minermelt.

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