Monday, November 14, 2016

This Concludes My Wonderful Trip to Greece & Germany

All in all, it was a wonderful trip to both Greece and Germany. I was treated well in both countries and the hospitality was incredible! I enjoyed speaking with many individuals from Europe and my keynote speech went very well in Athens. And, I truly enjoyed my guest lecture for graduate students at Oldenburg University and the joint work with the Dean and the faculty was also quite relevant and I left with clear plans to continue our work. There looks like there could be several possible collaborations within both countries and Salus. A professor at the University of Athens indicated interest in learning more about the BLVS  programs and there is interest from Oldenburg University in Germany to discuss ways to mesh the role of mental health with our rehabilitation programs in CER, as well as working to provide global experiences for our junior faculty members. (Included in this blog are some photos from my guest lecture and my presentation to faculty in Germany.)

- Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, MS, EdD, is the associate dean for the Salus University College of Education and Rehabilitation

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Safe Arrival in Oldenburg, Germany

Safe arrival into Germany but Sal had a rough time as I was stopped after flying from Athens to Frankfurt.  I was stopped and a policeman was brought over as all the contents of my back pack, Sal included, were removed. Well, needless to say, all was well with everything in my backpack and my suitcase! And, Sal and I were able to get on the next flight to Bremen. We are safely in the hotel now in Oldenburg and I will be having a working dinner with the dean and faculty of the School of Education and Rehabilitation from Oldenburg University.  Sal is nice and relaxed now as you can see!

 - Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, MS, EdD, is the associate dean for the Salus University College of Education and Rehabilitation

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

UDLnet Presentation & Off to Germany!

I had a wonderful turnout and was delighted to represent Salus University and the US at the UDLnet conference. I am en-route today to Germany so that I may begin my work with Oldenburg University tomorrow.  Athens and its people were very hospitable and I look forward to seeing more of the country at a later date. I met with a member of the Ministry of Education and also met with a member of the university of Athens. There might be some possible ways that Salus University may be able  to find some synergies in the near future. I must sign off for now as my plan is boarding!

 - Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, MS, EdD, is the associate dean for the Salus University College of Education and Rehabilitation

Monday, November 7, 2016

First Day of Consortium Meeting of UDLnet

Sal and I are with Stephanie from Ireland
The Consortium Meeting of UDLnet (Universal Design for Learning) began today! As the only US member of the consortium as an AssociatePartner, I represent Salus and the US. In this role, I provide assistance to the full European partners (from Ireland, Greece, Netherlands, Finland, Germany, and Cyprus) and associate partners in the area of Universal Design for Learning in schools, including primary and secondary schools and universities. This is the final meeting of the consortium and I have been working with them for the past 4 years of their 5-year program. The primary goal is to ensure that there is validation of the project which was to have effective way to disseminate and then to assure maintenance of the products created and the integration of the use of UDL in practice. The conference opening begins this evening and my keynote will be tomorrow morning, Nov. 5th. Sal joined me at the meeting this morning to boost the spirits of all participants!

UDLnet International Work Group

And here is a photo of the view from my hotel room! 

- Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, MS, EdD, is the associate dean for the Salus University College of Education and Rehabilitation

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Travels to Greece and to Germany

I will be leaving for Europe this Tuesday, arriving in Athens mid-afternoon on Wednesday to begin a very busy week and a half of events. I have been invited to be a keynote speaker at the Schools for Open Societies Conference/ Strand in Athens, Greece on the topic of Understanding the Differences between Universal Design for Learning and Appropriate Accessibility Accommodations. 
I will also be representing Salus University as the sole American associate partner in the consortium at the meeting prior to the conference.

Following the conference, I will spend a day meeting with colleagues from the NHL University of Applied Sciences to discuss future collaborative endeavors. I will then be off Oldenburg University in Germany to meet with our other partners. Salus has signed MOUs with both institutions. I have been invited to present a professional development workshop to faculty and to conduct a guest lecture for graduate students in their School of Educational and Social Sciences, Department of Education and Rehabilitation. We will be also be discussing an initial junior faculty exchange that we hope to begin next fall between our colleges. 

I am bringing Sal the Salamander along with me to take photos and share stories about our work overseas!

I will try to write every few days to keep the blog updated, so make sure to check back. 

- Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, MS, EdD, is the associate dean for the Salus University College of Education and Rehabilitation

Monday, October 31, 2016

Salus Admissions Recruitment Trip to Texas

University of Texas at Dallas Pre-Optometry Club
Richardson, Texas
Representatives from the Office of Admissions at Salus University often visit campuses around the US and Canada to meet interested students, providing information and answering questions about the University. 

Earlier this month, Larry Walsh, associate director of admissions traveled to Texas and visited multiple campuses. 

University of Houston Pre-Optometry Club
Houston, TX 
Texas A & M University Pre-Optometry Club
College Station, TX 
University of North Texas Pre-Optometry Club
Denton, TX - 10/20 

Baylor University Pre-Optometry Club
Waco, TX 

If you would like an admissions representative to visit your campus, please email us at in order to determine if we can accommodate your group or event

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Vision Therapy in Berlin

I was invited to do a vision therapy workshop at the European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO) conference in Berlin, Germany. This year was the 8th year of the meeting, with previous locations being in Budapest, Prague, and Dublin to name a few. The EAOO draws an international crowd with attendees from many countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. My workshop saw a great representation of this diversity.

The goal of my VT workshop was to introduce participants to six basic activities that they could incorporate into their practice. The workshop included a brief presentation with lots of time for hands-on experiences.

There were many attendees there that had received their masters from Salus University as part of our international program, so it was great to see some familiar faces. Many of the attendees spoke of the limitations optometrists have in most European countries, and how they are roughly 60+ years behind what optometrists in the US have been able to accomplish as a profession. This information was met with surprise, sadness, and pride as I considered the scope of practice I’m able to enjoy in the US, and how well Salus University prepared me. 

The conference ended with a lovely dinner on the Alexander von Humbolt boat, which took us down parts of the Spree River, the major river that runs through the city of Berlin.

I was honored to be a representative of Salus University at the EAOO, and enjoyed hearing others speak highly of their own experiences at the University. I look forward to participating in this conference again!

- Ruth Y. Shoge, OD, is an Assistant Professor at Salus University and Director of the Pediatric & Binocular Vision Services at The Eye Institute of Salus University