Context from Campus: June 15-19

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Sam Smith’s voice rehab
After surgery to fix injured vocal cords, singer Sam Smith is exercising his voice with a drinking straw. The technique really helps protect vocal cords, according to U voice scientist Ingo R. Titze, executive director of the National Center for Voice and Speech. His research and his video demonstration of the vocal straw exercise have helped make it popular among professional singers.
Phone: 801-596-2012 | Email: ingo.titze@utah.edu

Keeping a watchful eye on MERS
Middle East respiratory syndrome, MERS, which originated in Jordan in 2012, has marched into South Korea, wreaking havoc in its wake. Though it has caused a relatively low number of deaths there—less than a dozen at last count—over 2,000 schools have been closed as a precaution. Are such measures warranted? What is the likelihood that MERS will make it to the U.S.? Who is most vulnerable to the virus? Sankar Swaminathan, M.D., chief of infectious disease at University of Utah Health Care, can address questions like these and explain how MERS compares to Ebola and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). To schedule an interview with Swaminathan, contact Julie Kiefer, University of Utah Health Care Office Public Affairs.
Phone: 801-597-4258 | Email: jkiefer@neuro.utah.edu

Is binge-watching shows like “Orange is the New Black” harmful to your health?
Fans of the hit Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” can hardly wait to see what’s in store for the ladies imprisoned at the fictional Litchfield Penitentiary when the show resumes for its third season on June 12. But before you settle into your armchair for a weekend of binge-watching to see what happened in the aftermath of season two, be forewarned: Watching episode after episode can have consequences for your health. Public health advocates point out that binge-watching can lead to some negative health effects, including a stronger likelihood of gaining weight and becoming obese. Too much TV can also increase the chances of weight-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes, and in some cases, can be a sign of depression. Robin Marcus, Ph.D., chief wellness officer at University of Utah Health Sciences, can offer commentary on the health pitfalls of when binge-watching becomes too much of a habit. To schedule an interview, contact Libby Mitchell or Marissa Villaseñor at the University of Utah Health Sciences Office of Public Affairs.
Phone: 801-587-0945 | Email: libby.mitchell@hsc.utah.edu
Phone: 801-581-3102 | Email:
marissa.villaseñor@hsc.utah.edu

World Cup (how large events impact communities)
Matthew Burbank, associate professor of political science, has done research on mega-events, such as the World Cup and Olympics, and how these events impact the host communities. He’s available to comment about the impact of mega-events, as the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada continues.
Phone: 801-581-6313 | Email: mburbank@poli-sci.utah.edu

World Cup – U grad develops soccer cleats; new venue for student entrepreneurs will help foster similar innovations
After receiving support and guidance from the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the U, MBA graduate Cam Cameron started a company designing high-quality and performance soccer cleats at a fraction of the price of name brands. Cameron and his ambassadors travel the world donating soccer cleats and supporting the growth of soccer. They focus on supporting and developing institutions and players most in need so that anyone who wants to play soccer has the opportunity. Students like Cameron will soon have a new venue to spark creativity and entrepreneurship in 2016, when the new Lassonde Studios debuts on the U’s campus. Lassonde Studios will be a place for young visionaries to have an around-the-clock environment to bounce ideas off of others who also are working through plans that may one day become the next cutting-edge technology. The 160,000-square-foot Lassonde Studios will have a 20,000-square-foot garage on the main floor of the residence hall, complete with 3-D printers, laser cutters, prototyping tools and company launch space. Above will be four floors of housing, with students allowed to choose between pods, lofts and traditional rooms. The U is currently in the midst of recruiting the 400 best students nationwide who will comprise the first class of students to live in the unique environment. Contact Thad Kelling for more information.
Phone: 801-587-8811 | Email: thad.kelling@utah.edu


Event Highlights:

Wednesday, June 17
Violinist Johannes SØe Hansen is the U’s 2015 Chamber Music Workshop artist-in-residence, and he currently teaches at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. In 1992, he became the first concertmaster in the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, a position he still holds today. At the age of 14, Hansen won the gold medal at the Berlingske Tidende Music Competition. He will give a master class on June 17, which is open to the public.
David Gardner Hall, Dumke Recital Hall, 1375 Presidents Circle, 12:30 p.m.

Media Contacts For This Story

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Office Phone: 801-581-7295
Cell Phone: 435-232-0312