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UNH Student Awarded Summer Fellowship to Work with Brain Injury Survivors

By Erika L. Mantz
UNH News Bureau
603-862-1567

June 11, 2003



DURHAM, N.H. - An occupational therapy major at the University of New Hampshire will spend more than 10 weeks this summer working with brain injury survivors at The Krempels Foundation in Portsmouth.

Thanks to the Steelman Public Service Fellows Program, Jamie Friedman is the fifth UNH student in the School of Health and Human Services to receive a paid fellowship that allows her to gain real-world learning experience in the public service sector. The fellowship program, established through a gift from UNH graduates David Steelman and Virginia Theo-Steelman, provides opportunities for students to work with public-service agencies that help vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

Friedman says she chose the Portsmouth organization because she wanted to work with adults and was eager to learn more about brain injuries.

"Most of my experience is with children," she says, "and once I learned more about the foundation and its Steppingstones program I knew it was where I wanted to be this summer."

The Krempels Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by brain injury. It offers two kinds of support: cash grants to New Hampshire survivors and their families, and Steppingstones, a community-based post-rehabilitative program that provides opportunities for social interaction, life skill training, recreation and support for survivors of severe brain injury caused by trauma, tumor or stroke.

"Having the Steelman Fellow at the Steppingstones program for the entire summer will enable the participants to have access to additional life skills groups and assist the staff in creating a new program offering in the area of vocational skill development," says Alice Seidel, associate professor of occupational therapy at UNH and faculty mentor for the fellowship. "This is exciting for the staff, the members, and for Jamie, to be able to contribute to a new program that members requested and need."

Friedman will spend two days a week working with the Steppingstones program and two days doing research and writing grants.

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