According to Scarborough, it’s important for advisers to help students understand where their passions lie. For students like Krekeler that passion was research and connecting the dots of her studies.
“For dysphasia and swallowing disorders specifically, it is really neurally connected, and my minor is neuroscience. So I think it is cool that my research connects to everything I am learning. It is making me get a lot of good experience for grad school and what I could possibly do in grad school, and I love that,” explained Krekeler.
Scarborough added a final message to students determining their future majors and careers, “If your eyes don’t light up, then you probably aren’t in the right field. And that is ok; find what makes your eyes light up.”
Written by Jessica Barga (Miami ’15), student intern, University Communications and Marketing
Published June 2013
A medical device designed for dental patients and others that suppresses the gag-reflex via a novel glove device is poised for the market.
The story of the patent-pending device, in development for several years by a team of Miami professors, involves an interdisciplinary group of undergraduate students in an entrepreneurship class, Miami's office of technology transfer and business partnerships and the agreement between Miami and PharynMed.
PharynMed plans to develop, market and sell the patent-pending device invented by Donna Scarborough, associate professor of speech pathology and audiology, and Michael Bailey-Van Kuren, associate professor of mechanical and manufacturing engineering. The glove-like acupressure device diminishes the gag-reflex in speech therapy and in people who are sensitive to activities such as dental procedures or taking pills.
The company is a result of a student project in an entrepreneurship capstone class in Miami’s Farmer School of Business. Joseph (Jay) Kayne, Cintas Chair in Entrepreneurship; Wayne Speer, Markley Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship; and Jim Oris, associate provost for research and scholarship, conceived of the idea of using the anti-gag device as a test case for the student capstone group.
The student team pursued a business and marketing plan for the device during its capstone semester in fall 2009 and through a semester at the RedHawk Hatchery, a program designed to help Miami entrepreneurship students develop potential businesses by the time they graduate. Along the way the group won several regional awards for its business plan.
The entrepreneurship team includes Miami graduates Benjamin (Wiley) Burch, interdisciplinary business management major; Alexandria (Lexi) Lucchesse, speech communication major and entrepreneurship minor; Kevin Nelson, finance major; and Chris Blanchard, general engineering major and entrepreneurship minor.