New Floor, New Possibilities

What was just an idea two years ago became a reality on the Ruskin Campus in September when the Academic Building's new third floor was formally dedicated and blessed.

More than 100 Gannon and Ruskin community members gathered to celebrate the completion of this $3.9 million investment, which Sarah Ewing, Ph.D., dean of the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences, described as “a continuation of our visionary plan to deliver practical and hands-on learning environments that educate students to become highly skilled professionals who meet the evolving needs of today’s health care industry.” The intentional design of the third floor incorporates student and employee input to deliver an enhanced, holistic experience and provide meaningful community resources.

Ruskin 3rd floor ribbon cutting

Watch a video of the dedication and blessing ceremony that formally opened the Academic Building's third floor.

“The hard work of our faculty and staff, and the success of our students has positioned Gannon as a leader in health care education that is recognized for innovation in treatment and delivery of care, but also in developing a strong network of practitioners worldwide who are well-rounded professionals making a difference in the lives of their patients every day,” said Keith Taylor, Ph.D., Gannon president.

New opportunities in the floor’s laboratories are transcending this recognition by deepening students’ career readiness to confidently enter the field and immediately create positive impact.

Medical Exam Teaching Lab

The Medical Exam Teaching Lab 

These industry-grade facilities include an Anatomy Lab, Rehabilitation Sciences Lab and a Medical Exam Teaching Lab for pediatric and neurorehabilitation. A Patient Simulation Center, equipped with four high-fidelity patient simulators and a multi-patient skills lab, is a highlight of this floor that creates cross-disciplinary learning and resources for the Ruskin community.

“This space’s capability to allow me to grow as a student is expansive,” said Teanna Parisio, second-year occupational therapy doctoral student. “Innovative technology to simulate real-life health care situations will not only equip me with the resources to provide care during real-time events but will also facilitate a great learning environment and empower Gannon students with the skills to serve our community.

Multi-patient skills lab

Patient Simulation Center with multi-patient skills lab

Integrating spaces on the floor like a 130-seat student gathering space and lecture hall as well as the learning commons with project rooms and quiet study space brings Gannon and Ruskin communities on campus to share professional and personal development as well as educational engagements. These spaces also enhance program delivery modalities to pave the way for future programs as the university seeks to expand its offerings beyond the health care sector.

3rd Floor Learning Commons

Take a tour of the new third floor space inside the Academic Building on Gannon’s Ruskin Campus.

There are amenities promoting comprehensive well-being, too. The Interfaith and Meditation Space is an inclusive environment for those of all faith backgrounds for prayer, reflection or meditation. The convenience of on-campus dining is served at knightBITES, a fresh café featuring healthy meal and to-go options to enjoy outside on the patio or in the welcoming gathering area that connects all these spaces together.

“The expansion of the third floor has been a beacon of growth for our campus and demonstrates our university’s mission, vision and values, providing us – the students – with the resources necessary to learn and prepare us to provide the best evidence-based care to our community, both locally and globally,” said Parisio.

The Interfaith and Meditation Space

The Interfaith and Meditation Space

Gannon looks forward to advancing this positive momentum and significant growth at its Ruskin Campus, which now employs more than 35 faculty and staff, and enrolls nearly 300 students in its eight academic programs.

Exploring Ethics of Biomedical and Health Sciences

The Ruskin Campus’ inaugural Orlando Biomedical Ethics and Catholic Social Teaching Lecture was held in September. SimonMary Asese Aihiokhai, Ph.D., associate professor of systematic theology at the University of Portland, presented “A Case for A Eucharistic Approach to Health Care According to the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church.”

He emphasized that a career in health care goes beyond the rituals of the job and focused on themes of community, radical solidarity, healing and history. He cited the ethical responsibility each of us has to others and discussed inequities that can occur if it is not honored.

Orlando Lecture: Cindy Orlando and Richard Orlando, M.D. ’76, endowment sponsors, with SimonMary Asese Aihiokhai, Ph.D., and Sarah Ewing, Ph.D.

(L-R) Cindy Orlando and Richard Orlando, M.D.
’76, endowment sponsors, with SimonMary Asese
Aihiokhai, Ph.D., and Sarah Ewing, Ph.D.

By Mallory Bottoni ’14, assistant director for marketing, communications and content


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Gannon Magazine is published bi-annually by University Marketing and Communications.

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Mallory (Hedlund) Bottoni ’14
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