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Dinner with Inspirational Speaker Jan Scheuermann

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Schwab Hall - Vista Room

Saint Francis University

144 Franciscan Way

Loretto, PA 15940

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The Literature & Languages Department of Saint Francis University is proud to announce Jan Scheuermann--a SFU parent, a person with quadriplegia, and a pioneer research subject in Brain-Machine Interface at UPMC--will be returning to campus on November 7, 2017. Jan will give a slide-illustrated talk about her latest memoir, My Life as a Lab Rat. In 1996, Ms. Scheuermann was a 36-year-old California resident and mother of two young children, running a successful business, and planning parties with murder-mystery themes when one day she noticed that her legs seemed to drag behind her. Within two years, her legs and arms progressively weakened to the point that she required a wheelchair, as well as an attendant to assist her with dressing, eating, bathing and other day-to-day activities. After returning home to Pittsburgh in 1998 for support from her extended family, she was diagnosed with spinocerebellar degeneration, in which the connections between the brain and muscles slowly, and inexplicably, deteriorate.

At age 52, this quadriplegic woman volunteered to undergo brain surgery to place two electrode arrays on her brain. With these electrodes, she learned to control a robotic arm with her mind.

Mere weeks after her surgery, Scheuermann was able to train the robotic arm, which she named Hector, to pick up and move objects. A few months later, she fed herself chocolate with Hector.

While on campus, Ms. Scheuermann will join us for dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Vista Room at Schwab Hall, followed by an informative lecture open to the public from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in JFK Lounge.

RSVP here for the dinner event at no cost, on a first come, first served basis. For further information, contact the Literature & Languages Department at 814-472-3051 or kbeck@francis.edu.

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Schwab Hall - Vista Room

Saint Francis University

144 Franciscan Way

Loretto, PA 15940

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