In a typical setting, Connor Davis and Alejandro Ramirez wouldn’t have had much of a reason to cross paths.
Davis, a second-year physical therapy student, and Ramirez, a computer science major who is also a year into his masters for software engineering, were in different Regis colleges and on different paths.
But thanks to a two-year project, with multiple community partners, they found a way to pair their skills to benefit others.
As the first part of a Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions service learning project, The Trust for Public Land, a national organization that helps build parks and protect land, helped install a Fitness Zone area in nearby Zuni Park. Funds from The Colorado Health Foundation to Cultivate Health, a Regis partnership with adjacent neighborhood residents and nonprofit partners to promote health, were used to help install the equipment installed in 2016.
But after talking with community members, something was missing. The workout equipment was installed, but the community wanted some direction.
After a previous group of physical therapy students began developing circuit workouts with the equipment, Davis and fellow physical therapy students Sophia Fuller, Vicki Otto and Maggie Nguyen the new group connected with Ramirez to develop an app that would enable them to easily show community members how to do the exercises. Using community members’ feedback, they recently completed development of the app and are now testing it in the community.
“Service encompasses so much more than just me,” Ramirez said. “Regis pushes you to apply what you learned even when you’re still in school.”
The Trust for Public Land has installed nine Fitness Zones in parks across Denver in partnership with the City of Denver Parks and Recreation. They are using the Regis physical therapy circuit workouts and Ramirez’s app as a pilot program. They hope to scale it up and use the app at all their parks, in an ongoing partnership with Regis University.
That will be a job for the next group of Regis students to help. For Davis and Ramirez, the project helped them understand the value of service learning and working across disciplines.
“At Regis we value helping others,” Davis said. “This is an opportunity for PT students and computer science to come together to help. It’s about being a good person.”
Discover how Regis’ physical therapy and computer science programs can position you to use your talents to help others.