Local Banquet to Feature 10-Year-Old Violinist with Student-Engineered Prosthetic Arm

by Public Relations Office

Cedarville, Ohio—When 10-year-old Jaclyn Barker takes the stage at The Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC) Evening of Excellence on Wednesday night, she`ll be playing the violin with a one-of-a-kind device. Born without her right forearm, the Beavercreek girl plays the violin with a prosthetic arm made uniquely for her by a team of Cedarville University mechanical engineering students. She will use her prosthesis to perform one song with the Cedarville University String Quartet as they provide music for the Evening of Excellence. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, Mar. 31 at 5 p.m. in the Adam`s Mark Hotel Ballroom of downtown Columbus. The engineering students who designed and built Barker`s prostheses have also been invited to attend. Barker began playing the violin several years ago using a prosthetic arm. As her playing advanced, she needed an arm that would give her a more natural wrist action over the bow. Last year, two teams of Cedarville University engineering students adopted this design challenge as their senior project. The teams worked with Cedarville University violinists as well as John Brandt, a certified prosthetist, to fine-tune their design. Last May, the teams presented Barker with both prostheses. At the presentation, Barker`s father remarked, "These guys are my heroes." "I found it fascinating how they came up with the ingenuity of the bow design," Brandt commented. "We need more engineers to come up with ideas like this." The Evening of Excellence is held annually to induct new members into the OFIC Hall of Excellence. Inductees are alumni of OFIC-member institutions; they exhibit lifetime achievements that exemplify the traditions, ideals, strengths, and values of private higher education. Musical groups from OFIC-member institutions are often asked to perform at the event. OFIC is a foundation which solicits financial support from corporations, foundations, and other donors and distributes those funds to their member colleges and universities for educational programs, scholarships, and collaborative efforts. Cedarville University is a member of OFIC. Media interested in covering Barker`s performance and the Evening of Excellence should contact OFIC`s Cheryl Kight at 614-469-1950 or kight@ofic.org. -30-