Radford University students Michael Hall and Ariana Martinez presented their original research last month at the Waldron College of Health and Human Services symposium and expo held in Heth Hall.
The seventh annual daylong celebration of original research from the college presented an opportunity for those involved to share research via poster and podium presentations as well as roundtable exercises. It was the first in-person version of the event since 2019.
The day began with a welcome from Kenneth M. Cox, dean of the college. He said that the event’s objective was to develop relationships among the faculty and students in all of the college’s programs in the areas of research, scholarship, and service.
“We are excited to showcase the exceptional research and scholarly work of our faculty and students, as well as the service opportunities in which they engage every day, and to highlight our university and community partnerships,” Cox said. “It is our hope that today’s event will continue to showcase and promote interprofessional scholarship and service in our college, across the university and throughout the community.”
The keynote address was presented by Corey Cassidy, executive director of the Radford University Academic Success Center. Cassidy, who organized the event from 2014 to 2019, focused her remarks on her history with the university and on the six types of working genius, a professional assessment tool that has helped members of her team discover their specific roles in their collective workflow and success.
Cassidy said that the symposium and expo has grown significantly over the years to include a number of programs throughout Waldron College and an expanding range of study areas from students and faculty.
“It started off small with the intention of sharing our work across disciplines,” Cassidy said. “We wanted to help people think about how they could collaborate and build on the research we were already doing.”
Following the keynote address, a roundtable was hosted by the School of Nursing’s Marjorie Young, associate professor and interim DNP-NP program coordinator; assistant professor Carey Cole, and associate professor Eunyoung Lee. The roundtable was titled “Peer Patient Roundtable: An innovative approach for evaluating clinical performance of NP students.” Students and faculty presented their research via 17 poster presentations.
Ariana Martinez, a master of social work student from Bakersfield, Va., who will graduate from Radford University in May, presented her research on understanding and addressing intimate partner violence in rural Virginia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Martinez said that she completed the research as part of her program’s comprehensive exam and that the symposium and expo allowed her to share her research with those who may not be aware of how a pandemic can increase intimate partner violence incidents.
“It’s important that events like this can help spread awareness,” Martinez said. “Intimate partner violence and mental health, in general, are not discussed as much as they should be, especially in relation to COVID. This gives me the chance to share what I’ve learned with others.”
Michael Hall, a student in RU’s doctor of physical therapy program from Riner, who also expects to graduate in May, presented his poster on the effects of head-mounted virtual reality on trunk activation in healthy adults.
“We found that the core muscles of those participating were active while they used the virtual reality headsets,” Hall said. “This has implications for those with spinal cord injuries. They are weaving and bobbing and getting lots of exercise, which can be helpful in recovery.”
Hall said that the benefit of presenting his research at the Waldron event is twofold: It helps explain to people exactly what physical therapy is and shows how virtual reality can aid in therapeutic treatments.
Submitted by Merit Pages News