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College of Health Professions Highlights Faculty Work, Collaborations

Aug. 21, 2015 | Faculty members in the College of Health Professions gathered Aug. 6 for the college’s first Faculty Showcase, an event designed to spark more collegiality and collaboration.

Nannette Nicholson, Ph.D., visits with Dean Douglas Murphy, Ph.D., about her research poster.

Nannette Nicholson, Ph.D., visits with Dean Douglas Murphy, Ph.D., about her research poster.

A keynote speaker touting leadership and seizing opportunity complemented two poster sessions featuring research by faculty members. Twenty-four posters featured work from faculty investigators across the 24 professional programs.

A challenge for collaborations in the college can be the broad range of professions represented in the college and being spread across locations on campus, at UAMS regional centers as well as the joint audiology/speech pathology program based on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock campus.

“We have faculty and students in our college doing extraordinary things but who are not necessarily known within the college,” said Dean Douglas Murphy, Ph.D., in explaining the motivation for the showcase. “This is a chance to show and tell.

Tina Crook, Ph.D., talks about food allergy research.

Tina Crook, Ph.D., talks about food allergy research.

“I hope this event will foster collegiality, collaboration and encourage scholarly activity.”

The posters included studies into food allergies; home visiting programs for children who are deaf or hard of hearing; implementation of electronic health records into health information management curriculum; laboratory sciences equipment use; and team-based learning vs. traditional lecture in some physical therapy instruction. Faculty investigators fielded questions about their work from colleagues during the poster sessions.

“Sometimes you can get focused on your own thing — on your own discipline and potentially miss a chance for collaborations,” said Tina Crook, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition.

Crook talked about the research she helped author on the relationship between food allergies and family quality of life. The study showed that food allergies can have a negative impact on family quality of life in areas such as finances, free time and dining out.

Lindsay Gilbert, M.Ed., laboratory sciences clinical instructor (left) and Kathy Trawick, Ed.D., smile for a photo.

Lindsay Gilbert, M.Ed., laboratory sciences clinical instructor (left) and Kathy Trawick, Ed.D., smile for a photo.

Nannette Nicholson, Ph.D., professor and interim chair in the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, said she enjoyed the showcase since her department is based on the UALR campus, so there are not as many chances to interact with colleagues. She talked about a study by her and two audiology colleagues that were used to improve home visiting programs for young children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“This is a good chance to build relationships that might lead to collaboration — plus it is fun,” she said.

One faculty collaboration came to fruition at the showcase, Kathy Trawick, Ed.D., associate professor and chair in the Department of Health Information Management, showed her first research poster, which used a template she got from Nicholson.

“She and I were sitting next to each other at a Dean’s Executive Committee meeting several weeks ago when Dr. Murphy was encouraging participation in the showcase,” Trawick said. “I said something about never having done a poster and she offered to share several poster templates.

“She mentored me on converting a presentation I had given a few years ago at a national conference into a poster.”

John Jefferson, Ph.D., (left) and Patricia Kelly, Ph.D., chairs of the college’s newest programs (physical therapy and physician assistant studies) visit.

John Jefferson, Ph.D., (left) and Patricia Kelly, Ph.D., chairs of the college’s newest programs (physical therapy and physician assistant studies) visit.

Trawick said she was happy to have the help and pleased to now have that experience in poster development.

Catherine Smith, M.Ed., instructor and interim program director for the Cytotechnology Program in the Department of Laboratory Sciences, serves as chair of the college’s Faculty Development and Services Committee, which planned the showcase. It was based in part on a 2014 symposium for student research in laboratory sciences.

“Participation increases awareness and understanding of scholarly activity and offers a model for interprofessional collaboration, which is a hallmark for successful health care education,” said Smith, who presented a poster on success of the student research symposium during the showcase.

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