College of Graduate and Professional Studies

A Note from Dean Grady

Greetings RU Alums,
It is indeed a pleasure to be writing to you from our relatively new home in Lucas Hall. Not too many years ago this was the Alumni Relations office and the center of our efforts to maintain communication with our loyal cadre of graduates.

Today it serves somewhat the same purpose but with an added focus on post-baccalaureate studies. The move to Lucas is also symbolic of other positive changes that have occurred in the Graduate College over the past several years.

Last year we welcomed the inaugural class of doctoral students into the Doctor of Psychology program, and we received approval from the Virginia General Assembly for Masters of Occupational Therapy and Doctor of Physical Therapy programs. This year we received formal approval from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, which places us in a higher academic classification among Commonwealth universities and positions us well for the future healthcare challenges facing the state and the nation. There has indeed been a lot going on at your alma mater.

While we continue to change and grow, we are very sensitive to honoring that which has made Radford University so special to so many of our loyal graduates. We still pride ourselves on the close interaction between faculty and students, the quality of our programs as evidenced by the number of national accreditations we receive, and the friendly atmosphere that pervades the entire campus. So, while the university evolves, what is best and special about this university remains our foundation. I do hope that you have an opportunity to visit your campus and see all that is new and fresh. I also hope that, when you do return, you will recognize what is familiar and traditional.

I hope you enjoy learning about the exciting activities and events contained in this newsletter and hope that you will contact us if there is anything we can do for you.

With best regards,
Dennis Grady, PhD

College of Graduate and Professional Studies
801 East Main Street
Radford, VA 24141
(540) 831-5724

Graduate Student Presents Research in Rome
Radford University graduate student Juliana Alexander recently presented her research at the prestigious Graduate James Joyce Conference in Italy. Alexander, an RU graduate student who is a fifth grade teacher in Roanoke, presented at the conference a comparison of the works of Irish author James Joyce and Elizabeth Madox Roberts in terms of structural similarities of their novels of growth, or bildungsromans. Alexander's research is part of a student-teacher collaboration with RU English professor Jolanta Wawrzycka. Full Story

RU Student Kim Gibson Wins National Scholarship
For the second consecutive year, a Radford University counselor of education student has been selected as a recipient of the Ross Trust Scholarships administered by the American Counseling Association (ACA). Kim Gibson of Roanoke is one of 10 master's and five doctoral level students receiving $1,000 awards.

Counselor education professors Alan Forrest and Wally Scott, Gibson's mentor, agree that she is a deserving recipient. Scott says, "Kim epitomizes what we look for in a student and a graduate of our program. She is a compassionate person who understands the responsibility, commitment, satisfaction, frustration, and joy of this work." Full Story

Parents and Family Fund Offers Grants to Master's Program Students
The Graduate Student Council has received a grant from the Radford University Parents and Family Fund. This grant will provide graduate and undergraduate students in five-year programs leading to a master's at RU an opportunity to be reimbursed up to $500 for attendance of one professional conference per academic year. To be reimbursed, students must be registered as degree seeking students. The funds are offered on a first come, first served basis and will only offset registration and lodging fees. As part of receiving this grant, students are required to attend a forum in April 2009. At this forum, students will give a brief presentation about information learned at their professional conference and the impact it had on them professionally. This forum is open to the RU community as well as the local professional community. Through the forum, students who attend conferences will help share their knowledge with a larger base of people.

RU Graduate Students Present Research at Prestigious Forum
Seven Radford University graduate students presented research in February at the prestigious fourth annual Graduate Student Research Forum hosted by the Virginia Council of Graduate Schools (VCGS) in the Library of Virginia in Richmond. Full Story

Masters of Occupational Therapy Program Poised to Become First in the Commonwealth to Focus on Rural Healthcare Needs
The newest addition to Radford University's graduate and professional programs is the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT). Veteran educators Dr. Douglas Mitchell and Dr. Cynthia Creighton relocated to Virginia in August to develop the new program, and they will admit a charter class of 15 this fall.

So, what, exactly, is occupational therapy? The "occupation" in the profession's title refers to the activities that occupy a person's time during a typical day. "Your occupations define you as a unique individual, and give structure and meaning to your life," says Mitchell. Occupational therapists work in heath care facilities and schools, to help clients build productive lives when an illness or injury has disrupted everyday occupations.

The State Council for Higher Education in Virginia approved the MOT program in 2008, to address a shortage of occupational therapists in Southwestern Virginia. The university is currently seeking accreditation for the program from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

Mitchell and Creighton have been working with university committees and local health-care providers, to design the new program's curriculum, remodel space in the Waldron College of Health and Human Services for a laboratory, and recruit faculty and students.

"This is a very creative job," says Mitchell, "and an opportunity to make a real difference in the community."

RU Gains SCHEV Approval to Offer Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree
In January, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) unanimously approved the university's proposal for a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, marking the third time in a one-year period RU has received SCHEV approval for a graduate-level program.

"This shows the level of faith that SCHEV and the Commonwealth of Virginia have in RU's ability to produce quality graduate programs," said Raymond Linville, dean of RU's Waldron College of Health and Human Services. "This program will put more nurses out on the front lines who possess the highest level of clinical education. This is a win-win situation." Full Story

Doctoral Program Receives $500,000 from Roanoke-Based Medical Facilities of America
In 2007, Radford University submitted a proposal for a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) to create the first physical therapy curriculum in the Commonwealth to emphasize rural healthcare needs. The proposal included staggering statistics emphasizing the growing need for physical therapists both locally and nationally, mainly due to a growing elderly population and an increasing number of accidents and health-related injuries. Full Story

RU Criminal Justice Program Earns ACJS Certification
Radford University's criminal justice program has received certification for its master's of arts and master's of science programs from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Full Story

Radford University's FNP Concentration Receives Top Pass Rate in National Certification Exam
Graduates of Radford University's School of Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) concentration recently received a 100 percent pass rate in the national certification exam of the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

"This is the eighth year the School of Nursing FNP graduates have passed the national certification exam with a 100 percent pass rate," Gibson said. "This is a wonderful indicator of the strength of our program, the faculty's hard work and speaks volumes about the quality of education offered at Radford University." Full Story