WCHHS faculty and student scholarship on display at 2nd annual symposium

WCiPSE keynote speaker

Interim Director of Academic Affairs Matt Dunleavy keynoted the 2nd annual Waldron College Interprofessional Symposium and Expo in Heth Hall.

The Waldron College of Health and Human Services (WCHHS) community gathered for its second Interprofessional Symposium and Expo (IPS&E) on April 14 in Heth Hall.

The day-long celebration of original research by the WCHHS faculty and students featured a Spotlight Presentation, titled “An UnBelizeable Service Learning Project; Reflection and Direction,” by faculty members Rebecca Epperly, Sarah Smidl and Virginia Weisz that recapped the Wintermester 2015 interprofessional service learning project. Their presentation featured RU students Johanna Agustin, Patience Cantrell, Beth Crouch, Hannah Hames, Debra Massaro and Carma Sample.

In his keynote address, Matt Dunleavy, interim director of academic affairs, said, “What you are learning here is un-Googlable, it is the power of scientific inquiry- students and teachers working together to tackle global issues. This is the best of Radford University.”


Virginia Weisz, assistant professor of nursing, and Josh Meyer during their podium presentation.

Josh Meyer, a senior nursing student from Charlottesville, was co-presenter with Weisz of their ongoing research on health care and access called “Major Acute and Chronic Health Problems, Perceived Helpfulness of Treatments and Choice of Regular Health Care Provider in Virginia Chiropractic Patients.”

“First and foremost, the research opportunity was an additional learning experience that extended what I have learned in class and clinic. It really emphasized to me the reality of continuing my education to become the most effective in my field and more involved clinically,” he said.

With second year Communication Science and Disorders graduate student Annu Kuriakose and COSD faculty Elizabeth Lanter and Karen Davis, Heather Geddings, a second-year COSD graduate student from Roanoke, was co-presenter of a podium presentation titled “Effect of Participant Classifications on Learning Outcomes: Findings from a Professional Development Seminar for School Based Speech-Language Pathologists.”


Communication Science and Disorders graduate student Annu Kuriakose (left) and COSD graduate student Heather Geddings (right), her research colleague, discuss their project.

“The experience really helped me see myself as a serious professional, not as a student,” said Geddings. “I have elevated my work ethic and my perception of my own capabilities.”

Lanter reflected on the work done by Geddings and Kuriakose, saying, “They are more than capable of contributing to research as scholars and making a strong contribution to expanding the knowledge bases in our field now.”

Heather Bowden, a first-year Master of Social Work student from Radford, joined Rana Duncan-Daston, associate professor of social work, for a presentation titled “A Look into Spirituality in Social Work Practice within the Hospice Settings” that will be presented again this summer at the Council on Social Work Education national conference.

“Research is not at all abstract to me now. I know now what it looks like, how it is done and how to maintain its integrity,” she said about her contributions to the project which included recruiting volunteer interview subjects, interviewing practicing professionals in the field, transcribing the interviews, making presentations, processing data and working with the Institutional Research Board.

After listening to presentations and chatting with the poster presenters, WCHHS Dean Kenneth Cox said, “As health care providers, we focus on taking care of our patients and clients. Today, though, we had a chance to showcase our expertise and efforts in various disciplines. No longer are we flying under the radar as far as our scholarly output.”

The IPS&E line-up included 17 podium presentations and almost 70 poster presentations. All poster and podium presentation abstracts are available online here.

Apr 15, 2015