Students Presenting at Annual Graduate Student Research Forum

cup of green tea

Student researchers are investigating the benefits of properties in green tea for individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.  

Flavonoids found in green tea and wine may have beneficial effects for individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, according to research Radford University student Amanda VanLaeken is presenting this week at the Sixth Annual Graduate Student Research Forum in Richmond, where nearly 60 graduate students from across Virginia will share their research.

VanLaeken and Radford University Psychology Professor Mark Whiting, whose research focuses on the animal model of traumatic brain injury and pharmacological interventions, have been researching methods that could improve memory and learning for individuals following injury.  

“The treatment I am using in my research is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and it has shown promising results in other areas of neurodegenerative studies, like animal models of stroke, which pathologically is similar to traumatic brain injury,” VanLaeken said.

The Newark, N.Y., native is one of three Radford University graduate students who will be presenting at the forum Thursday, Feb. 3, at the Library of Virginia.

Jerusalem Walker, a student in RU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program, is presenting her research aimed toward improving medication safety in hospitals by using a close call reporting system.

The most common reason medication errors go unreported in hospitals is fear of negative consequences, Walker reports. “Moving from a ‘culture of blame’ to a true culture of safety requires an emphasis on improving systems so that the potential for human error is minimized,” she said. “Voluntary and confidential close call reporting systems, such as those successfully adopted by other high-risk industries, have the potential to enhance patient safety by focusing instead on latent errors caught before they reach the patient.”

Walker, a Copper Hill native who is one of two full DNP Fellowship students in the program’s inaugural class, designed a close call reporting system for hospital use after conducting an on-site needs assessment and a review of available literature of factors impacting rates of error reporting.

Buffalo, N.Y., native Justin Dahl will present at the forum his examination of how contemporary and past artists have addressed and captured their individual memories in their works.

“Memory is often a player in the work of artists,” says the master’s of fine arts candidate in his research description. “As I paint a memory of a particular event, the image is not most important. I remember instances when I wondered why things happen, why I exist. I paint the impact of that memory translated through a particular mood. It is the mood that becomes the essence of my painting.”

The Virginia Council of Graduate Schools (VCGS) hosts the Graduate Student Research Forum each year to showcase graduate student research and scholarship across the commonwealth of Virginia. 

The forum highlights the benefits of graduate education to the economic, social and civic development of the commonwealth. Attendees include members of the General Assembly and their staffs, other members of state government, industry representatives, faculty/administrators from across the commonwealth and the general public.

Feb 3, 2011
Chad Osborne