Students Present Research at Graduate Forum

Capturing the attention of vice provosts, deans and administrators of doctoral institutions, four-year colleges and community colleges, four Radford University graduate students presented their research Feb. 16 at the Seventh Annual Graduate Student Research Forum in Charlottesville.

Each year, the Virginia Council of Graduate Schools hosts the forum as an opportunity for the Commonwealth's graduate students to present their research promoting economic, social and civic development in Virginia.

This year's forum at the University of Virginia focused on minority representation in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, said Nora Reilly, associate dean of Radford's College of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Presenters at the forum were students from the 16 public universities in Virginia that offer graduate degrees. Each university selects "a handful of really outstanding graduate students doing cutting-edge research," said Dennis Grady, dean of Radford's College of Graduate and Professional Studies. 

Graduate students representing Radford this year were Amy Furrow, Sarah Heidel, Sharon Russell and Marjorie Higgins Young.

Furrow's presentation, “Chronic Cannabinoid Exposure during Adolescence in Female Rats: Persistent Emotional Effects in Adulthood?” examined the potential lingering long-term effect of marijuana use on emotional stability. Her work was conducted in collaboration with Pamela Jackson in the Department of Psychology.

Young, from the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, presented a poster titled, “Changing Knowledge and Attitude toward Maternity Care Practices with the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.”  Her research assessed the efficacy of providing targeted information to health-care workers in maternity situations in response to the World Health Organization's baby-friendly initiative.

Russell and her mentor, Elizabeth Lanter from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, presented “Effects of Picture Exchange on Increasing Spoken Requests in a Child with Developmental Delay.” The team's study demonstrated the effectiveness of using a picture exchange system to increase spontaneous spoken requests in a 7-year-old child with Down syndrome and intellectual disability.

Heidel from the Clinical-Counseling Psychology program and her mentor, Jennifer Mabry from the School Psychology program, presented “Convergent Validity of Executive Function Measures in a College Population.” Their research explored two newer instruments used for testing executive function and the possible overlap between the two tests. 

"Our students are doing some really pathbreaking and exciting work," Grady said. "These researchers are blazing a trail of new knowledge that is comparable to that of any university in the Commonwealth."

Feb 23, 2012
Chad Osborne