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Seven Chosen to Present at Graduate Student Research Forum

Seven students have been selected to represent Old Dominion University at the 7th Annual Virginia Council of Graduate Schools' (VCGS) Graduate Student Research Forum. It will be held at the University of Virginia from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16.

The forum provides an opportunity for the public, legislators and the business community to hear about current graduate student research, which promotes economic, social and civic development in Virginia.

Charlottesville is a new venue for the forum. It is being held this year in conjunction with a conference VCGS is sponsoring Feb. 15-17, "Graduate Education for Virginia: STEMulating the Future." Brenda Neumon Lewis, ODU's associate vice president for graduate studies, noted that the Virginia Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, a collaborative project among the public institutions in the commonwealth, received a National Science Foundation planning grant to explore ways to increase and support the number of minorities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

The Old Dominion participants will be among presenters from colleges and universities throughout the state. The ODU presentations range from research on serious game design to nursing skills training and evaluation.

The students were chosen by the Office of Graduate Studies. "Our decisions were based, among other things, on the quality of the research proposals and the value of that research to the commonwealth," said Lewis. "I was so pleased with the quality of proposals that were submitted."

More information about VCGS and the research forum can be found at www.vacgs.net.

The ODU participants are:

  • Denise Claiborne, master's student in dental hygiene, College of Health Sciences: "Effects of Low Temperature Atmospheric Pressure Plasma on Tooth Whitening." The purpose of the study was to determine if LTAPP along with H2O2 gel would safely and effectively accelerate the tooth whitening process, in terms of lightness and temperature.
  • Erika Frydenlund, doctoral student in international studies, College of Arts and Letters: "Conducting Field Research to Inspire Social Science Modeling." To Africa's destitute women, children and refugees, mobile phones are more than simply a means of communication - they are literally a lifeline to community resources. Using data on maternal mortality and refugee populations gathered during field research in Rwanda in 2010, this study combines empirical fieldwork with modern computer simulation methods to illustrate how inexpensive mobile phones may improve maternal health and refugee safety.
  • Koren Goodman, doctoral student in health services research, College of Health Sciences: "The Application of Interactive Behavior Change Technologies to Enhance Patient Education Among Adults Diagnosed with Diabetes." The use of interactive behavior change technologies (IBCT) by individuals with type 2 diabetes may be a significant mechanism to provide educational and behavioral change messages. The application of these technological strategies promotes overall compliance by minimizing traditionally imposed barriers that impact accessibility, complications experienced and lack of patient education. This research will evaluate interactive behavior change technologies that aim to increase patient education, medication compliance and quality disease management among adults diagnosed with diabetes when employing the Technology Acceptance Model as a theoretical framework.
  • Michael Martin, doctoral student in modeling and simulation, Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology: "Serious Game Design Principles: The Impact of Game Design on Learning Outcomes." This research is an investigation into the design principles that govern serious games; serious games are games (typically video games) that produce desirable educational or training outcomes. These games attempt to harness the motivational and affective traits of video games and direct them toward productive outcomes, such as STEM education and jobs training. The goal of this research is to examine how designs choices in the creation of serious games can affect learning outcomes.
  • Syed Rizvi, doctoral student in computer science, College of Sciences: "Unity in Bad Times: Bringing Together Heterogeneous Wireless Sensor Networks to Work for a Next-generation Emergency Response System." The objective of the research is to design a real-time information system to improve emergency-response functions by bringing together information to respond to a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other small or large-scale emergency. The system is called ALERT: An Architecture for the Emergency Retasking of Wireless Sensor Networks. The novel contribution of this research to the emergency response strategies is the seamless integration of various wireless sensor networks by retasking them with explicit missions involving a dynamically changing situation.
  • Lydia Wigglesworth-Ballard, doctoral student in health services research, College of Health Sciences: "Improving Nursing Skills Training and Evaluation in a Simulated Hospital Environment." This research focuses on the use of Simulated Infectious Diseases (SID), a powder-like substance to simulate infection during clinical procedures. The specific aims of the research are to assess the effectiveness of SID use in training scenarios using patient simulator mannequins to train health care workers in an interactive simulation environment by visually replicating the spread of infectious bacteria while performing common clinical tasks, evaluate health care personnel performance by measuring amount and distance of SID spread from the original location photographically, and compare training outcomes of infection-control knowledge, attitudes and observed behaviors after completing training with SID versus traditional training.
  • Dorothy Yordt, doctoral student in biomedical sciences, College of Sciences: "Effects of Benzo(a)pyrene on Sperm Quality and Global DNA Methylation of Spermatogenic Cells of Mice." The objective of the study was to examine the effects of exposure to Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) on the relationship between sperm quality and global DNA methylation of spermatogenic cells during spermatogenesis.