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Spring Symposium Highlights Faculty Research

The eighth annual Samuel Merritt University (SMU) Spring Symposium took place at the Health Education Center (HEC) Fontaine Auditorium on Friday, May 10. The symposium provides a forum for faculty to share and learn more about each other’s research.

Many of the presenting faculty expressed their excitement and appreciation to be able to have such a venue to connect, discuss and inspire one another across disciplines.  

"As Chair of the Faculty Development Committee, I worked with my colleagues on the committee (Teri Gwin, Karen Wolf, Valerie Landau, and Gaye Raymond) and Academic Affairs (Veronica Paniagua and Penny Bamford) to review faculty submissions and to coordinate the details of the day," said Michelle Hampton, Associate Professor, School of Nursing. "It's inspirational to see and hear about our fellow faculty's accomplishments and to see the continued evolution of the university from a largely education-focused institution to one in which research is becoming a significant part of the culture."

Twenty-five faculty oral and poster presentations were included in this year's symposium. Basic Sciences, Podiatry (DPM), Nursing, Program of Nurse Anesthesia (PNA), Occupational Therapy (OT), and Physical Therapy (PT) were represented. Some of the presentations featured interprofessional collaboration between departments.

"I have been impressed with the quality of presentations and range of research being conducted at Samuel Merritt University," said presenter Dr. Guy McCormack, Professor, OT.  "Many of the presentations addressed the clinical interventions and teaching/learning issues in a changing health care arena."


The following oral presentations were made:

  • Personal and Workplace Psychosocial Risk Factors for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Pooled Study
    Carisa Harris-Adamson, PT, PhD (Physical Therapy); other cohort members: Ellen Eisen, ScD, Ann Marie Dale, PhD, Bradley Evanoff, MD, Kurt Hegmann, MD
  • Pre-Admission Criteria, Standardized Test Scores & NCLEX-RN Success in 2nd Degree Students
    Janet Rowland, RN-BC, MSN (Nursing)
  • Peer Influences on Adolescent Alcohol and Other Drug Use Outcomes 
    Rhonda Ramirez, FNP-BC, EdD (Nursing)
  • Determining Airway Acid Production in Living cells In Vitro Using Confocal Microscopy
    Christina Lewis, PhD (Basic Sciences)
  • The Experiences of Registered Nurses Transitioning from Patient Care Settings to Academia
    Teresa Gwin, EdD (Nursing)
  • Meeting the Challenges of Clinical Resources and Exposing Students to the Health System
    Mindy Prestia, PHN, RN, MS (Nursing); Margarita Perez Machovec, RN, BSN (Nursing); Elmare Botha, MSN, RN (Nursing)
  • Russian Immigrants Perceptions in Taking American Prescribed Medications
    Terry Deane Dauwalder, MBA, FNP-BC (Nursing)
  • Bridging the Gap: A Simulation-Based Program for High School Students
    Aara Amidi-Nouri PhD, RN (Nursing); Renee Smith, MSN, RN (Nursing); Celeste Villanueva, MS, CRNA (HSSC); Jeanette Wong, RN, MPA (HSSC); Adelina Gage-Kelly, RN, MPA  (HSSC)
  • Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning Through Service: Podiatry and Family Nurse Practitioners Team up to Provide Healthcare Services at the Mexico/California Border
    Timothy Dutra, DPM, Valerie Dzubur, EdD, FNP (Podiatry)
  • A Theoretical Basis for Ethics Education Across Health Professions
    Mileva Saulo Lewis, EdD, RN (Nursing/San Francisco Peninsula Learning Center)
  • Using Everyday Occupations to Promote Neuroplasticity
    Guy McCormack, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA (Occupational Therapy)
  • Development and Implementation of Educational Outreach Programs for Oakland and Neighboring Communities
    Barbara Puder, PhD (Basic Sciences/Brain Awareness Program)
  • Infusing Culture in Therapeutic Activities
    Elizabeth Ching, MEd, OTR/L (Occupational Therapy)