ATLANTA—The Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions hosted its fifth annual graduate research conference in a different style for 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university moved classes to a distance learning format, so the research conference organizers decided to follow suit.
“We know our graduate students worked diligently on their research projects, and they were very much looking forward to the opportunity of presenting their work at the Lewis College Graduate Research Conference this spring. At the Lewis College, we are proud to foster graduate student research, so we decided to go the extra mile to move the conference to an online format,” said Dr. Rafaela G. Feresin, conference chair and member of the Lewis College research council.
For the 2020 Graduate Research Conference (GRC), web manager Vanessa Brown and Dr. Feresin built an elaborate website featuring links to all 33 research posters and abstracts, a secure electronic scoring platform for the 25 judges and an open voting mechanism for the People’s Choice award.
“Thank you to the Lewis College research council and external affairs for putting together the virtual form of the conference,” said Dr. Huanbiao Mo, interim dean of the Lewis College. “This is an innovative format that kept our research going despite the disruption by COVID-19.”
Live Webex presentations by each of the research teams were a highlight of the conference. Despite a few technical challenges in the presentation platform, the participants thought highly of the students’ work.
In a tie, Jasmynne Blacks, a master’s student in nutrition, took first place with her research “Effects of Raspberry on Angiotensin II-induced Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Fibrosis in the Heart of Mice.” Blacks’ team included the 2019 Lewis College Graduate Research Conference winner Rami Najjar, a Ph.D. candidate in nutrition.
A doctor of physical therapy team, including Mallory Law, DeVaughn Davis and Elihu Igbinadolor, also took first place with their research titled “Longitudinal MRI Assessment of Individual Quadriceps Muscles Reveals Heterogeneous Atrophy and Recovery Following ACL Reconstruction.”
Ryan Albright, Rachel Baek, Morgan Ryder and Doug Sands, a master’s of occupational therapy team, took third place with their research “The Effect of Active Music Therapy on Average Finger Velocity in Stroke Survivors.”
Honorable mention – graduating doctor of nursing practice student, Anita Rich, received fourth place for her work “Assessing Professional Self-perception of Mongolian Nurses.”
The 2020 GRC People’s Choice Award went to the doctor of physical therapy team of Macie Sims, Sydney Wright and Hannah Taylor for “Factors Affecting Asymmetrical Knee Flexion and Varus Moments During Gait Following ACL Reconstruction.”
“Congratulations to the student winners and their faculty advisors and teams for their hard work. Also, I thank everyone who participated and presented their research,” said Dr. Mo.
Students, faculty and conference committee leaders look forward to the 2021 Lewis College Graduate Research Conference.
Nutrition Coordinated Program graduate student Laura Brown presents her research live on Webex during the 2020 Lewis College GRC.