It's Faculty Scholarship Week at Concordia University Wisconsin, a chance for our faculty experts to share about their latest research efforts.


Poster boards with faculty members’ research topics and summaries were on display throughout the day today in the Terrace Room. On Thursday and Friday, faculty will provide overviews of their efforts over the lunch hour for any Concordians interested in attending.

For those who can’t make it in person, here are the projects that are part of this year’s Faculty Scholarship Week:

Katrina Serwe, PhD, OTR/L, and Angela Walmsley, PhD

Pilot Study of a Telehealth Delivery Method for Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Caregivers are at increased risk for physical and mental health problems. These risks may be mitigated through participation in an education-based wellness program, yet many caregivers face barriers to attend such programs in-person. This pilot study sought to examine the outcomes of a telehealth delivery format for an education-based wellness program for caregivers. Participants (n=16) had high class attendance, reported socialization with other caregivers, and demonstrated a significant decrease in symptoms of depression at post assessment.

Dr. Roxxie M. Davis

African American Barriers to Healthcare

In this study, the researcher explored how African Americans from low socioeconomic backgrounds perceive barriers to engagement with medical services. With the advent of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), the American government aims to broaden access to healthcare among groups who have historically been excluded. Researchers have indicated, however, that barriers to accessing healthcare are not simply economic; rather, a range of structural and personal barriers need to be understood and addressed to increase healthcare take-up (Leigh, 2012). Further research is necessary to gain a better understanding of patients’ views to understand the nature of these barriers to frame policies and practices that overcome such barriers.

Dr. Kathleen Kannass and Dr. Nicole Muth

The Development of Relational Reasoning About Fractions

Understanding fractions is a challenging mathematical concept for elementary school students and teachers. This study examined how lessons that emphasize fraction magnitudes support children’s understanding of fractions. Results revealed gender differences in how different lessons support children’s reasoning about fractions.

Dr. Justin J. Speck and CUW student Caleb Wardenburg

Identification of Emerging Phytopathogens in Solanum tuberosum

This work attempted to identify disease causing bacteria in potatoes with soft rot. Specifically, we were looking for known organisms that were not previously known to cause plant disease. We were also interested in finding organisms causing soft rot disease that had never been identified before.

Dr. Uvidelio F. Castillo and CUW students Analeah N. Schwind, Austin L. Hribar, Isabella C. Soltwedel, Isaiah Richardson, Kyle J. Rehrauer

Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) and the Evaluation of Mitomycin C Drug Concentrations using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)

This study was conducted to optimize the proper levels of Mitomycin C, a chemotherapy drug, when using the Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) in cancer patients.

Dr. Uvidelio F. Castillo and CUW students Stephanie A. Ruvalcaba Rodriguez, Emily F. Harwood, Adam J. Wargolet

Preliminary Data on the Development of an Alternative Treatment for Vulvovaginal Candidiasis Utilizing the Synergy Between Essential Oils and Miconazole, a Known Antifungal Medication

This study was conducted for the development of an alternative treatment for recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis utilizing the synergy between essential oils and Miconazole.

Dr. Angela Belz

This study explored the perceptions of caseworkers serving in the welfare system in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Caseworkers were interviewed and asked about their ability to manage stress, available support systems, and the effectiveness of the welfare program. Results indicated that a strong supervisor-employee relationship was vital to retention and employee satisfaction.

Dr. Nicholas Zupec, Dr. Lynne Fehrenbacher, Dr. Sarah Ray

Implementing and Evaluating Hand Hygiene Practices in a Pharmacy Skills Lab

Proper hand hygiene is essential for health care providers to protect patients from infectious diseases. CUWSOP laboratory faculty members determined that educating students on proper hand hygiene improves compliance with appropriate hand hygiene practices, but evaluation via a rubric is necessary to optimize compliance rates.

Anne Graff LaDisa, PharmD, BCPS, Sarah Ray, PharmD, BCPS, FAPhA

Impact of Applied Improvisation on Student Pharmacists’ Patient Communication Skills

AI uses improvisational theater principles to teach professional skills in non-theatrical settings. Exercises adapted to healthcare focus on skills essential to clinical communication. We measured the impact of using AI as an adjunct to traditional teaching methods. We found AI enhances students’ ability to communicate effectively in challenging patient encounters.

Dr. Sarah Collins and Dr. Rhonda Verdegan

Social Work and Athletic Training Students’ Perceptions of Stereotypes After a Single IPE Event

This pilot study paired social work and athletic training students for a single IPE event to determine if it would influence their perceptions of each other’s roles. There was evidence that the event did influence a change in perceptions from pre-test to post-test.

Dr. Terry-Elinor Reid and Dr. Henry North

Virtual Chemistry: Revolutionizing Pharmacy Learning

Two of the most dreaded but essential courses in pharmacy education are biochemistry and medicinal chemistry. Herein, I demonstrate the implementation of Schrödinger tool as a teaching aid and learning tool for pharmacy students matriculating through the Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry (I & II) and Biochemistry courses. This tool provides the students with an effective means of reinforcing medicinal chemistry and biochemistry concepts taught while exploring real scientific scenarios.

Dr. Tzvia I. Springer, Dr. Andrea M. Thooft, Dr. Terry-Elinor Reid, Dr. Samantha Geis, Dr. Jimmy Feix

Docking-based Virtual Screen to Identify a Lead Compound to Inhibit Pseudomonas aeruginosa Phospholipase Exotoxin ExoU Membrane Binding

Due to the severity of cystic fibrosis, patients succumb to respiratory infections caused by the opportunistic multi-drug resistant pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa). P. aeruginosa secretes various effector proteins inside mammalian lung epithelial cells that includes the phospholipase enzyme ExoU. Identifying and validating a druggable target, against ExoU ultimately initiated the current research. Currently there is no high-resolution active complex structures or reference inhibitors. Host membrane binding to phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2), a substrate present in the host membrane, is a major contributor and signal of the mechanism for membrane binding and thus activation in ExoU. Recent electron paramagnetic spectroscopy (EPR) studies identified residues involved in PIP2 binding in the membrane.

Rev. Dr. Kevin E. Voss, DVM, PhD. FCA

Human-on-a-Chip: Medical Breakthrough or a Violation of Human Dignity?

Researchers have begun to grow living tissues and entire organ systems on cell culture chips. Eventually, a complete human body, in miniature, could be grown on a chip. Strict control of this research must be maintained or a holistic vision of what it means to be human may be lost.

Dr. Josh Locklair

Information Privacy in Higher Education: A Lutheran Ethical Perspective

Modern computer systems allow colleges and universities unprecedented opportunities to improve their offerings by collecting and analyzing student data. However, there are many ethical challenges related to data analytics that must be addressed. An integration of relevant literature and the Large Catechism provides educators and administrators with insight and direction.

Dr. Claire Gates, Dr. Ellen Trombia, Dr. Joseph Zywicil, and Dr. Joseph B. Fisher

Cells with Mutant Cohesin Genes are More Susceptible to DNA Damaging Agents Than Cohesin Wild-Type Cells

In this current study we evaluate the feasibility of a personalized approach to treating leukemia, a cancer of the bone marrow, in patients harboring mutations in the cohesin gene.

Dr. Beth Buckley

Student Response to Incorporating Mindfulness in a First Year Pharmacy Patient Care Course

Mindful awareness, gratitude practice, self-compassion and other wellbeing tools were introduced to first year pharmacy students as a way to enhance their ability to practice patient centered care, and support the wellness and resilience of pharmacy students. Student response to the added components was positive and encouraged continuation.

Dr. Jordan Beck

Upper-Division Chemistry Students’ Navigation and Use of Models to Predict and Explain Molecular Vibration and Rotation

This work explores how undergraduate students develop, modify, and interact with scientific models in the area of physical chemistry.

Sarah Holtan, PhD and Tim Macafee, PhD

Social Media Gubernatorial Candidate Information and the 2018 Wisconsin Midterm Election

The study’s survey results show that during the 2018 Wisconsin Midterm Election, searching for information specifically about Tony Evers and Scott Walker on social media related to intending to vote for that candidate. The study also suggests attention to specific traditional news media relates to voting for Evers and Walker.

Dr. Jill Krell, DNP, RN, Dr. Sharon Chappy, PhD, RN, Kathy Lengyel, MSN, RN, Cathy Cero-Jaeger, MSN, RN

Enhancing Clinical Nursing Education in the Lake Region of Tanzania

Collaboratively faculty from CUW & UWM implemented a program in Mwanza, Tanzania. The program was designed to consult, develop, and train current nursing teachers and preceptors in the use of a check off list for Nursing Skills ,Clinical Examinations, clinical learning objectives, and clinical evaluation guidelines and logbooks. Preceptor “Training of trainers” sessions, a structured mentoring and governance framework, and the training of additional preceptors at an external clinical rotation site was also an enhancement to the program.

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