HPU Students, Faculty and Staff Recognized for Research and Innovation

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HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 24, 2020 – Members of the High Point University community frequently conduct, publish and share research and creative works in a variety of ways. Below is a recap of recent research initiatives.

Dr. Brenden Hargett was selected to present at the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) Annual Convention.

HPU Counselor to Present at National Conference

Dr. Brenden Hargett, clinical counselor in HPU’s Office of Counseling, was selected to present at the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) Annual Convention in San Diego, California in April. He will present on the topic, “The Effects of Historical Trauma in African Americans: Implications for Counselors.”

Held annually, the ACA 2020 Conference & Expo is the ACA’s flagship educational event focusing on the professional development of counselors in various practice settings. The event attracts nearly 5,000 mental health professionals who attend to learn new strategies for self-care, advocate for the counseling care of tomorrow and access the latest resources to support clients and students.

“Attending and participating in this conference is a valuable experience,” said Hargett. “I look forward to engaging with my colleagues on this important topic to promote awareness and continue enhancing how we support this population around trauma.” 

HPU Professor Publishes Research on Physical Therapist Impacts on Patient Safety

Dr. Lance Mabry recently published research on the safety of physical therapy practice.

Dr. Lance Mabry, assistant professor of physical therapy, recently published research on the safety of physical therapy practice titled, “Safety Events and Privilege Utilization Rates in Advanced Practice Physical Therapy Compared to Traditional Primary Care: An Observational Study.” The research was conducted with Dr. Jeffrey P. Notestine, physical therapist at Malcolm Grow Medical Center in Joint Base Andrews, Maryland; Col. Josef H. Moore, dean of the Graduate School of the Academy of Health Sciences at Baylor University in Waco, Texas; Dr. Chris M. Bleakley, lecturer in physiotherapy in Ulster University’s School of Health Sciences in the United Kingdom; and Dr. Jeffrey B. Taylor, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee.

The study measured the safety of physical therapy, especially in a clinic with expanded practices such as allowing for physical therapists to order diagnostic imaging and see patients with unlimited direct access, against a benchmark primary care clinic.

As the first study of its kind, findings suggest that physical therapy is either safer or has a similar safety profile compared to primary care and indicates that advanced practice physical therapists can provide a safe and efficient first line of treatment for musculoskeletal conditions.

“This is impactful, as previous studies have shown direct access physical therapy to reduce medical costs but have not examined impacts on patient safety,” said Mabry. “This multi-year single-center study demonstrates that physical therapists deliver safe care and suggests that expansion of the role of physical therapists may be justified.”

HPU Pharmacy Student Research Featured in National Publication

Taylor McGhee, a fourth-year pharmacy student in the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, was featured in the December issue of Drug Topics.

Taylor McGhee, a fourth-year pharmacy student in the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, was featured in the December issue of Drug Topics due to her research on prospective pharmacist intervention for diabetes patients, which she presented at the 2019 Annual American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exposition.

The study included 30 patients with gestational diabetes who were managed by a nurse or nurse practitioner. In her study, three patients who were given a rapid-acting insulin either didn’t pick them up or didn’t use them, demonstrating where a pharmacist’s intervention could have helped.

McGhee’s research indicated medication adjustments by a clinical pharmacist can be made based on A1c percentages and self-reported blood glucose readings, building on the argument that having clinical pharmacists available to gestational diabetes patients within ambulatory care settings could help lead to improved gestational diabetes care and better outcomes for both mother and baby.

“Having the opportunity to conduct research, present it to my peers at national conferences and get published in one of the industry’s top publications provides a whole new layer to the learning process,” said McGhee. “I am grateful for the experiences afforded to me at High Point University and the amazing faculty who have prepared me to be successful in my career.”

HPU Students Selected to Present at National Conference

Victoria MacQueen, a junior biology major, and Allison Patrick, a junior elementary education major, have been selected to present their undergraduate research during the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) taking place at Montana State University on March 26-28.

MacQueen will present her biochemistry poster, titled “Investigating the Role of G Protein Beta and Gamma Subunits in Hepatic Glucose Production,” showcasing research conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Sally McMillin, assistant professor of basic pharmaceutical sciences in HPU’s Congdon School of Health Sciences.

“This experience has taught me so much, from learning how to use a pipette, to working in a sterile environment, which has allowed us to complete the many vital experiments that have provided us invaluable data in our research,” said MacQueen. “And I’m still learning, even today.”

Patrick will present her education poster, titled “Parent Child Interaction Therapy for Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” showcasing research conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Sarah Vess, associate dean and associate professor in the Office of Specialized Curriculum and Technology in HPU’s Stout School of Education. Through this research, Patrick learned more about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the different therapies educators and families can use to help children impacted.

“I am able to take the things I have learned about ASD into my courses, my student teaching and eventually my career as a teacher,” said Patrick. “Dr. Vess is very knowledgeable and has been a mentor for me. Even if I have questions that are not related to our research, she is always willing to assist me with what I need. This experience has allowed me to grow intellectually, broaden my knowledge and encouraged me to become involved with other research on campus.”

Research by HPU Faculty and Students Published in National Scientific Journal

HPU Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Keir Fogarty, HPU Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Heather Miller and HPU biology major Julia P. Trautman had their research published in Molecular Biology Reports.

High Point University chemistry faculty and students in the chemistry and biology departments recently published their research in Molecular Biology Reports, a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal covering research on normal and pathological molecular processes.

The research was conducted by Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Heather Miller, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Keir Fogarty, biology major Julia P. Trautman, HPU biology graduate Sebastian K. Roszczenko, University of Rochester Ph.D. student and HPU alumna Molly J. Hulver, and Creighton School of Medicine student and HPU alumna Amanda P. Goodwin.

Titled, “Human Tat‑specific factor 1 binds the HIV‑1 genome and selectively transports HIV‑1 RNAs,” the study examines a human protein that is hijacked by HIV-1 in infected individuals. Through several years of mentored research, the group was able to demonstrate that this protein bound the HIV-1 RNA genome and has a novel role in helping traffic RNA within human cells. The experiments involved many molecular techniques including culturing and manipulating human cell lines and represented an interdisciplinary approach to basic scientific research.

“We are excited to share novel findings gathered from students in both biology and chemistry,” said Miller. “At High Point University, students can get involved in research opportunities as early as freshman year. All of the co-authors on this paper had participated in SuRPS (Summer Undergraduate Research Program in the Sciences), and through this support, were able to commit and dive into a technically challenging project. I am so proud of the progress they made and how they transformed from students sitting in a classroom to researchers solving problems at the bench. Authorship on a peer-reviewed scientific paper is an honor few undergraduate students can declare.” 

HPU Faculty, Staff and Students’ Research Study Published in National Journal

An HPU faculty member from the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, two staff members from the Office of Student Life and two students conducted research that was published in the Journal of American College Health. The study, titled, “Impact of a multidisciplinary educational training program (OverdosED) on knowledge and perceptions of depressant substance use on a college campus,” was conducted to assess the efficacy of a multidisciplinary educational training program, OverdosED, which was designed to increase college students’ knowledge of and confidence in their ability to appropriately recognize and respond to suspected overdose on depressant substances.

The research was conducted by Dr. Shaina Musco, assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences in HPU’s Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy; Dr. Brenden Hargett, clinical counselor in HPU’s Office of Student Life; Dr. Tara Shollenberger, assistant vice president for student conduct in HPU’s Office of Student Life Office; Jackson Kicklighter, fourth-year pharmacy student in HPU’s Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy; and Christina Carilli, sophomore psychology major and undergraduate research assistant at HPU.

Results noted early and ongoing education about substance use, along with coping skills training, could prove helpful and deter more problematic patterns of substance use. The more students are informed and confident in their ability to intervene, the more their concern for issues associated with drug use should increase causing them to be a resource for those in need.

“According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance abuse poses a serious public health issue for individuals ages 18-22,” said Hargett. “Because of this, colleges and universities must work to create a campus culture that supports substance use education to help students make an informed decision about their own use and assist their peers in the event of an overdose.”

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