HIGH POINT, N.C., April 30, 2020 – High Point University faculty and students recently received the following academic and professional awards and recognitions.
HPU Junior Student Awarded Barry Goldwater Scholarship
Mikaela Seemann, a junior working toward a B.S. in biochemistry and B.A. in French from Marietta, Georgia, was recently awarded the 2020 Barry Goldwater Scholarship, totaling $7,500. The Goldwater Scholarship is considered the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering in the United States.
The Barry Goldwater Scholarship & Excellence Foundation seeks to identify and support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming the nation’s next generation of leaders in the STEM fields. The selection criteria includes a strong commitment to a research career in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering, effective display of intellectual intensity in the sciences, mathematics and engineering, and potential for significant future contribution to research in their field.
Seemann is mentored by Assistant Professor Meghan Blackledge in the Department of Chemistry and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry after graduation from HPU. Her long-term goal is to work in a laboratory at a national health organization such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Mikaela’s research in the Blackledge lab at HPU seeks to identify and study novel compounds that can be used to treat infections caused by Mycobacterium, a genus of bacteria that can cause a range of serious infections including soft tissue infections and tuberculosis.
“I appreciate the Goldwater Scholarship because this process has made me a better researcher and a stronger writer,” said Seemann. “In addition to my personal growth, this scholarship is a reflection of the amazing support system around me, so I’d like to thank all my mentors for their dedication to helping me achieve my goals.”
HPU Computer Science Students compete in Statewide Cyber Tracer FIRE Competition
Five computer science students, Ethan Shealey, Shane Berthoud, Chris Finlan, Conor Rybacki and Joe Davidson, recently competed in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information’s Tracer Forensic and Incident Response Exercise (FIRE) Competition. Students from universities across North Carolina were invited to participate in the competition, hosted at North Carolina A&T University in February. HPU had students on each of the top three winning teams.
“Events of this nature are huge for a student looking for a career in cybersecurity,” said Roger Shore, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at HPU, who accompanied the students on the trip. “Not only do they get to meet incredible professionals from Sandia National Labs, but they also get to show off learned skills during the event.”
Researcher Kevin Nauer and his team from Sandia National Labs developed the competition to educate and train cybersecurity incident responders and to improve collaboration and teamwork.
The two-day event kicked off with a briefing of mock corporations that suspected their technology was compromised. Students were placed into groups of four and five students from different universities and were introduced to tools to solve each challenge. Points were awarded based on the time it took to solve the problem and the degree of difficulty.
At the end of the competition, each team debriefed the company on their findings and was awarded additional points for the accuracy of their discoveries and the quality of the recommendations to address each incident.
HPU Survey Research Center recognized for transparency
High Point University’s Survey Research Center has been recognized by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) for the fifth consecutive year for its commitment to transparency and involvement in the Transparency Initiative.
HPU was assessed based on criteria set forth by the initiative, such as reporting research sponsors, exact wording of questions asked, the population the surveys are meant to represent, where and how sample was obtained, the collection dates for the survey, the total number of survey interviews collected, how the data was weighted and contact information for the research staff.
“Being a member of the Transparency Initiative allows HPU to stay current with what other reputable survey research and polling firms are doing,” said Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Survey Research Center. “The Transparency Initiative is a respected indicator of quality and membership that allows us a means to easily disclose our research methods.”
Launched in 2014, the Transparency Initiative is a program established by AAPOR to place the value of openness at the center of its work and make it as easy as possible for survey firms to be transparent about their research methods. Members include AARP, Gallup, Google Surveys, Pew Research Center and various universities across the nation.
HPU Athletic Training Faculty Recognized by Athletic Trainers’ Association
Two faculty members in the Department of Athletic Training were recently recognized by regional and statewide branches of the Athletic Trainers’ Association.
Dr. Jolene Henning, chair and associate professor of athletic training, received the 2020 Service Award from the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers’ Association (MAATA), whose mission is to enhance the quality of health care for athletes and those engaged in physical activity, and to advance the profession of athletic training through education and research in the prevention, evaluation, management and rehabilitation of injuries.
Dr. Nancy Groh, assistant professor of athletic training, received the 2020 North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association (NCATA) Presidential Award, which recognizes any business, medical practice, organization or individual that has supported health care services above and beyond the expected in support of athletic trainers and the athletic training community.
“We are passionate about making a difference in the lives of young people by educating, exciting, engaging and inspiring them,” said Henning. “We are truly honored to be recognized among our peers for the work we are doing to advance the profession of athletic training at High Point University.”
HPU Education Professor Featured on National Education Blog
Dr. Allie Blosser, assistant professor of education, was recently featured in Ed Prep Matters, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) blog, which is dedicated to sharing key news and insights on educator preparation.
Her blog, titled, “Teaching Advocacy to Preservice Students More Important Now Than Ever,” discusses why the coronavirus serves as a great example of why we should teach advocacy to future educators.
“In the wake of an international health crisis, families and especially legislators are realizing how much work teaching is, and just how many roles schools and educators serve,” said Blosser. “Even though advocacy is not often a skill included on the evaluations of student teachers, it is an essential one for teachers’ professionalization, especially as more teachers are banding together to demand better working conditions, resources, compensation, and in recent weeks, equitable online learning opportunities for their students.”
Blosser shared her experience around traveling to Washington, D.C., last May, where she provided an opportunity for students to advocate with a state representative and have exposure to what educator advocacy looks like first-hand.
“At HPU, we prepare students with critical life skills, like advocating for their rights and beliefs,” said Blosser. “If we want public education in this country to thrive, then we must teach future educators to be advocates.”
HPU Communications Professor Wins International Scriptwriting Competition
Dr. Jim Goodman, assistant professor in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication and chair of the Popular Culture and Media Production major, recently won “Best of Competition” in the Faculty Scriptwriting Competition short subject category at the Broadcast Education Association’s (BEA) Festival of Media Arts.
The association’s Festival of Media Arts is a competitive international festival open to all BEA individual faculty and student members and had over 1,700 entries this year. Goodman’s screenplay, titled “Dust,” relates not the story of the hero, but that of the sidekick, in a Wild West where the wild has found its time is dying. Ne’er-do-well cowpoke, Lefty Nelson, must find out for himself how the end of dreaming marks the time for doing.
“I wanted to explore the meaning of communication, friendship and the pursuit of dreams in a historical context during a time before the smart phone, social media and even the telephone, but still a time of great change,” said Goodman. “I had never written a Western before, and this idea of slow communication, well, it fascinated me. I am proud of the result and so humbled and pleased to be chosen for this wonderful award.”
BEA is the premier international academic media organization, driving insights, excellence in media production and career advancement for educators, students and professionals.