HPU Announces Academic and Professional Achievements

May 16th, 2017

HPU Announces Academic and Professional Achievements

HIGH POINT, N.C., May 16, 2017 – High Point University faculty, staff and students recently received the following academic and professional awards and recognitions.


PA Student Selected for National Award

Christina Saldanha, a second-year Physician Assistant Studies student at HPU, received a national award from the Association of Physician Assistants in Obstetrics and Gynecology. The Student Award is given annually to one PA student nationally who has excelled in OBGYN scholarly work and clinical rotations. At HPU, Saldanha has worked with Dr. Elyse Watkins, assistant professor, on several research projects. Their articles on first trimester bleeding and hypertension disorders of pregnancy will be published in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. They also have conducted research on the use of nitrous oxide during labor that is pending publication.

“As we look forward to celebrating our first class of graduates this summer, we are proud to have one of our students selected for this award,” says Dr. Linda Sekhon, founding chair of HPU’s PA program. “Christina is an example of the high quality of PA student that we expect will continue from the Department of Physician Assistant Studies.”


Communication Students Receive Honorable Mention in National Competition

A team of students from HPU’s Nido R. Qubein School of Communication received an honorable mention in the 2017 Bateman Case Study Competition held by the Public Relations Student Society of America. In HPU’s second year entering the competition, the team was one of 15 honorable mentions and three finalists out of 67 entries from universities across the country.

From left to right: Marissa Barrett, Greta Griswold, Virginia Elam and Amy Sladek

Seniors Greta Griswold, Amy Sladek, Marissa Barrett and Virginia Elam, all strategic communication majors, worked throughout the fall and spring to create an awareness campaign for a client, the Campaign to Change Direction. Their campaign, “Stomp the Stigma,” was designed to raise mental health awareness and teach the organization’s Five Signs of Emotional Suffering.

“It is an incredible accomplishment to receive an honorable mention, considering the caliber of the competition,” says Griswold. “We were able to gain real experience creating a campaign from start to finish, including research, planning, execution and evaluation. As seniors graduating and entering the profession, this gives us confidence that we’ve been equipped well for the marketplace. Not only will we make it in the public relations world, we’ll thrive.”



Music Professor to Perform for Service Members, Spouses

Dr. Scott MacLeod, assistant professor of music at HPU, will perform for members of the military and their spouses at several USO-North Carolina Opera sponsored programs throughout the year. During the Spouse Reset and Warrior Reset programs hosted in April, May, June and September throughout the state, he will sing excerpts from Pulitzer-Prize winner Jennifer Higdon’s opera “Cold Mountain.” His participation is part of an art therapy component of the two-to-three day retreats, which support the health and well-being of service members and their spouses.

“We will present three excerpts from the opera that we hope will resonate with the experiences of these active service members and their spouses,” says MacLeod. “I am proud to participate in this collaboration, which provides a valuable service to our troops and celebrates the rich and diverse cultural offerings in North Carolina.”

MacLeod will perform the roles of Monroe, Pangle and Chain Gang Guard and serve as chorus master when “Cold Mountain” makes its North Carolina premiere on Sept. 28 and Oct. 1 at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill.


Physician Assistant Studies Chair Recognized as One of 50 ‘Exceptional PAs’

Linda Sekhon, founding chair and associate professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at HPU, was featured recently in a profile by Certified Medical Educators. The company, which supports PAs in preparing for the national board examination, is honoring 50 exceptional PAs, including Sekhon, for their professional accomplishments, passion and dedication, and in celebration of the profession’s 50th anniversary. Sekhon leads the Physician Assistant Studies program at HPU, which will graduate its first cohort in August.

“It really is a personal honor to be selected,” says Sekhon. “I am sharing the spotlight with many PAs across the country whom I greatly admire.”


Senior Awarded Teaching Assistantship in France

HPU senior Catherine Bakewell, a Spanish major and French minor from St. Louis, has accepted a yearlong teaching assistantship with the Teaching Assistant Program in France. Through this appointment, which is managed by an agency of the French Ministry of Education, she will teach English at the secondary school level at the Académie de Orléans-Tours.

“I am thrilled to have the chance to live and work abroad,” says Bakewell. “It will be a humbling and exciting experience to live in a different country, but I am eager to see how I will grow as a result.”

“TAPIF is a highly competitive program that will allow Catherine to pursue her love of language inside and outside the classroom in France,” says Dr. Meredith Malburne-Wade, director of the Office of Fellowships and Awards. “This will be a life-changing opportunity for cultural exchange and immersion.”


Alan Vasquez Soto, pictured on the right, gives hovercraft rides for community children during HPUniverse Day.

Student’s Article on HPUniverse Day Featured in Magazine

An article by Alan Vasquez Soto, a junior physics major at HPU, is featured in the winter 2017 issue of the SPS Observer, a national magazine produced by the Society of Physics Students. His story, “Sharing Science,” discusses the impact of HPUniverse Day, which in its third year was attended by about 1,200 community members in the fall. It also highlights HPU’s approach to engaging children in hands-on experiences in the sciences.

“In the three years we’ve hosted this event, I’ve seen both new and returning attendees, which tells me that we’re doing a good job,” Vasquez says in the article. “Working at an outreach station may not seem like a big deal, but learning how a hovercraft works might be all a kid needs to become interested in science. Seeing their faces light up with a passion for pursuing something new and exciting is the reason we host HPUniverse Day.”


From left to right, are Emilie Alioto, Gianna Carrabotta, Riccardo De Cataldo, Yingqi Liu, Kerri Madden, Mollie McKinley, Bingjie Qi, Loredana Moccia and Tonilena Soranno.

Students and Staff Inducted into International Honor Society

HPU’s chapter of Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars inducted 17 new student members and three honorary faculty and staff members on April 24. The inductees are students Emilie Alioto, Monica Beiler, Summer Blackwelder, Gianna Carrabotta, Riccardo De Cataldo, Amy Hobday, Yisong Liu, Kerri Madden, Mollie McKinley, Mpumi Nobiva, Natalie Overly, Bingjie Qi, Rahaf Marghlani, Xinyue Su, Niamh Tattersall, Yizhe Wang, Yingqi Liu, and staff members Loredana Moccia, Tonilena Soranno and Mina Ouakrim. Membership is offered to undergraduate and graduate international students, as well as domestic students who have studied abroad and are involved in international activities on campus. Honorary memberships are reserved for faculty and staff who have demonstrated outstanding service to the cause of international education, international exchange and internationalization.

“We are extremely proud of the scholarly achievements of these inductees and are happy to have them represent the Zeta Beta Chapter of Phi Beta Delta,” says Dr. Marjorie Church, director of international student affairs. “These students have demonstrated perseverance and initiative in their academic work, and they have contributed greatly to the cause of fostering international cultural understanding at HPU and abroad. The three honorary inductees have worked tirelessly providing students with language instruction and support and by serving as advisors to the Global Students Association, the Italian Club, the German Club and the Arabic Club.”