Students at the College of Allied Health Sciences are readying their posters and rehearsing their presentations for the 14th annual Presentation of Research and Innovative/Scholarly Endeavors (PRaISE) Conference, held Friday, May 11, at Tangeman University Center.
The conference involves oral and poster presentations of student research from both the undergraduate and graduate programs at the college.
"The first PRaISE event was in 1998, the first year of our college,” says Dean Elizabeth King, PhD. "It’s a celebration of our student research. It not only highlights our commitment to research at Allied Health, but it also shows the commitment of our faculty outside the classroom.”
By introducing students to research early in their academic lives, King says the college shows them the value of an evidence-based practice and scholarly focus before they start their career in allied health professions.
"When students come here, they never think of themselves as researchers,” says King. "But when we begin, from their first year, to treat them as researchers, they realize they can really do this and it becomes part of their lives.”
For student Amanda Gilbert, in the doctorate of audiology program, her research project has been a big part of her life these past months. She said she’s talked to other students who have done similar work and emailed faculty for "second, third and fourth opinions” on her analysis and conclusions.
In her research, Gilbert took sound measurements of the polar bear den at the Cincinnati Zoo. The zoo is working on a breeding program for the bears and gathering all possible information on how the animals’ environment may affect them.
After analyzing her data and calculating reverberation times in the den, Gilbert recommends alterations to the area, including sound-dampening panels and quieter equipment, as well as further studies on how sound affects the bears’ stress levels.
"I feel like I have a lot of support in my work,” says Gilbert. But she says she’s both excited and nervous to share it during PRaISE: "It’s nice to be able to put all of my work on a poster in plain language for people to understand.”
The college will also present distinguished alumni awards during the conference and host keynote speaker Wendy Baldwin, PhD, president and CEO of the Population Reference Bureau in Washington, D.C. She will present "Why Youth are Key to Stemming the Tide of Noncommunicable Diseases" at 11 a.m in the TUC Great Hall.
Trained as a social demographer, Baldwin was formerly at the National Institutes of Health, where she led research programs in population, adolescents, fertility and family issues.