An overhead shot that shows the living wall and research posters lined up in the Atrium of STAR as part of the 2024 CHS Research & Innovation Day.
Nearly 250 people attended the 2024 College of Health Sciences Research and Innovation Day. This year's theme was "Innovating to Advance Health for All."

Research & Innovation Day

March 22, 2024 Written by Amy Cherry | Photos by Ashley Barnas

Innovating to Advance Health for All

Engaging. Creative. Energizing. Innovative. Inspiring. Impactful.

Those are just some of the words used to describe the research underway within the University of Delaware College of Health Sciences (CHS). That research was on display as hundreds of posters lined the hallways of the Atrium of STAR Tower, extending into the Health Sciences Complex for the 2024 CHS Research and Innovation Day.

“This is my favorite day of the year,” said CHS Associate Dean of Research Freda Patterson. “Research Day is a day for us to celebrate our science, where educators and students have a chance to talk to one another, learn from each other, and exchange ideas.” 

This year’s theme is “Innovating to Advance Health for All.”

“We are committed to fostering a growing research enterprise here at CHS that drives innovation that makes a difference in our community,” said CHS Dean Bill Farquhar. “Research is a key priority in our recently released strategic plan, which includes a major goal of fostering a vibrant, engaged, and productive culture of research and innovation that translates discovery into improved health.”

Master’s and doctoral students representing every department and program within CHS excitedly took the Atrium stage with just 60 seconds to explain the scope of research they’ve been working on, in some cases, for years.

Julien Mihy, a fourth-year doctoral student in the biomechanics and movement science program, spoke confidently about his research. He’s been studying walking patterns in older adults with knee osteoarthritis alongside mentor Assistant Professor Jocelyn Hafer.

“Knee osteoarthritis is a leading cause of pain in older adults, and knee braces and shoe wedge inserts typically prescribed to this population prove effective in the lab as their gait mechanics improve and they feel less pain,” Mihy said. “But we don’t see those same effects in the real world. So, when we test interventions, we must have people walk in the lab at different speeds.”

Over the years, he’s watched himself grow as a researcher.

“My poster presentations have become more visual, and my confidence in public speaking has improved,” Mihy said. “Practicing in a low-stakes environment like Research Day really prepares you for those larger speaking engagements at conferences where you might encounter advisors you want to work with in the future.” 

The College of Health Sciences annual Research & Innovation Day.

Featuring keynote speakers Josiane L. Broussard and Kimberly Canter.
Health Promotion graduate student Delaney Moore gives a 60-second poster pitch during Research & Innovation Day. Her research centers on conducting a needs assessment to identify problems among subpopulations, including sex differences, so that we can provide resources for student-athletes, fr.om nutrition to mental health and well-being intervention programs.

Delaney Moore, who got her undergraduate degree in health behavior science at UD, is now pursuing her master’s in health promotion. Her research centers on preventing eating disorders and disordered eating in college athletes.

“The goal of my research is to conduct a needs assessment to identify problems among subpopulations, including sex differences, so that we can provide resources for student-athletes, from nutrition to mental health and well-being intervention programs,” Moore said.

This marks her third year participating in CHS Research Day, and she learns something new each year.

“Research Day is an amazing opportunity to connect with peers and learn about their research,” Moore said. “This year, I learned about the impact of oral contraceptives on insulin resistance, which I hadn’t considered before.” 

The College of Health Sciences annual Research & Innovation Day.

Featuring keynote speakers Josiane L. Broussard and Kimberly Canter.
School of Nursing Assistant Professor Sandi Nolan poses with her students in front of her Research & Innovation Day poster. Nolan's research is on compassion fatigue in nurses early in their careers.

Often, Research Day is a time for students to shine. But this year, School of Nursing Assistant Professor Sandra Nolan, who’s in her first year as faculty at UD, also took the stage to give her 60-second poster pitch on compassion fatigue in nurses.

“Thirty percent of new nurses leave the profession in two years, and I believe we are sending new nursing students into the field with signs of compassion fatigue,” Nolan said. “If instructors don’t notice that within themselves and come up with ways to prevent compassion fatigue in our students, we aren’t solving the problem.

“We need to teach young nurses to care about themselves so that they take that value into the profession,” Nolan said.

The College of Health Sciences annual Research & Innovation Day.

Featuring keynote speakers Josiane L. Broussard and Kimberly Canter.
CHS Research & Innovation Day morning keynote speaker Josiane Broussard, director of the Sleep and Metabolism Lab and associate professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University, talks about her research into sleep and circadian rhythm disruption and cardiometabolic impacts.

The nearly 250 CHS Research Day attendees heard from morning keynote speaker Josiane Broussard, director of the Sleep and Metabolism Lab and associate professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University, about her research into sleep and circadian rhythm disruption and cardiometabolic impacts.

In the afternoon, participants heard from a second keynote speaker, Kimberly Canter, pediatric psychologist and research scientist at Nemours Children’s Hospital Center for Healthcare Delivery Services and associate professor of pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University. She discussed leveraging design and entrepreneurial thinking to accelerate clinical and community-based research.

The keynote speakers’ presentations and poster sessions fueled thoughtful conversations and aimed to spark new collaborations.

“Research Day epitomizes the vibrant and productive culture flourishing in the College,” said Farquhar. “This opportunity to celebrate and showcase our thriving research enterprise and share ideas reaffirms its status as a cornerstone of academic excellence within CHS.” 

CHS Research & Innovation Day Winners

Undergraduate:

1st place: Marshaan Ebuenga-Smith, KAAP

2nd place: Mackenzie Rattigan, KAAP

3rd place: Kiara Shay, SON

Master's:

1st place: Adam Bitunguramye, EPI

2nd place: Serena Schade, KAAP

3rd place: Lauren Krott, HBNS

Doctoral:

1st place: Brandy Le, HBNS

2nd place: Sanaz Taherzadeh, SON

3rd place: Richard Knappenberger, MMSC

Post-doctoral:

1st place: Bhaswati Kashyap, KAAP

2nd place: Merve Karapinar, PT

3rd place: Rita Marqueti, PT


Related News

  • Honoring Excellence

    May 28, 2024 | Written by Amy Cherry
    Each spring, the College of Health Sciences Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards recognize the outstanding contributions of faculty and staff, highlighting the dedication and innovative spirit that drive CHS forward.
  • Celebrating student accomplishments

    May 14, 2024 | Written by Colin Heffinger
    The Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology hosted its annual awards ceremony spotlighting student accomplishments through the school year.
  • April College of Health Sciences For the Record

    May 03, 2024 | Written by CHS Staff
    College of Health Science community reports appointments, exhibitions, publications, and honors for April.
View all news

Events