TOPEKA, Kan. - Six students from the University of Kansas Medical Center participated in Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol Feb. 18 in Topeka. The annual event showcases student projects from the state's eight public four-year institutions of higher learning before an audience of state lawmakers.
The School of Nursing had two individual participants, while the School of Health Professions was represented by two two-member teams.
Senior Alejandra Maldonado, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing honors student from Lenexa, Kansas, whose mentors were Karen Tarnow, Ph.D., R.N. and Sharon Kumm, MN, RN, CNE, was one of two students representing the School of Nursing. Her presentation was titled, "Auscultating through a patient gown."
"Our lawmakers see the changes the nurses are accomplishing in their profession," Maldonado said, "and they are interested to learn more about the contributions nurses are making to the health care field."
Senior Julie Schiller, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing honors student from Leavenworth, Kansas, was the other School of Nursing representative. She presented "Perceptions of text messaging to promote exercise in midlife adults." Her mentor was Kelly Bosack, Ph.D., APRN, BC.
"Nurses can make a difference in the community because we have a collective voice," Schiller said. "The research that the nursing profession is doing is making a difference and our politicians are interested in it."
Seniors San Long Chan, Macau, China, and Danielle Governale, Stonybrook, New York., from the Department of Respiratory Care Education, presented research titled, "Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in college student-athletes." Their mentor was Department Chair David Burnett, Ph.D., RRT, AE-C.
Seniors Kelsey Davis, Topeka, and Diana Arroyo, Emporia, Kansas, presented "Factors affecting the intent to vaccinate children," on behalf of the Department of Health Information Management. Murad Moqbel, MBA, Ph.D., served as their mentor.
"The event was a great opportunity to reach out to our lawmakers and other public officials and discuss a topic that we felt was important to the state of Kansas," Arroyo said. "I believe this was a great opportunity to showcase some of the work that we have been doing in our program."
Undergraduate Research Day encourages projects from a broad range of disciplines, especially those that involve issues that are important to the legislature such as health, education, biotechnology, energy and others.