Second annual College of Health and Human Sciences Research Day a ‘virtual’ success

Group screenshot of research day

Last year, the College of Health and Human Sciences at Colorado State University celebrated the inaugural Research Day just before a stay-at-home order due to COVID-19 closed campus. Now, a year later, with in-person events still on hold, the second annual Research Day took to virtual platforms to celebrate the outstanding research and creative scholarship in the College.  This year, the events were spread out over multiple days, March 2 through 4.

“Like so many things this year, we had to pivot to a virtual Research Day celebration and we so appreciate everyone’s participation while managing the many challenges around COVID-19,” said Dean Lise Youngblade. “It was inspiring to see the amazing work we are doing in this college to transform the lives of people.”

Poster Show and Lightning Talks

The Virtual Poster Show, featured on our online platform, showcased the variety and quality of research and creative scholarship by students, faculty, and staff. Each participant recorded a 30-second elevator pitch with a 3-minute presentation about their research. Awards were given to the participants whose research stood out as being innovative and impactful. Many thanks for CSU Ventures who partnered with us on the virtual platform. View the research posters on the virtual platform.

Faculty members from each academic unit in the College along with the graduate student  Dean’s Fellows presented for the Lightning Talks session. Each provided insight on the innovation, integration, and impact of their research in a six minute talk with a short Q and A period. Watch the Lightning Talks session on the CHHS Research Day website.

Thank you to the following faculty for presenting their research:

Construction Management: Erin ArnesonAssistant Professor 
Design and Merchandising: Kristen Morris, Assistant Professor
Food Science and Human Nutrition: Megan Mueller, Assistant Professor
Health and Exercise Science: Molly Gutilla, Assistant Professor
Human Development and Family Studies: Aga Burzynska, Assistant Professor
Occupational Therapy:  Jaclyn Stephens, Assistant Professor
School of Education: Dae Seok Chai, Assistant Professor
School of Social Work: Elizabeth KiehneAssistant Professor

Deans Fellows

Health and Exercise Science – Aly Cavalier
Human Development and Family Studies – Reagan Miller

Keynote Speaker

Mary Wakefield serves as a visiting professor at the Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and the University of Texas at Austin. Wakefield served as the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Obama Administration, overseeing a department with a $1 trillion budget and 80,000 employees. Wakefield gave the keynote speech during the event titled “Strengthening Health Equity through Health Care Policy: What does science have to do with it?” CSU faculty and staff can view Wakefield’s presentation on the CHHS Research Day website.

In Wakefield’s lecture, she discussed how broader community and socio-economic disparities impact peoples’ health through differences in access to resources. She challenged researchers to think about what interventions could be deployed to change those outcomes.

She also discussed how researchers can share their research, in the form of policy briefs, with policy makers to influence future policies to help alleviate health disparities. She reiterated the critical role of science and research in ensuring that our policies are evidence based.

“Degrading or ignoring available evidence—in health care settings, in crafting public policy, or ignoring science—isn’t good for anyone and it’s a phenomenon  that  as researchers and consumers of research we should never be comfortable with,” said Wakefield. “Having an eye on this challenge and working to meaningfully address it should be something all of us consider—from our respective vantage points—as our responsibility.”

Poster Show Award recipients

Learn more about the award recipients and see images and the awards ceremony video on the College of Health and Human Sciences Research Day website awards page.

Top Honors in Undergraduate Research and Creativity

Sarah McCarthy and Matt Hickey on award zoom call

Sarah McCarthy, Health and Exercise Science

Upper Limb Motor Impairments in Dexterity in MCI: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Additional Author: Neha Lodha


Applied Science Category – Distinction in Research

Marcia Moraes and Matt Hickey at award zoom call

Marcia Moraes, School of Education

Social Presence and Knowledge Construction in an Asynchronous Online Discussion

Additional Authors: James Folkestad and Kelly McKenna


Applied Science Category – Distinction in Graduate Research

Melanie Adams and Matt Hickey at award zoom call

Melanie Adams, Human Development and Family Studies

Links Among Art, Mindfulness, Immune Response, and Disease Risk 


Basic Science Category – Distinction in Graduate Research

Raj Trikha and Matt Hickey at award zoom call

Raj Trikha, Food Science and Human Nutrition

Endothelial Dysfunction is Transferrable from Humans to Germ-Free Mice via Gut Microbiota


Clinical Science Category – Distinction in Research

Shivani Kaushik and Matt Hickey at award zoom ceremony

Jen Currin-McCulloch, School of Social Work

Coping During COVID: Healthcare Social Workers’ Adaptations to Grief and Loss

Additional Author: Shivani Kaushik (pictured above – Jen could not attend the ceremony)


Clinical Science Category – Distinction in Graduate Research

Mary Hidde and Matt Hickey at award zoom ceremony

Mary Hidde, Health and Exercise Science

Effects of sedentary behavior on lipids and glucose among individuals at high risk for cancer

Additional Authors: Melanie Beale, Kate Lyden, Bridget Baxter, Elizabeth Ryan, and Heather Leach


Public Health Scholarship Academy – Distinction in Graduate Research

Casey Blackwatters and Matt Hickey at the virtual award ceremony
Casey Blackwatters, School of Social Work

Hey buddy, give me your guns: Firearm restrictions in domestic violence protective orders

Community Engagement Category – Distinction in Research

Julie Silver Seidle and Matt Hickey at the award zoom ceremony

Julie Silver Seidle, Occupational Therapy

Life After Caregiving: Everyday Resilience During the Bereavement Phase of the Caregiver Journey


Community Engagement Category – Distinction in Graduate Research

Brittney Sly and Matt Hickey at award zoom call

Brittney Sly, Food Science and Human Nutrition

Sustainable Nutrition Education: Empowering Rwandan Women with Participatory Action Research


Distinction in Creative Scholarship – Graduate Student Award

Alea Schmidt and Matt Hickey at zoom award ceremony

Alea Schmidt, Design and Merchandising

Implementation of Eye- Tracking in Design Process for Branding and Wayfinding

Additional Authors: Kira Peterson, Carson Colwell, Ellie Escobar, and Olivia Brett


Equity and Social Justice Category – Distinction in Research

Louise Jennings and Mat Hickey at zoom award ceremony

Louise Jennings, School of Education

Institutional Impact of the CSU Faculty Institute for Inclusive Excellence

Additional Authors: Katie Hartmann, Shannon Archibeque-Engle, and Rachel McKinney


Equity and Social Justice Category – Distinction in Graduate Research

Sarah Hafen and Matt Hickey at zoom award ceremony

Sarah Grace Hafen, School of Social Work

Accomplice-building for the Immigrant Rights Movement

Additional Authors: Elizabeth Kiehne


Public Health Scholarship Category – Distinction in Research

Chris Melby and Matt Hickey zoom award ceremony

Chris Melby, Food Science and Human Nutrition

Higher Dietary Diversity in Ecuador: Lower Malnutrition but More Obesity

Additional Authors: Fadya Orozco, Maria Jose Romero, Amparito Barahona, Fabian Munoz, Jenni Averett, Ellina Wood, Diana Ochoa, Maria Muquinche, and Manuel Padro


Science of Teaching and Learning – Distinction in Graduate Research

Mollie Brazile and Matt Hickey at the virtual award show

Mollie Brazile, School of Education

State-of-the-Art Strategies for Developing Workplace Essential Skills

Additional Authors: Jill Zarestky

Congratulations to all of the CHHS Research Day award winners and participants!