Health Professions 4950: Research Apprenticeship in Health Professions

This course provides faculty and students the opportunity to collaborate on research projects in SHP.  Below are the SHP faculty members who are accepting applications for research apprenticeships for credit through HP 4950. Students should have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and an interest in exploring research. To get started, find a project that interests you and follow the instructions provided by the faculty member!

Benefits:

  • Gain research skills through mentorship by SHP faculty
  • Attend seminars and share your research projects with other students
  • May present findings of your research at university, regional, or national events
  • Build research skills and enhance your resume for graduate school

Below are our faculty mentors:

Aaron Bonsall

Aaron Bonsall, PhD, OTR/L

Research Program: My research focuses on the meaningful occupations of families and how these occupations can influence health, particularly in families who have children with disabilities.
Current Research Projects
• Analysis of the experiences of fathers of children with autism– this project is in development.
• Contextual influences on personal health of individuals who have made major healthy lifestyle changes- this project is in the data collection and analysis phases.

Requirements: I am looking for students who are interested in doing research around families.
• An interview will be required before receiving intructors consent to enroll.
• If taken in the fall or spring, course must be taken for 3 credit hours.
• Please contact Dr. Bonsall for more details

 

 

Mona Roxana Botezatu

Roxana Botezatu, PhD

Research Program: My research employs bilingualism and post-stroke aphasia as platforms for investigating the cognitive mechanisms underlying word recognition and retrieval in adults.
Current Research Projects
• Effects of second language fluency on native language performance
• The relationship between language production and comprehension in post-stroke aphasia

Requirements: I am looking for students in their sophomore or junior year, who have at least a 3.5 GPA overall and a background in psychology, neuroscience and/or linguistics. Preference will be given to students who:
• Are motivated, organized, reliable, and detail-oriented.
• Have a basic understanding of research methodology and an interest in evaluating behavioral and/or electrophysiological (ERP) measures of language processing.
• Have an interest in a thesis project.

 

Nancy Cheak-Zamora

Nancy Cheak-Zamora, PhD, MA

Research Program: My research focuses on evaluating access to health care services and health outcomes for children and youth with special health care needs, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Current Research Projects
• Examining quality of care for children with special health care needs and how quality differs for children with physical, mental, and developmental disabilities – currently analyzing and disseminating data from this project.
• Evaluating the health care needs and unmet needs of youth with ASD – currently cleaning and coding data for this project.
• Examining how providing youth with ASD with cameras helps them express themselves and share their thoughts and experiences in a group research setting – currently coding data and pictures.

Requirements: I need students in SHP with an interest in autism with at least a 3.5 GPA overall. Preference will be given to students who:
• Enroll in the course in the summer before their junior or senior year. Students who are performing well in the lab will be invited to continue in the Fall and Spring semesters, if they wish.
• Are able to travel off campus occasionally for data collection sessions.
• Have experience reading journal articles and basic understanding of research methodology.

 

Erin Dannecker

Erin Dannecker, PhD, ATC

Research Program: My research focuses on the complex interactions between pain and physical activity and the effects of individual factors (e.g., sex, body weight, expectations, fear, etc.) on those interactions.
Current Research Projects
• Use of exercise to reduce chronic widespread pain and fear of pain.
• Effects of pain and psychological factors on physical activity in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
• Perception and impact of pain in unhealthy weight children.
• Measurement of physical activity-related pain in the lower extremity.
• Relationship between pain and community integration in patients with traumatic brain injury.

Requirements: Because of the nature of studying pain, my research assistants must have the following skills:
• excellent communication.
• conscientious adherence to detailed research protocols.
• intense attention to details.

My best research assistants are those who also think critically, which enables them to meaningfully contribute to projects as collaborators.

 

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Maria Dietrich, PhD, CCC-SLP

Research Program: The research in my Vocal Control and Vocal Well-Being Lab focuses on how individuals differ in their vocal control and vocal behavior as a function of stressor exposure and personality and the resulting implications for risk for voice disorders. The goal is to develop an evidence-based biopsychosocial model of risk for voice disorders that informs innovative screening, prevention, and treatment approaches, especially for occupational voice users such as teachers.
Current Research Projects
• The role of a weak vocal constitution in risk for voice problems in student teachers
• The relationship between psychological stress reactivity and laryngeal airway resistance in prospective student teachers
• Testing a new localizer task for the central control of vocalization using variations in voice onset for words
• Classifying neck surface EMG signals for the early detection of vocal fatigue in student teachers

Requirements: I am looking for CSD majors, or students with a background in psychology or neuroscience, in their sophomore or junior year with at least a 3.5 GPA overall. Preference will be given to students who will be able to join the lab the Summer before their junior year. Students who are performing well will be invited to continue in the Fall and Spring semesters. Further, students should have the following characteristics:

• Motivated and reliable
• Extremely detail-oriented and conscientious
• Excellent organizational skills and orderly
• Potential interest in a thesis project

 

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Trent Guess, PhD

Research Program: My research focuses on analyzing human movement using experimental and computational methods. Students would work primarily in the Department of Physical Therapy – Movement Analysis Lab planned for completion by summer of 2014. The lab will include equipment for measuring human motion, ground reaction forces, and muscle activations (EMG).
Current Research Projects
• Subject Specific Concurrent Simulation of Movement and Natural Knee Contact Mechanics.

Requirements: Preference will be given to students who:
• Have good computer skills.
• Are familiar with human anatomy and physiology.

 

 

Sungwoo Kahng

SungWoo Kahng, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Research Program: My research focuses on assessments and interventions based on applied behavior analysis (ABA). Much of my research has focuses on the assessment and treatment of severe problem behaviors (e.g., aggression, self-injurious behavior, and property destruction) exhibited by individuals with autism and related disorders. However, I am also interested in the broader application of ABA-based interventions with varying problems within different populations.
Current Research Projects
• Improving caregiver measurement of treatment outcomes
• Evaluating more efficient methods of caregiver training
• Refinement of behavioral assessment (e.g., functional analysis) and treatment procedures for severe problem behaviors
Requirements: My research requires a background in ABA. Therefore, students must have taken my undergraduate ABA courses. Preference will be given to those individuals who hope to pursue a graduate degree in ABA.

 

 

Mili Kuruvilla

Mili Kuruvilla-Dugdale, PhD

Research Program: My research focuses on the biologic basis of communication disorders in neurodegenerative diseases, as well as the impact of working memory deficits on speech production in neurodegenerative motor speech disorders.
Current Research Projects
• Investigating the impact of linguistic complexity on speech production variability in healthy talkers using articulatory kinematic measures. We are currently analyzing data for this project.
• Identifying verbal working memory deficits in ALS using behavioral and functional neuroimaging-based measures. We are currently analyzing data for this project.
• Genotype-phenotype relations in patients with ALS-related cognition and communication disorders. We are currently establishing collaborations with the School of Medicine, DNA Core facility, and Department of Biostatistics to move the project forward.

Requirements: 

• CSD majors in their junior year with a 3.5 GPA overall. Students who are performing well and want to continue working in the lab after the Summer will be allowed to do so.
• Students who are interested and have the ability to learn advanced instrumental data collection and analyses techniques.

 

Rachel Proffitt

Rachel M. Proffitt, OTD, OTR/L

Research Program: My research focuses on the development, testing, and implementation of virtual-reality based occupational therapy interventions for adults with neurological conditions.
Current Research Projects
• Integrating gold-standard assessment tools into customized rehabilitation software
• Determining the clinical feasibility of Mystic Isle with patients with subacute stroke
• Determining the usability and feasibility of Mystic Isle as a home exercise program for clients with chronic stroke
• Creating a stroke-specific intervention for Mystic Isle based on evidence-based practice standards

Requirements: I need students who are pre-OT/OT majors with at least a 3.5 GPA overall. Preference will be given to students who:
• Are motivated, reliable, and detail-oriented
• Have experience working with computer technology and are knowledgeable about computer set-ups (no programming experience necessary!)
• Have strong Microsoft Excel skills

 

stephanie reid-arndt

Stephanie Reid-Arndt, PhD, ABPP

Research Program: As a rehabilitation neuropsychologist, my research focuses on the effects that cognitive difficulties [e.g., problems with memory] and psychological issues [e.g., stress, depression] have on quality of life and community functioning. I’m also interested in studying how mind-body interventions [e.g., Tai Chi] can help address these issues. In addition to conducting studies with non-medical populations, my research focuses on persons with traumatic brain injury and individuals with cancer.
Current Research Projects
• Evaluation of cognitive and psychological factors affecting early outcomes following traumatic brain injury.
• Evaluation of the effects of a brief Tai Chi intervention on cognitive and psychological functioning among healthy elderly individuals.
• Comparing differential effects on psychological and cognitive functioning of several mind-body interventions in healthy individuals.

Requirements: Students must have a 3.5 GPA. Preferences will be given to students who:
• Are interested in doing research on psychological factors that affect wellbeing and daily functioning in medical populations.
• Enroll in the course in the Summer before their Junior or Senior year. Students who are performing well will be invited to continue in the Fall and Spring semesters.
• Have basic experience with research-related skills, including use of Microsoft Excel and reading/evaluating research articles.

 

Victoria Shaffer

Victoria Shaffer, PhD

Research Program: My research focuses on applying decision psychology and behavioral economics to inform practical problems in medical decision making. In particular, my work has applied research about judgment and decision making to the design of patient decision support tools.
Current Research Projects
• Apply decision psychology and behavioral economics to inform practical problems in medical decision making.
• Train undergraduate and graduate students in research design and methods commonly used in decision psychology and behavioral economics.

Requirements: There are no special prerequisites for working with me.

 

 

Michelle Teti

Michelle Teti, DrPH

Research Program: My research focuses on developing and testing strategies to improve quality of life (QOL) and behavioral health outcomes among people with HIV/AIDS and other stigmatized lifelong illnesses.
Current Research Projects
• Various HIV related research projects focused on using photo-stories to improve QOL (mental health, stigma) and behavioral outcomes (safe sex, medication adherence) among people with HIV.
• Using photo-stories to improve coping and QOL among patients with traumatic brain injury.
• Using photo-stories to improve QOL among women with cancer.
• Using photo-stories to help youth with autism communicate experiences.

Requirements: I need students in SHP with interest in these topics with at least a 3.5 GPA overall. Preference will be given to students who:
• Enroll in the course in the Summer before junior or senior year. Students who are performing well will be invited to continue in the Fall and Spring semesters of senior year, if they wish.
• Are able to travel to different research sites occasionally for data collection sessions (desirable but not required).
• Are motivated, organized, reliable, and detail-oriented.
• Have experience with or interest in working with vulnerable populations.

Dr. Teti’s postdoc, Dr. Ni Zhang, also welcomes help with her specific projects, and more information can be found below. Dr. Teti supervises all 4950 students but students interested in Dr. Zhang’s work will also work closely with her on these projects.

 

Stacy Wagovich

Stacy Wagovich, PhD, CCC-SLP

Research Program: My research focuses on childhood stuttering and interactions between language and stuttering, and word learning in children with specific language impairment.
Current Research Projects
• Partial word knowledge growth through reading in school-age children with language impairments – currently analyzing and disseminating data from this project.
• Language and cognitive skills in preschool-age children who stutter – this is a collaborative project for which we are currently collecting data in Columbia and St. Louis.
• Correspondence between stuttering frequency and lexical and syntactic skills – currently analyzing and disseminating data from this project.

Requirements: I need students who are CSD majors with at least a 3.5 GPA overall. Preference will be given to students who:
• Enroll in the course in the Summer before senior year. Students who are performing well in the lab will be invited to continue in the Fall and Spring semesters of senior year, if they wish.
• Are able to travel to St. Louis occasionally for data collection sessions (desirable but not required).
• Have experience in working with children.

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