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Nothing Will Hold Me Back!

APRIL 2016 Volume 2

Courageous Graduate Student Earning MSW Page 12


Aspire is a publication of the WellStar College of Health and Human Services at Kennesaw State University. This publication exists to showcase the high caliber of teaching, scholarship, and service work occurring in the WellStar College every day; display the diversity of approaches towards “wellness” represented by the disciplines and initiatives housed in the college; and to illuminate the quality of students and student experiences within the college. WELLSTAR COLLEGE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Kennesaw State University 520 Parliament Garden Way Northwest Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591 470-578-6565 JONATHAN RAZZANO Publication Editor CHRISTY DEVILLE Production Assistant DAVID CASELLI Photographer LARA J DESIGNS Creative Services DANIEL S. PAPP President, Kennesaw State University W. KEN HARMON Provost / Vice President for Academic Affairs MONICA NANDAN Interim Dean, WellStar College MITCHELL COLLINS Associate Dean, WellStar College DAVID MITCHELL Associate Dean, WellStar College TOMMIE NELMS Director, WellStar School of Nursing JIMMY CALLOWAY Interim Chair, Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management KANDICE PORTER Department Chair, Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education MONICA NANDAN Department Chair, Department of Social Work and Human Services IBRAHIM ELSAWY Executive Director, Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth ROXANNE DONOVAN Interim Director, WellStar College Advising Center









Community Partnerships

Master’s students gain invaluable experience as interns at Apple, Inc.

Multi-department research collaboration focuses on gestational diabetes

















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HPE launches the new bachelor of science in public health education

HPE’s PLAY program continues to impact lives

WellStar College graduate student embodies courage and perseverance

Academy collaborates with Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency and the Georgia Department of Education

Advising Center implements customer-centric advising system

ConEd facilitates one nurse’s return to the profession

Experiential learning economic impact tops $7 million

College faculty continue to feed the research growth at Kennesaw State

Undergrad and grad students in the WellStar College conduct meaningful research


DEAR FRIENDS OF THE WELLSTAR COLLEGE, The WellStar College is a dynamic and diverse academic unit of Kennesaw State University composed of four major academic units, the groundbreaking Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth, the Continuing Education Division, the Office of Distance Learning, and the WellStar Advising Center. However, WellStar College is greater than a collection of units. This is a college on the move, making significant contributions to excellence in education, local and global community service, and scholarship. Every day in my role as Interim Dean of this great college, I am challenged, inspired, and awed by our collective aspirations and accomplishments. I am challenged by the rising bar of excellence pursued by Kennesaw State University and the WellStar College. I am inspired as I see interdepartmental collaboration blazing new trails and nurturing new ideas. I am awed by the new frontiers carved by our students and faculty in the professional and geographic communities. The dedication and tireless effort towards excellence faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students display reflects great credit upon them and fuels Kennesaw State’s rise in many ways. Over the years, WellStar College has grown from one nursing degree program to an academic powerhouse with four major academic units offering seven undergraduate degrees, five graduate degrees, two minors, two certificate programs, and a nursing professional licensure renewal program. WellStar College is also home to the preeminent special-needs college experience in the Southeast. More than four thousand students are preparing for bright futures in technology-enabled, state-ofthe-art classrooms and labs, located within the magnificent Prillaman Hall providing nearly 200,000 square feet of educational, lab, and office space.

4 | Dean’s Message, Community Partnerships

Dr. Monica Nandan The future is bright at WellStar College. We bring together diverse disciplines, each enhancing human health and wellness from a unique and complementary perspective. As we look into the future, we see growth in additional graduate programs and online education, and greater interdisciplinary teaching and research by faculty. This edition of Aspire highlights several noteworthy features and events in WellStar College which support our vision for the college, our strategic plan, and the University’s strategic plan. I want to especially draw your attention to our cover article about Sam. Sam embodies the best of the human spirit and perseverance earning a bachelor’s degree and a master of social work degree as a severely visually impaired student. He and his story are truly inspirational! Happy reading and I wish you great health and wellness this year!

Dr. Monica Nandan


PARTNERSHIPS If you could combine a love for sports, professional development, research, and serving underprivileged children, how would you do it? This rare and powerful combination has been the dream of former Atlanta Braves star Brian Jordan for years. This past February, the dream took one more concrete step forward. On July 2, 2015, a new partnership between Kennesaw State University, the Brian Jordan Foundation, and the LakePoint Sporting Community was formalized with the signing of a memorandum of understanding. The partnership took shape in the creation of the Brian Jordan Center for Excellence and Professional Development. The partners agreed to create the nonprofit Center to foster national and international education, research, training, and programs providing health benefits for children, youth, and young adults through sports and recreation. Objectives include enhancing the knowledge and experiences of future and existing coaches, referees, administrators, and medical personnel working in the area of sport and recreation. The Center also will benefit young adults and homeless families by increasing their knowledge and access to the sport and recreation industries.

With the partnership formalized, The Brian Jordan Center held an inaugural board meeting on February 5, 2016, and formally approved the Board of Directors. The Center is now ready to conduct official business, a major part of Brian Jordan’s vision. Dr. Jimmy Calloway, Interim Chair of the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management in the WellStar College of Health and Human Services, could not be more pleased. “I consider working with the Brian Jordan Foundation and LakePoint on this amazing project one of the significant milestones of my career. I am moved by Brian Jordan’s vision, and I am humbled by the inclusion of Kennesaw State in the development of this Center,” he said.

The Brian Jordan Center

WellStar College of Health and Human Services | 5

once in a Lifetime


MASTER’S STUDENTS GAIN INVALUABLE EXPERIENCE AS INTERNS AT APPLE Students come to Kennesaw State University and choose majors in the WellStar College of Health and Human Services for many compelling reasons. The degree programs in the WellStar College provide access to numerous careers with great job prospects and prepare graduates to make a difference in the world and the lives of other people. The Master of Science in Applied Exercise and Health Science (AEHS) offered by the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management is a prime example. Students choose from concentrations in Exercise Physiology or Sport Management, gaining not only an education, but also valuable experience in practical research skills.

6 | Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management

Two students pursuing the Master of Science in Applied Exercise and Health Science recently stretched themselves beyond the classroom and laboratory and were afforded the opportunity of a lifetime - to apply their classroom knowledge and skills in a cutting-edge commercial project. Brandi Price and Danielle Brown, both students in the Exercise Physiology concentration, had the opportunity to complete an internship with Apple, Inc., the famed producer of the iPhone. The students worked on the Apple Watch with the health technologies team, under Kevin Jessop, RPFT and Justin Dobson, Ph.D., as part of the special projects group at Apple.

Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management Brandi felt she was prepared to contribute significantly to the research and development process at Apple because of her lab and classroom preparation. “In the Exercise Physiology lab at Kennesaw State University, students have the ability to work more independently on studies. Meaning, we get the opportunity to run studies on our own while under the supervision of our professors instead of observing and being the ‘right-hand man.’ During my time at Apple, I used a lot of my lab experience to conduct human studies on a team working with the Apple Watch. It was a great field experience because I could no longer look to my professor to help me answer a question and I was completely on my own in that aspect,” she said.

experience. “In addition to research, I did a lot of exercising! It was great being able to apply the knowledge I have learned in my program to real-life, work-applicable situations,” Danielle said. Dr. Yuri Feito, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management, expressed great pride in these students’ accomplishments. “The work of Brandi and Danielle on the Apple Watch validated our approach to training and mentoring students at Kennesaw State. I could not be more proud of seeing our students apply their studies in such a professional and meaningful way,” he said.

Brandi Price & Danielle Brown

Danielle’s experience leading exerciserelated studies in her degree program prepared her for success and deeper experiential learning at Apple as well. Her KSU professors mentored her through the process of learning how to conduct human studies. “Having this prior experience in leading exercise-related studies gave me the knowledge I needed to pilot user study design, setup, and data analysis over at Apple,” she said. Danielle directly used what she learned in the lab in the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management to make a tangible impact at Apple, and she couldn’t be more pleased with her

Dr. Yuri Feito, Assistant Professor WellStar College of Health and Human Services | 7




TREATMENT PLANS Multi-Depar tment Research Collaboration Focuses on Gestational Diabetes The WellStar School of Nursing educates today’s nurses, nurse practitioners, nursing leaders, nursing educators, and nursing researchers for impactful and meaningful careers. In addition to educating the next generation of nursing professionals, the faculty work continuously to further scientific inquiry. Recently, the School of Nursing joined forces with the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management. Faculty from these units are working to advance the medical community’s knowledge and treatment of gestational diabetes. Dr. Katherine Ingram, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science and principal investigator on this joint research project, completed her doctoral and postdoctoral training in obesity and diabetes research. She now focuses her expertise on the study of gestational obesity and diabetes in the WellStar College of Health and Human Services and has assembled an interdisciplinary research team with co-investigators from the School of Nursing. The team includes Dr.

8 | WellStar School of Nursing

Janeen Amason, Assistant Professor of Nursing, and Dr. Rebecca Shabo, Associate Professor of Nursing. Dr. Amason has been involved in the care of women and newborns since 1991. Dr. Shabo brings 30 years of experience with newborn care and pediatric obesity to the research team. The research is titled “Impact of Abdominal Obesity and Inactivity on Maternal Metabolic Health” and focuses on gestational diabetes, which is a serious condition that occurs in approximately 10 percent of women during pregnancy and has been associated with obesity and inactivity. The researchers are examining which early measures of obesity and inactivity can serve as early clinical predictors of gestational insulin resistance, a hallmark feature of diabetes. The research will result in a better understanding of how abdominal fat accumulation and inactivity in pregnancy may serve as early indicators of gestational diabetes and will further give rise to new methodologies in the prevention and treatment of gestational diabetes.

WellStar School of Nursing

Dr. Rebecca Shabo, Dr. Janeen Amason, Dr. Katherine Ingram The studies have received internal support from the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), and the WellStar College. Although data collection is expected to continue throughout 2016, preliminary findings have been generated and presented by the faculty researchers at the Sigma Theta Tau 43rd Biennial Convention in November 2015 and will be presented at the upcoming American College of Sports Medicine conference in June 2016. Preliminary data were used to support ten student research projects presented at the 2015 CETL Symposium of Undergraduate Scholars at KSU, the 2016 Southeast regional meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, and the 2015 Peach State Louis Stroke Alliance Minority Participation Research Symposium, in which WellStar College student JaBreia James won first place for her presentation, “Is there a relationship between insulin resistance and visceral fat accumulation in pregnancy?�

Participants are recruited through nurses at a local partnering obstetrics clinic and screened by WellStar faculty. Participants visit the WellStar College human performance laboratory both during pregnancy and post-partum. In these visits, Dr. Ingram and student research assistants conduct a variety of body composition and physical activity assessments and ask the participants to complete diet and activity questionnaires. The obstetrics clinic provides blood measures to determine insulin resistance in the research participants and ultrasound measures of abdominal fat accumulation.

A great partnership within WellStar College and between WellStar College and the community undergirds this project and will lead to new ways of helping mothers and their babies stay healthy. WellStar College of Health and Human Services | 9


GLOBAL IMPACT HPE LAUNCHES THE NEW BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN PUBLIC HEALTH EDUCATION A virus can cause a common cold or a pandemic with global health implications. Knowing what to do in both situations is vital in maintaining healthy communities. While a doctor treats people who are sick, public health education professionals try to prevent people from getting sick or injured in the first place. The faculty and students of the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education, a unit of the WellStar College, promote enhanced wellness through programs in health promotion, physical education, coaching, and now public health education. Approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in the fall of 2015, the new major is designed to meet the growing need for health education specialists. Rising rates of chronic diseases, mounting health care costs, and increased recognition of the importance of health promotion and disease prevention are driving demand for these professionals. The U.S. Department of Labor has ranked health education

specialist as one of the 25 fastest-growing occupations in the United States requiring a bachelor’s degree. Kennesaw State is only the third institution in the state university system to offer the public health education major. “I think there is a lot of focus nationally and internationally on prevention of health issues. Having a program of study that looks at health holistically and from a population-based standpoint appeals to a lot of students,” said Dr. Kandice Porter, Chair of the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education. “We are anticipating some of our students now in the minor or the integrative studies program will find this more appealing than their current course of study and will shift to the new major. We also anticipate this major will attract new students to Kennesaw State. Atlanta-based employers such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will now have an additional local resource to find public health promotion talent.”

Kennesaw State is only the third institution in the state university system to offer the public health education major.

10 | Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education

Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education

HPE’S PLAY PROGRAM CONTINUES TO IMPACT LIVES Community engagement is an institutional priority at Kennesaw State University. The WellStar College of Health and Human Services supports this emphasis in many ways. From study abroad experiences to local health clinics, WellStar College is engaged on a local, national, and international level. One superb example comes from the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education. The department has connected University knowledge and resources with the private sector for many years through the Physical and Leisure Activities for Youth (PLAY) program. The PLAY program is helping prepare students for meaningful careers through a unique learning environment while also contributing to the well-being of a segment of the special-needs community.

on school children. There is great joy in knowing the program provides a mutually beneficial situation. Children, primarily in elementary school, with a variety of developmental, sensory, neurological, mental, and orthopedic disabilities, receive tailored physical activities. A third group benefits as well. The parents and caregivers get a chance to take a breather and know while they are apart their children are being provided a great opportunity to grow while the next generation of health and physical education majors learn to work with special needs students.

Peter St. Pierre, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education, heads up the long-standing program and treasures the opportunities the program provides for students who will launch from KSU into various school settings where they will have great impact WellStar College of Health and Human Services | 11




12 | Department of Social Work and Human Services

Department of Social Work and Human Services Students in the WellStar College of Health and Human Services face a myriad of personal challenges while working to complete their degrees at Kennesaw State University. These challenges are daunting and even discouraging at times. However, with the support of friends, family, and the support structures at Kennesaw State, students overcome these challenges on a daily basis and keep making strides toward building a better future and fulfilling their dreams. For Sam Hogle, his personal struggle to reach his full potential in life began at birth. Sam has leber congenital amaurosis, a rare type of inherited eye disorder, and has been totally blind since birth. Sam is not one to let his personal challenge keep him from accomplishing his goals in life. Sam earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from the Department of Social Work and Human Services at Kennesaw State, graduating in December of 2013. He is now working on a Master of Social Work at Kennesaw State and plans to graduate in May 2016.

Dr. Irene McClatchey, Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Social Work degree program, watched Sam grow during his time at Kennesaw State. “Sam’s confidence has grown tremendously in the years I have known him”, she said. “I have known Sam since his sophomore year in the undergraduate program and he is now a student in my seminar class where he brings issues from his work in his internship for discussion. Sam never lets his personal challenges come in the way

Sam Hogle with Mason

The key to Sam’s ongoing success and academic achievement has been his guide dog Mason and the supportive environment in the WellStar College. Sam doesn’t quit easily and relies on Mason to guide him across campus, around obstacles, and get to class on time. Sam’s favorite on-campus “Mason story” occurred while he was taking a science class on campus. While working on a quiz, Sam let go of Mason’s leash and Mason saw a friend of theirs sitting a couple rows in front of them. Since Sam was distracted, Mason got up without making a sound and placed his head in the other student’s lap to get some attention.

of learning or sharing his talents with his clients. He is focused on helping others get what they need to succeed and to live full lives.” Sam and Mason have been a staple sight on campus and in Prillaman Hall for years. Professors and fellow students alike have bonded with Mason and developed a relationship with Sam they might not have otherwise developed. As for Sam, “KSU has been great about accommodating my needs. They have always been supportive and have always welcomed Mason anywhere on campus.” WellStar College of Health and Human Services | 13

Students with disabilities face daily challenges few of us can truly appreciate. They also face a gap in career training and preparation programs nationwide when they age out of the public school system. WellStar College, through the Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth, aims to chip away at this gap. The Academy offers a fully-inclusive college experience to students with different intellectual or developmental abilities who do not meet the University requirements for admission as degreeseeking students. The program involves enrollment as non-degree seeking audit students in typical University courses and includes social integration, career exploration, and training resulting in a Certificate of Social Growth and Development.

14 | Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth

The dream of Dr. Ibrahim Elsawy, Executive Director of the Academy, to continue expanding the impact of the Academy on the special-needs community is coming to fruition with recent formal collaboration with the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA). Due to the exemplary work of the Academy, the GVRA is partnering with the Academy to provide funding for scholarships covering tuition, housing, books, meal plans, and program fees. The GVRA also will provide a dedicated vocational rehab counselor, for all interested Academy students. “Our students are not eligible for HOPE or Pell Grants, and this scholarship will help cover costs, depending on income,” said Dr. Elsawy. “Though there are now three more Academy-like

Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth


At a reception celebrating the collaboration, the Academy presented several supporters with awards including: • Karen Lynn Dominy - Vocational Rehabilitation - Rehabilitation Unit Manager • Bernadette Amerein - Vocational Rehabilitation - Field Services Director • Ed James - Vocational Rehabilitation - Director • Deborah Gay - Department of Education - Director of Special Education Services and Supports • Greg Schmieg - Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency - Executive Director The GVRA presented several awards to those involved in forging the dream of the Academy and those involved in putting structure and action around making the dream a reality for special-needs students, including:

programs in the state, we’re the only one eligible to receive these federal funds as a certified Comprehensive Transition Program.” The Academy will also receive additional funding from the Georgia Department of Education (DOE) through GVRA for two new staff positions. The GVRA funding for scholarships and the Georgia DOE funding for new staff will help the Academy maintain a high level of service and impact while also reducing student drops outs due to lack of personal or family resources.

• 2015 GVRA E(3) Award for Vision: KSU President Daniel S. Papp • 2015 GVRA E(3) Award for Innovation: Deborah Gay • 2015 GVRA E(3) Award for Leadership: Dr. Ibrahim Elsawy • 2015 GVRA E(3) Award for Collaboration: KSU Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth (Julia Conger, Susan Kizer, Dr. Beverly Maddox, Katherine Rigsby, Jill Sloan and Christopher Trapp) • 2015 GVRA E(3) Award for Service: Dr. Karla Wade WellStar College of Health and Human Services | 15

CHARTING PATHWAYS TO SUCCESS WELLSTAR ADVISING CENTER IMPLEMENTS CUSTOMER-CENTRIC ADVISING SYSTEM An academic advisor can easily be viewed as someone who simply tells you what you need to take to graduate. In the recently restructured WellStar College Advising Center, dispensing information on degree requirements is only one element of the advising experience. WellStar College advisors understand students at Kennesaw State are investing in their futures and their time studying will directly affect what they will do every day for the next 20 to 30 years of their lives. With this reality in mind, the WellStar Advising Center emphasizes a student-centered, collaborative advising process to help students develop and achieve academically. The process begins with a commitment to creating a positive environment where students are treated with dignity and respect and diversity is recognized and valued. Training, technology, flexibility, and organization support this commitment. For example, the Center strives to engage and greet students personally as they enter and a Web-based appointment system enables students to set advisor appointments at times most optimal for their personal schedules. Academic advisors are the lynchpin of the student-centered process. WellStar College advisors feel a great sense of calling and love to see students succeed. Advisors focus on certain majors to provide deep expertise but are cross-trained in other disciplines to ensure the ability to meet advising demand by major as it ebbs and flows. WellStar advisors help students with thoughtful planning, registration deadlines, changes in course catalogues, and numerous other advising-related subjects. The advising experience always ends with the opportunity to provide feedback so the Center can continuously improve and adapt to meet students’ advising needs.

16 | WellStar College Advising Center, Continuing Education Division

Continuing Education Division



The mission of the Continuing Education Division in the WellStar College of Health and Human Services includes providing programs and services to meet the professional development, continuing education, and lifelong learning needs of nurses and other healthcare professionals in Georgia and beyond. Dr. Anne White, Director of the Division, recently interviewed Tolu Adekunle, one of the Registered Nurse Refresher program students, to learn more about how this program is enhancing her return to the profession. The course was created in 1996 to meet the guidelines established by the Georgia Board of Nursing to return nurses who have been out of nursing practice for more than four years. Over the past year alone, the program returned more than 150 nurses to the nursing workforce at a time when retirements of current nurses are challenging the healthcare system. Dr. White: Tolu, what drew you into the nursing profession? Tolu Adekunle: I have always wanted to have a career in the medical field to be able to help sick people, but l was never quite sure exactly what I wanted to do. While in high school, I spoke with my older sister who was already a nurse about if she enjoyed being a nurse. After talking with her, I was convinced I wanted to follow in her footsteps and pursue a nursing career myself. I also love the patient care aspect of

nursing compared to other professions in the health care field because I get to develop closer bonds with the patients. Dr. White: Why did you take a break from nursing? Tolu Adekunle: I took a break from nursing because I wanted to spend more time raising my children. I was also ready for change because I had been working in a long-term rehabilitation center for nine years, so I wanted to pursue a new area of nursing. Dr. White: How would you describe your experience with the program? Tolu Adekunle: The RN refresher program helped me update my skills and knowledge so that I could return to work in nursing and become re-registered. I was terrified at first when my clinical started because I had been out of the arena for a while, but the support I received was exceptional. The staff on the floor I was assigned to was very encouraging as I learned new tasks and picked up old ones simultaneously. When I realized how much KSU has to offer in its academic, professional, and social settings, I made a goal to really take advantage of things I was interested in. Surprisingly, I found that some of the most rewarding experiences have been the ones in which I had no intention of participating, but got dragged into by friends. This led me to start to challenge myself. I spoke out in settings where I felt uncomfortable, took initiative in things that I had never explored before, and stepped up for myself when I was challenged. Now, I feel so much more confident and respected in different situations because I have stepped outside my comfort zone and owned those moments! WellStar College of Health and Human Services | 17

WELLSTAR STUDENTS AFFECT GEORGIA IN A BIG WAY Experiential learning is both vital and central to the education process in the WellStar College of Health and Human Services at Kennesaw State University. Experiential learning deepens the learning experience, makes key connections between theory and practice, and provides fantastic networking opportunities. Experiential learning comes in various forms in the WellStar College including internships, practicums, clinicals, co-ops, study abroad trips, and service learning opportunities. Experiential learning is fueled by community partnership. WellStar College’s community connections with organizations on the local, state, national, and international level

have opened numerous doors to valuable learning experiences for students. “The WellStar College would not be able to produce the quantity or quality of graduates needed in the marketplace without these vital connections,” said Interim Dean Monica Nandan. “Around 90 percent of our students must develop competency in particular and defined skills prior to graduation. Additionally, many of our degree programs lead to careers with professional licensing requirements such as comprehensive licensing exams. Experiential learning underpins meeting these requirements.”

WellStar College’s most intense activity is in the state of Georgia. The College’s community impact begins right at home in Kennesaw and radiates out through at least a 10-county area. The College provides more than $7 million in services directly to the citizens of Georgia through approximately 340,000 hours of experiential learning annually. WellStar experiential learning occurs at more than 400 different locations across Georgia, reaching into east Georgia, west Georgia, north Georgia, and northwest Georgia.


18 | WellStar College of Health and Human Services

WELLSTAR COLLEGE’S EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING ECONOMIC IMPACT TOPS $7 MILLION Illustrative of the personal and impacting nature of the College’s experiential learning activities is the long-standing partnership between the WellStar School of Nursing and the Department of Social Work and Human Services. Students and faculty partner with the Rainbow

Housing organization to hold no-cost health fairs offering screening for blood sugar, blood pressure, HIV, and mental health issues. Students learn early in their budding careers the impact their studies will have on real people and their communities.



Asha Thomas is a Human Services major with a concentration in nonprofit administration in the Department of Social Work and Human Services. She is also working on the Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential. At the recent Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Management Institute’s national conference, Asha received the NextGen Award from the Alliance. The NextGen program is designed to eliminate the barrier of an unpaid internship by providing $2,000-$3,000 in internship stipends for students completing their Certified Nonprofit Professional credentials. The program fosters developing partnerships with internship sites, building stronger relationships with local partners, and promoting diversity in the workplace. During the spring semester of 2016, Asha is serving as a development intern with All About Developmental Disabilities. In this role, she provides fundraising assistance and development support for the agency. The mission of All About Developmental Disabilities is to create options for a meaningful life for individuals and families living with development disabilities.

Asha Thomas WellStar College of Health and Human Services | 19

faculty research highlights

WELLSTAR COLLEGE FACULTY CONTINUE TO FEED THE RESEARCH GROWTH AT KENNESAW STATE Kennesaw State University has been upgraded to a doctoral research institution with moderate research activity — designated “R3” — in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Learning 2015 update. The University was previously classified among larger Master’s Colleges and Universities or “M1” institutions.

its program of research and policy analysis. The classifications derived from empirical data on colleges and universities reflect changes among institutions and are used in the study of higher education. Originally published in 1973, the classifications have been updated periodically, most recently on February 1, 2015.

Under the Carnegie classifications, doctoral research institutions are those that awarded at least 20 research and scholarship doctoral degrees during the upgrade year. In FY 2015, Kennesaw State awarded 40 doctoral degrees, including the Ph.D. in International Conflict Management and doctorates in education, business administration, and nursing science.

The upgrade for Kennesaw State University reflects changes the Carnegie Classification made in its “Basic Classification” between the 2010 and 2015 updates, including new category labels for doctoral universities now classified as R1, R2 and R3 for highest, higher, and moderate levels of research activity.

The Carnegie Classification has been the leading framework for recognizing and describing diversity among U.S. higher education institutions since 1970, when the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education developed the method of classifying colleges and universities to support

Over the last seven years in particular, Kennesaw State has rapidly increased the quality of its graduate instructional programs, the level of faculty and student research, and scholarly activities. Here are some highlights of the recent WellStar College faculty contributions to this tremendous growth in scholarship.



20 | WellStar College of Health and Human Services

Wellstar College of Health and Human Services

WELLSTAR COLLEGE RESEARCH FELLOWS 2015 - 2016 DR. IRENE SEARLES MCCLATCHEY Associate Professor & Director, MSW Program Controlled Outcome Study on Fostering Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) among Parentally-Bereaved Youth using Trauma - Informed Care in a Camp Setting.

DR. PING JOHNSON Professor of Health Promotion and Physical Education Preliminary Assessment of Behaviorally - Based Process to Promote Sustained Improvements in Physical Activity and Controlled Eating in Obese College Students.

DR. JANEEN AMASON Assistant Professor of Nursing

Collaborative studies with Dr. Katherine Ingram, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, and Dr. Rebecca Shabo, Interim Associate Director of the BSN Program. Differential Effects of Visceral Fat and Inactivity on Maternal Metabolic Health, in particular the risk of developing gestational diabetes. Physical Activity and Pregnancy Outcomes - A Pilot Survey Distribution of Body Fat Loss in Post-Partum Women.

DR. JIN WANG Professor of Health Promotion and Physical Education An investigation of Elite Athletes’ Psychological Characteristics Related to Peak Performance. Developing a table of contents and framework for a sport psychology book.

DR. VANESSA ROBINSON-DOOLEY Assistant Professor of Social Work Needs Assessment-WellStar Community Clinics (PI). Efficacy of Chronic Disease Self-Management among Low-income Black Males with Behavioral Health Disorders (Co-PI). Strategic Internalization Grant (Co-PI). Online Intercultural Education and Training for Study Abroad Engagement.

DR. ROBERT BURESH Associate Professor of Exercise Science Two case studies examining the influence of variations in interval walking exercise on acute, all-day glucose control in adult males with type 2 diabetes.

DR. CHERILYN MCLESTER Associate Professor of Exercise Science

A Comparison of Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, Bioelectrical Impedance, Air Displacement Plethysmography, and Skinfolds for Estimating Body Fatness. A Comparison of Three Protocols to Assess Aerobic Capacity. An Investigation of the Accuracy of the YMCA Protocol Prediction of VO2peak.

WellStar College of Health and Human Services | 21






What is the title of your research project? Central Hemodynamics using Bioimpedance Cardiography during Unrestricted Maximal Resistance Exercise.

What is the title of your research project? A Comparison of Muscle Activation during Back Squat and Belt Squat.

Tell me a little more about your project? Heart function is determined while participants perform three resistance exercise movements for a five repetition maximum using bioimpedance cardiography. Results will help us evaluate the practicality of this form of measurement and the human response to uncontrolled maximal resistance exercise.

Tell me a little more about your project? We are comparing the activation of quads and glutes in participants during a 5-repetition max set of both back squat and belt squat, as well as the amount of weight that can be lifted with each exercise. This information will allow us to determine if a belt squat is as beneficial for muscle development as a back squat for people with shoulder or spine issues, as well as how to compare the amount of weight that can be lifted with each exercise.

When do you expect to graduate? I should graduate in May of 2016. What made you choose KSU? I chose Kennesaw State because of the lab experience I could receive here and the professors who showed interest and care for me and my education. What are your future career plans after this degree? I like teaching, so I may seek to continue my education in a doctoral program. I have also considered working in a research facility similar to the lab at Kennesaw State such as Lakepoint just north of Kennesaw.

Jonathan Howard

22 | WellStar College of Health and Human Services

When do you expect to graduate? I should graduate in May of 2016. What made you choose KSU? I chose Kennesaw State because of the quality of the faculty and the research and facility resources. What are your future career plans after this degree? I am hoping to begin a career as a strength and conditioning coach.

Tommy Evans



TAYLOR MEYER The Attitudes of Death and Suicide in America: A Look into Physician-Assisted Suicide The purpose of this research is to find correlations between the attitudes of death in America and physician-assisted suicide. Do these attitudes affect the policy making of physician-assisted suicide? COURTNEY MCCLURE Self-Care and Occupational Hazards for the Helping Professions The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between self care and secondary traumatic stress. The data analysis showed a relationship between self care and the level of secondary traumatic stress. CLARENCE KERNISANT An Examination of Atlanta Public School Nutrition Program Serving Students Living in a Food Desert Area This research paper examined if Atlanta Public School (APS) nutrition education and promotion program (guided by the USDA) is suitable for children and adolescent living in food desert areas in the city of Atlanta.

EMILY GRAY An Autoethnography of Possible Approaches to Community Restoration in English Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia This paper identifies possible approaches to restoration of the English Avenue, an impoverished neighborhood in Atlanta. It was concluded restoration begins with individual decisions rather than grand scale attempts at restoration. SARAH BELL When the Right to the Family is No Longer Possible The question that developed the topic of this research paper is what becomes of children when the child remains in foster care for a long period of time and ages out of the system.

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FACILITY HIGHLIGHTS Cutting-Edge Facilities & Equipment Enable the Education Process

WellStar College faculty and students teach, learn, and research in the most modern facilities available. The main building for the WellStar College of Health and Human Services, Prillaman Hall, provides nearly 200,000 square feet of educational and lab space. THE FACILITIES INCLUDE: 15 health, science, and interdisciplinary laboratories 13,000 square feet of nursing lab space The nursing school’s first pediatric lab Two 120 seat classrooms Four 90 seat tiered classrooms Three 60 seat classrooms Six seminar rooms Four computer labs A 230 seat auditorium Offices for WellStar College faculty and staff

24 | Facility Highlights

Wellstar College of Health & Human Services

WellStar College has invested heavily in classroom technology to support professors and help them focus on the passion they bring to teaching. Classrooms include teaching stations with: Touchscreen computer screens Built-in PCs with options to dock laptops Touchscreen input device control box for projector and audio controls DVD and Blue Ray players 3D digital projectors which replace traditional transparency overhead projectors Projection screens up to 24 feet by 12 feet Built-in wireless microphones (multiple for larger rooms)

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WELLSTAR COLLEGE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM OFFERINGS WELLSTAR SCHOOL OF NURSING Bachelor of Science in Nursing - Traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing - Accelerated Master of Science in Nursing - Advanced Care Management and Leadership, Nursing Administration and Transformational Leadership Track - Fully Online Master of Science in Nursing - Primary Care Nurse Practitioner - Alternate Weekend Schedule Doctor of Nursing Science - Offered half on-campus and half online DEPARTMENT OF EXERCISE SCIENCE AND SPORT MANAGEMENT Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science Bachelor of Science in Sport Management Master of Science in Applied Exercise and Health Science DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PROMOTION AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education Bachelor of Science in Public Health Education Minor in Coaching Minor in Health Promotion Wide variety of elective physical activity classes DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WORK AND HUMAN SERVICES Bachelor of Science in Human Services Master of Social Work - Specializations in Children and Family Services, Behavioral Health Services, and Substance Abuse Services Child Advocacy Studies Certificate Nonprofit Management and Leadership Certificate CONTINUING EDUCATION DIVISION Registered Nurse Refresher Program ACADEMY FOR INCLUSIVE LEARNING AND SOCIAL GROWTH Academic, Social, and Career Enrichment Foundation Program

Advanced Leadership and Career Development Program

Preparing World-Class Wellness Professionals 26 | WellStar Academic Programs

6 GREAT REASONS TO Consider Donating to the WellStar College

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WellStar College boasts more than 4,000 current students and increasing numbers of applicants to our programs each year. WellStar College’s direct community economic impact is more than $7.5 million. WellStar College’s current research activities include 178 scholarly contributions. WellStar College students are sought out by premier employers including the WellStar Health System, Cobb County Public Schools, Kaiser Permanente, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Lakepoint Sports, Douglas County DFACS, and PT Solutions.


WellStar College offers flexible program options including traditional full-time on-campus, part-time on-campus, cohort model, 50% classroom and 50% online model, every other weekend model and fully online.


WellStar College provides over 330 experiential learning sites for practicums, clinicals, internships, and service learning.

For More Information Contact

Melisa E. Baldwin Assistant Vice President for Development Kennesaw State University 470-578-3009 office 404-227-0434 cell

WellStar College of Health and Human Services | 27


520 Parliament Garden Way, NW MD 4101 Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591



Profile for WellStar College

Aspire Magazine 2016  

Aspire is a publication of the Wellstar College of Health and Human Services at Kennesaw State University.

Aspire Magazine 2016  

Aspire is a publication of the Wellstar College of Health and Human Services at Kennesaw State University.