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Graduate student’s research is focused on careers

May 24, 2013

UNC Pembroke graduate students put their research on display on March 25 at the 2013 Graduate Research Poster Session and Open House.


Brooke Bowman, an public administration candidate studied health information systems for her thesis.

Brooke Bowman, an public administration candidate studied health information systems for her thesis.

UNCP has 18 master’s degree programs, including 13 in education and business (MBA), public admini- stration (MPA), social work (MSW), mental health counseling and nursing (MSN). Associate Dean Dr. Irene Aiken coordinated the event.

“This was our most successful event by all measures,” Dr. Aiken said. “These are outstanding candidates, and presenting their work to judges in this format is a valuable experience.”

The event attracted more than 50 student research projects. The projects proved instructional on many levels and relevant to professional careers.

MPA candidate Brooke Bowman works in information systems at First Health in Pinehurst, N.C. Her research was on the effectiveness of health information exchanges in preventing hospital readmissions.

“We are in the process of building a health information system at First Health, and readmission is a hot button issue in healthcare currently,” Bowman said. “What I found is that the effectiveness of these systems depends on how it is built.”

Bowman, who is on the firing line for building patient data systems of the future, said her public administration training at UNCP is a perfect compliment to her undergraduate business degree.

“The MPA program has given me additional skills,” Bowman said. “It’s a good program, and the professors are great.”

 Samantha Cornwell studied UNCP’s emergency response plans for her research in the public administration program.

Samantha Cornwell studied UNCP’s emergency response plans for her research in the public administration program.

After graduation, Samantha Cornwell wants to work in emergency management in higher education. For her project, she met UNCP’s emergency managers and studied the university’s emergency planning documents.

“The problems with emergency management stem from the silo effect – administration, faculty, staff and students must communicate effectively,” Cornwell said. “I did safety assessments of several buildings, and I also studied the issue of student sexual assaults.

“The goal is for campus emergency managers to get their stakeholders involved,” she said.

Kate Dunklegod teaches science at North Moore High School and Jacob Glenn at Scotland High School. Their research focused on effective teaching methods in science.

“My research is on increasing retention using the Cornell note-taking system,” Dunklegod said. “Everybody uses PowerPoint; I used the textbook.

“My students said it was difficult and time consuming, but it improved their retention, especially for my ESL (English as a second language students),” she said.

 Kate Dunklegod explains her project on science education.

Kate Dunklegod explains her project on science education.

Glenn, who is a 2009 UNCP graduate, also used enhanced teaching methods. He created animation with a software program.

“Chemistry is taught on the symbolic level with equations,” Glen said. “Animations give students a better sense of what is happening at the molecular level.”

Both science teachers found new tools and learned research methodology that may be deployed in the future pursuit of effective teaching. Dunklegod said UNCP gave her another advantage.

“I could have gone to NC State University,” she said. “I teach rural students by choice, so UNCP was the better choice.”

Winners of the poster competition were Lia Myott Gilleski with “Pay Dirt or Quagmire? Should N.C. Assume Section 404 of the Clean Water Act” and Ashley Fletcher with “Recruitment and Retention in Volunteer Fire Departments: What Can Be Done?.

Honorable mentions include Michael Carter with “Hospital Performance Measures and 30-day Readmissions,” Christopher Spain with “Sustainability or Bust: Contemplations of the Fed's Demise” and Samantha Cornwell’s, “ Project Urgent and Emergent: A Case Study of a University's Emergency Management Policies and the Involvement of Stakeholders.”

Faculty judges were Dr. Valerie Austin (Music Department), Dr. Warren Eller (Public Administration), Dr. Rita Hagevik (Biology), Dr. Roger Ladd (English & Theatre) and Dr. Velinda Wariax (Biology) and Col. Michael Clawson (Veterans Services).

For more information, please contact the School of Graduate Studies at 910.521.6271 or grad@ucnp.edu.