From Dr. Grace Baranek, Associate Chair for Research Fall2014/Winter 2015

We are off to a great start for 2015 with much news to share! Several new faculty and staff have joined us in the Department of Allied Health Sciences (DAHS) – a very warm welcome to all! Dr. Debby Givens recently took the helm as the new Director for the Division of Physical Therapy (PT), and Dr. Jennifer Cooke joins PT as a new clinical instructor. Thank you to Dr. Lisa Johnston, interim director for PT, for her leadership and patience during the transition.  Dr. Paul Chelminski added several new faculty in the Physician Assistant program – Dr. Marybeth McGranaghan, Ms. Margaret Beal, Mr. Todd Williams and Ms. Amber Wall, Program Coordinator, who are preparing for a site review prior to launching the new PA program in the coming year.  Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy welcomed Dr. Emily Furgang, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Ashley Freuler, Adjunct Faculty, who both served in other clinical and research roles at UNC prior to their new faculty appointments.  Mostly recently, Ms. Tonya Jones McMannen joined DAHS Office of Research as our new Business Officer.  We thank Ms. Tin Lay Nwe for all of her hard work and efforts with OOR previously! 

This newsletter highlights some of our collective research and scholarship mid-way through the academic year, including new grants funded, new awards, and new initiatives. I want to especially acknowledge our stellar junior faculty, four of whom received UNC Junior Faculty Development Awards this Year to support their programs of research – congratulations to Drs. Dara Chan, Cara McComish, Katie Ollendick, and Prue Plummer!

Our methodologists, Drs. Zhang and Faldowski, have organized a new “Methodology Lunch and Learn” series that welcomes students and faculty to come together and discuss research topics informally.  The first topic was “Everything you’ve wanted to know about stats and methods but were afraid to ask” – check the AHS calendar for dates/locations.  Also, our newly redesigned DAHS research methods curriculum has been approved by the academic affairs committee.  The new modular courses will take effect in the Fall, 2015, supporting students in three PhD programs:  Occupational Science; Speech and Hearing Sciences; and Human Movement Science. We thank the full committee and the PhD program directors for their hard work in designing the courses and two-year sequence, as well as Ms. Susan Schulz for coordinating the massive effort, and Ms. Tamara Mesko for getting the new courses officially on the books.   Wishing you all a great year with exciting news to share! 

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