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The Department of Allied Health Sciences’ Office of Research and Scholarship (DAHS OOR) has selected its second cohort of winners of the DAHS Student Research Ambassador Awards. This year’s recipients, all of whom are PhD students, span a multitude of interdisciplinary topics. The student winners each have received an award of $500 to alleviate expenses incurred by their research. The students presented at the UNC School of Medicine Student Research Day, held on October 29.

Lisa Erwin-Davidson, Aaron Dallman, and Katie Hirsch along with Chad Wagoner and Melissa C. Kay, are the 2018 Student Research Award ambassadors from the Office of Research and Scholarship in the Department of Allied Health Sciences.
Lisa Erwin-Davidson, Aaron Dallman, and Katie Hirsch, along with Chad Wagoner and Melissa C. Kay, are the 2018 Student Research Ambassador Award recipients from the Office of Research and Scholarship in the Department of Allied Health Sciences.

Human Movement Science Awardees

  • Katie Hirsch, for “Visceral Adipose Tissue Norms in Adults Ages 18-75 Years Measured Using Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorpitometry.”
  • Melissa C. Kay, for “Mixed Methodological Designs in Sports Medicine Research: A Review,” presented in August 2018 at the Mixed Methods International Research Association Conference in Vienna, Austria.
  • Chad Wagoner, for “Self-Reported Physical Activity at Breast Cancer Diagnosis is Associated with Greater Physical Activity During Chemotherapy,” presented on June 1, 2018, at the American College of Sports Medicine’s 2018 annual meeting.

Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences Awardee

  • Lisa Erwin-Davidson, for “A Tool, A Teacher, and Seven Students: A Case Study of Communication Change over Eight Months,” presented July 2018 at the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication on the Gold Coast of Australia.

Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

  • Aaron Dallman, for his oral presentation titled “Characterizing the Cognitive Profile of Children with Autism,” presented on June 8, 2018, at the Occupational Therapy Summit of Scholars.

Wagoner said this award will allow him to disseminate his team’s work, which focuses on promoting physical activity and exercise those undergoing treatment for cancer. “Receiving this award has provided me with confirmation that our work involving physical activity and exercise effectiveness in cancer patients is having an increased impact,” Wagoner said. “Sometimes, exercise is overlooked by the broader medical community.”

Erwin-Davidson said the award gives her an additional opportunity to network with faculty and students and disseminate the important work at the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies. “Children with severe communication disabilities have a right to learn language so they can participate in their education,” Erwin-Davidson said. “Our lab is at the forefront of figuring out why children with low-incidence disabilities around the country are still not fully accessing their academic curricula.”

Hirsch said the funds will allow her to continue to learn and engage from prominent researchers in her field. “Conferences are tremendous networking opportunities, at which I have made numerous academic and industry connections who are likely to become future collaborators or potential employers.”

The funding will also allow Hirsch to share her research from the applied physiology lab, where Hirsch and her colleagues explore the interaction of exercise and nutrition for improving health, chronic disease, and human performance, all with a goal of promoting evidence-based practices. “What makes our area of research unique is that it can be used to help an individual achieve their health or performance goals, no matter their age, stage, or walk of life,” Hirsch said.

Dallman said the award enabled him to connect with future research collaborators face to face, which gave him feedback on his current and future research agendas.

“These discussions with other scientists gave me a solid move forward towards my future research and career goals.”

Winner Melissa Kay said the funding has provided her opportunities to attend conferences and continue networking. “As an up-and-coming researcher, teacher, and scholar, the conference allowed the opportunity to present novel research findings as well as learn new techniques and foster new ideas regarding the use of mixed methodological designs,” Kay said. “I am excited to continue as a research ambassador for the UNC School of Medicine as I navigate the remainder of my doctoral experience.”