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ENHP Day 2014: Celebrating Research, Scholarship, and Partnership

On Friday, May 2, 2014, members of the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions came together to celebrate their scholarly achievements at the annual ENHP Day. This year, presentations began earlier in the morning to allow for an increasingly comprehensive, day-long program. Three keynote speakers shared their expertise with students, faculty, and community partners.

An Established Tradition

Now in its third year, ENHP Day is here to stay. The Regents Commons in the Shaw Center (Hillyer Hall) once again provided the setting for ENHP faculty, staff, students, alumni, community partners, and University friends to gather throughout the day. Free standing panels and easels displayed more than 80 posters depicting scholarly projects carried out by undergraduate and graduate students from across the college.

At 10 a.m., following an opening welcome by ENHP Dean Ralph O. Mueller, physical therapy and prosthetics and orthotics students presented their group research projects to their peers, faculty, family, and friends in Auerbach Auditorium.

Christine Ludwig, the first keynote to present, provided the noon-time audience with a personal story of life with Parkinson's disease and described how she has succeeded in not allowing the disease to define her. Ludwig is a co-author of the book, Notes from Movers and Shakers with Parkinson's. She graciously signed books in the Shaw Center as the first of two roundtable sessions took place nearby.

The roundtable discussions focused on faculty research, in some cases involving undergraduate and graduate research partners. The two sessions provided an opportunity for faculty members to talk with one another informally about their work as well as introduce it to others attracted to their research. In all, 12 'roundtables' showcased ENHP faculty and faculty/student research projects. 

In the mid-afternoon, Rebecca Puhl, deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, provided the second of the three keynote presentations. Puhl spoke about the nature and consequences of obesity stigma and the significance of her findings for those preparing for careers in teaching and patient-care. In the late afternoon, following the second roundtable session, Mary Beth Bruder, provided an international perspective on teaching and learning in the third keynote address of the day. Bruder is the director of the A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service at the University of Connecticut.

The late afternoon hour was once again dedicated to poster presentations. The Shaw Center filled with a large number of adult learners drawn to the 'end of the workday' reception to explain their scholarly projects. The crowd of RN to BSN graduating students took this time to chat with their MSN counterparts, preceptors, and family, as well as observe the posters from the Departments of Rehabilitation Sciences and Education. The Nursing program took a few moments during the reception to honor faculty and students. Dean Ralph O. Mueller closed the day by thanking all participants and surprising retiring staff member, Marlene Hall, with a few words of appreciation. Long-time colleagues Sue Eichar, Valerie Gilleran, and Lynn Galvin added to the special farewell.

ENHP Day continues to foster a sense of community and pride among ENHP faculty, students, staff, and community members. It provides an opportunity for the college to showcase the scholarly work pursued by its members to one another, as well as to regional partners and the University at large.

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