2017 research Day Classmates and staff make an impact

WCUPA Research Day

This past March, West Chester University held Research Day in Skyes Student Union from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Research Day at WCU is designed to help researchers, students, faculty, and professionals come together to present and discuss research on various topics. There were also speakers at Research Day, two being West Chester nutrition professors, Dr. Blomain and Dr. Davidson. The undergraduate students who participated in Research Day by either submitting an abstract or conducting a presentation were Stephanie Binder, Sarah Kelly, Ellie Kmiec, Katya Wolf, Katie Gunter, Tayler Davis, Alindon Smith, Carly Linus, Loagan Leshko, and Candace Bordner. The graduate students who participated were Amanda Tome, Meghan Smith, Erica Grace, Margo Loggia, Mikaela Kostrubiak, Ashley L. McCorkle, Sarah Padilla, Keri Palasza, Melissa Fleck, and Jeniffer Vattimo.

Dr. Blomain’s research presentation was titled “Social Cognitive Theory and Nutrition Behavior: Effects of an Introductory Nutrition Course Intervention among College Students.” This research focused on seeing if there was a direct correlation between students taking a 10-week nutrition course and their choices of food. The goal was to have the students want to change their dietary habits after learning more about healthy eating, as well as have other individuals see the importance of mandating a nutrition course in each curriculum to help students. This topic is of interest to Dr. Blomain because she believes college students need guidance when making choices, as this stressful time in their life can cause unhealthy weight gain and poor dietary choices.

Dr. Davidson’s presentation focused on the development of the Mobile Diabetes Detective (MoDD), an education technique to help individuals handle their diabetes by helping them overcome their barriers and strengthen their decision-making. The goal of the MoDD is to have individuals be more self-aware of their disease or health status. This is not meant to replace doctor visits to discuss one’s health status. As a certified diabetes educator, Dr. Davidson is extremely passionate when it comes to educating diabetes patients about the importance of taking care of their health condition.

Under the advisement of Dr. Amir Gol mohamadi, the following groups presented their research this past March.

The first group of students were Meghan Smith, Amanda Tome, Ericha Grace, and Margo Loggia. The title of their research was the “Relationship Between the Level of Nutrition Education and Opinions Regarding Elective Gluten-Free Diets.” They chose this topic because of the recent fad around these diets and wanted to know if individuals who were more educated in the nutrition field would support or argue gluten-free diets without a medical diagnosis. Although they concluded that more research should be done to make a conclusive statement, they did find a slight relationship between increased nutrition knowledge and not supporting undiagnosed gluten-free diets.

Stephanie Binder, Sarah Kelly, Karli Wolfgang presented on a “Sensory Evaluation of Teff-Enriched flat bread to Address Calcium Deficiency and Increase Sustainability in the Middle East and North Africa.” The purpose of this research was to create a calcium-rich food for women in the Middle East and North Africa region. Calcium-rich teff and dairy products were used to create the high calcium flatbread.

Lastly, Lauren Ashley McCorkle, Keri Palasz, Sarah Padilla, and Mikaela Kostrubiak presented on “Effects of Social Media on College Student Food Choices.” The purpose of this research was to study the effect social media may or may not have on the food choices of young adults at West Chester University. Results showed that around 55% of WCU students who were surveyed did benefit from nutrition guidance on social media accounts.

Melissa Fleck presented the pilot project she is working on with Dr. Kimberly E. Johnson at WCU Spring Research Day. The title is “SNAP simulation and cultural competence of emerging health professionals and students”.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this spring’s Research Day. West Chester University’s next Research Day will take place this coming fall. We look forward to seeing what research our students and faculty take on!

Written by Abbigale Golden
Created By
Nutrition Newsletter

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