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 Honors Spring 2011

Venango Campus Honors Students, left to right: Robin Zerres, Renee Schacklock, Terry Leatherman, Jennifer Hallstrom, Bobbie Haag, Kathy Goodwin, Amy Gerwig, Nenad Zelenkov, Danielle Shreckengost, Jennifer Girty, Amy Ferringer, Jennifer Burchfield, Julie Cashdollar, Doreen Lawton, and Mary Hulse

Students in the Venango Campus Honors Program presented research projects in their fields of study at the Spring 2011 Night of Excellence on Monday, April 11. The event was the first in Clarion University's week-long Academic Excellence Series, a celebration of university recognition and research.

Venango Campus Honors Program offers students the opportunity to expand intellectual capacities through stimulating coursework, field experiences such as lectures, films, and cultural events, travel opportunities, merit-based scholarships, and work/study opportunities.

Dr. Ellen Foster and Dr. David Lott are co-coordinators of the Venango Campus Honors Program.

Poster presentations by students enrolled in the Spring Honors Course, The Psychology of Happiness, explored age-old questions about the definition of happiness and how it can be achieved across civilizations and academic disciplines. The presentations also reflected the course's examination of the factors that give life meaning, create happiness, and enable individuals and communities to thrive.

Venango Honors students presenting posters were Julie Cashdollar, Amy Ferringer, Jennifer Hallstrom, Danielle Shreckengost, and Nenad Zelenkov. Also presenting posters were Kim Clark, Suzi Clark, Kelly Downs, Jennifer Girty, Amber Hannold, Meghan Kaylor, Sarah Koleck, Jessica McElhattan, Katie McMichael, Melanie Medved, Mathew Miller, Tyler Moon, Brittany Olszowka, Jeffrey Polley, Kendra Proctor, Dustin Shaw, Dani Smayda, and Tiffiny Winters.
Eight Honors students presented the findings of research projects.

Renee Shacklock, who is pursuing an associate of science in nursing degree (ASN), discussed the signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and how to recognize those who are at higher risk for developing the affliction in order to intervene to prevent it. She is currently a medic with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and will graduate in May 2012. Nursing instructor Virginia Seybold served as Ms. Shacklock's faculty mentor on the research project.
Amy Gerwig, a second-year ASN student who will graduate in May, explored the after-effect of natural or man-made disasters and their impact on the increase in mental illness in the last ten years and how this research can be applied to patient care. Ms. Gerwig plans to work in the field of pediatrics. Shelly Moore, assistant professor of nursing, served as Ms. Gerwig's faculty mentor.

Nursing student Kathy Goodwin, who will also graduate in May, presented the works of nurse/poet Veneta Masson, whose Clinician's Guide to the Soul inspired Ms. Goodwin's research following the Fall 2010 Honors course Banned and Challenged Literature and Film. Ms. Goodwin plans to continue her education through the Clarion University online bachelor of science in nursing program while working as a registered nurse in an acute care setting. Dr. Ellen Foster, associate professor of English, was Ms. Goodwin's faculty mentor.

Graduating nursing student Robin Zerres created a collection of poignant, controversial, relevant stories, some gathered from her peers, utilizing literature as a way to convey the message that nursing means more than the acts of patient care and dispensing medicine. Ms. Zerres' collection, which she described as a graduation gift for her classmates, expressed her belief in the indescribable "more" that her noble profession provides to patients. Ms. Zerres plans to continue her education. Dr. Foster served as her faculty advisor.

Bobbie Haag, who is majoring in paralegal studies and business administration, presented her research on Social Security Disability, including client rights, Social Security Disability Law, and hearings. Ms. Haag will graduate in May with an associate degree in paralegal studies and will continue her education, pursuing a bachelor degree in business administration. Her career goal is to become an attorney. Dr. John Echlin, associate professor of finance, was Ms. Haag's faculty advisor.

Doreen Lawton discussed the impact of Phi Theta Kappa's "Totes for Tots" project. In this community service project, now in its third year, Boy Scouts through nursing home residents work together to provide preschoolers in the region with bags of fun, early-learning materials that they might not otherwise receive. Doreen plans to continue her education following graduation in May, with the goal of becoming a nurse educator. Beth Jackson, assistant professor of mathematics and advisor to Phi Theta Kappa, served as Ms. Lawton's faculty mentor.

Mary Hulse's research project explored the rise in diabetic complications due to changes in lifestyle. Her research suggested that there is a significant gap in information about the seriousness of the disease and its complications available to the public and that better education would lead to better patient compliance. Ms. Hulse represented the Venango Honors Program last fall at a national Honors conference in Kansas City, Missouri. She plans to continue her nursing education. Shelly Moore was her faculty mentor on the project.

Terry Leatherman, who also presented at the national Honors conference, explored medical alternatives to blood transfusions, a practice that has become standard treatment for serious blood loss and elective treatment for many illnesses. Her research considered options for those individuals who cannot or choose not to have blood transfusions due to potential risks or for religious reasons. Ms. Leatherman plans to become a nurse educator. Virginia Seybold served as Ms. Leatherman's faculty mentor.

In addition to the students participating in the Night of Excellence, Venango Campus Honors Program students include James Kronmiller, Marcia Miller, and Dawna Zimmerman.

Clarion University–Venango Campus, located in Oil City, is the oldest regional campus in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. The campus provides high-quality educational programs and personalized services to help students succeed. Students can begin any of Clarion University's 90+ bachelor's degrees at the Venango Campus, earn an associate degree, a bachelor's or master's degree in select areas, obtain a one-year certificate or participate in a variety of professional development and personal enrichment courses. The campus is home to Clarion University's School of Nursing and Allied Health, the Department of Applied Technology, and the Venango Department of Arts and Sciences. Clarion University–Venango Campus is committed to serving the needs of the community.
4/20/2011 4:20 PM

Venango Campus Honors Program Presents Spring “Night of Excellence”