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Spring 2009

Sample Projects


Elizabeth D. Austin - The power of reflection through creative writing

In the English class Literature and Medicine, students with a variety of majors came together to discover the impact of creative writing.  Through the experiences of others, we discussed various viewpoints related to the medical world.  Not only does creative writing provide a glimpse into someone else's world, it serves as an outlet for medical professionals and patients alike.  It serves as a way to explore feelings, putting them into words on paper.  Following this principle, I decided to use my own creative writing skills to explore the challenges I have faced in Nursing School.  Each piece stems from a personal experience, which is the best fuel for writing.  As we close out our discussion in the classroom, I will share one of these poems with my peers, opening it up for discussion.  As I continue to learn and grow, I hope to keep these creative juices flowing.  Since it is physically impossible to experience everything a human could possibly experience, creative pieces allow humans to relate to one another.  It creates understanding, appreciation, awe, and disgust.  Sometimes a piece will challenge a reader's values and beliefs.  Through my writing, I hope to create a better understanding of life as a nurse.  As I progress through my career, these writings will shift from fear and apprehension to competence and compassion.  They will serve as a way for me to see myself grow, as well as share my experiences with others.  So much of my schooling is focused on diseases and treatments, but writing allows me to contemplate the human element.


Debra L. Carbaugh - Disaster and Emergency Nursing

Disasters are non-routine events in which societies or their communities are socially disrupted and physically harmed.  Key elements in common with any type of disaster are that they are relatively unexpected with little or no warning or opportunity to prepare; lives, health, and the environment are endangered; and available personnel and emergency services are overwhelmed by demand for their services. 

Heather R. Ditzenberger - Battle Cry:  Breast Cancer in Literature

The breast cancer awareness movement has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade.  On a daily basis, people are being bombarded with messages of awareness, annual screenings, and hope.  But behind this pink cloud, looms the darker side, the side kept hidden by the media.  Breast cancer and its treatment is a long, arduous, and sometimes ugly affair.  It affects the patient as well as family, friends, and the community.  Forgetting this fact would be a disservice to those who suffered through treatment.  It would be an injustice to ignore the facts; individuals with breast cancer suffer.  Their strength and will to live exceed any warrior who is up against a seemingly unsurpassable foe.   I chose to honor their fight by compiling a booklet of their and their loved ones' accounts of battling breast cancer.  It may not always be uplifting, but it is raw, candid, and even amusing at times.  These warriors use humor and faith to keep their hope alive.  My booklet is in honor of survivors and their loved ones who has come up against and smote this foe, and it is in memory of those who God has decided to bring home.  This is their battle cry.

Rebekah J. Eakin - Establishing a Discussion Board for ENG 267:     Literature and Medicine

A discussion board was initiated to allow classmates the opportunity to elaborate on discussions brought about during class and prompted by the readings assigned.  We covered many difficult perspectives of medicine and allowed for the opportunity to share personal experiences and views while participating in compelling conversation.  The online aspect also enabled those hesitant to speak out in classroom discussions the opportunity to share their opinions.  This discussion board allowed us to test the willingness of classmates to participate in an honors project and it was pleasing to be able to correspond with the many who shared their views.


Jennifer A. Hallstrom - Elements of Nutrition: Past and Future

Nutrition is the science of food.  It involves the process of absorbing nourishing substances from food and the utilization of them by the body to maintain one's health or to grow.  For my project, I decided to focus on two nutritional aspects, one from the past, and one for the future.  For the past, I researched a paper on the pathogenesis and the remarkable history of scurvy and its relationship with vitamin C.  For the future, I performed a presentation to a group of preschoolers on the importance of making wise nutritional choices early in life in order to help maximize one's health and longevity in later years.

John R. Hamm - The Effects of Temperature Change on Electric Lines

When the temperature reaches extreme highs and lows the different metals in the wire, which are hung in the air and carry electricity to all the people of the world, expands and contracts which causes sag to be formed.  However there are formulas that can be used to find out how much sag will accumulate, thus allowing for the great lineman of the world to make the required adjustments so everything looks acceptable out on the lines. 

Amy J. Lewis - An Overview of Adolescent Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse has been a public health concern for centuries. But now more than ever, the attention of health professionals must shift from the general public's abuse of alcohol to adolescent alcohol abuse specifically. The prevalence of alcohol use in adolescents is higher than most adults and parents know. In a recent survey, 46% of 8th graders, 66% of 10th graders, and 77% of 12th graders had used alcohol. In 2000, a    survey was conducted by the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse which revealed that 7 million people under the age of 21 were binge drinkers. And according to Health News Today, "the average age when youth first try alcohol is 11 years for boys and 13 years for girls." These statistics are indeed alarming, not only because of the illegality of these behaviors, but because of the health implications of these behaviors. To better understand, treat, and prevent this epidemic of adolescent alcoholism, parents and health professionals must understand the causes, signs and symptoms, related health disorders, treatments, and preventative measures of adolescent alcohol abuse.

Cheryl L. McLaughlin - The Effects of Exercise on the Different Systems of our Bodies

Exercise is something that is obviously good for us. We know that it is good for weight loss and muscle tone. We also know that exercise helps us to strengthen our heart and lungs. I wanted to find out what the unexpected benefits of exercise were and how it affects all of the bodies systems. Some of the benefits that I discovered were directly related to weight loss. These include a decreased risk of getting Diabetes Mellitus, Sleep Apnea, Hypertension and other obesity related illnesses. An example of one of the body systems that is affected is the nervous system. Exercise affects the nervous system by naturally releasing neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters help with boosting our mood, helping to fight depression and anxiety, and they can even help us to sleep better at night.


Thomas W. Meier - Brain Attack: Stroke Awareness

Stroke is the number 3 cause of death in the United States. Each year about 795,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke. Stroke kills more than 143,000 people a year. Even though it seems unthinkable, children can also have strokes. Many of the things that increase your risk can be controlled. A stroke can have a devastating impact, not only on the survivor, but on everyone who cares about them. For my presentation I researched the risk factors that can lead to a stroke, signs and symptoms of a stroke, and prevention and treatment of strokes.

Lori A. Secor - What Everybody Should Know about Herbal Supplements

Herbal Supplements are widely used by consumers to self treat various ailments such as high blood pressure, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.  Several dangers are associated with the use of herbal supplements.  The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate herbal supplements for safety, efficacy, or label accuracy, resulting in potential serious complications.  Herbals are medications.  They interact with other medications and have side effects, some life threatening, and are not safe for use in all cases.  A deficit in knowing by the consumer to understand the importance of reporting supplement use to their health care provider, and likewise, neglect on the part of the provider to obtain this information can lead to serious complications in care.  With the findings from research, I have prepared comparison studies of commonly used herbal supplements and a prescription medication counterpart and informational handouts for the healthcare provider and consumers.

Marvin (Gale) Wilson - One Chance for a First Impression:  Does Grammar Matter?

Today's business environment relies heavily on electronic communications. More often than not impressions are made long before a representative is met. People usually have one chance to convey intelligent, complete, and concise information to their intended receivers.

Since such a vast amount of information is passed via electronic written expression, the reliance upon electronic devices to compose and proof the composition is great. However; the technology is flawed and unreliable. Many software companies have products that are at their best a spell checker.

I propose that education is the true solution to this flawed approach to business communication. Education was once the backbone of intelligible communication and proper grammar usage. Until grammar software is as good as correct grammar knowledge and usage, being properly trained and forewarned of the software pitfalls is paramount.