UND Today

University of North Dakota’s Official News Source

Scholarship on display

At the College of Education & Human Development’s annual Research Conference, student and faculty scholars present their work

Gabriella Montero, a graduate student in Counseling Psychology at UND, smiles at the College of Education & Human Development’s 2024 Research Conference as a visitor asks a question about Montero’s research. Photo by Tom Dennis/UND Today.

Research posters depicting the cutting edge of knowledge in Kinesiology, Counseling Psychology, Public Health Education and other fields populated the Memorial Union Ballroom on April 2 as part of the College of Education & Human Development’s 2024 Research Conference.

More than 80 UND research teams and individual researchers presented their work, said Rob Stupnisky, the College’s associate dean of Research and Faculty Development. The researchers included UND graduate students, faculty members and postdoctoral fellows, and the topics presented on included “Working Conditions and Teacher Burn Out,” “Family Engagement and its Impact on Student Success in K-12 Education” and “Lunar Boot Design and Kinematic Testing.”

“Once a year, the students, faculty and friends of the College join together, and we share with each other the research we’ve been working on,” Stupnisky said.

“It’s a chance to celebrate and also disseminate the work that we’ve been doing over the past year. Another purpose is that it give the students a chance to present their research and gain some experience with that, as this helps socialize them into the research culture and get them excited about presenting at state, regional and national conferences.”

More than 80 UND graduate students and faculty members presented their work at the College of Education & Human Development’s 2024 Research Conference in the Memorial Union on April 2. Photo by Tom Dennis/UND Today.

Colleagues and collegiality

Emily Midkiff agreed. Midkiff is an assistant professor of Teaching & Leadership at the College, and she stood ready beside her own poster to talk about her work. (Midkiff specializes in children’s and young adult literature, and has shared her knowledge worldwide in, among other places, two articles in The Conversation. The nonprofit news organization publishes “explanatory journalism” articles by academic experts that are meant for the general public.)

Among the Research Conference’s other advantages, Midkiff said, is that it lets UND scholars learn more about each other’s work. “Very often, faculty members don’t know what many of their colleagues have been doing,” she said. “At this event, it’s great to learn more about what people have been working on.”

At times that may lead to academic collaborations, she said. But in every case, it’s a welcome chance to talk in depth with colleagues and learn more about their research.

The researchers at the conference could present their work at any stage, ranging from proposal and conceptual framework through completed dissertations and independent studies.

UND President Andy Armacost was among those who addressed the College of Education & Human Development’s 2024 Research Conference on April 2 in the Memorial Union. Photo by Tom Dennis/UND Today.

Standout science

The day also included 12 talks in which speakers presented their research findings in more detail. UND President Andrew Armacost was on hand for another of the day’s events: the recognition of April 1-7 as National Public Health Week 2024.

In his remarks, Armacost honored both the CEHD’s Research Conference – the “celebration of research and discovery that’s happening as part of the college’s activities today,” as he put it – and the extensive public health and public-health education efforts that take place at the College and elsewhere across campus. UND has wide array of academic programs in Public Health, including the CEHD’s own undergraduate degree in Public Health Education, the Master of Public Health program at the School of Medicine & Health Sciences and the joint programs that enable UND law and medical students to also get MPH degrees.

“The beauty of public health is that it’s about helping not only those we know, but also those we don’t know,” Armacost said. “National Public Health Week is a celebration of how we do exactly that: how we come together as a campus and community to look out for one another and make good public policy decisions regarding public health.”

At the close of the conference, three awards were presented to recognize standout work. Andrea Doyon, a doctoral student in Counseling Psychology, was the winner of the Inspire Graduate Student Research Excellence Award. Ethan Dahl, assistant professor of Counseling Psychology, won the Aspire Early Career Award for Excellence in Research, and Emily Midkiff, assistant professor of Teaching & Leadership, won the Excellence in Research & Scholarship Award.