Students Present Impressive Research to Faculty at the Faculty Colloquium

The Faculty Colloquium is something not a lot of students know about, but when chosen to be apart of, seniors know they are involved in something important. At around this point of the year, seniors are starting to realize the quickening approach of graduation and anything and everything post-graduations (aka the real world). This annual event may not be the most well known event on campus, but it is definitely an impactful and helpful opportunity to seek knowledge from these students on their particular area of interest in a career.

This event was “was an opportunity for interested Ouachita faculty and staff to assemble and hear remarks from students on the importance of undergraduate research,” Mack McGehee, a senior Christian studies major from Little Rock, Arkansas said.

This year Emily Harris, Jace Bradshaw, Mack McGehee, Cat Williams, Kathleen Suit, and Barrett Gay were all representatives for each of their fields of study and presented different approaches to their research.

“I participated in research last summer under the direction of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute. I was placed in the psychology department; my supervisor was Dr. Brandi Whitaker who works as a clinical psychologist at Children’s,” Emily Harris, a senior biology major from Benton, Arkansas said. “I spent half of each work day shadowing in a variety of different outpatient clinics in the hospital; I also spent full days shadowing in the NICU, Emergency Room, and Pharmacy.

“The other half of each work day I did several literature reviews on caregiver stress and quality of life, and I additionally researched parent mentor programs in children’s hospitals around the United States. Dr. Whitaker and other colleagues are hoping to pilot a parent mentor program in the Medical Home Clinic at ACH, an outpatient clinic that provides comprehensive care for children with special healthcare needs. After compiling my research, I drafted a manual that could be used to train parent mentors for the new program. I presented my literature reviews and drafted training manual to other student researchers and a panel of physicians at the end of the eight-week program.”

Students become a part of this panel through a recommendation by a faculty member.

“Dr. Perry informed me that he contacted me to be on the panel because Dr. Pemberton gave him my name as a potential panelist,” McGhee said.

When looking at potential panelist participants, faculty tend to really focus on all aspects of the student and not just academics.

After graduation, Harris plans to work in a hospital as a nursing assistant or patient care technician and then will apply for entry to physician assistant school next fall.

“This program allowed me to further define what field of medicine I want to go into because I got to shadow in so many different clinics. It also allowed me to gain insight into professions such as nursing, pharmacy, clinical psychology, speech therapy, dietetics & nutrition, and other areas of the medical field that I would not have otherwise experienced,” Harris said.

McGehee on the other hand hopes to get plugged into the ministry field and attend seminary after he graduates.

“The colloquium was beneficial because it gave me experience in succinctly discussing my research in a presentation format, which will become increasingly common as I progress in my academic career,” McGehee said.

By: Emma Seay

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