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Welcome to the 2024 Celebration of Scholarship & Creative Activity!

The thirty-first staging of this annual event in Reeve Union is designed to showcase and celebrate the excellent work Titans are doing in research, scholarship, and creative activity.

In preparation for the main events on April 24 and April 25, we encourage you to download the programs for COSCA 2024 Day 1—featuring graduate students in the College of Nursing—and COSCA 2024 Day 2 and then perusing the presentation abstracts of both days’ participants below. All of this will help whet your appetite for enjoying the great work on display during both days of COSCA 2024.



Dr. Stephen Kercher & the Office of Student Research and Creative Activity

In preparation for the main events, we encourage you to take your time browsing the COSCA programs.

Explore Student Research & Creativity

StudentCategoryPresentation Abstract
Meaghan Baker, DNP GradNursingCrisis Management Boot Camp: Enhancing Self-Efficacy Among Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists Through Anesthesia Emergency Preparedness: Perioperative emergencies are infrequent situations that can lead to catastrophic patient outcomes unless acted upon quickly and efficiently. Despite the introduction to a variety of emergency situations throughout didactic education, anesthesia providers are unlikely to experience the majority of these situations. The purpose of the project was to provide the student registered nurse anesthetists with a simulation-based boot camp experience to increase knowledge and skills related to four predetermined anesthesia-related intraoperative emergencies – anaphylaxis under general anesthesia, amniotic fluid embolism, local anesthetic systemic toxicity, and peripheral nerve block complications. A thorough review of the literature supports the use of simulation-based learning, boot camp workshop experiences, and the implementation of cognitive aids in teaching healthcare professionals. The project data was obtained from pre- and post-intervention surveys, which were then compared using an independent t-test to determine statistical significance. The results and conclusions of the project serve as an additional information source on the topic, and can be used for further investigation and improvement in the anesthesia education field.
Michelle Baker, Graduate Student – Masters in Clinical Nurse LeaderNursingImplementing a Debriefing Process for Hospice Memory Care Staff: Implementing a Debriefing Process for Hospice Memory Care Staff Abstract

Hospice Memory Care Suites (HMCS) is a secure 12-bed Inpatient Unit in Madison, WI, offering private pay and Medicare-funded hospice care. These patients are diagnosed with terminal illnesses and receive hospice care services. At HMCS, the absence of a standardized process for monitoring patient behavior and inadequate staff debriefings contribute to elevated stress and a feeling of unsupportiveness among staff. Nursing staff who care for aggressive dementia patients face increased levels of anxiety [2]. A Quality Improvement team was formed to decrease staff stress levels, increase workplace aggression reporting by 15%, and improve communication efficiency by 15%.

Planned actions include educating staff via diverse methods, conducting regular CNA observation flowsheet audits for aggression, tracking clinical management instances, and instituting a 48-hour post-incident debriefing protocol.

Key objectives included training 75% of staff on the new tracking process and support sessions. The aim was to increase Quality Zone submissions by 25%, but only 17% were achieved. The objective of including 25% of behavior incidents in nursing notes reached 53%, but smart phrase use was 19%. The goal was to ensure 48-hour debriefing 25% of the time; this was exceeded with 60% follow-ups.

Stress remains a significant hazard for nursing staff, impacting care quality [5]. These efforts highlight the challenges and successes in implementing standardized processes to manage and document aggressive patient behaviors, aiming to improve staff support and communication.

1. Evans, T. R., Burns, C., Essex, R., Finnerty, G., Hatton, E., Clements, A. J., Breau, G., Quinn, F., Elliott, H., Smith, L. D., Matthews, B., Jennings, K., Crossman, J., Williams, G., Miller, D., Harold, B., Gurnett, P., Jagodzinski, L., Smith, J., Milligan, W., … Weldon, S. (2023). A systematic scoping review on the evidence behind debriefing practices for healthcare workers' wellbeing/emotional outcomes. Frontiers in psychiatry, 14, 1078797.
2. Kang, Y., & Hur, Y. (2021). Nurses' Experience of Nursing Workload-Related Issues during Caring Patients with Dementia: A Qualitative Meta-Synthesis. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(19), 10448.
3. Pavek, K. U., Steege, L. M., & Kwekkeboom, K. (2022). Testing content validity of nursing stress scales: Do they reflect current practice? SAGE Open, 12(3), 215824402211235.
4. Sansó, N., Vidal-Blanco, G., & Galiana, L. (2021). Development and validation of the brief nursing stress scale (BNSS) in a sample of end-of-life care nurses. Nursing Reports, 11(2), 311–319.
5. Scott, Z., O'Curry, S., & Mastroyannopoulou, K. (2022). The impact and experience of debriefing for clinical staff following traumatic events in clinical settings: A systematic review. Journal of traumatic stress, 35(1), 278–287.
6. Arnetz, J. E. (2022). The Joint Commission’s new and revised Workplace violence prevention standards for hospitals: A major step forward toward improved quality and safety. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 48(4), 241–245.
Leidy Bauer, Junior – NursingNursingType 2 diabetes program within the underserved populations of N.E.W. Community Clinic: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is a public concern in the United States and the world. This condition is a cause of death for many but especially for the African American and Hispanic or Latino populations. These underserved populations have ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic status as contributing factors. The frequency of prevalence is double within this population compared to non-Hispanic whites and Asian groups. This standardized diabetes education program provided the participants with the tools to take ownership of their diagnosis and treatment options. This program helped raise awareness regarding type 2 diabetes complication prevention and maintenance through pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions that include lifestyle changes. This project proved that using a standardized diabetes program within the underserved and vulnerable populations seen at the N.E.W Community Clinic Green Bay improved the participants’ management of diabetes as well as decreasing Hemoglobin A1C scores.

A paired t-test was used to analyze data. A pre and post-test was given to the participants and the answers helped assess a comparison of knowledge, before and after program implementation, and the provision of educational materials, such as diet and exercise options. Best evidence-based practice was utilized as resources for the creation of educational material to effectively improve the management of type 2 diabetes with an emphasis on African American and Hispanic populations.
Cara Baumberger, DNP GradNursingImplementation of a Standardized Early Mobility Protocol in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: PICOT Question and Background Information
Current evidence strongly supports the safety and feasibility of early mobility protocols in the acute care setting for use in the adult and pediatric populations. Early mobility protocols are becoming more common in pediatric intensive care settings across the United States, although the implementation of such protocols is less well-explored. More evidence is needed to support the successful implementation of early mobility protocols in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) setting. The PICOT question for this project is as follows: for eligible patients in the pediatric intensive care unit, does implementation of a standardized early mobility protocol decrease the average time from initiation of respiratory therapy to first documented mobilization?
Design Description
Implementation was a two-step process including: 1) education in the form of Powerpoint and presentation at a unit staff meeting 2) launching the protocol on the unit. Outcomes assessed included average time from initiation of respiratory support to the first documented mobilization activity and overall attitudes surrounding early mobility in the PICU.
Patient population included non-cardiac patients ages 0-18 years initiated on mechanical respiratory support that fit inclusion and exclusion criteria. Appropriateness for mobility was addressed in daily interdisciplinary rounds. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy and nursing then coordinated planned mobility sessions for selected patients. Data was collected via the electronic health record.

Data Analysis and Results
Data was analyzed using SPSS. An independent t-test (CI 95%) was performed for comparing average number of days from initiation of therapy to first mobilization. This yielded a statistically significant result with a p value of 0.041. A Pearson Chi Square test (CI 95%) was performed to analyze number of patients that were mobilized while on therapy pre- and post-implementation, but this did not yield a significant result with a p value of 0.098.
While there were not resounding statistically significant results, this project did have some successes. This project laid a sustainable foundation for further development of mobility practices in this PICU. With further development of the project, the practice will continue to integrate into the unit.
Josiah Benjamin, Senior – Human Service Leadership NursingExploring the Nexus: Economic Disparities, Institutional Void, and Socio-Economic Equality in Black America: The present investigation explores the complex relationship between wealth inequality and how Black communities are treated in America. It focuses on the lack of key institutions that are essential for holistic development, such as community banks, grocery stores, schools, and hospitals. This presentation discusses the widespread economic difficulties that Black communities encounter and highlights the crucial role that money plays in determining the socioeconomic environment. By investigating the structural obstacles that prevent these vital organizations from being established, we expose the significant influence on the general welfare of the community. Our results highlight the critical need for focused approaches and laws to close these gaps and promote social justice and economic development among African Americans. Come along with us as we explore the relationship between institutional presence, wealth, and the quest for a more equitable world.
Peter Berry, Senior – Physics, mechanical engineering technologySciencesRocket Launch: Design, Applications, and Lessons Learned:

The project I am working on is to build and launch a high-powered rocket. Although I am starting with a kit, there are several parts that need to be purchased and others that need to be engineered to make the flight a success. The research question I am studying is how to properly model and analyze the flight path of the rocket, comparing the model to the actual results.

The first part of the project is the construction. The flight analysis cannot be done until the rocket is fully built. Although I am starting with a kit, additional parts need to be created, which will help develop my engineering skills. I have already begun some of this by 3D printing parts such as the sled which holds the electronic controls.

The second part of the project will happen after the rocket is built. At that point I can use the rocket to estimate the forces acting on it to determine the flight path. These calculations can be very complicated since it depends on things like the body shape, fin shape, and how the mass distribution within the rocket.

In the spring, I will launch the rocket. The electronics within it will record the flight data. I will analyze that data and compare it to our flight estimates. The key research question here is testing how well our estimates compare to actual data. I will also investigate if there are ways to improve the estimates pending any notable differences.
Haley Bird, Master's Student – Nursing Education NursingThe Importance of Debriefing in Nursing Practice: Debriefing in healthcare is a semi-structured meeting where team members can discuss, interpret findings, and receive support after a significant event such as a rapid response, behavioral emergency, or medical emergency. Debriefing originated in the military and is still used today in the military, aviation, education, and other fields to learn from the event and receive support (Rivera-Chiauzzi et al., 2016; Sugarman et al., 2018; Toews et al., 2021). Although significant literature supports the benefits of debriefing, there continues to be a lack of practice in healthcare today. Benefits of debriefing include emotional and psychological support, advancing practice, improved teamwork and outcomes, the opportunity to identify areas for process improvement, and a pathway to nursing leadership. This paper will evaluate current debriefing tools, review the numerous benefits of debriefing, and provide an implementation guide.
Emily Boettcher, DNP GradNursingStress Management, Mindfulness, and Reflective Practice to Increase Resiliency of Critical Care Nurses: Quality improvement project that proposed the development of healthy coping mechanisms to increase resiliency in critical care nurses using a pre and post questionnaire design that was used to evaluate change after four monthly educational sessions on stress management, mindfulness, and reflective practice were given.
Cierria Bretzel, DNP-FNP GradNursingNative Nursing Student Recruitment: The nursing profession is focused on increasing diversity in the workforce, as research has shown diversity improves health outcomes. Enhancing workforce diversity begins with recruiting diverse students into nursing programs. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to obtain American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) students’ feedback and opinions about personal college readiness and explore beliefs related to the nursing profession to improve AI/AN student recruitment into the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s College of Nursing. Descriptive methods were used to analyze Likert-scale type survey responses from fifty-nine high school students located in a rural town near an American Indian reservation in central Wisconsin. The analysis revealed AI/AN students agreed they would go to college, they felt less academically ready to go to college than their Caucasian counterparts, and they needed additional academic preparation before college. AI/AN students survey participants had an overall positive and correct outlook on nurses and the nursing profession. A University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Nursing student recruitment flyer tailored to the responses of AI/AN students was created and distributed to the high school. The data gathered could impact the strategies and methods of recruitment for AI/AN students at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in the future.
Keywords: Native American students, Native nursing recruitment, nursing education diversity
Rebecca Briesemeister, Senior – Music Education and Violin Performance Arts, HumanitiesCreating and Teaching Bowings for String Instruments : Through research and gained experience during this project, I have become well-acquainted with creating thoughtfully crafted bowings for orchestral pieces tailored to various skill levels. In professional orchestras, the concertmaster assumes the responsibility of guiding the ensemble, ensuring string players employ bowings that harmonize with the piece's essence, the conductor's expectations, and the group's proficiency. These standards are conveyed through a series of markings that indicate bow direction, technique, placement on the bow; bowings are adapted to the orchestra's skill level.
This skill of creating bowings is typically taught as something players just happen to learn through experience and does not have one common method. This research has afforded me a profound understanding of bowing techniques through comprehensive analyses of renowned chamber and orchestral compositions. Through completing this research, I have been able to speak with other string instrumentalists on how they create bowings while reflecting on how I create them. By completing this research, I have been able to prepare for a career path encompassing leadership roles as a concertmaster, section member, and music educator by learning to create bowings appropriate for different skill levels and types of music.
Kim Brundidge, Graduate Student – Family Nurse PractitionerNursingCreating a Revised and Improved Professional Format for DNP Project Dissemination: An important component of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program is the DNP project which promotes the understanding and engagement of scholarship. This is a required component set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). A review of literature was completed to determine there is a gap in literature related to the best way to promote engagement and understanding of scholarship for students. This project specifically focused on the understanding and engagement of scholarship of students within the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Nursing at the doctoral level by comparing formal vs informal scholarly events to promote the understanding and engagement of scholarship. Eta Pi Scholarship Day is a professional nursing conference for approved students to present their projects at as compared to a classroom setting. Through a retrospective analysis this project looked at the College of Nursing (CON) program objective data and Eta Pi Scholarship Day post attendance survey data from Fall 2019-Fall 2020. This project aimed to determine how nursing programs can best engage their students in scholarship. Eta Pi Scholarship Day was restructured to be a formal conference, including peer reviewed poster and podium presentations, a break for lunch and contact hours. The conference evaluation results were positive. Students expressed that they learned information presented on by other projects, they liked the format of the breakout sessions with lunch and the day went quickly. Students were observed being engaged at the conference.

Keywords: DNP dissemination, DNP Project, DNP Scholarly Project, dissemination, and scholarship dissemination
Mackenzie Charles, Junior – BiologySciencesGermination requirements of Wisconsin prairie plants and how they relate to production of seed mucilage. : Seed mucilage may create a beneficial and habitable environment for seeds, which may increase their germination. Seed mucilage could also act as a barrier or protective layer that provides nutrients and retains water for seeds. The exact benefits of seed mucilage are unknown, and it is also unknown exactly how many species make mucilage. We are investigating over 200 species of native plants to test if they create seed mucilage and why some species create more seed mucilage than others. Specifically, we are submerging seeds in water and adding a dye that stains for pectin, a main component of seed mucilage, to test if species make seed mucilage or not. Within our investigation we also cross analyzed germination requirements with the production of seed mucilage. Based on a smaller past survey, we predict that about two thirds of the species will create seed mucilage. We also predict that seed mucilage will relate to specific germination and habitat requirements of the species. Investigating the benefits and reasons behind seed mucilage allows us to find ways in which we can help increase restoration success of Wisconsin native prairie plants.
Eric Christiansen, DNP GradNursingUltrasound Guided Peripheral Intravenous Catheter Cannulation Workshop : Background information:
Peripheral intravenous access (PIV) is a crucial component of the care of many patients. The placement of a PIV allows for patients to receive a variety of therapies from a providers’ pharmacopeia. Traditionally, PIV access is obtained through a combination of visual and tactile technique in order to locate and puncture superficial venous structures. Unfortunately, a number of patient specific conditions may make PIV placement with these methods difficult or even impossible. One solution to overcome this challenge is to utilize ultrasound (US). US allows the user to directly visualize the lumen of venous structures while also noting their course and depth.
Educational strategy for process improvement.

A three-step educational program consisting of didactic learning, simulated practice, and supervised application was provided to the nursing staff of three rural hospitals whom volunteered to participate. Their training and behaviors were guided by Erikson’s EXPERT model for skill acquisition. With the goal to prepare nursing staff for the use and understanding of applied ultrasound technology to facilitate intravenous cannulation.
Setting: Clinical setting within three rural hospitals within the State of Wisconsin
The training program involves a three-step process of knowledge-based lecture, psychomotor practice, and live practice. The project design is based on designs found in the literature, which demonstrate the efficacy of this technique. Upon completion of the program the confidence of RNs with the use and understanding of ultrasound guided technique is assessed using via a pre and post intervention assessment.
Discussion/Recommendations: As this project reaches completion; questions concerning the ideal number of staff to train in this setting remains unclear and would benefit from further investigation. I recommend reaching out to nursing leadership to assess buy-in with repeat to
process change. Early exposure to ultrasound application at the associate and bachelor levels could be explored to prepare future nurses for implementation of this technique.

Keywords: Ultrasound, peripheral access, training
Jenna Clark, Master's Student – Nurse EducatorNursingAn In-Depth Analysis of the Design and Implementation of a Medical Terminology Educational Program for Undergraduate Nursing Students: Effective communication and understanding of medical terminology are crucial for patient safety and interdisciplinary collaboration in healthcare. This analysis examines knowledge gaps in both medical terminology and communication. A literature review was conducted and highlights a scarcity of research focused on medical terminology in nursing education, however, existing studies underscore the significance of effective communication and active learning methods in improving students' understanding. Furthermore, research emphasizes the importance of patient-centered communication for nursing students and the integration of patient safety education into curricula to enhance care quality and reduce medical errors. To tackle the identified knowledge gap, this analysis proposes the development of a structured medical terminology educational program for undergraduate nursing students. The analysis addressed the following using a PICO(T) framework: In undergraduate nursing education (P), how does the implementation of a structured medical terminology educational program (I) compared to current curriculum requirements (C) impact nursing students' proficiency in understanding and utilizing medical terminology (O)?
Sarah Classen, MS Nursing – Nurse EducatorNursingComfort Holds: A Strategy to Ease Childhood Immunization Pain and Distress: Pain during immunizations is a common childhood experience that can cause distress for the child, their caregivers, and healthcare workers. Comfort holds involve gentle restraint during injections and have been shown to effectively reduce pain in newborns and infants undergoing minor procedures. This review evaluates the effectiveness of comfort holds in alleviating pain, distress, and anxiety in children aged twelve and under during routine immunizations. Ten relevant articles were identified, showing that comfort holds can significantly reduce acute pain responses, although the effectiveness of these interventions may vary based on factors such as age and vaccine type. While some studies showed moderate to high-quality evidence supporting the efficacy of comfort holds, further research is needed to explore their optimal implementation and long-term effects on vaccination compliance and healthcare outcomes. Nurses and healthcare providers can easily integrate these non-pharmacological interventions into clinical practice to enhance patient comfort and potentially increase vaccination rates without additional time or expense.
Dominik Dempsey, Freshman – Biomedical sciencesSciencesDesign of Heptadentate Ligands for Selective Coordination of Mn(II): The manganese(II) ion plays an important role in many biological processes, but selective detection of manganese(II) in biological systems is challenging. Sensors containing ligands can be designed so that they fluoresce when bound to a metal. However, several other types of metal ions are present in biological systems in greater abundance, and consequently may outcompete manganese(II) in binding to the ligand, making selective detection of manganese(II) difficult. Heptadentate ligands, which bind to metal ions using seven different atoms, have been found to have exceptionally strong selectivity for manganese(II). In this project, we are investigating how the composition of a heptadentate ligand can be synthesized and optimized for the selective binding of manganese(II).
Erin Deppe, DNP GradNursingProtocol Implementation for a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program to Improve Patient Follow-up: A Quality Improvement Project: Current literature identifies the problem of consistently low follow-up rates for sexual assault patients after seeking hospital care. A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program for a large hospital system in Wisconsin identified the lack of a standardized follow-up procedure and poor patient follow-up rates as key areas in need of improvement. This quality improvement project addressed this need by implementing a standardized follow-up protocol to improve the patient follow-up process. The project design followed the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle and included a one-month pre-intervention baseline sample and two months of protocol implementation to assess project outcomes. Data collection occurred via protocol guide sheets used with each patient visit and a retrospective chart review by program leadership. Data analysis included descriptive statistical analyses of the pre-intervention and post-intervention samples and systematic analysis of the implementation process using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) constructs. Post-intervention patient follow-up rates increased to 50% from a baseline pre-intervention rate of 30%. The CFIR analysis identified project strengths, including strong organizational buy-in, adaptability and trialability of the intervention, and minimal resource and cost requirements. Project weaknesses included system and unit-level barriers to implementation and a lack of patient engagement in the implementation process. This quality improvement project successfully standardized the patient follow-up process for this SANE program and integrated an electronic method of follow-up. The long-term success and sustainability of this project will require implementation on a larger scale and a focus on addressing the implementation barriers identified during this project.
Melissa Doersch, Senior – Rehabilitation ScienceSciencesBalance and Postural Control of Hearing Impaired vs Non-Hearing Impaired Pre-Pubescent Children: This study will investigate balance and postural control in children with sensorineural hearing loss versus non-hearing-
impaired children. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear becomes damaged. Vestibular dysfunction has been associated with reduced balance and postural control performance. No prior studies have investigated balance and postural control performance in elementary school aged pre-pubescent children without hearing loss versus those who have sensorineural hearing loss. We will recruit approximately 20-40 prepubescent children, divided evenly into non-hearing impaired and those that have sensorineural hearing loss. Each will be assessed for dynamic balance with the Y-balance test. Static balance performance will be assessed with the Modified Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction in Balance (MCTSIB), which consists of four tests with eyes open and closed on firm and unstable surfaces. A portable force plate recording vertical ground reaction force variability while standing on one foot on a firm and unstable surface will be used to assess postural control. The standard deviation of these forces will be normalized to body mass for analysis. A multivariate analysis of variance will be utilized to determine differences between groups for the dependent variables. The level of significance will be set at p<0.05. We hypothesize that pre-pubescent children with sensorineural hearing loss will have reduced balance and postural control versus non-hearing-impaired children.
Gloria Eddy, Senior – AnthropologySciencesWisconsin Forensic Anthropological Cold Case Investigation: Recently, a collection of several dozen human skeletal remains that are part of existing cold cases were transferred from UW-Madison and the Wisconsin State Crime Lab to UW-Oshkosh for analysis. Standard forensic anthropological analysis was conducted on five of these cases under the supervision of Dr. Jordan Karsten. Each case began by determining that the bones were contemporary human bone, and not archaeological. Next, work was done to determine the demographic characteristics, gather information on the cause of death, and determine the post-mortem interval, if possible. Using methods deemed acceptable by the Daubert Supreme Court standard, the individuals' sex, ancestry, stature, and age at death were estimated. Additionally, any unique features such as dental work, alterations to the bone, or signs of disease were noted as these would help to make a positive identification. Photographs and radiographs were taken to document these findings. The condition of the remains was then evaluated to see if there was any damage to the bone that could indicate the cause of death or any evidence that would help inform the post-mortem interval. The end product of each analysis was an official report submitted to law enforcement and the state Department of Justice.
Taylor Fenske, DNP GradNursingUsing Simulation to Enhance Emergency Department Competency in Cardiac Care: BACKGROUND: Simulation is proven to be an effective, cost-efficient method in enhancing nursing skills and critical thinking. In a large midwestern academic healthcare institution, leadership identified a need for education of cardiac resuscitation for ED nurses.
AIM: The aim of this project is to design and implement an Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) based high-fidelity simulation to enhance confidence and competence of ED nurses in cardiac scenarios.
METHODS: Three new cardiac simulation were created with the simulation center followed by 30-minute debriefing sessions. A pre/post simulation survey and satisfaction survey were completed. An intra simulation checklist was utilized to assess nurse knowledge.
RESULTS: 15 participants most with an age range of 25 to 34 and female (60%) and a range of 3-10 years of RN experience showed that significant changes (p <0.05) of confidence and competence in areas technical skills, rhythm interpretation, and cultural cardiac care awareness. The debriefing sessions were congruent with the survey and revealed nurses felt communication, leadership roles and simulation helped reduce fear and improve confidence in cardiac scenarios. All nurses were satisfied with the training.
IMPLICATIONS: Cardiac simulation is effective in enhancing confidence and competence in ED nurses. Simulation enhances nurses’ ability to be in leadership roles and effectively using equipment in ACLS scenarios.
CONCLUSION: ED nurses demonstrated increased confidence and competence after participating in a high-fidelity simulation and debriefing. Simulation is an effective way to identify and improve confidence and competency in cardiac care for ED nurses.
Willem Flaugher, Senior – Instrumental/General Music EducationArts, HumanitiesThe Places In Between: Photographing Gentrification and Segregation in Milwaukee's Harambee and Riverwest Neighborhoods - According to the 2020 Census, Milwaukee is the second most black-white segregated area in the United States. It’s been this way for the last 10 years. In Milwaukee, there are 191 neighborhoods. There are six neighborhoods where 9 of 10 residents are black. In contrast, there are five neighborhoods where 8 of 10 residents are non-Hispanic white. In between these eleven neighborhoods are the neighborhoods of Harambee and Riverwest. Both neighborhoods tell the same story about fighting off gentrification, but on two different sides of the coin. One neighborhood, Harambee, has been a cultural hub for people of color for almost 100 years, and is slowly beginning gentrification. The other, Riverwest, has lost its cultural significance as the shadow of gentrification casts over. The goal of this project is to travel to these neighborhoods and document the real life stories of people who have spent their lives in the places in between gentrification and segregation.
Willem Flaugher, Senior – Instrumental/General Music EducationArts, HumanitiesAnimal Abstracts: According to the World Wildlife Fund, Natural History Museum, United Nations Environment Programme, and thousands more, our planet is facing a 6th mass extinction. Mass extinctions occur as a result of fast and catastrophic changes to an environment, like an asteroid collision, that doesn’t allow most species enough time to adapt, causing at times more than 95% of species to become extinct. Today, our climate is changing at a rate never heard of. We’re destroying more than 70-75% of the world’s available land and freshwater. Animals are being driven out of their native habitats and into conflict with people in residential areas, resulting in the mass killings of entire species. According to the Smithsonian, today’s extinction rate is hundreds to thousands of times higher than the natural rate. However, there’s still hope. Many wildlife conservationists have taken a different approach to conservation that is less animal-centric and is more human-centric, called Conservation Education. In educating others about wildlife conservation and how to build empathy with wildlife, there is hope that one day all humans will stand up for and protect all wildlife. This project serves as an educational tool that sheds new light on wildlife in a way never done before. By slowing down the shutter speed of photographs, the animal is no longer frozen in time and is instead shown as a moving, breathing animal. Viewers see new sides and behaviors of animals that make us realize that we aren’t as disconnected from the animal kingdom as we believe. By zooming into the animal and featuring the complex textures, viewers can build empathy with the animals, and feel as if the could reach out and touch the animals that we feel so distant from.
Jayden Flowers, Senior – Psychology Arts, HumanitiesA Look Back to Look Forward: The Musical Genius of Black Composers: As a saxophonist, I often think about my classical training and the origin of my studies. I have been playing the saxophone all throughout my primary and secondary schooling, as well as taking it to the collegiate level. Music is an important factor in the African American community and we use it to express every feeling. When playing in a jazz band, I think about all the Black musicians just as Count Basie, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie just to name a few and their influence they have in jazz and other musics across the globe. I have been playing pieces by mostly white composers when it comes to classical music and Black composers when it comes to jazz. As I have grown to learn more of my African American history and develop as a young Black woman, I have decided to further my education with Black composers and dip my saxophone studies into chocolate.

This presentation will discuss some of the important and overlooked Black composers who have had great impacts on the music that we have heard in the past and influences the music we hear now. I plan to research and present 4-5 different Black composers including Scott Joplin, ‘The King of Ragtime’, William Grant Still, Florence Price and their impact on American music and their influences on history. The presentation will include some of the more well known Black intellectuals such as Langston Hughes and his work with Margaret Bonds. I will also be performing an excerpt from the piece John Rosamond’s Lift Every Voice and Sing on alto saxophone to further demonstrate the musical genius of our people.
Heather Foster, DNP GradNursingAromatherapy to Prevent Post Operative Nausea and Vomiting in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit: Background: Post operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) affects about 30% of patients undergoing outpatient surgery and causes patient dissatisfaction and risk of complications. Aromatherapy is a nonpharmacological method for preventing PONV and increases overall satisfaction and quality of care. This project implemented aromatherapy in the post anesthesia care unit for patients at increased risk of developing PONV and evaluated outcomes to determine the potential of implementing this intervention system wide. Method: The project took place over the course of several months beginning in September 2023. The project plan included education for the nurses, implementation, and then evaluation of effectiveness of the intervention. Results: All nurses in the post anesthesia care unit in both the Appleton and Neenah locations were educated on the use of aromatherapy to treat postoperative nausea and vomiting. The nurses documented the use of aromatherapy on patients at increased risk of developing PONV after surgery. The nurses then documented the patient’s level of nausea post intervention. Conclusion: The results of this project indicated aromatherapy is an effective treatment for PONV and will increase patient satisfaction with care, improve outcomes, and reduce overall cost in the unit. Consideration of project replication and expansion within other hospital departments is recommended.

Keywords: Aromatherapy, Postoperative nausea and vomiting, patient satisfaction

Kailey Freund, Senior – BiologySciencesGeographic Variation in Parasite Communities of Wisconsin Amphibians:
Frogs, toads, and salamanders are animals that are classified as amphibians. While they are abundant in nature, their numbers are threatened due to global warming and pollution. One way that we can measure the health of amphibian populations is to determine their parasite loads. Our research investigates the question: Does geographical location correlate with variations in amphibian-parasite relationships? Surveys have historically been performed on amphibians to create essentially a catalog of parasite communities from different geographical locations in Southern Wisconsin, but not Northern and Central Wisconsin. Our research aims to collect specimens from these areas and catalog their parasite communities. We perform parasite collections by collecting native amphibians, humanely euthanizing them, then performing external and internal examinations that include tissue and blood collection as well as fecal analysis. Collection and surveys have been performed on American toads (Bufo americanus) and green frogs (Lithobates clamitans). Toads live in drier habitats than frogs, and we have found that they are colonized by parasitic nematodes (lungs and intestine) and Opalina spp, protozoans (intestine). We have found that frogs also harbor nematodes, as well as cestodes and trematodes. This indicates that a frogs aquatic lifestyle influences its parasite loads, as trematodes and cestodes often have complex multi-host lifecycles. This research contributes to the advancement of knowledge in the realm of parasitology, which can then be used for further ecological and biological studies.
Gregory Geurts, DNP GradNursingHigh Stakes Simulation Assessment Rubric for the Nurse Anesthesiology Resident : Abstract
High-fidelity simulation is a quintessential component to the nurse anesthesia curriculum as it promotes safety and decreases errors. This quality improvement project aims to develop a high stakes simulation assessment rubric for nurse anesthesia residents (NARs) at the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. A review of literature for this project was completed examining and including material pertaining to the assessment of technical and nontechnical skills in the NAR during high fidelity simulation scenarios. Research has demonstrated that assessment and utilization of high-fidelity simulation can build upon the foundational knowledge of the NAR and contribute to safer practices. Reiteration of key skills and assessing them in a simulation laboratory allows faculty to compare multiple components of NARs’ knowledge and performance to predetermined clinical and educational steppingstones. Implementing this assessment would establish a standardization for assessing both technical and nontechnical skills. Many other professional industries use simulation assessments to evaluate the skills and situational awareness of their personnel, and the university has a unique opportunity to implement such assessments. With continued effort, it is believed that the standardization of high-fidelity simulation assessment within the laboratory can greatly contribute to teaching and student assessment and remediation in nurse anesthesia educational programs.
Keywords: high stakes, assessment, high-fidelity, technical, nontechnical, simulation, situational awareness
Megan Grimm, DNP GradNursingDifficult Conversations in HealthCare: Background: Strong communication skills in nursing, especially oncology, can play a pivotal role in influencing patient satisfaction, adherence to plan of care, and patient outcomes. Conversations that are difficult in health care are complex and anxiety-provoking for nurses and medical staff. Nurses’ knowledge of communication skills, confidence, and attitude affect the outcome for the patient. Communication skills training with simulation can provide knowledge, reduce barriers, and create an environment that is conducive to patient autonomy and shared decision making even during difficult periods of time.
Aim: Difficult conversations with patients and nurses didactic and simulation was implemented and evaluated to nurses at Midwest outpatient oncology clinic. The goal was to enhance knowledge and confidence in having difficult conversations.
Results: Pre- and post-survey were distributed to the nursing staff to evaluate personal confidence, knowledge, and overall satisfaction when performing difficult conversations during simulation using the Likert scale. To analyze the effectiveness of the training and confidence of the nurse pre- and post-training, descriptive statistics and repeated measures ANOVA were performed. While the descriptive statistics show an increase in confidence and knowledge from 3.86 to 4.05 and finally 4.10; the overall difference was not statistically significant when analyzing the repeated measures ANOVA (F (2, 22) =1.287, p=.296).
Discussion: The use of simulation to improve confidence and knowledge for oncology nurses during difficult conversations is mildly effective, however, a larger sample size could address whether or not the effectiveness is statistically significant.
Keywords: difficult conversations, training, SPIKES, registered nurses
Sophie Hagey, Junior – PsychologySocial Science, Business, EducationInequality’s Impact: Exploring Socioeconomic Influences on Mental Health in the Upper Midwest : Good mental health is crucial to overall health and well-being (NIMH, 2024). Social factors can influence mental health and can include the ability to manage daily stress. Individuals of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to experience more stressful life events and stress responses (Reiss et al., 2019). In the United States, economic inequality continues to rise (Horowitz et el., 2020). This study examines the relationship between mental health and multiple socioeconomic variables in the Upper Midwest. Using 2021 data from the CDC, we examined a logistic regression comparing frequency of poor mental health days to income and healthcare access. The overall model was significant (𝑋^2(8, N = 32,929) = 4,759.93, p < 0.0001). When compared to individuals with incomes between $50,000 and $100,000 annually, those with incomes less than $15,000 are 3.23 times as likely to report frequent poor mental health; incomes between $15,000 and $25,000 are 1.88 times as likely; incomes between $25,000 and $35,000 are 1.65 times as likely; incomes between $35,000 and $50,000 are 1.25 times as likely; incomes between $100,000 and $200,000 are 83% as likely; and incomes over $200,000 are 48% as likely. Additionally, when examining individuals who needed to see a doctor, those who couldn’t afford a doctor were 3.51 times more likely to report frequent poor mental health compared to those who could afford to. Implications of these results will be discussed further but include examining the income cut-off for Medicaid, insurance coverage, and general access to treatment.
Dylan Hamilton, DNP GradNursingDevelopment of a Formal Remediation Program Using Simulation and Cognitive Tools to Achieve Clinical Competencies in Nurse Anesthesiology Residents: Development of competency in resident registered nurse anesthesiologists (RRNAs) during clinical education is imperative to providing safe patient care. Anesthesiology is a challenging field that requires extensive training and dedication. Due to the rigor of this field, students at some point in their training, experience academic and clinical challenges that require remediation. Upon completion of database searches, it was noted that many of the articles concerning remediation were related to undergraduate nursing programs. A literature review disclosed that the use of simulation for remediation was relevant with special deliberation to those highlighting the field of nurse anesthesia, education of healthcare professionals through simulation, and the use of remediation following high-stakes simulation. The simulation assessment uncovers deficits where the resident can improve or further enhance their technical and nontechnical skills, but taking the time to debrief offers direction for the student to focus their efforts. Throughout this process, the student evaluates oneself in detail, deliberates the information, and organizes it in a way that makes sense to them. This individualizes the learning process and provides a greater introspective awareness of one’s weaknesses. Not only does remediation provide boundless progress in boosting confidence upon meeting similar situations, but more importantly, it provides solidification of long-term memory by analyzing ways for prevention and improvement. It is critical in these situations for the student to analyze, discern, and critique current areas that require improvement. In doing so, clinical practicum outcomes are met, the resident progresses in their training, and most importantly anesthetic care is delivered safely.

Keywords: remediation, nurse anesthesia, simulation, medical education, aviation
Lauren Jankowiak, DNP GradNursingImproving Sepsis Best Practice Advisory Knowledge and Competency Among Medical-Surgical Nurses: Patients diagnosed with sepsis within an inpatient setting are at high risk for mortality and end-organ dysfunction. The ability of healthcare staff to identify patients that qualify for sepsis criteria and patients that are at high risk for developing sepsis is important to improve patient outcomes. It was identified that medical/surgical nurses often use the sepsis best practice advisory (BPA) tool within the EPIC electronic health system incorrectly. The aim of this project was to increase nursing staff’s adherence to using the sepsis BPA and to increase nurses’ confidence regarding sepsis identification and their individual use of the tool. This was accomplished by providing an electronic educational module to nurses within a single medical/surgical unit at Aurora Medical Center Oshkosh. Surveys were also provided before and after education to assess nursing staff's confidence and understanding of the BPA tool. De-identified EPIC reports were analyzed throughout the implementation period showing the trend of BPA use by nurses to assess for improvement. The Doctor of Nursing Practice student was able to disseminate findings to and discuss future implications with Advocate Aurora sepsis coordinators following completion of the project.
Keywords: sepsis, education, nurs/nurses/nursing, best practice advisory
Connor Jensen, Junior – ChemistrySciencesPhysical and structural properties of electrospun Zinc Oxide and Titania nanofibers : Electrospinning of sol-gel solutions containing polymers and metal precursors can be utilized to fabricate metal-oxide nanofibers whose properties depend on experimental conditions and chemical compositions. Composite metal-oxide nanofibers have properties that can be tailored by varying ratio of metal precursors or calcination temperature. The titania-based composite fibers are attractive candidates for numerous applications, from photocatalytic to medical. We present morphological investigation of titania-zinc oxide nanofibers calcined at different temperatures, using SEM and BET methods. Extensive studies of structural properties by XRD and Raman scattering measurements reveal the amorphous nature of as-spun fibers, whereas in calcined samples crystalline titania phases (anatase and rutile) emerge, with their ration dependent on the calcination temperature. The optical characteristics of nanofibers are examined using UV-visible spectroscopy, yielding consistent values for energy band gaps through the analysis of transmission and diffuse reflectance.
Mindy Joerndt, DNP GradNursingProposal for BSN to DNP-PMHNP Emphasis Program at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh: In the United States (and Wisconsin specifically) there is a significant shortage of mental health care providers with little likelihood of improvement. Wisconsin currently has six schools (all in southern Wisconsin) that offer a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) program but does not have any PMHNP programs in central or northern Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UWO) currently offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) emphasis. Because of the shortage of mental health practitioners, UWO is expanding the program to include the PMHNP emphasis. If the program can progress in the allotted timeframe, the university will be accepting students into the DNP-PMHNP program in the fall semester of 2023. There are multiple steps required to creating and implementing a new program within a university and this proposal reviews the steps to determine the feasibility of obtaining University approval of the proposed BSN to DNP-PMHNP emphasis by the end of 2022, marketing the program in spring 2023, and welcoming the first cohort in fall 2023.
Jim Karls, DNP GradNursingIce and Its Application in Orthopedics: Postoperative pain management at University of Wisconsin Hospital’s (UW Hospital) Post Anesthesia care unit for orthopedic patients relies heavily on narcotics. Ice is an inexpensive intervention that has great ability to provide a cost-effective pain management solution by capitalizing on its anti-inflammatory and pain modulating effects. This project aimed to standardize the practice of utilizing ice for patients’ pain early upon entering the Post Anesthesia Care Unit. The project then assessed the effectiveness of the standardization of early ice use through chart review and narcotic use reports. Data was analyzed with T tests and bar charts to understand the relationships with the goal that the standardization of ice use reduces pain and the need for narcotic use in the postoperative phase of care.

Keywords: Ice, Pain, Orthopedics, Nerve Conduction, Opioids, Opioid Epidemic

Temi Kayode-Ojo, Sophmore – Interactive Web ManagementArts, HumanitiesSilent Struggles: Understanding the Mental Health Consequences of Online Racism and Microaggressions in the Digital Age: In the enormous expanse of the digital age, where virtual encounters impact our daily lives, the psychological toll of online racism and microaggressions on Black people remains a silent struggle that deserves attention. This presentation, titled "Silent Struggles: Navigating the Mental Health Impact of Online Racism and Microaggressions in the Digital Age," seeks to unpack the complexities of this pervasive issue, shedding light on the often-overlooked mental health consequences faced by Black people in virtual spaces.
The discussion begins with a thorough examination of digital microaggressions, describing its different forms and emphasizing the significance of detecting these subtle yet significant acts in a digital setting. Building on this foundation, the lecture digs into the concept of online racial trauma, deconstructing the cumulative psychological impacts of exposure to racially insensitive information, discriminating language, and microaggressions.
A critical analysis of online hate speech and cyberbullying follows, highlighting the frequency of such behaviors and their contributions to increased stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues in the Black community. The story then shifts focus to the importance of digital safe spaces, where Black people can share their stories and get assistance, emphasizing coping methods and community-building initiatives as critical components of resilience.
Furthermore, the presentation investigates the possible influence of online racism on mental health inequalities in the Black community, emphasizing the necessity for specific mental health solutions that address the unique issues that digital experiences provide. The presentation seeks to contribute to the continuing conversation about establishing a more inclusive and mentally healthy digital environment for all individuals by raising awareness and understanding of these silent battles.
In the digital age, the silent hardships of Black people navigating online racism and microaggressions deserve our collective attention. Examining how these digital phenomena affect mental health highlights the critical need for knowledge, comprehension, and preventative actions.
It becomes evident that, while the virtual domain provides unparalleled opportunities for connection and expression, it also acts as a battleground for subtle forms of discrimination. Digital microaggressions, which are frequently subtle and covert, can compound into online racial trauma, leaving permanent impressions on the mental health of Black people. The increasing incidence of hate speech and cyberbullying worsens these issues, emphasizing the critical need for strong procedures to combat digital discrimination. Despite the difficulties, there is a ray of light in the form of digital safe spaces, coping techniques, and community-building activities. These pathways are not only a response to the silent struggles, but also a monument to the perseverance and strength of Black people in the face of adversity.
Moving forward, it is critical to continue raising awareness, pushing for digital inclusivity, and establishing focused mental health resources. Recognizing the special issues offered by online racism allows us to contribute to the construction of a digital environment that is not just free of discrimination but actively promotes mental well-being for people of all backgrounds.
Concisely, this investigation is a call to action — a call to turn the digital world into a place where every individual, regardless of race, can thrive without the burden of silent difficulties. We may hope to transform the digital age narrative via collective effort and a dedication to understanding, producing a more inclusive, empathic, and mentally healthy online world for all.
Frankie Kerkhof, Senior – Anthropology Social Science, Business, Education“You Know What I Am”: A Systematic Analysis of Gendered Ethnography in Higher Education : The connection between self-identification and the means of executing ethnographic research is a fascinating subject familiar to the field of ethnography. However, the unique perspective of student researchers brings a fresh and dynamic element to the future of ethnographic research. Through personal experiences as an undergraduate research student for a National Science Foundation-funded interdisciplinary research project and the Sense of Belonging and Inclusive Excellence research project at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the opportunity was presented to collect ethnographic data in multiple locations and methods with various student and faculty research teams, which created unique situations for student researchers. This paper will explore how gender identity and expression impact ethnographic fieldwork through student researchers’ experiences doing research at a higher education institution. The findings from this research will reflect any current biases, gaps in inclusivity, hierarchies, and power dynamics, specifically focusing on student researchers’ perspectives within a higher education institution in Wisconsin.
Cody Kessler, Senior – BiomedicalSciencesA first survey of the chemoreceptors in the longhorned beetles:

Insects are an important part of any ecosystem, but their feeding behavior can lead to destructive consequences. For example, many insect species are herbivores that consume trees, which can lead to the death of the trees or even increase the risk of wildfires. This problem is expected to grow as climate change allows insects to better survive the winter and colonize new habitats. Environmentally friendly methods of population control, such as trapping, will be necessary to manage the damage to the environment. We are studying chemoreceptors of insects to provide insights into how they perceive their environment and to design better lures and baits for traps. Insects have three families of chemoreceptors: odorant receptors, which are used for sensing smells; gustatory receptors, which are mostly involved in taste; and ionotropic receptors, which play roles in both taste, smell. We have studied these receptors in ten species of longhorned beetles, which are a diverse group of insects that primarily feed in the wood of trees, where they can cause significant environmental damage. Our research has revealed that longhorned beetles express a mean number of 64 ORs, 45 GRs, 29 IRs in their antennae, but with very different types of receptors expressed in each species. Our next step in research will investigate the function of these receptors to determine what compounds the longhorned beetles are sensing.
Olivia Klessig, Senior – Communication StudiesSocial Science, Business, EducationDoes This Count As Phubbing? The Role of Bias and Attributions on Perceptions of Phone Usage During Face-to-Face Conversations: Several studies have concluded that phubbing (described as phone “snubbing” when favoring a smartphone versus a companion) negatively influences communication. Using Attribution Theory as a framework, the present study explored the parameters of phubbing using a 4-condition experimental design. Findings demonstrated that individual biases and attribution errors influence perceptions of phone usage during face-to-face conversations.
Dennis Kochanik, Sophomore – NursingSciencesAddressing Knowledge Gaps and Reducing Barriers in Substance Abuse Treatment for APRNs in Wisconsin: Abstract

In Wisconsin, the prevalence of substance use disorder (SUD) stands at 9.1%, with overdose deaths escalating from 916 in 2019 to 1,775 in 2021. The State of Wisconsin has a 67% gap in the number of addiction providers needed to treat its residents. APRNs play a critical role in the assessment, support, and treatment of people struggling with addiction. There are approximately 7,800 practicing APRNs in the State of Wisconsin who can help close the number of addiction providers. A literature review identified two barriers that APRNs face when treating SUD: lack of knowledge and stigma. An accredited four-hour live learning event was constructed with expert speakers on the management of alcohol, cannabis, stimulant, and opioid use disorders. Comparative pre- and post-conference evaluations demonstrated marked improvements in augmenting knowledge and skills and increased willingness to engage in the treatment of SUD. The project's success signals a promising shift towards enhanced care provision by APRNs, potentially mitigating the impact of addiction on affected individuals and the wider community. The Medical College of Wisconsin's (MCW) Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment (AHWE) fund community-led learning event supported the learning event.

Keywords: nursing role, nursing care, nursing intervention, nursing treatment, addiction nursing, advanced practice nurses, APRN, nursing students, nurse practitioners, substance use disorder, substance abuse, addiction, education, training.
Cooper Krokstrom, Senior – Rehabilitation ScienceSciencesBalance Performance Under Single- and Dual-Task Conditions Using A Mobile Application: Introduction: A sports-related concussion can cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from physical to cognitive. One of the most common symptoms is balance impairment, which can make walking or performing daily activities difficult. A common way to assess one’s balance following a sports-related concussion is to perform a balanced assessment, in addition to a multitude of others to examine severity. One of the tests conducted is a dual-task gait assessment that evaluates these balance deficits, which has been shown to show balance issues greater than single-task assessments. However, it is still most common for clinicians to utilize static balance, single-task assessments over dual-task assessments. Research lacks a comparison between single-task and dual-task static balance assessments on balance performance. Therefore, this study aims to compare the performances of healthy college-age adults in static balance single-task and dual-task assessments.
Methods: A sample of 43 college-aged adults (60.5% female, age: 20.2±1.6yrs, 27.9% with concussion history) were randomly assigned to complete either a single-task or dual-task balance protocol, with the other condition occurring exactly one week later. The balance protocol consisted of five balance positions (double leg, single leg right, single leg left, tandem right, tandem left) each of which were completed three separate times. All trials were conducted with eyes closed and lasted approximately 10 seconds. The dual-task condition required participants to count backwards by sevens from a randomly assigned starting number between 100-150. The Sway Medical Application was utilized to analyze participant’s postural sway. Scores were calculated by taking the average of the three testing trials for each position, with a max score of 100. Separate dependent samples t-tests were used to compare balance performance for each testing position under single- and dual-task conditions. Alpha was set a priori to .05.
Results: Significant differences were found for all single- and dual-task balance comparisons, with dual-task conditions yielding worse performance. Single leg left (S-T: 82.1±15.3, D-T: 75.5±19.5, p= < .009), tandem stance right (S-T: 93.6±7.9, D-T: 87.0±11.6, p= < .001) and single leg right (S-T: 82.1±16.4, D-T: 75.7±18.8, p=.003) had the largest mean difference, while tandem stance left (S-T: 93.0±7.0, D-T: 89.2±8.4, p=.003) and double leg stance (S-T: 97.8±2.7, D-T: 94.6.0±5.0, p= < .001) had the lowest mean difference.
Conclusion: In summary, the study's results indicated that dual-task performances were significantly worse than single-task in all areas. These findings are imperative to clinicians’ current practice in concussion balance assessments, as dual-task assessments would more efficiently indicate balance deficits. Further research is required to pursue dual-task static balance assessments in sports-related concussion patients.
Travis Kurowski, Sophomore – PsychologySocial Science, Business, EducationCommuter Student Mobilities: Commuter students are often understood as "immobile" in contrast to their "mobile" peers who relocate for college.  This study adds complexity to this binary. Through an analysis of written surveys and daily routine maps from 11 participants and in-depth interviews with 5 others, this study reveals challenges and opportunities associated with decision-making processes and everyday experiences of commuter students.
Ryan Langer, DNP GradNursingImproving Nurse Practitioners Ability to Recognize and Manage Sepsis Patients : Sepsis is a serious health issue which increases the risk for morbidity and mortality, which is why the sepsis bundles were created. The sepsis bundles include one-, three-, and six-hour diagnostic and treatment recommendations that, through research, have been proven to improve a patient’s likelihood of surviving sepsis. This quality improvement project proved that we can increase a nurse practitioner students' ability to recognize and manage sepsis patients through a dedicated didactic education module on sepsis, sepsis recognition, and sepsis patient management. The project included an emphasis on ensuring the 3-hour sepsis bundle is met and was tested through a simulation patient encounter. Through a literature review, this quality improvement projects methods have demonstrated effectiveness and were initiated with no financial cost. Through targeted education and a simulation sepsis event, this quality improvement project demonstrated a simple way to promote improved health outcomes, decreased hospital length of stay, and overall increase nurse practitioner students' ability to care for sepsis patients.
Alicia Laycock, Junior – GeologySciencesAn idiopathic erosive lesion on the surangular of Allosaurus fragilis with comparisons to common tyrannosaurid pathologies: Pathologies and feeding traces have been thoroughly described in theropod dinosaurs. In tyrannosauridae, unusual pathologies in the form of circular, smooth-edged erosive lesions are commonly present on the surangular and posterior dentary. While these lesions are of indeterminate origin, they have not been observed or described in other theropod clades. Here we describe a right surangular of Allosaurus fragilis from the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry at Jurassic National Monument possessing pathologies with similar features to those found in tyrannosauridae. The surangular (CLDQ-S-17-040) has a maximum length of 365 mm and width of 80 mm, suggesting a juvenile or subadult individual. The lesion is a small aperture measuring 6.4 mm in diameter, nestled in bone 5.1 mm thick, and is located 125 mm from the anterior end, and 19 mm from the ventral side. The bone tissue surrounding the lesion has a mildly coarse texture and undulating surface, indicating active osteological remodeling at the time of death. Previous studies of paleopathologies in theropod dinosaurs have provided insight into paleoecological interactions and behavioral interpretations. Pathologies are commonly categorized based on origin, such as infectious, traumatic, traumatic-infectious, developmental, and idiopathic. The lesions commonly described in the mandibles of tyrannosauridae have a debated etiology; they may be infectious having resulted from Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoans, or traumatic-infectious caused by intraspecific combat and subsequent infection.
In either origin, both ecological and behavioral interactions play key roles. Infections due to protozoa and other pathogenic microbes may indicate transmissions in highly dense populations, such as those for A. fragilis in the Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry. Alternatively, if the pathology is of a traumatic-infectious origin, this may suggest insight into intraspecific combat among members of a population in the Late Jurassic. While the exact nature of these pathologies is currently unresolved, future analysis in the pathologic bone microstructure and further comparison with other tyrannosaurid and allosaurid specimens may assist in identifying their origin.
Faith Lee, Senior – NursingArts, HumanitiesState-level Effects of Crisis Intervention Training on Lethal Use of Force by Police : One in five adults in the United States struggle with mental illness. Police officers are often the first to respond to high intensity situations, many of which are the result of an individual at the peak of a mental health crisis. Individuals struggling with a mental health crisis often have impaired judgement, reasoning, mood stabilization, etc.. Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) is a program to help promote respectful and safe interactions between police officers and individuals struggling with a mental health crisis. This is vital to police-civilian interaction because it creates trust and assurance that safety is a high priority for the lives of our society. Some states mandate CIT while others do not. This research seeks to assess the effectiveness of CIT mandates in minimizing the lethal use of force in police encounters. Results indicate that while overall use of lethal force is on the rise, CIT-mandated states have increased lethal use of force at lower rates than non-mandated states. With the rise of lethal force being used, associated factors also play a role with the increase and decrease of data found. Understanding the behaviors of individuals struggling with a mental health crisis and how different interactions can result in a safer situation should be the highest priority in minimizing unnecessary lethal force.
Robert Lewandowski, Junior – BiologySciencesGrowth Curves of Lager Yeast: The goal of this project was to compare growth rates of several strains of lager yeast at several different temperatures.
Katie Linzmeier, DNP GradNursingAnalyzing the Effectiveness in Co-Treatment of Hepatitis C Virus and Substance Use Disorder in an Addiction Medicine Clinic: Background: Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infections in the US continue to rise; especially in the
substance abuse community. As dire consequences are faced among injection drug users, the
most current treatment and evidence-based practices must be utilized to detect and prevent
chronic health concerns. Currently, there are not enough specialist providers to treat all patients
with HCV. Direct-Acting Antiviral (DAA) medications have been shown to be effective and safe
methods to treat HCV. Widespread use of these medications may allow for decentralization of
care, which can eliminate referral barriers and reduce anticipated stigma encountered during the
treatment process.
Purpose: To reduce rates of HCV among patients seeking treatment at a Wisconsin based
Behavior Health Clinic that specializes in Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) of opioid
Method: A screening tool was utilized to identify patients at risk for HCV. Those found to be at
risk were offered testing for HCV and results were tracked to identify numbers of: refusal to test,
uncomplicated HCV, complicated HCV, or negative testing. Patients with uncomplicated HCV
were offered treatment with a DAA onsite at the MAT clinic. Patients with complicated HCV
were referred to a GI specialist for evaluation and management. Sustained virologic response of
each group was tracked and compared over time.
Results: The results of this project include analyzed aggregated data from the electronic medical
record. Twenty-three patients completed HCV treatment within the MAT setting with DAA
medications. Of this group that received post-treatment lab work, 100% showed virologic cure.
Of the six patients who required referral to a GI specialist for treatment, only 16.7% achieved
virologic cure.
Conclusion: Screening for HCV within Behavior Health Clinic’s that specialize in MAT of
opioid addiction increases treatment uptake. Being able to provide treatment to patients with
uncomplicated HCV within a MAT setting also improved cure rates. The outcome has improved
patient health, sustained virological response to treatment, and decreased hepatitis C
transmission rates within the community. With these results, it is recommended that co-treatment
of HCV in MAT clinics becomes a gold standard.
Stephanie Losse, Junior – Biology (ecological emphasis), Environmental Science Sciences Monitoring Bird Window Collisions at UWO: The bird strike
David Makar, Senior – PsychologyArts, HumanitiesThe effect of technology on life satisfaction: Case study of elderly population in Oshkosh: Social scientists who study well-being know that money alone cannot buy happiness, and that happiness also varies with age. While achieving material well-being, such as home ownership and stable employment, can positively contribute to happiness among the working-age population, they are not significant factors explaining happiness among older adults. With declining health and social isolation, the elderly population are more vulnerable to depression, heart disease and stroke without contact with family, peers or others. Communication technology, such as social media and the internet, has been found by numerous studies to be helpful in coping with loneliness among older people. This project utilizes statistical analysis of survey data collected from correspondents in the Oshkosh retirement community regarding their level of happiness. The analysis is used to understand how modern communication technology, such as social media and the internet can meet the needs of the community and create suggestions for policymakers and assisted living communities to improve the well-being of aging populations.
Carly Martelle, DNP GradNursingEvaluation of Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale (RASS) and Critical Pain Observation Tool (CPOT) Scoring in the ICU: PICOT and background information. Patients who are sedated in the Intensive Care Unit require frequent monitoring. As a part of their monitoring, there is required documentation of a Richmond Agitation Scale (RASS) and Critical Care Pain Observation Tool (CPOT) score. The Richmond Agitation Scale (RASS) and Critical Pain Observation Tool (CPOT) are reliable and valid tools that can be used in the ICU and followed per hospital policy and physician orders. Documentation of these scores can be used with every titration of a medication and at least every four hours for patients receiving an analgesic or a sedative. The ICU in a small midwestern hospital has had poor compliance with documenting CPOT and RASS scores. The PICOT to address this concern is: In patients who are sedated in the ICU (I), does re-education for the ICU nursing staff on RASS and CPOT documentation (I), compared to no re-education, (C) improve documentation compliance (0) during a patient’s hospitalization in the ICU (T). Design Description. To help increase documentation compliance, an educational presentation was delivered to the ICU staff members at their monthly meeting, and with new hire onboarding. The educational presentation reviewed the process of CPOT/RASS scoring. Methodology. This QI project took place at small, southern Wisconsin, ICU to educate their 12 ICU nurses. Compliance was measured at the end of 6 months by reviewing patient charts and extracting CPOT and RASS scoring data. Data analysis to determine results was ran through SPSS in 2x2 Chi square tests for independence.
Meagan McDowell, Graduate Student – PsychologySocial Science, Business, EducationDeterminants of General Health Status in the Midwest: Many factors contribute to a person’s general health status. Financial hardship has been shown to be a significant predictor of poor physical health (Sweet et al. ,2013). Additionally, mental health status affects physical activity levels (Ohrnberger, Fichera, & Sutton, 2017), which contributes to a person’s overall health. While some people turn to alcohol to cope, Sarich et al. (2019) found that they may also curb drinking when their health is poor to reduce the known health-risks. Using 2021 data from the CDC, the current study used logistic regression to examine contributors to general health in Midwestern states. The overall model was significant, (X^2 (6, N = 44,770) = 4,262.98, p < 0.001). Those who reported frequent poor mental health days were 4.12 times more likely to report poorer health than those who reported infrequent days. The odds of poorer general health were 2.04 times more likely for those who reported that in the year prior, they needed to see a doctor but could not afford to, than those who did not. Surprisingly, when examining alcoholic drinks per week, the odds of poorer general health were 0.44 times as likely for those who had up to 7, 0.38 times as likely for those who had up to 14, and 0.69 times as likely for those who had 14 or more, as compared to those who had 0. These results underscore the importance of understanding the factors that influence health to effectively address them.
Anna McKenzie, Senior – Sociology Social Science, Business, EducationHow Social Media affects Self-Esteem (Capstone Experience Soc 481): This project is primarily focused on exploring the profound impact of social media on individuals' self-esteem within the context of our daily lives. It delves into the intricate dynamics through which social media platforms shape and influence perceptions of self-worth. To comprehensively investigate this phenomenon, a variety of sources, including surveys and extensive datasets, are being meticulously examined and analyzed. These diverse resources serve to envelop and elucidate the multifaceted nature of the relationship between social media engagement and self-esteem levels.
Phyllip McKnight-Donald, First year – SociologyArts, HumanitiesStay Inside the Lines: The Effects of European Paradigm Domination on black Women in social media: As the world progresses, technology is also advancing at a rapid pace. This means that that the access to social media is growing. Americans live in a society that curates their expectations based on what they see on social media. Little do some know that the booming beauty expectations are the result of the development of European Paradigm Domination and the history of the demeaning titles Black women were given.
According to um-awhali acan-tuneday European paradigm domination is the promotion consciously or subconsciously, of the belief that European life and culture are the neutral basis for all civilization and thus deserve cultural and humanistic dominance over all life forms. Moreover, European Paradigm Domination is often disguised through neutral or culturally non-specific terminology or descriptors. Thus, overt manifestations of Eurocentrism are cleverly disguised as neutrality and culture free “correct.” Hence the rejection of non-Eurocentric paradigms and cultural expressions are justified as violating a neutral norm. Now the beauty expectations imposed on black women have been shaped by a complex intersection of historical, cultural, and societal factors. While there is a growing recognition and celebration of diverse beauty standards, it is important to acknowledge the persisting challenges that black women face in relation to the existing beauty expectations.
Understanding that the development of European Paradigm Domination in the 21st century is a detriment towards Black women's physical and mental health is the start towards breaking barriers in the social media realm. Recognizing the beauty of individuality rewrites stigmas. Knowing where the expectations derived from recognizes system racism. Noting the mistreatment of Black women dismantles historic misconceptions and moving away from outdated thinking changes behavior.
Lydia Medina, Senior – Social WorkSocial Science, Business, EducationInterventions for Multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences :
Interventions for Multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences

Health, Wellness, and Empowered Communities

This study is built on the foundation of Vincent Felitti, Robert Anda, their colleagues, and the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) study of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). The meta synthesis expands on the original 10 ACEs to include trauma types not included in the original study. The paper acknowledges the negative affect trauma can have on an individual's mental health, physical health, and likelihood to engage in risky behaviors, resulting in negative life outcomes. Current literature relating to trauma and interventions are examined and grouped into common themes across studies. Themes are also grouped by intervention types. Word coding is used to identify characteristics and results of interventions. There are currently specific interventions for specific types of ACEs. The meta-synthesis will attempt to answer, what are the most effective interventions for people with multiple ACEs? Answering this question will help professionals implement the most appropriate interventions for people with multiple ACEs to result in positive life outcomes. The paper looks through a macro level lens in addressing trauma and adversities. Findings suggest the importance of building empowered communities, especially within communities with high levels of ACE’s. Results indicate the importance of healthy and positive relationships, community level interventions, and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
Breanna Menzia, Junior – MicrobiologySciences Mutagenesis of a Sterol Uptake Protein in Yeast: Yeast is an important fungal microbe to any industry that uses fermentation in food products. This combined with a forgiving genetic structure makes it a prime model system to study anaerobic fermentation or growth. While classically, fermentation is a metabolic pathway that does not require oxygen, the yeast still needs access to some oxygen in order to maintain the sterols in their cell walls and continue reproducing. In anaerobic yeast, there is a group of proteins called the ABC transporters. Some of these, including AUS-1 are suspected to be involved in importing sterols from the environment to allow for anaerobic growth.
The goal of this project is to better understand the methods by which these transporters could have possibly evolved to transport sterols into the membrane in the absence of enough oxygen for the cell to construct its own sterols.
Jessica Modjewski, Graduate Student – NENursingEnhancing Ambulatory Nursing Education to Maximize Positive Outcomes and Transform the RN Role: Although much emphasis is placed on acute-setting nurse education, ambulatory registered nurses (RNs) do not have similar education opportunities. Their education is often the same as acute nursing and does not apply to ambulatory settings. Ambulatory RNs perform many duties and are an integral piece of the ambulatory care team, often playing a prominent role in care coordination and other high-level tasks that allow them to work to the top of their scope of practice. This paper focuses on an educational opportunity at the Heart Failure Clinic in Marshfield, WI. It aims to enhance ambulatory RN education during orientation to yield positive patient outcomes and support a growing RN role. Initially, a learning needs assessment was performed, and the productivity of the new RN was tracked daily, measured by the number of phone calls made daily to patients. After implementing the education resource guide, there was a noticeable increase in productivity, overall satisfaction, and confidence in the new RN’s practice. The paper concludes by suggesting future implications of the education guide, including its implementation in other ambulatory departments and the potential of expanding education to a transition-to-practice type program to enhance ambulatory RN education and professional development system-wide.
Kylee Moore, Senior – Biomedical ScienceNursingCharacterization of Mutations in the Small Protein MntS and the Manganese Exporter MntP in Escherichia coli: Manganese (Mn) is an essential trace nutrient for bacterial cells, and it plays an important role in pathogenicity of the bacteria during infection of host (or mammalian) cells. In this study we used E. coli bacteria to learn more about MntS, a small protein, and MntP, a Mn exporter, for regulation of intracellular Mn levels and viability of the bacteria. Excess Mn in bacterial cells causes toxicity, therefore susceptibility. Our research focused on the interaction of both MntS and MntP to see if we can better understand the role, they play with each other and how they regulate Mn levels. Building on the results of a previous genetic screen for MntS mutants, we transformed different MntS mutations into cells that affect Mn homeostasis the most. We used manganese sensitivity assays to determine which mutants were the most defective (compared to the wild type cell). We followed this up by using Western Blots to confirm mutant MntS protein levels in the transformed cells. Using these two assays, we have identified MntS mutations that are consistently defective in the interactions with MntP. These results can help us understand how MntS and MntP are interacting and in the long run could help us create better medical advancements for bacterial treatments by targeting proteins specific to them.
Fatima Muniz, Junior – Math SciencesGraph Theory: Peg Solitaire : A graph consists of vertices depicted as points and edges represented by a line that connects two vertices. In peg solitaire, one starts with a board with holes full of pegs except one hole. The goal is to have one peg left on the board. One moves a peg over another peg to an empty spot. Then the peg that was jumped over is removed. In graph theory, the board is the graph, pegs are vertices and peg holes are connected by edges. The variation of peg solitaire that I am attempting to solve adds an extra edge when a peg is removed. The purpose of this is to have the graph be solvable, which means that it is possible to start with only one open vertex, following a series of moves, and end with only one pegged vertex. By inductive hypothesis, paths of n≥8 vertices can be solved with the basis of P5,P6, and P7. The basis paths help to solve paths of n≥8. The goal of the paths n≥8 is to move the pegs to create a basis path of P5,P6, and P7. Since the basis paths are solvable when the empty peg is at the end at the start, then the larger paths can be reduced to such basis path with jumps. A general application of graph theory is to create models of networks such as truck routes, flights, or social networks of people.
Ellison Nabi, Senior – Chemistry and Environmental HealthSciencesUnderstanding the Degradative Potential of Mycolicibacterium sp. RJGII-135: Environmental contamination by organic chemicals and plastics poses a significant threat to living organisms, necessitating microbial solutions for removal. The soil bacterium, Mycolicibacterium RJGII-135 (RJGII-135), exhibits exceptional polyaromatic hydrocarbon degradation capabilities. This study investigated the potential for bacterial degradation of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a common aromatic plastic. RJGII-135 was incubated with PET strips in 0.1x strength R2B for 55 days. PET degradation was assessed every 7 days by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). The chemical composition of spent media was examined using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) targeting free plastic monomers. Changes in PET composition relating to the carbonyl, methyl, and ester bonds were detected in the spectra intensities by FTIR, which were suggestive of plastic degradation. The presence of a free PET monomer, terephthalic acid (TPA), was not detected in the spent media. The RJGII-135 genome was obtained to further understand the plastic degradative potential of RJGII-135. The genome contains nine “probable” plastic-degrading genes capable of degrading various polymer compositions with an interest in a ring hydroxylase based upon protein similarity to a known degrader. The genomic data coupled with the experimental evidence supports the degradative potential. This research underscores the suitability of aromatic bacterial degraders like RJGII-135 in combating diverse plastic pollution.
Nicole Nelson, DNP GradNursingDoes Ketamine Therapy Improve Mental Wellness and Physical Functioning in Patients with Chronic Neuropathic Pain: PICOT: In chronic neuropathic pain patients treated with ketamine infusion therapy, do measurement tools and surveys compared to null characteristics reliably predict the chronic neuropathic pain patient that would most benefit over a sixteen-week period?
Ketamine, a competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist, has been used to treat chronic neuropathic pain (CNP). This project was guided by a thorough review of current literature that established a gap in knowledge pertaining to the mental wellness and physical functioning in CNP patients. The purpose was to determine if specific measurement tools and surveys distributed to CNP patients receiving ketamine therapy identified improvements in mental health, pain reduction, improvement in physical function, life engagement, and joint mobility. The project involved a prospective study of current patients and followed participants at Pain Relief 1, LLC, a pain clinic in the Fox Cities, for sixteen weeks. The study utilized measurement tools and surveys to determine if there were improvements in pain relief, physical function and mental health with ketamine infusions. The measurement tools included the PHQ-9, SFF-20-QOL, TUG test, and PPT. The data collected was statistically analyzed via one-way MANOVA, Pearson Chi Square and T-Test to determine any statistical significance associated with the measured parameters. The results will be utilized at the pain clinic to guide therapy for the ongoing management of CNP patients. The results will aid to direct pain management and standards of care for this population by contributing to reliable management plans and identifying CNP that would most benefit from ketamine therapy.
Hannah Ness-Cavallaro, DNP GradNursingPreparing the SRNA for Emergencies in Anesthesia with the use of Cognitive Aids: A Stimulation-Based Study: The purpose of this project is to assess if the Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists (SRNAs) at University of Wisconsin (UW) Oshkosh find the use of cognitive aids during simulation to improve clinical readiness and enhance learning for preparing for operating room (OR) emergencies. Current literature states that cognitive aids decrease errors, improve perception of preparedness, and increase sense of comfort in practice among providers. This practice can be used to support SRNAs as well. This project can be implemented at a low cost. The effectiveness of cognitive aid use will be analyzed by scoring participants on accuracy and timeliness of intervention, as well as pre- and post-simulation surveys. This project will be used to determine the relationship between the use of cognitive aids with simulation and the SRNA’s preparedness for OR emergencies.
Piper Novy, Sophomore – Geology (Professional) and Geology (Hydrogeology)SciencesPetrographic Study of Metamorphic Minerals in Northern Wisconsin: The Penokean Orogeny was a tectonic collisional event that began the evolution of the southern margin of Laurentia (proto-North America), when the Pembine-Wausau Terrane collided with the Superior Province ~ 1.87 billion years ago. Several tectonic events followed, overprinting the metamorphic minerals. The Watersmeet Terrane, sandwiched between the Pembine-Wausau Terrane and the Superior Province to the north, experienced variable metamorphism along a defining thrust fault. The Watersmeet terrane is split into three subterranes: Park Falls, Powell, and Pine Lake. Four samples were analyzed north of the Powell Fault (the southern edge of the Powell subterrane), with two from south of this structure. Three samples were collected from outcrops and three from drill cores in northern Wisconsin. All samples collected feature garnet, biotite, and quartz, with variable alumino-silicates and staurolite. Samples from the Powell Subterrane all contain kyanite or staurolite, but rarely both. Samples from the Park Falls subterrane contain variable amounts of sillimanite.Deformation in the Powell subterrane samples implies shearing and deformation of minerals, during or after metamorphism. Peak temperatures from the Powell subterrane are inferred to be 675土25℃, and peak pressures and temperatures from the Park Falls subterrane are interpreted to be ~6-8 kbar and 600-700℃. These results imply that the deformation of minerals affected rocks on each side differently. This data will be used in future projects to better understand the metamorphism and deformation resulting from converging Precambrian terranes
Rebecca O'Connell, Senior – Nursing EducationNursingSupporting ECMO Patients by Educating Bedside Nurses: The use of Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), a mode of advanced life support, increased during the pandemic. However, limited resources resulted in nurses with inadequate knowledge managing these complex patients. A standardized educational plan for bedside nurses was developed for future use in ECMO centers. This plan included necessary topics and appropriate teaching methods for adult learners. An educational escape room and activities using the flipped classroom technique promoted learner engagement and aided in knowledge retention. Formative and summative evaluation assessed learners’ knowledge. With future implementation of this educational plan there will be an increase in competency of nurses and improved patient outcomes.
Emily O'Leary, Senior – PhysicsSciencesRR Lyrae Properties Within the Large Magellanic Cloud Globular Clusters: We studied the properties of ancient star clusters belonging to the Large Magellanic Cloud in order to compare them to the Milky Way's system. Pulsating variable stars within ancient clusters are related to the general properties of a cluster, such as their chemical composition. Data from the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) was used to study the pulsating variable stars within 12 Large Magellanic Cloud clusters, including some that had not been studied in detail before. It was determined that the trend seen within these clusters differs from the Milky Way system. We can conclude that small galaxies, similar to the Large Magellanic Cloud, could not have helped to build up the Milky Way during its formation.
Justin Ojala, Graduate Student – MSN Nurse EducatorNursingThe Effects of Emergency Severity Index (ESI) Education on Nurse Understanding, Confidence and Accuracy in Triage: This education project takes place in a 46 bed Emergency Department at a community hospital in southeastern Wisconsin. Triage nurses are responsible for the systematic sorting and prioritizing of patients in the Emergency Department (McCullum, 2023). The Emergency Severity Index (ESI) is the triage algorithm most used in the United States. The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) has guidelines and recommendation for policies, training and education for nurses working in triage. A lack of policies and variations in training and education for triage nurses leads to inconsistent triage accuracy in hospitals (Worth et al., 2019). A staff survey, quiz and random triage audit established baseline data for providing ESI education to nurses in the emergency department. The data includes confidence and understanding, triage accuracy and quiz scores. A PowerPoint education on ESI was provided to nursing staff. After the education was provided the survey, quiz and triage audit were repeated. The results show an increase in triage accuracy, increase in mean quiz score and increase in staff understanding and confidence using ESI in triage. Future research recommendations include exploring a frequency for annual ESI education and different educational formats.

McCullum, M. (2023). Treating by the Numbers: A Look into Triage Assessment and the Use of the Emergency Severity Index (ESI). Journal of Legal Nurse Consulting, 34(1), 4–10.

Worth, M., Davis, L. L., Wallace, D. C., Bartlett, R., & Travers, D. (2019). Are emergency departments in the United States following recommendations by the emergency severity index to promote quality triage and reliability? Journal of Emergency Nursing, 45(6), 677–684.
Megan Olson, Graduate Student – Master of Science in NursingNursingSim 4: Imagine starting a new position as a new graduate Registered Nurse and never having experienced a full four patient load on a medical floor. Years of education are spent preparing one to understand nursing knowledge, emphasizing critical thinking, diving into specialty areas, learning pharmacology and pathophysiology, having various clinical experiences sprinkled throughout, and preparing for the NCLEX, yet most students never have the experience of managing four patients for an entire shift while in nursing school.

It raises the question, why are nursing students not prepared for this exact scenario during their nursing education?
Juan Padilla Mendez, Senior – Biomedical Science and SpanishNursingRacial and Ethnic Concordance between Latino Patients and Healthcare Providers in the American Midwest: The American healthcare system shows persistent racial and cultural disparities, particularly affecting the Latino community in the Midwest. Limited diversity in the local healthcare workforce worsens these disparities. Racial and ethnic concordance between patient and provider enhances quality of care and communication. This study examines the impact of the current healthcare system on quality of care for Latinos in the Midwest. Increasing diversity in the healthcare workforce can improve cultural sensitivity, empathy, communication, and trust-building.
Melony Perez, Graduate Student – MSN with Nurse Educator EmphasisNursingClinical Nursing Protocol for the Jada® System: Maternal mortality is a worldwide issue caused primarily by postpartum hemorrhage. Postpartum hemorrhage affects approximately 14 million women and 70,000 of them die globally. Many interventions are used to prevent morbidity and mortality in this population. The newest intervention is the intrauterine vacuum called the Jada System which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2020. While the instructions on how to use the Jada System are easily accessible, clinical nursing protocols must be established to provide safe and effective care to women receiving said intervention. A literature review was performed to determine the effectiveness of the Jada System and develop a clinical nursing protocol to safely and effectively assess the use of the Jada and determine if further intervention is needed. The results proved that the Jada has been effective in vaginal birth cases 92.5% to 95.8% dependent on the cause of the hemorrhage. The success rate for cesarean births ranged from 83.7% to 88.2%. The use of the Jada is proving that it can be the next innovative intervention to save lives in cases of postpartum hemorrhage with appropriate clinical nursing protocols.
Jessica Peters, DNP GradNursingA Comparison of Opioid Versus Opioid Free Anesthesia in Orthopedic Surgery: The debate regarding opioid anesthesia (OA) versus opioid free anesthesia (OFA) is a hot topic in today’s anesthesia community. There is no denying the multiple adverse outcomes that can occur from OA and the fact that opioids have contributed to an epidemic in the United States. The pros and cons of OA versus OFA will be explored in this project. This project will compare post operative pain scores of 20 patient charts from a busy hospital system in the Midwest region of the United States of patients that have received OA versus OFA during orthopedic surgery. The data collected will be utilized to analyze if there is a significant difference between the pain scores of the two modalities during the postoperative Phase I of care. The findings will be presented and discussed with the anesthesia staff to assure they are providing optimal pain control.
Grace Peterson, Senior – Special Ed(Early Chldhd-EC:SE)Social Science, Business, EducationPreservice Teacher Candidates and the Effects of Paid Clinical Experiences on Preparedness in the Classroom : When looking at preservice teacher candidates in their clinical settings, they are evaluated on the ten InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards, which look at readiness in the classroom during student teaching and once they have a classroom of their own. New opportunities arose in recent years that allow clinical students to fill school district openings for paraprofessionals and practice skills required of clinical experiences. This research will address the impact paid clinical experiences may have on effectiveness, classroom and behavior management, and inclusive environments while also helping to bridge the prevalent gap of teacher and support staff shortages. Data collected by surveying and interviewing clinical students and university supervisors who have experienced or supervised both paid and unpaid clinicals will be analyzed to look at potential differences in effectiveness and overall feelings of preparedness.
Elijah Plonsky, Senior – English Social Science, Business, EducationExploring the Development of Pragmatic Politeness in Familial Relations; When Excuses Fail as Rapport Management Strategies: In linguistic politeness theory, “face,” defined by Brown and Levinson (1987) as a person’s “public self-image” (61) remains an important concept to understand why people are motivated to engage in politeness behaviors. Someone's face can either be maintained, enhanced, or lost in social interactions and certain illocutionary speech acts I.E. orders, criticism, accusations, refusals, and disagreements, are considered face threatening
impositions to a person’s positive self-image. Brown & Levinson call these “face threatening acts” (FTAs) and outline ways a speaker may try and mitigate them in talk; refusing a offer or request is a type of face threatening act because it is the non-preferred response to a speaker expecting compliance. I analyze the way American English speakers use rapport management strategies to maintain civility and social harmony by adopting excuses to reduce the impact of refusals in a sample of familial discourse. When presented with a request or offer a speaker may want to refuse, excuses can not only save the face of a person making the refusal, but the face of the speaker making the request or offer too. However, in some
situations, excuses can fail to reduce the face threat of a refusal, and subsequently become another face threat to the speaker presenting a offer or request. This study examines how excuses become face threats, I hypothesize it happens more in the speech of those who don’t have a fully developed standard of pragmatic competence, such as children still being socialized to politeness routines. I conducted all my observations on one family’s discourse.
Haven Powell, Junior – BiologySciencesDoes artificial seed mucilage increase germination success of native Wisconsin plants?: Some species of plants are myxospermous, meaning they produce seed mucilage when the seed comes in contact with water. Previous research has shown that over 200 genera of flowering plants create seed mucilage, but it is unknown how many more species are myxospermous. The exact benefits of seed mucilage are unknown, but the presence of seed mucilage may aid in germination success. In this experiment, we are testing two native Wisconsin prairie plants, Dalea purpurea and Anemone patens, to see if the presence of artificial seed mucilage influences germination success. These species do not naturally produce seed mucilage, and we predict that adding artificial seed mucilage will increase germination success and decrease the prevalence of mold. To test these predictions we set up germination experiments in the lab and coated some seeds with artificial seed mucilage, and left the rest uncoated. Along with many other native prairie plants, the presence of these two species of prairie plants on the landscape has decreased over the last century. If the presence of artificial seed mucilage increases germination rates, these findings can be used to help restore the native populations of these species. Future research could test the effectiveness of the presence of artificial seed mucilage in other native Wisconsin prairie plants, in order to restore the declining health of native prairies.
Paul Price, Senior – Electrical Engineering TechnologySciencesIoT Facilitated mmWave Sensing Platform for Simple Gesture Recognition: Radio frequency (RF) mmWave sensing has established the capabilities of high frequency radar for detecting and imaging events, notedly those related to human health monitoring and gesture detection. Capabilities which are of interest due to the unique nature of mmWave radar’s spatial and material discernment characteristics. This research maintained the objective of exploring human localization realized with mmWave sensor signal processing, implemented on a low-cost microprocessor device. Prior research introduced powerful mmWave signal processing capable of advanced human gesture and vital sign monitoring; however, they largely remained dependent on personal computers for data reception and processing. Interfacing a mmWave sensor to a compact microprocessor device was largely unrepresented to the capacity at which it could power and process a mmWave sensor in a monitoring scenario; along with the unique application of integrating Internet of Things (IoT) architecture to facilitate client-server computing. The research challenge involved extracting applicable live human event data from an off-the-shelf mmWave sensor, the Texas Instruments IWR6843ISK. This data was then communicated with a real time IoT server application, facilitated on the Raspberry Pi 4B. Further, as a test case, the use of a simple human gesture detection task was demonstrated to introduce performing a machine learning (ML) process on the sensor data. This research contributed successful implementation of an off-the-shelf mmWave sensor to custom sensing application involving ML based gesture detection. Source code related to IoT server development and the ML process has been made available, along with data validation of a simple ML gesture task.
Ayanna Priestley, Senior – KinesiologySciences Difference in long-term performance after a training program with stim vs stim-free pre-workout : Stimulant-free pre-workout supplements are becoming increasingly popular. However, there is little published data on their effectiveness as compared to stimulant-containing pre-workout supplements. The purpose of this study was to compare stimulant-free and stimulant-containing pre-workout regimens on body composition, muscle mass, one-repetition maximum back squat and bench press strength, and strength endurance over a 7-week training program. The strength endurance protocol consisted of eight resistance exercises targeting both upper and lower body muscle groups, performed in supersets for four sets to failure at 75% of their one-repetition maximum. In this single-blind study, participants (9 males, and 9 females) were tested for these measures before and after the resistance training program. Participants were given a 3-day per week whole-body resistance training program to follow and provided either a stimulant-free or stimulant-containing pre-workout to ingest approximately 30 minutes before each workout. Each participant was also provided creatine monohydrate, and instructed to consume 5 grams daily. The testing is still ongoing. However, we hypothesize that the stimulant-free supplement will be as effective as the stimulant-containing pre-workout at improving performance.
Larissa Rebarchek, Graduate Student – MSN - EducationNursingBasic Rhythm Interpretation (BRI) Education Program Development: In 2023, there was an identified opportunity to standardize telemetry education and competency validation, for all nurses who may take care of patients with telemetry orders, within a hospital organization. Organization findings and broader findings provided rationale to create an education program for the target audience. Available education programs did not meet organization needs. Creation of the education program was collaborative and complex. Results reflected increased telemetry competency throughout the organization and serve to enhance patient safety and outcomes. Opportunities were identified to enhance the education program, including the possibility to support sustained telemetry competence over time.
Lorena Reid, Senior – PsychologySocial Science, Business, EducationThe Ideal College in Current Students' Perception: In the fall of 2023, a budget crisis caused massive changes to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. As a result of these changes, Dr. Justyna Olszewska and her Consumer Behavior Psychology students were inspired to uncover the thoughts of UWO’s population. As a final project, the Consumer Behavior students conducted three hour-long focus group sessions investigating the students’ opinions on UWO and ideal college qualities in general. Additionally, students had the opportunity to employ quantitative-driven data collection techniques, such as surveys, as well as comparative research that contrasted UWO with other colleges within the UW system. Each focus group performed its own qualitative and quantitative analysis, followed by another data analysis that compiled all results for accessible interpretation. According to the results, students are generally satisfied with the established sense of community and study spaces at UWO, and are less satisfied with class size, availability of hands-on opportunities, program requirements, and parking. We hope to conduct a similar study on a more diverse population at UWO to be able to make these results more generalizable.
Lorena Reid, Senior – PsychologySocial Science, Business, EducationFacial Recognition of Differently Occluded Faces: In the wake of the COVID 19 Pandemic, many new studies have been conducted to see how wearing masks affects people’s ability to process faces. Our study aimed to examine the differences in people’s ability to recognize masked faces and faces wearing sunglasses. In addition, we tested whether unnatural faces that lack features corresponding to those occluded by masks and sunglasses would result in different recognition rates as the faces that were naturally occluded. To do this, we designed an experiment in which participants were presented with an occluded face (mask or sunglasses) or with a face that lacked certain features (eyebrows, eyes, nose, mouth), a distractor task, and then another face that would be similarly occluded (or without certain features) or completely unobscured. The participants were tasked with responding “yes” or “no”, indicating whether the second face was the same or different from the first one. The results showed a better ability to discriminate (d’) between studied and unstudied faces when they were occluded with masks as compared to faces occluded with sunglasses. A similar pattern was noticed for faces with erased features. Moreover, a more liberal style of responding (C) was revealed for faces wearing sunglasses and those that lacked features where sunglasses would be than faces occluded with masks or those that lacked features where masks would be. The results are discussed within the existing literature on facial processing.
Tyler Rickert, DNP GradNursingContinuing Education of Malignant Hyperthermia: A malignant hyperthermia (MH) crisis requires a multi-disciplinary response that is time sensitive. Education for MH occurs for perioperative staff at this critical access hospital in Wisconsin on an annual basis. A lack of knowledge and skills has been identified in this population, which has prompted the creation of this project. The goal of this quality improvement project is to implement a quarterly MH mock scenario and MH teaching to improve the knowledge and skills of perioperative staff. Research has shown the effectiveness of ongoing education and the use of mock simulations. Knowledge levels will be checked at a baseline level with a pre-intervention questionnaire and then again after teaching. Teaching will be disseminated through the use of PowerPoint and staff will have hands-on experience during the mock simulation. The MH emergency cart will be updated and will include new supplies and a monthly check off sheet to ensure supplies are not outdated. Improvement in post-intervention survey scores will indicate the effectiveness of this project and signify an increase in knowledge and skills pertaining to response to a MH crisis. After three and six months, additional rounds of teaching and knowledge checks will occur and identify if the retention of necessary skills exists.
Keywords: Mock simulation effectiveness, Malignant hyperthermia treatment and pathophysiology, knowledge and skill degradation, perioperative staff
Emily Roeglin, Senior – DNPNursingCompetence and Confidence in Safe Prone Positioning: an Educational Intervention and Quality Improvement Initiative: Abstract
Literature Review: Prone positioning (PP) is a non-invasive intervention that has been proven to decrease mortality associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The risk of patient complications increases due to a lack of nursing familiarity with proning techniques, inadequate nursing education regarding safe PP, and lack of resources or protocols to assist nursing staff in re-positioning patients. Adverse events related to PP can be reduced by following evidence-based practice guidelines and ensuring nurse clinicians are adequately prepared to reposition and care for proned patients.
Research Question: This quality improvement project aims to educate nurses on current, best practice guidelines for proned patients and to determine how education and the use of a PP toolkit affects nurses’ knowledge and confidence in caring for proned patients.
Conceptual Framework: Utilizing the Iowa Model Revised: Evidence-Based Practice to Promote Excellence in Health Care, this project was created and implemented in the Critical Care Unit at a small urban Midwest hospital.
Methodology: An education module and PP toolkit was developed and presented to nursing staff. Nursing staff took a pre and post-test to assess their knowledge and pre and post surveys to assess their confidence. Results were analyzed using a paired T-test to assess knowledge and confidence in caring for proned patients.
Results: Educational intervention was successful in increasing nurse’s competence and confidence related to PP and patient care.
Practice Implications: Educational intervention is a practical and feasible method to increase nursing knowledge and confidence related to PP. Ensuring nurses are well educated and equipped to care for patients who may require PP will improve the quality-of-care patients receive and optimize patient outcomes.
Keywords: acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS or COVID-19, proning or prone position, nursing knowledge and confidence, patient outcomes.
Keri Scherr, DNP GradNursingImproving Provider Adherence to Evidence-Based Guidelines: A Quality Improvement Diabetes Microvascular Care Bundle: Microvascular complications of diabetes have consequences including limb amputation, blindness, and kidney disease. Although preventable and treatable, microvascular complications are often underassessed. Diabetic microvascular complications are a major health concern affecting persons of low socioeconomic status and racial and ethnic minorities at disproportionately high levels. Given disparities, research findings demonstrated a need for improved assessment of diabetic microvascular complications for persons of low socioeconomic status and racial and ethnic minorities. Research indicated that care bundles consisting of evidence-based guidelines were effective in increasing medical provider knowledge, reducing care variation, and improving patient outcomes. Research supported that urban free clinics were an effective source to meet the needs of this population in the assessment and management of chronic disease. This quality improvement project used a pre-test post-test design to determine if the implementation of a care bundle for the assessment of diabetic microvascular disease increased medical provider adherence to American Diabetes Association guidelines for the assessment of diabetic microvascular complications in the primary care free clinic setting. Items included in the care bundle and subsequently measured were the frequency and timing of diabetic foot assessment, retinal eye examination, and laboratory testing including lipid panel, urinary albumin, and glomerular filtration rate.
Jordin Schnell, DNP GradNursingThe Effects of Liposomal Bupivacaine on Postoperative Pain Management Following Surgical Clipping of Brain Aneurysms: Purpose While Exparel has been approved and is widely successful with gross positive results in a multitude of surgical specialties, little research has been calculated and evaluated regarding its efficacy for use in cranial surgery for postoperative analgesia. Literature Review It has been shown through various studies that the incorporation of local anesthetics in cranial surgery can increase intraoperative hemodynamic stability, decrease pain scores for up 12 hours (Canakci et al, 2017), and decrease the requirement of postoperative opioids. PICOT In patients undergoing surgical clipping of unruptured brain aneurysms, is the use of intraoperative liposomal bupivacaine within the subcutaneous tissue more effective than IV and oral opioids by increasing pain control with lower required narcotics and decreased hospital length of stay within 72 hours postoperatively? Conceptual Framework The Gate Control Theory of pain describes in detail the concept of a pain-modulating system in which the spinal cord can open and close, resembling a gate, that allows for an increase or decrease in perception of pain. With this model, physical, emotional, and behavioral changes within the patient can negatively or positively impact pain control and management. Methodology A retrospective chart review was implemented at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. A total of 50 patients were included in this study, Thirty of those received Exparel (treatment group) and twenty patients did not receive Exparel (control group). The dose, frequency, and route of administration given within 72hrs post-op was documented and calculated to individual & combined morphine milligram equivalent (MME). Results Statistically significant differences were seen regarding average PO MME and total combined MME (IV + PO) with the treatment group requiring significantly less PO opioids post-op. No statistically significant difference was seen for LOS between both groups (p = 0.239). Practice Implications Currently, patients experience extreme levels of post-op pain and discomfort following neurosurgical procedures. After surgery, this patient population requires frequent repositioning and administration of opiates and adjuvants to maintain a fraction of their desired comfort and pain level. Despite efforts to alleviate pain and optimize comfort, patients continue to exhibit signs of pain and state severe discomfort.
Keywords: liposomal bupivacaine, Exparel, craniotomy, neurosurgery
Taylor Schreiber, Graduate Student – MSN-Nursing EducationNursingIntervention for High Frequency Emergency Department Visits for Pediatric Fever: This intervention plan aims to address the high number of unnecessary emergency department visits during high volume times related to pediatric fevers. Along with reducing the number of visits the plan provides quality education for parents and caregivers that provide care to children with fever and illness. It addresses myths, appropriate levels of care, medication options and dosage help for these caregivers in a simplified presentation. The intervention takes place at the time of emergency department discharge and provides necessary educational materials for future knowledge and safety of children.
Chrystina Schroeder, Graduate Student – Nursing - Clinical Nurse Leader EmphasisNursingEnhancing Diabetes Management Using Continuous Glucose Monitors in Primary Care: Diabetes mellitus is growing at an epidemic rate and the associated cost of uncontrolled diabetes is estimated at over $400 billion (ADA, 2024). Diabetes monitoring technologies have made breakneck advancements this past decade and primary care teams have failed to adopt new best practice standards. Patients using continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) have shown improved blood sugar control and fewer diabetic emergencies, minimizing the need for costly interventions (Evans et al., 2022; Fokkert et al., 2019; Oser et al., 2022; Wada et al., 2020). The purpose of this project was to develop and provide primary care team education and implement a standardized workflow to enhance the management of diabetic patients using CGMs.

A multidisciplinary quality improvement team was created and utilized the Dartmouth Improvement Ramp and Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) methodology (Nelson et al., 2007). Current literature, policies, and order sets were reviewed for diabetes management. The team developed and piloted an educational CGM In-service, CGM checklist, and standardized documentation. Clinician and nurse questionnaires and chart audits were conducted to measure outcomes.

Pre- and post-intervention survey comparisons showed increased understanding, confidence, and satisfaction with the implemented CGM initiation and management workflow. Visits involving CGM initiation were shortened by 30 minutes and patients sharing CGM data via clinic portals increased significantly.

Offering education for CGMs, standardizing primary care clinic CGM workflows, and simplifying documentation can improve healthcare clinician competency and diabetic patient outcomes. There is an opportunity for continued improvement by utilizing staff meetings and annual competency training to communicate newly enhanced diabetes technologies.


American Diabetes Association. (2024). About diabetes: Examine the facts.

Evans, M., Welsh, Z., & Seibold, A. (2022, January 20). Reductions in HbA1c with flash glucose monitoring are sustained for up to 24 months: A meta-analysis of 75 real-world observational studies. Diabetes Therapy, 13(1), 1175-1185.

Fokkert, M., van Dijk, P., Edens, M., Barents, E., Mollema, J., Slingerland, R., Gans, R., & Bilo, H. (2019).
Improved well-being and decreased disease burden after 1-year use of flash glucose monitoring (FLARE-NL4). BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, 7(1), 1-10.

Nelson, E. C., Batalden, P. B., & Godfrey, M. M. (2007). Quality by design: A clinical microsystems
approach. Jossey-Bass.

Oser, T. K., Hall, T. L., Dickinson, L. M., Callen, E., Carroll, J. K., Nease, D. E., Michaels, L., & Oser, S. M.
(2022). Continuous glucose monitoring in primary care: Understanding and supporting clinicians’ use to enhance diabetes care. Annals of Family Medicine, 20(6), 541-547.

Wada, E., Onoue, T., Kobayashi, T., Handa, T., Hayase, A., Ito, M., Furukawa, M., Okuji, T., Okada, N.,
Iwama, S., Sugiyama, M., Tsunekawa, T., Takagi, H., Hagiwara, D., Ito, Y., Suga, H., Banno, R., Kuwatsuka, Y., Ando, M., Goto, M., & Arima, H. (2020). Flash glucose monitoring helps achieve better glycemic control than conventional self-monitroing of blood glucose in non-insulin-trated type 2 diabets a randomized controlled trial. BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, 8(1), 1-8.
Sheldon Schroeder, Junior – Biomedical ScienceSciences“Identifying the role seed mucilage plays in seed germination under drought stress”: Drought significantly impacts farmers by causing water scarcity, leading to reduced crop yields and poor pasture conditions. Insignificant water availability disrupts agricultural activities, threatening the livelihood of farmers and affecting the overall food supply chain. Through this experiment we hope to gain an upper hand in the war against drought. Goal: This experiment is designed to expand knowledge of seed mucilage’s impact on germination success under drought stress. The information obtained could lead to improving the agricultural industry, thus creating a more sustainable future. Seed mucilage can be defined as a gel-like, often sticky, substance that surrounds the seed when exposed to water. This understudied plant function is known to encourage seed dispersal, protect germination ability after passing through animals’ digestive tracks, create symbiotic relationships through helpful bacteria who make mucilage its home, and protect the seed under drought conditions. Hypothesis: Seed mucilage increases germination success under drought stress. Plants selected to participate in the study must meet the following criteria: 1.) Displays potential for sustainability impact. 2.) Little/no existing mucilage research. This ensures a unique, goal-oriented research project encouraging the creation of a more sustainable world. The experiment involves: 1.) Dividing seeds into three groups: control (ideal conditions), heat stress, and drought simulation. 2.) Demucilaging half the seeds. 3.) Allowing time to pass so the seeds can germinate 4.) Compare germination success in demucilaged and unmodified seeds. For each variation of condition, the exact amount of water, temperature, sunlight exposer, humidity, etc. will be predetermined by the researchers to ensure the best results. The results of this experiment will determine how much of an impact seed mucilage has on germination success. The results will lead to a greater understanding of the understudied but important process known as mucilage synthesis, hopefully bringing us one step closer to a substantiable world.
Katelyn Schweiger, DNP GradNursingPreventing Unintended Pregnancy in Undergraduate College Students : Unintended pregnancy imposes physical, mental, and economic consequences for people in the United States. Previous research has demonstrated that providing education on pregnancy prevention, contraception, and sexual and reproductive health can decrease unintended pregnancy rates. Increasing college students’ knowledge and access to methods to prevent unintended pregnancy allows them control over their reproductive health and subsequent wellbeing. This project utilized the Tannehill Model to explore the multi-level factors associated with reproductive autonomy in the prevention of unintended pregnancy in undergraduate college students attending the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Health advocates were introduced to toolkit containing information on the prevention of unintended pregnancy to support them in educating their peers. This project compared self-reported knowledge of contraceptives, campus and community resources, and comfortability educating peers on unintentional pregnancy education before and after both an educational intervention and a toolkit intervention. A paired samples t-test was performed for the education intervention data, and an independent samples t-test was performed for the toolkit intervention data. Successful implementation of the toolkit was indicated by increased knowledge surrounding contraceptives and increased confidence in educating students on preventing unintended pregnancy.
Hope Sievert, DNP GradNursingAdvance Care Planning and Goals of Care Discussions: Advance care planning (ACP) and goals of care (GOC) discussions should be a continual process between the provider and patient within a primary care setting. The goal of ACP and GOC discussions are to honor a patient’s values and medical treatment preferences; however, these crucial discussions are often held off until decline in health or loss of competency. As a result, patients may receive unwanted aggressive care, prolonging suffering. Wisconsin is not a next-of-kin state; therefore, when a power of attorney for healthcare (POA-HC) is not completed ahead of time and valid, the family will have to hire an attorney to appoint a legal guardian which can take months. The purpose of this DNP quality improvement (QI) project is to evaluate the impact that early ACP and GOC education as well as participation in a GOC workshop has on the number of providers having these discussions within practice. This will be completed by providing an educational module within the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner (UWO DNP-FNP) program. The educational module will include concentrated ACP and GOC discussion material. The GOC workshop will include clinical case scenarios for students to practice what they had learned in the educational module. A survey provided at the beginning and end of the project will reveal if the module/workshop was successful in increasing future provider ACP and GOC discussion knowledge/perceived confidence as well as likelihood of integration into primary practice. Providers need to first understand what ACP and GOC discussions entail before change can occur.

Keywords: advance care planning, goals of care discussions, advance directive, next-of-kin, guardianship, palliative care, primary care providers, prognostication
Hope Sievert, DNP GradNursingAdvance Care Planning and Goals of Care Discussion: Advance care planning (ACP) and goals of care (GOC) discussions should be a continual process between the provider and patient within a primary care setting. The goal of ACP and GOC discussions are to honor a patient’s values and medical treatment preferences; however, these crucial discussions are often held off until decline in health or loss of competency. As a result, patients may receive unwanted aggressive care, prolonging suffering. Wisconsin is not a next-of-kin state; therefore, when a power of attorney for healthcare (POA-HC) is not completed ahead of time and valid, the family will have to hire an attorney to appoint a legal guardian which can take months. The purpose of this DNP quality improvement (QI) project is to evaluate the impact that early ACP and GOC education as well as participation in a GOC workshop simulation has on the number of future providers having these discussions within practice. This was completed by providing an educational module within the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner (UWO DNP-FNP) program. The educational module consisted of concentrated ACP/GOC discussion material. The GOC simulation included clinical case scenarios for students to practice what they had learned in the educational module with a partner. A survey provided at the beginning and end of the project revealed statistically significant results related to an increase in future provider ACP/GOC discussion knowledge, perceived confidence and likelihood of integration into primary practice. Providers need to first understand what ACP and GOC discussions entail before change can occur.

Keywords: advance care planning, goals of care discussions, advance directive, next-of-kin, guardianship, palliative care, primary care providers, prognostication

Allen Simpson, DNP GradSciencesRisk-stratification using the STOP-BANG Assessment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Cataract Removal Patient: This quality improvement project integrates the STOP-BANG (SB) assessment as a pre-operative risk tool for cataract surgery, aiming to address the under-diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in these patients. STOP-BANG, a validated and reliable tool, guides anesthesia plans for moderate to high-risk patients undergoing sedation for cataract surgery. The project's objective is risk-stratify cataract surgical patients based on STOP-BANG assessment during pre-operative anesthesia evaluations, specifically targeting patients at risk for OSA. It seeks to evaluate whether high-risk STOP-BANG scores correlate with increased airway maneuvers or adverse events during surgery.
Rooted in the QI framework and employing research-like elements, this project utilizes the PDSA framework to enhance methodology and outcomes. The focus lies on adverse events and airway maneuvers during cataract surgery, with adverse respiratory events defined as desaturation below 92% and observed apnea lasting 10 seconds or longer. The study assesses patient demographics alongside adverse respiratory events, distinguishing between high-risk and low-risk SB patients. This correlation between SB scores and adverse events serves as a novel aspect of the project, aiming to improve staff vigilance and reduce respiratory complications associated with sedation during cataract surgery, particularly in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. The implications extend beyond cataract surgeries to other procedures like colonoscopies and transesophageal echocardiograms, potentially influencing preoperative protocols on a broader scale.
Holly Simpson, Senior – Music EducationArts, HumanitiesMagical Themes in Musical Theater Repertoire: My objective for a summer research grant is to study and perform a selection of songs from musical theater works related to one theme: magic. From both creative and scholarly perspectives, I will study and prepare ten different songs from various time periods of musical theater. The project will encompass different styles of singing from book musicals, concept musicals, film musicals, and golden age musicals. Performing and analyzing these specific pieces, chosen based on their common thematic thread, is a unique scholarly and creative endeavor, and will help me gain knowledge of building and studying new characters and their backgrounds, circumstances, and relationships with other characters.As a music education major, much of my time is spent learning a broad selection of music, but course requirements in a typical semester don’t allow me to focus on a project of this type at the depth that I would like to do. I will utilize skills I have been gaining from my courses in opera theater, voice lessons, diction, and music theory and history: staging and characterization, genre-appropriate vocal technique, enunciation, analysis of music, and placing works in its historical context. I will apply all these skills and draw on similar models in classical repertoire to accomplish this focused project. The outcome will be several live performances as well as detailed program notes comparing the treatment of magic and how it is portrayed and utilized in the drama among all the different works.
Ingrid Simpson, DNP GradNursingThe Effectiveness of an Oral Health Informational Tool on Nursing Oral Care Performance : Abstract
The performance of oral care has been questioned based on the need for more task completion documentation in hospitalized cerebral vascular accident (CVA) patients. A literature review found the principal reasons: supplies, staffing issues, and time. However, studies also pointed out that there is a need for oral care education, guidelines, policies, and procedures. This project aims to develop a CVA oral care learning module, administer it to nursing staff, and evaluate its effectiveness in improving their documentation of oral care completion in the electronic medical record flowsheet section. The site, Saint Mary’s Hospital, is a CVA-certified hospital on the neuroscience floor with thirty-two beds. A pre-and post-survey will demonstrate the staff’s knowledge and skills. The project hopes to bring attention to the importance of oral care.
Lexy Simpson, First year – Human Services LeadershipArts, HumanitiesDamaged Goods: The Negative Effects of Social Media on Black Male/Female Relationships: In the vast tapestry of human connection, relationships serve as the intricate threads that weave the fabric of our societal landscape. However, within this intricate pattern, the portrayal of Black relationships has often been subjected to a complex and sometimes misleading narrative which has led to a weird warping of the Black American relational fabric. The media, including film, television, and other forms of popular culture, plays and continues to play a pivotal role in shaping societal perceptions and attitudes towards these relationships.

As a community we have to stop defining the bedrock of our existence (black male/female relationships) based on tropes, memes, and notions found within the parameters of social media. This presentation seeks to shed light on the many ways Black Relationships have been subjected to criticism, cynicism, demonization, and institutional racism.
Emma Smith, Senior – Biology (Cellular/molecular emphasis)SciencesProposed conservation of function in the Kinesin 7 motor proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana from Kingdom Animalia: This project examines whether the function of the kinesin-7 protein involved with mitosis, the process of cell division resulting in two new daughter cells, is conserved from kingdom Animalia to Plantae using the model organism, Arabidopsis thaliana. While both animal and plant cells encode the genes that make the kinesin-7 protein, but while lots of research has been done on the kinesin-7 in kingdom Animalia, little is known about its functional differences or similarities from that in kingdom Plantae. The differences or similarities found between the protein across kingdoms provides insight into the evolutionary differences between the kingdom Animalia and kingdom Plantae, which helps to reveal why the two kingdoms are evolutionarily different. To achieve the results, strains of the genetic model flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana were obtained from the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center that held a predicted insertion allele at the kinesin-7 gene locus. A PCR/gel electrophoresis genotyping protocol was created to enable genotyping of each mutant plant until a homozygous recessive plant was identified. Resulting genotypes can then be linked to phenotypes of each plant, aiding in revealing the plant kinesin protein’s functionality and highlighting the differences in the protein across kingdoms. Possible homozygous recessive plants were found but have not yet been confirmed. Based upon a protein alignment of 5 kinesin-7 proteins among 5 model organisms across both kingdoms, the results are indicative of possible conservation within the motor domain of the protein. This conservation of the motor domain may be indicative of function conservation, as similar protein domain structure often results with similar functionality.

Adam Sobieski, Senior – Microbiology, Biomedical scienceSciencesLaboratory Life Cycle Maintenance of the Soft Tick Ornithodoros tartakovskyi: The soft tick genus Ornithodoros, of the family Argasidae, is associated with bacterial and viral diseases such as tickborne relapsing fever and tickborne encephalitis virus complex. The purpose of this project was to generate life cycle history data for laboratory maintenance of the soft tick Ornithodoros tartakovskyi. Ticks in this project were regularly blood fed and lifecycle history events were quantified. Events included: how many nymphal instar stages occur in this life cycle; how many minutes it takes different lifecycle stages to engorge while blood feeding; how many minutes it takes for an engorged tick to detach during blood feeding, how many days it takes for female ticks to produce eggs, how many eggs are produced, and how many days it takes for eggs to hatch. This data and continued collection of data will be included in a manuscript entitled ‘Laboratory Maintenance of Ornithodoros tartakovskyi’ that we will submit to the peer-reviewed journal Ticks and Tickborne Disease. Understanding maintenance of this species in a laboratory setting is key to advancing research in the future. This project is aimed at outlining approaches for continued community research.
Makaylee Stewart, Senior – Psychology Social Science, Business, EducationSocial Service Work for At-Risk Youth: Biggest Stressors Experienced, the Effect on their lives, and Coping Strategies: Research regarding the importance of identifying and preventing excessive stress, and making use of adaptive coping mechanisms amongst social service workers is lacking. Due to the high physical and emotional demand of social service work, it is vital that those working in the field, especially those working closely with at-risk youth living in group home and residential facilities, are studied. This research seeks to discover the most significant stressors social service workers experience while working with at-risk youth in group home and residential settings. Additionally, to identify how those stressors may or may not be impacting their lives and relationships. And, to identify potential adaptive and maladaptive coping mechanisms commonly used to deal with work stressors. Stressors that occur due to shift work and organizational factors will be examined along with coping mechanisms these workers employ, such as religious practice, exercise, family/friend support, and therapy. This research will be done by gathering qualitative data from semi-structured interviews. The aim of this study is to illuminate the challenges faced by social service workers in order for these organizations to provide necessary resources for these workers to do their jobs effectively and improve the lives of these youth.
Makaylee Stewart, Senior – Psychology Social Science, Business, EducationDirty Hands Make for Dirty Data: How AI and Predictive Policing Make Way for Racial Bias and Discrimination : As time passes and our world advances, it is no secret that technology continues to transform the way in which people operate in their day-to-day lives. Artificial intelligence (AI) is slowly but surely taking over the responsibility of time-consuming or undesirable tasks, that at one point in time was only possible for humans to complete. In the fields of business, economy, health care, and law enforcement, we see an increase in the role technology plays in their success and efficiency. This research will be honing in on the application of artificial intelligence and predictive technologies in the criminal justice system.
Though the use of artificial intelligence technologies possesses great potential and benefits, research shows that these technologies come with a host of ethical concerns–the biggest concern surrounding ideas of bias and discrimination, and other concerns pertaining to privacy and loss of anonymity for citizens and lack of transparency and accountability of the system. While in this review of literature I plan to briefly touch on the discussion surrounding the breach of privacy AI allows for, the main goals of this research include: to identify the ways in which artificial intelligence is utilized in various steps in the criminal justice process, discover the ways in which these technologies inherit and perpetuate racial bias and discrimination, and shed light on suggestions for ways in which we can avoid these issues. In order to address the human biases that still exist in the criminal justice system, it is dire that we educate ourselves on and acknowledge the limits of artificial intelligence and predictive policing technology.
Facial recognition, license plate recognition, body worn cameras, crime hotspot analytics, and gunshot detection are just a few of many technologies utilized by law enforcement today in the U.S. and around the world. These technologies can be seen employed prior to any encounter with law enforcement, all the way until an inmate is released and risk assessments are given in order to predict their likelihood to reoffend. Police and other law enforcement agencies are placing an increasingly heavy reliance on the use of technology to prevent, stop, and react to crime in a safe and efficient manner. Technology has transformed the way law enforcement conducts investigations and processes information and we are entering a new era of crime prevention and detection tools, but is this truly for the better? There are undoubtedly many benefits of advanced technology in policing. Imagine the circumstances where body-worn cameras catch live footage of an unarmed black man being gunned down outside of his home, and this footage helps to indict the officer(s) responsible. However, what happens when facial recognition technology wrongfully identifies a black man as a shoplifter caught on camera and he is arrested in front of his wife and two young children, while the system he is entering rarely takes the side of his people? Or when the predictive data based on falsified data records with racist, sexist, and homophobic roots or a cowardly fear of public opinion allow for corrupt data points to become legitimate predictors of crime and/or criminality?
Cora Strand, Senior – Sociology Social Science, Business, Education"The Birds, the Bees, and the STD's" : Sex education in America is suffering, with minimal and often inaccurate information provided to adolescents due to the absence of standardized legislation. This research proposal aims to investigate gender disparities in sexual education knowledge, assessing whether males or females possess greater understanding of sexual practices. Drawing on evidence from the wide-ranging impacts of comprehensive sex education, including reduced rates of teen pregnancy and sexual abuse, the study seeks to highlight the consequences of inadequate education. Through a cross-sectional survey targeting college students aged 18-21, data will be collected and analyzed to determine gender-based differences in sexual knowledge. By highlighting these disparities, this research plans to advocate for more inclusive and comprehensive sex education programs that empower all adolescents with essential knowledge for healthy life impacting decision-making.
Lana Vang, DNP GradNursingFacilitating Medication Adherence Among the Medically Underserved Patient Population : Improving patient-physician or medical staff relationship has proven to be effective in medication adherence. This quality improvement (QI) project aims to promote the relationship to increase adherence rate in the medically underserved (MU) patient population. Partnership Community Health Center (PCHC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that provides health and dental services onsite to patients in Northeast Wisconsin. The location of study for this QI project will be at their Appleton clinic location from June 2023 to September 2023. Several factors inhibit MU patients from adhering to health recommendations. However, one identified theme that could improve is the lack of interaction between medical staff and patients. Medication knowledge deficit leads to nonadherence and inure patients to poor health outcomes if not addressed at an early point. To improve health promotion and disease prevention, it is imperative to recognize and acknowledge what an individual’s health belief is and the impact on perception of health. The Health Belief Model (HBM) framework underpins this project and serves as an appropriate guide to gain insight into a patient’s health belief to medication adherence and approaches to facilitate compliance for best health outcomes. The Brief Medication Questionnaire screening tool (BMQ) will be utilized pre and post to identify patients that are nonadherence and after one month to determine if improvement occurs, respectively. Final evaluations will follow project implementation with the anticipation that end results will provide essential data to identify patient barriers and methods to increase medication adherence rate in the MU patient population at PCHC. Recognizing patients with knowledge deficit barriers and implementing an individualized plan to increase medication adherence is conducive to positive overall health and longevity.
Kaleb Walter, Sophomore – Economics and Finance Social Science, Business, EducationRichard T. Ely’s Census of Public Utilities : Almost everyone relies on public utilities. This makes it important to understand the historical evolution of their economic organization. I reconstruct Richard T. Ely’s census of public vs. private utilities (1890 to 1930) and use regression analysis to identify which state demographic and economic characteristics were associated with higher rates of public utility ownership.
Catherine Washak, Graduate Student – MicrobiologySciencesMicrobiota transfer from a fattening hibernator triggers weight gain but not metabolic inflammation in outbred mice: Obesity can be triggered by a shift in the gut microbiota leading to inflammation in the gut and adipose tissue. Previously, we examined the microbiota, gut, and metabolic tissues of ground squirrels during their fattening period and found levels of inflammatory cytokines increased as the animals fattened. For this experiment, we sought to determine whether this phenotype could be transferred to another species. We collected microbiota from the distal gut of post-hibernation thirteen-lined ground squirrels and transferred it to diversity outbred (DO) mice via gavage. Microbiota collected from ground squirrels 48 hours after emerging from hibernation triggered the greatest weight gain in mice. We examined cytokine levels in the ileum and adipose tissue to look for signs of metabolic inflammation. IL-6 increased in the ileum of mice that received a gavage of microbiota collected 8 weeks after emergence from hibernation. Thus, although the 48 hr microbiota induced the most weight gain, it did not induce metabolic inflammation in these mice. Further examination of other parameters of metabolic inflammation is currently underway. Study was supported by the NIH R15GM124586
Kendra White, Junior – Environmental Studies SciencesIndigenous Garden Project: This poster will focus on an Indigenous garden project on the Oshkosh campus, consisting of growing culturally significant medicines and food for Native American community members within a protected but accessible location. This research remains in progress, and the poster presentation will focus on methods, processes, initial results, and next steps, including why an Indigenous garden belongs on the UWO campus. Using Indigenous-centered science, traditional ecological knowledge, and ethnographic research, I have identified the core components of a Great Lakes area medicine garden: sweetgrass, tobacco, cedar, and sage. These four medicines are the main components of the medicine wheel, used by many different tribes for traditional healing ceremonies and everyday well-being. This project explores how these medicines, once planted, harvested, and dried, can be utilized by community members—especially students who want to gather medicine for healing or gifting. Additionally, I will share the research behind our plan for growing culturally significant foods, based on the story of the "Three Sisters." The three sisters refer to the growth of corn, beans, and squash together to help each other grow big and strong, and my initial research includes which varieties grow best together in this environment as well as traditional methods for planting and harvesting. Growing these foods and medicines encourages food sovereignty and also gives access to these culturally significant resources UWO students might otherwise never get to interact with. Overall, this project aims to provide the representation Indigenous people lack on this campus as well as make cultural practices for Native American students and community members on campus accessible and protected, generating relationships of mutual support and belonging.
Logan White, Junior – HistorySocial Science, Business, EducationBelonging and Engagement on a Two-Year College Campus: This study investigates student sense of belonging at a two-year commuter campus. Results reveal a significant divide in students’ sense of belonging linked to levels of engagement on campus outside of class; those who spend more time on campus, especially those who interact regularly with other members of the campus community, reported a stronger sense of community and belonging. 
Susan Whiteside, Graduate Student – Nursing NursingCan the Use of the Train the Trainer Model in Healthcare Education Positively Influence Knowledge Retention? : This is a literature review aimed to answer the question- Can the use of the train the trainer model in healthcare education positively influence knowledge retention? The train the trainer model is an educational tool in which peers train peers. It involves champion identification, champion development, and champion integration. It is already known that this model has a positive impact on knowledge retention, and this literature review shows just how big that impact is. The studies reviewed include simulations and hands-on training sessions within hospitals, nursing school programs, community nursing, and nursing homes. The themes found in the results of these studies are an increase in knowledge by both the trainer and learner, effective teaching by the trainers, and an increase in the self-efficacy of the trainers. Going forward, this model can be utilized within the healthcare field. It can be used to save costs within nursing programs by having students train students. Additionally, it can lessen the burden of educators by having “champions” train their peers. Although more research needs to be done on the long-term effects of this model, currently it shows promise in the knowledge retention of healthcare workers.
Daisy Wilson, Senior – Biology and PsychologySciencesGreen Chemistry in Novel Organic Chemistry Reactions: The purpose of our research was to find greener reaction conditions in the Friedel-Crafts Acylation of anisole. The most promising procedure used in organic chemistry labs- at UW Oshkosh- used propionyl chloride (as the acylating agent), aluminum chloride (as a catalyst), and methylene chloride (as a solvent) to acylate anisole. Dichloromethane, commonly known as methylene chloride, has been deemed an unnecessary health risk by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to its toxicity, effects on the brain and liver, and linkage to causing cancer. Additionally, use of propionyl chloride and aluminum chloride also present safety concerns due to being highly corrosive and producing highly corrosive and volatile hydrogen chloride gas. Our research attempted to find reaction conditions that would decrease health risks to the operators, be performed in the allotted lab time at UW Oshkosh, and produce less hazardous wastes. Through a multitude of experiments with varying reactants and manipulations, we successfully acylated anisole without using propionyl chloride, aluminum chloride, or methylene chloride. In our first successful method, anisole was acylated in the presence of propionic anhydride and trifluoroacetic acid (a strong acid catalyst) with high percent yields and negligible impurities. The procedure eliminated the hazardous exposure and waste disposal of methylene chloride, aluminum chloride, and propionyl chloride, but was not without its flaws. Trifluoroacetic acid is corrosive, toxic, and volatile. Therefore, our research used the results from trifluoroacetic acid to search for a similar, yet cleaner and safer catalyst. We discovered that using the non-volatile, acidic resin- Amberlyst 15- as a catalyst in place of trifluoroacetic acid yielded promising results. Through experimenting with different reaction conditions, we obtained a successful and efficient procedure that uses the Amberlyst-15 as a catalyst in the Friedel-Crafts Acylation of anisole. Furthermore, there is evidence that the Amberlyst-15 can be reused and generate desired product after the first use. Our research describes the routes explored to replace hazardous materials in the Friedel-Crafts Acylation of anisole with greener alternatives but emphasizes the exploration of the Amberlyst-15.
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