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Department Accomplishments

Health Science faculty members are active in research, in professional associations, and in public health initiatives. Recent highlights include:

Jeanelle Boyer, in partnership with Tiffany Mathews of the Health and Wellness center, received a $1,000 Pepsi grant to support live music and yoga classes in hopes of providing people with an opportunity for a community building, joyful, and relaxing experience. They held three events; Jeanelle taught each of the classes and was accompanied by musicians from New Hampshire and Vermont. Some 60 people attended (mostly students but some faculty and staff as well), and the response was very positive.

Karrie Kalich, Lynn Arnold, Stacy Fortin, and Deirdre McPartlin were awarded a $44,395 grant from the HNH Foundation to develop online nutrition and physical activity certificate training geared toward early child professionals.

Karrie Kalich and Becky Dunn were awarded a $53,183 grant from the NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to implement and assess nutrition, physical activity, and breastfeeding training for licensed child care centers across New Hampshire. Three students assisted with the project; two of them were funded through the DHHS grant and one was funded through INBRE (New Hampshire Network of Biomedical Research Excellence). Students administered a telephone survey to 160 child care centers on breastfeeding practices and policies that inform the development of an online training for early childhood professionals. The online training was developed by Lynn Arnold and was completed by 40 early childhood professionals. Twenty child care centers participated in the project, which reached 800 pre-school aged children. Karrie and Becky will continue working on lactation-based research in child care centers as they were recently awarded a KSC Faculty Development Grant to assess the effectiveness of the 90-minute online breastfeeding-friendly child care training that was approved by New Hampshire Child Care Licensing for professional clock hours.

Becky Dunn, Karrie Kalich, Meg Henning, and Rudy Fedrizzi continued work on their multi-year research initiative, Understanding Barriers and Positive Contributors to Breastfeeding among NH WIC Mothers. Recent outcomes achieved included: completion of data analysis, a poster presentation at the 18th annual International Meeting of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine in Philadelphia, a round-table presentation at the American Public Health Association in Boston, manuscript preparation and submission of qualitative data, and a presentation at the annual New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force Conference.

Meg Henning mentored several students on the following academic enrichment opportunities:

  • Two students received funding from the Keene State College Student Conference Fund to attend the 2013 Unite for Sight Global Health & Innovation Conference at Yale University in New Haven, CT
  • One student presented on Assessing New Hampshire’s HIV Surveillance Data Completeness at a conference of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges

Meg Henning completed a year-long Takemi Fellowship with Harvard University School of Public Health, where she focused on leveraging the role of community workers in health governance in Zambia. She traveled to Zambia in summer 2013 to complete field research in the area of orphans and vulnerable children and psychological support, which will be integrated into the Health Promotion option’s curriculum.

At the 2012 American Public Health Association Conference, Meg Henning presented “Portraits in Women’s Health – Federal Breastfeeding Workplace Law and University Lactation Support Programs: Translating Policy to Action.” At the 2013 Global Health Symposium of the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Global Health and Population, Meg Henning presented “A Community Approach to Meeting HIV Prevention/Educational Needs for Orphans and Vulnerable Children Using a Mixed Methods Approach.”

Marj Droppa was awarded a $1,225 faculty development grant to implement a collaborative study with North Dakota State University to pilot a new online wellness survey to assess the relationship between student health-risk behaviors and academic achievement.

Marj Droppa and Jeanelle Boyer were awarded a $600 Pepsi Grant to implement a campus-wide investigation in prescription drug abuse using a participatory and experimental qualitative research method called Appreciative Inquiry. Marj Droppa mentored several students on research around prescription drug abuse, and several students will be presenting at regional/national conferences, including:

  • Two students at the COPLAC conference in Connecticut;
  • One student at the National Council for Undergraduate Research conference in Wisconsin;
  • Three students at the national meeting of the American College Health Association conference in Boston.

Together with Monadnock United Way, Marj Droppa mentored a Health Science student this summer as part of an INBRE-funded grant project to investigate the social determinants of health in the Monadnock region. The student will also help develop evidence-based strategies to deal with such issues as child poverty and health problems caused by low socio-economic status.

Marj Droppa, Becky Dunn, John Finneran, Meg Henning, and Margaret Smith presented at the first inaugural Faculty Excellence Conference at Keene State. The panel presentation, “Faculty Scholarship, High Impact Practice, and Student Success in the Field of Health Science,” highlighted scholarly initiatives and the involvement of students.

Chris Burke and Tiffany Matthews (Center for Health & Wellness), Brian Quigley (Counseling Center), and a team of faculty from the Health Science Department (Marj Droppa, Margaret Smith, John Finneran, Jeanelle Boyer, and Amanda Bernius) are partnering with Franklin Pierce University, Monadnock Voices for Prevention, and Cheshire County to address substance misuse among college students. The award provides $155,995 over two years.

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Barbara Beaton
Administrative Assistant

Admissions Office
229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435