Category Archives: Deborah Himes

BYU’s Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi: Pushing for the Platinum

coe_platinum_chapter_19-20

Platinum is the highest level of Phi Kappa Phi’s Circle of Excellence awards; Image provided by Phi Kappa Phi

By Lyndee Johns

Members of BYU’s Division I chapter of Phi Kappa Phi don’t just go for the gold—they push for the platinum.

Phi Kappa Phi is, as the BYU pamphlet boasts, “the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines.” Juniors in the top 7.5 percent and seniors and grad students in the top 10 percent of their classes are invited to join Phi Kappa Phi, where they are encouraged to participate in chapter activities and be on the student board.

And, as chapter president and college assistant professor Dr. Deborah Himes puts it, BYU’s chapter is “doing something right.”

The BYU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi has recently received the 2019–2020 Circle of Excellence Platinum award. This prestigious award shows that BYU has met chapter requirements, has both social and service events, and has an active student board.

And according to Himes, it is the student board that makes the chapter what it is.

“It’s a student-driven organization,” says Himes. “As the faculty members, or more the faculty/staff, we help keep things running. But we try to help them set the vision . . . We have some of the brightest students on campus, and they can make a lot happen. So we will give them opportunities to do that.”

Run by two elected vice presidents, the student board plans chapter activities. Last year, Phi Kappa Phi partnered with My Story Matters to meet refugee families living in Utah, and to record their stories. The families were later given a bound book that contained their stories, and a family picture. “It was very impactful for the kids to see them realizing that their story matters, their story is important,” says Himes.

Phi Kappa Phi’s current plans for the semester include an interdisciplinary Jeopardy event, and partnering with Dahlia’s Hope—an organization that helps victims of sex trafficking transition back into healthy living.

One of the chapter’s goals for the new year includes running a successful initiation banquet, where the Circle of Excellence award will be announced. Their other goals? “Supporting the students and their service and social activities, and, you know, trying to find ways that we can do good in the world,” says Himes.

Here’s to BYU’s Phi Kappa Phi, and may their programs stay platinum.

 

Three Nursing Student Experiences with Ohio Internship

By Mindy Longhurst

all threeImage of Christin Hickman, James Reinhardt and Cortney Welch at The Ohio State University. Image courtesy of Hickman.

Three College of Nursing students were able to research with some of the best mentors in the field of cancer research this summer with The Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC). The experiences that they had this summer were once in a lifetime (to learn more about how they received the internship opportunity read our previous article https://byunursing.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/a-really-good-big-deal/). Christin Hickman, Cortney Welch and James Reinhardt were able to work with a team of fellow researchers on a certain topic about cancer or cancer-related research. The team that they worked with involved a statistician, a PhD supervisor and a few other research students. In Ohio, a study was conducted that focused on a wide range of health topics, from this information each of the students focused on one aspect of the questionnaire for possible correlations. Following the summer’s research, they worked on publishing an article about their research and presented to a room full of PhD professors on their research findings.

templeImage of Christin Hickman and others at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Columbus, Ohio temple. Image courtesy of Welch.

Christin’s experience

Christin Hickman, a fourth semester nursing student, wanted to participate in this internship experience to see if she wanted to do research full-time in the future. During this time, Hickman focused on colorectal cancer, which is a very preventable form of cancer through regular colonoscopy screenings. Hickman was able to see if there was a difference in knowledge and awareness of colorectal screening rates for those who live in urban areas versus rural areas. Through studying and research, she discovered that in Ohio there is little difference in the knowledge and amount of screenings in rural versus urban participants. The experiences that she had in Ohio helped her to prepare for the future and understand more about how research works. Hickman explains, “This experience helped me to secure my destiny. It feels like research is really what I want to do with my life.” In the future Hickman wants to study more about precision medicine and genetic research.

cortney welch with posterImage of Cortney Welch with her poster that was presented to PhD professors of her research findings. Image courtesy of Welch.

Cortney’s experience

Third semester nursing student, Cortney Welch, enjoyed her time in Ohio. She was able to research if there was a correlation in social cohesion in communities and colorectal cancer screenings. By the end of the summer, she was able to conclude that there is not a correlation in social cohesion in communities and colorectal cancer screenings. Along with the research, Welch was also able to work in a blood sample lab for patients who are using clinical trials for cancer treatment. She was able to help centrifuge, aliquoted blood and labeled the blood samples. Welch loved the experience that she received in both research labs. Welch says, “The internship was a growing experience. When I came home from the internship, I felt accomplished that I had experienced my first taste of a full-time job. I had learned how to do research, how to write a paper. I felt like it was a great use of my summer. It was hard and it was frustrating at times and tedious but I think it was well worth my time. I learned a lot.”

all three with HimesImage of Hickman, Reinhardt and Welch with assistant professor Dr. Deborah Himes. Image courtesy of Hickman.

James’ experience

James Reinhardt, a fourth semester nursing student, was able to focus his research on preventing cancer through a research study on men’s overall health. He studied at-risk participants on how they rated their health. Reinhardt tried to understand why some men would rate their health as poor. Since many of the participants did not take the survey throughout the intervention process, it was very difficult for Reinhardt to come to any conclusion about why these men rated their health as low. However, throughout the process in Ohio, Reinhardt learned many lessons. Reinhardt expounds, “I hopefully will be able to better see road blocks in future research projects. My overall experience was great! We did get to work along with medical students and students from different schools so that was a cool mix to be in. I got to learn how research is vital.”

Overall, the College of Nursing students had a great experience in Ohio. They were able to learn and grow to become better nurses. They are now taking the skills that they learned in Ohio and are implementing them into their current nursing studies.