Mission Moments Archive
Congratulations to our Communications Sciences & Disorders (CSD) department on their ongoing Centennial Celebration 2023. CSD Centennial Celebration will continue throughout 2023 with numerous events, including World Voice Day, faculty and student presentations at the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association Conference, and much more. This celebration shows the commitment of our faculty to providing access to all students, while making a significant difference in the Commonwealth. To learn more about the CSD Centennial Celebration 2023 click here.
Congratulations to the faculty of the Nursing Department (Drs. Nair, Mandel, Mraz, and Yocum) and the staff within the Office of Digital Learning and Innovation in achieving the Quality Matters online program design certification for our RN-BSN program. The RN-BSN program is only the 7th in the world to earn this certification! This is a wonderful example of how our faculty are delivering exceptional learning opportunities for our students. To learn more about the Office of Digital Learning and Innovation and Quality Matters click here.
The College of Health Sciences is committed to helping students with food insecurity which impacts 30% of all college students. Food insecurity is the measure of available quality food. There is a link to food insecurity and student success (i.e. overall mental health, GPA, retention).
In partnership with the Department of Nutrition, led by Drs. Karpinski, Subach, Holik, and our nutrition major students we are sponsoring CHS Nourish!
The last Wednesday of each month beginning at 11 am in the SECC and Sturzebecker lobbies we will be providing students with nutritious food made by our faculty and staff. Mark your calendars and stop by for free food.
October 26, 2022
November 30, 2022
To learn more about other resources on campus to combat food insecurity.
In August, the College of Health Sciences welcomed 40 high school youth from the greater area to our annual Health Science Career Academy. High school students spent the week under the leadership of faculty members Drs. Nancy Barker (Nursing) and Amir Golmohamadi (Nutrition), university student peer mentors, and volunteer faculty from all our academic programs. Participants had the opportunity to engage in hands on activities to learn about the career opportunities that exist as academic programs within the college. It is our hope this experience will inspire the participants to become future Golden Rams in the coming years! Special thank you to our sponsor, Meridian Bank.
Athletic Training turns 50! Well, actually, the program turned 50 years old in 2020, but the celebration finally took place in 2022! The very important benchmark culminated in an event to honor professor emeritus and program founder Phil Donley. It was an opportunity for alumni, current and former faculty, and friends of the 50+ year program to celebrate the program's success and also to honor Phil Donley with the naming of the soon-to-be renovated Phillip B. Donley Athletic Training Facility. Congratulations to the Sports Medicine Department and to the entire Donley family that were all there to join in the celebration.
We're celebrating National Nurses Week and Golden Ram Nursing students! The first quarter NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) scores are in, and the pass rate for WCU Nursing students is 100%!! Congratulations students and faculty!
CHS students Brynn Myers, Avery Krot, and Ava Sweeney (BS Public Health) were awarded a third place finish at the SOPHE 2022 Student Health Edu-thon competition (National virtual conference). Brynn, Avery, and Ava were coached/mentored by Dr. Becca Rich. Check out the video!
Spread the Word to End the Word started in 2009, the campaign focused its first 10 years on addressing a particularly powerful form of exclusion: the use of the word 'retard(ed)'. Over 10 years, leaders and self-advocates collected millions of digital and physical pledges to end the use of the R-word. Each was a personal commitment to acknowledge the hurt caused by the R-word and to be respectful in the words and actions taken towards people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In 2019, Spread the Word to End the Word became Spread the Word, with a focus not just on the elimination of a word but on the creation of a new reality: inclusion for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For more information you can visit Spread the Word.
This month's mission moment highlights three faculty who were selected for excellence in academic advising by the University wide academic advising committee. Dr. Dara Dirhan was selected as the lone recipient of the University's Annual Outstanding Advisor Award. Academic advising is at the core of student success, and we appreciate the recognition and commitment of all of our faculty in this regard. Each of the recipients has shared guidelines or tips for successful advising. Each of the recipients has shared guidelines or tips for successful advising, click on the caption to review.
Dara Dirhan, Nutrition
As an advisor, it is important to embrace a spirit of servant leadership. From the first advising encounter with students, I display the four principles of being a servant leader: encourage diversity of thought, create a culture of trust, have an unselfish mindset, and foster leadership in others. This method sets the tone for forming strong, long-lasting bonds with students not only for the duration of their time spent at WCU, but also their future endeavors.
Dr. Sojung Kim, Communication Sciences & Disorders
Strength-based approach: Positive and uplifting regards are given to my advisees in a variety of achievements.
Responsivity: My prompt and unconditional responses to my advisees’ approaches ensure that I show open, integrated, respectful, and authentic behaviors during interactions with the advisees.
Resourceful guidance: Having access to policies, programs, and resources available for students on campus is key to academic and career success, as well as mental health and well-being
Nancy Barker, Nursing
A simple practice I have adopted in the past year or so is to open student advising sessions with a conversation starter. Mine is "Tell me what is going on with your classes?" I have found that switching from "how is" to "tell me" I have been able to garner a robust response that allows me to get a broader perspective of how students are doing.
CHS is proud to highlight two first year students; Claire Reynolds, a Communication Sciences & Disorders major, and Kylie Trankle, a Nursing major who participated in the Social Innovation Competition and won second place! Their idea, called “Roasting Composting” is a solar powered compost bin that combines the efficiency of large scale, with the accessibility of small scale composting. They hope to bring Roasting Composting to parks, street corners, and municipalities to encourage everyone to participate!
In recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week October 3-9, we highlight and thank Amanda Blue, CHS Outreach Manager, for bringing the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program to our campus in 2016. MHFA is an 8-hour evidence based public health program. The course teaches participants how to identify signs of mental illness and substance use disorders, and the skills necessary to provide initial support and help connect individuals to appropriate care (modeled after CPR or First Aid). In addition to Amanda, the following individuals on our campus are certified instructors of MHFA: Michelle Kaulback, Nursing Faculty, Cheryl Schlamb, Nursing Faculty, Trish Davidson, Nutrition Faculty, Michele Bratina, Criminal Justice faculty, Tony Delgado, Student Affairs, Barrett McGee, Student Affairs and Ben Morgan, Student Success, Phila Campus.
Visit the Mental Health First Aid page for more information.
As we begin the 2021-22 academic year and celebrate our 150TH anniversary, CHS has expanded its locations across our campuses! Visit our Health, Nursing and Nutrition departments in the new Sciences Engineering Center and Commons, Kinesiology and Sports Medicine departments in Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center on South Campus, Communication Sciences and Disorders department on Carter Drive, and our new Physician Assistant program at the Whiteland Center at our Exton campus!
Welcome to the first cohort of future WCU Physician Assistants! From more than 850 applications, 27 students began their PA studies on July 6. This impressive group comes to us from as far away as California, Texas, Minnesota, and Vermont! They kicked off the program with a soft pretzel welcome and now they're hard at work. Congratulations on your acceptance and we're glad to have you! Program information can be found here.
There was a lot of celebrating this spring! With 28 commencement ceremonies in April and May, we celebrated all of our graduates from 2020 and 2021– and all without a drop of rain! We also continued our decorated mortarboard contest and our CHS students did not disappoint! Check out the entries here.
Undaunted by pandemic restrictions, the College of Health Sciences hosted a virtual celebration of our student's accomplishments on May 1. With over 135 scholarships totaling more than $163,000 in awards, we had a lot to celebrate. These are just a few of our student winners sharing their goals.
View more student selfies through the following video link.
Congratulations to the physician assistant program! The physician assistant program achieved provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program's ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class. Please view this video to learn about the Top 10 things to know about WCU's new PA program. Thank you to the hard work of the PA program faculty.
Left to Right: Amy Baker (Professor, Program Director), Paul Bradford (Professor, Clinical Education Coordinator), Jennifer Anderson (Associate Professor)
March is National Athletic Training and National Nutrition Month and the College of Health Sciences is proud to recognize our programs!
The WCU Athletic Training program is one of the largest accredited programs in the country, preparing athletic trainers since 1970. The faculty pride themselves in their dual roles as classroom teachers and practicing clinicians for the University's intercollegiate student athletes while precepting students. The Nutrition Department has recently created three distinct tracks and a Dietetic Internship Certificate for students interested in becoming registered dietitians. We are proud of the success of these programs and exceptional work by the faculty, students and alumna.
Click the icons to learn more about the programs.
The CDC Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is a national evidence-based intervention to decrease risk of developing type 2 diabetes through sustainable lifestyle changes. Since 2017, WCU's DPP, has provided no cost self-care education for WCU faculty, staff, and the community as well as funded 3 senior undergraduate and 14 graduate students from several disciplines to attend a two-day certification training as Lifestyle Coaches, a necessary step to become DPP facilitators. The students facilitate meetings, develop education materials, and conduct research. Under the direction of Dr. Patricia Davidson (Nutrition) and Dr. Melissa Reed (Kinesiology), the WCU DPP is structured as a 1-year intervention, divided into 16 weekly 1-hour sessions, followed by 6 monthly 1-hour sessions.
The respiratory care program, which is a collaboration with Bryn Mawr Hospital, has been named a recipient of the 2021-2022 Apex Recognition Award. According to the American Association of Respiratory Care, "This respiratory care program has demonstrated best practices in educating our future practitioner and promotes patient safety by providing access to respiratory therapists to deliver their care. Your program is among an elite group of respiratory care educational programs from across the U.S. to receive this award."
This award is an honor that only 8 Educational Programs in the U.S. received! Learn more about the respiratory care program!
In the Spring, CHS student groups were tasked to come up with an innovative tagline that spoke to all six of our departments. What evolved was "Be Fit, Be Well, Be Restored." To further promote their idea, the Dean's office sponsored a t-shirt fundraising drive to benefit the groups and one of our local partners, Community Volunteers in Medicine. Here, interim Associate Dean Dr. Cheryl Gunter presents the profits ($450) to Maureen Tomoschuk of CVIM. Way to go CHS Rams!
This semester teacher candidates enrolled in HPE 300 Curriculum & Instruction: Elementary Physical Education, are teaching physical education to students at the Chester County Family Academy. Dr. Fran Cleland designs the lessons and the teacher candidates teach the children via Zoom. Check out the Channel 6 story below with Tafari Lawrence learning from our students Sarah Sherman and Cameron Orwig.
In spite of a mostly virtual schedule, many of the CHS students are still engaged in their clinical education and working in the field. In our CSD clinic on campus, in area hospitals and schools, and assisting our County Health Department, students are actively engaged in learning. When clinical agencies are not available, our students supplement their learning with virtual clinical experiences, or using the lab to improve skills through simulations.
Trunkloads of Help
The faculty and staff of the CHS have been working to support our community– in body and mind, through the COVID pandemic. The Kinesiology, Nursing and Sports Medicine Departments have all donated cases of gloves, gowns, and other PPE to area hospitals and senior centers, while the Nutrition Department donated unused food items to the St. Agnes Day Room program and healthy snacks to the Chester County Hospital staff. We’re proud that our college, and the WCU administration, took the initiative to keep our community safe and healthy!
The Center for Contemplative Studies has provided valuable public health resources on its site, along with both live and participatory meditation and yoga sessions with opportunities to talk with instructors. All sessions are 30 minutes with 20 minutes of practice and 10 minutes of dialogue. There are also recorded meditations to fit into any schedule.
Human Performance Lab
The state-of-the-art Human Performance Lab, in the College of Health Sciences, is a facility that embodies our mission around innovative approaches to education and research. In it, our faculty are able to teach, conduct research, and help athletes and individuals achieve optimum health and performance. Check out the video below to see the incredible work that's happening here!
"What advice would you offer to other academic advisors?"
Enjoy the experience. With each student advisee I ask that they articulate how they will "find their path" at WCU. Often a student will identify an interest or a passion, maybe sports or the arts, and we collaborate on an approach to pursuing it while they complete their coursework. I find that students that engage in interests outside of nursing will often express feeling more satisfied with their overall WCU experience.
Follow the WCU plan. Watch. Observe other skillful advisers and use them as a resource. Connect. Really get to know your advisee, and Use self-care by taking time to relax and recharge.
What I have learned from my students is that they value input from professors that they respect. They look up to their faculty and expect to be in good hands. Try to picture yourself in their shoes and always be mindful of the tremendous impact that you may have on them. Your interaction with an advisee could improve their day, their academic career, or their life.
Decorated Mortarboard Contest
To celebrate December graduation, the College of Health Sciences sponsored a "Decorated Mortarboard Contest." The winner for "Inspirational Mortarboard" was Tamira McCurty (Kinesiology) for her mortarboard that honored departed loved ones. The winners for "Department/Major Mortarboard" were Alexandra Foust (Nursing) and Kelly Reilley (Communication Sciences and Disorders). The winner for "Humorous Mortarboard" was Danielle Sterner (Kinesiology), who reminded everyone to "Stay Golden." Congratulations to our winners, and to all of CHS graduates!
Take A Mental Health Day 2019
The College of Health Sciences kicked off the fall semester with two great events! The fifth annual "Take a Mental Health Day" event was held on Tuesday, October 8 and featured two very compelling presentations! The afternoon started with Jordan Burnham of Minding Your Mind and his story of recovery from a suicide attempt while in high school, and the evening event featured Ms. Tonier Cain. Tonier's story was one of a life derailed by trauma, it's long lasting influence and her path out. Tonier's presentation was co-sponsored by the College of Education and Social Work, the College of the Sciences and Mathematics, the Criminal Justice Department, and Student Affairs and was followed by a panel discussion on trauma by members of the WCU faculty and the Chester County Prison. It was a very memorable evening!
An Evening with Pat Croce
On October 16, the CHS hosted Pat Croce for an interview with our own Dr. Don McCown. Mr. Croce and Dr. McCown discussed "Living a Contemplative Life In a World of Action." Mr. Croce has been an avid supporter and benefactor to the WCU Center for Contemplative Studies here on campus, and engaged in a wide-ranging conversation with Dr. McCown about his path to a more contemplative way of living. See more information about Mr. Croce's story here in the follow-up interview with Forbes
CHS Students Pass Licensing Exams With Flying Colors!
A major point of pride for the College of Health Sciences, is success in preparing students to enter their professional field. One of the greatest measures of our success, is the first time pass rates on the respective board and licensing exams.
Congratulations on exceptional achievement in this area:
Communication Sciences & Disorders
Graduate students in the Speech Language Pathology (SLP) program complete the SLP Praxis at the end of their graduate studies. This is a standardized, summative assessment of knowledge commissioned by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. Successful completion of the SLP Praxis qualifies graduates for the post-graduate clinical fellowship period. The first-time pass rate of WCU students has been 100% for more than five consecutive years.
Our prelicensure nursing program exceeded the PA State Board of Nursing total NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) first-time pass rate of 92.84% with a pass rate of 97.85%! During the April 2018 to October 2018 reporting period, the prelicensure BSN graduates achieved 100% on the first-attempt pass rate!
Graduates of the Respiratory Care Program are eligible to take both the Certification Exam (entry level written exam) and the Registry Exam (advanced level simulation exam) offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). During the most recent reporting period, which included graduates from the Class of 2018, achievement of the CRT (Certified Respiratory Therapist) credential was 100% and the RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist) credential was 96%.
In May 2019, the Department of Sports Medicine graduated the inaugural cohort for the professional M.S. in Athletic Training program, with a Board of Certification exam pass rate of 100%! ALL graduates passed on their first attempt!