CHP News

The latest news and accomplishments concerning the College of Health Professions.


SRU social work faculty and alumni publish articles
Yvonne Eaton-Stull, a Slippery Rock University associate professor of social work, Christopher Streidl, a SRU assistant professor of social work, and Denna Hays, a SRU assistant professor of social work, co-authored a research paper that was published in the Research on Social Work Practice journal.

The article titled, “Animal-Assisted Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Groups for Those Who are Incarcerated: A Pre-Post-Test Study,” argues the benefits of animal-assisted dialectical behavior among Crawford County Correctional Facility inmates at risk for or currently self-harming. Mary Bauer, ’23, and Sherry Rigel, ’22, both graduates with master’s degrees in social work, were also co-authors of the study.

Eaton-Stull also published an article titled “Social Work Education: Projects to Enhance Student Knowledge and Application of the Interaction of Environmental Sustainability, Animal Welfare and Human Well-being,” that was published in the Social Work in Mental Health journal. The article, based on projects produced in a Master of Social Work classroom setting, explores how environmental issues affect interactions between humans and animals.

Jeff Lynn - Exercise Science, published an article in the journal, Prosthetics and Orthotics International.

Eaton-Stull publishes paper with Shiller
Yvonne Eaton-Stull, a Slippery Rock University associate professor of social work, wrote a case study and co-authored a research paper with an SRU alumna that were published in academic journals.

Eaton-Stull's case study titled, “Animal Welfare for Therapy Dogs in Correctional Settings,” was published in the CABI: Animal Behaviour and Welfare Cases. The study theorized that, like humans, therapy dogs may experience anxiety when visiting jails or locked facilities, and such physical and emotional safety of therapeutic animals should be considered just as closely as they are for humans.

Eaton-Stull also co-authored an article with Makenzie Shiller, a 2023 SRU graduate, titled, “Animal-assisted crisis response: Characteristics of canine handlers and their canine partners,” that was published in CABI: Human-Animal Interactions. The article is based on recent research with animal-assisted crisis response handlers who provide support following crises and disasters. Shiller earned bachelor’s degrees in social work and criminology and criminal justice.

SRU professors author chapters in social work book
Three Slippery Rock University social work professors wrote chapters in the book titled  “Careers in One Health: Social Workers' Roles in Caring for Humans and their Animal Companions.” The book offers insights from pioneers as well as practitioners in the social work field and offers knowledge, pathways and advice from those who have succeeded in including their love for animals in their careers, shining a light on the path for those who share similar passions.

Kristie Abbs, an assistant professor of social work, wrote a chapter titled, “A social work paths to teaching in higher education.” Denna Hays, an assistant professor of social work, wrote a chapter titled “Unexpected implementation of AAI in crisis work,” and Yvonne Eaton-Stull, an associate professor of social work, wrote a chapter titled, “Supreme dogs, dream jobs.” 

SRU recreational therapy program recognized by ATRA
Slippery Rock University’s recreational therapy program received several honors at the American Therapeutic Recreation Association’s 2023 Conference, Sept. 9-12, in St. Louis. SRU earned the ATRA’s Excellence in Education Award, which recognizes an institution of higher education that has distinguished itself through outstanding contributions to the recreational therapy profession.

SRU Research Focus: Study is helping establish guidelines for recreational therapists using equines
7/18/23 Researchers at Slippery Rock University are at the forefront of preparing national standards for recreational therapists who use equines in their practice. Thanks to a grant from the National Council on Therapeutic Recreation Certification, a research team at SRU is collecting and analyzing data from a survey that was sent to more than 20,000 certified therapeutic recreational specialists.

SRU Research Focus: Alexandra Kaufman taking animal-assisted support to veterinary staff
Alexandra Kaufman, a Slippery Rock University senior social work major from Zelienople, is conducting research this summer about the effectiveness of animal-assisted support for veterinary staff.

Schmeltz co-authors article published in the Open Journal of Occupational Therapy
Bernadette Schmeltz, a Slippery Rock University assistant professor of occupational therapy, recently co-authored an article that was published in the Open Journal of Occupational Therapy. Schmeltz’s article, titled  “Understanding the Doctoral Capstone Coordinator Position: A Unique Faculty Role in Occupational Therapy Education,” explored the demographics of doctoral capstone coordinators; their required workload, tasks, and responsibilities; and the supports available, based results of an online survey of DCCs.
The OJOT an open-access, peer-reviewed journal that published articles about applied research, practice and education in the occupational therapy profession.

Eshak co-authors study published in the National Llibrary of Medicine
Tarek Eshak, a Slippery Rock University assistant professor of public health, recently co-authored an article that was published in the National Library of Medicine titled “Syndemic of Substance Abuse, Depression, and Type 2 Diabetes and Their Association with Retention in Care Among People Living with HIV.” The article details the relationship between substance abuse, depression, and type 2 diabetes and the effects the diagnoses have on care given to patients with HIV.   

Exercise Science colleagues and students Exercise is Medicine  program has earned Gold  status by the American College of Sports Medicine. SRU's program was one of 73 universities that earned Gold status among the 149 universities and colleges that were recognized overall. Dr. Joy Urda and Dr. Steve Verba oversee the program. They have partnered with Kris Benkeser to implement exercise and physical activity as a vital sign in the electronic medical record at SRU's Student Health Center. Once students are identified as not meeting exercise or physical activity guidelines for health benefits, they are referred to an Exercise Science Intern and Graduate Assistant to implement individualized programs and behavior change strategies. In addition, they have connected with two local physician offices that have also started referring their patients for individualized exercise programs. The program has also implemented educational and experimental programs for faculty, staff, and community members on campus and at places in the surrounding communities (e.g., the local YMCA, senior centers, and Institute for Learning in Retirement Center). They have also worked with sports teams, numerous student clubs, and have provided other opportunities for students on campus to engage in exercise and physical activity.

Kristie Abbs, a Slippery Rock University assistant professor of social work, presented at two conferences and received an award for a program she created.

Abbs' first conference presentation at the Culture of Care Summit, Feb. 14, in Las Vegas, Nevada, titled, “Integration of Social-Emotional Learning into the Classroom,” focused on techniques to integrate social-emotional learning in the classroom to advance students' skills in self-awareness, decision-making, self-management and social skills at the college level.

Her second conference presentation, at the National Organization of Student Success 48th Annual Conference, Feb. 17-18, in Las Vegas, titled, “The Effects of Pre-Interventions on Test Anxiety,” shared the results of a study of the outcomes of using different pre-interventions to decrease test anxiety.

Abbs was also awarded the Programs of Promise National Award presented by the National Organization of Student Success for the “Lunch and Learn” program she developed for SRU social work students. The program offered free, one-hour training taught by SRU social work faculty on various topics.

Massey, Wells and Witzke present research at psychology meeting
Catherine Massey, a Slippery Rock University professor of psychology, presented research with two SRU students at the  Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting, March 2-4, in Boston. Massey, along with Reese Wells, a senior psychology major from New Castle, and Kayla Witzke, a senior psychology major from Grove City, presented a poster titled “Exploring Self-Compassion and Body Image in Non-Binary and Genderqueer Individuals.”
Their study examined the associations among gender identity, perceived sociocultural pressure to be thin, self-compassion and body surveillance and shame. More than 700 people attended the conference from a variety of specialties in psychology.

Faculty member Seth Jenny has published a paper in the peer reviewed journal Entertainment Computing, titled: 
"A Bunch of Big Idiots Smack into Each Other” – A Mixed-Method Investigation of Learning Rugby through Video Gaming Compared to Traditional Instruction.

An Interview with Joyce N. Thomas, Founding Member and Past President of APSAC Bonnie Christian Marsh, , DSW, LSW.

SRU’s College of Health Professions creates a vision of collaboration and community engagement
Christine Karshin just completed her first semester as dean of Slippery Rock University's College of Health Professions. The CHP was established for the fall 2022 semester and is SRU's fifth college. After a semester of working with faculty and administrators, Karshin has some clear plans for how CHP will serve students, the community and health care employers in the region.

Abbs’ article about foster parents and children published by Social Work Today
Kristie Abbs, a Slippery Rock University assistant professor of social work, recently wrote an article for the Social Work Today E-Newsletter titled “Supporting Foster Parents and Children.”  
Abbs provides details about the challenges faced by foster parents and children and information on how to offer increased support to meet both of their needs across the micro, macro and mezzo levels. Social Work Today is a newsletter with 25,000 subscribers for social workers, educators, counselors/clinicians, private practitioners, administrators and students.

SRU social work major uses first-hand experience to help homeless youth and foster students
Meghan, an SRU senior social work major from Butler, is a living testimony to the impact of a college education, despite the fact that she was once living in a car while enrolled at another institution.

Kochick presents at ANPT Conference
Victoria Kochick, Associate Professor from the Physical Therapy department presented her poster Concussion Self-Efficacy in Screening, Examination, and Intervention: Knowledge Translation Approach at the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy Conference. Her poster was deemed "most clinically relevant."

Potential Benefits of Using Exercise as a Treatment Strategy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
An article by Jon Anning that was published in an exercise physiology journal.

Kemeny, Bright teach adaptive tai chi at Pittsburgh VA
Betsy Kemeny, a Slippery Rock University associate professor of recreational therapy, and Heather Bright, an assistant professor of recreational therapy, participated in an adaptive Tai Chi training  with VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System this August. 

Eaton-Stull writes a chapter, presents at conferences 
Yvonne Eaton-Stull, a Slippery Rock University associate professor of social work, wrote a chapter in a book edited by Lori Kogan in which professionals engaged in therapy work discuss the unique impact animals have in the lives of those they help.  

Willford receives BDRP award and presents at conference
Jennifer Willford, a Slippery Rock University associate professor of psychology, has been recognized by the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention as an innovative scientist. 

WTAE interview with Storm Harbor Equestrian Center Director, Courtney Gramlich and Recreational Therapy student, Daphne Kalimonh 

White Coat Affair
Forty-nine students from the Slippery Rock University Doctor of Physical Therapy program received their white coats at a ceremony, July 15, at the Smith Student Center Ballroom. 

Collaborative Research: The role of multifunctionality in the evolution of cranial morphological diversity in bats
Dr. Timothy Smith in the Department of Physical Therapy on receiving $171,885 from the National Science Foundation. The research project is in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Washington and the University of Utah. The study,  Collaborative Research: The Role of Multifunctionality in the Evolution of Cranial Morphological Diversity in Bats, is a 3-year project.

SRU earns national endorsement for nursing programs from Colleges of Distinction
Slippery Rock University's nursing programs earned a national endorsement from the Colleges of Distinction (COD), an online guide for college-bound students that honors colleges and universities throughout the U.S. for their excellence. In addition to being named a 2022-23 College of Distinction, SRU received specialized recognition for its undergraduate nursing programs, which includes an online Bachelor of Science in nursing program for registered nurses.

Connecting Kids
Slippery Rock University's Recreational Therapy Program is hosted its annual Camp ROCK: Recreational Opportunities Connecting Kids, June 20 to July 1. This extended school year program is for youths ages 12-21 with autism spectrum disorder.

SRU names Christine Karshin as dean of the new College of Health Professions
Slippery Rock University today announced the hiring of Christine Karshin as dean of the College of Health Professions. Karshin, who is currently the associate dean of Eastern Michigan University's College of Health and Human Services, will start her role at SRU June 21.

SRU recognizing Recreational Therapy Month, hosting Adaptive Sports Day, Feb. 19
To commemorate February as International Recreational Therapy Month, Slippery Rock University will host an array of events dedicated to the subject.

SRU researchers publish article in the Journal of Environmental Health
Three Slippery Rock University professors and one alum were coauthors of an article published in the Journal of Environmental Health, which is a journal from the National Environmental Health Association.

Naggy presents OT poster at ATIA Conference
Erin Naggy, a Slippery Rock University assistant professor of occupational therapy, presented her academic work at the 2022 Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference, Jan. 25-29, in Orlando, Florida, and virtually.

Micsky speaks about loss and grief at Positive Change Conference 
Tami Micsky, a Slippery Rock University assistant professor of public health and social work, was the keynote speaker at the Positive Change Conference.

Wolfe honored by Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy
Krista Wolfe, a 1999 Slippery Rock University graduate with a degree in athletic training, received the 2021 Outstanding Service Award from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. 

SRU offers veterans relief through equine therapy program
Military veterans from local VA hospitals are finding their calm within the storm at Slippery Rock University, that is, at the Storm Harbor Equestrian Center, where veterans with mental health conditions receive equine assisted therapy through a program organized by SRU and funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

SRU alumnus teaching esports class about problem gambling
Michael Buzzelli, a 2010 Slippery Rock University graduate with a degree in public health, will speak to two sections of a University Seminar class about esports at SRU on the topic of problem gambling and video gaming. As the associate director of the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio, Buzzelli is one of the first people in Ohio to work exclusively in problem gambling prevention. 

Robare selected to become an NRHA Rural Health Fellow
Joseph Robare, a Slippery Rock University associate professor of public health and social work, was selected for the National Rural Health Association’s 2022 Rural Health Fellows program.

SRU alumnus serving as founder of the Louisville Slugger Hitting Science Center
There is so much data and science that go into hitting a baseball that a batting cage can now be considered a laboratory. Players can improve by analyzing swing paths, monitoring neurological reactions and selecting the perfect bat, just to name a few. And the person with just the right experience to stitch baseball and science together is Chad Miller, a 2002 Slippery Rock University graduate with a degree in sport management. He is the founder of the newly created Louisville Slugger Hitting Science Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

SRU public health student leads initiative for all-gender restrooms at UPMC
Renee Jannetti, a Slippery Rock University graduate student in public health, recently completed her practicum class project that spurred a change at the hospital where she works: upgrading the facility's single-occupancy restrooms from gendered to all genders.

Two SRU alumni named Pittsburgh Magazine 40 Under 40
Constance Mulbah, a 2012 Slippery Rock University graduate with a degree in public health, and Corey Carrington, a 2011 SRU graduate with a degree in communications, were named to the Pittsburgh Magazine 40 Under 40 list.

Micsky shares social work expertise in multiple platforms
Tami Micsky, a Slippery Rock University assistant professor of public health and social work, shared her expertise related to coping, self-care and social work education.

Barbee appointed COO of eCaring
Matthew Barbee, a 2007 Slippery Rock University graduate with a degree in health care management, was hired as chief operating officer of eCaring.

SRU trustees vote to approve creation of College of Health Professions
Slippery Rock University’s College of Health Professions is now official. The SRU council of trustees conducted a special meeting, Aug. 13 in the Smith Student Center, and unanimously voted to approve the creation of the University’s fifth college, the College of Health Professions. The new college, which will start no later than the fall of 2022, will be largely comprised of existing academic departments currently housed within the College of Health, Engineering and Science. The approval of the college currently does not correlate with the addition of any new academic programs.

New College of Health Professionals at Slippery Rock University
Rick talks to John Bonaguro, the founding dean of the College of Health Professionals at Slippery Rock University, about his experiences in education and what it was like being the interim dean at a new college program.

Slippery Rock University plans to launch College of Health Professions
Slippery Rock University is launching a College of Health Professions, which will put all the school’s health care-related undergraduate and graduate programs together.