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Lillian Smith Leads Effort to Study Prevalence of Food and Housing Insecurity for Students at Boise State University

Lillian Smith, associate professor and department head for the Department of Community and Environmental Health, leads the effort of Boise State University to join The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice to study the prevalence of food and housing insecurity for students on Boise State’s campus and to participate in a national research initiative.

The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice is a nonprofit research center focused on rethinking and restructuring higher education and social policies, practices, and resources to create opportunities for all students to complete college degrees. “#RealCollege” students, students who are affected by life, logistics, and lack of resources that ultimately alter the outcome of their college career, are the new majority but they are often ignored. The center uses a rigorous research team to drive innovative practice, evidence-based policymaking, and effective communications to support #RealCollege students.

For the last three years, The Hope Center has conducted nationwide #RealCollege surveys to study basic needs insecurity at more than 100 colleges and universities. The purpose of this survey is to aid institutions in understanding the magnitude of food and housing insecurity on its campus, and find ways they can reshape practices and drive a national conversation about students’ basic needs and the challenges in improving college retention.

Smith, recognizing the need for a deeper understanding of the prevalence of food and housing insecurity for students at Boise State, arranged for the university to participate in the 2018 #RealCollege survey. The survey was distributed to 6,000 students enrolled at Boise State University via email in September, with the objective of collecting data on the prevalence of basic needs insecurity within the student body. Results will be used to drive campus initiatives to create effective and accessible support resources for students struggling with food and housing insecurity as well as reduce the stigma around students accessing these resources.

Boise State University students currently can receive assistance for food and housing insecurity with resources such as: the Student Emergency Fund, a fund that provides financial assistance to Boise State University students who are in danger of withdrawing due to unanticipated, temporary financial hardships resulting from emergency or crisis situations (e.g., accident, illness, death of a family member); the Meal Assistance Program, in partnership with Campus Services and Aramark, the Meal Assistance Program provides no-cost meals to Boise State students facing food insecurity as they can receive 10 meal swipes to be used within a two-month timeframe; and the Campus Food Pantry, an area within the Office of the Dean of Students that offers students nourishing and cost-effective meal and snack options as well as nutritional guidance and education.

To contribute to the Boise State University Student Emergency Fund, contact Nikki Hanson at or (208) 426-2564.

To learn more about The Hope Center visit:

Learn more about Boise State University’s assistance programs.

The Department of Respiratory Care is Hosting an Open House for Students

Do you know what a Respiratory Care Therapist is? Find out at the Department of Respiratory Care Open House on Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 3-5 pm on the second floor of the Health Sciences Riverside Building, 950 Lusk St.

The event is open to all current and prospective Boise State University students who are interested in learning more about the Respiratory Care Program and any other campus community with an interest in the program and department. Attendees will have the opportunity to have an inside look at the Respiratory Care Program through activities such as: lung volume measurements, a tour of the lab, an overview of equipment, and a chance to talk with advisors and professors.

Refreshments will be provided and there will be opportunities to win prizes.

Learn more about the Department of Respiratory Care.

Free Balance, Strength and Physical Function Class for Adults 50 and Older

The School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Kinesiology is offering a free seven-week strength, function and balance class for adults of 50 years of age and older who are looking to improve their physical function. The objective of this class is to improve participants’ functional limitations.

It is designed for those who might be out of the habit of exercising, those who are dealing with chronic conditions or those who simply would like more physical direction delivered in a fun, engaging environment. This class is not designed for highly fit individuals.

Classes will be held 5:15-6:10 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday evenings in the Bronco Gym, room 215, Oct. 16-Dec. 6. The deadline to sign up is 12 p.m. Oct. 18. Participants will be instructed by kinesiology majors who are enrolled in a physical activity and aging course. Participants also will receive an individualized home exercise program following the course.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Terry-Ann Spitzer Gibson at (208) 426-1509 or

Eric Martin Presents at the Association of Applied Sport Psychology Conference

Eric Martin recently presented three posters at the Association of Applied Sport Psychology conference in Toronto, Ontario. Two of the posters were projects that focused on Martin’s work with the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) that investigates issues surrounding race and social justice.
One poster, titled “Collegiate Student-Athlete Perceptions about Race, Diversity and Social Justice,” focused on athletes’ perceptions of racism at the national, collegiate and team levels, as well as several influences on athletes’ intention to engage in activism.

The second poster focused on athletes’ use of various forms of activism to raise awareness on several societal issues and was titled, “Moving the Chains: Athletes Using their Platform to Create Social Change.”

The third poster explored different techniques that four sport psychology instructors use to increase team dynamics in the classroom titled, “Coubertin’s Corner – Increasing Group Functioning in the Classroom: Four Perspectives from the Field.”

Impressive Show of Support During Bronco Giving Day 2018

Hundreds of alumni, friends, fans, faculty, staff, supporters and students came together in an impressive show of support for Boise State University’s students and programs during Bronco Giving Day.

A total of $328,395 came in during the 36-hour campaign. Donations benefit a number of student scholarship funds and initiatives.

Nearly 1,000 people contributed to the overall campaign. That included Boise State faculty and staff who gave 647 times for a total of $34,299.

The College of Health Sciences raised money to go towards the purchase of a new hardworking Hal; a High-Fidelity Manikin that is high-tech, life-size, breathing, blinking, talking simulated patient that will contribute to the education of thousands of students in the college’s Simulation Center.

The manikins within the Simulation Center help create a safe environment where nursing, radiologic sciences, and respiratory care students practice their skills. More than 400 students practice clinical care on these manikins each semester. As a result of Bronco Giving Day, all donations made will go towards a new manikin for the Simulation Center.

“The Boise State family answered the call and stepped up in a very impressive way during these 36 hours,” said Tony Roark, interim provost at Boise State. “I’m inspired and grateful for the show of support for our students, programs and projects. Thank you, Broncos!”

Learn more at

Lucy Zhao Celebrates Publication of Her Manuscript to Journal of Gerontological Nursing

Studio portrait of Lucy Zhao.Lucy Zhao, assistant professor for the School of Nursing, is celebrating the publication of her manuscript, “A Comprehensive Assessment of Risk Factors for Falls in Community-Dwelling Older Adults” to the peer reviewed Journal of Gerontological Nursing.

Zhao’s manuscript, which was also a featured article in the October issue of the journal, is a correlational study to explore risk factors of falls in community-dwelling older adults, which are older adults who are living in the community on their own rather than in nursing homes. She chose this area of study as it is a major health concern in older adults because falls can result in reduced functional abilities, hospitalization, institutionalization, loss of independence, and decreased quality of life. Zhao performed a statistical data analysis to determine which factors increase the probability of falls for these older adults.

As a result, Zhao found that older adults who were homebound experienced impaired balance, arthritis, depression, or anxiety and therefore, were at a much higher risk for falls. Homebound older adults were 50 percent more likely to experience a fall than non-homebound individuals. Following homebound individuals, impaired balance was the strongest correlation for individuals experiencing falls. Zhao concluded that this research can assist community health or home health nurses in assessing risk factors and to plan fall prevention programs for older adults using evidence-based prevention strategies.

Read the full manuscript, “A Comprehensive Assessment of Risk Factors for Falls in Community-Dwelling Older Adults”


Doctor of Nursing Practice in Leadership Student Serves as 2018 Graduate Nursing Student Academy Advocacy Leader

Pam Gehrke and Carlana Coogle posing together

Pam Gehrke and Carlana Coogle (from left to right)

Carlana Coogle, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Leadership student is currently serving as one of two 2018 Idaho representatives for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) as a Graduate Nursing Student Academy (GNSA) Advocacy Leader.

The AACN is the national voice for academic nursing education. They work to establish quality standards for nursing education; assist schools in implementing those standards; influence the nursing profession to improve health care; and promote public support for professional nursing  education, research, and practice.

The GNSA Advocacy Leaders work to maximize AACN’s advocacy efforts on behalf of graduate nursing students. Consisting of two representatives from each state, these nursing leaders participate in quarterly conference calls to develop their advocacy skills and become informed on the latest health policy discussions. The GNSA Advocacy Leaders create a greater impact in amplifying AACN’s policy and advocacy messaging and they provide feedback to AACN staff on policy issues that are of importance to graduate nursing students.

Coogle applied for the GNSA Advocacy Leader position to learn more about how she can work to change healthcare policies in Idaho on the subject of suicide and mental health awareness.

Coogle has since displayed her GNSA Advocacy Leader skills through her scholarly project, an ongoing effort to provide healthcare workers with knowledge and skills that will improve their self-efficiency, attitudes, and stigmas related to mental illness and suicide. For her project, Coogle provided such knowledge to participants through a training she conducted at two hospitals in Idaho, Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene and Boundary Community Hospital in Bonners Ferry. The training consisted of a pre/post survey, bi-weekly emails of training activities for six weeks, and a Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) training session on suicide prevention for which Coogle is a certified instructor. The emails were interactive with true/false, matching, and video questions, all of which provided facts and sent the overall messages “that in order to best care for patients in a crisis you have to be aware and that without awareness workers will most likely miss the signs.”

As a result, Coogle found that participants who attended the QPR training session and completed at least five of the email activities showed significant improvements in their attitudes and stigmas against suicide and mental illnesses. Coogle received feedback that many participants believed they will care for patients in a different way due to the training they received because they now see how their care in hospitals can affect someone’s life decisions.

“My overall goal with this project was to bust the stigma around suicide and mental illness,” said Coogle. “This project was an astounding success in the two hospitals I chose to conduct trainings, but I am not finished advocating for such a huge issue within the Idaho community.”

Additionally, Coogle serves as a member of the Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN) for Idaho’s region one chapter, (serving Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, and Shoshone counties). Within SPAN, Coogle works to engage the community in activities that bring awareness and reduce the stigma around suicide. She also provides QPR trainings for many other institutions such as schools.

Coogle plans to graduate from the DNP in Leadership program in May 2019. She intends to continue her work with suicide prevention by advocating the issue to the State Board of Nurses in an effort to create a policy that nurses in the state of Idaho must complete a QPR training or equivalent, in order to renew their license. Coogle’s main objective is to provide the most knowledge and skills to nurses in dealing with suicide and mental illnesses.

“Carlana (Coogle) is a real advocate for Idahoans and a wonderful example of the work being done by nurses and students in the DNP in Leadership program,” said Pam Gehrke, DNP in Leadership program coordinator and associate professor for the School of Nursing.

The DNP in Leadership program at Boise State University often focuses on preparing students for advocating not only at a community level, but on a larger scale. Certain curriculum within the program is centered around providing the necessary knowledge graduate nursing students need to create policy changes for issues seen in healthcare on a state or national level.

Learn more about Graduate Nursing Student Academy Advocacy Leaders.

Learn more about the Doctor of Nursing Practice in Leadership program.

Samantha Davis Selected to Receive Award for Her Innovative Teaching Method Using the MakerLab

Samantha DavisSamantha Davis, clinical assistant professor for the School of Allied Health Sciences, Department of Respiratory Care, has been selected to receive the 2018 National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Gary A. Smith Educational Award for Innovation in Education Achievement, presented by the American Respiratory Care Foundation.

The award, which is named after Gary A. Smith, the CEO and executive director of the NBRC, was established to recognize innovative educational methods in formal respiratory care programs, clinical education, training programs, and patient education programs that address current challenges in respiratory care education. The recipient of the award is required to create an innovative educational method that is creative, utilizes critical thinking skills, improves student outcomes, and focus’ on the advancement of the Respiratory Care profession. The award includes $2500 and a plaque. Davis will be the second recipient of the award.

Davis was nominated and awarded for her work with the Boise State University MakerLab in the utilization of 3D printers to demonstrate neonatal heart defects to her Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care class. She created a new, visionary way for her students to study the heart by utilizing one of the many resources found on campus.

Davis improved student outcomes by creating a hands on learning experience in an area that is usually studied from a picture in a textbook. Students had the opportunity to print a heart with an assigned defect and cut it into three or four slices to easily see the defect throughout the heart. Davis received very positive feedback from her students as they felt the 3D printing helped them learn the topic in an exceptional way.  

“Countless studies have shown us that engagement, application, and critical thinking are all significantly higher when active-learning strategies are used,” said Davis. “In the past, students have had to learn about neonatal heart defects through reading, discussion, and computer animation. It’s a combination of problem solving, practical skill, and creativity. Making allows you to take the great ideas you have and bring them to life where you can touch them, test them, and make them even better.”

Davis will receive this award at the American Association for Respiratory Care International Congress 2018 in Las Vegas this December where she will also be presenting on this topic in the events, “Ideas Theatre.”

“Davis led the students in her class through an incredible and dynamic process of exploration, empowering them to gain new skills and dive into the subject matter content,” said Amy Vecchione, head of Emerging Technologies and Experiential Learning for the MakerLab within the Albertsons Library. “The teaching methodology she employed created engaged learners who exceeded the levels expected. I am inspired by learning and watching these students grow and learn.”

The MakerLab is an inclusive community with access to emerging technologies and an innovative culture of learning. The MakerLab is a free resource for students and faculty that offers 3D printing, vinyl cutting, videography accommodations, and much more. Davis plans to utilize the MakerLab at every opportunity to create an environment of hands on learning in this and other classes.  

To learn more about the award visit:

Boise State Online Master of Social Work Program Ranked Seventh in the Nation

Boise State University’s online Master of Social Work (MSW) program ranked seventh of 50 Best Online Master of Social Work Degree Programs for 2018 by The ranking takes into account a variety of factors, including affordability, breadth of concentrations and school reputation.

The online degree program previously was recognized by another independent ranking organization, SR Education Group, as No. 14 in the nation for quality and affordability.

Randy Magen, a professor and director of the School of Social Work, is proud of this recent recognition. “The faculty and staff have worked hard to develop a rigorous MSW online degree that is affordable and accessible,” he said. “We know we’ve created a great MSW online program, and our students tell us that, too. Now it is great to have confirmation from an outside source.”

Boise State’s fully online MSW degree is designed to prepare students for advanced social work practice with individuals and families. Students learn clinical, organizational and policy skills necessary for promoting social justice and equality, and enhancing the quality of life for all people.

To learn more about the program, visit

Max Veltman and Janet Willhaus Celebrate the Publication of Their Manuscript on Motivational Interviewing

School of Nursing’s Max Veltman, associate professor, and Janet Willhaus, assistant professor and Healthcare Simulation Certificate Facilitator, are celebrating the publication of the evidence-based project report they co-authored, “Implementation of Motivational Interviewing Training in an Undergraduate Nursing Curriculum: Identifying Adolescents at Risk for Substance Use” to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Additional authors included Denise Seigart, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania’s dean of the College of Health Sciences and Professor of Nursing and Colene Letterle, school nurse for West Ada School District in Meridian.

The project was a deeper look into the use of motivational interviewing by health professionals. Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based practice in the treatment of individuals with substance use problems. It is designed to enhance personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by exploring individual’s reasons for resistance to change within an atmosphere of caring and compassion. The project focused on the inadequate training of many health care practitioners who, as a result, don’t often use the approach when faced with clients who are in need of assessment and coaching.

To further understand the effects of adequate motivational interviewing training, this project added the Adolescent SBIRT model (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) to the undergraduate nursing curriculum at Boise State University. To test the effects of adding the curriculum, the project conducted pre- and post-tests on 51 undergraduate nursing students with the Substance Use Attitudinal Survey (SAAS) which evaluates student attitudes towards substance users before and after curriculum was added.

As a result, they found that students were satisfied with the implementation of curriculum. However, there was no significant change in SAAS scores which indicated that continuing evaluation of the curriculum change is still necessary.

Read the full article: Implementation of Motivational Interviewing Training in an Undergraduate Nursing Curriculum: Identifying Adolescents at Risk for Substance Use.