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Uwe Reischl Poster Presentation at the 2018 International Society for Autism Research Conference

Uwe Reischl

Uwe Reischl, a College of Health Sciences professor in the Department of Community and Environmental Health, co-authored a scientific poster that was presented at the 2018 International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) conference May 9-12 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The poster, “Autism Assessment with Artificial Intelligence,” presented the results of an ongoing multi-site National Institutes of Health funded research and development program designed to integrate deep learning (Artificial Intelligence, or AI) into video assessment of typical and atypical behaviors of children with autism.

The presentation summarized research results comparing AI interpretations of autism behaviors captured on video to the interpretations offered by expert clinicians reviewing the same video images independently. Artificial intelligence was able to achieve an 86 percent agreement with the interpretations of the expert clinicians. It is anticipated that future use of AI in video analysis may assist clinicians in performing remote diagnostic assessments of children with autism more efficiently.

Poster co-authors included R. Oberleitner and J. Schwartz of Behavior Imaging Inc., M. Morrier of Emory University, C. Smith of SARRC and B. Martin of the University of Idaho.

College of Health Sciences 3 Minute Thesis and Graduate Showcase Winners

AuraLea Fain

Multiple Award Winner Aura Lea Fain

The month of April marked Boise State University’s second annual Research Month – a time to celebrate the diverse and rich array of research happening on campus. As part of that celebration, the Graduate College awarded $15,000 to more than 50 graduate students who participated in the annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) and the Graduate Student Showcase events. The College of Health Sciences (COHS) is proud to announce that five students received awards in both events earning $1,350  in award money for their hard work and dedication.

The Graduate Student Showcase featured more than 180 graduate student poster and arts presentations – including music performances, creative writing readings, art displays and remote participation from online students. The showcase also included more than 80 faculty judges who ranked posters on purpose, design, impact and overall impressions, while arts graduate students were judged on their originality, creativity, technical execution and artistic merit.

COHS award winners include:

  • AuraLea Fain, Kinesiology (Master of Science in Kinesiology,Biophysical Studies), Presidential Scholar in Research, Scholarship and Entrepreneurship, $500. “Sex Differences in Lower Limb Biomechanics during a Single-Leg Cut with Body Borne Load”
  • Jess Jensen, Social Work (Masters of Social Work), College of Health Sciences award, $100. “Exploring the Profession of Social Work: Thematic Results from Practicing Social Workers.” (Not Pictured)
  • Nick Lobb, Kinesiology (Master of Science in Kinesiology, Biophysical Studies), College of Health Sciences award, $100. “Sex Impacts Leg Stiffness When Increasing Stride Length to Run with Body Borne Load.”
  • Kim Tucker, Curriculum and Instruction (Doctorate of Education in Curriculum & Instruction, Kinesiology cognate), College of Education award, $250. “Mentor’s Perspective: Impact of working with a Professional Development Partnership.”
  • Isaias Zerufael, Kinesiology (Master of Science in Kinesiology, Biophysical Studies), College ofHealth Sciences award, $100. “Elite Athletes’ Perceptions on the Importance of Specialization.”

The COHS is proud of  Fain for also earning second place, a $300 prize, in the 3MT. The 3MT featured 15 participants whose presentations were assessed by three celebrity judges: Boise Mayor David Bieter, former CEO of Micron Mark Durcan, and Diane Bevan, CEO of the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The other 3MT winners were:

  • First place: Sepideh Rastegar, Electrical and Computer Engineering, $500 prize
  • Audience choice: Nikki Cannon, Communication, $200 prize.

To view the complete list of Graduate Student Showcase award winners, visit:

Nick Lobb

Photo of Nick Lobb

Kim Tucker

Photo of Kim Tucker

Isaias Zerufael

Photo of Isaias Zerufael



OSHA at Boise State, ESI Construction Aim to Curb Construction Site Falls

Construction worker on ladder

You may not know that falls account for 37 percent — the largest share — of deaths on construction sites. And more than one in three fatal construction falls happen from heights of 15 feet or less.

Those are just a couple of the reasons the OSHA Consultation Program at Boise State and ESI Construction are combining forces to host the third annual Safety Stand Down for employees and subcontractors at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 10 at Boise State’s Center for Fine Arts, now under construction.

During the event, ESI will stop work at the site. Boise State Head Football Coach Bryan Harsin will speak. Organizers will offer attendees fall protection training and a free lunch.

“The Fall Protection Stand Down is an annual ESI event where we stop work on our projects to create fall protection awareness within our industry. We feel it is a great opportunity for all the trades to build relationships with one another and learn ways to be proactive with fall hazard safety,” said Korey Hall, a project manager at ESI’s Meridian office.

Hall played on the celebrated Boise State football team that won the 2007 Fiesta Bowl and played several years in the National Football League before returning to Idaho.

The event on campus coincides with the National Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction initiative with similar events taking place across the country. ESI will also stop work at its other projects in town on Thursday, including at Micron, Albertsons and Panera Bread.

Organizers are expecting about 500 workers to attend the Boise State event. ESI has also invited the students and staff of Boise State’s Construction Management program and representatives from the OSHA Consultation Program at Boise State University to participate.

ESI recently received Engineering News-Record’s Mountain States Best Project: Excellence in Safety Award for City Center Plaza as well as an Award of Merit: Excellence in Safety for the Inn at 500, both projects in downtown Boise.

Boise State’s OSHA consultation program and ESI hosted the first Stand Down in 2016 at the Grove Plaza in downtown Boise. In 2017, workers gathered in Meridian for the annual event.

For One Nursing Student, Graduation Equals Road Trip

Ron Ordona and his crew on their way to graduation.

Ron Ordona (in yellow) and crew at the beginning of the trip from California to Idaho for Ordona’s graduation from Boise State’s doctoral nursing program.

Ron Ordona, a student in Boise State’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice in Leadership program, has spent most of his time at Boise State off campus. Ordona runs a private clinic in Lincoln, California, and works full time as a nurse practitioner.

He road-tripped to Boise this week to celebrate the completion of his degree. And he didn’t come alone. Ordona rented a 15-seat Ford van and brought  his mother, Amparo Ordona, 85, and the entire staff from his clinic to Boise for the graduation festivities. Two more relatives are flying in from the Philippines.

Ordona said support from his staff throughout his schooling was a big reason for his success, so bringing them to Boise was an obvious choice.

The van left California Thursday morning. Ordona’s plan, he said, was to “take turns driving, take it slow.” The group made it to Boise early Thursday evening and the van was festooned with Bronco colors thanks to a giant banner from the School of Nursing. Ordona will  give the keynote speech at the School of Nursing Convocation at 4 p.m. Friday in the Jordan Ballroom.

Ordona was born and raised in the Philippines. He came to the U.S. in 2000. His family settled in California. He was first drawn to the nursing profession several years ago when his mother was ill and he saw how nurses in the intensive care unit watched over her. Boise State’s online program drew him because of its reasonable price, and because it allowed him to continue his medical practice in Lincoln.

Ron Ordona

“I think the program is unique. Being online allowed me to work full time, running a business, being with my family,” said Ordona. The annual visits to the Boise campus let him build a community of peers.

Ordona’s scholarly project and research at Boise State has focused on transitional care for seniors, using house calls to help seniors transition from the hospital to home, or to assisted living as smoothly as possible, and in a way that improves their health and lifestyle.

“The fact that my academic project revolved around what I do professionally is a big thing — improving what I already do,” Ordona said.

He credits classes at Boise State with helping him learn how to get the word out to the medical community beyond campus about his work. After graduation he’ll present his research at conferences in California, the United Kingdom and Australia. A class in policy also opened doors and set him on a path of advocacy. He’s working for “full practice authority” for nurse practitioners, or laws that would broaden the scope of procedures they’re able to perform independently, without a physician.

Pam Strohfus, associate professor and coordinator of the Doctor of Nursing Program, said she “could go on and on” about Ordona, whom she called a “wonderful human being.”

“Ron Ordona is a deeply committed hard worker who genuinely cares for his patients, staff and family. His commitment to homebound seniors goes well beyond himself as a nurse practitioner; he searches for opportunities to enhance the quality of patients’ lives through creating better healthcare processes. Mr. Ordona uniquely brings others in his journey, sharing successes, challenges and achievements.”

See more posts and photos from Ordona’s drive to Boise on the School of Nursing’s Facebook page.

Celebrate Maya Schimpf as She Retires

Maya SchimpfThe campus community is invited to the College of Health Sciences retirement celebration for Maya Schimpf, family practice nurse practitioner for Health Services. The celebration will be held from 8:00-10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23 in the Health Services’ lobby on the second floor of the Norco Building.

Schimpf’s specialties include working with the patients at Health Services as a clinician and as an educator, to help them learn and apply the tools for health and wellbeing. Schmipf began her career at Health Services in 2013 after she became certified through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners as a Nurse Practitioner. She received her Master’s degree in Nursing with Family Practice emphasis from Idaho State University. She has over 20 years of previous experience as a Registered Nurse in telemetry and Emergency Medicine. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking in the mountains, floating on the rivers and gardening.

Faculty and Staff Complete Department of Kinesiology Fitness Challenge

Hats off to the top 10 finalists of the Spring 2018 Fitness Challenge, sponsored by the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Kinesiology.

The Fitness Challenge is a friendly competition between Boise State employees who train with kinesiology students over the course of one semester to see who improved their health and fitness most. Faculty and staff commit to nine weeks of personal training provided by students of the KINES 432: Conditioning Principles class. Student personal trainers develop and guide clients through an exercise routine designed to help participants meet their health and fitness goals.

Students in the kinesiology department would like to thank and congratulate all of the finalists of the Fitness Challenge who improved their health and fitness this semester. As a result of the challenge, more than $4,000 was raised for the Department of Kinesiology scholarships.

Finalists and their departments include:

  • Alma Navarrete, High School Equivalency Program
  • Anna Bailey, Service Learning Center
  • Claire Xiong, Department of Material Science and Engineering
  • Eva Horn, Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies
  • Michelle Vos, Department of Management
  • Ramona Martin, Department of Construction Management
  • Rossitta Fleming, Early and Special Education
  • Shin Pu, Biomolecular Research Center
  • Victoria Hoshino, Financial Aid  
  • Yong Gao, Department of Kinesiology

School of Nursing Faculty and Students Present at Annual Research Conference

Gallegos and her students with research poster on Disaster Training for Nurses

Cara Gallegos and her students with research poster on Disaster Training for Nurses

Eight faculty, nine undergraduate nursing students, and one Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Leadership student, all from the School of Nursing, had the opportunity to attend the Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) Annual Research Conference on April 11-14, in Spokane, Washington. This opportunity is provided each year by the Jody DeMeyer endowed fund and makes Boise State University unique for having such great representation at the conference.

The focus of the conference was “Transforming Health Through Advances in Nursing, Research, Practice, and Education.” Not only did students attend sessions related to this topic, they presented their own research and evidence-based practice projects alongside their mentors and other faculty research presentations.

Jenny Alderden, assistant professor, presented her work in a symposium on pressure injuries using machine learning to investigate the injuries within the Intensive Care Unit in a symposium. Jane Grassley, professor and Jody DeMeyer Endowed Chair, also gave a podium presentation highlighting her work with St. Luke’s nurses to implement a family bonding time in the mother/baby unit. Other faculty also presented their research posters at the conference. Max Veltman, associate professor presented his research on “Healthcare for Foster Children,” and Teresa Serratt, associate professor, presented a poster on “The Nursing Workforce.”

Strohfus and Molina- Shaver with their Poster

Strohfus and Molina- Shaver with their poster

School of Nursing faculty also won awards at the conference. Pam Strohfus, associate professor, and Paula Molina-Shaver, clinical assistant professor, won the Best of Show Poster award for their work entitled, “Medication Errors Abound: Why an Intramuscular Injection isn’t Intramuscular.” This scholarly endeavor is a continuation of their work concerning body mass index and appropriate needle depth.

Teresa Serratt After Being Recognized for her Grant

Teresa Serratt after being recognized for her grant


Serratt was also recognized as the recipient of the 2018 Sigma Theta Tau International Western Institute of Nursing Research Grant. She has received $10,000 to investigate state regulations related to mental health technicians in acute care.

Pam Strohfus, Teresa Serratt, Ron Ordona, and Cara Gallegos (left to right)

Pam Strohfus, Teresa Serratt, Ron Ordona, and Cara Gallegos (left to right)

Ron Ordona, a DNP in Leadership student who will graduate Spring 2018, presented his capstone student project, “Transitional Care Medical House Call: A Pilot Project” with mentor Cara Gallegos, assistant professor. Ordona’s work was recognized by the WIN Gerontology Special Interest Group as the best student presentation in gerontological nursing at the conference.


Students who attended the conference had positive comments about presenting their research:

“Engaging with people as they passed my poster was really fun. I left feeling truly empowered by the exciting projects so many inspiring nurses are working hard to accomplish. I really loved being able to interact with nurse researchers and hear about their research as well. I was not sure how I felt about research prior to attending the conference, but after the poster session and several concurrent sessions, I now know this is something I want to pursue. Because of this experience, I aspire to continue my education to a graduate level and participate in future research projects.”

Student research posters included:

  • The Undergraduate Research Assistant Experience – Kelsy Mitchell, Julie Rekiere, students, and Grassley, faculty mentor
  • Child Fatalities – Julie Rekiere, student and Veltman, faculty mentor
  • General Anesthesia and Delirium – Hannah Nakashima, student and Gallegos, faculty mentor
  • Disaster Training for Nurses – Taylor Beckman, Alanna Belz, Cat Ostrem, Sarah Leuw, students and Gallegos, faculty mentor
  • Fall Prevention in the Community -Christine Shives, student and Lucy Zhao, assistant professor, faculty mentor
  • Virtual Reality, Gaming, and Nursing Skills – Kimberly Brown, student and Karen Breitkruz, associate professor, faculty mentor
  • Targeted Education Related to Intramuscular Injections – Chelsea Tindell, student, and Strohfus, faculty mentor


School of Nursing Faculty Helping Patient Outcomes Through Research

Jane Grassley and Cheeren Langrill, department of communications and marketing for St. Luke's

Jane Grassley and Cheeren Langrill, department of communications and marketing for St. Luke’s

Jane Grassley, professor and Joanna “Jody” DeMeyer Endowed Chair for Nursing in the College of Health Sciences, has been recognized as the 2017-18 St. Luke’s Nursing Research Outstanding Mentor. Grassley received this honor as she has served as a mentor the last four years for St. Luke’s Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice (EBP) Fellowship Program, a representation of the strong partnership between Boise State’s School of Nursing and St. Luke’s Health System in Boise.

The EBP Fellowship Program, which has been in effect for more than 10 years, serves as a professional development program that allows working nurses to improve the ways in which care is delivered. The program offers classes and seminars about conducting research and evidence-based practice for nurses at St. Luke’s. Those selected for the program are teamed up with a mentor from Boise State’s School of Nursing, Idaho State University, or other St. Luke’s staff and former fellows to explore a topic of their choosing.

Nurses are chosen by senior fellows of the program to participate. The classes and seminars offered allow for nurse fellows to conduct a research study or evidence-based practice project on any topic of their choosing. The weekly classes are held over an intensive 18 month period before they present their posters at the annual fellows celebration. Their research posters are also displayed at the traveling poster show during St. Luke’s nurses week.

Grassley’s fellows have previously studied nurses’ breastfeeding support on night shifts, evidence-based breastfeeding support, discharge teaching about breastfeeding, and the late preterm infant. This year Grassley mentored Ryoko Pentecost, and Kristy Schmidt who both graduated from Boise State University in May of 2016 with a Masters in Nursing. Pentecost and Schmidt researched the topic, “Screening for Substance Use During Pregnancy: Perceived Provider Barriers.” Their research study will continue a second year and be presented at the next fellows celebration.

“Participating as a mentor in the St. Luke’s Health System Nurse Fellowship Program has been a delightful and meaningful experience,” said Grassley. “I love watching the nurse fellows grow in their confidence that they can bring positive and effective evidence-based change that benefits their nursing unit and/or patients. Mentoring involves being available to encourage my fellows when they feel overwhelmed by reading the research literature and empowering them to push past their perceived barriers and complete their projects. I feel very honored to have received this award.”

Grassley was invited by Laura Tivis, director of research for St. Luke’s Health System to become a mentor for fellow nurses. Other Boise State Nursing mentors have included:

  • Cara Gallegos, assistant professor
  • Kim Martz, associate professor
  • Marty Downey, emeritus professor
  • Pam Strohfus, associate professor and graduate programs coordinator

“Jane Grassley has done such a wonderful job mentoring nurses on nursing research projects,” said Lucy Zhao, assistant professor for the School of Nursing. “She is truly an asset to both Boise State University and our nursing community!”

It’s a wonderful honor and so well deserved,” said Ann Hubbert, professor and director for the School of Nursing. “Jane’s exceptional contributions, not only within the School of Nursing, but to the entire nursing community, impacts the transformations in advancing healthcare daily. We are thankful for the strong partnership between St. Luke’s and the School of Nursing that allows our faculty to continue to make these kinds of contributions. We are so thankful for all of your work that benefits so many!”

To read more about the EBP Fellowship Program, visit the St. Luke’s Blog.

College of Health Sciences Students Recognized at Campus Community Awards Ceremony

Two College of Health Sciences students received awards at Boise State University’s annual Campus Awards Ceremony hosted by the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management on April 19.

This blue carpet event recognizes students, faculty, staff and student organizations for outstanding achievement, service and campus engagement.

Holly Harper Receiving her awardHolly Harper, Health Studies and Pre-Physician Assistant major was awarded the Emerging Leader award. This award recognizes a student who is charting intentional paths where they learn what it means to lead. They show a commitment to personal leadership development and are dedicated to student involvement and learning outside the classroom.



Jake Robertson Receiving his AwardJake Robertson, Pre-Medical Studies and Biology major, received the Spirit of Boise State Awards award. Robertson, and four other students received this award which identifies outstanding students who exemplify the Boise State University Shared Values of academic excellence, caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility and trustworthiness. Robertson was also previously recognized at the annual Top Ten Scholars reception a few days earlier for his academic breadth of coursework, research, creative works and publications, presentations at professional meetings or conferences, and extracurricular community and campus service.

View the full list of people and organizations also recognized at the ceremony and see photos of individual winners on Facebook.

College of Health Sciences Faculty Receive Golden Apple Awards

Jill Chonody

Jill Chonody, School of Social Work

Pam Gehrke

Pam Gehrke, School of Nursing

Two College of Health Sciences faculty have received Golden Apple Awards from the Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU). Pamela Gehrke, associate professor for the School of Nursing, and Jill Chonody, associate professor for the School of Social Work.

For more than 30 years, the ASBSU has presented Golden Apple Awards to thank and honor teachers who have encouraged them and instilled in them a passion for learning.

Following hundreds of nominations from students, a total of nine Boise State faculty received the prestigious honor of receiving a 2018 award for their college. Other honorees include:

  • Soo Jeoung “Crystal” Han, College of Engineering
  • Norman Weinstein, College of Education
  • Virginia Hatch, School of Public Service
  • Eliot Smith, College of Business and Economics
  • Joe Tornello, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Kendall House, College of Innovation and Design
  • Shelton Woods, Honors College