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Nursing Students in the News

Nursing PhD Student Publishes Study On Quality Of Life For Adolescents With Type 1 Diabetes

Nada Abualula, a nursing PhD candidate, recently published a systematic review study focused on the quality of life for adolescents with type 1 diabetes and on evaluating diabetes educational interventions for these adolescents.

Abualula did a systematic review of six databases to gather information on quality of life outcomes of diabetes self-management education interventions for adolescents with type 1 diabetes. The goal of the review was to determine the effectiveness of diabetes self-management interventions with a skills development component on improving quality of life of adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

The review is published in The Diabetes Educator. Professors Kathryn Jacobsen of the Department of Global and Community Health, and Renee Milligan and Margaret Rodan of the School of Nursing, along with Vicki S. Conn of the University of Missouri’s Sinclair School of Nursing served as co-authors on the review.


Mason Students Participate in Caring for the Caregiver Hack

A group of six Mason students participated in The Lindsay Institute for Innovations in Caregiving’s “Caring for the Caregiver Hack.” Mason’s team included Brinda Somasundaram, MS in health informatics student; Noelle Harvey, gerontology graduate certificate student; Nu Kim Nhat Nguyen, BS in community health student; Aloksagar Panny, MS in health informatics student; Tina Jackson, BS in nursing student; and Pavan Sai Mohan Kolli, a graduate teaching assistant in computer science. The student team was accompanied by Maureen Schafer, term assistant professor of nursing, as a faculty coach.

The hack event is designed to provide students from Virginia colleges and universities the opportunity to create technological tools with a focus on improving the physical or emotional health of family caregivers. Prior to starting development, attendees heard presentations from subject matter experts on some of the realities caregivers face.

The 2016 challenge was for teams to create a technology tool to stay healthy. The Mason team developed a secure web page that was framed within the model of caring for the homebound patient with mind, body, and spirit wellness actions. The website was geared towards an efficient and effective holistic approach towards the care of the patient and their caregivers. The goal of the interactive website was to offer structure with improved communication across all caregivers helping the homebound patient.


Five CHHS Students Receive Provost Scholar Athlete Awards

Five CHHS students were recognized with the Provost Scholar Athlete Award during a campus reception and at the men’s basketball game against VCU in late February.

The Provost Scholar Athlete Award was created in 2009 by Provost Emeritus Dr. Peter Stearns to honor student athletes who have earned at least 38 credit hours at Mason and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher. A total of 41 student athletes were recognized this year.

The five CHHS awardees are: 

  • Lynne Eisenberg (2nd award)—Track and Field, Integrative Studies with a minor in Rehabilitation Science
  • Megan Gooding—Rowing, Community Health
  • Elizabeth Kearns (2nd award)—Rowing, Social Work
  • Bailey Kolonich—Cross Country/Track, Nursing
  • Marcella Sims—Rowing, Social Work

Nursing Student Receives AANP Grant to Support Doctoral Project on Oral Health

Loretta Vece, a student in the doctor of nursing practice program, has received a $2,500 grant from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners to support her doctoral project on oral health care.

Vece’s project, “Integrating Oral Healthcare into Primary Care Nurse Managed Health Centers,” has two goals: 1) to establish basic oral care into the Mason and Partners (MAP) clinics through an oral health delivery framework; and 2) to establish educational and clinical processes for integrating oral health competencies into Mason’s undergraduate and graduate nursing curriculum. Read more about her project.


CHHS Students Presented Research Projects at Inova Nursing Research Symposium

Sixteen CHHS students, including 15 DNP students and a PhD in Health Services Research student, presented research and evidence-based practices during Inova’s Nursing Research Symposium on October 16.

The symposium is focused on presenting projects that improve nursing care and patient outcomes. Poster presentations included various interventions to resolve issues such as mobility, infection, pain, sleep, heart failure, mechanical ventilation, pediatric emergencies, rehabilitation, and patient communication.


Mason DC Public Health Case Challenge Team Presented at NAM

George Mason’s DC Regional Public Health Case Challenge Team presented at the National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) annual meeting in DC on October 19. The team was selected to present after initially presenting their solution during the challenge event on October 16. The Mason team spoke during the Future Leaders Across Generations luncheon at the NAM annual meeting, and attendees include NAM members, sponsors, and NAM fellows.

The DC Regional Public Health Case Challenge is a joint program between the Institute of Medicine and NAM and is focused on a particular public health issue. The teams, comprised of five to six students from at least three disciplines, must then develop a solution to the multi-faceted public health issue.

The 2015 public health issue was supporting mental health in older veterans. The Mason team of six students from health administration, pre-nursing, community health, and neuroscience, developed the Vet Net network to help enable access to existing resources to improve veterans' social, mental, and physical health. Their solution cited barriers including stigma, lack of knowledge, and inaccessible resources as contributors to older veterans’ risk of a lower quality of life. Read more about their presentation.


Bongani Sibandze

Bongani Sibandze — George Mason University Presidential Scholar

In the developing country of Swaziland, the burden of disease currently results in a life expectancy of 52 years of age for its citizens. Compounding the problem is a lack of access to quality health care, trained healthcare workers, and strategic healthcare policies. Despite these challenges, Bongani Sibandze, a Ph.D. student at George Mason University, envisions a country where the burden of preventable diseases will be decreased or eliminated, and people will have access to necessary healthcare. It is with this vision that Sibandze began his journey to make a difference for his fellow countrymen.

Two years ago, Sibandze completed his Master's degree in Nursing in South Africa and decided that he needed to further his studies to realize his dream for his homeland. Sibandze researched many universities and settled on George Mason University's College of Health and Human Services. With its rigorous academic program, commitment to community practice, and close proximity to the Nation's capital, Mason would allow him to study clinical nursing, advances in education, and conduct research to support policy.

In January, Sibandze arrived, having recently been named as a George Mason Presidential Scholar which helps defray the cost of his education. Mason's commitment to global programs and outreach will have lasting outcomes for a country that currently spends 10 percent of its government budget on healthcare. Read more.


Determination, Relatability, Experience Help Mason Team Create Award-Winning Website for Family Caregivers

In March, a team of five multidisciplinary George Mason Students competed in the Caregiver Hack Design Challenge in Richmond, Virginia. For this challenge, Heather Davies, Elizabeth “Libby” Rolf, Matthew Jesso, Ben Ruggeberg, and Julia Pfeiffer were tasked with creating a product or an app in 24 hours that would assist family caregivers with their role. In that time, they created a site called “The Family Room” that helps caregivers update family members and allows a secure location for medial records to be stored. The five member Mason team won the hackathon’s People’s Choice Award (along with a $1,000 cash prize) for “The Family Room,” showing that they were creating something that caregivers felt was particularly useful for their role. The Mason team will continue working on the site to make it even more resourceful for caregivers and families.