A portrait of the winners of SURCA 2017 in the Social Sciences category
Winners of Crimson and Gray awards in the Social Sciences category at SURCA 2017. In the front row are Halle Schulz, second from right, and Sara Van Natta, far right. 

WSU College of nursing students took high honors at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities held on Monday. The event, called SURCA, is the only university-wide venue for undergraduates to share their mentored research and results.

Three College of Nursing students took part:

Sara Van Natta received a Crimson Award, the highest level, for her research on “Suicide Prevention Education: Policies for Health Care Professionals Across the United States.” Van Natta discovered that more than half the states mandate suicide-prevention training for public school teachers, but only seven states have policies requiring health care professionals to get similar training. Her research was conducted in conjunction with faculty members Janessa M. Graves, PhD, MPH, and Carrie Holliday, PhD, MN, BSN.

Halle Schulz received a Gray Award, the second-highest level, for her research on “Concepts and Perspectives of Health and Housing Among Homeless and Low Income Adults in Spokane: A Photovoice Project.” Schulz worked with a group of homeless and low-income women who were asked to take photographs illustrating their perspectives on housing and health. Then Schulz recorded their discussions about those images to help identify concepts and themes associated with health. Her research was conducted in conjunction with Graves; Victoria Sattler, PhD, MN, of Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center; and Susan Tyler-Babkirk and Mary Lou Sproul, both of Transitions.

Mariah Petersen presented her research on “Contextual Barriers Encountered by Patients with Multiple Chronic Conditions in Attaining Self-Identified Health Goals.” Petersen found that older people with multiple chronic conditions often face barriers, such as poverty, that aren’t always considered in setting goals for better health. Her research was conducted in conjunction with Crystal Lederhos Smith, MS, and  Cynthia Corbett, PhD, BA, both of the WSU College of Nursing.

Nearly 225 students took part in SURCA 2017, and 54 received awards in eight categories.

“Every SURCA student participant learned something new through their research as well as contributed knowledge to their field,” said Mary F. Wack, vice provost for undergraduate education. “They also demonstrated considerable effort and had the confidence to deliver a high-quality SURCA presentation to their peers and the public. We are inspired by each and every one of those students.”

Said Cindy Corbett, Associate Dean for Research at the WSU College of Nursing, “It’s exciting to see the strong research projects that undergraduate students from nursing and other disciplines are doing with College of Nursing faculty mentors. These projects provide exceptional experiences for students whether they plan to launch their professional careers or continue on to graduate school.”

A portrait of Mariah Petersen

College of Nursing student Mariah Petersen presented at SURCA 2017.