Read our April newsletter for the latest happenings in the Lewis School
View this email in your browser

April 2017
Volume 2, Number 4

Message from the Associate Dean

Welcome to the research issue of the Lewis School E-News. Our faculty and student researchers have been busy conducting innovative research in a variety of fields, winning awards and receiving new funding along the way. Our faculty and students have received much recognition and had the opportunity to share their expertise in many ways. We are proud of their accomplishments.

First, two non-research recognitions of note. Our Department of Physical Therapy was recently selected for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia 2017 Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award for Departments and Programs. Also, Dr. Anne Lorio of physical therapy was chosen for the Lewis School Teaching Excellence Award for 2017 and will receive a $10,000 award to further a teaching project. She follows the teaching tradition of previous winner and colleague, Prof. Chip Zimmerman of respiratory therapy, who was the inaugural recipient.
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Brad Farrell, the recipient of the 2017 Lewis Foundation Research Award, which also comes with a $10,000 award. His research is on "Spinal cord stimulation to modulate pain and spasticity after SCI: A Pilot Study.”

Our early career faculty use internal Georgia State University and Lewis School grants, such as the Lewis Foundation Research Award to map research plans and goals and generate data that help them as they apply for external grants. Our enterprising tenure-track faculty are investigating a broad range of topics from community integration for veterans with traumatic brain injury to developing aid for family caregivers of dementia patients. Most important of all, these faculty members are building a research portfolio that will grow Georgia State’s reputation and provide innovation to the health care community.
Our faculty is not alone in this research endeavor as many of our students also engage in research. The Lewis School will host the second annual Graduate Student Research Conference on April 10 with over 26 posters being presented. The following day, nine of our undergraduate students will present research at the university’s Undergraduate Research Conference. Finally, we recently recognized our students at the Lewis School Honors Day program, including four students who received department research awards.

We are pleased with the incredible performance of our faculty and students in increasing our research portfolio. I invite you to visit our research website at to follow our growing research activities.
Andrew J. Butler, PhD, PT, MBA, FAHA

Associate Dean for Research and Acting Chair, Department of Physical Therapy


 School News 

On March 27, the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions recognized 74 of its students for their achievements in academics, clinical work, leadership, and research. Students from five of the Lewis School’s six academic units received awards – health informatics, nursing, nutrition, physical therapy and respiratory therapy. Occupational therapy, the newest department, expects to recognize its students for the first time in Spring 2018.
Also, 42 students were inducted into the Alpha Eta allied health honor society or the Lambda Beta, respiratory therapy honor society. A few were inducted into both organizations. Other honor societies, such as nursing’s Sigma Theta Tau, hold induction ceremonies later in the year.
Prof. Chip Zimmerman, 2016 recipient of the Lewis School’s Teaching Excellence Award, gave the keynote speech. Lewis School advisory board member and university capital campaign representative, Dr. Bob Pettignano, encouraged the students to “pay it forward” as future alumni, and provide financial support for Lewis School scholarships for the students to follow. Congratulations to all our honorees.

 Department News 

Nursing Master’s Alum Score Well on Certification Exam

Nursing master’s program graduates recently earned a 100 percent first-time pass rate on the Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioners Exam. Also, they received a 98 percent first-time pass rate on the Family Nurse Practitioner Exam. Congratulations to the School of Nursing.

PT Receives the 2017 Regents’ Award

The Board of Regents (BOR) of the University System of Georgia selected the Department of Physical Therapy for the 2017 Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award for Departments and Programs.
The Georgia State PT program was chosen unanimously for the department’s emphasis on service-learning and community engagement. Known for multiple community outreach efforts including the long-running Farm Worker Family Health Program in South Georgia and the Nicaragua Study Abroad, PT received Carl Patton Community Service awards for each program in 2012 and 2016 respectively.
In addition, the BOR committee was won over by the Doctor of Physical Therapy graduates high pass rate on state licensure exams. The DPT program holds a five year 98 percent average pass rate.
The department formally receives the award at the May Board of Regents’ meeting.


 Research News 

Nursing— Nurse Researcher Test Intervention to Reduce Stroke Risk in Young Adults
Young adults often hold a distorted view of their personal risk for a stroke, which could lead to unhealthy lifestyles that contribute to stroke. One assistant professor of nursing, Dr. Dawn Aycock, thinks an effective intervention program could reduce stroke risk among young adult African-Americans. Read more.

Nursing—Bringing Care to the Caregivers of African-Americans with Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are spreading at an alarming rate in Georgia. The past year, 140,000 people were diagnosed with the disease in Georgia, and that diagnosis is expected to increase by 35.7 percent in the next decade.
Caring for an Alzheimer’s stricken family member is difficult at best, but often African-American families face increased challenges as they are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as white Americans.
Dr. Fayron Epps, assistant professor of nursing and a gerontologist, seeks ways to support family caregivers of African Americans with dementia. With funding from an internal Lewis School grant, she plans to identify community resources and connections for elderly individuals with dementia in Fulton and DeKalb Counties. Epps seeks to quantify the benefits and barrier to care that currently exist, find established community resources and build connections with caregivers and resource providers. Read more.

Nutrition—Newly Discovered Hormone to Reduce Inflammation Then Fat
Accompanying obesity is a low-grade inflammation that is an underlying factor linking obesity to chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes.  Scientists, including assistant professor of nutrition, Dr. Desiree Wanders, are seeking ways to reduce the inflammatory response of the body’s tissues to a high-fat diet. Her research, funded by the Lewis Foundation Award, led to the discovery of a novel role for the hormone, FGF21, in decreasing inflammation. Read more.

Occupational Therapy—Measuring successful veteran reintegration
Dr. Pey-Shen Wen and a group of four researchers, primarily at Veteran’s Administration (VA) hospitals around the country, are seeking ways to best measure the successful societal reintegration of veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Read more.

Physical Therapy—Testing Knee Rehabilitation on Rodents
As ACL and other knee-related injuries rise among young athletes, Dr. Liang-Ching Tsai wants to know how to prevent or delay joint deterioration later in life, especially from osteoarthritis. Along with clinicians and researchers from the Georgia Tech/Emory University, Tsai has examined the knee function following successful ligament repair surgery. Read more.

Respiratory Therapy—Establishing a Standard for Single-breath Determination
Dr. Gerald Zavorsky, along with researchers from around the world recently published guidelines that standardize the single-breath determination of nitric oxide (NO) uptake in the lungs. It is a special lung function test that measures the adequacy of gas transfer in the lung, specifically, through the alveolar capillary membrane. This test can one day replace the traditional test that is performed in hospitals around the world because it offers several advantages compared to the normal lung diffusing capacity test. Read more.

Kropf, N. P. & Cummings, S. (2017). Evidence based treatment for older adults: Theory, Practice and Research. Oxford University Press.

Shen, C.L., Mo, H., Yang, S., Wang, S., Felton, C.K., Tomison, M.D., Soelaiman, I.N. (2016) Safety and efficacy of tocotrienol supplementation for bone health in postmenopausal women: protocol for a dose-response double-blinded placebo-controlled randomized trial. BMJ Open. 6:e012572. PMID 28011809. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012572.

Torabi, S., Yeganehjoo, H., Shen, C.L., Mo, H. (in press) PPARγ downregulation mediates the inhibitory effect of d-δ-tocotrienol on the differentiation of murine 3T3-F442A preadipocytes. Nutrition Research.

Pettignano, R., Bliss, L., McLaren, S., Caley, S. (2017) Interprofessional Medical-Legal Education of Medical Students: Assessing the Benefits for Addressing Social Determinants of Health. Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001581.

Spratling, R. & Powers, E. (2017). Development of a data abstraction form: Getting what you need from the electronic health record. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 31(1), 126-130. doi:10.1016/j.pedhc.2016.07.007.

Wanders, D., Forney, L.A., Stone, K.P., Burk, D.H., Pierse, A., Gettys, T.W. (in press) FGF21 mediates the thermogenic and insulin-sensitizing effects of dietary methionine restriction but not its effects on hepatic lipid metabolism. Diabetes.

Forney, L.A., Wanders, D., Stone, K.P., Pierse, A., Gettys, T.W. (in press) Concentration-dependent linkage of dietary methionine restriction to the components of its metabolic phenotype. Obesity.

Wilmoth, M.C., La Flair, L.N., Azur, M., Norton, B.L, Sweeney, M., Williams, T.V. (2017). Guest Editorial:  How Well Are We Measuring Military Mental Health? Military Medicine, 182, (1), 1466-1468.


 Advisory Board News 

This issue features respiratory therapy medical director and advisory board member Dr. Robert Pettignano. View his full story here.

Staff News
Welcome Angela Stover, the administrative specialist for the Department of Nutrition. She comes to the Lewis School from the Georgia State University Office of Disability Services and Black Student Achievement where she was a business affairs coordinator. Stover previously worked at both Kennesaw State University and Reinhardt University before coming to Georgia State. She holds bachelors from Kennesaw State University and Master of Business Administration, management from American Intercontinental University.

Student news
DNP students, Elizabeth Harris, Doctor of Nursing Practice student, recently participated in the 2017 Student Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. The summit provides baccalaureate and graduate nursing students the opportunity to participate in program sessions focused on the federal legislative process and nursing’s contributions to healthcare policy.
Nutrition undergraduate student Barbara Leydecker and the Panther's Pantry were featured on the Panther Report, “Panther's Pantry Offers a Lending Paw” October 25, 2016, a Youtube video.

Lydia Stephney, a junior in nutrition science, was accepted as an intern for the USDA-funded 2017 Cyclone Scholars Summer Research Experience at Iowa State University. This prestigious opportunity comes with travel, housing, meals, and stipend. Lydia will conduct research in food science and human nutrition to prevent childhood obesity.

Emeriti News
Dr. Dan Benardot, professor emeritus of nutrition, recently presented “Common Nutrition Misperceptions: Impacts on Health and Athletic Performance” at Emory University’s Center for the Study of Human Health.

Dr. Peggy Moloney, associate professor emerita of nursing, has been selected for a second Fulbright scholarship. She will be teaching and assisting graduate nursing students with qualitative research projects at Cambridge University
Dr. Chris Rosenbloom, professor emerita of nutrition, recently edited the book “Food & Fitness after 50” which will be published later this year.
In Memoriam
Evangeline B. Lane, the founding chair of the nursing program in the School of Allied Health, the predecessor to the Lewis School, passed away earlier in the academic year.
Originally from South Carolina, Lane was recruited to lead the new nursing program by the school’s founding dean, Dr. J. Rhodes Haverty. At that time, she was the director of the Crawford Long Hospital School of Nursing.

During her tenure, Lane oversaw the establishment of both a standalone bachelor’s program in nursing as well as the master’s program, first offered in 1975. Lane stepped down as department director in 1977, returning to teaching. She retired from Georgia State University in early nineties, following Dr. Haverty’s retirement.

Lane began her nursing career after completing her education at Grady Hospital’s School of Nursing and entering the Navy Nurse Corps towards the end of World War II. She was a member of Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society and received her master’s degree in nursing from Emory University. Lane earned her Ph.D. in educational administration from Georgia State.

She is survived by her son, Noel Lane, and grandson, Harry.
Kimberly Hires, Jonas Scholarships Enable Emerging Nurse Leaders to Make Their Mark, Heartbeat, University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies alumni magazine, Fall 2016.

Margaret Wilmoth, Honored To Serve, American Spirit Magazine, December 2016.

Gerald Zavorsky, Even in middle age, your best running days may still be ahead of you, The Washington Post, March 8, 2017.
Dr. Dawn Aycock, assistant professor of nursing, will be promoted to associate professor effective Fall 2017.

Dr. Fayron Epps, assistant professor of nursing, was recently elected to the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Board of Directors and Executive Committee as Legacy Director.     

Dr. Anne Lorio, clinical assistant professor of physical therapy, is the recipient of the 2017 Lewis School Teaching Excellence Award.

Dr. Brad Farrell, assistant professor of physical therapy, is the recipient of the 2017 Lewis Foundation Research Award.  

Dr. Kinsuk Maitra, chair of occupational therapy, received the 2017 Meritorious Service Award presented by the American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) Board of Trustees.

Congratulations to Chip Zimmerman, clinical assistant professor of respiratory therapy, for successfully defending his dissertation. He will receive his Ph.D. degree in Educational Leadership from Mercer University this fall. 

Cranwell-Bruce, L.  OTC Respiratory Medications at Camp and Be Sherlock: Figuring Out Rashes at Camp. Association of Camp Nurses Annual Symposium Albuquerque, February 2017.

Goodfellow, L. Evaluation of a health law partnership legal services clinic serving low income children with asthma in Atlanta, GA.  Association of Asthma Educators annual meeting. Jacksonville, Florida, 2016.

Goodfellow, L. Tell Me Something I Should Know About Faculty Development. AARC Congress, San Antonio, Texas, October 2016.

Kelley, S. Building a Program of Research: Lessons Learned. School of Nursing University of Sydney, Australia. March 2017.
Mo, H. Tocotrienol and adipogenesis: role of the mevalonate pathway. The 4th Guangzhou International Symposium for Nutrition and Health and the 2016 Annual Conference of Geriatric Nutrition Branch of Chinese Nutrition Society, Guangzhou, China, 2016.

Mo, H. Exploration of tocotrienols for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Chinese Congress on Gerontology and Health Industry, Suzhou, China, 2016.

Wanders, D. Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 (FGF21) may Mediate Peripheral Inflammatory Responses to Different Diets at the 10th Annual Boshell Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research Day, Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., March 2017.

Alumni news
Congratulations to Leslie Knapp, a Coordinated Program alumna for receiving the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ award for Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year for Georgia!
Nutrition alumna Sally Vanegas recently published an article in a professional nutrition journal;  Vanegas, S.M., et al. Substituting whole grains for refined grains in a 6-wk randomized trial has a modest effect on gut microbiota and immune and inflammatory markers of healthy adults. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2017; ajcn146928 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.116.146928.

Dr. V. Doreen Wagner, nursing master’s alumna, was highlighted in the recent publication World-Wide Leaders in Healthcare. Wagner, who is currently on faculty at Kennesaw State University, received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society.

Share your news!
Lewis School faculty and staff, to submit news or announcements for the next issue of the Lewis School E-news, complete the submission form.


Copyright © 2017  Georgia State University
Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions, All rights reserved.

Our e-mail address is:

Our web address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list