How Bouvé College leaders are building relationships and making a global impact

At Bouvé College of Health Sciences, we’re proud to have faculty and staff whose hard work goes beyond the College and classroom. These thought leaders are working locally and globally to make a difference in their field, while also educating the next generation of health professionals.

Our goal as a college is advancing health for all, from campus to community, from cells to society, and from local engagement to global impact. With this mission, our students aren’t the only ones learning each day. Their professors are out asking questions and working to find the answers to tackle the biggest and most pressing global health issues.  

Expertise spans four schools and several departments, each one doing its part to better the future of healthcare. One of the best ways to learn about Bouvé is to hear directly from our faculty about their research, how they apply it to the classroom, and vice versa.

Here are some examples of the exciting work happening throughout Bouvé. 

Transforming Care in Resource-Poor Areas

Valeria Ramdin

Valeria Ramdin, associate clinical professor in the School of Nursing stresses the importance of global work in resource-poor areas of the world.

For the past several years she’s worked in Eleuthera, Bahamas where she leads the medical team as they complete pre-dental and oral surgical clearance, screen for chronic diseases including diabetes and hypertension, and connect those needing services for local care.

Over the course of her global work, Ramdin has developed the pre-service health screening tool, refined the triage process, assisted in collecting research data, managed ill persons or those returning with short-term complications, screen for and tentatively diagnose patients with diabetes, hypertension, or other cardiovascular illness, held Q&A sessions for the patients, and even served as the first aid responder for the volunteers.

Advances in Speech Development

Zhenghan Qi. Photo by Adam Glanzman

In the School of Clinical and Rehabilitation Sciences, Zhenghan Qi, in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, is working on collaborations related to how multilingualism influences the way people learn words. She’s working with Dr. Einat Shetreet at Tel Aviv University on a project about the mechanisms of word learning in monolingual and bilingual adult speakers. For this project, she says they focus on how learner-driven cognitive factors, specifically social cognition and executive function, contribute differently to learning of word meanings in both native and non-native adult speakers.  

“A neuroimaging project proposal under this topic is currently under review at NSF (also in collaboration with Dr. Anna Papafragou at UPenn). We are hoping to expand the current neurobiological framework of language learning to a model that is more interactive, adaptive, and inclusive,” she said.  

And Qi’s global work doesn’t end there.  

“I am also collaborating with Dr. Li Sheng at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University on word learning in children. We ask how children who grow up in a bilingual or even trilingual environment process and learn new words from stories,” she said. “We are still at the early phase of data collection. The long-term goal for this investigation is to open new strategies for education and language intervention, especially for populations that may suffer from language and learning impairment.”

Preventative Support for At-Risk Students

Robert Volpe

Rob Volpe, professor and chair for the Department of Applied Psychology in the School of Community Health and Behavioral Studies, has done a lot of work in Germany with colleagues at the University of Cologne and the University of Wuppertal, as well as in Greece, focusing on preventative supports for students with- or at risk for- emotional and behavioral problems.

Over the past decade, he has traveled annually to Germany and Greece to conduct research focused on building systems of support for affected students.

Our international work across multiple disciplines has been especially important over the past several years as the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for psychologists and behavior analysts.

Supporting Worker Health and Safety

Jack Dennerlein

Jack Dennerlein, professor and interim chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences (PTMRS), has spent the last several years looking at different health systems, worker safety health, and the well-being of workers in Chile.

The team worked to understand the conditions that impact mental, physical, and cardiovascular health and help build an approach that can be used for primary prevention. 

“It’s about relationships,” Dennerlein said. “All our global work should be about building relationships.” 

Through his research, new systems were put in place that made workers feel supported and able to ask for help when needed.

Creating Solutions and Sharing Knowledge

Emily Zimmerman

Emily Zimmerman, associate professor, interim chair for the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, and associate chair for Research and Innovation, has been doing important work in Puerto Rico investigating environmental contamination and adverse birth outcomes.

Puerto Rico has a long history of environmental contamination, which researchers believe contributes to its high rates of preterm birth and infant mortality.

Through the project, the team is working to create solutions and educate the public.

The work is supported with funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program and ECHO-PRO.

Building Transatlantic Partnerships

Tania (Tali) Konry

In the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, associate professor Dr. Tania Konry has been recently appointed as Assistant Dean for Research.

Through her new role, she is working to establish a bridge between Northeastern University and Ben-Gurion University, a research university in Israel.

Through this partnership, Konry hopes to expand research, offer exchange student programs, and allow for further collaborations with biotech.

While currently, no exchange student policy exists in the school, Konry hopes to finalize a program by the end of 2023.

Enhancing Nurse Anesthesia Education Worldwide

Janet Dewan

Janet Dewan, assistant clinical professor in the School of Nursing, started off 2023 in Rwanda consulting for Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) working on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for volunteer programs to enhance nurse anesthesia education.

“We will have 4 Liberians here for a month earning a certificate of nurse anesthesia education,” said Dewan. “This is the third time we are conducting this program. Besides campus activities, they observe anesthesia and student clinical teaching at our sites.”

Since 2010, the School of Nursing has run a global education program that allows nurse anesthesia graduate students to participate in an immersion experience in Rwanda.

This impressive work is a huge part of what makes Bouvé an excellent place for students to learn and grow. Our faculty aren’t only teaching in the classroom, they’re immersed in their fields, constantly evolving with their work. And since research lies at the heart of the Bouvé experience, we make sure students have opportunities to get involved as early as their first year. 

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