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Members of the CHS Research Committee

College of Health Sciences


The College of Health Sciences at the University of Wyoming is committed to building an internationally recognized research enterprise. Our long-term goals are (1) to build interdisciplinary research programs that bridge across our nine academic units; (2) to develop areas of research excellence in basic biomedical research and rural health.

Current Research News


Dr. Sandra LeottiUW Assistant Professor Receives National Recognition for Research Article

A University of Wyoming assistant professor’s research article has received national recognition by the University of Chicago Press Journals.

Sandra Leotti, in UW’s Division of Social Work, was awarded the 2021 Frank R. Breul Memorial Prize for her submission, titled “The Discursive Construction of Risk: Social Work Knowledge Production and Criminalized Women.” The prize is awarded annually for what is judged to be the best article published in Social Service Review in the preceding year.

Leotti’s article examines how knowledge production within social work privileges a psychological discourse, relying on individual explanations for crime and criminalization above all other possible explanations -- specifically, that social work passively accepts the logic of punishment rather than challenging the inequitable social conditions that lead to mass incarceration.

She says this presents a profound ethical dissonance between social work’s engagement with criminalized populations and the social work value of social justice.

“When we hear of mass incarceration, the focus is usually on prison. Though analysis of the prison is important, I am more interested in the ways in which criminalization extends beyond the immediate boundaries of the criminal legal system and intersects with other systems,” Leotti says. “Scholars now use the term ‘carceral state’ to highlight the multiple intersecting agencies and institutions that have punishing functions and serve to regulate marginalized communities.”

Continue reading at UW News.


UW School of Pharmacy Student-Led Research Articles Published in National Journal.UW School of Pharmacy Student-Led Research Articles Published in National Journal

Two University of Wyoming students’ research papers have been accepted in a national pharmacy journal.

UW School of Pharmacy fourth-year student Megan Meier, from Colorado Springs, Colo., and Cheyenne’s Mark Menghini, a master’s degree candidate in molecular biology, collaborated in 2019 on a “mixed methods” project that was subdivided into two related areas -- resulting in the publication of their two separate research papers.

Meier’s research is titled “Consumer’s Opinion on a Pharmacist’s Role in Nutritional Counseling,” and Menghini’s project is titled “Understanding Food Preferences and Their Connection to Health Perception among Lean and Non-Lean Populations in a Rural State.” Menghini’s paper recently was published in the journal INNOVATIONS in pharmacy, and Meier’s paper has been accepted for publication in the same journal. It is the first publication in a national journal for both UW students.

Meier’s focus was on data analysis and writing results obtained from interviewing Laramie community members on their understanding of nutrition and the role a pharmacist can play in supporting them. Menghini was given the assignment of understanding food preferences among lean and non-lean individuals in a rural population.

Baskaran Thyagarajan, a UW associate professor of pharmaceutics and neuroscience, and Reshmi Singh, a UW associate professor of social and administrative pharmacy, along with Meier and Menghini, divided their responsibilities in analyzing data in the mixed methods study.

Meier collected data from audio-recorded interviews conducted with a variety of Laramie community members for the project. She focused on respondents’ understanding of nutrition, their interactions with pharmacists regarding nutrition, and the consumers’ perception of pharmacists’ role/education surrounding nutrition.

Learn more about this Pharmacy student-led research by visiting UW News.



UW Undergraduate, Samantha Power, in Division of Communication Disorders Wins National Honor.UW Undergraduate in Division of Communication Disorders Wins National Honor

An undergraduate speech, language and hearing science major at the University of Wyoming has won a 2020 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Students Preparing for Academic and Research Careers (SPARC) Award.

Samantha Power, from Mandan, N.D., received the honor from the national professional and scientific organization that provides credentials for audiologists, speech-language pathologists and speech, language and hearing scientists.

Katelyn Kotlarek, an assistant professor in the UW Division of Communication Disorders, serves as Power’s primary mentor.

“The ASHA SPARC Award facilitates an inside look into academic research careers in our field through a custom, apprenticeship-style experience in research and teaching,” Kotlarek says. “I am blown away by Ms. Power’s passion for research and dedication to the field of communication sciences and disorders. I am confident that she has a very promising future ahead of her.”

ASHA supports its members by advocating for professionals and their patients, advancing science and setting standards for professional practice. The SPARC Award is offered as part of ASHA’s strategic objective to increase research commitment in the field of communication sciences and disorders.

Learn more about Samantha's receiving the SPARC Award by visiting UW News.


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