2019 Humenick Awardees

 gold bar with the title of the article in brown font


2019 Awards

The University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing (FWWSON) has some pretty nice resources for faculty. One such resource is the Sharron S. Humenick Nursing Enrichment Fund, established to provide academic enrichment for FWWSON faculty. Dr. Humenick was a faculty member from 1981 to 1998; she established this fund in 1999 after leaving UW.

So this year, FOUR Humenick awards of up to $5,000 each were presented at an annual nursing event held April 24. Scroll down to read about the four awards, the people involved, and the projects to be funded.


four individuals comprise the ward 1 winners -- three women and one man

Award #1: 


Esther Gilman-Kehrer, DNP, MS, FNP-C, CNM - Principal Investigator; Timothy Robinson, Ph.D., WWAMI Director - Co-Investigator. Also involved in their project are WWAMI Clinical Curriculum Director, Yvette Haeberle, M.D., and nursing faculty member Candace Stidolph, RN, MS, FNP-C.

The title of their Study Proposal

Examining the Effectiveness of Teaching Sensitive Examinations and Sexual Health History Taking with Trained Teaching Assistants in an Interprofessional Student Setting.


Confidently performing sensitive female and male exams is critical a component of training for the novice nurse practitioner (NP) and medical student before entering the clinical setting. Opportunities to learn these skills in a positive learning environment are limited in rural NP and medical school programs. Utilizing professional Gynecologic and Male Teaching Urologic Associates (GTA, MUTA) has demonstrated improved student confidence, comfort and communication and technical skills.

The aim of this study is to examine the impact on pre and post self-reported learning experience, comfort, and confidence level in performing sensitive exams and interviews after participating in a formal training program utilizing professional GTAs and MUTAs from Project Prepare LLC.

A pre and post training program survey design will be used. Questionnaires evaluating self-rated confidence, comfort, and technical and communication skills pre and post program will be compared. The study population will include a mix of twenty-eight 2nd year family nurse practitioners and medical students from UW participating in an interprofessional training program by Project Prepare LLC. A follow up survey questionnaire will be done one year later to evaluate long-term benefits of this model.

Studies have examined the use of TAs in medical education, but few studies exist examining their use in NP education and none exist in an interprofessional training setting. The results would aid clinical educators to identify the most effective approach to prepare students to perform patient centered sensitive exams prior to clinical rotations.

This team has a 10-page proposal that covers innovation, approach, recruitment, methodology, and such topics even as "potential problems". We look forward to hearing the results of their project in two years: 2021.


gold bar with picture of woman with full long light brown-blondish hair and lovely smile

Award #2: 


UW Nursing faculty member Jenifer Thomas, PhD, garnered one of the $5,000 awards for her proposal, "Diabetes Prevention Interventionist Training Program for Pre-Professional Students in the Health Sciences."


We'll type out her Abstract below, but first are skipping down to an interesting paragraph under "Innovation", where Dr. Thomas is focusing on a concern for rural Wyomingites:

"The prevalence of T2DM [type 2 diabetes] in Wyoming will continue to increase if prevention programs are not creative, non-traditional, and accessible. It is not uncommon for at-risk individuals to experience inability to maintain weight loss or sustain behavior change following participation in lifestyle interventions. At-risk individuals are less likely to engage in prevention activities, and achieve the associated health benefits, due to limited understanding of the risk factors, poor recommendation adherence, and lack of healthcare provider support. For Wyoming residents, it is essential to establish risk reduction interventions that address accessibility barriers, engage at-risk individuals in risk reducing behaviors, and strengthen efforts to participate in self-care. Innovative and sustainable approaches to T2DM prevention programs in rural Wyoming should utilize community resources, technology, and targeted messages."

Prevention of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) remains a public health concern as nearly 9.4% of the US population is diagnosed with T2DM. Currently, a major obstacle to T2DM risk reduction for rural individuals is limited access to prevention resources and support due to insufficient number of in-person prevention programs and primary care providers. To solve this, we will create and test the feasibility of a novel approach to prevention intervention delivery in rural areas by designing a tailored and easily implemented combination in-person/online program. The overarching goal of this research line is to address T2DM-related health disparities and outcomes for rural individuals through enriched intervention provision and availability. Lay health educator-delivered T2DM prevention programs are low cost and effective, may be sustainable and translatable in other rural communities, and may lead to efficient and extensive dissemination of risk reduction strategies. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to train pre-professional students to deliver the intervention.

The aims of this research project build upon previous research investigating combination in-person/online T2DM prevention programs and perceptions of T2DM risk as well as strong collaborative relationships between project personnel. In addition, this pilot project will provide data to support a future grant application. The aims of this research project are to 1) create a facilitator training program for pre-professional students based on the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Training and 2) determine the feasibility of a modified and tailored T2DM prevention intervention for rural individuals delivered by pre professional students through at-risk individual focus groups.

This post is just touching the tip of the iceberg in regard to sharing Dr. Thomas' 8-page proposal, but you get the idea, and it's a great one! So, look forward to hearing from Thomas in 2020 with a follow-up report.


gold bar with pictures of the two people who won award 3, one woman and one man

Award #3: 


UW nursing faculty members Paula Kihn, MSN, RN, (Principal Investigator) and David Bodily, MS, RN, CHSE, (Co-Investigator).


The title of their project: "Revolutionizing Nursing in Wyoming (ReNEW): Comparing Wyoming nursing programs' curricula to determine effectiveness." Make sure you read the whole article below. In here we tell you why we like the last statement of Kihn's and Bodily's abstract and why we think you will be proud of the work they are doing, putting Wyoming nursing on the map!


"The work proposed here will replicate a previous study enumerating the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice that were met through pre-licensure nursing education delivered by nationally accredited Associate Degree nursing programs. Results of this research will directly inform curricular development and improvement for the FWWSON BSN Completion option. The results will also contribute to broader understanding of design and delivery of RN to BSN education programs at the national level."

Kihn and Bodily just returned from the Wyoming Nursing Education Summit, where the work they did there was specific to this research, and “was the time of data collection from all of the community colleges in Wyoming that is instrumental to this research,” says Kihn.

We told Kihn that we liked the last sentence in the Abstract, understanding that the outcome of their research can positively affect not just our Wyoming ReNEW programs, but can have a national influence. Kihn replied that it is indeed their HOPE that the results will also contribute to broader understanding of design and delivery of RN to BSN education programs at the national level.

Thanks to these faculty members for wanting Wyoming nursing education to be the BEST and working hard to make sure that happens!  We should have a follow-up report from Kihn and Bodily in 2020.


pictures of the 5 individuals winning award 4.4 women and one man

Award #4: 


Nursing faculty Rebecca Carron, PhD, RN, NP-C 


  • Sarah Kooienga, PhD, FNP, ARNP (UW Nursing faculty)

  • Erin Bush, PhD, CCC-SLP, UW Neurogenic Communication Disorders

  • Reshmi Singh, PhD, MS, BPharm, UW Social and Administrative Pharmacy

  • Ruben Alvero, MD, Professor & Division Director, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Sunnyvale, California

Proposal for Funding

"An Institutional Ethnographic Analysis of Online Open Support Groups for Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)."

This proposal has 2 specific aims: (1) to develop a qualitative learning collaborative in the College of Health Sciences that will include at least two undergrad nursing students; and (2) to conduct a textual analysis of open online support groups for women with PCOS [Polycystic Ovary Syndrome] using institutional ethnography [IE]. This team will work closely with international IE expert Dr. Janet Rankin, faculty member at U. of Calgary-Quatar.

Their 10-page proposal is difficult to capture in a small FB post, so we'll give you just a tidbit.The proposal included this paragraph on Innovation:

"This study is innovative because we are seeking to challenge current research and clinical practice paradigms for women with PCOS through our novel approach to analyze the textual understandings of online open support groups using IE. We are seeking to understand their everyday world and the ruling forces that shape their perceptions so that interventions to resolve these tensions can be developed (Adams, Carryer, & Wilkinson, 2015)." 

So much more will be covered and reported on within the 2-year span of this project. Be looking for resulting report in the year 2021!


Posted 05/30/2019

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