Newman faculty members achieve doctorate status

Sep 10, 2020
graduation cap

In a feat of dedication to their crafts, three Newman University faculty members recently received their doctoral degrees.

Assistant Professor of Nursing Lori Link, Assistant Professor of Nursing Melissa Romaneschi and Assistant Professor of Graduate Education Kathryn Nelson have each earned their terminal degrees after conducting research and completing a case study.

Link led a mentoring effort for her research.

Lori Link, Ph.D. (photo courtesy LinkedIn)

“The purpose of this project was to implement a mentoring program for novice nurse faculty in nursing education and evaluate the impact of retention and satisfaction rates of novice faculty.”

She went on to explain the process of carrying out the study.

“The descriptive qualitative project was conducted at a small community college in Kansas that did not have a faculty mentoring program. Surveys were given to 14 faculty at the beginning and end of the fall 2019 semester. Three survey tools were used to measure satisfaction and retention for novice nurse educators.”

Continuing within the same field of study, Romaneschi explored the concept of mental health in the context of exam performances.

Melissa Romaneschi, Ph.D.

Her inquiry is as follows: “Does minimizing stress and anxiety in the undergraduate nursing student by utilizing stress-management techniques before exams, compared to students who have not received the techniques, have better success and exam scores in didactic in semesters one through four?”

The purpose of each study was to determine if implementing a de-stressing program would increase the comprehension and overall success of nursing students.

Nelson felt that a particular topic in the education field deserved more attention than it has received in the past.

“Despite the promise of formative assessment for English learners, there has been little research on formative assessment for language development, especially for adolescent newcomers.”

Kathryn Nelson, Ph.D.

Given this lack of research, Nelson set out to enrich this branch of education academia.

“This qualitative case study explored the formative assessment practices experienced middle school ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) teachers used to improve newcomer students’ English language development.”

She provided a thorough explanation of her study.

“Findings from a series of interviews and classroom observations indicated that middle school newcomer teachers (a) relied on frequent observation, (b) regularly engaged students in speaking activities for formative assessment, (c) continuously assessed student for development growth across all language domains and linguistic dimensions, and (d) used formative assessment evidence to make instructional decision that resulted in language coaching during the lesson.”

Observing this phenomenal research and academic effort, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Long, Ph.D., commented on the achievements of the three faculty members.

“I am so proud of the work of our new doctoral faculty,” said Long. “Earning a terminal degree is challenging, frustrating, sometimes lonely, and ultimately, incredibly rewarding. Those who have managed to do so while working in their professions and teaching are well-equipped to serve and assist our students as they begin their own journeys, face similar challenges, and ultimately, to achieve their goals.”