We would like to congratulate Katrina Haberberger, MS Data Analytics student, whose Honors thesis, The Impact of a Virtual Garden Experience on Caregiver Anxiety, was accepted to the Johns Hopkins University 2021 Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium. Katrina’s research was supervised by her faculty advisor, Dr. Jamie Pinchot. Katrina will present her research at the symposium on April 24-25, 2021.
She will also be presenting her Honors thesis at the RMU Intersections Undergraduate Research Conference on April 23, 2021. The Intersections Conference will be held virtually this year and can be viewed from the conference website.
Katrina’s research focused on studying the impact of experiencing nature virtually on self-reported anxiety. For her study, she collaborated with the local non-profit Hope Grows, featuring their various restorative and healing gardens. Hope Grows is a nature therapy organization in Moon Township, Pennsylvania that seeks to provide respite and recovery from stress to caregivers. COVID-19 has inhibited many caregivers from accessing their gardens, and some may never be able to visit the gardens in person due to the extent of their care receiver’s needs. There is some evidence that virtual experiences of nature can provide stress-relief similar to that experienced in-person, however this has not been well documented for restorative garden environments. The purpose of this research was to understand the way anxiety is impacted for caregivers who experience a virtual representation of the Hope Grows restorative gardens. The results of her study conclude that watching a short, 2-3-minute video of the Hope Grows restorative gardens produces a statistically significant decrease in self-reported state anxiety. As caregivers may experience high levels of anxiety and stress due to the nature of their responsibilities, watching a short video of restorative gardens could be a quick and easily accessible therapy to ensure that those caring for others are also cared for.
Katrina will be graduating in May 2021 with a BS in Statistics and Predictive Analytics, a minor in Alternative Energy and Sustainability, and an MS in Data Analytics. Her research has made an impact on our local community and has been recognized at a national, well-known research conference. Congratulations, Katrina, on this prestigious accomplishment!
Dr. Karen Paullet was selected as the recipient of the 2020-2021 RMU Student Government (SGA) Association Engagement with Students Award. To be considered for this award, a faculty member must be nominated by an RMU student. Dr. Paullet was nominated by 11 students. Awards are then determined by a vote of all members of SGA.
This award clearly demonstrates Dr. Paullet’s positive impact on students at RMU. Congratulations, Dr. Paullet!
Dr. Peter Draus was the recipient of the 2021 Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference (TRETC) Innovation in Education Award! The theme of this year’s TRETC Conference was Next Level EDTECH.
Dr. Draus was nominated for the award by an RMU student, Danielle Wicklund(’20), now a graduate of RMU, having earned her BS in Business Administration (Accounting) and MS in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance in December 2020 via RMU’s 4+1 program. Ms. Wicklund noted that “During this challenging semester, Dr. Draus went above and beyond his methods of teaching and made online learning interesting & enjoyable. Thus, I nominated him and submitted a letter of recommendation.”
The application for the award included a video that was produced by Ms. Wicklund and Dr. Draus. During the closing ceremony at the TRETC Conference on January 18, 2021, the video was showcased as Dr. Draus was announced as the recipient of the Professor – Innovation in Education Award. The video that was showcased can be viewed here:
Ms. Wicklund commented about the award, “Aside from acknowledging Dr. Draus’mentorship skills, it also reflects the high caliber of professors at RMU (specifically in the Department of Computer and Information Systems and School of Informatics, Humanities, and Social Sciences). This award is for the Colonial nation. I am proud to be an RMU alum.”
Congratulations, Dr. Peter Draus, on this stellar accomplishment!
Dr. Paul Kovacs, University Professor of Computer and Information Systems, and Dr. Wenli Wang, Professor of Computer and Information Systems, received the Best Paper Award at the 2020 Conference on Computing Education (EDSIGCON) for a paper that they co-authored with Dr. Alan Peslak (Penn State University) and Dr. Lisa Kovalchick (California University of Pennsylvania). Their award-winning paper was titled “Effectiveness of Educational Delivery Modes: A Study in Computer Information Systems.”
Dr. Jamie Pinchot, Professor of Computer Information Systems, and Dr. Karen Paullet, Associate Professor of Computer and Information Systems, received the Distinguished Paper Award(Top 10%) at the same 2020 Conference on Computing Education (EDSIGCON) for their paper titled “Using Student Choice in Assignments to Create a Learner-Centered Environment for Online Courses.”
The EDSIGCON 2020 Conference was held virtually this year on November 4-7, 2020. Congratulations, faculty!
Dr. Jamie Pinchot and Dr. Donna Cellante, both Professors of Computer and Information Systems, received the Distinguished Paper Award(Top 5%) at the 2020 Conference on Information Systems Applied Research (CONISAR) for a paper that they co-authored. The CONISAR 2020 Conference was held virtually this year on November 4-7, 2020.
Dr. Pinchot and Dr. Cellante’s paper was titled “Privacy Concerns and Data Sharing Habits of Personal Fitness Information Collected via Activity Trackers.”
Dr. Ping Wang, Professor of Computer and Information Systems, and co-author Dr. Hossein Zare (Johns Hopkins University) received the Best Paper Award – Pedagogy from the 60th Annual International Association for Computer Information Systems (IACIS) Annual Conference. The IACIS 2020 Conference was held virtually this year on October 7-10, 2020.
Dr. Wang’s paper was titled “Teaching Internet of Things (IoT) through Software Simulations with Packet Tracer.
The Computer Information Systems (CIS) Department has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). This grant will establish a new DoD Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP) at RMU to recruit and prepare cyber talent for the DoD cyber workforce and to enhance the national pipeline for qualified cyber professionals. The grant funding provides support for three (3) graduate student scholarships and for faculty research on cybersecurity education and mentoring. Students graduating from the CySP program will be placed and serve professional positions of cybersecurity within DoD agencies.
Dr. Ping Wang is the Principal Investigator (PI) of this grant project. The project period is 12 months and the grant is valued at $243,465. For 2020-21, three students have been awarded this scholarship. Each student will receive $68,660 (to cover full tuition & fees, living stipend, laptop computer, and textbook allowance) and is eligible to take up to 18 credits per semester.