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College of Health & Human Services:  Research & Sponsored Programs

2020 WKU Student Research Conference:

CHHS Student Research Presentations

Three CHHS student presentations received awards at the 2020 WKU Virtual Student Research Conference. The award-winning presentations can be viewed below. The CHHS is proud of our students' accomplishments and the important work they have pursued during their college career. The exceptional faculty-mentors in the CHHS strive to support students in their research and learning goals.

Presenter: Bella Tawasha

Faculty Mentor:Dr. Carrie Cox, Assistant Professor, Fashion Merchandising

Abstract Title: What is a size 12? Sizing inconsistencies and inaccuracies within the fashion industry


Presenter: Sepehr Rassi, lead investigator and Spencer Otto, co-investigator, & presenter

Mentor:Dr. Jason Crandall, Associate Professor, Exercise Science

Abstract Title: Smartwatches: Popularity, Comfort level, & Challenges among Older Adults


Presenter: Matthew Johnson

Mentor:Dr. Rachel Tinius, Assistant Professor, Exercise Science

Abstract Title: Maternal Mood during Pregnancy may influence Cortisol Levels in Cord Blood

FEATURED: CHHS Alumni, 2020 Student Research Conference Judges

Dr. Donna Bredenberg was awarded her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in December 2019. Her DNP project was entitled: Sexuality and Romantic Relationship Assessment in Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer, Advisor: Dr. Maire Blankenship. She was also the student speaker at the December 2019 CHHS Recognition Ceremony. Dr. Bredenberg was also featured in the WKU Alumni Association Hilltoppers Who Help feature, found here.


Kelly J. (Fussman) Crouch is an alumna of the undergraduate program in Communication Disorders and was the recipient of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Dr. Joseph Etienne Academic Excellence award (2016). She was awarded a FUSE grant while at WKU with her mentor Dr. Mary Lloyd Moore. Kelly developed and assessed the effectiveness of a cultural and English language program for international WKU students and was able to present her research at multiple conferences during her senior year at WKU. She received her master’s degree from Vanderbilt University and is currently in private practice in Nashville, TN.

Kelly Burgess graduated from the College of Health and Human Services' Department of Applied Human Sciences's Didactic Program in Dietetics in December 2017, and was awarded the Ogden Foundation Scholar Award. While at WKU, Kelly completed an Honors Capstone Thesis project titled, "Nutritional and Behavioral Repercussions of Food Insecurity and the Impact of Nutrition Education."  Kelly's research consisted of two case studies on individuals classified as food insecure. The level of food insecurity and current eating habits were assessed, then customized nutrition education was provided to the individuals based on their needs. A follow-up evaluation was implemented to determine effectiveness of the education.

Kelly is currently a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist working as a Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent for the University of Kentucky in Allen County, Kentucky. She continues to apply research and innovation with the educational programming she offers the community, including testing recipes for the Plate It Up Kentucky Proud Program.

"I participate in pilot trials of new and innovative programs to improve the health of individuals and families."


CHHS Faculty Judges

Xiuhua Ding, Public Health

Jae Kim, Public Health

Darnez Pope, Public Health

Kim Link, School of Nursing & Allied Health

Lauren Bland, Communication Sciences & Disorders

Karen E. Furgal, Doctorate of Physical Therapy

Danilo Tolusso, School of Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport

Mark Schafer, School of Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport

Sarah Herrick, School of Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport

Whitley Stone, School of Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport

Kayla Baker, School of Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 10/22/20