New College Seed Funding Program Awards First Pilot Grants

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2022
2022-spring-research-seed-funding-awardees-webstory

The College of Social Work & Criminal Justice introduced an internal seed funding award program in Fall 2021 with three primary goals in mind:

  1. to incentivize multidisciplinary research collaborations by offsetting initial upstart costs associated with pilot and feasibility studies;
  2. to increase opportunities and resources for student involvement in research; and
  3. to support initiatives that show promising potential to evolve into large, externally funded projects.

Thank you to the Faculty Research Seed-Funding Review Committee for their earnest and thoughtful selection.
We are now pleased to announce the recipients of the first program cycle:

$10,000 Assessing the Feasibility of a Qigong Intervention in Veterans with Chronic Low Back Pain

Juyoung Park, Ph.D., MSW , professor in the Phyllis & Harvey Sandler School of Social Work (SSW), was awarded $10,000 to support a feasibility study entitled, Assessing the Feasibility of a Qigong Intervention in Veterans with Chronic Low Back Pain. The research team includes Park (PI), Cheryl A. Krause-Parello, Ph.D., RN, FAAN (Co-I), professor in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing (CELCON); and social work student researchers Felicia Jereda and Michele Williams.

“The opportunity to work with Dr. Park is a great honor,” said Jereda, a senior Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) student. “With her research experience and passion coupled with my previous military experience and desire to help veterans, I am confident we will make great strides working together to provide this service to the veteran community.”

Qigong is a mind-body therapy composed of physical movement, meditation, and controlled breathing – an effective nonpharmacological approach for persons with chronic low back pain (CLBP). This study will determine the feasibility of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a qigong intervention for CLBP in veterans to provide pilot data for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) R34 grant application resubmission.

“Dr. Park is a very passionate research instructor,” said Williams, a senior BSW student. “I am looking forward to this opportunity to work alongside her and to make contributions to this project, which I hope will benefit many people.”

$5,000 An Examination of the Relationship Between Religious Involvement, and Levels of Acculturation, Somatization, Depression, and Anxiety in Primary Health Care Hispanic Patients

Manny John González, Ph.D., LCSW-R , SSW associate professor, was awarded $5,000 to support a pilot study entitled, An Examination of the Relationship Between Religious Involvement, and Levels of Acculturation, Somatization, Depression, and Anxiety in Primary Health Care Hispanic Patients. The research team includes González (PI) and Co-I María de los Ángeles Ortega Hernández, DNP, APRN, GNP-BC, PMHNP-BC, CDP, FAANP, FAAN , CELCON professor.

Their cross-sectional study will examine the relationship between degree of religious involvement and levels of acculturation, somatization, depression, and anxiety in primary health care Hispanic patients. Because patients in this client population are more likely to seek help for a mental health disorder from a primary care provider than a mental health specialist and tend to focus more on physical not psychiatric symptoms, this study will be implemented in community-based, primary health care settings.

$5,000 Promoting Sleep Health Among Law Enforcement Personnel

Christine E. Spadola, Ph.D., LMHC , SSW assistant professor (Co-PI); Danielle B. Groton, Ph.D. , SSW assistant professor (Co-PI); Wendy Guastaferro, Ph.D. , professor in the School of Criminology & Criminal Justice (SCCJ) (Co-I); and Seth Fallik, Ph.D. , SCCJ associate professor (Co-I), were awarded $5,000 to fund a pilot study entitled, Promoting Sleep Health Among Law Enforcement Personnel.

Law enforcement personnel disproportionately experience sleep disturbances as well as suboptimal sleep. While fatigue (feelings of exhaustion that impact ability to function) has been addressed by some police organizations through trainings and policies, there is a lack of sleep health trainings informed by law enforcement and tailored to law enforcement.

The research team will use the seed funding to tailor and pilot test a sleep health educational training for law enforcement personnel, which will be included in the forthcoming Law Enforcement Career Playbook Certificate program offered through the Decision-Making Simulation Lab (SIM Lab) within the SCCJ. The team is planning to use the pilot data to apply for NIH funding to examine the impact of the sleep health module on objectively assessed law enforcement reaction times in the decision-making SIM Lab.

To learn more about these projects and how you can support these and future research in the College of Social Work & Criminal Justice, please email research.swcj@fau.edu