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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth


Two faculty members and one student in Old Dominion University's College of Health Sciences received awards at the college's annual Research Day March 21.

Stacey B. Plichta, assistant professor of community health professions, was lauded as the best faculty platform presenter for her presentation on "Violence Across the Lifespan: Effects on Health and Access to Care in U.S. Women." Plichta's research indicated that women who suffered some form of abuse, particularly sexual violence from a relative or boyfriend/spouse, were more likely to suffer from poor physical and mental health. "It seems obvious," she said, "but it took a lot of study to convince public policy makers of that."

Michele Darby, University Professor and Eminent Scholar of dental hygiene, was awarded the Best Faculty Poster award for her work on "The Effectiveness of Distance Education Strategies on Student Achievement in a Multidisciplinary Research Methods Course." Darby evaluated two sessions of her research methods course taught via TELETECHNET, one in fall 1999 and another in fall 2000, and found that off-site students did not do as well. She will use the information to tailor specific learning methods to help those students.

Heather Balombiny, a graduate student in physical therapy, received the Best Student Poster award for her research project "The Effect of Variable Durations of Warm-Up on the Performance of Motor Tasks." Her research was conducted with three graduates of Old Dominion's physical therapy program: David Grant, Jason Nachazel and Derek Rosa, as well as with their faculty adviser, Michael Tamburello, an assistant professor of physical therapy. Their research on 10 male subjects indicated that a five-minute warm-up can significantly improve physical performance. Another physical therapy student, Robin O'Connor, is repeating the research with a different group of subjects this year to see if the results are consistent with the findings in the first test.

The winners received a plaque and monetary award.