2016 Mentoring Program Projects

Office of Faculty Development

2016 participants

Pictured above are the 2016 participants: Kacey Durant, M.D., assistant professor of family and community medicine (left) and Abbie Olszewski, Ph.D., assistant professor of speech pathology and audiology (right) with Jennifer Hagen, M.D., associate dean of Office of Faculty Development and associate professor of internal medicine (center).

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine's 2016 mentoring program participants once again had the opportunity to present their year-long projects in a special program preceding the State of the School Address event on September 15 in Reno. The mentees chose specific projects that they felt would help their academic career development, and mentors who would offer specific support for these projects.
Faculty members have increasingly shown a desire to spend more time on research according to the faculty forward surveys. The Faculty Mentoring Program is a great opportunity for faculty members to get allotted time and funds to focus on projects important to them. To-date, eight faculty members have completed the program.

Kacey Durant, M.D.

Kacey Durant, M.D., assistant professor of family and community medicine, was mentored by Maureen Rubin, Ph.D., assistant professor of social work. Durant's project was about creating a rationale for having a social worker in the Family Medicine Center.

Durant initially conducted literature research to find out what other clinics were doing to help the underserved population. She then distributed surveys to find out the social dynamics of patients. Although the project is over, Durant plans to continue her research by performing data analysis on the survey responses and then develop social work resources that can be implemented in the clinic.

"The biggest thing I got out of this program was the interdepartmental collaboration and resource awareness. There are so many resources available to me and my department," she concluded.

Abbie Olszewski, Ph.D.

Abbie Olszewski, Ph.D., assistant professor of speech pathology and audiology, was mentored by Julie Pennington, Ph.D., professor in the department of education. Olszewski's project goals focused on transforming clinical data into valuable research by expanding the Language and Literacy Development Center.

One of the challenges of her project was to differentiate the Language and Literacy Development Center in the department of speech pathology and audiology from the E.L. Cord Center for Learning and Literacy on the main university campus. Olszewski collected data from chart reviews and studied why children struggle with reading and attempted to identify how to provide them with skills to do better.

"As a result of being a participant of the faculty mentoring program, I learned how systematic processes can turn clinical data into valuable research," Olszewski stated. She now intends to submit a case study in a peer-reviewed journal and apply for a clinical translational research grant to finish the study.