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Inaugural Davis Scholars launch nursing research projects

Liz Long (left) and Teresa Yang are the inaugural Davis scholars, conducting summer research projects.

This summer, research is being conducted by the College of Nursing’s inaugural Davis Undergraduate Summer Nursing Scholars. Seniors Elizabeth (Liz) Long and Teresa Yang, working with Professor Elizabeth Dowdell, PhD, RN, FAAN, are targeting their scholarly interests through the generosity of Hugh M. Davis ’83 MS, ’85 PhD; his wife, Pamela S. Davis; and their daughter, Olivia M. Davis ’13 BSN, who have pledged to establish an endowed fund for undergraduate participation in research as well as a newly created active fund for the same purpose, both of which bear their names. The purpose of the funds is to support undergraduate participation in faculty guided research. 

Liz’s qualitative study “Policies and Perceptions of Human Trafficking: Examining Nurses’ Views on Human Trafficking Victims in the Emergency Department” addresses a gap in the literature regarding nurses’ perceptions of human trafficking, how an institution’s policies can affect the views of these nurses, and whether there are differences between Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners and registered nurses’ perceptions. Human trafficking victims are a unique patient population who have specific physical, sexual, and psychological health problems related to their captivity. Liz is an extern in the ED at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania this summer.

Teresa, also in the midst of an externship in the PICU at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia this summer, designed a quantitative pilot study “Using Technology to Increase the Safety of College Students”—an issue of growing concern from The White House. The primary goal of her project is to examine the relationships between the use of a smart phone accessible safety application, Circle of 6, and safety behaviors.  By better understanding the use and integration of technology by a college age population, nurses can develop better screening, assessment, intervention, and education for safety with this generation.