NHS Research Interest Groups

Assistive Technology for Individuals with Disabilities (ATID) RIG

Contact person:  Dr. Kathleen Fahey (kathy.fahey@unco.edu)

Description:  Programs in natural, health, and human sciences share an underlying belief that independent and quality living is a primary goal of all individuals.  Access to and successful use of assistive technologies provides an important avenue to the achievement of this goal for all, and especially for those who have disabilities.  Community members and agencies that support the use of assistive technologies are invited to work in collaborative fashion with university faculty and students to advance the accessibility and successful application of assistive technology to daily life goals. 

Particular activities include:

  • Develop and submit grant proposals that address
    • the development of new assistive technologies
    • application of existing technologies to new populations
    • collaborative systems for assisting individuals with the procurement and use of assistive technologies.
  • Develop and conduct outcome research studies on the effectiveness of assistive technology in improving independence and quality living.
  • Become a center for the design, implementation, and dissemination of research on assistive technology. 
  • Strengthen college, university, and community collaboration through educational programs and outreach activities for faculty, students, and community members.
  • Partner with local agencies to provide expertise in discipline specific assessment, procurement, and use of assistive technologies within a family-centered model. 
  • Involve undergraduate and graduate students in all opportunities related to the RIG.
  • Strengthen university/community collaborations through education and outreach activities.

Eliminating Health Disparities RIG

Contact person: Dr. Liz Gilbert (elizabeth.gilbert@unco.edu)

Description: To create research opportunities focused on identifying solutions to eliminate health disparities through community collaborations and to collaborate with other UNC faculty members who share interests in health disparities, community-based participatory research, action research, marginalized populations, health promotion for people with disabilities, and/or the impact of social determinants on health.


GeoReach RIG

Contact persons: Dr. Cindy Shellito (lucinda.shellito@unco.edu) and Julie Sexton (julie.sexton@unco.edu)

Description: GeoReach is a weekly discussion group for those interested in geoscience education research. During these weekly discussion meetings, group members brainstorm geoscience education research ideas, share geoscience education research data they have collected and need help analyzing or interpreting, and discuss published geoscience education research. Informal presentations often precede discussions. The goal of this group to develop new research proposals and published papers, build teams that can approach geoscience education research from fresh, innovative perspectives, and generate discussion on science teaching among the campus community.

2009-2010 Accomplishments:
1.      GeoReach members delivered two faculty professional development workshops to the science faculty based on the book "How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School" (Bransford et al., National Academy Press). The first workshop focused on the ‘Role of Students’ Preconceptions’ in the college classroom. The second workshop focused on ‘Addressing Students’ Preconceptions and Developing Their Meta-Cognition.’ Each workshop was presented to approximately 10 faculty and graduate student participants. A third workshop will be offered in Fall 2010.
2.      GeoReach members submitted two grant proposals to the National Science Foundation.

Instrumentation & Investigative Sciences RIG

Contact persons: Dr. Kim Pacheco (kimberly.pacheco@unco.edu), Dr. Bill Hoyt (william.hoyt@unco.edu) and Ken Cochran (kenneth.cochran@unco.edu)

Description: With the recent or pending acquisition of many new research instruments in Ross Hall, the entire UNC community of scholars (not just the hard sciences) can benefit from collaborative research and teaching opportunities now available right here in Greeley. Instruments recently upgraded or acquired include: Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD), 5 Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), and many others. Additional disciplines and new major emphasis areas such as Forensic Science, Criminal Justice, Anthropology, Archaeology, Geography, Sport & Exercise Sciences, and several others have various applications of these instruments.

Capacity of UNC to support a variety of research has markedly increased, and the goal of this research group is to facilitate full use of these instruments. Increased opportunities for publications and attraction of outside funding should be enabled by these new or upgraded instruments. Providing faculty time to learn applications of these new instruments and keeping the instruments operational are challenges that need to be addressed by the RIG.


Positive Youth Development RIG

Contact Person: Dr. Bob Brustad (bob.brustad@unco.edu)

Description: Programs of positive youth development share a common underlying belief that intervention programs for youth should seek to develop and cultivate strengths and assets that will help youth to grow and flourish throughout their lives. In this regard, youth are viewed as community resources who will contribute and thrive to the extent to which they are provided with opportunities to maximize their potential and develop lifelong skills that transcend any given risk or challenge.

Intervention programs target goals such as resilience, conflict resolution abilities, collective problem solving skills, positive sense of self, and community engagement because such skills and capacities are of benefit across situations and contexts. This research interest group seeks to facilitate opportunities for positive youth development through school-based and afterschool community programs. Programs of intervention will focus extensively upon opportunities within the sport and physical activity domain but will not be limited to this domain.

The goals of this research interest group are to:

  • Provide youth with meaningful opportunities for personal development through school-based and community-based opportunities coordinated by peer and adult mentors and leaders
  • Become a center for the design, implementation and dissemination of research on youth development. A major focus will be upon developing grant proposals that can provide valuable growth experiences for children and adolescents in the community and contribute to our knowledge base about best practices in youth development.
  • Strengthen university/community linkages and facilitate access to the university for youth and families who might not otherwise have this linkage.

The Alliance seeks partners who:

  • Serve youth in some capacity.
  • View sport and physical activity as educational tools and vehicles to teach life skills.
  • Desire to collaborate on a long-term initiative or series of initiatives.
  • Perceive a collaboration with the Alliance to be beneficial in pursuing a common agenda.

Hellison, D., Cutforth, N., Kallusky, J., Martinek, T., Parker, M. & Stiehl, J. (2000). Youth development & physical activity: Linking universities & communities. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Brustad, R., & Parker, M. (2005). Enhancing positive youth development through sport and physical activity. Psychologica, 39, 75-93.

Parker, M. & Stiehl, J. (2005). Personal and social responsibility. In J. Lund & D. Tannehill (Eds.). Standards-based physical education curriculum. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.