Research

Dr. Andrasi is continuing to focus her research efforts on practices related to teaching and learning. This year she is part of a research project entitled “Seeking Excellence in Teaching and Learning: A Community of Practice.” This is an interdisciplinary project conducted with Dr. Steven Ebert from Occupational Therapy; Dr. Lisa Singleterry, Dr. Kelley Pattison, and Ms. Joanne DeWit from Nursing; Ms. Marie Moreno from Business; Dr. Brian Gogan from English; and Dr. Sue Caulfield from Health Services and Sciences along with Dr. Andrasi from Integrative Holistic Health and Wellness. The purpose of the research is to provide a group of faculty members regular contact with a community of teachers engaged in the exploration of evidenced based teaching strategies generated through shared readings, tested in classrooms, and processed via a structured reflection model. Participating faculty members come from across the university.

Dr. Lori Gray is currently involved in a variety of scholarly activities.  A mindfulness intervention research project resulted in a publication in the Journal of Innovation in Higher Education, titled “The Effectiveness of a Mindfulness Meditation Module for Students Who Have Aged Out of Foster Care” (Gray, L.,Font, S., Unrau, Y., & Dawson, A.). She presented this research via teleconference in a poster session at the 3rdInternational Conference on Mindfulness hosted by the University of Amsterdam; she has submitted a proposal to present the full paper at the 4thInternational Conference on Mindfulness at Aarhus University, Denmark.  

Dr. Gray has recently submitted two manuscripts, the first, titled “An Evaluation of Offering Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Training in a Rural Community Setting” was presented at the 2ndInternational Conference on Mindfulness at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. The second submitted manuscript, “A Coaching Model to Support College Students from Foster Care” details the innovative coaching program offered at WMU’s Office for Fostering Student Success, where Dr. Gray also serves as Faculty Associate.

She is currently involved in other ongoing projects at the center, including a study investigating the use of biofeedback and mindfulness training for WMU students who have aged out of foster care (WMU’s Seita Scholar’s program). Dr. Gray was awarded a FRACAA grant through WMU to fund a project with the Seita Scholar’s Program in collaboration with Dr. Nathanael Okpych, a faculty member at the University of Connecticut; the study will focus on students’ social networks, attachment styles, and resilience.  

Dr. Gray continues to pursue research related to teaching mindfulness curricula in higher education. Her paper presentation titled, “The Impact of a Mindfulness Curriculum on Self-Reported Health and Well-Being in University Students” was accepted to be presented at the 10th International Conference on Health, Wellness & Society, at the University of Sorbonne, Paris, France.

Dr. Michele McGrady is currently conducting research on the impact of regular contemplative practices in the classroom on perceived stress and self-compassion in college students. Funding for the study was provided by an instructional development project grant from the Office of Faculty Development.  Recently, Dr. McGrady collaborated with SIHP faculty member, Dr. Shannon McMorrow, on a grant application entitled, “Assessing Psychological and Social Wellbeing of International Students using the PERMA model and Photovoice”. Dr. McGrady recently presented at the International Society for Teaching and Learning conference as well the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education annual conference.