Research

Dr. Lori Gray, Assistant Professor, is interested in the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions, stress reduction in emerging adults, living with chronic pain/illness, mind-body approaches to trauma recovery, and the role of contemplative pedagogy in higher education. She is currently working on two manuscripts: “Effects of Mindfulness Based stress Reduction Training on Participant Self-Perceptions of Health and Well-being in a Rural Setting” (under revision) with Dr. Robert Wertkin from Social Work and “The Effectiveness of Mindful meditation module for College Freshman Who Have Aged out of Foster Care” (under review) with Dr. Yvonne Unrau, Social Work, Sarah Font and Ann Dawson.

Dr. Mark St. Martin, Associate Professor, has been involved in a research grant from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) to work with the local YMCA in training their youth sports referees in mindfulness and conflict resolution. The manuscript for this research is under revision and will be resubmitted later this year. Dr. St. Martin and his co-investigators also presented "An Investigation of Mindfulness Intervention with Collegiate Soccer Players" (Vidic, St. Martin & Oxhandler, 2017) at the AASP conference in Orlando, FL. A second presentation at this conference was "Methodological Considerations for Intercollegiate Research with Athletes" (Hibbard-Gibbons, St. Martin, Vidic, 2017). Additional manuscripts being prepared are “Exploring the Impact of a Mindfulness Meditation Class on College Student Stress Levels” and the results of the research on the effectiveness of using mindfulness techniques in online college courses.

Dr. Paula Andrasi, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, has research interests in the areas of contemplative pedagogy and spirituality. Her recent work, however, has centered on the pedagogical issue of improving writing assignments and assessing student learning outcomes. Dr. Andrasi and her colleagues, Dr. Sue Caulfield, Professor in SIHP and Dr. Lisa Singleterry, Assistant Professor in Nursing, have been developing a learning tool for faculty. They are researching the needs of faculty in increasing student compliance with written assignments and recognizing faculty challenges in creating meaningful and understandable writing assignments. They have presented their findings at two Lilly Conferences on Evidenced based Teaching and Learning, in 2016 & 2017 in Traverse City, MI. The Lilly Conference is sponsored by the International Teaching Learning Cooperative and attracts participants from across the country. In June of 2018, Caulfield, Singleterry, and Andrasi presented their workshop "WAG has the DOPE" at Auburn University for the International Writing Across the Curriculum annual conference.

Dr. Michele McGrady, Assistant Professor, pursues her research interests in spirituality and self-care as well as the scholarship of teaching and learning. She presented at the Lilly Conference in Traverse City, MI in 2017 with a session on "Contemplative Pedagogy in the Classroom: Engaging Students’ Self-Awareness to Enhance Learning". Manuscripts in process include “Understanding the Dimensions of Spirituality in White Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual College Students,” with Dr. Mary Z. Anderson, Professor CECP, as well as “’Introduction to Spirituality’: Developing an undergraduate course in spirituality using contemplative pedagogy.” Currently, Dr. McGrady is engaged in research with her colleagues, Drs. Rowe, Jeng, & McMorrow, related to women’s reproductive health and self-care practices.