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Research and Grants

Our faculty, students, alumni, staff, and campus partners initiate and conduct research to make a difference in both local and global communities. See below to browse some of the sponsored research and outreach projects launched by the departments at CAHSS in the recent academic years.


Youth Leadership for Interfaith Dialog
Principal Investigator: Cheryl Duckworth, Ph.D.
Sponsor: NSU-President’s Faculty Research and Development Grant
Synopsis: In partnership with Broward County Public School’s Diversity, Prevention and Intervention Office, Dr. Duckworth proposes to develop a Teacher Resource Guide regarding equity and inclusion for their Muslim students, and implement a series of teacher workshops and BCPS community interfaith dialogues. These activities are designed to improve school climate, foster a culture of peace and reduce incidents of interfaith bullying.

We worry too much! Ghanaian Women’s Own Accounts of their Health Problems
Principal Investigator: Joyce Avotri, Ph.D.
Sponsor: NSU-President’s Faculty Research and Development Grant
Synopsis: Drawing largely on their own voices, this manuscript documents the health problems and concerns of women in Ghana, more specifically women in Kpando, a town in the Volta region of Southern Ghana. The manuscript builds on the concept of the social production of illness, to show how the women of Kpando traced their health problems to the social and material conditions under which they lived. The initial data for this manuscript was based on interviews with 75 women in Kpando, in the Volta region of Ghana, West Africa. These interviews were tape recorded and transcribed from the local language, Ewe, into English. Kpando has gone through and continues to go through several social and economic changes. At the time of the initial research, Ghana was going through a Structural Adjustment Program imposed by the World Bank. Since then Ghana has gone through so many changes politically and socio-economically. These changes continue to influence women’s day-to-day lives. My plan for this fieldwork trip is to investigate the ways in which these changes have affected Kpando and how these changes have impacted / influenced women’s perception of their health problems and concerns. The purpose is to find out how their lives have changed in the light of all the changes since 1994.


Needs assessment for livelihood development opportunities in conflict and post-conflict environment for communities in Valle de Cauca, Colombia
Principal Investigator: Elena Bastidas, Ph.D.
Sponsor: Fundación Funecorobles
Synopsis: The project aims to understand the conflicts that may arise and the needs of the community in developing commercial agricultural products from their traditional farms, in the context of the potential post-conflict situation in Colombia. This project is of great importance in the area, especially for Colombians, so they can keep advancing in a situation of instability and conflict. The outcome of the project fits well in the Foundation’s plans of improving the territory for sustaining our livelihood and preserving the Peace in the Afro-Colombian culture.

Teaching about Terror, Extremism and Trauma (TETT) 2017 Symposium
Principal Investigator: Ayaz Naseem, Ph.D., Concordia University; Co-Investigator: Adeela Arshad Ayaz, Ph.D., Concordia University; Co-Investigator: Cheryl Duckworth, Ph.D.
Sponsors: AARE
Synopsis: TETT is a yearly symposium developed by Dr. Naseem, Dr. Ashad Ayaz, and Dr. Duckworth to convene experts on the best policies, practices and pedagogies for teaching about terror, extremist ideologies, radicalization and trauma in the classroom.

The Ombudsman in Federal Agencies' Programs and Practices
Principal Investigator: Neil Katz, Ph.D.
Sponsor: chiResolutions via Administrative Council of the United States
Synopsis: This very high profile project entails a collaboration between researchers at NSU, chiResolutions and a federal government agency. This is a public service, leadership effort that aims to inform public policy. The Administrative Conference of the United States will assess the quality of the project three times during the year. Results of both qualitative and quantitative 100 plus item survey of over 150 Ombudsmen Offices has gone to Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) as part of a 186-part report, which is phase I of the project. ACUS staff will go over report (phase II) and then ACUS staff will decide what parts of the recommendation they support. The recommendations they support will go to U.S. Congress (senate and house) by end of year. Potentially our report will be the basis for recommendations that will expand and enhance the number and effectiveness of Ombuds Offices and collaborative conflict resolution practices throughout federal agencies in the United States.


Supporting Literacy and Peace Education: A Community Partner Mentorship Program
Principal Investigator: Dr. Alexia Georgakopoulos
Sponsor: NSU-Quality of Life
Synopsis: The purpose of this project was to address both lack of adequate literacy skills, and poor conflict resolution skills in primary-aged children. This research directly linked to NSU mission of engagement with graduate students, engagement in the community and excellence in research. Specifically the purpose was to design and deliver a model mentoring-based program that can address both problems while encouraging children to like reading and peace education that may be a sustainable program that can be delivered to children.


Dissemination of Amputation and Prosthetic Evidence-Based Medicine (DAP-EM)
Principal Investigator: Sandra Winkler, Ph.D., College of Health Care Sciences, Occupational Medicine, Co-Investigator: Robin Cooper, Ph.D.
Sponsor: Tampa VA Research and Education Foundation via Department of Health and Human Services
Synopsis: The purpose of this proposal is to (1) increase the impact and effective use of evidence-based health information by adding health information to an existing virtual world support space infrastructure and (2) conduct a randomized clinical trial to compare individual-amputee outcomes of the intervention delivered on CD-Rom versus a virtual environment. The proposed project enhances the existing Amputee Virtual Environmental Support Space (AVESS) virtual infrastructure to provide physical, emotional, and technology based evidence-based health information to individuals with upper and lower limb amputation(s) and the clinicians who serve individuals with amputation.

Restoring the Rookery Bay Estuary Project
Principal Investigator: Robin Cooper, Ph.D.
Sponsor: Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Synopsis: Coastal communities in Florida are facing a range of issues related to the impacts of climate change and development, and social science research plays a critical role in identifying stakeholders, understanding their experiences and perspectives, and engaging them in effective decision-making processes on the personal, professional, and community-wide levels. Dr. Robin Cooper, with funding from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), worked with the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RBNRR) in its effort to establish a mechanism for working collaboratively with the community on adaptive management decision-making in the context of fresh water usage. The purpose of this qualitative research project was three-fold: 1) to understand attitudes and behaviors related to water usage among residents in the Rookery Bay region; 2) to explore how community members have engaged in water-related decision-making in personal and professional contexts; 3) to describe community members’ experiences of receiving and responding to educational information related to water conservation. Several doctoral candidates in DCRS assisted with the research as part of Dr. Cooper’s research team.


Needs Assessment and Capacity Building Strategy for Conflict Resolution: Suriname Program
Principal Investigator: Elena Bastidas, Ph.D.
Sponsor: Republic of Suriname
Synopsis: This grant from the Suriname government, will allow faculty and students to advise, train, and develop capacity-building strategies for conflict resolution as it applies to the current multi-stakeholder processes in Suriname. This project is both timely and significant as the Land Rights process is underway in Suriname with the government in negotiation with Indigenous and Maroon tribes to define the legal rights of their territories. Mining, especially gold mining also presents a challenge regarding stakeholder processes and procedures. Thus, conflict resolution training is a priority for the Suriname government, Indigenous and Maroon peoples and the mining industry.


AAMFT Members of Color Survey
Principal Investigator: Kara Erolin, Ph.D.
Sponsor: NSU-President’s Faculty Research and Development Grant
Synopsis: The purpose of this study is to find out the status of American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) members of color in their training, clinical work, professional challenges and opportunities, and how AAMFT can better meet their needs.

Equine Facilitated Therapy (EFP) with At-Risk Youth
Principal Investigator: Shelley Green, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator: Maria Levi-Minzi, M.A.
Sponsor: The Quell Foundation
Synopsis: This project will provide equine assisted therapy to the residents of Pompano Youth Treatment Center (PYTC) and evaluate outcomes for participants by utilizing both pre-post assessment instruments and monthly interviews with PYTC staff, probation officers, and client families.

Financial Counseling in Family Therapy
Principal Investigator: Hyungkee Baek, Ph.D., H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business, Co-Investigator: Florence Neymotin, Ph.D., H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business, Co-Investigator: Ron Chenail, Ph.D.
Sponsor: NSU-President’s Faculty Research and Development Grant
Synopsis: This project seeks to create an interdisciplinary treatment program at NSU that will help to advance the applied knowledge of and identify the best practices in the relatively new field of financial therapy.


Fatherhood Mentorship Program Evaluation
Principal Investigator: Ron Chenail, Ph.D.
Sponsor: Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Broward County
Synopsis: The objectives of the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Broward County’s Fatherhood Mentorship Program are to provide individual and group education to help men develop the skills needed to become and remain active in their children’s life. To achieve these objectives, the goals of the three-phase program are to provide effective case management, group sessions, community activities, and resource referrals so the fathers become more engaged in the lives of their children. The objectives of the evaluation team are to assess evidence regarding the Program’s success meeting its objectives and goals. The evaluation goals are to assess the outcomes of the three phases from the perspective of the fathers, case workers, and mentors by utilizing a mixed-method design that allows the evaluators to triangulate qualitative and quantitative data.

Systemic Interventions of Project MIND (Math Is Not Difficult) and Solution Focused Brief Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Families: A Pilot Study
Principal Investigator: Pei-Fen Li, Ph.D., Co-Investigator: Hui Fang Huang “Angie” Su, Ed.D, Fischler College of Education, Co-Investigator: Leanne Lai, Ph.D, College of Pharmacy, Co-Investigator: Po-See Chen, MD, Ph.D., National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, Co-Investigator: Mei-Hwei Ho, Ph.D., National University of Tainan, Tainan, Taiwan
Sponsor: Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation
Synopsis: This pilot study aims to provide an effective, systematic and comprehensive intervention for children with Autism and their families in Taiwan. The children with ASD between the ages of 6 to 11 will be given math interventions to enhance their math comprehension and cognitive ability. The main caregivers will receive Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) to strengthen family functioning and identify healthy coping strategies in raising children with ASD. A quasi-experimental design will be conducted to evaluate if the mathematical intervention (MIND Project, Math Is Not Difficult) increases the children’s math comprehension and cognitive ability and SFBT Interventions significantly enhance a wide range of family functioning and coping strategies for main caregivers.

Usable Remote Monitoring Technologies: Informal Caregivers’ Perspectives
Principal Investigator: Martha Snyder, Ph.D., College of Engineering and Computing, Co-Investigator: Laurie Dringus, Ph.D., College of Engineering and Computing, Co-Investigator: Ron Chenail, Ph.D.
Sponsor: NSU-President’s Faculty Research and Development Grant
Synopsis: The desire to maintain an independent lifestyle is one shared by an increasing number of older adults as well as persons with disabilities. Family and friends, also known as informal caregivers, play an integral role in helping their loved ones maintain independence. Remote monitoring technologies (RMTs) such as wearable sensors, mobile emergency devices, and teleoperated robots can be used to sense, record, and communicate a person’s daily activities. However, an understanding is limited of the informal caregiver’s needs and perceptions of RMTs used in an in-home setting. The purpose of this qualitative research study is to explore how informal caregivers perceive RMTs and their use for monitoring and supporting their care recipients who choose to live independently. This study will serve as the basis for developing awareness and training programs that will assist informal caregivers and their care recipients in adoption and use of existing RMTs, as well as engineering the design of new user-centered RMT prototypes.


Examining Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy as a Complement to Standard Care for Foster Youth in Residential Treatment
Principal Investigator: Shelley Green, Ph.D.
Sponsor: Florida International University via Ware Foundation
Synopsis: FIU BRIDGE of Florida International University is collaborating with Nova Southeastern University to offer a research project examined equine facilitated psychotherapy as an adjunctive treatment for South Florida foster youth in a residential treatment program. The two year research study represents a collaboration among FIU BRIDGE, NSU's Family Therapy Program, Stable Place, a non-profit in its fifth year providing equine facilitated psychotherapy in the community and the SOS Children's Village, a foster child residential treatment facility.


Promise Grant
Principal Investigator: Anne Rambo, Ph.D.
Sponsor: Broward County Public Schools
Synopsis: Renewable grant for graduate assistant to assist with PROMISE project – goes to a DFT doctoral student.

A Community-Based, Inter-Professional Diabetes Self-Management Education Project
Principal Investigator: Jo Ann Kleier, Ph.D., College of Nursing; Key Personnel: Arlene Gordon, Ph.D.
Sponsor: NSU-Quality of Life
Synopsis: This is a descriptive study of the effectiveness of an intervention among 50 eligible individuals. Variables of the theory or planned behavior are measured and the theoretical model will be tested. The objective is to implement a 5-week, 15-hour, community-based, inter-professional diabetes self-management education program directed towards adults with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes to determine if engagement with the program was an effective intervention to improve (1) attitude toward diabetes, (2) perception of social motivation to self- manage diabetes, (3) empowerment toward diabetes self-management and (4) actual glycemic control.

Improving Access to Mental Health Care and Counseling Services for Families
Principal Investigator: John Miller, Ph.D.
Sponsor: NSU-President’s Faculty Research and Development Grant
Synopsis: This project proposes the creation of a drop-in, single-session, family focused therapy clinic designed to improve access to care for children and families that may not otherwise have access. The project is a collaboration between NSU's Department of Family Therapy (DFT) and The Children's Home Society, a large national, non-profit agency that addresses the needs of children and families. The project will occur over a one-year period and be implemented at the Fort Lauderdale location of the Children's Home Society. The project will be staffed by graduate clinical interns at the DFT, under the supervision of the Principle Investigator (PI) and other participating DFT faculty.

The project will serve as an internship site for the nationally accredited DFT program and participating clinical interns will accrue supervised client contact hours while assisting in the implementation of the data collection for the study. All client sessions will be supervised “live” through the use of a state-of-the-art two-way mirror and video observation system that is built into the facility. Data collection will occur throughout the service offering in order to gain insights about the client outcome, client satisfaction, clinical effectiveness, and client opinions about the service. Also, participating supervisors and clinical interns will participate in a focus group evaluation at the end of the study to understand their views about improving clinical service delivery. The drop-in clinical offering component of the program will occur one night a week from 3PM to 9PM during the months of September, October and November. We expect to have 60 child and family cases during this period.


Neurophysiological Changes During Narrative Therapy Conversations
Principal Investigator: James Hibel, Ph.D.; Co-Investigators: Jaime Tartar, Ph.D., Mercedes Fernandez, Ph.D.
Sponsor: NSU-President’s Faculty Research and Development Grant
Synopsis: This proposed study develops methods and techniques to explore the effects of conversations utilizing approaches from narrative family therapy on physiological measures that we expect to correlate with these conversations. It is hypothesized that conversations that focus on bringing forward problem events will be reflected in different neuophysiolgical patterns and markers from conversations that bring forward personal recollections of success over these problems. We also hypothesize that these markers and patterns will differ from assessments made in a control group which experiences less personal, more neutral conversations. The study also intends to develop and refine techniques that will be used to investigate these processes in greater depth and specificity in the future, as well as providing some of the technology required to resource a lab for the purpose of these further investigations.


2017 Curt C. and Else Silberman Faculty Seminar Follow-Up Grant
Principal Investigator: Gary Gershman, Ph.D.
Sponsor: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum-The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies
Synopsis: Dr. Gershman will work at the Mandel Center for one month during the summer of 2017. During this time, he will work on Holocaust course curriculum development and collecting teaching materials. Through the grant, while working at the Museum, Dr. Gershman will be able to consult, interact, and work with Mandel Center and other Museum staff and visiting scholars on issues relating to both teaching and research.


The Judge Intuitive: Joseph C. Hutchenson Jr., Southern Federal Judge
Principal Investigator: Charles Zelden, Ph.D.
Sponsor: William Nelson Cromwell Foundation
Synopsis: The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, established in 1930, has been primarily concerned with the publication of books in the field of American legal history. The Foundation also makes grants to support important work in all facets of American legal history including archival preservation, scholarly study of original documents, original research in all areas of the law, and research and writing of biographies of major legal figures. Zelden is working on a new book, a biography tentatively titled The Judge Intuitive: Joseph C. Hutcheson, Jr., Southern Federal Judge. The grant will support Zelden’s research in archives located along the East Coast, in the mid-West, in Texas and the South.

In 2018, the Department of Justice and Human Services moved to the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and was split into the School of Criminal Justice and the Department of Human Services.


A Self-Assessment Intervention for Young Adult Polydrug Users at Risk for HIV
Principal Investigator: Steven Kurtz, Ph.D.; Co-Investigator: Mance Buttram, Ph.D.; Co-Investigator: Maria Pagano, Ph.D.
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health
Synopsis: The parent grant was an 18-month longitudinal natural history study of 600 club and prescription drug using young adults. A key finding from that study is the extent to which the comprehensive health and social risk assessments induced participants to reduce their substance use and sexual risk behaviors. Over 70% of participants substantially reduced their substance use at the first follow-up assessment after baseline. Qualitative research with study completers showed that participants attributed the strong intervention effect of the baseline assessment to: 1) the friendly, non-judgmental field staff of age-peers; 2) the thorough and detailed assessments; and 3) an emerging self-awareness of substance use-related problems based on their responses to the assessment items.

Within this context, the specific aims of the 5-year renewal project are to: 1) identify the covariates of baseline substance abuse and sexual risks (including demographics, social risk measures, peer norms, abuse history, and mental health status) among a sample of 750 heterosexually active, not-in-treatment, club and prescription drug users ages 18 to 39 in Miami, Florida; 2) evaluate, through random assignment, the relative effectiveness of two intervention conditions and a waitlist control in reducing sex risks and drug use, as measured at 3-, 6- and 12-month follow-ups: Arm 1, an interviewer-administered comprehensive health and social risk assessment intervention (CAPI Intervention) similar to the baseline instrument used in the parent grant; Arm 2, an identical self-administered comprehensive assessment intervention (ACASI Intervention); and Arm 3, a waitlist control condition (Control). Outcome measures, including past 90-day counts of unprotected sex acts and days’ drug use, will be obtained from brief risk behavior inventories at baseline and follow-ups; and 3) conduct qualitative process evaluation research with 40 participants in each study arm to contextualize the study findings and intervention outcomes. The self-assessment intervention, if proven efficacious in reducing HIV risk, could be delivered at low cost and broad scale, and might well be adaptable to other high risk groups who are resistant to public health warnings and/or professional intervention.

Career counseling with OIF/OEF veterans using the Cognitive Information Processing (CIP) approach
Principal Investigator: Elda Kanzki-Veloso, Ph.D., College of Psychology, Co-Principal Investigator: Shannon Karl, Ph.D., College of Psychology, Co-Principal Investigator: Angela Yehl, Psy.D., Additional Faculty: James Pann, Ph.D., College of Psychology, Carly Paro, Ed.D., College of Psychology, Marcelo Castro, Ph.D.
Sponsor: NSU-Quality of Life
Synopsis: The proposed study will examine the impact of the Cognitive Information Processing (CIP) approach delivered through a career-counseling program for Operation Iraqui Freedom /Operation Enduring Freedom veterans. The CIP approach, which has been indicated as a promising method for career counseling with the veteran population, aims to address barriers to employment, reduce negative career thoughts, and enhance career decision making (Bullock, Braud, Andrews, & Phillips, 2009). A concurrent mixed method approach will be utilized. Specifically, a single group pre/posttest quantitative design along with a phenomenological approach will be used to gain an in-depth understanding of the impact of the CIP approach on the veterans as well as their experience of the model in enhancing career development. The findings of this research aims to fill a gap in the understanding of how veterans benefit from, and engage with a career development program, and highlight any additional barriers that could hinder career growth.

Center for Veterans Assistance
Principal Investigator: Angela Yehl, Ph.D.
Sponsor: United Way of Broward County
Synopsis: Nova Southeastern University through the Center for Veterans Assistance will address the health-related needs of all veterans with an emphasis on those returning OIF and OEF active duty soldiers, OIF/OEF veterans, their immediate families and loved ones of those who have served. More specifically, through this initiative, NSU’s Center for Veterans Assistance will address one of the primary challenges facing military families, and one of our four strategic priorities identified by the federal government: Enhancing the well-being and psychological health of the military family.

The Center for Veterans Assistance will focus on assisting the veteran with readjusting to life in the community and at home. The initiative will focus on the emotional and mental health of veterans and their families through provision of mental and behavioral health care and referrals. Since many veterans return to Broward County and do not seek out mental and/or behavioral health services for various reasons, community-wide outreach efforts and the development of strategies to reduce the stigma are paramount to the success of this initiative. Also, Nova Southeastern University will collaborate with partner agencies to offer linkage services, resources, and referrals in a centralized and/or convenient location utilizing a family-centered approach.

Cross-National Survey of Pharmaceutical Diversion Canada
Principal Investigator: Steven Kurtz, Ph.D.; Co-Investigator: Mance Buttram, Ph.D.
Sponsor: Denver Health and Hospital Authority
Synopsis: Since 2014, diversion data has been collected from law enforcement and regulatory agencies throughout Ontario. As reports of drug diversion, abuse and health consequences have increased, and the counterfeit pharmaceutical market emerged in both Canada and the United States, we have built on our successful Ontario-based pilot project to continue monitoring this problem on a larger scale. We have expanded our data collection efforts to include all provinces in Canada. Data from the Canada Drug Diversion Project is collected as part of an ongoing surveillance of the misuse, abuse, and diversion of prescription medications. The study objectives are as follows: 1. To determine the rates of diversion of and street prices of selected prescription drugs among a country wide sample of police and regulatory agencies; and, 2. To identify diversion “signal sites” for specific drugs. On a quarterly basis, diversion survey participants are sent a questionnaire requesting information on new diversion cases involving targeted prescription opioids, including buprenorphine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, tramadol, as well as prescription stimulants. Heroin and non-pharmaceutical fentanyl are also included.

Cross National Survey of Pharmaceutical Diversion (National Drug Diversion Survey)
Principal Investigator: Steven Kurtz, Ph.D.; Co-Investigator: Mance Buttram, Ph.D.
Sponsor: Denver Health and Hospital Authority
Synopsis: The abuse and diversion of prescription opioid analgesics is a substantial and growing public health problem. This study was designed to collect national surveillance data on the nature and extent of pharmaceutical diversion from a network of law enforcement and regulatory agencies. The study involves approximately 250 diversion investigators in 49 states, including rural, suburban, and urban areas. On a quarterly basis, investigators are sent a questionnaire, which elicits information on new diversion cases involving targeted prescription opioids (buprenorphine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, tramadol, tapentadol) as well as prescription stimulants. This study forms part of the Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS®) System, operated by Denver Health and Hospital Authority. RADARS System surveillance programs are designed to target geographically and epidemiologically diverse segments of the US population at risk for abuse, misuse and diversion of prescription medications.


Encore! Encore! Inspiring Boomers to explore their purpose, passion and productivity to connect with their Encore Life
Principal Investigator: Jacquelyn Browne, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator: Kim Durham, Psy.D.
Sponsor: NSU-Quality of Life
Synopsis: The NSU team will collaborate on and evaluate a conference designed to challenge current notions of aging and to initiate a vision that includes growing an infrastructure to connect boomers and older adults with greater civic engagement for the social good. This grant will involve students in business, public health and gerontology as well as faculty contributing to develop an innovative program for the Town of Davie in which NSU resides.

JAFCO's Children's Ability Center Research Initiative in Partnership with NSU (JAFCO Evaluation)
Principal Investigator: Marcelo Castro, Ph.D.; Co-Investigator: Angela Yehl, Psy.D.
Sponsor: Jewish Adoption & Family Care Options
Synopsis: The evaluation of JAFCO’s programs will be guided by the programs’ Logic Model, which is currently under development, in collaboration with JAFCO leadership and stakeholders. The following tasks are expected to be completed during the initial planning phase (Phase I): 1)
Identification of an appropriate evaluation model to be used as a framework for the evaluation of JAFCO’s programs. 2) Development of logic models, which will be used to guide evaluation activities across programs. 3) Identification of outcomes and development of process and product evaluation questions in collaboration with JAFCO leadership and stakeholders. 4) Development, or identification and evaluation of appropriate data collection instruments (e.g., pre/post measures, satisfaction surveys, interview protocols, etc.). 5) Creation of a timeline and plan for data collection activities, including identification of staff responsible for data collection and entry. 6) Develop plan for data analysis. 7) Exploration of data management options (e.g., Management Information System) and database design. 8) Formulate a plan for reporting method and frequency. The following tasks are expected to be completed during implementation (Phase II): 1) Evaluation activities will center on the process (formative) and product (summative) aspects of the program. 2) Process evaluation will be used to guide the ongoing implementation through lessons learned; namely, investigate and provide guidance in relation to the use of resources, quality of implementation (fidelity to program models); and coordination of services (whether client needs are being met). 3) Product evaluation will focus on achievement of outcomes and overall impact. 4) Qualitative data will be collected from interviews and/or focus groups with project administration, staff, clients, and other key informants every six months to understand their experiences of JAFCO’s Ability Center programs. 5) Satisfaction surveys will be administered by program staff to clients to obtain their perspectives on various aspects of program quality. 6) A formative evaluation report will be prepared at 6 months and a summative evaluation report at 12 months to provide feedback on the implementation of the program. Evaluation reports will include findings relative to data collected on the process and outcome variables. The evaluation reports will also address the extent to which program implementation was consistent with the expectations for the program’s execution. 7) Lessons learned and recommendations will be included in the formative and summative evaluation reports and discussed with JAFCO administration, staff, and stakeholders.


An Analysis of the Watch me Grow Mommy-and-Me Group for Children at-Risk-or Diagnosed with Autism
Principal Investigator: Maribel Del Rio-Roberts, Psy.D.
Sponsor: NSU-Quality of Life
Synopsis: The Department of Justice and Human Services is collaborating with the Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options to conduct a research study on an innovative hybrid model intervention program for young children at-risk or diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The Watch Me Grow program will combine the established Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) component utilizing the Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research (S.T.A.R.) curriculum with the Mommy and Me approach that promotes attachment in the parent-child relationship and a parent support component that includes home visits, weekly guidance and support provided by a social worker, and parent support groups. The Watch Me Grow program aims to positively impact parenting stress, the parent-child relationship, and autism symptoms. A mixed methods evaluation will be conducted in order to gather information regarding the program’s impact on each of these areas.

Broward Sheriff's Office Civil Citation Project: A Program Evaluation
Principal Investigator: Marcelo Castro, Ph.D.
Sponsor: NSU-Quality of Life
Synopsis: The Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) requested proposals to develop and conduct a “comprehensive, independent assessment of the overall effectiveness of BSO’s Civil Citation initiative to achieve program objectives (BSO Funding Priority, 2015, p. 1). This program offers early intervention, community counseling referrals and other appropriate community resources to divert qualifying, non-violent juvenile misdemeanor offenders from the Juvenile Justice System. The civil citation program works with other community partners in an effort to reduce juvenile crime and to provide services for at-risk youth. A juvenile who commits a misdemeanor or violates a county or municipal ordinance, with the exception of domestic violence cases, is eligible to participate. (BSO Funding Priority, p. 1).

In response to this request, NSU faculty proposed to conduct a program evaluation of the Civil Citation Program. This evaluation research was modeled after Stuffelbeam’s CIPP model of program evaluation. Researchers analyzed QUAN data from the BSO Juvenile Justice Information System. In addition to this quantitative data, the researchers collected interview data from employees directly involved with the Civil Citation program from the following agencies: Broward County Sheriff’s Office and municipal law enforcement agencies, the 17th Judicial District, The Broward State Attorney’s Office, the Broward Human Services Department, and the Broward Children’s Services Council. Families who were engaged in the Civil Citation program also participated in this study. Findings are expected to have significant community impact within Broward County. By understanding the experience of those involved in the program it is hoped that (1) fewer students will go deeper into the juvenile justice system; (2) early intervention or civil citation will help reduce recidivism, (3) racial disparities in the criminal justice system will be reduced, and (4) youth will improve pro social, education and employment outcomes.

Evaluation of SAMHSA Targeted Capacity Expansion Program: Substance Abuse Treatment for Minorities at high-risk for HIV
Principal Investigator: Maria Levi-Minzi, M.A.
Sponsor: Broward House via SAMHSA
Synopsis: This sponsored program is between NSU and Broward House, a community agency providing services to those impacted or at risk for HIV, substance dependence, or mental health problems. Broward house was awarded a service grant by SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) which targets at-risk, young, minority youth. As part of this program NSU was funded to provide project evaluation, working with program staff to refine the program model, and aid in the development of data collection protocols and procedures.

Informal Markets for Antiretroviral Medications Used for HIV Prevention
Principal Investigator: Mance Buttram, Ph.D.; Co-Investigator: Steven Kurtz, Ph.D.
Sponsor: NSU-President’s Faculty Research and Development Grant
Synopsis: Widespread diversion of antiretroviral medications (ARVs), which are used to treat HIV infection, has recently been documented in South Florida. Diversion refers to the unlawful channeling of regulated pharmaceuticals from legal sources to the informal marketplace. The recent approval of ARVs for HIV prevention, or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), has the potential to broaden these informal markets, as high risk individuals seek ARVs without a prescription or medical supervision. Non-adherence of prescribed ARV regimens among ARV diverters and unsupervised use of informally-obtained ARVs for PrEP increase risks of treatment failure, drug resistance, and disease transmission. The study is grounded in prior work and pilot data documenting: 1) the diversion of ARVs to informal markets in South Florida; 2) high rates of sexual risk behaviors among substance-using men who have sex with men (MSM); and 3) preliminary evidence of substance-using MSM obtaining and using diverted ARVs for HIV prevention. Building on this work, the study utilizes a social ecology theory-driven design to collect qualitative data from substance-using MSM buying, selling, sharing and/or trading ARVs in the informal market (N=50). Based on these data, the study will identify targets for the prevention of ARV diversion and intervention strategies that encourage substance-using MSM to obtain and use PrEP as prescribed, as well as inform public policy initiatives, and health and service provider education. The significant public health impact of the study is indicated by the high rates of HIV incidence and infection among MSM in South Florida and the needs to reduce non-adherence of ARVs among infected patients and improve MSM's correct use of PrEP as a new and effective HIV prevention strategy.

Postdoctoral Training in General, Pediatric and Public Health Dentistry and Dental Hygiene
Principal Investigator: Romer Ocanto, D.D.S., College of Dentistry; Key Personnel: Maria Levi-Minzi, M.A.
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Health Resources and Services Administration
Synopsis: This project addresses the development and testing of new training and delivery models in clinical training sites that prepare postdoctoral dentists (pediatric dentistry and AEGD candidates) to provide care for specified underserved groups or communities. This initiative was built upon the 2010 HRSA-funded Pediatric Dental Residency Training Program with partners The Mailman Segal Center and South Florida Autism Charter School. The goals for the project are as follows: 1) To improve the oral health of children, adolescents, and adults with special health care needs (SHCN) through an expanded oral health program between NSU-CDM’s Department of Pediatric Dentistry, AEGD Program, and partner agencies; 2) To educate and train pediatric dentistry and AEGD residents on the oral diseases and conditions associated with SHCN; and, 3) To educate and train pediatric dentistry and AEGD residents on the primary care aspects of special health care needs (SHCN) through the attendance of scheduled didactic trainings, and scheduled and completed rotations in the special needs clinics.

Recidivism Among Florida State Prisoners
Principal Investigator: Marguerite Bryan, Ph.D.
Synopsis: Under the existing research partnership between Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and Broward’s Sheriff Office (BSO), a study was undertaken beginning in the fall of 2015 to analyze the patterns of recidivism among inmates released from Florida state prisons to Broward County. The principal investigator was Marguerite Bryan, PhD, faculty researcher with the NSU-BSO Research Partnership program and full-time faculty with the Department of Justice and Human Services in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science (CAHSS). The main goals for the study was to (1) provide evidence-based assessments of the patterns of recidivism among Florida state prisoners released to Broward County; (2) to use the results of the study as a benchmark for future studies of released offenders in studying longitudinal patterns of recidivism; and, (3) to facilitate planning and implementation of the necessary prisoner reentry services of BSO. Preliminary findings of the random sample of 450 prisoners released indicates that approximately 63% of the prisoners were rearrested within 3 years of their release. This recidivism rate is very like that found in a national study of state prisoners released in 2005 across 30 states. In the national study, it was reported that approximately 68% of the prisoners were rearrested within 3 years after their release from their respective state prisons. Further analyses are being conducted in terms of the demographic and criminogenic characteristics of the prisoners and associated rates of recidivism with these characteristics.


Center for Veterans Assistance
Principal Investigator: Angela Yehl, Psy.D.
Sponsor: United Way of Broward County
Synopsis: With funding from United Way of Broward County and in collaboration with Mission United, the Center for Veterans Assistance provided free individual therapy, family therapy, and psychological assessment to military veterans and their dependents.

Program Evaluation of United Way of Broward County’s Mission United
Principal Investigator: Angela Yehl, Psy.D.
Sponsor: United Way of Broward County
Synopsis: An evaluation is being conducted of United Way of Broward County's Mission United program. Mission United provides a comprehensive array of services for veterans and their families in Broward County. Service areas include: health, education, legal, employment, housing and financial services.


NSU Presents-Understanding Breast Health
Principal Investigator: Dr. William Adams, D.M.A.; Co-Principal Investigator: Mark Duncan, M.F.A.; Key Personnel: Daniel Gelbmann, M.F.A.
Sponsor: Florida Breast Cancer Foundation
Synopsis: NSU's Department of Performing and Visual Arts (DPVA) will develop a breast cancer awareness program specifically for middle school, high school and college students. The educational materials and program will consist of 2 phases. NSU will work as a collaborative partner with the Florida Breast Cancer Foundations (FBCF) to educate young females. NSU's DPVA will serve as a valuable resource to further the mission of the FBCF.

Project Assistance Grant
Principal Investigator: Tennille Shuster, M.F.A.
Sponsor: College Book Arts Association
Synopsis: Tennille Shuster has received a 2017 Project Assistance Grant from the College Book Art Association to complete an artist’s book edition titled “The Party’s Over” in response and in resistance to the current political landscape. The book will feature hand-set letterpress printed hard bound covers, an accordion-fold flag book interior using hand marbled papers and hand-pulled screen printed balloons. An edition of 50 will be crafted, to represent the 50 states comprising our nation, and 100% of the profits from the sale of the book will be donated to charities including the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, NAACP, and NRDC, among others. CBAA Project Assistance Grants provide financial assistance to members for research and creative projects. These awards are intended to help support existing projects with extra funding allowing progress to continue or projects to be completed.

Principal Investigator: Augusto Soledade; Key Personnel: Jessica Muñiz-Collado, M.F.A., Kandy Lopez, M.F.A.
Sponsor: Miami-Dade County Arts Program
Synopsis: Augusto Soledade staged Shade, a dance performance funded with a $10,000 grant from a Miami-Dade County arts program. In collaboration with Augusto Soledade Brazzdance, Soledade’s dance company, and colleagues from the Department of Performing and Visual Arts, the performance focused on selfies and voguing, a ballroom dance style that originated in Harlem and gained mainstream exposure through Madonna’s 1990 single “Vogue.” Shade investigated senses of identify and identification as the theme for the choreography. Voguing and selfies serve as lenses used to address senses of identify and identification, and the phenomenon of self-promotion in social media.


Great Expectations: Discovering First-Year Writing Students’ Backgrounds and Assumptions about Online Writing Instruction
Principal Investigator: Janine Morris, Ph.D.; Co-Investigators: Kevin DePew, Ph.D., Old Dominion University; Megan McKittrick, M.A., Old Dominion University; Monica Reyes, M.A., University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; Catrina Mitchum, Ph.D., Old Dominion University; Marcela Hebbard, M.A., University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Sponsor: Conference on College Composition and Communication
Synopsis: Writing instruction should strive to be equitable and accessible to all students. As online writing instruction increases, it is imperative that pedagogy and scholarship reflect the needs of students in online environments (CCCC Committee). By becoming more aware of student background and expectations, this study seeks to develop a richer understanding of FYW student needs, ultimately improving writing instruction and student experiences in higher education. The rationale for designing this study cross-institutionally is to allow us to move beyond particular institutional dynamics, and to study online writing instruction in different locations and with diverse student populations. Thus, this study is significant in that it will contribute to the disciplines of Rhetoric and Composition, Literacy Studies, and Applied Linguistics by: (1) identifying FYW student cultural and linguistic background information. This will help writing instructors implement more just and equitable pedagogies; pedagogies that take into account students’ cultural and linguistic make up; (2) understanding what kind of support students expect from the institution and from faculty. This will help libraries, writing centers, and centers for online learning and teaching technologies develop better instructional partnerships with faculty members; and (3) exploring how students’ educational past experiences inform their expectations for the course. This will help stakeholders (WPAs, department chairs, writing tutors, students, and instructors) become more aware of how those expectations might enhance or hinder student performance and success in FYW courses.


Faculty Identity Construction: The Transition from Graduate Study to the Professoriate
Principal Investigator: Molly Scanlon, Ph.D.; Co-Investigators: Juliette Kitchens, Ph.D., Claire Lutkewitte, Ph.D.
Sponsor: NSU-President’s Faculty Research and Development Grant
Synopsis: In order to disseminate findings from a three-year study on professional identity construction and to advance the final write-up of research data, we will employ qualitative analysis software (NVivo). After a thorough qualitative analysis of survey and interview data using NVivo, we will then present the findings from Stages I and II of our national study on faculty identity construction at the national conference for College Composition and Communication (CCCC) March 14-17, 2018, in Kansas City, Missouri. CCCC is one of the largest, well-respected conferences in the field of writing studies. Our presentation will connect the survey results from Stage I and the interview narratives collected in Stage II in order to provide the field of writing studies an in depth look at the specific tactics faculty use to construct a professional identity through teaching, research, and service in their transition from junior colleagues to professionals in faculty positions.

Social Media and the College Choice Process
Principal Investigator: Whitney Lehman, Ph.D., Additional faculty: Elizabeth Brennan, Ed.D., NSU University School
Sponsor: NSU-President’s Faculty Research and Development Grant
Synopsis: This study will use both quantitative and qualitative methods to determine the perceived influence of social media on University School students’ college search and choice. A quantitative online survey of approximately 400 junior and senior students and their parents will explore how social media is used by both prospective college students and their parents during the application and enrollment phases of the college choice, as well as the perceived influence of different types of social media. The survey will also explore the perceived influence of social media compared to other information sources, such as websites, campus tours and others, and will seek to determine the largest enrollment drivers for college-bound students, including tuition, parents, friends, scholarships, acceptance packages and more. The online survey will be followed up with focus groups with students and parents to find out why certain types of social media and enrollment drivers are perceived as more influential than others while also learning how colleges and universities can better engage prospective students and parents on their social media presences.


Southeastern Writing Center Association (SWCA) Christine Cozzens Research Grant and Initiative Program
Principal Investigator: Shanti Bruce, Ph.D.; Co-Investigators: Kelly Concannon, Ph.D., Juliette Kitchens, Ph.D.
Sponsor: Southeastern Writing Center Association
Synopsis: In collaboration with the NSU Writing Center, the research team aims to begin a Writing Center at Whiddon-Rogers Education Center in Fort Lauderdale. It is an alternative high school that works with students in middle, high, adult education, and community school programs. The purpose of the high school is to work with struggling students who are in need of 1) recovering credits, improving GPA, and/or passing standardized tests; 2) acquiring basic literacy skills; and 3) mentoring and academic guidance. Students can obtain their diplomas at Whiddon-Rogers, or they can receive help with credit recovery, and can return back to their home school.


Faculty Identity Construction through Language
Principal Investigator: Molly Scanlon, Ph.D.; Co-Investigators: Juliette Kitchens, Ph.D., and Claire Lutkewitte, Ph.D.
Sponsor: National Council of Teachers of English
Synopsis: This research uses mixed methods for data collection to learn how new faculty adjust and adapt during their transition from PhD programs to their first assignment as a full-time faculty member. The implications of this study reflect the mission of NSU through the researchers' focus on inquiry-based research that attempts to describe the phenomena that new faculty experience as they learn to balance teaching, research, service, and adjust to the institutional values of their hiring college or university.

Hispanic/Latino and Low Income Student Success in Computing and Engineering
Principal Investigator: Meline Kevorkian, Ed.D., Office of Provost, Academic Affairs; Co-Principal Investigator: Gregory Simco, Ph.D., College of Engineering and Computing; Key Personnel: Kevin Dvorak, Ph.D., Department of Writing and Communication
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Education
Synopsis: This project aims to expand baccalaureate educational opportunities in STEM programs for Hispanic or Latino students and students from ethnically diverse populations. Grant funds will support the development of numerous new and enhanced strategies to support the success of Engineering and Computing students, including early outreach; faculty involvement in academic and career advising; undergraduate research and internship opportunities; and peer and faculty mentoring. The project’s goals are to close achievement gaps in programs and courses where students are at high risk of failure or withdrawal; support transition through completion of the baccalaureate degree; strengthen opportunity equity for all students; and improve operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness involving informed decision-making.


The Effects of Explicit Instruction on Sentence Fluency and Style
Principal Investigator: Star Vanguri, Ph.D.
Sponsor: National Council of Teachers of English
Synopsis: The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of explicit instruction on sentence fluency and style with the goal of understanding (1) how instruction in sentence fluency and style affects the writing of college students and (2) how the effect of sentence instruction varies across contexts as students write in multiple disciplines and genres. Participants are students at Nova Southeastern University who are enrolled in two designated sections of first-year composition. Two types of data are collected: participants’ written work, produced in the courses taught by the PI, and interviews. The Principal Investigator selected focal students to submit copies of their written work for analysis and participate in interviews. Principal Investigators collected digital copies of the focal students’ work, including sentence exercises and eight papers from each student – two written prior to the composition class, two written for the composition class, and four written the following year for classes in other disciplines. Each focal student will participate in four interviews. The first interview elicited information about the student’s background, writing practices, and attitudes toward writing. The others are discourse-based interviews designed to elicit the motivation for specific sentence-level choices students made while writing in the composition class and in two other classes the following year. All interviews are audio-recorded and transcribed. Papers are being analyzed to determine how frequently students use the syntactic and stylistic features taught in class. The discourse-based interviews are being analyzed to discover the motivation for students’ stylistic choices.

The Language Repertoires of First-year Writers: A Cross-Institutional Study of Multilingual Writers
Principal Investigator: Shanti Bruce, Ph.D.
Sponsor: National Council of Teachers of English, Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) Research Initiative Grant
Synopsis: This cross-institutional study is designed to produce a rich description of the multilingual backgrounds of students in first-year writing classes, forwarding the CCCC goal to “recognize and take responsibility for the regular presence of second language writers in writing classes, to understand their characteristics,” and to use this data “to develop instructional and administrative practices that are sensitive to their linguistic and cultural needs.”

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