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Faculty/staff presentations highlighted — 2021

Texas Woman's University faculty and staff extend the prestige and reputation of the university through their presentations at international, national and regional conferences. Here is a sampling of their recent work.




Ann Davis (Denton) presented a concurrent session at the 2021 regional meeting of the Southeastern Association of Advisors for the Health Professions on June 4. The session was titled "Numbers Don't Lie: Leveraging Applicant Data to Improve Pre-Health Advising."




Derek Crews (Denton) spoke about “The Future of Work” on the Sept. 14 Good Morning, HR podcast. He also spoke on the topic at The Strategic Mindset Conference hosted by Fort Worth HR on Sept. 17.


Campus Alliance for Resource Education


Amy O’Keefe and Jessica Burchfield (CARE, Denton) and Linda Louden (Counseling and Psychological Services, Dallas) presented “Forget the latte! I need diapers and internet – coping with the pressures of pandemic parenting” at the national Higher Education Financial Wellness Alliance conference, held virtually July 13-15.


Amy O'Keefe (Denton) and Michelle Kelly-Reeves (health & wellbeing initiative, Denton) presented research and promised support for single-mother student parents in their presentation, "Problem-Solving Scholars -- Myths and MOMentum of Successful Single Mothers," at the National Student Parent Support Symposium, held May 19-21 and hosted by The Ohio State University. O'Keefe also shared the results of the recent field study, "Self-assessment as a pathway to student empowerment: Utilization of the Family Friendly Campus Toolkit."


Career Connections Center


Trevor McCray (Dallas) presented a national webinar for NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers, on Aug. 11.


Greg Shirley (Denton) was a panelist for “Strengthening Support for Diverse Students Navigating Career Development, Recruiting, and the Workplace,” a national webinar hosted Feb. 4 by uConnect. More than 1,000 higher education/career services professionals from across the United States registered for the webinar.


Center for Women Entrepreneurs


Tracy Irby (Denton) served as guest speaker for a women’s luncheon hosted Wednesday, Nov. 10, by the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce. Irby talked about growth, marketing, and having it all.


Tracy Irby (Denton) gave three presentations for Business Equity Week, hosted June 21-25 by the Fort Worth Library. Irby presented an Introduction to the TWU Center for Women Entrepreneurs (June 21), Funding Options for Women in Business (June 23) and Small Steps to Start a Business (June 25).


Chemistry and Biochemistry


Faculty members and a student participated in panel discussions during the SENCER Summer Institute, which took place online Aug. 5-22. Richard Sheardy (Denton) was a co-presenter for “The Role of Disciplines in Advancing Civic Engagement: Chemistry, Climate Change and Sustainability.” Nasrin Kohan (Denton) and Raven Gallenstein (student assistant, Denton) were among presenters of “An Open Invitation for Leveling-Up with the Indigenous Knowledges, Engagements, and Experiences (’IKE2) Alliance.”




Elisa De La Rosa (dance, Denton) was among the guest presenters for the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance weeklong summer professional development program for dance teachers. The program, “Best Practices: We Support Learning!,” took place July 5-9.


English, Speech & Foreign Languages


Angela Mooney (adjunct, Denton) was a guest lecturer for the Literature and Society in Latin America Lecture Series at Georgetown University on Nov. 4. Her lecture was titled “Representación de personajes transgénero en la industria cinematográfica latinoamericana” ("Representation of Transgender Characters in the Latin American Film Industry").


Rachel Daugherty (Denton) presented "Blurring Public Memory: The National Archives Suffrage Centennial and a Women's March Controversy" at the 64th American Studies Association of Texas Conference, held Nov. 12 in Wichita Falls.


Angela Mooney (adjunct, Denton) presented her research at CIHALCEP2021, VI Congreso Internacional Historia, Literatura y Arte en el Cine en español y portugués, a June 21-25 conference organized by the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain. Mooney’s presentation was titled “Vocês vieram visitar o museu?:” A memória como prática de resistência em Bacurau.”


Stephen Souris (Denton) served as a panelist in a virtual State of the Arts discussion, “Exploring Work Responding to the Pandemic,” Thursday, June 17, on KERA. State of the Arts is presented in partnership with the Greater Denton Arts Council.


Angela Mooney (Denton) presented “Returning the Gaze: Poetics of Resistance in Films by Afro-Brazilian Women Directors” at LASA 2021 – International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, Virtual Congress Crisis global, desigualdades y centralidad de la vida, on May 28. The Latin American Studies Association is the largest professional association in the world for individuals and institutions engaged in the study of Latin America.


Rachel Daugherty (Denton) presented “Finding Commonplaces in Political Topics: Using Frame Analysis in Research-Based Writing Assignments” at the 2021 Conference on College Composition and Communication Teacher-to-Teacher event on April 10. This virtual conference event focused on teaching, networking, sharing and community-building practices.


Angela Mooney (Denton) was a guest lecturer for Portuguese for Advanced Spanish Speakers Feb. 5 at Rice University. Her lecture was titled “Afro-Brazilian Movements For Justice and the Myth of Racial Democracy in Brazil.”


Veronica Popp (graduate teaching assistant) presented “The Persistence Myth: Ethics and the University We Want” at the Modern Language Association’s HEP Part-Time and Contingent Faculty Issues forum. The forum was part of MLA 2021, conducted online Jan. 7-10.


Health Promotion & Kinesiology


Kerri Staples (Denton) presented at the Autism Intervention Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) Research Day, held July 14 in conjunction with the Autism CARES meeting. Her presentation, "The need for community-based interventions to promote positive trajectories of health for children with autism spectrum disorder," was part of the community-based lifestyle interventions section.


History & Political Science


Jonathan Olsen (Denton) was a featured speaker at the American Institute of Contemporary German Studies webinar, “The Left Party in the 2021 Bundestag Election,” on April 19. The webinar was part of AICGS' series on the upcoming German national election this September.


Katherine Landdeck (Denton) discussed her new book, “The Women With Silver Wings,” during a virtual book talk sponsored by the National Museum of the United States Army on March 18.


Jonathon Olsen (Denton) presented a European Union discussion Feb. 12 at the inaugural mini EU forum sponsored by the Model European Union (EU) Club of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The forum, conducted via Zoom, focused on the future of the EU.


Library & Information Studies


Sylvia Vardell (Denton), former Texas Poet Laureate Karla K. Morton, Dallas slam poet Joaquin Zihuatanejo, poet Naomi Shihab Nye and poet Padma Venkatraman took part in an NEA Big Read: Poetry for Everyone Panel Discussion Feb. 7. The panelists discussed poetry from diverse cultures and how to start reading or writing poetry. Questions were submitted prior to the panel. The virtual discussion was streamed at and


Literacy & Learning


Lin Moore (Denton) and TWU alumna Salwa Al-Harbi presented an interest session Oct. 16 at the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children annual conference Oct. 16 in Galveston. The session was titled “Play Time with Puppets: Everyone Has Feelings!”




Ellina Grigorieva (Denton) was among the organizers of an American Mathematical Society (AMS) special session conducted during JMM 2021, the Joint Mathematics Meeting of the AMS and the Mathematical Association of America, held Jan. 6-9. The session, “Creative teaching methods that lead to student learning,” took place Jan. 7. Grigorieva also presented her own 30-minute talk, “Distance learning methods for successful teaching number theory course.”


Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies


Danielle Phillips-Cunningham (Denton) delivered a talk on her book, “Putting Their Hands on Race: Irish Immigrant and Southern Black Domestic Workers” March 31 at Rutgers University. The talk was co-sponsored by Women in Labor Leadership (WILL), the Center for Women and Work, the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization, the Social Justice Fellows Program and the Advancing Black Strategists Initiative. The talk was followed by a conversation with working-class labor historian Naomi Williams, the directors of WILL, the Social Justice Fellows Program, the Center for Women and Work, and undergraduate students from Spelman College and Rutgers University.


Danielle Phillips-Cunningham (Denton) was the featured Women’s History Month lecturer at the Dr. Edna McKenzie Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her talk, which took place March 13, was titled “From Labor Strikes to Clubwomen’s Institutions: The Rich History of Southern Black Women’s Labor Organizing.” ASALH, the oldest African American Studies organization in the country, was started by Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month.




Catherine Mbango (Houston) presented on the topic of “Looking beyond the COVID-19 pandemic: Future of Nuring” during a Dec. 23 webinar hosted by the Department of Nursing Sciences at the University of Nairobi.


Ngozi Mbue (Nursing, Houston) and Wanyi Wang (Research & Sponsored Programs, Houston) conducted a virtual podium presentation at the Sigma Theta Tau 46th Biennial Convention. Their presentation was titled “Chronic Foot Pain among Professions using I-corps National Science Foundation (NSF) Foot Health Survey.”


Sandra Cesario (Houston) was an invited speaker at the Julie Rogers Gift of Life Program Nov. 29 at Lamar University. Cesario shared the story of losing her daughter, Anna, to ovarian cancer and her promise to spread the word about early warning signs of the disease.


Adaorah Azotam (Dallas) participated in a Q&A for the “Preparing Future PNPs to Address Substance Use in Adolescent Care” series posted in the Kognito blog. Kognito is a health simulation company.


Several TWU Nursing faculty and PhD students attended the Sigma Theta Tau International biennial convention Nov. 6-10 in Indianapolis, Indiana, in person and virtually. Faculty, staff and students provided a number of presentations during the convention, including:

  • Reenu Varghese (Nursing, Houston) – “Promoting Health Equity and Wellness in the Pandemic: Experience of a Minority Nursing Organization”
  • Wyona Freysteinson (Nursing, Houston) – “Mitigating Devastating Mirror-Viewing Experiences: The Neurocognitive Mirror-Viewing Model”
  • Ngozi Mbue (Nursing, Houston) and Wanyi Wang (Research & Sponsored Programs, Houston) “Chronic Foot Pain among Professions using I-corps National Science Foundation (NSF) Foot Health Survey”
  • Colleen Halverson (Nursing, Dallas), Catherine Bailey, Joyce Ennis (Nursing, Dallas), Elaine Cox (Library, Denton) – “Nursing Surveillance and Respiratory Adverse Events for Hospitalized Adults: A Systematic Review”
  • Amanda Garey – “A Pilot Study Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Interprofessional Educational Intervention on Interprofessional Team Collaboration”
  • Nisha Mathews and Ann Malecha (Nursing, Houston) – “Cultural Competence and Knowledge of South Asian Culture of RNs Working in an Urban Hospital Setting: A Review of Literature”


Cheryl Thaxton (Dallas) presented “Team Collaboration” for the North Texas Organization for Nursing Leadership, an organization for nurse leaders and executives across Dallas-Fort Worth.


Wyona Freysteinson (Houston) served as a panelist on the Baylor College of Medicine Orthotics and Prosthetics Resident Inclusivity Panel Session, held virtually on Oct, 5. Freysteinson also was invited to present at The Memorial Hermann Mirror Project, scheduled Oct. 28 at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands.


Denise McNulty (adjunct, Houston) was accepted to present findings from an evidence-based practice implementation, “The Impact of Mindfulness Training on Stress and Burnout in Newly Licensed Nurses,” for both a podium presentation at the American Hospital Association’s Advancing Care Conference, scheduled Oct. 4-6 in Chicago; and a live presentation at the Nursing World Conference, scheduled Oct. 18-20, in Orlando.


Cheryl Thaxton (nursing, Dallas) presented a virtual lecture, “Spiritual, Religious, and Existential Aspects of Care,” for oncology APRNs (advanced practice registered nurses) who have been part of an End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) Palliative Care Cohort. TWU alumna Betty Ferrell (City of Hope, California), is the PI on the project.


Catherine Mbango (Houston) presented her poster abstract, “Retrospective Study: Identifying Unique Contributors to Falls in Hospitalized Adult Hematology Patients,” at the 2021 Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) Annual Convention, scheduled Sept. 30-Oct. 3. Mbango's poster presentation was her dissertation.


Jennifer Woo (Dallas) served as a panelist for a Sept. 23 webinar panel presentation sponsored by in association with the Center for Nursing Philosophy. The panel discussion was titled “Decolonizing Nursing: What? Why? How?


Ngozi D. Mbue (Houston) co-presented a poster, “A Qualitative Study to Understand Multimorbidity and Polypharmacy through Engaging and Underserved Minority Elderly Group,” at the 2021 American College of Clinical Pharmacy virtual poser symposium conducted May 25-26. Mbue’s co-presenters were Ivy Poon, Felicia Skelton, Lena Bean, Dominique Guinn, Creaue Charles, Uche Ndefo and Terica Jemerson.


Ngozi D. Mbue (Houston) and her team Jing Wang, Stanley Cron, John Mbue and Jane Anderson (adjunct, Houston) presented their study, “Diabetes Self-Monitoring Intervention for African American Veterans: A Feasibility Implementation Study,” at the NIH-National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease’s Network of Minority Health Research Investigators (NMRI) annual workshop April 28-30.


Wyona Freysteinson (Houston) virtually presented "Disability justice: The embodied will" at the International Philosophy Organization for Nursing (IPONS) on June 16. She also presented virtually "The greatest human dignity: Caring for the embodied will" June 11 at the American Holistic Nurses Association 41st Annual Conference. She's had a busy year as earlier Freysteinson presented “The nursing role in mitigating traumatic mirror experiences and associated sequelae” at the Nursology 2021 Virtual Nursing Theory Week, conducted March 17-24, and presented “The neurocognitive model of mirror-viewing” and co-presented “Nursing education: supporting mirror-viewing” March 4 at the International Virtual Mirror Conference sponsored by Capital Normal University in Beijing, China.


Mikyoung Lee (Denton) and Sandra Cesario (Houston) conducted a podium presentation, “Creating a Supportive Environment for PhD Students and Faculty Development,” at the AACN Doctoral Education Conference held virtually Jan. 20-22. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing represents more than 840 member schools of nursing and public and private universities nationwide.


Nutrition & Food Sciences


Derek Miketinas (Houston) presented research selected as featured research by the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) conference, Nutrition Live Online 2021. Almost 1,900 abstracts were submitted to ASN’s virtual conference this year, and only 12 were selected as featured research. The abstract, “Usual Dietary Fiber Intake in US Adults with Diabetes: NHANES 2013-2018,” was co-authored with Wesley Tucker and Mindy Patterson (both Houston) and Crystal Douglas. Miketinas presented the research in an on-demand poster session June 7-10.


Occupational Therapy


A host of Houston faculty presented virtually Oct. 15 at the 13th International Conference on Practice Teaching and Field Education in Health and Social Work. Alicia Lohmann (Occupational Therapy), Rebecca Aulbach (Nursing), Wayne Brewer (Physical Therapy), Stacy Flynn (Physical Therapy adjunct), and Teresa Maharaj (Nursing adjunct) presented “The Effectiveness of InterProfessional Education On Self-Efficacy Among Occupational Therapy, Nursing & Physical Therapy Students – An Academic Collaboration.”


Claudette Fette (Denton) spoke on partnering with families during a virtual conference, “Children and Youth: The State of Mental Health,” on April 26. The conference, which aims to prepare teachers, families and professionals to serve the youth of the community, was sponsored by Mental Health America of Augusta.


Physical Therapy


Rupal Patel (Houston) was an invited panelist for “Change Agents: Fostering Health Equity and Social Justice,” a virtual presentation hosted Nov. 17 by the Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education at the University of New England.


Rupal Patel (physical therapy, Houston) presented a “What I Believe” Speech for The Graham Sessions 2021 Virtual Series, sponsored by the Institute of Private Practice Physical Therapy. Patel’s speech was titled “Racism Is a Social Determinant of Health – The Time Is Now to Dismantle It.”


Student Life


Michelle Kelly-Reeves (health & wellbeing initiative), graduate assistant Tamara Starling and student assistant Cindy Okemwenkhase, all of Denton, presented “Self-Care as Activism” at the 2021 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting on June 1. The event was sponsored by NASPA, the professional home for the field of student affairs.


Teacher Education


Holly Hansen-Thomas (research and innovation, graduate school, Denton) was the keynote speaker at the TexTESOLV virtual regional conference Feb. 6. TESOL is Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. The theme of the conference was “Transformed and Stronger.”