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Students shine at Scholar’s Day

Rachel Pjnnakin, Fiona Smith, and Rajui Pillai
Elevator pitch contest winners were Rachel Pijnnaken (2nd place), Fiona Smith (1st place), and Raji Pillai (3rd place).
Meagan Chavarria discusses her poster.
PhD student Meagan Chavarria won first place in the poster presentation competition.
BSN graduate Mari Spurgers discusses her poster.
Recent BSN graduate Mari Spurgers won third place in the poster presentation competition.

Thirteen students and recent graduates presented their work on a wide range of nursing science topics during the 2023 Scholar’s Day at Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth Houston. 

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students participated as well as Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students who have participated in the Honors Research Program. Five students presented orally, six made poster presentations, and three delivered elevator pitches. 

“This year’s Scholar’s Day was very well attended, and I was impressed by the quality and depth of the student’s projects,” said Associate Dean for Research Constance Johnson, PhD, MS, RN, FAAN. “This event gives students a safe venue to practice their presentation skills and receive helpful feedback from their peers and faculty.” 

Presenting keynote addresses were recent PhD graduate student Judith Odityo, PhD, MBA, RN, CPN, (“Shared decision making in self-care management and health outcomes of adolescents and young adults with sickle cell disease”) and current BSN-DNP student Courtney McAlister, BSN, RN (“Identifying patients at risk for left ventricular obstruction after transcatheter aortic valve replacement”). 

Competition winners: 

Poster presentations:

  • 1st place: PhD student Meagan Chavarria, MSN, AGACNP-BC
  • 2nd place: PhD student Fiona Smith, MS, BSN, RN
  • 3rd place: Recent BSN graduate Mari Spurgers, BSN, RN

Elevator pitches:

  • 1st place: PhD student Fiona Smith, MS, BSN, RN
  • 2nd place: BSN student Rachel Pijnnaken
  • 3rd place: PhD student Raji Pillai, MSN, RN, FNP-C

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