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TRI Calls for Community Partner Award Nominees

Naomi Cottoms and the Tri County Rural Health Network won the Chancellor’s Award in 2016.

Do you know a UAMS community or institutional partner that should be recognized for their collaboration with UAMS? The Translational Research Institute (TRI) is seeking nominations from faculty and staff for its fifth annual UAMS Community Partner Celebration on Nov. 17. This celebration recognizes the outstanding community partners that have helped make our various endeavors possible, whether it involves research, education and training, or services.

This year, we are happy to announce four new awards:

  • Community Partnership Student Award
  • Institutional Health Partner Award
  • Community-Based Organization of the Year Award
  • Community Advisory Board of the Year Award

We’re also seeking nominees for the Chancellor’s Community Research Partner Award.

Learn more and submit your community partner nominees!

See our honorees from past years.

The deadline for submissions to recognize community partners and submissions for the Chancellor’s Community Research Partner Award is Oct. 12. For more information, contact Camille Hart or 501-454-1467.

TRI Research and Career Development Seminar Series Begins Sept. 22

The TRI Research and Career Development Seminar Series resumes Friday, Sept. 22, 8:30 – 10 a.m., in the ED II Building, G112 A/B.

Jean McSweeney, Ph.D., R.N., will present, “ARresearch – UAMS’ Research Volunteer Registry.” Learn about the ARresearch Registry, how TRI recruits, and how you can use it for your research.

McSweeney is associate dean for research and professor and co-director of the Ph.D. program in the UAMS College of Nursing. She is the TRI liaison to Recruitment Innovation Centers and faculty leader for the TRI Recruitment Unit Team.
The seminar series is sponsored by the TRI KL2 Mentored Research Career Development Program.

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First TRI Open House Draws More than 100

Sarah Rhoads, Ph.D., D.N.P., visits with TRI’s Nia Indelicato and Amy Jo Jenkins.

The first Open House for the UAMS Translational Research Institute (TRI) drew more than 100 attendees from UAMS’ research community interested in learning about the resources and services offered by TRI.

TRI held the open house as a fun way to introduce itself to new researchers and for others to learn more about what all TRI has to offer. In addition to the 19 featured research services, the event included food and wine, as well as door prizes.

Both new and veteran UAMS researchers echoed their approval.

Hari Eswaran, Ph.D., a long-time professor in the College of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said he was familiar with many of TRI’s offerings, but he discovered more during the open house.

TRI-supported services and resources on display included those of its Clinical Trials Innovation Unit, community engagement, participant recruitment, pilot awards, KL2 scholar awards, biostatistics, biomedical 

informatics, implementation science and entrepreneurship initiatives.

“Everybody knows TRI but probably not the whole gamut of what they do,” Eswaran said. “For example, I didn’t know about their implementation science function.”

Carolyn Greene, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry who is new to UAMS, said she was pleasantly surprised by the event.

“I’m really impressed by all the resources in one place,” she said. “Everything I need is right here.”

Sarah Rhoads, Ph.D., D.N.P., was also happy with the event. “I like how I can see everything that TRI offers, from A to Z, in one place.”

TRI’s Kate Stewart, M.D., M.P.H., and Anna Huff, (seated) speak with attendees about TRI’s Community Engagement Program.

TRI Director Laura James, M.D., said she plans to hold the Open House annually.

TRI Faculty Recognized for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

Drs. Beatrice Boateng, Ph.D., (second from left) and Martha Rojo, Ph.D., R.N., were joined following the awards ceremony by UAMS Interim Chancellor Stephanie Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D., (far left) and Billy R. Thomas, M.D., Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion.

UAMS Translational Research Institute faculty Beatrice Boateng, Ph.D., and Martha Rojo, Ph.D., R.N., were among those recognized Wednesday at UAMS’ 2017 Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Awards Ceremony.  Boateng won the faculty award, while Rojo was a faculty nominee. Both are dedicated to their work for TRI and making health care and research more diverse and inclusive at UAMS.

As an evaluator for TRI, Boateng works to improve diversity among researchers at UAMS. In 2016, she led a campus-wide survey to assess the institutional climate on diversity and inclusion, including its effect on the recruitment and retention of a diverse academic body.

Additional indicators of Boateng’s commitment to diversity are:

  • Her work with the UAMS Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) where she collaborates with the Graduate School to provide workshops on developing electronic career portfolios. This project supports underrepresented minority students in UAMS’ biomedical graduate programs.
  • Her service as a mentor on the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), which is made up of mentors and trainees nationally and provides trainees with evidenced-based mentorship.

“Dr. Boateng’s diversity efforts expand beyond individual characteristics to cross-professional inclusion,” her nomination letter states. In collaboration with UAMS’ Mary Aitken, M.D., and with the support of TRI, Boateng, an associate professor in the College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, has been working for more than two years to enhance mentorship at UAMS. She kicked off these efforts by facilitating a mentor training session led by visiting faculty from the University of Wisconsin and followed up by receiving facilitator training in 2016. In 2017, Boateng spearheaded the first independent training at UAMS, a one-day overview workshop for mentor development. Her efforts to include a diverse group of faculty in the effort and the positive impact it had on attendees was evident in their feedback.

Rojo serves on TRI’s Recruitment Unit Team, where she has led efforts to recruit research participants from the Hispanic community.

An assistant professor in the UAMS College of Nursing, Rojo “brings a focus and commitment in her many roles at UAMS with one common denominator: the priority to engage and integrate special populations into clinical research and educational outreach programs,” her nomination letter states.

Wednesday’s awards ceremony kicked off a series of UAMS events related to diversity and inclusion during September.