The College of Nursing’s Honors in the Major (HIM) students swept all four awards given in the Health Sciences category at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research Excellence (SURE) on April 1, 2010. Out of 22 entrees in the Health Sciences category, 10 were from the College of Nursing, and four won awards.

Jamie Bigler, who was mentored by assistant professor Dr. Victoria Loerzel, won first place. Her research explored, “Interventions to Improve Psychological Sequelae in Women with Ovarian Cancer.”

Corrine Caswell-Riley collaborated with assistant professor Dr. Pamela Ark in exploring, “Nursing Interventions for Adolescent Substance Abuse Use.” Caswell-Riley placed second.

Lydia Watkins and Maureen Woodman were awarded honorable mention in the category. Watkins, a student on UCF’s Cocoa campus, worked with nursing instructor Stephen Heglund on “Improving Nonverbal Communication Between Nurses and Deaf and Hard-Hearing Children,” and Woodman worked with nursing instructor Betsy Guimond and associate professor Dr. Maureen Covelli on “Fertility Awareness-Based Methods of Avoiding and Achieving Preganacy: An Effective Means of Family Planning and Promoting Women’s Empowerment.”

Established in 1989, HIM is the oldest and most prestigious undergraduate research program at UCF. Designed to encourage students to undertake original and independent work in their major field, each student selected into the HIM program must research, write, defend and publish an original Honors thesis that serves as the capstone product of their undergraduate career. The research is then eligible to be presented in competitive research events such as SURE.

SURE is hosted annually by the Office of Undergraduate Research. The event provides an outlet for undergraduate students to present their research and to practice their communication skills to a broader audience. The Showcase demonstrates how student research builds upon and enriches the UCF undergraduate experience. Visit for more details.

Contributing writer: Kristin Soto, UCF College of Nursing communication intern