BVU’s Tami Laursen Wins Westphal Top Graduate Student Paper Award
The Westphal Top Graduate Student Paper Award was created by the Iowa Communication Association in honor of education enthusiast Frank George Westphal and seeks to recognize excellent scholarship in Iowa the graduate programs.
Tami Laursen, director of health services and wellness at Buena Vista University, was awarded the 2018 Westphal Top Graduate Student Paper Award on Sept. 21, 2018. The award was presented by the Iowa Communication Association (ICA) at their conference this September. The Westphal Top Graduate Student Paper Award was created by the ICA in honor of education enthusiast Frank George Westphal and seeks to recognize excellent scholarship in Iowa the graduate programs.
Laursen finished her graduate capstone project in the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) program at BVU in April of 2018. Her final project was submitted by Mary Gill, MAOL program director and professor of communication studies, to the Westphal Competitive Graduate and Undergraduate Student Award competition. In her final project, Laursen investigated the challenges and benefits of having an integrated mental, physical, and behavioral health center on small campuses. As part of the award, she was asked to present her work at the ICA conference at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny. Her work will be published in the 2019 Iowa Journal of Communication.
Dr. Ashley Farmer Hanson, course developer for MAOL and Deb Lenhart, BVU graduate programs advisor and an MAOL recent graduate, both presented on a panel at the ICA Conference as well. The panel discussed multiple ways of developing understanding among diverse individuals. Dr. Hansen shared the learning goals and design of her courses while Lenhart shared her view from a student perspective.