UNE faculty member and graduate student named winners at national poster event

Head shot photos of Collyn Baederand Elisabelle Bocal
Poster winners Collyn Baeder and Elisabelle Bocal

Collyn J. Baeder, M.P.H. '16, assistant clinical professor and internship coordinator for Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies, and Elisabelle Bocal, M.S., M.S.W. ’24, reunion gift officer for Institutional Advancement and School of Social Work graduate student, are named winners at the 2021 Poster Fair of the national Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC).

Baeder presented her winning poster, “From Day 1: Peer Teachers Educate, Role Model, & Immerse Undergraduate First-Years in Interprofessional Competencies.” Her findings are from a study conducted in collaboration with Karen Pardue, Ph.D., RN, CNE, FNAP, ANEF, interim provost, and Bernice Mills, R.D.H., M.S., B.S., assistant dean for Student and Clinical Affairs in the Westbrook College of Health Professions.

Qualitative data collected from focus groups, interviews, and course evaluations illuminated the impacts of older student peer teachers within the First Year Experience (FYE) course. The presence of peer teachers facilitated the first-year students’ immersion in the interprofessional competencies embedded within the course, including roles and responsibilities, teamwork, communication, and values and ethics. Peer teachers provided explicit instruction and learning experiences involving these competencies. They modeled the competencies via their interprofessional collaboration with the faculty, and they mentored and engaged the first-years within the UNE health professions community.

Baeder quoted one first-year student who stated, “I liked having a peer teacher because you got to hear their stories about being a student in the health sciences and got to hear about it from a perspective that we are more likely to relate to.”

The study was funded by a mini-grant from the UNE Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Bocal presented her winning poster, “Study of Student Involvement in Interprofessional Work and Impact on Health Professional Preparedness to Collaborate in the Workspace,”which focused on ongoing research with her multi-disciplinary team that includes Michaela Myerson (Pharm.D., ’22), Katie Santanello, (D.O., ’24), William Rinaldi, (D.O., ’24), and Sean Callagy, (D.O., ’24).

The team is researching interprofessional academic programming in higher education by evaluating experiences of graduate students collaborating across the curriculum. The goal is to determine the degree to which those experiences are aligned with the broader population and whether they are indicative of a trend.

Both posters were presented at the national IPEC Poster Fair held virtually in October. Baeder’s and Bocal’s posters were among 23 representing 18 different health professions programs from across the United States. UNE’s Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education provided Baeder and Bocal instrumental support throughout their work.