2023 Faculty Research Poster Session and Research Fair

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    The Effects of COVID-19 Risk, Gender, and Self-Compassion on the Workplace Cyberbullying and Job Satisfaction of University Faculty
    (2023-03-02) Ramos Salazar, Leslie; Weiss, Adam; Yarbrough, Jillian W.; Sell, Katelynn
    The purpose of this study is to examine workplace cyberbullying (WPCB) in higher education. Specifically, we explore the relationship between WPCB and several important factors such as self-compassion, job satisfaction, and gender. A cross-sectional survey using a convenience sample of 179 faculty members with an average age of 48.99 was applied. A multiple regression and path analysis using structural equation model were applied using IBM SPSS 23.0 and AMOS 23.0. The regression model showed that self-compassion was positively related to job satisfaction, whereas WPCB was negatively related to job satisfaction after controlling for covariates. The model results showed that gender and COVID-19 risk of severe illness were related to WPCB. Additionally, self-compassion mediated the inverse relationship between WPCB and job satisfaction. In this study, we examined the predictors of COVID-19 related constructs, self-compassion, and WPCB on faculty's job satisfaction. Also, we provide a new conceptual model examining gender and COVID-19 risk of severe illness as antecedents of WPCB, and the unique use of self-compassion as a mediator of the relationship between WPCB and job satisfaction. Finally, we provide further understanding of how faculty may be cyberbullied at work due to risk of severe illness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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    The Lived Experience of Nursing Students Caring for COVID-19 Patients
    (2023-03-02) Devkota, Shravan; Friemel, Alee; Correa, Priscella; Loftin, Collette; Drinnon, Sherri
    Abstract Background: As the wave of COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, schools and students were affected in many ways. Schools had to migrate courses to an online or hybrid platform while students had to adapt their learning to take care of COVID-19 patients in the clinical setting. Purpose: Caring for COVID-19 patients in the hospital setting provided the students with big challenges, and it became essential for faculty members to understand the students' feelings and obstacles as the semester continued. Methods: Utilizing a phenomenological framework, a qualitative descriptive study was performed to determine the lived experience of student nurses caring for COVID-19 patients. Results: Four main themes emerged from the study, which included 1. Importance of a support system, 2. Moral distress, 3. Enhancement of clinical skills, and 4. Significance of therapeutic communication. Conclusions: Based on the themes, four recommendations were identified to help students and faculty, which included 1. The value of simulation, 2. Development of a support system, 3. Collaborative preceptorship, and 4. Preparation for a new era.
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    Preparation of Bio-based Resins from Soybean Oil and Orange Peel
    (2023-03-02) Spidel, Tavia; Noble, Isaac; Limer, Crystal; Shrestha, Maha L.
    The main objective of this project is to replace petroleum based raw materials with environmental-friendly, agricultural-based starting materials. Plant based starting materials obtained from soybean oil and orange peel were reacted with a Lewis acidic catalyst, tris(pentaflorophenyl)borane or BCF for synthesis of bio-based epoxy resins. Thermal and mechanical properties of thus prepared epoxy resins were analyzed.
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    Socio-psychological theories and contemporary research: Can unmet needs contribute to victimization in the workplace?
    (2023-03-02) Yarborough, Jillian Williamson; Ramos Salazar, Leslie
    The following paper seeks to uncover potential support for workplace victimization through an examination of employee's needs and needs-based motivation theories. An inductive thematic analysis was utilized to explore a sample of 721 web-based comments relating to workplace harassment and conflict. The researchers conclude that if underlying workplace needs can be identified, victims of workplace harassment can be empowered through the development and attainment of unmet needs. The study calls for further research, and consideration of, a managerial shift in practice regarding workplace harassment. Specifically, based on the study's conclusions, managers should contemplate a proactive development approach to employees' needs by seeking to empower victims of workplace mistreatment.
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    A Texas Constitutional Amendment 'Do Over': Understanding Changes in the Political Environment in a Decade
    (2023-03-02) Rausch, John D., Jr; Rausch, Mary Scanlon
    Texas voters rarely defeat the constitutional amendments sent to them by the legislature. In 2011, three ballot questions failed, among them Proposition 4, the Texas County Redevelopment Bond Amendment. Proposition 4 was defeated with 59.71 percent of voters casting votes against the proposition. Texas voters defeated only one amendment in the next decade, the "Allowed to Serve as Multiple Judges Amendment" in 2019. In 2021, voters approved Proposition 2, the "Authorize Counties to Issue Infrastructure Bonds in Blighted Areas Amendment." Proposition 2 had the support of 63.09 percent of voters in 2021. Proposition 2 approved in 2021 is identical to Proposition 4 defeated 10 years earlier. This research examines the political environment at the county-level to determine what changed in Texas to allow a constitutional amendment to succeed on a rare "do over" with voters. Using OLS regression techniques, the paper considers issues of partisan change, economic change, and the growth of suburbs in Texas. The research particularly is important because constitutional amendments rarely lose so there is little need for a "do over." In addition, the ballot question is the subject of a lawsuit filed by conservative political groups because they believe that the question lacked accurate information.
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    Reimagining the Mother Road with StoryMaps: Social Justice Work in Challenging Contexts
    (2023-03-02) Peeples, Shanna
    Using the well-known Route 66 interstate highway, our StoryMap team, led by women of color, created an interactive, multimedia mentor text for public school teachers interested in creating learning that produces place-based projects. Teachers interested in equity and justice for their marginalized students, particularly those in censorious or condeming areas, can find inspiration for similar projects of place-conscious teaching as a subversive activity (Postman & Weingartner, 1969). These tools draw upon the collective wisdom, hidden histories, and current contexts of the user/creator communities in rural Texas spaces. Rural equity matters: nearly 1 in 5 students, (9.3 million), attend rural schools where the buildings house the sole possibility for innovation in a community (Showalter, et al. 2017). This multimedia presentation highlights action-oriented work that is emergent and does not lend itself to narrow definitions, reside in district offices, or exist solely in professional development focused on anti-bias training. It creates and supports an intentional disposition "to see the invisible structures, policies, and behaviors that sustain unequal outcomes and interrupt the ways of working that serve, implicitly or explicitly, to perpetuate gaps in opportunity for vulnerable communities" (Cheatham, et al., 2020). Localized, hidden histories made visible help to "disrupt patterns of inequity...[in] a community's history of oppression [and] helps highlight the historic wounds that need healing, wounds that continue to hurt" (DeWolf and Geddes, 2019). Along these lines, those who research their communities become architects of local historicity built among a place’s myths, legends, and flattering fictions.
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    Small Scale Wind Turbine For Back Up Power Generation
    (2023-03-02) Varatharaj, Varatharaj; Baillio, Jonathan
    A small-scale wind generator system can be designed as a backup power generator. This type of system can provide temporary power when access to either the power grid or combustible fuel sources for traditional generators are not available. Adapting to this type of "off-the-grid" power generation as natural disasters are having a greater and more frequent impact on infrastructure could be ideal to many communities. In this research project, a wind generator system that can provide sufficient power to operate a household refrigerator and charge mobile devices has been modeled. This provides safe refrigeration for food or medicine and also to communicate in an emergency situation. The system is modeled using two 12 V deep cycle batteries both rated at 75-watt hours of capacity. Wire sizing and current requirements are derived from the MPPT controller design and maximum wattage output of the generator and the battery voltage. The system is designed to meet the criteria such as the system should not be permanently affixed to a structure and power generation should be sufficient to power a household refrigerator and charge mobile devices as needed.
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    Increase in Aeroallergen, Allergy cases in the Texas Panhandle with a special reference to PM2.5 and Respiratory Ailments
    (2023-03-02) Howard, Aubrey; DeLeon, Lyanna; Zavala, Maria; Ghosh, Nabarun; Banerjee, Prabir
    The study of air quality and aerobiology is an important field and contributes to advancing the scientific body of knowledge and understanding the world around us. Capturing, identifying, and quantifying airborne particles are important to understanding air quality. Our research encompasses the High-Plains area in the Texas Panhandle and focuses on specific particulates including pollen, fungal spores and PM2.5. We conducted laboratory-controlled experiments using a fiberglass chamber and various air quality monitors to assess and evaluate PM2.5 concentrations. The exposed tapes from Burkard Volumetric Spore Trap were stained and mounted with Safranin-Gelvatol mixture and were observed using an Olympus BX40 microscope equipped with FITC, TRITC filters, a mercury lamp source, a DP-74 digital camera. Aeroallergens were viewed, recorded and analyzed with CellSens software. Particulates in the air are categorized by source, size, and chemical composition. These airborne substances have various detrimental health effects. The particulate profile of the air fluctuates daily, can be distinct from one area to another, and can have synergistic impacts. It is important to understand how the environment can influence the emission and distribution of these ambient particulates and how subsequent changes in concentrations can affect human health. The Texas Panhandle-High Plains region is unique in topography, climate, ecology, and combination of various anthropogenic activities. Evaluating relationships between factors that influence air quality in the region will provide a better understanding of how it can affect residents, making way to develop predictive models to mitigate respiratory ailments for the betterment of human health and scientific advancement. We observed seasonal fluctuations of aeroallergens, such as pollen and mold spores, and fluctuations in patients' clinical visits for treatment to respiratory ailments throughout the year. We used the Burkard High Volumetric Spore Trap and RadNet ambient radionuclide-assessing unit to evaluate the levels of airborne particulates and emitted gamma radiation. We also used publicly available information systems and data sets to supplement and correlate the research findings.
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    Testing and Calibration of an in-house built Fatigue Testing Machine-Part 2
    (2023-03-02) Alemayehu, Fisseha M.
    College of Engineering owns an in-house built fatigue testing machine, designed and built by Advanced Mechanics and Design (MENG 4350) students. For the testing machine to be used for experimentation in class and research, it needs to be tested using different materials and be calibrated according to relevant standards. After effective calibration of this machine, faculty at the college could use the machine for research and experimental activities. The patterns of current results agreed with published plots but the observed fatigue property values don't exactly match with published values of the tested materials. Further adjustment will be conducted on the machine and more tests will be done to validate and verify results in the future.
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    Group table and Sudoku puzzles
    (2023-03-02) Wu, Qingquan
    For any finite group, we will notice a striking similarity between its group multiplication table and the Sudoku puzzles. Every nXn Sudoku puzzle should satisfy three rules: Every row should contain exactly those n numbers 1 through n; Every column should contain exactly those n numbers 1 throught n; In addition, if n=kXk is a perfect square, then every kXk (non-overlapping) grid should contain exactly those n numbers 1 through n. By the cancellation law of the group, every group multiplication table will automatically satisfy the first two rules. Unfortunately, it will almost always fail the last rule. One way to fix it is to allow row/column switching for the group multiplication table. A natural question is: Can all Sudoku puzzles be induced by a group in this way? The answer is: It depends. We will explore this question from both algebraic and statistical perspectives and search through computer programming to see the percentage of group-induced Sudokus among all Sudokus.
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    The Amarillo Symphony: The First 100 Years
    (2023-03-02) Hieb, Kimberly
    The Amarillo Symphony: The First 100 Years will be a book that explores the rich history of the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra, one of the Panhandle's longest standing cultural institutions. The volume will celebrate the organization as the result of the hard work and eager support of Amarillo's citizens and calls attention to Amarillo's stature as a cultural center of the American Southwest in spite of its position as a small city located in the center of the Texas Panhandle a great distance from neighboring metropolitan centers. Moreover, this project will encourage the exploration of musical cultures of the many other small cities scattered throughout the rural regions of Texas, communities whose ardent and local support of the arts has been largely ignored on national stage.
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    Let the Symbols Speak: A Story of Leadership
    (2023-03-02) Hindman, Janet
    Abstract This article purposed to explore how superintendents instill democracy and democratic values in American public schools. This qualitative case study employed autoethnography as a research methodology to better understand in what ways the efficacy and praxis of the superintendents of independent public schools as founding members of the Public Education Visioning Institute of Texas had been influenced by their participation. Study findings resulted in an iconic unity of values, vision, and passion for change among the superintendents to improve not only their schools, but also all public schools. The implications of the study confirmed the need for further development of the Visioning Institute as a moral imperative to sustain democracy and democratic schools. Key words: democracy, Visioning Institute, leadership, autoethnography
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    Development of Improved Targeted Liposomal-Based Chemotherapeutics to Treat Metastatic Breast Cancer
    (2023-03-02) Terblanche, Cherise; Garcia, Aurora; Thomason, Roy; Khan, David
    Worldwide, breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer death amongst women [1, 2], and therefore improved chemotherapeutics are desperately needed. We have previously demonstrated selectivity of our novel targeted liposomal-based drug towards metastatic breast cancer cells. However, the necessary addition of PEG-2000 to the drug surface prior to in vivo use has previously shown to limit the overall drug incorporation into metastatic breast cancer cells and therefore presumably decrease the overall efficacy of the drug. Therefore, in this study we are currently working on the co-encapsulation of dual-drugs into our targeted formulation in order to recapture some of the presumed loss of overall drug efficacy attributed to the necessary pegylation prior to in vivo use. Specifically, we propose the co-encapsulation of the chemosenitizer drug dihydromyricetin (DMY) and the cytotoxic agent doxorubicin. DMY is used as a chemosensitizer because it is known to competitively bind sorcin [3], which is a protein known to be upregulated in metastatic breast cancer, and also known to bind to doxorubicin which limits its overall cytotoxic effect.
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    Personalized & Smartphone-based Solution for Arrhythmia Detection
    (2023-03-02) Tabei, Azi
    According to the World Health Organization (WHO)'s report, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of death in the World [1]. Cardiac arrhythmias are one of the prevalent groups of CVDs referred to as abnormalities and irregularities in heartbeats. These cardiac arrhythmias are associated with an increased risk of serious problems and death [2]. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the prevalent forms of atrial arrhythmia. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that by 2030 around 12.1 million will suffer from AF in the United States [3]. The estimated average health expenditures of CVDs in the U.S. is 363.4 billion dollars and as the prevalence of CVDs grow the costs are also predicted to double by 2035 [4]. In order to prevent the further advancement of heart disease and stroke, early detection of arrhythmias is crucial. The prevalence of these personal mobile devices has led to rapid growth in the development of medical software applications that provide a conduit to many growing issues in healthcare. Arrhythmia detection using smartphone applications is one of the foremost interests in medical research today. Photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors detect the rate of blood flow by using a light-based technology to determine the electrical signals of the heart. The importance of personalized healthcare technologies specifically for AF management has been emphasized in recent studies [5-7]. The personalized AF detection provides an opportunity to identify each individual's status, which would result in personalized treatment and medication at the right time and the correct dose. This research aims to propose a novel system that can be used for personalized arrhythmia detection using smartphones. The smartphone photoplethysmogram (PPG) signals were gathered from a sample of patients attending a cardiology clinic at Texas Tech and used to detect atrial fibrillation (AF) which is the most common cardiac arrhythmia affecting millions of people worldwide. The AF and normal heart rhythm signals were used to extract the personalized features for each patient. These features were used as the input of the proposed machine learning algorithm to detect the AF in a personalized way. The preliminary clinical results indicate that our proposed system can be used for personalized AF detection and management.
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    A Multimodal Facial Emotion Recognition Framework through the Fusion of Speech with Visible and Infrared Images
    (2023-03-02) Siddiqui, Mohammad faridul Haque
    The exigency of emotion recognition is pushing the envelope for meticulous strategies of discerning actual emotions through the use of superior multimodal techniques. This work presents a multimodal automatic emotion recognition (AER) framework capable of differentiating between expressed emotions with high accuracy. The contribution involves implementing an ensemble-based approach for the AER through the fusion of visible images and infrared (IR) images with speech. The framework is implemented in two layers, where the first layer detects emotions using single modalities while the second layer combines the modalities and classifies emotions. Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) have been used for feature extraction and classification. A hybrid fusion approach comprising early (feature-level) and late (decision-level) fusion, was applied to combine the features and the decisions at different stages. The output of the CNN trained with voice samples of the RAVDESS database was combined with the image classifier's output using decision-level fusion to obtain the final decision. An accuracy of 86.36% and similar recall (0.86), precision (0.88), and f-measure (0.87) scores were obtained. A comparison with contemporary work endorsed the competitiveness of the framework with the rationale for exclusivity in attaining this accuracy in wild backgrounds and light-invariant conditions.
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    Circadian Regulation of Peripheral Serotonin in Mice
    (2023-03-02) Karaganis, Stephen; Karaganis, Stephen
    Most organisms possess biological clocks which control and coordinate numerous physiological processes over each 24-hour day. Circadian oscillators play a role in generating biological rhythms and coordinating numerous processes with environmental stimuli, such as timing of a meal or exposure to light. The indolamine molecule serotonin is an important peripheral hormone produced by the intestinal mucosa of mammals, but its regulation as an output of the circadian clock is not well understood. Recent studies in my lab have investigated circadian rhythmicity of serotonin and its entrainment to light stimuli or food availability in various tissues or compartments in mice, including blood serum, stools, and the intestinal wall. In these experiments, mice were fed ad libitum (AL) or placed on a gradual daytime restricted feeding regimen (DRF) while maintained in a 12:12 light-dark cycle (LD) or constant darkness (DD). Using a repeated measures design, we demonstrated a high-amplitude circadian rhythm of serotonin in stool samples that persisted in constant conditions and entrained to both light and food availability, with a peak occurring close to the day-night transition under LD conditions. In contrast to some published findings, no circadian rhythm of serotonin was detected in blood serum. Preliminary data suggest that duodenal serotonin is rhythmic in LD and peaks later during the late night. This is consistent with our measurements of tph1 mRNA rhythms, which peaked during the late night in LD or DD, respectively. Taken together, these data suggest that peripheral serotonin is differentially regulated by the circadian clock in different compartments, and the rhythm of serotonin in stools is likely contributed to by oscillators outside the duodenum.
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    Comparison of reproductive and early growth performance of an F1 USDA Prime yield grade one carcass clone sire and an industry-leading purebred sire in the Beef x Dairy production system
    (2023-03-02) Richardson, Katylyn Jo
    The objectives of this research were to determine if an F1 USDA Prime, yield grade 1 sire produced from the WTAMU PrimeOne Project (AxG1) was a competitive sire for producing dairy composites when compared to a purebred Angus sire (Foundation), and to evaluate any subsequent reproductive impact of sire on dam. Dairy cows (n = 1,930) were artificially inseminated resulting in 764 pregnancies with 567 births and 539 live calves. Data was collected at a large commercial dairy and analyzed using SAS 9.4 with sire as fixed effect; lactation, breeding technician and services per conception were random effects. Individual animal was experimental unit (n = 539). Conception rates were 39% for AxG1 and 30% for Foundation (P ≤ 0.01). Average gestation length (GL) was 284-d and 280-d for AxG1 and Foundation, respectively (P ≤ 0.01). Calves by Foundation reported lower average birth weight (BW) than those by AxG1 (P ≤ 0.01) with no difference in calving ease score (CE) (P = 0.24). Calves sired by Foundation were lighter than those sired by AxG1 at 60-d (P ≤ 0.01) but not 120-d (P = 0.97). Calves by Foundation also reported higher average daily gains (ADG) at 60-d than calves by AxG1 (0.61 and 0.58 kg; P ≤ 0.01), and ADG tended to differ by sire from 0-120-d (0.70 and 0.67 kg; P = 0.09). Sire had no effect on morbidity (P = 0.25) or mortality (P = 0.15). Post-partum interval (PPI), time from first estrus to conception, and number of services to conception were not different between sires (P = 0.35; P = 0.32; P = 0.37). Data from this trial indicates the cloned progeny sire increased conception rates, but the purebred Angus sire was more favorable for GL, BW and progeny growth performance. Neither sire negatively impacted subsequent reproductive performance of the dam.
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    Make Hay While the Sun Shines: How Community-Based Nonprofit Organizations Cultivate Refugees' Social Capital and Disaster Resilience
    (2023-03-02) Xie, Ming; Chen, Li
    This article examines community-based nonprofit organizations' (CBOs') perspectives and practices regarding cultivating refugees' disaster resilience. Adopting the theoretical framework of structural and cognitive social capital, we conducted in-depth interviews with leaders, staff members, and volunteers from refugee-serving organizations. The research findings offer new insights into how CBOs help refugees obtain multiple forms of social capital and develop disaster resilience through education and training, resource mobilization, planning, and coordination. The research findings also reveal the flow of social capital exchange during the disaster resilience cultivation process. Similar CBOs can rely on our research findings to develop evidence-based programs and interventions to help culturally and linguistically diverse groups gain social capital and improve disaster resilience.
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    Objective Structured Clinical Examination: Five Years and Counting
    (2023-03-02) Phillips, Angela; Smoot, Teresa; Robinson, Lisa
    Objective Structured Clinical Examination: Five Years and Counting Abstract Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is a simulation assessment method based on a student's performance that measures clinical competence and skill set. The use of OSCE learning is well established within nursing education. OSCE can achieve needed practice and assess knowledge and understanding in a safe environment. OSCEs may be formative or summative, according to their role and purpose in the curriculum. At West Texas A&M University, in the Graduate Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program, OSCEs began to be used in 2017. A formative OSCE is used as a learning tool and does not contribute as an academic requirement. A summative OSCE is used as an assessment method to formally evaluate clinical skills and knowledge and contributes to academic success within a program. FNP students complete a summative OSCE in their final semester of the program. In 2022, OSCE cases began to be conducted on campus to promote the university fulfillment of becoming an accredited simulation center. Data continues to be collected to analyze student learning outcomes as patient cases and scenarios are developed and expanded. Deliberate practice based scenarios provide significant benefits in providing care to a patient. The goal of this poster is to report ongoing use of OSCE at WTAMU.
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    Clinical Experience of Family Nurse Practitioner Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    (2023-03-02) Phillips, Angela; Neely, Shaina; Smoot, Teresa
    The aim of this study was to ascertain the experiences of Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) students participating in clinical experience during the COVID-19 pandemic and to identify the clinical challenges faced by FNP students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Background: Literature reveals the current COVID-19 pandemic poses urgent and prolonged threats to the health and well-being of the population worldwide. FNP students have struggled to find clinical sites and preceptors during the pandemic. Design: A qualitative research design involving interviews asking open-ended questions to converse with students was conducted. Interviews were conducted during the fall 2021 semester. Method: All interviews were transcribed and analyzed. Each transcript was read multiple times and themes were developed. Three main themes emerged. Conclusion: Clinical experience is an intricate part of the program as confidence to treat and educate patients is paramount. The themes identified during student interviews included: 1) Anxiety and stress; 2) Hindrance of knowledge base; and 3) Personal growth. Recommendation: Utilization of telehealth during education and clinical experiences will assist the FNP student maintain success throughout the program.