Bioscience poster presentations

Ashlyn Farley, right, explains Tuesday the project she worked on this summer while at the Blackland Research Center in Temple during the 2019 Poster Presentation Session at the Texas Bioscience Institute.

Ashley Farley worked on computer modeling during her summer internship at Blackland Research Center. Her project was “Modeling in the Growth of Rice in Japanese Cascading Rice Paddy Fields.”

“We focused on Japanese rice because we have a colleague, Hiroaki Somura, who is in Japan collecting data at the moment,” Farley said. “We are trying to optimize rice growth while minimizing water use and maximizing grain yield, since rice is the second most demanded cereal crop, second only to corn, and is in demand all over the world.”

Thirteen Texas Bioscience Institute graduates and seniors, who spent the summer in internships throughout the area, presented their posters Tuesday at TBI. The research ranged from the relationship between military sexual trauma and post traumatic stress disorder among women veterans, to a device that can track the number of times a mobile computer unit used by nurses is disinfected within a certain timeframe.

Being able to optimize rice yield would be beneficial to a lot of countries, Farley said.

She said she had a lot of fun during the internship and was able to work with a number of mentors who helped her with different areas of her project.

She’s heading to the University of North Texas in Denton to major in computer science after having graduated from TBI and Temple High School.

Farley learned the many parts that go into developing a computer model, which requires looking up data in literature and collecting information from the field. The information goes into separate files that are connected together to simulate an event, using thousands of maps with formulas running in the background.

“It’s interesting how everything has to connect together and every part of this was related to another section,” Farley said.

Military sexual trauma

Jacqueline Dauz worked on a project with Suzanne Creech at the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center about the relationship between military sexual trauma and post traumatic stress disorder among female veterans.

Dauz will be attending the University of Texas at Austin in the fall as a nursing major.

Any veteran who screens positive for military sexual trauma is eligible for free counseling and treatment for any military sexual trauma-related injury, psychological conditions or illnesses.

Researchers long have highlighted the challenges women face following military sexual trauma, and the findings of the study indicate the importance of addressing military sexual trauma and its severity, she said.

“I loved the internship at the VA; the drive was a challenge,” said Dauz, who lives in Killeen. “I loved going there every day.”

Dauz was able to sit in on some of the patient appointments.

Healthy workplace

Kailyn Ham of Gatesville will be a senior at the Texas Bioscience Institute this fall. She interned with Phyllis Hooten and Denise Stewart at Baylor Scott & White, looking at the impact of a healthy workplace on the health care system.

Ham’s goal is to pursue a degree in nursing.

In 2014, The Joint Commission found that 63 percent of cases involving an unexpected death were capable of being traced back to nurse incivility. Many hospitals lack a formal action plan to deal with uncivil and bullying type activities.

Ham also had a long commute each morning, but she enjoyed working on the research.

A couple of recommendations that came out of the study are having someone in each unit to protect new hires and prevent them from quitting, and treat those nurses not regularly on the unit, the float staff, like guests and set up the next shift for success.

“I was thrilled to see so many health care-based internships available to our students,” Shelley Pearson, Temple College associate vice president of health professions, said of the different projects.

Every year is different, Pearson said. TBI students go work with some of the same researchers, but the focus always changes.

Talking to high school students on this level is amazing, she said during the poster presentation.

The Texas Bioscience Institute is a TC middle college and provides rigorous education in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.