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ATSU-ASDOH hosts annual Research Week

A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) held its annual Research Week from Feb.12-16, 2024, on the University’s Mesa, Arizona, campus.

The week kicked off with the keynote address, “The Epidemic of HPV-related Oropharyngeal Cancer: Why We Must Vaccinate, But Can We Screen?” delivered by visiting keynote speakers Erich M. Sturgis, MD, MPH, professor and deputy chair, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, and Karen Anderson, MD, PhD, associate dean of strategic research, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and professor, Biodesign Institute, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University.

Throughout the rest of the week, which was organized by Ann Spolarich, RDH, PhD, FSCDH, ATSU-ASDOH professor and assistant dean for research, students and orthodontic residents presented clinical, diagnostic, laboratory, and survey research studies to their peers and other dental professionals.

You can virtually view the week’s oral presentations here

Check out photos from the week’s scientific poster session below!

A.T. Still University’s National Center for Osteopathic Principles and Practice Education (NCOPPE) will be hosting a four-day introduction to osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) for MDs and DOs on the University’s Kirksville, Missouri, campus from May 20-23.

Taught by expert OMM faculty from the founding college of osteopathic medicine, ATSU-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM), the 32-hour “Introduction to OMM for MDs and DOs” course is geared toward all levels of learners, especially faculty and residents participating in Osteopathic Recognition residency programs. It is designed as both an introductory course and a refresher for those who want to sharpen their skills and knowledge while learning about OPP, soft tissue, counterstrain and muscle energy techniques, and segmental diagnosis for the thoracic and lumbar spine. 

The NCOPPE provides individualized education support and serves as an online repository of OPP-related materials available on-demand for educators across the undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education continuum. NCOPPE’s goal is to advance osteopathic education, promote integration of osteopathic principles in clinical practice, and encourage development of OPP educational materials in the profession. 

“Introduction to OMM for MDs and DOs” will take place in the Blumenthal Osteopathic Skills Lab in the Connell Information Technologies Center at ATSU’s Kirksville, Missouri, campus. The cost is $200 for NCOPPE/Still OPTI members and medical students and $550 for all others. 

Register online at, and visit the ATSU-KCOM website at for information about getting to and staying in Kirksville. 

For questions, contact or 660.626.2717.

Dany Pineault, AuD, MSc, ’10, an A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) Post-Professional Doctor of Audiology online program adjunct assistant professor and alumnus recently had an article published in the official publication of the Canadian Academy of Audiology.

Dr. Pineault’s article, titled, “Managing Older Adults with Cognitive Health Worries,” was featured in volume 10, issue 3 of the Canadian Audiologist.

Dr. Pineault was also recently featured as a guest on “Sound Like No Other,” a podcast featuring experts and thought leaders in sound and hearing by Widex Canada, a leading manufacturer of hearing aids. His episode focused on the association between tinnitus and mental health, and can be viewed here

As an audiologist, Dr. Pineault has extensive clinical experience in the assessment and management of tinnitus, hyperacusis, and misophonia. As a lecturer, he has educated professionals on tinnitus and hyperacusis treatment protocols such as amplification, sound therapy, tinnitus retraining therapy, and more. 

In addition, Dr. Pineault has also served as an off-campus preceptor supporting Canadian university audiology programs, including the University of British Columbia, Western University, Dalhousie University, l’Université d’Ottawa, and l’Université de Montréal.

A.T. Still University’s (ATSU) Teaching & Learning Center (TLC) hosted the annual Innovation in Teaching for Learning Award ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023.

“It’s only been four years, but we have already seen an increase in communication, collaboration, and learning from each other across different departments and schools in places where we didn’t see that before. Additionally, this award has also helped produce new knowledge about evidence-based instructional practices that our students benefit from,” said Quincy Conley, PhD, TLC director.

“At the same time, this award has strengthened and inspired our collective teaching expertise at ATSU. In a real way, this award has served as and continues to serve as a bridge between ideas that have impact. But maybe the most important factor that we’ve seen, as this board has been a fantastic way to celebrate our successes,” he added.

This year’s Innovation in Teaching for Learning Award winner was Jessica Hayes, PT, DPT, assistant professor, ATSU-Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) Physical Therapy department, for “Canvas Learning Pathways.”

The first runner-up was awarded to a team from ATSU-College of Graduate Health Studies’ (ATSU-CGHS) Public Health department, consisting of chair and professor Mary-Katherine McNatt, DrPH, MPH, MCHES, CPH, COI, research associate Marsha Presley, PhD, MPH, and instructional designers Louise Smith, MA, Susan Thomas, MSEd, and Sue McDaniel, MS, for “Outbreak Odyssey.”

Marsha Presley, PhD, MPH, research associate, ATSU-CGHS.

The second runner-up was Anna Campbell, PhD, chair, associate professor, ATSU-School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) Anatomy department, and John Olson, PhD, professor, for “HoloCompanion App.”

Anna Campbell, PhD, chair, associate professor, and John Olson, PhD, professor, ATSU-SOMA Anatomy department.

Britani Javed, DO, FAAP, assistant professor, pediatric clerkship director, A.T. Still University-School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) will be a featured speaker during an upcoming webinar presented by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine’s (AACOM) Assembly of Osteopathic Graduate Medical Educators (AOGME). 

Dr. Javed will be sharing her origin story into academic medicine as one of three primary care physicians on a panel for the webinar, entitled, “Academic Medicine Served in Three Flavors: IM, FM, Peds.”

This interactive webinar is designed for students and residents considering pursuing a career in academic medicine, and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions as the speakers highlight how they established careers in academia.

The webinar can be viewed live at 4:00 p.m. MST on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024. Attendees may register here.

Michael Vekasi, AuD, ’20, an A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) Post-Professional Doctor of Audiology online program alumnus and adjunct assistant professor, had several research articles published in the Canadian Audiologist, the official publication of the Canadian Academy of Audiology, last year.

In addition to his role at ATSU, Dr. Vekasi is a senior trainer for Alberta Health Services and serves as a sessional instructor at MacEwan University. He currently serves on several committees within the Canadian Academy of Audiology, where he is also the current president of the board of directors. 

He is a vice-chair of the Canadian Entry-to-Practice audiology examination committee with Speech-Language & Audiology Canada and is a member of the Alberta Association of Audiologists, the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, and the American Academy of Audiology.

Dr. Vekasi strives to be an active changemaker in the field of audiology, and was nominated in 2022 as a recipient of the Platinum Jubilee of the late Elizabeth II for his activism.

On Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024, A.T. Still University’s Mesa, Arizona, campus held Bucky’s 2024 Energy Trail Challenge, a first-of-its-kind fundraising activity for ATSU-Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health’s (ATSU-ASDOH) Give Kids a Smile (GKAS) event.

Over 200 students, faculty, and staff helped raise money for the event by walking a total of 185.33 miles along Bucky’s Energy Trail — that’s far enough to walk from Mesa to the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.

The funds raised for GKAS were graciously donated by an anonymous donor, who pledged to match $1 for each lap completed, up to $1,000. GKAS is an annual event held at the ATSU-ASDOH dental clinic, where dental students, faculty, staff, and alumni work together to provide local, uninsured children with free dental care.

Check out more photos from Bucky’s Challenge below!

Kristy Knight, MS, adjunct assistant professor, A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) Post-Professional Doctor of Audiology online program, was featured in several research publications throughout 2023, as well as on “Think Out Loud,” Oregon Public Broadcasting’s news podcast.

In addition to her role at ATSU, Knight is a pediatric audiologist and associate professor in the pediatrics department at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Oregon Health and Science University. She specializes in hearing loss in infants, children, and adolescents, and her clinical research focuses on pediatric ototoxicity monitoring and identifying risk factors for platinum-induced hearing loss.

Her research was featured in four publications last year: 

“Intravenous N-Acetylcysteine to Prevent Cisplatin-Induced Hearing Loss in Children: A Nonrandomized Controlled Phase I Trial”, was published in volume 29, issue 13 of Clinical Cancer Research.

“Sodium thiosulfate as cisplatin otoprotectant in children: The challenge of when to use it”, was published in volume 70, issue 5 of Pediatric Blood & Cancer.

“Reevaluation of sodium thiosulfate otoprotection using the consensus International Society of Paediatric Oncology Ototoxicity Scale: A report from the Children’s Oncology Group study ACCL0431”, was published in volume 70, issue 9 of Pediatric Blood & Cancer.

“Special considerations in the design and implementation of pediatric otoprotection trials”, was published in volume 17, issue 1 of the Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice.

In the podcast episode, Knight discussed the recent FDA approval of the usage of sodium thiosulfate for reducing hearing loss in pediatric cancer patients.

Listen to the full episode here.

A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences’ (ATSU-ASHS) Doctor of Audiology program recently announced the winners of its annual Audiology Foundation of America (AFA) Student Excellence Endowed Scholarship award.

Tricia Stanley, ’25, and Sara Janssen, ’25, were recognized as this year’s outstanding residential students, and were selected for the scholarship based on their clinical skills, academic standing, and commitment to service. Each award recipient received a $1,000 scholarship. 

Interested in supporting the AFA Student Excellence Endowed Scholarship? Give today.

A.T. Still University (ATSU) hosted its annual Championing the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaker event Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024, on its Mesa, Arizona, campus.

Renée J. Crawford, DO, ’20, a graduate of ATSU’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) delivered this year’s speech. As a student at ATSU-SOMA, Dr. Crawford was recognized by her peers as the 2020 Student DO of the Year and was awarded the 2019-20 ATSU Diversity Excellence award for her work with ATSU Diversity & Inclusion and the Student National Medical Association. She was also a recipient of ATSU’s Graduate Health Professions Scholarship (GPS) and continues to serve the GPS program today, supporting students from historically underrepresented groups on their journeys into the health professions.

As a resident, she received the Phoenix Children’s J. Kipp Charlton, MD, Resident Humanitarian of the Year award for the 2022-23 academic year.

View Dr. Crawford’s presentation here: