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LHU health science and psychology clubs team up with CDC to conduct facial covering research on campuses

LOCK HAVEN — Lock Haven University was selected as one of 55 colleges and universities to partner with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the PA Department of Health for the MASCUP! Mask Adherence at Colleges and Universities Project, “Observing Mask Use at IHEs -2021 Spring Semester.”

The Health Science Club is taking the lead under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Rudella and Dr. Beth McMahon. McMahon serves as COVID coordinator for the university as part of the COVID-19 Institutional Response Team. The Psychology Club has joined under the direction of Dr. Cheryl Newburg.

Student researchers were trained and certified by the CDC to collect data and received approval through LHU’s institutional review board. Students will collect data throughout the spring 2021 semester and the results will be published by the CDC and PA Department of Health and provide opportunity for LHU student researchers to publish or present at local, state and national venues.

“This national study provides LHU students with experience in research that will help drive disease prevention, control and health promotion on our campus and throughout the U.S.,” McMahon said.

One LHU student researcher said he is proud to be a part of the research team and the opportunity is giving the students a taste of what real public health research might look like in their professional careers. The CDC required the student researchers to not reveal their identities until the research has been completed.

“Personally, I find this research very rewarding and helps me to feel like I am making a difference in our ongoing battle against the COVID-19 virus both in our campus community and worldwide,” the pre-physician assistant junior said. “This research opportunity has also shed some light on my career goals; I have always wanted to work in the sciences and more recently as a PA, but being able to conduct research and have my personal findings utilized has been an amazing experience and might be something that I pursue in my future.”

The information gathered during the study will help to provide an understanding of how well colleges and their surrounding communities are promoting proper face covering use and also help them implement and assess strategies to increase the proportion of people who use facial coverings correctly and ultimately mitigate COVID-19.

For more information on Lock Haven University, visit www.lockhaven.edu, email admissions@lockhaven.edu, or call 570-484-2011.

Lock Haven University (LHU) is a small, public university located on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the scenic mountains of Pennsylvania. LHU’s experience-based approach to learning prepares students for a lifetime of success. The university features outstanding academic programs taught by experienced faculty. Since 1870, The Haven has provided an unbeatable combination of quality, affordability and value to the region, the Commonwealth and beyond.

LHU is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth.

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