Penn State Fayette undergraduate receives national award for research

Jamar Dues examined current practices used by Physical Therapist Assistant education programs to recruit students from underrepresented minority groups
Stacy Sekely, Jamar Dues

Stacy Sekely, associate teaching professor, and Jamar Dues, senior PTA student, are recognized for research at a national conference.

Credit: Penn State Fayette

LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — Jamar Dues, a student in the two-year Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, has been recognized for undergraduate research completed under the supervision of Stacy Sekely, associate teaching professor and program coordinator.

Dues and Sekely presented their research, “Physical Therapist Assistant Program Practices to Enhance Diversity,” at the American Physical Therapy Association NEXT Conference in Chicago, Illinois, on June 14. The submission was awarded the NEXT Abstract Special Recognition award.

The study, conducted by Sekely, Dues, and Hayley Skovira, a former student, examined current practices used by PTA education programs to recruit students from underrepresented minority groups.

“Health care disparities within minority groups continue to exist in the United States,” said Sekely. “One strategy to combat this disparity is to increase the diversity of the healthcare and public health work forces.”

Dues, a resident of Uniontown, expects to graduate after completing clinical rotations this summer. He plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in health policy and administration.

“I enjoyed the process of collecting and analyzing data. I felt prepared for our presentation because I had experience presenting research at the Penn State Fayette learning fair,” said Dues. “My experience with undergrad research is something I’ll never forget.”