The Center for Human Development, Learning, and Technology (CHDLT) sponsored Dr. Cameron Hay-Rollins, Dr. Ann Elizabeth Armstrong, and Dr. Paul Flaspohler's seminar regarding their research on infant mortality on March 27th, 2017. They discussed their transdisciplinary, community-based participatory research in building partnerships with low-income African-American women in order to better understand the daily realities that lead to high rates of black infant mortality in Butler County.

Bergen Center collaboration

PRIMED for Action

Addressing the Causes and Consequences of Infant Mortality in Butler County

PRIMED for Action is a partnership in which Miami faculty [Cameron Hay-Rollins (Anthropology), Ann Elizabeth Armstrong (Theater), and Paul Flaspohler (Psychology)] are working with The Butler County Health Department to address the causes and consequences of infant mortality in Butler County.  Ohio is one of the worst states for infant mortality and the worst state for Black, non-Hispanic infant mortality. Using Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and Digital Story Telling, Miami faculty are partnering with community members to build a context for trust and open dialogue to assure the voices of African American at-risk mothers are heard, allowing them to contribute actively in the design of the research and interventions that impact them. This fall, the PRIMED team has completed several meetings and workshops involving community members and health workers in order to develop digital stories that illustrate the perspectives, concerns, and experiences of the community members.  With assistance from students in GHS 301, these stories have been developed with the intention of using them to inform development of strategies to address infant mortality.

Interview with Dr. Elizabeth Ann Armstrong

An Inside Look into the PRIMED for Action Research Initiative

Tell me about your research.

I have a PhD in theater but I’m focusing on applied theatre that uses artistic expression in interdisciplinary contexts. For the past 10 years, I have worked as the co-director of the “Finding Freedom Summer Project,”. I created a walking tour of Western College campus that explores the events that occurred on this site while activists trained for Freedom Summer in 1964. After creating the walking tour, I decided to create a location-based app that would create a similar experience to the walking tour. The app is similar to Pokémon Go in that depending on where the user is located, different interactive stories will appear. The app is called ARIS and available free to anyone, and can be found at  Once in the app you select “near by” and “Freedom Summer.”

How did you become interested in research in the area of infant mortality?

Infant mortality in the African American community in Butler County is among the highest in all of Ohio. There is a huge disconnect in social services, such as health education. Instead of providing an environment in which faculty from Miami University would come in and teach the members of the community, we wanted to create an environment where members of the community could teach each other. We thought artistic communication would be the perfect vehicle for this, and that is how I became involved. We are going to use Digital Storytelling to communicate the stories of those living in Butler County who may be part of an at-risk community or who have lost a baby. We have completed two of the three workshops where we are working with nine community members.

Can you tell me about the workshops?

There will be three workshops in total, and we have completed two of the three. For the first workshop, our goal was to build trust and introduce the participants to the project’s method. To build rapport, the members participated in a short Digital Storytelling Project in which the participants were instructed to photograph themselves using any part of their bodies except their face. The goal of this activity was for the members to be creative in order to express their stories. After making the pictures, the members would create a caption explaining their picture. The second workshop involved the members participating in a “Story Circle”. For this activity, each member was given four minutes to tell his or her story. Stories included personal memories of oppression, parents, etc. After this activity, the members began to brainstorm scripts for the Digital Storytelling Project for the community. In the third workshop, the stories will be created with the goal of the participants eventually replicating these workshops with other members of the community.

What work are you most proud of?

I was very proud of sustaining the walking tour for 10 years, but I am also very proud of this work. I think these projects are a culmination of speaking at structural racism, and this work with infant mortality facilitates the artistic communication of leaders in the community allowing them to reach out to others in that same community. 

Did You Know?

Fun Facts about CHDLT Faculty Members

  1. Who started and how many members did it have and what department
  2. Tricia Callahan, Miami’s Director of grant Proposal Development in OARS is a Miami graduate who majored in Psychology. ~Dr. Christopher Wolfe
  3. I'm currently the principal investigator of a K23 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse titled "Text Message Support to Prevent Smoking Relapse in Community Treatment Settings."  Did you know that our Research Compliance Office has worked with us and is now set up to enable investigators to register clinical trials at ~Dr. Joshua Magee
  4. One of the newest honorary CHDLT member is April Smith’s four-month-old son named Torsten Thomas.
  5. I have just gone through the process of putting the entire Prekindergarten Associate degree online (beginning this semester). ~Dr. Tracey Hoffman

Recent Publications of Current CHDLT Faculty Associates

Anzovino, M.E.; Bretz, S.L. “Organic chemistry students’ fragmented ideas about the structure and function of nucleophiles and electrophiles: A concept map analysis,” Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 2016, 17, 1019-1029

 Cedillos-Whynott, E. M., Wolfe, C. R., Widmer, C. L., Brust-Renck, P. G., Weil, A. M., & Reyna, V. F. (2015). The Effectiveness of argumentation in tutorial dialogues with an intelligent tutoring system. Behavior Research Methods. DOI 10.3758/s13428-015-0681-1

Clerkin, E. M., Magee, J. C., Wells, T. T., Beard, C., & Barnett, N. P. (2016). Randomized controlled trial of attention bias modification in a racially diverse, socially anxious, alcohol dependent sample. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 87, 58-69. 

Clerkin, E. M., Sarfan, L. D., Parsons, E. M., & Magee, J. C. (in press). Mindfulness facets, social anxiety, and drinking to cope with social anxiety: Testing mediators of drinking problems. Mindfulness.

Deng, J., Fu, M., Armer, J., Cormier, J., Radina, E., Thiadens, S., Dietrich, M., Weiss, J., Tuppo, C., & Ridner, S.H. (2015). Factors associated with infection and lymphedema symptoms among individuals with extremity lymphedema. Rehabilitation Nursing, 40(5), 310-319. doi: 10.1002/rnj.171

Deng, J., Radina, E., Fu, M., Armer, J., Cormier, J., Thiadens, S., Weiss, J., Tuppo, C., Dietrich, M., & Ridner, S.H. (2015). Self-care status, symptom burden, and reported infections in individuals with lower-extremity primary lymphedema. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 47(2), 126–134. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12117

Evans, M.P. & Hiatt-Michaels, D. (Eds.) (2015). The Power of Community-Based Educational Change. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Evans, M.P. & Knight-Abowitz, K. (Eds). (2015). Engagement and Leadership for Social and Political Change: New Directions for Student Leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 

Forrest, L. N., & Smith, A. R. (in press). Comparisons of the interpersonal psychological theory of suicide constructs among controls, ideators, planners, and attempters. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior.

Forrest, L. N., Zuromski, K. L., Dodd, D. R., & Smith, A. R. (in press). Suicidality in adults and adolescents with binge eating disorder: Results from the national comorbidity survey replication and adolescent supplement. International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Galloway, K.R.; Malakpa, Z.; Bretz, S.L. “Investigating affective experiences in the undergraduate chemistry laboratory: Students’ perceptions of control and responsibility,” Journal of Chemical Education, 2016, 93(2), 227-238.

Galloway, K.R.; Bretz, S.L. (2016) Video episodes and action cameras in the undergraduate chemistry laboratory: Eliciting student perceptions of meaningful learning, Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 17, 139-155.

Green, J. S., Magee, J. C., Steiner, A. R. W., & Teachman, B. A. (in press). When the “golden years” turn blue: Using the healthy aging literature to elucidate anxious and depressive disorders in older adulthood. International Journal of Behavioral

Horn, T.S. (2016). Actively caring for young athletes.  In E.S. Gellar (Ed.), Applied Social Psychology:  Actively caring for people.  London, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Horn, T. S. (2015).  Social psychological and developmental perspectives on early sport specialization.  Kinesiology Review, 4, 248-266.

Kunesh, C., & Noltemeyer, A. (2015). Understanding disciplinary disproportionality: Stereotypes shape pre-service teachers’ beliefs about Black boys’ behavior. Urban Education (online first), 1-28. doi: 10.1177/0042085915623337 

Kunstman, J. W., Clerkin, E. M., Dodd, D. R., Peters, M. T., Palmer, K., & Smith, A. R. (2016). The power within: Power improves interoceptive awareness among individuals with high levels of body dysmorphic symptoms. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 50, 178-186.

Magee, J. C., Lewis, D. F., & Winhusen, T. (2016). Evaluating nicotine craving, withdrawal, and substance use as mediators of smoking cessation in cocaine- and methamphetamine-dependent patients. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 18,

Magee, J. C., & Winhusen, T. (2016). The coupling of nicotine and stimulant craving during treatment for stimulant dependence.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 84, 230-7. PMCID: PMC4760905 

Noltemeyer, A., Ward, R.M., & Mcloughlin, C.S. (2015). Relationship between school suspension and student outcomes: A meta-analysis. School Psychology Review, 44(2), 224-240. 

Popova, M.; Bretz, S.L.; Hartley, C.S. (2016). Visualizing molecular chirality in the organic chemistry laboratory using cholesteric liquid crystals, Journal of Chemical Education, 93(6), 981-1162.

Radina, M. E., Horstman, L., Kang, Y., & Fu, M. R. (2015). Lymphedema and sexual experiences among breast cancer survivors: A mixed-method comparison study. Psycho-oncology. doi: 10.1002/pon.3778.

Ridner, S. H., Rohten, B. A., Radina, M. E., Adair, M., Sinclair, V., & Bush-Foster, S. H. (2016). Breast cancer survivors’ perspectives of critical lymphedema self-care support needs. Supportive Care in Cancer, 24(6), 2743-2750.

Rohten, B. A., Radina, M. E., Adair, M., Sinclair, V., & Ridner, S. H. (2015). Hide and seek: Body image-related issues for breast cancer survivors with lymphedema. Women’s Health Issues & Care, 4(2). doi:10.4172/2325-9795.1000180

Schwarz, J., Witte, R., Sellers, S. L., Luzadis, R., Weiner, J., Domingo-Snyder, E., and Page, J. 2015. Development, Construction and Psychometric Assessment of the Healthcare Provider Cultural Competence Instrument. INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing. 52: 1-8.

Sellers, S. L., Moss, M., Abdallah, K., Jenkins, J., Calzone, K., Bonham, V. 2016. Health Professionals’ Use of Race in Clinical Decision-Making. Journal of Nursing Scholarship. 1-10.

Smith, A. R., Bowell, L., Holm-Denoma, J., Joiner, T. E., Gordon, K., Perez, M., & Keel, P. K. (in press). “I don’t want to grow up, I’m a [Gen X, Y, Me] kid”: Increasing maturity fears across the decades. International Journal of Behavioral Development.

Smith, A. R., Dodd, D. R., *Forrest, L. N., Witte, T. W., Bowell, L., Ribeiro, J. D., Goodwin, N., Siegfried, N., Bartlett, M. (in press). Does the Interpersonal–Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS) provide a useful framework for understanding suicide risk among eating disorder patients? A test of the validity of the IPTS. International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Ward, R. M., Oswald, B. B. & Galante, M. (2016). Prescription stimulant misuse, alcohol use, and disordered eating among college students. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 60(2), 59-80.

Weil, A. M., Wolfe, C. R., Reyna, V. F., Widmer, C. L., Cedillos-Whynott, E. M., & Brust-Renck, P. G. (2015). Proficiency of FPPI and objective numeracy in assessing breast cancer risk estimation. Learning and Individual Differences, 43, 149-155.

Winton, S. & Evans, M.P. (2016). Conducting, consulting, mediating, supporting: How community based education organizations use research to influence policy. Leadership and Policy in Schools. 15(1), 1-22.

Wolfe, C. R., Reyna, V. F., Widmer, C. L., Cedillos, E., Weil, A. M., & Brust-Renck, P. G. (in press). Pumps and prompts for gist explanations in tutorial dialogues about breast cancer. Discourse Processes. DOI: 10.1080/0163853X.2016.1199626 On-line first

 Wolfe, C. R., Reyna, V. F., Widmer, C. L., Brust-Renck, P. G., Cedillos, E. M., Hu, X., & Weil, A. M. (2016). Understanding genetic breast cancer risk: Processing loci of the BRCA Gist intelligent tutoring system. Learning & Individual Differences, 49, 178-189. DOI: 10.1016/j.lindif.2016.06.009