Ideas with Impact—Making a Mark on Healthcare
Honors College students engage in research with the goal of contributing to the global community. Nursing major Audrey Ferguson (Class of 2012) combined her passion for healthcare with a global perspective, studying Nursing alongside a minor in Global Affairs.
As part of her Honors 490 Clinical Research Internship course, Audrey conducted research in the Rehabilitation Medicine Department at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her study examined the relationship between exercise self-efficacy and fitness outcomes in individuals with pulmonary hypertension. Audrey found that in patients with pulmonary hypertension taking part in the exercise intervention she implemented was associated with an increase in their confidence in their ability to exercise.
In order to conduct this research Audrey worked with researchers at the NIH Rehabilitation Medicine Department along with the project's principal investigator, Dr. Randall Keyser. Subsequently, Audrey presented her research to the George Mason University community in a poster presentation entitled, “Exercise Self-Efficacy and Pulmonary Hypertension.”
Audrey credits the Honors College faculty and staff with encouraging her to pursue challenging and exciting opportunities. "The Honors College advisers challenged me to accept projects that took me outside of my comfort zone. As a result of that encouragement I have already had the training and maturity needed to excel in overseas work that I am passionate about,” said Audrey.
Since completing her research Audrey has continued to display leadership with a global focus. In 2011 and 2012 Audrey was awarded the United States Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to study language in Dhaka, Bangladesh.