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Gabriel Bargen, Ph.D., CCC-A/SLP

Associate Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Pediatric Audiology

Dr. Bargen’s current research focuses on evaluating risk indicators for delayed-onset hearing loss and through community collaboration efforts, finding ways to make resources accessible to all children who are hard of hearing or deaf and their families in Idaho by connecting community entities across the state. She teaches courses at ISU covering pediatric audiology, auditory anatomy and physiology, advance aural rehabilitation, and central auditory processing. Professional interests include pediatric audiology, specifically diagnostic hearing assessment and treatment; assessing risks associated with hearing dysfunction in infants; clinical application of auditory brainstem response for hearing loss screening in newborns, infants, and toddlers. Dr. Bargen also serves as the Co-Coordinator for the Ph.D. Program in Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences in the College of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences. 

Stitch-Hennen, J. & Bargen, G. (2017). Implementing a two-class system for monitoring risk factors for delayed-onset hearing loss. The Journal of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention, 2(1): 55-63.

Bargen, G. (2015). Chirp evoked auditory brainstem response in children: a review. American Journal of Audiology, 24: 573-583. doi:10.1044/2015_AJA-15-0016.

Photo of Kristina Blaiser

Kristina Blaiser, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Associate Professor

Office: Office: Meridian Health Science Center, Room 594


Dr. Blaiser's research focuses on program evaluation and assessment of children who are deaf/hard-of-hearing, family coaching, and telehealth models of service delivery

The Idaho State University HATCH (Helping Adults Talk to Children) Lab on the Meridian campus is under the direction of Kristina Blaiser, PhD CCC-SLP. The primary focus of the HATCH lab is to ensure that families have access to high quality intervention services regardless of their geographic location. The HATCH lab focuses on research related to early intervention and assessment practices with children who are deaf/hard-of-hearing. The lab focuses on systematic use of technology to facilitate adult learning such as integrating tele-intervention (TI) into the delivery of early intervention services such as using telehealth technology to optimize clinical outcomes. Since 2015, faculty and students (graduate and undergraduate) from the HATCH lab has received over $300,000 of external funding, been involved in seven publications, and 40 international and national presentations.

Shannahan, M. & Blaiser, K. (in press). Language sample practices with children who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. Language Speech-Hearing Services in the Schools.

Blaiser, K. & Nevins, M.E. (2017).  Practioner reflection that enhances Interprofessional collaborative practices for serving children who are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, August 2017, Vol. 2 (SIG 9), 3-9. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG9.3

Behl, D.D., Blaiser, K., Cook, G., Barrett, T., Callow-Heusser, C.,  Brooks, B.M.,  Dawson, P., Quigley, S., & White, K. (2017). A multisite study evaluating the benefits of early intervention via telepractice. Infants & Young Children, 30 (2), 147-161.

Alycia Cummings Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders


Developmental Speech Sound Disorders, Electrophysiology

The major objectives for my research program are to test the hypothesis that incorrect speech productions of children with speech sound disorders (SSD) result from abnormalities in speech perception resulting in atypical phonological representations, and to characterize how traditional speech treatment alters the auditory neural responses to sounds targeted in treatment. Specifically, electrophysiological methods are used to examine the phonological representations of sounds in children with SSD. A better understanding of the auditory sensory system in children with SSD will inform behavioral assessment and treatment of SSD.

I provide pro bono speech screenings and assessments to children in the community. Children who qualify for my research program receive speech treatment at no charge. My speech treatment research provides speech-language pathologists with evidence-based practice that can guide clinical decision making.

Cummings, A., Hallgrimson, J.*, & Robinson, S. (in press). Speech intervention outcomes associated with word lexicality and intervention intensity. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools.

Cummings, A., Madden, J., & Hefta, K.* (2017). Converging evidence for [coronal] underspecification in English-speaking adults. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 44, 147-162. PMC5659596.

Cummings, A., Seddoh, A., & Jallo, B.* (2016). Phonological code retrieval during picture naming: Influence of Consonant Class. Brain Research, 1635, 71-85. PMC4779387.

Barbara Gordon, MBA, RDN, LD

Clinical Assistant Professor and Director

Office: Dietetic Programs

Research pursuits are diverse. Barbara has a special interest in the influence of foods on urological conditions and recently co-authored a text book chapter on the nutritional considerations for individuals with chronic pelvic pain. Public health program development and evaluation is an additional area of expertise (with a specialty in health literacy). Lastly, a burgeoning research pursuit is the utilization of experiential learning experiences to optimally train clinical health professionals.

A seasoned public health professional and registered dietitian nutritionist, Barbara is active in a number of community groups. She serves as on the Idaho State Health Improvement Program, Population Workgroup, as a representative for the Idaho Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics representative. For the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, she is a member of the Executive Committee for the Research Dietetic Practice Group. In addition, on a national level, she consults with health associations on the development, implementation, and evaluation of virtual and community chronic disease prevention and management interventions.

Gordon B, Shorter B, Isoldi K, Moldwin R. Obesity with Comorbid Stress Urinary Incontinence in Women: A Narrative Review to Inform Dietetics Practice. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2017 Jun; 117(6): 1753-61.

Tamma S, Shorter B, Koh TL, Moldwin R, Gordon B. Influence of polyunsaturated fatty acids on urologic inflammation.  Int Urol Nephrol. 2015 Nov;47(11):1753-61.

Gordon B, Shorter B, Sarcona A, Moldwin R. Nutritional Considerations for Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Sep;115(9);1372-1379.

A photo of Ryan Lindsay

Ryan Lindsay Ph.D., MPH

Assistant Professor

Office: Department of Community and Public Health, Master of Public Health Program

Substance use, Tobacco, HIV, Tuberculosis, Social determinants of health, and the household production of health.

I am interested in global health and how substance use, including smoking, influences HIV and tuberculosis. My research has highlighted the plight of homeless, addicted, immigrant, and sex worker populations. I am currently working on state-level evaluation of sexual violence and community health worker training programs.

As an epidemiologist, Dr. Ryan Lindsay has led and collaborated on investigations of the impact that substance use, including tobacco, has on infectious diseases of global importance including HIV and tuberculosis (TB).  During graduate school, Dr. Lindsay studied substance use and risky sexual behavior among street adolescents in the Philippines and among female sex workers along the Northern Mexico border region. Research on the risks associated with smoking and secondhand smoke exposure among those with TB infection began as a doctoral student and continued into his postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco. Much of Dr. Lindsay’s published work has contributed to the field of global health and comes from investigations using data from Asia, the Middle East, and North America. Since August 2014, Dr. Lindsay has been an Assistant Professor in Idaho State University's Department of Community and Public Health where he continues to pursue research on substance use and infectious disease, both in Idaho and globally.

Pool ERM, Dogar O, Lindsay RP, Weatherburn P, Siddiqi K. 2016. Interventions for tobacco use cessation in people living with HIV and AIDS. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2016. Issue 6. Art. No.: CD011120. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011120.pub2

Lindsay RP, Roesch S, Strathdee SA, Rangel G, Staines H, Abramovitz D, Ulibarri M, Rusch ML. 2015. Correlates of unprotected sex by client type among female sex workers who inject drugs along the Northern Mexico border. International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research. DOI:

Lindsay RP, Tsoh JY, Sung HY, Max W. 2014. Secondhand smoke exposure and serum cotinine levels among current smokers in the United States. Tobacco Control. DOI:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-051782

Barbara Mason Pharm. D. FASHP

Professor of Pharmacy/Director of Interprofessional Education

Office: College of Pharmacy


Michael Mikitish

Chair, Emergency Services Department/Director, Institute of Emergency Management

Office: College of Health Professions/Institute of Emergency Management


Community Disaster Resilience; Community Health

A photo of Elaine Nguyen

Elaine Nguyen PharmD, MPH, BCPS, BCACP

Assistant Professor

Office: College of Pharmacy


  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Health services, including pharmacy, telehealth, and rural care services

Dr. Nguyen’s foundational research skills can be applied to many areas and her research spans a variety of topics. She focuses on optimizing health services and the delivery of care (e.g., she is currently conducting systematic reviews on population health management and care coordination). She is also interested in diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment.

Dr. Nguyen’s long-term goal is to promote optimal health care delivery in patients with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, especially those living in rural, underserved areas. She is working towards this goal through research and collaboration with patients, providers, payers, and other stakeholders. Recognizing the important roles that pharmacists play on the health care team and as a pharmacist herself, she is particularly interested in pharmacy-related health services research. She has published on topics such as the value of online medication therapy management (MTM) resources, the impact of non-medical switching, and the impact of appointment-based medication synchronization. She has presented at local, national, and international conferences and has been published in JAMA, PloS One, Annals of Pharmacotherapy, International Journal of Cardiology, Current Medical Research and Opinion, Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, and other peer-reviewed journals.  

Sobieraj DM, Weeda ER, Nguyen E, Coleman CI, White CM, Lazarus SC, Blake KV, Lang JE, Baker WL. Association of combined use of inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta agonists as controller and quick relief therapy with exacerbations and symptom control in persistent asthma: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2018;319:1485-96.

Sobieraj DM, Baker WL, Nguyen E, Weeda ER, Coleman CI, White CM, Lazarus SC, Blake KV, Lang JE, Baker WL. Association of inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting muscarinic antagonists with asthma control and other clinical outcomes in patients with uncontrolled, persistent asthma: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2018;319:1473-84.

Nguyen E, Caranfa J, Lyman GH, Kuderer NM, Stribis C, Wysocki M, Coleman CI, Weeda ER, Kohn CG. Clinical prediction rules for mortality in patients with pulmonary embolism and cancer to guide outpatient management? A meta-analysis. J Thromb Haemost. 2018;16:279-92.

Diane Ogiela Ph.D. CCC-SLP

Associate Professor

Office: College of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences; Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders


Child Language Development and Disorders

Dr. Ogiela’s research focuses on examining the underlying mechanisms of morphosyntactic processing in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), a disorder that is characterized by significant language difficulties in the absence sensory or general cognitive disabilities. She uses electroencephalography (EEG) to record and analyze brain activity during various language tasks in order to better understand how children with SLI process language in comparison to children and adults with typical language. She also conducts research focused on evaluating language assessment practices with school-age children in order to provide adequate access to language intervention for children with SLI.

Dr. Ogiela’s work has highlighted the need for language assessment practices that are more in depth than standardized testing and has raised awareness of Specific Language Impairment in children, which is and under-identified disorder with considerable educational and vocational impact.

Maguire, M.J., Schneider, J.M., Abel, A.D., Ogiela, D.A., McCord, C. (In Press). Developmental differences in the neural oscillations underlying auditory sentence processing in children and adults. Submitted to Brain and Language.

Schneider, J.M., Abel, A.D., Ogiela, D.A., Middleton, A. & Maguire, M.J. (2016). Developmental differences in beta and theta power during sentence processing. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 19, 19-30.

Ogiela, D.A., Schmitt, C. and Casby, M.W. (2014). Interpretation of verb phrase telicity: sensitivity to verb-type and determiner-type. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 57, 865-875.

Evan Papa PT, DPT, PhD

Assistant Professor / Assistant Program Director-Physical Therapy

Office: College of Rehabilitation and Communication Science, Department of Physical & Occupational Therapy


  • Quantifying mobility impairments and reducing falls in Parkinson’s disease
  • Reducing falls in healthy older adults

Dr. Papa’s research focuses on identifying movement impairments in persons at risk for falls. His primary research interest is centered on the effects of muscle fatigue on postural control in persons with Parkinson’s disease. The basic theme underlying Dr. Papa’s research program is that the identification of movement impairments will lead to the development of more effective clinical interventions and prevention strategies to reduce falls in at-risk populations.

Dr. Papa has used motion analysis techniques to accurately assess the Center of Pressure – Center of Mass (COP-COM) relationship during recurrent falls in healthy adults. He also uses this tool to demonstrate that the COP-COM distance has major implications on momentum stability and postural control during the recovery phase of a fall in persons with Parkinson’s disease.

Papa EV, Dong Xiaoyang, Hassan Mahdi. (2017) Resistance training for activity limitations in older adults with skeletal muscle function deficits: A systematic review. Clin Interv Aging. Jun 13;12:955-961 PMC5479297

Papa EV, Hassan M, Bugnariu NB. (2016) The effects of performance fatigability on postural control and rehabilitation in the older patient. Curr Geri Report 5(3), 172-178. PMCID: PMC PMC5279699

Dibble LE, Addison O, Papa E. (2009). The effects of exercise on balance in persons with Parkinson's disease: a systematic review across the disability spectrum. J Neurol Phys Ther,33(1),14-26. PMID: 19265767

Velma Payne, Ph.D., MBA, MS BMI, MS CIS, BS CS

Program Director of Health Informatics, Assistant Professor

Office: College of Business – Health Informatics


Quality & Safety, Diagnostic Errors, Patient Engagement, Feedback, Clinical Reasoning, Cognition, Cognitive Heuristics & Biases

Rural Health & Health Information Technology – Assessment of the current state and value of Health Information Technology in rural healthcare settings to determine ways HIT can be used to enhance clinical care in underserved populations.

Diagnostic Errors - My research focuses on diagnostic errors and improving the diagnostic process by studying aspects of diagnosis from the provider and patient perspective.  I study cognitive aspects of physicians’ diagnostic reasoning including the impact of cognitive heuristics and biases on diagnostic decision-making and the use of feedback and metacognition interventions to enhance diagnostic reasoning.

Patient Experience & Engagement - I also study the patient experience and patient engagement in the diagnostic process, identifying factors that foster or thwart patient involvement and the impact of patient involvement on clinical outcomes.   

Developed a Physician Feedback Acceptance Framework designating factors that impact physician’s acceptance of feedback and what influences behavior change to enhance clinical practice.  Served as an invited expert speaker at numerous international conferences including the following:

  • Topic: Improving Diagnoses Through Cognitive Debiasing, PIAA International Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Topic: How to Reduce Chances of Misdiagnosis, and Deep Root Cause Analysis: Patient and Professional Dialog on Diagnostic Errors, Diagnostic Error in Medicine International Conference, Atlanta, Georgia

Payne, VL, Hysong, SJ (2016). Model Depicting Aspects of Audit and Feedback that Impact Physicians’ Acceptance of Clinical Performance Feedback.  BMC Health Services Research. 16:260

Payne, VL, Singh, H, Meyer AND, Levy, L, Harrison, D, Graber, ML (2014). Patient-Initiated Second Opinions: Systematic Review of Characteristics and Impact on Diagnosis, Treatment, and Satisfaction. Mayo Clinic Proc, May 2014;89(5):687-696

Payne, VL, Crowley, RS (2008). Assessing the use of the cognitive heuristic Representativeness in clinical reasoning. AMIA Annu Symp Proc, Nov 6, 2008;571-5. PMID 18999140; PMCID 2656076


Photo of Renee Robinson

Renee Robinson PharmD, MPH, MSPharm

Associate Professor

Office: College of Pharmacy


Pediatric Pharmacotherapy, Public Health, Health disparities, Mixed Methods research, Health Outcomes, Clinical Research

My research over the past 10 years has been focused and/or driven by the unique and diverse health, healthcare, and social needs (e.g., tobacco misuse and abuse, mental health, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, SDOH, shared decision making, etc.) of the Alaska Native and American Indian Community I served during my time in the public health service. During that time I received my MSPharm on Patient Safety and Health Outcomes, training and a certificate from UW in Health Economics, my Six Sigma certification, and started my MBA in hopes of using these skills to address health needs of disparate communities (e.g., minority communities, pediatrics, and geriatrics) through health outcomes, dissemination, and implementation research. Prior to that I conducted pediatric clinical research for 10 years, working primarily within the Division of Pediatric Nephrology. In this new position I would like to collaborate others using my various experiences to address unmet health needs of the community (e.g., opioid misuse and abuse during pregnancy, neonatal withdrawal), support student projects (e.g., immunization of elders in assisted living), and further the profession (e.g., SETMuP medication therapy management billing project).

While in the USPHS I had the opportunity to deploy for two natural emergencies, spent three months in Liberia assisting with an Ebola vaccination trial, served on numerous committees in leadership positions (Rx for Change - tobacco cessation initiative, Alaska Public Health Association Board, Interprofessional Education Collaborative, etc.).

Claw KG, Beans JA, Lee S, Avey JP, Janssen PA, Scherer S, Tyndale R, Nickerson DA, Dillard DA, Thummel KE, Robinson RF. Pharmacogemonics of nicotine metabolism: novel CYP2A6 and CYP2B6 genetic variation patterns in Alaska Native and American Indian populations. Clin Pharm and Therapeutics (Submitted pending review)

Avey JP, Dirks LG, Triplett B, Manson SM, Merrick M, Pritchard GC, Tetpon S, Galbreath D, Dillard DA, Robinson RF. Treatment Preferences Among Alaska Native and American Indian Adults with Depression: A Cross-Sectional Study. (Submitted to Journal of Affective Disorders, Accepted, Pending Publication)

Muller CJ, Robinson, RF, Smith JJ, Jernigan MA, Hiratsuka VY, Dillard DA, Buchwald D. Text message reminders increased colorectal cancer screening in a randomized trial with Alaska Native and American Indian people.  Cancer. 2016 Dec. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30499

Susan S. Tavernier, PhD, APRN-CNS, AOCN®

Assistant Professor

Office: College of Nursing


Cancer-related Quality of Life, Personalized Care, Distress Management; Additional interests: Decision making, integrative therapies, presence, evidence-based practice; Design/Methods: Translational research, mixed methods, cognitive interviewing, clinical trial, psychometrics, survey, evaluation

Dr. Tavernier is a nurse scientist with a program of research in translational research, addressing distress management and the individual context and priorities of the cancer patient. During her post-doctoral fellowship, she led the qualitative component of a study on pain management, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Tavernier completed a translational research study funded by the Oncology Nursing Society Foundation on diffusion of the NCCN distress management guideline into practice. She received funding through the Clinical Translational Research Infrastructure Network, the Institute of Translational Health Sciences and more recently is the co-investigator on a $1.5 million Idaho Senior Interprofessional Holistic health Project funded by HRSA. She also completed studies related to her conceptual theory of Presence and Healing Touch and 5-Rhythms Movement® therapy.

She has presented her research at numerous national conferences and also published in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Tavernier authored textbook chapters on Distress in Cancer Symptom Management 4th Ed. and A Guide to Oncology Symptom Management, 2nd Ed. She serves as a peer reviewer for five journals in the fields of general nursing, oncology nursing, quality of life and qualitative research. She is on the Board of the Oncology Nurses of Southern Idaho and serves as a mentor in the St. Luke’s Nursing EBP & Research Fellowship program.

Tavernier, S.S., Beck, S.L., Guo, J.W., Eaton, J., Brant, J & Berry, P. (2018) Context Matters for Nurses Leading Pain Improvement in U.S. Hospitals. Pain Management Nursing.

Tavernier, S.S, Beck, S. L. and Dudley, W.N. (2013). Diffusion of the Distress Management Guideline Into Practice. Psycho-Oncology. 22; 2332-2338. DOI 10.1002/pon.3295

Tavernier, S. S., Beck, S.L., Clayton, M.C. & Pett, M.A. (2011).  Validity of the Patient Generated Index as a Quality of Life Measure in Radiation Oncology.  Oncology Nursing Forum, 38; 319-328 DOI 10.1188/11.ONF.319-329.

A photo of Rick Tivis

Rick Tivis, MPH

Assistant Director, Associate Professor of Research, Biostatistician

Office: Idaho Center for Health Research


Health care utilization, Research methodology, Analyses of large datasets (EHRs)

The first 15 years of my career I grew up in a National Institute of Health funded laboratory at the University of Oklahoma, researching cognitive and neuropsychological deficits attributed to chronic substance abuse. Currently, I collaborate with ISU faculty and students on their projects and as part of the Boise VAMC’s Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education, I collaborate in evaluating interprofessional trainees and the interprofessional team. I also co-direct the ISU/St Luke’s Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Applied Research. The major emphasis of my recent work is health care utilization particularly in patients with complicated health issues. 

The most significant contribution has been in the form of applied biostatistics. With the advancement of statistical techniques and the specialization within healthcare disciplines to the exclusion of new statistical knowledge, there is a need for applied biostatisticians to work with researchers, guiding the use advanced univariate and multivariate statistical techniques to properly analyze and report data. The same situation applies for the healthcare industry as it strives for improvement. Nowhere is the truer than in large data situations, as found in today’s electronic medical records. My role is in the development, execution and interpretation using the most appropriate analytic strategy.

Weppner, W., Davis, K., Tivis, R., Willis, J., Fisher, A., King, I., Smith, C. S. (2018). Impact of a Complex Chronic Care Patient Case Conference on Quality and Utilization. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 8(3), 366–374.

Smith, C. S., Fisher, A., King, I., Victorine, D., Brotman, A., Lowther, D., Hedt, J., Speroff, E., Tivis, R. (2018). Creation and Initial Validation of a 360o Interprofessional Clinic Assessment Tool (IP-CAT) for Pre- and Post-licensure Trainees. Journal of interprofessional Education & Practice, 10, 92-98.

Grassley, J. S., Tivis, R. D., Bennett, S., Chapman, S. (in press). Evaluation of a Quiet Time to Decrease Interruptions and Increase Exclusive Breastfeeding. Nursing for Women's Health.

Dong “Danny” Xu Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Director of Pharmaceutical Science Graduate Programs

Office: College of Pharmacy



  • Drug Discovery and Re-Purposing
  • Drug Safety
  • Biomedical Software Development



  1. Discover novel drug candidates, new indications of FDA-approved drugs and drug combinations
  2. Detect, predict, and prevent drug-induced toxicities
  3. Develop web-based and data-driven biomedical software


  1. Numerous new anti-cancer and anti-bacterial drugs were discovered
  2. A novel method to predict and assess anticholinergic and serotonergic toxicities was developed
  3. Our web services (TargetSearch and ezCADD) helped researcher gain molecular insights Biomedical Informatics Lab2.jpg

Xu D, Ham AG, Tivis RD, Caylor ML, Tao A, Flynn ST, Economen PJ, Dang HK, Johnson RW, Culbertson VL. MSBIS: A multi-step biomedical informatics screening approach for identifying medications that mitigate the risks of metoclopramide-induced tardive dyskinesia. EBioMedicine, 26, 132-137, 2017.

Xu D, Anderson HD, Tao A, Hannah K, Linnebur S, Valuck RJ, Culbertson VL. Assessing and predicting drug-induced anticholinergic risks: an integrated computational approach. Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety, 8(11): 361-370, 2017.

Aldape MJ, Tao A, Heeney DD, McIndoo ER, French JM, Xu D. Experimental identification and computational characterization of a novel extracellular metalloproteinase produced by Clostridium sordellii. RSC Advances, 7, 13928-13938, 2017.