Chris Bjornsen’s research with Longwood students and international colleagues

Chris Bjornsen’s two programs of research (social media use, overdiagnosis of psychological disorders) have recently led to presentations that will be given at 1 national and 2 international conferences:

Bjornsen, C., Poredoš, M., Puklek Levpušček, M., Zupančič, M., & Kavčič, T. (2017, September). Positive and Negative Social Media Use and Personality Traits Across Cultures. Poster presented at the 18th European Conference on Developmental Psychology, Utrecht, The Netherlands. (Peer reviewed and accepted.)

Bjornsen, C., Simpkins, K., Sparrock, L., & Verstraete, L. (2017, July). There’s Someone in My Head But It’s Not Me: Attitudes Regarding Different Approaches to Psychological Disorders. Poster presented at the 15th European Congress of Psychology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Peer reviewed and accepted.)

Bjornsen, C., Simpkins, K., Burgess, S., Dunbar, H., Vanhook-Davis, T., & Hackett, B. (2017, May). Friend or Faux? Personality Traits and Types of Social Media Use. In C. Bjornsen (Chair), The Times They Are a-Changin’ Us: Living and Learning in the Age of Social Media. Symposium conducted at the 29th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Society, Boston, MA. (Peer reviewed and accepted.)

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Longwood University CSD Graduate Students Win Big at 2017 SHAV Conference

Longwood University graduate students entered seven research projects into the poster session at the 2017 Speech-Hearing-Language Association of Virginia Conference on Friday, March 25th.  Congratulations to the following winners:

1st Place: Joyanna Struzzieri, second year graduate student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) program.  Her project was titled, “Comparison of Bolus Sizes and Consistencies Used During Dysphagia Evaluations.”

Research Abstract: “This study investigated whether speech-language pathologists (SLPs), with experience in the assessment and treatment of dysphagia, could accurately estimate bite and sip sizes of various consistencies that they use during adult dysphagia evaluations.  The research suggests that SLP estimates of the volumes given to patients with dysphagia varied from what they would have therapeutically recommended.  The results indicated overestimation or underestimation of all consistencies.  Because the protocols differed across SLPs and evaluation types (FEES, MBSS, CSE), further investigation with more subjects is warranted to determine if these observations are significant.”


2nd place: Kayla Stramat, second year graduate student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) program.  Her project was titled, “Hearing Screening of Seniors at Skilled Nursing Facilities.”

Research Abstract: “The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association identifies that the incidence of hearing loss is approximately 80 percent at skilled nursing homes.  The presence of hearing loss in seniors living in skilled nursing facilities, without appropriate amplification, causes social isolation, with the resulting poor health outcomes created by isolation.  This study investigates the usefulness of Kathryn Dowd’s AuD, CCC-A, word list as a screening protocol for adults living in a skilled nursing facility.  Since audiometers are not always available in these facilities, this research compares a listener’s performance on repeating a list of words to the listener’s performance on a pure-tone screening.


3rd place: Stephanie Fields, Lauren McGonagle, Anna Powers, and Hunter Reese, four first year graduate students in the Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) program.  Their project was titled, “Knowledge of Vocal Hygiene and Abuse in Longwood Education Majors.”

Research Abstract: “Previous research has concluded that teachers are hyperfunctional voice users.  Additionally, the implementation of training modules addressing various aspects of vocal hygiene and abuse has proven to be effective.  The purpose of this study was to garner information on the amount of vocal hygiene/abuse instruction contained in the Longwood undergraduate educational program.  In addition, this study provided information on vocal hygiene specifically related to educators via a training module in order to assess its perceived importance and likelihood for future implementation.  This study provided information on how vocal hygiene/abuse instruction would benefit teachers in their educational programs.”

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Journal 4

Three classes I have taken that helped me prepare for my internship is conflict resolutions, interpersonal communication, and publication writing classes. The conflict resolution class taught me how to deal with conflict, which is self-explanatory when looking at the name of the class but it taught me so much more than how to resolve a conflict. It taught me that conflict is okay, but also that in certain situations the best thing to do learn from the mistakes and admit what has happened. Applying that to be internship in the Greek Office, has helped me because running a committee can be frustrating when dealing with a group of 12 people and understanding how to approach a conflict is important. My interpersonal communication class it taught me so much about how each relationship with people are different. There is a different relationship with someone you work with; there is a different relationship with your professors, and so on. For this internship this class helped me understand communication between different relationships. The way I speak to my bosses versus the people I talk to in my committee as well as over email is different. Understanding the level of professionalism as well as the way to carry myself is important and my interpersonal communication class taught me that. Lastly, public speaking all the way back during freshman year. I have learned how to public speak all through out college but I will never forget when giving a speech the things that I did wrong or could have done better. That has helped me with this internship simply because I know how to speak to many groups of people and what to do and not do when I’m nervous. I used to play with my jewelry and now I don’t wear any at all during any type of public speaking or meeting. Overall, with all of the classes I have taken at my almost 4 years of college have been good for this internship simply because I have learned so many different things.

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My Last Day

Saying Goodbye

Friday was an emotional day for me, it was my last day with the students that I had worked with on a daily basis for almost two months. I did my best to hold back tears as I walked into the room and was bombarded with handmade cards from each of the students. They were filled with sweet sentiments, quotes about teaching, and creative drawings that really represented who each of these kids are as individuals. Every single one of these students had made an impact on me during this first placement. Don’t get me wrong, there had been many challenging and frustrating experiences, but I believe that these tough times only strengthened our relationship. It took a while for these kids to take me seriously. (After all, I’m not much taller than them, and they were sure to remind me of this fact almost every day.) Here are a few examples of the cards the students made me.


This card is especially important to me because it took a while to get this particular student to open up to me. Everyday when I drove into school, I saw this student walking by herself. Gradually, she began coming into the classroom before the start of 1st period and talking with me about her home life. As we became closer and I started to understand her more, she began opening up in class. She went from rarely participating in class to basically jumping out of her seat (with her hand raised, of course) to answer a question that I posed to the class. Each day it was obvious that not only was she comfortable in the class, but that she was becoming more comfortable with who she was as a person. It was a difficult good-bye on Friday morning, and it took all my self-control not to cry as soon as I opened this card.


I had to post this card because I am a huge Star Wars fan. At the beginning of my placement, I created a Prezi to introduce the poetry unit that I would be implementing. The Prezi contained a few memes, many of which happened to be Star Wars related. Now, I know this particular student remembered more than my love for Star Wars because he passed each assessment with flying colors. It was still very touching that he remembered some of the things that I really enjoyed. He was a quiet student, and one that did not really participate much in class. He was clearly an excellent student, but he often gave off the impression that he was not paying attention. I’m so happy to realize that he must’ve at least paid attention to some of my lessons, if he could remember such a small detail about me.


This card really showcases the creativity of these students. It was important to me that I designed and implemented lessons that allowed for choice, creativity, and self-expression. I believe this is of the utmost importance, especially in middle school, because they are right in the midst of trying to figure out who they are.

IMG_1220I am going to miss these kids more than anything. I can not thank them enough for teaching me so much throughout my time with them!

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Reading, Literacy and Learning Smashing Success at VSRA

We are thrilled to share the remarkable presence and participation of the Reading, Literacy and Learning (RLL) program at the Virginia State Reading Association Conference last week.

  • Dr. Snow and Dr. Blanchette both presented at the conference.  The relevance of their topics clearly hit the mark, because they had “don’t call the fire marshal” crowds at both sessions.  Between the two sessions, the professors were able to speak to over 130 Virginia educators and showcase Longwood University.
  • For the first time ever, RLL held an Alumni Event at the conference. It was a small start, and we are thrilled to now have a structure in place that can grow over future years.
  • We ran into past, current, and FUTURE students at every turn! I personally connected with a handful of RLL alumni, and it was a delight to have several of them either attend our sessions or at least stop by because they “had to say hi!” Five of our current full-time students and at least one of our current off-campus students were there, as well as one of the prospective students who will be joining RLL this summer.
  • This year was the 50th Anniversary of the VSRA Conference, which only fed the momentum the RLL program is building with connections to our state reading association. RLL program goals include fostering the RLL presence and participation at VSRA toward the end of establishing a habit of participation in valuable professional development as an investment in oneself as a citizen leader in the field of education. This habit and connection to Longwood will be supported by the opportunity for ongoing alumni connections at VSRA for years to come!
  • Thank you to Dean Chapman and Dr. Doyle for their support in funding faculty participation in conferences with Dean’s Grants.
  • Thank you to Dean Perry for her support in funding student participation with Student Travel Grants.
  • Thank you to Assistant Dean Kathy Charleston for providing Longwood “swag” items we were able to use for promotional give-aways at our Longwood gathering and conference sessions.
  • Thank you to our GA, Kenzie Melton, who is also a GSA member along with another RLL student, Georgia Skipper; both students supported the preparation for and events at VSRA.
  • Thank you to all our students, past, current, and future, who attended and are setting an example of excellence and leadership in the field.
Dr. Snow and Dr. Blanchette would also like to thank Provost Neff. The general support for Graduate and Professional Studies that Provost Neff and President Reveley have voiced and backed is critical and appreciated. The RLL program is poised to benefit from smart growth steps informed by the work of the Graduate Task Force, learning from related subcommittees, and continued vision of Dean Perry and Assistant Dean Charleston. The RLL success at VSRA this year was definitely one of those smart steps!
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D.C. Field Trip

Where did we go?

Yesterday, I got the amazing opportunity to chaperone my 7th graders on a field trip to Washington D.C. For many students in this area, this could potentially be the only time they would have to visit a city like this. We visited the Natural History Smithsonian and the American History Smithsonian. The students were AMAZED. They had the best time, it was so rewarding to see the looks of wonder on many of the kids faces. I loved seeing all of them find exhibits that really peaked their varying interests. Many went straight for the bugs section (not me!), and they even got to hold some of the creepy crawlies! Quite a few spent hours exploring the various exhibits about the war. As I walked around from group to group chatting with them, I was so impressed by the sheer amount of knowledge that they had that surpassed what they would learn in an average history class.

After leaving the Smithsonian’s, we traveled through the city and walked towards the White House. I mingled with various students as we walked and attempted to talk with them. Many were so focused on their surroundings that they simply stared at the massive government buildings, the hoards of people shuffling to or from work, and the overwhelming amount of cars speeding quickly by. The school that these kids attend is in a very small area outside of Lynchburg; nothing in the area even comes close to what they were seeing in Washington D.C.  I saw the looks of awe and wonder as they slowly took in their surroundings. As we approached the White House, we stumbled upon a protest right outside of the White House. The students stared in amazement, and they simply stopped and watched the men and women march, yell, and hold up their signs with passion. This is something that these students have only seen on the news, it was an eye-opening experience that this was something that actually happens, real people having real ideas, and protesting outside of the very real White House. As we crossed busy intersections and neared the White House, we were stopped by a Secret Service officer, who quickly shooed us away from our path. This only enhanced their curiosity about such a place, so we meandered around the area until we found a clear path towards the White House. We were unable to get as close as we hoped, but this did not stop the kids from snapping as many pictures as possible on their phones and tablets. The scene ahead of them was something they had only seen in movies or newscasts. There was a sniper on the roof, crowds of people standing out front, large vans boasting of the president, and a helicopter circling the perimeter of the White House. It fell silent as the reality of what they were looking at sank in, this quickly abated as shouts of “Oh my gosh! This is so cool!” or “Take a picture of me, so I can make sure I tell my mom!” rose into the air. I couldn’t help but smile to myself and feel so privileged that I got to experience such an important moment beside the students that have taught me so much.


World War II Memorial

The Monuments

After the White House, we realized we had close to an extra hour before we needed to begin the long journey back to the school. We looked around and the kids were still full of energy, chasing each other around, playing tag, and even wandering over to the various venders around the perimeter of the block. We rounded them up and started leading the way towards the Washington Monument. As we got closer, many broke into a run as soon as they stepped onto the green grass surrounding the Washington Monument. I loved the fact that these kids were fully immersing themselves in the experience, and still managing to have fun while they did it. They approached the large monument and pulled out their dying cell phones to take all different kinds of pictures. My favorites were the ones that the students took that made it look like they were holding the monument in their fingers.

After this, we had a few extra minutes, so we walked down to the World War II memorial and the reflecting pond. The students climbed and explored all around the area and, of course, took more snapchats or pictures for Instagram. My favorite moment of the trip was when almost all of the kids sat down right in front of the reflecting pool. In my mind, they were all sitting and reflecting on the immense opportunity they just experienced. I hoped that they realized that they had just visited a memorial of a man that helped forge our nation, and now they were sitting on the steps of a memorial that was in remembrance of fallen men that furthered the ideals of the nation.

My Reflection

This field trip came towards the very end of my placement, so today was my last day with these kids. I have grown very attached, and I feel so lucky that I got the opportunity to work with these students. This field trip was a great time for me to see how all of these kids are outside of school. The field trip began at 5:30 A.M., and we did not return to the school until about 9:30 P.M.. This meant a lot of time was spent with each other, but I would not have changed anything. I absolutely loved how different kids would come up to me in the museums and grab me to take me over to an exhibit that they found super interesting. There interests were so varied and so unexpected. They ranged from World War II to the First Lady’s dresses to the American flag. The huge smiles, laughter, and obvious excitement were great reminders that I am doing something that I absolutely love: inspiring students. Even though the museums did not only revolve around English, I believe that they learned things from this experience that will give them real-world connections during future classes and lessons.

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More New Books

In order to bring you new and fun recreational reads, the Greenwood Library participates in a book leasing program through McNaughton. These titles are shelved on the small bookcases in the middle of the Atrium and are designated with green labels. You can browse the entire collection here and if you’re interested in what’s new, look out below!

On Turpentine Lane by Elinor LipmanThe Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa SeeRacing the Devil by Charles ToddIf Not for You by Debbie MacomberA Divided Spy by Charles CummingThe Inkblots by Damion SearlsThe Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel LevyHeartbreak Hotel by Jonathan KellermanDreamland Burning by Jennifer LathamLincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

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#TechTipThursday: Introduction to Task Labels

TTT_DEClogoTask Labels is an app that allows you to organize just about every aspect of your life into ‘labels’. You can separate different extracurricular activities, courses, occupations, and even tasks for your everyday life. Within each ‘label’, you can insert various tasks. This app helps you keep your busy life in order; you can access the web version here. The app and the web version sync so you will never lose your data. Both the app and the web version look similar, making toggling between the interfaces seamless for the user.

This post includes screenshots from the web version but, because the user interface is similar you should not notice a difference if you’re following along in the app. To begin you’ll need to create an account, on either the app or web interface, with an email address and password.

Navigating Task Labels

Once you are on the website, click the ‘+’ icon on the toolbar located in the top left on the screen. Once you do this, you have the option to create a ‘task’, ‘label’, or ‘label group’.

For your reference,

  • A task is something you need to do;
  • A label is a category in which you wish to place a task; and
  • A a label group is two or more labels you wish to group together.


On the Road to Organization

You can create a ‘label’ by selecting the ‘+Label’ option. The screen seen below will appear. You can select a color and an icon to set your labels apart. Once you have chosen these criteria you can click ‘Save’.


To begin adding tasks, click on the ‘+Task’ button. You will see a screen like the one seen below. Here, you can give your task a name, add additional notes, set the priority, and decide which label specific tasks should go under.


Kristin, one of our Instructional Technology Collaborators, created this video overview of Task Labels as a supplement to this post.


If you have any questions, or difficulty duplicating the steps detailed in this post, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.


*This post was drafted by Kristin, an Instructional Technology Collaborator.


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Writing Center

Part-Time, Fall & Spring

This graduate assistant will assist the Director of the Writing Center with the following:

  • Scheduling tutoring sessions
  • Planning and developing university-wide workshops
  • Recruiting Writing Center tutors and assisting with new tutor training
  • Promoting the Writing Center as a key resource on campus

For full job description, contact Dr. James Holsinger,, 434.395.2393

Standard Part-Time Academic Assistant
Center for Academic Success – Writing Center
Funding Source:  Center for Academic Success
Status:  OPEN

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The Adventures of a Middle School Student Teacher

Acceptance and Inclusion

Student teaching has been a wonderful learning experience. I am only two short days away from leaving my 6th and 7th grade English students at my first placement, and my time with these students has been instructional, informative, and interesting (to say the least!). As the weeks hastily flew by, I began to realize how attached to these students- and their success- I had become. Teaching these students for the past seven weeks has further reinforced my strong desire to teach young individuals about English education.

I watched as these same students went from grudgingly entering the classroom to eagerly lining up outside of the door as my time here progressed. These students became immersed and engaged in the culture of this classroom that they helped me create; our classroom exudes acceptance and inclusion. I place a strong value on respect, which is my number one rule. Middle school can be a tough place for many students that are struggling to find their niche, and my number one goal is to create a safe place for these unique individuals. For example, this past week our, already large, 6th grade class received a new student. I can only imagine the nerves that this student must have felt as he walked through the school doors on his first day at a brand new school. He entered the classroom on the first day, and I pointed him to his seat (which is in a group of five). That day I had planned a group activity where the students would work together to read a story on CommonLit, highlight and illustrate the main points of the text, and then transform this into a ballad. As I circled the classroom answering questions,  I couldn’t help but linger around the group that included the new student. Gradually my nerves about this new student feeling excluded abated. His group was nothing but accepting and helpful, and I could not have been more proud of these students.

I believe that this classroom has become more inclusive and accepting due to the fact that I am a huge proponent of group work. Not only do these students sit in groups of four or five, but they also get a chance to work with partners or other small groups. Sometimes I allow students to choose their own groups, sometimes they are grouped by level, and sometimes I randomly choose them. Each of these strategies allows students to work with diverse individuals with differing beliefs and backgrounds. Creating this type of environment requires constant attention to the chemistry of the room. It is a daily process that must begin on the very first day of school. I cannot wait to have the opportunity to do this in my future classroom in Fall of 2017.

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