University of New Brunswick

UNB Alumni News Spring 2016

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B ullying is a common form of workplace abuse that can lead to serious health outcomes. "Bullied employees experience stress, anxiety and depression, and also lowered self-esteem, decreased concentration, and even post-traumatic stress symptoms and disorder," says Sue O'Donnell (BN'02, MN'09, PhD'14). O'Donnell is only in the second year of her position as assistant professor in the faculty of nursing at UNB Fredericton, but has been interested in how workplaces influence health for a long time. After working for nearly five years as a rehabilitation nurse, she was drawn back to UNB to complete her master's degree focusing on workplace health, under the supervision of honorary research professor Judith MacIntosh (PhD'02). It was with MacIntosh that she first looked at the topic of workplace bullying and its impact on health. "Dr. MacIntosh was a great mentor and helped me lay the research groundwork that led me to complete my PhD and to pursue my career as a full-time academic," says O'Donnell. Because of the devastating impact that being bullied can have on people's health and lives, O'Donnell wants to ensure that her research findings are available to those who need the information most. "Targets of bullying often turn to the Internet to find help, so it is critical that we use these forums to make evidence-based information more widely accessible," adds O'Donnell. During her doctoral program, O'Donnell developed a video that shared the outcomes of her research with men who were bullied at work. So far, the video has been viewed more than 2,000 times and has been featured on numerous national and international websites. Now a full-time faculty member, O'Donnell is able to further her research into this important topic with the help of a Harrison McCain Young Scholars Award. Valued at up to $25,000, the award contributes to the cost of hiring a student assistant, research publication and conference travel. O'Donnell is one of 13 recipients of the Young Scholars Award in its 2015-16 inaugural year. "I feel so fortunate to have had such wonderful mentorship during my time as a graduate student at UNB. With the funds I've received from the Young Scholars Award, I plan to hire a student research assistant and provide the same level of mentorship," says O'Donnell. "We are very grateful for the Harrison McCain Foundation's gift of $1.25 million to create this award and two other faculty awards," adds David Burns, vice-president (research) at UNB. "Awards like this give financial assistance and recognition to our outstanding faculty members, and help ensure that important research like Sue O'Donnell's is performed and results are shared, not just with academics but also with members of the community." HARRISON MCCAIN YOUNG SCHOLARS AWARD HELPS RESEARCHER INVESTIGATE WORKPLACE BULLYING SUE O'DONNELL AMONG YOUNG SCHOLARS AWARD RECIPIENTS "Targets of bullying often turn to the Internet to find help, so it is critical that we use these forums to make evidence-based information more widely accessible." ~ Sue O'Donnell ALUMNI NEWS 4

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