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Keynote talks to offer insights on Norse studies and nursing simulation research: WCSU showcases student research at 15th annual WRD event

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University will showcase the research and creative work of WCSU students in a wide range of academic disciplines and present keynote lectures in the fields of nursing and Norse studies at the 15th annual Western Research Day (WRD) on Thursday, May 9, 2019, in the Science Building on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

The program will begin at 10 a.m. in Science Building Room 125 with welcoming remarks offered by Dr. Michelle Monette, associate professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences and chair of the 2019 WRD planning committee, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Missy Alexander. Alexander will introduce the WRD keynote talks, which will be presented by Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr. Linda Dalessio, a WCSU faculty member since 2014, and Lynn Schoenbeck, a 2016 WCSU alumna currently pursuing master’s degree studies in Iceland.

“Promoting Interdisciplinary Conversations” will be the theme for the WRD exhibition of student posters detailing research and creative work conducted during the current academic year, continuing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Atrium of the Science Building. Student participants in the exhibition will explain their work to the public and present their projects to judges invited from the WCSU faculty and staff as well as university alumni, Danbury Hospital employees and other members of the community.

Alexander will award the WRD Provost Prizes honoring students for outstanding research presentations in diverse academic fields during a closing session at 1 p.m. in Science Building Room 125. For the first time this year, the WCSU Library Services department also will sponsor a Library Research Award to a WRD participant who demonstrates outstanding accomplishment in the use and application of library resources and services. The keynote speakers will be recognized for their accomplishments with honorary plaques presented by WCSU Alumni Relations Director Thomas Crucitti.

Admission to all WRD program events will be free and the public is invited to attend.

image of Dr. Linda Dalessio
Dr. Linda Dalessio

Dalessio, who earned her Ed.D. in Nursing Education at WCSU in 2018, will discuss a primary focus of her doctoral research on simulation pedagogy in her keynote talk, “The Effects of Debriefing on Diagnostic Reasoning Development in Family Nursing Practitioner Students.” Dalessio holds CCRN certification, and has worked as a critical care nurse and nurse practitioner in acute and adult care areas. She earned her B.S.N. from Elsevier College, M.S.N. in Forensic Nursing from Quinnipiac University, and post-master’s degree in Acute Care Nursing from St. Louis University. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, the International Association of Simulation and Clinical Learning, Sigma Theta Tau and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, and has received grants from the AACCN and the American College of Chest Physicians.

image of Lynn Shoenbeck
Lynn Shoenbeck

Schoenbeck will offer insights on her interdisciplinary pursuit of an M.A. in Viking and Medieval Norse Studies at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik in her talk, “Tale Isolde as Time: A Comparative Analysis of  a Key Female Figure Across the Middle High German and Old Norse Tristan Epic.” Recipient of a B.A. in History with minor in Anthropology from WCSU, she focused in her undergraduate thesis on the interrelationship of Norse art and Saga literature with Nordic laws and social mores during medieval times, which together served to define and limit women’s social boundaries. Her present research on medieval Scandinavia investigates the transfer and adaptation of continental European literature to a Nordic perspective. She plans to go on to seek a doctoral degree in museum studies with a Norse specialization.

Student research and creative work exhibited at WRD will encompass diverse academic disciplines in the sciences, arts, professions, business and humanities. Participation requires prior approval by the student’s faculty adviser and submission of an abstract to the WRD planning committee for review. Serving with Monette on this year’s WRD committee are Dr. Bernard Gee, associate professor of Psychology; Debbi Johnson, adjunct professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences; Brian Stevens, university archivist and special collections librarian, and Dr. Emily Stevens, professor of Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences.

“Western Research Day not only gives students the chance to present their work in a professional conference setting, but also offers them the opportunity to interact with students and faculty from other disciplines,” Monette observed. “In that way, we are helping to promote interdisciplinary conversations among students and with the rest of the university and area community.”

For more information, contact Monette at or the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.



Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.