Research Study with Female Veterans

1114 IVMF San Antonio_Zayas, McCraty, Chambers
Dr. Maria Zayas, Dr. Rollin McCraty, ​r​esearch ​d​irector of the Institute of HeartMath, and COL  Jill Chambers, IVMF ​B​oard member at the VWISE National Conference in San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 1-3.

Brenau University Assistant Professor of Psychology Maria Zayas has been working on a research study with female veterans who are participating in the program Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship​ from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families ​​out of Syracuse University Business School. ​The research program includes training the women in skills developed by the Institute of HeartMath​ for increasing resilience and optimal function, and is a collaboration between Brenau, HeartMath and IVMF.

Zayas co-presented “The Resilience Advantage: Skills for Personal and Professional Effectiveness” with Dr. Rollin McCraty, ​r​esearch ​d​irector of the Institute of HeartMath, and Col. Jill Chambers, IVMF ​B​oard member at the VWISE National Conference in San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 1-3.The study includes 42​ female veteran​ participants​,​ ​and several Brenau graduate students​, three of whom​​ are research assistants​ for the study and another three whom are working directly with the population as HeartMath certified mentors​ providing ​the training intervention to the women. ​

The students involved are Susan Baumann, Pamela Corsentino and Jaqueline Martin as mentors, and Jennifer Garciasalas, Nicole Krontz and Stacey Pearce as research assistants.

​The study continues through March for result analysis and present​at​ion of findings at the annual Brenau University Research Symposium. It is funded in part by a Brenau University President’s Opportunity Grant. Blaine Schultz, assistant professor of psychology is advising the students in this study.

Regarding how the research will strengthen Brenau’s military and veteran communit​y, Zayas said, “We are hoping to continue our research with the veteran population next year through the M.S. ​in ​Clinical​ Counseling​ Psychology thesis program and the Psychology Stress Lab​.​ The ​L​ab will be available for Brenau Community to access our HeartMath biofeedback equipment and interactive games for stress reduction and resilience building,” she said.