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K-State Today

March 22, 2023

Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy announces Thomas P. Gould Prize winner

Submitted by Laura Perez

Cheryl L. Beseler and Stacia McNeely

The Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy, or OJRRP, a publication of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies, has announced Cheryl L. Beseler, University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Stacia McNeely, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, as winners of the fifth annual Thomas P. Gould Prize for the best article published in the journal. 

Beseler and McNeely's article, "Using text analysis to assess the mental health impacts of COVID-19 on Rural Health Care Providers," uses innovative methods to gather data to assess the well-being of rural health care providers during a period of intense stress.  

"Text analysis technology allowed a deeper examination of the impacts of COVID-19 in the lived experiences of rural health care providers, and surprisingly, the observation of increased positive emotion and rewards resulting from their contribution to helping their rural neighbors," Beseler said. 

The award's panel described this work as both innovative and deeply relevant to rural communities, representing the importance of collaboration between researchers and community practitioners.  

"Health care and mental health are two growing concerns among rural communities," said Mary Kohn, editor of the journal. "Addressing the mental health needs of health care providers is one way to help retain the people that are so critical to providing rural health care. A guiding principle of the OJRRP is to elevate work that can benefit rural communities by providing open access to research relevant to these communities. We are excited to be able to reward such work."

Winners of the annual Gould Prize receive $500 and recognition for their work in the journal and the media. Founding editor Thomas Gould, a K-State journalism professor, died Feb. 14, 2016. His wife, Carol VanNahmen, has supported the prize in his honor every year since his passing. Those interested in submitting work can find more information at newprairiepress.org/ojrrp/ or contact members of the editorial staff: KohnTuan NguyenBradley Galka, or Chanh Lam

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