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Faculty-Student Research

Professor Joyce investigates Crohn's Disease with help from a Chappell Fellow. Undergraduate Nihan Kaya won a 2008 Chappell Research Fellowship, which is a fellowship that allows students to assist faculty in ongoing research. Ms. Kaya used the award to assist Prof. Joyce with her research on Crohn’s disease. Prof. Joyce trained Ms. Kaya in qualitative research methods and Ms. Kaya went on to interview approximately 20 people in the Williamsburg area who have been diagnosed with the disease. Finding that people posted pictures of Crohn’s related surgery scars on Facebook, Ms. Kaya argued that showing the wounds may be empowering because the disease is otherwise invisible. Ms. Kaya further added her own perspective to the project by including interviews with physicians and patients in Turkey, where she was able to travel over the summer. For more on this story, see








Faculty/student researchers study Chagas Disease.  When cases of Chagas Disease were diagnosed in Virginia, Prof. Joyce and her Technology, Science, and Power students launched a research project aimed to gather knowledge about the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.  Working in collaboration with the Department of Health and Olde Towne Medical Center, Prof. Joyce and student researchers interviewed physicians and patients about their knowledge of Chagas Disease and found that it was primarily unknown and invisible—what some medical sociologists call a hidden disease.  To remedy this situation, William and Mary students Margaret Beardsworth, Paty Dery, Lilli Mann, and Pam Sertzen developed educational presentations to give to the public and health care professionals. Prof. Joyce and her students also published an article in the Virginia Academy of Family Physicians April 2007 newsletter. The article described symptoms and treatment protocols for the disease and explained how cultural and regional differences can shape clinical encounters. This research received funding from the Sharpe Center and the Center for the Study of Inequality at the College of William and Mary.