Skip to main content

Associate Professor Sue Barcinas Receives Imogene Oaks Award for Outstanding Research and is Elected Chair of Commission for Professors of Adult Education

NC State College of Education Associate Professor Sue Barcinas has received the Imogene Oaks Award for Outstanding Research in Adult Education from the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) and has been elected chair of the Commission of Professors for Adult Education (CPAE) Executive Committee, the national academic adult education group within the organization. 

The Imogene Oaks Award recognizes scholars whose research significantly contributes to the advancement of adult and continuing education and is given annually to honor original research published within the past year. Barcinas received the award in recognition of her ongoing Learning EMS Ethics Project (LEEP) research. 

“The research that I do in the area of health professions is especially meaningful to me because of the potential it has to support health professionals in their roles and to improve community well-being,” Barcinas said. “The visibility of the research project and being recognized by my national peers is special.” 

Conducted in partnership with Susan Braithwaite ’07MED, ’14EDD a College of Education alum who is now a faculty member at Western Carolina University, LEEP studies pre-hospital emergency medical services, such as EMS paramedics, and their ethical decision making. Specifically, the project focuses on how paramedics make difficult decisions in emergency situations as well as in simulation and experiential learning experiences. 

“The hardest part of their jobs is making decisions in life and death situations while away from a hospital environment. We study how people move from novice to expert in this area and develop good judgment in those situations,” Barcinas said. 

Barcinas is in the process of expanding the ongoing LEEP project nationwide to determine locally-driven and nationally-driven factors in the profession. She is also a team member on the Tailored Approaches to Reduce Distress and Improve Self-Management for Veterans with Diabetes (TARDIS) project and engages in research about postsecondary adult learners.

She will bring her experience in adult education to her newly elected role as chair of the CPAE Executive Committee, which aims to bring professionals together to discuss national standards for graduate programs in adult education, support faculty and graduate students in professional development in the field and host annual association meetings, among other things.

The elected position lasts for four years, beginning with a one-year term as chair-elect, followed by a two-year term as chair and a one-year term as past-chair. 

“I hope to sustain and support the already established initiatives and to work with the executive committee to improve our existing work and to grow or enhance our advocacy work on behalf of the field,” Barcinas said.