Dr. Laura Aaron, Dr. Pamela Simmons and Diane Graham-Webb are the winners of the Widger award for their article “Academic Dishonesty and Unprofessional Behavior.” The article appeared in the November/December 2011 issue of Radiologic Technology.
Aaron is an associate professor, department chairman and graduate coordinator for the radiologic sciences program at Northwestern State’s campus in Shreveport. Simmons is a professor and the department chairman of the nursing program at Northwestern State University. Graham-Webb was an associate professor and the director of nontraditional studies in nursing at Northwestern State until her recent retirement.
Their study investigated differences in perceptions of academic dishonesty and unprofessional behavior among radiologic science students and faculty members. The authors presented ethical scenarios and found significant differences between each group’s values regarding the seriousness of cheating and unprofessional behavior.
“We noticed instances of academic dishonesty in our program and wondered if this bode unfavorably for the future nurse or radiologic sciences student in terms of their professionalism in practice,” Simmons said. “Since the study, I think we have seen an increase as more and more courses go online.”
In conducting the study, radiologic science faculty and students were questioned about their perceptions of academic dishonesty and unprofessional behavior using ethical scenarios. The researchers noted significant differences between faculty and student values regarding the seriousness of cheating and unprofessional behavior. Efforts should be directed toward bridging the gap between faculty and student perceptions, researchers concluded.
In receiving the award, each researcher received a certificate, plaque and a cash award to divide between them.
For more information on Northwestern State’s Radiologic Sciences programs, visit radiologicsciences.nsula.edu.