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"Living the Moravian Promise"

Each issue of InCommon tells the story of a Moravian alum or student who is "living the Moravian promise." Moravian College promises to partner with students to build a strong foundation for their personal and professional future. Moravian challenges students with: 1) a strong, personalized academic major; 2) hands-on learning opportunities; and 3) an environment that promotes the development of a deeper enjoyment of life.

Janine Jagger '72: a Passion for Research

Research by Moravian alum Janine Jagger '72 led to new design standards to prevent needlestick injuries. The standards became law in 2000, when President Clinton signed the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act.

Janine Jagger '72 has never been afraid to blaze new trails in research. For her Moravian Honors project in psychology, she wanted to investigate a topic never before studied at Moravian. More interested in the neurological basis for behavior than its social origins, she hypothesized that rats would perform better for a reward at a higher rate under the influence of a stimulant rather than a sedative. Her proposed research would require sophisticated procedures and equipment.

"Another advisor might have discouraged me," she recalls. "But Professor Johnson made me feel free to try something I felt passionate about." Jagger tested her hypothesis but the outcome was a surprise.


"My Moravian advisor made me feel free to try something I felt passionate about . . . The thrill of pursuing an original hypothesis has never left me."


"We often get unexpected findings in research—more than expected findings. This was my first major independent research project, and it influenced my career choice. It made me want to pursue a career in research, and I've been doing it since then. The thrill of pursuing an original hypothesis has never left me."

For the last 20-plus years, Dr. Jagger's research has focused on improving the safety of medical devices through a data collection system she devised. In 1988, she and her colleagues published a landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine that identified devised design as the cause of needlestick injuries and proposed new design standards to reduced risk to users. Her device design standards became law in 2000, when President Clinton signed the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act; in 2002 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her groundbreaking work. Her data collection system, EPINet, is now used in more than 60 countries worldwide.