Five students awarded Undergraduate Research Fellowships for work with School of Kinesiology

April 17, 2020

Five undergraduate students conducting research with the School of Kinesiology were selected to receive College of Education Undergraduate Research Fellowships, totaling $12,000 for research projects. The recipients are Molly Cassidy, Abby Cramer, Daisy Hansana, Ali Northcutt, and Derrick Stephen.

“It is so inspiring watching our undergraduate students developing into trained investigators and realizing the value of research and how important it is in informing practice,” said Mary Rudisill, the Wayne T. Smith Distinguished Professor and director of the School of Kinesiology.

Molly CassidyCassidy, a senior from Virginia Beach, Virginia, is majoring in biological sciences. Her research focuses on electromyographic analysis of shoulder rotation strength testing positions. Working under Associate Professor Gretchen Oliver, Cassidy’s study analyzes the effect of testing positions on muscle activation during rotational strength testing.

“Receiving a fellowship has greatly boosted my confidence in my research and my research capability,” she said. “I am extremely honored to have this opportunity, and I am hoping to be an excellent representative of the university in the year to come.”

Abby CramerCramer, a sophomore from Orlando, Florida, is majoring in exercise science. Also working under Oliver, Cramer will be comparing glenohumeral range of motion, or ROM, strength, and humeral retroversion between those who have previously played an overhead throwing sport and those who have not. The results of her study will provide insight into whether there are any residual effects on those who have played an overhead throwing sport, and if so, if the residual effects can cause complications in adulthood. The results of her study could prove beneficial in the examination of quality of life and injury risk later in life.

“To be selected for this opportunity as an undergraduate research fellow is such an honor,” Cramer said. “I will learn reading and writing skills, as well as how research is conducted and presented to others. I want to go to medical school after receiving my undergraduate degree at Auburn and this opportunity will benefit me greatly for that experience.”

Daisy HansanaHansana, a junior from Opelika, Alabama, is majoring in exercise science and plans to become a physical therapist. Hansana will work with Professor Wendy Weimar to investigate whether or not adding a preparatory movement about the ankle will increase the outcome performance of a horizontal jump.

“I am excited to explore what the Undergraduate Research Fellowship has to offer,” Hansana said. “I have been a part of other research and loved watching the compilation of data and finding what results emerge. I look forward to incorporating this experience for my future research endeavors.”

Ali NorthcuttAli Northcutt, a freshman from Huntsville, Alabama, is majoring in exercise science. Her research focuses on individuals with developmental disabilities and the relationship between the participation in physical exercise and its impacts on sleep as well as overall physical and mental health. She is conducting her research under Assistant Professor Melissa Pangelinan.

“I feel very honored and blessed to be selected for this research fellowship,” Northcutt said. “It is a unique opportunity that will really help me grow as a researcher and gain valuable experience that will further my goal of becoming an occupational therapist.”

Derrick StephenDerrick Stephen, a junior from Alpharetta, Georgia, is majoring in exercise science. He is working with Assistant Clinical Professor Christopher Wilburn to observe the medial longitudinal foot arch in pregnant women to find what changes occur throughout pregnancy.

“I am honored to receive this fellowship,” he said. “Seeing the university recognize the work I put into this study is very rewarding and I will continue to put my best effort into it. I am grateful to be working with a wonderful professor such as Dr. Wilburn who recommended me for this research fellowship.”

The College of Education Undergraduate Research Fellowships are jointly funded by the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Miranda Nobles