2013 Grimes Competition - Supporting and Honoring Undergraduate Research
CHHS Student Research Shines
Top honors were awarded to Madeline Allen and Alyssa DeQuattro, both kinesiology/exercise science majors, and Kelly Morris, occupational therapy major, who participated in this year’s College of Health and Human Service’s Grimes Award Competition.
Fifteen students presented their research projects at this year’s event.
Research is in her future
Allen’s project is “The Relationship Between the Strength-to-weight Ratio and Self-administered Disability Index in Older Adults.” Her faculty mentor was Summer Cook, assistant professor of kinesiology.
Allen’s research investigates the relationship between a quantitative method of measuring the risk of mobility limitation (strength to weight ratio) versus a qualitative approach (disability index survey) in older adults.
“The thing I enjoyed the most was working with the older subjects and being part of a research team.”
Allen has one more year at UNH but then hopes to go to graduate school in the field of exercise science. “I hope to have a career in research once I finish my graduate work.”
Exploring her field of interest
DeQuattro’s project is “Can Chair-rise Time Predict Walking Difficulty in Older Adults.” Her faculty mentor was Dain LaRoche, assistant professor of kinesiology.
Her research investigates the chair-rise test which is one of the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) tests. She was interested in seeing if the chair-rise time was related to walking speed, energy expenditure and walking economy.
“I truly enjoyed interacting with the older adult participants, as well as collaborating with my classmates and professors. It was interesting to explore the topic of chair-rise time in older adults because it directly correlates to my field of interest.”
DeQuattro’s future plans are to attend graduate school to obtain a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. “I would love to eventually own and operate my own Physical Therapy office.”
Investigating across borders
Morris’ research project is “How Ready are First Year Bachelor of Occupational Sciences Students to be Efficacious Self-Directed Learners.” Her faculty mentor was Kerryellen Vroman, associate professor of occupational therapy.
Through her research, Morris wanted to see if incoming freshmen had the necessary learning skills and if upon graduation there was any change in those skills. She investigated 3 populations – first year OT students in New Zealand, UNH first year OT students and UNH senior OT students.
She enjoyed most being able to go abroad to conduct part of her research. “My research was funded by a SURF Abroad, so I was very grateful to spend time in a beautiful country like New Zealand collecting and analyzing data!”
Morris will be presenting this research at the Canadian Occupational Therapy Conference in Victoria B.C. this summer. Next year Morris will continue in UNH’s occupational therapy program to earn her master’s degree in December 2014. “After that, I plan to get a job hopefully working in pediatrics or early intervention. “
In addition to presenting at the Grimes Competition, the 15 finalists joined 35 CHHS classmates who presented at the University’s Undergraduate Research Conference (URC). This year, university-wide, more than 1,300 UNH students mentored by 325 UNH faculty members presented their research and scholarship at one of the largest and most diverse undergraduate research conferences in the nation.