Roanoke College Sophomore Presents at SEACSM Conference

by roanokecollege on February 28, 2013


Roanoke College sophomore, Annie Shreckhise, recently attended the SEACSM (Southeast American College of Sports Medicine) Annual Meeting in Greenville, SC to present her research project: “Determining Physiological Demands in an Open-Skilled Sport: A Case Study Investigating Women’s Lacrosse Practice”. Annie is a URAP student and began this program last year as a freshman. This conference marked her first time presenting off campus, and several other students from Roanoke attended as well to present and participate in an exercise Trivia Bowl.

Annie worked with Dr. Matthew Rearick as her faculty mentor as well as Brittany Frost who worked in concurrence with her in collecting data. The goal of this project was to determine the physiological demands of women’s lacrosse practices. Multiple types of data were collected from one player during four practices of varying intensities. The data can then be used to create “more specific and better aligned training regimens.”

Annie states that she decided to pursue research opportunities because “having the chance to work one-on-one with a professor on a project that is so intriguing was an opportunity that I could not let pass by. Many students don’t have this opportunity until they are in graduate school; I feel that it is a great way to prepare for my future.” Annie worked directly under Dr. Rearick’s supervision, but she was given freedom with the direction that she wanted to take this project in. “Working one on one with a professor is one of the greatest benefits of pursuing an education at a small, liberal arts college. This interaction has allowed me to extend my studies outside of the classroom into a close-knit environment where I can explore areas of research specific to my field” she explains. Dr. Rearick also states that working one-on-one with a student is “without question my favorite aspect of teaching.  In a one-on-one situation you can really connect with what students like to do and what they are interested in; you can also tap into what they do well and what they struggle with academically.  It allows me to truly customize the learning experience for them.”


Brittany Frost and Annie Shreckhise presenting

As for the experience of presenting at a conference, Annie notes that it was an “incredible experience. When discussing research with other students and professors that have pursued an education related to health and exercise science, presenting becomes more interesting and more challenging. New ideas evolve as details of the project are discussed in greater depth.  It has also opened my eyes to all of the available career paths in health and exercise science as I was able to talk with other students and professors that share this common interest.” Dr. Rearick also points out that this is “the time when my relationship with students becomes less teacher-student and more mentor and colleague. I love that transition.”

For students considering research opportunities, Annie advises that “students should take full advantage of available research opportunities. The professors are incredibly helpful and push you to explore and investigate your own questions. It teaches you to apply what you have learned in the classroom to an area that is of personal interest. Involvement in research teaches you to integrate and apply the knowledge you have gained through a variety of disciplines. My URAP experiences have had a huge impact on my college career, and it is a great way to prepare for graduate school.” Dr Rearick also points out that “the best learning often occurs when we are trying to solve a problem or question that is important to us.   Research is very much like that.  And I think it’s important to point out that “research” is not necessarily this high ideal, unreachable for some.  Anyone and everyone can do research at some level.  It’s simply a matter of figuring out what you really enjoy and then aggressively pursuing it.”

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