Eight Ouachita Baptist University students and two faculty members attended the Arkansas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Annual Conference (ArkAHPERD) in Little Rock, Ark., Nov. 1-2. At this statewide conference, which attracted more than 400 undergraduate students and faculty members from more than 45 elementary, secondary and higher education institutions, Ouachita students Audrey Melson and Phebe Pruett won second place for their poster presentations.
Audrey Melson, a senior athletic training education major from Batesville, Ark., and Phebe Pruett, a senior athletic training education major from Summers, Ark., jointly presented their study on “Intervention for College Females Experiencing Knee Pain.” College-aged females who were experiencing knee pain volunteered to participate in the study. Half of the women, the experimental group, received three weeks of therapeutic exercises while the other group, the control group, received no changes at all.
“When simply asked if the females in the experimental group felt better as a result of the exercises,” Melson said, “100% of them said yes.
“Phebe and I both had some great conversations with professors from all over the state of Arkansas,” Melson added. “Not only were we able to share what we had found, but we were also able to learn from them.”
This successful study was one of many presented by Ouachita students at the ArkAHPERD conference.
Austin Evans, a senior kinesiology and leisure studies/fitness major from Little Rock, Ark., and Franklin Featherson, a senior kinesiology/fitness major from Searcy, Ark., presented their study titled “Team BeFit.”
Jasper “Bubby” Harrell, a senior kinesiology and leisure studies/fitness major from Amarillo, Texas, presented his study “Adapted Physical Education in Texas and Arkansas High Schools.”
Kristen James, a senior kinesiology and leisure studies/recreation major from Missouri City, Texas, presented “Public’s Opinion of Adults with Intellectual and Physical Disabilities on Equal Opportunities.”
Gillis Jones, a senior athletic training education major from Andalusia, Ala., and Andrew Russell, a senior biology major from Columbia, Mo., presented their study on “The Effects of Heat: Cryotherapy on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.”
All the Ouachita students presented information that they studied and developed in Ouachita’s adaptive physical education methods course last spring. Their research was then presented at Ouachita’s Scholars Day, marking the first time that the kinesiology and leisure studies department has participated in the event. This year also marks the first time Ouachita students have participated in the ArkAHPERD conference, thanks in a large part to the Paul and Virginia Henry Academic Enrichment Grant for which Dr. Mike Reynolds applied.
Reynolds, chair and professor of kinesiology and leisure studies and the coordinator of outdoor recreation, presented his study “Interjecting a Service-Learning Component into Your Curriculum.” His presentation focused on how and why educators should implement service-oriented learning. He noted that learning by providing services to others, just as Melson and Pruett’s study provided pain relief to their participants, gives students the opportunity to get out of the classroom and use their knowledge in real-world scenarios.
“The conference,” Reynolds said, “allowed me to network with other kinesiology and leisure studies department chairs and to cultivate relationships with graduate and professional schools from universities and institutions in Arkansas.”
Dr. Terry DeWitt, professor of kinesiology and leisure studies, also attended the conference and presented “Core Strength Training for Youth.” This study focused on identifying 6th, 7th and 8th graders who were at a higher risk of developing knee injuries later in life. High-risk youths were identified based on the angle of their knees when running and four weeks of corrective therapy were then applied.
“It’s exciting to me,” DeWitt said about the conference, “especially when we can involve our students.”
Reynolds agreed, affirming the opportunity of “seeing our students explaining their research to other professionals in the field.”
The successful involvement of Ouachita students and faculty at the ArkAHPERD conference helped the kinesiology and leisure studies department earn another grant, funding the purchase of a BioSway Static Testing System. According to DeWitt, this portable device will “take our research a step further.” Especially for those suffering from head injuries, such as concussions, he said balance plays a major role in recovery and should be studied more closely.
For more information, contact Dr. Mike Reynolds in the Department of Kinesiology and Leisure Studies at (870) 245-5188 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Rachel Gregory