Health Promotion and Kinesiology students selected for experiential program

Experiential projects at Texas Woman’s encourage learning through a dynamic process where students develop knowledge, skills and values from direct experiences outside of a traditional academic setting. Four School of Health Promotion and Kinesiology PhD students will be doing just that thanks to the 2020-2021 Experiential Student Scholars Program offered by the TWU Pioneer Center for Student Excellence.

Through the program, the students, working with faculty mentors, will engage in research projects tied to their courses of study. Each student will receive a $750 stipend, and each faculty mentor will receive a $350 stipend to assist with the projects.

Ryan Gordon

Ryan Gordon (Edwardsville, Illinois) is pursuing a PhD in Kinesiology with a specialization in exercise physiology. His project aims to examine the influence of exercise on skeletal muscle growth and regeneration. Specifically, this study will examine the influence of exercise on microRNA expression in skeletal muscle cells and how these microRNA may regulate skeletal muscle growth and regeneration. His project will begin later this fall and will conclude in the spring.

Matthew Sokoloski

The focus of Matthew Sokoloski’s (Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania) project is to monitor markers of muscle damage and fitness measures that are relevant to firefighters following firefighter simulated tasks. According to Sokoloski, who is pursuing a PhD in Kinesiology with a specialization in exercise physiology, firefighters are a greatly underserved population. Many are out of shape and over worked, which leads to a greater risk of injury. Sokoloski wants to monitor how long it truly takes firefighters to recover after fighting a fire. Data collection should begin in March and finish in April.

Qin Yang

Qin Yang (Gui Zhou Providence, China) is pursuing a PhD in Kinesiology with a specialization in adapted physical education. Her project uses an intervention program called Drums-Alive to explore the effect on on-task behaviors of children with an autism spectrum disorder. Drums-Alive combines music, drumming and exercise to make participants move to the rhythm. Yang was introduced to the Drums-Alive program while she was pursuing her master’s degree at Southern Connecticut State University and conducted her thesis using this program for young adults with a neurodevelopmental disorder, which positively affected attention. Her new research project will involve collaboration with a local autism center and will last for at least 16 weeks.

Emily Zumbro

For her project, Emily Zumbro (Bude, Mississippi), who is pursuing a PhD in Kinesiology with a specialization in exercise physiology, chose to focus on an in vitro model of skeletal muscle aging and its influence on cellular pathways essential to the health of skeletal muscle cells. She previously completed pilot work leading into this particular project, funded by the 2019-2020 Student Experiential Scholar Program, in which she developed a working aging model. She will be using this aging model for her dissertation and to further assess physiological changes to important cellular pathways and how exercise may help to restore or reduce the detrimental effect of aging on these pathways. Dr. Anthony Duplanty's lab previously established an exercise mimetic that will be used as the basis for the exercise treatment within this aging model. The timeline for this model will take approximately 3-4 months of aging the cells, conducting the exercise treatment on them, running gene expression and analyzing data.

We are excited that Ryan, Matt, Qin and Emily have received these awards, which will greatly enhance and support their research activities. Awards like this provide positive experiences and development opportunities for our future professionals. George King, PhD, Director, School of Health Promotion and Kinesiology

Media Contact

Ray Willhoft
Director of Communications, Jane Nelson Institute for Women's Leadership

Page last updated 2:32 PM, March 30, 2021