Wellstar College hosts Research and Engagement Day

KENNESAW, Ga. | Apr 19, 2023

Kennesaw State University’s Wellstar College of Health and Human Services hosted its annual Research and Engagement Day (RED) on April 13 in Prillaman Hall, highlighting the college’s research, scholarship and community impact.

The event allowed students to showcase their research through poster and podium sessions, including virtual presentations from students who simultaneously attended the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Wisconsin.Research and Engagement Day 1

“For me, RED is a day of celebration,” said Mark Geil, associate dean of research and operation of Wellstar College and professor of exercise science. “It’s difficult to convey the massive level of activity in research, scholarship, and community engagement we see on any given day in the Wellstar College, so we take one day to share an overview and celebrate a year’s worth of great work.”

Undergraduate students Maneet Bains, Jeremy Hamson and Isabel Linares won the Outstanding Poster Presentation award for their poster, “Toward a Quantitative Understanding of Infant Crawling Development,” a project that is part of the First-Year Scholars program.

Lacey Harper, a first-year student in the Master of Science in Exercise Science program, was awarded the Outstanding Podium Presentation for her paper, “Are Balance and Muscle Function Negatively Affected Following a Brief Bout of Brisk Walking in Females,” which featured co-authors William Reed, Melanie Antonio, Valentina Taddia, Breanna McDonald, Micah Poisal, Kaden Buford, Esther Steingold and Garrett Hester.

In addition to recognizing outstanding student scholarship, RED also brought in representatives from 45 community partners, simulating a job-fair environment that provided students an opportunity to consider post-graduation possibilities.

“Part of the value of attending an event like this is the connections you can make that last beyond the day,” Geil said. “It might be a student finding a clinical placement for next year, a researcher identifying a new collaborator, or a community partner recognizing a new opportunity to engage.”

According to Monica Nandan, director of strategic partnerships and social impact and professor of social work and human services, that community engagement works in tandem with faculty research.

“Ideally, we would like this day to demonstrate how engaging with the community can address: teaching, scholarship and service expectations for faculty, such that, community engagement is not a ‘separate task,’” Nandan said.

RED also included a keynote address from distinguished researcher Santosh Kumar, who is the Lillian & Morrie Moss Chair of Excellence Professor in computer science at the University of Memphis. His research team develops wearable AI for sensor-triggered mHealth interventions and to better understand and mitigate new privacy threats emerging from wearable AI.

“It takes a ton of work to make an event like this happen, so I want to acknowledge the tireless efforts of Dr. Monica Nandan and our top-notch administrative staff, Ann Marie Thomas and Andrew McCanless,” Geil said.

– David Roberts
Photos by Dedra Waindi

Research and Engagement Day 2