Annual College Research Symposium showcases student research

A senior student majoring in Athletic Training and minoring in Nutrition, Shane Salski, presented his research at the 6th Annual College Research Symposium. The Symposium was held on April 12th, 2023 and provided an opportunity for students to showcase their research.

Under the supervision of Dr. Najat Yahia and Dr. Chin-I Cheng, Shane investigated whether physical activity could act as a coping mechanism to reduce stress eating and improve body image concerns among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Spring 2022 and Fall 2022. 

His interest in understanding the relationship between physical activity, emotional eating, and body image stems from his goal to become a Certified Athletic Trainer. He believes that researching how physical activity can reduce stress/emotional eating and improve body image is a great way to improve students' health and well-being, particularly during covid. 

Shane took the opportunity to do an Independent Study (NDS 490) to explore his research question which allowed him to look beyond his major to get a broader educational experience about the role of physical activity on stress eating and body image concerns among students. 

The findings of his pilot study may underscore the importance of developing new practices or interventions promoting mental and physical health among college students. Moreover, conducting research and presenting the outcomes can strengthen student's critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills, which are essential for success in Athletic Training. 

As a first-time researcher, Shane learned research skills, including how to draft a proposal, conduct a literature review, construct a research question, create a survey, collect data, and draft the study's outcomes. Furthermore, he learned the importance of cross discipline knowledge and multi-disciplinary work.

Shane's research can demonstrate the institution's commitment to promoting student wellness and providing valuable insights into addressing college students' challenges. Overall, a student's research experience has the potential to make a positive impact on both future careers and the broader athletic training community.

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