Getting hands-on in research as an undergraduate is a hallmark of the University of Northern Iowa, giving students the opportunity to explore, learn more about the research process and advance understanding and knowledge at the same time.
Terence Moriarty, an assistant professor in the College of Education's Department of Kinesiology, was among faculty seeking students to assist in a research project earlier this year. As an extension of his own research on aerobic exercise and its impact on cognition and brain oxygenation, he turned to his students in movement and exercise to investigate further angles to these connections. The group of five students started their work in spring 2020; Moriarty foresees completion of the project in 2021 or early 2022 with the publication of findings in a top-tier professional journal.
Out of this process, Moriarty expects students to become knowledgeable in the topic area, understand the processes, be comfortable with any equipment used and learn to interact with any research subjects, or participants. For students, they are often surprised by what they learn. "I've learned a lot about the field of kinesiology in general and the research process. It's taught me to think critically and think outside the box," says Madi Young. Adds Ellie Spillane: "Since we are a small group, we get to be very hands on and each of us is responsible for everything that happens. Every assignment is crucial to keeping us moving forward. We are lucky to be so heavily involved with every step of the process. It makes every success extremely rewarding."
Read more about the students and their research project in the current online Premier alumni e-news.