HIGH POINT, N.C., June 14, 2016 – Numerous High Point University students and faculty converged in Boston May 30 through June 5 for the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, the most comprehensive exercise science conference in the world. Eighteen HPU students presented research at the conference and nine faculty members attended.
Also among the attendees were eight HPU students participating in a special “Maymester” course, “Cutting Edge Exercise Physiology.” The course involved them in three weeks of accelerated classroom and laboratory work on HPU’s campus culminating in the weeklong trip to Boston for the conference.
For most of these students who are just beginning the exercise science major, the conference was an introduction into scholarly research, says Dr. Kimberly Reich, associate professor of exercise science, who led the “Maymester” course and chaired one of the conference sessions.
“Meaningful experiences outside the classroom, like a conference, can help deepen students’ understanding of concepts and provide ‘aha’ moments that motivate and inspire them,” says Reich. “We integrated the conference into the course by mapping conference activities to course learning objectives, preparing students to engage thoughtfully during the sessions they attended, and asking them to reflect on the experience.”
Students involved in the “Maymester” course also participated in a kayaking excursion and attended a reception with HPU faculty, students and alumni.
“The conference was a great addition to the class. It really helped me learn the information and allowed me to make connections with people I would not meet otherwise,” said Griffin Patterson, a sophomore on the trip.
The conference also gave students a chance to see other HPU undergraduates presenting research, fueling the desire to pursue their own research in coming years.
“Knowing that High Point University heavily represented the undergraduate portion of the poster presentations reminded me how lucky I am to be a part of such a great institution and a great department,” said Samantha Gajoch, a rising junior. “Being able to watch our undergraduate students interact with clinicians and doctoral students about their research was a very eye-opening experience. It made me realize that we can indeed achieve whatever we set our minds to, especially when we are backed by the extraordinary professors at HPU.”