Kelsey Piersol, Awarded Student Research Grant

Kelsey Piersol

Kelsey Piersol, MS is a third-year doctoral candidate at Rutgers University—New Brunswick in the Kinesiology and Applied Physiology program. Under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Buckman,  Kelsey was awarded a Student Research Grant from the Society of Addiction Psychology for her project, “Examining the Role of Alcohol in Women’s Somatic States and Bodily Experiences: A Novel Approach”.

This project is an initial step for determining the role of menstrual-related somatic sensations and bodily experiences in alcohol use behaviors and proximal consequences. Kelsey aims to create and validate a survey to assess the occurrence, salience, and valence of somatic experiences during alcohol intoxication and hangover among individuals who menstruate. From the comprehensive inventory, a brief survey will be derived for use during ecological momentary assessment to examine how somatic cues influence in-the-moment alcohol use decisions and proximal consequences across the menstrual cycle.

Traci Jessop McCarthy profile picTraci McCarthy awarded the American College of Sports Medicine Foundation Doctoral Student Research Grant

Traci McCarthy recently was awarded the American College of Sports Medicine Foundation Doctoral Student Research Grant for her proposal “The effects of exercise during pregnancy on sleep, low back pain, and fetal hemodynamics.” The project will evaluate differences in sleep measurements and symptoms of low back pain between pregnant women who are sedentary and physically active. Additionally, the project will assess fetal heart rate and placental blood flow during resistance exercise.

Traci McCarthy is a third-year doctoral student working in the Rutgers Sleep Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Andrea Spaeth. Traci is a licensed physical therapist and certified strength and conditioning coach. Traci became interested in studying exercise during pregnancy when she became pregnant herself and wanted to remain physically active. The goal of her research is to provide more information on the benefits of physical activity during pregnancy and the safety of performing resistance exercise throughout pregnancy.

Anastasia PapadimitriouAnastasia Papadimitriou is a Dietitian and Nutritionist specialized in Exercise Nutrition

Anastasia's research, under the PhD program in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology is focused on the effects of a healthy lifestyle, including adequate physical activity levels, adherence to the Mediterranean diet and smoking abstinence, on successful aging. In addition to her academic experience, she is working with Nestle Health Science in the department of Research and Development as an intern to advocate the improvement of the company’s products.

Nathan StewartNathan Stewart wins MARC-ACSM Award

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (MARC-ACSM) held its 43rd annual meeting on Friday, November 6, 2020. Nathan Stewart, a 2nd year Master’s Student in the Kinesiology and Applied Physiology Graduate program within the Department of Kinesiology and Health, was awarded 1st place in the Master’s Student Competition. His work was entitled: Nocturnal Blood Pressure Dipping Relates to Insulin Sensitivity but not Vascular Function in Metabolic Syndrome. The co-authors were Dr. Emily Heiston, Ms. Stephanie Miller and Dr. Steven Malin.

The overall purpose was to better understand mechanisms that control blood pressure regulation in adults with obesity. While most are familiar with having their blood pressure taken when visiting the doctor’s office during the daytime, less are aware of what happens to their blood pressure at night or while they sleep. This is clinically important since blood pressure reductions while asleep, compared to daytime, is an independent factor promoting cardiovascular health. To understand better how blood pressure “dips” at night, people with obesity and metabolic syndrome were recruited. All participants underwent a series of tests that included measuring: aerobic fitness, body fatness, blood lipids and glucose, endothelial function, metabolic insulin sensitivity as well as 24-hour blood pressure. The results overall suggest that metabolic insulin sensitivity is an important piece to regulating nocturnal blood pressure. While these are preliminary findings, this work may lead to improved understandings for public health recommendations on how to maximize blood pressure treatment. Additional work is underway to confirm and address control of blood pressure in the department.

Candace LongoriaCandace Longoria  accepted into the 2020-2021 ACSM Leadership and Diversity Training Program (LDTP).

Candace Longoria in the Kinesiology and Applied Physiology Graduate Program was accepted into the 2020-2021 ACSM Leadership and Diversity Training Program (LDTP). The ACEM LDTP helps to promote diversity within the College and makes ACSM leaders hopeful about the future of diversity in the membership and leadership of our organization.

Candace is a third-year doctoral student working in the Exercise and Gastrointestinal Health Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Sara Campbell. Candace hopes to hone her skills in the LDTP and bring them back to the Mid-Atlantic region where she hopes to help enhance the diversity within the Mid-Atlantic chapter among students. She also serves as the KAP Graduate Student Organization President and proactively conducts research on the interplay of diet, exercise and sex on microbial community structure and intestinal inflammatory response.