Research Interest(s):

My research interest and engagement is in the area of health and wellness, more specifically in researching the differences in fitness habits between males and females in full-service fitness centers, with a concentration in why women choose to engage in various forms of group exercise and determining if this is used as a supplement to other areas of the gym because of issues of inequity in fitness spaces.  My research goal is to show a positive correlation between one’s sex and attendance in group exercise classes to lend support to my hypothesis that sex does play a part in the fitness pursuits- and applying the knowledge gained to better understanding how fitness facilities may reshape both the physical settings of fitness facilities, as well as the culture of gyms to be more conducive to equity and inclusion in all fitness spaces.  I have chosen to complete a Practicum and have already completed my first semester (in the fall of 2019) and am completing Practicum II this spring of 2020.  During my first semester of Practicum I administered fitness questionnaires to group exercise participants at a full service fitness center in Henrico County.  My second semester of Practicum includes a further examination of Practicum I by including focus group interviews that will allow me to figure out the “whys” of responses from the initial survey.  The practical application to my research will be the ability to translate data from my research experiences, providing evidence to primary stakeholders that there is a possible need for re-evaluating how fitness services are provided to members based upon their sex.

 

Community Engagement(s):

Currently I am involved in volunteering with the VCU College of Engineering Office of Government and Community Outreach and Engagement.  In this role I assist in providing STEM based activities to local K-5 groups, where I teach elementary school students how to do basic programming using Lego Mindstorm robots.  The Office of Government and Community Outreach and Engagement provides the K-8 population of students with opportunities to increase their exposure to STEM through various activities.   I have also been involved in volunteering my time with the Office of Military Services at VCU.  I have been volunteering my time, assisting the VCU Department of Military Student Services by helping to create presentations that inform VCU faculty and staff about the challenges experienced by veterans as they enter our university setting.  I have also attended a volunteer training provided by the VCU RamPantry, a student organization and service that provides food services to students experiencing food insecurity.  My most current project has been organizing a specific food drive to benefit VCU students by stocking the pantry immediately preceding finals week.