Published on February 16, 2012 by Tully Taylor  

Eleven Samford University Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Science students presented their senior research projects at the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine (SEACSM) Annual Meeting Feb. 9-11 in Jacksonville, Fla.

All research submissions chosen for the conference were peer-reviewed. Assistant Professor John Petrella advised the students during their research.

"Samford had an excellent showing at the Southeastern Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine," said Petrella. "There were over 700 attendees with several hundred presentations by doctoral, masters, and undergraduate students. "

Of all the undergraduate research submitted to the SEACSM conference, only eight become finalists in the research competition.  Two projects were from Samford University and went on to face the conference research judges.

Thomas Broussard and Jeremy Towns presented their research titled, "Differences in EMG Activity of Five Lower Limb Muscles During One-Legged and Two-Legged Squats." This project won second place in the undergraduate competition.

Ashley Cancer presented "Effects of Body-Image and Self-Esteem on Physical Activity Levels in Adolescents." Faculty members Petrella and Robb Hensarling also aided in both research projects.

Petrella said the fact two dissimilar projects were selected as finalists points to the strength and scope of what these students are able to research. Cancer's was a community-based project that utilized surveys, while Broussard and Towns' paper centered on the science of rehabilitation exercise.

"I would hope that the recognition of the projects by the SEACSM is a byproduct of the commitment our undergraduates and faculty in the kinesiology department have toward excellence in the teaching and execution of undergraduate research," said Petrella.

At a different session during the annual meeting, undergraduates from the Southeast presented their research, and Samford had more projects than any university in the region. Petrella said overall it was an impressive outing for Samford University.

"I am grateful toward our students for the time and effort they put into these undergraduate capstone. We ask a great deal of our students and this group exceeded our expectations," said Petrella.

Tully Taylor is a senior journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in the Office of Marketing and Communication.



Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.