"I applied to the Scholars program because I wanted to research further what I had begun to study in Dr. Hass's lab. I was working in the lab during the spring semester and was sure that I would be working in the lab through the fall. I had several friends who were involved in the Scholars program, and they recommended it as a great resource to pursue independent research, as well as to learn how the research process works and how to publish a paper. For this academic year I hope to finish my undergraduate studies strong so that I may be well prepared for professional school."
Applied Physiology and Kinesiology
I am interested in areas concerning human anatomy, biomechanics, kinesiology, therapeutic modalities, physical therapy and athletics.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- Danny Eggart Endowed Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship (2011)
I have volunteered with several institutions including Christians Concerned for the Community, Shands at the University of Florida, Monroe Regional Hospital, and Campus Crusade for Christ International.
Hobbies and Interests
Does Variability in Gait Initiation Correlate with Gait Variability in Parkinson's Disease?
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurological disorder characterized by motor deficits resulting from dysfunction of dopamine-producing structures within the brain. Deficits in walking in PD are particularly debilitating, as persons with PD are at significantly higher risk of falling than healthy elderly adults. The consistency of both step length and step width is vital to maintaining balance during the initiation of gait as well as during steady state walking across a range of populations. Unfortunately, the ability to produce a consistent stepping pattern during walking and gait initiation (GI) appears to be impaired in persons with PD. However, little is known about whether inconsistent stepping patterns in GI underlie the increased variability in steady-state walking and, ultimately, greater risk of falling throughout the entire locomotor process in persons with PD. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between variability in GI and the variability in gait in the same cohort of persons with PD and the effect of these variables on fall risk. This study will provide evidence as to whether variability in GI leads to variability throughout steady-state walking in PD, thus providing insight as to whether dynamic instability is temporally localized or consistent throughout the locomotor process in this population. Additionally, we may be able to postulate on the neural control of GI and gait variability. Dr. Hass’s work has identified several therapies that improve GI performance. If GI variability is directly associated with increased gait variability and fall risk, the application of these therapies may have a significant effect on the health and well being of persons with PD.