The Honors College will host the Undergraduate Research Conference from 4 to 7 p.m. April 16 in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Theater and Twilight Ballroom.

The event allows honors students to present research-based projects to a panel of judges. To qualify for the conference, the participants submitted their research in a preliminary round, allowing judges to see the material. Once their research had been judged, the students earned the title of either finalist or top scholar and moved on to the Research Conference.

“I had an article already written, and my professor, Dr. Mary Olle, edited it, just made a few tweaks here and there, and submitted it,” said Heather Adams, a junior food and nutrition major and top scholar from Canton. “And then there was a panel of judges who ranked them accordingly.”

Adams did her research over food insecurity focused on campus. The goal of the project was to find out how many students at SFA are aware of food insecurity and the food pantry on campus.

“It was a little nerve- wracking writing my article,” Adams said. “I was very nervous for it, but once I actually sat down and said, ‘ok here are the facts’ it came pretty easily after.”

Honors involved in the Research Conference through nominations by a professor. That professor then sponsors the project by helping with essays and posters for presentations.

“[Our sponsor] Dr. [Justin] Joubert asked one of our other professors if he had people he would recommend, and he recommended us two [Casey Pederson and I] and then we were recommended [James Hutson],” said Courtney Elliott, senior kinesiology major from Corrigan.

Elliott, along with senior kinesiology majors Casey Pederson from Emory and James Hutson from Kennard, researched the correlation between free throw averages and heart rate. The SFA women’s basketball team served as the subject of the group’s study.

“[Our research] really focuses on the heart rate,” Elliott said. “We compared heart rates from the actual game-like situations, playing against different opposing teams and then five-on-five scrimmages that had open - no coaches, no nothing. The other one was conditioning practices, not actual practices but where they do a lot of sprints, work outs, that kind of stuff.”

According to Pederson, the group also looked at data such as training stress score, power factor, perceived recovery score and perceived rate of exertion. The women’s basketball team is able to use the data to improve their practices.

“The girls’ basketball team is still using the heart rate monitors,” Pederson said. “Their strength coach is currently using it, I believe, to get feedback. They were having Dr. Joubert analyze the data and send it back to the coach, so that way he could use it to adjust practice. I don’t know if they are doing that anymore, but I know they are using the monitors.”

The finalists and top scholars will have the chance to present before the conference in a Research Symposium that will take place Saturday.

This event will fit in with Showcase Saturday and will be hosted in Regents Suite B in the BPSC.

Meredith Janning has worked on The Pine Log since her second semester at Stephen F. Austin. During her time at The Pine Log, Meredith has held the positions of staff writer and news editor.

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