2022-2023 Capstone Projects

The Link Between Intrinsic Foot Strength and Gross Body Stability Patterns
Mentors: Professor Jay Dicharry and Dr. Christina Inman

Summary: The aim is to examine the link between foot strength and whole-body balance strategies. Do people with better foot strength stabilize their body differently, and how does a history of repetitive ankle sprains impact whole body stability?

Professional Experiences of Physical Therapists Who Identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC)
Mentor: Dr. Kathryn Lent

Summary: The purpose of this study is to obtain information from physical therapists who identify as Black, Indigenous, or as a person of color about their lived experiences in professional contexts, including in their professional academic, employment, and continuing education roles.

Does HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Improve Walking Speed, Endurance and Self-Reported Fatigue Levels in People with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
Mentors: Drs. Carol-Ann Nelson & Amy Briley

Summary: The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of HIIT training as part of regular care in adults with multiple sclerosis, looking at objective and subjective data to make determinations of value and efficacy.

Cutting Biomechanics and Kinesiophobia Post-ACL Reconstruction
Mentor: Dr. JJ Hannigan

Summary: Previous research from our laboratory demonstrated that after ACL reconstruction (ACLR) and return to activity, many individuals displayed limited hip and knee flexion during cutting, suggesting an avoidance behavior on their surgical limb.  The purpose of this study is to better understand the underlying mechanism for this avoidance behavior.

Investigation of Dual Task Ability Across Multiple Cognitive Domains in Persons With Concussion
Mentor: Dr. Shannon Compton

Summary: This research aims to determine if protocols for assessing dual task impairments post-concussion should include assessments across different cognitive domains. Results may indicate areas for future research in individualizing treatment plans to maximize return to work, return to school, or return to play for persons with concussion.

Comparison of the Effect of Standard of Care Exercise Program to Self-Selected Exercise on Compliance in People with Parkinson's Disease
Mentors: Drs. Erin Fitzgerald & David Seck

Summary: Current research demonstrates that people with Parkinson’s Disease can have challenges with compliance with exercise programs. This project aims to develop a program based on identifying barriers for individual participants and creating a program tailored to their individual needs with an emphasis on engaging in enjoyable activities. 

Walking Biomechanics and Perceived Comfort in 3 Different Shoes in Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis
Mentor: Dr. JJ Hannigan

Summary: Previous research from our laboratory has demonstrated differences in walking biomechanics between different types of shoes in healthy adults.  This study aims to continue this research by investigating differences in walking biomechanics and perceived comfort between different types of shoes in adults with knee osteoarthritis.

Running Shoe Biomechanics & Perception
Mentors: Drs. Christine Pollard & Marcey Keefer-Hutchison

Summary: The purpose this study is to examine the influence of traditional and maximal running shoes on lower extremity biomechanics and perceived comfort during overground running.   

Comparing Physical Activity and Physical Performance of Cancer Survivors Before and During a Global Pandemic
Mentor: Dr. Meredith Wampler-Kuhn

Summary: The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a difference in physical activity and physical performance measures in cancer survivors who participated in a survivorship program before compared to during a global pandemic.  This will be a secondary data analysis of a limited data set.