Catriona Geddes will conduct summer research at NIH

Headshot of Catriona GeddesCatriona, a PACE Lab team member since August 2016, will be working at the NIH in the Human Cortical Physiology and Stroke Neurorehabilitation Section for this summer. This lab conducts research on health volunteers and stoke and traumatic brain injury patients using different stimulation, imaging, data analysis, and motor learning evaluation techniques. Catriona will be working specifically on a lab optimization project and an additional summer research project of her choosing. She will be returning to UGA in the fall where she will be working with us for her third and final year.

3 PACE Lab Team Members to Present at Research Symposium

CURO Program CoverGinny Lee Olivier, Rhiannon Euhus, and Catriona Geddes will present their research at the 2018 CURO Symposium today at the Classic Center. The three students will present findings from their original research study examining Vitamin D levels in African-American/Black College Women. The presentations are:

Rhiannon Euhus – The Effects of Studying Habits on Vitamin D Levels in Undergraduate Students

Ginny Lee Olivier – Outdoor Physical Activity in Relation to Vitamin D Status in African American College Women

Catriona Geddes – The Association between Knowledge of Vitamin D and Blood Levels of 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D among Black/African-American College Women

The PACE Lab is so excited and proud of these students for conceptualizing this study, coordinating all of the recruitment and data collection, and now sharing their findings!

This research was supported (in part) by a grant funded by the Department of Academic Partnerships and Initiatives in the Division of Student Affairs at the University of Georgia. 

Congratulations to Dr. Rees-Punia!

Many congratulations to Dr. Erika Rees-Punia for successfully her dissertation this afternoon. Her study, “Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in the Cancer Prevention Studies” included three manuscripts; two assessing the reliability and validity of the Cancer Prevention Studies’ physical activity and sedentary behavior measures, and a third examining mortality risk reduction associated with sedentary behavior, light-intensity, and moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity in the Cancer Prevention Studies cohort. Dr. Rees-Punia’s committee was chaired by Ellen Evans, and included Jennifer Gay (PACE Lab), Michael Schmidt, and Alpa Patel. Dr. Rees-Punia will continue her research as a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Alpa Patel at the American Cancer Society. Congratulations again to Dr. Rees-Punia!

Dr. Jennifer Gay is now affiliate faculty with the Institute for Artificial Intelligence at UGA

Logo for Institute for Artificial Intelligence at the University of Georgia

Dr. Jennifer Gay, Director of PACE Lab, has been added to the faculty in the Institute for Artificial Intelligence at UGA. This affiliation allows her to mentor students and serve on committees within the Institute. Dr. Gay has collaborated with the Institute for Artificial Intelligence for several years, and has published three papers with other faculty and students there.

Congratulations to Marilyn Wolff for successfully defending her dissertation prospectus!

Today Marilyn Wolff defended her dissertation prospectus, titled, “Do Social Headshot of Marilyn WolffSupport and Physical Activity Impact Employee Job Stress, Burnout, and Well-Being?”. She plans to collect data from several hundred employees from the healthcare sector to examine the intersection of work and non-work social support and physical activity on employee health. Congratulations Marilyn!

New research published suggesting increasing moderate-intensity activity at work may not decrease total activity

Dr. Jennifer Gay and colleagues recently published an article in Preventive Medicine Reports that found, in a cross-sectional study, adults workers who do more light-intensity activity at work do less activity during their free time. Light-intensity activities at work can include walking from one office to another, from your car to your office, or going to meetings. However, workers who engaged in more moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity, like taking the stairs, did more activity outside of work. Something to think about when planning your next worksite wellness program! Full text of the article can be found here.

PACE Lab Graduate, Rosemary Corriero, Has Capstone Paper Accepted for Publication!

Rosemary Corriero, MPH recently had her Capstone paper accepted for publication. Her manuscript, titled, “HPV Uptake Pre- and Post-Affordable Care Act: Variation by Insurance Status, Race, and Education (NHANES 2006-2014)” will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. This paper is an extension of a presentation Rosemary gave at the 2016 Society of Behavioral Medicine  Annual Meeting (more here) and her Capstone project for her MPH. Fellow PACE Lab graduate Ellen Stowe is a co-author on this paper. Congratulations on this fantastic accomplishment!

PACE Lab Students Present Their Research at CURO Symposium

Congratulations to Catriona Geddes, Rhiannon Euhus, and Ginny Lee Olivier presented research projects at the 2017 Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) Symposium!

Catriona’s presentation, Determining Fidelity of the Physical Activity and Learning (PAL) Program, described how closely the teaching activities mirrored those in the original grant and lesson plans. Using data from random direct observations, she found no difference in the fidelity to teaching strategies or student engagement across math, reading, and physical activity games. She did find that student participation more closely followed the plans in reading than in math (p=0.032). There was room for improvement in all subjects. Process evaluation is important for understanding why we may or may not see desired academic achievement outcomes in students participating in PAL. The next step is to generate an overall implementation score that incorporates these fidelity values with dose delivered, dose received, and participant satisfaction.

Rhiannon examined body image dissatisfaction and pressure to look a certain way among Mexican American students participating in aesthetic and non-aesthetic sports in her project, The Association between Body Image Dissatisfaction and Sports Participation in Mexican-American Youth. She found that 80% of the students reported participating in organized sports. Twenty-one percent of the athletes felt pressure to “look a certain way”, with the majority saying the pressure came from friends, not parents, coaches, or judges. Compared with students who did not play sports, aesthetic sport athletes thought they were smaller than their ideal body image (p=0.0263). BMI percentile, sports participation, physical activity, and sex were significant predictors of body image dissatisfaction (p<0.05 for all associations). These findings provide a better understanding of BID among Mexican-American youth; The results may inform parents and coaches how to identify youth who are at most risk, and aid in the creation of programs that mitigate BID.

Ginny Lee’s research, Examining Younger Age at Menarche in Mexican-American Girls, assessed the association between body composition and timing of menarche among Mexican American girls. Girls in this sample attained menarche at a significantly younger age than their mothers by 1.5 years (p=0.000). The relationship between mother’s age at menarche and daughter’s age at menarche was significant after controlling for chronological age and BMI percentile. The relationship between mother’s age at menarche and daughter’s age at menarche did vary by BMI percentile (p=0.008), such that girls who were in a higher BMI percentile had a younger age at menarche relative to their mothers. Similar associations were seen for body fat percentage. As earlier age at menarche has been shown to be associated with greater cardiovascular disease risk, this factor may be considered in prevention efforts.

All three plan to write up their findings and submit papers for peer-reviewed publication.