Tuesday, January 22, 2019

URSP Student Catherine Cavanagh Researches Changes in Physical-Performance Tests across College in Dancers

Hi my name is Catherine I am a senior in the Athletic Training Education Program. I have been working on a research project titled “Changes in Physical-Performance Tests across College in Dancers: A Longitudinal Prospective Examination”. The athletic training department has been collecting physical-performance data from dance students at George Mason University during their first semester and their last semester in the program since 2013. There are two complete co-horts (2013-2017, 2014-2018). I have spent time working on data management to match up dancers’ data points from their freshman year and their senior year. After data management was complete my mentor, Dr. Ambegaonkar, and I ran paired t-tests comparing freshman data to senior data. Throughout this time spent in data management and paired t-tests I have learned while researching on a team communication is how you move forward. The second half of this semester my mentor and I will work together to submit abstracts and prepare a paper for publication. It is an amazing opportunity to gain firsthand experience with the development and publication process of research. Completing research my senior year has pushed me to become more comfortable with statistics and reading literature reviews. Through completing research for the dance medicine field, I have a greater appreciation for developing athletic training fields. Traditional athletic training settings include high school and collegiate sports. However, through working with the data on dancers I have a new understanding as to why athletic trainers are needed in the field of dance and performing arts. This semester I discovered I have an appreciation for research and an appreciation for the research process. The term research can be daunting. The night I was running paired t-tests and taking a first look at the results I began to understand the weight of what I was working on. The results of this study will begin to impact dance education, dance performance, and dance medicine. I am excited to continue to work on my project this semester and submit for publication.