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CPHHS/University Honors College mixer encourages undergraduate research


Human Development and Family Sciences Assistant Professor Bridget Hatfield presents on her research to a group of University Honors College students at the CPHHS/UHC mixer in January.

A group of high-achieving students eager to further their studies got a unique glimpse inside cutting-edge research happening within the College of Public Health and Human Sciences (CPHHS) at a student/faculty mixer hosted by the University Honors College (UHC) in late January.

The event allowed for UHC students to learn about current PHHS research and meet potential thesis mentors, and for PHHS faculty to meet high-achieving students interested in research opportunities in their fields.


EXSS Clinical Assistant Professor Sam Johnson discusses research opportunities with a UHC student.

“There’s a strong initiative on campus to make sure our undergraduate students are more engaged in enriching activities, and research is one of those things,” says PHHS Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs Mark Hoffman. “Undergraduates who participate in research not only receive great academic experience, but also a direct connection to a faculty member whom they can turn to for support and advice.”

More than 10 students heard from seven PHHS faculty – Viktor Bovbjerg, Bridget Hatfield, Sam Johnson, Marc Norcross, Mike Pavol, Rob Stawski and JK Yun – about research opportunities ranging from analyzing data to coming up with their own research project in fields of athletic training, exercise and sport science, human development and family sciences, nutrition and public health.


“The students I’ve worked with have been excited to be involved in research, were eager to learn and contribute, and have done a great job,” says EXSS Associate Professor Mike Pavol (pictured above).

“I learned that there are many different venues for research even within one college,” says undeclared freshman Allison Daley. “This event served as a brief introduction to the world of research at OSU for me. Even though I am not ready to necessarily make a commitment to a research project yet, I want to start seeing what possibilities are out there.”

Exercise and Sport Science Associate Professor Mike Pavol, who presented on his research aimed at preventing falls and fractures in older adults, says the best part of working with undergraduate students is their enthusiasm toward research.

“The students I’ve worked with have been excited to be involved in research, were eager to learn and contribute, and have done a great job,” he says. “I’ve really enjoyed working with them.”

Although this event was exclusive to UHC students, the CPHHS’ Undergraduate Research Awards Program (URAP) is open to all students within the college – and offers the opportunity to delve into hands-on experiences, gain exposure to possible new careers and increase competitiveness for graduate school admission by participating in research.