Two kinesiology students, Hailey Bruce and Abigail Smith, were named the Bruya-Wood Conference grand prize winners with their presentation on “The Effects of Physical Exercise on Cognition for Stroke and TBI patients.”

Bruce and Smith are both aspiring physical therapists, so they wanted to combine their interest of modern physical therapy methods with neurological research advancements that may be overlooked.

Stroke and traumatic brain injury patients face declines in their thinking and cognition directly after their diagnosis as well as in the long-term. Smith and Bruce said they wanted to determine what effect exercise would have on these patients.

Closeup of Hailey Bruce
Hailey Bruce

“Sometimes thinking, concentrating, speaking, and remembering things gets harder for those who have had an injury to their brain,” Bruce said. “There are medications and other kinds of therapy that would help people live a fulfilling life, but we want to see if exercise could be one of these therapies.”

At the annual conference, there were 130 posters with 140 students who presented their research on a variety of kinesiology topics.

Closeup of Abigail Smith
Abigail Smith

“I loved our topic and being able to dive into a project that I was invested in but being able to see the developed projects from my peers was so appealing because I know how much work I devoted to my topic, and I loved seeing the fruits of my friends’ labor and learning about their unique research topics,” Smith said.

The Bruya-Wood Conference is an opportunity for kinesiology students to share their research, take part in a professional conference and highlight the kinesiology program within the WSU community.

Along with Bruce and Smith, other students were recognized for their outstanding work in various other categories.

Outstanding Presentation

  • Curtis Fletcher: “Those that Fight PTSD Can Now Fight Together A VR Treatment”
  • Alex Cannon: “Investigating the Combined Effects of Therapeutic Exercise and TENS Application on Fibromyalgia Symptoms”
  • Garrett Bodeau and Daniel Mars: “The Effects of Exercise on Depression”

Outstanding Critical Thinking

  • Meghan Spears and Jordyn Vannini: “Nutritional Guidelines for Optimal Endurance Exercise Recovery”
  • Molly Weiland: “Benefits of Aquatic Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder”
  • Morgan Britton and Dawson Clark: “The Effects of Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Exercise Performance”
  • Isabella Mansley: “Exercise Integrated with Dialysis Improves Quality of Life in End-Stage Renal Disease”

Most Creative Topic

  • Andrew Do: “Aquatic Exercise: Is Weightbearing Necessary to Benefit Osteoporosis”
  • Katie Lukes and Keira McDonnell: “Recognition and Screening of the Female Athlete Triad: How can we improve?”
  • Taylr Judkins: “Sexual Assault Survivors: Empowerment through Exercise”

Best Presentation

  • Isabella Gore and Sierra Hedding: “Neuromuscular Fatigue in Ultra-Endurance Athletes”
  • Pia Richards: “Optimal Running Program for master’s Endurance Athletes’ Bone Density”
  • Kate Perkins and Kyauna Southam: “HIIT Training and its Effects on Cardiorespiratory Health”
  • Daniel Chavez: “Integrating Aerobic and Resistance Exercise in Individuals with Acute Leukemia Undergoing Chemotherapy”
  • Alyssa Fisk: “Exercise Vs. Depression in Breast Cancer Survivors”

Most Innovative Poster Design

  • Giulianna Casanova: “The Influence of Exercise on Increasing Quality of Life in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus”
  • Katie Lukes: ““Hypercoagulability in Elite Female Athletes: The Impact of High Intensity Exercise and Oral Contraceptives.”
  • Caroline Silberglitt and Estela Tetitla: “Plant-Based Diet vs. Aerobic Exercise on Coronary Artery Disease”