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Faculty of Science's Fall Term Update on courses, labs, tutorials, exams, research and fieldwork

National Research Award for Kinesiology Undergrad

National research award for Kinesiology undergrad 1Christina Pizzola pivoted her way to a national award with an assist from Zoom and Amazon and encouragement from a past award recipient.

Christina, a fourth-year Kinesiology student, received an Outstanding Research Award at the 21st Annual Bertha Rosenstadt National Undergraduate Research Conference in Kinesiology and Physical Education. Hosted by the University of Toronto, the multidisciplinary conference gives undergraduate students the opportunity to present literature reviews, critiques, term papers and findings from research projects. Students submit an abstract and have 10 minutes to present their papers to peers and faculty members.

Christina presented findings from her research into the effects of four weeks of lower limb heating therapy on cardiorespiratory fitness in young, healthy and recreationally active women and men.
Christina Pizzola

"My original plan was to focus on arterial stiffness as my main outcome measure," says Christina. "But the pandemic forced me to pivot my thesis to a measure that could be determined from home instead of in a lab. So we measured cardiorespiratory fitness at home using the modified Canadian Aerobic Fitness Test. We used Zoom to facilitate the submaximal exercise test. Participants in our research study performed heat therapy three times a week from the comfort of their own homes using a commercial foot bath I ordered from Amazon. Although running the study remotely was challenging, I was delighted to see there was 100 percent adherence to the intervention."

Presenting at the conference was a race to the finish. Christina and her graduate supervisor Jem Cheng were still collecting data the week of the conference and even running sessions the day before the presentation to build the largest possible data set.

Christina submitted her abstract to the conference on the recommendation of her graduate supervisor Jem Cheng. "I'm just so proud of Christina and everything she's accomplished this year in spite of the situation we're all in," says Jem, who won the same award at the 2015 conference. "It was definitely a proud 'research mom' moment. I had this pang of nostalgia and just a sense that my research journey was coming full circle"

Christina will be working in the Vascular Dynamics Lab this summer to assist with Jem's research.
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