Health and Human Sciences students shine at virtual CURC Showcase

Screenshot of the virtual CURC showcase

During a semester of uncertainty and change due to COVID-19, College of Health and Human Sciences students persevered in presenting their research and creative work.

The Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity showcase featured this year’s undergraduate student research through a virtual show. After Colorado State University moved to online classes and remote work, organizers of the annual event found a way to move forward in spite of the cancellation of in-person events by using iPosterSessions to create an online CURC poster gallery.

The showcase gives undergraduate students an opportunity to present their research on a wide variety of topics. Research projects range from studying disordered eating behavior in adolescents, to assessing knowledge of human trafficking among CSU undergraduates, to testing the feasibility of food photography to measure food consumptions in restaurants. Students work closely with their faculty mentors throughout the year as they research their topic. This year, eight students from the College of Health and Human Sciences were recognized with awards.

Best in Show

Kieran Abbotts photo in a tree enclosureHealth and Exercise Science major Kieran Abbotts received the Best in Show award for his research on “The Endurance Benefits of Sprint Interval Training Are Not Dependent on Scheduling Training at the Same Time of Day” under the mentorship of Christopher Bell and Taylor Ewell.

Abbotts’ research looked at the performance outcomes in various exercise competitions between those who practiced at a consistent time in the day versus those who practiced at various times in the day during the week. The study found that the time of day of training improved exercise performance irrespective of whether it was completed at a constant or variable time of day.

“I chose to enter the CURC showcase because I thought this was a great opportunity to present the research from our lab,” said Abbotts. “I also thought it would be good practice with making a poster and presenting ideas.”

Highest Honors

Brayden Smith profile photo
Brayden Smith

Brayden Smith, a junior in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, won the Highest Honors award for his research on “The Feasibility, Adherence, and Gastrointestinal Tolerability of Daily Consumption of Microgreens in Healthy Middle aged/Older Adults” under the mentorship of Sarah Johnson and Kiri Michell.

“The purpose of this study was to investigate the adherence to and feasibility and gastrointestinal tolerability of daily consumption of microgreens with a healthy middle-aged/older population who are between 45 and 70 years old,” said Smith.

Smith says he entered the CURC Showcase to share his research about microgreens that he found to be exciting to inform others about their nutritional benefits.

“My favorite part was definitely looking at other student’s posters,” said Smith. “I enjoyed learning about so many topics I have never been exposed to before.”

A full list of award winners from the College of Health and Human Sciences is below. Two students in the College of Health and Human Sciences were awarded the Social Justice and Diversity Award. Two students also received College Honors. In addition, students in the College brought home High Honors and a Service Learning Award

Virtual CURC Showcase

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and CSU moving classes and work remotely, the CURC Showcase was moved online for a virtual show. All students’ research posters can be found on the CURC website.

“I found that creating the poster in a virtual format offered me more freedom with the overall organization of my poster,” said Smith. “I was able to add all the photos and data that I needed to, to structure the poster, and to offer a visual representation of what I was talking about.”

“The virtual format was interesting. There are obviously different challenges that come with not being able to be next to the poster you are presenting answering questions,” said Abbotts. “I don’t know if I liked it better or worse, but it was something I wasn’t used to so it was fun to try and problem solve with that.”

Health and Human Sciences Award Winners

Best in Show

Kieran Abbotts-Health and Exercise Science

The Endurance Benefits of Sprint Interval Training Are Not Dependent on Scheduling Training at the Same Time of the Day

Mentors: Christopher Bell, Taylor Ewell

Highest Honors

Brayden Smith –Food Science and Human Nutrition

Feasibility, Adherence, and Gastrointestinal Tolerability of Daily Consumption of Microgreens in Healthy Middle Aged/Older Adults

Mentors: Sarah A. Johnson, Kiri Michell

High Honors

Kasey Rupp-Health and Exercise Science

Correlation Between Peak Ground Reaction Forces and Tibial Accelerations During the Drop Jump

Mentor: Raoul F. Reiser II

College Honors

Anna Campain-Food Science and Human Nutrition

Testing the Feasibility of Food Photography as a Measurement of Food Consumption in Restaurant Settings

Mentors: Savanah Cheatham-Elliott, Laura Bellows


William Mahoney-Health and Exercise Science

Using a Stable Isotope Tracer to Measure Protein Synthesis Rates in Brains of Young and Old Dunkin Hartley Guinea Pigs

Mentors: Robert V. Musci, Maureen A. Walsh, Karyn L. Hamilton

Service Learning Award

Dulce Olmedo-Human Development and Family Studies

Implementing Principles of Community: Incidence of Bias Intervention

Mentor: Sam Desta

Social Justice and Diversity Award

Dominica Manlove-Health and Exercise Science

Be Yourself and Own It!

Mentors: Melissa Edwards, Sam Desta


Leonardo Andrade –Design and Merchandising

Branching Out

Mentor: Sam Desta