Health and Exercise Science student assisting in artificial turf research
Health and exercise science student Austin Schwartz has always been excited about exercise and rehabilitation, and his interest in pursuing physical therapy ignited when he started shadowing physical therapists while still in high school. He was particularly impressed by PTs’ quality of care and genuine desire to improve injured patients’ quality of life.
“Sitting in and seeing each and every physical therapist have an affinity for their patient is what made physical therapy stand out among other practices in the medical field,” said Schwartz.
Now a senior at Colorado State University, Schwartz is finishing up his degree this summer, completing his internship in an on-campus lab in the Department of Health and Exercise Science.
Clinical Biomechanics Lab
Schwartz has been working as an intern in the Clinical Biomechanics Laboratory at CSU, assisting Dr. Raoul Reiser, the director of the lab, with various research projects.
“Currently, we are recruiting research participants to assess the effect of artificial turf infill material on athletic performance during jumping, landing, and cutting maneuvers,” Schwartz explained.
During his months in the lab, Schwartz has primarily focused on recruitment of test subjects and working with those subjects during data collection visits.
“In the few months that I’ve been here, I’ve greatly increased my understanding of how clinical research is conducted. I’m extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to see how research projects are developed and carried out from start to finish,” he added.
Schwartz notes that CSU’s Department of Health and Exercise Science has helped get him to where he is now.
“I believe the Health and Exercise Science department has the best professors at CSU,” Schwartz said. “Professors like Dr. Wendy DeYoung, Kimberly Burke, and Ryan Donovan are extremely beneficial to students who seek a memorable and successful academic experience. They genuinely care for the success of their students, not only during their collegiate career, but also afterwards as well.”
In the future, Schwartz hopes to become a licensed physical therapist, and he’s spending this summer applying to graduate physical therapy programs across the country.
Schwartz is excited about his future career. “The fieldwork I’ve been exposed to during my internship as a research assistant in Dr. Reiser’s Clinical Biomechanics Lab, working as a physical therapy aide, and volunteering with physical therapists has strengthened my determination to become a physical therapist,” he said.
Schwartz was featured in a Facebook live video about Reiser’s research.
The Department of Health and Exercise Science is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.