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High Honors

Falk College Students Recognized for Research Achievement
Sarah Dellett presenting her poster at meeting

Sarah Dellett received first prize among students in master’s degree programs at the Mid-Atlantic region of the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in November 2023 for her research under the guidance of Professor Jessica Garay.

Falk College boasts a robust, collaborative research community in which students play an active role. At Falk, graduate and undergraduate students have the opportunity to work directly with faculty to collect data, analyze findings, and draw conclusions on relevant topics surrounding exercise science, human development and family science, marriage and family therapy, nutrition and food studies, public health, social work, and sport management.

Falk students accompany their faculty research mentors to leading academic conferences across the country, and commonly receive high honors for their accomplishments in research. Danny Baris, Sarah Dellett, and Mingxuan (Jessica) Li are three examples of students who have been recently honored for their research.

We asked them to discuss their research and here’s what they shared:

Danny Baris Portrait

Danny Baris ’26

B.S. Sport Analytics

Danny Baris ’26 won the student paper competition at the New York State Economics Association annual conference in October 2023 in Old Westbury, New York, where he presented his research, “Promotions and United States Hockey League Attendance,” under the guidance of Professor Rodney Paul.

“As someone who enjoys attending sports games, the topic of promotions is of great interest to me. For my paper, I wrote about the effects of various types of gameday promotions on attendance for minor league hockey. Through this project, I was able to gain valuable experience conducting a study, writing a research paper, and presenting my findings.

“My findings could be used to help teams set their promotions schedules in ways that maximize revenue. Future research could examine the effects of promotions in other sports leagues. Along with some other students, I am currently working on a project surrounding the effects of promotions across minor league baseball.”

Sarah Dellett

Sarah Dellett

M.A. Nutrition Science

Sarah Dellett received first prize among students in master’s degree programs at the Mid-Atlantic region of the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in November 2023 for her research “Prevalence of and Reasons for Dietary and Supplementation Habits Among Physically Active College Students,” under the guidance of Professor Jessica Garay. Through Sarah’s work in Professor Latha Ramalingam’s Nutrigenomic Lab, where she studies metabolic improvements and genetic differences with omega-3 supplementation, Sarah discovered her ambition to become a clinical researcher in the wide field of nutrition science.

“I loved my statistics and research methods class during my first year and wanted to further hone my analytical skills using R Studio. I linked up with Dr. Garay over the summer to explore her dataset collected on athletes in fall 2020. She helped me critically think through the methodology and correctly describe statistical results for my presentation.
“I found my passion for this project as I’m interested in how sustainable, plant-based diets can be a balanced diet for athletes. This research showed unique developments within vegetarianism, as the most common reason for adopting a vegetarian diet among this cohort is environmental, rather than animal rights reasons. We also found that the vegetarian group had a higher level of nutrition knowledge and had supplementation habits that reflected an understanding of their need to supplement with Vitamin B12 and iron, commonly deficient in vegetarians.”

Jessica Li accepting award at APHA annual meeting

Mingxuan (Jessica) Li

Master of Public Health

In November 2023, Mingxuan (Jessica) Li attended the American Public Health Association annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, where she accepted the Public Health Education and Health Promotion Student Award on behalf of her fellow students, Michelle Asiedu-Danso and Matthew Scrape. There, Jessica, Michelle, and Matthew were recognized for their research, “Prostate Cancer Screening and Treatment in New York State: A Content Analysis of Articles Published by Newspapers Focusing on People of Color,” completed under the guidance of Professor Bernard Appiah.

“Our goal of this study is to understand how newspapers for people of color discuss prostate cancer, examining both risk factors and media representation. We identified a significant gap in news coverage for people of color on this crucial health issue. Our mission was not just to point out the issues but also to find ways to better share information about prostate cancer in these communities.

“It was a moment of immense honor and pride when standing as the first author and presenter of our project in Atlanta. As we shared our findings and engaged with fellow researchers during the conference, we realized there are potential impacts that our work could have in raising awareness, fostering informed discussions, and shaping future research directions in prostate cancer. We hope our work has positive impacts not only on academic discourse but also inspires ongoing efforts to bridge communication gaps and champion health equity for all.”