Courtney Kirkeide and college classmates earn national recognition in Washington D.C.

Courtney Kirkeide (left) is pictured with Minn. U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Nicole Syzszka, and Chi Na Moua, while in Washington, D. C.

Three St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minn.,  students, Courtney Kirkeide of Greenbush, Minn., Chi Na Moua, St. Paul, and Nicole Syzszka of Jordan, Minn., soared to new heights when they earned national recognition at the “Posters on the Hill” in Washington, D.C., April 25 and 26, 2017.  They were accompanied on the trip by Marcie Myers, faculty mentor, and Lynda Szymanski, director of the University’s Collaborative Undergraduate Research Program.  

“Posters on the Hill” is an especially competitive event sponsored by the Council of Undergraduate Research in Washington, D.C.  It is intended to help members of Congress understand the importance of undergraduate research by talking directly with the students whom the programs impact.  Over 300 applications are submitted for the event and only 60 are accepted.

The team’s research findings on a novel gait trainer were presented at a poster session at the Rayburn House Office building with other selected undergraduates.

According to the www.stkate.edu website article entitled “St. Catherine Students Earn National Recognition for Research Project” … The trio collaborated with Biology Professor Marcie Myers on the project. “A novel gait trainer facilitates more natural walking patterns in adults 65 years and older.” Professor Myers, who is also research director of the University’s Women’s Health Integrative Research (WHIR) Center, was approached by an inventor for help to test the effectiveness of a new 4-wheel, pivoting gait training device for elders.

The daughter of Barry and Roxanne Kirkeide of Greenbush, Courtney Kirkeide will graduate from St. Catherine University on May 21 at 2:00 p.m. with a Bachelor of Arts in biology with a minor in exercise sports science.  She will then be starting school for her doctorate of physical therapy at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion.

In closing, Courtney stated, “I am honored for the opportunity I had to conduct undergraduate research as it has strengthened my professional abilities while providing me great insight into my future career.”

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