Many students choose to spend their summer relaxing and breaking away from the research papers, projects and exams that come with being a college student – but the story is different for two kinesiology undergraduate students. Christopher Morazan (pictured at right) and Sergio Franco (at left), both entering their senior year majoring in exercise science, will be spending the remaining summer to focus on their research study project.

This project will be under the guidance of Assistant Professor in Kinesiology, Dr. Stephanie Moore-Reed, and works in collaboration with Sierra Pacific Orthopedic Center (SPOC) to establish and collect orthopedic outcomes data related to patients experiencing knee and shoulder injuries. Morazan and Franco both plan to pursue graduate degrees in the health field and through this project, will gain first-hand experience in the area of collection, data entry and analysis and interpretation.

They are able to pursue this project due to funds awarded to them through the 2014-2015 Undergraduate Research Grant program, which is spearheaded by the Division of Academic Affairs at Fresno State.  Morazan and Franco will receive $1,000 each, respectively, to further advance their studies in the area of kinesiology. This grant encourages undergraduate students, in good academic standing, to work closely with a faculty member to conduct research on a new or existing project in their field of study.

Moore-Reed said working on this project provides her students an invaluable opportunity to learn and gain knowledge. “I believe participation in this project has the potential to make a significant positive contribution to Chris and Sergio’s educational experience at Fresno State,” she said. “Furthermore, this will be an opportunity for them to broaden their professional network by interacting with orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and athletic trainers, among others.”

Morazan, double majoring in biology and kinesiology, plans to pursue medical school to become an orthopedic pediatric surgeon. He initially approached Moore-Reed this past spring with the desire to get involved in a research project that would give him experience in his field – and later recruited his friend, Franco, to join him.

“Being involved in this SPOC project under the mentorship of Dr. Moore-Reed will help us further our knowledge in research and allow us to make better choices in the area of kinesiology. I feel very fortunate to be able to participate in this program.” Throughout this project, Morazan’s main focus will be on orthopedic outcomes in patients with knee injuries.

Meanwhile Franco hopes to pursue a graduate degree in the field of allied health, particularly in occupational therapy. Moore-Reed, who has a wide array of experience in this field, said the field of rehabilitation, particularly in outcomes is becoming an increasingly important aspect of health care. Franco will have the opportunity to focus on orthopedic outcomes in patients with shoulder injuries.

The $1,000 grant (per student) will cover project related expenses and allow Morazan and Franco the opportunity to attend the American College of Sports Medicine Conference in May. Attending this conference will give them the added benefit of attending presentations and meetings; and networking with professionals in the areas of orthopedics, research, physical therapy and biomechanics, Moore-Reed said.

Another student in the College of Health and Human Services was also awarded this same Undergraduate Research Grant. Tyler Launer, a senior majoring in public health with an option in health administration, will be working under the supervision of Associate Professor in Public Health, Dr. Mohammad Rahman, on their research project “Barks and Bytes: Identifying the Growing Dependence and Psychological Implications of Internet Usage Among Fresno State students.”

All research projects are expected to be completed by the end of the spring 2015 semester. For more information on the Undergraduate Research Grant program, visit the Division of Academic Affairs webpage.