Invaluable Research Experience
Star Long came to DePauw with plans to major in kinesiology, go off to graduate school and become a physical therapist. Long spent the summer prior to her senior year conducting research with kinesiology professor Brian Wright.
Long and Wright used motion capture to measure something familiar to almost anyone in Indiana: a free throw shot. By analyzing kinematic variables – how a free throw shooter’s body moves through the shot motion – they learned not only how to improve someone’s technique, but also how to speed healing an injury that might affect performance.
“Not only did I learn how to conduct research,” Long said, “but I got a head start on my senior thesis, which helped with grad school.”
When it comes to student-faculty research, Wright said he and his colleagues in kinesiology offer a wide range of opportunities for students. “My educational background is in cardiopulmonary physiology,” he said. “But a lot of research experiences that I’ve had over the years have actually expanded into biomechanics. Having that flexibility has been really great to offer students the opportunity to have a little bit more choice in some of their projects.”
Wright said student-faculty research in the department is a team effort, “and that’s an important lesson for the student because that’s how science works. My goal is always to try to ensure that the project gives the student an opportunity to present at a regional conference, which this project most certainly will.”
Involvement: allocations board member; former women’s basketball team member