July 8, 2016

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Rebeccah Stansbery Wins Best Poster Award at VSU Symposium

Pictured, from left to right, are Dr. James LaPlant, assistant vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School; Rebeccah Stansbery; and Dr. Brian Gerber, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

VALDOSTA — Rebeccah Stansbery’s “Effects of Training for a 439-Mile Endurance Run on Performance and Energy Balance” won the Best Poster Award in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium hosted by Valdosta State University.

The single-person case study was conducted on the founder of Footsteps for the Fallen, a 439-mile solo run in memory of Texas firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice when answering the call for help. The 11-day event kicked off on Oct. 1, 2015, in Beaumont and ended in Austin.     

“There is not much research regarding the training process needed to successfully complete an ultra-endurance event; therefore, this study was designed to examine the effects of extreme physical training on health, physical performance, training volume, nutritional status/needs during the months prior to the 439-mile solo run,” shared the 21-year-old who anticipates graduating from VSU in July with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology.

Stansbery’s award-winning research was guided by Dr. Serina McEntire, a faculty member in the School of Health Sciences.

All freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors at VSU were invited to submit proposals for the 22nd annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. Individual academic departments and colleges then selected the university’s best paper, poster, and video research presentations, as well as creative arts exhibits, to be featured throughout the four-day event and to compete for prizes.

“Each year I am incredibly impressed with the quality of our undergraduate student research, scholarship, and creative work,” said Dr. James LaPlant, assistant vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School. “The students are making original contributions to the body of knowledge of their disciplines. Many of the students are doing research that we often do not see until the graduate level.”

The Undergraduate Research Symposium reflects VSU’s commitment to increasing the opportunities available for undergraduate students to participate in research through specialized courses, engagement in internships and service learning, and other opportunities. This has many benefits, according to the university’s Council on Undergraduate Research, as students who engage in research activities are able to build relationships resulting in enhanced learning with their faculty mentors, are more likely to be retained, are more likely to pursue advanced degrees, have an increased knowledge base of research methodology, and are more likely to promote an innovation-oriented culture.

Stansbery is currently completing an internship at the Emergency Responder Human Performance Lab at the University of Buffalo in New York. Her future plans include continuing her education beyond a bachelor’s degree and conducting research in the field of exercise science and exercise physiology.

“I am very interested in occupational research, specifically tactical/military career fields,” she said. “My aim is to find ways to improve their safety and gain more understanding about their physiological stress during their work and career duties. I love so many aspects of exercise physiology, especially the research side, so I am excited to learn about other areas of research and expand my interest over time.”

As a student Stansbery represented Blazer Nation as a member of the Exercise Physiology Club, where she served as secretary. A regular on the Dean’s List and a Zell Miller Scholar, she earned the Exercise Physiology Outstanding Student Award and an Honors College Certificate and presented at the Research After Dark Symposium sponsored by the Epsilon Pi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

Stansbery is the daughter of Marvin and Susie Stansbery of Douglas.

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Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.