Ospreys request money to attend research conferences

Emily Echevarria, Government Reporter

During a Budget and Allocations Committee meeting on Friday, Jan 31, 6 students requested money to help with the price of attending various research conferences this semester. The requests, which totaled $3,194.02, come out of the Travel Request Index of the Student Government budget, funded by the Activity and Service Fee. 

Graduate students  Chakene Rogers and Daniela Charry requested funds to travel to the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in San Francisco. Each student requested $500, encompassing travel, lodging, and registration fees. 

The ACSM encompasses more than 50,000 members over 90 different countries and is, “dedicated to helping people worldwide live longer, healthier lives,” according to its website. At the conference, these graduate students will be hearing the latest research in sports medicine, attending lectures from experts, viewing poster presentations and networking. 

Both students are research assistants in the Brooks College of Health with the Department of Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences. 

“As I’m developing my thesis, it’s beneficial for me to be around the latest research and to hear from experts in the field,” Rogers said during the meeting. 

Both students noted that while the conference offers networking and thesis building opportunities, they would also like to attend in order to support one of their colleagues. Bethany Rand, a second year UNF graduate research assistant, will be presenting her thesis project on a poster the conference, and is the only representative of UNF presenting at the event. 

“We have several opportunities at the university for graduate programs, so there will be opportunities to speak with undergraduates and let them know about things we have going on here,” Rogers stated during the meeting. “I hope to put the name of UNF out there.”

4 other students requested funds to travel to the Society for Personality and Social Psychology convention in  New Orleans. Each student requested between $450 and $500 to cover the expenses of the trip. 

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology is the largest organization of social and personality psychologists, and the conference is known internationally. 

Jasmine Graham, Robert Phillips, Courtney Olds and Tyler Nagle all requested funds to attend the conference, where they will each be presenting their research on communal motivations. Graham and Philips are both graduate students, while Olds and Nagle are undergraduate students who are graduating this spring. 

Specifically, Olds’ research is on unwanted pregnancy on college campuses and its effects on retention rates, looking in depth at gender norms and influences on sexual health practices. The students commented that the conference will not only allow them to present their research, but to gain ideas for further research studies. 

“I hope to bring back some more ideas focused on communal motivations, which is orientation towards other individuals,” Phillips said during the meeting. “It’s a very new topic. I can use that to incorporate into future studies related to decision making and motivations.”

“This is a very important conference for me go to because it will benefit not only myself, but also the university. It will get the name of the University of North Florida out there,” Phillips commented. 

All 6 requests to attend these conferences were passed unanimously by the B&A committee. Senator Anthony Hall called the opportunity to attend and present at a conference, “the crowning achievement for an undergraduate.”

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