Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good

  • Joyann Oakman headshot

Joyann Oakman

2014 FUTURE Mentor (Class of 2015)

As a FUTURE mentor, I conducted research over the summer of 2014 for two months with Prof. Deborah Feairheller in The HEART Lab with participants present on campus, including students, faculty, and staff. For four of those weeks, my FUTURE mentee, Avery Perez, joined me in testing the participants, recording the data, and documenting the results.

The study aimed to understand any relationship between cardiovascular health and joint angles and ranges of motion of the knee and foot. I hope to continue my education after Ursinus in podiatric medicine, so the aim of this research is closely tied with my interests for the future. The connection between a patient’s cardiovascular health status, joint alignment, and range of motion could be used to better understand joint pain, reluctance to exercise regularly, and risk factors for obesity. As a mentor for the FUTURE program, I also had the opportunity to aid in Avery’s comfort with the lab and introduced him to data that would lead him to then write a research paper of his own. We both learned the ins and outs of the lab, as well as how to test human subjects and analyze the unique data we had obtained. Since our work over the summer, Avery and I have continued to help each other with our respective projects.

My Major / Minor / Campus Organizations

Major in Health and Exercise Physiology / Women’s Volleyball, UC Ambassador, Phi Epsilon Kappa

My Research

The project that Prof. Feairheller, Avery, and I worked on over the summer aimed to understand any relationship between cardiovascular health and joint angles and ranges of motion of the knee and foot. The methods that were used to test cardiovascular health included a cardiac stress test, blood vessel ultrasounds, body composition measurements, blood glucose/cholesterol finger stick test, 24 hour blood pressure monitoring, and diet analysis. Joint measurements were taken with goniometers. The study has continued during my independent research this year, and the results are currently being used for an abstract submission to the Journal of Experimental Biology.

My Research Conferences

The work that Avery and I completed over the summer has been submitted for abstract acceptance for separate conference in the spring of 2015.

In addition, I previously presented a different project titled, “Effects Of A Meal On Body Composition And Blood Pressure In Division III Wrestlers”, at the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual meeting last May.

Life After Ursinus

Alongside Dr. Feairheller, I mentored FUTURE Student Avery Perez as we conducted research in The HEART Lab to determine associations between cardiovascular health and foot and knee biomechanics,