Jessica Janecke spent her summer monitoring runners on a tricked-out treadmill; Kevin Joffre analyzed reading habits of teen mothers. This is not usually how an average student spends the summer months.
Janecke and Joffre are two of 30 Student Summer Scholars who have worked with a faculty mentor on an extended research project. They will present their findings at the S3 Summer Showcase, set for Tuesday, July 29, from 4-7 p.m. in Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room.
Janecke is a double major in biomedical sciences and allied health. She also runs track and cross country for the Lakers. She said participating in S3 has put running in a new light.
“I’m passionate about running but never have been able to connect it with school,” she said. “Now I see running in a different sense and I’m able to connect the pieces of my world together.”
Janecke and Kyle Barnes, a movement science faculty member, are measuring the effects of weight support on the metabolic demands of running by using the Alter-G, an anti-gravity treadmill that allows runners to build endurance and leg strength without putting pressure on their joints.
Joffre developed a S3 project that continued work he began while taking a Community Working Classics course. An English education major, Joffre collected qualitative data from teen mothers about their reading habits, perception of reading and whether or not they read to their children. His faculty mentor is Amy Masko, associate professor of English.
He discovered what life is like for a researcher along the way. Joffre said midway through his study, the center where he met the teen mothers closed and some teens were moved to transitional housing.
“What I found was that the girls enjoyed reading books that were similar to their lives, urban fiction,” he said, adding the teens also understood the value of reading to their children and wanted them to read educational books to get ahead in school.
The S3 is a program of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship.