members can help students combine areas of study and interests and encourage
them to present their work at the Undergraduate Scholars Forum or the Graduate
Scholars Forum. Rita Johnson, of the Food and Nutrition Department, encouraged
her students to pursue this goal in the 2015 Undergraduate Scholars Forum
the 2015 USF, nutrition dietetics student Kristen Vander Woude won the
first place award for the College of Health and Human Services Dean’s Award for
Excellence for her research of breakfast consumption and cognitive function in
her project, “Glycemic Properties of Breakfast and the Effect on Cognitive
Function in Adolescents.”
was required to do a research project for one of her classes her senior year.
She worked with two other students on the project, Sarah Taylor and Lindsay
Barrett. Johnson urged them to submit their group’s research to 2015 USF, and
they were really glad that they did. Johnson helped their group a lot
throughout the whole research process.
research has identified a relationship between breakfast consumption and
cognitive function. The project evaluated the effects of breakfasts with
varying glycemic properties—glycemic index and glycemic load. Subjects’
cognitive function was measured using validated instruments. In their research,
they discovered that subjects who ate a low glycemic index breakfast had higher
Sarah and Lindsey graduated before the USF, and Kristen was left to
present the project on her own. “I did enjoy doing this project! And I learned
a whole lot about the research process along the way. The most interesting
thing was definitely our main finding,” Kristen said. “The whole topic was new
to me, so everything that we discovered was interesting.”
went on to say in an interview, “Everyone knows the countless hours that go into
a research project. Last year’s Undergraduate Scholars Forum was a great way to
celebrate all of the hard work that went into our research project. I was
honored to represent my research group as well as the Food and Nutrition
Department. My experiences leading up to and during the Undergraduate Scholars
Forum have shaped me to be the better graduate student that I am today.”
Kristen will also present their research at the Capital in Harrisburg in April 2016.
graduated in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition–Dietetics Track.
She is currently a dietetic intern and first-year graduate student at IUP.
Kristen is working towards becoming a registered dietitian.
compiled and written by Melanie Maylin Rosado, IUP Libraries intern)