The Kinesiology Department has awarded Rachel Tomlinson and Liz Thompson grants to support their doctoral research.
Rachel Tomlinson has been awarded a Kinesiology Department grant for her dissertation project studying the effectiveness of interventions designed to motivate university employees to participate in workplace wellness programs.
Using Temple’s employee Wellness Program, Tomlinson will look at how online and in-person education sessions motivate staff members who don’t have a regular exercise habit to begin and regularly participate in activities offered within the program. Her faculty mentor is Professor Michael Sachs.
“I am very excited to conduct research that can potentially make a difference in people’s lives,” Tomlinson said. “I feel fortunate that the department is supporting this research with this amazing grant opportunity.”
Tomlinson earned a bachelor’s degree in religion in 2001 and an M.Ed in counseling psychology in 2005. For more than 16 years she has served in administrative roles at the university, currently as managing director of faculty affairs and business operations at the Fox School of Business. She began her doctoral work as a part-time student in 2015.
“I had always thought about obtaining a PhD, and the doctoral program’s Psychology of Human Movement track matched with my desire to research the mind-body connection and the area of wellness,” she says.
Liz Thompson, an assistant professor of instruction in the Physical Therapy Department, focuses on using vibratory feedback to help people with Parkinson’s disease. Her research examines the ability of a new wrist-based device, ArmSense, to measure arm swing and cue a larger swing as necessary, and to investigate the effects of this cuing on gait speed and step length.
“Our research depends on being able to reach out to volunteers, to bring them into our projects and learn from their responses and their ideas. It takes resources to build the equipment and to help people travel to see us,” Thompson says. “I'm very grateful we received the Doctoral Research Grant; this will make it possible for our team to work with a lot more volunteers, and hopefully lead to stronger conclusions about how to help them move better!”