RLS Students Participate in Research Symposium

RLS Students Participate in Research Symposium

April 12, 2021
Contact:  Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations

MOUNT OLIVE – Nine University of Mount Olive (UMO) Recreation and Leisure Studies (RLS) students recently made presentations at the annual Carolinas Exercise Science and Kinesiology Research Symposium.  Several other UMO students attended the virtual event.  The Symposium was composed of students in both public and private higher education from North and South Carolina.  It featured student presentations, a virtual grad fair, and a keynote presentation.

According to Dr. Mark Deaton, UMO Associate Professor of Exercise Science, the students began their research in the fall of 2020.  “The students formed small research groups, selected a topic of interest to the field, gathered 40 references, and began the process of designing and conducting their own research project,” he said.

Deaton, a member of the symposium steering committee, noted that of the more than 30 submitted abstracts, four UMO presentations were selected as finalists.  “It takes commitment, focus, and no shortage of organizational abilities to complete a successful research project,” Deaton added.  “I am very proud of all of our students!”

Those students representing UMO were Kendra Toman of Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Courtney Garris of Four Oaks, NC; Grace Olmstead of Four Oaks, NC; Oscar Rodriguez of Pink Hill, NC; Samantha Tobin of Glendora, CA; Jon Wojcuich of Beulaville, NC; Deike Schipper of Leer, Germany; Casey Coucelos of Benson, NC, and Riley Houston of Trento, NC.

Toman, a senior double majoring in sports management and sports communication said, “This competition has been an amazing opportunity to showcase, not just what I’ve learned at UMO, but also to pass on research created and compiled by my team.  Being able to compete with my team’s research, while having a full-time internship, has been a huge push for me as a student and as a soon-to-be graduate getting ready to enter the working world of sports.”

“Research is hard work, but it is rewarding both to learn and then to share the fruit of your learning,” said Dr. David Hines, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Chair of the RLS Department Dr. Jill Mills agreed, “I am so incredibly proud of our students and of Dr. Deaton.”

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University is sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists.  For more information, visit www.umo.edu.


Left to right :  Dr. Ana Dickson, Professor of Finance and Business Practicum; Jamie Ragan, Southern Bank & Trust Area Executive — Mount Olive/Sampson County; Morgan Wise; Hunter Wilson; Menglin Ni; Mackenzie Irwin; Michael Lotts; Oliver Mollenhoff; Armando Lobo Colicchio Ferreira; Jonathan Bowers; Drew Covert, SB&T Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Greg Shackelford, SB&T Senior Credit Officer.