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ECU Biomechanics Laboratory - Graduate Students

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    Graduate Students:


    The Biomechanics Laboratory has had many excellent graduate students working as researchers on Laboratory projects. They have all presented their work at regional and national  biomechanics conferences. These students are currently enrolled in the program or have graduated and continued their education in medical school and Ph.D. programs or obtained employment in a variety of  industries. The Lab owes these individuals a great deal of thanks and  appreciation. Our current and former students are:


Erica Bell

Erica is a 4th year doctoral student in the Bioenergetics and Exercise Science PhD program. She transferred to East Carolina University in 2010 and obtained her Bachelor's degree in 2013 while being a member of the Women's Track and Field team during her 3 years of undergraduate study. Her research interests focus on how soft tissue material properties influence injury mechanisms in healthy and clinical populations. Her dissertation work centers on the use of ultrasound imaging technology to measure architectural and material properties of foot soft tissue (muscles, tendons, fascia, heel pad) to use as inputs to create a finite element foot model that will potentially predict/recreate plantar pressures in diabetics. This builds off the idea that a relationship exists between the stiffness (material properties) of intrinsic foot structures and plantar pressures that will help us better understand the mechanism behind the development of diabetic foot ulcers. Having just recently received a New Balance Footwear Research Award, additional work will assess the effect of footwear on foot soft tissue material properties over a training period in experienced runners. When she’s not trapped in the lab, Erica enjoys taking pictures of her dog Moose, bowling, music, logic puzzles, and craft projects.

Alex Semanderes

Alex's thesis work involves quantifying changes in material stiffness, structural stiffness, and muscle fascicle length as a result of a chronic stretching regimen in hopes to determine what physiological changes are responsible for increased range of motion in a joint and its implications for injury prevention. His collection of Indian artifacts is larger than some local museums.

Chris Curran

Chris is in his second year as Biomechanics Masters candidate. He is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and attended Grove City College in Pennsylvania for his undergraduate studies. At Grove City, Chris earned a B.S in Exercise Science and was a 4-year letterman on the baseball team. Chris is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach by NSCA and his research focus is centered on injury prevention and athletic performance. Chris's is currently examining changes in the structural and material properties of the ulnar collateral ligament in baseball pitchers as his thesis research. After graduating, he plans to continue doing research in sports biomechanics while pursuing a Ph.D. with an emphasis in athletic performance and injury prevention. Chris ultimately plans on pursuing a research career in academia focused on baseball pitching.

David Harrison

David is a 2nd year Biomechanics graduate student from Greensboro, NC. He received his undergraduate degree from UNC-Greensboro in 2013 with a degree in Kinesiology.  Currently he is working on a study that aims to track the changes of the hamstring muscles using ultrasound imaging in track & field athletes throughout the duration of their season.  David plans to utilize the knowledge and tools learned throughout his time here as a student researcher to further his goals in working with athletes to enhance athletic performance. He also loves being outside, going fishing, and anything football related (GO JAGUARS).

Kevin Hooks

I am second year graduate student in the Biomechanics masters program. I am the first masters student to be associated with the new Sensorimotor Integration Lab (SMIL) at ECU. I am currently conducting research investigating the neuorphysiological difference between right- and left-handed individuals and how they process different complexities of the same task. When I am not studying neuroscience or coding in MATLAB, I teach and compete in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, watch all sports, listen to podcasts, and play with my dog.

Daniel Kuhman

Daniel Kuhman is a second year Masters student in the Biomechanics department. Daniel earned a degree in Health and Human Performance from the University of Memphis prior to attending East Carolina University. His previous research explored mechanisms of injury development in long distance runners and his current research examines age-related biomechanical adaptations in elderly adults. Although walking is his preferred method of locomotion, he enjoys an occasional jog.

Caitlin Melton

Caitlin is a second year graduate student from Fayetteville, NC. Caitlin earned a bachelors degree in Exercise Physiology from ECU. She is currently involved in research exploring mapping the time based differences of balance in concussed vs healthy individuals. She also dabbles in neuroscience techniques and has research on the side that is exploring mental rehearsal benefits in Dance majors at ECU. She loves yoga, cats, and occasionally watching a sports game. She doesn’t follow too many sports teams, but she will be happy to smile and nod along to anyone talking about their teams.

Victoria Price

Victoria is a 2nd year Biomechanics graduate student from Austin, Texas. She received her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from the University of North Texas. Victoria's interest include gait, locomotion, prosthesis, and exoskeleton performance and injury prevention. Her current research is investigating knee joint forces as athletes run across different surface stiffnesses.  She also enjoys swimming, hiking, running, and climbing.

Kelsey Zary

Kelsey is a 2nd year Biomechanics Graduate Student from Greenville, NC. She received her undergraduate degree in Athletic Training from East Carolina University and worked as an intern Athletic Trainer for a year and a half before returning to school. Her research interests are varied including her thesis project of studying hamstring muscle structure and function to attempt to predict the outcome of ACL reconstructive surgery. She volunteers with a local animal rescue and the American Red Cross blood services in her spare time.

Kunle Akindahunsi

Kunle Akindahunsi is a first year biomechanics graduate student born in Baltimore Maryland but grew up mostly in Gold Hill North Carolina. He received his undergraduate degree at East Carolina University in exercise physiology. He will be working on his thesis with Dr. DeVita. During his free time he enjoys playing just about any sport.

Clara Amat Fernandez

Clara is a first year Biomechanics graduate student from Barcelona (Spain). She received her undergraduate degree in Health & Exercise Science from the University of Memphis. Clara is interested in mechanism of injury, and injury prevention and rehabilitation. She was a pole vaulter at Memphis and enjoys watching and being part of the sport.

Ana Gomez Granados

Ana is a 1st year Biomechanics Graduate Student from Costa Rica. She received her undergraduate degree in Human Movement Science from the University of Costa Rica. Ana has many research interests, for her thesis she will be working with Dr. Domire. She enjoys swimming and hanging out with friends.

Mark Wright

Mark Wright is a first year Biomechanics graduate student from Durham, North Carolina. He completed his undergrad in Sport Management at Western Carolina University where he spent time working as a personal training at the Campus Recreation Center. He also has experience as an athletic trainer volunteer with WCU baseball and softball team. After completing his undergrad he worked with Athletic Republic, performance sports training center, where he started as an intern and grew to become the Director of Training. His passion to impact the lives of athletes through increasing their athletic performance has inspired him over the years to obtain his CSCS, USAW, USATF and level III Athletic Development Specialist certifications. In his free time he enjoys playing any sport that test his athletic abilities, eating, spending time with family, and church activities.

Henry Zale

Henry Zale is a first year biomechanics student from Portland, OR. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2013 with a bachelor's in Human Physiology while working as the Head Personal Trainer at the Student Rec Center. In 2014 he moved to southern California to pursue personal training. After working in multiple gyms and physical therapy clinics, he developed an interest in injury prevention and turned his focus toward graduate school. He loves basketball, downhill skiing, and weightlifting.

Previous Students

1993: Jeffrey P. Hill

1994: Donghai Zheng

1995: Kevin R. Scott, Sherri L.  Westbrook

1996: Jeffrey R. Wilson

1997: William Linebaugh Dempsey  IV

1998: Jeffrey Money

2000: Jill Suzanne Moody, David J.  Tunnel

2001: Stacey L. Beam

2002: Jovita Jolla, Kimberly N.  Smith

2003: Todd J. Brown, John  Christopher Mizelle, Lenna M. Westerkamp

2004: Douglas W. Powell

2005: Joseph Lowry Helseth,  Brandon F. Noyes, Michelle Amy Pullen

2006: Jonathan F. Armada

2007: Allison Gruber, Patrick  Rider, Paul Zalewski

2008: Erin Bushey, Brian Moscicki

2009: Ben Long, Cortney Herring, Jason Jones

2010: Tim Copple, Mike McNally, Jonathan Gomez, Jonathan Bulluck, Binal Motawar, Adria Finch, Byron Moore

2011: Ryan Hill, Jimmy Metzinger, Caitlin Pearl

2012: John Pope, Alexis Sidiropoulos, Robert Brady, Jeff Morgan

2013: Hunter Bennett, Rebecca Krupenevich, Josh Leonardis, Rachel Tatarski, Korey Reynolds

2014: Anne Marie Tullock, Chris Wendt

2015: Matthew Salzano, Daniel Schuster, Matthew Becker, Kayla Seymore, Shane Rabideau

2016: Jamie Hibbert, Collin Bowersock, Robert Leonard, Alex Geronimo, Kayla Murphy, Jeffrey Patterson, Jessica McDonnell