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Washington State University
College of Education


Bruya-Wood tabs 2018 champ

Collette Edge wins grand prize for Parkinson’s research

By C. Brandon Chapman – College of Education

Washington State University’s Kinesiology program hosted its 2018 semi-annual Bruya-Wood Undergraduate Research Conference on Nov. 30.

While all presentations were top notch, when all was said and done, Collette Edge won the grand prize for Outstanding Work.

Collette’s research was titled: “Parkinson’s HAAO group fitness to maintain improved motor function post-therapy”.

As Collette presented, there are three main treatment options for Parkinson’s disease, a chronic neuro-degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. Along with their respective pros/cons, they are:

  • Pharmacology: Effective in early stages, but with hard side effects.
  • Physical Therapy: Effective short-term, but expensive and time consuming.
  • Deep brain stimulation: Successful in late stages, but invasive and high-risk.

Using research literature based on high-amplitude therapy, as well as group action-observation therapy, Collette presented something called High-Amplitude Action-Observation (HAAO) group fitness. As a practical application, it includes maximum sustained movements like reaching from floor to ceiling and side to side, as well as repetitive movements like a step-and-reach, rock-and-reach, etc. Unlike physical therapy, because this is a group setting, it offsets some of the high costs.

Collette’s conclusions were:

  • High amplitude movement and speech, as well as group action-observation therapy, have been proven to decrease symptoms for moderate level Parkinson’s disease progression.
  • HAAO supports individuals with Parkinson’s by providing post-therapy maintenance of movement/speech and additional increased quality of life through community support.

Collette has been a group fitness instructor for the last 13 years on the Palouse, but went back to school, and will continue on to graduate school in occupational therapy. She said she would like to work in therapy for vulnerable populations such as people with Parkinson’s disease.

From the Bruya-Wood Conference, Edge joined the college’s podcast Education Eclipse.

Listen to podcast

Congrats to Collette, as well as the rest of the conference participants.

News: laboratories offer more opportunities to undergraduates


The following story was written in preparation for the event:

By Breck Smith – College of Education intern

The College of Education’s kinesiology program will host an open house on Fri., April 24 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. in the Smith and Physical Education buildings, to show off its new (and old) research and service labs.

Associate kinesiology professor Anne Cox has already seen an improvement in student learning from the new lab exposures.

Exercise Physiology Lab
The Exercise Physiology & Performance Lab is one of three kinesiology labs that have started in the last two years.

“The addition of new labs in the Kinesiology program has already had a substantial impact on students’ learning experiences at WSU. Many of our undergraduate students are now taking advantage of opportunities to assist with research or service projects that stem from the work in these various labs. In some cases, these experiences have had an impact on their intended career path as their eyes are opened to new possibilities” Cox said.

The purpose of this open house is to show the progress and potential benefits undergraduates look to obtain with the new and improved facilities.

Within the open house are lab tours which allow participants to see specific labs from 1-2 p.m. Labs that can be viewed include:

The Exercise Phys Lab, as well as the Biomechanics Lab, are both new this year as a direct result of the increased interest in the program.

The Exercise Phys Lab mission is to “improve human athletic performance, health, and quality of life through the accurate assessment of fitness levels/exercise capacities and physical activity behavior.”

The Biomechanics Lab’s main goal is to research dynamic balance to find answers on how to improve lives by reducing the amount of falls from humans, which happen every day. Both labs are expected to provide new information and research opportunities for students interested in making a difference in their communities.

Additionally participants do not want to miss The Bruya Wood Undergraduate Research Conference, which takes place from 2:00-4:00 p.m. in Physical Education Building 144. This conference provides students an opportunity to display academic research on a professional front. While gaining resume experience as they present their findings to established academics in the field.