Building connected communities takes a combination of both motivation and people who are movers and shakers. Fourth-year Biology student Natnaiel Dubale is bringing just that to his experience working in state-of-the-art exercise physiology lab at Trent as a summer student working alongside Dr. Sarah West, Kinesiology program director.
“I transferred to Trent because it gave me the opportunity to work closely with faculty experts, Like Dr. West on research,” explains Natnaiel, who transferred to Trent from another university in his third year. “I am one of two students assisting Dr. West with the ParticipACTION Activity Challenge and other research projects. This position has been an amazing opportunity to gain both practical experience and research experience.”
Trent’s Kinesiology program hosted a virtual walk for students and employees each Friday in June as part of the Canada-wide ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge. Over the month, the Trent University community event logged 2,550 minutes of physical activity.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in so many changes to our daily lives, many of which can impact our health and well-being,” explains Professor West, who has recently led research into the levels of stress and anxiety that students experienced throughout the pandemic. “Making sure that we prioritize our mental and physical health is so important. Physical activity is one way to do this. There is plenty of high-quality research that demonstrates being active promotes improvements in both physiological outcomes, as well as psychological well-being.”
Moving into the fall term, Natnaiel will be undertaking an undergraduate research thesis in the Kinesiology lab, and sees it as an excellent complement to his degree.
“The opportunity to work under the supervision of Dr. West this summer has enabled me to apply the skills obtained through my coursework during the academic year to real-world projects.”