When exercise physiology major Andrew Stanwicks received his acceptance letter from UMass Lowell, he was so excited that he didn’t think much about the paragraph welcoming him to the university’s Immersive Scholar program.
“I had no idea of the massive impact that the program would have, not just on my future career, but on my entire life,” says Stanwicks, who is now a sophomore.
The $4,000 merit research scholarship gives students an opportunity to interact with emerging technology, collaborate with researchers and other professionals and apply what they are learning in the classroom.
The summer after his freshman year, Stanwicks used his Immersive Scholar grant to work in a research lab alongside Asst. Prof. Yi-Ning Wu of the Department of Physical Therapy and Kinesiology, who is an expert in technology-based rehabilitation. Stanwicks learned how to use state-of-the-art equipment that is helping to improve treatments for people recovering from injuries.
“I was a little nervous when I first walked around the lab, but my fear soon turned into excitement,” he says. “Because of this experience, I will leave with the knowledge of how a kinesiology lab functions and the qualifications to use rehabilitation technology. I already feel so far out in front of my professional goals just from this one summer program.”
As part of his Immersive Scholar experience, Stanwicks worked with Emerson Hospital and a technology company on a study to develop treatments for people with post-concussion syndrome. He learned how to test for concussions as well as how to go through the process of gaining approvals from the hospital’s institutional review board.
“I gained hands-on learning experience, absorbing information from faculty and other researchers. It felt great to be part of a project that has the ability to make a positive impact on people’s lives,” says Stanwicks.
Once he graduates, he plans on attending the UML doctor of physical therapy program.
“For my career, I’ll either be an inpatient physical therapist or do research in exercise science.”