Health & Kinesiology Students, Faculty Earn Awards at Texas Chapter of American College of Sports Medicine Conference

KINGSVILLE - March 04, 2015

Contact: Adriana Garza-Flores
or Phone: 361-593-4979

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Texas A&M University-Kingsville students from the Department of Health & Kinesiology received some top honors at the Annual Meeting of the Texas Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in Austin February 26-27.

            Senior Exercise Science/Pre-Physical Therapy major Samantha Cantu was recognized as the top undergraduate exercise science student in the state. She received the Texas ACSM Undergraduate Scholar Award. Cantu is the third A&M-Kingsville exercise science major to receive the award in five years. Cantu also earned first place in the Undergraduate Research Poster Competition for her research study, “Controlled cold water and water slushy ingestions and heat performance in subjects of average fitness”.

            Joseph Secrest, a lecturer in the Department of Health Kinesiology and Director of the Campus Fitness and Wellness, earned second place in the Masters Research Poster Competition for his thesis research, “The effects of ammonia inhalants on anaerobic performance following a simulated American football game”.

            Senior Exercise Science/Pre-Physical Therapy major Ashley Balles earned first place in the Member’s Choice Research Poster Competition for her study, “Psychological responses prior to a strenuous task involving an injured joint”.

            The university’s Texas ACSM Student Bowl team placed seventh out of 30 teams. The Student Bowl is an event where teams of undergraduates from across the state compete in an academic quiz bowl devoted to exercise science and sports medicine. Team members include Cantu, Balles, David Salinas, a senior exercise science/pre-physical therapy major, and Joel Perez, a junior exercise science/pre-physical therapy major.

            Professor and Chair of the Department of Health and Kinesiology Dr. Chris Hearon said he is proud of the students’ dedication and commitment to excellence.

            “Our students always represent A&M-Kingsville well, but this year they simply knocked it out of the park,” Hearon said. “These recognitions are just further confirmation of what we have known for a number of years with regard to our exercise science programs, that we have in a relatively short amount of time amassed an exceptional faculty who are engaging and preparing our students to be competitive at all levels with students from all over the state, region and nation.”

            Hearon earned the Texas ACSM Service Award, honoring Texas ACSM professional members who have distinguished themselves through significant service to the society during their time as members. It is one of only two faculty honors bestowed by the society.

            “Needless to say, it was an honor, and a little humbling when you look at the list of past recipients of this award,” Hearon said. “I’m still not sure I deserve it.  Nevertheless, it is always nice to know that your years of hard work were recognized and appreciated.”