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The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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Department of Kinesiology requests research from student groups

Whitney Veazey

The Department of Kinesiology has worked hand in hand with the National College Health Assessment in order to assess levels of stress, loneliness and sense of belonging within different student groups on campus.

Ashley Cook, Health and Wellbeing Graduate Assistant in the department, conducts lots of programming for students as well as partnership in the community. Currently, she is in the process of pursuing a dual PhD in both Exercise Science and Health Promotion. 

My experience as a Health and Well-Being Graduate Assistant over the past two years has reignited a passion for wellness and health promotion that I am eager to explore further,” said Cook.

Her independent project focuses on psychosocial factors that impact female university students. She looks in depth at areas of loneliness, psychological distress and sense of belonging between three specific groups of students: student athletes, international students and sorority students. 

On Thursday, March 7, she held her final survey conducting event on the fifth floor of Rice Hall to specifically target the female international students. Collaborating with Housing and Residence life, Cook made certain to make the event more “convenient” for participants to encourage an abundance of participation.

For this study, Cook aimed to gather a minimum of 45 responses from each group of students. One working hypothesis that Cook maintains is that student athletes and international students will report higher levels of stress compared to the sorority students. She mentioned the factors surrounding international students that undeniably enhance stress, such as their being away from their family in a completely new country.

The National College Health Assessment serves colleges and universities all across the United States and it stems from the American College Health Association. In short, the assessment addresses the climate on college campuses.

Cook and the Department of Kinesiology have been involved in purchasing the group’s assessment that assesses the campus climate. Areas such as physical and mental health are surveyed, along with nutrition, emotional health and occupational health.

Conducting the survey for international students was her last step in collecting research, as she has already gathered data from student athletes and students involved in sororities. Her next step is to run statistical analysis. She has to analyze where each group lies and if there are any significant differences before moving into summarizing her findings. 

She described how she does not have hopes in finding specifics. Cook really is curious to see what the results look like, and from there will begin creating programs to enhance campus wellbeing. For example, specific programs could be put in place to reduce stress in student athletes. Logan believes that focusing on these specific groups of students will better cater to their needs, enhancing each and everyone of their well being. 

Witnessing the ever-changing nature of students and their ongoing efforts to meet evolving needs has been a valuable lesson through my involvement in programming,” Cook said. “I am committed to contributing to the improvement of campus well-being for students, and this is a journey I am enthusiastic to continue.”

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About the Contributors
Tristan Gregory, Staff Writer
Whitney Veazey, Chief Photographer
Whitney is a sophomore from Greenville, Ala. She is working towards a BFA with a concentration in photography. Whitney started at The Flor-Ala in Fall 2022 as a staff writer/photographer and is currently serving as chief photographer.

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