HHP Undergraduate Research Spotlight - Christina Larkins

Christina Larkins

Major: Exercise Physiology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bhibha M. Das

Describe your current research project:

After working as a research assistant last year for Dr. Das collecting data on ECU Housekeepers through interviews and surveys, I am in the process of creating my own project, through the ECU Honors College. Using the data collected, this project will create an intervention for ECU Housekeepers that focuses on educational sessions centered around physical activity, disease prevention, mental health, and ways to improve their physical health.

Why did you choose this particular topic?

I have a passion for underprivileged and misunderstood populations, and the ECU Housekeepers are one of those. They work so hard, often without thanks, all around campus. I was previously a Resident Advisor (RA) so I was able to see first-hand just how they are treated in the residence halls as well as around campus. This project fit perfectly with my passion for physical activity, mental health awareness, and helping misunderstood populations.

What outcomes or impact do you hope your research will accomplish?

I hope that my research will help improve ECU Housekeepers’ physical and emotional health in general, as well as provide them with information on how to make the most of their occupation, because they deserve it!

Do you feel that participating in such research will impact your job placement after graduation? If so, how?

In the future I would like to become a physical therapist for special needs children and to do so I need to be accepted into a graduate program for PT. I believe that participating in this research has strengthened not just my resume, but my passion for wanting to become a PT, and being able to help others through physical activity. I think this research will make me a better candidate for graduate level programs.

What has been your favorite part of your research?

My favorite part of the research has been hearing from the Housekeepers around campus, and how much they appreciate and value my project. For many of them, this is completely new territory and gives them the opportunity to break out of the repetition of their jobs, and better themselves in ways they have wanted to. This research has inspired some of the Housekeepers to achieve their personal goals when it comes to weight management, mental health, etc.