On April 22, 2016 two of our undergraduate BEACH Lab members participated in the annual University of South Carolina Undergraduate Discovery Day. Lauren Boeckermann and Shea McCarthy both presented posters for their independent studies that were completed in the BEACH Lab this past school year.
Shea, a junior in the Arnold School of Public Health, presented her poster about the relationship between availability and accessibility of public playgrounds and childhood obesity in Greenville County, SC. Two out of three objectives for this ongoing study were presented at Discovery Day, including the examination of playground quality in Greenville County and levels of playground access for children living in the County. This project was completed as an independent study during the spring of 2016 and will be continued into the summer to explore the third objective about relationships between playground access and quality and youth BMI.
Lauren also presented an independent study she has been working on all semester on the association of perceived neighborhood features and overall neighborhood satisfaction. Specifically, these features were divided into two categories (physical – walkability, safety, and aesthetics; and social – social cohesion, social support, and collective efficacy) to determine if one group was more strongly related to neighborhood satisfaction and which specific elements were more important. The effects were examined separately by gender as well. This was Lauren’s first time presenting a poster and she enjoyed learning about the process from start to finish and interacting with the judges and other presenters and attendees at Discovery Day. Lauren is currently finalizing a manuscript to submit for publication early this summer and looks forward to embarking on her Honor’s thesis over the summer as well.
Congrats to both Lauren and Shea who both won second place in the Psychology and Public Health category!