Undergraduate Symposium: Athlete

Student-athlete making great strides at Symposium

by Amy Bearinger, Published March 15, 2012

YPSILANTI - It's hard to believe an EMU student athlete could find time to add anything to an already packed schedule, but an opportunity to present at the Undergraduate Symposium is one not to pass up.


Courtney Calka, an exercise science major and member of the cross country team, is just one of the student athletes participating in this year's event. A Symposium Undergraduate Research Fellow (SURF), Calka has found a true appreciation for everything EMU has to offer its students.

"This university is such a great place and truly provides a wonderful learning environment," Calka stated. "Athletics helped me automatically meet new people and through this experience (the SURF program) I have met great academically-focused students. I have solidified my love for EMU through all the opportunities it has offered me."

Calka's project titled, "Knee and Ankle Mechanics during the Landing Phase of the Vertical Jump," will have a direct connection to female athletes like herself. Session C, 11:45 a.m., Room 330.

According to Calka, female athletes have a greater chance of ACL injury due to biomechanical differences, hormones and other factors. Her project specifically looked at biomechanical factors of the knee and ankle. Audience members who attend this presentation will understand the importance of teaching female athletes how to react and land their vertical jumps as well as practicing correct technique.

Calka sees great value in her research, but also values the overall experience of presenting it.

"I am excited to show my audience that I am passionate about my topic," Calka said. "I am excited to receive the experience so I can look back and know I did something beneficial."

For more information about this presentation please visit emich.edu/symposium.

Geoff Larcom



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