Kinesiology Doctoral Students Win NEACSM Awards at 2020 Annual Meeting

Robert Marcotte (left) and Joseph Gordon III
Robert Marcotte (left) and Joseph Gordon III (right)

Kinesiology doctoral students Robert Marcotte and Joseph Gordon III received scholarship awards during the annual New England Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (NEACSM) Fall Conference held virtually Oct. 15 and 16.

Marcotte received the Linda S. Pescatello 2020 Doctoral Scholarship, and Gordon received the Lawrence E. Armstrong Minority Scholarship. Both scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence, professional experience, professional activities such as attending conferences and workshops, publication of peer-reviewed research, and skill in obtaining grants.

“I continue to be impressed by and very proud of our graduate students, both individually and collectively,” says professor and chair of kinesiology Jane Kent. “Both Jay and Rob are emerging scholars in their areas of research. They are also providing important leadership outside the lab, as well. I wish them the best of luck as they pursue their dissertation studies.”

Marcotte is a member of associate professor John Sirard’s Physical Activity and Health Lab. For his dissertation, Marcotte is developing a scalable and convenient method to estimate the relative intensity of physical activities using wearable activity trackers (i.e., accelerometers) and evaluate its validity under naturalistic, free-living settings.

“It's an honor to be recognized for the efforts I have been putting into my academics and research thus far,” says Marcotte. “My achievements are a result of the support and encouragement of my advisor, Dr. John Sirard, and my lab mates. We strive to produce quality work and motivate one another to continue moving forward on our projects, and for that I am grateful!”

Gordon specializes in muscle physiology under the supervision of Kent. His work in Kent’s Muscle Physiology Lab investigates the effects of aging, sex-differences, fat deposition and training on muscle function. His dissertation research will examine the effects of fat deposition on the biochemical environment, muscle architecture, and functional performance of a variety of populations using magnetic resonance (MR) techniques.

“Under normal circumstances I would feel happy to be selected for any merit-based award,” says Gordon. “That being said, this year I also feel particularly proud to earn this award with the social climate of our country being as polarized as it has been in its history. My goal is to perennially shed light on the disproportionate underrepresentation of all people of color within research, academia, and STEM. I hope this acknowledgement is one way to increase awareness about inherently disadvantaged populations, and others can feel encouraged to provide resources for these groups.”