Our Students

Research and service activities to better understand and improve health

Stephanie Eldred is discovering new ways to improve others’ health through opportunities in the College of Health and Human Development and at Penn State.

Stephanie is majoring in Kinesiology, in the Movement Science option. Through her courses, she gets valuable exposure to a range of subjects related to movement. “I really like the major,” she says. “The classes are very well rounded, and we learn about everything related to movement, from philosophy to psychology to the hard sciences.”

One of the most beneficial aspects of her college experience, she says, has been the faculty in the Department of Kinesiology. “The professors are great, and they’re always willing to help and go out of their way for their students,” she says. “They’re nice, and they are easy to approach and talk to.”

A Schreyer Scholar, Stephanie is involved in research that looks at different types of cell death that take place during a heart attack. She works in a lab with Dr. Donna Korzick, associate professor of kinesiology.

“It’s definitely a different side of research I get to see,” she says. “In classes, we learn about what should happen, and now I get to see it in practice.” Stephanie also says that finding out about other research for background information has made her much more literate in scientific texts.

Stephanie has been finding many ways to volunteer and serve others. She is involved in the HHD Honors Society, which she says is a “really good organization. It provides opportunities to interact with alumni and participate in social and community service events.”

Stephanie had the chance to make a difference in a different country through her involvement in the Global Medical Brigades. The nationwide organization provides medical services to developing countries. She traveled with a group of Penn State students and doctors to Honduras, set up a medical clinic, and treated nearly 1,800 people over a four-day span. The experience left an impression on her not only because it gave her a chance to help out but because she was able to connect with people in Honduras. “Their level of appreciation is phenomenal,” she says. “They are some of the nicest people I’ve met.”

That experience gave her an up-close look at health care in a developing country, and she is getting exposure to more aspects of health care through Public Health Brigades, a sister organization of Global Medical Brigades, Public Health Brigades organizes service trips to communities in developing countries to improve home infrastructure and provide public health education.

After graduation, Stephanie plans on becoming a family practitioner and she hopes to travel to impoverished areas of the world. She says that the research and service activities she is doing now are preparing her well.