Ines served as Dr. Michael Mackenzie’s (MBBL Director’s) Graduate Research Assistant under the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition at the University of Delaware.
Research Project: She was the Research Coordinator for the ESCAPADE study – Examining Survivors of Cancer and Physical Activity in Delaware, she coordinated all aspects of the study including scheduling and conducting participant interviews.
Preliminary Findings: Resources are available for Delaware cancer survivors to engage in physical activity and healthy lifestyle behaviors, however engagement and awareness of these services are low, demonstrating the need for a system or person in place to connect cancer survivors to these resources.
Ines hopes to continue working on increasing healthy behavior engagement, such as increasing physical activity levels, in the general population and in populations in need.
Jenna served as Dr. Michael Mackenzie’s (MBBL Director’s) Graduate Teaching Assistant under the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition at the University of Delaware.
Research Project: Jenna developed an innovative stress reduction program for University of Delaware’s employees. Jenna hopes to continue work in employee wellness and health coaching.
Preliminary Findings: Participants had an increase in mindfulness behaviors, increase in personal achievement, and decrease in distress.
Jenna hopes to pursue a career in employee wellness and health coaching in order to continue to help individuals lead healthy lives.
Research project: Assessed the need for a health coaching program for those with diabetes enrolled in a Dining with Diabetes educational program through the University of Delaware’s Cooperative Extension.
Preliminary Findings: Confirmed the need for the development of a Dining with Diabetes group health coaching program with peer one-on-one coaching included in the lessons.
Currently Sarah is continuing her position as an Extension Agent and working on developing a program that will include health coaching along with an educational curriculum, which is what the findings from her graduate research project suggested.
Research Project: Investigated the impact of perspective used during an imagery exercise called Best Possible Self (BPS). This exercise asks participants to imagine having achieved all their goals and reached their full potential. Past studies have shown that BPS is an effective strategy for increasing optimism and improving mood. University students imagined the BPS scenario either through their own eyes (field perspective) or as if they were watching their life as a movie (observer perspective).
Preliminary Findings: Results showed that there were no significant differences in optimism or mood improvement between the two perspectives, suggesting they are equally effective.
Jillian hopes to continue her work in positive psychology by teaching classes about increasing happiness and improving mental health.