REU program sets the bar for research opportunities

by Phil Hiatt

VanMeter presents his research findings.

SUMMARY: SRM major, Hunter VanMeter, partnered with Hart School professor, Josh Pate, to undergo a research project as part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates program.

Hunter VanMeter, a senior sport and recreation management major, presented alongside Hart School faculty member Josh Pate at the Social Justice through Sport and Exercise Psychology Symposium in March 2022. The presentation focused on the inclusion of people with disabilities in high school athletic events.

Of the experience, VanMeter said, “This was the first time I have gotten to present research to anyone outside of my current educational institution. It was amazing to see all the different professionals from different backgrounds come together to talk about social justice.”

For the past two years, VanMeter has worked alongside Pate as part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates program, which is funded by the College of Business. During this time, VanMeter has learned details about the research process and how to review literature. He has also been given the chance to conduct his own research. 

“I gave him small tasks along the way, but his ability to manage his own time, meet deadlines and produce high-quality work is just incredible,” said Pate. “It became easy to pass off larger projects for him to complete. This resulted in us publishing a book chapter together on Olympic and Paralympic governance, where he took complete ownership of outlining, researching and writing the entire Olympics section of the chapter.”

VanMeter also played a role in preparing for the symposium. “He took ownership of researching the theoretical framework and applying it to how people with disabilities are often socially isolated when they attend high school athletic events,” Pate explained. “Hunter’s work as a student researcher has shown he is fully prepared to pursue graduate-level education.”

“As I move further into my schooling and career, this experience will serve as a cornerstone of my presentation skills,” VanMeter shared. “I cannot thank the CoB and the REU program enough for allowing me to be a part of this amazing experience! My time spent in the REU program has been one of the highlights of my time here at JMU.”

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Published: Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 4, 2022

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