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Graduate Students

Johnpaul Caia (advisor: Dr.Weiss)

Johnpaul is from Melbourne, Australia. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Movement from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Following this, Johnpaul completed a year of Honors study at RMIT University under Dr. Amanda Benson and Dr. Tim Doyle. His research project profiled the lower-body characteristics of elite and sub-elite Australian football players, with this work published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Johnpaul calls Australia home, but moved to Memphis to continue his education. Away from his academic pursuits he enjoys catching up with family and friends back home, and is an Australian football and soccer enthusiast, with a great love of the Collingwood Football Club and Tottenham Hotspur.

Research Interests: Johnpaul’s research interests are focused on investigating the factors that influence athletic performance, with an aim to integrate findings from the scientific laboratory with the needs of practitioners in the field. He is currently working under the guidance of Professor Lawrence Weiss in the Musculoskeletal Dynamics Laboratory, and his applied project will address the structural predictors of vertical jump performance.

 JohnPaul Caia

Richard Easter(advisor: Dr. Schilling)

Richard is from Millington, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Memphis majoring in Exercise and Sports Science. He has served in the Army for the past 8 years and is currently a SSG in the 267th military police company. His love of running lead to him training and competing in ultra marathons. He teaches free weights and machine resistance training and has recently been CSCS certified.

Research Interests: Richard is currently on research involving SWAT teams. He is planning to conduct a nationwide survey of SWAT teams for his applied project.

 Richard Easter

John Harry(advisor: Dr. Schilling)

John was born and raised in the coastal Orange County, California area. He received his B.S. in Kinesiology at California State University in Fullerton, California. He is planning on pursuing a PhD in Biomechanics upon finishing graduate school. He is a die-hard Tottenham Hotspur FC supporter as well as the MLB’s Los Angeles Angels. He enjoys playing guitar and working on his severely inconsistent golf game.

Research Interests: John’s research interests include the biomechanics of movement, specifically high-intensity movements as well as the mechanics of functional movements for individuals with movement disorders. His thesis project, The Effects of Footwear Type on Maximal Jumping Performance, will hopefully add to the body of literature regarding the use of minimal style footwear.

 John Harry

Lisa Smith(advisor: Dr. Schilling)

Lisa was born on the Marine Corps Base in Okinawa, Japan. She received her Bachelor’s at MTSU in Foreign Languages & Literatures and German with a minor in Japanese and Linguistics. She almost went to graduate school for Linguistics in Hawaii, but realized her heart was more in running and working out. While she has competed in several ultra marathons and triathlons, mountain biking is her favorite. She will be competing in and XTERRA triathlon this year and is planning on competing in an Ironman next year.

Research Interests: She is currently researching tactical physical fitness with her thesis specifically testing SWAT physical fitness in order to predict job performance. There is currently very little research out there for this area so she is excited about the promise this research will show.

 Lisa Smith

Joshua Bravo (advisor: Dr. Paquette)

Josh is from Hickman County, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee majoring in Exercise Science with a minor in Psychology. After completing his master’s, Josh plans on attending physical therapy school and graduating with his doctorate in physical therapy. He is a home-team guy and is a fan of the Tennessee Titans, Memphis Grizzlies, and the Atlanta Braves. He can also do a pretty wicked Chewbacca impersonation.

Research Interests: Josh is currently working on his thesis which involves an agility study examining the effects of footwear on agility performance. His interests also include biomechanics and therapeutics with a concentration in physical therapy.

 Josh Bravo

Stephanie Chester (advisor: Dr. Paquette)

Stephanie is from Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She received her B.S. in Exercise Science with a minor in Biology and Chemistry from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. She also participated in cross country and track as a long distance runner while she was there. She has lived in Memphis for 2.5 years and just recently got married to her sweet husband Brad Chester. Although she loves to exercise, cookies and brownies are her favorite things to eat.

Research Interests: Stephanie’s research interests lie in research that pertains to runners and preventing and managing injuries. She is also interested in cardiac fitness and loves working with individuals who are trying to get back to a healthy lifestyle.

 Stephanie Chester

Joe Hoekstra (advisor: Dr. Paquette)

Joe is originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee majoring in Kinesiology. His favorite sports teams are the Tennessee Volunteer football and basketball teams. Led Zeppelin is Joe’s favorite band. His hobbies include mountain biking and road cycling.

Research Interests: Joe’s interests in lower extremity biomechanics of cycling, walking, and running led him to his current thesis project titled A Comparison of Cycling Biomechanics and Power Output in Elite and Recreational Cyclists.

 Joe Hoekstra

Dan Melcher (advisor: Dr. Paquette)

Dan is originally from Cleveland, Ohio but grew up in Conneaut, Ohio. He completed his B.A. in Politics and Government with a minor in Biology at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. He is currently a Level 1 USA Track & Field coach and has coached high school and adult sprint, Olympic and half-iron distance triathlons. For many of the triathlons Dan raised funds to help fight cancer with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Research Interests: Dan’s current research interests lie in the biomechanics of running, specifically of the lower limb, as well as prevention and rehabilitation of running injuries.

 Dan Melcher
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Last Updated: 3/20/14