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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

Shelby Peel (advisor: Dr. Paquette)

Shelby is from Port Charlotte, Florida.  She graduated from the University of Memphis with a degree in Exercise and Sports Science in May 2014.  She loves to cheer on her Florida Gators and Memphis Tigers.  She also loves to work on her ukulele skills.

Research Interests: Shelby's interest lie in lower extremity biomechanics, specifically looking at how the lower body joints work within baseball pitching.

 Shelby Peel

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

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

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: 10/21/14