Monthly Archives: February 2022

Chapter Highlight: Nu Alpha Iota

Who is small but mighty? Nu Alpha Iota at Missouri Baptist University.

Missouri Baptist is a small private school in St. Louis, Missouri. This chapter has inducted 7 student initiates this past spring. Their unit is Health and Sport Sciences. The Chapter Adviser is Michael Nolan.

Though small, they’re a strong chapter. Their agenda includes serving their community at a local 5k race, serving to help clean a historical site cemetery, and serving at a community food bank. They also had two presenters at Conclave 2021 and hope to embark on new research this year to present at Conclave 2022. They also shared hopes to grow their involvement on campus and in their community.

Operationally, their chapter meets monthly starting in August (Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov) and has their December meeting be a group service project. Similarly in the Spring they meet monthly (Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr) with April being a group service project – though they may add a meeting based on graduation dates for the year. Though they had a couple of meetings through Microsoft Teams back in the fall of 2020 due to COVID-19, they now meet in-person again and follow campus guidelines on masking. They do still use Microsoft Teams to communicate meeting times and locations, meeting minutes, and any other documents they’d like to share, like the membership roster and budget.

Nu Alpha Iota serving at a Hot Chocolate 5K

Where did they get this passion? Chapter Adviser Michael Nolan humbly notes that a large part of that drive is their school. He notes that “Our students have a service mindset to begin with. A commitment to community service and helping others in need is part of our institution’s mission. Which also serves Kappa Omicron Nu.” Missouri Baptist has a core purpose to teach, empower, and inspire students for service and lifelong learning.

Some KON chapters have a requirement to complete a certain number of hours to earn their cords, or be a chapter member, but not at Missouri Baptist. “There are no attendance or service requirements. But we believe in social change through service and leadership, and we make that clear. It’s also an advantage in that everyone comes through the front door knowing our mission – and that is service, research, and commitment to our education. Everyone knows that’s what we’re going to do.”

This seems like a lot to get done for a small team, I asked how they find the time to put together such a robust schedule. They were clear that when it comes to getting things done, Nu Alpha Iota is no nonsense. They prefer to focus on activities rather than social or planning calls and Michael adds “we have a small group which makes us able to act quickly and effectively.”

Students choose the events. Chapter leaders meets in September, discuss the previous year’s events, decide which of those events they’d like to carry forward, and use those to begin their schedule. At their next meeting in October, they add new suggested activities they want to add for their current year. They make sure to include at least one event each semester to do as a group. Student members are required to have at least 10 hours of service for their chapter per semester. Winter service hours count to their fall semester. The chapter lets members get hours as they choose at home.

Nu Alpha Iota member Trent Dickens presents research poster

Michael notes that the students usually take care of much of the scheduling themselves, “but I always have a couple of suggestions in my pocket in case things go dry. If they’re struggling I can say, ‘Here’s an opportunity would you like to do this?’ I want them to get into the decision-making mindset of a leader, not a follower.”

Do members like this approach? Michael noted that despite COVID challenges, their chapter is growing – with a higher than usual acceptance rates this past spring, inducting seven new initiates. Michael hypothesized this increase in acceptance was due to two things. First, Missouri Baptist has a strong research focus in their undergraduate exercise science program. KON’s Conclave event which allowed students to present their research in a safe accepting way, and the resurrection of the Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences is a nice draw. Second, Michael noted the restructuring of national dues has made membership clearer and more affordable. “There are other honor societies that these students qualify for, and these two pieces really helped give students value for their membership. KON’s ACHS certification also always helps.”

Student Spotlight: Benjamin Lee

This month’s member spotlight is focused on Benjamin Lee of the Missouri Baptist University. Ben has a major in Exercise Science and anticipates graduating in the Spring of 2022. At the 2021 Kappa Omicron Nu Conclave Ben presented his research entitled “The Effects of High Intensity Interval Training Versus Continuous Aerobic Training on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in College-Aged Adults,” and his research focused on just that. 

Ben’s goal with this research was to compare the effects of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and continuous aerobic on cardiorespiratory endurance via differing six-week training programs. The research was inconclusive with the expected results being that HIIT would yield an overall higher level of endurance compared to continuous aerobic training, however this allowed for Ben to experiment and gain experience.

This topic of research was enticed via Ben’s previous involvement with cross country and basketball in high school, in which the two sports differed in the types of training that occurred. This sparked interest in Ben and thus came his research topic to determine which type of training would produce better results.

We at Kappa Omicron Nu (KON) followed up with Ben after his presentation of his research at the 2021 Kappa Omicron Nu Conclave and Ben expressed his high level of gratitude for the experience. The opportunity was one that allowed him to share the work he had dedicated throughout the past semester as well as learn about other research conducted by members of KON. According to Ben, the questions and interactions from the audience both encouraged and allowed Ben to expand on his topic at a deeper level and in a more specific way.

Regarding future research Ben’s goal is to publish research in a peer reviewed research journal, as well as extend his research to different cardio training in relation to mental health. These goals are something that we envision Ben having all skills and assets to achieve in his future and throughout his professional and academic career.

Ben hopes to become a physical therapist and was recently accepted to one of his top picks for his physical therapy schooling. At that institution he hopes to work on research as a graduate assistant and continue the research he has practiced throughout his undergraduate education.

Our members continue to work towards their own personal goals as well as their academic goals. Congratulations to Ben on both your presentation and research and all future endeavors you set for yourself.

Benjamin’s Presentation (start at 11:40):