I am Brett Gordon, and I am a second year postgraduate student in PESS working with Dr. Matthew Herring to examine the effects of resistance exercise training on mental health outcomes. Additionally, for the past year, I have served as the PESS representative for the student led organization, the University of Limerick Interdisciplinary Forum for Healthcare (ULIFH). Because my experience representing PESS for this organization has been so rewarding, I would like to take the opportunity, through this blog, to promote the good work this organization undertakes.
For those who have yet to hear about our emerging organization, the specific aims, as outlined in our newly constructed constitution, are primarily to 1) increase collaboration between the health-related societies at UL, other 3rd level students from the Department of Education and Health Sciences, and health related associations in the University, and 2) foster and promote engagement between UL students interested in healthcare and the local, national, and international community. My role as the PESS representative is unique, as previously there was no PESS representation; I serve to both communicate opportunities for involvement to PESS undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as to provide a physical education, exercise, and sport science perspective to the organization in relation to future projects and goals.
It has been a particularly engaging experience serving as a representative of PESS for this organization; last year we not only substantially increased membership and awareness, we hosted several events, including collaborative work with the Limerick Health Hub, a space in Limerick city centre focused on health promotion and public education on health issues.
ULIFH is open to any student enrolled at UL, and from personal experience, meetings are dynamic, engaging, and abundant with opportunities to get involved. I was one of the first PESS students to drop by a meeting last year, and all members were incredibly warm and welcoming, and eager to hear my unique perspectives. The membership as of now consists predominately of medical students; however, we are directly working towards increasing the diversity among departments.
Representing PESS for ULIFH has additionally directly benefited my PhD research. As our relationship with the Limerick City Health Hub improves, I aim to use that resource as a means to recruit participants for various interventions comprising my PhD research. For my doctoral research, I am conducting a randomized controlled trial examining the effect of a short term resistance exercise training intervention on mental health outcomes, primarily anxiety, in young adults with subclinical levels of anxiety and elevated worry symptoms. Worry symptoms are the hallmark symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, and to date, very little evidence exists regarding the effects of an acute and short term exercise training intervention on anxiety and other mental health outcomes in young adults with elevated worry symptoms, even less regarding the effects of resistance exercise training specifically. Recruitment is always a difficult process in any research project, and it is exciting to have access to a growing network of interested parties. I would encourage everybody reading this blogpost to click on the following link to learn more about this great organization, and participate in its noble pursuit of collaboration and engagement https://www.facebook.com/groups/1477711839201079/.
Brett Gordon is a postgraduate student in the PESS Department here at the University of Limerick. View Brett’s profile Here!
Brett’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brett’s Twitter: @BrettGordonBG