Research Excellence Award
Nominate someone for the Research Excellence Award.
The Research Excellence Award is presented each year to a UFV faculty member whose research has demonstrates innovation, mentorship, academic impact, and an interface of teaching and research.
2018 UFV Research Excellence Award Recipient
Dr. Kathy Keiver, Kinesiology
Dr. Kathy Keiver is this year's recipient of the UFV Research Excellence Award. Dr. Keiver has been a Kinesiology professor at UFV for 12 years, and has thrived in her community-focused research.
Dr. Keiver and UFV’s Kinesiology department have been involved in research on the impact of exercise on the brains of children with cognitive disabilities for over a decade.
Previous incarnations of this applied research, called FAST club, had the schoolchildren taking part in fun, exercise-based games in a gym setting. UFV researchers would measure whether physical activity resulted in significant cognitive improvement.
Now Keiver, along with Alison Pritchard Orr, her research partner and colleague, have teamed up with Queen’s University researchers in the Exergames project, with a goal of measuring whether having children play video games powered by exercise bikes enhances cognitive function.
UFV students conducted pre-testing on their young research participants and a control group at Chilliwack’s Central Community School before the games portion of the program began, and they did post-testing to measure any changes in May.
“We’re particularly interested in seeing whether exercise and activity enhances the executive function of the brain, activities such as planning and problem-solving, and other higher-order skills,” notes Keiver.
Keiver has been working on the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure since 1993. When she started at UFV in 2006, she began collaborating with kinesiology colleagues to develop and evaluate intervention programs for children with FASD.
So far, the UFV research team’s results have shown some improvement in aspects of cognition through activity-based intervention.
They have published their results in peer-reviewed academic journals and presented at conferences.
Another benefit is the research opportunities for UFV students.
“Our research supports undergraduate education at UFV by providing students with opportunities for experiential learning,” Keiver says. “We have employed over 150 UFV students as research assistants and work-study employees over the last 7 years, providing them with opportunities to work with children with disabilities, help organize and administer physical activity programs, perform fitness and neuropsychological testing, analyze data, and disseminate research findings.”
Several of their student researchers have won UFV undergraduate research awards, and many have gone on to graduate studies or professional school in related disciplines.
Past Research Excellence award recipients
Dr. Miriam Nichols, English
Dr. Derek Harnett, Physics
Dr. Lenore Newman, Canada Research Chair in Food Security and the Environment, Director, Agriurban Research Centre, Associate Professor, Geography and the Environment
Dr. Michael Gaetz, Kinesiology and Physical Education
Dr. Noham Weinberg, Chemistry
Dr. Olav Lian, Geography and the Environment