Exercise Science

Nate Conner

No profile image available.

Nathan Conner is a first year Ph.D. student in the Exercise Science program. He was born and raised in Michigan. He received his Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from Adrian College, where he played football for four years. After one year of coaching football at Adrian, he decided to further his education at Oakland University, where he received a Master’s degree in Exercise Science. His area of research includes developing balance training and assessment techniques with the aim of preventing falls in older adult populations.

McKenzie Hargrove

No profile image available.

McKenzie is a first-year Ph.D student in the Exercise Science program. McKenzie was born and raised in Texas but moved to Jackson, MS to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science at Mississippi College. She remained at MC to receive her Master’s degree in Applied Exercise Physiology, during which she taught undergraduate exercise physiology labs.

Russell Lowell

No profile image available.

Russell is a third year Ph.D. student majoring in Exercise Science while minoring in Industrial Engineering. Russell received his bachelor’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology at Mississippi State University and his master’s degree in Exercise Science at Liberty University. He currently holds a role as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Kinesiology Department.

Maria Haider

No profile image available.

Maria is a first year Master’s Student in Exercise Science program. Originally from Pakistan, she did her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Riphah International University, Lahore.

Her research was centered around the correlation between the level of mobility and the manifestation of psychological problems in children with Cerebral Palsy. During her Master’s she plans on focusing on the behavioral aspects of physical activity in population with Down Syndrome.

Dallas Johnson

No profile image available.

Dallas is a first-year master's student in the Exercise Science program. He was born and raised in south Mississippi. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology.

He has been a basketball player development coach for 5 years. His current area of research involves looking at vertical-jump and power production in athletes.

Lauren Smith

No profile image available.

Lauren Smith is a Ph.D. student in the Exercise Science program. Originally from Tupelo, MS, Lauren earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Mississippi State University. She later earned a Master’s in Biomedical Science from William Carey University. Her current research interests include using nutrition to improve the gut microbiome and overall health and fitness.

Po-Lin (Leo) Chen

No profile image available.

Po-Lin (Leo) Chen is a second year Ph.D student majoring in Exercise Science. He is originally from Taiwan and earned both his Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education at National Kaohsiung Normal University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. He joined the Cognitive Motor Control Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology. Leo’s research interests include Adapted Physical Activity/ Education (APA/ APE), exercise interventions, motor skills and executive function.

Aaron Griffith

No profile image available.

Aaron is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Exercise Science program. Originally born in Virginia, he moved to Delaware when he was young. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Movement Science and a Master’s degree in Neuroscience, both from Delaware State University. 

Deborah Watson

No profile image available.

My Research in 60 Seconds

Deborah Watson is a Ph.D. student in the exercise science program. Originally from Connecticut, Deborah earned her Bachelor's in Business with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Studies from Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania. She later earned a doctorate degree in physical therapy from University of St. Augustine.

Hunter Derby

No profile image available.

Hunter Derby is from Columbus, MS.  As a Mississippi State Alumni, Hunter is a third-generation bulldog, having earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Mississippi State.

Currently, he is completing his Ph.D. in Exercise Science under Dr. Harish Chander and Dr. Adam Knight, specializing his research in spine biomechanics in the ergonomics.  With earning multiple black belts and teaching traditional karate, Hunter developed his research interests in biomechanics and injury prevention and how they improve performance.