Major: Kinesiology - Sports Medicine concentration
Minor: Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Research Advisors: Laura Kibiri and Amanda Perkins-Ball
Junior Kinesiology major Kartik Reddy has enjoyed playing and watching sports his whole life, so when he saw that the Kinesiology major had a Sports Medicine track that integrated well with his pre-medical course requirements, it seemed like a natural fit. Reddy explained, “I'm a big sports fan: my favorite sport is football and my favorite team is the Philadelphia Eagles. I love playing intramural sports in my free time.”
“The major is about so much more than sports, though,” said Reddy. “I love how integrated the courses are among a variety of public health topics. This major teaches not just technical knowledge like anatomy and physiology, but also more holistic topics like nutrition, epidemiology, and psychology.”
One of Reddy’s favorite courses so far has been Psychology of Sports Injury and Rehabilitation. In this discussion-based class, students learned about the psychological and sociological factors that influence injured athletes and their recovery process.
Reddy applies many of the concepts he studies in his courses to his role as a student trainer for the Rice Football team. “It's been a great experience getting to know all of the great guys on the team and working in such a fun and exciting setting,” he said. “ This experience has helped me with refining my anatomy and physiology knowledge, as well as improving my communication skills.”
Reddy’s interest in community health and the link between physical activity and wellness led him to join the research project Running W.I.S.E. The project, led by Rice Kinesiology professors Laura Kabiri and Amanda Perkins-Ball, investigated children’s physical activity. He and fellow researchers asked the questions, “How can we better integrate physical activity and exercise into the weekly routines of elementary school children? Does increasing physical activity lead to an improvement in focus and attention within the classroom? How can we make physical activity a more sustained part of their week?”
The interpersonal interactions with the children in this study touched Reddy and motivated him during the project. “We loved to see how interested the kids themselves became with the study,” he said. “I became a lot more aware of the impact that a mentor can have on a young child. The kids in our study that we would run with very quickly became our friends and in turn, we became theirs. As the study went on, you could easily see that the physical activity sessions seemed easier and easier to them.”
In the coming years, Reddy’s passion for applying information he learned in his coursework to produce a tangible benefit for the community will continue to guide his experience at Rice, in medical school, and beyond.