Students and faculty receive awards at 2023 SEACSM conference

Students, alumni and faculty from the Department of Nutrition & Integrative Physiology attended the annual conference for the Southeastern chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (SEACSM) in Greenville, South Carolina, and came away with numerous awards and honors.

Professor Lynn Panton was the recipient of the 2023 Henry J. Montoye Scholar Award. The Scholar Award was instituted to honor and recognize outstanding contributions to the body of knowledge related to medicine and science in sports and exercise. It was named for Henry J. Montoye in 1997 to recognize his contributions as a scholar and his dedication to founding the Southeast ACSM chapter.

As the award recipient, Panton was invited to deliver the Henry J. Montoye Scholar Award Lecture at the conference. Her lecture was entitled, “Riding the Coattails of my Students: The Importance of Resistance Training in Clinical Populations.”

lynn headshot
Lynn Panton, Ph.D., FASCM

Panton’s research interests are in resistance training and its impact on the physiological measurements of strength, body composition, and functional outcomes in healthy older adults and populations with chronic diseases. She is currently studying the effects of resistance training on body composition and functionality in breast cancer survivors.

Taylor Behl, Ph.D.

Nutrition and Integrative Physiology (NIP) Ph.D. alumna Taylor Behl, now an assistant professor at Flagler College, said reuniting with Panton was a highlight of the conference.

“This was my first year going to the conference since graduating,” Behl said. “It was great to see and catch up with prior students and my advisor, Dr. Panton!”

Behl won first place in the “What’s up Doc?” competition for assistant professors and post-doctoral fellows with research data from her dissertation. Her research focused on the effects of almond consumption on vascular health and sleep in active, older adults who are classified as overweight or obese. The research is ongoing at the College of Health & Human Sciences and is funded by the Almond Board of California.

Two current students, Lillie Renteria and Casey Greenwalt, also received notable honors.

Ahead of the conference, Renteria was selected for the SEACSM Leadership and Diversity Training Program.

Renteria, an NIP doctoral candidate and lab coordinator at the Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicine, said she was inspired by her mentors to apply for the program.

Casey Greenwalt (left) and Lillie Renteria (right)

“I have realized throughout my professional development you can’t get anywhere by yourself. Even outside of the opportunities it may bring, having an extensive network of experienced people from a variety of backgrounds provides you with feedback and knowledge you may not have gotten otherwise,” she said. “Additionally, I love being able to mentor students. By learning how to become a more proficient leader, I am putting myself in a position to help others as effectively as I possibly can in the future.”

Having attended the conference in 2022, she was excited to go back and make more connections with researchers and collaborators.

“Reading research and the latest findings is a necessity as a researcher, but being able to have one-on-one conversations with the people that actually executed that research gives you a better understanding and deeper appreciation for the studies they completed,” she said. “It also provides insight that might not have been published at all, which can help with navigating your own research down the road.”

In addition to completing the Leadership and Diversity Training Program, Renteria helped coach FSU’s Quiz Bowl team.

Undergraduate students Meredith Cox, Andelino Calderon, and Kameron Higginbotham, competed in the SEACSM Quiz Bowl, a Jeopardy-style competition against 30 other universities in the southeast. Assistant Professor Joseph Watso was the faculty advisor and coach for the team.

Lillie Renteria, Meredith Cox, Andelino Calderon, Kameron Higginbotham, Tim Griest, and Joseph Watso, Ph.D.

Greenwalt rounded out the Department of Nutrition & Integrative Physiology’s awards at the conference with a SEACSM Student Poster Award for third place in the master’s division.

Greenwalt’s poster was titled, “Temperature-Controlled Mattress Topper Improves Sleep and Recovery in NCAA Division I Female Soccer Players.”

Her study sought to examine the effects of a temperature-controlled mattress topper on sleep and recovery metrics in elite female athletes. The athletes were given the mattress topper to use for one week during the season. Their activity, strain, sleep, and recovery metrics were recorded throughout the entire competitive season. The use of the device was found to improve both sleep quantity and quality.

“This was my third time attending and presenting at SEACSM. Of all the conferences I’ve attended, SEACSM is my favorite,” she said. “I really enjoyed getting to attend with the entire FSU Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicine team and loved getting to reunite with researchers from other institutions. It’s also super cool to check out the other research that’s happening in the region, and to see what’s new, and where trends are headed in the field.”