Research Project Description

Project 1

Where to Carry Kids? A Comparison of Women and Men during Walking looks at the effects of carrying an infant or toddler on an adult’s walking pattern, body temperature and caloric use as well as how these changes differ by sex, size strength and other anatomical characteristics. Using a toddler-sized model and a small group of women and men, this study compares side-or hip-carrying with shoulder-carrying. During its second year, the study will expand to include a small model, more subjects and different carrying positions.


Marcie Myers, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology\

Melvina Kpanquoi ’11, Biology

Anna Myhre ’12, Psychology & Biology

Laura Stearns ’11, Foods and Nutrition Science

Kelsey Boeff ’11, Biology

Cara Wall-Scheffler, Seattle Pacific University

This study is funded by a Small-scale 3M Collaborative Student-Faculty Research Grant.

Project 2

The objective of Thermoregulation in Early Human Infants (Hot Babies) was to determine if limb (arm and leg) proportions have a significant impact on the amount of heat lost by infants compared to the substantial heat lost due to their overall small body size and narrow limb diameters.


Melvina Kpanquoi ’11, Biology

Anna Heithoff ’11, Engineering

Kelsey Boeff ’11, Biology

Dale Boeff

Karen Steudel, UW-Madison

Cara Wall-Scheffler, Seattle Pacific University

This study is funded by a Small-scale 3M Grant Collaborative Student-Faculty Research Grant and a McNair Scholarship.

Project Title

Where to Carry Kids? A Comparison of Women and Men during Walking & Thermoregulation in Early Human Infants (Hot Babies)


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In May, Melvina Kpanquoi ’11 graduated from St. Kate’s with a degree in biology and two collaborative research projects under her belt.

Invaluable is how Kpanquoi describes both of her research experiences. “I’ve learned a lot about myself as both a student and individual,” she says. “As a researcher you put in a lot of hard work but the whole experience is really fun. In the end the hard work is worth it.”

For one of Kpanquoi’s projects, she paired up with engineering student Anna Heithoff ’11. Connecting with other St. Kate’s researchers has been an added bonus, says Kpanquoi. “I’ve been able to meet and work with many women on campus that are passionate about the same topics or fields that interest me.”

Associate Biology Professor Marcie Myers served as principal investigator and mentor on both research projects with Kpanquoi. Kpanquoi says she was grateful for Myers’ guidance. “She implements critically thinking and believes so much in you, it is impossible to think otherwise.”

Being involved in collaborative research allowed for Kpanquoi to share information about her research projects at three conferences, which has been a highlight for her. “That’s been one of the most exciting parts of my experience. I am able to share the results from our research and I feel like an expert,” she says. Kpanquoi urges both current and prospective student researchers at St. Kate’s to attend conferences where they can showcase their projects. “People want to learn about your research and what you have accomplished.”