Tech student helps find research modifications to deal with pandemic restrictions

By Kelly Cole

Throughout her four years at Louisiana Tech, biology senior Megan Gremillion has worked on several different research projects. Her most recent achievement was helping associate professor Dr. Julie Rutledge in the School of Human Ecology to find modifications for in-person intervention programs to an online platform during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Megan’s success in this venture allowed us to beta test a subset of the intervention on the platform with approximately 15 community-based users four months after its inception and now utilize feedback from that testing to modify and complete the platform for a full pilot test,” Rutledge said. 

This pilot test will have approximately 100 users in the 2021-22 academic year in preparation for full-scale intervention in the 2022-23 academic year. Three fully virtual training sessions have already been completed over the course of the last year. During these sessions, Gremillion focuses on aiding teachers in getting set up to online platforms. 

Another notable opportunity that Gremillion has been able to experience during her time at Louisiana Tech is a 12-week professional development workshop that focused on effective scientific writing. The work Gremillion completed was presented at the University’s Undergraduate Academic Summit which led to the work being accepted for presentation to the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 

“These experiences have made my time at Louisiana Tech second to none,” Gremillion said. “I truly believe that Louisiana Tech is the only institution where I could have gained the experience I have within my undergraduate years.” 

Currently, under the leadership of Rutledge and Dr. Taren Swindle, Gremillion and a team is conducting research that can improve childhood health outcomes through obesity- and cancer-prevention in families reporting incomes below the federal poverty line. 

“The program, We Inspire Smart Eating (WISE), is implemented in Early Childhood Education settings in both Louisiana and Arkansas,” Gremillion said. “Our work serves as preventative medicine for children in these areas and is made possible by the collaboration between Louisiana Tech University and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.” 

Gremillion is most proud of being able to represent Louisiana Tech at the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. She will also be presenting her research findings at the 14th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health in December 2021. 

After graduation in the winter, Gremillion plans to attend medical school. She believes that the skills gained during her undergraduate years have prepared her for her post-graduate ventures. 

“Louisiana Tech has blessed me with community and growth,” Gremillion said. “The University has prepared me through years of hard work, research, and love that I hope I can repay one day.” 


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