Erica Rauff, PhD

Erica Rauff, PhD

She just completed a one year longitudinal survey study of first year college students' weight, psychological health, physical activity, dietary and health behaviors, as well as social support for their health behaviors.  At this time, she is analyzing data that was collected during the 2018-2019 academic year in first year college students.  She is also currently working on designing a physical activity intervention that aims to increase physical activity in first year college students to understand how increased physical activity behavior influences psychological well-being and academic performance in this population. 

horizontal rule

Jacob Kysar, MS

Headshot of faculty member Jacob Kysar

Jacob is currently collecting data for the following project:

Title: A new approach: Postural asymmetry and its effect on lung function

Background: The primary objective is to develop new insights with respect to posture and breathing. Specifically related to the physical therapy setting, we aim to better understand these associations (i.e., posture and breathing), shed light on how postural patterns may exacerbate breathing dysfunction, and thus, reveal how dysfunctions may be alleviated in a clinical setting.

The following project is also currently in progress:

Title: Does patent foramen ovale exacerbate inflammation and reduced physical activity in patients with vasculitis?

Background: The objectives of this study are to quantify the prevalence of PFO in patients with vasculitis, and examine the relationship(s) between vasculitis, PFO, physical fitness and markers of inflammation.

horizontal rule

Sean Machak, MA

Photo of lab supervisor Sean Machak

I have two active research projects. The first is titled, “Interpreting “Big Data” Human Performance Metrics in Soccer Athletes” and the second is called “Indirect Calorimetry Instrument Comparison Study.” The soccer study is looking to investigate a new metric in soccer athletes that my collaborators at Simon Frasier University and I hypothesize will be more physiologically interpretable than currently analyzed metrics. Competitive athletes are increasingly using wearable devices. Soccer athletes have been an early adopter to these sensors. The second study will measure the inter- and intra-day reliability and congruent validity to two commonly used indirect calorimeters in the Human Performance Lab that I supervise.

horizontal rule


Sarah Shultz, PhD; Erica Rauff, PhD; Jacob Kysar, MS; Douglas Berninger, MEd; Sean Machak, MA

The department has collected focus group data from coaches across all sports at Seattle University focusing on future data collection with athletes.  The goal of this project is to identify the unique needs and priorities of each team and how collecting data can be used to inform training methodologies and improve athletic performance.