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Catherine Goffreda Wins Dissertation Research Grant

News release about Catherine Goffreda's dissertation research grant

by Joe Savrock (January 2009)

Catherine Goffreda, doctoral candidate in School Psychology, has received a $25,000 dissertation research grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to examine the effects of physical activity on classroom learning.

Goffreda’s work is titled “Linking Energizers to Academic Performance in Rural Elementary Schools (Project LEAP).” The primary aim of Project LEAP is to determine the immediate impact of a classroom-based physical activity program called Energizers on students’ classroom learning and behavior. Three first-grade and three second-grade classrooms at a rural school district in central Pennsylvania will participate.

Goffreda will use a multiple-baseline design across classrooms to determine the effects of the Energizers program on physical activity, classroom behaviors, and academic outcomes. Student outcomes will be measured, and process evaluation and survey techniques regarding barriers to implementation of school-based physical activity programs (e.g., Energizers) will be completed.

Goffreda’s academic advisor is James DiPerna, associate professor of school psychology.