SLU Athletic Training Graduate Places Third at Army Research Competition

Maxwell Alander, a 2017 graduate of the Saint Louis University athletic training program, recently placed third in the United States Army Research Laboratory (ARL) 11th annual Summer Student Symposium graduate research competition for his research poster titled "The Effect of Imperceptible Noise Stimulation on the Spinal Reflex."

The ARL student symposium, held at the Aberdeen Proving Ground army facility in Maryland, is the culminating event for the students involved in the army research internship. The program draws students from across the country and is designed to develop future leaders in science and technology, as well as to showcase student research.

This year, 75 students participated in poster sessions and three finalists from both the undergraduate and graduate categories were awarded medals and cash prizes.

 Competing against many other students and recent graduates with more research experience, Alander was pleasantly surprised to find out how well he performed.

 “I didn't expect to place; most of the competitors were halfway through Ph.D. programs or had work and research experience at places like NASA. Having just graduated from a clinical master’s degree program, I wasn't sure I would stack up,” Alander said. “At the same time, I put a lot of work into it, and I really wanted to walk away with something to show for my experience. When I heard my name, it was a huge relief. Grabbing third was an awesome experience, but I couldn't have done it without the support from my ARL mentors and fellow interns.”

 Now that Alander has graduated and completed the ARL program, he has returned to St. Louis and is eager to begin his career as an athletic trainer at Maryville University, where he recently accepted the position of associate athletic trainer.

 “I am very excited for this opportunity and looking forward to incorporating some of the knowledge and skills I've picked up at ARL,” Alander said. “I have high hopes that Maryville University’s up-and-coming exercise science program will serve as a conduit for more athletic- and performance-related research. More school is definitely in my future, but, at this point, I am ready to get my hands dirty in the real world.”

Anthony Breitbach, Ph.D.,  director of SLU's athletic training program, was thrilled to see Alander expanding on his passion for research.

“It is great to see Max pursue his strong research interest with Dr. Matt Tenan at the Army Research Lab,” Breitbach said. “We hope our program’s scientific foundation and commitment to evidence-based practice helped prepare him as an athletic trainer and clinical researcher.”

 Learn more about SLU’s athletic training program.

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of nearly 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.